What are the best things to do this summer? Vote now

Note from 10Best: Someday, we’ll all be ready to pack our suitcases again and head out on our next adventures. In the meantime, we’ll keep supporting the places that inspire us. Contact individual attractions for the latest updates.

Zoos, aquariums, safari parks, aerial adventure parks, and botanical gardens create incredible opportunities to learn about and engage with the world around us. A panel of experts nominated their picks for the best, and now we need your help narrowing the nominee list down to the 10Best.

Vote once per day for your favorite in each category until voting ends on Monday, May 24 at noon ET. The 10 best winners, chosen by your vote, will be announced on Friday, June 4.

Click on each category below to vote:

Best Aerial Adventure Park

While ziplines and canopy tours began as a tool for scientific field research, they’ve exploded in popularity as an attraction in their own right – a way to experience the forest canopy in a safe and thrilling environment. We asked a panel of family travel experts to nominate their favorite aerial adventure parks in North America, and now it’s your turn to choose a winner.

Vote: Best Aerial Adventure Park »

Best Aquarium

Aquariums put us face to fin with aquatic life from the world’s oceans, lakes and waterways in a fun and educational setting. The best aquariums also play a vital role in animal conservation by taking part in rescue efforts and advocating for the environmental health of our oceans.

These 20 aquariums, almost all accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and nominated by a panel of 10Best experts, represent the best in North America for their high quality exhibits and visitor interactions.

Vote: Best Aquarium »

Video: Brought in by humans, beavers threaten Patagonia’s forests (AFP)

  • a group of people sitting at a table: Euskal Gozogileak (Basque Confectioners) association members exhibit a life-size chocolate version of Picasso's painting "Guernica" in the Spanish Basque town of Guernica. The 7.70m x 3.50m chocolate replica made by around 40 confectioners is been exhibited in the town to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the 1937 bombing raid of the small Basque town by Nazi aircraft, at the behest of General Francisco Franco.

    Spanish chocolatiers present replica of Picasso's 'Guernica'

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    AFP

  • a group of people in a room: It's back to school for the pupils of this small primary school in northeastern France and children are learning how to keep an eye on air quality. The school installed CO2 indicators in six classrooms in 2015, and now when the lights turn red, teachers and pupils air out the classrooms.

    French pupils monitor classroom air quality as schools reopen

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    AFP

  • a couple of people that are talking to each other: Outside the "House of Wisdom" mosque in Berlin, a medical team made up of Libyans, Syrians and Armenians carry out free rapid testing for a steady stream of worshippers lining up with prayer mats.

    Muslims in Berlin take Covid tests before Friday prayers

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    AFP

  • a group of people on a sidewalk in front of a house: After months of stop-start restrictions imposed to manage its second and third waves of Covid-19, Italy hopes this latest easing will mark the start of something like a normal summer.

    Italians emerge from lockdown

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    AFP

  • a group of people sitting at a table: The flat farming region of Guanyun is China's self-proclaimed "Lingerie Capital", where sewing machines hum in village-level micro-factories to meet up to 70 percent of the fast-growing domestic demand. Millions more items are exported annually in a textbook example of the ability of internet-enabled Chinese entrepreneurs to profit from even the most off-the-wall idea.

    Sex sells: China farm region becomes 'lingerie capital'

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    AFP

  • a woman wearing a hat and sunglasses: Beijing residents congratulate Beijing-born director Chloe Zhao on her history-making win at the Oscars. Zhao's "Nomadland" about marginalised Americans roaming the West in vans was honoured for best picture, director and actress for Frances McDormand, who now is in elite company with her third Academy Award. Zhao has drawn controversy in China after years-old interviews resurfaced in which she appeared to criticise her country of birth.

    'Pride of Chinese': Beijing residents congratulate Chloe Zhao on historic Oscar win

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    AFP

  • Indonesian authorities confirm missing submarine found, 53 crew dead

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    AFP

  • a man standing in front of a crowd of people: The healthcare system in India is struggling to cope with a huge surge in coronavirus cases, with severe oxygen and medicine shortages, and patients' families pleading for help on social media.

    India's virus crisis escalates

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    AFP

  • a person in a yard: You might not expect to feel close to nature travelling on a train through London but just a few steps from the platform at Brondesbury Park station an Energy Garden is thriving, creating a microcosm of biodiversity hiding in plain sight.

    London community gardens bring new life to railway wasteland

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  • a beach with a mountain in the background: Greece is preparing for the official opening of its tourist season on May 14 with vaccination programmes across dozens of small islands of under one thousand inhabitants in the Aegean and Ionian Seas given priority. On the small, idyllic southern island of Elafonisos, famous for its sandy beaches and dunes, the majority of residents have already received their second dose and now await the arrival of tourists.

    Greece's Covid-free island prepares for summer

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    AFP

  • Coronavirus patients struggle to find beds, oxygen, and vital medical supplies in New Delhi as India's capital extends its lockdown while the country's Covid-19 crisis grows with infections and deaths hitting record highs.

    Death and despair at the doors of stricken Delhi hospital

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    AFP

  • a group of people walking down the street: Fresh clashes break out between Palestinians and police after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for "calm on all sides" after several nights of unrest in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem. There have been nightly disturbances since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on April 13, amid Palestinian anger over police blocking off access to the promenade around the walls of the Old City and a ban on gatherings.

    Israeli security forces, Palestinians clash in Jerusalem

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    AFP

  • Decimated by over-fishing and pollution, British oysters could make a comeback, as a hatchery in the Channel port city of Portsmouth is helping to revive a native species. The hatchery is the first in the country to focus solely on saving oysters, without any commercial motivation, and aims to reintroduce millions of the European flat oysters (ostrea edulis), a species that is almost extinct in this region.

    Hatchery reviving Britain's near-extinct local oysters

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    AFP

  • a group of people standing and talking on the phone: "We're fine, everyone's fine," says Franco-Swiss explorer Christian Clot, who led a group of 14 French volunteers in an experiment probing the limits of human adaptability to isolation, where they lived inside a cave for 40 days, giving up watches, phones and natural light.

    French volunteers leave cave after 40-day endurance trial, say they are 'fine'

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    AFP

  • a man wearing a suit and tie: Lawyer for Ghislaine Maxwell, David Oscar Markus, says that Maxwell is "looking forward to fighting" during trial outside the New York Court where the British socialite pleaded not guilty to new sex trafficking charges, as she appeared in court in person for the first time since her arrest last July for alleged involvement in the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking of girls.

    Ghislaine Maxwell 'ready to fight' ahead of trial says lawyer

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    AFP

  • a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Around 2,000 Arsenal fans protest prior to their team's Premier League match with Everton, registering once again their distaste for the club's owner Stan Kroenke after the European Super League fiasco. "We want our voices to be heard, we want to have a say in how the club is being run," says one demonstrator.

    Arsenal fans protest against owner Kroenke

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    AFP

  • a group of people sitting at a table: Euskal Gozogileak (Basque Confectioners) association members exhibit a life-size chocolate version of Picasso's painting "Guernica" in the Spanish Basque town of Guernica. The 7.70m x 3.50m chocolate replica made by around 40 confectioners is been exhibited in the town to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the 1937 bombing raid of the small Basque town by Nazi aircraft, at the behest of General Francisco Franco.
    Spanish chocolatiers present replica of Picasso's 'Guernica'
    Euskal Gozogileak (Basque Confectioners) association members exhibit a life-size chocolate version of Picasso's painting "Guernica" in the Spanish Basque town of Guernica. The 7.70m x 3.50m chocolate replica made by around 40 confectioners is been exhibited in the town to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the 1937 bombing raid of the small Basque town by Nazi aircraft, at the behest of General Francisco Franco.

    AFP Logo
    AFP

  • a group of people in a room: It's back to school for the pupils of this small primary school in northeastern France and children are learning how to keep an eye on air quality. The school installed CO2 indicators in six classrooms in 2015, and now when the lights turn red, teachers and pupils air out the classrooms.
    French pupils monitor classroom air quality as schools reopen
    It's back to school for the pupils of this small primary school in northeastern France and children are learning how to keep an eye on air quality. The school installed CO2 indicators in six classrooms in 2015, and now when the lights turn red, teachers and pupils air out the classrooms.

    AFP Logo
    AFP

  • a couple of people that are talking to each other: Outside the "House of Wisdom" mosque in Berlin, a medical team made up of Libyans, Syrians and Armenians carry out free rapid testing for a steady stream of worshippers lining up with prayer mats.
    Muslims in Berlin take Covid tests before Friday prayers
    Outside the "House of Wisdom" mosque in Berlin, a medical team made up of Libyans, Syrians and Armenians carry out free rapid testing for a steady stream of worshippers lining up with prayer mats.

    AFP Logo
    AFP

UP NEXT

Best Botanical Garden

April showers might very well bring May flowers, but at these spectacular public and botanical gardens, there’s always something in bloom. The best gardens and arboretums on the continent, like these 20 nominated by our panel of experts, help to promote and conserve the plant diversity of our planet, all while showcasing their vast collections in stunning, visitor-friendly ways.

Vote: Best Botanical Garden »

Best Wildlife/Safari Park

At these 20 safari and wildlife parks, nominated as the best in the U.S., visitors get up close and personal with exotic and endangered animals from around the country and the world. Many of the facilities are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and have a focus on conservation as well as education.

Vote: Best Wildlife/Safari Park »

Best Zoo

North America is home to hundreds of zoological parks, including more than 200 facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Short of heading out into the world’s wild places, nothing beats a visit to the zoo to foster an appreciation for the striking animal diversity of our planet.

We asked a panel of travel experts to nominate their favorite North American AZA-accredited zoos – facilities that excel in the fields of animal care and enrichment, while also facilitating meaningful interactions between animals and human visitors.

Vote: Best Zoo »

Best Zoo Exhibit

A great zoo exhibit engages visitors with the animals they’re observing while keeping the welfare and enrichment of its animal residents front and center. We asked a panel of zoo and family travel experts to nominate their favorite animal exhibits in North America, and now we need you to choose a winner.

Vote: Best Zoo Exhibit »

Remember, you can vote once per day in each category. The 10 nominees with the most votes in each category will be announced on 10Best.com on Friday, June 4.

10Best is a part of the USA TODAY Network, providing an authentically local point of view on destinations around the world, in addition to travel and lifestyle advice.

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