America has so much to offer its guest and because the country is big in size it can be easy to miss certain locations that might not be well known. That would be a big shame as this country gives you the opportunity to see so many different types of scenery and cities- you’ll have the chance to witness everything from beautiful coastlines to majestic mountains ranges. Whether you’re down south or traveling to the altitudes of the north, due to its vast and expansive size there are so many states that are either overlooked or underrated. Remember, before discovering these underrated states, make yourself aware that you are carrying the correct visa to avoid disruption when entering the US. Enjoy the peace of mind and apply for your ESTA visa at https://www.esta-visa.org.uk/ so you can enter the land of dreams and enjoy the best the States has to offer.
Now that you’re covered, it’s time to get those travel boots on because here are the top states in America you should visit:
Forget about tourists, most Americans have never seen Maine, the sparsest populated state east of Mississippi. Resting quietly, almost invisible to its surroundings, there is a reason why Maine is called ‘Vacationland’. Maine offers a unique, natural setting that has been luring summer tourists for decades. It contains a tranquil and temperate setting for its visitors to submerge themselves in calming nature and rural life and they can find endless things to do and places to explore.
To many Americans, Minnesota is just another state in flyover country, somewhere just situated between the east coast and the Rockies towards Canada. But this state is hugely overlooked; it contains a bolstering art scene, a vibrant outdoor culture, affordable prices and a friendly atmosphere, making Minnesota a perfect place for a weekend or a nice trip.
Arkansas is not known by most but the Razorback State is an undeservedly overlooked state in America, underrated for its BBQ’s and spa town tranquillity. It can be said that this state is home to the best or worst college cheer, the best or worst former president, and the best former NATO supreme allied commander. So, you could say the traits it shows off are a bit hit and miss.
Another underrated and overlooked state is Alaska. It is one of America’s greatest remaining expanses of truly unspoiled wilderness and judgement-free opportunities. In your free time watch for those rogue bears whilst enjoying the stunning beauty and eerie silence of walking on a glacier
The place that invented the cheeseburger, the can opener, ESPN, and Rick Mahorn… need I say more? Well if you go in the autumn, then yes I do! Connecticut is known for its New England Autumns and one of the nicest things about Connecticut is that in the northern part, the autumns have the same appeal as places like Vermont or New Hampshire- beautiful foliage and greenery that is unmatched almost anywhere in the United States.
I don’t know about you, but now that the excitement of Christmas is over, I’m ready for the next adventure. I think the only way to lift the January blues is to look ahead to the next place I intend to visit, and this year I’m looking at Rome as one of my top picks. Here are just a few of the reasons why I can’t wait to book a summer trip there this year, and why you shouldn’t hesitate either!
You can take part in Estate Romana
From June through to September, Estate Romana (or Roman Summer) takes over the many streets, parks and piazze of this ancient city. This annual festival is always greatly anticipated by tourists and locals alike, as it’s packed with a long list of events held in various locations across the city.
Local, up-and-coming bands perform live music, and if you’re quick to grab a picnic spot, there are dozens of films shown on outdoor screens late into the night. From famous literature readings to culinary feats by the greatest chefs around, this is one event that I simply cannot wait for, and as most of them are free to attend, so there’s no excuse for you to miss out.
You can watch classic operas under the stars
There are only a handful of places in the world that do opera well, and Rome is one of them. Not only because they have some of the greatest productions in the world, but because the surroundings in which you can enjoy them are so different from anywhere else!
If you prefer high-society and the decadent surroundings of an authentic opera house, then you can spend an evening at the Teatro Costanzi. If you’d like something a little more unique though, then why not try out the romantic ‘opera under the stars’ experience at the Terme di Caracalla instead? I’ll certainly be heading there during this year’s warm summer evenings – if you’d like to join me, just make sure you book your tickets in advance via www.romeoperatickets.com, as they sell out fast!
It’s perfect for lovers of theater and dance
There are two events in particular that will appeal to the creative people reading this post. Firstly, the Cosmophonies Festival Internazionale di Ostia Antica is held from June until mid-September, and this is a celebration of theatre, dance and music. The international festival is held in the ancient theatre of Ostia Antica, and offers the stage to groups such as Sonic Youth, Morrissey, Caetano Veloso and Jackson Browne.
As if that wasn’t enough, why not stick around for the annual Fiesta? Held from mid-June to mid-August, this Latin American-themed festival is a great example of how diverse Rome is, allowing almost a million people over the summer months to enjoy a variety of Latin American bands, as well as sample some authentic cuisine from the many pop-up stalls.
Have I convinced you that Rome is the place to be this summer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below…
If you are planning a long trip, taking the right clothes with you is extremely important. You want to be comfortable, but definitely do not want to be lugging around things that you do not really need. The globetrotter packing tips below will help you to do exactly that.
Dressing for the journey
The most difficult part of any trip is the journey. If you are going to be on the road, or in the air, for a prolonged length of time comfort has to be your primary consideration. Being comfortable is what makes the journey bearable, even enjoyable.
It is best to dress in flexible clothes, and wear layers rather than wear bulky items. Travelling in men’s joggers is far more comfortable than wearing stiff tight jeans that will cut into you if you have to sit for a prolonged period.
Tops and jackets
Wearing a t-shirt, with a light shirt and a wind and waterproof jacket is usually enough to keep you warm and dry. However, if you have a tendency to feel the cold wear a light jumper too, or buy a jacket that has a lining that can be zipped in and out. That way you can wear it separately should you need to.
The jacket you choose should have enough pockets to allow you to keep the essentials to hand. You need to be able to get to your passport and travel documents without having to go through your hand luggage.
It is important to have somewhere safe and secure to store your phone and money. Of course, you can keep these items in a bag, but if they are in your coat, you can feel them, so know they exactly where they are. Also, a coat is less likely to be snatched by a thief, or left somewhere by mistake. If you have the space, keep a charger, or power pack, in your coat pocket too. That way if you experience delays you can potentially keep your phone charged using a socket in a restaurant or airport lounge.
The item many people get wrong is footwear. Shoes and boots take up a lot of space, and are often heavy too, so you need to minimise what you take. The best approach is to have one pair of sturdy covered in shoes or boots to wear while travelling or walking around. Then buy a pair of light sandals or flip flops for when you are in the room, on the beach or just popping out for a drink.
It is also important to take a couple of pairs of socks. Even if you are travelling somewhere hot, they can come in handy. They make a good alternative to slippers, and will save the day should it turn out that your shoes or boots were not as well worn in as you thought, and are rubbing.
As you can see, you need surprisingly little. Besides which, in most places, you can easily buy what you need, and replace the essentials as you go.
There is a good lightweight travel checklist available on this page. It tells you everything you will need to take with you for any trip, and explains how to make it all fit into hand luggage.
Niagara Falls is one of the most romantic holiday destinations in the world, so winter is the perfect time to visit. Festive decorations, fresh snow on the ground and plenty of activities for all the family. The problem is, where do you start? If you’re planning to explore Niagara Falls over the winter period, here are just three top things to do in the area.
- 1. See the Winter Festival of Lights
Tucked up cosily beneath your bed sheets, with the view of the Falls from your bedroom window, you probably think you’ve got the best view of the area from one of the Niagara Falls hotels, but you’d be wrong. You’ll only be able to catch a glimpse of what this area has to offer, because at this time of year the Winter Festival of lights spreads throughout the land. This year, the theme is Aura: Let it Glow.
Every year the display gets bigger, better and brighter, as millions of twinkling lights deck every lamppost, tree and building for 56km. This festival is truly breath-taking to behold, bursting with colour and creativity, as many of the displays are in fact animated, and you can find them nestled within the foliage of Niagara Parks, Dufferin Islands and surrounding tourist districts.
- 2. Winter icewine tasting event
If you’re more of a wine connoisseur than a nature lover, there are still plenty of reasons to head this way in 2017. On January 13th, there’s the Xerox “Sugar and Spice and Everything Ice” Icewine Gala; held at the Fallsview Casino Resort, this sensational evening will spoil you with the very best tipples from over 35 of Niagara’s wineries. This is Canada’s largest tasting event of internationally acclaimed VQA Icewines and table wines, but the fun doesn’t end there. This event marks the beginning of the Winter Winefest in Jordan Village.
Held from 13th to the 15th January, this annual celebration brings together Niagara’s top winemakers, chefs and premium VQA wines. With fine-dining, sparkling and Icewine served by cosy fires, and plenty of artisanal cocktails to go around, simply sit back and enjoy the live entertainment. If you can’t make it, you can always travel here between 27th and 29th for the Niagara Icewine Festival instead, at the Scotiabank Convention Centre.
- 3. Take in the local attractions
Of course, let’s not forget the dozens of other attractions that Niagara Falls is famous for. You’ll have to take the traditional Hornblower Cruise up to the base for the Falls, or you might decide to hop on a jet boat as the bracing temperatures of the water will certainly give you a thrill!
At this time of year, a walk through the surrounding parkland is particularly picturesque, and for those of you who are adrenalin junkies, why not travel in style? You can either take a helicopter tour around Fallsview, or try out the latest attraction: a zipline!
When are you heading to Niagara Falls? Be sure to let us know by leaving a comment in the section below.
Popular with tourists since the package holiday explosion, Benidorm is the brash hub of the Costa Blanca and a must see for anyone visiting this stretch of the Mediterranean coast line. But if you want to experience the true Spanish character of the place then the Holiday Taxis team’s recommended destination must be the Old Town. With its maze of charming, winding streets, lined with bars and cafes, and the beautiful plaza and church, the Old Town retains something of the feel of bygone Benidorm having maintained its identity and a multitude of its original buildings. It is where many of Benidorm’s Spanish residents choose to live and work.
The Old Town is a charming place to stay, and visitors are catered for by numerous pleasant hotels and restaurants many of which enjoy expansive views over the sea.
If shopping is your thing the Old Town will more than satisfy with famous name brands nestling up against boutique jewelers and clothing stores. The area is convenient for pedestrians but try to remember that the heat of midday is rather forbidding, and many shops will close for the siesta from 2pm until they reopen at 5pm. Busy shopping streets include the Calle Ruzafa and the Calle Ricardo.
If you just want to indulge your taste buds the Old Town is where you will find the best in Mediterranean cuisine with many establishments offering plentiful choice and an affordable night out. For the real taste of Spain go for one of the myriad Tapas bars. Loud and exciting, they offer an enjoyable and invigorating meal experience. Choose from the many small dishes, and wash your meal down with a little rioja. For some of the resorts superb bistro style restaurants try the Calle La Palma.
If you are visiting during fiestas there is often an artisans market with a spread of well priced paintings, ceramics and locally produced gifts.
And as for beautiful commanding views simply walk up to the head land beyond the church of San Jaime- just follow its blue dome to the top- and be sure to have you camera at the ready in order to capture the panoramic spread of Benidorm below you.
Why not take in the Church of San Jaime itself with its beautiful blue tiled dome. The domineering landmark of the Old Town is located at the highest point and it is well worth a visit. Constructed between 1740 and 1780, it houses a famous carving of the ‘Blessed Virgin’.
From here you can walk the many steps down to Mal Pas beach at the foot of the headland. The way is lined with thousands of lovers’ locks each of which is a charm token left in the hope of lasting love. The steps lead down to a small cove and the beach which is an oasis of calm compared to some of the more well known neighboring beaches.
The ‘gay village’ has been one of the features of the night life in the Old Town for over 30 years. The majority of the gay bars are situated on Calle Santa Faz, and for those looking for an alternative night out they are open from midnight. The atmosphere is fun and friendly, and the drag shows in venues like the Queens and Kafee Klee are outrageous.
All in all Benidorm’s Old Town offers many exciting sights, sounds and tastes for an exhilarating and characterful holiday experience.