Archive for December, 2012

 

London

Photography by Getty Images

What better place to spend New Year’s than in the city that had the greatest year? The Olympics, Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee and the announcement of a new royal baby made 2012 the year of the Brits. More »

Where will you be ushering in 2013? Show us by Instagramming your photos with the hashtag #TCNewYear. Whether it’s the ball dropping in Times Square or fireworks illuminating the River Thames — we want to see! We’ll feature our favorites on our blog.

New Year's Photo Contest

Cusarare Falls

Photography by Marcos Ferro / Aurora Photos

After an arduous hike through the Copper Canyon of Chihuahua, Mexico, you’ll come upon a clearing where pine trees frame Cusarare Falls. More »

Navagio Beach

Photography by Image Source / Aurora Photos

Subsequently nicknamed “Smuggler’s Cove,” Navagio Beach (Greek for “shipwreck”) teems with adventure-seekers. More »

New Year's Day Plunge

Photography by Todd Bush Photography

Sometimes you need to make a statement — big and bold — in order to start the New Year off with a fresh, clean slate. And what better way to begin a new chapter than with a dip into a body of water — icy cold, at that!

I can personally vouch for it: Taking the plunge on New Year’s Day is something you won’t soon forget. Last New Year’s, on the heels of recovering from a lower back injury, I was feeling a little listless, like something had to change. Then one day, an ad popped up on my Facebook page — something about a Coney Island Polar Bear Club Plunge on New Year’s. Intrigued, I clicked on the ad.

Turns out, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club is the oldest swimming club of its kind in the United States, and every year since the early 1900s, this hardy group of men and women, now numbering in the hundreds, has taken a dip in the Atlantic Ocean off Coney Island on New Year’s Day. (They also take regular dips every Sunday from November through April, in case you can’t get enough.)

Hypothermia? Nah!

OK, OK, you’re probably thinking — I don’t know — “hypothermia” right about now. But as I found out last New Year’s, as I gathered with more than a thousand eager New Year’s plungers off the boardwalk at Coney Island’s Stillwell Avenue, you don’t have to be in super-primo-uno shape to take the plunge.

In fact, looking around at the sea of humanity ready to celebrate that New Year’s Day, I wasn’t exactly looking at a bunch of bodybuilders — and that’s putting it mildly. (As Bon Jovi music blasted from nearby speakers, yes, I did actually see grown men in every kind of sportive garb – including, you know, speedos and diapers — but hey, who am I to judge?)

Then came the moment …

At 1 p.m. sharp! –– a sea of people — my fellow brothers and sisters! — rushed toward the water, many yelping in what sounded like a primal seal sound: ah-oooh, ah-oooh

Feeling the growing excitement, I raced toward the water with them, and then it hit me, “Wow! This water is cold!” But then, what the heck, this was it, the moment — the New Year! — and soon, I dunked my whole body underwater, then rushed back toward the shore, feeling an exhilaration and joy I wouldn’t soon forget. I’m still talking about it a year later! (And a word to the ladies: A New Year’s plunge is a great date option — you’ll see how tough your fella really is!)

Eager to take the plunge yourself? Check out these New Year’s plunge options around the world! We’ve even included some warmer options, in case, you know, you don’t want to freeze to death. Go figure.

It was a big year. The Olympics took over London, and James Bond returned to the box office for the 23rd time. We took a tour of the Twilight destinations and even learned where Gangnam is. 2012 is definitely a year to remember, so let us jog your memory before we jump into 2013 … READ MORE

Big Sky Resort

You may be tempted to ride the chairlift up and down Big Sky’s Lone Mountain just to take in Montana’s spectacular snowscapes. But if you have to ski, you might as well do it here, too. More »

Still trying to figure out what to do on New Year’s? Well, if you happen to be near any of Priceline’s top 50 party spots, there’s a good shot that there are too many good parties to choose from.

Priceline released their 9th annual list of the Top 50 New Year’s Party Spots this week, and we bet you can guess what city came out on top. New York City not only topped the list, but also took several spots with different boroughs holding their own when it comes to partying like it’s 1999.

Florida grabbed 12 of the 50 spots with their theme parks and top-notch beaches stealing away many New Year’s revelers.

The top 10 party spots are:

#1 New York City, Midtown West

#2 New Orleans, French Quarter

#3 Las Vegas, Strip North

#4 New York City, Upper East Side

#5 Las Vegas, Strip Vicinity South

#6 New York City, Times Square/Theater District

#7 Orlando, Downtown Disney/Lake Buena Vista

#8 Miami, Downtown

#9 San Francisco, Fisherman’s Wharf

#10 Chicago, North Michigan Ave./River North Area

If you’re looking for a more adult-oriented New Year’s celebration, check out our picks for Sexy New Year’s Eve Getaways.

Are you in one of the top NYE party spots? What are you doing to celebrate? Tell us in the comments!

Photography by Wolfgana Staudt, flickr

The towering facade of Rocher de la Baume, which translates as “Rock of the Balm,” hovers over the little French village of Sisteron as it has for the past 4,000 year.  More »

Photography by Logan Mock-Bunting / Aurora Photos

It doesn’t get more luxurious than laying your head to rest in a villa designed by Oscar de la Renta. More »

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