I love the cote d'azure in May. There's so much going on, film festival, Grand prix, etc, but the summer crowds haven't shown up yet.

I love the German and Austrian Christmas Markets in December. Nothing gets me in the Xmas spirit like Gluhwein and pretzels. Its so nice not to deal with the "American" Christmas marketing machine. Snow is always prettier there too.
Original Post
I would be hard pressed to identify one favorite travel destination. In fact, I have many based on what I've visited thus far. However, I believe there are dozens more where I have not traveled that I am certain would be on my Top 25 one day.

With that said, Italy, Hawaii, and California are the most frequent places I have visited and have never disappointed.
Like so many other things, 'favorite travel destinations' change as you go through life. Not just because you have more exposure to other places (which one does of course) but as we go through life our perspective changes.

In my mid/late 20's Hawaii was my favorite travel destination (had a condo on Maui and traveled there a few times a year)

In my mid 30's - early 40's I lived in Europe I loved skiing in St-Anton, Austria and 3-Vallie, France in the Winter and hiking/mountain climbing in the Alps in the Summer. Italy (especially the Dolomites and Tuscany were incredible regular destinations.

Since relocating back to Montreal I've loved rediscovering Canada. The Charlevoix region is incredible and I and want to get back over to the Atlantic regions (Halifax, Sept Illes, etc)Lobster traps, Oysters and loads of other seafood. Yum! Putzing through little fishing villages and hiking along the coast. Nice!

The older I get the more I love the simpler things.
I am not a huge world traveler so I am sure there are many fine destinations that I am unaware of. However, in my limited experience, my favorite place in the world in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I know, it is a tourist resort, and the people depend on tourism for much of their economy. But after having spent a considerable amount of time there, I also know that the locals are some of the friendliest people I've ever met.
I've been elsewhere in the world where there always seems to be a barely hidden, simmering hostility toward Americans. (And truth be told, after witnessing some of the ridiculous behavior of a few other Americans abroad, I can sometimes sympathize.)
But the people in PV bring "friendly" to another level. They still go out of their way to welcome you and make you feel comfortable, even if they aren't making a sale.
And the fact that it's usually sunny and warm, as opposed to where I live, doesn't hurt either.

Before I pass though, I'd still like to visit Ireland to see if I can track down any distant relatives; and Italy to tour the wine country.
I cannot choose just one.

When I'm in London I feel like I belong there.

Florence is the most romantic, wonderful, uplifting city in the world to me. Plus I love the Tuscan hillsides and hill towns... the wine doesn't suck. Smile

Turkey is just awesome: Istanbul is the most interesting city to me. Kushadasi is peaceful, the ruins at Ephesus, my favorite, and Antalya is a great resort (though not my favorite).

I spent many of my childhood summers near Lahina in Maui, and that holds a special place in my heart.

Paris, in many ways, is my favorite big city.
Many I could name. The Cote d'Azur, mentioned in the original post is my pick for the most boring, overrated place in the world. Boring, stuck-up people, boring architecture, boring gravel beaches. Yet, go inland 20 miles and all is reversed.

My favorites are, in no particular order:

The National Parks of the United States
Provence
Israel
Barcelona
The Loire Valley
The wilderness of Nunavut
Spain- al of it
The Scottish Highlands
The Rhone Valley
Burgundy
Champagne
Venice
Tenerife
There are many places in Europe that I have not been and I'm sure certain some will make the list, but of the places I've been...

Hong Kong - Whenever I try to explain it to anyone I say it's like NY, Vegas and both northern and southern CA all rolled into one location. It wouldn't rank very high as a vacation destination, but I love it there none the less and it's a great travel destination.

Australia - I spent a fair amount of time in Sydney and would love to see the rest of the country. I think what I like about Australia the most is the Aussies (and the Kiwi's too). They are a more laid back and friendly version of Americans.

The Greek Isles - Just gorgeous. On occasion I still dream of looking out over the caldera high up from the "hotel" on Santorini drinking some wine as the sun went down.
Not sure how to answer, but today my criteria is... where have I been to numerous times, yet must return to again.

Florence, a city that lacks for nothing, yet is still small and walkable. So many great weekend trips nearby.

Paris at night is sheer magical to me, and has everything I love so much in life. The direct train to Champagne does not hurt my feelings at all. Wink

Old City of Jerusalem. I am simply mesmerized as I explore the four quarters.

London, a place I would love to spend 2-3 years.

NYC, a place D and I want to rent a place for a year.

Vienna, such an intelligent city with great culture.

My motor tends to race very high, but Brittany, Normandy, Amalfi Coast, Lake Como, Bruges and Tiberias all seem to reduce my motors idle a great deal. Wink

Looks like Spain or Turkey is up next ( subject to change) and a weekend with my twin DoktaP in Tuscany for his birthday next year.
I've been to a great many places but not many make me pine to go back to to the point where I would miss out if I didn't. Plus there are so many places I'd like to see, that it's often tough to want to go back to the familiar travel spot when I could experience something new. Usually it's only to let someone else experience what I've been able to and share it.

Like a few have said, London is one of those places but I feel so comfortable there, it is a little like going, not home, but back to a place that used to be home. Thanksfully I'm there 3-5 times a year so the itch is regularly scratched.

Cape Town is another one of those places where I feel instantly at home and do pine to go back to. My wife's South African, so I will certainly be back every once in a while. Again, like London less of a holiday destination and more of a homecoming despite never living there for more than a few months.

Bali would fit the list as would Martinique. Newfoundland certainly. Napa too. Grenada (and southern spain in general) most certainly. M wife won't let me take her to the South Pacific for fears I'll get more tattoos but I'd like to show here Fiji and Vanuatu.

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