9 Secret Places You Won’t Find in the Guidebook

The-Heidelberg-Project,-Detroit,-USALouLouPhotos / Shutterstock

The Heidelberg Project, Detroit, USA

These days it seems like most guidebooks would advise travelers to avoid Detroit altogether, however, like a butterfly from a chrysalis, previously abandoned areas of the city have been transformed into beautiful works of art through the Heidelberg Project. This Detroit-based organization aims to improve the lives of individuals in the community through art and has turned numerous decrepit houses on Heidelberg Street into eccentric mixed-media art pieces. Whimsical designs like birthday cakes and polka dots decorate the previously all-American style houses lining the street.

Unfortunately many of the houses have fallen victim to fire in recent years, so interested visitors are advised to make their trip while this unique area still stands.

Castelo-Branco-Lookout,-San-Miguel,-Azores,-PortugalVicky SP / Shutterstock

Castelo Branco Lookout, San Miguel, Azores, Portugal

Located near an awesome beach for surfing complete with a family owned wood-fired pizza restaurant, it’s a mystery why the Castelo Branco lookout cannot be found in any guidebook. This secret spot, situated on the grounds of an old castle might I add, provides gorgeous 360-degree views of the entire island. Definitely a place to visit for anyone wanting to practice their most pompous royal wave while enjoying a slice of pepperoni pie.

The-Yellow-House-Trails,-Mindo,-EcuadorSteve Herrmann / Shutterstock

The Yellow House Trails, Mindo, Ecuador

Nestled deep within the cloud forest of Mindo, you will find the Yellow House Trails jungle reserve. This area is a well-kept secret of local and visiting bird watchers so that the reserve retains its peace and quiet and most importantly, its vibrant bird communities.

A small entrance fee will give you access to the reserve trails that you can hike in peaceful solitude while catching the occasional glimpse of some of the many rare and incredible birds that are found here. If you don’t feel like leaving the comfort of the yellow house hacienda, you can book a stay at the lodge itself and watch for the over 50 species of birds that frequent the area each day.

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American City Guide: Chicago

One of the largest and most underrated cities in the United States is Chicago. In fact, Chicago ranked first in Time Out’s 2018 City Life Index, topping other highly-ranked cities like New York City, Melbourne, and London. There are so many incredible things to do in Chicago, plus it lacks the hectic craziness of other vacation destinations in the United States. It’s a great option for a fun weekend trip, even if you’ll never see everything the city has to offer in just two days.

American City Guide: New York City

New York City is the most populous city in the United States and has a reputation as the most vibrant and thrilling vacation destination on the continent. It’s the home of New York Fashion Week, the United Nations, Broadway, Wall Street, and the Statue of Liberty. Its fast pace inspired the phrase “New York minute” and even if you only have $5 per day to spend, you can still enjoy every aspect of this incredible metropolis.

Extravagant Hotel Pools You Need to See

For a lot of us, the pool is the holiday and the holiday is the pool. The success or failure of a getaway in the sun is determined by just how good the pool is. Knowing this, many hotels have some truly absurd swimming pools. Absurd for their grandeur and extravagance, these pools alone would make an unforgettable holiday.