7 Places I Could Return to Over and Over

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In January, my husband and I spent a four-day weekend driving from Bozeman, Montana to Spokane, Washington and exploring a few spots inbetween.  Even though we never intended this trip to be a “vacation” (we had some personal business in the area), I had hoped to return to the blog with stories about gorgeous scenery, interesting communities, and small town charms.

montana sunset
Sunset in Montana

Instead, I was really underwhelmed with the region.  By all means, I drank some great Montana microbrews and delighted in the fresh, cold air.  Other than that, though, I wasn’t particularly fond of the area.  Since I can’t delight you with stories about this region of the United States, I’d love to reminisce about some of my favorite places in the world — the ones I could return to over and over.

Chicago

Chicago Skyline
Chicago Skyline

Without a doubt, Chicago is my favorite city in the United States and my favorite destination for a long weekend.  For me, it’s a quick flight away with no worries about jetlag and once I’m there, there are plenty of things to keep me occupied from history and museums to interesting neighborhoods to great dining options.  Check out my suggestions for your first trip to the city and consider staying at theWit hotel if you have room in your budget.

León

One of the many murals throughout Leon.
One of the many murals throughout Leon.

Nicaragua stole my heart, and León was an incredible place to stay for an adventure lover like me.  It’s a great base for hiking, volcano boarding, surfing, and more, plus the city itself has a vibrant culture and friendly people.   If you’re looking for excitement without breaking the bank, you can’t do better than choosing León.  In fact, if you’re headed there, consider inviting me along…I’d love an excuse to return!

The Alps

andermatt switzerland
The scenery near Andermatt, Switzerland

Yes, I’m well aware that simply choosing the Alps in general is cheating a little, but I haven’t found a part of these European mountains that I haven’t fallen in love with.  As a hiker, this region is pure paradise, and it’s impossible to decide if I prefer the mountains of Germany, Austria, Slovenia, or Switzerland.  I’m sure as I explore even more of the Alps, I’ll simply add additional favorites to the list.

Riviera Maya

Puerto Morelos -- so close to Cancun, and yet so different.
Puerto Morelos — so close to Cancun, and yet so different.

I’ve been to this part of Mexico three times already and I’m heading back in September, which should absolutely count as proof that I love the area.  Yes, it’s developed, but I promise there is so much more to the Riviera Maya than all-inclusive resorts.  Rent a car and swim in cenotes, explore the wild beaches on the east side of Cozumel, go scuba diving, and relax on a postcard-perfect beach on Isla Mujeres.

London

A beautiful winter day in London
A beautiful winter day in London

I haven’t spent nearly enough time in London, but I have spent enough time to know I want to return.  The city is great for travelers who like to stay busy, offering a perfect destination for museum visits, historical sites, theatre, and day trips…yet it’s also the perfect spot for anyone who wants to kick back and relax at a pub, explore markets, or be pampered with great service.  I guarantee the next time I go, I’ll spend an entire week exploring without running out of things to do.

Barcelona

Casa Batllo on the Block of Discord
Casa Batllo on the Block of Discord

If London is too dark and dreary for you, head to Barcelona.  The energy of this city is contagious, and the sunshine will keep you going all day even after you’ve been out all night.  While I’ve enjoyed other parts of Spain as well, Barcelona is the only city I’d go out of my way to return to (admittedly, there’s a lot of the country I haven’t yet explored).  Come for the food, stay for the party, and don’t forget to spend some time outside the city on day trips.

Alaska

The first of many bears I've seen in Alaska
The first of many bears I’ve seen in Alaska

I’ve saved my favorite destination for last.  I haven’t been anywhere in Alaska that I haven’t absolutely loved and I can’t imagine a place I’d rather be.  The wildlife watching in this state is incredible and that alone is reason enough to head north, but the scenery is mind-blowing at every turn and the local, intrepid spirit is inspiring.  Lucky for me, nature morphs each area on every visit to make it seem like I’m visiting for the first time so I can return over and over again.

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Where are your favorite places to visit?  Do any of them overlap with my favorites?

8 thoughts on “7 Places I Could Return to Over and Over”

  1. I’ve been going all over the world since infancy, and the places I never, ever tire of are France in general, but especially Paris (lived there for 3 years as a child; go there often as an adult), London (been there umpteen hundred times and am never bored with it), New York City (can’t get enough of it), Australia (especially Sydney), New Zealand (both islands), South Africa (spectacular; worth the horrible flights to get there), Italy, Alpine Europe (hardcore skier since the age of four; learned to ski in the German Alps), and my native state of California. Also love quite a few places in the US.

    1. @RMF325, What a wonderful list you have! In particular, I need to visit South Africa for the first time but I can understand why you love all the other places and would love to return. Happy travels!

  2. I also love Chicago! It’s an easy coach bus ride for a quick weekend getaway from Madison. My other favorites are Asheville, Moab, Portland, and Norway.

    1. @Amanda, I’m a little jealous that Chicago is just a bus ride away. Sounds like you have a great list of favorite places though — I’ve seen photos of Moab and Norway (which I’ve never visited) and they seem like incredible destinations.

  3. I just got back from a week in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia – Victoria, Salt Spring Island and Tofino. You should really add them to your list.

    Tofino is the cold water surfing capital and you will find people camping on the beach next to the resort lodges. The town is quite small, and I did not meet many American tourists, but I did meet several from Germany and England. It turns out that the travel agents over there have packages that combines this area with the Canadian Rockies.
    (If you go, make sure that you try Sobo restaurant)

    1. @Katherine, On your list, I’ve only been to Victoria (which I loved) but you’re not the first one to share wonderful experiences from that corner of the world. It truly sounds amazing!

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