Destination Spotlight: Italy

Situated along the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, Italy has long been a popular tourist destination. Not only has the country been highly influential in food, wine, fashion, and popular culture, but it’s also home to some of the most beautiful locales, historic places, and finest art in the world.

While some travelers choose to visit only one city or location in Italy, it is actually very easy to plan a trip to multiple Italian cities. This can be accomplished via train or by driving. Among the most popular itineraries is a three-city tour of Rome, Florence, and Venice. This tour will enable you to see “the best of Italy.” Along the way, it’s easy to see the gorgeous Tuscany region and the remarkable Leaning Tower of Pisa.


Truly a city for the ages, Rome is one of the most famous places in the world. In this Eternal City, you will find ancient wonders. Start by visiting the famous Roman Colosseum, which is amazing both architecturally and historically. While at the Colosseum, you can visit the nearby Roman Forum, which was the center of Roman life, and Palentine Hill for panoramic views of the city below. (Tip: Avoid lines by purchasing tickets online that include admission to all three sites.)

The Pantheon was originally constructed in 27 B.C. If you can wrap your head around that fact, you’ll be even more amazed to see this Roman temple to the gods. Another must-do is a visit to Vatican City. Though it’s been its own country since 1929, it is surrounded by the city of Rome. Visit St. Peter’s Square and the breathtaking St. Peter’s Basilica. (Tip: Proper attire is required to enter St. Peter’s Basilica. This means covered shoulders and legs.) While in Vatican City, you can also visit the Sistine Chapel and view the famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo. The Sistine Chapel is located within the Apostolic Palace. This is the official residence of the Pope.

No trip to Rome would be complete without visiting its lovely outdoors squares or “piazzas.”  The most famous is Piazza Navona where you can see its glorious fountains. And speaking of fountains, another must-see is the famous Trevi Fountain. Throw some coins and make some wishes! Finally, be sure to visit the Spanish Steps for another beautiful fountain and some great people watching.


From Rome, head to Florence, which is the city of the Renaissance.  This is a very walkable city, so plan on bringing a good pair of walking shoes so you can take in everything. Start by visiting the Piazza del Duomo. This square is in the center of Florence, and it is home to the Florence Cathedral (the Duomo), the Florence Baptistery (or the Baptistery of St. John), and Giotto’s Campanile (or bell tower). The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the most visited places in Europe.

Even if you are not an art lover, head to the Uffizi Gallery to view some of the most beautiful works of art in the world, including art by Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Rembrandt. Afterward, stroll the streets for shopping and take a break at an outdoor café.

From Florence, rural Tuscany is an easy side trip. Here you can see the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, learn about Italian wine making, and explore Italy’s gorgeous historic towns like Siena. There are few places in the world lovelier than the Tuscan hills.


From Florence, travel to Venice, which is a fairytale “city of water” that is built on 117 tiny islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. Venice has no roads, only its famous canals. The most famous of the famous canals is the Grand Canal, the city’s main thoroughfare.

Start by visiting Venice’s main square, the Piazza San Marco (aka St. Mark’s Square). Not only is this a great place for people watching, it is home to one of the most famous places of worship in the world, St. Mark’s Basilica. Climb to the top of the bell tower for amazing views of the city.

Other must-see spots in Venice include Doge’s Palace, which is the seat of the Venetian government, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection museum. Finally, no trip to Venice would be complete without a gondola ride. For the quintessential Venetian experience, be sure to spring for a ride on a gondola where you will be serenaded. Single travelers often find that romance can bloom in breathtaking Venice.

Destination Italy

At Singles Travel Service, Italy is one of our favorite countries to visit. Join us this June on our three-city singles group tour of Rome, Florence, and Venice.


Essential Travel Tips

Here are essential travel tips for stress-free single travel. Why do you need them? Traveling is an amazing thing. It’s an escape from daily life, an adventure, and a learning experience. It can open your mind to new possibilities and your heart to new places and people.

But traveling can also be stressful.

Missed flights, choosing the wrong hotel, packing the wrong stuff, not giving yourself enough time for all you want to do, and lost luggage are just some of the things than can ruin a vacation. But there are solutions for all of these than can help you have a stress-free and completely relaxing singles vacation in any destination.

Plan Ahead

First, you’ll want choose a destination carefully. Pick a place that you’ve always wanted to visit – or a trip centered on an activity that you love. Think: skiing, camping, learning about history and culture, or simply relaxing. Base your vacation around something completely enjoyable for you. When you go into a vacation knowing this, any negative experience can be counterbalanced easily.

Next, you should sit down and map out your itinerary. What places do you want to visit in the city or country you’ve chosen? How much skiing or scuba diving do you want to get in each day? Think about your “musts” for the trip – and then go from there. Choose a hotel based its proximity to what you most want to do. And read the reviews! A bad hotel in an amazing location is still a bad hotel.

One of the easiest ways to plan ahead is to let someone else do it for you! When you join a hosted singles vacation for groups, the tour operator will have done all of the research and planning for you. Hotels will be vetted, itineraries will be carefully curated, and flights will be thoughtfully chosen to provide optimal time in each location. At Singles Travel Service, we offer a range of hosted tours for single travelers. There is something for everyone.

Pack Right

And pack as lightly as possible. No matter where you are going – a beach, a mountain, or a city – you will want to put some thought into how you can only pack the essential clothing and gear that you need for the trip. You do not want to lug around more than you need. I made this mistake once years ago by taking 8 pairs of shoes to a Caribbean island. Sure each sundress had matching sandals, but this was completely unnecessary. I could have been fine with good flip flops, one pair of go-with-everything sandals, and a pair of sneakers for my morning run.

Also: do not forget that layers work. Temperatures can change quickly, air conditioned rooms can get really cold even if the destination is warm, and some locales are more conservative than others and vice versa.

Arrive Early

One of our favorite quotes here at Singles Travel Service is “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” William Shakespeare was a wise man. Never be late. Lateness can be so stressful for a traveler and your traveling companions. It can cause you to miss flights at worst, dinner reservations at best – and everything in between from guided tour departures to tee times to happy hour cocktails. And when you are part of a hosted trip on a singles vacation, it is simply poor travel etiquette to make the group wait.

Embrace Being Away

In this modern age, it is nearly impossible to disconnect completely. We are tied to our devices – smart phones, tablets, and lap tops. In many ways, this modern technology makes traveling so much smoother. You can receive up-to-the-minute flight updates, quickly get directions, find exactly the type of restaurant you want in the neighborhood you find yourself in after a day of exploring, and more.

It also enables you to check in back home or at work – for better or worse. But this can cause stress so give yourself a break. Turn off the news, forget work email for a few days, and take time to look up from your phone to see the new place that surrounds you.

Purchase Travel Insurance

We actually wrote an entire blog about how travel insurance can create peace of mind on a trip. Check it out. You might not need it on every vacation, but travel insurance is often a very good idea.

Did these essential travel tips help? At Singles Travel Service, we are known for hosting expertly planned and stress-free singles group vacations.  Contact us to learn more.


Winter Sports for Single Travelers

We love winter. And these five winter sports keep us happy, active, and outdoors even when it’s cold outside. These five winter sports are great for single travelers, too. They are all individual sports, but taking part in them as a group activity can add to the fun. On our hosted winter sports vacations for singles, our guests enjoy many of these winter sports and activities.


Though this list is in no particular order, we really love to ski. Of course, the great ski versus snowboard debate inevitably comes up among our staff and guests each time we hit the slopes. And snowboarding is amazing (see below). But there is just something about classic, downhill skiing. There is elegance to the sport. And because it’s relatively easy to learn, skiing is very accessible. Resorts of all sizes have ski schools, “bunny hills” for novices, and more advanced courses for experts. Skiing is a great sport for single travelers because it’s an individual sport. Singles ski vacations are a great way to meet people – on the chair lifts or in the lodge during a post-slope cocktail.


Unlike skiing, snowboarding is harder to learn. But as slope veterans know, snowboarding is easier to master once you’ve learned the right techniques. And it’s simply addictive, especially once you can snowboard through a terrain park. For single travelers, it’s also a great way to make connections with fun-loving people. Snowboarding culture is at once both relaxed and adrenaline filled. It’s also an amazing workout for your core. And who doesn’t want a great core workout?

Ice Skating

Whether you are on figure skates or hockey skates, ice skating is a great winter sport. Once you find your balance, ice skating provides many benefits. It’s a great cardio workout that builds endurance. Ice skating improves joint flexibility. It builds awesome leg muscles. Ice skating is a great way to relieve stress. And, of course, it is so much fun. Once you’ve mastered it, skating as fast as you can across a rink (or a frozen lake!) is exhilarating. Ice skating is easy to practice because most towns and cities have a rink – so when you get to a resort with a professional grade rink, it’s easy to look like a pro. Ice skating is a great individual sport that single travelers love.


If you ever have the chance to go snowmobiling, GO. It’s a great winter outdoor adventure, and not something everyone gets to do. Racing across snowy trails can be thrilling. When the forecast calls for serious snow, we head to closest place to rent a snowmobile. Single travelers love snowmobiling on winter vacations. One of the best places in the world to snowmobile is in the Montana section of Yellowstone Park (one of our favorite places to visit any time of the year!).

Snow Tubing

If you grew up around hills, you definitely spent snowy winter days sled-riding all afternoon. Snow tubing takes you back to that childhood experience, only at a much higher and more exciting level. Imagine spinning or swooshing down the side of a mountain on a wide, snow-covered trail. Many resorts know that adults love snow tubing as much as kids, so they offer nighttime tubing for the older set. Singe travelers often connect over the sheer whimsy of snow tubing.

Winter Sports Vacations

Each winter, Singles Travel Service hosts winter sports vacations. Check out our upcoming winter sports vacations for singles.

Travel Trends

2017 Travel Trends for Baby Boomers

AARP released an annual study on 2017 Travel Trends. We love to dig into this research each year. It gives us insight about one of our core group of travelers: Baby Boomers.

As we well know, single travel has been a huge trend for Baby Boomers, and the outlook for 2017 is no different. Both domestically and internationally, solo travel is among the top reasons why Baby Boomers will travel in 2017. Here’s what else we found out:

Almost Everyone Travels

According to the study, a massive 95% of Baby Boomers will plan at least one leisure vacation in 2017. What’s more, many plan an average of five or more trips each year. Why? Baby Boomers are more likely to be retired or have an empty nest. So this group of travelers tends to have more time and resources for vacation.

Singles Travel Abroad More

Baby Boomers are increasingly single due to divorce or the death of a partner. According to the study, single Baby Boomers are more likely to choose vacations in international destinations, instead of limiting themselves to trips within the United States. Whether it’s a “bucket list” trip or simply a much-needed vacation, single Baby Boomers are choosing international destinations. Latin America (especially Mexico and the Caribbean) and Europe (especially the England/United Kingdom and Italy) top the “most desired” destination lists for Baby Boomers. And we can’t blame them at all. Those international locations are some of our favorite places to visit as well.

Travelers Seek Authentic Experiences

There is a a major trend among Baby Boomers to seek authentic experiences while traveling. Think: eating a meal with locals, touring with native guides, or participating in local cultural activities. This highlight really rang true with us. Right now, we are planning a spring trip to the Mexico Canyons. Every time we visit this amazing area, there is sightseeing, culture, and great local food. Guests learn about native folklore, pottery, history, and more. Our stay includes a few nights at local bed and breakfasts where our single travelers mix and mingle with locals. The experience is more than authentic, and we understand why this is a top travel trend for 2017.

Money Matters

As it turns out, AARP found that 60% of Baby Boomers do not set a budget when planning a vacation. But when a budget is set, almost all (95%) stay within it. Though the majority of Baby Boomers do not start planning with a budget in mind, money does matter. This group of travelers is certainly seeking travel perks like complimentary Wi-Fi at hotels and airports, free breakfasts or happy hours at the hotel, and priority check-ins. In order to stay within budget and know ahead of time what amenities are included on a trip, Baby Boomers often choose to book group tour vacations. This takes all of the guess work and anxiety out of the vacation, leaving only time for leisure and adventure.

If you’re a Baby Boomer planning single travel in 2017, let us help plan your trip of a lifetime. Contact us for more information

Guests enjoy scuba.

Activity Spotlight: Scuba Diving for Beginners

One of our favorite outdoor activities is scuba diving. And our scuba trips are one of our favorite vacations to host. Ideal for beginner, intermediate, and experienced divers, our scuba singles diving vacations are the perfect getaway.

Very often, we hear from guests who are interested in scuba trips, but they are new to the sport. So, we have developed these tips for scuba diving beginners so they can feel confident about joining our amazing adventures.

About Scuba Diving

Why is scuba diving so awesome? You really feel at one with nature. Imagine being able to breathe underwater, supported by the safety of your own air tank. In your sleek wet suit, wearing your fins and mask, you are able to fully explore the underwater reefs, to swim with tropical fish, and to just glide through the warm waters.

And though you will always be within the safety of an instructed group, there is a quiet, wonderful solitude that comes with scuba diving. In fact, many even practice meditation while scuba diving, making the sport ideal for stress relief and maintaining mindfulness.

Know Before You Go

On our trips, we supply BCDs (Buoyancy Compensator Devices), regulators, and diving fins. You’ll need to add these to your pre-trip shopping list: wet suit, mask, booties, and perhaps a diving watch.

Many of our beginner guests opt to take diving lessons before they vacation with us. Most areas have diving schools, and typically the lessons are held in the deep end of a competition-sized swimming pool. Learning in a pool before the first open-water dive really helps many of our guests feel comfortable.

One of the things to always keep in mind when learning to scuba dive is to BREATHE. It sounds like a no-brainer, but our bodies are programmed to hold our breath underwater. Learning how to breathe slowly and properly underwater using the equipment is a skill. You will save air – and it’s also very relaxing.

While Vacationing

On our singles scuba vacations, we only take small groups of guests. For beginners, our package includes a PADI open water course. This course helps our singles learn the art and skill of scuba diving. So even if you have never done an open water dive, you will have plenty of thoughtful and careful instruction on our trip.

We do three dives a day. The time in between is spent relaxing, meeting new friends, eating great meals, and learning about the natural marine environment. For guests that are beginners, we advise to keep the following in mind:

  1. Stay hydrated. This means drinking plenty of water and avoiding excess alcohol consumption the evening before a dive.
  2. Listen to your group instructor. They are here to teach, empower, and make you a confident diver.
  3. Take things slowly. By taking it slow, you reduce air consumption, maintain your confidence, and have more time to enjoy and explore the amazing underwater world.
  4. Have fun! Vacations are for pleasure, and our scuba trips are filled with it.

At Singles Travel Service, we combine a scuba diving adventure with plenty of above-water relaxation and good times on our own private island. Interested in joining one of our trips? Contact us today.

Solo Travel

Solo Travel: A Path to Learning & Adventure

The National Geographic published a post about “Six Things Solo Travel Teaches You.” It’s telling that such an iconic national magazine published an article on solo travel, though we’ve known for some time now that vacationing alone is a huge emerging trend in the travel industry (see the Visa Global Travel Intentions Study).

The National Geographic post was aimed more at travelers who embark on trips totally on their own (rather than on a group tour). However, everything they talked about resonated with us and our experiences in hosting group trips for single travelers. Here’s why:

  1. There is nothing embarrassing about solo travel. Truly. Honestly. In fact, most people believe just the opposite. Taking the step to vacation alone is actually very brave. It means that you are a strong and self-confident person. It shows that you are ready to learn and explore or rest and relax – to do something for yourself that is well-deserved.
  2. Sometimes, being alone is really, really nice. Most of us are never really alone. Many of us have jobs where we are surrounded by people – colleagues, customers, clients, patients, students, fill-in-the-blank – all day. When the work day is done, even if we live alone, our phones are often connected to our hands, thus connecting us to all of our social networks. But when we take the time to just be – to take a long, wandering walk alone or to practice yoga or to just sit in the sunshine – our senses can awaken and discoveries can be made about the world and about ourselves.
  3. Traveling solo provides great prospects for meeting new friends. For as much as traveling solo provides people with the chance to become comfortable on one’s own, it also gives singles an excellent opportunity to meet new people. On our group tours, travelers who were once strangers often become fast friends (and sometimes even couples). And there are often interesting interactions and conversations with local folks in the cities and destinations that we visit. What better way to understand the culture and vibe of a place than to learn from a local?
  4. Singles group trips are great for career networking. Our singles vacations bring together groups of like-minded individuals. Very often, we find that career networking happens organically over a hike or evening cocktails. Two of our guests last year began a collaborative digital media project not long after one of our trips. When we see great things like that happen, we realize the old adage is true: You never know who you’ll meet.
  5. Group tours for single travelers provide extra safety and security. Yes, the world is (mostly) good. But sometimes it’s not.  Sometimes unknown places can make even well-seasoned travelers uncomfortable. By traveling solo on a singles tour, travelers are afforded a level of comfort by knowing the group is always there.
  6. Solo travel – with or without a group – is empowering. Simply put, taking a vacation alone is liberating. The end.

If you are ready to solo travel on one of our singles group vacations, contact us today.

Dublin at night

Destination Spotlight: Dublin

Ireland is one of the most beautiful and historic countries in the world. Its long and storied history dates to 10,500 B.C. – a date not quite fathomable to many. Because of its comparatively small size, it’s easy to see most of the country on one vacation. What’s more, because so many Irish immigrated to the United States, many Americans can trace their family history to Ireland.  These factors combined make Ireland – and its popular capital, Dublin – an eternally beloved tourist destination.

Every trip to Dublin should begin with a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. (At least my trip began that way – and it was fabulous.) Here, you will learn all about the history and creation of “the black stuff” while touring the 1904 storehouse. Once your tour ends, head to top-level Gravity Bar for both a pint and panoramic views of Dublin.

The other great Irish libation is Jameson Irish Whiskey, of course. Within the gentrifying Smithfield area of Dublin, you can visit the Old Jameson Distillery. Take a tour or a masterclass in whiskey tasting, then head over to the nearby Cobblestone – my favorite bar in Dublin (or maybe all the world). Featuring live, traditional Irish music each night, the Cobblestone is the quintessential neighborhood Irish pub. You’ll also want to check out The Brazen Head, which dates to 1198. It’s officially Ireland’s oldest pub.

Other nightlight options can be found in the famous (infamous?) Temple Bar area. In addition to namesake Temple Bar pub, there are scores of other bars, restaurants, and shops in this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. For additional shopping and dining, check out the world-famous Grafton Street. Here, there is really something for everyone.

While eating, drinking, and shopping are certainly excellent pastimes while in Dublin, you’d be remiss not to explore some of its great history and culture as well. Standing on the grounds of an old Viking settlement is the ancient Dublin Castle. For over 700 years, it has been the hub of Ireland’s secular power. It is now used for state dinners, presidential inaugurations, and world summits.

Trinity College is Dublin’s premiere university and a great center of world learning. Stroll the beautiful grounds and be sure to visit its famous Old Library. This breathtaking building is home to Ireland’s largest collection of books – and the Book of Kells, a gorgeously illustrated Christian manuscript dating to the year 800.

Many of the world’s greatest writers have been Irish, and the Dublin Writer’s Museum celebrates this amazing literary tradition. Of all the Irish literati, James Joyce is perhaps the most internationally known. When you visit the James Joyce Centre, you will learn about the writer and his work, including his masterpiece, Ulysses.

While Joyce is Ireland’s most famous writer, my favorite is Oscar Wilde. Visit the house he lived in from 1855 to 1876, and then snap a selfie with the life-size Oscar Wilde statue in Merrion Square Park. Here you will also find a monument containing some of the best quotes from his writing, including my favorite: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

Interested in touring Dublin and the rest of Ireland? Contact us.

Singles Travel During Retirement

Trends in Singles Travel During Retirement

Exploring the world during retirement is a dream for many who embark on singles travel vacations. After years spent working or raising families, people long to spend their retirements seeing new places, meeting new friends, and relaxing.

According to an article in Forbes, the number of retired Americans is increasing. And this increase in retirees means the “impact on individual lifestyles, families, and leisure marketplaces, both for-profit and not-for-profit, will be unprecedented.”

In citing a research study by Merrill Lynch, the Forbes report noted that there are more than a million single travelers in the vacation marketplace right now. And more than forty percent of those single travelers choose to embark on guided adventure tours, designed especially for single travelers aged 50 and older.

How Singles Travel Service Delivers on Retirement Travel Trends

There are several notable trends in singles travel after retirement. At Singles Travel Service, we have planned upcoming singles travel vacations based on the preferences of our clients and these retirement travel trends:

  1. Adventure TravelWe love adventure travel! We often embark on a singles travel vacation to Yellowstone National Park and Big Sky, Montana. Adventure activities on this trip include horseback riding in the mountains, rafting on the Madison River, a full-day tour of Yellowstone National Park, zip lining down Big Sky peak, bungee jumping, and a high ropes challenge (which is just so much fun).
  1. Nostalgia Travel. What could be more nostalgic than summer camp? Each summer, Singles Travel Service hosts Weekend Summer Camp on a private lake. During this nostalgia-packed weekend, our travelers will go boating and biking; play tennis, golf, basketball, or baseball; and enjoy evenings by the lake with cocktails, delicious dinners, live music, and dancing. And, of course, we will have bonfires and s’mores!
  1. Educational Travel. One of the great things about traveling is learning about other cultures. At Singles Travel Service, our international vacations are full of exciting educational experiences. In Ecuador, visit the Equatorial Monument (where both hemispheres meet). In Ireland or Scotland, learn about the history and culture of these beautiful nations (and the home of many of our travelers’ ancestors). Our upcoming trip the Canyons of Mexico has been planned and curated specifically for Baby Boomers to learn about amazing culture and landscape of this stunning destination.

Retired and interested in one of our singles travel vacations? Contact us.

Yellowstone Sign

Destination Spotlight: Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a natural wonder throughout each season. For single travelers, summer is truly an ideal time to visit there.

Situated across almost 3,500 square miles, Yellowstone was the world’s first national park. It is indeed the flagship national park of the United States. Yellowstone is larger than both Delaware and Rhode Island combined, something somewhat inconceivable to natives of the Mid-Atlantic and New England. The park mostly sits within Wyoming though it reaches into both Montana and Idaho as well, with the Continental Divide traversing through it.

Within the vast boundaries of Yellowstone, travelers will find a splendor of nature: wondrous canyons, deep forests, rushing rivers, thundering waterfalls, and, of course, hot springs and geysers, the most famous being Old Faithful. As one of the most predictable natural things on Earth, Old Faithful will erupt basically every 60-90 minutes, guaranteed.  It’s been delighting visitors of all ages for generations.

Throughout the great lands of Yellowstone National Park, majestic animals roam. Think: bison, bears, antelope, elk, moose, and more. The once endangered gray wolf was reintroduced to the park in 1995 after a 70-year absence. They have thrived, and their howls echo throughout all of Yellowstone. If seeking out packs of wolves is not your thing, the park also is home to more than 1,000 species of native plants and flowers. This includes beautiful lilies, roses, sunflowers, buttercups, and clovers.

With so much to see and do, planning a trip to Yellowstone can seem overwhelming. Some travelers opt to go rustic, camping in a tent overnight and exploring by hiking. Not everyone that enjoys nature enjoys being rustic — nor has the necessary gear to do so. (My place in the city just doesn’t have the storage for camping equipment.) As such, some visitors, especially single travelers, like the idea of taking a guided group tour of Yellowstone, for convenience as well as the educational, social, and safety aspects of the experience.

One option is to join a “bus camping” tour of Yellowstone, designed especially for those without camping experience. Founded on the principle that getting to a destination is more than half the fun, bus camping trips offer a radical twist on the classic bus tour. Campers both travel and sleep in a lounge-style converted bus. We roll through towns and the park, enjoying the beauty of nature, hiking or participating in other activities on stops, cooking mouth-watering meals at the campfire, and relaxing all along the way.

Another option is to combine a trip Yellowstone with a resort destination. There are five entrances to Yellowstone National Park in both Wyoming and Montana. Within just a short drive (less than an hour) from the West Entrance of the park is Big Sky, Montana — the base camp to a great Yellowstone vacation. Big Sky is one of the American West’s greatest resort destinations. It is known for its rugged natural beauty and abundance of wildlife. The resort area is also known for its wide variety of outdoor sports and recreational activities in the summer — horseback riding, whitewater rafting, zip lining, golfing, hiking, fly fishing, high ropes courses, and more.

A popular option for travelers that are visiting this part of the country for the first time is to combine a few days in Big Sky with a guided tour of Yellowstone National Park. Here, visitors get the best of both worlds — and can indulge in some luxury pampering as well (spa time, anyone?) while in Big Sky.

Interested in joining one of our trips to Yellowstone? Contact us.

Photo credit: Susan

Destination Spotlight: Paris

The famous song is April in Paris, but it’s magnificent always. At any time of the year in Paris, hearts sing and embraces are warm. I wish that I could say that I’m being overly sentimental or romantic, but this city does charm. When you visit once, the City of Light never quite leaves you.

Must-see sights in Paris

  • Musée d’Orsay — Housed in a converted railway station with amazing Belle Époque architecture, this is my favorite museum in Paris. Not that the Musée du Louvre isn’t spectacular with the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and its Glass Pyramid designed by I.M. Pei. The grand Louvre is on everyone’s list of must-sees in Paris. But the Musée d’Orsay, with its wonderful collection of art that spans from 1848 to 1914, is a gem of Paris. Here you will find the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in the world (think: Monet, Degas, Manet, Renior, Cézanne, Van Gogh) in a unique left bank setting.
  • Montmartre — Sitting high on a right bank hill in the 18th arrondissement, this historic district is the center of Paris’ Bohemian past. Many of the artists whose paintings you will find at the Musée d’Orsay lived and worked in this area during the turn of the last century (and perhaps visited the famed Moulin Rouge). With its tiny, winding streets, small squares, and beautiful panoramic views of the city, Montmartre is also home to the magnificent Sacré Coeur, a Roman Catholic basilica that was built as a memorial to fallen soldiers.
  • The Ile de la Cité and Ile St-Louis — Connected to one another by a small bridge, these two islands in the Seine are full of charm and history. The larger Ile de la Cité was the site of the first settlement in Paris in 300 BC and is home to two landmark gothic churches: the spectacular Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the smaller and even more stunning Sainte-Chapelle. Visit these in the morning before the crowds gather and when the sunlight beams most beautifully through Sainte-Chapelle’s famous stained-glass windows. You can then spend the afternoon strolling through the utterly charming Ile St-Louis, which is filled with shops, galleries, and cafes (hint: order the crepes).
  • Eiffel Tower — The Tour Eiffel is an icon, the quintessential monument of Paris. It can be seen from all over the city, and it’s a site to behold from no matter where you are standing. I spent one New Year’s Eve hanging out on Pont Neuf, drinking champagne, and watching the tower dance in a million lights at midnight. The photo above was taken from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, and it’s well worth the stairwell climb to the top just to see that vista. But you cannot visit The City of Light without going to see the Eiffel Tower up close. Once there, wait in line and take the elevator to its third-level viewing gallery. The views from there, at night or day, are breathtaking, and to see Paris from this vantage point is something you’ll always remember.

As you can tell, I love Paris, and you will, too. If you are a single traveler thinking about visiting Paris, please join us on our singles group tour.  Simply contact us for more information.