Tag Archives: summer

Ice Cream Treats You’ll Want to Plan Your Next Vacation Around

I like ice cream. Well, any dessert, really. It’s one of the hobbies I have when I travel: sampling desserts and candies as I investigate new places. I tell myself it’s sort of an anthropological study: Differences in flavors and dining habits say a lot about a culture, right? But if I’m honest, the truth is that I just want to eat sweets. And what’s so wrong about that? Travelers don’t necessarily need a big important reason to pick one destination over another. For me, if there’s a particular museum exhibit on view, a random festival going on, a campy literary connection to a place, I can plan a whole trip around that. Cases in point: I chose Bali because of the views and the ubiquitousness of banana-chocolate desserts (they are everywhere!), and a big part of the reason I went back to Singapore, where I used to live, was for a food tour with a friend. Sadly, I have yet to plan a whole trip around an ice cream cone, but that can’t be too far off, especially now that I’ve been looking back at these sweet memories. Here are delicious scoops of inspiration for your next vacation. And if you have any other dessert suggestions for me, please leave them in the comments!

The western city of Oradea, in Romania, is remarkable for its well-preserved collection of Art Nouveau architecture—one of the most impressive in Europe. But when you're finished touring the beautiful buildings, stop for a pick-me-up at Sweet Magnolia on the main pedestrian shopping street. In addition to a rich and buttery salted caramel (one of the best I've ever tasted), they offer some more creative flavors too, like a vegan vanilla infused with charcoal to give it that eyebrow-raising black color.

avocado ice cream cone from Mister in Vancouver

In Vancouver, I had a high-brow/low-brow ice cream day. I started with this is scoop of avocado ice cream from Mister Artisan, where they start with a soft paste and use liquid nitrogen to freeze it right before your eyes, and then serve it in a charcoal waffle cone. Then I moved on to…

This Ocean Delights Taco from On Yogurt, also in Vancouver: a blue waffle cone folded into a taco shape and filled with blue vanilla sea salt ice cream rolls (rolled flat on a frozen tablet as if it was a crepe being fried) and then topped with a mini chocolate cupcake, Froot Loops, a condensed milk drizzle, and a gummy whale.

Ice cream sandwiches are the star at Cream, which first opened in Berkeley, California in 2010 and now has outposts all over California as well as in Florida and Nevada. Choose your favorite cookie, ice cream flavor, and topping to come up with your own dream 'wich—or get even more decadent and opt for a donut, brownie, or waffle as your wrapper.

At Philadelphia's ice-cream institution Franklin Fountain, the staff wear bowties and serve their scoops in Chinese food takeout containers—all of which add to the old-timey atmosphere. And while that makes it fun to grab a sundae here, the real draw is the ice cream itself, which is made "Philadelphia-style," meaning without any eggs and therefore without any need to be cooked—making the texture lighter and creamier than what you might be used to.

I'd never heard of a bread sundae until I went to the Green Tea restaurant in Hangzhou, China and had my entire dessert world blown. This one is called Bread Temptation: a cube of buttery toasted bread filled with smaller cubes of buttery toasted bread and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Those of you who love desserts that combine textures and temperatures are going to swoon over this too.

Tucked into a narrow alley off the main street in Dubrovnik's old town, Dolce Vita, is popular for its crepes filled with ice cream and its iced coffee (which is cooled down with a scoop in the glass), but the shop's main ingredient can definitely stand on its own. My favorite flavor: tart yogurt with berries.

On a recent trip to Italy, my mom and I learned to make gelato, from scratch, at Amandola Gelateria in Foligno—and then chef-owner Ricardo let us try every flavor in the shop. I would fly back to Umbria solely for this gelato; it was that good. And it's easy to understand why: Every day Ricardo handcrafts about two dozen flavors with the freshest ingredients (like the clementines he juices himself), and when each batch reaches the 24-hour mark, it gets replaced. I volunteered to eat all the leftovers, but with more than 30 flavors every day, I need some help. So who's going to Foligno with me?

My new favorite dessert: bingsu, a.k.a. snowflake, a.k.a. shaved frozen milk, a.k.a. Korea's coolest export (even cooler than K-pop). It's lighter than ice cream and less sweet…so you can eat more of it! This particular pile of creamy white fluff was dished at Nunsaram Korean Dessert Cafe in Singapore, then topped with bananas, chocolate sauce, almonds, and chocolate ice cream, but you can get just about anything on it.

Vanilla and salted caramel from Gelados Santini in Lisbon. There will likely be a line out the door; it is worth it. Attilio Santini started this ice cream company back in 1949 and the current venue’s red and white decor still feels delightfully old-fashioned.

Biscotti ice cream is a popular flavor in Locarno, Switzerland, but one of the best versions is sold at the unassuming-looking Pizzeria Gelateria Primavera restaurant. No fancy decor, no cutesy colors, no line—but plenty of delicious ice cream. I balanced the rich biscotti with cool chocolate chip and felt that I’d discovered a winning combo. The whipped cream is thick and unsweetened, which was not my thing, but I wished there were more of those crisp rolled cookies.

Singapore's AEIOU cafe came up with a brilliant take on the Indonesian avocado coffee trend: They give you a double shot of espresso and an avocado milkshake, and you get to combine the two at your table, mixing your own perfect proportion. It’s called es alpukat (meaning ice avocado) and it’s the best thing you can do with an avocado since guacamole.

This colorful bowl was created at the Nobu outpost in the One&Only Cape Town. It's mochi ice cream in green tea, mixed fruit, and raspberry flavors, over a bed of ice. Artistic and tasty.

Siem Reap can get insanely hot, so you'll need a regular dose of ice cream to cool you down. Skip the questionable carts lined up on Pub Street and grab a stool at the Gelato Co. instead. The dark chocolate and coffee are especially good. You'll probably have to get a cup; the cones melt too fast.

Ahhh: mango and lychee ice creams from Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, in New York City. The tiny shop features a lot of interesting flavors: durian, taro, black sesame, pandan, and more.

One of NYC's most popular dessert spots, Big Gay Ice Cream started its life as a mobile food truck, but now has three brick-and-mortar shops (plus one in Philly). This makes it a lot easier to get a fix when you're craving giant sundaes in homemade cones. All the offerings here start with soft-serve vanilla, chocolate, or coffee ice cream, and the delicious gimmick is the toppings: unusual combos named after pop-culture icons, like the Bea Arthur Cone and the Rocky Roadhouse Cone.

This may look like an uninteresting dome of white stuff, but looks can be deceiving. Watch the video to see what's inside, and then make a reservation at The Tasting Room in Franschhoek, stat! Reservations fill up months in advance for this whimsical multi-course food experience, one of the coolest things you can do in South Africa.

Bad picture, good dessert: a flight of eight different ice creams and sorbets at Triple Creek Ranch in Montana. The food at this luxury ranch is stellar, so you’re going to have a hard time saving room for dessert, but I have faith in you—you can do it.

This is called a moffle: a waffle with mochi baked into it. With ice cream. And berry topping. And whipped cream. I found it in Hong Kong (no surprise there, HK is even quirkier than Singapore when it comes to dessert and snack foods) last year, and I’ve seen other versions at street food fairs in the States since then. Keep your eyes open—your stomach won’t be disappointed.

Sorry for the blurry shot; I wasn’t seeing straight because of all the flavor packed into that diminutive cup. This is a spicy-sweet masala chai ice cream sundae dreamed up by a young woman named Pooja Bavishi, who handcrafts ice cream inspired by the Indian flavors of her childhood kitchen. In addition to the chai, some of her popular offerings include rose with cinnamon and roasted almonds, Turkish coffee, and ginger root. You can find her cones, sundaes and pints at the popular Brooklyn Flea, and at a few specialty shops around NYC—they are worth seeking out.

I wish I could remember the name of the little ice cream cart that sold me this tasty cone (along with the nice vendor man who taught me to say every flavor in Portuguese). I would fly back to Lisbon and stalk the waterfront just to find it so that I could have another scoop of this creamy banana gelato that tasted just like fresh, ripe fruit—but better.

Be a smarter traveler: Use Wendy’s WOW List to plan your next trip. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter @wendyperrin, and Instagram @wendyperrin, and sign up for her weekly newsletter to stay in the know.

Beautiful Nature Norway natural landscape aerial photography. lovatnet lake.

It’s Not Too Late to Book An Awesome Summer Vacation

Did summer catch you by surprise? In case you have no awesome summer vacation lined up yet, we’ve scoured the globe and found 14 places where it’s not too late to find availability of the best experiences. You can still travel in these locales without any compromises, as long as you reach out to the right destination travel specialist to mastermind the tricky peak-season logistics. Not sure who that is? Click to Ask Wendy.

Los Cabos

poolside view of the ocean at a private villa in Los Cabos Mexico

Villa Stella, Los Cabos. Photo: Cabovillas.com

Did you know that the dry season in Los Cabos lasts longer than in the Mexican Caribbean and on the Pacific? All the way through July. What’s more, villa prices drop at this time of year (as much as 70% lower than peak-season prices), and you’re likely to get clued into smart locations and last-minute discounts if you know the right travel planner. For example, houses in the Palmilla community are a short walk or golf-cart ride from one of the few beaches in the area that’s safe for swimming, and the luxurious Resort at Pedregal has a tranquil atmosphere while sitting just minutes from the heart of Cabo’s marina, downtown, and main beach. As for deals, one of our specialists has a line on a fully staffed ten-bedroom villa with only a three-night minimum, making it a good value for long weekends with the family or milestone birthday or anniversary celebrations.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Cabo Villa Vacations, and use Wendy’s trip request form to plan the best trip possible. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this.


The Italian Garden at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire. Park land designed by Capability Brown.

The Italian Garden at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire. Photo: Visit Britain

Business travelers fill London’s hotels for most of the year—and drive rates up accordingly. But come August, there’s little work being done, so accommodations are easier to come by—and cheaper too; many hotels even offer additional discounts if you stay three or more nights. (Add to that the weaker pound courtesy of Brexit, and prices look even better.) It’s also easier to get theater tickets and reservations at Michelin-starred restaurants—and remember, most museums have free admission. August is also a wonderful time to see the countryside in bloom and meander through scenic villages on a side trip into the Cotswolds, where some hotels still have space and you can visit stately homes such as Blenheim Palace.

Read more in our Insider’s Guides to London, London Vacation Rentals, and the Cotswolds, and use Wendy’s trip request form to plan the best trip possible. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this.


Cathedral in Seville, Spain

Cathedral in Seville, Spain. Photo courtesy Casa1800.

While Granada and the Alhambra are overflowing with visitors this summer, head west to visit the less-trafficked spots around Seville and Cadiz. Enjoy the top Spanish wine regions of Ribera del Duero and La Rioja before harvest (when they’ll be filled with tourists). And there’s still time to reserve hotels and special guides in Madrid, where an art expert can give you a curator’s experience of the Prado and a flamenco insider will introduce you to the intricacies of this art form.

Read more in our Insider’s Guides to Andalusia and Madrid. Ask Wendy for the right local expert to design your trip and ensure you get VIP treatment.

Northern California

gigantic Redwood trees at Redwood National Park

Looking up at the top of the gigantic Redwood trees at Redwood National Park in Northern California is almost impossible from the ground. Photo: Visit California/Carol Highsmith

The Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles may be California’s iconic road trip, but Highway 1 heading north from S.F. is less well known—and therefore less trafficked—and arguably just as gorgeous. Base yourself in the charming town of Mendocino while you explore secluded groves of majestic redwoods and the family-run wineries of the bucolic Anderson Valley.

Contact Wendy for the right local expert to design your trip and ensure you get VIP treatment.


aerial photo of Tobacco Caye with sailboat and blue green ocean

Tobacco Caye. Photo: Absolute Belize

Home to the world’s second-largest coral reef, Belize is a snorkeler’s and diver’s mecca. Explore the tiny nation’s cayes by private, live-aboard catamaran. Swim, snorkel, dive, kayak, fish (the personal chef can prepare your catch for dinner), spot dolphins, or simply relax—each day’s pace is yours to set. You’ll drop anchor at various spots along the archipelago, from villages that abide by the motto of “no shirt, no shoes, no problem” to postcard-perfect desert islands.

Read more in our Insider’s Guide to Belize, and use Wendy’s trip request form to plan the best trip possible. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this.


Reine, Lofoten, Norway. The village of Reine under a sunny, blue sky, with the typical rorbu houses. View from the top

The village of Reine in Lofoten, Norway. Photo: Shutterstock

If sea kayaking around dramatic fjords, hiking to cascading waterfalls, and strolling through fishing villages sounds like your kind of summer vacation, there’s still time to make all of it happen in Norway—where it never gets dark in June and July. The right Norway travel specialists know which under-the-radar boutique lodges still have availability—and can even work their magic to get you into the supposedly sold-out properties. Read more in our Insider’s Guide to Norway.

Ask Wendy for the right local expert to design your trip and ensure you get VIP treatment.

Romania’s Danube Delta

Pelicans in Romania's Danube Delta

Pelicans in Romania’s Danube Delta. Photo: Beyond Dracula

While much of Europe will be chock-a-block with tourists this summer, Romania remains relatively undiscovered and blissfully empty. Even many Romanians haven’t been to the Danube Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved natural areas on the continent, rich in bird and marine life. It’s not too late to book a trip that combines a stay at a local guesthouse in the Delta with time in Bucharest, Transylvania (where brown bears still roam wild), and the country’s best wine region.

Read more in our Insider’s Guide to Romania, and use Wendy’s trip request form to plan the best trip possible. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef from an airplane

The Great Barrier Reef, seen from above. Photo: Tourism Whitsundays

June, July, and August are three of the best months to visit the reef, thanks to lower humidity and rainfall, as well as excellent visibility for snorkeling and diving. It’s also a great time for wildlife encounters: You can swim with minke whales near the reef’s northern reaches, glimpse migrating humpbacks, and dive with manta rays. There are plenty of romantic adults-only resorts, as well as many kid-friendly resorts for families. This July also sees the reopening of the InterContinental Hayman Island Resort, a family favorite that suffered major damage during Cyclone Debbie two years ago.

Read more in our Insider’s Guide to the Great Barrier Reef. Ask Wendy for the right local expert to design your trip and ensure you get VIP treatment.

New Mexico

Apache Mountain Spirit Dancer statue in front of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe New Mexico

The Apache Mountain Spirit Dancer statue in front of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Photo: Tourism Santa Fe

If you think the Southwest is too hot to visit in summertime, think again. Where the elevation increases north of Albuquerque, you’ll find pleasantly warm days and crisp nights, with the occasional cooling afternoon rain shower. Santa Fe comes to life in summer with the opera season, the International Folk Art Market, and the Indian Market all in full swing. Near Taos, the southern tip of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are a summertime playground with plenty of great options for hiking, fishing, and biking.

Contact Wendy to find the right local expert to design your trip and ensure you get VIP treatment.

Brazil and the Amazon

sunset over the trees in the brazilian rainforest of Amazonas

Sunset over the Brazilian Amazon. Photo: Shutterstock

August is the start of the best season to visit the Amazon—when it stops raining and the white-sand beaches begin to emerge from the river—and there’s still time to charter a yacht to explore the region that month. You won’t have trouble finding luxury hotel digs in Rio either, thanks to the numerous properties that opened in anticipation of the 2016 Olympics. That glut of rooms also means that rates are lower than they have been in years past.

Read more in our Insider’s Guides to Five-Star Brazil and the Brazilian Amazon, and use Wendy’s trip request form to plan the best trip possible. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this.

Tibet and Ladakh

Ruins at Leh Palace, Ladakh, India

Ruins at Leh Palace, Ladakh, India, in the Himalayas. Photo: Sanjay Saxena

A last-minute trip to Tibet? Can’t be done, you say, given the hoops one must jump through for the necessary permits. Not always: Much of the Tibetan Plateau falls outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region, meaning you can visit permit-free. Summer is the perfect time, too: You’ll find clear blue skies across the plateau and warm days for hiking through the region’s mystical scenery. Whether you travel by foot or on horseback, you’ll overnight in boutique hotels or luxury tents outfitted with yak-wool blankets. Parts of the plateau have been heavily influenced by China, but Kham and Amdo retain the traditional Tibetan way of life—as does Ladakh, today a region of India but once a major Tibetan stronghold. Ladakh is particularly well suited for families, as there’s hiking, river-rafting, and camel trekking to keep the kids entertained.

Contact Wendy to find the right local expert to design your trip and ensure you get VIP treatment.

Nepal’s Upper Mustang Region

Monks in the medieval Kingdom of Mustang, Nepal

Monks in the medieval Kingdom of Mustang, Nepal. Photo: Myths & Mountains

Imagine hiking a rock-lined trail across the Himalayas onto the Tibetan Plateau and up to the medieval Kingdom of Mustang, just south of the Tibetan border. Mustang, where locals live as they have for centuries, is shielded by snow-capped mountains and escapes Nepal’s summer monsoon rains. Here you’ll find isolated, picture-perfect villages surrounded by fruit trees and barley fields, arid hills bathed in pastel hues, ancient caves with Buddhist paintings, and medieval forts and palaces. For most, the destination is the magical walled town of Lo Manthang, host to a rip-roaring horse festival in late July/early August. Those who prefer not to walk can take a helicopter up to Lo Manthang or drive the dusty road that crosses from Tibet down into Nepal.

Read more in our Insider’s Guide to Nepal, and use Wendy’s trip request form to plan the best trip possible. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this.


Journeys Within Tour Company

Plain of Jars, Laos. Photo: Journeys Within

Though less well-known than neighboring Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, Laos packs a similar combination of rich culture, long history, and a delicious culinary legacy. Plus, Laos is incredibly beautiful during the summer green season: The countryside is lush and vibrant, there are fewer travelers, and many of the top hotels offer discounts of 20% to 40% off peak-season rates.

Read more in our Insider’s Guide to Laos, and use Wendy’s trip request form to plan the best trip possible. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this.


Be a smarter traveler: Use Wendy’s WOW List to plan your next trip. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter @wendyperrin, and Instagram @wendyperrin, and sign up for her weekly newsletter to stay in the know.

The Mount is edith wharton's home in lenox massachusetss

Quick and Easy Weekend Getaways for the Summer

How is it that summer sneaks up on us every year? It was just winter, and then all of a sudden the warm weather is upon us and we’re scrambling to plan some quick-and-easy summer getaways. The good news is it’s never too late. Here are eight ideas for short, fun road trips and big-city escapes that work just as well for families as for solo travelers.

Find Your Inner Writer

You’ll have plenty of time this summer to spend reading on the beach (we hope!) but for now, get your book fix by road tripping through our nation’s literary past in New England. Wendy, who majored in History and Literature at Harvard, has designed this two-day itinerary, starting and ending in Boston, that takes you through Louisa May Alcott, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, and Edith Wharton country.

Find Your Inner Food Critic

Put your GPS and your stomach to good use on a road trip focused on your favorite regional foods. For a Southern barbecue and soul food feast, for example, you could start with hickory-smoked ribs in Blue Ridge, Georgia, and continue sampling the country’s best barbecue on this itinerary through Nashville all the way to Kansas City. Or rate lobster rolls along the Northeastern coast, from Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock in New London, Connecticut, to Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, Maine. Find a few lauded spots with the TripAdvisor or LocalEats apps and you’re good to go. Of course, you could also just eat your way through the nearest State Fair.

See Spectacular Coastline

BlackSandBeach Lost Coast California

Drive Route 1 to Black Sands Beach on the Lost Coast in Humboldt, CA. Photo: Visit California

“One of my all-time favorite adventures along the northern California coast is to drive the one-lane, unpaved road off Route 1, just west of Leggett, to Sinkyone Wilderness State Park,” says Sheri Doyle, an expert planner of California road trips. “It’s a white-knuckle trip that will have you praying you won’t meet anyone coming the other way, and you’ll need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to do it, but the reward at the end—a black-sand beach out in the middle of nowhere—is fantastic. If that’s too daunting, the drive to the ‘Lost Coast’—the stretch of coastline from Ferndale to the Avenue of the Giants, just south of Eureka—is paved and not quite as difficult, but also leads to fantastic beach views that you’ll share with more cows than people.”

Discover Geological Wonders

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah

Utah’s Highway 12, which runs alongside the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, is a spectacular drive, but few take the time to do it.

Make one of Utah’s gorgeous national parks your goal for the weekend, and turn the drive into part of the experience by driving Highway 12, which runs between the Utah towns of Tropic and Torrey alongside the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  It’s one of the world’s most spectacular drives, yet few people know about it. Learn more about Highway 12 in The American West You Don’t Know About, But Should and bookmark our calendar guide to the best national parks for every month of the year.

Delve Into the Heartland

Mississippi River runs through Minneapolis Minnesota

Mississippi River runs through Minneapolis. Photo: Billie Cohen

America’s Great River Road runs along the Mississippi, all the way from Canada to the Gulf Coast, passing through country dotted with historic villages, wineries, wildlife, and sweeping vistas. Wendy recommends this two- to three-day itinerary that takes you along the Minnesota/Wisconsin border, starting in Minneapolis and ending in Madison, Wisconsin.

Pursue Your Passion

world's largest pumpkin roadside attraction

Pumpkins, petrified trees, yo-yos, balls of twine—the world’s largest anything is worth a stop, just for the sheer goofiness of it. Photo: Flickr/Loozrboy

Remember that you don’t need a bucket-list destination to make a road trip memorable. Just think of something you love and string together a few spots related to it. Are your kids die-hard baseball fans? Plan a route that connects minor-league stadiums. Do you swoon over lighthouses? Maine and North Carolina are just two states for you. If botanical gardens are more your thing, set your course for the Southwest and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Or go all-out quirky and seek out three of the world’s largest anything—apps such as Roadside America and Along the Way will help you track them down.

See How It’s Made

Jelly Belly factory samples

The Jelly Belly factory has a free sampling station where you can try three choices of jellybeans. Photo: Tim Baker

Many candy, ice cream, and food companies offer kid-friendly tours of their facilities—but you definitely don’t need to be a kid to enjoy them. In most cases you’ll get to see some behind-the-scenes manufacturing, learn about the company and the product, and (best part) get to taste the final product. Hershey’s Chocolate World in Pennsylvania and Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont are pretty well-known, but you can find more unusual ones like Tabasco Pepper Sauce in Louisiana and the Celestial Seasonings Tea factory in Colorado. Wendy’s husband, Tim, took the boys to the Jelly Belly jellybeans factory in California one year.

Find Peace in a Big City

little red lighthouse in fort washington park new york city

Try something different in New York City: a picnic near the city’s only remaining light house, known as the Little Red Lighthouse, at the foot of the George Washington Bridge. Photo: Malcolm Pinckney, NYC Parks

You won’t be the only person thinking about hitting a big city on a summer weekend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t avoid the crowds. Washington, D.C. is beautiful in the spring, before the summer heat and humidity roll in. While everyone else is piling into the various Smithsonian museums, head away from the Mall to Dumbarton Oaks, an eclectic museum with gardens tucked away in a residential neighborhood, a mile and a half from the closest Metro stop. Owned by Harvard, the former mansion features world-class pre-Columbian and Byzantine art and artifacts, impressive architecture designed by Philip Johnson, and a beautiful 27-acre garden and park. It’s rarely crowded, and as a bonus, it’s a short stroll away from an outstanding small museum, Tudor Place, as well as the Georgetown commercial district. In New York, leave the sunbathing hordes of Central Park behind and instead spend the weekend exploring the city’s other parks. Plan a picnic in Fort Washington Park, near the city’s only remaining beacon Jeffrey’s Hook Light House (also known as the Little Red Lighthouse) at the foot of the George Washington Bridge. Or head to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, to climb Lookout Hill, the highest point in Brooklyn with views of the second park designed by Olmsted & Vaux (famous for creating Manhattan’s Central Park; legend has it they said Prospect was the design they liked better).

Be a smarter traveler: Use Wendy’s WOW List to plan your next trip. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter @wendyperrin, and Instagram @wendyperrin, and sign up for her weekly newsletter to stay in the know.

Paris is one of the world's most expensive cities this summer, but there are easy ways to make your dollar go farther.

Smart Travel Strategies for Summer

As TripAdvisor’s Travel Advocate, I’ve been sharing a lot of summer travel advice over on the TripAdvisor blog. In case you’ve missed my posts, here are links to the tips I think you’ll find most useful:

* Traveling Overseas? Make Your Dollar Go Farther.  Here’s a list of the world’s most expensive cities this summer (including Paris)—and six actions to take that will not only save you money but also reward you with more local color.

* How to Plan a Family Beach Vacation That Won’t Break the Bank.  Are you finding that every four- or five-star beach resort you’ve contacted has hiked its rates sky-high this summer?  Here are the tricks I’ve used for my own family’s summer getaways.

* Easy Ways to Avoid Airline Baggage Fees.  Of all the fees airlines hit us with, the one that most travelers find most annoying is the fee for checking luggage. For those of you who don’t have elite status with an airline, here are three ways to avoid getting stung.

Improve Your Trip With an Overnight Layover (No Kidding!)  Do you dread overnight layovers?  It’s time to change your attitude and use them to give your trip a fun kick-off or a grand finale.

* When to Save Money with a Vacation Rental.  You get more space and privacy than in a hotel, and you get to live like a local, but renting a home without staff or hotel infrastructure can mean spending your vacation doing household chores. If you’re looking for that perfect villa in Tuscany or farmhouse in Provence where it’s an easy walk into town for dinner and you needn’t worry about wrestling with unfamiliar appliances or taking out the garbage, feel free to shoot me an email (click on “Contact,” above) and I can connect you with the right trusted villa expert for your destination.

Happy summer travels, everyone!

Luxembourg Gardens boat pond, Paris

One of many inexpensive activities in Paris is to sail boats in the Luxembourg Gardens, as my younger son is doing here.