Six Must-See Destinations

Six Must-See DestinationsHave you been dreaming of the trip of a lifetime? Is 2014 the year you are going to finally make that dream a reality? Here are some absolute must-see destinations for you to consider!

For beach bums:
Negril
Take a journey with me, along a meandering coastal road, dotted with almond trees, small homes, and tantalizing glimpses of clear blue ocean. As you disembark, what you see before you is almost beyond description; powdery white sand and breathtakingly clear turquoise water gently caressing the shore. You wade in the warm current and wiggle your toes. Twenty feet out, you are still wading and you can still see your toes. You laugh with joy as the warm sunshine kisses your bare shoulders. This is Negril. When you go to Negril –because you simply must go – you will be content doing nothing more than lounging by the near-perfect water with not a thought in your head but how good God is to create a place like this. However, it is well worth your while to go scuba diving in the pristine waters, featuring beautiful coral. Whatever you do, don’t leave before you grab a front-row seat to watch the sunset up at Rick’s Café. When the sun paints the sea and sky vibrant shades of gold and crimson, you’ll feel more alive, more grateful, and more at peace than perhaps ever before.

Miami Beach
Take heart, Floridians, our backyard is a great place to be! While there are lots of great locations dotting our coastline from Delray Beach to Deerfield Beach, Miami Beach edges out just ahead for its amazing variety of things to do. Take the time to try the four S’s: steam, spa, shop, and savor. Miami Beach is home to one of the few Turkish & Russian Baths in the country. The facility features a saltwater Jacuzzi and several rooms with varying degrees of heat from the Finnish Sauna to the mother of all steam rooms, the Russian Room. After a few rounds of steam, interspersed with buckets of ice-cold water, you’ll feel cleansed and thoroughly detoxed. Miami Beach is home to several luxurious spas as well, featuring a wide range of services, such as the organic Uhma Spa. After a relaxing day at the spa, stop over at Lincoln Mall to browse the many shopssavor tasty food and people-watch at a sidewalk bistro.

For adventure seekers:
St. Lucia
St. Lucia could rightly be called the emerald of the Caribbean. Green and lush, this hidden gem has so much to offer. First, take a trip to the world’s only drive-through volcano and walk between the bubbling sulphur springs at Soufriere as they sizzle and steam beside you. Make sure you stop to soak in the rejuvenating mineral-impacted mud, which is reputed to make you look and feel years younger. You can also zipline in St. Lucia’s renowned rainforest and hike Les Pitons – the island’s twin peaks defining its skyline.

Aspen
There are few more fun places to spend the winter. Aspen has it all: cozy and romantic log cabins, world-renowned skiing, and spectacular vistas. Don’t feel confined to visit during peak season, however. Aspen is also a perfect setting in summer or fall for hiking, horseback riding and racing four-wheelers along the dizzyingly high ridges, while the crisp mountain air brings tears to your eyes and color to your cheeks.

For art lovers:
Barcelona
Barcelona is often overlooked for some of Europe’s more famous cities like Paris or Rome, but it’s a treasure of Spanish art and architecture. Take a stroll through the city to marvel at the work of modernist architect, Antoni Gaudi. Park Guell, for instance is a cross between a living fairytale and an English garden city. Sagrada Familia is one of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks – an unfinished church punctuated by treelike pillars and towers representing the apostles. Art lovers should be sure to check out the Museu Picasso or Fundacio Joan Miro. A definite must is to sample the exciting offerings of this Catalan city like Can Culleteres or Chicoa.

Florence
Perhaps no place has been quite as important to art as Florence – the birthplace of the Renaissance. As you stroll through the city, you won’t be able to miss the Duomo, the city’s most iconic landmark, defined by an unmistakable red-tiled roof, graceful bell tower (campanile) and its pink, white and green marble façade. With so much to see, it is difficult to know where to start first. The Uffizi Gallery is a must-see with paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. If you get overwhelmed by all the splendor, head up to the rooftop café, which features a terraced hanging garden where the Medici clan once whiled away the hours. Other must-see locations include the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, the Piazza della Signoria and the Teatro del Sale where you can dine while watching live performances of drama, music, or comedy.

What is the most memorable place you’ve ever traveled to? Tell us about your experience by emailing [email protected]

Keisha McDonnough is a research analyst and writer. A Jamaican native and South Florida resident, she is passionate about poetry and vow writing. Check out her website at
everaftervows.com.

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