Bucharest-18

Another year’s come and gone; hopefully you’ve enjoyed a few adventures of your own. Again this year, I’ve included five of my favourite spots to inspire you lovely readers to travel in 2019.

Budapest-29
[Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest]

1. Budapest, Hungary

This wasn’t our first trip to Budapest, but arriving here for a Viking River Cruise along the Danube River was a sheer joy to kick off a three-week adventure in Eastern Europe.

This time we took a well-deserved jet lag break at Király fürdő, a Turkish bath house built during the second half of the 16th century during Ottoman rule. There’s a market (Nagycsarnok) across town housed in a gorgeous late 1800’s red and yellow-brick building and a pretty square near the water where we came across a spring festival with food stalls, musicians and local crafts for sale.

Major attractions include Fishermen’s Bastion across the Danube, the Hungarian Parliament (where we were given a fascinating tour in English) and the Insta-worthy Szechenyi Chain Bridge, beautifully illuminated at night. Get lost in between the shuffle and discover some of the prettiest buildings and Old World cafés.

SUGGESTED READING

Spotlight on Hungary: The Noble Horsemen of the Puszta
Passage to Eastern Europe with Viking River Cruises: Part 1
What to See and Do in Bucharest

Chicago-7
[In Chicago, everywhere you look, beautiful period architecture abounds]

2. Chicago’s Fabulous Architecture

Since Chicago is the birthplace of the skyscraper, I was prepared to be inundated with tall, stately, historic buildings at every turn. What I didn’t expect was the amazing variety of architecture throughout the downtown core!

Aside from the shimmery, silver Cloud Gate (aka The Bean — the most photographed work of art in the city), the Chicago Theater (with its brilliant neon marquee) and the Rookery Building on South La Salle are standout spots for photography.

Enjoy the famous deep-dish pizza, take in a show at Second City Theater or shop along North Michigan Avenue (aka The Magnificent Mile) when exploring the Windy City.

SUGGESTED READING

Chicago Eats: Casual Fare Around the City
Chicago Essentials Guide: What to See and Do in the Windy City

Memphis-6
[Beale Street Historic District]

3. Memphis, Tennessee

If there’s one US city that’s left an indelible impression on my mind, it’s Memphis, Tennessee. This Southern city is steeped in history: Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King’s assassination during the height of the Civil Rights movement, the birth of soul and rock ‘n’ roll, the march of the mallards at the historic Peabody Hotel, Beale Street’s neon-charged blues clubs, the mighty Mississippi spanning across to Arkansas and some mighty fine BBQ.

The weather here is hot, hot, hot in summer but stays relatively mild into the winter, so if you’re looking for a culture-soaked alternative to Mexico or Hawaii, I’d highly recommend Memphis. In 2019, the city will celebrate its bicentennial too, so check out Memphis Travel online for upcoming special events in honour of this landmark year.

SUGGESTED READING

What to See and Do in Memphis
Our Memphis Dining Guide
5 Places to Get Your Elvis Presley Fix in Memphis
Hotel Napoleon Offers Cozy Sleeps Inside Historic Memphis Building

New Orleans-46
[A stately home in NOLA’s Garden District]

4. New Orleans, Louisiana

I can finally mark New Orleans off my bucket list. From dinner at the fanciful Palace Cafe to strolls through the French Quarter for architecture, beignets and cafe au lait (at Cafe du Monde), New Orleans both charms and energizes the soul.

Once you’ve had your Bourbon Street fix (with to-go cup of alcohol of choice in hand), take the vintage Canal Street tram to City Park where you’ll find both New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and the Sydney and Waldo Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

Wind down your visit to the park at 24-hour legendary coffee house Morning Call (for more beignets and cafe au lait!), where a row of waiters are ready to serve the moment you walk through the door.

There’s a bevy of great walking tours, a Segway tour and shopping on Magazine Street to add to your New Orleans list. Allow at least a week here. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

SUGGESTED READING

What to See and Do in New Orleans
Our New Orleans Dining Guide
NOLA Sleeps at Smart Boutique Hotel Le Méridien New Orleans

Saskatoon/Remai Modern
[Remai Modern]

5. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Saskatoon may be a small city in the heart of Canada’s bread basket, but there’s so much going on here, from a thriving local business community to conservation areas teeming with birds and wildlife. Staying at the Delta Bess makes for a historic base to explore on foot throughout the compact city.

SUGGESTED READING

Things to See and Do in Saskatoon
Saskatoon for Food Lovers
A Stay at Delta Hotels Bessborough Saskatoon
Saskatoon History and Heritage

Here’s to a travel-filled 2019 with bucket-list memories to share! What are some of your fave spots around the globe?

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