Go Big or Go Home: Visit These Big Places on Your Next Vacation

Go Big or Go Home: Visit These Big Places on Your Next Vacation


They say you should go big or go home when you plan a vacation, but most people don't mean that literally. Instead of sticking to small tourist attractions, we've gathered a list of some of the biggest places to visit around the world — and we do mean that literally. These are the largest places you can visit on your vacation that are fun for kids and adults alike.

The Great Wall of China

If you like walls or are fascinated by Chinese history, you can't get much bigger than the Great Wall of China. The wall itself was built back during the 14th through 17th centuries, and while it never did manage to keep Mongol invaders from entering China during the Ming Dynasty, it’s still one of the biggest tourist attractions in China — both literally and figuratively.

While you wouldn't want to walk the entire length of the wall — it's more than 13,000 miles long — it makes for a great trip if you happen to be in or around Beijing during the spring or fall.

Walt Disney World — Orlando, Florida

Disney is definitely one of the biggest places to visit — especially considering that the House of Mouse has parks all over the globe. When it comes to guest attendance though, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida takes the mouse shaped ice cream treat. Disney World caters to more than 50 million guests from around the globe every year.

Take our advice though — Disney is a great place to visit during the offseason. Don't plan your vacation for summer months or the holidays unless you really like standing in line and being stuck in a press of people trying desperately to get to the bathroom in 95-degree weather with 100 percent humidity. Go in the spring, before the humidity starts to get too bad, or in the fall when the weather starts to cool off. Perhaps most importantly, most kids will be in school, so the crowds are smaller.

Lazy Dayz Playground at Smothers Park — Owensboro, Kentucky

There's nothing better than a playground, especially if you're traveling with kids, so why not make a pit stop at the top playground in the world? This magnificent piece of play-friendly architecture has no walls, accessibility ramps for wheelchairs on nearly every piece of equipment and even fountains that pop up every 15 minutes to cool kids off and give them something new to play with.

The park designers went above and beyond minimum ADA requirements for wheelchair users and built a park where everyone can come and play, regardless of their ability. It's easy to see why this is the top playground in the world, so if you're ever in the Owensboro area, make sure you stop by!

Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure — Jackson, New Jersey

You either love or hate roller coasters — and we love them. If you love them too, you're in for a treat — Kingda Ka, currently the world's biggest roller coaster. It’s one of the shortest coaster rides in the world — coming in at only 50.6 seconds, but it’s the highest and has a 418-foot drop at its highest point. It’s also the fastest, reaching speeds of 128 miles per hour.

It might soon lose its throne though — The SkyScraper, which is supposed to open in Orlando in 2019, will have a whopping 570-foot drop!

Honorable Mentions

If you're not looking for thrills or chills, we've still got some of the largest things in the world here right in the good ol' US of A. If you're planning a road trip, make sure you check out:

  • The World's Tallest Thermometer in Baker, California A 134-foot-high thermometer that sits on the edge of Death Valley, recording the temperature for all to see. It recently got a makeover, restoring it to its former glory.

  • The World's Largest Clam Box in Ipswich, Massachusetts — This clam shack restaurant is shaped like a take-out box, making it the largest takeout box this side of the Mississippi. Their food is pretty good too.

  • The World's Largest Elephant in Margate, New Jersey — Lucy the Elephant stands six stories high and gives you a phenomenal view from the howdah on her back. This gargantuan, elephant-shaped building was built in 1881 and was both the first of her kind and the last elephant building to survive.

  • The World's Largest Peach in Gaffney, South Carolina — Georgia might be known for her peaches, but South Carolina has the biggest. The water tower painted to resemble a peach is 135 feet tall and can hold upwards of one million gallons of water when filled.

This list is just a sample of the big places you can visit on your next vacation. Whether you want to ride the world's biggest roller coaster or simply play on the world's best playground, there's no reason for you not to go big when you plan your next family trip.

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4 Breakfast Spots Near The University of Kentucky That Will Actually Get You Out Of Bed In The Morning

These places will satisfy all of your breakfast cravings.


If you're a breakfast foodie like I am, you know that is an absolute priority to find the most popular breakfast spots despite the city you may be in. You don't want to visit the touristy and basic restaurants that everyone else goes to, but instead, you are determined to uncover the locations that are the best of the best. Most foodies will go to great lengths to discover these places. As a University of Kentucky student and major foodie, I have searched all over Lexington to find my favorite places to visit on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This took my entire first semester and many trips to the ATM, but today, I am now blessed to say that I am a regular at all 4 of these incredible breakfast spots.

1. The Great Bagel

The Great Bagel is one of my all-time favorite restaurants to visit on Sunday mornings. The restaurant offers a variety of bagel sandwiches and freshly squeezed orange juice, and it makes for the perfect early morning start to a day filled with homework or relaxation.

2. Chocolate Holler

Though not a true restaurant, Chocolate Holler is one of the most popular coffee shops near the University of Kentucky. Because it is only a 3-minute drive from campus, Chocolate Holler is always buzzing with UK students who come to socialize or study. The coffee shop is most well known for its chocolaty drinks and the music is great there, too!

3. Stir Krazy

Stir Krazy is a local smoothie bar down the street that serves protein shakes, smoothies, and tea. Though It only consists of these three beverages, the shakes at Stir Krazy are enough to fill you up for breakfast or lunch. Each shake or smoothies range from 200 to 250 calories and serves as the perfect energizer before a workout or a filling recovery drink after a workout.

4. La Madeleine

La Madeleine is a French breakfast and lunch cafe conveniently located on campus (and only a 30-second walk from my dorm). Their breakfast is served all day long and their croissants are to die for. I highly recommend building your own omelet for the most fulfilling experience. Not to mention, their iced caramel macchiatos are a great refresher on the side.

No matter which city, state, or country I am currently in, I make it my mission to eat as a local would. In Lexington, Kentucky, these four breakfast spots are guaranteed provide you with a plethora of different types of food to get you through even the worst cases of morning hunger. Though these places are my current favorites, I am now looking forward to containing the search for more breakfast restaurants, cafes, and juice bars throughout my next four years in this city.

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Tempe Artists Are In The Vicious Cycle Of 'Create Art, Go Unnoticed, Become Discouraged'

An enterprise solutions piece on the inner workings of the Tempe art scene.


Tempe artists often find themselves in the vicious cycle of "create art, go unnoticed, become discouraged."

The struggle to gain little, if any, recognition for their contributions to the creative community is causing artists to stray from their passions.

Tempe is one of the only Arizona cities that does not offer an award to recognize local artists. The Tempe Arts Committee is in the process of changing that by introducing an award that will celebrate a variety of artistic contributions in a community where art appreciation is scarce.

The new award will honor Tempe artists, educators, performers, art businesses, public arts, art events, and cultural arts. It is an award to celebrate those who have continued to create and inspire many in a city that does not flourish on their art scene.

Tara Shultz and Lauren Hernandez

Anthony Johnson, a subcommittee commissioner, is disappointed with the lack of representation of the arts in his community.

"I like to paint walls, right? Nowhere in my community does anyone support it. My daughter shares the same interest. Let's face it, we are a generation that does not encourage arts for our children. How do our children get that interaction of painting big and large if it's frowned upon in your community?" Johnson said.

Cities around the Valley honor and encourage their neighborhood artists. Phoenix has presented an arts award since 2012; and Yuma since 2001.

Flagstaff is exposing its community to the arts by annually honoring an artist with the Viola Award, which pays tribute to artists, performers, and educators. The Tempe Arts Commissioner Board is pushing to mirror the Viola Awards by shining light on the local art and culture scene.

Lauren Hernandez and Tara Shultz

Local students and citizens view art as self-expression and exposure to new cultures. Brenda Abney, a Tempe Arts and Culture manager, said art gives students and the community a sense of belonging.

"I always try to provide opportunities for young people to be involved because not everyone has the same thought patterns and talents. By exploring arts and culture, they open themselves up to another world. And if they have a creative mind they can use it in a different way," Abney said.

Arizona State University's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is home to more than 4,700 students. The Institute offers majors, minors, certificates, and electives in the arts including film, music, art, art museum, film, dance, and theatre, design, arts, media, and engineering.

Lauren Hernandez and Tara Shultz

The lack of exposure to the arts in Tempe is frightening to students pursuing careers in many different forms of art and culture at ASU. Jordan Litzinger, a senior arts major, is surprised by the lack of exposure she has gotten outside of school.

"Students at Arizona State University are given multiple opportunities to succeed unless they are a part of the arts," Litzinger said. "Those emails they send with jobs and internships never include the arts. I am a senior drawing major at the Herberger school and have only been able to have one of my pieces featured in a local museum. This is always expected with the arts, but it's even harder to succeed in Tempe."

In comparison to schools such as the University of Colorado at Boulder, ASU is ranked higher and offers more programs. ASU is ranked No. 20; CU is ranked No. 59. The difference in the programs is that the city of Boulder is providing more opportunities for their students outside of school.

In 2019, Boulder will generate $675,000 in grant funds, that will be offered to community projects, general operating support, arts education projects, professional development, venue rental assistance, and much more.

Lauren Hernandez and Tara Shultz

"Boulder respects arts in the sense that diverse communities create a positive environment and support and encourage CU to provide arts and sciences degrees," said Olivia Kleespies, a sophomore at CU studying architecture.

The Tempe Center for the Arts, a crucial element to the arts scene in Tempe, will need long-term assistance regardless of the passing of Proposition 417. Prop. 417 is a tax set to build, operate, and maintain arts and culture programs. The tax was first approved by voters in 2000 and will now be renewed in 2021, which will permanently extend it.

After the bonds are paid off, the tax generates $8 million annually, $600,000 of which will be moved into a Captial Improvement Plan each year.

Robin Arredondo-Savage, a Tempe city council member, pointed out the importance of the arts tax and how the city already celebrates local artists.

"One of the coolest things we are able to do is events like Arts in the Park. Giving more exposure to the murals around the city and providing more education in the schools is what the art tax will allow us to expand on. Ultimately, it will give us more exposure to the arts in our community," Arredondo-Savage said.

Lauren Hernandez and Tara Shultz

The Tempe Arts Committee members agree that artists do not feel encouraged to express themselves within the community. This is why Tempe is taking things into their own hands. The committee strives to become advocates and allies of the Tempe art scene.

Local singer-songwriter Jill Naffziger said she thinks the arts are well represented within ASU, but not as much outside of the school.

"Singers are well represented as there are so many choirs and clubs to join, whether it be at ASU or around town," Naffziger said. "I can see where it would be hard for a student or resident pursuing drawing or painting as there is no coverage of this in Tempe."

The purpose of the award is to celebrate the excellence of creators and organizations in the arts and culture of Tempe that have made significant contributions to the area. It will cover a broad range of art demonstrations, such as paintings, drawings, musical talents, literary works, and dance expressions. The creation of this award will bring more exposure to the ASU and Tempe artists, as well as residents.

Lauren Hernandez and Tara Shultz

The committee said it hopes to have the award presented in April 2019. Along with committee members being able to nominate artists, they will also open the nomination process to the public, to ensure everyone has a voice.

Because of the immense field it covers, the commissioners will choose categories to award based on the types of nominations they receive. The commissioners will also have the responsibility of choosing the awardees.

If all goes to plan, the subcommittee will be able to provide examples of potential nominations and award winners to the public and to assist them in the process.

The subcommittee is uncertain about a dollar amount for the award, or if there will be. They want to give recognition to local artists, whether it takes the form of a certificate or prize.

Lauren Hernandez and Tara Shultz

The Tempe Arts Committee stands behind the theory that students perform better on standardized tests when they are given the opportunity to be involved with art programs and this is why it is crucial for a city like Tempe to have more arts exposure.

According to the Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools report, "school-wide achievement gains have been observed when arts integration has been applied as a school reform and improvement strategy."

The board said it hopes its award will enlighten Tempe schools and encourage aspiring young artists to embrace their talents.

"By exploring arts and culture, young people open themselves up to a different world beyond academics or sports. They can put their mind to use in a different way and it can create a sense of belonging in the community," Abney said. "Art allows people to have a creative outlet, especially when you are putting so much time and energy in finding out where you belong in life. It's a place where you are free to be creative and relax."

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