River Region of Uvalde County, Texas
Instead of heading with everyone else to Austin and San Antonio in Texas, choose the River Region in Texas Hill Country. It’s home to three, crystal-clear rivers where you can float, kayak, canoe, or fish. Take in the views on horseback at Elm Creek Stables near Garner State Park, with nothing but open skies, riverfront views, and scenic chalk cliffs for miles around. Come evening, see one of the largest bat populations in the world at the Frio Bat Cave during a sunset flight tour, where 10 million bats fly right over your head and into the sunset.
Tuvalu, South Pacific
The least-visited country in the world is the closest thing to paradise, but travellers who make it to the secluded destination of Tuvalu in the South Pacific will find a thriving Polynesian culture, gorgeous lagoons, and coral reefs perfect for snorkeling. At only 10 square land miles, the nation of nine isles, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is the fourth smallest on Earth. Over half of the population of 11,000 reside on Funafuti, the capital. But away from the main island, you’ll feel like you’re a castaway.c
Durban, South Africa
Johannesburg and Cape Town are popular spots in South Africa, but Durban is worthy of a detour. The coastal city boasts the Golden Mile, a beautiful beach and boardwalk; the uShaka Marine World, a seafront aquarium waterpark with a snorkelling lagoon and shark cave dives; and the Durban Botanic Gardens, which are the oldest in Africa. If you’re seeking a thrill, check out The Swing, officially named the world’s tallest swing by The Guinness Book of World Records. It drops you in a free fall for 80 metres before swinging you into a massive arc for 220 metres right into the heart of Moses Mabhida Stadium. The restaurant and entertainment scene is vibrant. Don’t leave town without some Bunny Chow. This Durban favourite is usually curried beef, chicken or mutton served in a hollowed-out bread loaf.