With the summer season behind us, you may already be looking ahead to your next vacation. Instead of starting your research from scratch, let us help you with a guide to some of the most sought after vacation spots around the globe.
US News recently released their top 30 vacation spots in the world. We have narrowed them down to our top 10 to give you a quick glance at some of the most enticing locales. It’s never too early to start planning your next adventure so let’s escape and explore some of the most majestic places together.
Searching for an escape that offers over 3000 years of rich cultural, artistic and architectural history in one of the most picturesque places in Europe? Look no further than Italy’s capital city of Rome. With historic landmarks such as the Colosseum and the Forum along with Vatican City, the home of the Roman Catholic Church, Rome offers an unforgettable experience of a lifetime. When looking to book your Rome adventure, you may want to opt for travel during April, May September or October. These are optimal times of year for weather, attraction hours and less tour groups.
One of the islands located in the Aegean Sea, Santorini was formed through a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC, which forever shaped its current landscape. Within its two principal towns of Fira and Oia, beautiful whitewashed cubiform homes sit atop the cliffs above an underwater crater. Fira is the island’s commercial heart, housing the Archaeological Museum of Thera, along with boutique shops, lively bars and tavernas serving local seafood and dry white wine. The city of Oia is famous for its sunsets over the old fortress. One of the world’s most unique natural landmarks, Santorini should definitely be on your bucket list.
Most people associate Australia’s largest city of Sydney with the harbourfront Sydney Opera House, a distinctive landmark with a sail-like shape. Attractions in Sydney include the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Tower’s outdoor platform, the Skywalk, Sydney Aquarium, Taronga Zoo and Pyrmont’s Sydney Fish Market. Two of the most popular surfing destinations, Bondi and Manly Beaches, are just a ferry ride away. While travel time is over 17 hours, this is one destination well worth the trip.
If you’re a fan of Renaissance art and architecture or simply looking to see firsthand the works of Michelangelo, da Vinci and Botticelli, Florence should be in your future travel plans. Architectural highlights include the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Botticelli and the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone-arch pedestrian bridge. The Palazzo Vecchio, one of the city’s most visited squares, is the site of the much photographed “Perseus with the Head of Medusa” statue by Cellini. Even if you aren’t an art history major, the sites of Florence won’t disappoint.
Widely known for its architecture, culture and arts, Barcelona offers the opportunity of a lifetime to experience the rich Spanish heritage through historic landmarks such as the Sagrada Familia Cathedral or the Picasso Museum, located in the heart of the city. The best way to experience Spain is to walk through the streets capturing all of its beauty and glory while enjoying some of the best tapas style restaurants in the world, not to mention some of the most delectable wine selections. Also home to one of the world’s best soccer teams, FC Barcelona, you will have the chance to experience the true essence of the city in all its glory.
Sometimes getting out from behind a desk and witnessing nature in its rarest form is the perfect escape from the ordinary. Measuring 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide and more than a mile deep, the Grand Canyon offers the opportunity for a road trip followed by hiking the North Rim, horseback riding on the Bright Angel Trail or rafting down the Colorado River. Plan ahead as accommodations are limited and book quickly. While making your travel arrangements, you may want to consider a planned tour in order to ensure you see as much of this national landmark as possible. For an unforgettable experience of a lifetime, you can now book a helicopter tour right over the canyon. With so many options, where will this adventure take you?
Want a family vacation destination that offers plenty of activities, culture and sights? Just a short trip over the border from Seattle, Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world offering a mix of big city life combined with access to extreme sports and recreation for the entire family. Canadians are known for their friendly nature and take pride in maintaining a welcoming, clean and safe vacation spot. Also well known as a popular Hollywood filming location with a lively arts scene, Vancouver has something for everyone in your family.
We’ve all seen those breathtaking images of the bungalows sitting atop the crystal clear blue waters of Tahiti and longed to be there in that moment. Tahiti is also the home of both black and white sand beaches, lagoons, waterfalls and two extinct volcanoes. Widely known as one of the most popular tropical vacation destinations, Tahiti is rich with culture and believed to be embraced by “Mana”, a life force and spirit that surrounds and connects all living things. Just an 8 hour flight from LA, this luxurious destination should definitely be on the short list of tropical vacation spots.
Yosemite National Park – California
Are you the outdoorsy, adventurous type? Does the thought of sitting on a beach sound boring to you? One of the most beautiful travel spots in the world is right here in California, making it easy to escape for a long weekend. For the avid hikers, Yosemite National Park boasts two famous hiking trails, the Half Dome and Glacier Point lookout. For those looking to just enjoy a leisurely hike in the great outdoors, there are plenty of other options, including Mist Trail and Tuolomne Meadows. Lodging is available or most travelers to the area opt to experience nature to the fullest by camping or renting a cabin. Whatever your preference, you will find the serene escape you are seeking within a 5 hour car ride from the OC.
St. Lucia-Caribbean Islands
Looking to get away from the daily grind? This popular romance spot boasts some of the most gorgeous views while being conducive to a relaxing, secluded environment. With multiple resort options, you can find the one that best suits your budget and travel itinerary. From palm tree lined beaches to the Piton mountains and miles of rainforest, there is plenty to do and see or you can just plant yourself on a lounge chair and soak up the tropical rays. While travel time from the LA area is just over 8 hours, this destination promises to be well worth the time.