Yellowstone dip: Visitors enjoy the Boiling River, as bison roam nearby. (Photo: Lisa Singh)
Feeling stressed? Perhaps all you need is a spa day or 2 … maybe even a week. And sometimes Mother Nature has the best idea: a spa treatment in the great outdoors.
That’s what I found on a trip this past week into the remote winter wilds of Montana where hot springs abound, as does the added bonus of being in a state that recently cracked the top 5 in the happiest states index. Maybe being the sixth-least populated state has something to do with Big Sky Country’s “happy” distinction, along with the lack of cellphone coverage, which can’t help but turn a traveler’s attention toward the grand, majestic show all around — the expansive mountain ranges that make up this stretch of the Rocky Mountains, with stories of mountain men and Native American tribes finding reprieve from wind-bitten days in soothing, mineral-rich waters by the base of mountains.
That’s where hot springs come in, lots of them. The western third of Montana is where visitors will find the most accessible, and inviting, geothermal wonders, emerging just below the surface with temperatures anywhere from 85 to 140 degrees. READ MORE
Photography by Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht
Indulge your inner daredevil at the Waldseilgarten Hoellschlucht in Bavaria, an adventure resort near in the German Alps.
Tonight at 9|8c, Todd Carmichael braves the ganglands of Mexico to get the perfect coffee for his high-profile client, restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten. When he hears of a wine-like coffee bean, Todd heads deep into Los Zetas territory to seek out the farmer he needs to please Jean-George, who is famous for his discerning palate.
Check out our behind-the-scenes photos from Todd’s adventure through Mexico, and learn why the phrase “silver or lead” is well known in Mexico’s gang territory.
How adventurous are you? Do you think you’d love Todd’s job or would the role of restaurateur suit your tastes? Find out with our Dangerous Grounds quiz!
It’s well into January, how are your resolutions faring? Did you make a commitment to be fit this year or to try something new and exhilarating? Or maybe, you wanted to make room for more meditation and tranquility? Whether you’re looking for intense relaxation or extreme adventure, here are our top picks for total renewal in 2014:
Best Fitness Boot Camps
Destination-based boot camps can be the best way to switch up your fitness routine, which you may — or may not — have kept up with so far (no judgment here!). From hiking with picturesque views of Mt. Everest to dancing along the Mayan Riviera, these are far from your ordinary 5 a.m. boot camps.
Does winter storm Janus have you holed up inside for the foreseeable future? Are you dreaming of sunshine, a glass of chilled white wine and an idyllic countryside? Get inspired for your next trip by escaping to Florida’s beaches, California’s wine country and Nashville’s local haunts with some of Travel Channel’s best new video.
Soak up the sun on Florida’s beaches with Marianela Pereyra.
Take a bike tour of California’s wineries with Ryan Van Duzer.
Explore Nashville like the locals with Shane-O.
Photography by Whit Richardson / Aurora Photos
If the sight of Bridal Veil Falls, Colorado’s tallest free-falling waterfall (at 365 feet) doesn’t take your breath away, the steep hike up will.
Photography by Joel Addams / Aurora Photos
Called “As-Sahara al-Kubra” in Arabic, “The Great Desert” of the Sahara stretches more than 3.6 million square miles through North Africa.
With temperatures dropping, don’t let winter doldrums set in. Bundle up and embrace the cold (albeit the bone-chilling, artic-blasting cold of recent days) with some of our favorite things to do in winter.
1. Sleep in an ice hotel.
If you aren’t afraid of a little cold or a bed made out of ice, spend an unforgettable night in an ice hotel. Chill out in a luxury igloo full of hard-carved ice sculptures and cozy fur hides to keep you warm at night.
2. Toast with a decadent drink.
The ideal cure for a winter chill? A cocktail to warm you up. Toast to shorter days with these 10 cold-weather cocktails, from a traditional hot toddy to an innovative dry-ice-infused concoction.
3. Take an icy plunge.
What better way to plunge into 2014 than with an icy dip! There are still New Year dips taking place throughout January, or head to Finland where ice swimming is a popular custom all winter long.
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images
Ring in the New Year right and enter to win an amazing trip for 2 to Belize! Your $10,000 adventure includes 2 nights in Belize City, 3 nights in San Ignacio and 3 nights in San Pedro. Winners of our monthly sweepstakes will take an amazing tour of Cahal Pech archaeological site; visit the Butterfly Farm at Chaa Creek; and go cave tubing and zip lining at Jaguar Paw.
And that’s not all! Visit more than 150 animals at the Belize Zoo, and explore Xunantunich, a Mayan archeology site, where there’s rumors of a ghost that still lurks around the ancient ruins. And your adventure in Belize isn’t complete without a dive to explore the marine life at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, including snorkeling with the stingrays and nurse sharks at Shark Ray Alley.
So get inspired and take a look at our beautiful Belize pictures and enter our monthly sweepstakes!
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Winter solstice at Stonehenge (Photo: Getty Images)
Welcome to the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The winter solstice kicks off this Saturday, and with it, thousands of visitors from around the world have gathered at Stonehenge — the mysterious standing set of stones dating between 3000 B.C. and 2000 B.C., in Wiltshire, England — to mark the grand astronomical event when the monument aligns on a sight-line pointing to the winter solstice sunset.
Of course, who are we fooling? On Saturday morning, most of us would probably prefer to snuggle up under the covers than brave the gathering crowds at Stonehenge (even if the new $44 million visitors center, which opened this past Wednesday, sounds interesting, with an exhibition that includes a forensic reconstruction of a Neolithic man). We’ll leave it to the druids, pagans and astronomical diehards currently gathered at Stonehenge to fill us in on the grand event, which, on the flip side, ushers in the longest night of the year.