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Seven Can’t Miss 2016 Travel Destinations

Traveling the world is not just about seeing a destination, it’s also about experiencing the culture. One of the best ways to experience a place is by attending a local festival or event. 2016 is full of international events, both large and small. From high profile events like the Olympics Games, to lesser known festivals like the International Festival in the Sahara, we’ve compiled our favorite events and destinations to experience for 2016.

2016 travel

So get your bags packed and cameras ready, here are the seven can’t miss destinations for 2016 travel.

Thailand
By far, one of the more playful festivals to experience this year is the Songkran Water Festival, which takes place all over Thailand in April. Songkran marks the beginning of the new year in Thailand, and is also the start of the summer season. Revelers traditionally celebrate the festival by splashing water on each other as a way to wish each other a year full of blessings. Bangkok has one of the largest celebrations of Songkran, but other cities such as Chiang Mai also have pretty big celebrations.

2016 travel

France
France has always been a destination on many travelers’ list. This year, it’s also the destination for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament, also known as the Euro Cup, which will take place in June. In addition to Paris, matches will take place in cities like Bordeaux, Lyon, Nice, and Marseille. Even if you’re not planning on attending any of the football matches, there’s always a good reason to visit France and explore this beautiful country.

2016 travel

Pamplona, Spain
Every year in July, the city of Pamplona comes together for the eight day festival of Saint Fermin. Although the most famous event of festival is the Running of the Bulls, the festival of Saint Fermin has plenty of other events worth checking out. The city of Pamplona itself is also worth exploring, as it has several Roman ruins as well as ruins dating back to the early Middle Ages.

2016 travel

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Besides being the site of this year’s Olympic Games in August, Rio de Janeiro has always been known for its beaches, music scene, and Carnival, the city-wide celebration just before Lent. This seaside city in Brazil has a lot to offer its visitors, from high end upscale resorts to down-to-earth hotels. These days, Rio has also become a gathering point for LGBT travelers, who number over one million each year.

2016 travel

Albuquerque, New Mexico
The annual International Balloon Fiesta is a perfect excuse to visit the city of Albuquerque. Held every year in early October, the balloon fiesta showcases hot air balloons from all over the world, and provides a colorful addition to the already stunning background of the area’s mountainous landscape. Albuquerque itself is rich with Southwestern culture, and some of the nearby cities like Santa Fe or Taos are also worth visiting.

2016 travel

Mexico
For a deeper taste of Mexican culture, head south of the border to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, also known as the Day of the Dead. Considered a national holiday in Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is a day to honor the deceased. This holiday is celebrated around the days of October 31 to November 2, and is characterized by the colorful sugar skulls and bountiful food that is served during this time.

2016 travel

Douz, Tunisia
The final event to cap off the year is the International Festival of the Sahara, which takes place in November in Douz, Tunisia. This festival began in 1910 and is a four day celebration of Bedouin culture. The event attracts over 50,000 people, with more and more Westerners attending each year. The highlight of the festival is the camel race, but there are also music and dancing, as well as a Bedouin marriage ceremony, all set within the backdrop of the desert sand dunes.

2016 travel

These are our top 2016 travel destinations and events to check out. To see what LeafCanoers have to say about these destinations, download the LeafCanoe app.

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Why You Need to Visit the Canadian Rockies

Experiencing the great outdoors is something that can be enjoyed any time of year. In spite of the cold winter months, a visit to a place like the Canadian Rockies can be jam-packed with outdoor activities. LeafCanoer, sociokathy’s leaf, “Canadian Rockies Summer Guide,” talks about the many things visitors can do when visiting the Canadian Rockies in the summer. But even in the dead of winter, there are plenty of other reasons to visit the Canadian Rockies.

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Natural Wonders
Majestic snow-peaked mountains dominate the scenery of the Canadian Rockies. Accentuated by bright blue lakes and lush evergreens, this mountain range, running from the Canadian prairies to the Pacific Coast, boasts stunning scenery all year round. The Canadian Rockies’ mountains impress all those who come to visit. From high peaks like Mount Robson and Mount Columbia, to smaller ones like the Snow Dome, these mountains certainly stand tall along the Canadian Rockies’ skyline. Aside from mountains, the Canadian Rockies also serves as the source of many rivers including the Fraser, the Columbia, The North Saskatchewan, the Bow, and the Athabasca Rivers.

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National Parks
The Canadian Rockies consist of five national parks: Jasper, Banff, Kootenay, Yoho, and Waterton. All five of these parks were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984 due to its mountain landscapes. Additionally, they all offer a wide range of activities year-round for visitors of all types.

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Outdoor Activities
For the outdoor enthusiast, the Canadian Rockies is a dream come true. In the summer months, visitors can raft the white water rapids of rivers like the Sunwapta and Athabasca Rivers. Alternatively, visitors can stick to dry land activities like rock climbing or hiking. In the winter months, places like Banff National Park offers back country skiing. And if you are of the more adventurous sort, you can try your hand at mountaineering, or even ice climbing.

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Festivals Galore
An abundance of events and festivals fill the calendar for the Canadian Rockies. Winterstart Festival kicks off the season with events in Banff and Lake Louise, running from mid-November to mid-December. Other winter festivals in the Canadian Rockies include Jasper in January, happening in mid to late January in Jasper, and the Winter Magic Festival, happening in the town of Hinton, Alberta in the month of February. The highlight of the spring season is the Canmore Uncorked Food and Drink Festival, a new culinary festival in the town of Canmore. The summer months, on the other hand, are packed with events and festivals, including Performance in the Park at Banff, the Wild Mountain Music Festival in Hinton, and the Canadian Death Race, a challenging adventure race taking place in August in Grande Cache, Alberta.

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Retreat from Urban Living
City life has its perks, but sometimes you need to get away and disconnect. For those who visit the Canadian Rockies, it’s more than just an opportunity to be close to nature, it’s also a retreat from the pressures of urban living. A peaceful hike among the trees, or soaking in the beauty of nature on the banks of Lake Louise can help bring you more perspective on what’s important in life.

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Fulfilling A Challenge
For many who come to the Canadian Rockies, a visit there is also a chance to fulfill a challenge. Whether it involves climbing some of the highest peaks, like Mount Robson, tackling the rapids on the Kicking Horse River, or backcountry camping at Banff National Park, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to challenge themselves and test their limits.

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From hiking to mountain biking, skiing to whitewater rafting, there is always something to do when you visit the Canadian Rockies, no matter what time of year. For more ideas on travel to Canada and to other destinations, download the LeafCanoe app.

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Manhattan’s hottest summer festivals

When the heat goes up in the city, the crowds hit the streets and start enjoying some of the amazing outdoor festivities. There might not be anyone other place in the world that has such a wide variety of events in the summer available to the public, whether you’re a local living in NYC for years or just popping over for the weekend. No matter if you are into unusual gathering or prefer to see exquisite culture, there is something for everyone.

Museum Mile Festival

Some travelers in New York City have to decide which museums they want to squeeze into their visit due to the often pricey entrance fee. But every year on the first Tuesday in June, nine of these prestigious establishments open their doors along “Museum Mile” for one free evening. Walk from the Guggenheim Museum up to the National Academy of Design, then finish at the International Center of Photography. Or, pick your own personalized route, as the path is closed down to all traffic.

Downtown NYC River to River Festival

As the largest free arts festival in New York City history, this event has a reputation to bring the best of the best performers to the masses. It’s impossible to see everyone in one visit, so visitors to the event can pick and choose their favorites, whether they’re interested in live theater, art installations, music and more.

Harlem Dances

Companies specializing in the art of dance throughout Harlem will be offering guests the chance to see some free shows in the West Harlem Piers Park. Broadway tickets can cost a pretty penny, so this can be the perfect way to see some up and coming stars steal the show. It will be part of the bigger Summer on the Hudson arts and culture festival this July.

Downward Dog Days of Summer

This is not exactly a festival, but still is a free escape toward health and wellness for anyone willing to participate. In Gansevoort Plaza, located in the Meatpacking District, several instructors throughout the summer will offer free outdoor yoga classes. Even a mat is provided to participants, as well as a refreshing, fun way to focus and get into shape. Part of an ongoing initiative throughout Manhattan, visitors and locals in the area are sure to discover many free fitness events to try in the sunshine all summer long.

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