Mysteriously, Wroclaw (pronounced Vrots-Wahf), is among the warmest cities in Poland as evidenced by the proliferation of gelato shops, short sleeves, short skirts, and throngs of young people. It is also famous for hot chocolate spiced with a dash of chili and gummy candies at kiosks. Its medieval center wears its age well with covered markets, baroque gardens, towers, canals, peddlers selling zapiekanki (a Polish open-faced sandwich on a baguette) and trams.
In the northern reaches of the Croatia, there sits the exquisite heart-shaped peninsula of Istria that juts into the turquoise Adriatic Sea. Along its coast are lovely fishing towns and pristine beaches that the world has discovered as a summer playground. But in the interior, is another world. This large green oasis has ancient villages with church steeples scraping the heavens as they look down on their peaceful surroundings. Down its slopes drape vineyards, cool forests, and cultivated fields. All this beauty is stitched together with quiet winding roads. Traveling them is to go back in time to a peaceful, slower, and simpler life.
When George C. Yount planted the first grapevines in California’s Napa Valley in 1838, he never guessed the area would one day be a world-class wine region. Nor did he imagine that Yountville, the town he laid out in the 1850s, would become the valley’s “Culinary Capital,” home to legendary restaurants like The French Laundry. How surprised he would be to discover that some of the Napa Valley’s most luxurious resorts and spas, plus more than a dozen wineries, including the West Coast outpost of French Champagne-maker Moét & Chandon, now call Yountville home. How proud he would be of his town, the setting each spring for Yountville Live, a star-studded music, food and wine festival. How could anyone have known that tiny Yountville would become a premier Wine Country destination for families and couples alike?
With 1,244 islands and 97 Blue Flag beaches along its Adriatic coast, Croatia has long been a favorite of sun-seeking Northern Europeans. But its fabled beaches are still little known to Americans, and its historic and natural sights rarely make the tourist must-see list.
In the ancient Kingdom of Morocco, what’s old is always new. That’s especially true in Marrakech, from Jemaa El Fna, the famous square known for its snake charmers, storytellers and nightly food stalls, to the kaleidoscopic souks of the medina, or old town.
With a recent New York Times article naming Tanzania one of the top places to visit in 2015, it’s no wonder The tourism minister has announced a $1.5 million rebranding project to film and produce a television commercial to broadcast worldwide, including on CNN and the BBC. The re-branding “Destination Tanzania” project is expected to result in an increase in the number of tourists entering the country to at least 2.5 million tourists per year in the next 5 years, with a goal of increasing tourist arrivals to as many as 5 million by 2010. The tourism sector currently represents nearly 3.4% of the total GDP of Tanzania and
employs approximately 500,000 Tanzanians. And, in 2013, a total of 1,135,884 tourists visited Tanzania, bringing earnings from the Tanzania tourism sector to a historical high of $1.8 billion. With numbers like this, the future definitely looks bright for this East African country.
It would be difficult to choose what is most impressive about New Zealand. Scenery, cultural history, wineries and outdoor adventures are top of mind, and they don’t disappoint.
An overhang protects me from the pouring rain. I sip wine while I watch and listen to the rain fall into my private infinity pool and make tiny puddles. The Andaman Sea, about 600 feet below, is the backdrop. The view, the dripping water and the tranquility are so relaxing, my cares slip away.
Shopping is a vacation rite of passage for every traveler worth his or her sea salt. For something extra special for the folks at home, ditch the crowded malls and airport souvenir shops and look for locally-made. Whether you celebrate Mother’s Day on May 10, Father’s Day on June 21 or, lest we forget, National Chocolate Chip Day on May 15 (yes, a real holiday) or National Flip Flop Day on June 19 (always the third Friday in June for those keeping track), our cornucopia of creative gift ideas aims to please.
Few vacation experiences appeal to the entire family like an afternoon cavorting with the critters who call the Caribbean home. From swimming with the sharks in The Bahamas to staking out rare birds in St. Lucia and taking photos with the monkeys in St. Kitts, there is an animal-friendly island for everyone and an easy sell for travel agents.