Best of 2017: Epic Trips of the Year

Lifestyle, Travel / Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Ok, ok…so maybe I included every trip we went on in 2017 for this list of epic trips of the year. But seriously, who doesn’t say to themselves, “This is the best trip ever!” at least once on a trip? Travel is such a huge part of our life, so it’s a little difficult to rank them. Each destination is beautiful and exciting in its own way.

There is nothing like the excitement of planning a trip, too. Once you’ve picked your destination (deciding that is fun in itself), starting to plan hotels, restaurants, and activities is like creating a dream that you know you’ll get to actually live out.

2017 was a big year of travel for us. It seemed like every month we were off to a new place. I thought it would be fun to share all the places we traveled and why I think they deserve epic status.

Best of 2017: Epic Trips of the Year

January – Chile

Cathedrals and Cafes travel tips to Santiago Chile

In January (I can’t even believe this was a year ago) we traveled to South America for the first time. I’ve mentioned before that most of our travel is to Europe, so when the opportunity came to visit Chile for my uncle’s wedding, we jumped at the chance. We stayed mostly in Santiago with day trips to Valparaiso and the Casablanca Valley. The countryside reminded me of California and Valparaiso was a colorful wonderland. Almost every street, wall, and building is covered in vibrant murals. It’s perfect for photogs. Read my Chile posts below:

9 Things You Must See and Do in Santiago

3 Beautiful Vineyards You Must See in Casablanca Valley

A Walking Tour of Colorful Valparaiso

May – New Orleans

Cathedrals and Cafes New Orleans Travel Itinerary

I hadn’t been to New Orleans since I was 18, which was…well, I’m not going to tell you how long ago that was. It’s the perfect weekend destination for foodies and music lovers. We rented a house not even a full block off of Bourbon street which made it so easy to walk everywhere. We always try to live like locals when we travel and our VRBO was perfect for that. I think we pretty much ate and drank our way through the city, but the one thing I appreciated so much more as an adult was all the history a great city like New Orleans has. My in-laws came too, and we enjoyed many Hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s. Read my New Orleans posts below:

Eat+Stay+Play: A Weekend in New Orleans

New Orleans Date Night Outfit

June – Carmel and San Francisco

Cathedrals and Cafes 5 Day California Trip Itinerary

After the school year finished, my mom and I took a long overdue trip to California. She is a teacher and was born in California and raised there for a few years before my grandparents came to Texas. Every year my mom and I have made time to spend a week or so together in the summer so that we can catch up. We have always been very close and she has been there for me no matter what. She gets me completely. I surprised her with this trip as a Christmas present and we had so much fun. We spent most of the time in Carmel-By-The-Sea with a last day in San Francisco. There is nothing like driving down the PCH listening to 60’s-era rock with your self-proclaimed flower child of a mom. It will always be one of the best memories of my life. And Carmel is stunning. I’m not sure I’ve been anywhere quite like it. To quote my grandfather, Carmel is “God’s country.” Read my five day California itinerary below:

Eat+Stay+Play: 5 Days in California

A Magical Afternoon at Folktale Winery & Vineyards

July – Greece

Cathedrals and Cafes Greece Travel Guide to Naxos

Every year my husband and I go to Europe as our “big trip.” We usually spend two weeks there and it’s a time for us to reconnect. The rest of the year is crazy with all the work travel we do, so we really look forward to this time together. Greece had been on our bucket list for ages and we finally just said, let’s do it. If I were to actually create a “best of” trips post, Greece would top all the lists. Mykonos was my favorite island because I liked being able to frequent the town with shops and restaurants but also enjoy the incredible beaches. Our private boutique hotel overlooking the town and the sea was the ultimate retreat. It was the perfect combination of everything you want in a travel destination. If only I could have kept my tan going a bit longer. Read my Greece travel guides below:

Eat+Stay+Play: 2 Days in Athens

Eat+Stay+Play: Magical Mykonos

Eat+Stay+Play: 5 Reasons to Fall in Love With Naxos

September – Los Angeles

Cathedrals and Cafes Weekend in Los Angeles Travel Guide

For my husband’s birthday, we went out to LA for Labor Day weekend. We did all the touristy things one would do in LA. We split our stay between The Beverly Hilton and a home in Santa Monica. Highlights for me included shopping at Brentwood Country Mart and lunch at Nobu in Malibu. Does it get any better than rose on the beach? Check out my weekend guide to LA below:

Eat+Stay+Play: A Weekend in Los Angeles

October – Las Vegas and Chicago

We took two weekend trips during the month of October. We have been going to Las Vegas for my birthday for a few years now and it’s one of those weekends I look forward to all year. This year my husband surprised me with tickets to Britney Spears and Elton John. Not together in the same concert (but could you imagine how awesome that might be?). Our stay in the Bellagio was perfect and we enjoyed a lengthy room service breakfast. A little stop at Christian Louboutin rounded out the weekend. 

Why I Go to Las Vegas Every Year for My Birthday

Cathedrals and Cafes Ultimate Weekend Guide to Vegas

Later in the month we went to Chicago. I’ve only been to Chicago one other time and also in October. The weather is actually pretty perfect this time of year. It’s cold enough to feel like fall but not miserable. I’m starting to think it’s impossible to have a bad meal in this city. From hot dogs to steak houses, Chicago has the food scene down. I was most impressed with the incredible architecture and really enjoyed taking my camera everywhere we went. I wrote an entire blog post on the architecture alone (read it here) and my city guide is available here.

Eat+Stay+Play: City of Appetites and Architecture

Holiday Gift Guide | Best Boots | Chicago | Cathedrals and Cafes Blog

So don’t wait! Pack your bags for an epic destination, whether it’s one of these great places or another. Do you have any plans to travel this year? Share where you’re going in the comments. I am always looking for ideas and would love to know your best trips of 2017!

Xo – Erin

What’s next?

5 Things I’m Excited About in 2018

5 Ways to Get Out of Bed and Conquer Your Day

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Best of 2017: Epic Trips of the Year Appeared first on Cathedrals and Cafes Blog.

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