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5 Great Summer Water Park Getaways

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Cool off with your family at one of these top affordable water parks.

Texas
Schlitterbahn, on Galveston Island, Texas, opened in 1966 and calls itself the world’s first “water resort”—but don’t write it off as old fashioned. The park opens new rides almost every year, and with more than 35 water attractions, family adventures, and thrill slides, there’s something for everyone. Teenagers will love the Cliffhanger, with drops of 81 feet and speeds approaching 40 mph, while younger visitors prefer the Treasure Island kids area, a shallow pool designed to entertain the smallest Schlitterbahn guests. Tickets for the park are $46 adults, $36 kids. Stay at the nearby historic property, The Tremont House, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, where rates start at $139 on weekdays and $199 on weekends.

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Is Washington D.C. The Most Walkable City In the U.S.?

A recent study by the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University ranked the 30 most-walkable U.S. cities—and our nation's capital, Washington D.C. is ranked no. 1.

This challenges the results of a Travel + Leisure survey: last year, travelers ranked Portland, Oregon the friendliest city for pedestrians and public transportation in our America's Favorite Cities survey.

So, which city do you think is the best for walking? Tell us in our 2014 America's Best Places survey, live now.

July 4th Travel Tips

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The 4th of July Travel Forecast

People are feeling good. Job numbers are up today; consumer confidence is rebounding. That means more people spending on travel. AAA Travel projects that 41 million Americans travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday weekend. That's a 1.9 percent increase from last year. The majority are hitting the road, with more 34.8 million driving. But if you’re flying, the goods news is that you probably paid five percent less for your ticket than last year, according to AAA.

Some advice for drivers: A lot of people start heading out right about now so expect heavier traffic from about 6pm tonight through tomorrow.

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Plan a Last-Minute Road Trip for July 4th

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According to AAA, more than 34 million Americans will hit the road this holiday weekend. If you’re still planning your getaway, watch T+L’s Sarah Spagnolo share five iconic American drives, along with some affordable hotels, on the Today Show. 

Amtrak Planning Faster WiFi For Northeast Corridor

Amtrak's notoriously slow on-board internet connection will get an upgrade, the company announced last week. In a test sometime this winter, Amtrak is hoping to double the WiFi capacity for the busy Northeast Corridor Line, which runs from Baltimore through Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and into Maine.

This follows a recent pattern of faster service announcements for travelers: British Airways also made news this month for its consideration of 4G WiFi with Inmarsat (currently, the airline doesn't offer in-flight internet service).

T+L Editor-in-Chief Nancy Novogrod Announces the 2014 World's Best Awards

Travel + Leisure’s own Nancy Novogrod joins Morning Joe to announce the 2014 World’s Best Awards. In the results of the annual survey, readers to rate everything from hotels to cruises. Check out the complete list of winners here.

Ideas for a Tropical Island Getaway (Video)

Sand between your toes, a blissed-out day by the waves... Your next island getaway is closer than you think, thanks to new routes and more frequent flights from major U.S. cities. In this short video, T+L shares the details on Antigua; Turks and Caicos; Aruba; Sanibel Island, Florida; and Kauai—with hotel recommendations to match.

Book Now: July 4th Hotel Deals

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Looking ahead to the holiday weekend? Here, three ideas for fun and affordable July 4thgetaways.

1. Philadelphia

The birthplace of independence is the perfect place to celebrate the Fourth of July. Benjamin Franklin Parkway hosts the “Largest Free Concert” with The Roots, Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, and Jennifer Hudson. Stay at the Four Seasons Hotel off Logan Square, where kids are welcomed with toys, and cookies and milk are served at bedtime. Price: $249 a night. Book Now: fourseasons.com/philadelphia

2. Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff was voted the Best Town for July 4th in the Travel + Leisure America’s Favorite Towns survey (voting is open now for T+L’s 2014 America’s Favorite Places survey!). With its ponderosa pines, frontier spirit, and cool mountain air, it’s no surprise why. The city has great town square that’s the centerpiece of its celebration, which includes for fireworks, parades, and a fun run. Stay at the Hotel Monte Vista, just a block from Route 66. Price: $90 a night. Book Now: hotelmontevista.com

3. Oahu, Hawaii

The fireworks on the southern shore of Oahu are so grand that around 50,000 people watch it each year! (They’re set off from a manmade peninsula to protect the underwater reef ecosystem.) At the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, most rooms have private balconies and overlook the ocean; the five pools include the 10,000-square-foot Super Pool, the largest in Hawaii. Price: $199 a night. Book Now: hiltonhawaiianvillage.com

Watch T+L editor Sarah Spagnolo present these deals on this morning's Wake Up with Al.

 Photo courtesy of Boulder Daily Camera

Summer Vacation Deals

Fundu Lagoon

Dominican Republic: 39% off beach hotel

Beach Rendezvous package includes:

• 4 nights in a one-bedroom suite at Sublime Samana Hotel & Residences, on the island’s palm-fringed northeastern coast
• Horseback riding on the beach
• Bottle of wine upon arrival
• Outdoor spa treatment

Cost: $840 ($210 per night)

Book by August 31 for travel through December 2014.

For more information or to book, please visit Samana Hotel Dominican Republic.

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Travel Industry Insiders Share What's On Their Travel Radar

At ILTM Asia, an annual luxury travel conference in Shanghai, China, Travel + Leisure editor Sarah Spagnolo asked industry insiders what's on their travel radar. The answers range from western Tibet to the backwaters of Kerala, India.

Watch the video above—filmed during T+L's Shanghai Social party at restaurant New Heights, on The Bund—for many more fun travel ideas.

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