Where to go this summer: 10 top destinations
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(CNN) — It’s looking like this summer will be a travel season to remember, especially following the Covid-stricken summers of 2020 and 2021.
“Not only are we seeing exponential travel enthusiasm, we are also anticipating some amazing new summer experiences, events and offerings,” said Carole-Anne Hughs Wood, director of marketing for Embark Beyond, a New York-based luxury travel agency.
New York, Disney World and the United Kingdom, which is celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, all have great things going on.
“The excitement this summer to get out and experience the world, both near and far from home, certainly feels unprecedented,” she added.
Andrew Steinberg, a luxury travel agent affiliated with Ovation Travel Group, said summer travel bookings are like “the floodgates have opened. People have been trapped inside for a long time, they’ve been watching things online. Netflix subscription numbers are down now — people want experiences, to touch and feel real life again.”
Here are some of the many experiences in destinations around the world that can offer the joy of travel again this summer:
While it’s winter Down Under, the northern part of Australia has weather temperate enough for outdoor activities.
Singapore’s green space, with a view over Kent Ridge Park seen here, offers a natural escape from the bustle.
Dining and drinking options are endless, from the 49 restaurants cited on the 2021 Singapore Michelin Star list to multiple hawker centers serving inexpensive, local comfort food.
The beachfront resort of Eilat is a big draw in Israel.
A holy land for many of the world’s religions, Israel offers many fascinating attractions.
These include the beachfront resort of Eilat, on the Red Sea; the Dead Sea; and the mountain fortress of Masada, stronghold of the Jews in their war against the Romans.
Other must-sees in this small country, approximately the same size as the state of New Jersey, are the holy city of Jerusalem; Tel Aviv, a bustling, cosmopolitan, Mediterranean city; and the Sea of Galilee, the site of the New Testament bible story of Jesus walking on water.
Israel is famous for its plentiful breakfasts featuring everything from vegetable salads, hummus, cheeses and fish to eggs, breads and pastries.
Navagio Beach on the Greek island of Zakynthos is one of the world’s most stunning stretches of sand.
With few restrictions and an increasing number of direct flights to Greece from the US, this country, and particularly its islands, are especially attractive this summer.
Santorini and Mykonos often top travel bucket lists, while Crete, the largest Greek island, can be paired with either. Some of the most stunning Greek beaches are located in Zakynthos, while back on the mainland, the Peloponnese Peninsula is famous for its ancient ruins and modern-day wineries.
In Provence, Mercantour National Park is glorious by day and magical by night. It’s part of a new Dark Sky Reserve in France.
Kushnirov Avraham/Adobe Stock
A screen in Piccadilly Circus on Friday displays a countdown to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The Tower of London is planting a colorful field of millions of flowers, the first permanent transformation of its moat into a new natural landscape. There also will be special exhibitions of portraits of the queen, her Coronation Dress and Robe of Estate, and outfits she worn to celebrate her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees, at, respectively, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
Objects showcasing the queen’s love for animals and the great outdoors also will be on display at her country house of Sandringham.
Baru Volcano National Park in the province of Chiriqui is a stunner in Panama.
The most famous of this Central American country’s attractions is, of course, the Panama Canal, considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world and built in the early 20th century to decrease travel time for ships between the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
Nature lovers will enjoy Baru Volcano National Park in the province of Chiriqui. The volcano is the 12th highest peak in Central America and touted as the only place in the world where, on a clear day, you can see the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at the same time.
Great Lakes cruises often stop in charming Mackinac Island, Michigan.
Craig Zerbe/Adobe Stock
It will accommodate 378 passengers and feature lecture and fitness centers; outdoor terrace; spa; pools; modern, classic Scandinavian design; a lab where passengers can participate in the ship’s scientific research; four restaurants; and two submarines, each seating six.
Great Lakes itineraries, sailing from Thunder Bay, Ontario, to Milwaukee, still available for booking as of press time will sail in late May and late June and in early and mid-September.
Walt Disney World
This legendary destination — which will continue its 50th anniversary celebration that began last October through March 2023 — is offering several new attractions.
The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is billed as a two-night, immersive adventure where travelers can live “a bespoke experience and journey further into a Star Wars adventure” than they ever dreamed possible.
After arriving at the Walt Disney World Resort terminal, they will board a launch pod and rendezvous with the 100-cabin Halcyon starcruiser, where they can interact with characters and dine on exotic galactic cuisine. Travelers can also wield a lightsaber; explore the ship’s bridge, systems and controls; visit its engineering room; and take an exclusive transport to the planet Batuu.
Also launching this month in World Discovery at Epcot is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, a coaster that will rotate 360 degrees and invite visitors to participate in “an intergalactic chase through space and time with the Guardians of the Galaxy.”
New York’s Central Park is always a peaceful spot in the city. New hotels are opening as travelers return.
It also offers a bar and lounge on the 34th floor; a New York Yankee-themed steakhouse; a Rock Shop; and guest-curated playlists.
A trip to Montreal should include one of the city’s famed bagels.
Montreal’s summer 2022 festival calendar is “packed to the brim,” says this Quebec city’s website.
Among its festivals will be the Festival Go Velo, for cyclists; the three-week-long Montreal Fringe Festival; the MURAL festival for international graffiti artists; a fireworks festival with participation by six world-class pyrotechnic companies; a jazz festival; an outdoor circus performer festival; Montreal Pride; and a fashion and design festival.