One of the best things about living in a low-maintenance Cornerstone Home is the ability to “lock and leave.” Go. Travel. See the the world and while you do, take comfort in knowing that your home is fully cared for. Your HOA handles home and lawn maintenance and your friendly neighbors are always willing to help watch pets or check-in on the home.
But where to go? We’ve put together 10 suggestions for fabulous destinations for the beach bum, a snow bunny or thrill seeker in you.
Baja California, Mexico
Baja California is home to the famous Spring Break party town, Cabo San Lucas, but the peninsula has plenty to offer to those who’ve grown beyond doing body shots at Senor Frog’s.
In the winter, you can watch gray whales return to give birth in the shelter of Magdalena Bay in the southwest corner of the peninsula. Take a tour with Sea Kayak Adventures and you watch whales, sea lions, and dolphins with a marine biologist serving as your guide.
In the northeast along the Gulf of California, Mulegé is an opulent oasis in a vast desert. The town sits at the foot of a river valley and the old Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé provides breathtaking views of the lush valley below.
Anybody can go to London and everybody has been to Paris. To really impress the neighbors, check out the Faroe Islands, an island chain between Norway and Iceland in the North Atlantic. The islands, an autonomous region of Denmark, boast all the dramatic cliffs and astonish views one expects from Scandinavia, but what really sets the Faroe Islands apart is the food. The New York Times says islands are at the bleeding edge of avant-garde cuisine, led by Restaurant KOKS, winner the 2015 Nordic Prize as the best restaurant in the Nordic countries. Let ‘em show off their pictures of Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower, then break out the selfies you took at the ruins of Skansin a small fort built in 1580 to protect the town of Tórshavn, and watch your friends to green with envy.
Visit the subcontinent’s greatest cultural centers in luxury with a train journey on a The Deccan Odyssey. With six different itineraries crossing the India’s 1.2 million square miles, you’ll explore ancient temples and grand palaces, visit the Taj Mahal, take a boat trip on Lake Pichola, and stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Forbes’ best ski destination in North America (Pure Awesomeness Factor: 99.0) is still more popular in the summer as visitors flock to the national parks at Teton and Yellowstone, and not yet as well known as nearby Vail and Breckinridge in Colorado. That means it’s the perfect time to go. Jackson Hole boasts the finest ski lift on the continent, according to Forbes, and during your 4,139 foot journey up the mountain, the tram operators keep you entertained with a fine selection of classic rock from bands like the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin.
Dubbed “Japan’s Capital of Cool” by Forbes, Kyoto is a bit more laid-back that the hyperkinetic Tokyo, striking balance between the traditional past and the high tech present. The birthplace of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, the city was the capital of Imperial Japan for more than 1,000 years and was largely spared the ravages of war so much of its ancient character remains. That said, Kyoto, the birthplace of Nintendo, is also a city of bullet trains, and glass-walled buildings. You can find an (ultramodern) Starbucks at Kyoto Station, but visit Bento.com to get the lowdown on local eateries.
In 2015, the New York Times named the City of Brotherly Love its top U.S. travel destination and its #3 destination in the world, just behind Milan and Cuba. Philadelphia boasts Ultimo, the nation’s best coffeeshop as determined by TheDailyMeal.com, the nation’s best hotels according to TravelMag.com and some of the best shopping in the world according to Condé Nast Traveler. Wander along the city’s riverfront walking paths, step into the shoes of the Founding Fathers at Independence Hall, or take in one of the country’s largest art collections at the world-renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Belize has become one of the hottest travel destinations in the world thanks to attractions like the Great Barrier Reef, white sand beaches, pristine rainforests and jungles, and abundant wildlife. Placencia, a sandy peninsula along the Caribbean coastline, offers a laid-back vibe and the best restaurants in Southern Belize, along with scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and fly-fishing. Visitors arriving in May or June can take a whale shark expedition at the Gladden Spit Reserve where the giant beasts spawn by the light of the full moon.
The West Coast, New Zealand
This West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island is one of the most remote and sparsely populated parts of an already remote and sparsely country. Travelers can visit just about every kind of terrain imaginable in the area’s eight distinct regions from rugged mountains and steamy rainforests to unspoiled wetlands and craggy glaciers. After a day spent biking along the incredible Great Coast Road or challenging yourself at the West Coast Treetop Walk in Jade Country, you can rest in luxury at hotels like the romantic Te Waonui Forest Retreat or the majestic Franz Josef Oasis, even if you decide to skip the roughing it and go straight to relaxing.
Vancouver, British Columbia
TripAdvisor’s top Canadian destination for 2014, Vancouver is the ideal location for travelers who want to enjoy the great outdoors while staying in a place consistently ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities. Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, the city can boast that it is one of the few places in the world where visitors can ski in the morning and go sailing in the afternoon. For tipplers, there are more than 270 wineries in British Columbia and the city hosts the Vancouver International Wine Festival every February. Stanley Park is the city’s most popular attraction, with more than 8 million people visiting the giant rainforest in Downtown Vancouver every year.
It’s easy to believe that Africa consists solely of violence and chaos, but Zimbabwe, the New York Times’ 14th-ranked destination in 2015, is here to change your mind. From the spectacular Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world, to the rough beauty of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe has become a must-see destination. Few places in the world can top the diversity of Zimbabwe’s animal life and you can spot elephants, hippos, lions and more from the comfort of a water safari on the luxury cruiser Matusadona. Explore humanity’s beginnings at Matobo Hills Humans have taken refuge at the Unesco World Heritage site since the Stone age.