The Netherlands may be known as a flat nation, but while it may lack mountains there is no shortage of beautiful scenery.
One of the best natural attractions is De Maasduinen National Park in Limburg province. It follows the Meuse river along the border with Germany, an area that boasts woodlands, sand dunes and marshy fens.
Lauwersmeer National Park also sits on a river, this time separating the provinces of Groningen and Friesland in the northern Netherlands. Hundreds of birds migrate to this biologically rich river delta, and you can even spot wild horses grazing.
De Grote Peel is a natural marshland renowned as one of the best spots in Europe for bird watching. It’s a peat bog preserved throughout history, so you can see nature exactly as it always has been.
De Biesbosch is another great natural attraction, and one of the last freshwater tidal wetlands in western Europe. It is home to beautiful winding rivers lined by willow trees, with many species of aquatic and amphibious animals living in the foliage.
Utretchtse Heuvelrug National Park is the second-largest forest in the country and fills the gap between Utrecht and Veenendaal. Its most distinctive feature is a large ridge formed during an ice age some 100,000 years ago.
Normally when people plan a cruise they want to go somewhere tropical so they can head to the beach. Everyone tends to overlook cruises to the colder destinations, but they have a lot to offer. Next time you are looking for a cruise don’t scoff at a cruise to Antarctica.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
For most of us, time in the car is “me time.” You can listen to that podcast you’re captivated by, blast that pop song and sing along at the top of your lungs or listen to the next chapter in that biography e-book you’re almost finished. A road trip only amplifies those opportunities. So, next time you’re traveling by road, take the wheel and take control. Opt for a rental car on your next vacation, rather than a rideshare, taxi or public transportation, and enjoy the open road on your own terms.
Traveling is an opportunity to expand your horizons and try things you’ve never experienced before. But when it comes to public transportation, you might want to give it a hard pass. I’m all for public buses and subways, but it’s not always practical, depending on your destination of choice. Public transportation can also take up more time and resources than is realistic for a short excursion. But there are plenty of other ways to explore on vacation without relying on public infrastructure. From biking to ferries, here’s where to look first.