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Samantha McCurry's Places to go!

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Wiehre, Freiburg, Germany
While walking through the Black Forest, we took a path that lead up to a clearing, offering this view of houses nestled into the hillside. As soon as we reached the top of the hill we saw that there were also huge rainclouds headed our way. We...
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17290 Chambon, France
Chambon is a tiny village near the mid-Atlantic coast in France. I stayed at the Tomlin's Guest House, a serene place to unwind and enjoy the slow pace of the French countryside. At the suggestion of the owner, we took a pleasant stroll outside of...
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5a Avenida Sur, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Imagine being able to sip flavorful Guatemalan coffee while taking in the view of Volcán Agua, which changes color from dark green in the morning to an almost purple at dusk. Rent the Grand Suite at Meson Panza Verde and you can. Established in...
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Levant

A route created by local guide Yamaan Safady ensures that hikers arrive at Petra the way pre-Christian-era travelers did: out of virgin desert, no tour buses in sight. The six-day, 50-mile “back door” route begins in the Dana Biosphere Reserve; at...

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Hvar, Croatia
See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. If Dubrovnik is the Pearl of the Adriatic then Hvar Town is Mini Pearl. It has everything to offer that Dubrovnik has but on a far smaller scale. Hvar Town is a picturesque little town located on the...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
I had been skeptical of the Venetian gondola ride, thinking it too touristy and overpriced. Last summer, however, I discovered what is so special about this Venetian tradition. A gondola ride provides a unique view of Venice from the quiet...
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Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
Lake Tekapo is a sweet little slice of heaven, and a paradise you'll have all to your own, should you visit outside the high season. The glacial waters running out of the Southern Alps are every bit as mesmerizing as they are refreshing - which is...
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Words can do little justice to the scenery that awaits travelers to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hundreds of forested limestone karst formations rise from emerald-green waters, looking like slumbering creatures ready to stir. The...
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Mai Châu District, Hoa Binh, Vietnam
The simple life of Vietnam
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Waimea, HI 96743, USA
13,700 feet above sea level is the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. Several companies offer tours for sunset viewing from the summit, followed by stargazing down at the visitors center at about 9000 feet. Incredible experience! You...
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Damascus, Syria
It had just turned dark, we were shopping in the market behind the Umayyad mosque and I noticed an open door into the mosque’s courtyard. I entered. A man sat in quiet contemplation. The stone floor was still warm to my stocking-footed feet. I...
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Carretera Federal & Cancún - Chetumal Km 230 307, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
A visit to old Mayan Ruins is a must when you are vacationing in Tulum. It's a perfect trip to sneak in some history and activity without too much effort and without loosing sight of ocean and the beach. Being built in 13th century Tulum Ruins...
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84017 Positano, Province of Salerno, Italy
A friend and I were walking down the road, lugging our suitcases and looking for our hotel when I glanced up and saw this view. It was one of those moments when I realized how insanely beautiful the Amalfi Coast is, especially in peak summer. The...
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Crijevićeva ul. 9, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Climb the grand baroque staircase and pass the Jesuit church, cross Gundulić Square, and follow the COLD DRINKS WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW signs. Then, yes, walk through the walls. Buža translates to “a hole-in-the-wall,” and a...
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La Gloria, Isla Mujeres, Q.R., Mexico
If you're not a fan of huge resorts and big hotels, Isla Mujeres is the perfect getaway from Cancun. Just catch the ferry to the island located 13km to the northeast of Cancun. The ferry ride in itself is enjoyable, as you float over shallow reefs...
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Getsemani, Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
You know how some places look like they were painted into real life? Cartagena, Colombia is one of those places.
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Dromoland Castle Hotel, Dromoland, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare, V95 ATD3, Ireland
Dromoland, with its towers, turrets, and suits of armor, dates back to 1014. Your room is appointed with ornate furniture, vibrant fabrics, and fairy-tale garden views. While you’re there, try your hand at the regal art of falconry. Dromoland...
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Tully Beg, Co. Galway, Ireland
Connemara's jagged coastline shows the juxtaposition of vulnerability and strength at every turn. This home didn't fare well against the harsh elements, but its walls remain unyielding. The cool Atlantic winds are saturated with salt, and so are...
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Galway, Ireland
It was a slog to get to the Aran Islands. My ticket read MSP to ORD to LON to DUB to GWY, but the abbreviations do nothing to shorten the trip. From Galway, a bus to Rossaveel, from Rossaveel a ferry to Kilronan and finally a van driven by Enda to...
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Galway, Ireland
Walking down to the beach in Galway, Ireland, I noticed these colorful houses and old boats sitting next to the bay.
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Killadoon, Ard Na Mara, Co. Mayo, Ireland
My Irish friend, Aedín, and I were driving from Galway to Westport when suddenly she veered off the main road. "There's a great beach down this way, I think," she said to me. I was up for anything, seeing her country for the first time. We came...
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Fisher St, Ballyvara, Doolin, Co. Clare, V95 FY67, Ireland
After a delicious dinner at Gus O'Connor's Pub in remote Doolin, Ireland we stayed to enjoy a Trad music session which held us in rapt attention. The Guinness was flowing and the craic was truly mighty; the gifted local musicians sang and played...
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Fisher St, Ballyvara, Doolin, Co. Clare, V95 FY67, Ireland
We had intended to return to Galway for the night after a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher in December 2009, but were so drawn to the remote coastal beauty of the area that we spent the full day exploring. As dusk approached we began to look for a...
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Inishmore, Co. Galway, Ireland
Set just a short ferry ride off of the Galway coast of Ireland, the Aran Islands are one of the last outposts where Irish is the language you'll find spoken on the streets. Most of the 1,200 residents work as commercial fisherman or make sweaters...