My Favorite Destinations
As a travel writer, I’m often asked “Where is your favorite place to visit?” And the funny thing about travel writers is that they really don’t have one place that is their favorite. We have many, and for different reasons. I usually answer with Ireland, Costa Rica and Italy. Sometimes I answer, “wherever I go next” or “anywhere I haven’t been,” but I’m sure you want more detail about my responses.
The Irish are super friendly; Ireland really is packed full of interesting and nice people. The island nation has only a few “sights” as we think of the word. When there, you should visit Trinity College and tour the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, shop the Waterford Crystal Gallery in Waterford, and kiss the Blarney Stone (near Cork).
A few less thought of places I enjoy in the green lands are the Dingle Peninsula, Belfast, and any town you’ve never heard of. The Dingle Peninsula on the west coast offers enticing scenery from bike – so rent a bike and go for a ride. Stop by the ocean and look toward America and patronize the local pubs. There you will meet the people and make the memories you’ll take home with you. Belfast, which is in Northern Ireland, makes for a twist from the Republic of Ireland as that corner of the island is part of the U.K. Visit the wonderful outdoor Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. As you travel, try to spend a couple hours (or even an overnight) in a small town that you’ve never heard of. Chances are you’ll find the Irish there as intriguing as I do.
Costa Rica is wet, green, lush, hilly and overgrown with giant plants and bugs. It’s a rain forest strip of land in the heart of Central America. The local people are cute and welcoming and adventure is abundant. I’ve been up and down both coastlines and it’s all good. From zip lines to SCUBA diving to volcanoes – heart-thumping adventure will satisfy all visitors. I like spontaneous adventure – do like I do and just wing it once there - and line up your activities upon arrival to your accommodations.
Italy has Art
So much of the world’s best art is available to see in the “boot” of Europe. Rome and Florence, Venice and Naples – you pick – jump around or visit just one since you’ll never see it all. The entire country is like one big museum. Make sure you absorb the outdoor “art” too: buildings, vineyards, and coastlines.
The train system works well and goes just about everywhere in Italy. Buy a rail pass and go as you like. My top picks are the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Museum in Rome, David in the Bargello sculpture museum, and the ruins of Pompeii. When in doubt or overwhelmed, just take a walking tour of the city you’re in.
Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at Michael@RochesterMedia.com