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Top international lakes to visit

Top international lakes to visit
By Damien Martin

Last week we focused on lake destinations in the U.S. in anticipation of Memorial Day. We couldn’t write our favorite domestic spots without also mentioning some great lakes in other corners of the globe. There are few things better than hitting the water on a beautiful sunny day, and these lakes deliver.

Lake Como
Northern Italy is full of gorgeous glacial lakes, and Como is the jewel in the crown. With an amazing combination of natural and human-made beauty, it’s impossible to go anywhere without having to stop and marvel. Take a boat over to Bellagio and browse the shop-lined streets for silks before lunch at Locanda dell’Isola Comacina on the lake’s lone island. In between, cruise by the ornate villas replete with perfectly manicured gardens that line the shores, set against the backdrop of alpine foothills.
Lake Louise
A spectacular emerald color thanks to glacial and rock runoff, Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada, is a picture-perfect sig…

Top U.S. lake destinations

Top U.S. lake destinations By Damien Martin
     Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, marking the unofficial start of summer for many Americans. It’s a holiday to reflect on the sacrifices made by the men and women who gave their lives serving in the U.S. armed forces. It’s also become a holiday for backyard cookouts and getting out on the water. In that regard, the U.S. is blessed with myriad lakes that can be enjoyed all summer long.

Lake Michigan
     Touching four states, Lake Michigan has more than 1,600 miles of shoreline and the most beaches of any lake in the country. From the popular urban beaches of Chicago -- you’ll never run out of things to do on Oak Street Beach or North Avenue Beach -- to the giant dunes found in Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin to idyllic islands, Lake Michigan has something for those who want to be in the heart of action and those looking to get away from it all.

Lake Tahoe
      With clear water and a ring of mountains all around, Lake Tahoe is f…

Top safari destinations

Top safari destinationsBy Damien Martin

     Ask anyone who’s been on safari, and you’ll hear all about the transcendent beauty of sunsets, the majesty of the vast open spaces, the thrill of getting up close and personal with exotic animals. It’ll leave you with only one conclusion: You have to go see for yourself. As Richard Mullin said, “The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa – for he has so much to look forward to.” Now that’s it decided you’re going, the question is which area you should choose for your safari.

Kenya/Tanzania
     When most people picture a safari, they’re thinking of East Africa. The great migration of wildebeest and zebras takes place annually across Tanzania’s Serengeti Plain and Kenya’s Masai Mara. Hundreds of thousands of animals make the trek in search of grass to graze on. The Maasai people provide enriching cultural exchange. Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater is rich in wildlife, while Olduvai Gorge is a goldmine for the study of human …

Top national parks

Top national parksBy Damien Martin

     They’ve been called “America’s best idea,” and it’s hard to argue given how much natural beauty the national parks preserve. There are 60 officially designated national parks across the United States and territories and the National Park System covers more than 84 million acres. With all that space, it’s hard to pick just a few parks to highlight, but you can’t go wrong with these favorites.

Yellowstone
      It became a national park in 1872, 44 years before there even was a National Park Service, and it may very well be the first designated national park in the world. Covering more than 2 million acres in three states (Wyoming, Montana and Idaho), Yellowstone features crowd favorites such as Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring. There’s also a thriving bison population, along with many other types of wildlife and a huge amount of geothermal activity. Plus, Grand Teton National Park is nearby and combines very well with Yellowstone in t…