#1. The Cook Islands
I think it depends on how you define “fun”. My wife likes spa retreats and the beach. I snowboard and scuba dive, so I like active vacations. Or for just sight seeing? It is all “fun”, but I would have different selections for each.
It’s the places you keep returning to because you enjoy the experiences you have when you there. My favorites are places that offer unique enjoyable and active experiences.
This is a tough question. I’ve enjoyed many places, but ‘fun’ makes me think of when I had an ear-to-ear grin and didn’t want to waste any time sleeping.
Sadly, haven’t been back to either.
I’m not sure I’d want to go back to places I’ve enjoyed as long as there are other good places I haven’t yet been to.
I’ve spent time in the areas to the south and east of Moab, the Aquarius Plateau & Bryce Canyon. I’ve passed through Moab headed from Green River down to the Four Corners area. It’s a pretty place.
Some places just call you back, I’ve been to the Cook Islands a dozen times and when I lived in AK I’d fly into Brooks Camp to visit Brooks Falls almost every 4th of July weekend to see the bears catching salmon. Never got tired of either place.
With few exceptions, like Paris, and not counting family visits, I & we always went to different places on vacations…too many places to see to repeat any!
Some places I loved I wouldn’t go back to because it would be painful to see how they’ve changed: Easter Island, Torres del Paine, and Glacier National Park for starters.
I wanted to go to Katmai when I went to Alaska in '84, but it was too expensive for me, so I did Klondike, Denali and McCarthy instead. I watch the bears on video now.
Now that you mention it, my Top Two are places that don’t change very much over time, maybe that’s why we like to repeat them. Our SP travel years were during our real estate years so we needed the 4-6-week breaks away from the 24-7 go-go-go routine.
We never made it to Rapa Nui but did get a chance to visit many of the other SP islands.
We’re just the opposite. We live in a boring place, so when we go somewhere, we pack our time full of sightseeing, hiking, national parks, history, museums, and eat as much ethnic cuisine as possible, then come home at the last minute, exhausted.
We might change things up a bit now that we’re retired empty nesters.
If you’re a thrill-seeker and like the water put swimming with the humpback whales in Tonga on your bucket list.
My top two fun destinations are Japan and the Philippines. Japan has it all: culture, food, and amusement parks. The Philippines is where to go for stunning beaches.
As an airline employee, I enjoyed the opportunity for extensive world travel. So my two top places would be Crete and East Africa. I went to both several times and had incredible adventures. [of course I was single at the time]
What country in E Africa? We had a niece who did some outreach educational service in Zimbabwe, it was quite an experience for her.
Has anyone here made it to Angkor Wat and the floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake?
I was with TWA [remember them?] and their four Africa destinations were Cairo, Addis Abba, Nairobi, and Dar es Salaam. All four had worthy attractions but my preference was Nairobi.
From that central location with sites in every direction, I went to all kinds of wonderful places, the Maasai-Mara game reserve, the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, which is mind boggling. Also, Moshi, near the base of Kilimanjaro.
Sitting on a veranda sipping iced tea and watching the sunset on Kilimanjaro is a sight I will never forget. [They might make it different now, but back in my days - 60’s and 70’s - they served hot tea with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which was surprisingly good]
Travel between these places was half the adventure. Most tourists use tour buses and trains, but for real fun, I preferred the local buses. Few tourists did that, and the friendly locals liked to practice their English during the long rides. Great fun.
But the best tours were traveling with locals and their jeeps. [the number of running Jeeps was amazing] Dozens were parked within a block of the hotels with signs to do here and there for X shillings. [USD were much desired]
I could also just say elephants or rhinos or whatever, and they took me to incredible places. It was also dangerous because they want to get happy, repeat customers, so drove me waaay too close to the animals. Was terrified more than once.
Ah, the memories…
For me, Philippines and Chile are my top 2 so far. The Philippines has some of the most amazing beaches on earth, like Boracay Island and Palawan. To get the lowdown on the Philippines, you can check out https://www.philippinetourismusa.com Now, if nature rocks your world, Chile is the place to be, with valleys, mountains, and glaciers that’ll make your jaw drop. And Santiago, Chile’s capital, is so cool, with great food and culture on offer. For the full 411 on Chile, you can’t go wrong with this guide, Chile Private Tours & Local Tour Guides | GoWithGuide All in all, the Philippines and Chile are awesome choices for some fun and adventure travel.
How far south in the Philippines have you explored?
Yes, The capital of the Philippines is Manila, and Balut Island is the southernmost point of the Philippines. Maybe around 780 miles from Manila to South.
I haven’t been to anywhere twice because there are so many places I want to see. My favorite locations thus far:
YES! Did you ride a donkey up the cliff? Look down?
I have a friend who taught in the DOD schools in the Philippines in the 70’s. He had some close calls with some rowdy locals while traveling in the extreme southern group of the islands. He said there were some pretty lawless places down there that would kidnap tourists for ransom back then.