Star Quality Vacations to Plan in 2020

There are many fascinating locations around the world that are worth making a point of visiting. See the sights. Learn about the culture and heritage. Take plenty of pictures of the amazing views. Embark on a holiday fit for royalty.

South Island, New Zealand

South Island is the larger of the two landmasses that make up the country. Vacationers find something for everyone. Mountains, lakes and glaciers provide exciting outdoor opportunities for adventure seekers. Canterbury, Christchurch and Dunedin appeal to visitors who might prefer the options that cities offer. Venture to Waitaki on the southeastern coast and spend some time on the beach. See the unusual Moeraki Boulders. Learn their significance to the Maori heritage. Explore the amazing rock formations in Whitestone Geopark.

Take a 90-minute stroll along the Street Art Trail in the southern city of Dunedin. Tour the majestic and historic Larnach Castle. Enjoy the amazing Victorian décor and furnishings. The location also provides commanding views over the Otago Peninsula. The South Island is a food and wine lover's dream. The warm summers are ideal for the many vineyards that produce local wines. Feast on fresh seafood at Fleur's Place along the Moeraki Bay. Venture to the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch and experience a traditional Maori Hangi cookout.

Rome, Italy

The city is renowned for having thousands of years of history and spectacular art. Toss a coin in the massive Trevi fountain bearing the sea god Oceanus and his mighty Tritons. Tour St. Peter's Basilica in St. Peter's Square. Gaze in awe at the artwork created by Michelangelo. The Sistine Chapel is another popular attraction. The Vatican features a number of museums that showcase the works of some of the most famous artists in the world.

Explore the historic Colosseum, which once served as the city's major sports center. Make a trip to the Piazza di Spagna, and perhaps climb the Spanish Steps. The location features a number of charming cafes and shops. Many of the local restaurants have al fresco dining. Enjoy traditional meals featuring pasta, chicken, veal and seafood.

Tulum, Mexico

If desiring a tropical vacation, you need look no further than Tulum, Mexico. The ancient location was established on the Yucatan Peninsula and borders the clear, blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. The diverse landscape features everything from stunning beaches and sand dunes to lush rainforests. Popular activities in the coastal waters include snorkeling or scuba diving to explore the coral reefs. Go swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving in El Gran Cenote and see the underwater cave formations.

Venture out into the countryside to visit the fascinating 13th-century Mayan ruins where a palace, temple and other structures remaining standing today. After freshening up from the day's adventures in one of the villa rentals in Tulum, enjoy dinner at the popular Kitchen Table. The menu offers a wide selection of delights from BBQ ribs to lobster.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Dutch capital city has an interesting history that dates back to the 12th century. Iconic architecture and 60 miles of canals are part of the city's charm. Get a glimpse of local culture and heritage by visiting the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum or the Van Gogh Museum in the Museumplein, which is located in the heart of the metropolis. Embark on a unique tour of the city via a canal cruise. Springtime visits provide the chance to see the miles of tulip fields in bloom.

The cruises offer hop-on/hop-off options and romantic candlelit excursions. See a selection of historic windmills located in the Zaanse Schans park. Learn how the structures performed a variety of tasks. Take a day trip to Lisse and come face-to-face with history while touring the Castle Keukenhof. Enjoy a serene stroll through the Keukenhof Gardens.

The city offers a multitude of shopping opportunities. The Negen Straatjes, or Nine Streets, have quite a selection of boutique shops and vintage stores along with art galleries, cafes and restaurants. Although the city has restaurants serving many types of cuisines from around the world, guests might like to try some traditional Dutch foods.

The quaint Hap Hmm restaurant offers a wide selection that includes everything from beer chicken to Wiener schnitzel. Enjoy your meal with locally brewed ale or sample one of the many wines.

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