The Murray Affair
     

The Murray Affair

San Francisco, California

There are few actors we respect and admire more than Bill Murray, so it's only right that we're pumped about The Murray Affair. This unique art exhibition, put together by Ezra Croft and scheduled for August 8th at the SF Public Works is a one-night extravaganza filled with artwork dedicated the man/myth/legend and his myriad iconic roles. In addition to all the artwork, there will also be musical entertainment, and the ability to buy select pieces — assuming the artist wants to sell.

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Northwest Passage Cruise
     

Northwest Passage Cruise

Anchorage, Alaska

In case you've forgotten your middle school geography, the Northwest Passage is a route through the Arctic Ocean that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans — and now, over 100 years after it was first navigated, you can live the excitement of this trip on a Northwest Passage Cruise. This 32-day excursion will see you sailing past fjords, glaciers, and rare wildlife, while stopping at ports-of-call that include Kodiak, Alaska, Nuuk, Greenland, Bar Harbor, Maine, and New York City. It's certainly not cheap at $20,000 per person, but that's a small price to pay to be among the first to make the trip.

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Columbus Food Truck Festival
     

Columbus Food Truck Festival

Columbus, Ohio

Forget trying to chase down your favorite Ohio food trucks — they'll more than likely be gathered in one spot at the Columbus Food Truck Festival. Scheduled for August 15th & 16th at the Columbus Commons in downtown, this tasty event will feature over 40 food trucks and carts — including favorites like Sweet Carrot, The Angry Wiener, and Tortilla Street Food — as well as live music, arts and crafts, and plenty of refreshments. Or you could spend the next two months driving around to try them all. Totally up to you.

Photos: Sean_L1
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Baker Thermometer
     

Baker Thermometer

Baker, California

It's been a familiar face on the drive up I-15 from LA to Vegas since it was first switched on in 1992, but for the first time in years, the Baker Thermometer is ready to spring back into action. Standing 134 feet tall — in honor of the record temperature in Death Valley on July 10, 1913 — this landmark has just hit with a $150,000 restoration, allowing it to once again report the accurate temperature, which is good, since it's a real shame to have the World's Tallest Thermometer turned off.

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Ala Moana Fireworks
     

Ala Moana Fireworks

Honolulu, Hawaii

It really doesn't matter what you're doing — the beaches of Hawaii make a great backdrop for almost anything. So it only stands to reason that they'd be a great place to put on a fireworks show. Indeed, the Ala Moana Fireworks display is one of the best Independence Day spectacles around. Unlike most barge-based shows, the shells for this celebration are launched from the tip of Magic Island so as to not harm the offshore reefs, and can be seen from all over Waikiki and Honolulu, making it one of the most accessible shows around.

Photos: Kyle Nishioka
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Lights on the Lake
     

Lights on the Lake

South Lake Tahoe, California

When it comes to 4th of July fireworks shows, there are plenty of obvious destinations, like New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and DC — so we're guessing you probably didn't have Lake Tahoe on your must-see list. And that's a shame, because Lights on the Lake is one of the country's premier Independence Day shows. Scheduled to begin at 9:45, the show is visible from all around South Lake Tahoe, with special viewing opportunities available via boat, clubhouse, and — for a really unique view — helicopter.

Photos: Ron A. Parker
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Iguazu Falls
     

Iguazu Falls

Puerto IguazĂș, Argentina

With so much happening in Brazil over the next couple of years, there will be plenty of reasons to go visit — and should you find yourself there for whatever reason, be sure to move away from the coast and explore the natural beauty of Iguazu Falls. Set on the border of Brazil and Argentina, this huge collection of waterfalls (between 150 and 300, depending on the water level) can be seen from either side, with most of the falls residing in Argentina and the best views belonging to Brazil. It might be a bit of a jaunt from Sao Paulo or Rio, but it's totally worth it.

Photos: Boris G
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Big Apple Barbecue Block Party
     

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

New York, New York

There's more than enough BBQ joints in New York to fill a weekend, but if you're looking for the best of the best, you'd better plan on being at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. Scheduled for June 7th & 8th in Madison Square Park, the event will feature barbecue and other foods from pitmasters hailing from all over the country, as well as informative seminars and live music from rock, blues, and soul artists.

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Anchorage Summer Solstice Festival
     

Anchorage Summer Solstice Festival

Anchorage, Alaska

Everyone knows that June 21 is the longest day of the year — in the Northern Hemisphere, at least — but few places get more daylight that day than Alaska. Make the most of the 22 hours of daylight with a trip to the Anchorage Summer Solstice Festival. This all-day party takes over the downtown area, with skateboarding demonstrations, the "Hero Games", kids activities, a marathon, live music, great food, and, as you might imagine, plenty of refreshments — hopefully including enough beer to keep the revelers going long enough to greet the Midnight Sun.

Photos: Russ Reno Photography, Travis S.
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The Toy and Action Figure Museum
     

The Toy and Action Figure Museum

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma

Relive a bit of your childhood and get a break from the scorching sun with a visit to The Toy and Action Figure Museum. Located in a small town south of OKC, this unique museum boasts a collection of over 13,000 action figures, many still in their packaging, as well as plenty of other cartoon and comic memorabilia, a collection of drawings from Oklahoma's most famous cartoonists, and a huge diorama that's sure to put you on nostalgia overload.

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Eldora Speedway
     

Eldora Speedway

New Weston, Ohio

Indy. Daytona. Laguna Seca. Sure, there are better known race tracks you can visit for a night of racing action. But it's hard to beat the value/fun ratio of a race at Eldora Speedway. Located in the heartland roughly halfway between Columbus and Indianapolis, this legendary dirt track plays host to a variety of events throughout the year, including a NASCAR truck series race and the star-studded "Prelude to the Dream" race, which draws out some of NASCAR's best for the evening — no doubt in part due to the track's owner, Tony Stewart.

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Dream Cars
     

Dream Cars

Atlanta, Georgia

Normally a chance to see concept cars involves a trip to a huge auto show — and even then you only get to see new concepts, not classic examples of futuristic automotive design. Which is why Dream Cars is so unique. Running from May 21 through September 7 at the High Museum of Art, this exciting exhibit features a collection of concept cars produced between 1932 and the present, covering everything from Paul Arzens' three-wheeled Electric Egg to the flexible fabric-skinned BMW GINA. A must-see for gearheads everywhere.

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