Whether you’re in New York, London, LA, Paris, or elsewhere, there’s no doubt that you’re itching for an escape after working hard for the larger portion of the summer. So, where to? Is your ideal getaway your time to let loose and party with friends? Or would you rather just lay out on the beach and take it easy? How about a trip to a city you’ve always wanted to see? Sure, some of these suggestions may be no-brainers, and there are plenty more places in the world worth mentioning. Regardless, check out our list of some of the top vacation destinations, and enjoy your time off!
A bit of a broad destination, Tuscany encompasses some of Italy’s greatest locations, including Florence, Pisa, and Siena. And just as you’d expect, there are limitless options for wine tours, mind-blowing cuisine, and shopping. Whether you’d prefer to dive into one of the region’s urban centers, or if you’d rather explore the rolling hills and olive groves in the more rural spots, the options are endless for making this your ideal vacation.
Where to stay: Relais Borgo Santo Pietro (Siena)
Still feeling Italy but more into a trip to the Riviera? Hit up Cinque Terre, one of the hottest new spots in the Mediterranean. Cinque Terre is full of things to see, specifically the vibrantly colored houses that line the multifaceted terrain (hence the name). Hiking is the thing to do, while the crystal clear, bright blue water is basically begging to be swam in. And of course, food and drink is essential for your visit.
Where to stay: Porto Roca
In this archipelago off of Africa’s eastern coast, Praslin Island is definitely the place to be. Real talk, there isn’t much more to do here than exploring the beaches and the landscape. But with lush vegetation, white sand, and turquoise water, what more could you really want? Rated one of the world’s best beaches by several different travel sites, Anse Lazio is literally a real-life postcard that’s definitely worth visiting.
Where to stay: Raffles Praslin (Anse Takamaka, Praslin Island)
Yes, Brazil is a huge country that’s full of things to do, so this is just another generalization. But if you’ve got enough time, definitely check out everything that the country has to offer. With the hype from the World Cup finally dying down, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are now back to their regular status as huge centers for nightlife, food, music, culture, and much, much more. And let’s not forget about the state of Bahia, specifically Salvador, which is teeming with fascinating history. If you do anything during this trip, you’ve got to stop by Baia do Sancho in Fernando de Noronha, arguably the best beach in the world.
Where to stay: Pousada Teju-Acu (Estrada da Alamoa, Fernando de Noronha, State of Pernambuco)
Look through your Instagram feed, and you’re guaranteed to see lots of posts from somewhere in Greece. Whether your friends are exploring their touristy sides in Athens or partying the night away in Mykonos, it’s pretty much clear that you’ve got to get in on the action. But maybe try something different and hit up Elafonissi Beach on the small island of Elafonissi, where seashells give sand a pinkish tint to compliment the vivid water.
Where to stay: Hotel Nikolas Makris Tihos (Elafonissi)
When it comes to the Maldives, there’s just about no way to go wrong. But to be specific, Kaafu Atoll is a literal paradise. As secluded as possible with dreamlike beaches, there’s nothing better than simply relaxing by the water with a drink in hand. This is definitely a luxury destination, but after lots of hard work, you deserve it.
Where to stay: Cocoa Island by COMO
It goes without saying that Hawaii is always at the top of people’s lists, but it doesn’t get much better than Lanikai Beach. Located in a secluded neighborhood in Kailua, Oahu, the beach stays pristine all year round, with limitless options for cultural and natural exploration. Lanikai Beach is a little more difficult to find than most other spots in Oahu, especially with the lack of hotels in Kailua, but the various inns and B&B’s are sure to make travelers feel at home. And despite Hawaii’s geographic distance, it’s a relatively easy trip for all of the American travelers out there. It could easily be everyone’s new favorite spot.
Where to stay: The Hula Breeze (Kailua, Oahu)
Like most of the other European destinations on this list, Barcelona has so, so much to offer. Putting the expansive city right on the beach makes it perfect for those who want a little more activity besides just laying out and relaxing. Sure, that’s definitely a viable option. But if that gets boring, the endless shopping, art, music, food, and other entertainment outlets are just blocks away. Maybe it’s not Paris or Milan, but Barça’s still a top-tier fashion capital, informed by the creativity seen on every corner. Tourist attractions like Parc Güell and Sagrada Família are definitely worth the crowds, too. Meanwhile, the city’s nightlife is like none other, with some of the world’s best nightclubs lining the beautiful beaches. If you’re doing Barça, definitely stay for a while.
Where to stay: Hotel Arts Barcelona
Although the nightlife and shopping options aren’t as expansive, who could want anything more than a spectrum of blue water and powdery sand beaches that define the Turks & Caicos capital? Grace Bay is often ranked another one of the world’s best beaches, and it should come as no surprise; places like this are what fantasies are made of.
Where to stay: The Venetian on Grace Bay
As proven by our experience in Kenya last summer, this is another place that you’ll need to set aside a lot of time for. From the bustling hub of Nairobi to the incredibly lush Naivasha, there’s an incredible amount of things to see and do. Sure, going on safari is always a necessity, which is perfect to do in Amboseli. But wildlife can pop up nearly anywhere, making this East African gem one of the most dynamic and exciting spots in the world. And if you’re just looking for some beach time, definitely go to Diani in Mombasa or Malindi right along the Indian Ocean; the serene beaches are stunning enough to rival many of the other destinations on this list. Again, definitely make some room in your schedule for this trip. You won’t regret it.
Where to stay: Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa (Mombasa)