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Where Is the Best Place You’ve Ever Gone on Vacation?

Real Simple readers divulge their best vacation spots, from cozy family campsites to far-flung beaches. (You might want to grab a pen—or, hey, even your passport.)

Illustration of San FranciscoChristopher Silas Neal


When I was a child (back in the 1950s), my family took a trip every year to Lake Tahoe, California. For 10 days, we would live in a tent by a white beach. There was no home work, no hurrying—just swimming, hiking, eating hot dogs, and reading stacks and stacks of Archie comics.
Barbara J. Bell
Galt, California

On days when I’m feeling low, I think back on an amazing trip I took to Bali about 15 years ago. At the time, I was in my early 20s, and I had never traveled a great distance by myself before. After a few days of exploring the island solo, I joined up with a tour group. On bicycles, we took in Bali’s astounding scenery and met its people. I came home with the knowledge that I could be independent and accomplish anything I wanted to.
Nancy Schulz Preston
Wilmington, North Carolina

My family had a blast visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, New York, three years ago. There were so many joys, but my favorite was watching my nine-year-old—a true Red Sox fanatic—go bonkers over displays filled with the team’s memorabilia.
Sara Cronin
East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Paris, France—on my honeymoon! My favorite part was the hotel bellhop. Every day, he said, “Good morning, Mrs.” Mrs! I just love the sound of that word.
Cherie Burbach
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Last May my husband and I visited our daughter, who was serving in the Peace Corps in a remote northern village in Namibia. It was such an honor to meet the family who had welcomed her into their home—to visit their multiple huts, see their crops, and sit with them under a tree. The experience taught me that as different as cultures can be, people are still people. Ever since that trip, the world has seemed much smaller to me.
Pat Heffron-Cartwright
Dayton, Ohio

Ten years ago, my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a surfing vacation to Costa Rica. We spent all our time in the country’s Pacific northwest, where the land was untouched and the waves were abundant. The trip was such a joy that we built our retirement home there. We can’t wait for the day (in three years, we hope) when we can enjoy longer stretches in the sun.
Susie Giambalvo
Narragansett, Rhode Island

 

 

 

 

 

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