ALL POSTS IN [Trends]

Lace up your dancin’ shoes and head down to the National Mall tomorrow from 1-4 p.m. for National Dance Day. Is the idea of bustin’ a move in front of the Washington Monument not enough to get you there? What if we told you there’d be appearances by So You Think You Can Dance celebrity guests? And Redskins cheerleaders? Yeah, we thought so. If you’re nowhere near Washington, DC, there are also a few other celebrations going on nationwide. Check out the Dizzy Feet Foundation’s upcoming events to find one near you!

Space is one of those destinations that will always fascinate, regardless of whether we’ll ever be able to go or not. (If you happen to have $200K lying around, then start planning your trip now!) But you can explore the history of space travel here on earth. The display of NASA’s space shuttle Enterprise opened last week at Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City.

In the Intrepid Museum’s Space Shuttle Pavilion, Enterprise — NASA’s very first space shuttle — is elevated 10 feet off the ground, so you can walk directly underneath it. An elevated viewing platform also allows you to get a better look. Intrepid Museum is one of the few places in the world to offer an up-close view of a space shuttle. READ MORE

When you’re going out of town, it’s hard to know just what you’re getting yourself into, hotel-wise. The hotel website doesn’t always help, either. Marketing photos can make any hotel look like the Taj Mahal, so the smart traveler needs to remain wary of promises that sound too good to be true. Because … guess what … they probably are.

But fear not, young travel warrior! Travel Channel and Oyster.com are here to help you spot those common marketing ploys. Don’t forget – Photoshop and a little cropping can work wonders. (Keep that in mind for those beach photos …).

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In case you haven’t heard, the iconic London Eye has been transformed into a barometer of sorts to measure how the Twitterverse is feeling about the Olympics. EDF Energy, a London Eye sponsor, has come up with an algorithm that will measure positive and negative tweets about the Games. Those feelings will then be reflected by the lights on the London Eye – yellow lights meaning positive, purple meaning negative.

So, this got us thinking … what if the eye goes purple? How will we spend our time in London if the Olympics take a nose dive? Well, regardless of the Eye being mostly yellow or purple, here are some other things to do around the city when you’re not keeping a close eye on the competition.

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Last night, true love prevailed as The Bachelorette’s Emily Maynard gave her final rose to her favorite bachelor. But if you’re anything like us, you were more interested in their chosen destination of Curacao than in who rode off into the sunset with our dear Emily. Luckily for us, the resort that was featured in the final episodes, Sandton Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club, is giving romantics everywhere the opportunity to experience your own Bachelorette Dream Getaway.

The Sandton Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club in Curacao — with its 18th and 19th-century Dutch Colonial Caribbean buildings, courtyards, pools, award-winning restaurants and spa — hosted the 2 private one-on-one dates in the second to last episode and was the setting for the finale’s rose ceremony. With its exclusive new packages, the resort is offering viewers the chance to step into Emily’s shoes and recreate the Bachelorette experience.

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England dominated the sports world this weekend when 2 huge sporting events had their finals: Ernie Els snagged a win at the British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England and a Briton came through to win the Tour de France. But fret not, sports fans, Travel Channel is here to tide you over until that other really big sports event starts: the Olympic Games. Don’t forget, they start this week with all the sports programming you could hope for in the city that everyone can’t stop talking about.

But until then, check out our photos and plan your next sporting excursion …

Plan a golf getaway to one of these luxury golf destinations around the world.

Relive the excitement of the Tour de France.

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As part of the travel blog community, we like to keep a weather eye on the horizon and bring things to our readers that happened to catch our attention this week on the blogroll. We found some tips on traveling to London for the Olympics, as well as gorgeous photos of Ecuador and the cenotes of Mexico.

Peter Greenberg offers suggestions for how to avoid hotels when traveling abroad for the Olympics.

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By Mommy Points

There’s only 1 week left until the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London! I’m lucky enough to have tickets to a few official events, but I am still in search of other inexpensive things to do while enjoying the festivities. It turns out that there are plenty of activities going on in the city that don’t require spending a bunch of cash — you can even watch some Olympic events for free!

Free Official Olympic Events:

Road Cycling: July 28(men’s), July 29(women’s), and Aug. 1 (men’s and women’s)

Triathalon: Aug. 4 (women’s) and Aug. 7 (men’s)

Race Walking: Aug. 4 (men’s) and Aug. 11 (men’s and women’s)

Marathon: Aug. 5 (women’s) and Aug. 12 (men’s)

Swimming Marathon: Aug. 9 (women’s) and Aug. 10 (men’s) READ MORE

Discovery aired an Animal Planet documentary this past weekend called Mermaids: The Body Found. Unfortunately, a mermaid body has not been found, despite many internet crawlers’ assumptions.  But cheer up, Ariel — here are some ways you can travel like a mermaid (and, no, it doesn’t involve growing a tail).

Eat Like a Mermaid

*Dine lakeside on fresh seafood at the Mermaid Café in Mississippi.

*Enjoy the eclectic atmosphere as you fill up on Floridian cuisine under the sea-green tin roof of the Sign of the Mermaid Restaurant on Anna Maria island in Florida.

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Attention cubicle nomads and desk travelers: Google announced yesterday that their ever-popular street view now includes updated panoramic images of the Antarctic wilderness.

New Fortuna Glacier, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

Google launched the first street view images of the Antarctic in September 2012, but the search giant  added panoramic imagery of historic Antarctic locations as part of their World Wonders project, with which Google hopes to bring modern and ancient wonders to people’s desktops. You can find even more world wonders with our collection of World Heritage Sites photo galleries.

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