ALL POSTS IN [In the Mood For …]

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.

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What’s not to love about fall? Crisp cool air, beautiful fall foliage, spooky sites and pumpkin-flavored food galore. There’s no shortage of ways to celebrate fall, but we whittled down our list to 7 of our favorite fall to-dos.

1.     Eat pumpkin … everything.

Ah, America’s favorite gourd — pumpkin! It’s everywhere and in everything this fall — pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin fro-yo, the list is endless. If you’re gaga for this gourd, plan a day for picking your own pumpkins. Perhaps a 1,000-lbs. pumpkin will provide enough filling for your dishes this fall?

2.     Get lost in a corn maze.

Ever just want to get away … in a massive field of cornstalks? Now’s your chance to get lost in the coolest and creepiest corn mazes in the US. Can you make it all the way through 45 acres of twists and turns in the world’s largest corn maze? Just call us if you get lost.

3.     Get spooked at a vampire haunt.

The zombie fad may be passé this year, but the undead superstar that will never lose its appeal? Vampires. Sink your teeth into these vampire haunts around the world or follow the trail of literature’s greatest bloodsuckers with a vampire vacation.

4.     Take a leaf-peeping drive.

Nothing says fall more than leaf peeping, and what’s the best way to take in Mother Nature’s spectacular autumn show? On a road trip, of course. Get inspired with our favorite fall foliage drives and don’t forget to check the peak times before you go.

5.     Raise your steins for Oktoberfest.

Can’t make it to Germany for this annual beer-fueled fall festival? Get your brews and bratwurst at these Oktoberfest celebrations in the US or raise your steins at beer gardens around the world.

6.     Go apple picking.

If you gorged yourself on pumpkin and are craving another harvest favorite, head to these apple-picking farms.  Fun for the whole family, apple picking lets you enjoy the fruits of your labor at home with fall treats like apple pie, apple butter, cider and more.

7.     Make a campfire.

Instead of spending your nights staring at the TV (Breaking Bad is over after all this Sunday), take in a campfire. Fall is a perfect time for camping with its crisp, cool weather. Tell ghost stories and toast pumpkin s’mores over a raging fire (that you will safely put out before you go to bed, of course).

Tell Us: What’s on your fall to-do list?

 

Ready for a road trip, but don’t know where to go? Buckle up with our picks for road trips that include ocean views, seasonal dishes, wine tasting, heart-pounding adventures and more.

1.    Food-Themed Road Trips

Have far will you travel for food? Summer is the perfect time to head to the mid-Atlantic for Old Bay-seasoned blue crabs. Plan a food-themed road trip to other delicious destinations in the US that are well worth the drive.

 2.    Pacific Coast Highway

Dreaming of ocean views? Take a road trip along California’s Pacific Coast Highway for spectacular sea panoramas. For those afraid of dizzying heights, stick to flatter roads driving through America’s Heartland.

3.    RV Stylin’

Is a vintage “Silver Bullet” Airstream more your style than a high-tech trailer? See how styles and comforts evolved over time with our look back at RVs through the years.

4.    Road Trip Gear Guide

Cook dinner, charge your phone and feel good about your carbon footprint on the road! It’s possible with this eco-friendly BioLite Campstove. See what else to pack for a stress-free road trip.

5.    Napa Valley Road Trip

The best way to take in California’s wine country is to sample the goods along the way. Drive through the scenic countryside in Napa Valley and Sonoma, and stop to enjoy a glass of cabernet or take a winery tour while you stretch your legs.

6.    Grand Canyon Adventure

For the ultimate US road trip, explore Grand Canyon National Park. Experience the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon with heart-pounding adventures like hiking, white-water-rafting  … or trying to catch your breath on the Skywalk’s 800-foot vertical-drop overlook.

Don’t forget music! Set the mood with our road trippin’ playlist.

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Grab the girls and hit the road for a spring getaway. Get inspired with our fun picks for trips that include all your favorite things: music, nature, yoga, sunshine, culture, wine … and of course, your best buds.

1.  Groove at a music festival.

Missed Coachella? Don’t worry; the music festival season is just getting started. From Jazz Fest in New Orleans to the Sasquatch Festival in Washington State, there’s a music fest this spring for every kind of music lover.

2.  Savor spring outdoors. 

Are you and your BFFs in desperate need of a little outdoor adventure … or at least craving more than a glimpse of nature outside your office window? Get the endorphins flowing by hiking at a national park or trying stand up paddle boarding by the beach.   

3.  Go “om” with your BFFs.

Need a recharge? Down dog by day and dance under the stars at night at Wanderlust:  a music-meets-yoga-meets-outdoors festival. Or check out Jennifer Aniston’s yoga teacher’s best places to go “om” for more yoga getaways.

4.  Soak up some Vitamin D. 

Escape to sunny Florida for a girls-only weekend. We’ve found some sun-soaked spots perfect for a carefree weekend in Palm Beach (and not the ones your grandma would recommend, either). And for an unabashedly beachy moment before summer gets here, enjoy an umbrella-topped cocktail at one of South Florida’s best beach bars.

5.  Channel your inner Southern belle.

Soak up the lowcountry (and low-stress) culture of Charleston, a city that’s on everyone’s radar this spring. Stroll through garden plantations sipping on a sweet tea cocktail, dish over shrimp and grits or add a little Southern style to your wardrobe with the offbeat shopping on King Street.

6.  Sip and swirl with the girls.

What better way to bond with your best buds than on a wine tour weekend? Sip and swirl your way through Napa Valley and Sonoma or check out a wine festival. And don’t want to hear any whining about being a DD? Hop aboard the Napa Valley wine train and all the girls can have a glass.

Check out more ideas for Girl Getaways.

Before you jet off on your Spring Fling, you’ll need to book a sexy hotel. We’ve got you covered, whether you’re planning to spend most of your trip at the spa, the bar … or in bed.

Sexy Hotels

1. Slip under the crisp, white sheets of your 4-poster bed at Jamaica’s Round Hill Hotel, where the rooms were designed by Ralph Lauren. Like what you see? This is just one of the many Sexy Hotel Beds we’ve come across.

 

2. Cozy up with a good read at New York’s book-themed Library Hotel, one of America’s Most Romantic Hotels.

 

3. Looking for a great hotel for a one-night stand? Your in-room private “love tub” at the Dominican Republic’s Tortuga Bay Hotel will put you in the right mood.

 

4. The spa at the LA’s Terranea Resort is a whopping 50,000 square feet and has 25 treatment rooms as well as its own pool and outdoor hot tubs, making it one of Oyster.com’s picks for the Sexiest Hotel Spas.

 

5. The 1970s-inspired lounge at the Dream in South Beach, Miami, is complete with a rooftop infinity pool and sexy seating arrangements, making it one of our picks for the Sexiest Hotel Bars.

 

6. The Ventana Inn and Spa in Big Sur, CA, makes our list of hotels with the Hottest Amenities. Take advantage of their free yoga classes, discovery walks and afternoon wine and cheese. Plus, one of their pools is clothing optional. Now that’s sexy!

If you haven’t noticed, we’re in full Spring Fling mode here at Travel Channel. Whether you’re looking for a fun, carefree vacation, a romantic weekend away or somewhere to let your hair down — you’ve come to the right place. And check back every day for even more eye candy!

Spring Fling

1)   Explore Your Inner Wanderlust: The sun has emerged, the temperature is rising and everything feels renewed. Celebrate spring’s natural beauty with these 7 wonders.

2)   Experience Southern Charm: There’s a reason everyone is migrating to Charleston, SC, right now. It has picture-perfect wedding venues, a restaurant scene fit for foodies, top-notch golf courses and stunning ocean views. While you’re there, stay at one of our favorite hotels in its historic downtown.

3)   See Beautiful Blooms: While a freak snowstorm has delayed DC’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival, be patient and you’ll see them in full bloom soon. If you can’t make it to the nation’s capital, here are our picks for cherry blossoms around the country. Wherever you spot them, make sure to snap a picture and share it with us on Instagram.

4)   Say “I Do”: What would a spring fling be without a little romance? Check out the top 5 ways people are popping the question. While fiancés get creativity points for flash mob proposals, we think any of these ideas would be met with a resounding “Yes!”

5)   Take the Plunge: From Havasu Falls in Supai, AZ, one of the most visited waterfalls in the Grand Canyon, to Skógafoss in Skógar, Iceland, a 200-foot drop shrouded in folklore, take in the most awe-inspiring waterfalls around the world.

6)   Get Your Feet Wet: Why do we love the Grand Cayman? Let us count the ways. Seeing marine life up close on a submarine tour, snorkeling in Stingray City, and relaxing on the beautiful Seven Mile Beach all add up to an unforgettable vacation.

Spring Fling

It’s a huge weekend in DC, with over 100 different events happening throughout the city and the Metro system preparing for the over 800,000 people estimated to visit. If you’re one of the brave ones visiting DC this weekend – or any other weekend, for that matter — then let us help you get to know the nation’s capital, chockfull of sights, history and amazing food!

1. While you’re touring DC, solve a mystery at The International Spy Museum, which has the largest collection of international spy-related artifacts and immersive activities to enthrall children, as well as adults.

2. Why not stay in style while visiting the city of our country’s power players? Check out our picks for luxury accommodations.

3. Explore the beautifully historic neighborhood of Georgetown, and tour the favorite hangouts of former presidents — such as Bill Clinton, who graduated from Georgetown University in 1968.

4. Go sightseeing at one of the many monuments. Trust us, there are plenty of them – and they’re free!

5. Sip a coffee at Busboys and Poets, near the famous U Street, named for poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy at the nearby Wardman Park Hotel.

6. Since you’ve traveled to DC to support the president, find out a little more about how the president, himself, travels.

7. Of course you need to eat! Find out what makes DC a great town for foodies with these top restaurants.

Here at Travel Channel, we’re in the mood for anything (and everything) ho-ho-holiday travel-realted. We hope our picks for our favorite holiday content will put you in the mood, too! See what our editors are hoping Santa brings them this year, learn about the most exciting holiday destinations, and more:

Holiday Travel Moodboard

1) Give the Gift of Travel

2) Find the perfect present for the globetrotter in your life with the 2012 Lost Girls Gift Guide

3) See what’s hot this month — from Christmas cookies to holiday festivals with our Decadent December gallery

4) Check out some of this year’s Most Exciting Holiday Destinations

5) See how Christmas is celebrated around the world

6) Get a look at what the Travelchannel.com editors are hoping to find under the tree this year with our Editors’ Picks

7) Track Santa’s amazing adventures around the globe — we caught him water skiing in Virginia and swimming with dolphins in Japan

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