Every year, millions of Americans travel across the ocean to spend their summer vacation in different European countries. Cities like Venice, Paris, and London get the most traffic during these months. Most people wait all year just for that trip to Italy where they get to taste all different kinds of pasta and wine. This year, things took a different turn for those enthusiastic travelers.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, many restrictions are placed to limit tourism and ban foreign travelers from entering certain countries after their lockdown. Yet, many of us miss that European getaway with its scenery and those historic buildings and monuments that can still capture the old world’s style. Luckily, you can still get in touch with that Italian spirit if you visit several special places located inside the USA. Here are the top places to visit.
THE CITY OF NAPA
Napa is the second-largest city in the wine country of California after Santa Rosa, a nearby city. It’s located about 75 minutes north of San Francisco and was founded by California pioneer Nathan Coombs. If you’re looking for an Italian themed trip, head to Napa’s downtown area. It’s known for its beautiful promenade next to the Napa River, its 1800s and 1900s architecture, and the artistic natural scenes covering the Napa Valley Opera House. Napa is notoriously known for its delicious food and, most importantly, the wine.
It was founded by Andretti and Joe Antonini, the former Kmart CEO, back in 1996. This is a famous award-winning boutique winery that is located on a country road in the Oak Knoll District. It’s a place that gives off the energy of an old Italian village where life moves slower just like it used to back in the day. Andretti winery has a special collection of premium wines that are made from on-site grown grapes along with grapes from different locations around California. If you’re looking for the best wine in Napa Valley, Andretti Winery is the place to visit.
THE BEACHES IN NAPLES, FLORIDA
If you’re more of a beach and sun person, maybe a warmer state would be your perfect Italian destination. A famous Italian-themed city called Naples is known for its mesmerizing, pearly white beaches that stretch across the country. The beach is only a short walk from the local shopping and dining area in downtown Naples. You can even look for Florida condos for sale to make this your annual summer trip destination and find a place to stay every time you’re around this region. Naples’ great and popular beaches include Lowdermilk Park Beach, where you can play beach volleyball; Vanderbilt Beach; and Delnor-Wiggins State Park, which has the most fascinating beach parks in the entire area.
THE TEN THOUSAND ISLANDS IN NAPLES
Water is a big part of Naples, and the majority of your time there is going to be spent by the sea. South of Naples is the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, which is a gathering of beautiful deserted islands and hidden beaches. The place is considered an oasis for wildlife species and charming aquatic life forms such as dolphins, stingrays, manatees, and whales. Visitors and citizens can actually apply to help expert naturalists in studying and gathering data for the Dolphin Explorer research on the Ten Thousand Islands. The waters in there hide plenty of undiscovered natural gems, you can search them for years and not manage to see all of their incredible hidden treasures.
THE MERCATO ENTERTAINMENT PLAZA
This place is located in the north of Naples and holds a large area of retail shops, a movie theatre, and all kinds of different restaurants from burritos to high-class steaks. Many entertainment events take place on a weekly basis there, for example, the shopping centers join together weekly to host their famous happy hour event while letting dozens of restaurants participate. You can also check the nearby Bone Hook Brewing Company that runs the largest brewpub in Southwest Florida, they offer a big selection of original crafty beers and host weekly live music events.
As per the recent pandemic updates, traveling to a European destination is not impossible, but the safety of this decision depends on many variables. You will have to consider where you’re planning to go, how you’re going to go, and the rates of infection at the destination you choose. If this feels like too much of a hassle for a summer trip to you, you’re not alone. Most Americans leave the states looking for the scenery of the European culture every summer. Cities like Tuscany, Paris, and Venice receive most of the foreign traffic. Luckily, you can find many destinations within the USA that deliver an experience close to what you’re looking for.