RCL Exclusive


Travel
By InsideHook Editors

This month, our friends at InsideHook are launching a once-weekly travel newsletter. What it won’t include: longwinded diaries about backpacking through third-world countries and people “finding themselves.” What it will include: actionable advice on new and intriguing destinations around the world, along with hacks, tips and tricks to help you jetset more intelligently. Sign up for free (and a chance to win a $500 Mastercard travel card) here.

This year, most of us will at some point spend an ungodly sum of money to board a flying bus, have our picture taken in front of a building and sleep in someone else’s bed for a week.

Talking about your vacation.

To help you spend it wisely (and sans the bland building photo), we put together a compendium of the 25 best destinations our editors reported on over the last year or two.

Some near (Jeeping over slick rock in Utah). Some far (Sipping rare whisky in … Taiwan?). Some spendthrift (hello, hotel literally built for a king). Some threadbare (just you, a tent, and the best sunrise in the Lower 48).

And zero pictures in front of bland buildings. Scout’s honor.

(Getty)

NORTH AMERICA: SMALL TOWNS

For Kayaking Through the Middle of Nowhere: Devil’s River, TX

“Because it’s buttressed by private land, you can only exit the river at certain locations or in an emergency — we passed one sign that said, ‘Keep paddling, we’re tuning our banjos.’”

For the Exhilaration of Nearly Rolling a Jeep Off a Cliff: Moab, UT

“Here, off-roading is life. And unlike those stock car commercials, that’s not an overstatement.”

For Giving Florida a Chance: Fort Myers and Sanibel, FL

“Beyond the ‘Florida Man’ reputation, there are pockets of paradise to be found in the Sunshine State. The well-trod Florida Keys were consummate tastemaker Ernest Hemingway’s favored sub-tropical hideaway, after all.”

Distant clouds made for interesting background against a lightened foreground. Morning sunrise shadows added a little extra to the mood. Badlands National Park. (Getty)

For the Best Sunrise in the Lower 48: Badlands, SD

“There comes a time when you can comfortably admit wrongdoing in your past. And a sunrise over Badlands National Park — held against the time I couldn’t be forced out of the car on a family road trip — is one of them.”

For People Who Are Sick of the Hamptons: Catskills, NY

“It’s between these creeks and peaks that many an enterprising urbanite — from brilliant hoteliers in Hunter to apple warlocks in Andes — have flexed their creativity in recent years, giving the rest of us a very necessary opportunity to stretch our legs a few clicks north.”

(Getty)

For Enjoying a Bona Fide Southern Revival: El Dorado, AR

“The first thing to know about El Dorado is the locals pronounce it ‘Al Doraydo.’ The second thing is before the new $100m Murphy Arts District, there was no real reason to visit.’’

For, Uh, Your Health: The Bourbon Trail, KY

“There are more bourbon barrels than people in Kentucky, and, depending on the distillery, barrel aging accounts for between 40 and 80% of what bourbon tastes like. It’s the charred new white oak that gives the spirit its vanilla and caramel flavors. Checking out how those barrels are fashioned for aging bourbon is a must-see for any whiskey diehard.”

Read the full list at InsideHook.com.

(InsideHook)

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