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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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Aiguille du Midi, 74400 Chamonix, France
France's Chamonix Valley is one of the most scenic places on the European continent. It's a narrow river valley which houses everything from rock-climbing centers to pulsing bars and pubs, and on both sides of the river the peaks of the French...
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Utah, USA
As its biblical name implies, Zion National Park has the appeal of a place out of time. Established on November 19, 1919, the canyon and its surrounding landscape feel like a natural temple, full of arches, hoodoos, and imposing walls, some of...
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California, USA
“We wanted to go to Yosemite, but didn’t have time.” I’ve heard this refrain from several San Francisco visitors and they all have said it with regret. Yes, the reverent national park is outside of a short-drive comfort...
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Lake Aloha, California, USA
Welcome to Northern California's Desolation Wilderness, the perfect place to hike near South Lake Tahoe. Lake Aloha is a well-deserved and divine place to take a dip after having tackled the climb up from Echo Lake. I'd suggest parking your car at...
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Terrebonne, OR 97760, USA
Even on a cold, gray day in winter, this state park is something to be celebrated. (The last time I was this impressed with a six-mile hike I was in the diverse and mind-blowing landscape known as the South Island of New Zealand.) Smith Rock State...
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Row River Trail, Oregon 97434, USA
On a recent road trip hiking and biking my way through Oregon, I fell hard for the entirely car-free, 17 miles of paved biking/walking trail just outside of Cottage Grove called the River Row Trail. Pine forests, roaring rivers, Dorena Lake—it was...
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Financial District, New York, NY, USA
Governor's Island in the East River, just 1 km from Manhattan, is an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Catch the free ferry from downtown near Battery Park and enjoy gorgeous views of the city, car-free bike roads, picnics and...
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Deception Island, Antarctica
All that remains of the whaling station at Whalers Bay in Deception Island are some rusted out buildings, and whale skeletons. It’s strange to walk around the buildings and imagine what the area was like in it’s height of operation. Big boiling...
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Bådsmandsstræde 43, 1407 København, Denmark
In 1971, squatters moved into the barracks on an abandoned military base and established Freetown Christiania, an autonomous district in the middle of the city. Later, many dwellers built their own homes on the 86-acre property. Although the...
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14547 Beelitz, Germany
The tree limbs were heavy with freshly fallen snow, providing a peaceful backdrop to this entirely eerie place. I had made my way outside Berlin, to the little community of Beelitz on this snowy Easter weekend, to photograph Beelitz Heilstätten, a...
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Doel, 9130 Beveren, Belgium
If you're up for a unique and slightly strange experience, head to the abandoned town of Doel, near Antwerp, to view some incredible street art. The town of Doel has been mostly abandoned, although there are a few stubborn folk who refuse the...
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Rua de Baixo – Casa da Pedralva, 8650-401 Vila do Bpo., Portugal
Aldeia da Pedralva is more than just a hotel. It's an actual village hidden away among the wildflowers and beaches of Portugal's Vicentina Coast. The owner Antonio Ferreira was looking for a career change and when he stumbled upon Pedralva village...
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47 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022, USA
Early this spring, I had an hour to kill in Manhattan, so I ducked into the Grolier Club, America's oldest bibliophilic society, where I saw a fascinating exhibit devoted to Wunderkammer, the cabinets of curiosities that originated in 16th-century...
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New York, NY, USA
The Statue of Liberty may be the most iconic sight that comes to mind when one thinks of the history of immigrants in New York, but not far from it in the harbor is another important landmark—Ellis Island. Until the Supreme Court ruled in...
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Kiehnwerderallee 1-3, 12437 Berlin, Germany
Even fun has a shelf life. This is what runs through my mind as I walk around Spreepark, the abandoned, dilapidated amusement park in Berlin. When East Germany and the GDR fell, so did many of the businesses operating under the rules of communism....
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Navidad, O'Higgins Region, Chile
During my stay at the new Hotel Surazo, I fell asleep to the sound of the Pacific surf pounding the sand. Located in Matanzas, a village on the sparsely populated, mountainous central Chilean coast, this low-slung, modern surf lodge is about 50...
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71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
For such a remote region, Big Sur has more than its share of amazing places to stay. One of the most unique is Treebones Resort, nestled high in the foothills of South Big Sur overlooking the Pacific. The off-the-grid property offers 16 signature...
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Last summer, Tim and Kathy Turner took a break from the Mont Blanc hiking circuit for a night at Refuge des Mottets, a French backcountry lodge decorated with cowbells and old iron cookware. The Turners, from the United States, were the only...
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9 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris-9E-Arrondissement, France
The friendly neighborhood of Rue des Martyrs is a favorite destination for buying edible souvenirs of Paris. To get started, head to No. 9, where the beautiful La Chambre aux Confitures stocks endless jars of jam for your...
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96 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris, France
Perfect for exploring the trendy 10th arrondissement, Le Citizen Hotel overlooks the Canal Saint-Martin, footsteps from where Amélie skipped stones in the French movie of the same name. The location is convenient for walking or using public...
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Cusco, Peru
Nosh on some traditional aji de gallina and wash it all down with some Inca Cola at Los Candiles Restaurant in central Cusco before exploring all that this gorgeous mountain city has to offer. In the evening, weave your way through the maze of...
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Playa Maderas Maderas, Nicaragua
We had an unforgettable experience staying at Buena Vista Surf Club, while visiting San Juan del Sur. The eco-lodge is set into a hill overlooking the jungle and Playa Maderas with a giant sundeck where guests could enjoy the view. It was a great...
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1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001, USA
Set in a historic Beaux-Arts building, The NoMad exudes European sophistication while maintaining a distinct New York edge. Located in the changing north of Madison Square Park neighborhood, this design-centric property opened its doors in 2012....
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11 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris, France
Among the increasingly trendy streets of the Upper Marais, this intimate hotel offers a refreshingly low-key place to unpack. Named for the classic Francois Truffaut film, and set in a former precious metal factory, Jules & Jim has a low-fi...
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Warschauer Pl. 6, 10245 Berlin, Germany
As someone who appreciates "champagne taste on a beer budget," PLUS Hostel Berlin was right up my alley. The hostel boasts amenities like an indoor pool, sauna, laundry room, courtyard, art gallery, full bar and restaurant and location next to...
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510 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014, USA
Employees Only is a gem in New York City. Located in one of New York’s hippest neighborhoods on Hudson Street, it looks unassuming from the outside. You’ll find a forest green awning outside with white block letters that read “EO” and a statue of...
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Lower Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA, USA
Bourbon and Branch is a traditional speakeasy. Their 8 house rules—hushed voices and no cell phones among them—encourage neighborly conversation in a very relaxed setting. It's a great way to meet people if you're traveling alone as...
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472 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B2, Canada
At Bar Chef, owner Frankie Solarik’s mad-scientist bartenders wear porkpie hats that recall a classic speakeasy. But they mix modern potions. They inject their martinis with green olive–flavored foam and serve punch bowls such as the Jimmy Cliff,...
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3971 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97212, USA
Box Social is about as close as you'll ever get to a classic speakeasy—small, nondescript, curtains drawn, and upon arrival you'll wonder if you need a secret password to enter. Deemed Portland's premiere drinking parlor, the Box is all about...
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112 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA
The Franklin Bar, a sort of modern speakeasy, peddles period-accurate cocktails (with a few inventive twists) served up by modish, bow-tied bartenders. Best to make a reservation to snag a spot.
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The line extending from the entrance to Crif Dogs and spilling onto St. Marks Place on Saturday nights can be a bit misleading. Sure, their bacon-wrapped, chili and coleslaw drenched, "spicy redneck" hot dog is horribly delicious (and the arcade...
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12-16 Artillery Ln, London E1 7LS, UK
While it's not the clandestine experience it claims to be (we didn't have to ask for the mayor like the website says), The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is a fun time beneath the Breakfast Club restaurant in Spitalfields. To enter, you walk through an...
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6 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1E9, Canada
A clandestine spot to imbibe in Gastown, the Diamond is the speakeasy when you're in Vancouver. Bar none, one of the best bars I have been to on recommendation from Nathan at Judas Goat. They will make you anything here, like a tasty pisco sour....
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This dramatic two-tier waterfall, whose name translates as "Golden Falls," a reference to the shimmering mist that sometimes appears around the falls, is one of Iceland’s most famous—which is saying something in a country...
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Ul. od Sigurate 7, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
A city of red-tiled rooftops, pine- and cypress-shaded hills, and sparking turquoise waters, the Old Town of Dubrovnik stuns with both its architecture and scenery. Its surrounding stone walls, built between the 11th and 13th centuries to protect...
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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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2 Rue du Château, 64000 Pau, France
If you're looking for the prefect French vacation destination, the picturesque city of Pau, in Southwest France, may just have it all. Its location is perfect, almost equidistant from the stunning Pyrenees Mountains, for hiking and skiing, and the...
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Makunufushi, South Malé Atoll 20109, Maldives
Each of the Como resort’s 33 over-water bungalows has a private terrace that lets guests jump straight into the lagoon and snorkel amidst colorful fish and coral. Some of the larger suites are built in the shape of dhoni boats, the traditional...
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Ctra. Caimari-Mancor, 07313 Selva, Illes Balears, Spain
One of Mallorca’s oldest converted fincas (rural farmhouse estates), Es Castell epitomizes the eco-conscious boutique hotels that are subverting the island’s conventional tourist image. From $175. C/Binibona s/n, 34/971-875-154 This appeared in...
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Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
Expeditions are hard work (sometimes), and require attention, dedication, and focus. After a long day exploring the islands, the Finch Bay Eco Hotel on Santa Cruz is the perfect place to unwind. I took a cocktail to the pool, dipped my toes in the...
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1701 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202, USA
Known for hosting readings by big stars in the literary firmament, Tattered Cover Book Store originally opened in 1971 in a mere 950 square feet of space in the Cherry Creek North area. The enterprise has grown to...
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210 Main Road, Joe Batt's Arm, NL A0G 2X0, Canada
Fogo Island Inn sits at the very edge of the north Atlantic on isolated Fogo Island in Newfoundland. Designed by internationally renowned architect Todd Saunders, the inn's arrestingly modern appearance is meant to call to mind the shape of an...