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Hot Vacation Spots!

Jan 23, 2014 02:27AM ● Published by Erin Frisch

Have you been wondering where to take your next vacation? We’ve looked at a few of the most popular vacations spots worth visiting both in and out of the country. Read on to find out where your next trip should take you, and why!

Looking to stay within the United States? Check out these destinations.

Miami

Called the American Riviera, the Hollywood of the East, and the Art Deco District, South Beach in Miami, Florida, is a hot year-round vacation destination. South Beach is a melting pot of cultures that offers beautiful beaches, beautiful-people watching, non-stop nightlife, and incredible art deco architecture. If you’re looking for somewhere warm yet ultra cool, Miami is it. It’s perfect for bachelor or bachelorette parties, a guys’ or girls’ weekend, and even a relaxing getaway with your romantic partner. The beach is great for sunning, running, people watching, and viewing the city lights at night before you head out and hit the many bars and clubs. Aside from hitting the beach, there is plenty of shopping available to get you out of the sun and into the AC. Other fun activities include taking a tour through the Art Deco District and visiting the Wolfsonian Museum at Florida International University. If you want to stay in the lap of luxury, check out the Delano Hotel—a boutique hotel that merges fantasy, reality, and simplicity. Every room is a decadent, relaxing sanctuary where you can chill and refuel. If you’re on a budget, check out the Villa Paradiso in the Art Deco District, just blocks away from the nightlife. Rooms feature full amenities including kitchens, and the concierge can get guests VIP access to area hot spots.

Yellowstone National Park

If you’re looking for somewhere a little less “high maintenance” and a little more in touch with nature, consider Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. The park is extraordinarily beautiful, with hundreds of miles of hiking trails through forests, up mountains, and along streams. Wildlife including elk, buffalo, and grizzly bears roam the forests. Views of mountains and canyons, steaming geysers, waterfalls, and multicolored pools abound to remind you of the natural beauty of our country. Visit between March and May or September and November to avoid the crowds of summer but still experience mild weather. If you’re looking for a hotel, try the Ameritel Inn in Idaho Falls. Located near the airport and on a main highway heading into Yellowstone, the Ameritel has plentiful of amenities and great customer service. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are many, many campgrounds—some equipped with showers, flushing toilets, and even laundry facilities. As for sights, Old Faithful, the Grand Prismatic Spring, and Mammoth Hot Springs are obvious must-sees, but take a day to explore some of the less often used hiking trails, lakes, and basins. If you’re interested in learning about wildlife, check out the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center.

Looking to go international? Here are a couple of popular spots.

Paris, France

Consider Paris—nicknamed the City of Light for the fame it garnered as a center for education and ideas during the Age of Enlightenment. With an unforgettable atmosphere, incredible cuisine, and vast art collections, memories of your visit will live on for decades to come. The Seine River runs through the city and is lined with museums, old churches, and stunning neo-classic architecture as well as gas lamps and trees. Walk the cobblestone paths along the river and across the bridges. In fact, walking is the best way to get around Paris. You may have heard that Parisians are unfriendly toward Americans. Rather, it is that they appreciate it when their culture is respected. Learn some French, even if it is just bonjour and au revoir-—and use it. Your efforts will be much appreciated. Paris is also known for its high fashion; blend in by wearing greys and leaving American trends at home. For hotels, check out the Hotel de Crillon overlooking the Place de la Concorde for discreet luxury or the Best Western Premier L’Horset Opera, located between the Louvre and the Garnier Opera House. When it comes to attractions, you’ll want to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Notre Dame (there are many other museums as well). If you’re looking for a day trip, visit the Versailles Palace. Shop along the Champs Élysées and wander around the city’s districts (arrondissements). Stop for crêpes, pastries, and other little treats along the way!

Sydney, Australia

With beautiful weather year-round, this laid-back seaside town is a must-see. Visit between February and April to avoid an abundance of tourists and to experience Mardi Gras or the Sydney Royal Easter Show. This is a surfer and beach bum paradise, but the city also abounds with iconic landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge as well as numerous skyscrapers. Sydney welcomes people from all over the world to immigrate there and is a melting pot of diverse cultures, arts, and cuisines. Fear not, though, with English as the primary language, communication and getting around are easy. Because it is a big city, many sights are spread out, and a little planning can go a long way to prevent constant zipping back and forth. For a luxurious stay, try the InterContinental Sydney on the harbor, just a short walk from the opera house. If you want to be in the heart of the shopping district, consider the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, which is itself a renowned architectural icon. Make sure you make time for the beach—visit Bondi or Coogee. Obvious places to visit are the opera house and the bridge. Add to those Darling Harbour and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Check out The Rocks—a charming yet ultra-cool neighborhood filled with amazing shops, restaurants, and pubs.

Where will your next vacation take you? Where have you been that you can recommend to others? Share with us in the comments.

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