Any time of year is a good time to plan a dream vacation — or at the very least, to daydream about one. Since we love adding to our travel bucket list, we love getting great travel ideas from those who have been before us. In that spirit, we asked the StyleBlueprint team to share their favorite places they’ve ever visited along with why these travel destinations are so special, and we got back a wide variety of places we’re now dying to visit. If you decide to book a trip to any of these places, there are also a few insider tips and must-do suggestions as well.

Let’s take a vicarious voyage …

SB PICKS: OUR FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATIONS

SB Staffer: Liza Graves, StyleBlueprint Cofounder

Favorite travel destination: Redwood National Forest

Why is it so special?

Even if you were able to see this in virtual reality, it would not compare to being there. You simply can not imagine how tall and wide these trees are. And, the distinct microclimates that pop up every couple of miles … elk on the beach … Fern Canyon … the sunsets. It’s the most amazing place I’ve ever been.

Top three things to do?

Stay at Elk Meadow Cabins and ask for them to arrange a guided hike. If you like to fish, the Klamath River is nearby for Steelhead and salmon. You’ll need to make time to see the beach (just a couple of miles away) and bring your waterproof hiking boots as hiking through the creek that lines Fern Canyon, where there are 50-foot walls lined with different species of ferns, is an absolute must (hiking this is seasonal, so check Redwood Adventures’ website for details).

What is this destination ideal for?

Getting to the Redwood National Forest is not easy, as it’s about six hours from any major airport. So, it’s a good family or couples getaway but only if you can stay at least three nights.

SB Staffer: Elizabeth Fox, StyleBlueprint Cofounder

Favorite travel destination: Tulum, Mexico

Why is it so special?

Tulum, located 90 minutes south of Cancun, is one of Mexico’s favorite beach destinations. Why? It’s got it all — from the pristine beaches (some nude, some not), breathtaking Mayan ruins that are over 1,000 years old and cuisine options that rival any big city. Tulum was purposefully created as a yen wonder where like-minded people gather and honor the earth. At every corner, you will find vegetarian restaurants, yoga, massage and spiritual readers.

Top three things to do?

  1. Visit the Tulum ruins. It is an easy cab ride, and one of the only Mayan ruins on the sea. The area is gorgeous and worth spending the day in the surf.
  2. Hang out at Taqueria La Eufemia. Located right on the beach, it is a not-to-miss place in Tulum. Most spend hours there munching on their delicious tacos, ice cold beer and funk vibe. The interior is eye candy with its jungle vibe and statement art, but the real treasure is just hanging out and sipping a cold beer.
  3. Explore a cenote. Located all over the Playa del Carmen area, cenotes are sinkholes filled with pristine freshwater. For adventurous travelers, visiting cenotes is a most satisfying vacation adventure. Each cenote has a different personality — some are quite popular and many are completely deserted. The Grand Cenote is a favorite, with its crystal clear water and beautiful plant life. It’s close enough to Tulum to bike to if you don’t want to rent a taxi.

What is this destination ideal for?

I think Tulum is an ideal location for couples as it affords the ultimate in relaxation and excellent restaurant options. A magical place to stay is Azulik with its treehouses accommodations, candle-lit walkways and to-die-for massage services.

Tulum is a magical escape, especially for couples.

SB Staffer: Megan Casey, Director of Marketing

Favorite travel destination: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Why is it so special?

My mother is from Buenos Aires, so it was especially meaningful for me to visit for the first time last year. Since we spent so much time with our extended family (lots and lots of extended family!), I really got to experience the culture and city as a local instead of a tourist. The city itself is unlike any other I’ve been to. It has such a unique character and was much more European than I expected.

Top three things to do?

  1. You must go to La Recoleta Cemetery. It feels a little weird to recommend, but it’s one of the most gorgeous and fascinating places I’ve ever been. Get a tour guide so you don’t miss out on any of the touching details. We used guides from this company for several tours and loved each one.
  2. Spend an afternoon in San Telmo to experience the markets and salsa dancing.
  3. We also went on a tour to San Antonio de Areco (where we discovered that our tour guide had been a student of our great-aunt, Sister Teresita) and to the nearby Estancia El Ombú de Areco. At the estancia, we were greeted with wine, empanadas and a horseback riding tour of the grounds followed by an asado (Argentine barbecue) held outside in the most gorgeous setting.

Also, eat empanadas and dulce le leche gelato every chance you get.

What is this destination ideal for?

Buenos Aires is not a quick trip! It’s great for families in search of an adventure for an extended getaway.

Horseback riding at the Estancia El Ombú del Areco was a highlight of Megan’s trip! Doesn’t she look like a natural?

SB Staffer: Ginny Staggs, StyleBlueprint Director of Sales

Favorite travel destination: Curaçao

Why is it so special?

Two worlds collide: A perfect combination of Dutch people (food and customs) and Venezuelans, as it’s less than 200 miles from the coast of Venezuela. They have a local language called Papiamento, also spoken in Aruba. Beautiful dark-skinned people with blue eyes, and light-skinned people with very dark eyes. It’s the first place I ever experienced a whole population of mixed-race people.

All of the buildings are painted in pastel colors — the sun is bright, and it is easier on the eyes. Don’t be surprised at the topless beaches as well. And the drinking water! It is the best I ever had, and they convert sea water into drinking water. Why don’t we do that all over the world?

Top things to do?

It’s the best snorkeling and SCUBA diving in the world due to the clear water. There are some sandy beaches but also many rock cliff beaches with ocean caves to explore. They have wonderful seafood but cheese that only the Dutch can provide. Amstel beer is imported cheap there from the Netherlands and the liquor Curaçao is made there.

SB Staffer: Ashley Haugen, StyleBlueprint Managing Editor

Favorite travel destination: Stellenbosch, South Africa

Why is it so special?

When I was in college, I had the opportunity to travel the world on Semester at Sea. And while we visited nine different countries over four months, it’s one day trip we took during our time in South Africa that has always stood out in my memory, and that was a trip to visit the wine lands of Stellenbosch. I have never seen greener grass and a more blue sky — and the stark contrast of the two is forever etched in my mind.

Top things to do?

While I’m sure it’s changed in the years since I was there, I bet you can still rent a bike to explore, as we did, and with more than 200 wine producers in the area, you’ll obviously want to visit the wineries and try some wine!

What is this destination ideal for?

A girlfriends’ getaway or a couple’s vacation — or for this gal, a return trip with whoever wants to go once I’m an empty-nester in about 14 years.

SB Staffer: Katelyn Caughron, StyleBlueprint Memphis Client Success Rep

Favorite travel destination: Barbados

Why is it so special?

Not only was Barbados our honeymoon spot, but it also had a lot of cultural background that we didn’t know beforehand. On this tiny island, people are so proud of their culture not to mention it was beautiful. And I got to pet monkeys and eat unlimited pizza.

Top three things to do?

Snorkel to see the shipwrecks, visit the shops downtown, and try a specialty drink they call the “Barbados surprise”

What is this destination ideal for?

This can be anything you want to make it, but I would recommend staying in a resort.

Favorite Travel Destinations

Katelyn’s a fan of Barbados because … petting monkeys on a beach!

SB Staffer: Lauren Cummings, StyleBlueprint Business Coordinator

Favorite travel destination: 30A

Why is it so special? 

30A is a special place for my husband and I since it was our first vacation together, and we also got engaged there. The beaches are picture-perfect, and we love the different vibes you can get from each community along 30A. There are equal parts things to do for both the kiddos and the adults!

Top three things to do?

  1. Enjoy some quality beach time. Pack a cooler with snacks and drinks and just be a vegetable on the beach all day! Don’t forget your fun floaties and if you’re planning on staying into the evening, you should look into doing a beach bonfire.
  2. Eat (and drink) at all the best places!
  3. Ride a bike down 30A. Whether it’s in Rosemary Beach, Alys, Grayton or Seaside, you can’t go wrong with a bike ride down 30A.

What is this destination ideal for?

30A is really ideal for any kind of vacation! It’s very family-friendly but also has plenty of things to do for an adults-only trip!

Our Favorite Travel Destinations

A 30A sunset is about as close as you can get to heaven on earth.

SB Staffer: Alex Hendrickson, StyleBlueprint Nashville Lead Writer/Associate Editor

Favorite travel destination: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Why is it so special? 

The architecture, the landscape, the food, the charm, the art, the history — everything about Santa Fe makes it a special place to visit. I fell in love during my first visit and cannot wait to fall in love again each time I return.

Top three things to do?

  1. Try the green chile at The Shed. The Shed is a local spot that is no secret to visitors. Their chile is spicy, so order a margarita to wash it down.
  2. Shiprock houses the most amazing collection of weavings, furniture, art, accessories and jewelry. There is no shortage of inspiring art, jewelry, pottery and crafts — both new and antique — in Santa Fe, but this was a favorite stop.
  3. Take a trip down Canyon Road, a historic district that is home to art galleries galore.

What is this destination ideal for?

Everyone, anytime for any occasion!

Shiprock is an artisan hotspot in Santa Fe.

SB Staffer: Peyton Haecker, StyleBlueprint Nashville Client Success Rep

Favorite travel destination: Interlaken

Why is it so special?

I lived in Switzerland for three years, so the country represents a sense of home for me. Interlaken is also a place where you can escape the craziness of a big city, find comfort in the serenity of the mountains and stay busy with all the outdoor adventure you can imagine.

Top three things to do?

In the summer, I recommend checking out the Giessbach Falls & Nature Park as a little climb and mountain ascent that is well worth breathtaking lake views from every angle. If you’re craving some Swiss chocolate, you need to take a chocolate making class at the Funky Chocolate Club, which includes endless samples, lessons about the process and your homemade bars to take home. For another incredible view, you have to take the tram to the Harder Kulm lookout point. If you want to really round out your visit with a grand gesture to experience the views, you can elevate your trip and skydive with Outdoor Interlaken. Though these are mostly activities for the warmer summer weather, don’t forget that in the winter, you can ski! (The Jungfrau skiing region is a bus ride from town.)

What is this destination ideal for?

I would most recommend that visitors to Interlaken be eager to spend time outdoors. Families, couples and groups of friends would all find things to do in this mountain town. Even after living in Switzerland for three years and returning to visit twice since then, I still never feel like I can adequately see enough of this country.  Pictures simply do not do it justice!

Interlaken is an outdoor lover’s ideal destination!

SB Staffer: Lauren Helmer, StyleBlueprint Regional Editor

Favorite travel destination: West Coast tour

Why is it so special? 

My mother took my sister and me on a West Coast tour for a girls’ trip that we’ll never forget. To be among such breathtaking vistas along the coast and hiking trails in the incredible Yosemite National Park, so far removed from our familiar Southern settings, was the perfect way to truly connect. We still laugh about moments from that trip.

Top three things to do?

Eat dim sum and shop the markets in San Francisco’s Chinatown; hike Yosemite and stay at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly the Ahwahnee Hotel); rent a convertible and drive along the coastal highways and into the small towns like San Gregorio, where you can stop by the San Gregorio General Store and dance to a live band with locals, then watch the sun set in Half Moon Bay

What is this destination ideal for?

Great for girlfriends and couples and for the adventurous and active family.

SB Staffer: Jesse Gillenwalters, StyleBlueprint Data Analyst

Favorite travel destination: Long Lake, NY

Why is it so special?

It’s special because it is a “Hamlet.” Yes, that is the specific designation of a town that has a population of less than 100. My grandmother grew up there and graduated in a class of four! Can only imagine what that prom looked like? It is nestled aside Long Lake, a beautiful and vast lake in the Adirondack mountains.

Top three things to do?

  1. Must catch the July 4th fireworks while on a boat.
  2. Grab dinner at the Adirondack Hotel and enjoy a mimosa on the porch.
  3. Camp!

What is this destination ideal for?

It’s great for family travel, specifically father/son outings.

SB Staffer: Ashley Holt, StyleBlueprint Birmingham Account Executive

Favorite travel destination: Sedona, Arizona

Why is it so special?

This is a beautiful place for new age enthusiasts, soul searching, peace and mindfulness and getting in touch with nature by hiking the vortexes.

Top three things to do?

Hiking and visit the vortexes. The vortexes are claimed to be powerful and transformational energy centers that are located at specific sites throughout Sedona. Vortexes are the intersections of natural electromagnetic earth energy, also known as ley lines. Several of the vortexes include Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Airport Mesa and, my personal favorite, Boynton Canyon and the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

What is the destination ideal for?

I went for a girlfriends’ getaway, but it’s great for solo traveling or for couples who enjoy getting outdoors.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors and drawing energy from your surroundings, Ashley Holt recommends Sedona, Arizona.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors and drawing energy from your surroundings, Ashley Holt recommends Sedona, Arizona.

SB Staffer: Annie Reeves, StyleBlueprint Marketing and Editorial Assistant

Favorite travel destination: Harbour Island, Bahamas

Why is it so special?

A 3-by-5-mile island in the Bahamas, it is the perfect escape. The food — with so many notable spots it’s hard to visit them all in one trip; the beach — with its ever-so-slightly pink sand; the laid-back atmosphere — with golf-cart exclusive transportation; and especially, the kindest, most genuine people. Special is the best way to describe this island!

Top three things to do?

  1. Spend a day on the beach (yes, the sand is really pink!) enjoying the sunshine and crystal clear water.
  2. Have a goombay smash or a cold Kalik at Romora Bay, dance to the local music and settle in for the best sunset views
  3. Boat to the nearby cove to swim in the calm water and spot sea turtles and starfish.

What is this destination ideal for?

Anything and everything! I’d never pass up an opportunity to visit this place.

The sand is really pink at Harbour Island.

SB Staffer: Macey Grant, StyleBlueprint Memphis Intern

Favorite travel destination: Saint Kitts and Nevis

Why is it so special?

Being on this island felt like heaven on earth.  The views, culture and beauty I experienced were overwhelming.  It was unforgettable!

Top three things to do?

If you go to Saint Kitts, you must ride horses in the mountains or rent a boat.

What is this destination ideal for?

This is ideal for family/friends travel.

Riding horses in Saint Kitts is a must.

Macey says that riding horses in Saint Kitts is a must!

SB Staffer: Addie Patterson, StyleBlueprint Nashville Intern

Favorite travel destination: Cashiers, NC

Why is it so special?

It is the most secluded and peaceful place if you’re in need of a true vacation. The special thing about it is you don’t have to travel very far to feel like you’re in a completely different world. The mountains and the vast greenery are the most beautiful of views. In Cashiers, you’re able to take some time for yourself in the mountains but also travel down to the little mountain town called Highlands to shop, eat and drink the most amazing coffee.

Top three things to do?

  1. Cashiers Farmers Market, especially if you’re visiting during fall or Christmas because they have the cutest fall decorations and food. I’ve bought my Christmas tree there for three years in a row!
  2. Shop in Highlands. Go to Acorns for antiques, jewelry and mountain-style gifts. Eat at Madison’s Restaurant and Wine Garden for the cutest atmosphere, farm-to-table food and afternoon cocktails.
  3. Canyon Spa

What is this destination ideal for?

This town can be perfect for a relaxing family vacation, can be super fun for a girls’ getaway (a lot of cute restaurants to grab drinks, spas, etc.) and couples (there is a super romantic feel in the mountains of Cashiers).

Cashiers, NC, offers a peaceful escape for friends, couples and families alike!

Cashiers, NC, offers a peaceful escape for friends, couples and families alike!

Hopefully you’ve found your next SB-endorsed vacation destination. Happy travels!

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Want more great vacation ideas? Check out our Travel section, where you’ll find hotel & resort reviews, vacation itineraries and so much more. Click HERE!

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