It’s that time of the year. Families are booking their Summer vacations, plane tickets are being bought, boats trips are being booked. Summer vacation is amazing and I am pretty sure everyone can attest to this. There is something quite peaceful about sitting on a beach relaxing, or in some cases, going on a cruise, or partaking in a hiking trip. There are so many fun and adventurous activities people can plan for the Summer which is what I am here to help with!
Today I am going to be blogging about “the best places to travel this summer”. -what’s hot and what’s not! But, do not worry because I did not forget about those who are looking to save money this year. One of my upcoming posts will be “Summer vacation on a budget”
Enjoy today’s post and I hope you find it useful 🙂
The Adirondacks, New York
One of America’s first vacation destinations, New York’s Adirondack Mountain region has been luring travelers since the late 19th century with clear lakes, pure air, and 46 high peaks to climb. You can still visit in classic style. Built in 1927, the Hotel Saranac reopened last year after a respectful renovation that brings a touch of urban grandeur to the charming town of Saranac Lake. Hidden in the woods outside of town, The Point is a sumptuous lakeside resort that occupies what was once a “great camp” belonging to members of the Rockefeller family. A change of ownership has brought a welcome refresh to the elevated woodsy décor. —Peter Terzian
The Andaman Islands
For anyone who’s ever fantasized about running away to a remote island, the Andaman Islands are the stuff of dreams. A chain of more than 300 islands (some sources cite as many as 572) strung between India and Thailand, they seem almost too perfect to be real, with unspoiled beaches, clear water, coconut trees, and tropical mangroves. Many of the archipelago’s islands are uninhabited or off-limits in order to protect the tribes who live there. But one, Havelock Island, became more accessible this March, when Taj Exotica Resort & Spa — the Andamans’ first five-star resort — opened on Radhanagar Beach. Spread out over 30 acres, the property comprises 75 luxurious villas inspired by the huts of the indigenous Jarawa tribe, three restaurants serving local specialties and global cuisine, and the tranquil Jiva spa. It joins Havelock’s other main draw, the charming boutique hotel Jalakara, which opened in late 2015 with just three rooms, three suites, and a private villa on an old banana and betel nut plantation. Days here are spent swimming and diving amid the coral, kayaking in the mangroves, hiking in the forest, and relaxing on the beach. For now, the Andamans remain far less developed than the Maldives, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. Go before that changes. —Laura Itzkowitz
Teasingly nicknamed Brisvegas for its sleepy mien, Brisbane has long been regarded as an outsize country town, a cultural vacuum overshadowed by Sydney and Melbourne. But that’s changing. The shift began with the mid-2018 opening of the W Brisbane, the first luxury property to launch in the central business district in two decades. Now, the city is unveiling the $140 million Howard Smith Wharves development, which brings a hotel and restaurants to an abandoned dockyard under the Story Bridge. But even before the project is complete, this city, which hugs the Brisbane River, has plenty to offer. There are fine arts institutions like the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, or QAGOMA,where the vast Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art is on view through April. The Fortitude Valley neighborhood continues to evolve, with the recent opening of the contemporary, white-brick Calile Hotel and the relaunch of the Emporium Hotel as the whimsical Ovolo the Valley following a $39 million upgrade. One thing remains unchanged: the Brisbane River is still the heart of it all, both a thoroughfare and a destination unto itself. The CityHopper ferry is a tranquil vantage point from which to see Brisbane’s parks, the cliffs of Kangaroo Point, and the ever-evolving skyline of this underrated city. —Sanjay Surana
In the last two decades, Hungary has quietly been reclaiming its place as one of Europe’s most important wine producers. By now, wine connoisseurs are familiar with the most prominent of Hungary’s 22 wine regions: Tokaj, Eger, and Lake Batalon. But lately, the unassuming little town of Etyek — just 18 miles outside the capital — has emerged as a go-to destination for oenophiles and gourmands. Recognized in the 18th century as “the vineyards of Budapest,” Etyek has been gaining acclaim in recent years for its Champagne-like terroir that yields fine Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot (noir et blanc), and sparkling wines. While still under-the-radar among foreigners, Budapestians have been descending in droves onto the town’s “Gastro Walkway” (a cobblestone street in the older part of Etyek lined with restaurants and limestone cellars). Take a day to explore the town’s wineries on foot. Rókusfalvy Birtok, owned by a Hungarian radio celebrity, is revered by locals for having put Etyek on the oenological map — and Rókusfalvy also owns a restaurant and charming inn just a short walk away. A few doors down from those, Halmi Pince serves wine in an enchanting country setting complete with Tyrol-style furnishings and embroidered doilies, but it is their fruit and botanical syrups in dozens of intoxicating flavors (blackberry, pine needle, acacia) that will leave you swooning. One of the newest wineries in town, Anonym Pince, has a state-of-the-art concrete and glass tasting room, completed in 2015, offering sweeping views of the countryside. In 2019, the town will play host to four major gastronomic weekends (January 19, April 6-7, June 1-2, and September 7-8), organized by Etyek Piknik, with live music and public events highlighting local wines, cheeses, and other regional delicacies.—Elizabeth Warkentin
Devoted readers of Elena Ferrante’s novels about two women from a tough Naplesneighborhood rejoiced over the November HBO premiere of “My Brilliant Friend.” The next step for superfans? Beat the inevitable rush to visit the series’s stunning Mediterranean locations, especially the lush volcanic island of Ischia. Just an hour from Naples by hydrofoil and a favorite of Europeans seeking thermal spas, umbrella-studded beaches, and pleasant resort towns, the refuge abounds with old-school charm. Check in to the elegant and tranquil Hotel Regina Isabella, which offers a three-night Elena Ferrante package that includes a private guided tour and creative writing class. Then spend lazy hours sunbathing on Maronti Beach, just like Ferrante’s narrator does. But be sure to rouse yourself to visit the hulking medieval Castello Aragonese and the pastel-colored fishing village of Sant’Angelo. —Maggie Shipstead
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
This rural region — which includes the town of Jackson and the ski resort of Teton Village — makes headlines thanks to its residents, who happen to be among the top earners in the country. But Jackson Hole is changing fast. A burgeoning tech scene has drawn the median age down to 33, and new hotel-motel hybrids like the cool and affordable Anvildraw a younger crowd. Four Seasons Jackson Hole and Amangani, longtime favorites, were recently joined by the super-luxe Caldera House. Painstakingly built over six years by design darlings Commune, the eight-suite, $100 million creates once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Guests can take close-up shots of elk with a National Geographic photographer or schuss down Corbet’s Couloir with a gold-winning Olympic skier as your guide. For now, Jackson remains highly walkable and relatively easy to access for such a remote and bucolic destination. But as snow-covered peaks are increasingly difficult to locate elsewhere in these United States, expect Jackson Hole, which reliably opens around Thanksgiving, to grow ever more popular. —Heidi Mitchell
Panama City, Panama
When Panama City’s Colonial quarter, or Casco Viejo, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1997, what was then a crime-ridden barrio began the slow process of regeneration. Investment trickled in, expats started buying up the Spanish-style houses and, cobblestone street by cobblestone street, the area was slowly restored. Now, more than two decades on, the work is finally done — and the quarter is ready for prime-time. Now, you’ll find a new boutique, bar or restaurant popping up on every block. The team behind New York City’s iconic Employees Only cocktail bar recently opened the Strangers Club, which serves site-specific drinks like the diablico sucio: mezcal and mint shaken with puréed mango, lime juice, and agave nectar. A new project from Michelin-starred Spanish chef Andres Madrigal, Laboratorio Madrigal, serves a seven-course tasting menu from the chic interior of an updated colonial building, while Panamanian culinary talent José Carles’s 16-seat Casco Veijo restaurant, Don Jose, is one of the city’s hottest tables. You’ll find well-heeled locals rubbing shoulders with bearded millennials at the American Trade Hotel, which since opening in 2013 has become a center of gravity for the new-look neighborhood, and the city as a whole. But above all, you’ll love just taking in the buzzing plazas and pastel-colored, bougainvillea-laced villas of what has become one of Central America’s safest, and most scenic, urban areas. —Flora Stubbs
Tourism in Rwanda is booming, in large part due to the surge in visitors to Volcanoes National Park, one of the last remaining places on earth where travelers can glimpse the endangered mountain gorilla. Most travelers make a beeline to the wildlife-rich park, but Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, has emerged as the epicenter of progressive sustainability in East Africa — and one of the coolest, most under-the-radar cities on the continent. Last year saw the opening of The Retreat, an upscale, eco-friendly boutique hotel that’s exclusively powered by solar energy. The 11-room property celebrates Rwanda’s rich cultural and natural heritage, with local art and photography, handcrafted furniture, and a lush garden with indigenous plants and flowers. While you’re in town, be sure to stop by the Women’s Bakery, the lively, female-owned café where the pastry to order is the sticky honeytresse, and Question Coffee, a local chain that works with rural Rwandan female farmers to grow the best coffee in the country.—Michaela Trimble
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico
Set high in a mountain valley in the state of Chiapas, San Cristóbal de las Casas is not the easiest destination to get to — it’s a 90-minute flight from Mexico City followed by an hour-long drive — but the reward is a getaway in one of the country’s most picturesque colonial-era cities. One more reason to visit? Hotel Sombra del Agua, a stylish new property set inside a 1907 hotel (the first in all of Chiapas) and perfectly located just steps from the vibrant main square. The 70 minimalist, neutral-hued rooms were outfitted by buzzy Mexico City-based design firm La Metropolitana, and there’s a peaceful, plant-filled courtyard for sipping your morning coffee before meandering the city’s cobblestoned streets. The surrounding region is known for its rich culture and epic nature — and San Cristóbal is the ideal base from which to explore it all, with easy access to villages known for indigenous crafts like pottery and weaving, the lake-filled Lagunas de Montebello National Park, and the Mayan ruins of Palenque (not to mention countless waterfalls). —Brooke Porter Katz
Located just under a thousand miles off the coast of East Africa, this remote Indian Ocean archipelago has long lured travelers with the promise of life-renewing beach lounging and unparalleled coral reef diving. But in 2019, with new direct flights from London on British Airways, it’s easier than ever to get to those idyllic white sands and pristine aquamarine waters (side note: the government recently designated a third of the Seychelles’ marine area as protected territory). And whether you’d rather island-hop or settle into your own plot of paradise, there are plenty of new luxurious options to explore. In March, Four Seasons opened its second Seychelles outpost on the private Desroches Island, giving guests unlimited access to its 8.7 miles of beaches and 933 acres of lush jungle. With 14 world-class dive sites ringing the island, an animal sanctuary that houses rare Aldabra giant tortoises, and cycling, kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing available for every guest…the only hard part will be finding time to lounge by the private pool in your breezy, rustic-chic villa. On the main island of Mahé, the serene Banyan Tree Seychelles recently refurbished a number of its private villas and added several new bars and restaurants. Prefer to see this destination by sea? Reserve a spot on Ponant’s new expedition itinerary, which covers eight islands at once. See the red granite of Curieuse Island, discover the unspoiled nature preserve of Aride Island, and bathe in the crystal-clear pools of La Digue’s famous Anse Source d’Argent beach. —Karen I. Chen
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi and Dubai are two of the most dynamic cultural hubs in the Gulf — but this year, it’s worth exploring another part of the country that’s quietly becoming an international arts destination. Sharjah, a small emirate whose urban center is just a 20-minute drive from Dubai, is home to some of the best-preserved heritage buildings in the U.A.E., plus a number of world-class museums, like the modern Sharjah Art Foundation. 2019 sees the 14th iteration of the Sharjah Biennial, as well as the first-ever Sharjah Architecture Triennial, the only event of its kind in the MENASA region. New hotels give visitors a refreshing alternative to the gilded glamour of the emirate next door. The 53-room Al Bait, in Sharjah’s old town center, was built from four historic residences. The hotel draws on the aesthetics of a traditional Emirati home and offers local culinary specialties like Arabic coffee and boozaice cream. In the Khor Kalba nature reserve, you’ll find the new Kingfisher Lodge desert camp, the first from new hotel group Sharjah Collection — it’s unique in the U.A.E., with direct access to Gulf of Oman beaches and a menu focusing on fresh seafood. —Hannah Walhout
Thank you so much for reading today’s post. If you have any questions leave them below or reach me using the “contact” tab at the top of my blog. I hope you enjoyed today’s post and find it helpful in planning your summer vacation this year :).
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