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This place is special to me because my girlfriend and I visited the island during a milestone birthday. It was my first time visiting the Keys and I was blown away by the lush trees and flowers, the intriguing history, the abundant sunshine, tropical birds and marine life...and the delicious fish and fritters! There's simply no better place to celebrate a birthday, Key West is truly a paradise! This map is now a cherished keepsake of my vacation, but it can also be used as a guide for anyone planning their first-time visit!
This place is special to me because I climbed to the Tiger’s Nest monastery and visited with the monks. It was an arduous, extraordinary journey which will never be forgotten. The town of Paro also features the National Museum of this amazing country, which is filled with friendly people, cows, and dogs everywhere.
This place is special to me because when I moved to LA in my 20s, going to “The Strip” was the ultimate night out. Not only did I get to see tons of amazing bands here, but the vibe of the area holds a unique electricity. Despite Los Angeles’ characteristic sprawl, this area has much to love for any rocker in a concentrated place. A fun night out on the Sunset Strip consisted of going to the Rainbow Room for pizza and pre-show drinks—where you might have a rock-celebrity sighting—then going off to a show at the Roxy or the Viper Room. After a night of dancing, drinking, and meeting kindred music souls, you could go grab a hot dog at the famous Carney’s. For any music lover living in or visiting Los Angeles, the Sunset Strip is a must-see place!
This place is special to me because I grew up there and I know it by heart. Truthfully working on this map made me realize how special that neighborhood really is with all it's possibilities for social activities and general standard of living. I'm very grateful to have been able to grow up there. So therefore this map is my way of saying thanks. :)
This place is special to me because there is something magical about Lititz, especially during the Christmas season. Even though it is my hometown, the time I spend downtown always feels special. Each shop, cafe, and restaurant is unique and has that hard-to-define small town feel. There is so much to learn about the town's history (founded in 1756 by Count Zinzendorf, a Moravian who named the town after a Bohemian castle). And there is nothing like standing beside friends and neighbors during Christmas in the Park -- singing carols together by candlelight, listening to local school children singing, and watching the Christmas tree light up. Lititz was voted "America's Coolest Small Town" (by Budget Travel magazine in 2013) for so many great reasons! Come visit! (The artwork on this map comes from the woodslice ornaments I paint for the Purple Robin Reserve shop, which sells artwork from over 140 local artists.)
This is my 'happy place' - Folkestone, off the South East coast of Kent, UK. It is such a vibrant hub of creativity and nature combined. You can stroll along the Leas overlooking the sea, or wind down through the pathways to the walk along the sea front. You can visit the Harbour Arm to listen to live music, sip a cocktail, eat from a variety of food trucks or just take in the view over the Harbour. Oh the Harbour! Watch the boats bobbing whilst walking over the disused but renovated railway track, with the beautiful cliffs setting the backdrop. Peruse the independent shops all along The Old High Street and shop at the local markets, and end the day watching a play at the Leas Cliff Hall. I have been visiting ever since I was little'un and it just keeps getting better. Every time I go there I just feel any worries washing away and I feel totally relaxed. It really is my special Happy Place.
You know you want a wide selection of wonderfully weird things to do in Austin, Texas! I lived in Austin for years, so the city is near and dear to my heart. There are so many wacky things to do in this place. From the funky goodness of South Congress to the Cathedral of Junk (made of...yes...junk) to Chicken Poo Bingo, Austin has a totally unique vibe. My father attended graduate school at UT in the 70's, and I'd get to visit the campus with him occasionally. I grew up on Willie Nelson and Schlotzky's. I worked in an art gallery on 6th street after college and fell in love with my husband in those years. We've taken romantic strolls through Laguna Gloria, played mini-golf at Peter Pan's under the giant T-Rex, and held hands while moonlight snorkeling at Barton Springs. The whole city makes me feel young and in love with happy memories! Seeing the bat colony rise into the sky at dusk is something you should see at least once in a lifetime. And don't skip Uncommon Objects...they have everything you don't know you want yet. Do you hear that, taxidermied tiny alligator wearing a party hat? I'm coming for you. Shiner Bock ice cream from Amy's will be the perfect end to any day. Happy Austin-ing!
This illustration is an autobiographical map of many of the places dear to me. It's got anything from stupid and fun things I did as a kid, to my girlfriend Meg & I buying our first house this year and doing it up.
And lots of tea, beer and coffee!
This place is special to me because of the wonderful chilhood memories I have there. I grew up in Brussels and I remember my weekends being full of museum visits, bike rides and waffle breaks. What inspired me the most to create this map was to think about all the places I go to when I have international friends coming for a short visit and I have to introduce them to my hometown in only a weekend. You can be sure that food is always a big part of the experience!
This place is special to me because of the rich culture you get to experience everywhere you turn! Frankenmuth to me is like that cozy feeling you get during Christmas time but all year long and It’s somewhere I can spend countless hours in and never get bored!
This place is special to me because two of my great-grandparents came to the United States from Poland (one as a child and one as a young adult). [Correction: Mom says I forgot one, so make that three!] I have always appreciated Polish food and culture. At a prior residence, we lived only two blocks from a Polish hall, where I would occasionally assist the volunteers making pierogi for special events. Fortunately, we settled in an area where Polish culture abounds. If you cannot visit such a place, I highly recommend that you bring the fun to your home, i.e. learn how to play the accordion. It's fun, catchy and hard to put down once you start playing! Trust me.
This place is special to me because my husband proposed to me by a brook off the beaten path at Neuschwanstein Castle. For the less romantically inclined, the Alps are breathtakingly beautiful, and offer hiking in summer and world class skiing in winter (note the Olympic Skistadion). Take the cable car up the Zugspitze, Germany's highest point which is snowcapped year round. The 3 castles in the area are tied to "mad" King Ludwig II, who grew up in Hohenschwangau, built Linderhof, and died before the completion of Neuschwanstein, which later became the inspiration for Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle. For those wishing to see vintage household and work articles as well as learn how Germans lived in earlier days, visit the Freilicht and Violin museums.Cafes are dotted all over the area where you can partake of a favorite German custom - Kaffee and Kuchen. Have fun like I did and shop for touristy items such as a Dirndl (traditional German dress), Lederhosen, and a cuckoo clock, which are actually made in the Black Forrest. For the best experience, I encourage you to stay with locals, who rent out apartments in their homes.
This place is special to me because I have called it home for the last 12 years, and the sites and sounds have been profoundly influential to me as an artist. The city can be equal parts gritty and glitzy, and I have found the unique landscape and music culture has shaped my illustration style over my time as a Nashvillian. Even if you are not a country music fan, you can find something to love in this Southern jewel, including museums, great universities, historical sites, sports, and world class dining and drinking. Side note: If you are planning a destination bachelorette party, I hear Austin is really nice. ;)