This summer, a vacation should mean more than just hanging out by the pool. Even though that can be fun, if you’re going somewhere, take a chance and head out to a cultural destination or hotspot to learn something new.
As alluring as water can sometimes be, exploring more of the indigenous side of a place can be more fulfilling, showcase the importance of travel, and become more knowledgeable about different destinations and cultures.
This summer should be taken advantage of, and most travelers are catching up to this trend. They want more, and you should too.
Destinations like Florida or Puerto Rico are more than just tourist traps. They have history, culture, and fantastic gastronomy and architecture that innovatively showcase their history.
Take advantage of the next opportunity to learn about something new. It can be beneficial for you and for the people you love. It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo traveler or one with a large family; these destinations are places you should be exploring culturally.
Check out this list of the top seven cultural destinations to visit in the Americas this summer:
Little Havana, Florida
Located in Miami, Little Havana is infamous for having a large amount of Cuban food and culture. The area is a hotspot for Cuban gastronomy, and some of the best restaurants can be found here. Versailles Restaurant Cuban Cuisine on Calle Ocho is one of the best Cuban spots around, and If you’re planning a trip to Miami this summer, drive to this area.
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Provincetown might surprise you, but when and if you visit, you’ll understand why this destination is on this list. Pilgrims landed here in 1620 and established this part of New England as a colony. Since then, it’s been known as a summer retreat inclusive of any identity or gender.
You’ll find the best of Americana here and done in a manageable way. You might even learn something about the LGBTQ+ community.
@theshayspence First trip to #Provincetown was quite a success. #traveltiktok #massachusetts #capecod #lgbt #gaytravel #travellife #newengland ♬ Ukulele is warm and fun BGM – A.TARUI
Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona
Built by the Sinagua people (indigenous people native to the land), the Montezuma Castle National Monument in Arizona is a cultural hotspot due to its impressive infrastructure and history.
Built between AD 1100 and 1425, it was falsely classified as an Aztec monument but was created by the pre-Columbian indigenous group known as Sinagua. It was then used as an apartment rental hence its tall stature.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is a beautiful city that innovatively mixes old with new. It’s the type of place you can go to a fancy bar and then eat at a 100-year-old restaurant. Just a short drive away, you can find Teotihuacan, once used as a city established in 600 BCE.
Places like Museo Nacional de Antropología showcase the indigenous cultures before the Spanish arrived in a way that most travelers understand. On top of eating great food, you can learn about essential aspects of culture. What’s better than that? These two incredible destinations within Mexico City are reason enough to visit this summer.
Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan), Puerto Rico
The U.S. colonized it in 1898. Before that, Puerto Rico was one of the last colonies of Spain, with Cuba and the Philippines. Places like Viejo San Juan still carry the old-world Spanish legacy with its architecture, gastronomy, and general vibe.
Places like La Factoria, La Cubanita, and The Cannon Club – Restaurant & Steinway Piano Bar are housed in old colonial buildings that are falling apart. This gives the bar historical context, and the drinks and food are delicious.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Created sometime in the 15th century by Incan rulers, the royal city of Machu Picchu has been on most travelers’ bucket lists forever. This place is historically significant in so many ways that it should be on your list (if not already) to visit this summer.
Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming
Located in Wyoming, Devils Tower National Monument is a sight to behold. A sacred space to the Northern Plains Indians and indigenous people, it’s one place that should be explored (respectfully) this summer.
According to one legend, two girls escaping bears climbed on top of a rock, hoping to escape them. Praying to the Great Spirit, the girls were rescued when the Great Spirit made the rock grow longer. The girls were saved and turned into stars when they reached the sky.
These destinations are the perfect way to start your summer. They have many cultural goals for you and your loved ones to achieve. Learning about a different culture is a fun way of vacationing, and learning something new is always a good thing.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
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