Insel Mainau, the spectacular Flower Island on beautiful Lake Constance, covers an area of 110 acres and attracts many visitors to its beautiful parks and gardens, luxuriant with semitropical and tropical vegetation.
Home to gorgeous scenery both above and under the sea surrounding it, Zákynthos (Zante) island is another top tourist destination in Greece. It is also easy to access, with a locale just 16 kilometers off Peloponnese’s west coast in the Ionian Sea.
Stunning Santorini is the most dramatic of all the Greek isles. It is best known for the west coast cliff-top towns of Fira and Oia, which appear to hang over a deep, blue sea-filled caldera. Made up of typical Cycladic whitewashed cubic buildings, many of which have been converted into boutique hotels with infinity pools, both Fira and Oia are considered romantic destinations, popular for weddings and honeymoons.
Bom Jesus do Monte, Portugal’s grandest religious sanctuary, is located on a wooded slope six kilometers east of Braga and is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the country. Comprising a monumental Baroque Escadaria (stairway) and the church of Bom Jesus, this spectacular complex also features several chapels adorned with sculptured scenes from the Passion of Christ, fountains positioned at various points on the long ascent, and statues of biblical, mythological, and symbolic figures.
One of Scotland’s most visited attractions, the free Riverside Museum in Glasgow gathers together the history of transportation by land and water in an eye-catching new venue.
During the course of a visit, you’ll see trams, locomotives, buses, horse-drawn carriages, and vintage cars, along with ships and other models. A highlight is the authentic reconstruction of 1938 Glasgow streets, with shops you can enter, and platforms leading up to all the locomotives on display.
For more than 40 years, the Royal Yacht Britannia was a floating royal residence, traveling more than 1,000,000 miles around the world. Glimpse the life of the royal family, their guests, and the crew as you explore Britannia’s five main decks with an audio tour, visiting the Bridge, State Apartments and Royal Bedrooms, Crew’s Quarters, and Engine Room. You can also see the Rolls-Royce Phantom V that used to travel onboard, and stop for tea and cakes in the Royal Deck Tea Room.
Strolling along La Rambla on a summer evening, you might think that every single one of Barcelona’s inhabitants was there with you. It’s definitely the place to be after work on a summer evening or on a weekend. This tree-lined boulevard cuts a green line not a very straight one through the city center, stretching northwest from the Columbus Memorial near the port.
Sharing the same latitude as central Greenland, Kiruna is Sweden’s northernmost town. It’s also the chief town of the largest commune in the country, which borders both Norway and Finland. The midnight sun is visible here from mid-May to mid-July. Originally a Lapp settlement, the town began to develop when mining of iron ore started around 1900. Incredibly, due to subsidence caused by mining, the entire city is being slowly moved northwest to the foot of the Luossavaara Mountain.
Lake Lugano lies on the Swiss Italian border in Ticino, Switzerland’s only official Italian-speaking canton, and offers a tantalizing taste of the Mediterranean. Citrus, figs, palms, and pomegranates flourish in the mild climate here—even as snow-capped peaks beckon in the distance. In the towns around Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore to the west, the feel of Italy is unmistakable in the architecture, the piazzas, and the passion for fine food, which spills over the Italian borders from the south, east, and west.
One of the most popular things to do in the beautiful Bernese Oberland is the train journey to Jungfraujoch, the “Top of Europe,” with an observation terrace and scientific observatory perched at 3,454 meters. The longest glacier in Europe, the Great Aletsch Glacier begins at Jungfraujoch, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The famous Eiger Trail from the Eiger glacier station to Alpiglen clings to the rocks at the foot of the north face.
Seattle’s Museum of Flight is home to a wide array of airplanes, educational exhibits, and flight-related historical objects. An outdoor gallery displays the largest aircraft in the collection, including a Concorde, the first jet Air Force One, and military planes like the B-17F Flying Fortress. The indoor Great Gallery gives onlookers the thrill of seeing many of the planes suspended in flight, and the Lear and Space galleries focus on space travel, both its history and future. History buffs will especially love the Personal Courage Wing, which is dedicated to remembering the important role of aviation during World War I and II. Exhibits include 28 restored fighter planes, personal stories of pilots and air support troops, and interactive experiences like a flight simulator. Housed in the barn that once held the fledgling Boeing Airplane Company, the Red Barn collections explore the earliest days of flight.
The center of Queen Elizabeth Park, Little Mountain, marks the highest point in Vancouver and its elevated position affords excellent views of the city center and the mountains to the north. Park recreational offerings include pitch-and-putt golf, tennis, disc golf, dining (at Seasons in the Park Restaurant), an extensive outdoor arboretum, and the lovely enclosed tropical environment of Bloedel Conservatory. The sunken Quarry Garden makes a lovely spot to stroll on a warm summer day. For more horticultural explorations, head a couple of blocks west to VanDusen Botanical Garden, where there is always something in bloom amid beds representing various regions and species.
Oceanfront English Bay centers on one of the city’s loveliest and busiest beaches. Part of the West End neighborhood, English Bay offers shopping and high-end restaurants, but is also a popular outdoor area where people come to walk, bike, rollerblade, or hang out with the public art installations. The biggest event comes in summer when thousands crowd the shores to watch three nights of fireworks set to music. Another popular event is the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim, when hardy swimmers take a dip in the chilly Pacific waters.
One of the most popular of the Smithsonian’s many museums that line the mall, The National Museum of American History traces the political, cultural, scientific, and technological history of the U.S. since the Revolution. It displays important pieces of Americana, including Thomas Jefferson’s desk, one of Edison’s light bulbs, and the original flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to The Star Spangled Banner.
The National Air and Space Museum is one of the world’s most popular museums, with a collection of history-making air and spacecraft that includes the original 1903 Wright Brothers Flyer and Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, the first plane to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
In southern Colorado, the town of Durango has a lovely setting at the base of surrounding mountains. The historic downtown area has some well-restored, grand old buildings that function as hotels and restaurants. Some are done in southwestern décor, with an Old West feel.
The ski resort town of Vail is one of the best places to visit in Colorado in winter but it’s also a pleasant place to enjoy at any time of year. When it comes to skiing, this is one of the top ski resorts in Colorado, with seemingly endless runs for all levels of skiers. The town at the base of the ski hill is postcard cute, with chalet-style restaurants, shops, and hotels that make you feel like you are in the heart of the Alps. This is a high-end resort with luxury hotels, fine dining, and designer stores.
While the Natural History Museum has numerous galleries and an extensive permanent collection that covers a range of topics, it is best known for its collection of dinosaurs. The 14,000-square-foot Dinosaur Hall has an awesome display of dinosaur skeletons, including a series of Tyrannosaurus rex fossils, known as the growth series, featuring three full skeletons that range from baby to adult. Also on display are a Triceratops and a Stegosaurus.
Venice Beach deserves its reputation as a place to see and be seen, making it perfect for people watching, although the area definitely has its own unique vibe. This stretch of golden sand and the Venice Beach Boardwalk are always thronged with people walking, cycling, rollerblading, and jogging.
Just outside Los Angeles, Disneyland is California’s premier family vacation destination, attracting visitors since the 1950s. Disneyland Park, with rides and experiences in elaborately created theme sets, is what most people picture when they imagine Disneyland. The Disneyland California Adventure Park, created during one of the expansions, holds even more action and adventure, with seven lands based on movie themes.