MapQuest Unveils 10 Top Destinations of 2013

B3BA9T Las Vegas Strip at Dusk, Paradise, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Alamy

Las Vegas, Nashville and Orlando were the top three searched for cities on MapQuest in 2013. The results are a compilation of destinations searched for on both MapQuest’s website and its recently updated-and critically acclaimed-iPhone and Android apps. [Full disclosure: AOL owns both MapQuest and Gadling.]

Texas was the only state with two cities in MapQuest’s top 10 list: Houston was eighth and Dallas was ninth. Feel free to criticize these travelers for not going to Austin instead in the comments.
Here are MapQuest’s top 10 most-searched for destinations of 2013:

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada
  2. Nashville, Tennessee
  3. Orlando, Florida
  4. Atlanta, Georgia
  5. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  6. Chicago, Illinois
  7. Denver, Colorado
  8. Houston, Texas
  9. Dallas, Texas
  10. St. Louis, Missouri

Photo Of The Day: Balloon + Moon

Theodore Scott, Flickr

The well-known Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is fast approaching, and one of our Gadling Flickr Pool members submitted a teaser shot of sorts, from a smaller festival in Louisiana. Have you ever encountered a balloon festival on your travels?

We’d love to feature your photos and videos on Gadling, so please add them to our Flickr Pool (with Creative Commons licensing!), tag @GadlingTravel on Instagram or email us at OfTheDay@gadling.com.

Photo Of The Day: Extraterrestrial Highway

Extra-Terrestrial Highway Nevada road trip
coldcut, Flickr

Labor Day weekend is coming up quickly, and although it’s forecast to be the busiest in five years, that won’t stop an estimated 34.1 million people from packing up and heading out… somewhere. Even though the main roads might not be as clear as this shot of the Extraterrestrial Highway in Nevada, you may find solace in calmer, slower back roads. So, load up the car, map your route on the GPS, and spin the steering wheel whichever way the talking lady in the dashboard tells you to go. But maybe ask her for an alternate route before you set off.

We’d love to feature your photos and videos on Gadling, so please add them to our Flickr Pool (with Creative Commons licensing!), tag @GadlingTravel on Instagram or email us at OfTheDay@gadling.com.

Drink Too Much In Las Vegas? There’s A Spa For You

Las Vegas
Wikimedia Commons

It’s easy to drink too much in Las Vegas. Hell, they want you to drink too much. As Hunter S. Thompson observed in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, “In this town they love a drunk. Fresh meat.”

Not only do bosomy waitresses offer free drinks to gullible dupes who don’t understand statistics classy high rollers, but pretty much all the bars and restaurants have cheap booze.

It makes for a great evening, but the morning after can be hell. That’s when REVIV–The Hydration Medspa comes to the rescue. Their slogan is, “What life takes out of you REVIV gives right back.” Founded by four emergency room physicians and staffed by registered nurses and paramedics, this spa specializes in rehydrating people who have had a bit too much fun in the sun.

Once you stagger through their doors, REVIV staff will sit you down in a plush leather message chair and offer you one of a number of IV treatments to get fluid, vitamins, and minerals straight into your system.

If you’re simply dehydrated, a liter of saline solution and electrolytes (aka the HydraMax Hydration Infusion) may be just the thing for you. More serious cases might opt for the MegaBoost Wellness Infusion, where the patient also gets vitamins, antioxidants, and and “immunity boost”. If your system is making you look and feel like the Toxic Avenger, go for the UltraVive Recovery Infusion, which adds B12, anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory medicines into the mix. These IV injections start at $99. For something a little less radical you can set the QuickFix oral treatment for $49.

Hmm, maybe that slogan should be, “What Vegas takes out of you REVIV takes a little more.”

If you find yourself hungover somewhere other than Vegas, or if you simply don’t want to fork over large sums of money to pay for your mistakes, you can either try to absorb the toxins at a buffet or check out these hangover cures from around the world.

Happy drinking!

[Via The Los Angeles Times]

Mexican Park Offers Fake Border Crossing Attraction

Illegal Border Crossing in El Alberto
From sewer tours in France to “ghetto tours” in New York, there’s no shortage of strange excursions out there. An amusement park in Mexico, however, may have the most unusual outing yet: Parque EcoAlberto is bringing in tourist dollars – and teaching Mexican youth a lesson – by simulating the experience of fleeing across the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to PBS, the nighttime-only attraction aims to dissuade immigration by teaching Mexican citizens that attempting to cross the border is no walk in the park. For three hours, events unfold as realistically as possible, with masked guides shouting for participants to “get Moving” and a fake border patrol chasing them with flashlights and dogs.

The park, which also has hot springs and offers ziplining, is about 800 miles from the real U.S.-Mexico border in part of the indigenous HñaHñu community. According to the news outlet, the community has lost about 80 percent of its population to the U.S., mainly to Arizona and Nevada.

“We try to help people so that they won’t leave,” a park employee who acts as a “coyote,” or person paid to smuggle people across the border, tells PBS. “It’s time to create some employment, to work with our own and regenerate everything, or at least what we can, even though it might be slow going.”