Growing up I have always loved traveling. From the change in scenery to trying new things and meeting new people, it has always been something I enjoy. Sometimes even the closest places to home can bring the most memorable experiences. Although there are still countless places I want to see, here is a list of five of my favorite places I have traveled to that you should consider checking out as well!
1. Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai is definitely one of my top favorite places I have ever been to! Huge mountains and large waterfalls cover the island, making everywhere you turn a sight you never want to take your eyes off. I definitely recommend going on a helicopter tour, seeing the island from above was incredible. Jurassic Falls, the waterfall in the movie Jurassic Park, was definitely one of my favorite stops in Hawaii as well. It is a huge waterfall tucked away in Kauai’s vast mountains, and standing in front of it makes you feel like you are in the film itself among dinosaurs! It is only accessible by helicopter, but is on the top of my list as a must see in Kauai! There were other little things that made my trip just as amazing, such as going on a hike and swimming in a small swimming hole we stumbled upon. You can’t go wrong in Kauai and the pineapple is amazing!
2. Water Island, U.S Virgin Islands
If you’re looking for a tropical vacation, but want to escape all of the tourism, Water Island is the place for you! It is a small island off of the coast of St. Thomas with a population of 182. The island is definitely remote. The roads are too small for cars, so the main mode of transportation is golf carts. All of the locals know each other, and everyone is super friendly. The beaches are quiet and there is great snorkeling in the clear blue Caribbean water. Honeymoon Beach is a beautiful spot with a tiki bar and restaurant right on the sand! Make sure to watch out for Barry though, a barracuda that resides in the water of Honeymoon beach!
3. Long Beach Island, New Jersey
Long Beach Island, a place I have been traveling to since I was a baby, is one of my all time favorite places in the world. It is on the coast of New Jersey, and definitely much closer than the other destinations. The waves are perfect for surfing or boogie boarding, and at low tide you can hunt for sand crabs. There is something about the sand on the Jersey Shore that, in my opinion, makes it the best sand in the world! In addition to the beautiful beaches, there is a lot to do around the island. You can hop on a boat and go on a fishing expedition, visit Old Barney (the lighthouse), shop in the countless stores, eat ice cream, go to the free beach concerts, and watch the sunsets off of the bay. Free LBI shuttles make exploring the island super easy, however almost everything on the island is accessible by bike, making it a perfect summer destination!
4. Lucerne, Switzerland
I traveled to Switzerland a few years ago, and I would definitely recommend it! The culture and food is amazing, and the views of the Swiss Alps are spectacular. One of my most memorable experiences is taking the steepest cogwheel train in the world up Mount Pilatus. Although a bit scary, the views were incredible and by the time you reach the top you can see for miles! In the middle of June we were having snowball fights at the top of the Swiss Alps which was a great experience. On the way down you can stop at a rope park and take on a rigorous rope course over the Swiss Alps! I would definitely recommend checking Lucerne out- if not for the mountains, do it for the Swiss chocolate!
5. Costa Rica
Costa Rica was such an incredible trip because there are countless activities! We jet-skied, went horseback riding, took mud baths in natural springs, and ate Costa Rican meals. My favorite activity was definitely ziplining through the jungle! We spotted animals while in the trees and were able to fly through the thick Costa Rican vegetation. One of the most common animals is the Coati, which we saw everywhere roaming around outside our hotel. Even at the hotel you feel like you are deep in the jungle, and it is an incredible experience! Also, if you take Spanish, this trip is for you! My spanish speaking skills were put to the test when I had to communicate with our taxi driver, but this made me feel like 9 years of Spanish paid off! With temperatures reaching 100 degrees, make sure to bring sunscreen and stay hydrated!