Our Best Vacation Spots for 2021 include something for everyone. Whether you are looking for the best places to vacation in the United States or a cool place to travel overseas, we break down the top vacation spots and share our favorite destinations.
#1 Kauai, Hawaii
If you want to jump straight to the top, Kauai is the place to go! We love the warm sandy beaches, laid back culture, farm to table island dining and plentiful farmers markets. We highly recommend the Kauai Marriott Resort located on exotic Kalapaki Beach and snorkeling at Poipu and Lydgate Beach Park. For an unforgettable experience, watch the sunset at the Princeville Resort and try to spot the “green flash” just as the sun disappears, while sipping a craft cocktail from the terrace.
#2 Rome, Italy
Imagine walking down the Spanish Steps, throwing three coins into Trevi Fountain, gazing at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican or savoring a romantic dinner in Piazza Navona. There’s a reason Rome is La Dolce Vita. Don’t forget to follow Julius Caesar’s footsteps in the Forum, take in the moon’s luminescence through the open roof of the Pantheon, revel at the Coliseum and Roman aqueducts and go biking along the Appian Way. Hotels in Rome can be very expensive, but you can find beautiful apartments to rent in the heart of the city and villas abound in the countryside if you plan to venture off to Tuscany.
#3 Sonoma County, California
In addition to having some of the best wine tasting in the world, Sonoma County features awe-inspiring places to take romantic pictures and pleasant weather year-round. Whether you’re renting one of our favorite vacation homes, picking up the perfect supplies for a picnic along the Russian River or going for a hike in the Armstrong Redwoods, Sonoma County is magical. We recommend grabbing a sandwich and stocking up your picnic supplies at the Dry Creek General Store, walking the square at Healdsburg, and enjoying a family dinner at Backyard in Forestville. Just a short drive away, you can also take the gondola and wine tasting tour at Sterling Vineyards and see where we got engaged at the magical Castello di Amorosa, where a tour and tasting are essential.
#4 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
It’s not just the weather that makes Puerto Vallarta special, although it is hard to find year-round sunshine. The Bay of Bandaras is stunning and we love walking around the Malecón boardwalk and sampling local fresh appetizers. We will never forget the romantic dinners at the Café des Artistes and breakfasts as the River Café. The Iguanas near the river are always a hit and there are plenty of options for housing, including resorts like the Marriott Casa Magna in Nuevo Vallarta, numerous all-inclusive resorts just south of town and some amazing homes you can rent, complete with a chef and fridges that can be stocked with your favorite food and drinks just before you arrive. When the sun sets, there are few places more beautiful under the moonlit ocean and city lights.
#5 Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
We have found Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast to have some of the most beautiful blue waters in the world. But, unlike other destinations, Croatia is still relaxed and not overcrowded with tourists. Whether you like wine tasting in the countryside, sun bathing on the beach or enjoying a nice walk and ice cream, Croatia has it all, and you’ll meet some of the nicest people in all the world. They truly want you to love their country and it shows. For a special treat, charter a gulet and let the captain and crew do the sailing and cooking as you explore the coastline.
#6 Bora Bora, French Polynesia
If money is not a limiting factor, Bora Bora is unforgettable. This is one of those few places in the world where you can get an overwater villa on a private island resort. The white sandy beaches are amazing, the tropical fish are plentiful and you can be pampered to your hearts content with the finest in hospitality and luxury. We recommend staying at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. Billed as an “aquatic paradise”, the St. Regis defines luxury and even has a private Lagoonarium, where you can snorkel in a protected underwater sanctuary.
#7 Cruising the Caribbean
One of our favorite vacation spots, actually isn’t a spot, but more of a concept. We love cruising the Caribbean Sea. If you have never been on a cruise, this year could offer some unbeatable prices to unforgettable places. It is hard to think of a port that we haven’t enjoyed in the Caribbean, so you really cannot go wrong. We recommend securing an ocean view stateroom near the middle of the ship to minimize any sea sickness. But, these are large vessels with stabilizers and you are seldom more than a day away from port. Make sure to find a cruise line that fits with your preferred style and take advantage of the many shore excursions that will take you to places you otherwise wouldn’t have time to see. As far as cruise lines, it is hard to go wrong with Royal Caribbean. We love the amenities and the vibe that always seems to be vibrant for all ages. There’s also options like freestyle cruising, where food is served at your leisure or ships that feature upscale restaurants for those seeking fine dining.
#8 Las Vegas, Nevada
Okay, we know we are going to get a lot of criticism for this one, but we try to make an annual trip to Las Vegas. Just because you drank and partied way too much here in college doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all that Vegas has to offer later in life. From award winning restaurants to nightly shows and music, you should not run our of things to do and a long weekend can be perfect. We recommend staying at the Cosmopolitan and trying the “fire breathing dragon” and “verbena” cocktails that are made famous at their Chandelier Bar. It also doesn’t hurt that the pool is open year-round and the Cosmo has the best people watching in the city.
#9 Pismo Beach, California
Looking for something inexpensive and relaxing? Pismo has beaches as far as you can see and you’ll be right at home in your board shoes. Located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Pismo Beach is the perfect place to unwind. We packed a cooler and laid on the beach for hours before exploring the local shops and nightlife in nearby San Luis Obispo. With wide open beaches, this is the perfect place to fly a kite, learn to surf or enjoy the company of friends and family.
#10 Nashville, Tennessee
Our final vacation spot is likely to draw some criticism as well. But, if you’ve ever been to Nashville, you know why it’s special. The music is amazing! We were walking out in front of Tootsies one summer night and watched as Kid Rock and Hank Williams Jr. took the stage and rocked the whole block, just for fun. This stuff only happens in Nashville, and even if you fail to see a star you know, you’ll be more than impressed with the lineup of talented musicians who regularly delight with country and rock. This is also the home of Tennessee whiskey, so be sure to have some bourbon cocktails as you enjoy the music and nightlife.
Where are we planning to go this year?
Now that we have shared our Best Vacation Spots, where are we actually planning to go this year? Since 2020 placed a number of restrictions on overseas flights and destinations, we are tempted to rent a villa in Rome or relax along the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia. But, Kauai, is our planned destination for 2021. With beautiful beaches, perfect weather, a relaxed atmosphere and amazing fresh fruit and fish, we plan to relax on the beaches of Poipu, enjoy some of Kauai’s fantastic restaurants, explore Waimea Canyon, snorkel and watch the sun set with an exotic cocktail on the North Shore.