TOP 3 PLACES TO TRAVEL RIGHT NOW IN 2021

Photo By: Sarah Funk

It’s official, travel is coming back! It has been a long fourteen months without traveling. So, if you’re eager to plan your next trip, I am sharing the top 3 amazing places that have something for everyone, with options including cities, deserts, and beaches! These are the best spots you can travel to right now in 2021. 

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Top 3 Places to Travel Right Now in 2021

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA

For the perfect desert destination, Scottsdale is a must-visit. It’s stunning and so different from city life, especially in NYC. There is a vast desert and it’s truly a desert oasis town. Scottsdale is known for its spa resorts, golf courses, outdoor adventures, and the gorgeous Sonoran Desert. You can enjoy morning hikes, visit the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, and enjoy the beautiful desert landscape while horseback riding. Other enjoyable activities include art galleries, rustic western shops, and wine tasting in Old Town. Want to learn more about cool things to do here? Watch my travel guides or visit itsthathot.com.

Top Things to Do in Scottsdale

Hot Air Balloon Ride

715 E Covey Ln #100, Phoenix, AZ 85024 | $159+

There is no better place to take a hot air balloon ride than in Scottsdale, which has the perfect climate for it. One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert is from the sky with Rainbow Ryders! They have been operating for 34 years and have won several awards for their excellence. You even get to pop bottles of champagne afterward!

Pro Tip: It can get colder than expected when high up in the air, so make sure you dress warmly for this activity! And don’t forget to wear a hat, sunscreen, and closed-toed shoes to stay safe and comfy! Prices start at $159 for adults and $125 for children.

Stay at the Four Seasons 

10600 E Crescent Moon Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85262 | $515+

When visiting Scottsdale, I highly recommend staying at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale. The architecture of the property is incredible and it makes you feel like you are part of the desert. There are unbeatable views from the rooms and the service is top-notch. The Four Seasons is known for their excellence and it truly shines through at their Scottsdale resort. Prices start at $515 per night. But, you can find luxury resort rates for as low as $89 per night if you’re bold enough to visit during the summer heat

Brunch at Hash Kitchen

14838 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 | $13+

No vacation is complete without brunch! Enjoy brunch at Hash Kitchen. As a New Yorker, I take brunch seriously and am all about finding great brunch spots! Hash Kitchen is known for their creative and extensive breakfast menu with a wide variety of reimagined breakfast classics. They also have a DIY Bloody Mary bar, which is the best I’ve seen anywhere in the world. And to top it off, you can even enjoy a mimosa flight. This is definitely the perfect spot for brunch lovers!

Drinks at Platform 18 at Century Grand

3626 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018 | $11+ 

My favorite bar of all time is in Scottsdale. Platform 18 is a craft cocktail bar inside of Century Grand, a turn-of-the-century inspired, cocktail-centric, immersive hospitality venue with three unique bars. 

Platform 18 is inspired by a presidential train car from the 1940’s. They provide an immersive, elevated cocktail experience here that includes travelers embarking on a 90-minute journey through a mountainous terrain. I recommend trying “the weekly shipment,” which combines raspberry, lime, Campari, smoked black tea, rum, and mezcal all mixed together, creating a unique and delicious cocktail. Truly, Platform 18 provides an unforgettable and one-of-a-kind experience you do not want to miss out on! 

Pro Tip: Book at least a week in advance as spots can fill up quickly!

NEW YORK CITY

Of course, there is no greater city destination I can recommend than New York City! I have visited over 50 countries and have lived in 20, and NYC is truly unlike anywhere in the world. The energy and people really set New York apart and if you haven’t visited, you definitely should!

Top Things to Do in New York City

Classic Harbor Line Cruise

62 Chelsea Piers, Pier 62, New York, NY 10011 | $48+

There is nothing better than seeing the towering cityscapes from the water. I highly recommend taking a Classic Harbor Line Cruise. They offer many different cruises aboard their beautifully crafted yachts, but my top picks are the Champagne Sunset cruise or the Statue and Skyline Sightseeing cruise.

SarahFunky Tours and Itinerary Planning

Various locations | $49+

Naturally, I highly recommend taking one of my tours! There’s no time like the present to book a SarahFunky NYC tour. I offer all types of tours of the city – private tours, food tours, history tours, architecture, shopping, and so much more! I love showing others around the city that I love so much. Anything you can think of wanting to do or see, we can do! Also, I am now offering itineraries if you need help planning your NYC trip. 

Helicopter Rides

6 East River Greenway, New York, NY 10004 | $209+

Getting to see the city from the sky is absolutely incredible. I recommend Manhattan Helicopters. Seeing the city from a helicopter offers a brand new and amazing perspective. A birds-eye view of the city from a helicopter is such a unique experience and a must-do! 

Restaurants and Bars

NYC is one of the food capitals of the world. So, of course no trip would be complete without visiting one of the countless restaurants or bars here in NYC. Here are my top picks of restaurants and bars

CAPE COD, MASSACHUSETTS

For a wonderful beach destination, look no further than Cape Cod. Cape Cod is a beautiful seaside town off of Massachusetts and is an especially popular summertime vacation spot. There are several towns along the water with quaint villages, seafood shacks, lighthouses, ponds, and ocean beaches. I normally stay in Eastham, but I want to highlight Provincetown. It is a fun and historic town known for its LGBTQ community. There is great nightlife with entertaining drag shows, cabarets, and specialty shops, and is a haven for artists. 

Cape Cod Beach

Top Things to Do in Cape Cod/Provincetown

Dine at The Lobster Pot

321 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657 | $30+

The Lobster Pot has a lot of history and great seafood. Fun fact – it’s the spot where the late Anthony Bourdain first started working. It is a great dining experience, so be sure to check it out. 

Visit the Beaches

Cape Cod is known for its beaches. So, you definitely want to make sure you spend time at any one of the many here! My favorite beaches are Race Point Beach, Herring Cove Beach, Cape Cod National Seashore, Coast Guard Beach, and Nauset Beach. Make sure to wear your sunscreen!

Deep Sea Fishing

MacMillan Pier, Provincetown, MA 02657 | $80

When in a beach town, try your hand at deep sea fishing. I recommend Cee Jay Fishing Charters. If you’ve never tried fishing, it’s very exciting when you catch your first one! It’s also a great way to see more of Cape Cod from the water. 

Ultimately, these are my top 3 places to travel right now. You can’t go wrong with Scottsdale, New York City, or Cape Cod. Cheers to travel being back – have fun and stay safe. Happy Travels! 

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