When deciding where to go on your next adventure, do you look for an activity-specific destination, where you can enjoy a particular experience, for example, snorkelling around South Pacific coral reefs in Fiji? Or do you prefer to visit those places where a much wider range of attractions and activities are available, thereby providing a more diverse array of travel experiences?
If the latter piques your interest, we’ve done the legwork for you, and here are our top four travel destinations, selected based on the following criteria: a diverse range of food and dining options, a fascinating historical or cultural heritage, and an interesting and varied range of activities and experiences.
Anything is possible in the so-called land of opportunity. Whatever you want to do or experience, you can do it in America!
Considering that the expansive USA is comprised of 50 states, each with its unique history, flavour and landscape, it’s hardly surprising that the country can be considered a true all-in-one destination.
From idyllic tropical beach getaways on the Hawaiian Islands (above) or Florida Keys to the rugged ski slopes of Colorado and Vermont, the range of different landscapes and environments making up USA is staggering, and represents virtually the entire gamut of the world’s ecosystems.
As far as fascinating history and culture go, the US certainly does not disappoint. Whether you’re jubilantly celebrating Mardi Gras on the streets of New Orleans (above) or discovering the country’s history along Washington’s iconic museum mile, the cultural and historical encounters to be enjoyed across the US are endless.
And when it comes to food, you definitely won’t go hungry when holidaying in America. As diverse as the people are, so, too, is the country’s food scene. From famous food inventions on the streets of the big cities – such as Philly cheesesteak (above) – to world-renowned, award-winning dining establishments, there’s something on America’s menu for every imaginable taste bud.
Looking for that one place that will leave you speechless in wonderment? No doubt, Argentina is that amazing all-in-one destination you’re searching for.
The vast South American nation boasts an impressive list of attractions and travel experiences practically unrivalled anywhere else on earth. Breathtaking natural beauty abound throughout Argentina; whether you find yourself gazing at the massive Iguazu Falls (above), marvelling at the glacial scenes in the country’s south, or enjoying the never-ending horizons afforded by the famous Argentine pampas (lowlands), the different landscapes making up Argentina are as majestic in their raw beauty as they are varied in their nature.
Looking for spirited cultural encounters and delectable food adventures to colour your travels? There’s a host of fun and distinctly Argentinian exploits waiting to be enjoyed in the country. From sultry tango (above) on the streets of Buenos Aires to appreciating the country’s history at the Casa Rosada and savouring its world-famous asado (barbecues), there’s something to delight just about every type of visitor to Argentina.
3. South Africa
You may be surprised to see South Africa make the cut, but rest assured the multitude of experiences awaiting visitors to the African nation is truly astonishing.
Untouched wildernesses and unparalleled opportunities to encounter African wildlife (above)? Picturesque beaches and stunning coastlines? Snow-capped craggy peaks offering spectacular views and unforgettable hiking adventures? Buzzing nightlife in world-class cities? Mouthwatering food to tantalise and nourish? Rich history and diverse cultural heritage? Yes, yes and yes! South Africa boasts all that and so much more.
Whether you’re frolicking with African penguins on the beaches of the Western Cape, marvelling at some of the world’s greatest natural wonders – Table Mountain, Blyde River Canyon (above) and Tugela Falls – or discovering the country’s eclectic cultures in its vibrant urban centres, there is so much to experience when travelling through South Africa.
And as far as the food goes, the options are as delicious as they are varied. Whether you’re sampling some of the country’s exceptional game meat (ostrich, kudu and springbok are some of the locals’ favourites) at a traditional South African braai (barbecue) or savouring some regional delicacies – bunny chow in Durban, or Cape Malay curries and bobotie (spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping) in Cape Town – the options for food in South Africa are mind-boggling.
Though Japan is relatively small in size when compared to other countries on this list, the island nation certainly boasts an array of experiences as remarkable and diverse.
Want to enjoy top-rated ski slopes? Japan’s Hokkaido (above) has some of the world’s best. Keen to bask in the sun, lazing on white, sandy beaches, or snorkel around tropical coral reefs? The islands of Japan’s Okinawa prefecture are ideal (and idyllic). Looking to experience the planet’s most vibrant cityscapes? The Japanese urban centres, such as those in >Tokyo (below) and Kyoto, not only lead the way in terms of cutting-edge technology and acclaimed city planning, but also seamlessly blend old-world traditions and culture with new-age technological advancements. Where else can you go from worshipping at ancient traditional temples in the morning to admiring man’s greatest technological achievements at a robotics convention in the afternoon? Or move from a traditional Japanese teahouse one hour to a karaoke bar or nightclub with neon-lit interiors the next?
And, of course, there’s Japan’s food – famous for being one of the world’s freshest and healthiest. The diverse range of dining options that can be found throughout the country will leave your bellies filled and heads crammed with delightful foodie memories. Though many may think of just sushi when considering Japanese cuisine, there really is so much more to the nation’s food scene. From more traditional fare such as tempura and oden to imported (and expertly adapted) delights such as burgers and curry, the food and dining experiences you’ll encounter will certainly not disappoint.
– TEXT BY SAUL LIPCHIK
PHOTOS: PIXABAY, INSTAGRAM, ORIGINAL PHILLY CHEESESTEAK CO. FACEBOOK
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.