A Dane's Destinations

Sometimes called the “Holy City” due to the large number of churches, Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. People flock to Charleston for many reasons: its historic homes, stunning beaches, southern charm, tasty restaurants, its numerous art galleries and so many more!

charleston south carolina
An aerial view of the city of Charleston

There is so much happening in Charleston, so we made a list for you to see and do in case you decided to drop by the Holy City!

The Battery

Stretching along the southern tip of the city overlooking Charleston Harbor are the Southern-style mansions. These gorgeous and must-see structures were once the center of the maritime activity of the city. In addition, you’ll get to see stunning sights of the harbor. Adjacent to the area is White Point Garden, a city park that features a gazebo and a large collection of old military cannons! Tourists and locals visit here for picnics or walking their pets. So, if you happen to stroll along the Battery, don’t forget the White Point Garden nearby.

Restaurants

There is some great food to be had in Charleston’s restaurants. From deli’s and diners to fine cuisine. Magnolia’s is a suggestion for a treat. They specialize in upscale Southern cuisine. Or you could try Raw which has seafood including raw succulent oysters and also tacos. The Tattooed Moose is a local joint and the decor is not the fanciest but it has great traditional American cooking. Fig on the other hand is fancier and has new upscale American cooking. But the favorite of Jock and Carol McClees of Enchanted Marketing is Poogan’s Porch. It is in an old house with lots of character and has great Southern cuisine, often with in interesting twist.

Art Galleries in Charleston

When it comes to art, there is no shortage of it in Charleston! The city is home to numerous artists who exhibit their artwork in more than 40 galleries all over Downtown Charleston. Tourists can browse the larger art museums like the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art or the Gibbes Museum of Art. On the other hand, they can also peruse the many smaller and independent art galleries with artworks that can be purchased.

From modern and contemporary pieces to European art, you will definitely have a hard time selecting an art piece to bring home!

The South Carolina Aquarium

This must-visit aquarium is perfect for families especially the kids! Home to over 5,000 animals, this aquarium features lovely exhibits, a sea turtle recovery center, and touch tanks. It also hosts a 220-pound loggerhead turtle in its two-story ocean tank! So cool!

The best time to visit the aquarium is in the warmer months. It a great place to spend the time away from all that humidity!

The Gorgeous Beaches of Charleston

Charleston’s beautiful, sandy beaches are the city’s main attractions. They’re a short drive away from the city so make sure to pack sunscreen! A few beaches you can visit are Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms.

morris lighthouse
Morris Island Lighthouse

Folly Beach is locally branded as “The Edge of America”. Visit this huge stretch of shoreline for surfing and nature, or head to Folly Beach Pier to catch fish or sit idly by. At the end of the island, you’ll get a closer view of the Morris Lighthouse. Meanwhile, Sullivan’s Island prides itself for its dazzling beaches, one-of-a-kind shops, and delightful restaurants. Furthermore, Isle of Palms boasts its beaches that are perfect for windsurfing, swimming, sunbathing and sailing.

Angel Oak Tree

Standing at 65 feet with a 25.5-foot circumference, Angel Oak tree is one of most photographed sights on John Island. It is over 400 years old and is probably one of the largest oak trees you’ll ever see.

angel oak tree charleston sc
Angel Oak Tree in Charleston

Keep in mind though that there are a number of rules you must follow when visiting this magnificent tree but many say that it’s worthwhile to take a visit.

Charleston Tea Plantation

If you like tea better than coffee, it only takes 30 minutes from downtown Charleston to drive to the plantation. Here, you can find a gift shop that samples tea varieties of different kinds! You can take a tour of the plantation for free or pay 12 dollars for a trolley tour which lets you witness firsthand the process from tea planting to packaging. This tourist spot is simply for tea addicts!

Old Slave Mart Museum

Charleston was a center for the slave trade before the Civil War and this museum gives details of this grizzly business. At one point, Charleston was bringing in the range of 35-40% of all the slaves coming to the United States.

Restaurant Tip

While there are lots of great restaurants in Charleston, Clark Weeks and we recommend Poogan’s Porch if you visit the city.


The Nordic country of Finland is home to some of the most picturesque places on earth. While most travelers are aware of the mesmerizing beauty of northern lights this European nation is scattered with quaint towns and weather-beaten castles. We have compiled a list of some of the top sights in Finland that every tourist must visit.

Aland Archipelago

Åland Finland
A tiny island in the archipelago of Åland, Finland

The archipelago of Aland falls in between Finland and Sweden and interestingly, it has Swedish-speaking residents despite being part of Finland. While it has a few large islands most of the area is scattered with over 10,000 tiny islands. Aland has belonged to Russia as well as Sweden in the past and these cultures are reflected in its rich history making it a unique Finnish place to visit.

The Arctic and Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi is often called the Gateway to Artic as the Arctic circle runs right through it. If you are visiting Finland in the summers, then a visit to this town is a must. Being so close to the arctic circle, the town experiences 24 hours of daylight in summers and is affectionately known as the abode of Santa Claus.

Kauppatori and Esplanade

‘Kauppatori’ literally translates into a market square that is a trademark of every harbor town. What is eye-catching about Helsinki’s harbor market is the plethora of historical architecture that surrounds it. These include the famous Kappeli restaurant, the Havis Amanda statue, and the unique street museum, among others.

Suomenlinna Fortress

As one of the largest sea fortresses in the world, Suomenlinna is a must-visit destination. A short ferry ride from the Helsinki Kauppatori can take you to this UNESCO world heritage site where you can literally be transformed back in time.

Turku

Turku Finland
An old house in Turku, Finland

The oldest Finish town of Turku is a complete contrast to the bustling Helsinki. It also served as the country’s capital until 1812. This is where Swedish Vikings began their conquest of Finland. Combined with modern buildings are over 8 centuries of historical monuments like orthodox churches, medieval cathedrals, and the quintessential market square or the Kaupatori. You can also tour the Suomen Juotsen (Swan of Finland) which is a large square-rigged ship which is now a museum.

Vaasa

Like Turku, Vaasa too exists since the Swedish invasion of Finland. The current town is located a few kilometers outside the ancient town. The town boasts of extended coastline and plenty of Swedish influence. Apart from national parks and spas, the town of Vaasa is famous for its museums.

Helsinki Churches

The Uspensky Orthodox Cathedral in Helinski is a marvelous piece of architecture. Its tall green-topped spires are adorned with gold cupolas making it one of the central landmarks of this bustling town. Other beautiful churches include the Lutheran Cathedral by the sea and the Temppeliaukio Church. The Temppeliaukio Church is also known as the Rock Church. It is very unusual and very beautiful. It is on a rocky hilltop in Helsinki. Instead of being built on top, they excavated into the rock and put a glass dome over the top. The walls are rough hewn rock with a view of the sky above. It is a very lovely place.

Porvoo

Porvoo’s red wooden housing structures form the landmark of this charming Finnish town. Apart from the hilltop medieval cathedral, the local history museum and the Edelfelt-Vallgren museum are worth a visit.

Tampere

Unlike other towns listed here, Tampere is an industrial town that was established fairly recently in 1779. This picturesque town is a perfect mix of urbanization, industrialization, as well as religious and art centers.

Savonlinna and Saimaa

While there is no dearth of lakes in Finland, Lake Saimaa is, by far, the most enchanting one. It spans an area of more than 1,300 square kilometers and various islands, including Savonlinna. As the Finland lake region’s main city, it is famous for its spas and medieval structures.

Savonlinna Finland
Medieval fort in Savonlinna, Finland

While you are touring these different places, you should try some things that are typically Finnish. The first is a sauna which they invented and pronounce sow-na. The other is the pastry Karjalanpiirakka munavoi. Karjalan means it is from the Karelia region which the Russians captured and never gave up. Piirakka means pie and munavoi is egg butter. It is a flat pastry almost more like pita bread on which you spread the munavoi which is hard boiled eggs and butter blended together. Sounds a bit strange, but it is tasty. Also, carefully choose when you go. The Finns worship the sun during the summer because by fall the days are already very short.


Don’t be fooled by its size and population. The Nordic island country of Iceland offers plenty of new and unique experiences for tourists and travelers. Some of the most popular are listed here. As an extra tip, we have found you can get some good deals at http://bit.ly/VivTravelDeals. Check it out.

Northern Lights Iceland

Northern Lights

Iceland’s position in the world’s axis places it in a unique position that brings with it many natural wonders like the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. Occurring in the winter months and only at some of the more northerly points on the earth’s surface, the phenomenon of northern lights is breathtaking, to say the least. Even though the northern lights can be explained scientifically, it is nearly impossible to find something more magical in this world.

Whale Watching

Seeing the majestic blue whale in the wild is an experience in itself. In addition, humpback whales, fin whales, killer whales, and even minke whales can be spotted if you get on board one of the whale-watching tours.

Icelandic Horseback Riding

The Icelandic horse is smaller, muscular, and comes from an isolated breed that is resistant to the harsh climate of this region. In fact, in order to preserve its genetics, outside breeding is entirely forbidden.

WestFjords

The mystic region of Westfjords is rich in history and blanketed in mysticism and magic. As a region less frequented by tourists it still retains its natural beauty and cultural richness. The picturesque glaciers, scenic bays, and domineering mountains are a sight to behold.

Dettifoss Waterfall

If you are traveling towards the Northeastern part of Iceland, then the Dettifoss waterfall is a must-visit tourist spot. Considered as Europe’s strongest waterfall, Dettifoss is set in the Vatnajokull National Park and is a part of the Diamond circle.

Blue Lagoon Spa

Blue Lagoon is certainly, Iceland’s most famous spa. The warm and soothing water combines with healing silica mud helping you relax and unwind from stress. Located near the airport, the Blue Lagoon spa can be a perfect start or end to your holiday.

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

The Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and the Diamond beach are located within close proximity. Considered as one of the most popular tourist spots, the lagoon is filled with icebergs that break off of the glacier. They flow through a short waterway and sometimes end up on the beach and ultimately into the Atlantic ocean. 

The Golden Circle

The golden circle is best explored on a snowmobile. The route covers some of the most popular tourist destinations including, Haukadalur Geothermal Valley, Gullfoss waterfall, and Pingvellir Nationals park. The sites are historically and aesthetically appealing to such an extent that tourists can’t get enough of them in one visit.

Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

Nightlife in Reykjavik

Icelanders love to party and the nightlife in Reykjavik is a live testimony to this favorite national pastime. The downtown area in this bustling city is scattered with bars, cafes, and restaurants.

Don’t let the cold be a setback. Even in winters, the temperatures can be surprisingly warmer than even New York. Most of its scenic spots and naturally occurring phenomena have an out-of-this-world appeal that is refreshing and endearing at the same time.


The ancient Cambodian temple of Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument. This alone is reason enough to have this destination on your bucket list of ‘must visit’ places. Constructed in the 12th century, today the Angkor Wat temple is seen as a symbol of Cambodia. The temple complex is located over approximately 400 square km and was recognized as a UNESCO World heritage sight in 1992.

Angkor Wat temple

Location

The temple is located just a few miles from the modern-day town of Siem Reap. Like the rest of Cambodia, the weather in this location is hot. So, be prepared for a day of heat and humidity when undertaking this journey.

Traveler’s Tip

You can rent a bike from Siem Reap to visit this tourist spot. It is easily accessible via main roads and streets.

Visiting Angkor Wat

While the weather is usually hot and humid, there is some respite during the months of December, January, and February. So, make sure that you plan your visit sometime during these three months. It is amazing that there is anything left of the site considering how overgrown it was when it was rediscovered. Especially with the large strangler fig trees that have roots going everywhere.

Angkor Wat strangler figs

Traveler’s Tip

Avoid the rainy season which begins in May.

How to Reach?

Siem Reap is the closest town to the temple of Angkor Wat. You can reach Siem Reap by flight, train, or bus. The city also boasts of plenty of hotel accommodation for tourists that arrive from all over the world. From Siem Reap, you can rent bicycles, motor bikes, or even tuk-tuks to reach the temple.

Traveler’s Tip

Make sure you avoid transportation and visa scams that are rampant in this region.

Entrance Fees

While the temple complex attracts a substantial entrance fee, very little of this is pumped back into the Cambodian economy. Additionally, most of the temple restoration activities are handled by international organizations. The entrance fees as of 2017 are as follows,

  • Day pass – $37
  • 3-day pass – $62
  • 7-day pass – $72

Traveler’s Tip

Dress appropriately, meaning, keep your shoulders and knees covered.

Tours & Guides

Angkor Wat is rich in history, so hiring guidance services can also be a good option. You can consider an independent guide or be part of a tour. A tour might feel slightly rushed, but if you are pressed for time then you can cover more ground with it.

Traveler’s Tip

Make sure you hire a licensed guide. There are plenty of rogue guides around.

Although the civilization that built the magnificent Angkor Wat temple went extinct centuries ago, it left behind a structure that has awed millions of tourists to date. Even though the Angkor Wat failed to make it to the 7 wonders of the modern world, it still remains one of the most popular tourist destinations globally. This concise guide is designed to help first time travelers to Cambodia. While the country has moved into the twenty-first century, you are likely to find scamsters every now and then. So, make sure that you do thorough research before you board your plane and avoid getting caught up in a scam.


Hawaii, the 50th state of the USA, is a famous holiday destination. An archipelago with 8 main islands, Hawaii is famous for its breathtaking volcanic landscapes, as well as colored sand beaches, rich native culture, and delicious cuisine.

It offers a large variety of activities, including but not limited to surfing, snorkeling, hiking, camping, fishing, scuba diving, and skiing.

Information for planning

The best time to visit is either April-May or September-October as the weather is favorable, the crowd is sporadic and the flight and lodging fares are not inflated. December-March is the peak season.

The average temperatures range from 22°C to 33°C almost throughout the year. The summers, June through October, are generally hot while the winters, December through March, are mild and pleasant.

Decide on how many islands you want to visit and plan to spend between 5 and 7 days per island.

What to see?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes (Kīlauea and Mauna Loa) and the famous Chain of Craters Road. It also features some unique volcanic exhibits. There are plenty of hiking trails and campgrounds too.

Hawaii Volcano

Honolulu, Oahu

Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii. The primary attractions are the Waikiki crescent beach and Diamond Head, a dormant volcano, next to the beach. The USS Arizona Memorial commemorates the events of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Also, not to be missed is the fining dining, shopping and nightlife experience while in the city.

Waimea Canyon State Park, Kauai

Waimea Canyon State Park is a large canyon, 10 miles long and 3000 feet deep, also known as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’. A geological wonder with red and orange canyon walls with tinges of lush green vegetation, it’s a must-see.

Haleakalā National Park, Maui

This national park is named after the dormant Haleakalā volcano and is famous for views of the sun rising over the crater walls. Divided into the Summit and Kīpahulu (Coastal) districts, each with several breathtaking attractions, the park also cares for several endangered native bird species including the magnificent Hawaiian Geese.

Lanikai Beach, Oahu

Regarded as one of the most beaches beautiful in the world, this picturesque white sand beach is known for its calm waters and also its excellent beach side facilities.

Nā Pali Coast State Park, Kauai

Nā Pali is a mesmerizing coastline accentuated by towering emerald cliffs, splendid waterfalls and lush valleys that can be explored by land, water, or air.

North Shore of Oahu

North Shore of Oahu is a 17-mile long coastal area known as a paradise for surfing and snorkeling enthusiasts. Professional surfing contests take place throughout the surfing season.

Road to Hana, Maui

Road to Hana is a 64-mile long route connecting Kahului to the town of Hana. The drive has panoramic views on both sides and has legendary tales associated with many of those sites.

Road to Hana

Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Molokaʻi

Once a leper colony and prison, the park is now a major tourist attraction in remote Hawaii. People keen about exploring the native history, find it especially enchanting.

Parting note

If you haven’t already visited Hawaii, it deserves to be a candidate destination for your next dream vacation. Its unique offerings would not only ensure an enjoyment-filled and satisfactory vacation, but also a memorable one for years to come. 

An avid skier? You might like this article about skiing here.


When you search for the best skiing destinations in the world, the name “Whistler” or “Whistler Blackcomb” will likely feature at or near the top in the results. This ski resort, the largest in North America, attracts nearly two million visitors per year. It has also been the venue for several continental and international ski events, including the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

This article is an attempt to familiarize the reader with Whistler, its ski slopes, and facilities.

Location and ideal time to visit

Whistler is located on the west coast of Canada in British Columbia. It is 80 miles (2 hours) away from Vancouver and 220 miles (4 hours) from Seattle. It experiences snow from mid-November until May. The average annual snowfall is roughly 12m.

The place is very crowded around Christmas, New Year, and public holidays. Weekends also draw large crowds, especially when the forecast is for clear skies.

The place and the surroundings

There are three bases in all, namely Whistler Village, Upper Village, and Creekside. The Whistler Village is neat and car-free, which makes it ideal for roaming around when one is not out skiing.

The slopes lie on the two mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb with a combined ski area of 8,171-acre. Whistler is slightly larger in terms of acreage. Both mountains have about 100 trails each.

The resort also operates on-site heli-skiing, which opens up an additional 400,000-plus acres to the skiers.

The facilities

The resort boasts extensive top-to-bottom slopes with roughly 1,600m on Blackcomb and 1,500m on Whistler.

There are more than 200 marked trails. The two mountains share eight terrain parks between them, sprawling over 100 acres. The terrains are rated according to their difficulty levels and contain an Olympic standard superpipe, 150-plus features, and 40-plus jumps. There is also a course for ski cross events. Twenty percent of the overall ski area is for beginners, fifty percent for intermediate-skilled, and thirty percent for experts.

The Dave Murray downhill slope, with a 900m descent culminating in Creekside, is one of the most popular. It was used for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The lift system

The skiing area is served by ~40 lifts with a Peak-2-Peak gondola linking Whistler and Blackcomb at mid-mountain. Both mountains can thus be accessed with equal ease from any of the three resort bases. Each cabin in the Peak-2-Peak gondola can hold nearly 30 skiers at a time.

There is a 10-passenger gondola at Blackcomb to reach the top. Both the mountains have modern, high-speed 4 and 6 passenger chair lifts to ascend. Collectively, the system can lift 4,000 skiers per hour to ski down.

Conclusion

If you’re an ardent skiing fan and haven’t yet been to Whistler, it’s time to plan as part of your next skiing vacation. You’ll never find yourself skiing the same slope repeatedly as you’ll never run out of new terrain to explore.

August 2020
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Categories