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México 307, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Secluded and service-oriented are the adjectives that best describe Rosewood Mayakoba, a resort in Playa del Carmen that opened in 2008. At 1,600 acres, the resort is expansive, offering plenty of room for guests to feel that they have their own...
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Campos do Jordão - State of São Paulo, 12460-000, Brazil
A country retreat two hours north of São Paulo, Botanique is surrounded by 700 acres of forest and gardens. The 10,000-square-foot spa tucked into the hillside specializes in remedies inspired by local healing rituals. Try a mud therapy; the area’...
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Thachangad, Kerala, India
It’s easy to unplug at this 71-room resort set on 26 acres, steps from a river and the secluded Kappil Beach. Hotel villas were built from native materials to mimic kettuvallam, Kerala’s iconic houseboats. Many have private courtyards with plunge...
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Yakushima, Kumage District, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Mossy landscapes and ancient, indigenous cedar trees make for fairytale hiking heaven here, and moisture is plentiful at this elevation – Yakushima is the highest mountain in southern Japan. The exquisite scenery of this island, its mountains and...
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Kalabaka 422 00, Greece
Meteora means "suspended in air" in Greek. The town of Meteora, about a 5-hour drive north of Athens in Thessaly, Greece, is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site: six Greek Orthodox monasteries built on enormous rock pinnacles that rise up to...
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39171 Tassajara Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, USA
In 1967, Tassajara (already a storied hot springs resort) became the first Zen monastery outside Japan. Run by the San Francisco Zen Center, the monastery is open to the public from May through September and closed the rest of the year for...
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Freyung 6A, 1010 Wien, Austria
Located in the Inner Stadt, our room was in an old monastery that overlooked a cobblestone courtyard where an old man set up a basket stall every morning. The monastery is located near an apotheke (pharmacy) and a pretty fountain. The area is...
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566 Kōyasan, Kōya-chō, Ito-gun, Wakayama-ken 648-0211, Japan
By staying overnight at a Buddhist monastery in Koyasan (Mount Koya), I fulfilled a long held dream. It was quite a unique experience, and a peek behind the curtain to see how monks in a monastery actually live. It was quite something to see them,...
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What a trippy and unique experience. Tourists and locals alike are crowded shoulder to shoulder on this revolving carnival ride, ordering drinks with exotic names like Vieux Carré, London Fairy, and Corpse Reviver. And Sazeracs, of course....
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726 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Preservation Hall occupies a worn Creole town house that was originally built as a home in the early 19th century, and that had evolved into an art gallery and performance space by 1961. (It was founded by a man of philanthropic bent who fretted...
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624 Pirate Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
The former home of William Faulkner (where he wrote Soldiers' Pay), this tiny bookstore is full of rare and first editions, plus New Orleans literature, and new bestsellers.
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2800 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA
Exposed brick, dark wood and plenty of natural light beget the handsome space at Coquette, which occupies an unassuming corner on Magazine Street in the tony Garden District. Chef Michael Stoltzfus marries his Eastern Shore sensibilities (crab...
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623 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
This Frenchmen Street landmark offers up a steady parade of remarkable local musicians from late afternoon until early morning, with an emphasis on foot-tapping traditional and swing jazz. Musicians play on a low stage against the front window;...
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800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Café Du Monde is always open; it’s the clientele that changes—from visiting families and local pensioners early in the morning, to couples in the evening, to Bourbon Street refugees looking for coffee and ballast in the...
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734 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA
You don't need to work hard to explore New Orleans' diverse architecture. Take a walk around the French Quarter and you'll see Creole cottages and pre-Civil War townhouses with wrought-iron balconies. Hop on a street car and take in the antebellum...
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511 St Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Stock up on provisions, find yourself a picnic blanket, and take advantage of New Orleans' many stretches of green. Hit up Johnny's Po' Boys in the Quarter for fried oysters, meatballs, or even hamburger meat on Leidenheimer French bread and grab...
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Take a morning stroll through the shabby-hip Marigny neighborhood to the Bywater to discover Elizabeth's delicious praline bacon. Yes, it's a little gimmicky—but that doesn't stop it from being delightful. And at an out-of-the-way, down-home...
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2815 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70122, USA
Located in a warehouse in New Orleans' Ninth Ward, the Old New Orleans Rum Distillery was the brainchild of a local artist in 1999. The distillery survived the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and is still going strong and are now being...
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718 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
No trip to New Orleans would be complete without a visit to Pat O'Briens for a Hurricane. The story goes that in the 1940s, because it was difficult to import scotch during WWII, bar owners were forced to buy large amounts of rum and the...
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130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
A Sazerac is composed of whiskey and absinthe, and nowhere sports classier digs for this signature cocktail than the Sazerac Bar of the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans, where the low lights flow over heavy wood tables and the big leather...
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Mardi Gras World, located in the Port area of New Orleans near the convention center, is a fun stop any time of year. Your tour starts with a brief history of Mardi Gras, a chance to try on some of the elaborate costumes and a taste of New Orleans...
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2645 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
Six years after Hurricane Katrina, nearly 200 families in New Orleans are still living in FEMA trailers. The St. Bernard Parish, located about 10 miles from downtown, was one of the communities most severely affected. The St. Bernard Project, a...
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144 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Bourbon House is one of New Orleans' best restaurants, serving fresh seafood (oysters topped with caviar!) and dishes made with local ingredients. In fact, over 70% of ingredients are sourced within 150 miles. Moreover, Bourbon House is passionate...
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209 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Lunch is the time to visit Galatoire's—a sight and scene for all senses. Well-respected locals come to dine and celebrate, and the joie de vivre (especially on a Friday afternoon) is unparalleled.
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1433 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
There are three old streetcar lines that run in New Orleans. We enjoyed a ride down St. Charles, the oldest of the lines. The trains were beautifully worn originals and gave us a glance at the front of many beautiful old homes. There were also a...
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900 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Here, you'll enjoy authentic Creole and Cajun cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients. Everything on the menu is made from scratch except for the French bread, and even that has a local twist, as the restaurant grills it to give it a nice...
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1000 Howard Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113, USA
Discover a history that can be felt and a little local flavor with one of the many tours available or explore it all on your own. The beauty of this cemetery is a reflection of it's location. Worn and unkempt, its air of mysterious romanticism can...
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700 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
A National Historic Landmark that has also been named one of America’s Great Public Spaces, Jackson Square is the historic heart of New Orleans. Under the French, it went by the name the Place d’Armes and it wasn’t until the...
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Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA, USA
Some find this narrow, neon-lit French Quarter street appealing, others appalling. But it’s worth a stroll either way. It’s as if all the sins of mankind and then some were rounded up and corralled here—tawdry strip shows, cheap...
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5030 Freret St, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA
Dat Dog is a local hotspot that serves top quality hot dogs with a NOLA twist. You can get classic pork or beef wieners, kielbasa, and bratwurst—but you're encouraged to be adventurous by trying something more usual like the crawfish or...
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617 Ursulines Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
This gem in a quiet stretch of the French Quarter earns the French word for bakery—patisserie—for its true-to-Paris pastries. The flaky croissants come in all types, from plain or savory to filled and sweet. Whatever you order, you must get one on...
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634 Elysian Fields Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117, USA
In case you've ever wondered what it's like to drink your way up Bourbon Street on a bike, Confederacy of Cruisers can provide the answer. As one of only two ways to speed through the city with an open container (the other way is on a horse), bike...
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2440 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70117, USA
A local friend recommended Cake Cafe in the Bywater, so a friend and I stopped for lunch after exploring all afternoon. The humble bakery has some of the best sandwiches I've ever had, including my favorite, the crab sandwich, pictured here. It's...
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5631 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA
BE A NEW ORLEANIAN. WHEREVER YOU ARE. read the ubiquitous bumper sticker in the years after Hurricane Katrina. It was a simple, direct, and on-target message—the sort that’s been perfected by this T-shirt shop, with stores uptown on...
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Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA 70124, USA
Located in the New Orleans Museum of Art, this Ralph Brennan Restaurant features light, artisanal meals made with local ingredients. Some choices include house-cured salmon bruschetta, turkey bacon panini, roasted chicken salad, homemade chicken...
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777 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
A festive supper to celebrate the end of Advent and the arrival of the New Year, Réveillon is a New Orleans Creole tradition that's been revived by the city's restaurants—and you don't have to fast (as was customary) or wait until after midnight...
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1800 Magazine St, 2nd floor, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
In a city known for rich and spicy cuisine, this fine-dining spot near the waterfront mixes fresh ingredients in cool and inventive ways. Start with the Louisiana pickled shrimp appetizer, which also comes with some of the best deviled eggs you'll...
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615 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Flashdance on the big screen, go-go dancers, 80s music – so worth the $5 cover. Also: Confirmed my theory that everyone in New Orleans knows how to dance.
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Porto, Portugal
At the mouth of the Douro River, the medieval city of Porto, Portugal, is undergoing an architectural renaissance. Old World icons, such as the baroque Torre dos Clérigos bell tower that helped the city earn UNESCO status in 1996, contrast with...
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Bahnhofstrasse 25, 7002 Chur, Switzerland
I didn’t even realize that the Bernina Express scenic train journey was on the UNESCO World Heritage list until I arrived at the small northern Italian town of Tirano to start the trip. There are several different routes from which travelers may...
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Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
On a jetty jutting out into the Sea of Japan, toward a pine-covered lighthouse isle, this metal tree of hearts is a rendezvous spot on the NE coast of South Korea. Visitors from all over Asia come to Sokcho to eat seafood and to see where scenes...
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6501 Railroad Ave, Snoqualmie, WA 98065, USA
Perched at the top of a 268-foot waterfall, the 84-room hotel is only 30 minutes east of Seattle. You can hike, bike, fish, and do yoga. From $189. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue.
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403 Rue de La Kasbah، Marrakech 40000, Morocco
The tiny coastal village of Oualidia’s low-key vibe makes it a popular retreat from Marrakech as well as the go-to spot for surfers—novice or otherwise. La Sultana, set against the flamingo-dotted Oualidia lagoon, has 11 rooms and suites that...
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2520 Peniche, Portugal
Hire a boat out of Peniche, Portugal, when available, and travel six miles offshore to the pristine Berlenga Islands. Then hike, kayak, snorkel, and swim the day away. Pack a picnic lunch and feast on the beach. The perfect day in paradise.
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Narchyang, Nepal

In the mountain village of Koto, Nepal, there is a path that branches off the legendary 150-mile Annapurna Circuit and passes—ceremoniously, tantalizingly—through a large stone gate. This trail is off-limits, a nearby sign reads, unless you have a...

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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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Kaihalulu Beach, Hana, HI 96713, USA
This was the end of the Hana Highway in Maui. Our guidebook told of a red sand beach, but it specifically left out information on how to get there, in an effort to keep people from spoiling it. Before our trip, I printed out some instructions from...
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Landmannalaugavegur, Iceland
At the beginning of a 4-day, 40-mile trek through the fringes of the Icelandic highlands, we saw these artistic masterpieces. Landmannalaugar. To me, they were the Rainbow Mountains. Majestic. Surreal. Hiking by this beautiful landscape seemed...
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Jordan
A couple days after seeing the Pyramids we came to Petra and were completely blown away. The walk through the canyon only builds up the excitement and then the Treasury appears immediately in front of you. The Pyramids might have been one of the...
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Sidi Bouloukat Djemaa el fna 53 Sidi Bouloukate، Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Described by writer Tahir Shah as the “greatest show on Earth,” no visit to Marrakech would be complete without a visit to the famous night market on the Djemaa el Fna. Arrive before sunset and park yourself at one of the...
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Coron, Philippines
The mountainous Coron Island, just northeast of Palawan, is part of the officially designated ancestral domain of the indigenous Tagbanua people (possibly descendants of the original inhabitants of the Philippines). They steward the land and sea,...
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Av. Ezequiel Bustillo Km. 25, R8401 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Called Argentine Switzerland for its wooden chalets and alpine setting, this area is home to some of South America’s best spas. The Latin America travel specialists at Blue Parallel arrange yoga classes with views of lakes and the Andes. Guests...
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United States
Yellowstone National Park is no secret by any stretch of the imagination. Yellowstone is one of America's most popular tourist destinations, and with good reason; there few places in the country where you can rub shoulders with grizzlies, smack...
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Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Severely dehydrated, severely under-dressed, severely cold (the sum of these parts means, of course, that I am severely stupid) my travel partner and I dragged our sorry carcasses through the woods and over rocks in the dead of night in search of...
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21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Hoehyeon-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Dumplings are delicious. That's not much of a secret. But snacking on dumplings in one of the world's busiest and most atmospheric night markets? That's an entirely different experience. Namdaeumun Night Market, located smack dab in the heart of ...
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Neharde'a St, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Next time you travel to Israel and interested in an exceptional and different dining experience, I highly recommend to check the new website of EatWith, to book a dinner with locals. EatWith is a global community (started in Israel) that invites...
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Utah 84718, USA
It's really fun to visit a place that has such rich travel-related history. National Geographic magazine, who photographed the area using Kodachrome film for a 1949 photo-spread, hence its name. This is Grosvenor Arch, named after the former...
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Lake Maninjau, Tanjung Raya, Agam Regency, West Sumatra, Indonesia
This is what I think of when travel comes to mind. I think untrammeled territory, wide open country, bits and pieces of the world I've never seen before, people doing things I didn't know they still do or ever did, and a big, booming landscape....
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Siggiewi, Malta
After braving the Blue Lagoon crowds, Ghar Lapsi is the ideal spot for swimming in Malta's pristine waters. A tiny inlet and small fishing village, this is the place to experience Maltese summer like a local. The calm waters and rocky shore are a...
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Colorado, USA
Hike, bike, or ride at your leisure up through Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Colorado. For photographers, I recommend taking Trail Ridge Road for its vast opportunity to stop off and take pictures of beautiful views. The trip begins in the...
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5700 North Sabino Canyon Road,, Tucson, AZ 85750, USA
Many who have not visited Arizona think that its saguaros grow in a Sahara-like setting...but the mountainous desert around Tucson hides many lush spots, like this riparian canyon on the NE edge of the city. Late fall paints the cottonwoods along...
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84010 Scala, Province of Salerno, Italy
Picture a historic village perched high above the sparkling Mediterranean, surrounded by lush mountains and stony cliffs. A charming, three hundred year old country home is nestled among the trees and warm breezes carry the tantalizing aromas of...
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5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008, USA
The Flower Fields features 50 acres of colorful flowers, themed gardens, mazes, exhibitions, and rides. Looking at the rows upon rows of flowers, it appears like a rolling hill rainbow with the variety of colors. Walk through the sweet pea maze,...
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24440 Beaumont-du-Périgord, France
I may be from San Francisco but my heart was left in the Dordogne long ago, back when I started writing my book about one of my favorite regions of France. One of the many reasons why is this wonderful annual celebration called Felibrée. Since...
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Greece
Thanks to doing research on AFAR.com, I learned that one could sea kayak around the island of Milos. I signed up with Rod from Sea Kayak Milos and had a fantastic time. My fellow kayakers and I paddled through bright blue water, in and out of...
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Rottnest Island WA 6161, Australia
There's not too much to do on Rottnest Island, just off the coast of Perth in Western Australia, unless you want there to be! Since there aren't cars on the island, excepting the off maintenance vehicle and one bus, visitors use their two feet or...
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97100 Ragusa, Province of Ragusa, Italy
We drove into Ragusa - Sicily in the late afternoon, walked the cobbled streets, devoured a locally made nougat gelato and on the drive back down from the old town were met with the beautiful sight of the traditional houses lit up by their...
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Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
Iceland’s largest and most famous geothermal spa lies around an hour outside Reykjavik, quite close to Keflavik Airport. With a dramatic setting amidst large black lava boulders, the steam-filled, creamy-blue pool area is a striking and...
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47900 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Described by devotees as the most luxurious, one-of-a-kind lodging experience in all of California, the Post Ranch Inn was purpose-built to blend in with the Santa Lucia Mountains. Opened in 1992, and designed by famed Big Sur architect Mickey...
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Jackson, WY, USA
Hop on your bike in downtown Jackson and ride 20 absurdly scenic miles to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. The mountains watch over you as you pass through the National Elk Refuge. You can also stop off at the National Museum of Wildlife...
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Maine, USA
Spent a day on the southwestern side of Mount Desert Island, Maine this summer en route to a friend's wedding. The jaunt included a mild hike around the Ship Harbor Nature Trail, part of Acadia National Park. I saw this schooner behind the trees...
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Puerto Ferro, Puerto Rico
One of my favorite places in the whole world—Vieques! I'm actually a little apprehensive to share, because I'd love to keep it the semi-secret it is. If you time it well, you can have this beach all to yourself.
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9881 CA-89, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA
This state park offers all the ingredients for a great family trip to the mountains. For starters, there’s the beach at Calawee Cove, with its gently sloped sand, crystal-clear water, and rounded granite boulders that make for sublime...
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Wyoming, USA
Having been raised on National Geographic magazines, I have always been fascinated by western landscape of America. The jagged peaks of Tetons have been on my to-see list ever since I have known the works of Ansel Adams. Last labor day weekend, my...
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Val Des Pitons Forbidden Beach La Baie de Silence, St Lucia
For a taste of Miami by way of St. Lucia, look no further than Sugar Beach. Set on a white-sand crescent between the Piton mountains—within a 100-acre former sugar plantation studded with shady palm trees—the resort’s...
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Rabot Estate Soufriere Post Office Jalousle, Jalousle, St Lucia
Nature lovers and thrill seekers alike will find plenty to love at Ladera, located within St. Lucia’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Pitons. Perched on a ridge overlooking the iconic mountains, 37 three-walled suites are open to the...
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Via Roma, 2, 16034 Portofino GE, Italy
I have seriously high standards on romance, and I'm telling you, this place is oozing romance. The antique charm, the intimacy of the port, the Italian Riveria lapping at the sea wall, fine Italian wine, authentic margherita pizza, the list goes...
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Quai de la Poissonnerie, 68000 Colmar, France
Peaceful atmosphere, quaint colourful houses, beautiful lanes...those are things that make this area special! Not as touristy as La Petite France in Strasbourg, it gives you a chance to enjoy the tranquility and romance. And don't miss the photo...
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Mountain Pine Ridge,, Belize
Movie director Francis Ford Coppola had traveled the world, but when he visited Belize in the 1980s, in search of a “jungle paradise” like the one where he had filmed Apocalypse Now, he was taken by the untamed land and bought...
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Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
The weather outside may be frightful, even in summer, but the waters of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa in Iceland are always delightful. We visited the Blue Lagoon Spa during an 8-hour layover in Reykjavik. All inclusive round-trips are available...
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Horní Bečva, 756 57 Prostřední Bečva, Czechia
We could not have imagined a winter wonderland as picturesque as the one in Pustevny. Tucked away in Northeastern Czech Republic’s Beskedy Mountains, we arrived at night by car to this mini ski village of gingerbread houses. We stayed in the cozy...
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Norman Island, British Virgin Islands
The BVI is all about fun, and you can have the most fun on a boat. If you visit, go to Willy T, a floating bar housed on a boat anchored in Norman Island’s Bight. Zeus, the bartender, really gets the crowd riled up with rum drinks. Back in the day...
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Japan, 〒105-0022 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Kaigan, 2 Chome−7, 東京都港区海岸2丁目7−104
Want to spend a night out in the future? No problem, the Jicoo Floating Bar is your time machine ticket there. Open for business every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from 8 to 11pm, Jicoo (which is a cute Romanization of the Japanese word “...
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2225 Bransford Ave, Nashville, TN 37204, USA
A guy they call Santa (see long white beard) owns this trailer painted in Christmas motif in an up-and-coming area just south of downtown. There’s karaoke every night and cheap beer for cash only. A house band plays every Sunday from 7 p.m. to 9...
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Av. Italia 805, Providencia, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Londoner Tony Hornecker has developed one of the most unique spaces in Santiago to hang out and sip cocktails (and eat something tasty if you fancy). Located in hip Barrio Italia, in an old factory, the place feels like a bar meets restaurant...
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Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
The secret to having a good time in Bagan has nothing to do with getting there - all that takes is faith in a Burmese pilot and his ancient aircraft, or an unwavering belief that your 13-hour bus ride from Yangon will actually deliver you to the...
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Calle Padre Lucero # 1345 Villa Lagunas Loreto, 16551, Peru
Piranha fishing...pink dolphin sightings...holding a caimen...beautiful day explorations by skiff and canoe along the Ucayali River and in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Add to jaw-dropping explorations, the 5-star comfort of the Aqua Amazon...
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Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
As easy as it would be to spend an entire trip to Zanzibar lazing around on soft-sand beaches, it’s well worth skipping an hour or two of sunbathing to see Stone Town, the ancient district of Zanzibar. With its narrow cobblestoned streets,...