My Top 5 Travel Destinations



Hello and Happy Friday!


Wow. I feel like its been forever since I was on here. To be honest, I took a couple of days off just to focus on work and to catch on to everyday life. But – now I’m back and I promise to be sharing at least two blog posts a week.


Speaking of taking some time off it has been SO long since I’ve travelled anywhere… and I know I could get on a plane and/or drive somewhere in Canada but part of me is nervous and part of me doesn’t know what to expect. As the world begins to slowly open, I can’t help but want to get on a plane to go anywhere. I’ve been thinking a lot about my past travels and how lucky I am to have travelled to so many different places around the world. Today, I thought I would do something different in terms of ‘Friday Favs’ – I am going to share my top five most favourite destinations (in no order).


California

I was always hesitant about travelling to California because I always thought that it is just another State. Wow – was I ever wrong. California is like the perfect mix of beach, city, and desert. One of my favourite things about California was all the little shops, cafes, restaurants and bars that lined every street. You were never surrounded by big-name department stores or chain restaurants – everything was a small mom and pop shops. Although I was mainly in Carlsbad I could see how well kept and groomed the land, beaches and streets were kept. And not to mention there is so much to do and see in California. Matt and I had full intentions of heading back to California this summer to drive the coast (always wanted to do this) but of course plans change, so fingers crossed come October we can.



Must-See/do:

  • Walk/visit North Carlsbad for pure sand beaches

  • Walk along the shoreline of South Ponto

  • Visit the surfers at the Bluffs along Carlsbad Beach

  • Visit La Jolla for the day; tons of shopping, amazing restaurants, see the seal pool and swim in the ocean

  • Go-to Del Mar for an afternoon

  • Pacific Beach near San Diego; stunning sand beach, boardwalk, and lots of touristy stuff

  • Spend an afternoon in Carlsbad Village – tons of local shops, breweries, restaurants, good coffee, wine and chocolate

  • Drive to L.A. for the day; makes sure you plan to spend a full day there (you're going to need it)


Restaurants:

  • Fish 101 – very casual, always a line-up but moves fast, great food and beer

  • Primo Pasta and Pizza – in Poinsettia Plaza – great takeout pizza and Italian

  • Solterra Winery – a short drive, excellent wine and food – make a reservation – small plates are good

  • Vigilucci’s – great Italian food – make a reservation – several locations

  • Maurizio’s Italian in Encinitas – great Italian

  • Urban Plates - in the Forum – Good for lunch, then a walk around the mall

  • Jake’s Del Mar – reserve a table overlooking the ocean – lovely night view – don’t go on the weekend – crowded

  • Pacifica (Del Mar) – reserve a table– it’s expensive – great food

  • George’s La Jolla – ocean view – make a reservation for patio – go during the week – go at 11:30 to get a table with shade and a great view - highly recommend

  • Las Olas – Mexican, on Pacific Coast Highway- 101 good for casual lunch


Australia


If there’s one other place where I would live it would be Australia. Australia is hands down one of the most amazing places in the world. It seriously has EVERYTHING. Last February was my second time being there and honestly, nothing changed – part of me felt like I was home again. I love how Australia is a mixture of city and beach… what more could you want? I spend a great deal of my time driving the East Coast alone – which was by far one of the most incredible experiences of life it was scary, fun and such a trill; I felt so alive as crazy as that sounds. If your someone who wants to travel solo, I recommend Australia.



Must-See/do:

  • Visit Sydney: the Sydney Harbor Bridge, Opera House, the city itself is amazing

  • Spend a day at Bondi Beach

  • Manly Beach is amazing too; very touristy

  • Visit the cities; Brisbane and Melbourne so much to see and do

  • Gold Coast is also worth the visit – tons of activities, beaches, shops, and restaurants

  • Schedule surfing lessons

  • The Koala Sanctuary is a MUST; so many kangaroos and other Australia Animals

  • Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

  • Drive the coast until you get to Noosa, Queensland; spend a couple of days here


Bali


Oh Bali, where do I start? This magical Indonesian island is truly such a gem and is a favourite destination for many. It’s a small island located in the Indian Ocean, amongst 17,000 other islands. This holiday hotspot is known for its wide beaches, lush volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, and exotic sunsets. Aside, from the landscape - Bali has the freshest foods and the most divine cafes. I seriously loved everything about Bali and would 100% recommend it to anyone. This is also a great destination to travel to solo – I never felt unsafe or on edge once. And not to mention the locals are amazing – they are so friendly and helpful… they make you feel welcomed.


Must see/do:

  • Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud

  • Visit the coffee plantation and Bali swings; such a fun day activity

  • A must-see is the Rice Terraces

  • Spend the day at Potato Beach Club (be aware: very expensive)

  • Visit the different beaches, local shops, cafes and bars

  • Snorkel/scuba dive

  • Rent a bike and just cycle around


United Kingdom


Living in Scotland for four months, I had no choice but to love it. Aside from the unpredictable weather, not so tasty food (great beer though), and it is dark at 3 pm the streets of Scotland are what made me love it. All of the side streets are made of cobblestone, they are lined with restaurants and pubs that are open to the wee hours of the morning and live music is EVERYWHERE (which I love). And not to mention the people are so friendly everywhere you go. While in Scotland I got to visit London and Ireland; these two countries are very similar to Scotland – cobblestone, tons of pubs, and live music everywhere. I highly recommend visiting all three of these countries – a great place for solo travellers.


Must see/do Scotland:

  • Visit Edinburgh Castle; simply stunning

  • Day trips to Loch Ness and Loch Lomond

  • Day trip to St. Andrew’s Golf Course; I loved visiting here!

  • Spend a couple of days visiting the Isle of Skye

  • Stirling Castle

  • The Royal Museum & Museum of Scotland


Must see/do London:

  • I highly recommend getting on a Hop-on-Hop-off bus; the best way to see the city

  • Ride the London Eye

  • See Big Ben and Buckingham Palace

  • Go for High Tea

  • Walk and explore the streets; Trafalgar Square

  • Day trip to Stonehenge (I loved it)



Must see/do Ireland:

  • I highly recommend getting on a Hop-on-Hop-off bus; the best way to see the city

  • Guinness Factory tour

  • Visit Dublin Castle

  • Party and drink at the Temple Bar

  • Take a tour of the Old Jameson Distillery

  • Walk the Ha’penny Bridge

  • Visit Trinity College Library

  • Enjoy the nightlife and live music




Singapore


I had no intention of travelling to Singapore until two of my flights were cancelled... at first, we were very upset but in the end, it ended up being a win. I quickly fell in love with the city itself - everything about it amazing. It is one of the cleanest cities in the world; if not the cleanest and everything is so advanced. When I was there it felt like part of my was in a different universe - every building, hotel, restaurant and tourist attraction was memorizing. I highly recommend spending a couple of days here if you can- I will warn you it is very expensive.


Must See/do:


  • Gardens By The Bay

  • Marina Bay

  • Singapore Botanical Gardens

  • Cloud Forest

  • Sands Sky Park Observation Deck

  • Super Tree Grove



For now – I will continue to live vicariously through my camera roll. My top four destinations post COVID are Greece, Spain, Portugal and Croatia. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?


xo,


The Blonde Traveler




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