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The 5 Things You Must See Before You Leave Marseille

France’s oldest city offers more than a few fascinating sights. Discover what to see in Marseille on your next trip.

With a rich history and a vibrant urban scene, Marseille is a truly unique city. You rarely get a chance to see such a perfect blend of cultural influences. If you’ve decided to visit, you can rest assured you’ve made an excellent decision.

If you have the time, you should explore everything that Marseille has to offer. Still, there are a few things that you must visit before you move on to the smaller and less famous sights. Here’s what to see in Marseille first.

1. Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde is a monument that you couldn’t miss even if you wanted to. It stands proudly at the hilltop, showcasing the opulence of the neo-byzantine architecture. The lavish gilded Madonna crowns the belfry and this is the first thing that will catch your eye from afar.

Of course, the interior of the Basilique is nothing less impressive. Light and dark arches contrast one another in a mesmerizing fashion. There are also many artifacts that you can see once inside.

When you reach the terrace, you’ll get to enjoy a marvelous panoramic view of Marseille. The view extends from the nearby red rooftops to as far as the Frioul Islands. With all of this in mind, you’ll want to set aside at least a couple of hours for the Basilique.

2. Old Port of Marseille

For more than 2,600 years, Marseille’s enormous port has been the epicenter of trade. Due to its size, it’s not really a sight as much as a district of its own.

You can take a stroll down the many broad promenades surrounded by 18th-century warehouses. On the ground floor of just about all of them, you’ll see cafés, shops, or fish restaurants. Old Port of Marseille restaurants are as charming as you imagine them to be, and the Marseille food will leave you wanting more.

Today, the majority of the boats that you’ll see are for enthusiasts rather than traders. That’s because the local fishing industry modernized and moved to the many docks in the north. Still, you might stumble upon a fisherman carrying away fish to sell at a local market.

3. Musée d’Histoire de Marseille

What is Marseille famous for?

How about a 2,600-year-long history?

It’s tough to grasp everything that the city’s been through on your own. Because of this, you don’t want to miss the Musée d’Histoire de Marseille. As you can imagine, the museum that contains so much history has to be the largest in the country. So if you’re a fan of history, you’re in for a unique treat.

Do you want to see all the artifacts from the time of the Ancient Greeks to the 20th century? Or models and maps of Marseille throughout history? These are just the tip of the iceberg.

Plus, the museum is very close to the Old Port, so you can get to it in no time after you’ve finished browsing the shops and bars.

4. Le Panier

Speaking of history, you must visit the Old Town where the Greeks settled in 600 BC. Le Panier is the cultural and historical center of Marseille, so you shouldn’t leave town before you get a chance to check it out.

What you’ll see are colorful pastel buildings, boutique shops, art galleries, and many unique spots. The entire area has a very artistic vibe, and even the gentrification hasn’t removed its charm.

As hard as it may be to believe once you get there, Le Panier is also a residential area. High lines of laundry breathe even more life into the area, making it even more appealing than it already is.

Naturally, the area has a few notable landmarks that you’ll want to visit. These include the Vieille Charité, Cathédrale de la Major, and Hôtel de Ville. And if you’re to explore Marseille’s heart and soul, be sure to take a walk through La Panier.

5. Calanques National Park

If you’re up for a Marseille adventure, don’t forget to stop by the Calanques National Park. You can either hike or take a boat if you’re more into a relaxing trip. But even if you do decide to hike, the scenery will be well worth the effort.

The sight of the limestone rock walls over the mesmerizing turquoise water may be enough to tempt you to jump into it. Of course, you’re free to do so and you can enjoy many other activities as well. These include board cruises, yachting, and kayaking, to name a few.

If you have the time, you should certainly book a guided boat tour or even a private tour. That’s how you’ll get the chance to see some of the majestic fjord-like coves like Port-Pin and En-Vau.

And if you get tired of exploring, you can enjoy savory meals and drinks surrounded by awe-inspiring scenery.

Don’t Leave Too Soon

What you see here is only a sample of Marseille. This is a destination that deserves a lot of attention, so be sure to leave enough time to visit all the major sights.

Of course, Marseille also has many forts and castles that you may want to check out later. You can stand on the same spot as the Ancient Greeks of more than two and a half millennia ago, for example. 

You won’t get many opportunities to do so, which is why you should take full advantage of everything that Marseille has to offer.

Hawaii

Most Stunning Beaches in Hawaii

Hawaii

The Most Stunning Beaches in Hawaii You Need to Visit

Hawaii, a tropical paradise known for its breathtaking beaches, offers an idyllic escape for travelers seeking sun, sand, and surf. Each island boasts its own unique coastline, with beaches that range from serene and secluded to lively and bustling. Whether you’re looking to relax under swaying palm trees, explore vibrant marine life, or catch some waves, Hawaii’s beaches have something for everyone. Here’s a guide to some of the most stunning beaches you need to visit in Hawaii.

Waikiki Beach, Oahu

Waikiki Beach is perhaps the most famous beach in Hawaii, and for good reason. Located in Honolulu, this bustling beach offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and urban excitement. With its golden sands, gentle waves, and iconic Diamond Head crater backdrop, Waikiki is ideal for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. The area is also lined with luxury resorts, restaurants, and shops, making it a perfect destination for those who enjoy a vibrant beach scene.

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Lanikai Beach, Oahu

For a more tranquil experience, head to Lanikai Beach on the windward coast of Oahu. This hidden gem is often hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With its powdery white sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and scenic views of the Mokulua Islands, Lanikai is perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling. The calm, shallow waters make it an ideal spot for families and those looking to unwind in paradise.

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Hanauma Bay, Oahu

Hanauma Bay is a must-visit for snorkeling enthusiasts. This protected marine life conservation area is home to vibrant coral reefs and a diverse array of marine species. The bay, formed within a volcanic cone, offers calm waters and excellent visibility, making it easy to spot colorful fish and sea turtles. Hanauma Bay is a popular spot, so be sure to arrive early to secure a parking spot and enjoy the pristine underwater world.

Ka’anapali Beach, Maui

Ka’anapali Beach, located on Maui’s western shore, is a stunning stretch of golden sand that has something for everyone. This beach is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. The nearby Black Rock is a favorite spot for cliff diving and offers excellent snorkeling opportunities. Ka’anapali Beach is also home to several world-class resorts, golf courses, and shopping centers, providing plenty of activities and amenities for visitors.

Wailea Beach, Maui

Wailea Beach is another gem on Maui, known for its luxurious ambiance and pristine beauty. This crescent-shaped beach boasts soft, white sand and calm, azure waters. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. The area is surrounded by upscale resorts and lush gardens, making it an ideal destination for a relaxing, high-end beach getaway.

Poipu Beach, Kauai

Poipu Beach on the south shore of Kauai is a family-friendly destination with a diverse range of activities. The beach is divided into several sections, each offering something unique. The shallow, protected waters of Poipu’s “baby beach” are perfect for young children, while the main beach area is great for swimming and snorkeling. Poipu Beach is also a fantastic spot for whale watching in the winter months and has a nearby park with picnic areas and playgrounds.

Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Hanalei Bay, located on the north shore of Kauai, is a breathtaking bay surrounded by lush mountains and waterfalls. This two-mile stretch of sandy beach is ideal for a variety of activities, including swimming, surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. The tranquil atmosphere and stunning scenery make Hanalei Bay a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The charming town of Hanalei, with its quaint shops and eateries, adds to the bay’s allure.

Hapuna Beach, Big Island

Hapuna Beach, situated on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, is one of the island’s largest white sand beaches. Known for its consistently good weather and clear waters, Hapuna Beach is perfect for swimming, boogie boarding, and snorkeling. The beach’s gentle slope into the ocean creates ideal conditions for both novice and experienced swimmers. With ample facilities and picnic areas, Hapuna Beach is a great spot for a fun-filled day by the sea.

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Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, Big Island

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach offers a unique and unforgettable experience. This striking beach, located on the southeastern coast of the Big Island, features jet-black sand created by volcanic activity. The contrast between the dark sand, turquoise waters, and green coconut palms creates a stunning visual spectacle. Punalu’u is also a haven for green sea turtles, which can often be seen basking on the shore. While swimming can be challenging due to rocky conditions, the beach is perfect for picnicking and exploring.

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Conclusion

Hawaii’s beaches are more than just beautiful stretches of sand; they are gateways to adventure, relaxation, and unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re exploring the bustling shores of Waikiki, snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, or marveling at the unique black sand of Punalu’u, each beach offers its own slice of paradise. Pack your sunscreen, grab your beach gear, and get ready to discover the most stunning beaches that Hawaii has to offer. Aloha!

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Trip Ideas

Best Parks and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, isn’t just a historic gem with its cobblestone streets and antebellum houses; it’s also a city brimming with lush parks and vibrant gardens. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these green spaces offer a perfect escape to nature. Here’s a roundup of the must-visit parks and gardens in this charming city!

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens Established in 1676, Magnolia Plantation is one of the oldest public gardens in America. Stroll through the romantic gardens, take a guided tour of the planatation house, or hop on a boat tour to explore the Audubon Swamp Garden. The camellias, azaleas, and wisteria are especially breathtaking in the spring.

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Middleton Place Known for its meticulously maintained 65-acre garden, Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark. The terraced lawns, reflecting pools, and centuries-old camellias create a stunning backdrop for a leisurely walk. Don’t miss the stable yards and the House Museum to complete your visit.

Battery and White Point Garden Located at the southern tip of the Charleston Peninsula, this park offers stunning views of Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor. Wander among the oak trees, historical monuments, and cannons. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic with a picturesque setting.

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Hampton Park With its grand oak trees and colorful flower beds, Hampton Park is one of Charleston’s largest and most beautiful parks. Enjoy a jog or a leisurely bike ride on the paths, or simply relax in the shade with a good book. The park’s pond and fountains add to its serene atmosphere.

Cypress Gardens Located just outside Charleston in Moncks Corner, Cypress Gardens is a hidden gem. Explore the blackwater bald cypress/tupelo swamp on a flat-bottom boat or walk the trails around the garden. The Butterfly House and Swamparium are also highlights for nature enthusiasts.

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Charleston Waterfront Park Stretching along the Charleston Harbor, this park offers scenic views and a refreshing sea breeze. The famous Pineapple Fountain and the long pier are perfect for a relaxing stroll. It’s also a great spot to catch a sunrise or sunset over the water.

Theodora Park This small but charming park is located in the historic Ansonborough neighborhood. It features a beautiful reflecting pool, artistic benches, and plenty of shade. It’s a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city, ideal for a quiet afternoon.

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Charleston’s parks and gardens are not just places to see – they’re experiences to savor. Whether you’re looking for a quiet retreat, a place to exercise, or a spot to enjoy some history and nature, Charleston has something to offer. So pack a picnic, grab your camera, and explore the green spaces that make this city so special!

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Trip Ideas

Affordable Summer Vacations: Explore Gatlinburg!

Downtown Gatlinburg

Are you looking for a budget-friendly summer escape that combines the charm of small-town America with the stunning beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains?

Well, look no further than Gatlinburg, Tennessee! This quaint little town is bursting with fun activities, breathtaking scenery, and cozy spots perfect for a romantic getaway. So, grab your sweetheart, pack your bags, and let’s dive into the magic of Gatlinburg!

Stroll Through Downtown Gatlinburg

First things first, take a leisurely stroll through downtown Gatlinburg. The main strip is packed with quirky shops, delightful eateries, and unique attractions that’ll keep you entertained for hours. Pop into the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen to watch candy being made the old-fashioned way—trust me, it’s a sweet experience (pun totally intended). Don’t forget to grab a couple of taffy pieces for the road!

Feeling peckish? You and your special someone can indulge in a hearty Southern meal at one of the many charming restaurants. Try out the Pancake Pantry for breakfast; their pancakes are legendary. If you’re in the mood for something savory, Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que serves up mouthwatering ribs that will leave you licking your fingers.

Read More: 10 Very Best Things To Do In Gatlinburg

Experience the Great Smoky Mountains

You can’t visit Gatlinburg without exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s right at your doorstep, offering a myriad of trails for all skill levels. Lace up your hiking boots and venture to Laurel Falls for an easy yet stunning hike. The waterfall at the end is the perfect spot for a romantic photo op.

For a bit more adventure, drive up to Clingmans Dome. The highest point in Tennessee, it offers panoramic views that are simply out of this world. On a clear day, you can see for miles and miles, making it a breathtaking backdrop for some quiet moments together.

Read More: Six Family Activities in Gatlinburg

Ride the Gatlinburg Skylift

If hiking isn’t quite your thing, or if you’re just looking to relax, hop on the Gatlinburg Skylift. This scenic ride takes you up Crockett Mountain, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the town and the lush mountains surrounding it.

At the top, you’ll find the SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. Walking hand-in-hand across this bridge with the mountains as your backdrop is nothing short of magical.

Explore Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Who says aquariums are just for kids? Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is an underwater wonderland that will captivate visitors of all ages. Walk through the underwater tunnel as sharks and rays glide gracefully overhead.

It’s a truly immersive experience that’ll make you feel like you’re diving in the deep blue sea without getting wet.

Enjoy a Taste of the Local Spirits

For those who enjoy a little tipple, Gatlinburg has got you covered. The town is famous for its moonshine, and there are plenty of distilleries where you can sample this traditional Appalachian spirit.

Ole Smoky Moonshine and Sugarlands Distilling Company offer tastings and tours. Sip on a variety of flavors, from classic corn whiskey to fun options like apple pie and blackberry. Cheers to a memorable vacation!

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Cozy Cabins and Breathtaking Views

End your day in one of Gatlinburg’s cozy cabins, which are surprisingly affordable, especially when compared to big-city hotels. Imagine snuggling up by the fireplace with your loved one or soaking in a hot tub under a starry sky.

Many cabins come with stunning mountain views, providing the perfect backdrop for some relaxation and romance.

Read More: 3 Days in Nashville: The Ultimate Nashville Itinerary

Pack Your Bags and Fall in Love with Gatlinburg!

So, there you have it—a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and romance, all without breaking the bank. Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a hidden gem that offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Whether you’re wandering through charming downtown streets, exploring the natural beauty of the Smokies, or simply enjoying each other’s company in a cozy cabin, you’re sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

So what are you waiting for? Gatlinburg is calling, and you won’t want to miss out on this enchanting summer adventure! 

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