What's your favorite travel destination and why?

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.
i can echo the above sentiments for most of western europe my hands-down favourite place is the queen charlotte islands, Haida Gwaii.

completely isolated temperate rainforest, unbelievable fishing, a majestic history on the edge of the continental shelf. The storms in the hecate straight and enormity of everything have a very humbling effect. Walk out, catch some crabs by hand, or buy some halibut cheeks at the docks and have dinner watching the sun set on what feels like the edge of the planet.

bring a suitcase of wine - i dont think they have any at the co-op. we did.
Italy is the place that I’m most looking forward to returning to out of everywhere I have been. I have spent a good amount of time in France and Spain, and while I’m looking forward to exploring both place many more times, Italy is my favorite in that part of the world for the food, culture and natural beauty. My favorite big city in the world is London and we made a promise to ourselves that we will find the time to go back every 2-3 years.

Would love to go back to Japan now that I’m not an extremely poor student. Would also love to go to Korea and eat for a week.

For local trips, I love Santa Barbara, Palm Desert, SF and Carmel/Monterey. We try to do some sort of combo of those every year for a long weekend. We like doing long weekends in NY, Chicago and Seattle to name a few. Would like to do a golf and bbq trip at some point in the mid-west. This list could go on and on.
quote:
Originally posted by scbeerman:
The locals in Ireland were looking for warmer temps. Ireland has at least 20 world class courses, and I have not heard of one in Portugal.


...and cheaper beerman. Ireland is broke and nearly destitute by their complete socialism. The stories I could share with you could be a Ph.D level study at the Wharton business school.

They fly to Portugal for the week, play 27 holes a day, eat and drink with great freedom, fly business class and still have money to burn compared to their homeland. Crazy

Let's chat the next time we share wine together.
Paris-- culture, food, wine, people, ambiance. I absolutely love walking the streets, pretty much aimlessly, for hours.

Prague, London, and Barcelona are my and my wife's other favourites, but Paris holds a very powerful place in our hearts. And San Francisco, for exactly the same reasons as Paris, is high up there as well.

That said, we're looking at Antarctica at the end of this year. Gonna eat me some penguin! Smile
quote:
Ireland is broke and nearly destitute by their complete socialism .

quote:
[Some of the Irish] fly to Portugal for the week, play 27 holes a day, eat and drink with great freedom, fly business class and still have money to burn compared to their homeland.


Which is totally the sign of socialism run amuck! (And has nothing to do with unregulated investment markets and irresponsible government austerity measures) Razz Devilish
W+A,

I am sure that you have stories on the Irish economy, and I agree with your assessment of socialism. As far as the golf, I know that the top tier courses in Ireland are pricey, as the tour operators have different rates. Since I only go every three years, I am glad to pay for the "lifetime" experiece. The Portugese golf experience seems similar to what we have in Myrtle Beach, lots of good golf and sun (hopefully cold beer fits in here) for reasonable prices.
Spent 3 months in Australia, loved every minute, especially the people. I'd probably park in Sydney, but Byron Bay is very laid back as well.

Florence is my favorite in Italy, and after my wife's first visit 6 years ago, she agrees. As noted, everything you want, all within walking distance.

Strictly beauty, Hawaii has to be it; pick an island, each more beautiful than the next.
Beaches of Rio
Cliffside restaurants of Oia, Santorini
Franschhoek a short drive from Cape Town
Scenery of Stellenbosch wine region
Diving on Great Barrier Reef
Biking the hills of Woodside, CA
Highlands, N Carolina
West end of Curacao
Back bowls of Vail
Top of 99 Chair at Canyons
Santa Margheritta, Italy
Incas Trail, Peru

Ardeis in Seminole
quote:
Originally posted by scbeerman:
W+A,

I am sure that you have stories on the Irish economy, and I agree with your assessment of socialism.


Beermen, you will not believe the stories I was told by taxi drivers, bartenders, hotel managers, restaurant owners and such. Their people under 30 are exiting the country like they did in 1900.

I have a friend here from Ireland, and she warned me. There is an inn and bar in Cork that has been there since the 1800's with my last name, and the current owners children are thinking of moving in lieu of taking over the business from their parents. Frown

Also, please understand I'm not saying go play golf in Portugal in lieu of Ireland, not in the least. That would be silly. I was only saying I was shocked how the Irish went to Portugal to play golf instead of playing in Ireland and Scotland. ($$$)

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