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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9 Reasons Why Topsail Island is the Best Beach in NC

North Topsail, Surf City, South Topsail, it’s all part of the best beach in North Carolina.

1. The sunsets.

Topsail has the best sunsets out of any beach in North Carolina. Hands down.

2. The shark’s teeth and seashells.

You can always find a large amount of cool shells and shark’s teeth every beach trip. I have found that it is not like this at every beach, only at Topsail. Shell hunting tip: check out the point on the south end of the island every morning for the best shell selection. You might even come across a hidden mailbox with notes in it while shell hunting down there.

3. The food.

From Max’s pizza with the pepperoni under the cheese to the seafood at Breezeway and even having the experience of eating outside at Sears Landing, Topsail has some of the greatest restaurants any beach in NC has to offer. The best part about the food in Topsail is that the restaurants are all local. Also, there is a brand new doughnut shop in the Surf City part of the island...what could be better than doughnuts and the beach?

4. The Fourth of July.

Every year Topsail and neighboring town, Holly Ridge, rotate between who does fireworks on the fourth and who gets to do them on the fifth. Basically this means two whole days of celebrating our great nation at the beach. The Fourth is also fun in Topsail because the beach is full of people decked out in red, white, and blue, blaring country music, and playing cornhole and swimming all day. Some parts of the town even have mini Fourth of July block parties (okay maybe that's just my family and our neighbors but it’s still pretty fun).

5. The small town atmosphere.

Topsail is a small island which gives it a small town, everybody knows everybody kind of feel. It’s really easy to make life long beach friends here because you have the opportunity to see the same people out on the beach every summer.

6. The ice cream.

Growing up, we went out to get ice cream EVERY single night and admittedly we still do. It often feels like the whole island has the same idea because the lines are always out the door at every ice cream place on the island. Don’t let this discourage you though. It’s an unspoken rule to wait in the line no matter how long it may be because ice cream always tastes better at Topsail.

7. The best of both worlds.

Because Topsail is an island, in most cases you can see both the ocean and the sound from wherever you are staying. This is pretty awesome because you can watch the sunrise over the beach and the sunset over the sound without having to go too far. You also can go from playing cornhole on the beach to jet skiing in the sound without having to walk too far so you really do get the experience the best of both worlds.

8. Outdoor movies.

On certain nights of the week Topsail this has cool thing called “Summer Movies in the Park” where they play movies on a big blow up screen at a park that sits on the sound. The best part about this is that the movies are FREE. Tip: if you are vacationing at Topsail with bae, I highly suggest going to an outdoor movie together, even if it is Cinderella and even if you have seen it 100 times already you should still go. But, if outdoor movies aren’t your thing then I suggest going roller skating or playing a game of putt-putt.

9. The memories.

Whether you go for a week or a weekend, I promise that you will make some great memories with the people you love at Topsail Island. After spending 19 summers on the island, I know I sure have. From Fourth of July block parties, running into friends from all over NC, adventuring with cousins and swimming during hurricanes, I can honestly say that spending my summers at Topsail Island has been one of the best things ever.

North Topsail, Surf City, South Topsail, it’s all part of the best beach in NC and I highly recommend planning your next beach vacation to Topsail Island.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.topsailnewsonline.com/?p=9478

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As An Original Northeasterner, I Grew To Love The South And You Can, Too

Where the tea is sweet, and the accents are sweeter.


I'm not Southern-born. I'll come right out and say it. I was born in Connecticut and moved to Atlanta when I was 9 years old. I didn't know a single thing about the South, so I came without any expectations. When I got here, I remember that the very first thing I saw was a Waffle House. I thought it was so rare to see whatever a waffle house was but little did I know there was a WaHo (how southerners refer to Waffle House) every two miles down the street.

There is such a thing as "southern hospitality," and it's very pleasant for a newcomer to see. Southerners are raised with such a refreshing sense of politeness, and their accents are beautifully unique. It brings a smile to my face when I hear a southern accent because it's such a strong accent and one of my favorites. They answer your questions with "Yes, ma'am" or "No, ma'am" in the most respectful tone. I remember feeling so grown and empowered just because I got called ma'am. Southerners' vocabulary and phrases really have its ways of integrating into your own vernacular.

Before I came to Georgia, I never really said words like "Y'all" and "Fixin' to" but it's definitely in much of what I say now. I can tell when I go back up north to visit family that some of what I say may sound a little off because the dialect is very different. I find no shame in it, though, and neither should any southerner.

The weather in the South isn't so bad, in my opinion. Sure, there is very high humidity, but after living here for 10+ years, you learn how to deal with it. However, there's nothing like the summer thunderstorms. I love stormy, rainy weather and it rains quite often in the south, so when my birthday in July rolls around, I look forward to seeing that rain. It's the most peaceful weather to me and inspires me to write even more.

I could go on and on about the amazing fried foods here or the iconic yet insane Atlanta traffic, but those aren't what make me love the South. The people of the south are so different from up north but in the best ways. Everyone is so expressive and creative, as well as their own unique self. Southerners aren't the shaming kinds of people, but instead the kind who embrace who you are from the start. There's a fierce loyalty and a strong sense of appreciation that is just unmatched by any other place. No matter where I go, I always find comfort in knowing that I'll be coming back to this place I'm proud to call home.

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