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Travel Potluck

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AFAR has many fantastic posts, but these are the ones that interest me the most. Think of this as a potluck of travel inspirations.
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A popular option for those who want to avoid the time and nausea associated with crossing the Drake Passage, fly-cruises to Antarctica feature the best of Antarctic exploration. Passengers fly from Punta Arenas, Chile directly to Frei Station,...
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Petergof, Saint Petersburg, Russia
The view from the Grand Palace terrace to the Gulf of Finland; the canal enabled the tsars to sail from the bay to the Grand Palace.
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Avenue Léo Errera 41, 1180 Uccle, Belgium
The Musee David et Alice van Buuren is a house and garden planned, built, and decorated in the late 1920s by art lovers David Van Buuren and wife Alice in the Art Deco style. It was their home until 1960 and became a museum in 1975. The...
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6 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004 Paris, France
Calligraine is a terrific paper & stationary shop on a little street in the Marais with the most beautiful handmade papers & stationary. One artist creates paper sculptures of thinly sliced fruits and vegetables pressed together. They also have...
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Kiembe Samaki, Zanzibar, Tanzania
I spent several days at Chumbe Island Coral Park. It's has one of the few remaining untouched coral reefs along this coastline. This was the sunrise that greeted me the day I was to return to Zanzibar, and from there back to Tanzania and home....
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530 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001, USA
Cannot believe this hasn't been written about yet. This interactive theatre piece caused a stir in the "seen it all" NY theatre world when it launched in 2011. I was lucky to be one of the first to see it back then and personally as a theatre and...
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Calle de Bailén, 10, 28013 Madrid, Spain
After paying your patriotic fee of 10 Euro to enter the Royal Palace, you will notice the Almudena Cathedral beyond the courtyards gates. While I was too late in the day to be graced with the inner divinities of this structure I did in fact, get...
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Madaya, Myanmar (Burma)
Climbing Mingun Paya is no easy feat. It isn't for those who are afraid or even tentative of heights. You must scale the structure barefoot, as it is considered a religious site. There are some makeshift ladders and steps, as well as sketchy drop...
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142 Rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris, France
Past the bouncer and down a black staircase 32 feet below ground is Paris's most buzzed-about semi-private club, Le Silencio. Housed where Molière was allegedly buried and Zola printed "J'accuse", it's of little surprise that the enigmatic...
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California, USA
We love going to the high desert in California, usually out to Joshua Tree National Park. We rented a house in Yucca Valley, not far from the Park entrance, through VRBO.com in late December so we could make home-cooked meals in the evenings. In...
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4 Rue de Castiglione, 75001 Paris, France
As much as Paris is packed with perfumes stores, there is always room for one more; Jovoy Paris opened in Paris at the end of March and focuses on rare, exclusive and limited edition perfumes. Aside from the wide selection, which is both original...
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96-3232 Maile St, Pahala, HI 96720, USA
A restored sugar mansion following the decline of the sugarcane industry on the Island, the Pahala Plantation Cottages are an ideal place to stay if you're on the Big Island for an extended period of time, or with a large group (you can rent the...
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239 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
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The Lan Su Chinese Gardens is a lovely place to regain some inner peace and admire the gorgeous gardens. The name of the garden comes from the relationship between sister cities Portland and Suzhou. Sounds from both Portland and Suzhou are...
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78-128 Ehukai St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
The newly refurbished Sheraton Kona Keauhou Bay Resort is stylish, with a large pool and water slide. But it was the history and the view from the hotel (located off the famous Ali'i Drive) that won me over. The hotel gives you an excellent...
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Ul. Ćirila Ivekovića 4, 23000, Zadar, Croatia
Croatia’s cool seaside city of Zadar is known for its showstopping sunsets. Architect Nikola Bašić has created two spectacles that harness the local natural beauty. The Sea Organ is a musical instrument fashioned from pipes and holes...
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3303 SW Bond Ave, Portland, OR 97239, USA
The tram gives Portland visitors stunning views of the city, river, and mountains beyond. Grab the streetcar from downtown out to the waterfront. You're delivered to the lower terminal for the three-minute ride carrying you 3,300 feet at 20 MPH to...
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Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 RK28, Ireland
Two years ago I planned a trip to Dublin,Ireland. Just out of no where I came with the idea to go to Dublin. I went with 5 other friends more and o m g what a Hilarious week! The first thing we noticed was that the airport very small was even...
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Kailua-Kona, HI, USA
Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii is this great little town, full of fun history and beautiful sunsets on the coast. Lots of blue water, green mountains, and lava rock. If you stay in town, there are so many great hotels to stay in right on...
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11 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris, France
Months before it welcomed its first guest, the Jules et Jim Hotel (whose name is a nod to the 1962 Truffaut film) had already positioned itself as a right-bank destination for night owls. Amid the mess of the hotel's construction, locals were...
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579 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
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Inspired by the real-life adventures of two Northern Californian sisters in Krakow, Vienna, Paris, and Brooklyn, Two Sister Bar and Books is a coffee bar, restaurant, and community space in Hayes Valley. The cozy interior and good food makes for...
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Santa Catarina Palopó, Guatemala
Just hours away from the United States and yet worlds apart, Lake Atitlan is truly one of the most beautiful and interesting places I've ever visited... and by far a magical and inspiring backdrop for any yoga practice. Nature puts on a glorious...
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True, the ground may be a bit uneven, the sun may be shining brightly upon you and you just may have to endure friendly boaters waiving as they sail by, BUT it's a small price to pay for the experience and breathtaking view of practicing on the...
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Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
Ah, Istanbul, I have such a love affair with this glorious city- where the Eastern Exotic meets the modern West resulting in a unique and unparalleled city, rich in history, seeped in culture, splashed with magnificent architecture, never-ending...
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Dalat, Lâm Đồng, Vietnam
Vietnamese love the cool climes of this town 5,000 feet above sea level in the highlands of southern Vietnam. Da Lat was "discovered" as a site for a potential town in 1893 by French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin; before long, it was established...
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7083 Purbach am Neusiedlersee, Austria
Are you passionate about wine? Love to be outdoors? Curious to learn what it takes to produce top-quality wine? Be a winemaker for a year! Rent your own grapevines and take care of them for a full year. A professional producer will help and guide...
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2555 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
No, not that CIA. This lunch feels a lot more pleasant and delicious, I'm sure. Make a reservation at the Greystone Restaurant and taste local, seasonal menus while looking out over Napa Valley vineyards.
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Tempt fate at the Monkey Paw’s Book-O-Matic machine, where for the price of a toonie you’ll be delivered an archaic tome in the vein of Elementary Arabic, Vol. 3. I’ll let you know how my studying gets on. The Monkey’s Paw...
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103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA, UK
South Bank has both the best river walk in London and the city's liveliest cultural centers, so a walk along it is a must. The path takes you from the Globe and the Tate Modern along the Thames—passing Gabriel's Wharf with its...
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11 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France
We arrived cold, tired, hungry on a rainy night. The walk from the train station to our friends apartment at 1 am woke us up with the clatter of our bags on the cobblestone streets. The buzz of excitement bounced off each body in the street as...
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Schloß Lichtenstein 1, 72805 Lichtenstein, Germany
I stumbled upon a photo of this castle on Pinterest from a fellow expat and was stunned at how, well, stunning it was - and that it was only a few hours away from where we live! So on our latest road trip, we made it a stop and were not...
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3926 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA
You wouldn’t know there was a store there unless you lived in the neighborhood, but the owner, Chris, has an amazing list of cheeses. I love his shop because he sells what he likes, not what people tell him is good. He’s also got an...
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140 W Washington St, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
I teach a course on cryptography, and one of the highlights of that course is the James Sanborn sculpture Kryptos that sits at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Sanborn created Kryptos as a meditation on secrecy, and it features four...
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Portmeirion, Penrhyndeudraeth LL48, UK
Right now imagine you walk into a pub and there's 3 blokes in the corner, you can recognise 2 of them; Gaudi and Dali but who is that 3rd chap, looking equally abstract??? Ok, let me tell you his name is Williams-Ellis and after he staggered out...
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5143, 7463 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
For wanderers like us, maps are more than a piece of paper. They are an inspirational and nostalgic force that stirs thoughts of discovery and exploration as well as admiration and awe for our ancestors and history. That is why stumbling across...
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75015 Paris, France
Built on top of the site of a former Citroën manufacturing plant, Parc André Citroën is a unique concept park space. On the site of the former plant are six "Serial Gardens" were designed to associate with a day of the week, an element, a metal, a...
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103 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002, USA
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Whoever invented the living history museum deserves, well, a place in a living history museum. Instead of reading dry text, visitors get to meet an early 20th-century immigrant, hang out in her shoebox apartment, and join a family at its Sabbath...
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Ruta Provincial 52, Km. 20-Molinos, 4419 Salta, Argentina
James Turrell is one of American's most stunning artists and his work has found a home in the middle of nowhere in the province of Salta, Argentina. Bodega Colome crushes some of the finest torrontes and malbec wine, thanks to vintner Donald Hess,...
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Prinzregentenstraße, 80538 München, Germany
It takes some German engineering to surf in land-locked Bavaria. But endless rides are possible on the Eisbach wave, a man-made, standing curl in the middle of a narrow artificial stream that runs through the English Garden. It has drawn both...
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530 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001, USA
Rare is the bar that can be all things to all people successfully, but so it is for Gallow Green. Located atop The McKittrick Hotel, the bar is a hot spot for weekend brunch, especially among art lovers who plan to gallery hop around the Chelsea...
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California 190, Death Valley, CA 92328, Death Valley, CA 92328, USA
The Inn at Furnace Creek is far too calm, comfortable and watery to actually exist, here in the middle of Death Valley. Still, a lovely hallucination all the same.
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Inland Ave, Modesto, CA 95357, USA
Google as much as you want but you won't find an address for this secret desert diorama in the middle of nowhere Joshua Tree, CA. You will, however, get directions e-mailed to you, but only if you book! Walking into the grounds you enter a...
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Cotopaxi Province, Ecuador

19,374 feet above sea level, standing on top of Cotopaxi one of the planet's largest active volcanoes. Climbing this Ecuadorian monster has been my most physically demanding accomplishment to date.

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745 US-89, Kanab, UT 84741, USA
Willis Creek Slot Canyon was my first introduction to any slot canyon and was such an amazing experience. This particular one is off the beaten path so there was hardly anyone on it except for a few hikers here and there. You can walk for hours...
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Oia 847 02, Greece
Thirty years ago, Lawrence Durrell wrote of Santorini in his book "The Greek Islands", “It is hardly a matter of surprise that few, if any, good descriptions of Santorini have been written: the reality is so astonishing that prose and poetry,...
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1020 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147, USA

No photograph can capture this extraordinary art space created by mural artist Isaiah Zagar down at the quiet end of South Street in Philadelphia's Center City—you have to see it to believe it. It's also not easy to describe: an...

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The Naughton Institute, Trinity College Dublin, Pearse St, Dublin 2, Ireland
On my way back home from a conference in Galway, I had the chance to spend a day exploring Dublin. I had a few destinations in mind thanks to my guidebook but the Science Gallery at Trinity College wasn't one of them—until two friends highly...
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Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Palau Güell is an early Gaudí masterpiece, designed for his longtime benefactor, Eusebi Güell. The mansion, one of Gaudí's first big projects, was recently restored and re-opened to the public. The centerpiece of the building is the amazing...
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51 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604, USA
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Chicago’s beloved South Side hat shop, Optimo, recently opened a downtown location in the historic Monadnock building. A favorite of Johnny Depp and former Mayor Richard Daley, the new shop sells handmade felt fedoras and porkpies that appear to...
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27, Morgan Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AF, UK
Tucked into Cardiff's eminently wanderable shopping arcades, Spillers Records claims to be the world's oldest record store. They believe in vinyl and in promoting local bands. Listening stations let you sample staff picks. It's also the kind of...
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20 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The Russian River Valley in Sonoma County is a wonderful day trip from San Francisco. Pack a picnic and reserve a raft from SOAR Inflatables, and spend a summer day moseying down the river. Go early or late in the season to avoid crowds and have...
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Av. Vereador Benedito Adelino, 3185 - Praia Grande, Angra dos Reis - RJ, 23900-000, Brazil
Two hours from Rio de Janeiro, off the coast of Angra Dos Reis, Ilha Grande makes for a spacious retreat for two or an epic group vacation. The private island’s six-bedroom house comes with kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, plus a staff...
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683 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238, USA
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The Way Station, on Washington Avenue, in Prospect Heights is every bit a Steampunk-lovers paradise. The bathroom is a portal, ala Doctor Who, and the guns hanging on the wall bring to mind an old western bar. Yet, The Way Station's real draw is...
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Kilauea Rd, Kilauea, HI 96754, USA
On the north shore of Kauai sits the Kilauea Lighthouse which served as a navigation aide to ships on their way to and from the Orient. It's surrounded by the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge where one can spot all sorts of nesting seabirds....
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59 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036, USA
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I suppose the Algonquin is an obvious pilgrimage for anyone with a fascination for the 1920s, but it certainly didn't disappoint. The ambience conjured everything I imagined of a legendary literary bolthole and more importantly my White Russian...
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3 D86, 37260 Monts, France
This place is really a piece of heaven. Located right in the heart of the chateaux area, easy access from Paris by train or car. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Le Moulin de Monts. Our only regret was that we were only there for 3 nights - we...
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2 Galle Rd, Colombo 0300, Sri Lanka
Now and again, a sunset is more than just a sunset. Such is the case from the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. One of the most relaxing places on earth to watch the sun go down - so long as there's plenty of malty Lion Stout at hand. The Galle Face...
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28 Frost St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA
The Sketchbook Project lives within the Brooklyn Art Library, filling their entire left wall from floor to ceiling. Yes, leave it to a place as cool as Brooklyn to have an art library. Anyway, my friend and I stumbled onto this fascinating place...
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Waitomo, New Zealand
I’m not afraid of heights, but I’ll admit that peering over the ledge into the 100-metre (about 330 feet) decent awaiting me sends me into a bit of a panic attack. I can’t see the bottom of the cave, as a thick layer of mist fills the gaping...
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1655 W Cortland St, Chicago, IL 60622, USA
To find the Trap Door Theatre, you walk down a narrow walkway between two white brick walls. A steel door opens onto the kitchen of Jane's Restaurant. A second door leads to a small black box theater. There, for the last 15 plus years, the Trap...
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5751 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
For 50 years, it has been growing in the basement of the seminary located at 5757 South University Avenue. Back in 1961, 17 book lovers each pitched in $10 a piece and founded The Seminary Co-Op Bookstore. When you arrive, you won't think you're...
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Waimea Canyon Dr, Waimea, HI 96796, USA
Often described as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, this 10-mile-long Kauai valley is a kaleidoscopic array of scarlet earth, verdant valleys, and raw volcanic crags. Bands of color streak the corrugated landscape, each representing a different...
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Kayseri, Kayseri Province, Turkey
Cappadocia. Is amazing!! If you are going to Turkey don't miss this area!! There are many cave hotels. Ours was dreamy.
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50170 Mont Saint-Michel, France
This must-see spot in Normandy is a little city on an island just off the coast that gets cut-off by the tide on a daily basis. At the peak of the town (is nice walk up!) is the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel where you can see a view for miles, once...
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Ul. Iza Vestibula 4, 21000, Split, Croatia
When we arrived in Croatia, we were surprised to learn that the Zinfandel grape's ancestral origins are in Dalmatia. Eager to taste wine, and try authentic cuisine in the Split area, we embarked on a fantastic and private day trip. As a...
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Hard to definitely pinpoint on a map, the Wave is a gorgeous rock formation near the Arizona and Utah part of the Coyote Buttes, in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. Don't rush off there expecting to just show up and visit, as this...
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200 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Take a deep breath and be prepared, for you are about to journey to the center of the earth—without ever having to leave Boston. Located on Massachusetts Ave in Boston's historic Back Bay, this beautiful globe is one of a kind. Chester Lindsay...
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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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National Harbor, Fort Washington, MD 20745, USA
The National Harbor Marina is a great place to stroll and enjoy views of the Potomac River. The piers are lined with benches and Adirondack chairs that are perfect for relaxing. At the very end of the East Pier is a viewer that overlooks the...
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Cudillero, Asturias, Spain
Nestled in the rocky coast of northern Spain sits the little gem of a village, Cudillero. Formerly a bustling fishing village, the remnants of fish tales and lore still linger in the small town. Local fishermen dangle their poles into the waters...
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Marknadsvägen 63, 981 91 Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
When I first stepped into the blue folds of the ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi I thought this must be what Superman's Fortress of Solitude looks like. It's that blue found in the water of higher latitudes, a blue that looks photoshopped although no...
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San Juan, 00926, Puerto Rico
San Juan Cemetery lies on the coast adjacent to El Morro (San Juan's beloved fort) and nestled in the district La Perla, a rougher part of town. Its statues and tombs make it as beautiful as a New Orleans cemetery. Exiting El Morro, head down the...
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Proxy Falls, Oregon 97413, USA
Proxy Falls is a lush waterfall located in central Oregon. An easy trail meanders through old lava fields and rhododendron. The main attraction here is obviously the falls. It's wispy cascade gives a fairytale look to it. Another, less impressive...
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800 Highway 2 Dawson Creek, BC V1G 3V8 Highway 2, Dawson Creek, BC V1G 3V8, Canada
At a roundabout in the center of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, the truly intrepid will begin their journey on the Alaska Highway. Considered the road to America's last frontier, the 1,390 mile long Highway is announced by a big sign and the...
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St Marys, GA 31558, USA
For years I dreamed about going to Cumberland Island. I found out about the place after seeing photos of the Dungeness Ruins on a website and totally fell in love. After taking the ferry over from St. Mary's I spent the day there hiking, wandering...
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1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
In the lower level of the Casa Del Balboa building in Balboa Park is one of the world's largest indoor model railway displays. There are several rooms, where you can see huge displays of trains going through miniature towns and landscapes. Parts...
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Koko Head, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
Just west of Honolulu lies Koko Head, the famous tuff cone of the now extinct Koko Crater volcano. Best known not for its geological features, but for nature's take on the 'stairmaster', Koko Head is a favorite hike with visitors and locals alike...
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1564 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, USA
A good used bookstore is a glorious thing and Myopic is one of the great ones. They have a giant selection of new, used, rare and out of print books on 3 floors, they’re well organized, they're open until 11pm and there’s a store cat! There's also...
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Perú 1017, C1068AAK CABA, Argentina
Taking in the colorful booths of the San Telmo flea market is a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon - antiques, tango dancers, some live music and a bunch of cafes to choose from.