MGM Resorts International roared back to profitability thanks to leisure traveler flocking back to Las Vegas casinos. Hermann Luyken / Wikimedia
MGM Resorts International roared back to profitability thanks to leisure traveler flocking back to Las Vegas casinos. Hermann Luyken / Wikimedia
U.S. airports might soon welcome large numbers of international travelers. N i c o l a / Flicrk
The post 10 Places to Visit in Spain (That Aren’t Barcelona) appeared first on The Blonde Abroad.
You’ve made it official, and now’s the moment to take a break and spend quality time together. Whether you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime destination or you just want to relax on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, the options are endless. Of course, you’ve seen the honeymoon brochures of couples holding hands at sunset in some of the most popular honeymoon locations around the world. But if you feel like something different is what you need, then look below for the best alternative honeymoon destinations.
When planning your honeymoon, it’s essential to consider the type of experience you’re looking for. For example, whether you’re after poolside lounging, visiting museums and galleries or some adventure activities, make sure to plan accordingly and look for the ideal destinations for your interests.
The Caribbean is a one-of-a-kind destination. The mix of French and Creole culture, lush green landscapes and white sand beaches is as appealing as it gets. And while it’s not the most popular island, Martinique offers all that you need for an unforgettable honeymoon experience – the beaches, mountains, water sports, nightlife and beautiful accommodations to suit every taste. It’s also quite reasonably priced compared to other Caribbean island vacation costs, so it will not put a major hole in your pocket.
If you want to spend time somewhere surrounded by natural beauty, then Martinique is the place for you. With a coastline of beaches and crystal-clear water next to lush forests with rivers that flow through them as well as mountains made from volcanoes, it’s hard to beat this island paradise. And there are also secluded boutique hotels scattered among the mountains and right on the beaches that are absolutely perfect for a romantic getaway.
Leave your worries behind and spend a honeymoon on Roatan. This tropical island that is a part of Honduras is perfect for celebrating the most important day of your life with the one you love, while staying far away from outside distractions and stresses. With an accessible location only a short distance away by plane or boat from the mainland and nearby islands such as Utila (a great spot for diving), this Caribbean paradise will be nothing short of unforgettable.
Roatan is a Caribbean Island with unparalleled white sand beaches and perfect diving spots. In addition, you will find rainforest hillsides full of people that have preserved their unique culture, including the Garifunas, descendants of African slaves who settled on Roatan in centuries past. In addition, the wonderful variety of wildlife that inhabits this island and its surrounding waters will be an added bonus.
Escape to North Cornwall and get away from the chaos of everyday life while on a truly magical honeymoon. Begin your day with alfresco breakfast on the deck, and relish the stunning views of the Camel Estuary and rolling countryside as the sweet songs of the local birds fill the air around you. Then, head off on an excursion and explore nearby Cornish towns such as Rock, Polzeath and Port Isaac. Spend marvelous evenings cooking up a feast on a fire pit BBQ while watching the sunset from the comfort of your hot tub, all before laying down under the stars that sparkle like diamonds in the night sky.
Furthermore, if you and your spouse are foodies, we think St. Ives could be the place for you. First on the list is Alba, where you will get an artsy British seafood menu served in a former lifeboat along the coast, complete with a side of harbor views. For a more chilled-out feast, head to Porthminster Beach Café nestled below picturesque Porthminster Bay. It has everything from classic fish and chips to vegan pies. If you’re searching for a unique adventure, head over to Glaze Beach, a hidden cove with a tightrope walk and abseiling spots.
Moorea’s most breathtaking sights are scattered all over the island. Whether you’re after honeymoon adventures or want to escape and enjoy some tropical seclusion, it’s a place for romantic getaways. Just a short distance across the sea from Tahiti lies this tiny treasure trove at the heart of the French Polynesian Islands. Bora Bora’s little sister, it’s a land of pristine white sandy beaches, turquoise water, lush mango and banana trees, as well as natural pools that the gorgeous ocean has carved out.
On this romantic island, super luxury Moorea accommodation such as over-water bungalows come at a more reasonable price than the more remote Bora Bora. As it’s only a 10-minute flight or 1-hour ferry ride from Papeete, the accessibility of beautiful Moorea makes it an attractive stop-over on your way to or from Bora Bora. Besides, you will have an unforgettable time on your overwater vacation. You can relax, watch the underwater life from a glass floor or even swim underwater yourself. This will be one island you will never want to leave.
Who can resist the beauty of Japan’s Yaeyama Islands and their breathtaking coral reefs? You may have never heard about Ishigaki Island, but it’s an island worth exploring for a rewarding snorkeling adventure. Even more, Ishigaki is a small island, making it easy to explore it all. It’s also no secret that this place has some excellent food, with local, and yummy, Yaeyama soba noodles being one of the main options.
The location of this archipelago lies between the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea. On its south side, there is a volcano known as Mt. Takachiho, which you can climb in order to enjoy some spectacular views over the island and of other volcano craters, some of which have smoking peaks. Once back down at sea level, you can ride a glass-bottom boat to explore the nearby coral reefs, while surrounded by the blue sea and lush green mountains. And the best part is that this island is not usually very crowded, allowing you to enjoy a unique destination without much hassle at all.
Home to hundreds of World Heritage Sites, Europe welcomes millions of tourists each year. Unsurprisingly, Europe has one of the most developed accommodation industries in the world. But there’s another sector in Europe’s hospitality industry that’s becoming very popular – alternative accommodations.
Alternative accommodations refer to a type of accommodations that are different from the standard hotels. From bed and breakfasts to cabin lodges and treehouses, these accommodation options have long been popular across the continent and are now growing even more rapidly compared to traditional hotels. Staying at these accommodations will not only often save you some money but they will offer unique experiences that can make for a more unforgettable travel experience. Below, check out the top alternative destinations to stay across Europe.
As one of the most visited countries in Europe, Croatia has no shortage of luxury hotels and resorts. But if you’re looking to stay at something that’s a little bit out of the ordinary, there are plenty of alternative accommodation options that might be suitable for you.
What about staying at a beautiful lighthouse that opens to stunning views of the sea? Croatia is famous for its coastline, which is lined with old lighthouses, some of which have been renovated and are available for tourists to rent. Staying at eco-lodges in the countryside has also become very popular in Croatia, as the country relies mainly on agriculture and tourism.
For animal lovers, staying at animal sanctuaries might be a good idea. Some of Croatia’s animal sanctuaries offer travelers a chance to stay on-site while getting involved in the rehabilitation of the animals. One such sanctuary is the Kuterevo Bear Sanctuary, which allows visitors to stay from Easter until late Autumn. During your stay, you’ll have a chance to feed the rescued bears and nurse them back to health.
Ireland is a stunning country, and your visit will be more memorable if you stay at unique accommodations, such as a treehouse, farmhouse or even a real castle! Ireland’s impressive collection of alternative accommodations is a reflection of the country’s charming peculiarity.
If you want to live out your childhood fantasy of sleeping high up in a tree, Ireland is the perfect place for this. The country is home to so many amazing treehouses, each offering something unique. For instance, The Birdbox, a quirky treehouse in Donegal, is nestled among the branches of oak trees, a perfect escape for romantic couples who love nature.
Staying at an Irish farmhouse is also popular among tourists in Ireland. Most of these farmhouses are set in a sprawling land that overlooks the gorgeous Irish countryside. The Temple House, a family mansion set on 1,000 acres of land overlooks the lakeside ruins of the Knights Templar castle. And if you want to splurge and live like a king on your Irish holiday, then stay at a real castle. These castles date back to the 16th century and have been renovated and furnished with elegant rooms decorated with intricate ornaments fit for royalty.
In Luxembourg, one can find many unique places to stay, but the most popular is glamping. Glamping refers to the style of camping holidays in Europe where guests can stay in luxury tents fitted with comforts and amenities. The tiny country of Luxembourg is known for its sprawling rural areas, so it’s not surprising to find lots of good campsites here. From the woodlands of the north to the Moselle Valley in the south, Luxembourg’s countryside certainly packs a punch when it comes to camping.
Camping Kautenbach offers different types of luxury tents of varying sizes. For families and big groups, there’s a 2-bedroom tent equipped with a living and kitchen space and complete with bunk beds, sheets, pillows and blankets. The campsite is hidden in a beautiful green valley in the town of Kautenbach, by the banks of The Clerve river and surrounded by lush forest.
Aside from glamping, Luxembourg is also home to several other unique accommodations, such as lodging houses set in historic buildings, romantic chalets and an 18th Century castle known for its gourmet French cuisines.
Formentera is a beautiful Spanish island in the Mediterranean known for its crystal clear waters and long stretches of beach. As a popular holiday destination, the island has tons of hotels and resorts. But it’s also home to the trendiest alternative options. From agriturismos to guesthouses and boutique hotels, staying at these alternative accommodations will make your Formentera holiday even more unforgettable.
In the charming village of Sant Ferran de ses Roques, there’s a beachfront residence known as Etosoto, which hosts cultural and agricultural experiences. Etosoto is an eco-friendly guesthouse with a minimalist design and decorated with bohemian furnishings.
There are also spectacular apartments in Formentera that overlook the vast expanse of the Mediterranean Sea. Paraiso de Los Pinos, a luxury apartment complex in Formentera’s Es Migjorn, features a distinct, modern atmosphere, offering a perfect place to spend the holiday of your dreams.
Mallorca, another popular holiday destination in Spain, is also home to some unique alternative accommodations. From historic buildings to beachside mansions and stunning luxury Mallorca villas, you’ll have plenty of options for a more exciting beach holiday in Spain.
In Valldemossa, there’s a lovely boutique hotel called the Mirabó de Valldemossa. Set in the Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains overlooking the gorgeous views of the island, this property is a 16th-century farmhouse that was converted into a guesthouse while preserving its unique and enticing character.
Families seeking a luxurious escape in Mallorca should stay at one of the island’s luxury holiday villas. From modern designed villas to traditional stone fincas, most of these properties are conveniently located on the island, giving you easy access to the many attractions in Mallorca. These villas are fitted with pools and offer easy access to some of the island’s most beautiful beaches.
Aside from the luxury properties, there are also affordable guesthouses and budget accommodations peppered across the island which caters to budget travelers and backpackers. While camping is strictly prohibited in Mallorca and the rest of the Balearic Islands, some private properties allow tourists to pitch their tents. Make sure you do your research and follow all the rules and regulations to avoid hefty penalties.
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Home to nearly 40 million people, California is a sprawling state that’s even bigger than England. And given its varied landscape, you definitely will not run out of things to do on your California trip. There are endless beaches, sprawling vineyards, lush farmlands, incredible deserts, charming villages and bustling metropolises. On any given day, there’s a wide variety of activities waiting for you to do, from surfing to hiking and even rollercoaster riding! Given the many options, deciding what to do on your trip is no easy task.
So to make things easier for you, here’s a list of the best things to do on your trip to California, whether you are visiting for the first time or have been there many times before.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a must-stop for everyone visiting Northern California. Connecting San Francisco to the Northern California counties, this iconic structure is known for its mesmerizing view. The best way to admire this famous attraction is to roam along its eastern walkway, drive over it and stop at the viewpoints on both the southern and northern sides of the bridge.
There are several other activities that visitors can do while exploring the Golden Gate Bridge. Visit the Fort Point Historic Site, a national historic site at the southern side of the bridge. If you love hiking, conquer the Batteries to Bluffs Trail, a 2.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located close to the Golden Gate. You can always get updated information about the area, as well as viewing the historical exhibits, at the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center.
California is home to some of the United States’ best wineries. There are so many of them that it can be hard to decide where to go. If you only need to visit one region, make it the Sonoma Valley. The area is home to nearly 60,000 acres of vineyards and more than 400 wineries. Rent a car and drive through the picturesque winding roads lined with sprawling vineyards. The area is also home to charming country inns and tranquil parks everywhere, making it a very pleasant destination.
The Mendocino Wine Country is another popular wine destination known for its breathtaking landscapes. It’s one of the least crowded wine regions in the state and home to some of the best winemakers. Most of them use sustainable techniques in producing the tastiest wines in the region.
With 240 wineries in a 30-mile stretch, the Napa Valley is the most densely concentrated winery region in the world. A visit to the Napa Valley is a must for wine lovers of all kinds. For an authentic experience, check out the Castello di Amorosa Winery, which features an authentically styled 13th-century Tuscan castle built using medieval building techniques.
While it’s possible to visit these California wineries on your own, joining winery tours is highly recommended. These guided tours cater to everyone, from total newbies to wine connoisseurs hoping to discover the best Californian wines.
Your visit to California won’t be complete without getting your photo taken in front of the famous Hollywood Sign. The best place to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood Sign and have your photos taken is at Griffith Park. But if you want to hike up to the sign, you can take any of the Mount Hollywood hiking trails that start from the back corner of the parking lot.
The trail from Canyon Drive is a popular route and caters to easy to moderate hikers. However, since it’s a very popular trail, parking can be difficult, and the area can get very crowded. If you’re a more experienced hiker, take the Griffith Observatory trail. It’s a bit difficult, but it’s not too crowded. The hike is about six miles round trip, and it’s ideal for the more adventurous tourists.
California’s diverse landscape makes it one of the best places for a scenic road trip in the States. The 120-mile Highway 101 from Malibu to Lompoc is a famous route for those who wanted to experience an incredibly scenic drive. This stretch of Highway 101 offers the most incredible views of both the beach and wine country.
Starting in the iconic city of Malibu, the highway runs along the rugged mountains of Santa Monica before reaching Oxnard, Ventura, and ending at the beautiful Santa Barbara road trip completion destination. Look over to the west and make a stop at the Channel Islands National Park to visit one of its beautiful beaches, such as El Capitán, Refugio, and Gaviota. From here, the highway will take you inland through the rolling ranch lands before reaching the beautiful city of Lompoc. Aside from its gorgeous flower fields, Lompoc is also known for its beautiful golf courses, charming Old Town and an exquisite collection of locally-grown wine.
Monterey is, no doubt, one of California’s most beautiful towns. It’s home to beautiful beaches and wineries and a quaint downtown. But perhaps the most popular attraction here is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This massive aquarium first opened in 1984 and features a wide variety of sea creatures such as penguins, otters, sea turtles, and sharks.
Monterey Bay Aquarium is a great place to visit, especially if you’re traveling with kids. This aquarium is so huge that it can get overwhelming to explore, so make sure you come prepared.
You do not need to see all the attractions in one visit. But there are a few exhibits that are truly worth your time, such as the Jellyfish and Open Sea. Here, you will find different types of tiny sea creatures, such as the jellyfish, shrimp and sand dollars, alongside halibut and sharks. The Giant Pacific Octopus is also fun to visit. As the name suggests, this attraction features giant octopuses that are about six feet long. And if your kids are big fans of sea otters, then check out the Sea Otters Feeding area where they can interact and feed these adorable sea creatures.
Italy is, no doubt, one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Whether you’re looking to explore beautiful architecture, discover stunning natural landscapes, swim at pristine beaches or feast on delicious food, this country has it all. But with so many things on offer, deciding what to do on your trip to Italy can be daunting. So, to help you with this, check out this list. From eating pizza in Napoli to chilling at the beach in Amalfi, this list can serve as your guide for planning a trip to one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Naples (or Napoli) is a city in the southwestern Italian region of Campania. Known for its delicious cuisine, Naples is a must-visit for food lovers. Said to be the birthplace of pizza, sitting down for a traditional Neapolitan pizza is a must while in the city. Of course, there’s more to Naples than its delicious cuisine. This bustling coastal city has many things to offer for all kinds of travelers, whether that’s exploring underground tunnels, lounging by the sea, browsing contemporary art or watching an opera.
Escape the hordes of tourists and explore the Bourbon Tunnel, a secret tunnel built as an escape route for the royal family in 1853. You can also check out the city’s many incredible museums, such as the Donnaregina Contemporary Art Museum. After all the sightseeing and eating, head to the beach and relax under the Neapolitan sun. The Miseno And Miliscola beaches are some of the top beaches in Naples. With beachside bars and cafes lining its shores, these beaches are the best places to relax while enjoying refreshing cocktails.
Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy’s most visited destinations, especially for those who love to hike. It consists of five towns perched along a dramatic coastline, just north of Pisa. With colorful houses stacked on top of one another, these beautiful villages are easily recognizable. Hiking Cinque Terre is the best way to explore these villages.
You can hike Cinque Terre through various trails, but the most popular is the Blue Trail, an 11 km trail connecting Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare. Most portions are easy to walk, especially the paved section along Riomaggiore to Manarola. However, some would require a climb uphill. But you’ll be rewarded with the most spectacular views along the coast, so it’s worth it.
The trail would require about five hours to conquer, excluding the time needed to explore each town. You need to purchase a ticket to hike this trail and make sure you keep it since you’ll be required to show it at a checkpoint in every town you pass through.
The Colosseum in Rome is Italy’s most iconic landmark. Therefore, your trip to Italy won’t be complete without a visit to this famous attraction. You can explore it on your own or join a guided tour. Constructed in 72 AD, the Colosseum is considered the largest surviving structure from ancient Rome. This building has survived various calamities, including earthquakes and fire.
The Colosseum has three entrances, but the only entrance currently in use is the entrance for individual visitors known as the Sperone Valadier. If you join guided tours that include a visit to the arena, then you’ll be taking the other entrance, known as Stern. While most visitors would head to the Colosseum during the day, visiting this magnificent structure at night is a must. It looks even more magical at night as the massive amphitheater is illuminated from the inside. Another advantage of visiting at night is that there will be fewer tourists so you can admire this iconic building with less distractions.
Home to Italy’s most beautiful beaches, the Amalfi Coast is a popular seaside holiday destination. Since the majority of the towns are situated high above sea level, a visit to the beach will require climbing long flights of steps. Yet your efforts will be rewarded with crystal clear waters and relaxing views of the sea.
To make it easier for you to visit the beautiful beaches of the Amalfi Coast, consider renting a beachside villa with direct access to the beach. These wonderful large Italian villas overlook the gorgeous Bay of Salerno and are in immediate proximity to the sea. You will have plenty of options for beachside villas on the Amalfi Coast. There are holiday villas with large private pools and gardens, and there are also smaller villas suitable for couples and small families.
Aside from chilling on the beach, staying at a beachside villa in the Amalfi Coast will allow you to hike the various trails in the area and witness the magnificent beauty of the Gulf of Salerno.
Whether you’re a fan of Formula One or not, witnessing the Italian Grand Prix is highly recommended if you visit Italy during the Formula One season. First held in 1921, the Italian Grand Prix is part of the European Championship, and it was given the honorary designation of the European Grand Prix seven times between 1923 to 1967. The Italian Grand Prix is held from September 6 until September 8 and takes place in Monza, a racing circuit just outside of Milan.
Milan is the closest city to Monza, so this is where you should start your journey and if you want to get a hold of Italian F1 tickets for the Italian Grand Prix you need to book well in advance. Before the racing event, take time to explore Milan, Italy’s fashion capital. This modern city offers many things for visitors to see and do. Here, you’ll find the magnificent Duomo Cathedral, one of the largest churches in the world. Aside from being Italy’s fashion capital, Milan is also home to some of the country’s top museums and art galleries, such as the Pinacoteca di Brera. After a whole day of sightseeing, relax at the Piazza del Duomo and treat yourself to a scoop of gelato.
For animal lovers, traveling the world while spending some time among furry friends is like a piece of heaven. Thankfully, there are so many destinations that will allow you to interact with your favorite animals. Of course, as an animal lover, you don’t want to visit places that exploit animals or force them to work in stressful conditions. Therefore, you must choose those places that will only allow you to interact with animals in a natural environment and not subject them to any form of exploitation or torture.
If you’re an animal lover and you’re planning to embark on a fun adventure, check out these adventure travel destinations for animal lovers. From cozying up with the gorillas in Rwanda to exploring the Galapagos Islands, these adventures are perfect for animal lovers of all kinds.
Seeing the mountain gorillas in Rwanda is a dream for many animal lovers. Rwanda has a diverse ecosystem with a wide variety of wildlife spread across volcanoes, mountainous forests and plains. But the most popular of these are the mountain gorillas. These primates mostly live in the Volcanoes National Park in the northwestern part of the country, and there are around ten groups of mountain gorillas in the area. About 10% of the revenue earned from gorilla treks goes to the conservation of these beautiful creatures. So, by joining these treks, you are directly contributing to the protection of the gorillas.
Seeing the gorillas up close in their natural habitat is such a wonderful experience. If you are a diehard animal lover, this is one of those wildlife encounters that you should experience at least once in your life. Sure, trekking is not always an easy feat but with a group of rangers to guide you, you’ll be able to brave through the dense and slippery jungle. Also, Rwanda is one of the safest countries in Africa, adding to the appeal of this destination.
Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for animal lovers who want to experience the rare opportunity to pet elephants or witness tigers up-close. Unfortunately, most of these places don’t give value to animal welfare. Some of them keep the animals captive, while others have subjected them to torture. As an animal lover, you should avoid visiting these kinds of places. So where should you go instead?
The Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai is a true elephant sanctuary that serves as a shelter for abused and orphaned elephants. Here, the elephants can roam freely and play with each other. They offer tours that give visitors a chance to see the elephants in their natural habitat and in a manner that contributes to their welfare rather than abuse. The Wildlife Friends Foundation in Petchaburi is another destination that’s worth a visit for animal lovers. This foundation is dedicated to educating the public about animal welfare and provide awareness about animal abuse. They also give visitors a chance to volunteer for the foundation, which is a great opportunity for animal lovers.
Botswana is one of the most popular destinations in Africa for animal lovers. Here, you will find an abundance of nature parks and habitats in which wildlife is free to live and roam. To make the most of your visit, consider taking part in an elephant safari that offers the most ultimate wildlife experience. For instance, the luxury Botswanan elephant trail safari is a 10-day wildlife experience that follows the route of the elephants as they make their way to Linyanti from Kalahari. You will also have the opportunity to spend some time with the San Bushmen, an indigenous group in Botswana with a vast knowledge of the Kalahari Game Reserve.
Another interesting way to discover the wildlife of Botswana is to paddle a canoe along the remote Selinda Spillway that links the Okavango Delta to Linyanti and Kwando rivers. During your journey, you’ll come across a variety of wildlife, including herds of buffalo and elephants, as they head towards the river’s edge to drink.
More and more adventure-seekers are discovering Greenland, one of the most isolated places on Earth. And if you’re an animal lover, then Greenland is even more interesting to visit. The island’s massive arctic landscape offers endless opportunities for animal lovers seeking a unique wildlife experience.
Dog sledding is one of the most exciting ways to experience Greenland’s unique environment while providing a great adrenaline rush for adventure-seekers. For thousands of years, dog sledding was the only mode of transport in Greenland. Today, only a few Greenlanders use dog sleeping, and mainly for fishing or hunting. If you want to experience dog sledding in Greenland, schedule your visit between December and April. But if you come here in summer, there’s only one place where you can experience dog sledding, and that’s on Disko Island.
Whale watching among the icebergs is another activity for animal lovers to experience in Greenland, in the island’s Arctic Riviera. During summer, pods of whales can be seen along the island’s iceberg-filled fjords. You can witness different kinds of whales up-close, such as humpback, fin whales, and minke whales.
The Galapagos Islands is the ultimate dream destination for many animal lovers. Here, you will have an exciting opportunity for close-up encounters with a wide variety of wildlife, including iguanas, Galapagos snakes, fur seals, and giant tortoises. The best way to experience the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands is to book a cruise-based tour of the region that offers walking excursions on the islands you visit.
Such cruise-based tours, such as those offered by Rainforest Cruises, provides better wildlife coverage compared to doing it on your own and usually includes a visit to several different islands, including remote areas within the National Park. You will also have the opportunity to partake in kayaking and snorkeling, offering a different perspective as you observe the vast amounts of marine life that the Galapagos is known for.
The post Best Adventure Travel Destinations for Animals Lovers appeared first on Wandering Earl.
The U.S. and Canadian flags in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Photo Phiend / Flickr
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