Favorite Destinations + Link Party

By Kate Riley June 27, 2011

Greetings all, happy Monday!  How’s your summer so far?  Hope it’s going well!   I’m headed home this week, but so happy to be talking about favorite destinations today.  Nothing inspires me more than travel to faraway places.   Given the cost, travel is a luxury these days.  Nevertheless, I think it’s important to venture beyond our own backyard, and to live life as others do in this world, if only for a short time. 

There are always a few places that leave a lasting impression, so much so that they last your entire life.  Those places that leave you with not just a visual picture but an actual feeling when you conjure up images of days and nights spent there.  While some of our favorite and most relaxing adventures have taken place in our own home state, many of our favorite travels have taken place far away.  Here are my my top five favorites so far, however we have plans to travel to even more exotic places later in life!   

#5  Salzburg, Austria

I spent several weeks living and studying here many years ago.  My fellow students and I would spend afternoons in the markets and biergartens, and then weekends in Munich, Vienna. and Switzerland.  It was bliss.  The cobblestone streets, shops, Mirabel Castle, and the Salzach river stay with me to this day.  

#4  Barcelona, Spain

I celebrated my first anniversary here, and I’ll never forget the sounds and flavors of this city.   There is no shortage of things to see from La Rambla and Old Town, to the Picasso Museum and La Sagrada Familia.  Want to be inspired?  Be sure to visit Barcelona in your lifetime.  


#3 Cape Cod, Massachusetts

We spent ten days in September in Conneticut, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod many years ago, journeying up and down the coast, visiting towns from Chatham to Hyannis Port to Provincetown and dining on fresh seafood.  I loved it all, from the lighthouses and lobster dinners, to the sand dunes and rows of shingle siding houses.  I just can’t wait to go back someday to see Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. 

#2 Paris, France

What can one say when in Paris other than, “Vive la France!”   Talk about a town that will stay with you forever.   The architecture, the ambiance, the art, the food, the fromage.   There’s nothing like starting your day with a cafe au lait and croissant in Paris, visiting an art gallery or museum, lunching in a cafe, exploring a few arrondissments, then retiring with a good glass of wine and a view of La Tour Eiffel.  Ah, Paris, you’ll always be a favorite.    

#1  The Lakes Region, Italy

The one place that holds the key to my heart to this day is the lake region of Italy, specifically Bellagio, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore.  Oh my, this region is nothing shore of magical.  Oh Italy, I love you for Florence, Tuscany, and the Cinque Terre, Venice, Rome, and Capri, but The Lakes are just about the most enchanting place on earth.   

Now it’s your turn!   Link up your favorite destination, near or far, so we can dream with you too.  What travel spots or cities do you recommend? 



  1. Great idea for a post. We leave tomorrow for Barcelona where we will be taking a two week cruise with the kids around the Mediterranean. I’ll be back tomorrow morning to link up since I plan on having a post on my vacation plans.

  2. I’ve never been out of the country, and never been farther west than Dallas, TX. I dream of going to Italy, though. My grandfather was in WWII, and was stationed in Italy, and he always told me that it was one place he wanted to see again before he died. because of the stuff he used to tell me about it, I’ve just wanted to go.

    It’s funny that you mention Cape Cod… my husband is from MA, and we now live in CT (about a 2 hour drive from the Cape). He’s said for the last three summers that we should go. He used to go all the time as a kid, and thinks we would all like it. Maybe we’ll do that next weekend.

    Anyway, so now you know my limits of experience, but I can still share. When I was in college, I had to do two summer internships. My first one was pin Kennebunkport, ME (which I wouldn’t mind visiting again) but my second was in Minneapolis, MN. I ADORE Minneapolis. It was a city, but so country at the same time (and I like “country”, since I grew up on a farm.) I loved how you could walk anywhere and get somewhere different. I had so much fun there.

    I also loved the town where I went to college: Burlington, VT. Loved it. Every time I went downtown and passed the lake, I’d look to see if I could find Champ (never did) and the food and shopping were incredible, and the nightlife was fun, too (of course, what nightlife isn’t fun when you’re in college?)

  3. Though we don’t yet have a blog post that professes our love of Napa Valley, it is probably our #1 destination, with London a very close second. It is funny that your back yard is our best and mostly frequently visited destination.

  4. We are planning a trip to Southern Germany in 2 weeks and have plans to go to Salzburg. So glad to see your post about it…now I am even more excited about our trip!

  5. Yeah! This is right up my alley!! I am a Flight Attendant who travels constantly but only within the US. Some of our most fantastic areas are so close at hand and we miss them ever day. I linked up my trip to LA ans well as The Quest for The #1 Lobster Roll in Maine! :) Thanks for hosting!

  6. Thank you. A desired trip to Scotland isn’t looking promising, so instead, looking for somewhere for the whole family to go in July. One of these places might be it! Made my “job” much easier!

  7. Wow! You have been to some amazing places!!! I haven’t been able to travel yet but when I make it big I’ll have the funds to go to all these places! :)

  8. Wow! You have been to some amazing places!!! I haven’t been able to travel yet but when I make it big I’ll have the funds to go to all these places! :)

  9. I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but this is my first comment and first post on a link party. I live overseas and travel as much as I can. It’s always great to hear about other people’s adventures and find new places to visit. I loved Salzburg and Paris and hope to add the Lakes in Italy someday. I’m just starting a new blog about life in Europe and this party motivated me to add another post. Thanks and hope you have a great summer vacation!

  10. So this one time in Salzburg, I went to a mozart concerto at the top of the fortress (like it was in the fortress overlooking the city) and the whole thing is made of stone/cobblestone/brick/etc. Coming out of the fortress from the concert walking down the “little hill” to where you get on the ski lift thing to go back down, I just tripped and literally rolled down the so called “little hill” finally I stop and all these people are speaking German to me and think I am the dumbest American ever. I started speaking spanish- “Ayeuda! ayeuda!” help me help me. yea that didn’t work too great. And no, Maria, I will not climb every mountain now.

  11. thanks for hosting the link party, Kate! I loved Barcelona too. And I’ve been almost all over Italy, but still haven’t made it to the lakes. Must do that next trip to Italy. xo

  12. So pleased to see that you listed Cape Cod in your list of worldly places! As a Massachusetts girl, I have to say I share your love of the Cape :) You will definately have to take a trip to Martha’s Vineyard soon!

  13. I grew up in Massachusetts, and would vacation every year in Cape Cod. It’s such a special place to me! If you liked the Cape, I bet you’ll LOVE Bar Harbor, Maine. Try to get there if you head out east again! Thanks for the link-up, I’ve added my Girlfriend’s Guide to Charleston and Top 10 Things to Do on the Outer Banks. As much as I love to travel, I’ve yet to go to Europe and will live vicariously through your photos. Cheers!

  14. ohmygosh — I totally just hogged the linky party! I couldn’t choose just one or two…and honestly, didn’t realize I’ve written so many travel posts!

    I love your list, and hope to add them to mine someday. Hope you’re having a fab time, Kate! thanks for hosting!
    xo. C

  15. Hi, Kate! Thanks for hosting this fun party–I can’t wait to look around. Salzburg is, to me, one of the most beautiful cities. And such friendly people. Loved it! I thought about writing up all of my faves in post, but it would take too long…so I just picked one. :)

  16. This is awesome, thanks! I love showing people the beautiful places we’ve seen because I think they’re amazing!! At the same time, I love browsing all of the gorgeous destinations that we’ve never seen before… spectacular post!


  17. Spotted you party over on Twitter today! What a GREAT idea and wonderful way to getaway…. xo Thanks for hosting Kate!

    :D Lynda

  18. Dreaming of a great escape is so much fun. We’ve been all over, lived in Switzerland, have always traveled to far away places with our boys, and I have so many favorites near and far, but I have to say the place that makes my heart flutter – my absolute top spot – is the island of Bali. There is just nowhere on this planet like it. The island is beautiful with so many things to do, the people are the most wonderful in the world, the food is delicious, the artisans – you just have to see to believe the talent these people have. I just hope its recent popularity doesn’t ruin in!

  19. What a great link party. Thanks for hosting. I don’t have any posts on my blog about my travels, but my top 3 places that me & the hubby love are Maui, Kauai, San Diego, CA. We have gone to San Diego twice now and we would go again and again. I love the California coast.

  20. i’m from massachusetts so the cape is definitely high on my list! but i just got back from my mediterranean honeymoon and i swear, my husband could have left me in mykonos greece to live forever :) that place is incredible. (such a fun idea for a post!)

  21. *sigh* I miss Europe too, that was pre-blogging/baby/marriage days (aka college life), but I linked up my last vacay to Riviera Maya!

  22. I’m so excited to finally be travelling to Europe the first of October for two weeks!! It’s been a dream of mine for a very long time. We are going to Paris the first week then Italy, Tuscany area (Sienna). I can’t wait! I am from Maine, lived here most of my life, but I’m embarrassed to admit I have never been to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard. It’s on the “list” though, along with Prince Edward Island (wanted to go there ever since I read Anne of Green Gables :-) ) and Hawaii. Isn’t it fun to dream…as long as we turn those dreams into reality once in awhile.

  23. What a great link party! I’m always a fan of seeing other people’s vacations and favorite places.

  24. Kate, you’ve done some wonderful travel. We’re planning Paris for our 10 year wedding anniversary. I’m very exciting and starting to gather lots of info. Before I got married I went to Tahiti for a couple weeks and it was a wonderful and gorgeous trip. Martha’s Vineyard is on my “to go” list. What a fun post!

  25. Fantastic Link party Kate! I’m going to have to refer back to this post when we plan our next travel destination. Such beautiful locations. And I’m glad you mentioned Salzburg. I thought that looked like a great destination after seeing it on The Amazing Race.

    Austria & France are two places I yearn to visit. It would be really fun to go to my namesake: Brittany, France.

    Thanks for hosting.

  26. I would link up, but my only blogged info on my favorite destination is mostly adoption info for my family. So, I figure I’ll post in the comments in case anyone reads them :)

    My #1 spot to return to would be Vietnam. Sounds crazy I know and 6 years ago I would be like most people and instantly think “war” when I hear Vietnam mentioned. However, I now think of an amazingly beautiful country with a rich cultural history and welcoming people. Want to see something beautiful, look up photos of Ha Long Bay….words can not even describe!

    What was supposed to be a short trip ended up being a month away from home, what a blessing in disguise. There were quaint little street markets setting up every morning, cultural areas that had a history so deep and rich, and I loved that the old quarter of Hanoi had a street for everything (shoe street, coffin street, clothing street, etc.) The food is amazingly fresh and the flavors so different from any “Asian” food I have every had aside from that time. I just wonder why don’t more people serve soup (pho) for breakfast…it was perfectly spiced and served with a plate full of herbs! I am sure very few Americans think to vacation there, though we saw quite a few French and Australians on holiday while we were there. It is a very affordable place to go once you get there, food and lodging are beyond resonable…just have to cover the airfare :)

    I can not wait until my daughters are old enough to understand what a visit to their native country means. I am anxious to show them the people and places I fell in love with.

  27. i’ve never been to the lakes region of Italy – but it’s definitely a must for me now. thanks for sharing your favs. also, i’m having a blast reading everyone’s trips. globetrotting is near and dear to my heart and this post is right up my alley!

  28. I haven’t blogged about my faves, so I’ve got nothing to link up. But here are my favorites: Buenos Aires, Cape Town, and Hong Kong. But if you want life-changing, go to India. It’s a big world. And I’m with Deanne, Vietnam rocks. We Americans have so much to learn.

  29. SO glad you posted this. Tonight we were shoveling through travel books trying to decide which country to visit on our honeymoon. The one I’m rooting for is Italy so this was great to throw out there as a point for my team! Would love to hear more about your travels…

  30. The lakes in Italy is also my #1 – on a trip to Rome, we found ourselves “stuck” there for an extra week (?!) when 9/11 happened. We were told to go to Milan, since not as many people waiting for planes as in Rome. Ended in Stressa, on Lake Magiorre, for 3 days – one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen! Met a group of people from London at our hotel who travel to several cities in Europe every year, always ending in Stressa, as it was also their favorite place in the world! Paris is also my #2.

  31. Kate – had to comment – we were married on Lake Como, in Bellagio, in 1998. Not many people know how captivating Lakes are … thanks for sharing!

  32. Will be spending 12 days in Paris in August. Very excited. It has been too long since I was there……

  33. WOW!! Thanks for all of the lovely pictures and links! I’ve been wanting to travel too all of the places you have mentioned except Austria, but have heard a lot of great things about it! This must be a sign because I was debating last night on a last minute July 4th weekend trip, but don’t want to travel too far since that defeats the relaxing part. It was between Cape Cod and Cape May.

  34. I have many favourites, but one is absolutely Legoland in Denmark which I visited in April. It was SO fantastic for all members of our family! :-)

    Great links here, will check them out! :-)

  35. (Gah – just noticed that I have my nickname instead of “Legoland” under my link – couldn´t remove it, sorry)

  36. Thanks for hosting! Great idea! This is my first link party. I’m a newbie blogger. I’m featuring Sunday Summer Drives all Summer on The Corson Cottage. Mostly Midwest as that is where I have done most of my travels so far. I love seeing all of the different destinations ideas I can hope to go one day!

  37. This is the firt time that I comment your blog, now I decided to do that because I’m from Lake Maggiore and I’m so happy that people from other countries appreciate that region, it’s magic and unique but many people that live here can’t understand how wondreful is this place. So thank you to share you love for the italian lakes!!!!!

  38. Thanks for hosting! This is my first link party as well. I love to travel, and it was hard to choose just one destination. But Costa Rica won out! I look forward to checking out these links as I plan my next trip.

  39. When were you in Salzburg? I lived there and took German as a foreign language classes at the University and worked with a Christian student group there from December 1989 through June 1993. I lived in Liefering and then in town, between the Bahnhof and Mirabella Gardens.

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