8 Trips You Didn’t Know You Could Afford in 2019

Your next vacation might not be as expensive as you think. In some of the destinations below, the U.S. dollar will go further in 2019, with unexpectedly reasonable rates for lodging, activities, and dining; in others, I’ve unearthed hidden gems that are actually affordable. And while the cost of flights is never as low as most travelers want it to be, I’ve even found budget-friendly flights to many of these spots. Plan your next escape to one of these surprisingly cheap places to travel.

Hawaii

garden in hawaii
Mike Brake/Shutterstock

Affordable airfare is making the everyman’s bucket list trip a reality for 2019 (and we’re not just talking about flights from the West Coast). According to Airfarewatchdog, SmarterTravel’s sister site, some flights to Hawaii actually cost less than $500 from East Coast and Midwest cities in 2018. The reason? Multiple major airlines announced new routes to Hawaii, creating fierce competition for the best fares—a trend that’s expected to continue in 2019.

Hawaiian Airlines will soon offer Basic Economy fares, while budget carrier Southwest Airlines is expected to launch service to Hawaii soon. And while you can easily spend a pretty penny at luxury resorts, you can just as easily save with vacation rental properties steps from the beach.

Where to stay: Enjoy affordable accommodations at the Aston Waikiki Circle Hotel, located across the street from world-famous Waikiki Beach in Honolulu.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

kuala lumpur at night
f111photo/Shutterstock

Kuala Lumpur and other parts of Malaysia offer an exotic vacation destination with a not-so-exotic price tag. “Although the country is relatively more well developed than its neighbors around Southeast Asia, the Malaysian capital has some of the world’s cheapest rates for five-star hotels,” says travel blogger Bino Chua of I Wander. You can stay at luxe hotels for under $200 a night—and at three- or four-stars for even less.

Currently, one Malaysian ringgit is equal to 24 US cents, which means your dollar will go a long way when it comes to meals and activities, too. And in many cases, you won’t even need to pull out your wallet—admission-free museums, walking tours, religious sites, and parks make it easy to save. As for transportation, “a 10- to 15-minute car ride within Kuala Lumpur will cost around $3 USD (or even less),” says Chua. If you hop on one of the purple GO KL buses, you’ll pay nothing.

Where to stay: You can regularly find rates under $100 per night at the newly opened Hyatt House Kuala Lumpur, which offers accommodations with kitchens and complimentary breakfast.

London, England

london at night
Tono Balaguer/Shutterstock

London is calling in 2019. “The fall in the value of the British pound means foreign visitors get more bang for their buck when visiting the U.K., with competitive prices on hotels, attractions, and shopping,” says Freddie Julius of Tourist England. “The U.K.’s political instability, the result of a lack of clarity in the Brexit negotiations, means this situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.”

Airfarewatchdog predicts more flight deals to the U.K., too, noting that airfares have been decreasing with competition from low-cost carriers and the introduction of basic economy pricing. London also offers a wealth of free museums and parks that have always made a trip across the pond a decent deal.

Where to stay: The Ibis London Shepherds Bush – Hammersmith Hotel offers above-average breakfast at no additional cost, and is about a 10-minute walk from the nearest Tube station.

Israel

dome of the rock jerusalem
FadiBarghouthy/Shutterstock

“Israel—which had its best year ever thanks to more than four million visiting tourists in 2018—meets the needs of every type of traveler, including the budget-conscious visitor, because of its delicious yet inexpensive food options, wide range of hotel choices, many free historical sites, and wonderful outdoor activities,” says Ellen Shapiro, North America PR Director for the Israel Ministry of Tourism.

Explore the ancient biblical sites and colorful flea markets of Jerusalem; stroll Tel Aviv’s vibrant neighborhoods; go for a hike and sample wine in the north; or float in the Dead Sea (the lowest point on earth) and Red Sea in the south—all of it can be done on a budget. Another way you’ll save? Many of the Holy Land’s hotels offer lavish, complimentary buffet breakfasts so you can eat shakshuka to your heart’s content (and, of course, you can fill up on cheap and delicious hummus and falafel everywhere you go).

Where to stay:Tal by the Beach Hotel Tel Aviv is a boutique hotel that won’t break the bank. Complimentary amenities include happy hours with hors d’oeuvres and bike rentals to explore the city.

Curacao

curacao beach

Curacao is seriously underrated, and not just because of its beautiful beaches and candy-colored capital of Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Dutch-Caribbean island is also affordable, especially during the summer, when you can score round-trip flights in the $300 range from many major U.S. cities. Luxurious beachfront resorts are surprisingly affordable, too—think less than $200 per night. The food is surprisingly cheap as well, considering the island has one of the best culinary reputations in the Caribbean.

Where to stay: The Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort has a Four Diamond rating from AAA, yet it offers rates under $200 per night almost year-round. It also offers an all-inclusive option.

Lake Como, Italy

 

lake como

You don’t need to bring home John Legend’s and Chrissy Tiegen’s paychecks to vacation in Lake Como. Save by staying in the historic city of Como, which offers reasonably priced lodging and is the area’s transportation hub. “The Romans first identified Como as a holiday destination,” explains Shelley Clark, spokesperson for Como-based Lario Hotels. “Today, in addition to being the gateway to what many consider the world’s most beautiful lake, Como remains a world-class destination loaded with quaint charm and an impressive array of historical, cultural, retail, and dining options.”

Free and low-cost activities include exploring the nearby nature trails and fairy-tale villages that surround the lake and riding the inexpensive Como-Brunate funicular to the Brunate, the “balcony of the Alps.” You can even enjoy a bit of luxury for less at the Lido di Cernobbio, which offers a glamorous poolside experience for less than $25 per person.

Where to stay: You can find reasonable nightly rates at the hip Posta Design Hotel, located in Como’s medieval old town just a short stroll from the waterfront promenade.

El Salvador

volcano in el salvador

Did you know the official currency of El Salvador is the U.S. dollar? Not only does this take the guesswork out of budgeting for a vacation, but everything is also very affordable in El Salvador, Central America’s smallest country. Admission to two of the country’s most famous sites—Joya de Cerén, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (known as the “Pompeii of the Americas”), and San Andrés, a pre-Colombian site—costs less than $5.

You can also hike the country’s highest volcano, take an inexpensive surf lesson at Playa del Tunco, and learn about the country’s coffee culture at El Carmen Estate. Bonus: More than a dozen U.S. airports offer direct flights to El Salvador; from New York, it’s only five hours.

Where to stay: The luxe Sal & Luz Hotel comes at a reasonable price, with a quiet location and fabulous on-site restaurant.

Iceland

 

northern lights in iceland

While Iceland is a relatively short flight from the East Coast, its pricey reputation has also kept many travelers at a distance. But that should change in 2019. “Right now, the U.S. dollar is worth 20 percent more than it was in early 2018,” says Mero Geesey of Carpe Mundo, a travel agency that specializes in Iceland. “There have also been a lot of new hotels and guesthouses that have opened up within the last year, and several new tour operators offering glacier hikes, snorkel tours, and more.”

Hidden Iceland, for example, provides travelers with intimate alternatives to overcrowded and overpriced experiences. “Instead of the Blue Lagoon, you can explore an ice cave as part of a two-day trip to a glacier lagoon that also includes searching for the northern lights,” says Ryan Connolly, cofounder and marketing manager of Hidden Iceland. “In the spring, travelers can play with newly birthed lambs at an authentic farm guesthouse.”

Where to stay: About an hour outside of Reykjavik, Lambastadir Guesthouse is located on a farm and features an outdoor hot tub and sauna.

A Million Scarlet Roses – Most beautiful melody

This piano instrumental of A Million Scarlet Roses is a journey “Your heart is the compass, Your soul is the journey…”

Eyes Of The Scarlet Rose – “Should you see the light of your future, within the shadows of your present, The resilience of life dancing over vast deserts of death, Witness if you so shall, the majesty of Creation. The contentedness of All was and always will be.

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Title: A Million Scarlet Roses

 

Lyrics:

Once upon the time there was a painter

He had a little house and canvas

But he loved an actress

who loved flowers

He then sold his home

Sold his paintings and his shelter

And with all the money he bought

a whole sea of flowers

 

A million of scarlet roses

From the window you can see

The one, who is seriously in love,

transforms his life into flowers for you

 

A million of scarlet roses

From the window you can see

The one, who is seriously in love,

transforms his life into flowers for you

 

In the morning, you stand at the window

Maybe you’ve gone crazy

As in a continuation of a dream

The plaza is full of flowers

Your soul grows cold

What rich man is making fun by here?

But under the window, almost breathless,

the poor painter stands

 

A million of scarlet roses

From the window you can see

The one, who is seriously in love,

transforms his life into flowers for you

 

A million of scarlet roses

From the window you can see

The one, who is seriously in love,

transforms his life into flowers for you

 

The encounter was short

At night, the train carried her away

But in her life remained

the mad song of roses k

The painter kept living alone

Many troubles he beard

But in his life remained

the whole plaza of flowers

 

Stuck On You – Lionel Richie

 

“Fate controls who walks into your life, but you decide who you let walk out, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.”

“Don’t let someone else control what you do in life. It’s your decisions, your outcomes, your life.”

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Title: Stuck On You – Lionel Richie

 

 

Lyrics: Stuck On You – Lionel Richie

Stuck on you
I’ve got this feeling down
Deep in my soul
That I just can’t lose
Guess, I’m on my way
Needed a friend
And the way I feel now I guess
I’ll be with you till the end
Guess I’m on my way
Mighty glad you stayed

I’m stuck on you
Been a fool too long I guess
It’s time for me to come on home
Guess I’m on my way
So hard to see
That a woman like you could wait
Around for a man like me
Guess I’m on my way
Mighty glad you stayed

Oh, I’m leaving on that midnight train tomorrow
And I know just where I’m going
I’ve packed up my troubles
And I’ve thrown them all away
Because this time little darling
I’m coming home to stay

I’m stuck on you
I’ve got this feeling down
Deep in my soul
That I just can’t lose
Guess, I’m on my way
Needed a friend
And the way I feel now I guess
I’ll be with you till the end
Guess I’m on my way
I’m mighty glad you stayed

 

The USA’s 13 Coolest College Towns (Did Yours Make the List?)

Back to school is seriously cool in these scholarly destinations. With food, nightlife, and art scenes that are anything but elementary, these 13 spots are the best college towns in the U.S. to visit this fall.

Trip Ideas tree outdoor sky green Nature grass plant public space leisure lawn urban area park daytime leaf campus City recreation neighbourhood Garden landscape town square urban design metropolitan area tourism estate plaza spring landscaping walkway Playground day

Trip Ideas tree outdoor grass habitat Forest Nature path green trail wilderness woodland vegetation natural environment wood wooded ecosystem old growth forest walking plant leaf temperate broadleaf and mixed forest woody plant rainforest autumn sunlight deciduous Jungle temperate coniferous forest ridge biome stream area dirt lush  Trip Ideas grass outdoor tree sky leaf Nature autumn woody plant estate public space plant campus neighbourhood lawn red house residential area real estate landscape City Garden park home shrub walkway landscaping spring asphalt suburb facade maple tree way residential plantation sidewalk

  1. Eugene, Oregon

Nike gives Eugene serious athletic cache—just look at the fashion-statement uniforms the Oregon Ducks unveil every season or the state-of-the-art sporting facilities on campus. It’s also where frat-bro favorite Animal House was filmed and home to New Max’s Tavern, the inspiration for Homer’s famed hangout Moe’s Tavern on The Simpsons. Willamette Street is lined with art galleries like White Lotus, which showcases Asian works, and Sattva Gallery, where local artists display handcrafted ceramics and jewelry. Bonus: Portland is only a two-hour drive away.

 

Trip Ideas outdoor sky landmark cityscape City Town night human settlement evening tourism tower vacation skyline Downtown dusk Beach Resort

Secret Getaways Trip Ideas building sky outdoor urban area neighbourhood Architecture facade Downtown plaza sign   Trip Ideas landmark Town City neighbourhood street Downtown night metropolis metropolitan area evening building mixed use facade marketplace   Trip Ideas light water street darkness lighting night underwater concert stage special effects computer wallpaper midnight rock concert dark

2. Athens, Georgia

Athens is an incubator for artists and rock musicians—R.E.M and the B-52’s got their start here—and it oozes southern charm with its historic Georgian mansions in the Five Points neighborhood. Two music venues are the heart of the nightlife scene: 40 Watts Club, the legendary spot for big-name acts; and Georgia Theatre, which reopened in 2011 after a fire (the Grammy Award-winning and local group Zach Brown Band donated $250,000 to bring it back to life). Fun fact: Sanford Stadium at the University of Georgia doubles as a pet cemetery; every English bulldog mascot since 1956 is entombed in wall mausoleum near Gate 9.

Trip Ideas building outdoor City road urban area metropolitan area neighbourhood street Downtown way Town sidewalk mixed use car lane tree pedestrian daytime metropolis residential area vehicle condominium plant recreation apartment building

Trip Ideas indoor person ceiling Living restaurant room Entertainment lighting Bar people night interior design darkness   Trip Ideas outdoor sky scene metropolitan area way road skyline cityscape City transport metropolis urban area human settlement highway horizon night Downtown skyscraper evening residential area dusk traffic infrastructure controlled access highway Sunset public transport distance

3. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis may not have the distinct curb appeal of LA, NYC, or Boston, but the major city does have a pretty sick Frank Gehry-designed landmark that earns them major bragging rights. The Weisman Art Museum, a monolithic stainless steel page out of the famed architect’s book, sits on a bluff over the Mississippi, sprawling out on the U of M campus. Follow the college crowd and at some point or another, you’ll wind up in Dinkytown (yes, that’s its actual name) – a tiny neighborhood overflowing with restaurants (look past the chains for eclectic indies like the Kitty Cat Klub), bars, specialty stores and theaters.

 

Budget Trip Ideas cup table coffee Drink glass beer alcoholic beverage food beverage   Trip Ideas tree Forest grass woodland ecosystem path outdoor spruce fir forest grove nature reserve old growth forest wilderness tropical and subtropical coniferous forests vegetation temperate coniferous forest plant wood temperate broadleaf and mixed forest northern hardwood forest concept biome riparian forest wooded state park trail valdivian temperate rain forest deciduous rainforest trunk Jungle landscape area  Food + Drink Jetsetter Guides Offbeat Travel Trends Trip Ideas person cup food Drink coffee cup wooden caffeine coffee espresso hand flavor beverage

Trip Ideas outdoor sky Nature Coast water Sea body of water shore coastal and oceanic landforms Beach headland mountain promontory Ocean terrain cliff bay sand cape cove wave sandy

4. Santa Cruz, California

Massive swells, redwood-filled forests, an abundant haze of “medical” marijuana—it’s easy to see the appeal of Santa Cruz. Along with miles of misty beaches and endless bike trails that run through the nearby mountains, the city has killer microbrew and coffee scenes. Two standouts: the organic suds at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, in the Swift Street Courtyard, and single-origin promoter Verve Coffee Roasters, which has locations scattered around town.

Trip Ideas grass outdoor building tree landmark structure estate classical architecture outdoor structure facade Courtyard pavilion gazebo  Trip Ideas outdoor tree building mixed use urban area City neighbourhood daytime advertising metropolitan area real estate facade sky street house signage condominium

Road Trips Trip Ideas tree outdoor City Town urban area landmark street scene Downtown infrastructure sky neighbourhood metropolitan area road way pedestrian town square car sidewalk metropolis mixed use lane daytime plaza tourist attraction plant recreation tourism house

5. Madison, Wisconsin

Madison’s historic downtown is perfectly situated on an isthmus flanked by the Mendota and Monona lakes, with the 1,200-acre Arboretum and various biking trails nearby. But make no mistake, Madtown is a tailgaters paradise (game day favorite: fried cheese curds). Ask a Wisconsin grad about his alma matter and he’ll tell you the following: the Kollege Klubon Saturdays, Dotty’s for the Melting Pot burger, and the Terrace at Memorial Union for snapshot-worthy water views.

Trip Ideas tree outdoor grass ecosystem vegetation nature reserve wilderness spruce fir forest temperate broadleaf and mixed forest tropical and subtropical coniferous forests old growth forest Forest plant temperate coniferous forest woodland biome valdivian temperate rain forest riparian forest wetland bog path shrubland deciduous Lake plant community water larch swamp national park rainforest landscape northern hardwood forest concept hillside surrounded lush wooded

Trip Ideas tree outdoor water sky Nature River body of water natural environment reflection shore morning vacation landscape Lake Sea Sunset evening dusk setting surrounded wooded Trip Ideas water outdoor sky Sunset horizon Sea fishing cloud morning evening dusk sunrise Ocean sunlight dawn silhouette Trip Ideas outdoor mountain tree Nature sky mountainous landforms habitat geographical feature landform hill wilderness mountain range hillside ecosystem plant Forest ridge green season leaf woody plant autumn landscape valley meadow rural area alps lush Lake mountain pass plateau temperate coniferous forest overlooking grassy pasture highland land

6. Bozeman, Montana

Who would have guessed that one of America’s coolest college towns is the middle of cow-country Montana? Bozeman, home to Montana State University, has been drawing more and more visitors north. In summer, there’s world-class fishing at the nearby Madison and Yellowstone rivers; come winter, snow junkies flock to Bridger and Big Sky resorts. The town itself has a laid-back college vibe, with bistros, galleries and watering holes like Molly Brown bar, a note-perfect dive in the “bar-muda triangle.”

Trip Ideas Nature Waterfall water outdoor rock wall Ruins reflection water feature autumn ancient history terrain cliff stream geology stone            Trip Ideas person outdoor night evening meal restaurant Bar people crowd

Trip Ideas sky grass outdoor estate campus City real estate tree national trust for places of historic interest or natural beauty cloud stately home university mansion building land lot landscape

7. Ithaca, NY

Ithaca may weed out a few (hundred) prospective students each year with the promise of a brutal winter and somewhat middle-of-nowhere locale (it’s 4+ hours from NYC), but the picturesque city is a hell of a lot more than blizzard country. First and foremost, Ithaca topples the scenic scale with rolling hillsides, more than 150 cascading waterfalls (hence all the “Ithaca is GORGES!” merch) and winding trails. Extremely walkable, and home to a generous handful of breweries and wineries, the town also maintains a young crowd, with a population that’s more than 50 percent college kiddos thanks to Ithaca College and a place you probably haven’t heard of–Cornell.

Trip Ideas ground outdoor tree landmark estate stately home Architecture mansion campus wall sidewalk daytime brick building grass house college sky facade university real estate road surface park historic site symmetry Courtyard graffiti way painted walkway paving

Trip Ideas tree grass outdoor leaf Nature autumn park home house plant residential area estate spring neighbourhood real estate maple tree deciduous cottage branch landscape Garden facade mansion outdoor structure shrub landscaping suburb        Trip Ideas tree outdoor sky grass metropolitan area City urban area landmark bird's eye view residential area leaf daytime suburb cityscape plant real estate tower block aerial photography skyline estate green metropolis land lot landscape road park Garden horizon urban design lush hillside

8. Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Chapel Hill might have the strongest foodie cred of any college town in the country. Here, sports bar nachos and divey burger joints take a back seat to James Beard-nominated chefs like Andrea Reusing, whose Asian-inflected Lantern sources from local farms; and the Pig, a nose-to-tail Carolina-style barbecue joint that’s perennially packed. Beyond food, there are plenty more diversions, from the Carolina Basketball Museum to the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Trip Ideas mountain outdoor sky grass Nature mountainous landforms tree highland field woody plant wilderness hill rural area background leaf cloud Village morning grassland mountain range landscape hill station mount scenery meadow plant plain Farm pasture green fell national park valley escarpment Winter Ranch lush bushes distance hillside Trip Ideas outdoor building way ground scene street Town pedestrian urban area neighbourhood infrastructure public space sidewalk City road Downtown tree shopping recreation lane tourism  Trip Ideas grass outdoor sky field building estate tree house home stately home lawn mansion flower Garden palace autumn château manor house plantation

Trip Ideas outdoor tree ground building neighbourhood property Town mixed use City residential area real estate street Downtown house sidewalk condominium facade apartment recreation road

9. Charlottesville, Virginia

Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819 and his legacy lives on, from the grand 18th-century buildings to the secret societies like Seven and Z. In addition to a surprisingly cool art scene ⎯ check out art collective C’ville Arts⎯ lively restaurants (we love the rustic-chic C and O ) and the open-air pavilion on the Downtown Mall, one of the country’s emerging wine regions is right outside of town, shadowed by the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Trip Ideas tree outdoor water River reflection Nature leaf pond bank Lake wetland sky landscape bridge reservoir plant watercourse bayou fluvial landforms of streams autumn branch floodplain grass riparian zone creek traveling surrounded bushes wooded Trip Ideas building sky road outdoor scene Town street way neighbourhood City mixed use Downtown sidewalk night evening residential area real estate home metropolitan area town square estate metropolis cityscape lane facade street light plaza

Trip Ideas Weekend Getaways sky outdoor City urban area Town landmark neighbourhood building Architecture residential area house Downtown tree facade real estate metropolitan area home roof mixed use window apartment metropolis evening plaza estate street condominium apartment building

10. Burlington, Vermont

Burlington’s granola roots run deep. This is the place Ben and Jerry bestowed their psychedelic flavors on the world, and where a generation of LSD-charged roadies discovered Phish. These days an organic food movement and highly acclaimed craft beer scene have taken hold in and around UVM. See it firsthand at the City Market, where local purveyors hawk everything from freshly brewed kombucha to high-point ciders to pasture-raised pork.

Trip Ideas tree outdoor ground house property home estate building neighbourhood residential area mansion cottage backyard Villa real estate Courtyard facade yard farmhouse plant area trailer shade  Trip Ideas indoor floor ceiling room interior design restaurant furniture area Shop

Trip Ideas building outdoor sky landmark Town tower night Architecture dusk evening metropolitan area metropolis City tourist attraction cloud facade estate tree palace mansion house château town square cityscape sign

11. Oxford, Mississippi

Home to William Faulkner’s 19th-century estate Rowan Oak, the storied paperback palace Square Books, and chef John Currence’s destination Cajun spot City Grocery, Oxford is the quintessential Southern small town. The magnolia-lined streets have added luxury boutiques and new-wave restaurants in recent years, but original treasures remain ⎯ Neilson’s, for instance, is the oldest department store in the South. The hotel of choice: the Z, a classic B&B run by two twenty-something Ole Miss-alum sisters. Don’t miss their breakfast cheddar biscuits.

Trip Ideas outdoor tree building road carriage Town landmark street drawn house estate vacation tourism pulling home château place of worship Church horse-drawn vehicle cart

12. Williamsburg, Virginia

Cheesy historical reenactments have long defined Williamsburg, but a growing arts district is giving the town of William & Mary College a polished new edge. Don’t miss the Sculpture Gallery, a public art initiative that features 21 pieces from East Coast artists, including terra cotta works by Barbara Kobylinska, and Century Art Gallery, a showcase for contemporary paintings inside a 1920 Sears Roebuck house. And if you do happen to enjoy colonial history, visit the Jamestown Settlement, eat at one of the many 18th-century-style taverns, or take a tour of the Berkeley Plantation.

Trip Ideas tree grass outdoor sky Nature stately home landmark estate woody plant park mansion campus building daytime national trust for places of historic interest or natural beauty château plant manor house lawn Garden palace university college listed building home house facade real estate landscape plantation historic house almshouse City medieval architecture stone square  Trip Ideas grass tree outdoor Nature nature reserve reflection water waterway bank vegetation bridge riparian zone pond wetland leaf watercourse River bayou green riparian forest biome state park creek floodplain landscape Lake Canal plant lush Forest area surrounded wooded

Trip Ideas sky outdoor building metropolitan area road City transport landmark neighbourhood metropolis urban area street Downtown Town cityscape plaza human settlement Architecture residential area shopping mall skyline skyscraper tower block public transport town square way

13. Ann Arbor, Michigan

Football season in Ann Arbor is no joke—just ask the University of Michigan team, who basically acquire star status every September. For non-collegiates and non-sportifs, life is still pretty swell with post-grad job prospects at big name companies like Google AdWords and Toyota making the town a comfy locale for former co-eds. Plus, pair all that with a bustling downtown–say hello to a multitude of late-night bites and plenty of beer at local faves like Ashley’s—and residential charm courtesy of tree-lined streets and Ann Arbor just about has it all.

 

30 Super Inspiring Quotes About Finding Success as an Entrepreneur

1 .”In business, the only thing that is more important than the number is the person.”

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2. “The reality is there’s an element of risk and luck in anything that you do. But I find that with disciplined risk, you’re either winning and succeeding or you’re learning. And that’s really the foundation to evolving and growing as a business.”

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3. “Being an entrepreneur means one word: freedom. I have the ability to chart my own course and pursue what I’m passionate about.”

Brandon

4. “I know that I’ve got to do my job better and harder than anyone in that building so that everyone there can take care of their families. And that’s one of the coolest feelings for me.”

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5. “The word to me is synonymous with ‘hustler.’ As an entrepreneur, you cannot be afraid to put yourself and your ideas out there and figure out how to give them life.”

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6. “I do not have a staff of hundreds. I have a very tiny staff trained as artists and architects, and I only take on one building at any given time. I’m very protective of staying small.”

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7. “Most successful people reflect daily. It gives our brain a chance to pause the chaos with conscious thought of our previous actions and to hopefully derive meaning/learning from those moments! But only if you’re honest with yourself!

Mario Amstrong

8. “‘Fear of failure’ is something that shouldn’t be in your vocabulary in the military, or entrepreneurship. You need to take calculated risks and not be afraid of setbacks. And in both cases, you need the mindset that I will do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission.”

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9. “Entrepreneurs cross the fine line between crazy and genius.”

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10. “I want to improve the world and spend my life doing something meaningful.”

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11. “Being an entrepreneur is following your passion and finding a profit in it. You spend 70% of your life at work, you better love what you do.”

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12. “An entrepreneur is someone who sees a need in the market and does something about it, rather than just sitting on the sidelines.”

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13. It is about having a vision and mission that is bigger than me.”

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14.”Being in the military taught me to risk it all early and to risk it all often.

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15. “We have to slow down, particularly women who have been taught to overachieve in every single endeavor. They believe they have to be outstanding every single day at being a parent, spouse, and contributor at work. If you are trying to do that, you are going to crash and burn, and very likely not be outstanding at any of it.”

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16. “You need to get to a place where you can prosper at your passion. Like I have a couple of artist friends that have a real job and do their art on the side. If their art gets big, they’ll do that full-time, but there’s no reason to go broke in the meantime.”

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17. “An entrepreneur is someone who gets shit done.”

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18. “Being an entrepreneur means to be an artist of life. To be willing to take big risks, because of the deep belief in creating things that matter.”

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19. “Unwavering belief in yourself and enthusiasm for what you’re doing. Those traits naturally create a sense of ownership that you can’t buy anywhere — not even Jeff Bezos can sell it!”

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20. “Bringing your entrepreneurial vision to fruition takes a team of smart and experienced people. Find them, trust them and empower them to help you make decisions.”

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21. “You gotta succeed. If you’re not succeeding, you’re not recruiting anybody.”

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22. “An entrepreneur is someone who has the passion and courage to try something that’s never been done before.”

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23. “Entrepreneurship is about solving problems, not getting fixated on them.”

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24. “Being an entrepreneur is different than starting and quickly exiting a startup. I think entrepreneurs create long-term companies and jobs.”

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24. “When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to understand that no one is going to swoop in and save the day. You have to enjoy solving problems for your customers and for your business.”

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26. “To me, an entrepreneur is someone who has a goal of impacting other people by helping them solve a problem, and through that help, aims to grow and scale to help even more people.”

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27. “As an entrepreneurs, you have a fire burning inside your belly, a vision and a dream that you will do anything and everything in your power to bring to life.

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28. “Entrepreneurship is about the fight — the process of getting your product and service in the hands of consumers and building a company along the way.”

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29. “You have to do more than just your role. You have put on a lot of different hats and do a lot of different jobs that are outside of your daily tasks.”

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30. “I think the best entrepreneurs are able to create win-wins that lead to sustainable business growth and economics.”

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The story behind Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ shows us how to make projects our own

Aretha Franklin, the great American singer who became a defining voice of the 20th century and the acclaimed Queen of Soul, died at her home in Detroit on Thursday from pancreatic cancer, her publicist said. She was 76.

“We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on,” Franklin’s family said in a statement.

A preacher’s daughter, Franklin began her career as a teenager in the 1950s, and her inimitable voice allowed her to hop between gospel, R&B, classical and jazz genres with grace. She went on to win 18 Grammy Awards, sell more than 75 million records in her life, and become one of the best-selling selling artists of all time. But out of all the songs she recorded, “Respect,” her demand for dignity, became her signature song that is still played in living rooms and at political protests today. The story of how Franklin took a song originally written and released by Otis Redding and made it her own can be career inspiration for us all.

How Franklin made “Respect” her own

In Redding’s version, “Respect” is about a man pleading with a woman to give him respect in exchange for what he can provide for her. Redding sang: “Hey little girl, you’re sweeter than honey / And I’m about to give you all of my money / But all I want you to do / Is just give it, give it / Respect when I come home … ”

When Franklin recorded “Respect” on Valentine’s Day in 1967, she kept most of the original lyrics but transformed the meaning of the song with the addition of a bridge and the call-and-response of her sisters. Under Franklin’s version, “Respect” became more than a domestic dispute. It became an empowering feminist anthem for women to be treated equally at home and at work.

“Oooh, your kisses,” Franklin sang, “Sweeter than honey / And guess what? / So is my money.” In her most memorable addition, Franklin spelled out her demand for parity for emphasis in the bridge: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T/ Find out what it means to me /R-E-S-P-E-C-T / Take care, TCB [take of business].”

 

 

When Franklin’s version hit the airwaves, it became a massive hit, spending two weeks as the No. 1 song in America in 1967. It became a rallying cry for women’s rights and the civil rights movement. Today, it has been referenced and sampled in dozens of feature films. We all want R-E-S-P-E-C-T. “I think that hook line is something we all relate to,” Franklin told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s something we all appreciate and expect.”

It ranks No. 4 on “Songs of the Century,” a 1999 project by the National Endowment for the Arts. “Respect” is now remembered for being Franklin’s more than Redding’s. Even Redding acknowledges this. When he played it himself at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, he said, “This next song is a song that a girl took away from me!”

I Just Called To Say I Love You – Piano cover

I have a love song in my heart and its lyrics are a serenade dedicated to you.  

” I Just Called To Say I Love You” 

====================================================================

Title: I Just Called To Say I Love You

DedicatedYou are the most beautiful love song, the most beautiful music ever created, the most beautiful person in this world.

Lyrics:

I Just Called To Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder

No New Year’s Day to celebrate
No chocolate covered candy hearts to give away
No first of spring, no song to sing
In fact here’s just another ordinary day

No April rain
No flowers bloom
No wedding Saturday within the month of June
But what it is, is something true
Made up of these three words that I must say to you

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

No summer’s high
No warm July
No harvest moon to light one tender August night
No autumn breeze
No falling leaves
Not even time for birds to fly to southern skies

No Libra sun
No Halloween
No giving thanks to all the Christmas joy you bring
But what it is, though old so new
To fill your heart like no three words could ever do

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care, I do
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

Can we sing it one more time please
I just called to say I love you (I just called to say, I just called to say I love you)
I just called to say how much I care, I do (I just called to say, I just called to say I do)
I just called to say I love you (I just called to say, I just called to say I love you)
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart, of my heart, I love you from the bottom of my heart

 

 

 

Magic melodies for the soul

“Kindness
is never weakness
if it has potential
to cause death.
So, if you can
“kill them with kindness,”
the ball is in your court.
YOU have the power!”

 

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Introducing Magic melodies for the soul

“IF I’M GOING TO BE A LIGHT WORKER, I CANNOT LET THOSE IN THE DARKNESS DIM MY LIGHT”

Picking songs for an album is an art form in itself..I tell ya! However, I loved all the songs that were recorded and it was so hard to leave some off.  There’s some really special songs in there and I hope you enjoy them!

 

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.
So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

18 Swoon-Worthy Overwater Bungalows

Who can resist the allure of an over-water bungalow? Everything about it spells romantic, off-the-grid seclusion, from the thatched roofs and wraparound terraces to outdoor showers and spellbinding views of the azure waters. We traveled to Tahiti, Fiji, Bora Bora and beyond in search of the best over-water bungalows. Here’s what we found.

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora Bora Bora, French Polynesia All-Inclusive Resorts Boutique Hotels Grounds Hotels Island Luxury Overwater Bungalow Romance Scenic views Trip Ideas Tropical water sky mountain Nature Lake promontory caribbean Sea Coast islet archipelago Beach Lagoon Resort cape cove resort town reef shore swimming pond

Four Seasons Bora Bora

To get to the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, a private yacht takes you across warm South Pacific waters to your very own over-water bungalow or beachfront villa. Once there, you’ll never have to leave the privacy of your thatched-roof retreat— you can request to have meals delivered by canoe, and decks mean that you’re only ever a stepladder’s distance away from the crystalline lagoon.

Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives Hembadhu, Maldives Beachfront Bedroom Family Hotels Resort Scenic views Villa property home sink swimming pool bathroom restaurant Suite tub Island

Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef, Maldives

This resort represents a younger, more affordable take on textbook tropical luxury, which translates into hip accommodations, a buzzy vibe and top-notch service. The 62 beach and over-water villas come equipped with outdoor rain showers that let you go au naturel in nature. Take a dip in the reef, then climb up your private ladder onto your deck to laze under the sun.

Likuliku Lagoon Resort Malolo Island, Fiji All-Inclusive Resorts Beach Hotels Luxury Travel Pool Scenic views tree water umbrella chair palm leisure property caribbean Resort swimming pool lawn Sea arecales Ocean Villa tropics Lagoon condominium lined swimming plant sailing vessel shade

Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Fiji

This adults-only resort is home to Fiji’s only over-water bungalows, making it a big draw for honeymooners. Splurge on a Deluxe Beachfront Bure for direct ladder access to the lagoon, a freestanding bath, lounger-strewn deck and a private plunge pool.

Six Senses Laamu Olhuveli Island, Maldives Beach Beachfront Exterior Hotels Islands Luxury Ocean Romantic Trip Ideas water sky umbrella leisure chair Sea caribbean Resort Pool swimming pool pier overlooking Villa shore

Six Senses Laamu, Maldives

On the tiny island of Olhuveli, the Six Senses Laamu’s 97 villas are secluded and luxurious, with indoor-outdoor spaces and private beach access. Throw in six distinctive on-site restaurants and bars, the glamorous spa and water activities, and it’s obvious why this resort is a beach vacay slam dunk.

Angsana Ihuru Ihuru Island, Maldives Beachfront Hip Hotels Lounge Luxury Modern water sky chair scene Sea Ocean wooden vehicle evening caribbean Resort Coast Beach Sunset set

Angsana Ihuru, Maldives

Ideal for lovers, divers and environmentalists, the Angsana Ihuru is a stylish haven on a tiny private island in the Maldives’ North Malé Atoll. Highlights include the thoroughly modern, thatch-roofed bungalows; the wildlife sightings (think: parrotfish, turtles and blacktip sharks); and the resort’s underwater coral garden initiative, which gives guests the opportunity to clean and restore the house reef.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Rangali Island, Maldives Hotels Ocean water sky reef Nature Sea archipelago Coast islet Island blue cape wind wave atoll arctic ocean day  Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Rangali Island, Maldives Hotels Ocean water sky reef Nature Sea archipelago Coast islet Island blue cape wind wave atoll arctic ocean day

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Rangali Island, Maldives Beach Beachfront Elegant Hip Hotels Lounge Luxury Modern Ocean water chair umbrella leisure mountain Pool Resort swimming pool Sea caribbean overlooking Villa swimming Island

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

The resort encompasses two adjacent islands, connected by a 500-meter footbridge, and offers both standard beach villas and the coveted over-water variety. The expansive 1,600-square-foot spa accommodations have large Roman baths, vaulted ceilings, ceiling fans, teak floors, and, of course, unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean.

Constance Prince Maurice Pointe de Flacq, Mauritius Hotels tree sky water house Resort Lake surrounded Village

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

This 60-acre resort is on a private estate at the end of a peninsula on the unspoiled East Coast of Mauritius. Thanks to the vision of Mauritian architect Jean-Marc Eynaud, the thatch-roof villas are just shy of over-the-top, with heated private pools, romantic outdoor baths and Feng Shui-inspired interiors.

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Nha Trang, Vietnam Balcony Beachfront Deck Hotels Jungle Romance Scenic views Terrace Tropical Waterfront sky mountain hut Nature Sea overlooking stone

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam

You’ll need to endure a long-haul flight and a car and boat transfer to get to this luxury boutique hotel. But once you’ve arrived at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, it’s all about pampered relaxation. The 58 villas are set amid massive rock and boulder formations and overlook the South China Sea; those along the beachfront are extra luxurious, with paths running directly to the sand.

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa Bora Bora, French Polynesia Hotels tree sky grass Nature shore Coast green Sea water Beach tropics Ocean River arecales caribbean landscape Jungle Lagoon cove Island flower plant surrounded lush

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa

Each spacious over-water villa at the Inter-Continental Bora Bora has oh-my views of the azure lagoon and the iconic Mount Otemanu. Designed with an environmental sensitivity, the resort uses revolutionary technology that draws seawater from the depths of the ocean to reuse it for electricity.

Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort Maharepa, French Polynesia Architecture Buildings Exterior Hotels Luxury Overwater Bungalow Resort Scenic views sky water umbrella Sea Ocean Sunset evening house night dusk morning Coast sunlight

Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort, Tahiti

With sawtooth mountain ridges, vertiginous fern-cloaked cliffs, deep ravines and dramatic waterfalls, this wild and romantic island retreat is the ultimate far flung escape. Take in the views from the hammock on your bungalow’s deck or from your deep soak tub or rain shower.

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort Bora Bora, French Polynesia Beach Hotels Lounge Scenic views chair umbrella property leisure Resort caribbean swimming pool Villa cottage overlooking

The St. Regis Bora Bora

Starting at 1,550 square feet, the over-water accommodations at The St. Regis Bora Bora are the largest in French Polynesia. But it’s not just size that sets these lush bungalows apart. Blending minimalist Polynesian decor (think: plank wood floors, thatch-work ceilings, tribal-inspired art) and 21st century luxuries like glass floor panels, this property is a serious stunner.

Diamonds Athuruga Athuruga Island, Maldives Adventure All-inclusive Beach Beachfront Hotels Play Scenic views Trip Ideas water sky house Boat Sea Lake Ocean caribbean shore Island Coast Lagoon Resort Nature tropics cove dock cape vehicle docked surrounded

Diamonds Athuruga Beach & Water Villas All Inclusive, Maldives

The villas at this all-inclusive Maldives hideaway eschew thatch-roofs and sand-colored interiors for a sleek, white-on-white aesthetic. Inside, find four-poster beds, lacquered writing desks, polished herringbone floors and open-air showers.

El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma Playa Maroma, Mexico Hotels sky water shore Sea Sunset morning Beach Ocean evening Coast dusk River dawn sunrise

El Dorado Maroma by Karisma, Mexico

Move over, Maldives. Mexico’s now got its own over-water bungalow resort, and it’s out of this world. The adults-only enclave has 30 plafitos (stilt houses) on a secluded stretch of the Riviera Maya. As with most resorts there’s a glass-bottom floor, infinity plunge pool, outdoor shower, 24-hour butler and a ladder that leads into the sea. But, the design is the opposite of cookie-cutter: dark zapote wood from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexican white granite and roofs made with thatched palm leaves.

Song Saa Private Island Koh Rong, Cambodia All-Inclusive Resorts Hotels Luxury Travel water Boat Nature Sea Coast reef marina Lake aerial photography River channel dock green waterway cove shore lined Island promontory  Song Saa Private Island Koh Rong, Cambodia Hotels house building porch home daylighting lighting living room outdoor structure cottage

Song Saa Private Island Koh Rong, Cambodia Hotels tree property swimming pool home Resort backyard Courtyard wooden cottage Villa outdoor structure stone

 

Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia

Lush rain forest, pristine beaches, and colorful reefs are just some of the reasons we love this Cambodian getaway set on two private islands along the Gulf of Thailand. Song Saa’s 27 waterfront villas are done up with natural materials (beach driftwood and recycled timber from old fishing boats) as well as handcrafted furnishings by local artisans. Split your time between the yoga and meditation center, infinity pool, spa, and snorkeling sites.

Pangkor Laut Resort Lumut, Malaysia Hotels tree water palm Beach night palm family arecales evening woody plant plant lighting dusk sunlight lined surrounded sandy shore

Pangkor Laut Resort, Malaysia

Nestled on a private 300-acre isle in Malaysia, Pangkor Laut Resort is a true tropical oasis. Its 43 posh over-water suites feature massive sundecks and over-sized bathtubs that look out over the azure sea. And around the resort, there’s four restaurants, two outdoor swimming pools, and a private beach to continue the bliss

COMO Cocoa Island Cocoa Island, Maldives Beauty Hotels News Trip Ideas sky water Beach Sea shore Ocean watercraft sand surfboard surfing equipment and supplies Boat wind wave sailing vessel day   COMO Cocoa Island Cocoa Island, Maldives Hotels sofa swimming pool property building Resort cottage Villa eco hotel

COMO Cocoa Island Cocoa Island, Maldives Hotels water pier sky chair scene umbrella blue Sea Ocean Beach cloud Pool Coast caribbean Island empty swimming lined shade

Cocoa Island by COMO, Maldives

Cocoa Island is the ultimate romantic escape for couples and honeymooners. Here, privacy is paramount: the dhoni boat-inspired suites are spaced 24 feet apart, a personal butler caters to your every need, and the South Indian cuisine can be delivered straight to your bungalow (meaning there’s no reason to leave). There’s also an over-water Como Shambhala spa if you want to watch the fish while you get a massage for two.

Cheval Blanc Randheli Randheli Island, Maldives Hotels sky swimming pool property leisure house Resort Villa home condominium mansion stone Island

Cheval Blanc Randheli Maldives

We try not to pick favorites, but it’s pretty damn hard to top the elegant ++Cheval Blanc Randheli++. Owned by the same French firm that represents high-end brands like Louis Vuitton and Moët & Chandon, luxury is in every detail. Starchitect Jean-Michel Gathy, who designed the stunning Aman properties, dreamt up the 46 villas in a blend of clean contemporary style and traditional Maldivian craftsmanship. The airy open-plan abodes have cathedral ceilings, Vincent Beaurin artwork, plus sliding glass walls that open onto a glam sundeck and 40-foot slate infinity pool. Other posh perks: lagoon-side pontoons, a seaplane chauffeur, Guerlain spa treatments, a hammam, Leonor Greyl hair salon and beauty studio, plus three bars and five restaurants, including Le 1947’s tasting menu fare courtesy of three-Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno.

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Hadahaa Island, Maldives Beachfront Hotels Luxury Play Pool Resort Scenic views tree sky swimming pool leisure property building marina condominium Sea caribbean dock Ocean arecales Beach home Villa Lagoon palm Deck shore sign

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa has all the trappings of an upscale island retreat. The 50 breezy bungalows have high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and minimalist decor (think: white stone, chunky black furniture and native wood). When hunger strikes, there’s the Island Grill, a toes-in-the-sand spot with a wood-burning oven. But most of your days will be spent snorkeling at the 30 dive sites nearby (a resident marine biologist can also give tours) as well as indulging in an indigenous treatment at the Vidhun Spa.

 

The 10 Best Places to Avoid Noise, Light, and Air Pollution

Looking to get away from it all? Science has proven that nature travel can improve almost every aspect of your wellbeing, from increasing your attention span to improving your mood. To get the most benefit, it’s worth seeking out places with minimal noise, artificial light, and air pollution.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy. Quiet places are disappearing fast, even in protected areas; nighttime light pollution covers nearly 80 percent of the planet; and there are no places left that are entirely free of air pollution.

Go to These Places to Avoid Noise, Light, and Air Pollution

But there is hope; there are several well-organized resources for finding the darkest, quietest, and cleanest places left on Earth, including dark skies associations, noise experts, and the World Health Organization’s survey of air conditions worldwide. I combined them all to pick 10 of the best places to find clear skies, bright stars, fresh air, and the purest sounds of nature.

Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff was the first city named an International Dark Sky City by the International Dark Sky Association, and was in the top five for cleanest air in a recent State of the Air survey by the American Lung Association. This small city isn’t particularly quiet, but active civic measures to keep down noise pollution mean that it’s easy enough to find peace in the surrounding areas at places like Meteor Crater and Walnut Canyon.

Roisey, France

Roisey, located in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region of France, has been determined by the World Health Organization to have the cleanest air in the country. Thanks in part to its location in a national park as well as altitude over 4,200 feet in some places, skies are also often very clear. Add to that an official population of just 909 people, and you have a great choice for getting away from it all right in the middle of Europe.

Te Anau, New Zealand

 

Global testing by the World Health Organization has found Te Anau to have some of the cleanest air worldwide. Its location at the entrance to Fiordland National Park makes it a basecamp for hikers and “trampers” who can see night skies so clear that there’s a small cottage industry offering night sky tours in the area. The presence of helicopter touring companies means it might not always be the quietest spot, but if you are hiking into the fjords or along the Kepler or Milford Tracks, you can escape the noise as soon as the heliports shut down each evening.

The Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve in Mt. Cook National Park is another superb New Zealand option, free of most air pollution and attracting stargazers from around the world.

Campisabalos, Spain

Located about 100 miles north of Madrid, Campisabalos is another city that sits high on WHO’s list of the best air in the world. Dark sky maps put it solidly away from most light pollution; if you want even darker, travel a bit southeast to the Parque Natural de la Serrania to the west of Cuenca, which also includes the Enchanted City, a geological wonder created by natural erosion approximately 90 million years ago.

Mojave Desert, California

Trevor Cox, a professor of acoustic engineering at the University of Salford and author of a book on natural sound phenomena, recommends the Kelso Dune area in the Mojave Desert. Cox visited the spot specifically because there are interesting sounds—the dunes make a growling or bellowing sound when you move the sand around that gives them the name “singing sands”—but Cox notes that the area is extremely quiet.

“Kelso Dune in the Mojave Desert … has no flights and no cars, and actually no sound at times because there is very little wildlife,” he says. “It is a special place.”

The dunes are also located in a formidable area of dark skies, and the National Park Service’s “half the park is after dark” motto definitely applies here.

Lapland Region, Finland

Way up in the northern Lapland region of Finland, the municipality of Muonio topped WHO’s most recent clean air list. While you pull in the fresh air, you can take in some superb views of the northern lights; Finns often ski or snowshoe into the countryside to see the lights, but VisitFinland.com has put together a list of more comfortable options, including heated tents and glass igloos.

Muonio has the longest snow season in all of Finland, so if you don’t get clear skies right away, strap on some skis while you wait for a good night to see the lights.

San Pedro de Atacama Region, Chile

Clean air, high altitude, and the driest desert in the world combine to put the San Pedro de Atacama region at the top of the list of the darkest, clearest places on Earth. Don’t believe me? Check out this timelapse video. In addition to being free of light and air pollution, the desert environment also offers minimal sound from wildlife.

Grasslands National Park, Canada

Gordon Hempton, founder of One Square Inch of Silence, did an acoustic survey at Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park and found that it has “the quietest, purest sounds,” he said. And much of the park is nearly absent of light pollution, according to Dark Site Finder. You won’t find much air pollution here either; the air in Canada is some of the best in the world, according to WHO.

Canary Islands, Spain

Mountainous geography and a location in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean make La Palma and Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands among the purest destinations on the planet. Teide National Park on Tenerife includes the highest peak in the Atlantic Ocean for peak baggers, not to mention stargazers.

Haleakala Summit, Hawaii

Hawaii has some of the most consistently clean air on Earth—even bustling Honolulu gets good marks from WHO—and the ability to get up above the clouds into thinner, cleaner air on top of Haleakala, in Maui, means there is even better stargazing here than at sea level. Visitors can stay overnight to see the stars and take in the sunrise, giving you the best of both worlds. The Mauna Kea observatory on the Big Island is another superb option, although staying overnight is not possible there.