Sara Gilliam

Sara is a Senior Producer for Travel Channel.com. She has eaten her way through Thailand, sailed around the coast of Greece -- and thought she died and went to heaven in Paris (not literally). In addition to travel, she loves smart design, clever headlines and all things pop culture.

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Posts by Sara Gilliam

Summer is drawing to an end — perhaps you’re preparing to part ways with your passport or say goodbye to weeks-long sabbaticals in the sand. So what is someone with perpetual wanderlust (and permanent roots) to do? Make the most of the beloved weekend getaway. Here are the 10 best cities to spend the day exploring according to our Facebook fans. Tell us: Which city ranks No. 1 in your heart on your itinerary?

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​Some roads are better experienced on the back of a bike. Here are our picks for America’s 5 best motorcycle road trips.

Tail of the Dragon

Tail of the Dragon (Deals Gap, NC)

Route: 11 miles

The Tail of the Dragon is largely considered the most popular motorcycle road trip, with 318 curves in a short stretch of US 129 along Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Tennessee/North Carolina border.

Start in North Carolina at Fugitive Bridge — yes, of Harrison Ford’s 1993 thriller The Fugitive — where you’ll navigate a magnificent series of “S” curves before crossing the Tennessee state line.

Make sure to pack: A proper windshield. Trust us, you’ll be happy you sprang for one. READ MORE

Jennifer Aniston and new husband Justin Theroux have embarked on a luxurious honeymoon in the South Pacific after quietly tying the knot in front of 70 friends and family members at their Bel Air, CA, manse. Here’s what we know so far to inspire your own fantasy honeymoon (even if you have to settle for flying first-class like a mere mortal).

The Four Seasons Bora Bora

Mr Moeava de Rosemont / Four Seasons

The Getaway Plan
Odds were on Cabo, the couple’s frequent Mexican getaway, as the honeymoon destination. Instead, they went all-out to mark the special occasion by hopping on a private jet for the roughly 8-hour flight from LA to French Polynesia’s Leeward Islands. In all fairness, Bora Bora already received the couple’s stamp of approval when they celebrated Theroux’s 43rd birthday and their second engagement anniversary there last August.

Breaking With Tradition
While Bora Bora is a honeymooners’ tropical paradise, the newlyweds certainly didn’t plan on holing up in one of 100 overwater huts for a week. Aniston stayed true to her vacation style of beach, bikinis and besties, bringing along Courteney Cox, Jimmy Kimmel, Jason Bateman and their families to continue the wedding celebrations. Talk about #squadgoals. READ MORE

 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

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

All month long, we’ve been giving you the chance to be a high roller on a $10,000 getaway to Las Vegas. True, only 1 lucky winner will get VIP access to Vegas’ red-hot culinary scene or a bird’s-eye view of the Strip from a hot-air balloon, but there’s nothing stopping you from planning a last-minute trip to Sin City. Already picturing yourself lounging in a poolside cabana or testing your luck at the craps tables? Mentally add these Vegas weekend must-haves to your packing list.

The Weekender: Las Vegas

Clockwise from top left: Classic Panama hat to shield the sun | Thong sandal that’s as easy on the eyes as it is to slip on and off | Colorful carry-on that will stand out from the crowd | Abstract pouch for packing or poolside essentials | Metallic cat-eye shades to make a statement

Last week, Skift released a report that the majority of Americans will take little to no vacation this summer. We’d find that hard to swallow, but our friends at the US Travel Association echo the sentiment, stating that Americans failed to use 429 million vacation days in 2013. That’s 3.2 days of paid time off wasted per worker. We sympathize with the half of vacation-deprived people who say they simply can’t afford it this summer, but for the other half, we imagine the reasoning goes something like this:

Because you prefer to enjoy your coffee from the comfort of your cubicle.

Espresso in Mallorca, anyone? #LiveTravelChannel Photo by: @chubbychinesegirleats

A photo posted by @travelchannel on

And who craves more quality time with loved ones? Not you.

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While narrowing down the picks for Travel’s Best All-American Vacations 2015, you start to face facts: Our nation is both vast and wonderfully diverse, home to stunning white-sand deserts, towering redwood forests, snowcapped mountains and charming seaside towns. With so many natural wonders and man-made institutions, it’s impossible to distill the American experience into a single list. Each year, we try to show off the wealth of destinations that make it the US without repeating former picks such the Dakotas’ Black Hills and the island of Nantucket, MA.

El Yunque National Forest

Photo by Wade Eakle/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

So what just missed the cut?

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The scene may look familiar. Natalia Zakharova, wearing a fabulous dress, has a hand outstretched behind her toward photographer and partner Murad Osmann — but this time, she’s leading him down the aisle. The couple who became Instagram-famous with their hashtag campaign #FollowMeTo, which captured their travels with serious wanderlust- and aww-inducing photographs, tied the knot over the weekend at the Zhavoronki Event Hall in Moscow, Russia. In just 2 years, the couple’s hand-holding photographs have gained more than 2 million followers, as well as fans all over the world.

Where will the couple who have been everywhere (and we mean everywhere) together go on their honeymoon? We have a few suggestions. As we wait with bated breath, scroll through 10 of our all-time favorite destination shots.

Burj Al Arab, Dubai

#followmeto the helipad of @burjalarab in Dubai with @yourleo. Huge thanks to @beautifuldestinations

A photo posted by Murad Osmann (@muradosmann) on

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  • The Colosseum in Rome via @gminas01

  • Gros Piton, St. Lucia

  • Sorrento, Amalfi Coast - Italy via @thetravellerfromoz

  • Skógar, Iceland