Top Picks for a Memorable Summer Vacation

For many of us, summer’s arrival hearkens to an earlier, easier time in our lives; when the longer days of June promised the end of the school year, and the beginning of a much-anticipated summer vacation.

As grownups, most of us don’t have the luxury of a two-month hiatus (teachers notwithstanding). But for some people, particularly for some small business owners, summer can bring a bit of downtime. And that can make July and August an ideal time for you to take a break, recharge your batteries, and enjoy a change of scenery.

You just have to make one important decision: What’s your scene?

There’s no shortage of suggestions. And who better to turn to for advice than the experts at National Geographic, whose annual list of “best places to travel” could put you on the road to your best holiday so far? According to the editors of National Geographic Traveler magazine, some of the best places to visit in 2017 include:

  • Kauai, Hawaii Jurassic Park is only one of 60 feature films made on this scenic island. Hawaii’s oldest island also boasts towering sea cliffs, golden sand beaches and rainforests that house the world’s rarest birds and plants.
  • Finland. 2017 is the country’s 100th anniversary of independence. You can join the celebrations in one of the country’s 40 national parks, 12 wilderness areas and six national hiking areas.
  • Banff, Alberta . Speaking of anniversaries, celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday right here at home in the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. An added bonus: it’s free to get into Canada’s national parks this year in honour of the anniversary.
  • Seoul, South Korea . The Greater Seoul Area is a truly urban experience, with a population of 25 million and a city alive with fashionistas, markets, high rises and palaces.
  • Chengdu, China . UNESCO designated this the “City of Gastronomy”. So if you like to eat, this is place known for dishes like tea-smoked cuks, ma po tofu, hot pot and kung pao chicken. It’s also famous as being home to adorable pandas.

If National Geographic isn’t enough to entice you to take some time away from your company, how about a vacation that mixes business with pleasure? American Express Global Travel lists some of the top destinations for business trips – because there’s nothing wrong with adding a little sight-seeing to your workday.

  1. Chicago. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is the long-standing financial hub in the windy city, which also has a burgeoning technology industry. Of course, it’s also home to last year’s World Series champions, so taking in a Cubs game at Wrigley Field is a must-do distraction from your business day.
  2. San Francisco. The technology boom is growing in San Francisco, with companies like Google and Twitter opening new facilities in the area. The city is also famous for the views at Golden Gate Bridge, fresh seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf and the infamous Alcatraz prison.
  3. London. The City of London is the leading international destination for business trips. Home to many multinationals and rivaling New York as the world’s leading financial centre, London has much to see, including the British Museum, Piccadilly Circus and, of course, Buckingham Palace.
  4. Toronto. North America’s fourth largest city not only features a financial district that attracts world business leaders, it also has a rainforest, the tallest building in Canada, and the world’s largest underground mall. Shopping!
  5. Cancun. Yes, you can justify a business trip to Mexico! Cancun attracts all kinds of business meetings -- drawn, no doubt, by the beautiful beaches, warm ocean waters, and the many fascinating opportunities to learn about Mayan history and explore the ancient ruins.

Bon voyage!

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