When clients who’ve seen all the usual “grand tour’ sights in Europe ask you to suggest a new destination, be ready to tell them about Poland. This country on the Baltic Sea has it all: a long history, rich cultural life, lively cities, medieval castles, outdoor activities, even beaches and one of Europe’s top windsurfing sites.
The Baltic has long attracted adventurers, from Hanseatic League merchants, who first plied its waters six centuries ago, to modern-day visitors, who now cruise its harbors on ferries and luxury liners. Emerging triumphant from World War II and later Communist domination, the Baltic capitals offer some of Europe’s most dazzling cultural attractions as well as innovative, locally sourced cuisine.
I first learned of this easternmost city in Germany in the days when it was a nearly forgotten place in the German Democratic Republic. Though lining its winding streets and spacious squares were more than 4,000 architectural monuments of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Art Nouveau and other 19th-century architecture, they had long been neglected. But then, 25 years ago when Germany was united and UNESCO recognized Goerlitz as an architectural treasure, federal funds were allotted for its restoration. Today, it has become not only a prime tourist destination, but a prime site for film-makers, too.
A rising star on destination wish lists, Belize seems to have it all, inviting visitors to enjoy its sun-drenched shores and crystal-blue waters, tropical rainforests, and ancient ruins. Belize is a small country of about 341,000 people, located in Central America, between Mexico and Guatemala. With most direct flights lasting 4.5 hours or less, Belize is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the United States. Additionally, the country’s official language is English, making it ideal for tourists who want to experience the Latin American and Caribbean cultures, but who are not fluent in Spanish.
In the land around the Sacred Valley of Peru, life is happening everywhere you look. Kids lead piggies on lengths of twine. Women walk the roads working yarn spindles with their hands. Men carry bundles of grass down from the mountains to add strength to their bricks, for it is brick-making season in the Sacred Valley. Warm sun, and a lack of rain are perfect brick making conditions.
If sun loungers on endless stretches of sandy beaches, unlimited fine dining and starry nights aren’t enough, try a resort that caters to grown-ups without distractions like teen discos and crowded buffets. A Caribbean vacation without the kids is all about swapping pint-sized dinner plates for side-by-side massages on the beach.
Travel games. Check. Beach toys. Check. Sippy cups. Check. Add passports and sunscreen and pack up the brood for a beach vacay in the Caribbean. Keeping kids happy even while on a winter holiday can be a challenge but scoping out the best beaches before you head for the airport is the main ingredient for hassle-free family fun under the sun.
With a vibrant mix of cultures, innovative experiences and a thriving arts scene, Australia has long drawn visitors from around the globe. While the Australian culture defines itself by its Aboriginal heritage, its tourism attractions range from outdoor adventure, wine tasting and opera to city exploration and wildlife viewing. The beauty of Australia lends itself to just about any type of vacation paradise.
There is a magnificent valley in the Min Mountains of China that sits on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, stretching for over 180,000 acres. For all intents and purposes it IS Tibet, a Tibet we can legally go visit.
There are many destinations to visit while in Israel, despite most folks arriving and immediately heading to Jerusalem and then completing their tour in Tel Aviv. Israel is a country where an astonishing amount of history sits front and center alongside the modernity of Tel Aviv. Take some time while traveling and head out to the countryside where some of the lesser known, but equally interesting stops will tell the bigger story.