cabin in Tennessee with a view

The Best Cabin Rentals in the United States

Spend your next getaway in the great outdoors by booking one of the best cabin rentals in the United States. With millions of vacation rentals, apartments, hotel rooms, and hostels to choose from, this summer one accommodation has stood out above the rest. Cabins. With their sturdy structure, spacious floor plans, and close access to nature, it’s no wonder why cabins are being picked time and time again as the number one type of vacation rental to book for an outdoor escape.

Whether you are looking to rough it with a more rustic vibe or have your eye on something high-end and luxurious, it’s no wonder everyone wants to rent cabins this year. With rentals that will fit your entire extended family, friends, and best pals, these destinations offer some of the best cabin escapes in the United States. Let’s start with the West Coast.

view from the best cabin rentals in the usa

West Coast Cabin Rentals

Whether you and your partner are looking to road trip from rainy Seattle to sunny Los Angeles, the entire West Coast boasts cabin rentals that will make the perfect homes away from home for you and your best pals. Check out some of the best rentals in Washington, Oregon, and California for your cabin vacation.

cabin rental in the woods in washington

Washington

From cabins with private hot tubs and fireplaces to cabins that allow your furry friend to tag along, Washington boasts some of the best cabin rentals in the USA. Pacific Northwest state has incredible access to some of the best hiking trails, ski lodges, and national parks. Visitors can spend their days exploring, trekking, and hitting the slopes, while spending the evening with a glass of wine or a cup of hot cocoa, enjoying the bliss of nature all around. Find your perfect Washington cabin rental to spend a getaway in the heart of the PNW.

cabin rental in oregon

Oregon

Change up your cabin in the woods for a beachfront cabin in Oregon. Up and down the stunning coastline, travelers can now book hundreds of beachside homes that offer the cozy comfort of a cabin. Spend your morning enjoying a fresh cup of coffee while enjoying the fresh sea breeze right from the balcony or deck of your cabin getaway. Guests can even take day trips to Oregon’s national parks allowing all visitors to experience both the woodsy wilderness and ocean landscapes. Escape to a dreamy coastal Oregon cabin for your fall trip. We’ll take one with a hot tub and a view!

cabin rental in california

California

Whether you get your thrills from exploring mountains and hiking trails or spend all day every day at the beach waiting for the perfect wave, there is no better place to stay than at one of the cabin vacation rentals in California. From spacious rentals for you and the whole gang to charming cabins that offer the most romantic oasis for you and your partner, you cannot go wrong by choosing California as your next road trip, long-distance, or even staycation destination.

Be sure to explore the great outdoors, as California is also home to some of the oldest national parks in the country. Visitors will love visiting outdoor locations including Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and more. Book one of the best California cabins for your outdoor vacation.


The Mountain States

From Rocky Mountain National Park to Glacier Peak to Yellowstone, the mountain states boast unforgettable excursions. Especially when you stay at one of the best cabin rentals in the region. Whether you are packing up the whole family for a winter getaway filled with activities and visit your favorite national park, or are looking for a quiet place to catch up on your rest and relaxation, the mountain states will offer the perfect cabin homes away from home. See for yourself!

cabin rental in montana

Montana

The fourth-largest state in the U.S. also happens to be home to some of the best cabin vacation rentals in the country. With their long and thick wood exteriors to keep visitors comfortable all year long to the open spaces to wander and explore, a visit to a cabin in Montana is just what everyone needs. Guests will love roaming over 28 million acres of public land to go hiking, biking, trekking, horseback riding, and more. Book your Montana getaway for a trip you will never want to end.

cabin rental in colorado

Colorado

The mile-high state does not disappoint when it comes to outdoor cabin accommodations. With some of the most remarkable natural escapes including the world’s largest natural hot springs, world’s deepest hot springs, 58 14,000 feet tall peaks, there’s an adventure just around every corner in this state. As well as the world-famous Four Corners, allowing travelers to stand where New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona meet. These Colorado cabins include hot tubs, epic views, king-sized beds, full entertainment systems, and of course excursions. Find your perfect Colorado cabin for your getaway.


The South

Explore the roots of America by taking an adventure to the South. From Florida to Tennessee, the southern states offer some of the most beautiful national parks, epic landscapes, and unbeatable views from every cabin rental. Check out the top states for a cabin stay in the South.

cabin in Tennessee with a view

Tennessee

Wake up with a view of the Great Smoky Mountains running for miles and miles. There is nowhere with quite as many stunning views as the cabins in Tennessee. From the geological wonders to the fairy-tale parks, get the good kind of lost in the heart of nature. With cities like Nashville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg nearby, travelers will love taking everything from Tennessee staycations to weekend stays at these cabins. With top amenities included at each, you can enjoy a dip in the hot tub or cozy up by the fireplace. You can even take your adventure to the next level by taking road trips through the South to visit the best cabins throughout the region.

cabin rental in texas

Texas

Take your adventure to Texas this year. With popular cities including Houston, Austin, and Dallas, there are just as many popular outdoor locations including Texas Hill Country, Galveston, and San Antonio. Each with their own unique cabins and vacation rental properties. Whether you are looking for a river retreat to go kayaking and swimming or a ranch where you can go horseback riding and tour the plains, there is something for everyone. Your Texas cabin retreat awaits you.

cabin rental in north carolina

North Carolina

Tennessee’s southern sister offers an experience unlike any other. With Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Appalachian Mountains off in the distance, North Carolina’s cabins will take you to let you get back to nature to enjoy the simple things in life. The many high-end amenities will give you the comfort you desire with the benefits of the great outdoors to make your stay that much better. Book your cabin in North Carolina today.


The East Coast

Escape the big city for something off the beaten path. From the Mid-Atlantic to New England, the east coast offers travelers a chance to reconnect with nature from the comfort of a one-of-a-kind cabin rental. With cabins everywhere from Woodstock to Boston to Acadia National Park, the right one for you, awaits. Your next great trip can turn into the best one yet.

cabin in virginia

Virginia

Take a drive from D.C. to find a secluded cabin stay in the woods of Virginia. Surrounded by forests galore, Virginia is the perfect place to sit back and relax while enjoying the fruits of nature. The “Big Valley” otherwise known as the Shenandoah Valley stretches across 200 miles and has 60 peaks. With cabins tucked into every nook, there are bounds of adventures to be had. Virginian cabins cannot be beaten.

cabin rental new hampshire

New Hampshire

Snuggled into the northernmost part of the U.S. are some of the East Coast’s best cabin rentals. Colorful cabins in remote locations and friendly neighborhoods will allow you to sit back and enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Your White Mountain National Forest boasts wilderness fun, especially during the winter when the snow allows for epic winter sports. You can find it all on your next trip to one of New Hampshire’s cabin rentals.

cabin rental in pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

Take a break from the woods to visit a beach cabin in Pennsylvania. While not technically a beach on the coast, the Great Lakes offer some of the best beach oases in the Northeast. With large cabins for the whole family and all your friends to romantic escapes, there is something for everyone to fall in love with. Discover Pennsylvania’s beach cabins this year.


Now that you have checked out some of the best places to visit for your next getaway, it’s time to book one of the best cabin rentals in the USA. Find your beachside, mountain, and desert cabins on CuddlyNest.

best cabin rentals pin with view of cabin in the woods

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CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels

view of neuschwanstein castle in germany

The Top 10 Castles in Europe

Europe offers some of the most incredible history and rich culture in the entire world. For visitors coming to Germany, France, the UK, and more to experience Europe’s many wonders, there is one way to ensure a historical and magical experience, unlike any others. By visiting the top 10 castles in Europe. From 18th century fortresses to 13th-century palaces to old castles from as early as the 1st century, there is so much to discover.

From learning about the history of the royal families, battles and wars fought over regions and territories throughout the continent, and the relationships to these castles through bloodlines lasting for generations, visitors will be swept away off their feet at each of these monumental sites. Millions of people travel the globe just to perfect pictures of castles to create their own fairytales. But before diving into the most remarkable castles in Europe, take a moment to learn why castles were and remain so important to European life.

view of medieval castles in europe

The Importance of Castles in Europe

In medieval times, castles in Europe served many great purposes including protecting the nobility. Here are some fun and interesting facts about these magical castles you may not know.

  • Most castles in Europe were built in the Middle Ages. There are more than 10,000 medieval castles and their remains in Europe.
  • Not only did they protect nobility, but they also served as political centers, local government offices,
  • The European country with the most castles, is Germany, with over 25,000. Some of the oldest including Meerburg Castle and Wartburg Castle still remain intact.
  • Moving into the Renaissance era, many of these historical monuments became military fortresses.
  • Windsor Castle is the oldest castle in Europe to still be inhabited. But more on that later.

10 Castles to Visit in Europe

With thousands of castles to choose from it’s hard to pick just 10. These European castles stand out for their beauty, history, fortitude, and international popularity. If exploring Europe’s most impressive castles is on your bucket list this year, then this list is the perfect place to start.

view of neuschwanstein castle in germany

Neuschwanstein Castle – Germany

Arguably the most popular castle in the world is Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. With over 1.4 million visitors a year, this 19th-century romanesque palace is the perfect image of beauty and power. The fortress was commissioned by King Ludwig II, so he could retreat from public life. It remained his home until he died in 1886, and it was then opened to the public since then. It is nicknamed “the castle of the fairy-tale king,” for its magical details, design, and splendor.

The castle is also rumored to be the inspiration behind the castle in Disney’s Cinderella, and also has a shocking resemblance to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. For a truly breathtaking sight, visitors should visit the castle during the fall when the colorful autumn foliage surrounds the castle. Visiting this site really is like walking into a fairytale.

view of Château de Chambord in france

Château de Chambord – France

Known for being the largest château in the Loire Valley, the Château de Chambord lives up to its impressive reputation. Its impressive and distinctive French Renaissance architecture makes it one of the most recognized châteaus in Europe. Although constructed under the reign of Francois I in 1519, the building was not completed until the reign of Louis XIV.

With influences from Leonardo da Vinci and Domenico da Cortana, the medieval and classical styles of architecture were blended together to make one of the most beautiful structures in 16th-century Europe. The Château de Chambord is currently open to the public and welcomes millions of visitors a year. It is also notably one of the only castle structures to have survived from that age without major modifications to its original design.

view of Hohenzollern Castle in germany

Hohenzollern Castle – Germany

The Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany is home to one of the most beautiful castles, Hohenzollern. Construction on the current castle began in 1850 after the two castles that were previously in the same location were destroyed. The original Hohenzollern castle dates back to the 11th century and a second from the 15th century. The castle sits atop Mount Hohenzollern and is straight out of a fairytale overlooking the whole region. On a clear day, visitors can see as far as 60 miles (100 kilometers) away. The castle includes military architecture, palatial buildings, gardens, and chapels.

view of the segovia fortress in spain

Alcázar of Segovia – Spain

Located in the old city of Segovia, the 12th-century Alcázar of Segovia or Segovia Castle is one of the most jaw-dropping castles in Europe. With a mountain backdrop and its rocky location above the rivers, it is one of the most well constructed and preserved fortresses in Spain. It even has a shape similar to that of a bow on a ship. Although the alcázar was originally built as a fortress it has served many purposes since then including, a royal palace, state prison, military academy, and is now open to the public to explore. This castle was also one of the inspirations for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle, similar to the Neuschwanstein Castle.

view of windsor castle

Windsor Castle – England

One of the most famous castles is without a doubt, Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England. With over 1000 years of architectural history, this castle has served the British royal family and monarchs as home since Henry I. It is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. It is the official residence of the Queen of England and is located about an hour away from central London. Fun fact, ten kings are buried at Windsor Castle, including Henry VIII.

bran castle in romania

Bran Castle – Romania

Located in Bran, Central Romania on the Transylvanian side, Bran Castle is home to one of the most historical legends. Famous for its incredible stature and position, this castle is also commonly known as Dracula’s Castle, however, it is only one of the many locations connected to the legend. It is also commonly mistaken as the home of the title character in the book, however, there is no evidence to support that author, Bran Stroker, knew anything about this castle before publishing the book.

Bran Castle dates back to the 14th-century and was intended to protect the region from the Ottoman empire. In 1920 the castle was refurbished to display furniture and art collected by Queen Marie and has been a museum open to the public since the late 1800s. Visitors can also explore the traditional Romanian cottages, barns, and architecture at the bottom of the castle’s hill.

view of sintra castle in portugal

Palace of Pena in Sintra – Portugal

One of the most popular places to visit in southern Portugal is the incredible Palace of Pena in Sintra. The town of Sintra on its own is famous for its many historic castles and palaces, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites, but the Palace of Pena stands out above the rest. Quite, literally, as it is one of the highest structures on this list, often photographed above the clouds.

The palace was created and designed by King Ferdinand II and its architectural style reflects 19th-century romanticism. The elaborate decor of the palace interior is just as colorful as its painted exterior. The views from the top terraces are something everyone must experience at least once in their lifetime.

Moszna Castle poland

Moszna Castle – Poland

The 17th-century Polish landmark, Moszna Castle, is one of the most important monuments in Poland. The castle is the former residence of the German Tiele-Winckler family and has 365 rooms and 99 turrets. While the castle is the focal point of the complex, the entire area includes fields, gardens, meadows, and its own forest. Today the castle’s chapel is used as a concert hall, and the site also hosts serval works of art from many famous artists. The natural landscapes make for the perfect places to spend an afternoon.

view of Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria

Hohenwerfen Castle – Austria

Surrounded by the gorgeous Berchtesgaden Alps, visitors can come and see the Hohenwerfen Castle near Salzburg, Austria. This medieval rock castle is situated on a 2,044 feet tall (623 meter) cliff. It looks over the town of Werfen and was originally built in the 11th century by the Archbishops of Salzburg. Hohenwerfen also is a sister of the Hohensalzburg Fortress that was built by the same archbishops.

Serving as a home to royalty and the clergy, this castle was inhabited for 900 years. It also served as a state prison for a period of time during its inhabited period. One of the main points of popularity for visitors? The falconry center, where guests can see eagles, falcons, vultures, and other local birds of prey show off their skills and the historic art of falconry.

view of eilean donan castle in scotland

Eilean Donan – Scotland

Scotland’s famous Highlands are home to one of the most famous castles in Europe, Eilean Donan. This 13th-century castle is located on an island where three great sea lochs meet, with an expansive mountain backdrop. Over the course of history, this castle has been built and rebuilt four times. The first and original castle was built during the Middle Ages to protect the lands of Kintail against the Vikings. Due to its location and size, it was the best place to protect Scotland from invaders. Today, this is one of the only castles in the world where almost all parts of the castle can be explored and visited by the public.

Now that you have discovered the top castles in Europe, it’s time to plan your stay. Find the best hotels and vacation rentals on CuddlyNest to stay at while you explore Europe’s most magical and historic castle monuments.

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best friend vacation in bali

7 Budget-Friendly Places to Visit with your BFF

Celebrate the International Day of Friendship by taking a best friend vacation to one of our top 5 budget-friendly places to visit. Not only do certain destinations across the globe make top travel lists due to their attractions, accommodations, and cuisine, but also because of their affordability. You and your BFF can explore, eat, and see the world without breaking the bank. Some of these popular locations on this list may even surprise you. But first, let’s take a look at the history of this special holiday.

International Day of Friendship

In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly announced that July 30th would be the official International Day of Friendship. The holiday was created to celebrate the friendship between countries, communities, and people, to inspire unified global peace efforts. Since then, every year global events, activities, and celebrations are held on the 30th of July to encourage respect for diversity and understanding in the global community. Another popular way to celebrate this beautiful international holiday? By planning a trip to spend quality time with your best friend.

The Best Budget-Friendly Places to Visit

Whether you and your forever friend are looking to lounge on one of the best beaches, or explore the world’s national parks, these destinations make for the best budget-friendly getaway locations. While certain countries instantly come to mind for affordable trips, there are specific places that make the perfect best friend vacation spot. If you live in one of these locations, then it’s time to plan your BFF staycation. Check them out here:

best friend vacation in vietnam

Vietnam

Over the last ten years, Southeast Asia has become increasingly popular to visit especially for millennials. This is both due to the incredible cultural experiences and the most affordable prices. With hundreds of hostels to stay at for less than $20 a night to street food that adds to the experience, one country stands out from the rest. Vietnam is one of the most unique countries to visit in SEA, as well as one of the cheapest.

The entire country’s architecture and design are influenced by both indigenous and foreign cultures. You and your best friend can spend your vacation sightseeing Hoi An’s popular attractions, taking a boat ride through Halong Bay, and indulging in a cooking course in Ho Chi Minh City. There is something for every pair or group of pals to enjoy in Vietnam at a budget-friendly price. Find the perfect hotel, hostel, or beachside villa for your trip.

best friend vacation in portugal

Portugal

Take a road trip from the Algarve to Porto when visiting Portugal with your best friends. The Iberian Peninsula’s sister country borders the Atlantic Ocean offering visitors a refreshing experience within Europe. With hostels along the country ranging from 5€ to 20€ a night, you can relax in luxury at a budget-friendly price in one of the world’s most beautiful verdant locations.

Attention digital nomads: Lisbon, is not only a culturally exquisite city, but it is also one of the best locations to work remotely in. With over 100 co-working spaces in the country, you and your pals can extend your European vacation by adding a couple of weeks of exploration and working abroad. The perfect combination of combing work from “home” with travel.

Turkey

If you and your best friends are craving a cultural experience unlike any other, then Turkey is the place for you. From coastal cities with beautiful beaches like Ephesus to Cappadocia’s unique fairy chimneys and hot air balloon rides to Istanbul’s rich art and religious influence, the country is full of bucket list adventures. And the best part is they are all incredibly affordable.

Turkey has one of the oldest civilizations in the world. The country alone has over eighteen UNESCO World Heritage sites including Göreme National Park, the Great Mosque, and Archeological Site of Troy. Visiting best friends can book a hotel or hostel room, or an entire vacation rental in Turkey for as little as $9/night on CuddlyNest.

best friend vacation in croatia

Croatia

Summertime calls for a trip with your BFFs to the Balkans. Croatia is not only one of the most beautiful places to explore in Europe, but it is also one of the cheapest. With meals for as low as 5€ a day and hotels and vacation rentals for as low as 10€ a night you and your pals can have your Mediterranean vacation for under 20€ a day. That sounds like an excellent plan for us. Book exciting excursions including hiking through Plitvice National Park or take a boat ride to the nearby Hvar and Montenegro islands. There is so much to do and discover on your Croatian getaway.

Pro tip: When in Croatia be sure to check out the hidden Game of Thrones film scenes to really discover parts of the country that will transport you and your friends to another period of time.

Colombia

Discover Colombia’s charming hotels in the heart of the jungle and cities throughout the South American country. If you have ever dreamed of exploring South America without breaking the bank, then Colombia is the best place to start. With hotels and hostels for as low as $12 a night, you and your best friend can save your travel funds to splurge on delicious meals, excursions, and backpacking adventures. Bogota’s museums will enchant you while the historic streets of Medellin and Cartegena take you to another world. After having a cup of fresh Colombian coffee in the morning, your group of BFFs will be ready to start the day. You can’t miss adding Colombia to your budget-friendly bucket list.

Indonesia

It’s no surprise that Indonesia makes it high on our list of incredible, budget-friendly places to visit for your best friend vacation. The entire country celebrates life, joy, and all wonders. You can spend the day exploring the stacks of rice fields, and afternoon taking a surf lesson all without spending your life savings. Might we suggest spending the night at a beachside bungalow or hostel near the Ubud Forest?

From the incredibly inexpensive meals of chicken skewers, mixed vegetables, and homegrown rice, to dancing on the beach with both old and new friends, the Indonesian country offers so much to fall in love with on each of its islands. You will have to visit to experience it all.

South Africa

For best friends who have a safari trip on their list of dream experiences, South Africa is the place for you. Cities including Johannesburg and Capetown are not only ex-pat hubs, but excellent cities to visit to learn about African lifestyle and culture. Hike to the top of Table Mountain to get a full view of the South African coast and visit one of the famous national reserves including Kruger Park to see the big five animals up close.

Although safari and other tourist experiences have a reputation of being pretty pricey, we are here to debunk that notion by sharing CuddlyNest’s most affordable South African accommodations. You can visit South Africa and experience it all while staying in a budget-friendly rental or hotel. A rooftop pool with a view of the beach sounds like heaven.

Now that you know the top budget-friendly places to visit with your BFFs, it’s time to plan your best friend vacation. Find the best-priced hotels and vacation rentals on CuddlyNest. You and your BFFs are just a few steps away from exploring the globe at an affordable price.

Browse. Book. Stay.

CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels

the world's best national parks

10 of the World’s Best National Parks

Did you know there are over 4,000 national parks around the world? From underwater caves to verdant forests, the world’s best national parks are undeniable. Countries including Australia, China, and the United States have some of the most popular outdoor spaces in the world. These national parks consist of bodies of water, mountain ranges, wildlife, and more. For years, people have traveled to visit and experience the natural power of these sites.

As we begin to travel this summer, locations with close access to nature have become more popular than ever. This will continue to grow in 2021, as travelers embrace the great outdoors and open escapes. Mother Nature is getting ready to welcome visitors again. But how much do we know about these parks and why they are important to travelers and the planet?

History of National Parks

Every year, millions of visitors travel around the world to hike, swim, bike, and explore some of the world’s best national parks. But, did you know that the first national park in the world is not even 150 years old? In 1872, Yellowstone in the United States became the world’s first national park. Since then over 4,000 parks worldwide have been given this honorable status. Many of these national parks are even UNESCO World Heritage sites. According to Classzone.com, to become a national park, the natural location must meet the following criteria:

  • The natural, recreational, and or natural resources the area has must be unique in nature.
  • The outdoor location must be in need of protection. The National Park Service (NPS) is the only government body that can provide the right type of security and protection.
  • It must be possible to even protect the area. If the outdoor area is not accessible by the NPS to protect, then it cannot be claimed as an official national park.

Importance of Park Preservation

To continue enjoying the world’s national parks, they must be preserved and protected. They are vital for protecting the world’s population of flora and fauna. As well as beautiful places to visit. They are also important for sustaining renewable resources that can contribute to saving the planet. Organizations like the NPS, National Parks Conservation Association, and the National Park Foundation have created dozens of helpful programs about the national parks. Their goals are to educate and welcome the public to aid in the contribution, restoration, and preservation of the world’s parks.

The Best National Parks in the World

Now that you know national park history and why park preservation is so important, check out the world’s best national parks. You will want to add each of these to your bucket list.


Plivtice Lakes National Park

Plitviče Lakes National Park, Croatia

Croatia’s outdoor treasure is its largest national park, Plitviče Lakes. This park is located in central Croatia and spans over 73,350 acres (295 square kilometers). The park is famous for its 16 terraced lakes, that join by waterfalls that drop into a limestone canyon. This park, in particular, is so beautiful and untouched, that it is often compared to the Garden of Eden.

Not only was Plitviče Lakes one of Southeast Europe’s first national parks, but it is Croatia’s very first. It became a national park in 1949. In 1979 the lake became a UNESCO World Heritage site and welcomes over 1 million people a year. During a visit, you may even see some of the popular wildlife including brown bears, lynxes, and eagles. It is one of the most impressive and best national parks in the world.


Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park, South Africa

Visit South Africa’s Kruger National Park to see wildlife unlike ever before. This national park is one of Africa’s largest game reserves. It is 7,523 square miles (19,485 square kilometers). The park itself belongs to two South African provinces, bordering Mozambique and Zimbabwe. This national park also has the largest species of mammals than any other game reserve in Africa. Including all big five game animals, lions, elephants, rhinoceros, cape buffalo, and leopards. Take an adventure to explore this African national park and marvel at the wonders of nature.


Dolomite National Park

Dolomite National Park, Italy

Formally known as the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, the Dolomites is an Italian wonder. The famous park is located in the Veneto region. It became an official national park in 1988, and a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009. This Italian national park is 12 square miles (32 square kilometers) which makes it the smallest park on our list of the world’s best national parks. That does not take away from its beauty and sheer power. The Dolomites includes 15 municipalities, several alpine mountain ranges, and springs and streams. If you are looking to pair a trip to Italy’s beautiful towns with an epic outdoor escape, then this is one of the best national parks to visit.


Iguazú National Park

Iguaçu National Park, Brazil and Argentina

Iguaçu National Park in the Paraná State of Brazil is one of the largest national parks on this list. The park is about 457,794 acres, and 260 miles (420 kilometers). The park and its sister park in Argentina, often draw confusion, as Iguaçu park is located in Brazil, bordering Iguazú park in Argentina. Ultimately the same park, they are separated by the Iguaçu river which creates their border and drops into the Iguaçu Falls. The largest cataract in the park is named “The Devil’s Throat” which consists of 14 large falls over 350 feet deep.

The falls are the main sightseeing spot for both local and foreign visitors. This Brazilian park became a national park in 1939 and made the UNESCO World Heritage site list by 1986. Fun fact! The Iguaçu Falls are taller and twice the size of Niagra Falls in the United States. For natural wonders, it’s no surprise that this site makes the list for the world’s best national parks.


Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park, United States of America

The Grand Canyon National Park, in Arizona, is one of the world’s most famous and best national parks. Spanning over 277 miles in length (446 meters), and over 6,000 feet deep (1800 meters), the Grand Canyon is one of the largest national parks in the world. Fun fact! It is larger than the state of Rhode Island. It is the 17th oldest national park in the country, founded in 1919. Although there are 419 national park sites in the US, the official list consists of 62 national parks.

The Grand Canyon is a very important site for geologists who track the erosion of the canyon. This erosion is caused by both the climate and the Colorado River. For travelers looking to visit natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is the perfect spot. So much so that it too belongs to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. An estimated 5.9 million visitors travel far and wide to marvel at the beauty of this famous U.S. national park.


Göreme National Park

Göreme National Park, Turkey

Since 1986, Turkey has welcomed visitors to its jaw-dropping Göereme National Park. Located in Central Anatolia in the Cappadocia region, this national wonder is known for its rock formations, or “fairy chimneys.” Ancient volcanos are believed to have spewed ash all over this region. The remains then solidified into the famous rock formations. In the millions of years following, erosion from wind and rain began to carve these rocks into the cones you can see above.

The Turkish people began to carve homes, churches, businesses, and stores out of the rock to make this area liveable. Not only above Earth, but below as well, the park and region are famous for its underground cities. Göreme became an official national park and UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986. People around the globe travel from every end of the planet to visit this very unique national park. Also to experience a bucket list a hot air balloon ride above the city.


Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China

Found in the Hunan Province, Zhangjiajie, is China’s first national forest park since 1982. This specific forest park is part of a much larger park, the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, which is another UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992. There are over 3,000 peaks, spires, pinnacles, and skyscraper high rock formations.

One of the main peaks stretches over 3540 feet tall (1080 meters), and was renamed “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” in 2010. In 2002, China opened the Bailong Elevator, also known as Hundred Dragons Elevator. It is the world’s largest outdoor elevator and is almost 2,000 feet tall (over 330 meters). The elevator can take park visitors from the foot of the mount to the top in under two minutes. It the best way for park-goers to see the entire forest and exploring the hiking trails.


Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

The beautiful Fiordland National Park is located on New Zealand’s South Island. The park is 4867 square miles (12607 square kilometers). One can’t help but feel impressed by nature and its wonders after a visit to this pristine haven. The snow-capped peaks, breathtaking fjords, and cascading waterfalls are stunning. It truly is one of the world’s best national parks and most beautiful outdoor locations.

Fiordland became a national park in 1952. Although it is one of the country’s most popular sites, human activity in the area is limited. The largest and deepest fiord in the park is Doubtful Sound at 1381 feet deep (421 meters). This fiord is home to bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and even penguins. When visiting New Zealand, this site is a must-visit.


Whitsunday Islands National Park

Whitsunday Islands National Park, Australia

Whitsunday Islands National Park is one of the most fascinating outdoor landscapes in the world. This national park is in Queensland, Australia. The group of 74 islands can be found right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Whitehaven Beach is often named one of the top beaches in the world. Its crystal blue waters, white sand which is made of 98% pure silica, and incredible views are hard to pass up. This beach can only be accessed by seaplane, helicopter, or boat. this makes the area remote, secluded, and difficult to visit regularly. A visit to Whitsunday Islands National Park is a once in a lifetime experience.


Arenal National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

The mighty Arenal Volcano and the surrounding national park are both a favorite for Costa Ricans and visiting tourists. The volcano itself was Costa Rica’s most active volcano, and it is roughly 5,358 feet tall (1,633 meters high). The park is located in the central region of Alajuela. Near the park, visitors from all over the world come to indulge in the spas and hotels, that offer natural hot springs on the volcano’s base.

While the volcano has not erupted in over 10 years, experts believe it is still active, ust in a “sleeping phase.” Other attractions near the park include ziplining, horseback riding, and hiking trails. If a visit to Costa Rica is on your bucket list, be sure to add Arenal National Park to the very top.


Now that you have explored the world’s best national parks, it’s time to plan your visit. Learn more about CuddlyNest’s incredible hotels and vacation rentals to stay at during your national park adventure. Discover endless staycation opportunities for your summer travels.

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13 Summer Traditions and Festivals You Need to Know About

The summertime not only brings warmer weather and beach days, but also festivals and celebrations held around the world. People gather far and wide within their own countries and internationally to enjoy several summer traditions that cannot be beaten. While this year’s celebrations may look a little different, there is always time to plan to attend these global events next year. From barbecues and bonfires to races and celebrating friendship, these are the 13 summer traditions and festivals you need to know about.

Learn more about these Summer Traditions:

dragon boat racing summer traditions
China’s famous dragon boat racing.

Dragon Boat Festival: June 25

The Chinese calendar is filled with celebrations throughout the year. One of the most exciting traditions held annually in China is the Dragon Boat Festival. This festival has been celebrated for over 2,000 years and was even added to the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2009. Also as of 2008, the Dragon Boat Festival is a public holiday in China. The festival commemorates the life and death of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese scholar. A key part of the festival is the famous dragon boat races. These boats can be anywhere from 40 to 100 feet long and sit 80 rowers. The races symbolize bringing the dragons to life and laying them to rest after the race finishes. While the festival’s date changes yearly it is mainly held between the end of May to the end of June.

Pride Parade: June

For over 50 years in the United States, Pride festivities celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and is one of the most popular summer traditions. The first-ever Pride took place in New York City on June 28, 1970, one year after the Stonewall uprising. Since then, cities throughout the North American country fill the street with rainbow colors, parades, floats, and music to spread love, compassion, and kindness throughout the community. The biggest Pride festival is still in NYC every year and attracts millions of people from all communities to spread love and awareness. Other notable cities with large Pride events include Denver, Colorado, San Francisco, California, and Washington D.C.

March in the Pride parades in the major cities of the United States.

Summer Solstice: June 20

Who doesn’t love to celebrate the longest day of summer? Occurring between June 20 to June 22, the summer solstice marks the day when the sun is at its highest point creating the longest day of sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere. Countries in Scandanavia celebrate the holiday with large bonfires on the beach. In fact, the first largest bonfire record was a result of a summer solstice celebration in Norway in 2016. Many people travel far and wide to visit Stonehenge in Salisbury, England to admire World Heritage Site during the solstice. Celebrants can watch the solstice via a virtual tour on the Stonehenge website.

Bonfires are a major part of summer solstice celebrations.

United States Independence Day: 4th of July

The United State’s Independence Day is the 4th of July. Americans spend the day enjoying barbecues, bonfires, and red, white, and blue colors decorating absolutely everything. This is of course to match the American flag. On July 4, 1776, all thirteen American colonies signed the Declaration of Independence which gave the US freedom from under British rule. Many 4th of July summer traditions include parades throughout the country, a day at the beach, and firework shows in every city. Pro tip! Many coastal cities and lake cities light their fireworks in the water so that spectators can watch them from the beach and shore. It is a spectacular day of celebration and joy.

Looking for tips on how to safely celebrate this year? Watch the fireworks from your home, take a virtual tour of a national monument, and host a small BBQ of close friends and family. You can keep the 4th of July and it’s summer traditions alive, right from home.

Bastille Day: July 14

Otherwise known as Bastille Day the French National Holiday, La Fête Nationale is celebrated every 14th of July. It is very similar to the United State’s 4th of July in tradition and celebration. This holiday marks the turning point in the French Revolution on July 14, 1789, which united the French people after fighting against the monarchy. The streets of France fill with proud French citizens as fireworks illuminate the Eiffel Tower. One of the main parts of the summer event is the military procession that goes down the long Champs-Élysées.

Japan's summer traditions include fireworks
Enjoy the fireworks at Japan’s Sumidagawa Festival.

Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival: Last Saturday in July

If you are in Tokyo on the last Saturday in July, attend the annual Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival. Traditionally, fireworks a part of festivals for the dead to celebrate and commemorate the lives lost during the crisis during 1732. The festival then began in 1733, however it did not become an annual event until 1978. The firework festival brings the city to life under the shimmering colors. Summertime and fireworks go hand in hand.

Hajj Pilgrimage: July to August

Every year during the last lunar month of the Islamic calendar, Muslim people from all corners of the world make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Mecca is considered to be the holiest place in the Islamic religion. The pilgrimage can last from five to six days and is a mandatory religious duty for all adult Islamic people to do at least once in their lifetime. Between Saudi Arabian residents and international visitors, about 2.5 million people made the Hajj in 2019.

summer traditions hajj mecca
The beautiful gathering celebration at Mecca.

International Day of Friendship: July 30

Show your friends how much your care by celebrating the International Day of Friendship together on the 30th of July. This summer tradition offers friends the perfect opportunity to celebrate life, happiness, and kindness for their loved ones. Countries around the world celebrate this day on different dates, however, it typically falls sometime in July or the beginning of August. Although the concept of this day originates back to 1919, it officially became a holiday by the United Nations General Assembly in July 2011. Fun fact! Paraguay was the first country to officially celebrate the international day of friendship in 1958. The best way to honor the event is by booking a stay for you and your best pals on CuddlyNest. You can even make new summer traditions during your getaway.

Krishna Janmashtami: August 11

This Hindu holiday celebrates the birth of the eighth avatar of Vishnu, Krishna Janmashtami. It is one of India’s biggest and oldest holidays, due to Hindu tradition and teachings. The summer tradition includes two parts in which the Indian people build swings in their homes and place idols of the gods inside them, to then bathe them in milk, honey, and jewelry. Young boys also form a human pyramid to break a pot from 20-30 feet high. It is common for devotees of the celebration to dress their absolute best during the holiday and observe a day-long fast. While this an important festival in the Hindu religion, it is also a very proud day for all of India.

Enjoy art, culture, and music at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival: August

Also known as Fringe for short, this annual summer festival in Scotland is one of its most popular events all year. It is the world’s largest art festival and can last as long as a little over three weeks. The whole event features more than 50,000 performances and shows in over 300 venues throughout the city of Edinburgh. They include circuses, cabarets, musicals, exhibitions, and more. Spend next summer soaking in all the art and culture Scotland has to offer at the Fringe Festival in August. Pro tip: If comedy is your thing, check out local bars and pubs for free stand-up comedy shows. You can enjoy the events without purchasing a ticket.

Yi Torch Festival: August

One of China’s largest and grandest events is the Yi Torch Festival in the Yunnan province. The date of the celebration is always in August, as it corresponds with the 24th to 27th of the sixth month in the lunar calendar. While the festival includes wrestling, contests, horse racing, and more, the main event is the lighting of the torch. Each family lights a torch and uses it to illuminate the corners of the room and fields. Tradition says that this drives away all bad luck and brings a successful harvest. Larger torches are also made for the city centers to ward off bad luck for the entire community. It is truly a summer tradition of fire and light.

Explore Burning Man Festival in Nevada, USA.

Burning Man: August

Burning Man is a festival of art, self-expression, and creativity. Originating in 1986, it occurs every year in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Tens of thousands of people attend this summer festival in the desert to collaborate, create, and share beautiful experiences together. Not only does this summer tradition include music and art, but also the building of an entire city. The art that is built at the event can include anything from sculptures to towers. At the end of every Burning Man festival, a large wood effigy symbolizing “the man” is burnt to the ground, as well as the rest of the event grounds. If you have the opportunity to experience Burning Man once in your lifetime, you will never forget it. 

La Tomatina: Last Wednesday of August

On the last Wednesday of every August, over 20,000 people gather in Buñol, Spain to celebrate La Tomatina. Hundreds of tomatoes are thrown at each other in the street in the Valencian town purely for entertainment and fun. This food fight has been a tradition in the town since 1945. Over the course of its tradition, the fight has been banned off and on, but that has never stopped Spaniards from participating in the event that brings them so much joy.


Have you ever celebrated any of these summer traditions and festivals? Let us know which, so that we can help you plan a trip to experience even more events next summer.

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Learn 5 Ways to Save the Rainforest on World Rainforest Day

One of the most prominent ecosystems on our planet is the rainforest. Although they only take up a small percentage of the Earth’s surface, there are many reasons why we need to put rainforest conversation at the top of our priorities. That’s why we are celebrating World Rainforest Day by sharing five easy ways to save the rainforest. Together as a community, it is our responsibility to promote sustainable travel and the health of our incredible flora and fauna. Unless the global community puts in a strong united effort, we won’t be able to enjoy them for much longer. After all, the rainforest is the oldest ecosystem in the world, and it is our duty to help them thrive.

world rainforest day amazon

Fun Facts About the Rainforest:

Before we dive in and add saving the rainforest to your 2020 goals, let’s go over everything you need to know about these verdant green habitats and World Rainforest Day.

  • Rainforests have existed for millions of years. Thriving in warm, humid regions, rainforests used to cover the majority of the world.
  • They are tall, hot, and are named for their continuous annual rainfall.
  • While they are one of the most important ecosystems in the world, they only cover 6% of the Earth’s surface.
  • The largest rainforest in the world is the Amazon Rainforest. It is over 5.5 million square kilometers, 1.4 billion acres, and extends over nine South American countries. The country with the largest part of the Amazon is Brazil with 60%, followed by Peru with 13%, Colombia with 10%, and the remaining 17% split between Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname.
  • Rainforests compose over half the plants and animals found on Earth.
  • Indonesia, the Dominican Republic of Congo, Malaysia, and many more countries also have large amounts of the rainforest.
  • The first World Rainforest Day was launched on June 22, 2017, by the Rainforest Partnership. The environmental holiday has been celebrated every year since on the date, June 22.

How to Save the Rainforest:

Now that you know the facts, it’s time to learn how to save our beautiful green rainforests around the globe on World Rainforest Day. Here are the five easy steps that you can take to preserve them. The best way to start is by changing some of your everyday habits. 

Shop Local and Purchase Eco-Friendly Products

By shopping for local, organic, eco-friendly products you can reduce waste and use of harmful materials. While many global conglomerates make products that you may use regularly, try substituting those from major brands and opt for a boutique eco-friendly shop. Many local and eco-friendly based stores set amounts of their revenue aside to contribute to preserving the rainforest and other environmental causes. When you buy local, that also helps decrease the number of products that are shipped from remote locations. This also helps reduce your carbon footprint. Sources like Going Zero Waste can provide you with tips on what you need to know when it comes to shopping eco-friendly and organic.

indigenous communities in the rainforest

Support Indigenous Communities

The rainforest is home to thousands of indigenous people and communities. Building strong relationships with these communities is one of the best ways to help save the rainforest. You can also start by supporting their rights that help protect their land and their homes. This will prevent large corporations from entering their territories, taking all their resources, and depleting their land. Without rights and proper governance, it is incredibly difficult for them to survive and keep their communities safe. Spread awareness and educate yourself on organizations like the Amazon Aid Foundation, you can help conserve these communities and regions from deforestation and forced removal from their homes.

Reduce your Carbon Footprint

The rainforest is very efficient at storing carbon, however, this also means it is at risk of the effects of climate change. Changing your habits like driving less and relying on public transportation help reduce your carbon footprint. You can also avoid things at home like adjusting your thermostat and leaving your electronics plugged in when they are not being used. There are many businesses that let you know that their products are services that contribute to offsetting carbon usage. Look up your favorite services and businesses and inquire about what they are doing to help reduce their own carbon footprint. You will then know what brands and businesses to use and promote, while also helping out the rainforest.

view of the amazon rainforest

Promote Rainforest Sustainability and Ecotourism

Ecotourism is one of the best ways for countries to generate revenue to fund rainforest preservation. By choosing to visit locations and destinations that have a relatively low economy or low level of domestic tourism, you can help boost income for businesses and countries. Your travel spending can go directly into preservation reserves and organizations. The proceeds of those businesses then pay for things like national and natural park maintenance and conservation. But while everyone wants to help and visit every beautiful place around the world, do your homework and make sure that the areas you are visiting and places you choose to adventure to really do promote ecotourism and sustainable travel. You can contact the local governments in each area you visit to see what ways you can help during your stay.

Educate Your Community

Sharing what you have learned about preserving the rainforest can go a very long way in saving it. Check out the websites of wildlife and conversation organizations like the Rainforest Action Network,  Survival International, and more to see what you can do to support their missions and educate your own community. Tell your friend and have them share with one of theirs and so on until your network grows and grows. You as just one person can make a global and long-lasting impact in seconds.


Let’s take advantage of World Rainforest Day by learning more about sustainable travel by both land and sea. Find more information about ecotourism on our blog and social media channels.

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7 Ways to Celebrate World Oceans Day

Did you know that oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface? And yet, only 5% of them have been explored. That’s why we are celebrating World Oceans Day, today, by sharing facts about our beautiful blue waters and what we can do to promote sustainable ocean travel. Let’s use this international celebration as a time to grow our awareness and understanding of the largest part of our planet.  In just seven easy steps, we can work together to create major change, so that we can continue to enjoy beaches and seas.

sunset at the beach

What Do We Know About The Big Blue?

  • There are five global oceans.
  • The oceans are nicknamed the “Seven Seas” as the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans can be divided by north and south.
  • The largest ocean on Planet Earth is the Pacific Ocean which covers more than 30% of the Earth’s surface. The smallest is the Arctic Ocean which covers 3%.
  • A little more than 94% of the Earth’s living things can be found in the ocean.
  • According to NOAA, the longest mountain range on earth is underwater. It is over 40,390 miles long (65,000 kilometers) and extends into the deepest parts of the ocean.
  • National Geographic says there are more artifacts underwater than in all the world’s museums combined.
  • The United Nations decreed June 8th as the official World Oceans Day in 2008. The first World Oceans Day was celebrated on June 8th, 2009. Every year, this international holiday has a different theme. The theme of 2020 is Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is World-Ocean-Day-underwater-1030x538.png

What Can We Do To Protect The Ocean?

Now that you know that this year’s theme is Sustainable Ocean Innovation, let’s learn how to protect the oceans and make ecotourism and sustainable ocean tourism a priority as travelers. We can start here:

Eat Sustainable Seafood

One of the easiest and most effective ways to promote ocean sustainability is by eating sustainable seafood. By asking your local market and restaurants where they source their fresh seafood from you can know whether or not to purchase or consume it. The Marine Conservation Society regularly updates its site with fish to avoid purchasing or eating. Avoid purchasing seafood when it comes to fish-farming and commercial centers. Instead, buy organically sourced seafood from your local shops.

Reduce Consumption of Plastic

According to Surfers Against Sewage, there are over 50 trillion tiny pieces of plastic found in the ocean. Two-thirds of which come straight from the land. These pieces of plastic resemble food and are then consumed by marine life and can cause them to die. By reducing your consumption of plastic, you can contribute to less and less plastic pollution in the ocean. Along with recycling, reducing the use of single-use plastic is the best way to prevent the issue.

people biking on the beach

Reduce Our Carbon Footprint and Energy Consumption

Fossil fuels and burning carbon dioxide cause a tremendous amount of water pollution. This pollution and acid can destroy the coral that lies beneath the ocean’s surface. By riding bicycles, using public transportation, walking, and carpooling, you can reduce your carbon footprint and aid in reducing ocean pollution. Simple things at home can also make a large difference. Turn off your appliances when you are not using them, and check to make sure those appliances are energy efficient before purchasing them.

Participate and Organize Beach Clean-ups

Who doesn’t love a day at the beach? Next time you go bring a couple of reusable bags and some friends to do a beach clean up before you enjoy your day of sun and fun. You can even join and organize international cleans up through the Ocean Conversancy. These little steps will go a long way and allow you to have more beach days.

Travel Responsibly and Promote Coastal Tourism

When planning your future getaway with CuddlyNest, choose a destination that promotes ecotourism and sustainable travel. Visiting locations that are in a fragile state or condition rely on ecotourism to help boost their economy. Enquire with your local government and research affected areas in order to see if it is possible to visit, donate, or aid these regions.

coral reef

Use Eco-Friendly Products

Before purchasing a product or appliance, check the label to make sure it is eco-friendly. You can easily tell if it is an eco-friendly product because the label will state that it was made with organic and all-natural ingredients. This will also aid in reducing plastic and waste. Everything from cleaners to clothing can be eco-friendly as long as they are made with the right materials.

Support Marine Protection Foundations and Organizations

Philanthropies and organizations including the Ocean Conservancy and the Ocean Foundation are dedicated to preserving and protecting our blue waters. By educating yourself on further ways to aid in their efforts and the efforts of so many more organizations, you can help pave the way to more sustainable ocean travel. Whether by donating, reading, learning, instructing, and more, we can commit to joining together as an international community to make the waters a safe and happy environment for everyone to enjoy.


We hope you join our efforts in protecting our oceans this World Oceans Day. Let us know what coastal getaway you have your heart set on, and at CuddlyNest will help you find the perfect sustainable accommodation.

Learn more about sustainable travel by both land and sea on our blog and social media channels.

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11 Sacred Attractions Around the World

Some of the most popular places to visit around the globe are sacred attractions.  Found in both popular cities as well as off the beaten path locations, these holy sites attract millions of visitors a year. Valued for being places of worship, and for their beauty and uniqueness, one can’t help but admire these structures. Some of these sites were even considered when choosing the new wonders of the world. We are here to share 11 of those sites with you and some things you may not know about each. Get your maps and travel wish lists ready.


white temple thailand

Wat Rong Khun, Thailand

The White Temple, Wat Rong Khun is located in the Chiang Rai region in Thailand. At the end of the 20th century, the temple in this location was in complete ruins. Thai artist,  Chalermchai Kositpipat, decided to completely recreate and rebuild the temple. He funded the project completely on his own and began working on it in 1997. While it is not completed and may not be for another 50 years, it is open to the public to visit and explore. When it is completed it will have a total of nine buildings. It is filled with Buddhist relics that tell ancient stories of the religion. It has become very a important part of Buddhist present-day culture. The temple also serves as a monastery for monks.


sacred attractions uae

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, The United Arab Emirates

The largest Islamic mosque in the UAE is the Sheikh Zayed Grand. This stunning mosque, located in Abu Dhabi, is world-renowned for its ornate decoration and design. It was commissioned by the late president of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and built from 1996 to 2007. He wanted a place where the Islamic culture could blend with the art and history of the modern world. The beautiful mosque can fit up to 40,000 people at one time. During Ramadan, the mosque welcomes millions of visitors. It is declared by many as one of the most important sacred attractions in the world.


sagrada familia in barcelona

La Sagrada Familia, Spain

One of the most revered places in Spain is La Sagrada Familia located in Barcelona. Construction on the Roman Catholic Basilica began in 1882, and to this day it is still not completely finished. In 1883, Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi took over as chief of the project and combined a mix of Gothic and Art Noveau forms. When he died in 1926 the building was no more than 25% complete. It is the most visited tourist site in Barcelona, and one of the most visited sacred attractions in Spain, with over 3 million visitors a year. It remains one of the most cherished works of art and architecture in the world.


temple mount sacred attraction

Temple Mount, Israel

Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, Temple Mount is an integral structure and part of multiple world religions. It is a holy site for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and is one of the most visited sacred attractions in the city along with the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock. It is the holiest place in the world for the Jewish people, creating a lot of contention with the other faiths. Historically, the Jewish people are forbidden entry into Temple Mount due to Jewish law stating their people cannot enter Jewish holy grounds. Instead, to worship, they visit the Western Wall located at the bottom of the hill. Pro tip: spend a little extra time reading the updated policies before visiting. Those can be found, here.


sacred attractions the cathedral in russia

St. Basil’s Cathedral, Russia

St. Basil’s Cathedral is one of Moscow’s most famous structures and pieces of artwork. Not only is it important to the people of Moscow, but to all of Russia. The cathedral is located in the center of Red Square and is viewed as a symbol of Russia’s past, present, and future. Ivan the Terrible ordered its building in 1555. He wanted to celebrate defeating the last of the Mongol empire in Europe. After it was built, he was determined that the architect never build a cathedral as magnificent as this. While it is still a religious symbol for the Russian Orthodox Church, the cathedral now belongs to federal Russia and serves as both a Christian Church and a museum.


monastery in bhutan

Paro Taktsang, Bhutan

The astounding Paro Taktsang Monastery clings to a cliff above Paro Valley, Bhutan. It is a cultural phenomenon and a very big part of the Buddhist Himalayan culture. While it appears impossible to access, visitors can arrive at the monastery by trekking paths along the mountain. This has created some difficulty in maintaining its structure over the years. It is also commonly named “Tigress lair” or “Tiger’s Nest” from the legend of Padmasambhava flying to the site on the back of a tiger. The temple offers one of the most beautiful views and one of the most unique experiences when visiting the Himalayas.


blue mosque in turkey

The Blue Mosque, Turkey

Located in Istanbul, Turkey, the Blue Mosque is an Islamic place of worship. It is originally named The Sultan Ahmet Mosque after the sultan who commissioned its construction in 1609. Although the mosque is not blue on the outside, its interior is adorned with 20,000 handmade Iznik ceramic tiles that create a blue color. Hence giving it its nickname. It was built to rival the Hagia Sophia which sits opposite the mosque no more than a four-minute walk away. Due to its similar design and structure, many tourists question if they are the same building. The builders made six minarets to match the most important mosque in Mecca.


basilica in italy

Madonna Della Corona, Italy

Santuario Madonna Della Corona is one of the most stunning religious sanctuaries in Italy. It is tucked into the cliffs of Mount Baldo in the province of Verano. Visitors come to la Madonna for silence, worship, and meditation. The sanctuary also symbolizes a place between heaven and earth. The church was built in 1530 and appears as if it is almost hanging off the cliff rather than sitting in a cave. The structure was heavily renovated in the 1970s proceeding a visit by Pope John Paul II. The actual chapel can only be reached by foot, representing the path Jesus took during the Passion of the Christ.


angkor wat in cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992, Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. This Buddhist temple was originally constructed for the Hindu religion, during the first half of the 12th century. It is built across 400 acres and took over 40 years to construct. It served as the capital city for the Khmer empire until the second half of the 12th century when it was converted into a Buddhist temple. Its name directly translates to “city of temples.” It still remains an active place of worship for Buddhists, today. In 2019 it was recorded that over 2.6 million people visited the temple complex in 2018.


notre dame french sacred attractions

Notre-Dame, France

The Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the world’s best examples of medieval gothic architecture. Notre-Dame translates to “Our Lady” and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary by the Parisians. Located on the Île de la Cité in Paris, construction on the Notre-Dame began in 1163 and was completed in 1345. It is also believed that the cathedral was built on top of ruins from the ancient pagan city, Lutetia. Tragically, the Notre-Dame caught on fire in April 2019 which destroyed one of the spires. Before the fire, the cathedral welcomed more than 35,000 visitors a day. Although the renovation is currently on hold due to the pandemic, France has ensured that the restoration of the cathedral is a priority and will begin as soon as possible.


golden temple in india

The Golden Temple Amritsar, India

The Golden Temple in Punjab, India is formally known as Sri Harmandir Sahib Amritsar. It serves as both a place of worship for the Sikh religion, as well as a symbol of community and equality for all of India. It is also considered to be the national Sikh temple of India and a Gurdwara which means “door to the guru.” Construction on this remarkable structure began in 1581 and was not completed until 8 years later in 1589. In 2017, the World Book of Records declared and verified that The Golden Temple was one of the most visited places in the world.


Have you visited any of these sacred attractions? Let us know in the comments. Stay tuned for more must-visit global sites this month on the CuddlyNest blog and social media channels.

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Discover the New Seven Wonders of the World

Across the globe, people travel far and wide to visit The New Seven Wonders of the World. But, do you know the history of theses sites and how they came to be so important to the global community?

pyramids in egypt

For centuries the world has celebrated amazing sculptures and architecture. So much so that seven of these landmarks have the global status of being a “Wonder of the World”. Although there are now several categories with this title, the original list of ancient wonders dates back to a piece of work written in 225 B.C. by Philo of Byzantine called On Seven Wonders. These landmarks are revered because they show the true capability humans have for incredible imagination and creativity. After all, each of these architectural phenomenons is manmade.

The New Seven Wonders

The only ancient wonder that still exists today is the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt. In order to choose the new seven wonders of the world, a foundation was created in 1999 to vote and choose them. After over 100 million votes, the new sites were revealed in 2007. They are Petra, The Colosseum, The Great Wall of China, Christ the Redeemer, Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, and the Taj Mahal.

Although these sites are currently closed to the public, travelers can still admire and explore them through virtual tours. Learn about each of the new seven wonders of the world and plan for your future visit.


new seven wonders of the world petra

Petra, Jordan

Petra, Jordan is one of the most remarkable landmarks on the planet. This ancient city is from the 1st century B.C. and served as the Arabic capital of the Nabateans Empire. The state became very wealthy due to its position in the trading routes between Arabia, India, Africa, and the West. Its moniker is the Rose City and it became a UNESCO Heritage site in 1985. The beautiful sandstone walls are famous for their feature in the 1989 film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. According to the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA), Petra welcomed over one million visitors in 2019.


new seven wonders of the world christ the redeemer

Christ the Redeemer, Brazil

The colossal Christ the Redeemer statue looks over Rio de Janeiro from the summit of Mount Corcovado. Construction on the statue took place in April 1922 and it was completed in 1931. The statue is 98 feet tall and its arms span 92 feet wide from fingertip to fingertip. It is the largest Art Deco-style sculpture in the entire world. Christ the Redeemer celebrates and honors the 100th year anniversary of the Brazilian Republic. It is still one of the most visited sites in not only Brazil but the world. There is even a replica of the statue in Lisbon, Portugal.

In March 2020, the statue was illuminated with flags of all the countries heavily affected by COVID-19. An act that showed an outpour of support for the global community.


new seven wonders of the world chichen itza

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Over 2 million tourists visit Chichen Itza, the second most popular archeological site in Mexico, a year. The ancient city is on the Yucatan Peninsula. The Kukulkan Pyramid, which is located in the center of the site, is one of the only buildings to maintain its original structure. Historians say Chichen Itza was built from 600 A.D. until 1221 during the Mayan empire. Due to its location and size, it stood as one of the most important places in Mayan culture. In December 2019, a new daily visit record was broken, with over 18,000 visitors in just one day. It is a must-visit when planning a trip to Mexico.


new seven wonders of the world great wall of china

The Great Wall of China, China

One of the most famous structures in the world is the Great Wall of China. Built in the early 7th century B.C. it took over 2,500 years to complete the entire wall. It spanned over more than 10 Chinese dynasties. The wall winds up and down the country in a dragon-like shape and extends over 13,170 miles (21,196 kilometers). Due to both human and natural causes, almost 1/3 of the wall is missing today. Thus, the Chinese government has commissioned many restoration projects to renovate the wall and its missing parts. The Chinese don’t refer to this wonder as “the Great Wall.” They call it Chángchéng, which means Long Wall. Visited by over 10 million people a year, this wonder of the world became a UNESCO Heritage site in 1987.


new seven wonders of the world colosseum

The Colosseum, Italy

Located in the heart of Rome, Italy, The Colosseum stands proud as a symbol of power for the country. Construction on the Colosseum started in 70 A.D. However, it did not officially begin until 72 A.D. and finish until 80 A.D. Building the Colosseum was ordered by Emperor Vespasian who wanted to build the largest amphitheater in the world. In fact, it is still the largest in the world. During its time, the Colosseum could seat as many as 50,000 to 70,000 spectators. It was used to host gladiator contests, mock sea battles, and animal hunts. Some of the animals even included big cats and crocodiles. The historical landmark is one of Italy’s most famous tourist attractions and welcomes over 7 million visitors a year.


The Taj Mahal, India

The Taj Mahal is so much more than just a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in 1632 to 1648 for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The building represents the emperor’s everlasting love for his wife. Today, it stands as a beacon of light and strength for India and the global community. Over 2.5 million visitors come to visit the Taj Mahal every year. As are the other wonders, the Taj Mahal is also a UNESCO Heritage site since 1983. While photos of the building show its beauty, they cannot truly capture the delicacy and attention to detail. It is truly a place one must see in person in order to know its magnificence.


machu picchu view

Machu Picchu, Peru

Last, but not least is Machu Picchu. This site is one of the most breathtaking global landmarks and the true pride of Peru. Machu Picchu belongs to the Incan empire from the mid-15th-century. However, it wasn’t rediscovered until 1911 by archeologist Hiram Bingham.  He was searching for another ancient city when he found the green terraces and remains of the structure. Many historians commonly use the term “ruins” when referring to this wonder, however, that is an incorrect description according to Machupicchu.org. It is best to describe this city as a sanctuary as it was a spiritual and sacred place for the Incans. Machu Picchu became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.


Have you ever visited one of the new seven wonders of the world? Let us know! Check out our blog to learn about more places you can virtually visit today.

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pet-friendly travel

7 Countries that Boast Pet-Friendly Travel

When planning a getaway there is one question that every pet owner has to ask themselves… to bring or not to bring, our four-legged friend? Well, we are here to help make that decision a little bit easier by sharing the top seven countries that boast pet-friendly travel. It’s no surprise that travelers all over the globe would rather bring their pets with them along for the adventure. Especially, if the alternative is leaving them at home or at an over-night kennel.

man and his dog camping

Pet-Friendly Travel Destinations:

When planning your future trip to one of these locations, you won’t have to worry about that at all. The memories you make with your special companion will last a lifetime. While taking a trip tomorrow is not possible everywhere, we can use this time to plan the perfect adventure. Check out the top countries for pet-friendly travel in the Americas, Asia, and Europe to start preparing your itinerary for you and your pet, today.

woman and her dog

Switzerland

The Swiss really go the extra mile to make sure your pet-friendly experience is of the highest quality. Restaurants even make it a priority to offer your dog water and treats. Have you heard of the fondue tram? Well, your pet can even enjoy this delicious and cheesy experience with you too, for a small fee of course. Enjoy hundreds of hikes in the Alps to walks around the stunning cities including Zurich and Geneva. Your pet will adore your trip to Switzerland together.

The United States

It’s no surprise that with over 60 national parks protected by the National Park Service, the United States is one of the best places to visit with your four-legged friend. From road trips to outdoor monuments and sight-seeing in pet-friendly cities like Chicago, Seattle, and San Diego. To beach getaways in Florida, from coast to coast there are thousands of places to visit with your pet. Pick the perfect pet-friendly accommodation on CuddlyNest, and start planning the adventure you and your furry friend have always dreamt of.

man and his dog

Germany

The doors of almost every establishment are open to pets in Germany. Known as one of the most pet-friendly countries in the world, Germany takes a lot of pride in their animals and is a global example of how to treat pets with care and respect. In fact, Berlin is home to the largest animal sanctuary in Europe. By following their pet-friendly policies you and your pet can visit the country and have a one-of-a-kind experience amongst the resident pet. You may even want to consider adopting another furry friend after learning about the pet adoption possibilities in Germany.

Canada

British Columbia’s city, Vancouver, is known worldwide as one of the best places to bring your pet in North America. While there are hundreds of pet-friendly vacation rentals and hotels to visit, Canada also boasts epic road trips filled with nature fun for you and your pet. From visiting Lake Banff to taking the pet-friendly Canadian ferries where your pet will travel in ultimate comfort, there are so many ways to explore Canada with your pet by your side. He or she will love traveling by both land and sea.

France

Does your pup want a seat at the dinner table? If yes, then take your pet on a French escape. France has a pretty relaxed policy when it comes to traveling with your pets because this country deserves to be visited by everyone and everything. Looking for the perfect destination to mix fun and exploration? Take your pet to the Pyrennees were they can roam freely while you sit back, relax, and enjoy your holiday break.

woman and her cat going on vacation

The Netherlands

What’s one of the best parts of visiting the Netherlands with your pet? They can ride on any public transport for free, and on trains for just 3€ for an all-day pass either in your lap or in a carrier, depending on their size. While like all destinations your pet will require the proper paperwork and vaccines to visit, The Netherlands is a great place for you and your pet to explore the many open-air outdoor attractions including parks, the Amsterdam canals, the charming neighborhoods, and more. Amsterdam was even named the most animal-friendly city in the Netherlands in 2019. We can’t wait to visit with our own pets.

Japan

While the busy streets of Japan’s larger cities, including Tokyo, may not seem like the best place to visit with your pet, the country has actually made major strides to promote a pet-friendly culture and atmosphere for both its residents and tourists. With almost 1,000 pet-friendly hotels, pet-friendly offices, and spacious parks, there is so much to do, see, and explore, with your pet pal. He or she will also love visiting Japan’s beautiful beaches where they can run and enjoy the water. Be sure to check Japan’s pet passport rules before jet-setting off to the country to avoid any issues upon arrival.

So where will you plan your first pet-friendly getaway?

With so many places to explore, you and your pet will have a full itinerary ready for future trips. Be sure to check the pet-friendly travel policies and guidelines for both you and your pet before making any travel plans, including paperwork and vaccines. Always take the extra time to make sure you have everything, so you can avoid pre-trip mishaps and focus on the experience with your best pal. We can’t wait to hear where you and your pet plan to visit. Let us know and we will provide you with the perfect pet-friendly accommodation on CuddlyNest. Find more information about pet-friendly travel on our blog.

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CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels