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Amazing Travel Experiences

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This planet has so much to offer. Chart your course from an authentic Tennessee moonshine distillery to the imperial palaces of Seoul, or from Spanish artisanal chocolate makers in Cadiz to an unforgettable ecotourism experience in South Africa. Seek out impressive “turning wood” crafts in rural India, or pay a visit to custom bag designer Rickshaw Bagworks in San Francisco. Read through this list of amazing travel experiences to gather inspiration for your next trip!
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Bruges, Belgium
One of my favorite things to shop for in Belgium are the tapestries. Hand or machine made, they are incredibly beautiful and when displayed in the house they give such a royal feel to the place. I have so many things but every time I go to a new...
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7114 E Stetson Dr Suite 105, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Silvana Salcido Esparza's food is exactly what it says in street lingo on Barrio Queen's T-shirts: A TODA MADRE—"totally awesome." This is Northern Mexican Cuisine but in a casual cafe setting. Esparza's more formal Barrio on 16th St. has this...
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Makuleke Contract Park Northern Kruger National Park, Pafuri, 0973, South Africa
Changing location every evening means waking up to a different but equally spectacular view. The ‘eco-loos’ are a bit questionable and the hot bucket showers take some getting used to, but you can sleep happy knowing your presence will go...
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Franceville, Gabon
During a trip to West Africa, my wife, daughter, and I arranged to visit to a rather unknown gem in Gabon called Lekedi Park. Lekedi Park is a relatively new animal reserve on the eastern side of the country near the Republic of Congo. The park...
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903 Parkway #128, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, USA
Said the sign that led us down the alleyway, through the market to the Moonshine Distillery. Following the crowd, we entered the whiskey store and shuffled up to the counter where we discovered the staff offering up free samples from at least...
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9-11 Fuk Wing St, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong
I've done my share of silly things in the name of good food - some of those exploits documented here on AFAR, I'm sure. Standing on a street corner in the pouring rain at 9am waiting for a lunch restaurant to open with 150 other hungry visitors...
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Boggy Sand Rd, West Bay, Cayman Islands
Grand Cayman is not all offshore banks and transplanted NYC fund managers in Teva sandals and bad Reyn Spooner shirts. Nor is it purely the monolithic mega-resorts dotting the well known Seven Mile Beach. Fortunately for the experiential traveler,...
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Zinkens Väg, 118 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Every other block in Stockholm seems to have a bakery or a coffee shop that also sells pastries. Swedes seem to love their pastries almost as much as the French. Since it's almost impossible to avoid the bakeries in Stockholm, I simply gave in and...
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Simonsgatan 7, 00100 Helsingfors, Finland
Feeling overwhelmed? Kampin Kappeli (Chapel of Silence) is the perfect place to relax and reflect. If you visit Helsinki when the temperatures are still chilly like I did, it's also the perfect place to warm up before venturing back out into the...
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Nirona, Gujarat 370001, India
Driving through Kutch in rural India, we turned into the town of Nirona on a whisper that there were some interesting crafts created there. We asked some locals who directed us to just keep walking along the dusty track. On what seemed like a road...
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99 Sejong-daero, Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
There are many imperial palaces in Seoul, but only one is open at night - Deoksugung Palace. For about $1, enter the east gate and watch couples hold hands as you stroll through the grounds of former kings and queens. When you leave, cross the...
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Fjærland, Norway
The Flatbreen hike in Norway is officially in the running for "Best Day Hike in the World," in my book. You'll gain 3,100 feet in elevation on the way up these stunning, glaciated valleys and mountain passes. Depending on your pace and the...
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64 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France
He slid the long steel knife along the cured ham and sliced sheaths no thicker than the wax paper upon which they lay. One needs a sharp knife, mettle, and a firm wrist to make such cuts and the man possessed all of these qualities. The...
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Lauragh Lower, Lauragh, Co. Kerry, Ireland
While staying at the Hilltop Cottage on the Beara Peninsula, I took a picture with my iPhone of a half-consumed bottle of Dingle Gin with a view of the peninsula and ever-present sheep as a backdrop. The gin is made by The Dingle Distillery in...
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2525 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
In an island area of West Maui that draws many transplants and seasonal employees, Dale Simonson’s longevity at 40 years behind a bar is amazing. But top that with his expertise at making tropical drinks and his friendly attitude and the Tiki Bar...
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Rue Abou Abbas El Sebti، 40000, Morocco
Morocco isn’t really recognized as a fine dining destination, so if you come for that reason, you're likely to be disappointed, with one notable exception: The food at the Royal Mansour, while expensive—tasting menus at either La...
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Drève Richelle 10, 1410 Waterloo, Belgium
Known as a "brocante" in French, the Waterloo flea market is held every Sunday morning rain or shine (usually rain). You can buy just about anything there as well. Sometimes the prices are over the top (makes you wonder how somebody can ask for...
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Nytorgsgatan 27, 116 40 Stockholm, Sweden
You may be surprised to learn that even in the cold of winter they do sunny, California-style, surf-inspired retail quite well in Stockholm. (Perhaps it is because they do all retail very well in Stockholm or because the balance of the population...
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Having lived in London for many years and adoring markets, I can safely say I've spent time at many. Spitalfields used to be my favorite a few years ago, but with all the gentrification in the area, I feel it's lost its charm. Yes, Portobello is a...
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201 Calle de Tetuan, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico
Shop for an authentic souvenir in Everything but Match, a store inspired by a T-shirt line designed by the owners' 6-year-old daughter. In this shop in Old San Juan, you'll find original art, accessories, and children's clothing made by local...
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7 Rue de Prague, 75012 Paris, France
Petit Pan is a kid-wonder brand. It has a few stores in Paris (in fact, in other locations all over Europe) but the one I’ve visited was at a tiny store in the heart of the Latin Quarter at rue du Bac. The brand Petit Pan is known by its colorful...
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904 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
Next time you're in the Dogpatch neighborhood of SF, don't miss the chance to swing by Rickshaw and create a custom bag. Tucked away in your Rickshaw bag you’ll find a tag with their special heart symbol, something called the Rickshaw “PCQ Tattoo”...
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General García Escamez 5, local, 11008 Cádiz, Spain
Modern decor, modern packaging, modern chocolate in an ancient seaside town. Cadiz based Pancracio Chocolates is a forerunner in Spain; products now available at such specialty stores such as Bergdorf Goodman in NYC.
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173 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France
Astier de Villatte is well known for its light weight white porcelain plates and dishes, all shown in a big wooden closet at the entrance hall of the store, alongside home perfumes, candles and other colored decorative dishes. It serves as a...
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3555 W 69th St, Edina, MN 55435, USA
Year after year, Creative Kidstuff stacks up awards for best toy store in the Twin Cities. Once you step into the vibrant shop, there’s little wonder why. Everything, from the goods on offer to the numerous special events like music classes, story...
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Get a handmade leather wallet, purse, or passport holder—without breaking the bank. Since 1949, local secret Armando Rioda (hidden on the 2nd floor of a building near the Spanish Steps) has been turning out top-notch, handcrafted leather goods....
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Quartier Ain Noqbi, Fès, Morocco
Some travelers are exhausted by the haggling in the souks of Morocco, by the barely-organized chaos of the medinas. In Fes, the stunning mosaic tile creations that are so typical all over the country can be bought directly from the artisans who...
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917 Bay St suite i, Beaufort, SC 29902, USA
Tucked into the back of a row of shops, just off Bay Street in Beaufort, is one of my favorite shops - - anywhere. Oyster Cay is a collection of imported wooden furniture from Bali and across Indonesia. The owner makes periodic buying trips and...
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23 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011, USA
Located in the heart of the Flatiron shopping district is Paper Presentation, a sunny, colorful paper paradise. Browse aisle after aisle of paper, cards, card stock, envelopes, stationery, custom invitations, scrapbooking materials, presentation...
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1606 G St (No Retail At This Location / Online Only ), San Diego, CA 92101, USA
This is my favorite shop in the San Diego community of Little Italy. Regina DiSilvestro is a chemist and herbalist and has created a line of skin and hair care products. Everything is made and packaged right there in the back of the shop. They...
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15205 N Kierland Blvd Suite 150, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
The Queen Creek Olive Mill is a local, sustainable farm that produces some of Arizona’s best olive oil. Oils & Olives by Queen Creek, situated in Kierland Commons, allows you to shop local when you visit the region. Sample...
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Main St, Grove, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Visiting this cheese shop was like touring Costco during Christmas. Samples, my friends. Samples. I've never tried so many different cheeses in my entire life, and I'm certain I left this little shop lactose intolerant. And I would do it over in a...
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4 E Jefferson Ave, Naperville, IL 60540, USA
When a friend told me about WAR Chest, I loved the concept. I knew as soon as I entered the store that I would love every part of it. First, this isn't some place that sells camouflage jackets and replica bayonets. WAR stands for Women at Risk,...
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Nelson Mandela Marg, Vasant Kunj II, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, Delhi 110070, India
This is bar none the best store for colorful Indian clothing and textiles that I've found yet in Delhi, and as a bonus, they are an ethical shop that pairs quality dyes and fabrics with excellent business practices. Often the beautiful Indian...
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1 Passage du Grand Cerf, 75002 Paris, France
It had been years since I last stumbled upon the Passage du Grand Cerf in the 2nd, a long and narrow gallery of creative shops. Though I wasn't the only shopper, part of me felt like I had happened upon an untouched jewel. If I share this spot...
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744 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1E9, Canada
Keen to find Canadian fashion? Look no further than Coal Miner’s Daughter, a mini chain of boutiques that carries a trove of clothing and accessories, mostly from Canadian designers. Walk out with a vintage-style frock from...
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115 South St, New York, NY 10038, USA
A curated collection of over 450 artisinal wines and spirits. Rustic chic decor created by a former interior designer with his wife, a former Martha Stewart Living editor. A Hurricane Sandy survivor in the South Street Seaport neighborhood....
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2400 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
Find the sweater of your dreams at Margaret O'Leary. The SF-based designer creates innovative designs with luxurious knits that are perfect for a casual, chic look. Boutique stocks other favorite designers in jeans, jewelry, and footwear as well....
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1771 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140, USA
Long before fair trade was a part of our vocabulary, Nomad was serving up an eclectic mix of folk art, home furnishings and ethnic jewelry from around the world. The boutique's support of Made in America clothing is evident in the well edited...
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Gesundbrunnen, Berlin, Germany
"Pleased to Meet," though it is a paper store, works similiar to fashion boutiques; you'll find seasonal stuff here. Printed paper goods such as wrapping paper, letter sets, greeting cards, notebooks, and travel journals are all designed by...
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120 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
LARGEST HAT STORE IN THE SOUTH proclaims the sign in front of Meyer the Hatter, just off Canal Street on St. Charles Avenue. In truth, it actually doesn’t feel all that big inside. That’s in part because it’s so packed with hats,...
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Bleibtreustraße 51, 10623 Berlin, Germany
A unique Berlin shopping experience! Stop by the lovely shop Chapeaux Hutmode in Berlin to have a hat designed especially for you. Owner and designer Andrea Curti has been in business since 1994 in Berlin's posh Ku'Damm area, making hats for...
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6 Liberty Street, Savannah, GA 31401, USA
Nothing makes me happier than stumbling upon a really great bookstore, and this one in Savannah takes the cake! While strolling down East Liberty Street in gorgeous Savannah—my favorite of all the beautiful Southern cities—my husband...
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Singel, 1012 DH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Since 1862, fresh flowers and plants have arrived by barge from the Dutch countryside to Amsterdam. While this assemblage of flora still shows up daily, it comes by van, not boat, to the Bloemenmarkt, the world's only floating flower market. Here,...
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211 Rue Bernard O, Montréal, QC H2T 2K5, Canada
Possibly the most important and influential publishers of graphic novels in the last 20 years, Drawn & Quarterly has a must-visit shop in the cool Mile End neighborhood. It sells work from the extensive D&Q catalog (which includes Joe...
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Avenida Constituyentes 2, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
As you stroll along 5th Avenue with dinner and drink specials thrown at you back and forth, you might glance over and see aged and leathered hands delicately rolling cigars, or cigarillos. You walk into the shop enticed and curious. The ceiling is...
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Jerusalem, Israel
Shopping in the food markets of other countries is always interesting to us. Across the street from the Mahane Yehuda Market, aka the Shuk, is a small shop called The World Spices. We found several spices that were new to us, including a Moroccan...
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Rykestraße 41, 10405 Berlin, Germany
Upon entering this airy store, it's impossible not to find anything to pimp up your home. There's bamboo bowls, beautiful glass vases, wool blankets or socks and various cute little knickknacks. The best part is that although many things look...
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969 01 Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia
An amazing store of wood-carved toys and novelties, but it's highlight is the massive animated landscape.
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Müze Cad. No:32 Göreme, 50180 Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey
One of my favorite shops in Kapadokya is Sultan's Carpets located in Goreme. If you happen to be in the area, say hi to my friend, the modern day Suffi, Shemsettin Kantar, or Semse as he likes to be called. International interior designer obsessed...
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200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, USA
Simply walking into Global Table is a happy experience - you are greeted by a overflowing array of table top and home accessories in vivid colors, graphic patterns and clean, modern shapes. If you are having a bad day, this store is a wonderful...