Thursday, June 4, 2020

5 Hot Travel Destinations

July 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Discount Travel, Featured Articles

Beach GetawayHere are 5 hot travel destinations that are sure to delight and provide you with a great time, a lot of fun, and an overall memorable vacation.

  1. Amsterdam
  2. Dominican Republic
  3. Las Vegas
  4. London
  5. Paris

1.  Amsterdam

Amsterdam is no longer the hippie paradise that it used to be, full of free love, free drugs, free whatever you want.  The government and the businessmen have been working hard to transform the free-wheeling Amsterdam of old to a paragon of international cosmopolitanism.

For all of that, however, Amsterdam still has a low-key, laid-back, graceful, and anything goes atmosphere that permeates the entire city and the whole culture.

Amsterdam has an extraordinary wealth of things to visit, for both the well heeled traveler and the young, unshaven backpacker.  You can still find the hashish and the marijuana coffeehouses, and the entire city seems dedicated to at least the image of caring about nothing but a good time.

Amsterdam is a traveler’s dream city.  The entire downtown is compact enough for you to walk or ride a bike, which is what most people do.  You can rent bikes and ride them around for days-just make sure that you obey the bike-specific traffic lights.  Simply wander up and down the canals that spiderweb across the middle of the city, daydreaming, window shopping in the antique shops, or reading a book.

Amsterdam’s multicultural nature has given rise to a fantastic wealth of restaurants-try the local Ethiopian restaurant, for example, or go for Japanese.  Hit a concert by a world-renowned symphony or orchestra in the Concertgebouw and the Muziektheater.

Don’t forget the museums: the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum are two of the most popular, but there are a number of smaller ones.  And the Red Light District is worth a visit, simply to see.  Visit or stay in the Jordaan district.  Ramble to the Rembrandt House Museum, the Jewish Historical Museum, the flower market that floats in the canals, the brown cafes, the Waterlooplein flea market, and the Anne Frank House.

2.  Dominican Republic

The DR is renowned for its beautiful beaches, its inexpensive resorts, and its stunning natural beauty.  And if you haven’t visited the DR yet because you are afraid of the poverty and high level of crime that is reported in the news, don’t worry about it.  Pack your bags, and go.

The weather in the DR is sublime all year round.  The country isn’t as commercialized as Puerto Rico, and it’s not nearly as crowded either.  The resorts are quite as luxurious, but the white sand beaches are some of the best in the world.  The food is great, the culture is unbeatable, and the opportunity for some serious tropical luxury is undeniable.  Just make sure that you check the weather ahead of time so that you can avoid any impending hurricanes.

3.  Las Vegas

It’s undeniable: Las Vegas is materialistic, tawdry, over the top, and absolutely out of this world.  It’s Las Vegas’ sheer crazy emphasis on the artificial that makes people just hate and love it.  You will never, ever go anywhere like Las Vegas, which is why you need to go there once.

You don’t visit Las Vegas for the culture or the antiquarian book stores.  Instead, you go to Vegas to live a life that you will not ever experience again.  24 hour gourmet buffets.  Indoor volcanoes.  Showgirls.  The sites of the cultured world, blown up and overdone-the Eiffel Tower, the pyramids, Venice, and more.  You will lose money, and you will be overwhelmed, and there will be parts that you will hate about Vegas.  But let yourself go for a few days and enjoy the shows, the music, the food, and the spectacle of Vegas.

4.  London

London has a top tourist destination for years, and for good reason.  In terms of your typical tourist spots, London can’t be beat with its wealth of museums, historical sites, and incredible and unbeatable shopping.

But London is fantastic when you wander off the beaten path, too.  Just start walking, and you can spend an entire vacation exploring the extraordinary restaurants, tiny antique and oddity shops, beautiful parks, extraordinary churches, pubs, trendy clubs, street festivals, parades, flea markets, shows, concerts, and more that London has to offer.  Hit all the big tourist spots in one day, and then don’t look back.

5.  Paris

Paris is much like London.  Its major sites are definitely worth visiting, but the real wealth of Paris lies in what you find in the back streets and during rambling walks.

Paris is great for travelers because so much of it is within walking distance.  Spend your time perusing the Latin Quarter, for example, spending time in small cafes and wandering along the Seine.  You can visit the Louvre, if you want, but there are more than enough small, uncrowded museums for you to spend your time in.

Poke your head in Notre Dame de Paris, but don’t forget that every church that you pass will have its own secrets and its own beauties, such as St. Etienne du Mont, where Pascal is buried.  Paris is wonderful for food, for culture, for atmosphere, and for beauty.  Don’t forget to visit the many parks that it has-each one has its own personality.

And if you want to get out of the city, just rent a car and drive down to the Loire Valley to see castles and monasteries galore.

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