ALL POSTS IN [Outdoors and Adventure]

Rio Grande do Sul

Photography by André Maceira

When you think of Brazil, do you think of cowboys in wide-brimmed hats and red neck kerchiefs, verdant canyons and apple strudel? Didn’t think so.

These things happen to be as Brazilian as a pulsating samba beat; Technicolor carnival costumes and intoxicatingly beautiful beaches, and you can find them in the country’s southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, which is getting ready for its star turn during the 2014 World Cup.

The region will reveal a side of Brazil that few know with culture and customs traced back to fiercely independent gauchos, along with determined Portuguese, Spanish, German and Italian settlers.  These customs show up mostly in the region’s foods. There’s chimarrao, the evra mate tea sipped from a communal cup called a cuia; galeterias, restaurants serving the pastas, polenta and grilled chicken of Italian immigrants; and café colonial, serving plate after plate of German-inspired dishes, including strudel. And then, there is churrasco, the gaucho parade of grilled beef, pork and chicken, probably Rio Grande do Sul’s most well-known export. READ MORE

 

Earth Day New York, Times Square

On April 22, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries around the world celebrate Earth Day. Since its first celebration in 1970, Earth Day has focused on increasing awareness and sustainability of the environment through a variety of educational programs, exhibits and events.

Each year, the Earth Day Network — an organization that works with more than 22,000 partners, including environmental advocates, educators and organizations to promote the environmental movement — coordinates Earth Day events with cities and countries around the world. READ MORE

 

National Cherry Blossom Festival

Photography by Reuters

Each year, in March and April, millions of people flock to Washington, DC, to experience the beauty of the National Cherry Blossom Festival when thousands of cherry blossom trees bloom along the Tidal Basin.

Today marks the average peak bloom date for the cherry blossom trees, and while the actual bloom date is difficult to predict, the National Park Service predicts that this spring’s peak bloom period is between April 8 and 12.

If you’re planning a visit, a stroll along the Tidal Basin is a must, but here are some other ways you can also celebrate the festival in the nation’s capital: READ MORE

Arctic Man

Arctic Man

From Alaskan cuisine to winter sports events and hotel restorations, escape to Alaska with Andrew Zimmern, Adam Richman and Anthony Melchiorri this Sunday on Travel Channel from 2|1c to 7|6c READ MORE

Tough Mudder Pittsburgh 2013

Tough Mudder participants do a 12-foot-high jump into Walk the Plank.

Earlier this year, you had a goal. Then life happened, and so did the weather. But now that spring has finally arrived, it’s time to get back to that moment, a couple months ago, when you told yourself that 2014 would be the year of getting back into shape.

And what could be a better way to get motivated and enjoy the spring weather than to visualize what could be all yours to enjoy: Moments like trudging through waist-high mud … and scurrying in mud pits with electric wires dangling just inches from your face … or jumping into a vat of ice-cold water that, surprise!, you can only escape by swimming underneath one very long headboard … or climbing over a 9-foot-high wall, affectionately known as the Berlin Wall, while praying you land in one solid piece on the way down? And finally — in the piece de resistance — running through dangling wires juiced with 10,000 volts of electricity so powerful it’ll knock you to the ground. READ MORE

Road to Hana (Photo Courtesy of Chip Ward/ Equitrekking)

The island of Maui is amazing! Some people enjoy their Hawaiian vacation by simply relaxing on the beach while sipping a cold beverage, but there are several heart-pumping adventures that await adrenaline junkies on Maui, too. Here are 3 adventures you don’t want to miss when visiting this island paradise.

1. Go Road Trippin’ on the Road to Hana
The Hana Highway (Hwy. 36), which runs along the northeastern coast of Maui, is a thrilling road trip that the whole family can enjoy. Called “The Road to Hana,” this 52-mile coastal highway comprises more than 600 tummy-churning curves. Those who brave the route will be rewarded with dramatic coastal views and plenty of photo opportunities by beautiful waterfalls, lush rainforests, parks and gardens.

Top Travel Tip: Plan at least 3 hours to conquer the Road to Hana and take your time. This adventure is all about the journey and sightseeing along the way!
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Cardiff Reef in San Diego's North County (All Photos: Lisa Singh)

Quiet beach time at Cardiff Reef in San Diego’s North County (All Photos: Lisa Singh)

If you’re California-bound, you’ll eventually want to see its birthplace: San Diego. And once you’ve checked out the famed Southern California city’s star attractions, like the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park and La Jolla Village, you owe it to yourself to step off the well-worn tourist path and discover San Diego’s lesser-known side, where hidden gems await at nearly every turn.

The place to go is San Diego’s North County, the posh and quieter stretch of town about 25 miles north of the city. Just cruise on down Highway 101, the classic stretch of road with an array of laid-back beach towns along the way. READ MORE

Tablelands, Gros Morne National Park, Western

Tablelands, Gros Morne National Park, Western (Photos: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism)

Ever fantasize about blasting off on a trip into outer space?

That might work someday soon for those with millions of dollars to burn. But for the vast majority of us who aren’t that lucky, traveling to Newfoundland might be the next best bet. The unique rock formations, stunted trees and brutally harsh offshore winds in this remote Canadian province are so out-of-this-world that they cannot help but lure those with an adventurous bent.

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Photography by David Santiago Garcia / Aurora Photos

Two World War II memorials dot the rugged cliffs at Pointe-de Pen Hir, a stunning headland in Brittany, on France’s Crozon peninsula.

Daily Escapes!

 

Cuiaba (Photo Courtesy of Embratur)

Cuiabá is a host city not to be overlooked by visitors when traveling to Brazil for the World Cup. In the 20th century, this gold-mining city drastically grew from 57,000 to 544,737 residents in 30 years. Today, the city’s 3 ecosystems (the wetlands of the Pantanal; the savannas of the Cerrado; and the Amazon), are treasured by locals and tourists. The city offers visitors magnificent opportunities to immerse themselves in nature, whether it be waterfalls, rivers, plateaus, or miles and miles of beautiful green landscape.

Cuiabá, The City of Picturesque Countryside
One of the many spots to hike and explore in Cuiabá is the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park (Parque Nacional Chapada dos Guimarães), a UNESCO World Heritage site located a few miles outside of the city. This enormous natural park gives people a place to go and explore the large orange and red-rock formations via guided hikes with varying levels of difficulty. Along the hike, visitors to the park see caves, canyons and beautiful outlooks.
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