12 Best Museums to Walk Among Dinosaurs

If you ever had the inkling to come face to face with a dinosaur, now is your chance. Although there are not any Jurassic Park theme parks as of yet; there are plenty of museums where you can get a more realistic idea of where dinosaurs came from and how they evolved. From China to New York to the land down under these 12 awesome museums give you the chance to walk among the dinosaurs, each offering their own unique spin on exhibits and displays.

12. Jurassic Land, Istanbul, Turkey

Part education and part entertainment, this is the closest you will come to living out your Jurassic World fantasies. Your journey here starts at the museum which features bones and eggs from millions of years ago and takes visitors through the history of dinosaurs with incredible exhibits. The science center is among the favorites and informative guides take visitors through, talking about the incubation units and introducing them to the moving realistic looking dinosaurs.

There is a great digging workshop for kids and after excavating they will receive a certificate. The 4-D theatre is suitable for all ages, although if you have really young kids it may be scary. This interactive film takes visitors a ride to Dinosaur Island and be prepared as you may just want to watch it again and again. Part museum, part amusement park, this is best suited for families with kids.

Via istanbulkesfi.com

11. Iziko Museum, Cape Town, South Africa

You won’t be heading here to see dinosaurs such as the famous T-Rex or Stegosaurus; instead, you will find prehistoric beats from the Karoo Region. This museum caters to visitors who want to learn more about the less known dinosaurs and their cousins that inhabited the continent. The dinosaur hall is where you’ll find a permanent exhibition called Stone Bones of the Ancient Karoo.

Here visitors will find ancient lizards, huge crocodiles and a cast of the most complete skeleton of Heterodontosaurus found to date. Make sure to check out Kirky the dinosaur, arguably the cutest dinosaur in the history of South Africa. The Museum houses more than one and a half million specimens of scientific importance and you will want to explore more than just the dinosaur hall here.

Via fireflyafrica.blogspot.com

10. Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Colorado

Although this museum is quite small, it delivers an awesome experience for those looking to learn more about dinosaurs. The center features an awe-inspiring display of dinosaurs, prehistoric marine reptiles, pterosaurs, and fish of North America’s late Cretaceous period. Graphics and life-restoration sculptures are used to help visitors imagine these animals in real life.

What is so cool about this museum is the fact that you can see right inside the working fossil laboratory through the glass windows. This is a great museum for kids as it is not so big they will get tired and there are plenty of activities for them such as a fossil dig box, activity stations, and two short movies. Visitors will definitely want to take advantage of the tour that is included with admission as they run about an hour long and are highly informative.

Via The Dinosaur Stop

9. Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany

Besides housing an extremely large collection of bones excavated from Tanzania, 250 tones to be exact, this museum is also home to the tallest dinosaur on display in the world. The Brachiosaurus dominates the first gallery, standing at 41 feet, 5 inches tall. Also on display at this museum visitors will find the impressive Kentrosaurus, a spiky lizard that lived in the Upper Jurassic period.

What might be the most impressive here though is the Archaeopteryx fossil, thought to be the best-known fossil in the world and provides the link between birds and dinosaurs. One of the most interesting things this museum has done is install Jurascopes that allow visitors to bring the dinosaurs to life.

Via YouTube

8. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta

This museum is home to the permanent exhibition “Giants of the Mesozoic”, where a battle between giants is taking place. The world’s largest dinosaurs are shown here in a predator vs. prey situation and replicate the badlands of Patagonia, Argentina, where the largest dinosaurs in the world were unearthed. This exhibit features the Giganotosaurus, a dinosaur that is comparable in size to the T-Rex, as well as the Argentinosaurus, who scientists claim is the largest dinosaur ever classified.

Visitors will want to look up as more than 20 pterosaurs are shown overhead. Other notable features in this museum are the pterosaur and dinosaur tracks, remnants from an Araucaria tree, a fossilized crocodile, and additional fossil casts. It should be noted that all the fossils are cast replicas of the original specimens as the actual fossilized bones remain in Argentina, where they are considered a national treasure.

Via Expedia

7. Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science, Brussels, Belgium

The most important pieces in the museum are definitely the 30 fossilized Iguanodon skeletons, discovered in 1878 and helping to make the dinosaur hall Europe’s largest museum hall completely dedicated to dinosaurs. This museum is not just fascinating to walk through though, it actually offers an incredible amount of education through the interactive exhibits including the details of the fossilization process and dinosaur digs.

Parents will love watching the eight interviews with paleontology experts around the world while kids will have a blast in the paleo lab where they can touch and explore real fossils, along with putting together a life-sized stegosaurus and walking in dinosaur footprints. This museum does an excellent job linking dinosaurs to modern-day animals, making it even easier to understand how evolution works. A win-win in our books.

Via Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

6. Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Alberta, Canada

This museum holds more than 130,000 fossils and is the only one of its kind dedicated to the science of paleontology. This museum focuses on education, creativity, and fun while opening visitor’s eyes to the fascinating world of dinosaurs. Visitors will want to make sure to head over to the Albertosaurus exhibit where this close relative of the T-Rex is displayed moving across a dry river channel.

This exhibit was the result of scientific evidence collected from a mass grave. The Dinosaur Hall features one of the world’s largest displays of dinosaur remains that have been reconstructed and a favorite of many visitors. A rotating fossil display will enthuse visitors who are looking to see more of the tens of thousands of fossils this museum has. Make sure to make your way over to the Cretaceous Garden and experience what that environment was like and see Canada’s largest collection of prehistoric plant relatives.

Via fortwoplz.com

5. Zigong Dinosaur Museum, Zigong, China

This museum attracts over seven million visitors a year, in part because of its awesome location atop a fossil site. The excellent reputation it holds comes from the life-like exhibits, unique architecture, magnificent burial sites and incredible environment. Visitors here will experience two floors of displays and exhibits. The first floor features the favorite of many, Dinosaur world where 18 dinosaurs of different species and size are displayed.

The first floor is also home to the burial site, the largest burial site for watching spot-on protected dinosaur fossils so far known in the world. The second floor features a treasure hall, a display of all the flora and fauna from that period and displays on the evolution of dinosaurs and species. This huge roc cave-like museum was the first museum in Asia dedicated to dinosaurs and will surely not disappoint visitors.

Via CNN.com

4. American Museum of Natural History, New York

This museum has one of the greatest dinosaur fossil collections in the world and houses two famed dinosaur halls in the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing. The Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs is where visitors will find one of the major groups of dinosaurs, the ones with grasping hands. It is here where you will find the infamous Tyrannosaurus rex and the Apatosaurus. Along with the fossils, there is a slew of video footage and photography exploring the history of paleontology at the museum.

The Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs features the group of dinosaurs defined by a backward-pointing extension of the pubis bone and include such dinosaurs as the Stegosaurus and Triceratops. The museum has actually developed a dinosaur map to go along with the exhibit and visitors can use the app to help plan their way through the exhibits. For kids ages 6-13 there is a special overnight experience that takes place in the dinosaur hall where they can explore the exhibits by flashlight.

Via Citi Bike

3. National Dinosaur Museum, Canberra, Australia

Home to the largest permanent display of dinosaur and prehistoric fossils in Australia, this is where you should head if you want to know anything about dinosaurs down under. The museum actually follows the evolution of life and just happens to put the emphasis on dinosaurs. The favorite part of this museum has to be the dinosaur garden, with its imposing dinosaur sculptures made out of fiberglass and animatronics.

The museum has only been in operation since 1993 and with 23 complete skeletons, and over 300 displays of individual fossils, it is growing and expanding its collection as each year passes. Special experiences here include guided tours, children’s learning events, and fossil digs.

Via ABC

2. Wyoming Dinosaur Center, Thermopolis, Wyoming

It is one of the few dinosaur museums that have its own excavation site within driving distance and the standout attraction is the 106 foot Supersaurus on display, although their claim to fame here is the Archaeopteryx.  Only 12 specimens exist in the world and “The Thermopolis Specimen” is second only to the “Berlin” specimen in terms of completeness, including a well-preserved skull.

Also, there are over 30 mounted dinosaurs including two Velociraptors and a 41 foot T-Rex that is attacking a Triceratops horridus. Walking through the museums means following the time displays which go from earliest life forms to dinosaurs and finally mammals. The dig site can be toured in nice weather and it’s a rare opportunity for visitors to see dinosaur bones in the ground and the actual excavation of them. The real draw here is the chance to speak with actual paleontologists or to join one of the “dig days”.

Via Pitchengine

1. The Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago

It has the most famous of all museum dinosaurs, Sue, the largest, most complete, and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton in the world. The original skull weighs over 600 lbs and flashes 58 teeth and she is over 42 feet long and 67 million years old. That is just the beginning of this awesome dinosaur experience here at the Field Museum of Natural History.

The permanent Evolving Planet exhibition takes visitors on a journey through an expanded dinosaur hall where you learn about every major group of dinosaurs, where they lived, and what scientists have learned from Sue. Kids will love the fossil play lab located in the dinosaur hall. Don’t miss the 3-D movie where visitors are taken on a ride through Sue’s life, from hatchling to a 7-ton ferocious beast.

Via Chicago Tribune

The 12 Best Rooftop Bars in America

Rooftop bars continue to pop up all over America year after year and as this trend continues to grow, rooftop patios continue to get bigger and better. Although many assume that rooftop bars can only be accessed in the summertime, or in warm weather states, they would be mistaken, as shown by the sheer number of four-season rooftop bars, even in cold places such as Chicago. From rooftop bars that feature crystal-encrusted pools to those featuring incredible Latin-American street food, we have rounded up 12 of the best rooftop bars in America.

12. SODA Bar, NYLO Hotel, Dallas

Visitors can unwind and relax at this ultra modern rooftop bar complete with foosball tables, faux grass, and Texas brews. Located on top of the century-old Dallas Coffin Co. building this rooftop looks out onto the twinkling lights of downtown Dallas. Relax near the rooftop infinity pool; pull up a seat at the unique blue lighted bar or stretch out around the glowing fire pit.

Make sure to try one of the specialty cocktails such as the Black Forest Martini or their signature Nylorita. Handmade sandwiches, thin crust pizzas and a variety of delicious appetizers accompany their expanding bar menu. SODA Bar is open to the public, not just guests of the NYLO Hotel and is perhaps the perfect place to spend an evening relaxing under the twinkling stars.

Via Pintrest

11. I|O Urban Roofscape, Chicago

It boasts itself as the highest indoor-outdoor rooftop lounge in the city of Chicago and this unique bar features a state of the art retractable roof that allows visitors to enjoy the lounge all year round. This 10,000 square feet space features uninterrupted views of the city’s skyline. Chic modern furniture sets the stage, along with ultra-modern umbrellas, splashes of color and superior service.

Other amazing features include a video wall, shimmering water elements, a fire pit and retractable roof. A menu that includes eats such as black truffle fries and grilled pork belly skewers goes perfectly with the handcrafted cocktails that are sure to wow any guest. Visitors should be sure to dress to impress if they plan on visiting this bar at night, as it is located inside a 4-star luxury hotel and requires upscale casual attire.

Via Libart USA

10. Six Feet Under, Atlanta

It is one of Atlanta’s most popular rooftop bars and with two locations one simply cannot be in this city and not visit here. Known for their locally made beer, chilled out vibe and extensive seafood menu, Six Feet Under is always hopping with action. We suggest heading to the location on Memorial Drive as the rooftop bar overlooks the Oakland Cemetery, another must see if you are in the city.

Locally crafted beer is not the only drink you should try here though; make sure to sample themed cocktails that the talented bartenders craft every day. Catfish tacos, an alligator appetizer, and raw oysters are just a slice of what you will see on this menu. Don’t expect to see any art-deco or chic furnishings here as this place is truly a reflection of the South. Do expect friendly service, incredible seafood, and great company.

Via 10best.com

9. Three Sixty, St. Louis

Electric colors of bright yellow and green set the stage for this rooftop bar that is located nearly 400 feet above downtown St. Louis. Three Sixty offers sweeping views in all directions, hence the name, and includes a bird’s eye view right into Busch Stadium. In addition to the Cardinals-themed cocktails, Three Sixty offers a variety of wine, beer and handcrafted small plates such as roasted BBQ oysters.

This stunning 6,000 square-foot space features indoor and outdoor seating, multiple indoor bars, an open kitchen, dramatic wine wall, fire pits and a giant outside bar. On Friday and Saturday nights visitors should expect to see a DJ spinning the beats and on all Cardinal home games, this bar is the place to be. Open after 4 pm, every day of the week, this is truly the hottest place to be in the city.

Via uk.businessinsider.com

8. Stars Restaurant & Rooftop Bar, South Carolina

This rooftop bar is a haven away from the hustle and bustle that makes up Upper King Street in Charleston, South Carolina. It also happens to be the only rooftop bar in Charleston with 360 degree views of the surrounding area. The location is unique in itself, the bar housed in a restored Arts and Crafts building that features 1930’s décor and views of the city’s beautiful historic district. With a large selection of international tap wines, specialty cocktails, and craft beer; there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Lunch and dinner are served here seven days of the week and feature both classic and innovative dishes. The furnishings include seagrass planters filled with fresh herbs, recycled wicker furniture, a reclaimed Tigerwood Bar and space heaters for the cooler nights. Make sure to try one of the bar’s original cocktails before you leave, we recommend the “Southern Belle Bathwater”, an innovative spin on the traditional Southern spiked lemonade.

Via Pintrest

7. Bar 54, New York

There are a plethora of rooftops bars in New York to choose from but the one that stands out from all the rest is Bar 54. Located on the 54th floor of the Hyatt Times Square, visitors shouldn’t expect loud music, excessive crowds or cheaply made cocktails like many of the rooftop bars in the city. Instead, visitors here will find a calm and unpretentious environment, with some of the absolute best cocktails in the city.

The views aren’t bad either: the Chrysler building, both rivers, and Manhattan’s southern skyline. Visitors can choose to sit inside or out, both offering the incredible views, the high windows run the length of the establishment. Expect superior service, an excellent snack menu and unforgettable cocktails. It will cost patrons at least $20 and up for a cocktail, but hey this is Times Square in New York City after all.

Via Time Out

6. Perch, Los Angeles

It hails itself as an elevated resting place, a rooftop bistro located on the 15th-floor that oozes with unique ambiance and is inspired by vintage French restaurants. Visitors to Perch may, in fact, feel as though they have been transported to the South of France; if it weren’t for the nearby skyscrapers that surround them. Antique-inspired furniture, detailed woodwork, intricate fireplaces, wicker chaises and plush lounge couches greet patrons as they arrive.

Whether you want to sit outdoors and enjoy one of the many fireplaces, lush landscaping, and gorgeous L.A views; or choose to sit indoors, with its intimate bohemian like atmosphere with stretching 30-foot ceilings; you won’t be disappointed. Head up to the 16th floor on cooler evenings to experience live jazz music, fire pits, and incredible cocktails, with names such as the “French Maid”.

Via Amanda Mills Los Angeles

5. Frol!k Kitchen + Cocktails, Seattle

It is one of Seattle’s most beloved destinations, featuring expansive outdoor seating, colorful modern furniture, and beautiful outdoor fireplaces. Whether you are meeting a group of friends or on a hot date; there are plenty of things to do for everyone, including shuffleboard courts. Or why not try your hand on one of the bright orange ping pong tables throughout the bar.

Seasonal hand-crafted cocktails are the favorite here and patrons will want to try one of the Pacific Northwest-inspired drinks, such as the “Marionberry Smash”. Several heat sources will keep visitors warm from the Pacific Northwest chill including an amazing tabletop fireplace. Although this rooftop bar doesn’t offer sweeping views of the city, it does offer an incredible ambiance and chilled out vibe, perfect for those relaxing nights.

Via ankrommoisan.com

4. Juvia, Miami

With a motto like “our penthouse is your penthouse”, visitors to Juvia should expect great things. It is one of Miami’s most popular rooftop bars due in part to its South Beach views and ultramodern décor. Striking colors of purple set the stage for this hip venue, along with an incredible vertical garden designed by an internationally renowned botanist. Juvia offers a variety of seating options, ranging from comfortable couches to high tables.

This dining oasis hands high in the sky above Miami Beach and patrons have the choice to sit indoors or out; while indulging in the French-Asian fusion menu. With a handful of award-winning chefs and designers; it is no surprise that locals and visitors to this area flock to this rooftop bar night after night. Insider tip- make sure to make a reservation ahead of time if you want to sit at an outdoor table as this rooftop bar gets crowded quickly.

Via Thirsty Mag

3. ABH, Sixty Beverly Hills, Los Angeles

This exclusive rooftop terrace is set high above Beverly Hills and remains one of the most sought-after drinking spots in the city. This two-level rooftop space offers full meals, snacks, and incredible specialty cocktails. The bar is open to both hotel guests and visitors although if you want to take a dip in the crystal-encrusted pool you have to be a guest of the hotel.

Elegant yet simple wooden furnishings adorn the patio and lanterns hung above to create an intimate setting. Later into the night the bar shifts into a more club-like atmosphere with fireplace lounges and DJ’s spinning beats, along with a plethora of people dancing to the tunes. Being the only rooftop al fresco bar and restaurant located within walking distance of Rodeo Drive, this rooftop attracts high-end clientele who are willing to drop serious cash on the specialty cocktails and fantastic small plates.

Via PartySlate

2. Legal Harborside, Boston

This expansive restaurant and bar feature over three floors of dining areas but if you are looking for the best rooftop bar in Boston it is up to the third floor you will head. The promenade deck here offers a four-season rooftop lounge and bar, complete with retractable walls and ceiling. During the winter months, visitors can enjoy the views of the harbor and skyline from the fully enclosed glass wall space.

Summer months the walls and ceiling are pulled back and visitors can drink under the sun and stars. An expansive wine menu, hand-crafted cocktails, and pitchers of punches pair perfectly with the incredible sushi menu. Plush lounge seating, incredible décor and the twinkling lights of the harbor create the perfect atmosphere in the city. A must visit for any visitor to the city.

Via Liberty Wharf

1. El Techo de Lolinda, San Francisco

Famous for its incredible views that stretch all the way from Mission Street to the Bay, El Techo de Lolinda is one of the best places to grab a tequila cocktail and some Latin-American inspired street food. This rooftop bar is located above the Lolinda Steakhouse and is famous in the city for being one of the best rooftop bars around. Whether you happen upon this bar during the day, or at night, expect great things.

Make sure to indulge in one of the famous pina coladas or margaritas, made with fresh coconut. Come from brunch on the weekends and keep cool under one of the umbrellas or saunter over here at night, where the heat lamps will keep you warm and the kitchen is open until 1 am. Whenever you decide to visit, enjoy these unique tequila cocktails, fresh food, and incredible views.

Via Eater SF

The 9 Greatest Bars in the World

Narrowing down the greatest bars in the world is a tough feat, considering so many of them have managed to fly under the radar, guarding their locations and managing to keep them a secret. From hidden doors with doormen who usher you in quickly to dive bars that have retained their 1930’s charm to some of the most talented barkeeps and mixologists, these nine bars are considered some of the very best. Whether you dabble in cocktails, drool over in-house-made infusions or simply want a place to meet with friends, make sure to check out some of the greatest bars in the world.

9. Milk Tiger Lounge, Calgary

While many don’t associate amazing cocktails bars with the city of Calgary, there is one hidden gem here called the Milk Tiger Lounge. This classic cocktail bar employs mixologists and bartenders with levels of expertise and dedication to the craft you won’t find anywhere else in the province. It’s a throwback to the days when people would slide into a seat at the bar, take off their fedora and chat with the bartender.

The drink list is littered with cocktails you only have heard of in black and white movies and even features the first cocktail to ever be invented in America- the Sazerac. A well-chosen wine menu, delicious appetizers and a passion for cocktails set this bar among the best in the world.

Via Robert Pashuk Architecture

8. The California Clipper, Chicago

The Clipper is an old bar from the 1930’s, complete with red leather, lots of wood and cash only. The old-school jukebox is heavy on Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline which patrons are free to control. It can sometimes be referred to as a dive bar, but the best of dive bars featuring a craft cocktail list that shares menu space with cheap beer in bottles and cans.

Expect to shimmy up on one of the leather bar stools, order a famous Brandy Crusta and watch the live band. Or order a refreshing Amaro Shaved Ice, a drink hard to find anywhere else. Come for one drink and stay for many as the lights are dim enough in here to make you stay all night.

Via Californiaclipper.com

7. Arnaud’s French 75, New Orleans

It is a world-renowned cocktails bar in New Orleans and is not to be missed on any trip here. Interestingly enough it was originally a gentleman only bar during the days of the Cazenave family but today anyone is welcome here. There is an emphasis here on premium spirits, classic cocktails, and fine cigars.

The furnishings in here alone are incredible, both the bar and bar back were custom built in the late 1800’s. The staff is decked out in white tuxedos with black bow ties and the best barkeep in New Orleans, Chris Hannah calls this place home. We recommend going there and ordering an Old Fashioned, trust us.

Via arnaudsrestaurant.com

6. Eastern Standard Kitchen and Bar, Boston

The beautiful lounge is enough to make one want to visit this incredible bar, as it boasts the longest marble bar in the city, where exceptional bartenders make top-notch cocktails. One of the best reasons to visit this bar is their cocktail selection, as the bar team seems to view the drinking process as a conversation.

They craft their beverage selection carefully, and their specialty is creating classic cocktails that utilize in-house made vermouth, infusions, and bitters from around the world. The drink list won’t be the same here if you come in different seasons as it changes at least 4 times a year. As an added bonus the menu happens to be incredible and features such things as seared salmon and delicious burgers.

Via cntraveler.com

5. Angel’s Share, New York City

It is one of the classiest joints in the East Village, easily reached by an unmarked side door at the front of the Japanese Restaurant Village Yokocho. Many do not know about this bar and perhaps that is one reason why it is so incredible.

You are not allowed to stand around in this bar, nor bring any more than three of your closest friends, this is indeed one of the best places to bring a date. With a stellar view of Stuyvesant Square, bartenders in tuxedos and arguably the city’s best grasshoppers; this is the place to be. Go now, before everyone else finds out about it.

Via cntraveler.com

4. Green Russell, Denver

An amazing cocktail experience awaits visitors to the Green Russell in Denver, located in the underbelly of the most historic block in Denver. Visitors reach this bar by entering through a pie shop and through a swinging door. The bar is actually named for an 1850’s Colorado gold miner William Green Russell.

Inside the bar is styled as a Prohibition-era cocktail joint, featuring exposed brick, opulent chandeliers, plush armchairs and one playful telephone booth. Hand-crafted cocktails are the specialty here using a variety of house bitters, infusions, freshly squeezed juices and small-batch spirits. Appetizers and fresh pie are available to order daily and this is the ultimate bar for quiet conversation and a damn good cocktail.

via 10best.com

3. Hop Sing Laundromat, Philadelphia

Located in Philly’s Chinatown, one has to know where to look to find this incredible bar, (hint-look for the metal gated doorway on Race Street) and one has to be dressed to impress in order to gain access. Visitors get taken inside by a doorman to a vestibule where the floor is coated in pennies and sat down in a church pew where you must hand over your identification for inspection.

Once passing that test, you head inside where you will sample some of the city’s best cocktails and hopefully meet the owner who boasts very firm rules: no sneakers, no shorts, and no photos. Le, the owner claims to be from North Korea, although he is, in fact, Vietnamese by birth. Think about stepping into Hogwarts, pulling up a chair and sipping on one of the best cocktails you’ve ever had. Don’t believe us? Try it yourself, just make sure you don’t wear running shoes.

Via wheretraveler.com

2. Canon, Seattle

It is the pinnacle of Seattle cocktail culture and Jamie Boudreau has made this cocktail bar into something so over the top, it is absolutely incredible. Walking in, the dark upholstery and antique cash register will immediately catch your eye and whether you are in a suit and tie or plaid shirt and jeans, you immediately feel welcomed.

The bar is stained with Angostura bitters, the barrel-aged cocktails served in glass flasks and the drink menu features over 100 different concoctions. The bartenders are superb, managing to balance the hard job of crafting each cocktail to perfection while doing so in a timely manner to serve so many patrons rapidly. There is a beautiful and extensive, almost drool-worthy collection of liquor and if you are a whiskey fan, this bar does not disappoint.

Via The Whiskey Wash

1. 365 Tokyo, Las Vegas

Good luck getting into this member only bar in Las Vegas, a Japanese-inspired bar located on the second floor of Inspire. This bar seats just eight patrons in a tiny room that is walled in on three sides by limo-tinted glass. Guests here are greeted with a bow from the lead barmen and his assistant, along with a warm scented towel, glass of cucumber water and cocktail menu. Much of the experience here is up to the guests, as they can choose which ice they want, the base spirit and even mixing technique.

We aren’t just talking about shaken or stirred here though, these advanced techniques include frozen with liquid nitrogen, siphon-infused with botanicals or even smoked with your choice of wood. Luckily for those who don’t know this much as cocktails, you can leave it up to the bartender to choose for you. Memberships are hard to come by, but we suggest jumping if you ever have the chance to visit this bar

Via Las Vegas Weekly

The 7 Best Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremonies in the World

The holidays are quickly approaching and there is perhaps no better way to embrace them by attending a tree lighting ceremony. Christmas trees are erected all over the world, some man-made, some shipped from other countries and some famous. Whether you prefer a traditional tree complete with garland and twinkling lights, or prefer one made out of lobster crates, we have discovered some of the best tree lighting ceremonies in the world.

7. Lobster Trap Tree Lighting, New England Area

For a really unique Christmas Tree lighting ceremony you will want to head to any number of towns around New England- including Rockland, Maine and Gloucester, Massachusetts. It is here where apparently lobsters and Christmas go hand in hand. Rockland is home to the world’s largest Lobster Trap Tree, dating back to 2003 when the tree was built with 152 traps, all by volunteers. Each trap is outfitted with a red door and 480 ft of garland is used to decorate, along with 125 lobster buoys that were brought to the tree by lobstering families. The tree is lighted both from the inside as well as with twinkle lights throughout the garland. And the topper, a 5 foot fiberglass lobster that reigns over the tree for the holiday season.

Lobster Trap Christmas Tree

6. Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting, California

On November 22, 2015 the Holiday Lighting Ceremony takes place on Rodeo Drive, a place where Christmas shopping is taken to the extreme. This free event takes places on 200,200 and 400 Blocks of Rodeo Drive and features live performances, music and a whole lot of lights. It’s not just one tree that gets lit up here, instead it is 42 Palm trees that get illuminated along with twinkling birches and chandeliers. In the past, the ceremony has included a fireworks show and a snow shower of confetti. You never know what you are going to get when you show up for this over the top holiday lighting celebration.

Andrew Zarivny / Shutterstock.com
Andrew Zarivny / Shutterstock.com

5. Zilker Holiday Tree, Texas

This man-made tree stands a whopping 155 feet tall, featuring 39 streamers that each hold 81 multicolored bulbs, making the total number of lights 3,309. The top of the tree features a double star that measures 10 feet from point to point and displays 150 frosted bulbs. The tree was actually created by City of Austin electricians in the 1960’s and manages to hold on to its retro, mod like vibe. On November 29th this mammoth tree gets lit up in the official tree lighting ceremony where one lucky winner gets to flip the switch. Featuring local entertainment, food, novelties and live music; this celebration is truly epic. Make sure to come back to this tree after December 7th to walk the Trail of Lights, a 1.25 mile long path with over 50 displays and decorated trees. Austin, Texas certainly knows how to make its residents get into the holiday spirit.

Photo by: City of Austin
Photo by: City of Austin

4. National Christmas Tree Lighting, Washington, D.C.

In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the White House to the Ellipse to light a 48-foot tree decorated with 2,500 red, white and green bulbs. A local choir along with a quartet from the U.S Marine Band performed. All these years later this holiday tradition continues and brings citizens together to share messages of peace and hope. The lighting ceremony this year takes place on December 3rd and those hoping to attend must apply for a free ticket through the online lottery. Expect a televised ceremony complete with celebrity hosts, live music performers and of course, the President and First Family.

National Christmas Tree Washington

3. Ski Tree Lighting, Colorado

This entire ski town is loaded with Christmas trees and thus they have decided to put their own spin on a holiday tradition. Instead of cutting down one of the many trees in the area, Telluride has created a huge Christmas tree out of old skies that the community has donated. The ceremony takes place December 5, 2015 between 5:30-7:30pm and includes a ceremonial bonfire where old skis go up in flames to honor Ullr, the old Norse patron saint of skiers.

Photo by: Lodging Telluride
Photo by: Lodging Telluride

2. Trafalgar Square, London

Every year since 1947 a Chrstimas tree has been given to the people of London from the people of Norway, in gratitude for Britain’s support during WWII. The tree is normally a Norweigan Spruce, measuring over 20 meters high and aged about 50-60 years. The tree lighting is performed by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the British Ambassador to Norway and the Mayor of Oslo. It is decorated in typical Norweigan fashion with vertical strings of lights and energy efficient light bulbs. Different groups performs carols in the square alongside this beautiful, handpicked and carefully delivered tree.

Bikeworldtravel / Shutterstock.com
Bikeworldtravel / Shutterstock.com

1. Rockefeller Center, New York

It has been a tradition since 1933, when a tree was placed in NYC’s famous Rockefeller Center and continues to be one of the most famous tree lighting ceremonies in the world. The lighting of the tree is considered to be a symbol of the start of the holiday season all over the world. The annual tree lighting ceremony is free and open to the public and takes place on Wednesday December 2nd, 2015 between 7-9pm and if you can’t be there, you can still watch it on TVO. The ceremony involves tens of thousands of spectators, live performances and the magical moment that the tree is illuminated.

Andrew F. Kazmierski / Shutterstock.com
Andrew F. Kazmierski / Shutterstock.com

10 Must See Sports Stadiums in North America

While travelling many people make sure to get to all of the biggest attractions and talked about places at their destination as these are often the deciding factors on choosing where to take their trip. While this is understandable, many people overlook the fact that some of the most amazing structures in modern society revolve around local sports teams, especially in North America. With sports being such a huge part of culture, teams are making more money than ever meaning they are building stadiums that are amazing to behold. So whether you’re a sports fan who likes to travel or a traveler who doesn’t mind taking in a sports game in order to experience the amazing features stadiums have to offer, here are the 10 Must-See Sports Stadiums in North America.

10. New Yankee Stadium, MLB

New Yankee Stadium is located in New York, New York and is home to the New York Yankees of the MLB and will be the future home of the New York City FC of Major League Soccer. This stadium is relatively new, as it opened in 2009 and cost 1.5 billion dollars to construct. One of the best things to see in this massive structure is the “Great Hall” which is located between the outside and inside walls and runs between gates 4 and 6. This huge space displays banners of Yankee star players as well as massive LED screens. If all of that is too modern for you, there’s also a New York Yankee Museum located at Gate 6 which features Yankee memorabilia and highlights major New York Yankees moments through the years. If you’re visiting New York, this stadium is clearly a spot you’d want to check out, with lots to see before even getting to the actual baseball game.

eddtoro / Shutterstock.com
eddtoro / Shutterstock.com

9. Fenway Park, MLB

If you are a traveler who loves to experience the true local vibe and feel of the place you are visiting then Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, is definitely somewhere to go while in Boston, Massachusetts. Unlike many of the stadiums on this list, Fenway is not new, in fact it is the oldest stadium in the MLB although it has undergone almost continuous upgrades and renovations to keep it in working order. It’s still a perfect place for those who enjoy the history of their travel destination as Fenway is now officially on the National Register of Historic Places. Make sure to check out the numerous activities that shut down the streets and bring everyone together before and after games to get a true Boston experience. As well, if you’re visiting the stadium you can’t miss the iconic “Green Monster” which is the left field wall and is one of the few manually operated scoreboards in the game today. If you’re not one who is easily impressed by the glitz and glam of big buildings and stadiums then Fenway’s historic charm and atmosphere is sure to be a great experience.

Joyce Vincent / Shutterstock.com
Joyce Vincent / Shutterstock.com

8. CenturyLink Field, NFL

This massive stadium located in Seattle, Washington opened in 2002 and is home to the NFL’s 2014 defending Super Bowl Champions the Seattle Seahawks as well as the Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer. Aside from the champions who play here, this complex also boasts the WaMu Theater, a public plaza and is a place of major concerts and trade shows aside from major sporting events. To get an all-around CenturyLink experience one can take the train from Seattle’s King Street Station right to the stadium. Of course what’s most talked about with this famous stadium is not something you can see, but something you can hear. If you’re checking out the stadium during a Seahawks game get ready to cheer or cover your ears as this stadium broke the Guinness World Record for loudest crowd roar which is amplified by the structure itself with the seating decks and roof trap resounding noise back to the field, giving a definite home-field advantage. This stadium is every travelling sports fan’s dream come true.

f11photo / Shutterstock.com
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

7. Bell Centre, NHL

The 270 million dollar Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada is a great stop while visiting beautiful Montreal due to its ease of access and proximity to many other places to visit. Best known as the home of the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL, this complex is also one of the world’s busiest for non-sporting events. With the old charm of Montreal mixed with the excitement of the world of sports and entertainment, it’s a great place to experience the NHL and even has a section of lower priced seating for children known as the Family Zone. The Bell Centre is connected to both major metro stations as well as to the underground city of Montreal and is across the street from the 1250 Rene-Levesque skyscraper, putting it right in the middle of many things you’d like to see so you can enjoy the best of the major attractions while also getting to see one of the best hockey stadiums in North America.

meunierd / Shutterstock.com
meunierd / Shutterstock.com

6. PNC Park, MLB

Like many other baseball stadiums, PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a must-see not only because of the structure itself but because of the experience it offers as a whole. Home to the Pittsburgh Pirates, this baseball park has many features to make it a must see while in Pittsburgh. Its location alone is amazing, so even if you aren’t that into watching baseball, just go for the spectacular view of downtown Pittsburgh premised by the Alleghany River; on a beautiful day of baseball, the view steals the show. There are also many great food experiences to be had with the “Tastes of Pittsburgh” that includes traditional baseball foods, Pittsburgh specialties and exotic choices, making sure to have something for everyone and anyone who wants to be adventurous while visiting a new city. While the park itself is great to visit, just getting there is also exciting for those wanting to see the city. You can take a water limo service on the Alleghany or take a walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge as vehicular traffic is prohibited on game days.

jessicakirsh / Shutterstock.com
jessicakirsh / Shutterstock.com

5. Lucas Oil Stadium, NFL

The still very new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana gives fans a great experience. Home to the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil replaced the RCA Dome in 2008 and consequently utilizes the best modern technology and engineering techniques to create an amazing stadium. Some of the best features include two massive HD scoreboards, a retractable roof that divides in two, and the second largest movable glass window-wall which allows for light when closed and a great view of the Indianapolis downtown when open. Lucas Oil is a great experience and a great example of when the best of modern technology and the world of sports come together.

Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock.com
Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock.com

4. MetLife Stadium, NFL

New York is a tourist hot-spot so why not take a break from the main city and check out East Rutherford, New Jersey, the location of MetLife Stadium. What’s most distinguishable about MetLife is the fact it’s home to two NFL teams, the New York Giants and the New York Jets and has interior lighting that switches colors based on which team is playing. Along with changing lights, it also boasts twenty massive LED Pylons at the North and East entrances which play videos of whichever team is playing. In 2014 MetLife became a whole lot more popular when it was the first ever stadium with no dome, in a cold weather climate to host the Super Bowl.

Jai Agnish / Shutterstock.com
Jai Agnish / Shutterstock.com

3. EverBank Field, NFL

EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida is home to the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and has had a long history since it opened in 1995. After poor attendance and issues due to age of the stadium, the location has recently underwent $63 million of improvements and renovations now making it a must-see stadium in North America. The new and improved Everbank is looking a little like a Las Vegas resort as it now includes two wading pools in what is known as the “Party Deck” at the stadium’s North end zone. Other features include two new scoreboards which are the largest of their kind, enhanced food and beverage options and numerous interactive activities. The grandeur of this stadium makes it a must-see, what could be better for a sports fan than playing in a pool in Florida while watching a live NFL game?

Rob Wilson / Shutterstock.com
Rob Wilson / Shutterstock.com

2. AT&T Park, MLB

It’s obvious that many baseball parks are amazing to see, but AT&T Park in San Francisco, home to the San Francisco Giants of the MLB is a must see spot for sports fans visiting the spectacular city of San Francisco. Like PNC Park, this stadium’s location and the view it offers is one of its best features. With the backdrop of San Francisco Bay, overlooking McCovey Cove, named after former Giant Willie McCovey, the atmosphere is unrivaled. The park includes a giant Coca-Cola bottle with slides as well as bubbles and lights that go off when a home run occurs and next door sits an equally massive Four Fingered Baseball Glove. The park is perfect for the young and young at heart, with great food, great atmosphere and a great view that no one would want to miss while in San Francisco.

Eric Broder Van Dyke / Shutterstock.com
Eric Broder Van Dyke / Shutterstock.com

1. AT&T Stadium, NFL

Arlington, Texas may not be the first on your list for traveling destinations but if you’re a serious sports fan, it probably should be. Opened in 2009, AT&T Stadium is the proud home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and is a testament to what happens when enormous amounts of money and brand new technology collide, having also been called “Jerry World” playing off the grandeur vision Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones had for the stadium as an all-around entertainment mecca. The outstanding feature of this incredible stadium is its enormous HD television screen which was the largest in the world at the time of the stadium’s opening. For fan experience the stadium also includes a Party Pass section which is a series of platforms that offers standing room for 25,000 people in addition to the 80,000 seats in the stadium. There are also over 3,000 LCD TV screens to ensure no fan misses any play no matter where they are, as well as a retractable roof allowing for the best of conditions at all times. Stepping into this stadium is like stepping into a party in the future, which will amaze any visitor to Texas.

Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com
Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com

The 10 Best Places in the World Spend New Year’s Eve!

New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and you will want to find the perfect place to share this special time with your loved ones. There are so many fantastic places in the world to visit for this celebration. Read further for just a few ideas.

1. New York City, New York

Well over a million people tend to show up at Times Square for this famous yearly party. You will find yourself counting down the seconds to midnight while a a huge 12-foot glittering ball is slowly dropped down from a flagpole atop the Times Square building and over a ton of confetti is dropped onto party-goers. This is always a televised event, so you might see yourself on TV. You can also expect a fantastic pyrotechnic light show, big celebrity music acts and a New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall where you can write down your resolutions for the year to come.

New York City Times Square

2. Edinburgh, Scotland

Thousands arrive here for the annual Hoganay celebration, which means a celebration of the last day of the year. You can expect to see world-famous music acts and traditional ceilidh dancing throughout the streets. A fabulous fireworks show is set off at midnight and the party then continues throughout the night. Activities offered the next day include a run down the Royal Mile, a dive in the freezing cold waters of the River Forth, the Loony Dook Parade and a dog-sledding competition.

Edinburgh Scotland Fireworks

3. Sydney, Australia

Many events surround this celebration. You can expect to see indigenous smoking ceremonies, aerial flyovers complete with messages in the sky, mini-light shows, a truly huge and spectacular fireworks show and a lighted boat parade. An ultimate dance party is held at Bondi Beach and there are even special events to help the children celebrate at Taronga Zoo.

Sydney Australia Fireworks

4. South Lake Tahoe, California

The Snow Globe Music Festival is considered one of the best places to see a great mix of EDM artists on New Year’s Eve. You can dance and party all night, but this event offers something more. Attendees are given lift tickets so they may spend the entire day skiing.

South Lake Tahoe

5. Paris, France

At the Eiffel Tower, you will see a truly spectacular light show and fireworks display. However, most all the streets of Paris come alive with hordes of people celebrating, making the rounds of bars and clubs and having a wonderful time with fireworks and lots of champagne. Romantic New Year’s Eve boat cruises along the Seine are also offered for those who wish for a little privacy for their celebration.

Paris France Fireworks

6. London, England

Over 250,000 visitors crowd onto the banks of the Thames River and begin the countdown to Big Ben striking the hour of midnight when an elaborate light show and fireworks display takes off. The party usually continues throughout the night with activities planned for the next day including a three-hour parade complete with marching bands, colorful floats, costumed dancers and a fine procession of the Queen’s horses.

London England Fireworks

7. Vienna, Austria

Those wanting a somewhat more cultured celebration should enjoy a visit here. Dignified balls, classical music concerts and some of the world’s best symphonies are offered on New Year’s Eve as well as a champagne brunch the following day.

Vienna Austria

8. Miami, Florida

You can expect to find celebrations of all types all over this city. You might like to head over to South Beach for a good old-fashioned all-night dance-a-thon. A family friendly event is Miami’s answer to New York’s famous ball drop which is a 35-foot neon “Big Orange” which descends from the Inter-Continental Miami. There is a grand finale boasting a huge fireworks show at Bayfront Park and there will be family activities, musical entertainment and food available.

Miami Florida

9. Las Vegas, Nevada

Always the party town, over 300,000 visitors show up here to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Beginning at 6 p.m., the famous four-mile-long Strip is shut to vehicle traffic and opened up to those who wish to celebrate by walking around, drinking, mingling and watching various fireworks being shot off from surrounding rooftops. Most of the hotels, clubs and bars will be offering special shows and activities.

Las Vegas

10. Hawaii

You will find celebrations on the beaches all over Hawaii. Enjoy the spectacular fireworks displays lighting up the beautiful waters. All of the beach-side bars and clubs will have special activities planned for the celebration including theme nights and contests. Outdoor music concerts and boat cruises will be offered into the small hours of the night as well.

Fireworks on a Beach

Top 15 Global Destination Cities For 2013

Travelers looking to travel oftentimes look beyond their own country’s borders when planning their trips. According to the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index for 2013, there are 15 cities that stand out for travelers. Seven cities on the list are located in Asia, six are European cities, and one is North American. Istanbul, Turkey, the No. 6 city on the list, strides the Europe-Asia border.

15. Amsterdam, Netherlands 

Amsterdam is the capital of and the largest city in the Netherlands. It is known to cater to all tastes as those who want to relax in an old European city are just as fulfilled as those who want to embark on a night of serious partying.

Top Cities 2013 - Amsterdam

14. Shanghai, China

Shanghai is the largest city in the world at 18 million people. Its status as a tourist destination has taken off the past 20 years. Visitors will be able to get around easily on its subway system, the longest in the world at 260 miles.

Top Cities 2013 - Shanghai

13. Rome, Italy

Rome is one of the most historic cities of the world as it was the center of the Roman Empire. Travelers enjoy coming to the City of Seven Hills to visit the Vatican City, the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum.

Top Cities 2013 - Rome

12. Milan, Italy 

Milan, Italy’s second-largest city, is located in the north of the country. It is a destination for those looking to enjoy some football, shopping, the performing arts and nightlife. Fashion aficionados will especially enjoy visiting Milan.

Top Cities 2013 - Milan

11. Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is one of East Asia’s cultural highlights. The city’s Five Grand Palaces are impressive. Hikers enjoy trips to the mountains around Seoul. Fans of the hit song, “Gangnam Style,” can visit the Gangnam District.

Top Cities 2013 - Seoul

10. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is the center of Catalonia, a nationality in Spain’s northeast corner. The city still feels the effects of having hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics, including an influx in tourism. The Picasso Museum is a strong attraction for art enthusiasts.

Top Cities 2013 - Barcelona

9. Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong is a city of dualities with its history as a British colony and its current status as a Special Administration Region of China. It is highly dense as 7 million people live within its 426 square miles. Victoria Peak is a pleasant scenic escape, however.

Top Cities 2013 - Hong Kong

8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

Malaysia’s capital city offers travelers some of the best bang for their buck of any city on this list. The city has 66 shopping malls, allowing visitors plenty of options to buy items to bring home. The night life is quite vibrant here as well.

Top Cities 2013 - Kuala Lumpur

7. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai is one of the seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates. It is conveniently located just five hours flying time from much of Europe. It is known as one of the most liberal cities in the Middle East.

Top Cities 2013 - Dubai

6. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is a city of two continents as the city’s bridges connect the European and Asian sections of the city. It is one of just four transcontinental cities in the world. The historic and religious sights of the city are numerous and impressive.

Top Cities 2013 - Istanbul

5. New York, United States

New York is the largest city in the United States, and it is a multi-cultural melting pot. Some of its sights include the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. The offerings in the Theatre District are world class.

Top Cities 2013 - New York

4. Singapore

Singapore is an island city-state located just south of Malaysia. Visitors enjoy a multi-cultural atmosphere as influences exist from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. It is the second most densely populated country in the world behind Monaco.

Top Cities 2013 - Singapore

3. Paris, France

The sights of Paris are known throughout the world. The most iconic one has to be the Eiffel Tower. The City of Light is also home to the Arc de Triomphe and the Notre Dame cathedral. The Louvre is one of the world’s most renowned museums.

Top Cities 2013 - Paris

2. London, England

London is the capital of England and of the United Kingdom, and its core dates to medieval times. Its sights include Hyde Park, the British Museum and Buckingham Palace. Some of the world’s best soccer is played within its city limits.

Top Cities 2013 - London

1. Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is a destination for travelers from throughout the world. Some of the most popular attractions in this cosmopolitan city include the Grand Palace and the Bangkok National Museum. Muay Thai is the popular local sport.

Top Cities 2013 - Bangkok

The Best & Most Fascinating Zoos in the World

Almost every major tourist city in the world is home to a zoo. However, there are only a rare few doing the miraculous work that the following ten zoo’s and wildlife parks are doing to promote animal conservation, wildlife protection, captive breeding of endangered species, and general public education and awareness around the importance of animal preservation.

1. Wellington Zoo, North Island, New Zealand

New Zealand’s very first zoo is one of the biggest, situated on 32-sprawling acres with more than 500 animals and 100 different species—many of which are endangered species native to New Zealand, including Sumatran tigers, the miniature Sun Bear, the smallest of the bear species. The zoo is also involved with a group in parts of Asia called “Free the Bears”, lions, and many more. The zoo is dedicated to quality, sustainable enclosures for its population, which include solar heating and power, and intimate one-on-one encounters with the animals to educate on the importance of natural preservation.

Sumatran tiger

2. Toronto Zoo, Ontario, Canada

The Toronto Zoo houses 5000 animals from 460 species around the world. This zoo boasts some truly unique exhibits—such as camel rides, sting ray touch tanks. Plus, enclosures for numerous endangered baby additions like Gaur (a type of Indian bison), spider monkeys, Grevy’s Zebras, African Elephants, Greater Kudu (a type of antelope), Western lowland gorillas, and pygmy hippo. Not to mention many native animals to Canada, such as Grizzly bear, Moose, Wood Bison, raccoons, lynx, and cougar.

Grizzly bear

3. Australia Zoo, Sunshine Coast, Australia

Of course the wildest and most adventurous zoo on earth would have to have been founded by none other than the late Steve Irwin, Australia’s Crocodile Hunter. The zoo encourages hands-on encounters with various snakes, koalas, kangaroos, wombats, tigers, elephants, as well as viewings of over 1000 different animals. Make a reservation if you really want to make the most of your day!

Koala

4. Yokohama Zoo, Japan

Japan’s Yokohama Zoo, lovingly referred to as “Zoorasia” was established in 1999. A massive 100 acres in size, this lush, sprawling zoo gives extended room to it’s over 1500 animals from 150 species. In fact, the zoo is largely green in design, consisting of 7 separate ecological areas—the Asian Tropical Forest, Central Asian Highland, Oceanian Grassland, Japanese Countryside, African Tropical Rainforest, and the Amazon Jungle—all designed to mimic natural habitats. Because it’s so large, binoculars are given to each guest upon entrance for optimal spotting of the inhabitants.

panda

5. Welsh Mountain Zoo, Colwyn Bay, North Wales

This 37 acre hillside park was established by naturalist Robert Jackson in 1963. Today, the Zoological Society of Wales has taken the helm and operates the zoo more like conservation lands for native wildlife within. Guests are treated to wooded acres, tree lined paths, and rolling hills teeming with grey heron, grass snakes, and badgers. The must-see exhibits are the modern Eurasian Otter showcase—outfitted with a river, and waterfall for happy otters to slide and frolic about—and that of the California Sea Lions and the Humboldt Penguin.

San-Francisco-Zoo penguins

6. Berlin Zoo, Germany

The Berlin Zoo is the oldest and most-visited zoo in all of Germany. In collaboration with its associated aquarium, the area is made up of 84 acres and home to over 17,000 animals. The zoo was established with the help of King Frederick William IV of Prussia, who populated the zoo with 850 animals from his very own private collection. It suffered massive damage during World War II, when most of the zoo and almost a hundred animals were destroyed. However, the zoo was rebuilt and the survivors—a pair of lions, hyenas, a bull Elephant, almost a dozen baboons, and a chimpanzee—moved into more natural enclosures and tours, one of which became the Animals of the Bible tour, showcasing animals from biblical reference.

lion

7. Philadelphia Zoo, Pennsylvania, USA

America’s very first zoo is the Philadelphia Zoo, established in 1874. Today the zoo enjoys a reputation for breeding endangered species in captivity as well as simulated natural habitats for its animal population. Home to over 1300 animals, this urban zoo boasts one of the most state-of-the-art primate exhibits in the world, PECO Primate Reserve, a 2.50acre, indoor and outdoor areas that houses 10 different primate species—including  gibbons, lowland gorillas, Sumatran Orangutans, lemurs, and Silverbacks. Cat lovers will purr at the sight of Big Cat Falls, which houses 12 endangered species of felines such as African Lions, Amur Tigers, jaguars, Snow Leopards, and cougars. If you don’t get your fill during the day, stay for a rare overnight experience camps for kids!

tigers

8. Bronx Zoo, New York City, USA

This rather small zoo in the midst of a metropolis is one of the oldest and best zoos in the USA. So much so that the Wildlife Conservation Society established its veterinarian society here, where primary care is provided for over 15,000 animals located at various zoos across America. The Bronx Zoo is particularly renowned for its animal enrichment programs.  Both educational and hands-on in nature, visitors can witness zoo keepers training and interacting with animals—such as the monkey and tiger population—as well as various feedings, animal behavior, and health care for polar bears and various other resident animals.

giraffes

9. San Diego Zoo, California, USA

Near San Diego’s downtown, you’ll discover the wonders of the world-renowned San Diego Zoo. This huge 100-acre spread is home to almost 4000 animals from 800 species. The grounds are grassy and hilly so many guests opt for the 35-minute guided bus tour, or they choose to hop on and off at certain exhibits. The zoo’s Elephant Odyssey is by far the most impressive and educational, tracing the species form the Pleistocene era (i.e. wholly mammoth) to modern day. However, nearby you can pop in to visit the giant sloths, bears, lions and jaguars in their simulated natural habitats.

San-Diego-Zoo

10. Basel Zoo, Switzerland

The Basel Zoo boasts one of the most successful captive breeding programs of endangered species in the world. The uniquely peculiar creatures here are not often seen in other wildlife parks around the world. In fact, the more than 600 species—including snow leopards, cheetah, Indian Rhino, flamingos, pygmy hippopotamuses, Somali Wild Ass, and okapi—would be proud that their zoo is considered among the top 7 by the Zoological Society of London for its successful breeding efforts.

rhino

Top 10 Places to Ring in the New Year

Were you watching the ball drop in beautiful New York City when the clock struck midnight last New Year’s Eve? Or worse, were you already in a peaceful slumber?

It sounds like your New Year’s Eve plan requires a little adventure. Don’t let next year be the same let down as it’s always been. Here are our picks for the top 10 2010 New Year’s Eve destinations around the world…

1. Moscow, Russia

There are few celebratory backdrops that can even attempt to rival Russia’s Red Square. Here, New Year’s Eve fireworks are set off behind the gleaming domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the square is literally crowded with the tidings of revelers, street vendors, street performers, and snow sculptures of the Russian Federation.

moscow

2. Sydney, Australia

If you want to be among the first to ring in a New Year, Sydney throws a midnight fireworks display and “Harbor of Light” parade (at Sydney Harbor) that make the over one million participants wish they were nowhere else on earth. And since January is summer in Australia, you can drink in your itty-bitty bikini and still dance the night away.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

3. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

If you’re in the mood for a little debauchery this December 31st, then look no further than Sin City. Here the strip is dubbed a “pedestrian zone” for the massive New Year’s Eve party, drinks, fireworks, light shows, music, clubs, and virtually hundreds of thousands of revelers—anyone of whom might kiss you at midnight!

Las Vegas, Nevada

4. Mexico City, Mexico

The End of the Year Fiesta in Mexico’s capital comes alive with street festivals, confetti, fireworks, dancing, traditional music, and parties. The celebrations are underway by 9 p.m. after a family meal. Revelers gather at the Zócalo (the city’s main square) with their empty eggshells filled with confetti to toss at other party-goers, and colorful cocktails to raise their festive spirits.

Mexico

5. Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany

If beer tents, open air clubs with world-renowned DJs, lightshows, performers, and fireworks displays are your ideal way to ring in the new year—then say Guten Tag to Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, where you can gather with over a million other party-goers for the 1.2 mile-long “Party Mile,” which begins at strasse des 17th Juni (17th June Street) and goes until the wee hours of dawn.

Berlin Germany

6. Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro

Sun, sand, and people as stunning as the fireworks displays—this is what New Year’s Eve in Brazil is made of! You’ll be swept away by the carnival atmosphere on one of the earth’s most spectacular beaches.  It’s tradition in Brazil to dress completely in white for the festivities (or “Reveillon”) an all-day party with musical acts, dancing, and four kilometers of open-air club.

rio

7. Paris, France

The City of Love is an excellent place to ring in the New Year with that special someone in your life. And the stunning backdrop of a glittering Eiffel Tower, a massive pyrotechnic firework display, and the laid back bohemian hedonism of gay Paris make the ideal combination for a memorable New Year. Add some champagne, and pop—c’est magnifique!

Paris-France

8. Kitzbühel, Austria

For a traditional New Year’s Eve celebration among snowy, hills, horse drawn carriages, roaring fires, and brightly lit cobblestone walks,  Kitzbühel, a ninth-century town in Austria, serves up a satisfying serving of romance set against jingling bells, medieval inns, traditional folk singers, and impressive fireworks to choreographed to music over the pristine alps.

St. Anton, Austria

9. Frenchmen Street, New Orleans

Renowned for its bars, cafes, and lively entertainment all year long—it’s no wonder that the locals in New Orleans book it to Frenchmen Street to party the previous year away, along to the tunes of fantastic musicians, dancing in the street, parades, eccentric costumes, and, of course, lots of flowing booze.

new orleans

10. Times Square, New York City, USA

The most famous New Year’s Eve in the world takes place in the Big Apple and is capped off by the big ball descending in Times Square. If you want to be among the millions of people gathered in Times Square, you’ll witness the star-studded entertainment, world-class fireworks display, people streaming between lively clubs, and you’ll be the envy of everyone watching on television at home.

Times-Square1

10 Must-See Landmarks in the US

Just because you have a large family or find yourself on a budget, doesn’t mean you have to stay at home and pout. The good news is that there are numerous cultural, historic, kitschy, and fun landmarks right here in this beautiful country of ours.

So what are you waiting for? Hop in the car, tune up the music, and take a route to a few of these ten must-see US landmarks…

1. Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.

Standing proud between the U.S. Capitol and the White House, the Washington Monument soars 555-feet up, into the great blue yonder. Constructed completely of white marble, striking blue gneiss, and granite, you’ll want to snap some photos of it in the distance from the outlook at the National Mall. But the adventure doesn’t stop there. You can actually take the family to the top if they’re willing to brave the often long lines (from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. daily) and white-knuckle it to the top on the swift elevator that whisks you to the observation level for a spectacular vista of our nation’s capital.

washington-monument

2. Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming

Stretching from Colorado all the way to Wyoming, the Rocky Mountains will leave you awe-struck—both because of their panoramic beauty and due to the sheer multitude of outdoor adventures they offer. From snowboarding to skiing and from hiking to off road cycling, the whole family will love it!

rocky mountains

3. Statue of Liberty, New York, New York

The Statue of Liberty bids welcome with her flaming torch from Liberty Island in New York Harbor. Big and small kids alike will be impressed by the lady’s size and magnificence. She was actually a gift of bestowed by France in 1886, and you can easily check her out, in all of her glory, via a harbor boat cruises, which takes you around Liberty Island or via a sail and tour of Liberty Island, in which you can climb to the top of her crown and check out the stunning vistas of New York City.

Statue of Liberty

4. Mount Rushmore, Keystone, South Dakota

The presidents carved into Mount Rushmore, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, were sculpted out of Harney Peak granite by artist Gutzon Borglum, who captured the first 150 years of American history in the likenesses of US presidents—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Today, you can get a good look at the project that took 14 years to accomplish via an informative 30-minute guided tour about America’s history along the Presidential Trail.

Mount Rushmore

5. Yellowstone Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park is home to Old Faithful (one of the world’s most unique geysers), as well as a plethora of wildlife, including grizzly bears, elk, wolves, and bison. Stretching over Wyoming and inching into Montana and Idaho, the hiking, birding, and photography opportunities are endless in America’s very first national park.

yellowstone park

6. Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is proof of Nature’s amazing power and beauty.  One can’t help but be amazed by the immensity of the steep-sided canyon, which stretches 277 miles (446 km) long, 18 miles wide, and dives over a mile into the vast open space carved out by the Colorado River. The surrounding Grand Canyon National Park preserves the local land and wildlife in the area, making an ideal hiking opportunity around one of the worlds “Seven Natural Wonders”!

grand canyon

7. Hoover Dam, Nevada-Arizona

Constructed from 1931 and 1936 to slow and store water from the Colorado River, the Hoover Dam lies on the Nevada-Arizona border. The sweeping 726.4-foot concrete dam wall attracts history buffs, engineers, and architectural enthusiasts for guided tours of the dam and adjoining power plant.

Hoover dam
Jeffrey J Coleman / Shutterstock.com

8. Niagara Falls, New York

A popular wedding destination (if drive-thru is your thing); the city of Niagara Falls, New York is home to another natural wonder of the world—the famed and romantic Niagara Falls. You can check out the falls for photo opps or even take a boat tour. But don’t ignore the other city attractions such as casinos, museums, hotels, and restaurants.

Niagara Falls, New York

9. The Space Needle, Seattle, Washington

Built in 1962 for Seattle World’s Fair, the futuristic Space Needle stands 605-feet high and is a lasting symbol of the city itself, and the potential of the modern world. You can purchase a ticket to ride the elevator to the 520-foot-high observation deck for a panoramic view of the city below or dinner at the swanky SkyCity revolving restaurant.

The Space Needle, Seattle

10. Empire State Building, New York, New York

Apart from the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building is one of the Big Apple’s most iconic structures. Built in 1930 to 1,453-feet, 8 9/16-inch heights, the Empire State Building hosts two observatories on the 86th floor (at 1,050-feet) and 102nd (at 1,250-feet) floors. You can visit year round, daily, from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Empire State Building