49 Phenomenal Photos from National Geographic Traveler Photography Contest

Family Time Outdoor Scenes a mother's love

Family Time: One of the Outdoor Scenes in the National Geographic Travel Photo Contest. The winners have been chosen, but all of these photos seem like winners to us! There’s nothing like a father’s and a mother’s love. “A lion and lioness share some quality time with their cubs.” Location: Governor’s Camp, Kenya. Photo #1 and “quoted” caption by © Brandon Harris/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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Sensational Sand Sculptures: From Creative Castles to Adorable Dragons [47 PICS]

Dragon Dwellers - Amazin' Walter and William Lloyds entry in the Tournament of Sand Sculpting Champions at Harrison Hot Springs, British Colombia

Dragon Dwellers – Amazin’ Walter and William Lloyds entry in the Tournament of Sand Sculpting Champions at Harrison Hot Springs, British Colombia, Canada. Photo #1 by © Amazin Walter

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Paradise In The Devil’s Garden: Plitvice Waterfalls

Walking through Plitvice NP

Plitvice National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where 16 gorgeous lakes from azure to green to gray are said to constantly be changing colors based on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and depending upon the angle of sunlight. It’s an amazing natural phenomena and just one of the many reasons people come to Plitvice. Photo #1 by Desktop Nexus

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Adrenaline Junkies Cave Diving Vortex Spring [Pics, Videos]

Friendly fish at Vortex Springs

When you think of Florida and diving, “freshwater” might not be your first thought. But Vortex Spring is a popular diving area for professional, experienced and even beginning divers. It offers training classes for scuba diving as well as being a top ranked spot to become certified. The water is cool, a constant 68° and does not become stagnant due to the constant flow of water that also helps keep it clear. The photographer called this ‘Larry’s pets.’ Photo #1 by © Barry Shively

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Unsurpassed & Sublime Beauty of Grand Teton National Park [60 PICS]

Rainbow Forever, Moulton Barn at Grand Teton National Park Wyoming

‘Rainbow Forever,’ Moulton Barn at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Everywhere you look, this park has stunning scenes, making it easy to understand why in 2011 this was the 8th most visited national park in America. Photo #1 by wallpapers5

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Acadia National Park: 9th Most Visited U.S. National Park in 2011 [40 PICS]

Mount Desert Island, Wild gardens of Acadia NP

The largest island along the rugged coast of Maine is Mount Desert Island. A cluster of islands make up Acadia National Park. The photographer called this the ‘Wild gardens of Acadia NP.’ Photo #1 by Liz West

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Cuyahoga Valley National Park: 10th Most Visited U.S. National Park in 2011

Ledges with spring trees at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The Ritchie Ledges, which formed more than 300 million years ago, with spring trees at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Ledges are found within the Virginia Kendall Park unit of Cuyahoga National Park. Photo #1 by © Tom Jones / NPS

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44 Fantastic Photos of Beautiful Cherry Blossom & Kite Festival in DC

Cherry Blossom Festival time -- Squirrel nibbling on cherry blossoms

Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.: A squirrel nibbling on cherry blossoms. The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., commemorates the March 27, 1912, gift of Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Ozaki of Tokyo City to DC. Photo #1 by © Fumiko Yarita via National Geographic Wallpaper

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37 Out-of-this-World Photos: Earth from Above

Aurora Australis and Daybreak

Aurora Australis and Daybreak. The Aurora Australis, seen at right on Earth’s horizon, and daybreak (left) highlight this “busy” photograph taken by one of the Expedition 30 crew members aboard the International Space Station. Photo #1 by NASA

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