Who needs the miles-long lines, steep park fees, and overcrowded trails of Yosemite? Grab your trail mix and hiking boots and high-tail it to these 15 Californian natural wonders instead.
Yosemite National Park is an unreal, one-of-a-kind nature destination that attracts people worldwide. With at least four million visitors each year, reservations can be hard to come by, and crowds are nearly guaranteed. Thankfully there are plenty of California destinations that are less-touristy alternatives to Yosemite but still offer up stunning, unforgettable experiences you’ll remember long after you leave. Here, we share 15 off-the-beaten-path destinations with no selfie sticks in sight. Starting from the north and heading down south, you can even group a few of these destinations together to create an epic California road trip.
In Italy, a series of burial grounds and tombs are getting a second life as a new restaurant, bar, or hotel.
Sigmund Freud believed the most uncanny things are those closest to us, including death or near-death experiences. The appeal of burial sites is the perverse fascination of being buried alive and placed back inside the metaphorical womb. These windowless and viewless sepulchral spots are proving alluring, and in Italy, a new underground fad is kicking off inspired by burial spots. These days, people are paying for a “buried-alive thrill” such as sleeping, eating, and relaxing inside ancient grotto suites, prehistoric caves, and crypts transformed into boutique hotels. With their thick rugged stone walls reminiscent of graves, the following restaurants, cocktail bars, and spas are breathing new life into former burial sites.
Look between the resorts and boutique hotels to discover Waikiki’s more offbeat and quirky side.
Waikiki is the most popular vacation spot in Honolulu, and at first glance, the district appears to live up to its tourist-focused reputation. Located on the southeast coast of Oahu, Waikiki’s streets are lined with resorts, big-box clothing stores, and chain restaurants. At times, the main beaches and sidewalks are so packed with visitors that they’re difficult to navigate. However, if you look beyond the commercial attractions, you’ll realize that Waikiki has an unexpectedly bizarre and beautiful side. It’s hidden between the luxury retailers are cute character boutiques and mid-century modern hotels. Wander the side streets, and you’ll encounter ancient healing stones and Japanese hole-in-the-wall cafes. If you’re looking for alternative experiences in Waikiki, then these 10 lesser-known spots are sure to delight you.