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Some of the most magnificent pieces of architecture in the world have been submerged under water by earthquakes, floods, and other geological events. Some of the sites still remain a mystery of how they ended up on the ocean floor. Nowadays, these cities, monuments, palaces, and even some unexplained structures can all can be found with a simple dive to the bottom of the bodies of water in which they remain, and many can even be viewed from above, making these unusual locations intriguing tourist destinations. If you have a taste for history, then stray away from museums that are flooded with tourists and navigate your way to the depths of the ocean to visit these spectacular underwater treasures.

1. Cleopatra’s Palace and Pharos Lighthouse, Alexandria (Egypt)

Alexandria’s Eastern Harbor is home to ruins believed to be remnants from Cleopatra’s Palace and the Pharos Lighthouse. The underwater artifacts include a small statue of a Pharaoh from the 4th or 5th century B.C., a colossal stone head of what is believed to be Cleopatra’s son, Caesarion, a sphinx statue, coins, sections of temples inscribed with hieroglyphics, and-of-course massive pieces of both Pharos Lighthouse and Cleopatra’s Palace.

Cleopatra's Palace

2. World’s Wickedest City, Port Royal (Jamaica)

Back in the 17th century, Port Royal was a pirate’s haven with almost every other building being either a bar or a brothel serving seafaring men. In 1692, a massive earthquake and tsunami sank most of the city and killed 2,000 people. Today, the underwater site features hundreds of ships, paved streets, buildings, and the most famous artifact, a 1686 pocket watch that stopped ticking at exactly 11:43.

Port Royal

3. Submerged temples of Mahabalipuram (India)

The temple of Mahabalipuram is believed to be the last in a group of seven temples, six of which are said to be completely submerged. Divers have recovered walls, scattered square and rectangular blocks, and other artifacts. In 2004, a tsunami caused the ocean to recede in the area, and tourists caught a glimpse of one of the submerged temples. Archaeologists excavated the remains proving that another temple existed and it was in fact, bigger than the one left standing today.

Mahabalipuram

4. 8000-year-old Yonaguni-Jima, Okinawa (Japan)

A monument that is 600 feet wide and 90 feet high was discovered off the coast of Japan by a dive tour operator in 1985. It has been dated around 10,000 BC, more than 5,000 years before the oldest pyramid in Egypt. Some believe the structure is manmade, while others claim there is evidence like unknown hieroglyphics and too many right angles carved into the structure for it to be made by any known civilization. If this is true and the structure is manmade, then it opens up the possibility that there was life before even the earliest recorded civilization.

Yonaguni-Jima

5. Pavlopetri (Greece)

Pavlopetri is a completely submerged, yet intact city that dates back to 1,000 BC. It appears to be a sophisticated city with two-storey homes and a complex water system comparable to those of modern cities. Under water, you can see streets, buildings, garden spaces, courtyards, and many storage vessels used to transport goods to and from the port. There is an excavation project underway to ensure the city’s preservation before it is lost forever.

Pavlopetri

6. Dwarka Port (India)

One of the seven most ancient cities in India, Dwarka has been completely submerged by water six times since it was built. The Dwarka that stands today is the seventh Dwarka created. The ocean floor is covered with remnants of the past six Dwarkas from massive stones to smaller circular structures and hundreds of anchors providing evidence that the city must have been an enormous port at one time.

Dwarka Port

7. Parco Archaeologico Sommerso di Baia, Pozzuoli (Italy)

As a result of many earthquakes, much of the ancient port of Baia can be found underwater. Below sea level lie enormous brick piers, remnants of multiple luxurious villas, roman statues, and the famous Misenum lighthouse. The area is also dubbed a marine protected area in order to preserve as much as possible.

Parco Archaeologico Sommerso di Baia

8. Truk Lagoon (Micronesia)

In 1944, a US Navy attack on the Japanese resulted in almost 50 vessels and 250 aircraft destroyed and sunk to the sea floor. The fleet is now known as the Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon and is the world’s best shipwreck destination for divers. Many of the ships are filled with valuable equipment and are famous diving sites today. Truk Lagoon is the ultimate underwater time capsule.

Truk Lagoon

9. Sea of Galilee’s Underwater Stone “Monument” (Israel)

The Sea of Galilee is home to a massive stone structure that has archaeologists confused as to where it came from. The structure is made out of boulders and is said to weigh about 60,000 tons. The rocks are piled on top of each other like they are protecting an enormous burial site and it is definitely manmade. There isn’t much else known about the monument other than the fact that it must have been grueling to put together.

Sea of Galilee

10. Lake Jindabyne, Snowy Mountains, New South Wales (Australia)

Jindabayne was entirely covered by water after a dam was created to develop a lake in place of the town in the 1960s. Many people were able to pack up and move their houses to the new Jindabyne location, but most of the town slipped under water. In fact, most of the town still remains intact under the water and when the water level falls tourists may be able to see the old town from the shore.

Jindabyne

A boardwalk leads to a lighthouse on Nantucket.

The East Coast’s historic cities are always popular summer tourist spots, but if you’re looking to stay cool when the weather gets hot, then you might want to skip the cities and visit some of the nearby beaches. From Maine to Florida, the Eastern United States is lined with summer hotspots like Myrtle Beach, and hidden gems like Cape May.

Even better? All these destinations have plenty of beach house rentals available from FlipKey. A rental provides extra living space (spread out those beach toys!), a full kitchen, and amenities like laundry or outdoor barbecue area.

To help you perfect your beach bum look (and find the perfect summer rental), here’s out list of the top beaches east of the Rockies.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Located in Horry County, South Carolina and stretching 60 miles down the coast, Myrtle Beach is a major tourist destination on the East Coast. The beautiful sub-tropical climate keeps families, couples, and young people coming back year after year to enjoy some fun in the sun. Breathtaking scenery and endless activities help Myrtle maintain its esteemed reputation on the East Coast.

See all rentals in Myrtle Beach!

Duck, NC

Quiet and charming, this seaside town is situated in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Duck beaches are known for being uncrowded and walkable from anywhere in the town. Famous for watersports, fishing, and even destination weddings, this town is a family favorite and has been featured on the Travel Channel’s annual Best Beaches list.

See all rentals in Duck!

Tybee Island, GA

Less than 20 miles away from Savannah, Tybee Island is historically known for being the site of an important port during the Spanish-American war. The small island attracts tourists from all over with its extraordinary history, museum attractions, and beautiful beaches. Every year, the island holds its annual Beach Bum parade, where onlookers spray each other with water guns in an effort to stay cool in the Southern heat.

See all rentals in Tybee Island!

Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, USA – June 16, 2011: Lunchtime diners enjoy a perfect June day as they dine at one of the many eating and drinking establishments on the Oak Bluffs dock in Martha’s Vineyard.

The third largest island on the East Coast, nicknamed “Hollywood East,” Martha’s Vineyard is a fashionable, popular island beach resort. South Beach is a popular stretch of sand on the Vineyard that faces Smith’s Point, Nantucket and features quality surf. South Beach is easily accessible and if you are up for it, it’s an easy two-mile bike ride from Edgartown. The water is perfect for body surfing and floating in the waves, but swimmers must be careful of the small rocks and shells at the breaking point.

See all rentals in Martha’s Vineyard!

Jersey Shore, NJ

60 miles south of Manhattan, the Jersey Shore is home to some of the best beaches and summer fun on the East Coast. The famous boardwalks offer fun for everyone, whether you crave a quiet stroll or an almost endless onslaught of activities and entertainment. The Jersey Shore is sure to entertain the whole family all year long through fun-filled summer days at the beach and off-season festivities like the tree lighting ceremonies during the holidays.

See all rentals in Jersey Shore!

Nantucket, MA

A boardwalk leads to a lighthouse on Nantucket.

An island 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket offers some of the finest beaches on the East Coast and some of the highest valued homes in the United States. Airport and ferry services help visitors travel to and from the beautiful island, but once you’re there you might not want to leave. Smith’s Point is located on the westernmost tip of the biggest beach on the island, Madaket, and is a fantastic fishing and bathing hotspot. Bring your oars, though, this beach is only accessible by boat.

See all rentals in Nantucket!

Virginia Beach, VA

Located at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach stretches 35 miles long and is perfect for family fun in the sun. The three-mile boardwalk is fully stocked with restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and other cool attractions. Whether you are looking for a quiet and peaceful week of relaxation or you want to get in the middle of the action, Virginia Beach has plenty to enjoy.

See all rentals in Virginia Beach!

Rehoboth Beach, DE

Just two hours away from Washington D.C., Rehoboth Beach is often dubbed “The Nation’s Summer Capital.” Considered to be a relaxing alternative to neighbor Ocean City, Rehoboth has plenty to offer tourists during the summer months. The boardwalk stretches a mile long and includes shopping, restaurants, spas, and live music and entertainment. Endless water activities like surfing, skimboarding, and sailing make Rehoboth a family favorite.

See all rentals in Rehoboth Beach!

Hamptons, NY

hamptons-new-york-beach-mansion

Legendary, wealth-laden, and beautiful, the Hamptons are a summer playground for the rich and famous. Favorite beach spots include Coopers Beach in Southampton and Main Beach in East Hampton because of their cleanliness and the food offerings along the shore. Many of the beaches require seasonal parking permits, but day passes can also be purchased for visitors. Tennis, art, baseball, dancing, charity events, sightseeing, and nightlife are all high priorities on a Hamptons summer to-do list.

See all rentals in Hamptons!

Bar Harbor, ME

Visit Maine recalls that back in the 19th century, Bar Harbor was a premier vacation spot for society’s A-listers because it was home to the largest hotel in North America and was the site of the infamous “Millionaires’ Row.” Travel to and from the seaside town is now much easier thanks to Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, which features direct flights to and from Boston. Music festivals, nightlife, comedy, movies, museums, and outdoor recreational activities are just some of the fun you will find in this New England town.

See all rentals in Bar Harbor!

Ocean City, MD

OCMD is an Atlantic Ocean resort town that hosts about eight million visitors every year, making it Maryland’s second most populated town during the summer months. The lengthy boardwalk offers arcades, theatres, buffets, and much more for all family members. During the summer, six nights a week are dedicated to fun and free family events like movies and concerts on the beach, parents-and-kids beach games, and even “Sundaes in the Park.” No matter who you are or what your budget, OCMD is a great place to spend a summer vacation.

See all rentals in Ocean City!

Cape May, NJ

New Jersey’s southernmost point is one of the country’s oldest vacation destinations. The entire city is a National Historic Landmark because it has one of the largest collections of Late Victorian style buildings in the country. Cape May’s promenade, or paved boardwalk, offers many different attractions for visitors of all ages. Early morning fitness classes on the beach, like yoga and Zumba, are pay-per-class and are a fun alternative way to stay in shape while on vacation. Other local highlights include brewery tours, haunted tours, golfing, jet skiing, kayaking, parasailing, spas, and even water parks… all within the city’s limits.

See all rentals in Cape May!

Chincoteague Island, VA

A welcoming home in Chincoteague Island.

Located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Chincoteague offers a relaxed atmosphere and a serene option for vacation. Assateague Beach is ten minutes away from Chincoteague and features 37 miles perfect for beach combing, swimming, and surfing. Assateague Explorer Cruise & Kayaking is a tour that takes visitors around the island to see herds of wild ponies, eagles, dolphins, and other wildlife along the coast. Chincoteague Island is well known for its fresh seafood and holds its Seafood Festival in May as well as an Oyster Festival in October.

See all rentals in Chincoteague Island!

Hilton Head, SC

Wooden boardwalk leading to a Hilton Head beach on beautiful morning.

20 miles north of Savannah, Georgia this island gets its name from Captain William Hilton. Aside from boasting one of the top 10 family beaches in America, Hilton Head is home to plenty of things to do while living life as a beach bum. Golf lovers can find over 20 world-class courses in the area. There are also over 350 tennis courts, and the U.S. Professional Tennis Registry offers daily lessons for players of all levels. Sports not your thing? There’s plenty of history and heritage to discover on this South Carolina island. Or, you can opt to relax at one of the world-class Hilton Head spas.

See all rentals in Hilton Head!

Emerald Isle, NC

Stay steps from the beach in Emerald Isle, without breaking the bank.

As many as 50,000 visitors travel to Emerald Isle every summer, and the town has maintained its family friendly atmosphere by not allowing hotels to be built along the beach. Instead, the oceanfront is lined with homes both large and small that are perfect rentals during the vacation season. There are plenty of activities to keep all family members entertained, including pottery, golf, waterslides, aquariums, kayaks, movies, and lots of ice cream. There are even golf cart rentals available on the island to help make your vacation as relaxing and effortless as possible.

See all rentals in Emerald Isle!

Kiawah Island, SC

Kiawah Island is a barrier island located about 15 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina. It is mainly a beach and golf resort for tourists. With five award-winning golf courses, it’s one of the premier golf destinations along the coast. Leisure programs include pickup basketball, volleyball, and soccer games, as well as scavenger hunts, board games, and even a book exchange for beach reading.

See all rentals in Kiawah Island!

by Chris Loud

With the Brewer’s Association reporting that there are over 2,300 craft breweries operating in the United States, there’s no denying that craft beer is gaining popularity right now. When it comes to tasting, commenting, and judging, beer is the new wine, and the best way to get to know some of the amazing beers around the country, and around the world, is to attend a beer festival. Beer, music, a great setting, and good people combine for a recipe for a pint (or two) of bliss, especially on a hot summer day.

To help decide which festivals to attend for a dive into beer culture, we selected the finest events worth taking a trip to experience. We’ve created this list of the country’s best celebrations of suds to satisfy the beer enthusiast planning a summer sipping vacation.

by Emily Monaco

Ever since the Michelin brothers introduced their guide to culinary greatness in 1933, food and travel have been inseparable.  The Michelin Guide doesn’t cover food festivals, but if you want to discover the international chefs who are worthy of one or more stars, then traveling to a festival is an unbeatable experience. Get inspired this year by taking your taste buds on a food and wine tour of some of the best gustatory events in the United States. Celebrating everything from seasonal ingredients to creative new presentations, a trip to a food festival is the perfect excuse for a vacation. In time for the next few months of travel planning, we present our top 10 list of travel-worthy food festivals across the country.

Visiting San Francisco this Valentine’s Day and looking for just the right spot for romance? Here are 5 top spots to share a romantic moment in San Francisco with your special someone.

1. Crissy Field
You and your sweetheart can take a leisurely stroll, hand-in-hand along the promenade at Crissy Field. The iconic views of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge are the perfect backdrop for romance. Watch the sunset illuminate the bridge as you walk toward it and the lights of the city twinkle as you walk back.

2. Twin Peaks
Few things are more romantic than a beautiful view. And few views in the city are as beautiful as the one from Twin Peaks. If you have a rental car and it’s a clear day, drive up to the top and enjoy the sweeping views of the city. It’s the perfect spot to snap some photos and sneak a heartfelt kiss.

Battery East Trail

3. San Francisco Botanical Garden
It’s no wonder flowers are a traditional Valentine’s Day gift. There’s something about the fragile beauty of flowers, plants and even trees that stirs the heart. And with 55 acres of landscaped gardens and open spaces, the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park is the ideal spot for a romantic walk.

4. The San Francisco Bay
Board a boat and admire the beauty of the city and its skyline from the bay. Take a sunset cruise and stand close to your sweetheart on deck as you sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz, back toward the twinkling lights of the city.

5. Ocean Beach
Catch the sunset as you watch the waves crash along the expansive stretch of sandy shore at Ocean Beach. The wind can be chilly, so it’s the perfect place to snuggle as you sit and enjoy the setting of the sun. If you prefer to watch the sunset from cozier surroundings, you can head to the Cliff House. The landmark restaurant sits right on the edge of the water and provides a lovely view, ideal for a romantic dinner.

Anis Salvesen is an avid traveler, polyglot and editor of the Tripping blog. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she enjoys outdoor activities, trying new restaurants and exploring the city. If you’re headed to San Francisco, you can connect with her and other locals via Tripping’s worldwide community of travelers and locals.

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When we think of the Fall season, we think football, Thanksgiving, and, you guessed it, Halloween. For many, Halloween isn’t just spooky, it’s an exciting and fun holiday! Putting the finishing touches on a costume is always the best part of the celebrating the day known as “All Hallows Eve.” And for the kids, the biggest reward is coming home with a full bag of candy.

So, are you a little Halloween-obsessed? Love the idea of getting into costume or taking the family to collect candy around the block? For those of you who pick this holiday over a more cozy Thanksgiving, we here at FlipKey suggest you take your plans up a notch — why not stay at an actual haunted house or city? From Savannah, Georgia to Oaxaca, Mexico, we have plenty of rentals to choose from. Just take a look at our ten best Halloween Hot Spots:

1. OK Street Jailhouse
This former jail was built back in 1904 and stayed active until 1915. According the listing, management will not enter the premises until you leave – assuring complete privacy. As the only inmate allowed, don’t get too scared of the large John Wayne statue looming somewhere in the background…

2. Haunted Savannah Cottage
Savannah, Georgia is considered by many to be one of the most haunted cities in America. Filled with stories of pirates and violent battles, this city is full of spirits and Laura’s cottage is no exception – it’s even part of the district’s walking ghost tour! Luckily for guests, the cottage’s ghost is considered “friendly.”

3. The Witch’s Condo
If you’re looking for a Halloween vacation, Salem is one of your best bets for a scary getaway. Besides the well-known witch trials, Salem is filled with haunted houses and spooky museums. This condo is right in the middle of it all and incredibly convenient for taking short walks around the city at night.

4. The Haywood House
This second Savannah rental was home to an ice merchant known as Alfred Haywood, who later became Mayor of Savannah. Now a beautifully restored apartment, this rental sits on top of the Colonial Park Cemetery. If you like being scared, perhaps a ghost tour and then a walk through the cemetery would add a little excitement during the Halloween season.

5. Transylvanian Villa
This luxury Romanian villa comes with everything from a fireplace to a terrace to a barbecue grill. But, only a few miles away lies the home of Count Dracula himself. If you dare, take a visit, walk home through the dark forest, and sleep with one eye open…

Whether for a quick weekend trip or for a longer holiday, New England is a great destination for foodies eager to explore the culinary treats found there. It is where you come for real maple syrup, Maine lobsters so sweet you don’t need to eat them with butter, clam chowder, and a multitude of other tasty delights.

Here is a short list of the top ten foodie destinations in New England, all within a few hours drive of each other. Some suggestions are foodie towns, some suggestions are actual food producers foodies have a special fondness for.

Beautiful Portland, Maine is a thriving foodie destination with at least three chefs who have been anointed as the best young chefs working in America. Try getting a table at the following restaurants: Duckfat, Hugo’s, Fore Street, and 555 if you can get in. This bustling seafront city has a thriving waterfront with lobster pounds and fish markets, many of which will ship fresh lobsters, clams, and chowder on ice to your home. Visit the Allagash Brewery for a beer tour and walk around the Old Port to find a seat with a view of the bay for an outdoor fresh seafood lunch. There are also some nice little chocolate shops in this section of the city to sample.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire is New Hampshire’s answer to Portland, Maine. Also along the seafront, also quaint, also filled with galleries and fabulous restaurants. Try getting a seat at: The Black Trumpet, Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Cafe, Popovers, Pesce Blue, or Dunaway. Take a walk around town during the day, stopping at either Anabelle’s Ice Cream or Izzy’s Frozen Yogurt, both extremely popular with foodies. Chocolate? Visit the Lindt Factory Outlet! Actually Lindt & Sprungli candy are headquartered nearby in Stratham. Another chocolate stop to make is at Byrne & Carlson on State Street. Also nearby is the famous Stonewall Kitchen, a foodie heaven with a huge online presence and stores throughout New England. They are located in York, a few miles away.

Boston has so many wonderful food related places to visit. A favorite is to take the tour at the Taza Chocolate Factory. Not only is the chocolate organic and fair trade, but it is absolutely delicious. Take a stroll through Boston’s Little Italy called the North End and stop for a coffee and canolli at Modern Pastry. Stop for fresh oysters at the Union Oyster House. And for the best baked beans in Boston, don’t miss a meal at historic Durgin Park. Just next door is Faneuil Hall with its indoor gourmet food hall for snacking and sampling a great deal of what Boston has on offer.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory is located near Stowe, Vermont in Waterbury. You can take a guided tour of the factory and visit the Flavoroom to try ice cream samples. There’s a fun gift shop and the factory is nestled in the mountains so plan on bringing a picnic to enjoy the scenery.

And finally, King Arthur Flour is a mecca for those who love to bake and love artisanal bread. Visit their factory store to shop for all your baking needs. Enjoy their little restaurant where you can dine on their freshly baked pizzas and breads. And if you have time, check the web site for classes you can take there. Wouldn’t it be fun to learn how to bake the perfect French baguette at home?

 

Alex is a travel writer and blogger. He loves touring the world’s best cities, expanding his belly on all the great foods. He also contributes regularly to a Kefalonia information guide.

March 17th honors St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland. Ironically, however, St. Patrick was not born in Ireland, but in Wales as Maewyn Succat in 387 A.D. Captured by raiders from Ireland, he was sold as a slave. It was after six years in captivity that he escaped and rejoined his family. Following the church’s teachings, his assumed calling brought him to Ireland as a missionary. As such, he worked in Ireland for 30 years, successfully converting the pagans to Christianity. After his death on March 17th, 461 A.D., he was bestowed sainthood.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is still celebrated all over the world. Take a glimpse at the following 10 destinations that go all out for the merriment of this March holiday. Regardless of where you are, be sure to wear green, a tradition that is linked to the colors of the Emerald Isle’s terrain.

Dublin, Ireland

Besides being a national holiday, St. Patrick’s Day is a holy day of obligation for the Irish Catholics. But that doesn’t stop the partying in the city that started it all. Dublin holds a four-day St. Patrick’s celebration, beginning on March 16th, all the way through on March 19th.  Parades, singing, dancing and outdoor performances by bands from the world-over, will undoubtedly have the Guinness flow in quantities to rival Octoberfest in Munich.

Boston, Massachusetts

The first official St. Patrick’s Day in America was held in Boston in 1737. After 275 years, the party is still going strong, rejoicing the cultural significance of the Irish holiday. Over 850,000 people will be coming together on March 18th to view a wide range of Irish-American groups marching in the parade. In the evening, the music plays on at parties and pubs all over the city.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Year after year, the number of people who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Buenos Aires rises. This international hot spot for celebrations claims to have the 5th largest Irish community outside of Ireland. On March 17th, a massive street party in honor of St. Patrick overflows with live music and food. Sections of streets are closed off for the festivities and the Irish pubs will fill to the brim.

Florence, Italy

Florence honors the patron saint with a ‘Festa Irlandese.’ Seize the moment from March 17th through March 21St. with Celtic music and step dancing performances, all while indulging in Irish food and beer. You can purchase original crafts at the many outdoor stalls, too. All in all, the place to be in the evening is Finnegan’s, which claims to be the only authentic Irish pub in Florence.

London, England

Even ‘merry ole’ England celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a parade and festival at the hub of Trafalgar Square. Last year’s attendees reached over 100,000 and this year’s celebration on March 18th is bound to be equally popular. The parade features colorful floats, pipe and drum bands, as well as other performance groups representing the various Irish Counties.

New York City, New York

New York City has been holding an official St. Patrick’s Day celebrations since 1762. It has retained its title as being among the most popular destinations to celebrate the Irish National holiday. This year, over 150,000 people are expected to march up 5th Ave. starting at 44th St. Green beer and the sound of bagpipes will be heard and seen everywhere on the streets of New York City.

San Francisco, California

For the 161st time, the festivities celebrating Irish heritage will be taking over Civic Center Plaza on March 17th. If that’s not enough for you, don’t worry – San Francisco puts on the Crossroads Irish-American Festival for the entire month, all the way through April 7th. Cultural events include theater, poetry readings, fiddle concerts, as well as exhibits of historical archives about the Irish immigrants.

Savannah, Georgia

Once again, the parade in Savannah is set for March 17th. The celebration may have been modest when it started in 1825, but since then, it has evolved into one of the largest celebrations in the south, drawing over 400,000 people. As part of Savannah’s yearly tradition, the water in the city’s historic district’s fountains is dyed green on March 14th.

Washington, DC

Mark the calendars for the March 11th St. Patrick’s Day parade down Constitution Avenue. You’ll see bagpipes, Irish folk dancers, floats, marching bands and more. To continue the celebration of the Irish spirit, a Shamrock Festival is scheduled on March 24th at RFK Stadium. Here, an authentic Irish village will be recreated, where you can savor Irish food and drinks, and enjoy the performances of Irish bands, singers and step dancers.

We took a look at the most popular New Year’s Eve rental hot spots in 2010 so we could give you the skinny on the best places to be when we say goodbye to 2011. From a skiers torchlight procession in Big Bear to a wild street part in Edinburgh here are the top ten locations where FlipKey travelers spend the final hours of the year.

1. Big Bear Lake, California

Big Bear lights up the slopes to ring in the New Year at the annual Torchlight Parade at Snow Summit Resort. At 7 P.M. more than 250 skiers and snowboarders zigzag down the mountain carrying fluorescent torches to create a brilliant stream of light. Many of the revelers in the parade are equipped with outlandish holiday themed costumes to celebrate the New Year while cruising down the mountain. Enjoy a bit of night skiing and then head to one of the many New Year’s parties hosted by the local resorts for live music and champagne.

2. New York City, New York

The Big Apple is the hub of New Year’s celebrations in the U.S. with over one-million visitors piling into Times Square to watch the fabled ball drop as the clock strikes midnight. If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of Times Square, then there’s a plethora of alternative options. You can buy a ticket to one of the many parties in downtown Manhattan, but make sure to plan early because the most popular tickets sell out fast! Or, you might choose to take part in the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run, a four mile race, starting in Central Park with a laser light show and Fireworks!

3. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Nestled in the scenic Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg hosts a rousing New Year’s celebration with a lively pyrotechnic displays centered on the historic 407-foot tall Space Needle. During the hours leading up to midnight there is a spirited celebration at the base of the Space Needle with live music to keep the crowd entertained. Everyone anticipates the climax of the night when Midnight arrives and the ball drops from the Space Needle to signify one year passing to the next. Local businesses and restaurants provide great deals to keep the party going long after midnight.

4. South Lake Tahoe, California

Lake Tahoe is renowned for its incredible fireworks spectacle, which reflects stunningly across the lake and momentarily illuminates the entire area to welcome the New Year. This year promises to be even better with the arrival of the SnowGlobe Music Festival, featuring some of the best acts in electronic music like Bassnectar and Pretty Lights. In addition to the fireworks and music, Heavenly Ski Resort hosts an ice sculpting competition, while the Montbleu offers a different experience at their night club dance party.

5. Miami Beach, Florida

The Miami Beach club scene will be going full throttle throughout the New Year’s weekend as thousands of visitors arrive to take advantage of the warm weather and the city’s best parties. If you’re looking for something the whole family can enjoy, check out the 35 ft. neon Big Orange at the Parks Amphitheater as it rises to the top of the Hotel Intercontinental to drop at the stroke of Midnights. The Big Orange spectacle is followed by fireworks and a light show over Biscayne Bay. On the afternoon of the 31st make sure to see the King Mango Strut Parade, a satirical parade, boasting some of the wackiest and most hilarious costumes around.

6. Amsterdam, Holland

If you’re heading to Amsterdam to celebrate the coming of the New Year get ready to take to the streets and plazas with a bottle of champagne at your disposal. Hotspots include Dam Square, Niewmarkt and Rembrandtplein where kids and adults alike illuminate the streets with an abundance of firecrackers and sparklers. The city is easy to navigate on rental bikes, so explore a bit to find that perfect viewing bridge over the Amstel River for the city’s organized fireworks spectacle. Keep the night going at one of the many bars and clubs in Amsterdam’s notable party scene.

7. Las Vegas, Nevada

Every corner of the strip is stirring with energy on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. The strip closes at 6 p.m. and the streets fill with rousing partiers awaiting the midnight fireworks display. The show is an intense spectacle with fireworks launching from seven different casinos down the four mile strip including the MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, The Venetian and the Stratosphere. Freemont Street provides a different and enjoyable experience with a collection of various tribute bands like “Rolling the Stone” and “Fan Halen.” And of course the Las Vegas night clubs will be throwing incredible parties with some great artists and DJ’s.

8. Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff hosts the college football Fiesta Bowl each year and rolls out various New Year’s Eve celebrations to accompany the storied game. The game will be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium on January 2 with a matchup between the Big 12 Conference Champion and the No. 1 BCS at-large selection. The Fiesta Bowl Block Party is Arizona’s best New Year’s Eve party and equipped with live music entertainment and multiple beer gardens sprawling down the Mill Avenue District in Tempe.

9. Edinburgh, Scotland

Touted as the “original and best,” the Edinburgh Hogmanay is a New Year’s Eve street party with a crowd of nearly 80,000 packed into the city center. The three day festival begins December 30 with the Torchlight procession from Parliament Sqaure to Carlton Hill Son et Lumiere followed by the street party on the 31st. The street party is one of Europe’s largest celebration with world famous DJ’s, outdoor bars and the famous midnight fireworks. The festival is followed by “The Loony Dook” on Jan 1st in which participants dive into the freezing River Forth! This is one celebration you won’t want to miss.

10. Rome, Italy

The New Year’s celebration also coincides with the La Festa di San Silvestro a gastro holiday feature dishes of Zampone and Cotechino accompanied by sparkling wine. The pork dishes are made to signify the richness of the coming year. After the ceremonial feast, Romans tend to congregate at the Piazza Popolo to enjoy classical rock music until the fireworks at midnight. On New Year’s Day there is a parade beginning in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City that commences with the Pope’s blessing of the New Year. The parade ends at the Castel Sant’Angelo and is lauded for the performances of military and civil marching bands.

Frequent visits to a ski resort cafeteria cure the common hamburger addiction. Made from sources that might or might be meat, these atrocities often cost more than 10 dollars!  Before you decide to brown bag it, check out these resorts that prove that good food in ski cafeterias is not an oxymoron!

1. Deer Valley

Despite its location in the conservative state of Utah, Deer Valley appeals to a skier’s most hedonistic desires. The extravagence of the cafeteria proves it. Guests wake up to the smell of cinnamon French toast, with real, honest to goodness maple syrup. At lunchtime, the salad barbeckons you with a corncucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables or a hot bowl of turkey chili.

2. Moonlight Basin 

The Timbers Deli is located on the first floor of the Moonlight Lodge, at the Moonlight Ski Resort, adjacent to Big Sky in Montana. This is the place to go if you believe in freedom of choice for lunch. The build your own sandwich menu lets you pick your meat, cheese, vegetable and bread, from a selection of fresh and healthy ingredients. Meet eaters have not seen nothing like the Mighty Quinn, a raost beef sandwich loaded with mustard, green chilis, peppers, amyo and horseradish.

3. Copper Mountain

Finding tasty meals at Copper Mountain is like searching for powder– you have to know where to look and when to go.  Jack´s, the main cafeteria in Center Village, often features specialty gourmet stations, with Asian and other types of specialty foods. These usually open in the height of the season.  The cafeteria in East Village offers a choice of different types of pasta with different sauces, and a yummy pience of Italian bread.

4. Aspen

Aspenites demand the best of everything, and their cafeterias prove it. This beautiful people´s winter wonderland serves a tempting variety of healthy sandwiches and salads, many with calories low enough to keep you looking svelte and sexy in your Bogners.

5. Stowe

A Rice Krispies breakfast hardly sustains your energy level for a day on the slopes. The folks at the Spruce Base Camp Lodge understand. That´s why they serve up luscious, made to order breakfasts. During the lunchtime, the smells of maple barbecue sauce, crab cakes and copper ale soup entice skiers to come in, sit down, relax and eat!

6. Keystone

The Keystone resort is another example of how you can find excellent food at a ski resort, if you know where to look. In this case, we´re talking AAA Four Diamond type dining. Alpenglow Stube sits at the top of Keystone´s Outpost Gondola. Open for lunch and dinner, this award-winning lunch and dinner restaurant serves delicacies such as Colorado lamb and fresh water bass. The chefs of Alpenglow Stube also cater the lunches served at the Independence Yurt, which is a stop along Keystone´s Backountry Adventure Tour.

7. Mammoth

The Mill Cafe at Mammoth Mountain features juicy meat and poultry dishes, grilled with a smokey flavor and served with their secret recipe dipping sauces. They recently added a burrito cat, which travels throughoyt the mountain. This is perfect for those who would rather not waste time on cafeteria lines.

8. Park City

If Thanksgiving is your favorite holiday, you do not need to wait for November to enjoy it. Simply go to Park City and eat at the Snow Hut, located at the base of the Silverlode Lift. This restaurant serves turkey, cranberry sauce and all the fixings every day. It kind of makes you thankful that you´re a skier!

Note: Since everyone´s taste is different, these ski resort dining venues are not listed in any particular order. Many happy turns and meals!