In honor of World Tourism Day, we wanted to share some of the most memorable spots our team has visited. From the lights of Vegas to the sacred sites of Lalibela, we’ve gotten around!
Respect seems to emanate from not only all of the wonderful people, but in the city itself. Queues for one of the busiest train/subway systems in the world self regulate with no rudeness, yellow bump strips on every walkway even in most public buildings make it navigable even for low vision users, and pride in every job from the workers directing in traffic to a construction site, the person shining the floors in the subway station, to the lawyer going into the high rise. Public transportation and walkability are always huge metrics for me when traveling, and Tokyo and the rest of Japan nails it.
You can visit Las Vegas a dozen times and still find something new to explore. The Strip itself is always changing, with new hot restaurants opening up and casinos getting a refresh. Downtown Vegas continues to dazzle with the Fremont Street Experience. If you’re thinking about trying the zipline, do it! And do it at night! Ziplining between street after street of flashing lights is amazing. My favorite part of Las Vegas is that there is truly something for everyone to enjoy. Whether it’s shows, food, hiking, or gambling, you can entertain anyone in your friend or family group!
Traverse City offers visitors beautiful views of the lakeshore with year-round outdoor recreation alongside delicious cuisine paired with wine and beer aplenty. Enjoy a sampling of the over 300 million pounds of cherries that are harvested in the region each year, or if you’re a cherry fanatic, visit during early July for the National Cherry Festival. Walkable Traverse City is a perfect retreat for families with children. Pick up a delicious pastry and coffee at BLK\MRKT as you make your way to Clinch Park and Beach. Prepare yourself for a sandy, steep hike when you visit Sleeping Bear Dunes in nearby Glen Arbor, a cute town in its own right.
Ethiopia, in general, is one of my favorite places in the world. But Lalibela, in particular, has a special kind of magic. The rock hewn churches that make the town famous are a UNESCO world heritage site. However, so few people travel here that visitors have the privilege of experiencing these 800 year old churches in an intimate way. The churches are still actively used and members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church make pilgrimages to the site. As a visitor, it’s an incredibly unique experience to walk down into the rock and explore these sacred sites first hand.
Though it’s become more popular in recent years, thanks to its close drive to the gorgeous scenery of Sedona, the charming town of Jerome still feels like a fun secret tucked away in the mountains. Comprised of historical buildings stacked on the windy streets, this small ghost town is full of eclectic shops and fun art galleries, all with beautiful views overlooking the Verde Valley. Make sure you stop at Nellie Bly Kaleidoscope, the world’s largest kaleidoscope shop, and get lost in looking at the most beautiful pieces of art. Have lunch at the famous Haunted Hamburger, and visit the Jerome Artist Cooperative to find a one-of-a-kind souvenir. As my grandparents live at the bottom of the hill, Jerome will always hold a special place in my heart, and I love sharing my favorite memories there. If you’re roadtripping through from Sedona or driving up scenic 89A to the Grand Canyon, make sure you stop for the afternoon in this old mining town, and enjoy all the history and small town treasures that Jerome has to offer!
Vancouver is a gorgeous, cosmopolitan city. It has temperate weather, great food, and killer nightlife. Once you’ve exhausted all of the eating and drinking possibilities in the city, hop a seaplane to the Channel Islands, spot whales while taking the ferry to Victoria, or explore one of the many city and provincial parks. (Stanley Park has a great 10k jogging/biking trail!) My favorite thing to do is take the stunningly beautiful drive up to Whistler where you can ride a zip line between mountains, swim next to a waterfall, or hit the lifts at the best ski resort in North America.
Did you know there’s a city where you can drink a beer brewed according to a recipe by Benjamin Franklin IN a tavern frequented by Benjamin Franklin? That’s right, I’m talking about one of my favorite cities, Philadelphia. Of course, everyone knows about Philly’s rich history. Parts of downtown are still cobblestone, and the Liberty Bell draws huge crowds! But many don’t realize that Philly is an amazing destination for the non-history-buffs among us. Murals dot the city every few blocks, and unique art collectives, like the Magic Gardens, represent the inspirational artistic nature of the city itself. Plus, oh boy, the food is gooood. For a city that truly radiates personality throughout its city limits, look no further than Philadelphia.
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