ALL POSTS IN [Holidays]

Love is in the air, and we’re celebrating all things Valentines Day here at Travel Channel. Whether you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate with your sweetie, or all this talk of Cupid has inspired you to pop the question – we’ve got you covered.

Valentine's Day

1) Forget the red roses and prix fixe dinners – this Valentine’s Day, celebrate with an adrenaline-filled adventure.

2) Nothing says romance quite like a rich, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth artisan chocolate. Get a taste with our picks for the World’s Most Decadent Chocolate Tours.

3) Relax by your private outdoor plunge pool, or fall asleep to the sound of water lapping below your overwater bungalow – splurge on a trip to one of our picks for 2013’s Most Romantic Honeymoon Destinations.

4) It’s a story you’ll tell for the rest of the life, so you’d better make it a good one! Consider popping the question at one of these Most Memorable Places to Propose.

5) Need to spice things up a little?  Get out of town with a Sexy Weekend Getaway.

6) Imagine you’re Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary, and exchange vows with your own Matthew Crawley in a Romantic Castle Wedding.

7) Cuddle close to your sweetheart, and watch the sky bloom with reds, yellows and purples at one of the world’s Most Romantic Places to Watch the Sunset.

8) Hiding the ring in a slice of cake is so last year … or, a few years ago, actually. Get inspired with these new Proposal-Popping Trends.

Our Favorite Valentine's Day Products

There’s just 1 day left until Cupid’s favorite holiday is upon us, and we’ve scoured the web for some of the very best gifts for your globetrotting valentine. Whether it’s love, lust, or just a case of wanderlust, get even more gift ideas with our Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Traveler or our Valentine’s Day Travel Gift Guide.

Valentines Day Travel Products

1)   Remember the romance with a few snaps from this (pink!) Lomography Honeysuckle Camera.

2)   Let your sweetie cycle in style with the foldable TOKYO Citizen Bike.

3)   Share the love … and music … with this heart-shaped headphone splitter.

4)   Harken back to that romantic weekend in Charleston, or reminisce about that jaunt in Tuscany with an Excursion Candle Tin.

5)   Get in a foodie fight with this trivia game for food lovers – then make up afterwards.

6)   Pen a love letter on this Air-Mail Stationery Set, and seal it with a kiss.

7)   Never pass up the opportunity to pop a bottle – take your favorite bottles of wine on the go with this neoprene tote.

8)   Warm her heart … and her hands … with this rechargeable hand warmer.

Photo Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Lodge

Like it or not, V-Day is right around the corner (just a month away, to be exact). So, if you really want to impress your sweetie, it would be a good idea to start planning now.  But if you’re still in the dark about what to get that special someone, there’s a good chance they only want to spend some quality time with you.

Sex and the City Zoo 4: Sexy Beast
Say what? Stay with us for a second. The Los Angeles Zoo is holding an “adults-only affair” on Feb. 9  with an enlightening talk by actress and interpretive naturalist of zoology Joleen Lutz. a reception featuring desserts and wines, “animal walk-abouts,” (including chats with keepers and the chance to observe small animals up close) and an optional 4-course dinner at Reggie’s Bistro inside the Zoo.

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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

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

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!

We couldn’t resist one more photo of New York City’s Rockefeller Center during the holidays — this time, though, from a very different angle, thanks to Instagram user schreiltalk. Thanks for sending us your holiday lights photos, and happy holidays from Travel Channel!

On our 11th Day of Sparkle — thanks to Instagram user christinalacelle — beautiful white lights adorn a courtyard in Boise, Idaho. There’s only one more day of holiday lights left to go in our 12 Days of Sparkle — will your photo be featured? Be sure to Instagram it with the hashtag #TCHolidayLights!

San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus store goes BIG for Christmas, or perhaps it’s just the perspective of Instagram user omnivoredilemma’s photo. Got some great holiday lights photos? Instagram them with the hashtag #TCHolidayLights to be featured in our 12 Days of Sparkle!

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