Fun Places to Go on Vacation

by | Oct 2, 2023 | Central & South America, Europe, Mexico & The Caribbean, North America, Travel Tips | 12 comments

There are so many fun places to go to on vacation, this list will have a destination for any type of traveler. 

It seems traveling has become more of a priority in the past two, post-pandemic, years. With so many fun places to go, it’s not hard to see why! I think the hardest part is narrowing down exactly where you want to go. Whenever I begin working with new travel clients, we first discuss the type of vacation experience they want to have and then focus on a destination.

How to Decide Where to Go on Vacation 

Vacations are the perfect opportunity to experience a new culture, embark on a big adventure, or simply relax. Although there are so many different types of vacations to take and an endless list of destinations, using this list will help you determine the perfect place to go. Keep reading to find out some of the best places to go on vacation.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click and buy I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. Please see my disclosure policy for details.

Places to Go on Vacation with Your Friends

Traveling with friends is one of the best experiences to fill your soul and deepen your friendships. Some of the best places to go on your girl trips include:

1. Paso Robles, California: for Food and Wine

Paso Robles is a fun place to vacation with friends. Two friends sitting in chairs at a winery, overlooking the vineyard and clinking glasses of red wine

Vacationing in Paso with a group of friends is sure to be a fun and memorable trip. From wine and cheese tasting to art exhibits and hot springs, there is something for everyone!

There are over 200 wineries (and tasting rooms) in Paso, so you will have plenty of options! An important thing to remember is to make reservations for your tastings in advance. The wineries are further apart than in Napa, so leave plenty of drive time between tastings. Speaking of driving, Uber and Lyft are available, however not super reliable. This is due in part to the poor cell phone service- you are in the mountains.

The best option is to hire a designated driver. This is an awesome service and ensures that everyone in your group can taste as much wine as they like. With Paso Robles Wine Tour, you provide the car, and they provide the designated driver. It’s much more affordable than having your own private tour- however, you can totally do that too. 

I recommend staying in downtown Paso Robles. You’ll be within walking distance of the cutest coffee shops, boutiques, and of course tasting rooms. There are also so many fantastic restaurants in Paso, many of which are also downtown. If you’re needing a break from all the wine, try Fish Gaucho. They have the best margaritas, and their halibut tacos are incredible!

2. Riviera Maya, Mexico: for Relaxing and Beaches

Atelier Playa Mujeres is a fun place to go with friends. Staying in the Inspira swim out suite

Life is busy, and sometimes the best vacation is one where you don’t have to do too much. If this sounds like your ideal getaway with your friends, then I suggest booking an all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya. 

Since this is a “friends’ trip,’ it might be nice to look at adults-only, all-inclusive resorts. Most resorts have different room tiers- everything from entry-level rooms to rooms that have their own private butler. 

One of my favorites is the Atelier at Playa Mujeres. The food, service, craft cocktails, and location can’t be beat. The Atelier also has an incredible spa, but make sure to book your spa appointments in advance as they fill up fast!

There are several different dining options- the steakhouse and Italian are two of my top picks. There is a rooftop bar that opens to the entire resort at 6:00 pm and you don’t want to miss it. The views are breathtaking, and the vibe is classy and upbeat. It is the perfect spot to grab a pre or post dinner cocktail. And if you’re craving a late-night snack, 24-hour room service is available and included.

3. Barcelona, Spain: for Night Owls and Dance Parties

Sipping sangria at a rooftop bar in Barcelona while on a vacation with friends. Barcelona is a fun place to vacation with your friends.

If your idea of an awesome vacation with your friends is eating fabulous food, sipping sangria, and staying up until the sun rises, then Barcelona is the perfect destination. Barcelona is popular with the tourists because there is something for everyone.  

Barcelona is extremely walkable. You could spend your days visiting the sites like Sagrada Familia and Hospital Sant Pau. Also, make sure to explore the Barcelona Shopping Line. Here you can pop into the local restaurants to grab a bite to eat and a glass of cava between boutiques. You will want to make time for an afternoon nap. Dinner in Barcelona starts late- like 10:00 pm late, but the food is so divine you won’t notice the time (I did not mean to rhyme, but it’s a true statement and will stay put). 

The night doesn’t end after dinner. Barcelona is known worldwide for its nightlife. From dive bars to beachfront clubs, there is a bit of everything. Hit the beach the next day to rest and recoup from the fun the evening before. 

4. Sedona, Arizona: for Wellness and Spa Treatments

Vacationing in Sedona is a fun experience to have with friends. Hiking with life long friends in the desert

Sedona is a mystical and magical place, and perfect for those groups looking to bond over relaxing spa treatments. It’s a quiet place and is known for being a spiritual vortex. If you’re looking to connect with your soul sisters on a deeper level, Sedona is the place to go on vacation.

For the luxe ladies, stay at a resort and spa, like L’Auberge de Sedona or Amara Resort and Spa. There are also plenty of vacation rental homes in the area and would be fabulous for your trip. If the latter is your choice, you will be able to book your spa services at one of the day spas. 

The spa experiences in Sedona can be far more powerful than your typical Swedish massage or facial (which are amazing, don’t get me wrong. Spa-goers can experience guided meditations, energy-clearing treatments, and sound bowl healing to name a few of the more unique treatment options. 

If being outdoors is part of the wellness journey for you and your friends, then you will love the many different hiking and mountain biking options that Sedona offers. I love this E-Bike rental company. They bring the bikes to you for added convenience. Sedona is a place of heightened energy. To tap into that energy, participate in an outdoor yoga sesh, which makes for a fantastic group activity.

Of course, no girls trip is complete without some fantastic food, and Sedona delivers. Uptown Sedona is where you will find amazing local restaurants, shops, and wine bars. Pro tip- make reservations for Elote Café, they are required, and you won’t want to miss out on the braised brisket enchiladas. 

Romantic Places to Go on Vacation for Couples

Travel broadens our horizons while creating deeper bonds and connections. Who better to grow in travel with, than your significant other? Whether you’re planning the perfect honeymoon or looking for some romantic vacation inspiration, I’ve got you covered.

1. Costa Rica: for Outdoor Adventures

Costa Rica is a fun place to go on a vacation full of outdoor adventures. Enjoy hiking in lush rainforests with majestic waterfalls

Costa Rica is a magical place. It is less touristy and commercialized than Mexico, and truth be told, there are not many all-inclusive resorts to choose from. The vibe here is best for couples who like a nice mix of romance, adventure, and exploration. 

I recommend staying 8-10 days in Costa Rica and splitting your time between two different areas. Arenal is great for rainforests, waterfalls, hot springs, and of course to hike around the Arenal Volcano. There are fantastic boutique properties in Costa Rica, and I would recommend staying at one of these unique resorts versus an all-inclusive. The Springs Resort is one of the best in the area- the views of the volcano are unparalleled. If your budget allows, Nayara Springs is another fabulous option. 

For the second part of your trip, I recommend heading to Manuel Antonio. Aside from the beautiful beaches and lush rainforests, Manuel Antonio is known for its incredible wildlife. Everything from scarlet macaws to sloths, iguanas, and monkeys can be spotted here. 

Stay at Arenas Del Mar the only luxury hotel in Manuel Antonio that is truly on the beach and in the rainforest. You’ll easily get up close and personal with the wildlife at this resort. 

Just a heads up, there will be a fair amount of time spent driving. You could rent a car, but it might be a better idea to hire a driver. The roads can be tough to navigate and drive time is often longer than what Google Maps quotes. 

2. Paris, France: for Luxury Romance

Romantic picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Paris is the best place to go on a romantic vacation

Paris has it all art, beautiful architecture, insanely delicious food, amazing wine, and beautiful parks. It has set the stage for some of the greatest love stories of our time. This makes it the perfect place for couples to go when they are looking for a destination that exudes romance and luxury.

For the best experience, travel during “shoulder season” (the months that shoulder the busiest travel months)- May and October. The crowds will be smaller, the weather will be great, and it will be a touch more affordable than the heavier traveled months, like June-September. 

The first stop on your trip should be the Eiffel Tower, naturally. I recommend combining the Eiffel Tower with a tour of the Louvre. From there, your days can be spent touring the elaborate chateaus and stunning gardens. A must-see is Jardin de Tuileries- a romantic ride on the Ferris wheel will allow you to soak up some of the best views of Paris. 

For the foodies- Paris has so many options. One of my absolute favorites is to take a cooking class. Is there a better place to learn how to make a buttery croissant? You can learn everything from how to make macrons to visiting the market and preparing a full meal. 

Other romantic experiences include having a picnic or taking a day trip out of the city. Pick up some items, for your picnic, from a nearby boulangerie and fromagerie, and head to a nearby park, like Parc Monceau. And for your out-of-the-city experience, spend the day learning about and sipping bubbly in Champagne.

3. Santorini, Greece: for Romantic Beaches

Santorini is a romantic and fun place to vacation with your partner. White buildings on the cliff in Santorini while the sun is setting.

Santorini is a magical place- white-washed buildings, pink flowers lining the alleyways, vibrant sunsets, and breathtaking views. It is no wonder it has become such a popular destination for couples, it’s dripping in romance.

One of the main attractions of Santorini is the beaches. Their unique characteristics set them apart from the golden sand beaches found on other Greek islands. The shoreline is filled with lava sand beaches, rock formations, crystal clear waters, and a beach club for every type of traveler.

The secluded, Eros beach translates to ‘Love beach’ making it an idyllic spot for a romantic beach day. The beauty of Eros is unmatched, with its deep clear waters, staggering cliffs in the background, and a pebble beach, you will feel like you’ve been transported to another world. Spend a day at Theros Wave Bar relaxing on your sun lounger and enjoying the beachside service. The menu is simplistic and highlights Mediterranean flavors, hand-crafted cocktails, and carefully selected wines. 

The sunsets in Santorini are some of the most beautiful in the world. For a truly romantic evening, book a sunset cruise from Ammoundi and experience the Caldera from a completely different viewpoint. Many cruise options include snorkeling, dinner, wine, and beer in addition to the sunset sail. You can opt for a private or a group experience.

There are many different hotel options in Santorini, but one of my favorites is Atrina Canava 1894. I can’t say enough about how wonderful the staff is, the service exceeds every expectation. The views are another major draw, each room has a view of the Aegean Sea, and the honeymoon suites each have a private outdoor jacuzzi. 

4. Napa, California: for Wine and Food

Romantic vacation in Napa Valley. Couple in a vineyard and drinking red wine. Holding wine glass from Cliff Lede

From world-class hotels, and Michelin Star restaurants, to award-winning wineries and picturesque towns, it’s easy to see why couples choose Napa as a place to celebrate their love. For lovers of food and wine, Napa Valley is the perfect place to go for a quick (or not-so-quick) vacation. 

There are so many wineries to visit and it’s impossible to fit in (even a fraction) in one trip. So, it’s important to consider what wines you prefer, and in what part of Napa they are produced? Napa is big, so try to stick to one region each day. You can easily fill a day with 2-3 wineries and stop for lunch. I highly recommend starting the trip with a tasting at a sparkling wine house.

Another important thing to know is that you will need to make reservations in advance. Wineries no longer accept walk-ins, everything is by appointment. Make reservations as soon as possible. If you were unable to get in to a specific winery, give them a call the day before to see if there was a cancellation. It never hurts to ask!

The wine will be flowing and the pours are generous. Ride shares, like Uber and Lyft aren’t very reliable due in part to the unreliable cell service. So for that reason, it’s important to hire a driver. There are plenty of companies with private drivers, or you can hire a designated driver to drive your rental car.

On my last trip, I stayed at the Archer Hotel, ind downtown Napa. I loved being so close to the tasting rooms, restaurants and Oxbow Public Market. The hotel is stunning in the most chic and rustic way. And, it has a super cool rooftop bar, with whisky tasting lounge (if you’re needing a break from the wine). 

Outside of the fabulous wine, food and gastronomic experiences are another reason people visit Napa. The locals treat food (and wine) like an art form. Which it very much is. Therefore, they’re excited to show off their craft. From juicy burgers at Gott’s Roadside, to the famous English muffins at Model Bakery and the decadent Pearls and Oysters at the French Laundry, the food in Napa will leave every palate satisfied and yearning for more.

Best Places to Go for Families

Breaking out of your normal routine and opening yourself and your children up to new cultures and experiences will create lasting memories for your family. Some of my favorite memories from growing up revolve around travel and the laughs and experiences we shared. Continue reading for some family vacation ideas.

1. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina: for Exploration and Beaches

Hilton Head is fun place to go for a family vacation. Pier on Hilton Head Island while the sunsets.

Hilton Head is the perfect blend of wildlife, outdoor fun, cultural experiences, and family-friendly activities. The climate is mild so it’s an ideal place to go for a low-key family vacation anytime of the year.

One of the biggest attractions of Hilton Head is the beautiful beaches. You can spend hours of quality time making sandcastles and splashing in the ocean. Also, the calm waters are great for the many different water sports. For example, you’ll find jet skiing, paddle boarding, and kayaking. You could even go fishing or crabbing.

Spend some time at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. The Island is home to many different types of wildlife. Alligators, white-tailed deer, herons, egrets, ibises, and numerous other bird species can be seen, so make sure to bring binoculars. 

You can even hike or bike the Pinckney trails. They run through freshwater ponds, forests, and salt marshes. Along the trails you will find several different scenic overlooks giving you fantastic views of the marshes and waterways. Pro tip: Pack a picnic to enjoy with your family on one of the overlooks.

Due to the smaller crowds and low-key vibe, you and your family will be comfortable exploring the island on two wheels. While you’re biking around, stop by The Ice Cream Cone. They have all the kid favorites like Superman, chocolate chip cookie dough, and Blue Monster. There are plenty of flavors for a more refined palate- try the brown butter bourbon, it’s insane!

Hilton Head has plenty of different options for accommodations. Check out The Westin Hilton Head Resort and Spa. This is a resort your whole family will enjoy, even the family dog. Pets are welcome. They have 3 pools, cabana rentals, a gorgeous spa, and plenty of activities to keep your family entertained. 

2. Rome, Italy: for Culture and History

Rome is a fun place to take a family vacation. The Colosseum in daylight with a small group of people standing in front of it.

If your family enjoys learning, culture, and exploring, then consider Rome as the place to go on your next family vacation. Rome is known as the Eternal City because of its rich history that spans two and a half thousand years- there is plenty to experience! Keep reading to get ideas for your next trip to Rome.

One of the most well-known and popular attraction in Rome is the Colosseum. It is within the Roman City Center and close by other sites like the Pantheon and the Roman Forum. While there are several fascinating tours you can take, such as The Colosseum at Night, even just walking by them is a surreal experience. 

As I mentioned, the city center is quite large, and you will do a lot of walking to see all of the sites. With all of the walking, you might work up an appetite. One piece of advice I can give you is to stay clear of restaurants that are located close to tourist attractions. These restaurants are geared towards tourists- the restaurants will be overcrowded and overpriced and the food will not be authentic. Walk a few blocks away from the crowds to dine with the locals.

Trastevere is a funky part of Rome. It’s known for its incredible restaurants. When I was in Rome, last summer I ate at Nanarella. I tried 3 different pastas, and they were all fantastic. Additionally, Trastevere would be a great place to stay. Besides having great dining options, it’s close to the city center and there is a playground on Piazza San Cosimato.

3. Alaska: for Cruising and Wildlife

An Alaskan Cruise is fun place to go on a family vacation. Cruise ship balcony with blue chair overlooking the ocean and snow topped mountains in Alaska

A cruise makes for one of the most enjoyable family vacations- there is fun for everyone. Going the tropical route, to Mexico or the Caribbean is of course going to provide plenty of fun and options for the whole family but consider going on an Alaskan cruise, especially if you like wildlife and majestic scenery. 

Alaskan cruises sail from April to October, giving you plenty of options during summer vacation. Most cruise lines offer Alaskan cruises, but it’s important to have a good understanding of what you want your onboard experience to be like, as well as your experiences off the ship. Knowing this will help you pick the right ship and itinerary. 

Not all Alaskan cruises are the same, but they will all be magical. Some of the coolest experiences you could have in port, include taking a sled ride and playing with husky puppies, taking a train ride on the White Pass railroad, or crabbing in Ketchikan. 

I do recommend getting a room with a balcony, as there is nothing quite like seeing the enormity of a glacier from your stateroom balcony, as the ship pulls up next to it. The staterooms are small, but I’ve put together a packing list of items that will help keep it organized and create a bit more space.

There will be plenty to do on the ship too. Each ship will be different, but some typical activities include- movie theaters, video arcades, guest lectures, yoga, ice skating rinks, and more. There are also kids and teens programs, giving them an opportunity to make new friends.

4. Winter Park, Colorado: for Skiing and Winter Activities

Winter Park is a fun place to go on vacation. Winter Park village at the base of a snowy mountain with evergreen trees in the background

Hit the slopes with your family for a fun filled ski vacation. One of the best places to take a family vacation is Winter Park, Colorado. It is the fourth-largest ski area in Colorado, and with plenty of activities, you’ll be entertained whether you stay for 2 days or 2 weeks. 

It’s the perfect place for all skill types. From beginners to intermediates and experts, will all be able to enjoy the slopes together. There are excellent ski schools and patient instructors to help beginners learn how to master the fundamentals. I remember learning how to do “the wedge” down the bunny hill many (many) years ago and can attest that their ski schools are top-notch. 

If skiing isn’t your thing, don’t worry, there are plenty of fun things to do with your family. Create memories tubing down Coca-Cola Tubing Hill, enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride, take a tour of the mountain in a heated snowcat, or go bowling at The Foundry.

Of course, the food in Winter Park is super kid-friendly as well. With over 20 restaurants to pick from, you’ll be sure to find something the pickiest eater will enjoy. Head to Club Car for beautiful mountain views and a bite to eat for lunch between runs. Pepperoni’s is another great spot to grab a slice of pizza and a beer. And of course, no winter vacation would be complete without gourmet hot chocolate and Hill House has the best. 

If you are looking to stay as close to slopes as possible, Zephyr Mountain Lodge is where you will want to be. It’s the only ski-in/ski-out base lodging in Winter Park. It’s just 110 feet from the gondola, and super close to The Village restaurants and shops.

Fun Places to Travel

Traveling itself can be stressful, so I hope this guide helped you stress less about WHERE to travel, and instead gets you excited for all of the fun places to go on vacation

12 responses to “Fun Places to Go on Vacation”

  1. Jan Bishop Avatar

    I have been looking for a place to have a family reunion. Hilton Head looks dreamy. Thanks for the ideas.

    1. katie Avatar

      You’re welcome, Jan! Hilton Head would be a fantastic location for your family reunion!

  2. Elaine Avatar

    So many places to go , I am always ready to go lol.. Working on a christmas market in Europe for December.

    1. katie Avatar

      Oh that sounds fabulous! Would love to know where you decide to go!

  3. Paul D Avatar
    Paul D

    Nice website, will be keeping you in mind for future trips.

    1. katie Avatar

      Thank you! We will be happy to help with your future travel plans!

  4. Susan Jo Avatar

    Now I have to add a few more places to my bucket list! I’ve been to Italy, Costa Rica, Alaska, and Colorado & can vouch for those places as being worthy of a trip.

    1. katie Avatar

      I find my travel bucket list grows daily! Love that you have been to so many wonderful places 🙂

  5. Brandi Sunrises2Sunsets Avatar

    Costa Rico is on our list for the exact reason you stated- “romance, adventure, and exploration. ” I can’t wait!

    1. katie Avatar

      It is so beautiful, and the people are very friendly and welcoming too!

  6. Debbie Avatar

    So many amazing spots to try! Barcelona has been on my list for many years. Hoping to make it there soon!

    1. katie Avatar

      Yes, it’s fabulous! Happy to help when the time comes to plan your trip!

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