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Every time that we receive packages from Lonely Planet we are instantly excited even before we see what’s inside. And this time was no different when we received these three fantastic little travel-sized books with summer activities for anyone on any budget.
The first one I picked up is 50 Beaches to Blow Your Mind and I was happy to find that the third beach listed was Flamenco Beach in Puerto Rico, a place that I’ve recently traveled to. I was taken with its long stretch of white sand and the remnants of an old war tank that has been painted and turned into a surreal piece of artwork. Stick around for dusk at this beautiful beach and the tank sticks out even more below a star-rimmed sky. This collection makes a great travel companion for those who are looking for more traditional tropical beaches or spots in places you’d never think of, like Strathy Bay in Sutherland, Scotland.
This compendium is arranged into some really quirky categories like “best hidden bars” “best past lives/historical bars” and “best heaven/bars in paradise” to name a few. Some of my favorites include the Northern Lights Bar in Reykjavik, Iceland (the name says it all – think glass on all sides and nature’s glowing splendor as you sip a cocktail), Magnolia Brewing Company which I’ve been lucky enough to visit in San Francisco, and one of my favorite hidden spots to visit in NYC after seeing a fantastic performance of Sleep No More, Gallow Green. It’s like you’ve slipped away into a secret rooftop garden scattered with odds and ends, turn of the century curios and vine covered corners.
If beaches and bars aren’t your thing, then stepping off a hot city street into a cool museum might be just the thing for you this summer. There are some wild and wacky suggestions here that will surprise. Did you know that there is a museum devoted entirely to the dark arts in Old Prague called the Museum of Alchemists and Magicians? How about the toilet museum in India, the CupNoodles museum in Japan or the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Vegas? These world-class collections will certainly stir your imagination and keep your brain stimulated.
What are your favorite beaches, bars and museums around the world?