While narrowing down the picks for Travel’s Best All-American Vacations 2015, you start to face facts: Our nation is both vast and wonderfully diverse, home to stunning white-sand deserts, towering redwood forests, snowcapped mountains and charming seaside towns. With so many natural wonders and man-made institutions, it’s impossible to distill the American experience into a single list. Each year, we try to show off the wealth of destinations that make it the US without repeating former picks such the Dakotas’ Black Hills and the island of Nantucket, MA.

El Yunque National Forest

Photo by Wade Eakle/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

So what just missed the cut?


Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert

Currently Frozen over for the summer, Disney Cruise Line has a question for you: Do you want to build a snowman or let it go? Now, on select seasonal sailings on the Disney Magic in Norway and Disney Wonder in Alaska, you can.

The pirates of the Caribbean are on holiday, and in their place, characters from the hit animated film Frozen are taking over with an all-new deck party, day of fun and more. Onboard are none other than Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, iceman Kristoff and snowman Olaf, and I was just on the Disney Wonder to experience all the fun firsthand in Alaska.

Photo by C. Taylor Crothers / FilmMagic / Getty Images

No matter what kind of music you’re into, there is definitely some of it waiting for you at Bonnaroo. The 4-day art and music festival, held at Great Stage Park, a 700-acre farm in Manchester, TN, starts Thursday, with the first performances kicking off the festivities at 4 p.m.

Since its inception in 2002, the ever-changing event has expanded from a music festival for lovers of jam bands to a celebration for fans of all music, plus art and comedy. Although the classic jam bands remain, the festival now includes hip-hop headliners such as Kendrick Lamar; DJs such as Bassnectar; soulful, guitar-laden rock ’n’ roll groups such as the Alabama Shakes; and so much more. READ MORE

The scene may look familiar. Natalia Zakharova, wearing a fabulous dress, has a hand outstretched behind her toward photographer and partner Murad Osmann — but this time, she’s leading him down the aisle. The couple who became Instagram-famous with their hashtag campaign #FollowMeTo, which captured their travels with serious wanderlust- and aww-inducing photographs, tied the knot over the weekend at the Zhavoronki Event Hall in Moscow, Russia. In just 2 years, the couple’s hand-holding photographs have gained more than 2 million followers, as well as fans all over the world.

Where will the couple who have been everywhere (and we mean everywhere) together go on their honeymoon? We have a few suggestions. As we wait with bated breath, scroll through 10 of our all-time favorite destination shots.

Burj Al Arab, Dubai

#followmeto the helipad of @burjalarab in Dubai with @yourleo. Huge thanks to @beautifuldestinations

A photo posted by Murad Osmann (@muradosmann) on


Photo by Dennis Grombkowski / Bongarts / Getty Images

Heard any good soccer jokes lately? The recent (ginormous) scandal that’s dominating the news notwithstanding, it is time to celebrate the world’s most popular game in its purest form and honor the players who play it.

On Saturday, FIFA kicks off its month-long tournament to crown the best women’s soccer nation — the Women’s World Cup. This year’s tournament will take place in Canada in cities all across the Great White North. So while summer is generally the best time to experience a country known for its snowfall anyway (unless you’re a ski buff!), the addition of the World Cup gives visitors even more reason to head north and experience all Canada has to offer. READ MORE

Photo by B. Tanaka / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Anyone who’s ever been to Las Vegas has a story — whether it’s one you want to share with others can be a story in itself. This time, however, what happens in Vegas … is perfectly planned for you, by you!

On this once-in-a-lifetime adventure to the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” 1 lucky winner and a guest will have the opportunity to plan their own $10,000 excursion from a wide variety of first-class entertainment options. READ MORE

Photo by Nan Zhong / Moment Open / Getty Images

Once in a blue moon (or orangey florescent sun?), the forces of nature and man come together for an amazingly beautiful and perplexing occurrence. We’re not talking about that time you walked into a rainstorm only to have it clear up as soon as you stepped outside — although that would be pretty cool. No, we’re talking about something along the lines of a full moon shining through your window so perfectly that it illuminates the whole room, or the northern lights lighting up the sky like the Fourth of July. READ MORE

Photo by iStophoto.com/Baona

You did it. All that studying worked, and now, you’ve graduated. The perfect reward? A vacation, of course! There are tons of options, whether you want to turn your brain off and veg out or finally put those geography lessons to good use. See where TravelChannel.com’s editors would go, or consider these 6 options for a post-grad trip. After all, you earned it!

1. If those graduation checks are burning a hole in your pocket …
Then a shopping excursion is for you! For variety, head to the Mall of America in suburban Minneapolis, where you can spend your newfound wealth at 520 stores and 50 restaurants. When that gets old, visit the mall’s indoor amusement park, aquarium or Star Trek and CSI exhibits. Or, for a major splurge, go instead to Los Angeles to cruise Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. You may leave with far fewer shopping bags, but you’ll go into the next phase of your life feeling like a star.

Need more ideas? Check out the top 10 US shopping malls and the world’s best shopping cities.


This Week in Travel
We sincerely hope you’re reading this by slowly scrolling your phone screen with your thumb while you’re lying on a beach somewhere. No? Here are 5 travel blog posts that will, at the very least, inspire a virtual vacation.

We never dreamed of traveling around Mexico for 6 weeks to learn to cook like a local — until now, thanks to Laura Hobbs and her beautiful essay over on Boat.

Everyone knows the importance of maps in our daily lives (Google or otherwise), but what about when they literally explain nothing? Vox rounded up 27 hilariously bad maps you have to see to believe.

Coming to Mecca in 2017? The world’s largest hotel, complete with 10,000 4- and 5-star rooms, 70 restaurants and a mall, plus several helipads and entire floors reserved for royals. Head over to Conde Nast Traveler to see renderings of Saudi Arabia’s planned $3.5 billion mega-hotel.

For all you recent college grads, BuzzFeed shares 34 underrated (and affordable) US cities you’ll actually want to move to.

In honor of Memorial Day, we’re featuring our hometown gal The Dining Traveler’s guide to Arlington, VA. Think: a tour of Arlington Cemetery, the Pentagon and beyond.

Photo Courtesy of Susan Chiang/E+/Getty Images

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of the summer. That means warm weather and staying active by walking, jogging, biking and finding other ways to enjoy outdoor activities. If you’re a traveler who enjoys staying fit, then we have a list you should check out before your next trip. A new fitness report has ranked the 50 healthiest and fittest cities in the United States. And you won’t believe which city is No. 1.

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