Photo Courtesy of the Maine Lobster Festival

You’re looking for something to do during your summer vacation, and you happen to be in the beautiful state of Maine. Well, as luck would have it, not only is the Pine Tree State absolutely stunning in the summer (and slightly warmer than in winter!), it also is home to one of the more storied festivals in the Lower 48. The theme? Lobster, obviously. Why? Because Maine plus summer equals lobster. It’s like eating a beignet on Bourbon Street or Key lime pie in the Florida Keys — it just feels right.
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Photo Courtesy of the National Building Museum (Washington, DC)

Landlocked Paris has its faux beaches along the Seine to keep locals and tourists cool during the summer. And this year, the National Building Museum has adopted a similar idea by giving Washington, DC, its first 10,000-square-foot indoor beach.

Located in the Great Hall, the beach — where it’s always 70 degrees, according to museum’s website — has white lounge chairs and umbrellas on its 50-foot-wide shoreline, an ocean of 700,000 white plastic balls, and a snack bar. In addition to attracting kids and tourists, the beach has become a regular lunch-break spot for nearby workers to soak in the fun ambience that the museum has created as part of its annual Summer Block Party.

Photo Courtesy of the National Building Museum (Washington, DC)

The beach closes Sept. 7, but until then, visitors can enjoy a dip in the ocean, read a book on the shore or play beach-related games such as paddleball. No sunscreen required.

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Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert, PopularCruising.com

As cruise ships get bigger and bigger, they often lose sight of the destination, but Viking Ocean Cruises and its new Viking Star are changing all that. After all, the destination is like a piece of art, and this intimate, 930-guest flagship is like a frame that perfectly accentuates the subject without distracting from it.
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(Photo Courtesy of Rachel Townsend)

Be a producer on a digital video shoot for Watt’s World host Nick Watt in Scotland? Yes, please! From the get-go, I knew that Scotland was green, it had a castle, and it was connected to England. So … I didn’t know very much. By the end of the trip, I knew how to pronounce Edinburgh (Edin-brah), had felt the love of Prince William and Duchess Kate at the coffee shop they frequented in college, and had experienced my first Scottish breakfast (black pudding and some other weird meats). But first, I learned how to drive on the other side of the road.

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Photo Courtesy of Fathom

Carnival Corp. announced that its new Fathom brand has been granted permission to cruise with US travelers to Cuba. The line plans to provide “cultural, artistic, faith-based and humanitarian exchanges between American and Cuban citizens.” Final approval from Cuba is still pending, but it’s expected in time for the 710-guest Adonia to arrive in the country starting in May 2016.

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 Photo by Eric Purcell/Moment/Getty Images
It’s really a tale of 2 countries: 1 the land of opportunity, tolerance and freedom; the other, the land of insecurity, rudeness and the Big Mac. In which category does the rest of the world see us? That’s what author and journalist Rene Zografos set out to discover. He spent 7 years interviewing people on all 7 continents for his new book, Attractive Unattractive Americans. Whether they love us or hate us — or love to hate us — here’s a snapshot of what other countries think of America in 15 quotes.

On friendliness:
“In America you are, in fact, not considered weird if you talk to people you just have met on the street; it’s the opposite [reaction] where I come from.” — Theresa, Hungary

On our unique culinary tastes:
“The only time I eat ketchup is when I’m having pasta. The only time Americans don’t eat ketchup seems to be when they’re having pasta.” — Ellen, Norway

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Wet, hot American summer. That’s what’s expected of the Fourth of July weekend, but we’ll take 73 and sunny any day. And there are few places — our nation’s capital excluded — that are better suited for celebrating than Boston, where you can take in the brilliant Boston Pops fireworks display over the Charles River Esplanade. Whether you round out your weekend with requisite stops along the Freedom Trail or by witnessing Revolutionary War-era re-enactments at the annual Harborfest, here are some key pieces for a (not-so-subtly) patriotic weekend.

Photo by Bill Brett/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Photo by Bill Brett/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Clockwise from top left: A 2-pack of organic tanks for layering | Handsome navy duffle with a pocket for your shoes | Red boat shoes, because when else are you going to wear them? | Portable charger for when adding fireworks to your Snap story eats up your battery

Photo Courtesy of Elena Elisseeva/E+/Getty Images

You know the old Johnny Cash tune I’ve Been Everywhere? It’s my anthem. Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Buffalo … yep, seen ’em all.

Traveling for work is a great opportunity for face-to-face meetings that always seem more valuable to me than anything done over the phone. But if I’m being honest, sometimes as I’m striding around the airport with my practical overnight bag and sensible heels, I get gate envy.
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Ah, Montauk, NY — its lighthouse, its Revenge-style manses and its gorgeous beaches beckon to city dwellers all summer long. Whether you go by plane, train or jitney, get thee to the Surf Lodge, where you can watch the sunset with a Montauk Storm in hand. But first, some essentials for your lobster-roll-filled weekend:

Photo by Oleg March Photography/The Surf Lodge

Clockwise from top left: Classic 1-piece that stays put but still looks cute | Colorful sandals for dockside fun | Gold studs that can go from the beach to drinks | Just-big-enough sturdy canvas overnight bag

The Grand Canyon (Photo Courtesy of Alan Majchrowicz/Getty Images)

We’ve shared our list of the world’s most endangered sites, but today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation revealed its 2015 list of America’s 11 most endangered historic places. The list highlights examples of the country’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage.

“For more than a quarter-century, our list has called attention to threatened, one-of-a-kind treasures throughout the nation and galvanized local communities to help save them,” says Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Without further ado, here’s a quick look at the places that made the diverse list this year, in alphabetical order.
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