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Sheridan Alexander

The Most Charming Places in the World

By February 22, 2009

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Welcoming and alluring, Southern charm and gracious hospitality are time honored traditions in the culture of the southeastern region of the United States. Expanding this theme beyond the borders of the American South, my fellow About.com Travel Guides and I have gathered together our suggestions for some of the most charming places to visit around the world.

Explore quaint city neighborhoods, idyllic country retreats and historic villages or find a respite from the hectic pace of life in a valley of springtime tulips or in the salty air of a quiet seaside escape. Enjoy old world hospitality at a 1000 year old Bavarian castle, plan a memorable getaway to one of India's amazing palace hotels or choose another experience from our more than 20 authentically charming destinations, each sure to engage and delight even the most seasoned travelers.

The United States
  • Greenwich Village in New York City - Greenwich Village, with its calmer, more manageable feel and immensely charming secret courtyards and small gardens, is Heather's favorite place to get lost on a Saturday afternoon in New York City. (Heather Cross, New York City Travel)

  • Mirbeau Inn and Spa in New York State - Located in central New York State's Finger Lakes region, five hours from New York City, this inn, spa and restaurant brings Claude Monet's Giverny garden to life. (Susan Breslow Sardone, Honeymoons / Romantic Travel)

  • Daufuskie Island, South Carolina - The pristine beaches, the overwhelming sense of tranquility, and the almost intoxicating quality of the sea air, make the eight-square-mile Daufuskie Island, and what is now Daufuskie Island Resort and Breathe Spa, one those special places where quality of life is a fact rather than a wish. (Blair Howard, Golf Travel)

  • Savannah, Georgia - A city of flowering park squares, elegant fountains, majestic moss-draped live oaks and the largest registered urban National Historic Landmark district in the United States, Savannah is a wonderful destination for Southern charm and Lowcountry ambiance year round, and is especially lovely during the spring blooming season. (Sheridan Alexander, Southeast US Travel)

  • Yellowstone National Park - Many adventure travelers want more than charming places to stay. At Yellowstone in the winter, steaming hot springs, colorful mud pots and shaggy brown buffalo grazing on snow-white plains are dramatic and, yes, charming sights. (Lois Friedland, Adventure Travel)

  • Tulips in the Northwest - Northwest Washington's Skagit Valley comes alive with brilliant color each spring. Acres and acres of daffodils, tulips, irises, and lilies entice visitors to the towns of La Conner and Mount Vernon to take in the pastoral beauty, and to enjoy the annual festivities. (Angela M. Brown, Northwest US Travel)

  • Leavenworth: Washington's Bavarian Village - Leavenworth, a Bavarian-themed town located on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, offers fun all year round. The surrounding mountains and rivers provide opportunity for recreation in summer and in winter. In town, you can wander the shops, stroll through Waterfront Park and more. (Angela M. Brown, Northwest US Travel)

  • The San Antonio River Walk in San Antonio, Texas - Stroll or enjoy a boat ride along the San Antonio River Walk and be charmed by the lights, mariachi music, history and old world ambiance. (Elizabeth R. Rose, Southwest US Travel)

  • Santa Fe, New Mexico on a Budget - Those who think of New Mexico as dusty and arid will have that myth busted upon arrival in Santa Fe. The city sits at the southern edge of the Rocky Mountains, with forestry and weather to match. And, only New York offers its visitors more art galleries. (Mark Kahler, Guide to Budget Travel)
Canada
  • Cape Breton, Nova Scotia - Famous for its Celtic heritage, which visitors may enjoy through the music, food and charm of the people, Cape Breton is also home to one of the world's most beautiful drives, the Cabot Trail. (Jane McLean, Canada Travel)

  • Quebec City, Canada - Wander the old town areas, with charming historic streets and restaurants with names like Le Cochon Dingue (The Crazy Pig, a good place for hot chocolate.) Quebec City is so rich in history, it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Teresa Plowright, Family Vacations)

  • Romantic Vancouver Hotel Escapes - Discover romantic hotel escapes with amazing service, hospitality, and amenities in Vancouver, British Columbia. Find a romantic bed and breakfast, a luxury hotel, or a room with a view. Also see: Top Romantic Places to Eat in Vancouver. (Natasha Jervis, Vancouver / British Columbia Travel)
Central America
  • The Mayan village of Copan Ruinas in Honduras - Topsy-turvy cobblestone streets, red tile rooftops, and homes in Easter egg colors are just some of the reasons travelers fall in love with this charming mountain village. (Kirsten Hubbard, Central America Travel)
England and Ireland
  • Holbeck Ghyll: A Romantic Country House Hotel - Holbeck Ghyll is a lovely place in the English Lake District, overlooking Lake Windermere. Public rooms are influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and rooms are beautifully furnished, many with four poster beds. Most, also have views of the lake. The restaurant has a Michelin star and dinner is to die for. (Ferne Arfin, United Kingdom Travel)

  • Hunter's Hotel in Ireland - This 300-year-old, family-owned inn is situated in the Irish countryside outside of Dublin. (Susan Breslow Sardone, Honeymoons / Romantic Travel)
France, Germany, Greece and Italy
  • Ile Saint Louis: A Charming Oasis in the Heart of Paris - This small island is like an oasis from the rush of the city, almost as if someone dropped a small French village, romantically frozen in the 17th century, right into the center of Paris. (Kelby Carr, France Travel)

  • The Best of Paris, France - Explore top sights in the City of Lights, which Nancy thinks is the most charming, atmospheric large city in Europe. Each arrondisement has its own flavor and ambiance. And how can you go wrong with French food? (Nancy Parode, Senior Travel)

  • Castle Hotel Colmberg in Germany - The Castle Hotel Colmberg, a romantic 1000 year old castle hotel Bavaria, is a stop on both the Castle Road and Romantic Road. Colmberg offers plenty of medieval charm, idyllic surroundings, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for couples and families alike. (Birge Amondson, Germany Travel)

  • Wertheim, Germany: European River Town - Wertheim is a charming, picturesque town located at the confluence of the Main and Tauber Rivers. European river cruises often stopover in Wertheim because of its fascinating history and charming ambiance. (Linda Garrison, Cruises)

  • Chania: Crete's Beautiful City in the West - A beautiful ancient city and harbor, plenty of restaurants, great museums, and easy access to the less-explored western coast and mountains of Crete, Chania has it all. deTraci Regula, Greece Travel)

  • Capri in Southern Italy - The charming island of Capri is a popular tourist destination in the Bay of Naples, off southern Italy's spectacular Amalfi Coast. (Martha Bakerjian, Italy Travel)

  • Orvieto, Italy - Orvieto is a medieval hill town in Umbria that is delightful to visit, and also astonishing. This small town is home to one of Italy's finest cathedrals, sometimes called the Golden Lily of Cathedrals. (Teresa Plowright, Family Vacations)

  • Val Chisone in Northern Italy - Val Chisone, home to some of the 2006 Winter Olympic venues in northern Italy, is often overlooked by tourists to Italy. The valley has several small and charming villages. (Martha Bakerjian, Italy Travel)
India
  • India Palace Hotels - A highlight of any visit to India, and a unique way of experiencing the country's fascinating heritage, these hotels were once real palaces that belonged to, and were occupied by, royalty. They are extremely charming, absolutely amazing places to stay or even to visit. (Sharell Cook, India Travel)
(Pictured Above) Savannah's enchanting Forsyth Park Fountain: Courtesy of the Savannah Convention & Visitors Bureau

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Comments
January 27, 2010 at 6:45 pm
(1) cancunhotels says:

Hi,
Super post, Need to mark it on Digg
I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
Thank you

July 31, 2011 at 6:56 am
(2) Nisha India says:

super like for the blog article. All the place are really charming. I haven’t visited all the place but I have exolored India a lot, its really a tourist paradise

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