Yosemite has long been a must-see travel destination in the United States and for good reason. Yosemite offers natural beauty like no other, amazing hikes, and stunning vistas of some of the best that California has to offer. Plus, the great weather year-round helps too. Known for its amazing waterfalls, travelers can easily spend days lost within the park’s natural wonders such as meadows, giant sequoia trees, and valleys. Plus, California has great weather year-round, making it the perfect escape no matter what time of year.
The best part about Yosemite is that you have a lot of options to reach it. Some travelers do a road trip across California, others fly in to San Francisco, LA, or Fresno and leave from there. There are a combination of trains and buses (YARTS) that get visitors to Yosemite from these cities hassle-free.
2. Sedona, Arizona
Sedona has long been a vacation getaway for people both on the east and west coast, and it is easy to see why. Easily accessible from other cities, Sedona has an amazing mix of natural wonders and big-city amenities that make it the perfect escape. Whether you want to explore the famed Red Rocks State Park, go birdwatching and hiking, or simply just enjoy spas and resorts, Sedona has it all! For those trying to beat east coast winters, Sedona makes a great escape during November, December, and into the next year.
One route to get there is to fly airlines such as Southwest to Phoenix and drive to Sedona (about 2 hours) so you can enjoy both cities. Or if you are located closer to Sedona, why not take an Amtrak train and make a vacation out of it?
Rather than just pick one city, Portugal is on the list because there is so much to do that you can truly make a trip out of it! For those who like exploring cities, Lisbon is an incredibly charming (although hilly) city that has amazing food, culture, and wine that can keep you busy for awhile.
For those looking for a laidback and natural feel, cities such as Porto and Cascais can be a stunning getaway. These cities are home to UNESCO sites such as the famous castle in Sintra. Visitors can enjoy lush views, beaches, and friendly locals across Portugal that makes it so worth visiting. And of course, famed desserts such as Pastel de Natas are a plus for foodies! United Airlines often offer deals on fares to Lisbon, so why not do a spontaneous trip and explore? Best times to visit tend to be in the Spring (April-May) or towards the end of August and September to beat the heat.
Whether you go by cruise or flight, Alaska needs to be on your travel list. A gorgeous destination right in the country, Alaska’s natural beauty cannot be beat for a truly unique experience. If you are into nature walks, Alaska has loads to offer from amazing landscapes in terms of glaciers and waterfalls. And if you are animal lover, you can easily witness majestic creatures such as bald eagles, whales, and sea otters! Plus, if you go in the winter, you might be lucky enough to spot the Northern Lights.
Airlines such as United, and Alaska Airlines tend to be the best option if you decide to fly. For cruise options, there are many choices that allow you to have an active or relaxing trip as you would like as you cruise around the state.
5. Charleston, South Carolina
Constantly voted as a great city to visit by local and international travel magazines, Charleston is a gorgeous getaway that will not break the budget. Its easy Southern charm, food, and relaxed vibe makes it the perfect escape without being too hectic.
Home to some of the most innovative restaurants in America such as Husk and FIG (just to name a few), Charleston is a great spot for foodies. And if nature is more of an interest, there are great hikes and monuments to see around the city. For better weather, Spring is the best time to visit.
6. Tallinn, Estonia
Perhaps off the beaten path, Estonia has a lot to offer visitors and is a very popular destination among seniors. There is a lot of interesting culture and food visitors can explore, as well as the country’s storied past.
Visitors can enjoy visiting medieval churches, quaint town centres, and enjoying the architecture while being in the heart of the Baltics. Tallinn has a lot to offer in terms of food and history, and surrounding countries such as Latvia and Lithuania are also great to explore -- and perhaps not as touristy. Spring and summer tend to be the best times to visit weather-wise.
7. Adirondack Mountains, New York
For true nature lovers, nothing beats the Adirondack Mountains for majestic beauty. Known for its serene views and incredible hikes, there is something for everyone in this little corner of upstate New York. And for those that still like a city feel with their nature trips, the Adirondacks have enough cultural events and shopping to keep visitors busy. Fall tends to be a magnificent season as visitors flock to the region for leaf peeping. A bit hard to reach, the best option tends to be fly to New York City, and then take a Trailways, or Greyhound bus to reach or to drive from the city.
Another off the beaten path destination, there is a lot more to see in Qatar then you might expect. It will be hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022 but it’s better to go before that. Qatar has a lot of rich historical sites to help you learn more about Middle Eastern culture, and a lot of natural beauties such as beaches and dunes to explore.
Doha, the capital, is known for its futuristic looks and amazing shopping for those interested in a more luxurious trips. Qatar Airlines frequently has deals and discounts for Doha flights, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for these tickets.
9. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Tinged with rich history, Santa Fe is a bit like stepping into the past. Filled with quaint remnants of the Spanish colonial past, it now boasts a wonderful mix of history and culture that make it so popular...as well as the great weather year-round.
Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks in the historic downtown area, explore the diverse and amazing art scene while enjoying a vibrant city feel. Plus, the southwestern cuisine New Mexico has spawned is always a draw for foodies. For the best deals, United Airlines tends to have the best prices compared to other airlines year-round.
10. Budapest, Hungary
For those looking for a city with charm, culture, and history, Budapest is the perfect location. Cheap, easy to get around and filled with castles and churches to explore, there is a reason it remains a popular destination around eastern Europe.
Travelers can easily spend their days roaming around the city, exploring Hungarian cuisine (trying chicken paprikash is a must), and learning more about its medieval roots. Plus, neighboring cities such as Prague and Vienna make it a great vacation for exploring Europe. Spring and fall tend to be less touristy times, so try going towards the end of April, or beginning of May. For fall, September and October tend to be the best times (and not too chilly either)