The 10 best winter train rides across America
Seriously, nothing beats a beautiful train, nothing. If you can't relate to that it's just because you haven't been on a good one. No, we're not talking about taking the Long Island Railroad from Penn Station to Bayside. We're talking about many hours spent gliding smoothly through some of the most scenic landscapes this country has to offer, made even more stunning if you choose to enjoy this vastly underrated method of transportation during the winter months. Unlike other forms of travel (who wants the stress of an airport this time of year?), trains allow you to sit back and fully let go. There's more freedom to walk around, grab a bite, and stretch out your legs while watching America's most magical scenes unfold. Book a trip up north on a touristy Polar Express (yes, just like the movie), or strap in for a cross-country ride with a sleeper car on Amtrak's Zephyr. Whether you're looking for family fun or a day to rest, these magical winter train rides across America will have you smack dab in the middle of a snow globe. RECOMMENDED: The best winter vacations in the USA
Warm up to winter at these 12 cozy cabins in the U.S.
Have you found yourself scrolling through cozy cabin rentals in the U.S. while at work because you’re desperate to escape the drab winter blues? The crusty heap of snow in the mall parking lot? The lump of coal Santa put in your stocking? Look no further — we combed through listings on Vrbo and Airbnb to find the most magical, quaint rentals where you can hunker down for the rest of winter. Whether you’ve got an itty-bitty budget (see: Ahern Cabin in Montana) or you’re ready to spend your hefty holiday bonus (lucky you: the modern A-frame near Lake Tahoe will do), finally make moves on the winter getaway you’ve been dreaming to book. Many of the charming spots on our list promise outdoor adventures, access to ski resorts, and plenty of excuses for fireplace hangs. There’s just one thing you have to do before renting one of these cozy cabins throughout the country: get ready to get comfy.RECOMMENDED: the best winter getaways in the USARECOMMENDED: the best glasshouse Airbnbs in the U.S
The most haunted places in the USA
Are you troubled by strange noises in the middle of the night? Do you experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic? Have you or your family ever seen a spook, spectre or ghost? If the answer is 'yes' then don't wait another minute, pack your bags and make a beeline for one of these impressive haunted sites and take your ghostbusting to a whole new level. Throughout centuries-old cemeteries, creaky historic inns, abandoned Gold Rush towns, and pretty much everywhere in between, the most haunted places in the US are crawling with the supernatural. Whether they present themselves by turning on the TV (which almost sounds polite), staring at you in the darkness (definitely not polite), or cursing you for all eternity (plain rude!), their spirits manifest and linger from coast to coast. Even though a handful of spirits are rather friendly, the local legends that created them will scare the Halloween-themed socks right off your feet. If you’re the queasy type, it’s best to steer clear of the following places (or go with a guide on a slightly less spooky ghost tour). But if you’re a ghost hunter, whip out your EMF sensor and get ready to meet a stranger from the great beyond in these spooky, haunted places in the US. RECOMMENDED: The scariest haunted houses in the US RECOMMENDED: The most haunted Airbnbs
5 scary movie houses and hotels in the USA that you can actually book
If you’re the kind of person who watches a slasher flick and thinks, “look at the bones of that house,” we’ve got good news: you can actually spend the night in the horror-fueled houses and haunted hotels used in your favorite scary movies. Whether you want to invite a sparkly vampire or swoon-worthy werewolf into Bella Swan’s Twilight home, pound a typewriter like Jack Torrance in multiple Shining hotels, or make an overnight pit stop at the infamous Texas Chainsaw Massacre gas station, these scary movie houses and filming locations are a great place to reenact iconic scenes and feel like a part of the movie. Just remember: axe murderers and ghosts aren’t part of the script! RECOMMENDED: real-life haunted houses in the USA
The cutest cat cafes in the US for cuddles and coffee
While cat cafes in the USA are now as common as cat hair clinging to a black sweater, there once was a time when the states were devoid of the now-popular establishments. In fact, it was only in 2014 when the first cat cafe opened its doors in Oakland after a struggle for regulatory approval. Cat cafes started in Taipei, Taiwan, with the opening of Cat Flower Garden in 1998. And due to a large number of no-pets apartments, the cafes started popping up all over Japan, giving cat huggers the opportunity to snuggle with a fluffy friend without actually owning one. Unlike the original cafes, cat cafes in the USA focus on adoptions, bringing in rescued meow-meows and giving them a place to stay. Luring potential pet parents in with the allure of playful kitties and delicious drinks, cat cafes help homeless cats find their forever home. Check out the best cat cafes in the USA for cuteness and coffee – you just might make a new friend.
The best cities for cat lovers in the USA
For cat lovers looking to curl up in a cat-friendly city, the USA is the place to do it. Going simply by the numbers (according to Euromonitor), cats actually outnumber dogs by two million. That’s a lot of friendly (and maybe not-so-friendly – they’re cats, after all) felines! So whether you’re moving or just want to take a vacation, there are lots of towns that keep kitties front of mind and tip of tail. The following areas boast the best cat cafes, adorable volunteer opportunities, cat-friendly rentals and hotels, cat yoga, and yes, even a cat mayor. If this all sounds like a dream, pick up your pen, paper, and pussycat, and create a bucket list for the best cities for cat lovers in the USA.
The best places to propose in the USA
Okay, here we go, you’ve finally found THE ONE, and now you’re looking for the best place in the USA to propose in. The first thing to do? Your research. Find the most romantic spot or beautiful city that fits your personality. And then try to keep your cool as you travel there to pop the big question. Luxurious hotels, couples massages, sensual sunsets, breathtaking views, unique tours, and lots of champagne to celebrate; make sure the place you propose has the works. After all, you’ll only get to do this once in your life. Right? Right! So, get your manicures, pack the rings (somewhere hidden, preferably), prepare your outfits, and get ready for a romantic getaway in one of the best places in the USA to propose. They said yes? Check out the most romantic honeymoon destinations in the US.
11 secret beaches in the U.S. where you can soak up sun and solitude
When you think of secret beaches, your thoughts likely drift to some faraway tropical locale that’s flush with rainbow fish and lush palm trees. But believe it or not, you’ll find sandy hidden gems right here in the U.S., too. The roads and paths to these secluded locations may be a little rustic—sandals won’t cut it for some of these treks—but those who tough it out might just end up on a private stretch of sand. These secret beaches may not offer the typical tropical vibe (if you can't live without a posh cabana, there are plenty of resort-style beaches in the U.S. worth visiting), but they’ll give you peace and quiet—oh, and the feeling that you’ve uncovered something all for yourself. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a weekend getaway, try these secret beaches in the U.S., and get ready for adventure. RECOMMENDED: secret islands in the U.S.
These 10 secret islands in the U.S. will surprise you
If you’re daydreaming about getting away from it all, here’s something you should know: there’s a smattering of secret islands in the U.S. just waiting for you to visit. Now, we won’t describe them all—only about 18,000 of the country’s islands have a name anyway, and even that would make for a long list. But some of the most under-the-radar islands have a lot to offer for folks who are in the know. Depending on what you’re looking for—a 32-mile canoe trail, a secret artists’ retreat, or a remote luxury resort—the U.S. contains a copious collection of water-locked land. And if it’s the journey you’re after, you’re in luck: you’ll have to book or charter a boat (or even a seaplane) to even get to these secret (and not-so-secret) islands across the country. RECOMMENDED: the best places to visit in the USA for every month
9 weird but wonderful New Year’s Eve events in the USA
Forget NYC's Time Square ball drop: the weirdest New Year's Eve events and traditions throughout the USA deliver way more fun and kitsch if you don’t keep your eye on the ball. Across the country, towns celebrate the countdown to New Year’s their own special, kooky way with “drops” that feature absurdly large items lowered at midnight.These celebratory totems—from an oversized pickle to a massive potato and even a stuffed possum—lean into the locale’s eccentric spirit and represent something about the town’s unique industry, traditions, or history. After all, it’s already weird enough to stay up past midnight just to watch time go by, so why not take it over the top? Dive into the weirdest New Year’s traditions in the USA and maybe you’ll have a few things to add to your bucket list.RECOMMENDED: the world’s best cities for nightlife
The best Christmas candy in the USA
Are the holidays about love, joy, and togetherness, or are they about indulging in nostalgic sweets, decadent chocolates, and the best Christmas candy the USA has to offer? Sorry, family, but chocolate reigns supreme. Whether you’re a full-on Willy Wonka when it comes to sweets, or if you just want a festive sumthin’ sumthin’ as a stocking stuffer, there’s a blizzard of holiday-themed treats that sprinkle joy throughout our grocery aisles. From classic Christmas confections that only pop up once a year to holiday-inspired riffs on the most popular brands around, there’s no shortage of sugar-laden treats right now (as if your annual Christmas cookie exchange wasn't enough). Take a journey with us as we cruise down candy cane lane and rank the best Christmas candy in the USA during the short and sweet holiday season.RECOMMENDED: the best holiday drinks in the USA
The best ice skating rinks in the USA
Before the best ice skating rinks in the USA even existed, skaters would carefully monitor the conditions on their frozen-over family ponds (read: not cool). The whole practice was as safe as it sounds (read: not at all), but these days there’s less to worry about. When it comes to lacing up and going for a twirl on a sheet of ice, you’ll find charming ice rinks all across the country — naturally, some are just a cut above the rest. Each modern ice rink has something unique to offer. In California, Siskiyou Ice Rink frames mesmerizing views of the Cascade Mountains, while New Hampshire’s Puddle Dock Pond takes skaters back in time as they spin around an old-timey village — you’ll even find slick rinks in unlikely places like Las Vegas (complete with man-made snow), and an indoor rink in Houston (inside one of the largest malls in America). Ready to take a lap? Check out our list of the best ice skating rinks in the USA and start practicing your quadruple axel before the ice melts away until next year. RECOMMENDED: best winter vacations in the USA