Need Some Travel Inspo? Our Editors Spill Their All-Time Favorite Vacation Destinations
written by JESSICA BENNETT
UPDATED-JULY 18, 2022
OK, this is super bougie of me, but we went on a family vacation to Greece after I graduated college a few years ago, and it was truly my Mamma Mia! moment. Like, envision me singing Dancing Queen along the cliffs of Santorini, living my very best life. We went to Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos, and I loved the history and site-seeing of Athens, but Mykonos and Santorini both took my breath away and easily became my favorite vacation destinations. The food is so fresh and delicious (I had flaming cheese for every meal), and the sites are absolutely breathtaking (all-white buildings with blue roofs are so my aesthetic). I fell in love with the culture and history and will be singing the Mamma Mia! soundtrack until I can go back.
– Josie, Wellness Editor
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Growing up, our family vacations typically consisted of packing up the mini-van and road-tripping to the mountains, so my love for Rocky Mountain National Park runs deep. I’ve been there to hike and/or camp countless times, and it never fails to astound me. The snow glittering off the peaks, the smell of the pine trees, the dust that clings to your boots after a long hike—I find it all magical. This is one of those vacation destinations that everyone should experience at least once in their lives.
– Jessica Bennett, Lifestyle Editor
Santa Barbara, California
You know how when places are popular in movies and TV, they never actually live up to expectations when you see them in person? Santa Barbara is somehow even more beautiful in real life. To be transparent, I spent less than 24 hours there, but it’s on the top of my list of places to go back to as soon as I can. It has everything you could possibly want: scenic beaches, amazing restaurants, and a cute town to walk around in. I could spend a full month there and be happy.
– Maddie Galassi, Fashion Editor
Not to be “that girl” who talks about their study abroad experience years later, but… I’ve got to talk about it. I wouldn’t pin myself as the super-adventurous, outdoorsy type, but after taking a long weekend trip with some of my friends to Switzerland during my semester in Europe, I’ve never had a bigger appreciation for the outdoors! Hiking through the Swiss Alps is truly a surreal experience, and it feels like the views are too good to be true. If you’re up for amazing trails, skydiving, and clean, crisp air, then this is your place. It can also be an ideal spot to relax and be one with nature. Laying in a hammock with a book and listening to the birds near the cottage we rented is truly one of my favorite memories from my time there. Not to mention, their wine and cheese fondue is some of the best.
– Andi, Social Media Coordinator
Higgins Lake, Michigan
It’s not the most elaborate vacation I’ve been on, but let me tell you: There’s nothing that centers me more than a weekend with my family at our cottage nestled in the woods of Higgins Lake, Michigan. I’ve been going there since I was a kid, and I can’t recommend it enough. The water is clearer than any lake I’ve been to, the weather in the summer is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s the perfect place to disconnect from reality, catch up on a fresh read, and get some quality time with the people you love. When I am itching to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this place is the cure.
– Ashley, Branded Content Editor
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
If I had an unlimited travel budget, I would be on a beach in Mexico for the rest of my life. I am all about a reading on the beach, margarita in hand, endless guac kind of vacation, and Cabo fits that perfectly. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family trip, a bachelorette party, or just some R&R, you can’t go wrong with Cabo as your vacay destination. It really is my desert-meets-the-beach paradise.
– Jessica Jones, Social Media Editor
Unrivaled shopping, out-of-a-movie romance, croissants, and macarons (*said with a French accent*) like you’ve never tasted. I mean, what more could a girl ask for? As cliché as this may sound, Paris is everything you could dream of and more. My French excursion was part of a quick European getaway with the S.O., so we had to hit the touristy spots. You know, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre (hey there, Mona Lisa), Champs-Élysées, and all the corner cafés we could fit in. What else can I say? Paris has a certain je ne sais quoiyou just have to experience for yourself.
– Katherine Chang, Wellness Staff Writer
Lido Key, Florida
Siesta Key is beautiful, but it has absolutely nothing on its neighboring island to the north: Lido Key. I fear that telling you this will overpopulate my favorite island, but I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be. Lido is luxurious without being stuffy and laid-back without being boring—which is why I head there every year for vacation. A perfect day on Lido is spent mostly on the beach, but you need to leave room to walk over to St. Armands Circle for the endless shopping and dining options. If you like to experience the nightlife scene on vacation, don’t worry. All you have to do is take the bridge over to downtown Sarasota and head up to a rooftop for drinks and a view of the island. It’s truly a perfect destination, and writing this all out makes me want to head back ASAP.
– Hailey, Editorial Assistant
British Columbia, Canada
My siblings and I tagged along with my mom on a work trip to Vancouver a couple of years ago. Because it was a last-minute work trip, we didn’t have super high expectations but were just excited to explore a new city. However, it has since become our most talked-about trip. Vancouver itself is a very cool city with a ton of stuff to do and explore, but we also took a ferry one day to Vancouver Island and were able to experience the city of Victoria—and it was truly the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. We went to the absolutely stunning Butchart Gardens, and I don’t think a week goes by in which one of us doesn’t bring it up. It’s definitely a spot to add to your bucket list ASAP.
– Jess, Associate Editor
This is going to sound very “that girl” of me, but I went backpacking through Europe after graduating from college, and our last stop of the trip was London. Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with several cities throughout that trip, but the highlight was always going to be London. From the moment I stepped off the train, it was a dream come true. There’s something new and exciting down every street you turn; it’s a city you could visit a dozen times and never run out of new things to see and try. Of course, you’ll want to hit all the big stops—Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Harrod’s—but my favorite parts of London are the little nooks and crannies you stumble upon by accident: used bookstores, random pubs, and peaceful parks. I could sit and reminisce about London all day, so I’ll leave you with this: It’s just as magical as you think it is.
– Garri, Managing Editor
Los Angeles, California
A few months ago marked my first full year of travel, and even though I haven’t gone international (yet), my treks across the U.S. have been life-changing. Going to L.A. was an experience like no other. Besides the food options from so many different cultures (don’t miss out on all the taco trucks), there was never a dull moment. Between the (terrifyingly) realistic escape rooms and amazing highway views, I genuinely fell in love. I met so many amazing, unique people there, fell in love with Santa Monica’s beach, and felt more like myself than I ever have. It’s not just like the movies; it’s better, I promise.
– Tierra, Editorial Intern