5 Cool Vacation Spots That Aren't on Your Bucket List

Updated 08/12/19

Isn’t wanderlust just about the prettiest word you've ever heard? This sentiment is on high alert right now. Something happens when the temperature rises on those warm summer nights, and we find ourselves dreaming of where to go next or remembering childhoods spent in the sun during summer break. Whatever the case may be, when we close our eyes, we picture bright blue waters and the balmy weather on our skin. It's almost impossible not to seek the thrill of adventure. 

While we can't deny that sentimental feeling upon re-visiting a favorite destination, there’s something to be said for traveling to a place you’ve never been. If you're wondering what unique destination to visit this summer, then we’ve got a few suggestions. Keep scrolling for five cool vacation spots to add to your travel bucket list. Start practicing saying "hello" and "thank you" in your country of choice's national language stat.

Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal

Antonino Dias / 500px

We’re calling it: Portugal is about to take over from Italy as the next It summer destination. The southern European country has beautiful beaches, rich architecture (the Park and National Palace of Pena looks like it belongs in a Wes Anderson film), and the temperatures hang around the 70s in the summertime (August is the warmest month with a high of 82 degrees F).

Where to stay:

Explore the capital city of Lisbon or drive 45 minutes east to the Alentejo region, where we’re dreaming of a stay at the 22-suite L’And Vineyards. Surrounded by olive groves, vineyards, and a lake, the très chic hotel and Caudalie spa offer the ultimate seclusion and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Hot air balloon rides, wine tastings, wine courses, and detox retreats are also options. 

St. George’s, Grenada

Bradley Gaines / 500px

Known as the Spice Island, where the main exports include cocoa, and nutmeg, Grenada is one of our favorite places in the world. Here the colorful town of St. George’s is referred to as the “Portofino of the Caribbean” (for obvious reasons). Want to learn about natural remedies? This island is a must-visit for this (we heard of soursop for the first time here). Of course, like all Caribbean Islands, the water is warm and the sand is soft.

Where to stay:

Never mind a home in the Hamptons this summer. Instead, stay in one of Laluna’s pristine three-, four-, or five-bedroom villas (starting at $1380 for a three bedroom with a maximum of six people). A direct flight from New York to the island (under five hours) may even be faster than getting to the East End on a long weekend. Owned by former New Yorker Bernardo Bertucci, who has sailed with Anna Wintour on Grenada, Laluna imports ingredients straight from Italy to offer the best Italian food and has a waterfront yoga pavilion with a “million-dollar” view.

Calafate, Argentina

Maciej Bledowski / 500px

If Iceland is on your bucket list then add Calafate, Argentina too. When it’s summer in the states, it’s winter there (from June through August, it averages 30 degrees F). While in Calafate, go on a andBeyond Glacier Perito Moreno excursion with cameras at the ready to capture the breathtakingly blue, gigantic glacier. Also, ski the Andes Mountains or Patagonia, and hike the snow-capped Alps.

Where to stay:

Stay at Relais and Chateaux property Eolo located 30 minutes away from El Calafate in the middle of nowhere (literally only nature surrounds the property as far as the eye can see). Though 10,000 acres, the luxury lodge features 17 rooms and a restaurant with native Patagonian flavors. Activities on the property include horseback riding, trekking, and mountain bike riding.

Mallorca, Spain

Søren Thuesen / 500px

There is so much to do on this Mediterranean island in Spain, from yachting and taking in the sights of castles and ruins to hiking, cycling, and live music in the summer. There are also an endless number of beaches that don’t need any filters. We’re dreaming of snorkeling at Cala Barca Beach in South-East Mallorca, sailing Cala Figuera Beach in North Mallorca, and laying out on Cala Llombards Beach in South-East Mallorca.

Where to stay:

You know when you scroll through Instagram and come across an image of a resort on a cliff and wonder if it exists, and if so where is it? Jumeirah Port Sóller Hotel & Spa on the northwest coast of Mallorca is one of those places. The boutique hotel’s 121 rooms feature amazing views of the Mediterranean Sea, mountains, and the fishing village of Port Sóller.

José Ignacio, Uruguay

Situated on the southern coast of Uruguay, this fishing village becomes a hot spot in the summer. Sunbathe on private beaches, visit beautiful vineyards like Bodega Garzón, and be sure to dine at the tree hut restaurant: Namm.

Where to stay:

A not-to-be-missed property is the super-stylish Bahia Vik. Located on dunes, the retreat looks like a modern art installation (spoiler alert: The owner is an art collector). The exterior is full of sharp lines, including infinity pools and floor-to-ceiling windows, while the inside is adorned with bright colors and contemporary pieces. Another place to stay is the 15-room boutique Posada del Faro hotel. A favorite among jet-setters, the intimate property is nestled on a sandy bluff, features private terraces, complimentary bikes to explore the small town, and activities including horseback riding and whale watching from July through October.

Where are you dreaming of traveling this summer?

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