The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
For Her Campus Travel Edition 2023, get to know four of the members of the St Andrews team as they give you their top tourist destinations, recommendations and travel tips for any of our readers looking to visit their home areas – from Dubai, Brooklyn, Charleston and San Diego.
Syna from Dubai:
One of our writers Syna is from Dubai, and has lived there her whole life – who better to get the best local insider touristing tips? Especially, as she admits herself, there’s “too many touristy things one can do in Dubai, and it’s honestly hard to pick one.” Instead, she has chosen one of her favourite locations, which includes a lot in itself as well as in its surroundings – the Dubai Mall. It is the biggest mall in the world, so you won’t be quickly bored, and your experience can be catered to your specific interests. Whether you want to spend time browsing luxury brands, fast fashion or local brands, you can easily pick up some souvenirs or admire the diverse collection. Even if shopping is not among your hobbies, the Dubai Mall also gives you the chance to visit its aquarium and underwater zoo, its ice rink, its huge movie theatre, or even the Dubai Opera. Not only does the Mall offer a lot to any traveling individuals, but it may be worth looking into for large groups traveling together with diverse interests.
If you have time, it is also connected to the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world. Climbing to the top of the Burj Khalifa (or to its 124th floor) allows you a beautiful view of the city skyline. With lots of restaurants around, it might be worth booking a table with outdoor seating and a view of the Dubai fountain – the world’s tallest performing fountain, performing up to 150m.
Syna admits that even “as a resident, I find it overwhelming as well” simply due to the mall’s magnitude. Be prepared for the size of the Dubai Mall and its many levels, and for a tiring day with lots of steps, but worry not – there are plenty of food spots inside to keep you going!
Her top tip is to avoid going in the late evenings, as it is always crowded, even on weekdays, let alone during the weekend. For the best experience, go at midday and stay until the evening. The best way to get to the Dubai Mall is by the metro, but you can always take a taxi as well.
Anya from Brooklyn:
Another one of our writers, Anya, gives her tourist insight to New York from her perspective as a resident of Brooklyn. Her first recommendation is the promenade, offering really nice views while also allowing you to explore the “really beautiful historic neighbourhood” of Brooklyn Heights.
Her second recommendation is biking through Brooklyn Bridge Park into Red Hook, and grabbing a bite at Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie while you’re at it. Alternatively, Anya suggests going into Dumbo and checking out Time Market and grabbing a bite from any of the bakeries, but especially her favorite – Almondine.
If you’re thinking of doing some shopping, the top suggestion would be to explore areas such as Williamsburg, Greenpoint or Bushwick for vintage. If you’re visiting during a warmer time of year, a visit to the beautiful Brooklyn botanical garden is a must and so is a weekend in Smorgasburg in Williamsburg.
In terms of getting around, your best bet is walking, cycling, or taking the subway.
Mary Helen from Charleston:
For Charleston in South Carolina, our Head of PR gives her top recommendation from her hometown. Mary Helen especially recommends visiting Sullivan’s Island, about twenty minutes outside of downtown Charleston. A small island town offering “some of the best beaches in South Carolina as well as food and history!”.
Mary Helen has three insider tips to offer any of our readers wanting to visit:
- Park and then make your way to Station 22 ½ for beautiful lighthouse views and sunbathing
- The best restaurants to keep an eye out for are Sullivan’s Fish Camp for seafood and drinks, The Coop for frosé and lunch, and Obstinate Daughter for dinner and ice cream.
- For some historic touristing, take a walk around Fort Moultrie, especially beautiful at sunset as the sun sets right behind the city, or go on a day tour on Charleston’s role in the American Civil War, allowing you a glimpse at where the first shots of the war were fired.
Samantha from San Diego:
Lastly, our writer Samantha gives her top tips from San Diego, California. Unsurprisingly, the beaches are very popular, particularly Del Mar or La Jolla. If beaches aren’t your thing, then maybe consider one of next the top attractions – Balboa Park, “a great place to walk around especially during summer time, where they have all of these fun festivals going on with a beautiful backdrop of the buildings”, all while also offering plenty of museums and cafes to explore nearby. Lastly, consider San Diego Zoo, one of the best in the country, and its gondola rides from the parking lot.