Fellow Traveler Blog

Close-to-Home Weekend Getaways

After a trying week, sometimes a short getaway can replenish your batteries and renew your energy. Close-to-Home original Of course, selecting a destination can be a challenge if you only have a limited time to travel. There are, of course, lots of places that are well suited for an idyllic weekend away.

New York City
Depending on where you reside, The Big Apple can be reached very easily by flying, driving, or taking a train. It has so many fun inside and outside things to do that weather should not factor into your decision: Central Park and the High Line for lovers of the outdoors, and interesting museums or entertaining Broadway shows if and when you prefer to be indoors.

For a taste of history, take a ferry to Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty.

San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most gorgeous cities in the nation with its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Victorian architecture dotting the steep hills, interesting and eclectic neighborhoods, cable cars, and great weather all year long. What's more, sports fans can enjoy superb views of the San Francisco Bay from AT&T Park in baseball season.

Washington, D.C.

Both history buffs and aspiring politicians will love Washington, D.C., with its many things to visit on the National Mall such as the inspiring Lincoln Memorial, the impressive Washington Monument, and many others; and most are free of charge. To fortify yourself for a day of walking, be sure to take part in the well-known brunch scene – and come with a healthy appetite!

New Orleans
New Orleans has so many things to do it’s not possible to fit it all into a single weekend, so pick carefully.

If you are from a cold-weather region and just want to enjoy some fresh air, head over to City Park for some open-air activities; history fans can check out The National WWII Museum. Foodies (or even non-foodies) will want to breakfast or snack on the traditional beignets, then spend some time strolling around the famous and lovely French Quarter.

Nashville, NC
Nashville, North Carolina is best known for its exciting outdoor things to do and local beer scene, since it is a mecca for both hipsters and outdoorsy types.

The renowned Appalachian Trail passes through the area if you want to hike a segment, and nearby Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway also offer lovely day hikes. When you have worked up an appetite, stop in at one of the regional breweries to try one of the 100-plus local beers and some tasty food.

Chicago

Chicago is recognized for its great food, iconic architecture, and fun things to do, making it an excellent weekend getaway. Temperature-permitting, take a cruise through the city on the Chicago River to see the architectural works of art, then take a stroll to Millennium Park to see the renowned sculpture nicknamed “The Bean” for its odd shape. Museum enthusiasts might opt to visit Chicago in the cold winter months to explore the exceptional museums including the Field Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Seattle

Seattle is a vibrant hipster city renowned for its coffee culture (Starbucks started here) as well as the iconic Space Needle and vibrant Pike Place Market with its great bars and restaurants. You might also fit in a hike in Discovery Park or on nearby Mount St. Helens.

Just remember to bring an umbrella and a raincoat – weather in the Emerald City can be cloudy.

Get Off the Beaten Track - Ten Best Remote Treks

Do you want to truly escape and head to locations where you can be completely on your own with no one else around? Detach from the monotonous everyday and reinvigorate yourself with the splendor of nature on some of the most remote treks. Travel from Africa’s 3rd tallest peak to the Australian deserts, or trek down to the most southerly point in Patagonia – you won’t be disappointed. Even though these hiking trails are not easy to get to, don’t let that limit you, there is a trek out there for all.

Gokyo Lakes & Renjo La in Nepal
Total Duration: Approximately 17 days - 13 days trekking
Level of Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging (6)

Ideal for: Active travelers who want to try a trail trail to the popular Everest Base Camp trek
Best time to go is February to mid-May or end of September to December
How would you like to steer clear of the busier trails in Everest?

You can journey though Sherpa villages to the breathtaking greenish blue Gokyo Lakes and pass through Renjo La (5400) on a very quiet trail. It is regarded as the top trek in the Everest region, and gives a picturesque view of the Himalaya’s 8,000-meter peaks.

On the way to Gokyo Ri, you get the greatest site of Everest and the surrounding mountains, most notably Cho Oyu in Tibet.

Larapinta Trail End to End in Australia
Duration: Approx. 14 days

Level: Moderate to challenging (6)
Best for the wilderness lovers and seasoned walkers who want a challenge
Best to go from Mid-April to August
Getaways re-creation One of Australia’s most legendary treks, the entire walk of the Larapinta follows the West MacDonnell range and is over 223 kilometers.

Trek through this arid region on remote ridges and canyons; discover the stars in the Outback; ascend Mount Sonder, one of the Northern Territory’s highest mountains, and welcome a breathtaking sunrise.

Dientes Circuit on Navarino Island in Chile
Duration is about 6 days - 4 days trekking
Level: Challenging (7)

Ideal for: Experienced trekkers who are looking to get off the beaten track in Patagonia
Best time to go is December to March
Hike one of the globes most southern trails stretching across Dientes de Navarino Massif where you will feel like you are walking on the edge of the world. You typically do not see many other backpackers on this this 42-kilometer tour at this far end of South America.

This trek has been described as one of Patagonia’s best treks and one of the most cut off places left on the planet.

K2 Base camp, Concordia & Gondogora La, Pakistan

Duration is approx. 24 days (16 days trekking)
Grading is entry level mountaineering/ exploratory trekking (8)
Ideal for: Those who are looking to get into mountaineering, or who are looking to take on a challenging trek

Ideal to go: Months of June to August

Ranked as a first-rate picturesque route, it goes from the well known Baltoro Glacier, to the “Throne Room of the Mountain Gods” and to the tip the earth’s 2nd very best mountain. Pakistan’s famous hiking trail has nabbed the attention of hikers and mountaineers for numerous years, with a 360-degree view of 7,000 meter and 8,000-meter points, as well as the sizeable K2.

The Southern Alps in New Zealand
Duration: About 6 days

Grading is Moderate (5)
Best for: Those looking to head for heights

Ideal time to go: Months of November to April
One of the best hiking (or “tramping” as it is known locally) experiences on Earth can be had in New Zealand’s Southern Alps, with its rolling hills, magnificent glaciers, and turquoise lakes. Trekking in isolated alpine tarns with clear views, this journey even been used as a precursor for a trek in the Himalayas.

Mountains of the Moon in Uganda
Duration: Approx. 13 days - 10 days trekking

Grading: Entry level mountaineering/ exploratory trekking (8)

Best for those who have ticked off Mt Kilimanjaro from their bucket list and are looking for their next summit challenge
Ideal time to go: December to February and June to September
Tucked away and peaceful, the Rwenzori Mountains (or Mountains of the Moon) are Africa's best hidden hidden.

For those who like a challenge, the climb to Margherita Peak (5,109m), Africa’s third highest mountain, is the way to go.

West Coast Trail in Canada
Weekend figure
Duration: About 8 days (a 7-day full-pack trek)
Grading is considered moderate to challenging (6)

This is for those active walkers who enjoy coastal walks and seek to combine it with an amazing forest trek and wildlife spotting
Best time to go is August

By ferryboat, cross the Orca-filled Strait of Georgia and tour to Vancouver Island where your trip begins, and you might possibly catch a glance of more whales and sea lions, eagles, and bears all along the coastline. This walk is in the top 10 of all hikes; and if you assess your time appropriately, you can take advantage of coastline walks on the shelf.

Snowman Trek in Bhutan
Duration: Approximately 27 days (23 days trekking)

Grading: Exploratory trekking (8)

Best for anyone seeking a challenging trek that goes far off the beaten track
When to go: September to November

Journey the greatest traverse of Bhutan crossing 11 splendid passes over 4,500 meters through the isolated part of Lunana.

This awesome passage also crosses to the lovely Paro Valley where you will notice a stretch of land with small Buddhist monasteries and distant villages that are out of the way from the rest of the country for a number of months of the year.

Pamir Fann Mountains, Tajikstan
Duration: About 14 days - 5 days trekking -

Grading: Moderate (5)
Best for: Those wanting to take their bush walking adventures up a level while incorporating historical and architectural sightseeing
Best time to go is June to September

Known for its exceptional mountain views and eye-catching alpine lakes, this off-track hike in virgin Pamir flows into deep valleys with pure clear lakes and flowering fields. You might even get a chance to see the summer camps of the Tijiki shepherds.

Tavan Bogd, Mongolia
Duration: About 11 days (4 days trekking)

Grading: Moderate (5)
Best for anyone looking to explore untracked wilderness and authentic nomadic culture

Ideal time to go: June to August

This most isolated part of Mongolia is plentiful with nature, ample wild animals and an interesting cultural history. You will come across local herders, bactrian camels, Kazakh eagle hunters and throat-singing Tuvan locals, and observe more about this nomadic culture.

Take a Hike: The World's Recommended Hikes

The greatest journeys are more than the steps you take, they are about the understanding and impact you receive from the destination - they are about stepping into a destination’s culture and history. Still, these walks are not an effortless undertaking. They will challenge you on a physical level and mental level, leaving you with an indelible mark of the vastness of our world.

Here, we have shown 8 greatest treks.

Peru's Inca Trail - 4 days & 26.7 miles

Memorable moments are plentiful on the Inca Trail, but none can compete with the time you go through the Sun Gate and first see the sight of the forgotten city of Machu Picchu.

Ideal time to go: May to September Getaways photo

Lost City in Colombia ~ 27 miles in 5 days
Trail blaze through the abundant jungle across rivers before coming to the ruins of Teyuna. Arrive here first and the Lost City will be yours to appreciate all by yourself.

The perfect months to go are December to March.

Nepal's Everest Base Camp - 38.5 miles - 13 days
This voyage will bring you closer to the people of the Himalayas before uncovering a window to the top of the world.

After experiencing Everest, you will never look at our planet in the exact same way. It is best to go from August to November.

Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania - 21.1 miles in 8 days
Mt Kilimanjaro is Africa's premier crest at 5,895m (19,340 ft). It is no easy task, but unlike other significant summits, it gives those courageous enough to make it to the top. The best months to go are September to March.
Europe: Mont Blanc - 77.7 miles - 8 days

With the Tour du Mont Blanc you make your way 100 miles through three countries: Switzerland, Italy, and France. Perfect time to go: June to September

Patagonia: Torres del Paine Circuit - 82.6 miles - 10 days -
Recognized for its organic beauty, you will be exposed to spectacular volcanic landscapes, extraordinary glaciers and expansive flatlands expanding to the horizon. Perfect time to go: December to March

Venezuela's Mt Roirama - 21.1 miles in 6 days
The striking mountain of Roraima is sacred to the region's native inhabitants and is said to have led to Arthur Conan Doyle’s book, "The Lost World." When to go: November to April is the perfect time to walk the Roraima path but anytime of the year is good.

The Camino de Santiago in Spain - 30 days & 466 miles

The respected Camino de Santiago, also known as the St. James Trail, was an important Christian passage during the Middle Ages, and is still viewed as a significant spiritual pilgrimage today. The trail can be traveled any month of the year but the optimal time is between spring and autumn, though it will be very congested.

Get Away For That Amazing Occasion

Trips and special occasions go hand in hand with celebration, good times and making memories. Have you ever considered taking a trip to visit Santa’s workshop in Lapland, or getting away for a while in Dubrovnik, getting married in St. Lucia and honeymooning in Bora Bora? Check out these finest destinations to celebrate those important occasions and create long-term memories.

Spend Your Christmas in Rovaniemi, Lapland

One way to enjoy a magical Christmas with your family members is to travel to the place where Santa and his elves dwell, Lapland. This place is the most amazing place for young kids as well as grown-ups to welcome the Christmas spirit, and is located on the Arctic Circle making it feel more like you are part of Santa’s team. Santa Claus will be ready and waiting every day to see children at the Santa Claus Village, where he will present his tiny aids and reindeer. It is every single child’s wish come true!

Happy New Year's Eve from Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney, Australia offers a line-up of extraordinary firework demostrations that are ranked amongst the best demostrations around the world. At 6 pm, the festivities get rolling with an activity show at Sydney Harbour, and at midnight, the famous fireworks display starts at Sydney Harbour Bridge.

This 12-minute show is magnificent and is broadcast to millions around the world.

Spend Valentine's Day in Dubrovnik

Considered one of southeastern Europe’s top inspiring locations, Dubrovnik in Croatia has a distinct medieval charm. Overflowing with history and medieval architecture, this city may possibly be the perfect place to propose.

This town has seized the affection of many including poets, novelists, and artists.

To truly enjoy the wonders of this town, jump on a cable car and witness the terracotta rooftops, the Adriatic Sea, and the island of Lokrum across the way.

Tie the Knot in St. Lucia
St. Lucia is thought to be one of the top wedding locations worldwide and there are many reasons for this. Lush rainforests and wildlife make up this tropical island and its most distinguished sight are the emerald double summits called the Pitons.

This Western Caribbean island is the most desirable place for your beachfront wedding in paradise!

Honeymoon in Beautiful Bora Bora

Close-to-Home recreation Despite the fact that it is only 6 miles long and a little more than 2 miles wide, the smaller island of Bora Bora is filled with natural beauty. A dormant volcano, Mt. Otemanu, rises out of the island’s center and streams out into rich jungle before further spilling out into a greenish blue lagoon.

It was referred to as “the most beautiful island in the world” by novelist James Michener, who authored “Tales of the South Pacific”. It was given the nickname, “Pearl of the Pacific” by 18th century British adventurer James Cook. Bora Bora is the supreme definition of a tropical getaway; with its lavish resorts, warm climate and welcoming natives.

Spend Your Anniversary in Bali

Bali is Indonesia's leading tourist getaway and is the ideal anniversary destination, offering coastlines, coral reefs and enchanting landscapes. The clear blue waters and the colorful scenery of the island make it feel like you’ve found heaven on earth. Luxury travelers head here because of the highly developed arts, the deluxe holiday resorts and the dynamic nightlife.

Some of the many options for the happy couple include private cruising in Crystal Bay, private visits to Mt. Batur – the sacred volcano, a couple’s massage & spa session, cooking classes with locals and personalized helicopter rides.

The Best Destinations for the Perfect Honeymoon

One of the great parts after the big wedding day is the awesome honeymoon that follows. One thing cruise lines and resorts have come to recognize is that more and more newly married couples want exclusive honeymoon packages designed just for them. What is certain is that newlyweds are looking for the perfect place to unwind, reinvigorate and share romantic moments. There are lots of destinations to pick from where you can share your first intimate moments as a married couple.

Let's get married!
After your true love asked for your hand in marriage, you most likely started to prepare for the perfect honeymoon.

From the Atlantic to the Pacific, honeymooners in the US have the privilege of having so many destination options wherever their pursuits take them, from mountains, snow covered peaks, to beautiful beaches.

L.A. & S.F., CA

Head over to San Francisco, California, where can gaze at the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge and then travel down to Los Angeles where you’ll find the famous Hollywood sign.

NYC
The experienced hoteliers in New York City know just what honeymooners and other romantics want to make their visit momentous.

So, ( get out of the bedroom and soak in the sites and sounds the Big Apple has to offer.

Hawaii
Hawaii’s beautiful beaches and hidden coves; premier hotels; fresh, inventive cuisine; water sports galore; extraordinary natural beauty; and optimal weather make it one of the world’s top-notch honeymoon destinations.

Las Vegas
And don’t overlook Las Vegas. The city offers 24-hour excitement and late-night action for newlyweds who prefer more fun than a good tan.

If you and your new spouse are into culture, good food and striking shores, Europe is a great honeymoon spot.

Paris, France
The cozy bistros and renowned Eiffel Tower in Paris, often called the City of Love, make this city a marvelous spot for lovers to understand what romance is all about.

Italia!

A hop, skip and jump away, Italy is a country steeped in culture, scrumptious food, and great fashion in addition to much, much more. Make a stop-over in idyllic Tuscany, a place where you can unwind with a glass of Chianti, visit delightful little towns, not to forget some of the area's famed culture-rich cities. In Venice you’ll see and hear the crooning of the gondolieri who glide along the canals of the City of Water and you’ll marvel at the creativeness of the masks worn during Carnival time.

Spain

The choice of places to visit in Spain is vast, from the historic, the natural wonder, to the sunny coasts and party islands. The sophisticated architectural design and folklore infusing Seville make this Spanish city an ideal destination for couples to explore together.

Weekend foto During the day you can both wander through its lavish palaces and parks. The ‘mandatory’ afternoon siesta is the perfect segue to the late-night patrying that follows.

Greece
Greece’s azure waters and dazzling whitewashed houses make for interesting stories to take back home. Don't forget to accompany the extra fresh seafood and other culinary delights with a good shot of ouzo.
The South Pacific

You can also experience a fantastic and romantic honeymoon vacation in the South Pacific. A couple of of the world’s best honeymoon locations include the South Pacific islands of Fiji and Tahiti.

Both islands offer miles and miles of peaceful, breathtaking shores as well as some really amazing living arrangements. The jaw-dropping over-water suites allow you to view tropical fish swimming under your coffee table.

Honeymooning in Africa is an adventure beyond compare.
There are so many ways to fill your days on a honeymoon in Africa from thrilling game drives, walking safaris, fishing expeditions, and canoe trips to just taking a break with a good read in front of a hippo-filled river.

Toast to married life before a camp fire as you look up to watch the star-studded sky and listen to the sounds of the African bush, with an occasional roar here and there. Get away from the crowds and enjoy a true sense of wilderness in Zambia, also known as the “Real Africa”. It has become a popular destination among newlyweds who seek adventure and have a love of nature. Discover the magnificent sunsets and tranquility in this remote area teeming with unspoiled wildlife.

In addition to its Big 5 game reserves, scenic wine routes, pristine beaches and spectacular mountain ranges, South Africa is also home to one of the world’s most fabulous cities, Cape Town. Its numerous cultures, each with their own histories and customs, have made it known as the “Rainbow Nation”. The island of Mauritius, situated about 1,200 miles off the southeastern coast of Africa, is regarded as one of the world’s best honeymoon destinations. Its year-long warm temperatures and enchanting beaches dotted with palm trees make this Indian Ocean island a great oasis for the newly wedded. If you and your spouse are searching for a destination that offers the ideal combination of activity with the time needed to relax, all in a lavish setting with a high level of personal attention, then Mauritius is where you want to be.

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