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By Bryan Schutte | Must do before I die

10 of the prettiest places to retire

Mountains? Lakes? Beaches? Members of online retirement community at TopRetirements.com voted for the U.S. towns they think are the prettiest places to retire.

Retirement Community

World’s Biggest Hotel to Open in Mecca in 2017

It'll have 10,000 bedrooms and 70 restaurants

The world’s biggest hotel is set to open in Mecca in 2017, offering an unprecedented level of luxury to travelers and royalty alike in Saudi Arabia.

The Abraj Kudai will cost about $3.6 billion, featuring 10,000 bedrooms, 70 restaurants and four helipads, …

Hotels

Architectural Epiphany in Tuscany

Among the treasures in “Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral,” on view through June 14 at New York’s Museum of Biblical Art, are two rather plain wooden models. Placed alongside breathtaking sculptures by leading artists of the 15th century, these …

Tuscany

The 50 best burger joints in America, ranked

In honor of National Burger Month, we decided to find the best, juiciest burgers in the country.

Our friends at Foursquare dug through their troves of user data to compile the list. Because the site now allows users to save and favorite venues they love, Foursquare was able to track down which …

Food

An Insider's Guide to Reykjavik, Iceland

THE ADAGE “good things come in small packages” certainly holds true for Reykjavik, a world capital with a diminutive downtown of just three square miles. Blending the casualness of a village with big-city know-how, Reykjavik has world-class chefs who are pushing culinary boundaries with New Nordic …

Iceland

A Sweeping Look at the Venice Biennale 2015

The Venice Biennale, if you've never been, is a kaleidoscopic maze of countries and continents and the art and people therefrom. Attendees walk dazed and jet-lagged through the narrow, cobblestoned paths of one of the oldest and most astonishing cities in the world, in search of the best art.

As it …

Art

America's best old-school bowling alleys

You won't find fancy equipment and computerized scoreboards beamed above your head at America's best old school bowling alleys, Bud.

Though you might find real guys named Bud, who actually know how to keep score with a pad and pencil.

To connect you with bowling's classic days, here are 13 of our …

Bowling Alley

Zion National Park's Hidden Hike

IF ZION NATIONAL PARK had a marquee, it would be crowded with the names of world-famous hikes—Angels Landing, Observation Point and the Narrows, among them. But a lesser-known route, the Subway slot canyon, easily deserves equal billing.

A narrow passage of eroded red rock filled with chilled, dark …

Outdoors

The world's most eye-catching art galleries

Architecture

Top 5 Castle Hotels in the World

Sleep like a king (or queen) at these regal properties across the planet -- literally! From Medieval-style English manors to an Indian palace in the middle of a lake, GAYOT's Top 5 Castle Hotels give guests the royal treatment. Centuries-old architecture is complemented by modern amenities and …

Hotels

America's prettiest beach campsites

When making summer beach plans, sometimes all one really wants is an ultra-simple warm-weather escape: sand, water, sun.

Enter: these 11 sublime seaside camping spots, where visitors fall asleep to the sound of the surf and awaken to scenery to rival any five-star hotel.

Even better? Each option has …

Brazil Travel

Top 10 traditional cheap eats in Istanbul's Bazaar District

Many of the merchants, artisans, porters and local shoppers who spend their days in Istanbul Old City’s world-famous bazaars are committed chowhounds. Having taste-tested their way through the district, they are the best possible guides when it comes to identifying the district’s freshest, fastest …

Istanbul

The year’s most breathtaking travel destinations, from National Geographic’s 2015 Traveler Photo Contest

With over 23 million Instagram posts already hashtagged #vacation, competition is increasingly fierce for most photogenic holiday background. Those looking for a little inspiration might consider checking out the latest batch of travel photo submissions from National Geographic’s 2015 Traveler …

Travel Photography

Photographs of Mecca by Toufic Beyhum

Photographer Toufic Beyhum was born in Beirut in the ’70s and migrated with his family to London. After graduating from Art College, Beyhum embarked …

Art

Family Time: 5 Cool Places to Sleep

The family vacation, like the concept of family itself, has evolved. No matter who you’re traveling with, here are five intriguing and unusual places to lay your head that are bound to please everyone in your brood.

> Glass Igloos

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort (Finland)

No night-lights or tech toys …

National Geographic Society

Kauaʻi with kids: top family activities on the Garden Isle

Lonely Planet writer Andy Murdock takes his kids to the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi for some outdoor adventures. After playing botanist in Limahuli Garden, taking a dip in the azure waters of Hanalei Bay and contemplating the sheer cliffs of the 'Grand Canyon of the Pacific', he discovers he might …

Kids

The 10 Best Amusement Parks for Families

Providing picture-perfect moments and memories to last a lifetime, amusement parks are ideal places for family fun, but not all parks are designed for smaller visitors. Featuring the conveniences and necessities that children demand and parents appreciate, the country's 10 best family-friendly …

U.S. Travel

Climb 659 Steps Up This Historic Columbian Landmark for Majestic Countryside Views

The small town of Guatapé, Columbia has a unique landmark that attracts a countless number of visitors each year. The Rock of Guatapé is 7,005 ft. high and provides 659 steps for visitors to climb to the top. At the peak of this magnificent rock, tourists are rewarded with marvelous views of the …

Countryside

The World's 16 Most Incredible Sea Caves

Most people have only been exposed to sea caves by reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and that's not OK... mostly because the sea cave in that book was terrifying and filled with zombies (apologies to anyone who hasn't read it by now). The sea caves in this list, on the other hand, are …

Flickr

Making Connections at Machu Picchu

You’ve probably seen this before.

It’s what everyone pictures when they think of Machu Picchu—the verdant network of stone terraces, temples, and open-walled houses; the soaring peaks of Huayna Picchu framing the dramatic scene.

When I arrived at Peru’s “lost” Inca citadel in the clouds, I was …

Machu Picchu

10 travel destinations trending this summer

Kayak just released its list of the top 10 trending summer destinations of 2015.

The results are based on the most-searched places, with major music events, art festivals, and sporting competitions driving demand.

From Reykjavik, Iceland, to Hyderabad, India, here’s where everyone wants to travel …

Travel (Canada)

The Best Destinations for Solo Travelers

As great as traveling with companions can be, sometimes it's even better to get out there and discover yourself. If you're plotting your next adventure stag, here are our picks of the best spots for a little one-on-one time with you.

U.S. Travel

The Sensational Architecture of the Strangest Village in Lebanon

Follow the road meandering through endless olive tree fields. Ask for directions again and again from old men chatting on the side of the road at an Abi Nasr cafe. Make a detour through Ehden, and you'll reach what looks on first sight like a typical town in northern Lebanon.

Across the welcome sign …

Brick Buildings That Are Actually Cool (PHOTOS)

Architecture

The Best Tourist Attractions You Haven’t Heard of Yet

Discover new sites in popular vacation destinations

Berlin

The former West is buzzy thanks to Bikini Berlin, a new cool-kid shopping center full of local high-design brands such as Gestalten. Next door, there’s the whimsical 25 Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin, whose rooftop restaurant Neni and Monkey Bar …

Europe Travel

Quirky sleeps: Sweden's top 10 unusual hotels

Sweden’s varied landscape, from the frozen reaches of the north to its vast forests and lakes, combines with cutting-edge design to inspire some unique lodgings. Here's our pick of the country's quirkiest sleeps, taking you underground, underwater, face-to-face with wildlife and beyond.

Icehotel

Near …

Sweden

15 Indie Record Stores You Can’t Miss on Record Store Day

To music mavens, vinyl hoarders and those who love a leisurely afternoon spent expanding their record collections, Record Store Day is basically Christmas. Every third Sunday in April, record stores across the world throw parties, welcome bands, offer deals and stock limited-edition RSD-exclusive …

Indie Music

10 Insanely Gorgeous, Under-The-Radar European Destinations

The value of the dollar against the euro is the highest it has been in years, making now the perfect time to take that trip you've been meaning to plan. But instead of the usual suspects (lookin' at you, London and Paris), why not try one of these under-the-radar spots that are far less crowded but …

Europe

The Best Places to Stargaze in America

For 25 years, NASA’s orbiting Hubble telescope has beamed mesmerizing images of our universe. But Earth dwellers can get stellar celestial views, too.

Here are three trip-worthy dark-sky havens in the United States:

> Lake Powell (Utah)

The combination of a thin atmosphere and lack of artificial light …

United States