Sunday, October 21, 2012

2012 Best Amusement and Water Parks

Every year when summer ends, Amusement Today conducts an international poll to find out what were the best amusement parks and water parks around the world.  This is not an easy task.

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) says that there are more than 400 amusement parks and attractions in the United States, and approximately 300 amusement parks in Europe.  And according to the World Waterpark Association, there are over 1,000 waterparks in North America, and about 600 around the rest of the world.  That's a lot of fun to judge.

The Amusement Today awards are called the Golden Ticket Award, and they identify the top winners in 23 categories.  Categories include not only Best Park and Best Waterpark, but also Best Children's Park, Friendliest Park, Cleanest Park, Best Shows, Best Kids Area, and Best Indoor Coaster.  You can find all the winners, and see what categories they won, on our map below.

For even more choices to have fun, last year we looked at the most & least expensive amusement parks, as well as the parks that had the most inversions (going upside down) from the Roller Coaster Database.

Zoom the map out to see the winners in Europe and Japan.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

North Carolina BBQ Trail Thousand of popular restaurants. Fo

Just mention the word "barbecue", and some people will start salivating.  And with good reason, because there is a lot of great barbecue out there.

For this map though, we'll focus on barbecue from North Carolina, and the mission statement for the North Carolina Barbecue Society says it all:

"The mission of the North Carolina Barbecue Society (NCBS) is to preserve North Carolina’s barbecue history and culture and to secure North Carolina’s rightful place as the Barbecue Capital of the World."

To help you sample North Carolina barbecue the NCBS has put together a Barbecue Trail to help people sample the distinctive methods and barbecue cooking styles North Carolina barbecue has to offer, and you can see the 23 places they've chosen on our map below.

For a slightly different perspective on North Carolina barbecue, check out the BBQ Jew blog.  And if you want to check out unique and unusual things to do between meals, Visit NC has some suggestions.

Zoom in to find your next meal.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Where To Find Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Thousand of popular restaurants. Fo

There are all kinds of pizza in the U.S. - New York-style, Chicago-style, St. Louis-style, even California-style.  But where can you find authentic Neapolitan-style pizza?

Authentic Neapolitan pizzas are typically made with tomatoes and Mozzarella cheese, and are cooked in a very high-heat wood burning oven. While you could order Neapolitan pizza in a lot of pizzerias, the only way to know you are getting truly authentic Neapolitan pizza is if the restaurant has been certified by VPN Americas.

VPN Americas is the American Delegation of the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, an international non-profit organization founded in the mid 1980’s by a group of Neapolitan pizzaiolis (pizza makers) seeking to cultivate the culinary art of making Neapolitan pizza.  Currently there are 69 restaurants that have been certified in the U.S. and Canada, and as you can see from our map some are in places you wouldn't expect.

Zoom in the map to see exactly where each restaurant is at.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Where Is The Best Ice Cream Thousand of popular restaurants. Fo

There is plenty of ice cream out there - it's not like we lack choices.  But if you have the chance there are a few ice cream shops you should really make an effort to visit, and we've mapped the top choices from six "Best Of" lists to help you find them.
Vanilla is still the king of flavors, however as you visit the ice cream shops on our list you may find new favorites that go beyond strawberry and chocolate too.

Move the map around to see where all the shops are located (don't forget Hawaii too), and zoom in to see how close you are to some creamy heaven.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Best Zoos and Aquariums

Lions, tigers and bears.  Oh, my!  And where are the best places to find them, plus penguins, killer whales and bat rays?

We've mapped the zoos and aquariums from four articles to help you find great places to visit - some even show up on more than one list:
Be sure to zoom in and move the map around to find the zoo or aquarium closest to where you're going.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Updated Everything Map & More

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Now that we're firmly in the grips of summer, you need more choices of where to go, what to do, and the stories behind why you should go there.  Luckily we're here to help.

Our Everything Map, which includes the places from all the stories we have mapped, has almost 6,000 places to visit in the U.S.  Zoom the map and move it around to find the places where you are, or where you're going

Or, if you like to browse interesting stories about places, check out Our Reading List, which lists the stories we have been adding.

Finally, if you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families, you'll want to check out our Blue Star Museum map. Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,800 museums across America, with participating museums offering free admission through Labor Day.  So far we have mapped over 1,000 of the participating museums - it's our way of helping you find museums without having to wade through lists and lists of museum names and unfamiliar cities.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blue Star Museum Map Announcement

For the second year, we are mapping the location of the participating museums in the Blue Star Museum initiative.  See the Blue Star Museum Map page in our menu bar at the top.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,600 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 28, 2012 through Labor Day, September 3, 2012. The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their family members (military ID holder and up to five family members). Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members.

Last year we mapped participating museums in 12 states.  This year we have created a national map, and so far we have mapped half of the participating museums, with more to be added as fast as we can.

The most up-to-date list of participating museums is on the Blue Star Museum official website, so be sure to check there before you go, or if you want more choices than our map indicates.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

U.S. 2012 World Beer Cup Winners

Food For A Fraction Of The Cost

Where can you find the best craft beer?

Earlier this month the Brewers Association held the World Beer Cup 2012 - 'The Olympics of Beer Competition'. 799 breweries from 54 countries and 45 U.S. states entered 3,921 beers in 95 beer style categories.

U.S. breweries won 212 of the 284 total awards, with California (55 awards) winning the most, and Colorado (27 awards) winning more than the next highest country (Germany with 23 awards).

So where can you find the best craft beer?  On our map!

We have mapped the winning small & medium sized breweries that you can visit, tour or drink at.  Zoom in to where you are, or where you're going, and click the map pins to see the brewery name and their awards. The map pins are even color coded.  Read more after the map...

In the U.S., the Brewers Association says there were 250 new breweries that opened in 2011, and though overall beer sales by volume were down, craft brewery volume was up by 13%.  Clearly more and more people are enjoying the unique beers being crafted by these mainly local breweries.

You don't have to be a beer expert to enjoy craft beer, but you may want to brush up on some definitions:
  • Microbrewery - A brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels (17,600 hectoliters) of beer per year with 75% or more of its beer sold off-site.
  • Brewpub - A restaurant-brewery that sells 25% or more of its beer on site. The beer is brewed primarily for sale in the restaurant and bar.
Two resources to find a craft brewery, or your favorite craft beer are:
  • -published by the Brewers Association, they have an extensive database of breweries and beer-related information
  • TapHunter - They don't cover every market, but they specialize in connecting craft beer fanatics with the beers they love, the brewers who brew them and the locations that pour them. They have a website plus iPhone and Android apps
If you want to share your beer experiences, two of the largest forums are:
  • BeerAdvocate - a global, grassroots network, powered by an independent community of beer enthusiasts and industry professionals who are dedicated to supporting and promoting beer
  • RateBeer - an independent world site for craft beer enthusiasts that is dedicated to serving the entire craft beer community through beer education, promotion and outreach.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Things To Do: Orange County, CA

Just south of Los Angeles and north of San Diego lies Orange County California. If you're not familiar with Southern California, it's where Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm are located (and a lot more).  Zoom our map out to get your bearings, then zoom in to find lots of things to see and do.

To give you a flavor of what you can find in Orange County, we have mapped the places from ten different articles from four different local media - those that know Orange County the best.

Click around to explore, and see the article list below:

Articles we've mapped:
If you need more local info, check out the official website for Orange County.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Where To Travel In The U.S. With Kids?

no one deals like we do!

Now is the time of year where you're trying to figure out where to take the family, and this map will focus on the places you should take your kids in the U.S.

To start, we're mapping two articles about where to take your kids before they turn 15, but we'd like to get suggestions from you on other articles we should add:
Leave us a comment below telling us what other articles you think we should add. Happy travels!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Our Reading List & Everything Map

Priceline Flights, Hotels, Rental Cars & More!

Announcing two new features on our blog:
  • Our Reading List - the stories and places we collect in between our big articles
  • Everything Map - our map of, well, everything we have blogged about, and all the places from Our Reading List (over 5,000 as of today)
If you are someone that likes to find unique places to visit, these two new features should quickly become a favorite.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Top Small Hotels And Motels For Families

With around 50,000 hotels, motels and other lodging to choose from in the U.S., where are the best places to stay with your family?

Luckily TripAdvisor, which bills itself as the world's largest travel site, likes to pull together "best of" lists based on reviews from people that actually visit the places they rate.  For families, TripAdvisor just announced their list of the:
"Top 25 Small Hotels & Motels for Families in the United States"

Where can you find the most winners in the one area?  Five of the 25 are within 9 miles of each other - can you find them?  Hint:  You're going to have to really zoom the map to find them.

Friday, April 6, 2012

2011 Best Amusement and Water Parks

Save up to $500 when you book your flight +hotel!

Now that it's springtime, our thoughts start turning to the important things that lie ahead - like what exciting things we're going to do this summer!

Amusement parks and water parks are lots of fun, but what if you wanted to visit the best of them?  Luckily for you, every year Amusement Today conducts an international poll to find out who will win their Golden Ticket Award for being the "Best of the Best" in the amusement industry.

Sixty parks won this year, in twenty-two categories that included Best Park, Best Waterpark, Best Children's Park, Friendliest Park, Cleanest Park, Best Shows, Best Kids Area, and Best Indoor Coaster.  Whatever you're looking for, they can tell you who is the best, and our map shows you where they are.

For even more choices, last year we looked at the most & least expensive amusement parks, as well as the parks that had the most inversions (going upside down) from the Roller Coaster Database.

The blue pins show who is #1 in their category.  Zoom in to see more detail, and move the map over to Japan and Europe for more "Best of the Best".

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2012 Major & Minor League Baseball Fields

Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd;

2012 is the 112th season for Major League Baseball (MLB) and Minor League Baseball (MiLB).

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don't care if I never get back.

The first regular MLB season series will be the Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics in the Tokyo Japan.  Buy me some sushi and fried octopus balls...

Let me root, root, root for the home team, if they don't win, it's a shame.

30 MLB teams in 18 U.S. states and one Canadian province, and 160 MiLB teams in 43 states and a different Canadian province.

For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out, at the old ball game.

You can buy tickets at, and there are a number of ticket resellers like TicketsNow, TicketNetwork, Razorgator, TicketSolutions, Select-a-ticket, TicketFeeder and more.

(continued below the map)

There is a lot of new technology that is going into stadiums these days, and last year looked at some of the most interesting in their article called "Fields of Dreams: Ballparks Unveil Tech Upgrades".

If you have an iPad or iPhone, you have lots of options for keeping track of your favorite team and live scores: At Bat - | FOX Sports Mobile FOX Sports Mobile - FOX Sports Interactive |
CBS Sports for iPhone CBS Sports for iPhone - CBS Interactive

And if you're interested in Fantasy Baseball, there's an app for that too...

RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit 2012 RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit 2012 - Roto Sports, Inc. | Fantasy Baseball '12 - Yahoo/ESPN Manager Fantasy Baseball '12 - Yahoo/ESPN Manager - Bignoggins Productions LLC | ESPN Fantasy Baseball 2012 ESPN Fantasy Baseball 2012 - ESPN books to help you draft the best players...
...and a lot more.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Best Vintage Stores

Discount GIft Cards

You may be living in the 21st century, but that doesn't mean you have to dress that way.

Shops that carry vintage clothing have always been around, whether selling used clothing (thrift shops, 2nd hand stores, etc.) or new clothing meant to look either old (though some sort of distressing) or like it's from another era.

While you can find hidden treasures at thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army, you can find a more curated collection of clothing & accessories at dedicated vintage stores.  These two articles talk about where to find the best:
Move the map to find the four stores in the Departures story located in Europe.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2011 Top 100 Chinese Restaurants

Food For A Fraction Of The Cost

Every January Chinese Restaurant News announces the winners of the best Chinese & Asian cuisine in the U.S. and other countries.  This years winners span 33 states, including big cities like New York and Los Angeles, and small ones like Eagle River Alaska and Mason Ohio.  Just goes to show you that you can get good food just about anywhere.

Our map shows the winners of the Top 10 Overall Excellence and Top 100 Overall Excellence.  Additional winners not on our map (yet!) are:
  • Top 10 Signature Dish
  • Top 100 Takeout
  • Top 100 Buffet
  • Top 100 Local Favorite
  • Top 100 Healthy Menus
  • Top Celebrity Chefs and Owners
  • Top 100 Hall of Fame Restaurants
Zoom and move the map around to find the restaurant closest to where you are, or where you're going. The blue "10" icon shows the Top 10 Overall winners.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Things To Do: New Orleans

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Mardi Gras in New Orleans ends on Tuesday - so what else is there to do?  Lots.

Food is definitely a big reason to roam around city, and there is plenty of history to view too.  We have mapped three lists to help you decide what to do, and where to go:
You don't have to wait for Mardi Gras to visit New Orleans, and considering how much there is to do, it's going to take more than one trip to see it all.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

San Diego Museum Month 2012

Do you like museums?

If you live near San Diego California, or plan on visiting before the end of February, you can enjoy half-off entry fees at 40 San Diego Museum Council member museums.  Macy's is sponsoring the event this year, and all you have to do is pick up a free pass at any of the fourteen Macy's in the San Diego Area, Temecula and Imperial Valley.

Participating museums include many of the museums in Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, and a myriad of museums throughout the county.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Indulgence Ideas For Valentines Day

A SpaFinder Gift Certificate - The Perfect Gift! - Give the Gift of a Getaway

Sometimes Valentines Day can be overwhelming.  What to get, where to go?  To help, we have mapped out some unique spa experiences for you, as well as some unique places to stay.  The articles we map are:
If you want to give the gift of indulgence, then you're in luck, since both Give The Gift Of Spa With A SpaFinder Gift CertificateSpaFinder and offer gift certificates.

Need more ideas?  Look below our map for past articles that might help.

Some of our past articles to check out:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Best Hotels in the USA 2012

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In addition to pulling together news from around the world, U.S. News & World Report is also known for ranking places to go and things to do.

Their current list of Best Hotels in the USA 2012 reflects a huge effort when you consider how many hotels there are in the U.S.  Regarding their list of 154 hotels, U.S. News says:

"The properties reflected on this list are winners not only for their luxurious amenities, fine service, and lavish décor, but also for the way they showcase America's diversity."

How many have you stayed at?
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Best New Restaurants of 2011

Food For A Fraction Of The Cost

What were the best new restaurants of 2011?  Depends on who you ask.  Which is why we have pulled together four "Best New" lists for you to use for finding not only good food, but maybe even something that is really unique.

The four lists we've mashed up for our map are:
Some cities can have multiple restaurants (New York has 13), so be sure to zoom in for more detail.  Also, let us know if there are any national lists we missed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Dinner, A Show, And Maybe A Murder

Sandals dining

Well not a real murder.  A dinner theater murder.  More on that in a little bit.

Dinner theater (or theatre) is a form of entertainment that includes dinner as part of the ticket price, and you eat in same room as the performance.  The earliest professional dinner theaters in the U.S. provided plays and musicals, and these are still the predominate types of acts.

Like other forms of live entertainment, the industry has had boom and bust years. Not as prevalent as it used to be, the industry still survives, especially near popular tourist destinations like Orlando Florida and Anaheim California (Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm).

Our map displays 27 dinner theaters that belong to the National Dinner Theatre Association, and 12 others that are independent dinner theaters.  Let us know if we missed your favorite one.  [article continues below map]

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Another type of performance is murder mysteries, where the performers may also be your servers.  The majority of these are traveling shows using existing restaurants, although there are a few that have their own venues.

If you've never experienced a dinner theater, they can be a lot of fun, and definitely something different in this internet age.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Things To Do: Super Bowl XLVI and Indianapolis

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The Super Bowl is February 5th, and this year Indianapolis IN is hosting the game at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts.  If you're going there to watch the game, or just to hang out at the NFL Experience, you may want something to do before or after the game.

Here at Where's URL we are big fans of Guy Fieri and his Diners, Drive-ins and Dives show on the Food Network, and Guy has visited seven local restaurants on his show.  We've mapped them for you, plus some unique attractions around Indianapolis that would be worth your time.

For instance, a short walk from Lucas Oil Stadium is White River State Park, which contains the NCAA Hall of Champions Museum, Indiana State Museum, an IMAX Theater and more. They even offer a park pass.  Check our map for more attractions.  Ready, Set, HIKE!

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We've added some of the places the USATODAY article "Indianapolis revs up for Super Bowl" mentions.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

World's Most Visited Museums

If you have a bucket list of "most popular" places to visit, then you'll want to read the Travel + Leisure article World's Most-Visited Museums.  Even if you don't have a bucket list, reading about these museums may give you the inspiration to find out why so many visit them, and since thirteen of them are in just three cities, visiting more than one on the same trip may be easier than you think.

When you do go, consider an attraction pass to save money and give you access to more local attractions:
How many have you visited?

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Top 30 U.S. Shopping Malls

Buy, Sell, and Trade Gift Cards

What U.S. shopping mall gets more visitors than Italy?  According to Travel + Leisure, that would be the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.  In their article America's Most-Visited Shopping Malls, they identify the top 30 most-visited malls across the U.S.

Not only are these malls great places to shop for locals, but they can also be top destinations for tourists.  For instance in the article they talk about how Woodfield Mall located outside of Chicago is the #1 tourist destination for Illinois.  And the size of the malls truly blurs the line between shopping and adventure travel, especially during the holiday shopping season.

Likely you live close enough to at least one of these mega-malls.  How many have you visited?  Click on each one to see how it ranks.

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