International Escapes: Not As Far As You May Think

venice-849841__340.jpg Maybe you assume you cannot go international for a quick weekend trip. Not really.

In reality, there many international locations close enough to go for a long weekend. Below are spots perfect for an exciting long weekend you won’t soon forget. Montreal, Quebec, Canada Old-world elegance is front and center in this second largest Canadian city after Toronto.

Visitors always enjoy the beautiful Vieux Montreal area with its appealing boutiques and inviting cafes and restaurants.

The well-known Mount Royal Park is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon if the weather permits, as you can hike, rent a bicycle, or find a lovely spot for a delicious picnic. If you can stand the cold temperatures, you can also go snowshoeing, ice skate, or do a range of other winter sports in the park area. Bermuda

If you are a beach and sun person, Bermuda is perfect, with its pink sand beaches, warm weather, and ideal location just a short two-hour flight from many airports on the east coast. Besides the stunning stretches of sand, you can also study its rich maritime history, much of which can be found among the well-preserved colonial architecture and cobblestone alleys of St. George as well as the old cannon-laden forts. If you want a little heart-pounding exhilaration, rent a jet ski and head over to the notorious Bermuda Triangle. Baja California Sur, Mexico

The gorgeous beaches of Baja California Sur, Mexico are an easy weekend getaway for surfers and anyone who just wants to lie in the sun and the sand.

Cabo San Lucas, at the southern tip of the Baja peninsula, is home to many high-end resorts and upscale eateries that serve savory local cuisine like smoked marlin as well as offering an entertaining party scene. It’s also the perfect escape for those who want to enjoy the water, and perhaps a little romance, with Lover’s Beach offering some amazing caves, rock formations, and strikingly clear azure waters. Costa Rica In Central America, Costa Rica is rather easy to get to from many U.S. airports and is popular for its gorgeous tropical rainforest and jungles.

It features an amazing 800 miles of breathtaking coastal areas complete with very beautiful beaches. Adventure seekers will find no end to their thrilling options: hikes through the tropical jungle; zip-lining in the lush rainforest; rappelling down a thundering waterfall; seeing exotic birds, monkeys, and sloths in their natural habitat; and relaxing in volcano-fed hot springs. Cartagena, Columbia Like other places on the Caribbean Sea, lovely Cartagena has long stretches of beach with white powdery sand, warm water that is a striking shade of blue, and beautiful coral reefs.

The 500-year-old coral stone fortresses and much of the walled city are admirably intact and are some of the finest examples of civil and military architecture of Spanish colonial times. Toronto

Toronto is as sophisticated a city as they come.

It is an unusual melting pot of diversity, with more than half of the current population not native. Going to its various ethnic neighborhoods is like taking a quick world tour, with Koreatown, Greektown, Chinatown, and Little Italy all within the boundaries of the city.

Whether you are looking for extreme adventure, unwinding on the beach with a cool drink, or something in between, there is an international weekend getaway right for you. You can plan a memorable weekend full of love, adventure, history, and/or fun – the choice is yours.

Explore the Wide Array of Cultures Encountered on the African Continent

lighthouse-in-hirtshals-1096697__340.jpg When you cruise along the coast of Africa you will follow the same path taken by early explorers from nations including England, The Netherlands, Germany, and Portugal. The diverse cultures developed by ancient tribal traditions and colonialism are fascinating to compare when you stop in places such as Senegal, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Mauritius. The diversity of the terrain is spectacular, from the gorgeous mountains of South Africa to the extensive desert in Namibia.

Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, is a wonderful destination for food devotees, as it is the heart of saffron country and holds the moniker “Spice Island”.

Visit Amazing Castles

The castles located in many European towns are each deserving of their own fairytale. These extraordinary structures have withstood battles, fires, countless years and are still here today. From the Islands in Greece to the cliffs in Scotland, every single castle has a remarkable history, and some may even have some ghosts lingering about.

And though most were constructed from stone and brick, they are each individual and continue to amaze men and women from all over the world. Journey through time to these romantic structures where kings and queens once lived and feel like royalty, even if just for one day. Every vacationer should have these castles on their list of places to see. 1.Mont Saint-Michel

beach-1236581__340.jpg Regarded as one of medieval architecture's greatest achievements is Mont Saint Michel near Normandy, France. 2.Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle, is a fortress located high up on Castle Rock and commands the horizon of the capital city of Edinburgh. Throughout time, Edinburgh Castle has risen above sieges, invasions, government power struggles and murders.

3.Neuschwanstein Castle On a rocky hillside above the neighborhood of Hohenschwangau in south western Bavaria, Germany, stands the 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace, named as Neuschwanstein Castle.

Designed for King Ludwig II, it was built as a retreat for opera composer of Richard Wagner and paid for via personal funds and loans. 4.Glamis Castle Glamis Castle is located near the the area of Glamis in Angus, Scotland. It is the property of the Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and can be visited.

It is also considered to be more haunted than any other palace in Scotland. 5. Windsor Castle Windsor Castle is the formal home of the royal British family in Berkshire, and is adorned with a statue of Queen Victoria and tourists from all over the world visiting everyday.

At 900 years old, Britain's Windsor Castle is at present the largest occupied castle in the world as well as the oldest royal house in the world.

6.Château de Chambord

The castle of Chambord in France is the biggest of the Loire royal homes. It was constructed somewhere between the years of 1519 and 1547 near a bend in the river Cosson, a tributary river of Beuvron which connects to the Loire. It was identified as a World Heritage location by UNESCO in 1981.

7. Hampton Court Palace Utilized as one of his principle homes, Hampton Court Palace, in Herefordshsire, England, was made well-known by Henry VIII in the 16th century. Nowadays, people can appreciate the scenic gardens and bask in the sun.

8. Prague Castle

Prague Castle originally acted as a political and spiritual facility for a nation fighting for change.

9.St. Michael's Mount St. Michaels Mount, located in Cornwall, England, is an early palace that belongs to the National Trust.

It can soley be frequented during low tide by trekking over the causeway.

10. Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle was established in the sixteenth century in Kent, England, for Henry VIII's 1st wife, Catherine of Aragon.

Travel to North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean

Traveling through the Caribbean and the Americas means experiencing the vast differences in culture, lifestyle, and natural wonders of each country. Indulge in the laid-back lifestyle of all Caribbean islands, while noting the range of languages and cultures that speak to the early inhabitants of each island from faraway lands including Spain, France, Britain, The Netherlands, and Africa. The countries that make up Central America, which links North and South America, have colorful histories and stunning landscapes. Costa Rica entices with its lush green forests and waterfalls, while several countries offer historic sights left from ancient societies including the Aztecs, Mayas, and Olmecs.

See first-hand the amazing engineering of the Panama Canal. Traveling through North and South America will take you through breathtaking natural beauty as well as interesting man-made attractions. Heading North to Canada, you can explore Quebec City to feel its French atmosphere, or the Viking colony L’Anse aux Meadows, which dates back to the 11th century.

In the U.S., stops along the east coast will take you to bustling American cities, or sail along the west coast to see the magnificent glaciers in Alaska.

But that’s not all. Go to Brazil and the vibrant beach city of Rio de Janeiro or visit the rainforests of the Amazon River. father-656734__340.jpg Nature lovers should make a point of seeing the dazzling beauty of Chile’s massifs and fjords, stopping in the seaside community of Valparaiso to walk its steep streets of colorfully painted buildings. See a spectacular live Tango show in the exciting city of Buenos Aires.

Farther south, discover the icy natural splendor of Antarctica.

Touring the Mediterranean

What we refer to as our current civilization – from science and democracy to art and culinary traditions – are generally credited to the culture-rich shores of Southern Europe. It is true that the “Old World” holds thousands of years of history. It will be hard going home again once you have laid on the beaches of Italy and Spain, experienced the historical sights of Jerusalem and Greece, and seen the spectacular scenery of the Greek Islands and Santorini.

Explore Rome and its renowned Pantheon and ancient Coliseum; or the residence of the Pope, Vatican City, with its Holy Catholic Church of St. Peter’s.

Design fans will enjoy Barcelona and Antoni Gaudi’s awe-inspiring architecture. Some of the world’s finest wines can be tasted in Italy’s Chianti region, France’s Provence, or the city of Port in Portugal.

Stroll along the enchanting waterways in Venice. cruise-ship-615116__340.jpg A top destination on the Adriatic coast of Croatia is the beautiful walled city of Dubrovnik, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. A trip through Europe will make you wish you had mastered history more in school.

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