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Travel + Leisure announces best cities, resorts

Just in time for summer vacations and halfway points for paid time off, Travel + Leisure magazine has released its World's Best Awards, multiple lists identifying the best islands in the world, the best cities in the world, the best domestic airports and the best hotels in the U.S., among other desirable destinations and attractions. 

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 Here are a few places to add to your bucket list, according to Travel + Leisure:

Top 10 cities around the world

10. Cape Town, South Africa

9. Savannah, Georgia

8. Barcelona, Spain

7. New Orleans, Louisiana

6. Kyoto, Japan

5. Luang Prabang, Laos

4. Florence, Italy

3. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

2. Chiang Mai, Thailand

1. Charleston, South Carolina

"Charleston is a remarkably dynamic place, so it's no surprise that it has achieved its highest ranking ever in our survey as this year's best city in the world," said Nathan Lump, the magazine's editor. "The city has managed to preserve all the qualities for which it is widely known -- a prime coastal setting, historic architecture, friendly locals -- while also nurturing a creative culture that is making it one of the most notable destinations for those who seek out interesting restaurants, bars and shops."

 

Top 10 islands around the world 

10. Bali, Indonesia

9. Kauai, Hawaii

8. Hilton Head, South Carolina

7. Maui, Hawaii

6. Sebu, Phillippenes

5. Santorini, Greece

4. Waiheke Island, New Zealand

3. Ischia, Italy

2. Boracay, Philippines

1. Palawan, Philippines

Top 10 domestic airports

10. Portland International Jetport (PWM), Maine

9. Nashville International Airport (BNA), Tennessee

8. Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), Pennsylvania

7. John Wayne Airport (SNA), Santa Ana, California

6. Dallas Love Field (DAL), Texas

5. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), Minnesota

4. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), Texas

3. Tampa International Airport (TPA), Florida

2. Indianapolis International Airport (IND), Indiana

1. Portland International Airport (PDX), Oregon

"In addition to its navigability, PDX boasts an admirable on-time departure record," Travel + Leisure writer Melanie Lieberman wrote. 

PDX garnered the magazine's No. 1 spot for the fourth year in a row.

Top 10 large-ship ocean cruise lines

10. Royal Caribbean International

9. Celebrity Cruises      

8. Holland America Line

7. Princess Cruises       

6. Oceania Cruises

5. Azamara Club Cruises

4. Cunard

3. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

2. Crystal Cruises

1. Viking Cruises

"What truly makes a statement on the line’s twin 930-passenger ships, Viking Star and Viking Sea, is the Scandinavian aesthetic, which translates to airy cabins (all of which have full-size balconies) and public spaces," Travel + Leisure's Jacqueline Gifford wrote. "Wi-Fi is free to all guests, no matter their cabin class, and there is no surcharge to dine outside the main restaurant in places like The Chef’s Table, which serves a five-course tasting menu."

The magazine named Gray & Co. the worlds best tour operator, National Car Rental as the world's best car rental company and The Lodge at Glendorn in Bradford, Pennsylvania, as the world's best resort hotel in the continental U.S.

The World's Best Awards also feature categories for destinations in Europe, Canada, Mexico and other international locations. 

Read more here.

Scientist reports tens of thousands of sharks off Florida coast

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Tens of thousands of sharks were recently spotted just off the coast of Palm Beach County in Florida.

According to WPEC, aerial video shows the sharks moving from Palm Beach to Singer Island.

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Dr. Stephen Kajiura, a biological sciences professor at Florida Atlantic University, took the video during his weekly black tip shark migration surveys.

Kajiura, who has been featured on “Shark Week,” said that there were not many sharks south of Boynton Beach or in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

He told WPEC that when his survey reached Palm Beach, "It was loaded—literally tens of thousands of sharks.”

"It's so cool," he said. "There are literally tens of thousands of sharks a stone's throw away from our shoreline. You could throw a pebble and literally strike a shark. They are that close."

He also said he saw large concentrations of sharks off the Jupiter Inlet.

Kajiura’s study of the sharks' migratory patterns will try to answer why the sharks are attracted to Palm Beach County waters.

Read more here.

Hawaii's 'Dead Man's Catwalk' will soon be walking the plank

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A popular tourist site in Hawaii isn't an attraction promoted by the Pacifically located state. In fact, it's illegal for people to access the spot. And still, many people flock to Dead Man's Catwalk to bask in the beautiful beach views and to take pictures on the concrete slab. 

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Once called Kamehame Ridge, the popular hiking trail was renamed in 2012 after an unknown person spray-painted the words "Dead Man's Catwalk" on the cement walkway. A 40-minute trek to the spot, located on the island of Oahu, ends at the famous "catwalk," which appears to drop off into a mysterious abyss.

But now, officials at the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands want the catwalk removed, according to KHON2.

They're hoping doing away with the concrete slab will stop people from taking advantage of dangerous photo opportunities like these:

Yaaaaaaaaaaah! #tbt #almostdied #deadmanscatwalk A photo posted by Zancestan Espaniola (@mrromance_zance) on Feb 11, 2016 at 9:39am PST

when he can't take a hint... #deadmanscatwalk #hikingHawaii #rejected A photo posted by Jackie Dolski (@jackiedolski) on Sep 1, 2015 at 6:33pm PDT

Jumping off the end of the world #deadmanscatwalk #hawaii A photo posted by Heather Thompson (@therizzlehtizzle) on Feb 11, 2016 at 9:00pm PST

#ysbh #luckywelivehi #deadmanscatwalk Dead Mans Cat Walk! Amazing day! A photo posted by Jimmy Gilstrap (@kimoclay) on Feb 11, 2016 at 1:35am PST

Hanging out at #deadmanscatwalk A photo posted by Robert Shelton (@shelton_gator) on Feb 6, 2016 at 4:50pm PST

Just do it. - Shia Lebouf #inspiration #motivation #live #faith #inspire #inspired #amazing #nofilter #picoftheday #instagood #deadmanscatwalk #sky #ocean #beautiful #beautifulday #lovelyday #hawaii #hawaiilife #hawaiistagram #hawaiianstyle #hilife #instafollowers #epic #running #photography #jump #datass #endless #water #picture A photo posted by Grant Uchida (@grantuchida) on Feb 10, 2016 at 1:17pm PST

Aside from potentially dangerous situations that could result from a photo gone wrong, officials want to remind people that the area was never intended to attract hikers. The land that the trail is on is private property owned by Kamehameha Schools. Last year, the school system sent letters to bloggers and travel websites asking them to stop promoting the hike, Huffington Post reported. 

The trail is surrounded by Federal Aviation Administration antennas, propane tanks and a telecommunications office. Kamehameha Schools said all three have been vandalized with increased foot traffic in the area.

“Wires to our building and equipment have been cut, and there’s graffiti covering our walls," Don Laidlaw, an engineer for one of the property's licensees, said in a press release. "We know that other agencies are getting hit, too. I’ve heard of one telecommunications office that was broken into and communications towers that have been damaged. It’s difficult to deal with."

At the entrance about to hike up to #deadmanscatwalk #hawaii #honolulu A photo posted by Char (@so___lo) on Jan 23, 2016 at 11:00am PST

Plus, the hike is dangerous. The Hawaii Fire Department has had to rescue people from the trail.

"Although there are numerous large ‘NO TRESPASSING’ signs at the entries and all along the road, there is a blatant disregard for the warnings," Laidlaw said. "It’s not a safe place for hiking enthusiasts."

The removal of the catwalk will cost approximately $48,000, but locals Hawaiians don't think removing the concrete slab will prevent many people from hiking the trail. 

"I have done the hike six times and it has had nothing to do with the catwalk," Jaclyn Dolski, an Oahu resident, told Huffington Post. "The hike is a fast easy path to beautiful views of the ocean with a great sunrise."

Rare albino baby turtle found hatched on beach

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Volunteers from Coolum and North Shore Coast Care in Queensland, Australia were treated to a rare sight on Sunday when a tiny, white turtle was found sitting newly hatched in a nest on Yaroomba's Castaways Beach.

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“It was a surprise. We were amazed to see this small white creature with pink flippers,” said the group's president, Leigh Warneminde. 

The group had been scanning the sands of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to count empty shells and calculate how many new turtles had made it to sea when they found the special baby sitting on top of the nest.

"It is a very rare find," Warneminde said. "It is the first time I've see one."

The small albino green turtle was a little late in making his way out of the nest; his siblings had all already hatched and crawled away.

Dr. Col Limpus, Queensland's Government's Threatened Species Unit chief scientist, expanded on how rare an albino turtle is, stating, "Albino hatchlings are extremely rare; it probably occurs at the rate of one in many hundreds of thousands of eggs that are laid."

Unfortunately, that rarity doesn’t bode well for the tiny turtle’s future.

Normal hatchlings only have a 1-in-1,000 chance of making it to maturity, and the white hatchling’s color makes him an easy spot for predators.

"They're not particularly suited with color patterns that would blend and camouflage within the environment, and they're more likely to be taken by predators," said Limpus. 

But Warneminde wasn’t too worried about the little guy, commenting, “He was quite vigorous while walking from the nest to the ocean."

Read more here.

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