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Top 5 Vacation Spots

The fun doesn't have to end with your honeymoon! Get inspiration for your next vacay with other Nesties' favorite locales.


By Josey Miller, The Nest

Paris, France

Paris is over-the-top romantic, so as soon as you step off the plane, just go with it. From lounging in chic hotels and sipping cocktails at cool cafes to sneaking in some insane sightseeing, “The City of Light" is all about indulging yourselves to the max.

Smooch + Sleep

• In walking distance from the Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysees, Hotel Valadon sends you off with some of their homemade jam as a souvenir. Rooms have a hint of Moulin Rouge-inspired drama (from $177; HotelValadon.com; 33-1-47-53-89-85).
• Stay at the Grand Hotel Francais and check out the nabe's boutiques and cafe terraces. You'll sleep well thanks to the soundproof rooms (from $164; Grand-Hotel-Francais.fr; 33-1-43-71-27-57).

Sip + Snack

• Take a break from all of that sightseeing and enjoy a warm cafe au lait and a croissant at one of Hemingway's favorite old hangouts, Les Deux Magots (LesDeuxMagots.fr; 33-1-45-48-55-25).
• Cozy and social Le Timbre makes flavorful bistro fare -- escargot and duck confit -- seem effortless, despite a staff of only two people (RestaurantLeTimbre.com; 33-1-45-49-10-40).

Must-sees

• Going to the Eiffel Tower, especially at night, is a no-brainer during your stay. But to cover a lot of ground before sunset, from Napoleon's Tomb to the Arc de Triomphe, City Segway Tours are the new way to go (CitySegwayTours.com/paris; 866-614-6218).
• Musee Rodin, with its underpriced sculpture garden (admission is just around $1.30 per person!), is the complete opposite of your run-of-the-mill, stuffy museum experience; plus, you'll get to spend the afternoon in the great outdoors instead of being cooped up inside (musee-rodin.fr; 33-1-44-18-61-10).
• Browse market essentials (and maybe buy a couple of things while you're at it!) on Rue Cler. From produce, meats, and baguettes to cheeses, chocolates, and wines, this street market is perfect for a yummy afternoon stroll (Rue Cler, 7th Arrondissement).
• Stand in awe of the Gothic architecture and stained glass of Sainte-Chapelle (4 boulevard du Palais; 33-1-53-73-78-52).


Buzios, Brazil

It's just up the coast from Rio de Janeiro, so don't be fooled by the barefoot guests in this laid-back fishing village. The posh peninsula is known as “Brazil's Saint-Tropez."

Smooch + Sleep

• Laid-back but elegant, Vila d'este overlooks glittering Armacao Bay from its hilltop setting. Rooms may be small, but the hotel is a short walk from Rua das Pedras, the main promenade and nightlife hub of Buzios. Spoil yourselves with a seafront room if you can swing it (from $228; Viladeste.com.br; 55-22-2623-1546).
• Talk about a warm welcome: The staff at Mediterranean-inspired Casas Brancas greet every guest with a glass of sparkling wine (yes, please!) and a 15-minute massage. In many of the rooms at this hip hotel, you'll also enjoy a private veranda during your stay (from $228; CasasBrancas.com.br; 55-22-2623-1458).

Sip + Snack

• Everyone feels like a newlywed at Brigitta's. Their specialty is seafood (go for the prawns). But the owner is also originally from Eastern Europe…good news if you happen to be craving goulash (Brigittas.com.br; 55-22-2623-2940).
• Finish the evening with an ocean-view caipirinha with some live jazz or salsa, or a dance performance at Patio Havana. They even offer a cigar bar for dads-to-be on babymoons -- which could be a selling point if you're the one itching for a Brazilian getaway and he's less convinced (PatioHavana.com.br; 55-22-2623-2169).

Must-sees

• Buzios is a beach-lover's playground with a variety of stunning, sandy beaches: Ossos for chic cafes (no need to pack a lunch), Brava and Geriba for surfing, and Ferruda for snorkeling.
• The main tourist “sight" is a statue of French star Brigitte Bardot, who visited in the '60s. Take a Facebook pic of your guy sitting on her lap, but beware: Kissing her is about as hygienic as kissing Ireland's Blarney Stone -- bad news for you both (Orla Bardot).
• Even if you're on a tight budget, you've gotta pick up a famous Buzios keepsake -- a fountain pen. You'll also find other crafts at Ambar Buzios (Rua das Pedras; 55-22-2623-4298).
• Brazilians take a deep-seated pride in their heritage. The Church of Santa Ana dates way back to the mid-eighteenth century, and it's worth a visit to take in some history (Orla Bardot).


Edinburgh, Scotland

Between the ornate palaces and the volcanoes, Scotland's castle-laden capital will take you back in time. Step into this sensational storybook city and pull up a chair at the nearest pub. (Psst…pronounce it “edinburrah" to sound like a local.)

Smooch + Sleep

• The interiors of hotels in Edinburgh have more chic decor than you'd expect from vintage Scotland. For spacious guest rooms with a cozy color scheme and spa-like bathrooms, stay at Ten Hill Place Hotel (from $132; TenHillPlace.com; 44-131-662-2080).
• The owners of the oh-so-fashionable 94DR B&B are super-friendly, and that enthusiasm is reflected in their service and their delicious breakfasts (from $124; 94DR.com; 44-131-662-9265).

Sip + Snack

• You can't go wrong on Edinburgh's historic Royal Mile. For Cullen Skink soup -- a Scottish staple -- and a soul-warming shot of malt whiskey, stop into The Royal McGregor. Top off your meal with Crannachan, their specialty dessert made with whipped cream, whisky, and mixed berries (RoyalMcGregor.co.uk; 44-131-225-7064).
• If the weather cooperates, watch the passersby from an outdoor table at The Mitre, another traditional pub. Ask for the steak and ale pie (133 High Street; 44-131-524-0071).

Must-sees

• Want to emulate Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus? Golfing mecca St. Andrews Links is only an hour outside Edinburgh -- so bring (or rent) your clubs (StAndrews.org.uk; 44-133-446-6666).
• Get a sense of the city's history by roaming the streets of the Old Town neighborhood and visiting the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (NationalGalleries.org; 44-131-624-6200).
• Head to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to see the six-foot-wide Victoria water lilies (RBGE.org.uk; 44-131-552-7171).
• Join a Cadies & Witchery walking tour. Your leader, Adam Lyal -- who's been dead for almost 200 years -- will talk about Scotland's shady past (WitcheryTours.com, 44-131-225-6745).


Santorini, Greece

Looking for a getaway with serious sex appeal? Head to the Greek island of Santorini. Stay in dramatic whitewashed cubes, check out a sunset, and toast with ouzo (Greece's most popular drink).

Smooch + Sleep

• Wander down the narrow, winding walkways of the village of Oia and then stay the night at Oia's Sunset Apartments. The rooms have kitchenettes as well as outdoor patios, and their pool is the perfect spot for flipping through your favorite glossy (from $107; OiaSunset.com; 30-22860-71420).
• At Aris Caves, everyone feels like family. Pumice-stone miners originally discovered lodging carved into Oia's volcanic rocks -- and those grottos were converted into this unique inn. All rooms are equipped with their own kitchenettes and outdoor patios (from $145; ArisCaves.gr; 30-22860-71511).

Sip + Snack

• Spend an afternoon sipping vino at some of Santorini's celebrated wineries, including local favorites SantoWines (SantoWines.gr; +30-22860-22596) and Boutari (Boutari.gr; +30-22860-81011).
• For dinner, hit Papagalos Restaurant in Oia for local dishes like lamb shank and seafood. You really can't go wrong with anything on the menu (PapagalosRestaurant.com; +30-22860-71469).

Must-sees

• Sun worshipper? Spend time lounging poolside at your hotel or at black-sand beaches like Perissa, Kamari, and Monolithos.
• Visit the island's ancient archaeological remains for a quick history lesson. Tip: Akrotiri, the Pompeii of Greece, isn't always open, but you can still view the site's excavated treasures at the Museum of Prehistoric Thira (Mitropoleos St., Fira; 30-22860-23217).
• Tour volcanoes and, better yet, the hot springs -- just wear sturdy shoes for the former (ThiraTours.com; 30-22860-28115).


Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

If you've been dying for an excuse to throw on your swimsuit and some SPF, head to Honolulu for the ultimate in relaxation. Soak up rays while taking surf lessons, nosh on fresh seafood, and chill out at night on your own private patio.

Smooch + Sleep

• Paradise can come with a hefty price tag, but it doesn't have to at Hotel Renew. This stylish and intimate boutique hotel, located a half-block from Waikiki Beach, is very popular with newlyweds. From many of their 72 eco-friendly -- as well as dog-friendly -- guest rooms, you can admire an ocean view…wearing a kimono-style robe (from $140; HotelRenew.com; 888-485-7639).
• The Park Shore Waikiki Hotel is known for its unparalleled location on Waikiki Beach, adjacent to Diamond Head crater and Kapiolani Park (from $99; ParkShoreWaikiki.com; 808-923-0411).

Sip + Snack

• In the mood for a fun time? Head on down to Duke's Waikiki (dukesWaikiki.com; 808-922-2268). But for a soothing sunset-view cocktail, hit up RumFire on Waikiki Beach. They offer happy-hour drink specials -- for $5, the “Tradewinds" is a fave -- every day from 4 to 6 p.m. (RumFireWaikiki.com; 808-922-4422).
• Celebrating? French-influenced La Mer restaurant in the Halekulani Hotel is well worth the splurge for lobster and Japanese Wagyu beef (Halekulani.com; 808-923-2311).

Must-sees

• Go scuba diving to check out the island's renowned wrecks and reefs with Oahu Diving. It's even possible to spot gentle, giant manta rays -- don't worry, they won't hurt you (OahuDiving.com).
• Learn how to hang 10 (or at least stand up on the board) at Hawaiian Fire surf school (HawaiianFire.com; 888-955-7873).
• Paddle a kayak through glassy Kailua Bay and keep an eye out for surfacing sea turtles (OahuKayaking.com; 866-482-9775).
• Check out Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, a stirring must-see (PacificHistoricParks.org; 808-422-0561).
Vacation-spots, travel advice

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U.S. Daily News: Top 5 Vacation Spots
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