As a DC native I admit to some bias, still, Washington, DC gets my vote for best destinations to visit, especially from March to May. June, September and October are also very good times to make the trip but spring is personally my favorite season.
DC is a gorgeous city in the spring time and, it’s not just about the tidal basin blossoms. You’ll find the whole city and surrounding suburbs aglow with everything from the magnificent cherry blossoms, tulips, magnolia and dogwood trees, to forsythia and flowering pears. They are certainly beautiful. And, if you miss the Yoshino Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin, there are a variety of cherry trees at the National Arboretum, many of which tend to peak slightly later than the Yoshino Cherry Blossoms each year.
In fact, I always like to remind my visiting friends that DC is known as "the City of Trees" because of its broad variety of tree species. From George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to Boss Shepherd and Marion Barry, planting trees in DC has been a government and community priority. More than 15,000 trees were planted in DC from 2013 – 2015.
In addition to its lovely trees, the magnificent marbled monuments, memorials, and renowned museums should not escape mention and exploration.
The Martin Luther King, Jr and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorials are my absolute favorite places in the city, with the Einstein memorial only slightly trailing behind.
But, no trip to DC should neglect the traditional attractions, like the Washington Monument, the White House, and the Smithsonian Museums. The National Gallery of Art, Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museums are a few of my favorites.
And what's great about Washington is that it seems the lovely landscape is always changing. For example, the National Museum of African American History and Culture will have its grand opening on the mall in the fall of 2016. So, if you’re planning a trip for this fall or next spring, you may want to add this site to your #MustExploreList .
Free museums and monuments, free lectures and exhibits and the amazing things you can discover just by walking around the city, make DC a perfectly affordable get away.
March is a wonderful month to travel to Jamaica and explore this island’s captivating culture and history. But then again, anytime from November to April is amazing. May through October is the rainy season and hurricane season starts in June so if budget is an issue then you may find your best deals during this time.
Jamaica is derived from the Arawak name “Xayamaca” which means lands of rivers and springs. And, true to its name, you will find shimmering water and pristine white sand beaches, like Seven-Mile Beach in Negril, or numerous other stunning lagoons and beaches. So whether you like to swim, dive, snorkel or just bask on the beach, you can find your paradise here.
Wherever you decide to base yourself in Jamaica--Montego Bay or Ocho Rios on the northcoast of the Island, Kingston on the southeast coast of the island, or Negril set on the island’s west coast-- you will easily find entertainment and relaxation during your stay. I love the slower pace of life and the laid back vibe of Jamaica.
I could write an entire blog on Jamaican food, but for now I’ll just say this: To explore authentic Jamaican cuisine you will need to venture out of your resort and dine with the locals. If visiting Negril, be sure to get to Rick's Café. This wonderful café sits atop a 35 foot cliff overlooking the Caribbean and the broiled Jamaican spiny lobster is amazing! Beautiful sunrises and breathtaking sunsets can be found at Ricks and all over this island. The majesty of it all tends to illuminate petty worries and help you see that some things are just not that serious.
In Cairo, Egypt’s capital city, you will find a wonderful juxtaposition of past and present. This city is an exquisite mélange of modern urban chaos, rural tradition, ancient relics, extraordinary monuments, and world class museums.
The Greater Cairo area is home to nearly 17 million people and is the largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. Set on the Nile River, the city is known as ‘Mother of the World’ or Um ad-Dunya to those who live there.
The best times to visit include February to April and October to November. And while it seems much too obvious to say this, I have to: If this is your first visit don’t miss the Great Pyramid and Sphinx of Ghiza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This majestic site has astonished civilization for over 4000 years.
You will also seriously regret not visiting the Egyptian Museum, so allow yourself ample time for this one of kind attraction.
You should also visit the Khan el-Khalili Market, a souk in the Islamic district of Cairo that has been operating since 1382. If you're hunting for locally produced souvenirs, antiques or jewelry this is the place to be. However, if, like me, you don’t like shopping much, you still shouldn’t miss this amazing experience. Just pull up a chair and enjoy people watching while savoring shisha, or a cup of Arabic coffee or tea. You can also sample an enormous array of traditional cuisine from the street vendors here.
And last, but not least, if you have the opportunity to do so, I highly recommend a visit to Saqqara—the sacred cemetery of the Pharaohs.
Here you will find 11 Pharaohs’ pyramids surrounded by the tombs of their families, servants and pets. Saqqara has been a major Egyptian excavation site since the 19th century and remains one of the most fertile grounds for archaeologists working in Egypt. Experts believe thousands of tombs and burial chambers have yet to be uncovered here.
These are just a few highlights. There is so much more to discover in this amazing city. That's why you have to add Cairo to your #MustExploreList
Although the city has a reputation for its changeable weather, March is an excellent time to explore the city of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. In March, the scorching Australian summer fades into the background giving way to beautifully mild evenings, perfect for strolling along the South bank of the Yarra River.
While Victoria is Australia's smallest continental state, its capital Melbourne, is big on everything.
Travel to this sprawling cosmopolitan city offers jamming festivals, vibrant bars, and cool boutiques, as well as culture, art, food, wine, and stunning wildlife.
And let’s not forget that Melbourne is the sports capital of Australia and offers numerous sports events options for all sports lovers.
Be sure to take a drive along the Great Ocean Road.
This scenic drive is graced with breathtaking limestone rock formations like the Twelve Apostles, emerging from the deep blue-green coastal waters; pristine golden sand beaches; and charming fishing villages.
Wildlife enthusiasts will want to visit Phillip Island for the Penguin Parade one evening to watch as hundreds of fairy penguins return to their sand dune burrows after a long day at sea.
Another highlight near Melbourne is Yarra Valley wine tasting. On a scenic drive of Yarra Valley you will find more than 70 wineries and an awe-inspiring choice of ﬁne food.
But I would be remiss if I didn’t implore you to find a festival. Whether you attend the Ventana Street Fiesta, the Port Phillip Mussel Festival, the Moomba Festival, the Inverloch Jazz Festival, the Begonia Festival or Motorfest, for an authentic experience you need to celebrate with the locals!
Whatever your interest, Melbourne is so easy to explore, you will find plenty of activities to delight your tastes, from the Golden Mile to the Yarra River and beyond. You should definitely add #Melbourne to your #MustExploreList.