Up And Coming International Vacation Spots

By Laurie Jo Miller Farr

We consulted with a travel expert regarding up-and-coming worldwide destinations. As founder of We Blog the World, an online luxury lifestyle website dedicated to transformative travel with more than one million followers, Renee Blodgett offered insights into a handful of top picks that touch on adventure, urban art and culture, oceans and islands.germany1 Up And Coming International Vacation Spots

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Germany: A Tale Of Two Cities

In 2017, Germany ushers in the next 500 years as it marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luthers Protestant Reformation. Music is key as the nation at the heart of Europe looks to tomorrow. If you havent been to Berlin since the 1989 fall of the wall, the transformation is nothing less than startling to the senses. Mighty cranes dot the Berlin skyline as the city re-builds and re-invents itself as a major cultural center. Eyes and ears are tuned in to Museum Island in the capital citys lively Mitte district where the beloved Berlin State Opera, an 18th century landmark, reopens after a seven-year restoration. Hop on a train for the 90-minute journey to handsome Hamburg, Germanys second-largest city. Wander across bridges over canals, along rows of restored red brick warehouses to reach Elbphilharmonie, the citys striking new concert hall and symbol of the city. Built atop a historic warehouse, it balances elements of design and purpose, with views and programming that have already outpaced visits to the legendary Neuschwanstein Castle. Ease of travel is boosted by Air Berlins launch of new nonstop routes from San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as increased service from New York and Miami.

Related: 5 Must-Visit U.S. Destinations For History BuffsArgentina: Beyond Buenos Aires

Surprisingly, Latin America is often overlooked, considering the advantages of the southern hemispheres reverse seasonality and nearly zero jet lag for travelers from the USA. Outside of Buenos Aires, less is known about Argentinas diversity, natural beauty and ecotourism. Outdoor enthusiasts will be blown away by majestic Andes skiing in June through October, plus mountain climbing, trekking, kayaking, 44 safari and hydro-speed adventure options. Journey to protected areas where you can see wildlife and birdlife in their natural environments. Immerse yourself by learning how to herd cattle and ride across the Argentinian plains, combine BBQ or empanadas cooking classes with Spanish lessons, attend a tango dance class, or go sports fishing in freshwater streams and rivers. Experience a national park, greatly varied in terrain from the north to the south, with jungles, deserts, lakes, and forests. For a detour worth the effort, dont miss Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian border, the worlds largest waterfalls system. Argentina offers so many diverse choices, you could take several trips and still be aching for more.

phillipines1 Up And Coming International Vacation Spots

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Philippines: Tropical Paradise

Cebu Province is a tropical paradise that combines pristine beaches, cultural attractions, plus the best mangoes in the world. Unlike so many other islands that have become more built up and overcrowded, Cebu Island and its 150-plus surrounding islands havent lost their magic at all. Pack hiking boots and bathing suits to explore Olango Island’s Wildlife Sanctuary and on to the untouched volcanic Camotes with their abundant palm-lined beaches. See the crystal clear turquoise waters of Bantayan and the secluded bays of Malapascua and Mactan, where exquisite diving earns it the nickname “Diving Mecca of the South.” There’s also a sunken island off the west coast of Cebu, which makes a great bucket list item for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Not a water baby? Cebu has lively markets, bars, and eateries as well as many cultural sites, monuments, basilicas, temples, and museums.

Madagascar: Everything Unexpected

Looking for something more remote? Madagascar is on the tip of everyones tongue at blogger conventions and travel trade showcases. Its one of those untouched gems, like Mozambique was 15 years ago and Cuba was less than 10 years ago. For travelers who want to experience adventure, take a break from more traditional destinations. And if you feel comfortable with exploring the unknown, Madagascar is a viable off-the-beaten path choice brimming with natural beauty. Situated off the eastern coast of Africa, the island nation is comparable to the size of France but with 3,000 miles of coastline. Imagine: Five percent of all known animal and plant species on earth can only be found on Madagascar. If you’re into hiking through astonishing natural environment, you’ll find plenty of diverse terrain, taking you from rainforest to desert within 200 miles. See sandstone formations in Isalo National Park, the geysers of Analavory, and rare, ancient trees lining a dirt road known as Avenue of the Baobabs in the Menabe region.

Best Work // Study // Chill Spots in & Around Chicago 2013

The top 5 Study, Work, Chill Coffee Shops in Chicago

Looking for a comfy escape, where you can cozy up with a hot cup of coffee, and get some work done?

Needed:

Free Wi-Fi.

Good Coffee.

A place to call you own (seating).

We found the best (our favorites) in and around the Chicago area.

ImageIpsento Coffee House

A small Coffee Shop located in Chicagos Bucktown Neighborhood. It has two seating sections, one is in the front of the shop with bar seating looking out of the window to the street. As you walk toward the back, go up a few stairs and youre in the back section, which has more seating, bookshelves and boardgames.

This is a pretty popular little spot, but youll most likely be able to find a place to settle down and get some work done for a few hours. Another plus, plenty of plugs (theyre all over the place).

If good coffee is a high priority for you, this is where its at. The coffee is phenomenal and the staff takes much care and attention in making it so. Its roasted on location, and ground before each brew, just for you. In addition, the staff is courteous, respectful and made up of genuinely nice people.

Good music, gentle, not too loud, perfect for concentration conversation.

 ImageGaslight Coffee Roasters

A light, open and airy space, with large windows and plenty of seating. Located in Chicagos Logan Square neighborhood. Theres been lots of complaining about snobby staff on Yelp, which has in turn caused the staff to be overly nice, smiley and generous.

This place can get pretty crowded at peak times, but it is big enough to handle the load so you should have no problem grabbing a seat. The coffee is very good, roasted on location, and ground on demand. Good music, not terribly loud.

ImageCoffee Lab

Very small neighborhood shop. Its located in Evanston, IL, and is super clean, neat and organized.

Only has a few tables, but its rarely full. A perfect spot to get your study on, and dive deep into your work. They serve Intelligentsia coffee, and I would say it is good, but not great. If magical coffee is not a must for you, this will do just fine.

Music maybe a little on the loud side. Youll hear everything, from Lion King to Rent.

ImageArrivaDolce

The coffee gem of Higland Park, IL. If you live on the North Shore, in biking distance of the Green Bay Trail, you can take a scenic bike ride right on over to this little oasis.

Plenty of seating in this casual, open, airy and comfortable space. Its a great spot to meet up with friends, read the paper in the morning, or hunker down for a couple hours of work.

Oh and they have gelato, and stock *Alchemy scones (must arrive early to snag one before they sell out).

 ImageThe Wormhole Coffee

Located in Chicagos Wicker Park Neighborhood. Very much on the main drag, and almost always packed. If you find a spot, you are lucky, very lucky.

Each time Ive visited it has been thoroughly packed, its not a very big place and has a great location, making it a busy spot. They brew HalfWit Coffee, which is roasted in Chicago, and is quite good. They make it with a lot of care and attention, and trust me you wont be dissapointed.

A tiny bit of snob staff syndrome, but nothing a couple of comfy seats, wi-fi connection and perfect coffee cant cure.

  Sidenote

Image*Alchemy Coffee House

Must have scones. Its where the best scones youve ever had in your life reside. The coffee is good too. Not recommended for hanging around in, grab your crack scones, and head over to Gillson beach for a scenic snack.

Tip: In the event that there are no scones, customers will launch into rage mode.

Did we miss a spot? Let us know in the comments below!