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On this week’s episode of Hotel Impossible, host Anthony Melchiorri is in North Carolina to help the Peros family keep the High Meadows Inn & Nikola’s Restaurant alive. The hotel’s co-owner is a hopeless optimist, and Anthony is forced to give him a much-needed reality check.

In order to help the Peros family maintain their home and business, Anthony enlists the help of designer Leslie Segrete to renovate the hotel’s guest rooms and lobby. Although the space is nice, the lobby at the High Meadows Inn is a cluttered mess, with too much going on around the front desk and unnecessary artwork all over the walls.

Will Anthony, Leslie and their team be able to accomplish the upgrades and renovations in time? Find out tonight on an all-new episode of Hotel Impossible at 10|9c.

Check out exclusive photos of this season’s renovated hotels.

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See the Swan House, on a Catching Fire tour of Atlanta. (Photography by Atlanta History Museum)

See the Swan House, on a Catching Fire tour of Atlanta. (Photography by Atlanta History Museum)


Hunger Games: Catching Fire
is living up to its name. This past holiday weekend, the second installment in Suzanne Collins’ post-apocalyptic saga broke Thanksgiving box-office records. Now that you’ve seen the movie, walk in the footsteps of Katniss and company — and see where the Hunger Games franchise was actually filmed.
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Thanks to its many rivers and abundance of livestock equipment, Nebraska has become a hot spot for the unlikely activity of “tanking.” Like a cross between Tilt-O-Whirl and bumper cars, but set on water, tanking involves retrofitting a large, round plastic livestock feeding tank with chairs and tables. Folks then pile in — most tanks can accommodate about 6 people –and enjoy a leisurely float down the river as they meander and turn with the current and take in the sights and sounds.

While Nebraska isn’t the only state that offers tanking trips — there are a handful of outfitters popping up in places like Iowa — it’s by far the most popular. And even though Nebraskans have been doing it for decades, tanking is still relatively unknown outside the Midwest, although that’s slowly starting to change.

Michael Suelter founded Get Tanked in Ericson, NE, in 1987, and claims to be the state’s first tanking outfitter. Today he has nearly 50 tanks, and offers 4-mile trips down the horseshoe-shaped Cedar River, which flows past sandhills and open woodlands thriving with wildlife.

In nearby Burwell, Bruce and Sue Ann Switzer of Calamus Outfitters offer 2- and 5-hour tanking trips down the Calamus River, which gently flows past rolling sandhills where you’re likely spot beavers, muskrats, herons and deer.

In addition to river tanking, Calamus Outfitters has accommodations for up to 65 people at 2 lodges and 4 cabins, along with horseback riding, canoeing and Jeep tours, although tanking remains one of their most popular activities, especially with families. “It’s not really for thrill seekers,” Sue Ann says. “You just relax and go with the flow.”

At the Sandhills Motel in Mullen, NE, Mitch and Patty Glidden offer tanking trips down the spring-fed Middle Loup River, which winds through a valley past lush green meadows and picturesque highlands.

“On a good Saturday we’ll put up to 200 people in the river,” says Mitch Glidden. “It’s really taking off.”

While most tanking outfitters are located in the remote sandhills area of western Nebraska, a few have popped up in the more densely populated eastern side of the state. Steve and Jill Evers enjoyed their tanking excursion so much they opened Tank Down the Elkhorn in Omaha in 2007, which offers a 7-mile trip. Steve says he and his wife both have a blast helping families float down the river, and it supplies supplemental income during the summer when things slow down at his taxidermy business.

And just recently, tanking has finally made its way out of the Midwest. Last year during a business trip, John Johnson came across a Nebraska flyer promoting river tanking. Always looking for new entrepreneurial opportunities, Johnson launched Foothills Outdoor Adventures. Based in Wilkesboro, NC — about 3 hours west of Raleigh — the outfitter offers tanking trips down the Yadkin River, which rises in the Blue Ridge Mountains and flows through the 1,475-acre W. Kerr Scott Reservoir.

“We’re the only one east of the Mississippi doing this,” Johnson says. “We’ve definitely hit on a really good niche market.”

- Sam Boykin

Something terrifying is lurking in the woods, something evil is creeping around the hallways — something bad is looking to harm the innocent. Does this sound like something you’d like to come home to after a long day at work? Yeah, neither do Browns Summit residents Sheila and Jimmy. This unassuming couple fears that their disabled daughter is being attacked by paranormal entities in their North Carolina home.

The Dead Files’ Steve and Amy seek to find some answers. In their separate, shocking investigations, Steve uncovers past evidence of a fatal train disaster in the area and a hate crime in the couple’s home, while Amy confronts a beastly, dog-like apparition in the house that she fears can kill anyone who gets in its way.

Steve and Amy’s shocking findings are finally revealed to the family in an emotional and unsettling climax. Will Sheila and Jimmy be forced to move or will they be able to exorcise the demons haunting their home and live a safe, normal life? Find out in an all-new episode, tonight @ 10|9c.

Plus, check out these exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from tonight’s episode, The Beast.

And, don’t miss your chance to chat live with Steve and Amy on Facebook tonight after the premiere @ 11|10c.

Spring break is so close you can almost feel the sand between your toes. While you’re gearing up for your getaway, take a second to vote for this year’s best family beach.

Whether it’s cramming as many family members as possible into a big ole beach house in North Carolina’s Outer Banks or escaping with the kids to Paradise Island in the Bahamas — these are our top picks for an unforgettable family vacation.
Best Family Beach

Paradise Island, Bahamas: ”The lavish Atlantis Resort complex includes a water park featuring the Leap of Faith waterslide, which shoots guests out of a faux Mayan temple down a vertical drop and through a clear tunnel under a shark lagoon.”

Cape Cod, Massachusetts: ”The town of Barnstable, and Hyannis in particular, is beloved by travelers for its laid-back atmosphere, friendly vibe and Kalmus Beach where windsurfers and swimmers enjoy the water.”

Destin, Florida: “While on Florida’s Emerald Coast, charter a family fishing adventure, shop at the popular Destin Commons, watch the sunset from Okaloosa Island Pier and check into the family-friendly Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village.”

Outer Banks, North Carolina: “There’s something for everyone in these historic beach towns. Learn to hang glide in Kitty Hawk, take the ferry to Ocracoke, and climb all 208 feet to the top of Cape Hatteras lighthouse.”

And don’t forget to check out the full list of 2013 nominees. Voting ends March 7.

Baggage Battles specialists Sally, Mark and Laurence

The auction specialists head to Greensboro, NC, a city nicknamed “The Gate City”  because it’s a major hub for import and export. Go behind the scenes to get a sneak peek of tonight’s episode. Laurence and Sally come across some lucky ladies, and Mark’s knowledge of NASCAR comes in handy.

When the specialists weren’t previewing their auction items or bidding against one another, they took time to enjoy the Southern charm of Greensboro: Its food and music, especially. See all the places they visited during their off-hours in the Greensboro Travel Guide.

Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell at the DNC

Photograph by Oliver Cox

Think you need a VIP ticket to enjoy Charlotte during DNC week? Not really. In democratic style, travelers can see and be seen in the company of major politicos and media celebrities, all in town for the week. You just need to know where to go. Check out these prime spots in uptown Charlotte during DNC week. READ MORE

Hurricane Season

Tropical Storm Debby has made national headlines as we begin to make our way through hurricane season. Since weather is a big factor when you consider travel plans, we have a few resources to help! Learn about hurricane safety, make some adjustments to your vacation plans, or find travel alternatives in case you’d rather avoid the sketchy weather altogether.

Check out Travel Channel’s resources to help you figure out your next move:

Let the forecast be your guide with Weather Trends: Best Weeks to Book a Summer Rental …

Head a little further north with our tips on North Carolina Beach Rentals …

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Chances are if you’re reading this you tuned into last night’s Bachelorette premiere (or at least DVR’d it), to see if single mom Emily Maynard will finally find true love. Here at Travel we’re not wondering who will win her heart so much as where she will fall in love.

Charlotte, NC

For the first time ever the show has been moved from the “Bachelor pad” in Los Angeles to a Southern mansion in Maynard’s hometown of Charlotte, NC, so she could spend as much time with daughter Ricki as possible. Maynard was engaged to NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick who died in a 2004 plane crash while she was pregnant with their child. READ MORE

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