Fall is fast approaching, which means every minute of summer counts double. Heck, even triple! Lucky for you, we have what it takes to make that happen. It is called your Favorite Summer Travel Bucket List. With worldwide destinations in the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia, there is something for everyone. From the foodies to the concert junkies, and the beach lovers to the quiet-retreats fans, our list has a destination to make this read worth your while.
So get ready to embrace the essence of your 2023 summer and embark on a captivating journey to an array of enchanting destinations across the globe. Immerse yourself in diverse cultures, savor tantalizing cuisines, and create memories that will linger long after the season ends. From enchanting European getaways to tropical havens and South American gems, this meticulously curated list promises an unforgettable summer filled with adventure and wonder.
Pack Your Suitcase, Grab Your Passport (or not) and Let’s Go!!
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Explore Santa Fe, the culturally rich capital of New Mexico. Immerse in its adobe architecture, Native American heritage, and thriving art scene. Discover mouthwatering cuisine, historic sites, and vibrant markets for an inspiring getaway.
Highlight. Meow Wolf – a surreal art exhibition that defies reality.
Pros. mouthwatering New Mexican cuisine (margaritas and local chile), historical plaza offering shopping and cultural immersion, cool pueblo-style architecture , walkable streets perfect for leisurely exploration.
Cons. Distance from major airport, warm temperatures.
Discover Freiburg, Germany’s sunniest city nestled in the Black Forest. Experience a fairytale blend of modernity and medieval charm, with eco-friendly neighborhoods and stunning vistas. Enjoy a “cuckoo” for Freiburg experience – from Seepark’s summer lake day to indulging in a spa day in Baden-Baden. Marvel at the cathedral overlooking the town while snacking on döner kebab at Münstermarkt. Optimize your view by hiking up Schlossberg Tower. Don’t miss quick trips to Basel, Switzerland, and Colmar, France, to make the most of your adventure.
Highlight. The ascension of the Schlossberg Tower for panoramic views.
Pros. Scenic Schauinslandbahn gondola ride, proximity to France and Switzerland for day trips, relaxation mode and natural beauty at Seepark Lake, Eco-friendly and vegan-friendly options, outdoor dining at traditional beer gardens.
Cons. No local airport (accessible via train from nearby cities), lack of air conditioning.
Immerse in Marrakesh’s bustling souks, a sensory wonderland of colors and aromas. Shop to your heart’s content, honing your haggling skills. Admire intricate historic palaces and mosques, a testament to the city’s rich culture. Discover Yves Saint Laurent’s Moroccan inspirations at his captivating museum, a homage to Marrakesh’s fashion and design influence.
Highlight: The fresh and flavorful Moroccan cuisine, from aromatic tagines to delectable pastries.
.Pros. Great atmosphere(vibrant festivals, cultural events, and celebrations during the summer), longer daylight hours (more time to explore the city’s attractions), warm evenings, rooftop terraces with stunning cityscapes views (great for dinner or drinks illuminated by the golden glow of the sunset), Marrakesh’s night markets (discover a unique blend of local crafts, delicious street food, and live entertainment).
Cons. Possible scorching temperatures (especially in summer), pressure from vendors in the souks (intense haggling).
Uncover the colorful streets and taste the birthplace of port wine in this charming Portuguese city. The picturesque Douro River flows alongside Ribeira, the oldest district of Porto. Get ready to fall in love with this vibrant city, where each glass of port wine is as sweet and sophisticated as the city.
Highlight. The Douro Valley port wine tour.
Pros. Delectable seafood cuisine by the river, charming cobblestone streets and unique architecture, breathtaking sunsets along the Ponte de Dom Luis I bridge.
Cons. Health and/or safety risk due to potentially uneven terrain throughout the city.
Costa Brava, Spain
Discover Costa Brava’s crystalline waters and hidden coves. Immerse yourself in Girona’s romantic medieval Old Town while savoring authentic paella and gourmet tapas. Sip on refreshing sangria in the charming village of Tossa de Mar for a tranquil escape by the sea.
Highlight. The stunning Mediterranean beaches along Costa Brava.
Pros. Coastal beauty with crystal-clear waters and hidden coves, the medieval charm of Girona’s Old Town and iconic Cathedral, authentic paellas and gourmet tapas.
Cons. Often limited public transportation to remote areas, crowded beaches during peak season.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Embrace the rhythm of Rio de Janeiro’s vivacity by taking part in the samba-filled streets, where the pulsating beats of Brazilian music infuse every corner with energy. Indulge in thrilling activities like parasailing or paragliding for an adrenaline rush with stunning coastal views that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Highlight. Copacabana Beach.
Pros. Iconic beaches and thrilling carnival culture, stunning views from Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer, lively nightlife and samba-filled streets.
Cons. A few unsafe neighborhoods, extremely large crowds tourist areas.
Embark on a journey through time as you explore ancient walls along the stunning Adriatic coastline. Wander through vibrant markets, traverse UNESCO-listed streets, and bask in the beauty of the sparkling blue waters. Your adventure is a fusion of history and seaside allure, offering a captivating escape. Dive into paradise!
Highlight. The ancient walls and stunning Adriatic coastline.
Pros. Crystal-clear waters for swimming and water sports, vibrant local markets and charming UNESCO World Heritage Site Old Town.
Cons. Large crowded during cruise ship arrivals, higher prices in popular tourist areas.
Turks and Caicos
Picture a paradise where soft sands meet the endless embrace of turquoise waters. Explore vibrant underwater wonderlands, and embrace island resort life for a blissful summer stay in Turks and Caicos.
Highlight. The vibrant coral reefs of Princess Alexandra National Park (a great option for snorkelers and divers).
Pros. Kayaking, paddle-boarding, and sailing in the clear waters, upscale coastline accommodations on Grace Bay Beach (sometimes with affordable rates), proximity to other islands for day trips and exploration, secluded beaches beyond the popular tourist spots.
Cons. The hurricane season from June to November, higher cost of living and travel (due to the upscale nature of the islands), limited public transportation (often requiring rental cars or taxis).
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Summer party time: Costa Rica edition! Experience beach life by day and lively fiestas by night. Tamarindo is a nature-lover’s dream with its National Parks, where howler monkeys and sensational sunsets over the Pacific Ocean paint a portrait of Costa Rica’s wild beauty. ¡Pura vida!
Highlight. Riding the waves and enjoying the lively atmosphere of Tamarindo Beach.
Pros. Ideal for surfers of all levels (consistent waves for Diving, snorkeling, and various water sports), vibrant nightlife (variety of bars, and restaurants), proximity to national parks (i.e. Marino Las Baulas National Park), stunning sunsets over the Pacific Ocean.
Cons. The rainy season from May to November, Large crowd during peak times, Frequent increase in pricing due to tourists.
Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand’s beauty is like no other. Embark on captivating day trips to unique islands, each offering captivating attractions. Set sail, hike, and experience life to the fullest in Auckland.
Highlight. Day trips to islands such as Rotoroa Island, Tiritiri Matangi Island, and Rangitoto Island, each offering unique attractions, from historical exploration to wildlife sanctuaries and panoramic summit views.
Pros. Stunning views of the Auckland Harbour, Black-sand surf beaches on the west coast, a mix of city life and natural beauty, various festivals and outdoor events (mainly in summer).
Cons. Daily change in weather, limited services in some remote areas, booking limitations during peak seasons.
It’s time to ground yourself this summer on a mindful and spiritual journey to Thai temples. Phuket’s coastal spirit and lively nightlife will certainly leave you feeling renewed and refreshed.
Highlight. The vibrant underwater world at Phi Phi Islands and Coral Island.
Pros. Powdery shores of Patong Beach, Wat Chalong (a sacred temple adorned with intricate carvings and offering insights into local spiritual practices), Phuket’s electric nightlife (from the vibrant energy of Bangla Road’s bustling clubs to the relaxed atmosphere of beachside bars).
Cons. A hot and humid weather (especially in summer), Large crowd and increase in scams during peak season.
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Discover Bali’s enchantment, where playful monkeys and ancient temples coexist in harmony within verdant landscapes and emerald tiers of rice terraces. Between the cuisine, nature, and culture, this island experience will proivde memories to last a lifetime.
Highlight. The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary’s ancient temples and playful monkeys.
Pros. The awe-inspiring agricultural landscape of Tegalalang Rice Terraces, Yoga and meditation, the tasty Balinese gastronomy (from savory nasi goreng to delectable babi guling).
Cons. Heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, crowded streets and attractions, congested Traffic in peak tourism periods.
With these unique destinations on your bucket list, you’re in for an extraordinary journey filled with culture, adventure, romance, and beauty. Happy travels!
Featured Image. Source: Jamie Sholberg, Los Angeles Times; Getty. https://www.latimes.com/travel/story/2021-02-19/what-you-need-to-know-about-air-travel.
Rio de Janeiro 1. Source: https://www.hotels.com/go/brazil/summer-things-to-do-rio-de-janeiro
Rio de Janeiro 2. Source: https://inspiredbymaps.com/top-things-to-do-in-rio-de-janeiro-brazil/
Dubrovnik. Angel Chang (February 2015). Source: https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20150212-traversing-croatias-exquisite-adriatic-coast
Turks and Caicos 1. Source: https://tritonluxuryvilla.com/snorkeling-in-turks-and-caicos/
Turks and Caicos 2. Source: https://tritonluxuryvilla.com/snorkeling-in-turks-and-caicos/
Tamarindo 1. Source: https://tamaluxury.com/nightlife/
Tamarindo 2. Source: https://www.getyourguide.com/tamarindo-l995/tamarindo-celeste-river-and-llanos-de-cortez-waterfall-t391072/
Auckland. Source: https://earthbeatfestival.com/nz-festivals-new-zealand
Phuket 1. Source: https://curlytales.com/its-a-thai-summer-top-10-international-destinations-preferred-by-uae-travellers-going-on-a-vacay/
Phuket 2. Source: https://www.amataraphuket.com/stay/wellness-stay/amatara-yoga
Bali 2. Source: https://www.getyourguide.com/bali-swing-indonesia-l158531/