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My husband and I spent our first wedding anniversary exploring Stockholm's island of Gamla Stan (Old Town) This map shows all the places that we look back fondly on. The coolest bookstore we've ever been to, the best Swedish Meatballs we had on our whole trip, the church courtyard where we enjoy some afternoon fika, the studio we got matching tattoos. Gamla Stan holds a very special place in our hearts.
This place is special to me because it was one of the most interesting places I visited during my 2017 solo trip in Japan. Naoshima definitely lives up to its name "Japan's Art Island" - where contemporary art meets architecture meets nature. The two GIANT pumpkin sculptures by one of the most acclaimed Japanese artists, Yayoi Kusama, were massive and became the symbol of the island. James Turrell’s work at Chichu museum and Minamidera blew. my. mind. The garden that built just like Monet's paintings was so beautiful. It felt like I stepped into his artwork! I also loved the beauty of simplicity and the creative use of natural light in Tadao Ando’s architecture. And of course - the delicious food and friendly people there. Spend a day on Naoshima next time you are in Japan. You won’t regret it!
This place is special to me because it’s my lovable little college town in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains. I feel like a local by now, but here’s the thing: when I’m traveling to an unfamiliar spot, I like the idea of staying undercover as much as possible. Anyone relate?? Yep, I know I’m snapping photos every 2 minutes and have an itinerary straight out of Yelp, but do the locals really have to roll their eyes and shake their heads?? So, to help you avoid being targeted as tourists by eagle-eyed college students, I want to pass on some tips on how to blend in and convince them you’re one of their own. So check out the map, head into the mountains, and you’ll be feeling 22 in no time ;)
This place is special to me because I grew up on the Florida beaches, and one year worked for an architect whose office was within walking distance of this architectural gem. I remember the incredibly designed cabinetry, trim work, and built-ins I saw in the interiors, and the painstaking deliberation over small details such as exterior paint colors. Many houses have names, picket fences line foot paths (cars aren't needed), and a short walk through artsy pavilions will take you to what everyone comes to see -the fine, powdery white sands and aqua blue surf. When hunger strikes there are plenty of food options, and for entertainment there is shopping, theater/fine arts performances, educational lectures, and bike rentals. I would love to go back with my camera to recapture memories from long ago. Seaside has been heralded as "probably the most influential resort community since Versailles" by Newsweek. I highly recommend visiting here if you love the ocean, architectural beauty and design, and want a peaceful, urban-modern vacation in a small community.
We visited Mongolia in October, 2019 and it quickly topped my list of favorite places. The warm-hearted people, the feeling of staying in a ger, and learning about this very different culture made the experience unforgettable. Plus, the funny names!
This place is special to me because I love kitsch! My hometown area of Traverse City is known for many things: wineries, restaurants, outdoor sports, etc. But ever since Mom gave me "The Guinness Book Of World Records" for Christmas when I was eleven years old, I have loved oddities of all kinds (I participated in two events vying for inclusion in the Guinness book: 1) world's largest chicken dance and 2) world's largest ice cream social). And after living in this area for over twenty years, I continue to find new and exciting oddball places to visit.
This place is special to me because, amidst the chaos of this Asian metropolis I have called my home away from the UK for a year (to the day!), there are gems of creativity I have been lucky enough to discover. As an artist myself, these galleries, workshop spaces, residencies and art cafes have been my grounding and have become my community. I will miss them very much.
This place is special to me because I had the privilege of living and studying here for two months in 2013. It was nothing short of magical! Every day felt like I was stepping into a fairy tale, and there were always new nooks and details to discover of this charming medieval castle town.
This is a special place to me because it is in my neighborhood and is an oasis in a busy, growing city. The park is home to a wide variety of birds, trees, and native plants. The park hosts multiple activities including bird walks, bicycle races, outdoor concerts, and an annual box car derby. The park is a peaceful place with well marked walking/running trails and thoughtfully placed benches for viewing the city and surrounding areas.
Annapolis, Maryland’s capital city, is on Chesapeake Bay. Its historic district includes 18th-century brick houses and the domed 1700s Maryland State House. On Church Circle, the Romanesque-style St. Anne’s Episcopal Church has Tiffany glass windows and a historic cemetery. The sprawling waterfront grounds of the United States Naval Academy feature beaux arts architecture, monuments and a naval history museum.
This place is special to me because it is such a lovely, charming, and weird location in South Korea with a wonderful history. Imsil introduced cheese to the Korean diet in 1958, when a Belgian man moved to the region. He raised goats and made his own cheese, and the governor at the time requested that he teach the skill to others in the community. Imsil Cheese Theme Park provides a place to have fun, learn about cheese, and make it yourself!