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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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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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KM-269.5, Puerto Cancun, Carretera Chetumal, 77750 Puerto Aventuras, Q.R., Mexico
How do you photograph the sweet strains of piano and guitar that float around you or the sense of calm that envelopes you when you gaze across the still water of the pool and out to the sea? How do you put into words the...
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6975 Howard St, Green Mountain Falls, CO 80819, USA
Don’t expect butlers, room service, or even a receptionist at this six-room lodge set at nearly 7,800 feet in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Owner Christian Keesee vacationed in Green Mountain Falls as a kid. When the New York–based...
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90 Armstrong Rd, Johnsburg, NY 12843, USA
This family-owned retreat within Adirondack State Park is geared toward campers who want comfort. Adirondack chairs (of course) sit on the decks of six canvas tents equipped with wood-burning stoves and cedar-lined showers. The platform...
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47000 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Highway 1 runs about 90 miles through this rugged Big Sur coastline and is absolutely stunning. The tall and wild Santa Lucia mountains plummet into the energetic Pacific Ocean. Sea otters, which were thought to be extinct, were discovered living...
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Piedras Blancas, California 93452, USA
Piedras Blancas was one of my favorite spots on our driving trip down the Pacific Highway in California. I could have spent hours watching the elephant seals sun bathe while the young pups clumsily try to wedge their way into the huddle.
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Calle Bélgica, s/n, 07108 Port de Sóller, Illes Balears, Spain
Opened this summer, and rapidly becoming a must-visit. One of the best hotels in Mallorca in my opinion. Seamless service, large rooms with breath-taking sea views, very good spa facilities, and great cuisine. What else can you ask for?
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Carrer de la Missió, 7A, 07003 Palma de Mallorca, Islas Baleares, Illes Balears, Spain
The quintessential art lovers' hideaway on a quiet side street in the old town of Palma is Hotel Convent de la Missió, a 14-room gem. The owners, who are avid art collectors, transformed a 17th-century monastery and added a hammam, Japanese roof...
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Carrer de la Balanguera, 37, 07011 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
When we decided to visit Palma we were looking for a nice boutique hotel with personality. We were lucky because we found a little gem. Hotel Balanguera is a heaven of peace with an impressive design. Our room was beautiful. Simple, rustic,...
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You'll have never seen a place more green. Hundreds of shades of it, with waterfalls and babbling brooks. Gleninchaquin is something out of a dream—yet it's the beautiful reality in Southwest Ireland. This family-owned park, overseen by Donal and...
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53000 East Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019, USA
$$$$
Multnomah Falls is a gorgeous sight located about 45 minutes by car outside of Portland, Oregon, on the Columbia River Gorge. Several hikes of differing degrees of difficulty offer vantage points to view the falls. The sound of the rushing water...
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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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Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, USA
Golden Gate Park was formed out of an expanse of sand dunes to the west of the city in the nineteenth century—a history that is still discernible in the rolling topography of much of the park’s more than 1,000 acres. Over 13 million...
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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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Row River Trail, Dorena, OR 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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Ecuador
Technically, you don’t have to be a science geek to appreciate a cruise to the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. That said, basic knowledge of the archipelago as the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution certainly won’t...
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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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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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Estrada do Bom Jesus, 4715-056 Tenões, Portugal
Only the a local would have known to take us to Bom Jesus. While staying with a host through Airbnb, two friends and I had the opportunity to spend the day with her and explore Braga. She told us, in her broken but sufficient English, of a church...
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Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal
The churches in Portugal are uniquely beautiful in a way that is is ornate but not flashy or gilded. The Manueline style of architecture used to build the St. Jeronimos Monastery was a transitional style that combined Renaissance and Gothic...
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Rooseveltplatz 8, 1090 Wien, Austria
Inside of the Votive Church (Votivkirche) in Vienna, Austria. Absolutely stunning gothic church with gorgeous stained glass--a must-see in Vienna.
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Largo do Carmo, 1200-092 Lisboa, Portugal
In 1755, Lisbon was all but devoured by an earthquake so strong that it still ranks as one of the most destructive in recorded history. One of the few structures to survive somewhat intact was the Carmo Convent—an impressive feat,...
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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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Kylemore Abbey, Pollacappul, Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland
Before reaching this incredible castle, you will be astounded by the beautiful pastures and lakes along the roadside. Lambs occasionally trot across allowing a great opportunity for photos. Upon reaching Kylemore, you will enter through a quaint...
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Orval 1, 6823 Florenville, Belgium
You cannot visit the current Orval Abbey but for a small fee you can visit the Orval Abbey ruins. By the 12th century, this Cistercian abbey isolated in the Gaume Forest had become one of the most famous and richest in Europe. After a film on...
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Piazza Santa Chiara, 1, 06081 Assisi PG, Italy
The stories around St Francis of Assisi are relatively well-known, and of particular interest with the election of a Roman Catholic pope who took his name. St Francis was born wealthy and eventually had a spiritual awakening which let him to...
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Rue du Bienvenu, 14400 Bayeux, France
Experience one of the best Cathedrals in Europe. We went to Bayeux to see the tapestry and discovered this amazing place and were blown away when we got inside. If you go to Normandy do not pass this town, the Bayeux tapestry, 70m of tapestry...
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Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
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76400 Fécamp, France
The extraordinary history of Benedictine starts at Fecamp Abbey where the Benedictine monks lived. The visit consists of two parts, one being the history and the second, the crafting of the Benedictine liqueur. You start in the Gothic Room. Here...
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4 North 2nd St, Cumberland Island, GA 32034, USA
If you want to go to a non-commercial private island, your best bet in the US is Cumberland Island. The Greyfield Inn is the only hotel and, in fact, the only business on the entire island. At the Carnegie owned mansion turned into a charming Inn,...
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From the bi-level dome car, Gold-Leaf Service passengers take in panoramic views of snowcapped mountains, Fraser Canyon, and the Thompson River as they make their way from Vancouver, B.C., to Banff, Alberta. The three-night excursion includes...
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20063 Cabrillo Hwy S, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
San Francisco is a great starting point for a road trip. Drive north or south on the HWY 1 and you're bound to find fun towns, beautiful winding roads and gorgeous coastal scenery. This cave is about an hour drive south of San Francisco, and then...
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101 E Arctic Ave, Folly Beach, SC 29439, USA
Officially named the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier, this landmark extends 1,045 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, making it the second-longest pier on the East Coast. It’s also 25 feet wide, allowing ample room for walkers, fishermen,...
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1 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA
While staying in South Beach, I can't imagine wanting to dine anywhere else but on the water. The DiLido Beach Club at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach is the only oceanfront restaurant in the area. Make your way to one of the brown and Tiffany Blue...
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Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
One of the best places to wander in Barcelona is the city's charming Gothic Quarter, right off the famous La Rambla. A highlight is the area's beautiful Gothic cathedral, one of the few interesting buildings in the city that was not designed by...
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Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
The mysterious rooftop of Casa Mila both charms and haunts visitors. The glorious October sky above frames the organic forms, each sculpted face watching as I creep up and down the rolling ramps. Children can't resist playing here, and fortunately...
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Carrer del Vidre, 8, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is home to countless tapas joints. They sit on street corners and back alleys all over the city. Many are commercialized and target tourists, while others are homegrown, centuries-old locations. There are plenty to choose from. After...
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Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona, Spain
One of Barcelona's most exclusive streets, Passeig de Gràcia is home to modernista masterpieces like La Pedrera and Casa Batlló as well as the massive luxury storefronts of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Mandarina Duck, and...
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As the name suggests, this soaring 44-story hotel from the Ritz-Carlton brand, is peppered with high-end artwork, mainly by renowned Spanish and Catalan artists such as Eduardo Chillida, Albert Rafols-Casamada, Perico Pastor, and Luis Feito. But...
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Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
It’s one of the most recognizable facades on Passeig de Gràcia: a modernist fantasy of undulating stone, brightly colored mosaics, and stained glass—one that could only come from the mind of famed Catalan architect Antoni...
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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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Mount Ulia, 20013, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Most visitors never cross the river from the Old Part, and the vast majority overlook what has to be one of the most beautiful hikes from here to California. At the edge of Gros, a trail heads up some stairs (at the end of Calle San Francisco) and...
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Rodil Zeharkalea, 79, 20013 San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, Spain
One of my favorite sit-down dining experiences in the city, Zelai Txiki has a couple things going for it. One is a gigantic terrace that overlooks the entire city. On a summer evening there are only a few places I would rather be. Call ahead to...
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Zurríola Hiribidea, 24, 20002 San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, Gipuzkoa, Spain
San Sebastián, for many, is a surf town. Pukas is your one-stop shop for everything from surf lessons, bikinis, gear, and cool souvenirs with a local twist, like their trademark 'Surfing the Basque Country' t-shirts.
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Kontxa Pasealekua Edificio de La Perla Donostia Gipuzkoa ES 20007, Kontxa Pasealekua, 20007 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
What could make a spa with all the typical trappings of luxury even better? Wall-to-wall windows overlooking La Concha bay, that's what. La Perla does not disappoint, and it's a great way to spend those finicky winter days when visiting San...
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Getaria Kalea, 14, 20005 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
A truly great store is one that makes you desire things that you didn't know you wanted. Almacenes Arenzana achieves this, but lucky for the shopper, they happen to sell extremely useful items. Cork, cords, burlap, fabric, ropes, all by the...
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4949 E Lincoln Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85253, USA
Confusion. I think that’s what some people feel when they first lay eyes on the Montelucia Resort & Spa. With its ornate entryways and floral squares, the resort looks more like a charming European village than an Arizona resort. But, you know...
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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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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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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...