My mom has always encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone, live life to the fullest.
These destinations are tried and true must-see spots!
From a young age, my mom has always encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and live life to the fullest. We are always looking for the next fun location to explore, embracing new cultures and lifestyles. Embodying this ideal, we have embarked on a myriad of trips together, and I have compiled a list of the all-time best locations for the foodie, adventurous and curious traveling duos.
1. Athens, Greece
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This city is great for balance between the history buffs and the metropolitan centric travelers. My mom and I had such a great time seeing all the historical sights, like the breath-taking Acropolis, and had an even better time chowing down on all the amazing produce at the Central Market!
Must check out: Hammam Baths. My mom and I went to this amazing Turkish bath and had the most relaxing time! It is a great way unwind from all the walking and hiking needed for sight-seeing (and for us, the extreme heat of Athens in July!)
2. Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre, meaning 5 lands, is made up of 5 colorful sea villages connected via boat and hiking trails with gorgeous views of the Mediterranean Sea. My mom and I loved walking the streets of each of the villages, tasting the fabulous delicacies from each shop. (Side note: I had the best lemon cello slushy of my life in Vernazza, so if you see a machine, go for it!) We jumped in the salty water and hiked between most of the villages, an all-around active vacation!
Must check out: There is a shop deep in the village of Manarola that had the best fried fish I have ever had! The woman fries up her husband’s catch each morning, ensuring the freshness of the product. It comes in an easy-to-eat cone so you can explore with this hearty snack in tow!
3. Lake Arrowhead, California, USA
I used to go to summer camp as a little kid near Lake Arrowhead, but returning later in life brought me even more joy than my time at camp! For the outdoorsy mother-daughter duos like us, there are so many fun activities like jet skiing, mountain biking and plenty of areas to hike. In the evenings, there is a fun farmer’s market and outdoor movie events, tying together an adventurous vacation in nature.
Must check out: Belgian Waffle Works. I become so nostalgic thinking about this breakfast stop as it was always my first stop with my mom after camp. But in all honesty, these waffles are TO DIE FOR! Try the Banana Cream Belgian, you won’t be disappointed.
4. Tokyo, Japan
Since my mom owns a catering business, every time we visit a new country we try to check out the local markets to see what types of items are sold in that country. In Tokyo, we were blown away by the Tsukiji market where they sell MASSIVE Blue Fin Tuna, with fish reaching up to 890 pounds. Get there first thing in the morning because all the best fish go early! Also, be sure to take a stroll through the neighborhood Harajuku, you do not want to miss those extravagant sites!
Must check out: Ninja Akasaka Restaurant. This restaurant is a thrilling experience where you enter from a “secret entrance” and partake in a ninja training course in order to be seated for your meal. The food is fantastic and the atmosphere is unlike anything my mom nor I had experienced before!
5. Charleston, South Carolina, USA
As a California native, it is hard to resist the beautiful southern charm of Charleston. Not only does the city have long lasting history, but also a welcoming and fun vibe that my mom and I can’t get enough of. We have visited Charleston multiple times, both on a girl’s trip and with my extended family, and some of our favorite activities include: riding bikes along the battery, exploring all the rooftop bars, and checking out the shops at the Charleston City Market. (I got one of my favorite souvenirs ever from this market, it was a handwoven sweet grass basket that is extremely popular in the area)
Must check out: The French Quarter Hotel. It is the perfect location near the Charleston City Market and a plethora of other attractions. My mom and I make sure to stay here every time we come. Plus, warm chocolate chip cookies every night and happy hour each afternoon, what more could you want?
PS. Try out a ghost tour, if you can handle it! My favorite was a night walking tour where we explored a graveyard, a hotel and a few bars along the way!
Photos: Elena Saavedra
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