Looking for new places to explore? Our travel planning expert has some recommendations that’ll have you packing your bags to go!
Travel…it’s a great way to see the world, experience new cultures, and expand your view. When seeking out your next destination, you may find many popular places pop up such as Paris, London, Tokyo, Cancun, Rome, and New York City to name a few. These are all amazing places with so much to offer! But what if you are looking for a place a bit less traveled? Here are a few “under the radar” places that are sure to feed your wanderlust.
Arles, France – Located along the Rhône River in southern France, my husband and I visited Arles on a river cruise this past spring. It stood out because of its rich Roman history, complete with an amphitheatre built in 90 A.D. that is still in use today. As a provincial Roman capital, it has ruins of Roman baths (Thermes de Constantin), a Roman theatre, and the Church of St. Trophime. It was also the backdrop of some of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous works, including Starry Night and Café at Night. If you are here on a Saturday, the open air market is not to be missed!
Český Krumlov, Czech Republic – Maybe you know Prague and the beauty of the city. Did you know that there are 13 other UNESCO World Heritage Sites outside of the capital of the Czech Republic? One is the castle located in the town of Český Krumlov, less than 3 hours by rail from Prague. Most of the old town and castle’s architecture dates from to the 14th through 17th centuries consisting of mostly Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. On the Summer Solstice weekend each year, the Five-Petaled Rose Festival turns the town back to medieval times with many craftsmen and artisans in costume as well as performances. Later in the summer the International Music Festival Český Krumlov runs late July through early August and focuses on a wide variety of music from the 15th through 21stcenturies in the genres of classical music, jazz, folk, folklore, musicals and opera. Český Krumlov would make a lovely stop on your European adventure.
Bhutan – Referred to by many as the last Shangri-La, Bhutan is a well-preserved Himalayan kingdom tucked away between India and China. Boasting never-ending natural beauty, the country is covered by over 70% forestation and is home to over 160 species of mammals, including many rare and endangered species, plus 770 species of birds. It is rich in Buddhist history and culture, has many beautiful dzongs and monasteries (including the famous Tiger’s Nest), and has identified Gross National Happiness to be more important than Gross National Product. There are small guided tours to give you the fullest experience. With so much history and beauty to explore, Bhutan’s fascinating blend of ancient and modern will have you awestruck and possibly consider whether to return home!
Durango, Colorado – When planning for beautiful autumn travel a bit closer to home, the town of Durango in Southwestern Colorado may be a perfect fit. Starting with its historic downtown, complete with beautiful hotels, tasty restaurants and microbreweries, and many unique shops, you will feel like you have stepped back in time (albeit with modern conveniences). There is even an old west saloon, The Diamond Belle. Taking a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is an opportunity not to be missed! The sights are breath-taking and if you love to have great photo ops, this train ride will not disappoint. There is historic narration on board where you will get to hear the history of the train from actors in period dress. While you are in Durango, be sure to take in the Mesa Verde National Park for hiking and exploring the archeological sites of the Ancestral Puebloan people. Tour 600 beautifully preserved cliff dwellings that provided homes to the ancestors of most of the Native American tribes living in the southwest.
What are some of your favorite “under the radar” travel destinations?