New Year, New Destinations: Where to Go in 2017

The beginning of each year opens a whole new set of possibilities. Spring break, popular for many college students, is coming up and the world is ready to be explored. While Paris, London, and Rome are well worth the trip, here are a few MUST VISIT destinations that aren’t typically crawling with camera-toting tourists.

Bordeaux, France:

This  destination is a beautiful port city that sits on the Garonne River in the Gironde department, located in southwestern France. You may begin your day by going on the Bordeaux Vineyards Wine Tasting Half-Day Trip, which includes a five hour tour of two wine chateaux, a tour of the cellars and stroll through the vineyards of some of Bordeaux’s age-old wineries, tasting the wines for yourself and gain an insight into their delicate flavors, explore wine making territories such as Médoc, St Emilion and Sauternes, and many more. After the luxurious afternoon, take a visit to the Water Mirror, or the The “Miroir d’Eau,” one of the city’s main attractions. Then you will probably be hungry, so head on over to the Cabaret Le Grain De Folie for dinner and a show! Finally, end the night in the magnificent five star Yndo hotel, with a gorgeous outlook on the lively Bordeaux.

bordeaux

Coral Bay, St. John:

If the island life is more your style, then this will be the perfect get away spot for your next trip. The tropical Coral Bay, located on the southeastern side of  St. John in the United States Virgin Islands is home to many activities that will keep you busy for your whole stay. Sail the Caribbean in Polynesian style on a custom-designed Tiki 30 catamaran. The Captain Karl and First Mate Mary Anne will guide you on an adventure of a lifetime as you sail and snorkel the piercing blue waters and cays of the US and British Virgin Islands. They specialize in small groups, island history and ecology, and first class service. After you dry off, horseback ride on beautiful trails at the Carolina Corral that is home to many rescues. You should then enjoy a nice, deserving meal at the Indigo Grill that offers a delicious variety of food and drink such as: a Full Bar, American, Pizza, Caribbean, Seafood, Fusion, and even has Gluten Free Options! Yum!

coral bay

 

 Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota:

This day attraction has great views and will leave you busy your whole visit. First take a stroll through a prairie dog “town,” which can be found in many areas of the park, but the first one encountered is just along the road soon after entering the park near Skyline Vista.  You should then visit the quaint Badlands town of Medora, the gateway to the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. However, it is much more more than that, but an Old West “cowtown” with horseback rides, modern museums, the state-of-the-art Burning Hills Amphitheatre, luxury lodging and primitive camping. As great as that is, don’t forget to take the thirty six mile Scenic Loop Drive in the South Unit. It is paved with pullouts and interpretive signs that may or may not explain some of the park’s background history and natural features. Wildlife is ample on the route that entwines through much of the South Unit.


tr national park nd

Havana, Cuba:

By far the most colorful travel spot on this list, Havana is extremely special in every way. A must see is Old Havana. It is a charming part of the city with even more history and great restaurants that holds the capitol building of Cuba. It is also not uncommon for there to be salsa dancing in the heart of town, with all welcome to join in and have fun. It holds five quaint squares including the Old Square (Plaza Vieja) and the Plaza de Catedral, which you must not hesitate to look around. The Old Square has unique statues and fun buildings to look at., and The Plaza de Catedral, site of the Cathedral of Havana was originally a swamp, later drained and then re-purposed as a naval dockyard. Following the assembly of the Cathedral in 1727, it became the habitat for some of the city’s marvelous mansions. Additionally, it is the home of the Museo del Arte Colonial (Colonial Art Museum) and a number of more excellent restaurants.

 

havana

 Frankfurt, Germany:

The lively German city on the Main River is a place you will never get bored in. A fun way to kick off your trip to Frankfurt is the one hundred minute sightseeing cruise. Travel along the Main River and admire famous city sights from the water. On this trip you will spot landmarks like Frankfurt Cathedral or the Staedel Museum, Go upstream to Gerbermühle (Offenbach) or downstream to Frankfurt-Griesheim. If you are tired of the water afterwards, go visit the Palmengarten, Frankfurt’s cherished botanical gardens that have fifty acres of tropical trees, orchids and ferns. Feeling hungry? Check out the Main Tower Restaurant & Lounge. It has fantastic food, and a fantastic view! As one of the highest buildings in Frankfurt, you can soar to the top of this 200 meter high building (take an elevator for the first 190 meters and walk the last 10) for the most breathtaking sight the city has to offer. It looks even better at night!

frankfurt

 Douro Valley, Portugal:

In the Douro Valley of Portugal, the Quinta do Panascal should be a must see on every body’s list. This elegant vineyard is owned by Fonseca Port, who happens to be one of the region’s most distinguished wine producers. Upon your visit, you will engage in a vineyard walk, accompanied by a self-guided audio-tour, which is also available in nine languages. In the visitor’s room, there are three Fonseca wines available to test. Midst the grape-harvesting season, guests can observe grape treading in the traditional granite tanks, a quality sight worth witnessing for any who are interested in the wine-making process. You should also be keen to check out the famous Santuario de Nossa Senhora dos Remedios. Located in the town of Lamego, it is a staircase comprised of 686 steps. At the top, a shrine for the worship of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios lays. When you are done, you can check back into the Douro Royal Valley Hotel and Spa. They have great food at the Palato D’Ouro Restaurant, and you can head on over to the Ruby or Acqua Bar after your meal for a drink. You may then feel inclined to get a massage at the spa that offers fourteen amazing massages, body wraps, and much more. When the day finally draws to a close, jump into your twin, double, or suite room, and doze off with a perfect river view.

duoro valley