Oh, the Places You May Go

Summer is a perfect season to wander — days are longer, kids are out of school, and a sense of adventure lingers in the air. We asked our community to share a few of their favorite places to travel, as well as some tips for snapping unique photos. Read on to find inspiration in the United States and across the world.

Travel to Las Vegas, Nevada

With Kelly Belliston

What makes this place special to you?
Vegas is where I met my husband, so returning with the family through the years is always sentimental.

Favorite hidden gems for snapping a photo?

1. Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio Casino

The botanical gardens at the Bellagio Casino will bring a new feel to your Vegas photos with all the greenery. It’s a quick departure from the hustle and bustle you think of when you hear Las Vegas.

2. Seven Magic Mountains

Seven Magic Mountains is located a little bit outside of the city, but It is well worth the trip! Colorful natural photos that are truly unforgettable.

Travel to Los Angeles, California

With Julianna Strickland

What makes this place special to you?
I chose to feature Los Angeles, where I've loved living for the past 18 years. I'm truly in love with LA and all of its hidden gems. It never ceases to surprise and amaze me, and there's so much more to this beautiful place than most people realize.

Favorite hidden gems for snapping a photo?

1. Secret Stairs

We have this book called "Secret Stairs" by Charles Fleming and it truly has the coolest detailed walks in it, all of them highlighting different stairways in neighborhoods all throughout LA. We started doing this during lockdown in 2020 and it's been one of my favorite ways to spend a few hours every weekend. I always end up discovering areas of the city I never knew existed.

2. Chinatown

The colors and patterns in Chinatown never cease to make me happy. I love popping by Pearl River Deli (near where this photo was taken) for a bite and then wandering into the mom and pop shops nearby.

3. Local Trails

LA's spring and summer hikes are iconic. This is a hike through fields of mustard (which is actually an invasive species), and I look forward to seeing the hills bursting with bright yellow blooms every April.

Travel to Orlando, Florida

With Brooklyn Cruz

What makes this place special to you?
I am from Ohio but moved to Florida 3 years ago. Going into the city is one of my favorite things, ESPECIALLY since Orlando is such a touristy spot, I love finding all the local spots.

Favorite hidden gems for snapping a photo?

1. The Monroe

The Monroe — it’s one of the best most aesthetic restaurants in Orlando. They have super yummy fried chicken that comes from a local farm every morning. They also have a little coffee shop inside. It’s special to me because I ate here the day my husband proposed to me. It’s one of our faves.

2. East End Market

There’s a little spot in Orlando called “East End Market” that has a coffee shop, restaurants, dessert, and shops all in one building. It’s a fun little spot to stop by.

Travel to Seoul, South Korea

With Senah Park

What makes this place special to you?
South Korea, This trip was a long time coming! My family is from here, my husband & I met here, and I studied Korean at university so we thought it was the perfect graduation / wedding anniversary trip. It’s a beautiful country that’s super safe & tourist-friendly and I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a great food, great shopping, and great memories

Favorite Hidden Gem for snapping a photo?

1. Walkable Art

Pictured is a 25m installation that looks like a roller coaster- but it’s actually a walkable path! The views are incredible throughout the trail and I highly recommend visiting both in the daylight and when it’s getting dark. This photo was taken on a Fuji 975 Zoom 35mm camera, which adds a super nostalgic feel.

2. Unlce’s Painting

Acorn Caricature/Uncle’s Painting- This was such a fun little “side quest” we stumbled upon on our way to Gyeongbokgung Palace! Uncle’s Painting has several locations and offer the cutest 1-minute caricatures at a super great price. It was so fun to see what facial features they choose to highlight to capture your likeness! (Check out @uncles_painting on insta to find locations/times)

3. Gyeonbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace (Seoul, South Korea) Pictured is the rooftop detail of the main and largest of all five grand palaces built in the Joseon Dynasty. The palace itself is stunning and a great way to learn about Korean history! A few tips if you are able to visit: 1) be sure to double check website for closures 2) rent a hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) for free entry into all the major palaces + cute pictures 3) visit the osulloc cafe nearby for a sweet treat

Travel to Varenna, Italy

With Angelica

What makes this place special to you?
Varenna is a comune on Lake Como in the Province of Lecco in the Italian region Lombardy. I've been fortunate to visit twice now. There is always a deep sense of peace that washes over me. Time seems to slow and you can cherish every single second as it passes. The slow lifestyle of the quaint town. The beauty in everyday life. Varenna redefines peace and time.

Favorite hidden gems for snapping a photo?

1. From the Flowers

Pictured is the quaint town of Varenna nestled on the side of Lake Como in Italy. The vibrant lakeside town was glowing during golden hour. It was the end of April so all the flowers were in peak bloom. I shot it so the flowers would lead your eye to the beautiful buildings.

2. On the Water

When someone thinks of a city, they envision buildings, people, a lot of chaos even. This photo showcases one of the many swans that swim up and down Lake Como Italy. Taken in the early morning, the waters were still calm - no boats to disturb this moment. Off in the distance past the swan is Menaggio, the town across from Varenna. This is a gentle reminder that a city can be peaceful and full of wildlife.

3. In Between Buildings

One single motorcycle drives down the narrow cobble streets of Varenna Italy. A refreshing reminder that cities should be centered around people, gathering, embracing life to the fullest. More space for humans, less space for cars. Many would picture a city full with cars and parking lots, but Varenna Italy proves differently.

Travel to The Cotswolds

With Stephanie Mason

What makes this place special to you?

As much as I love the buzz of a big city, you won’t find me in one for very long. I’m naturally drawn to tranquil locations when I travel!

Visiting the Cotswolds, UK is such a romantic, endearing, and wholesome place to visit. The small towns throughout the Cotswolds share rich history, charming and lush gardens, and the most enchanting cottages I’ve ever seen.

Favorite hidden gems for snapping a photo?

1. The Swan Hotel

The Swan Hotel, Bibury - Photograph the places you love to visit or stand out in your memory to look back on. This beautiful place felt magical in this historic town. Remember to be patient if you're looking for a clear / people-free image or plan to visit places during their slower periods to avoid crowds. When you're in a destination that is usually crowded, its OK to embrace the environment. When travelling it is usually easier to pack smaller lenses that allow you to take in a wide variety of information. For this reason, I love packing my nifty 50mm lens on all travels with my 35mm lens in close reach if I need that extra wiggle room while traveling.

2. Bleinheim Palace

Visit places that take you back in time and teach you a thing or two. My visit to the Blenheim Palace was breathtaking and surely a highlight of my visit.

3. The Cottages

I find it sweet to see each cottage named. The cottages are all unique and reflect a style blended between history and the current owner. Most of the gardens are straight out of a fairytale, so picturesque. My favourite, the English garden rose is fragrant and can be found climbing and blooming throughout the English countryside. I find a lot of inspiration for my own gardens at home from the Cotswolds. I find it romantic when you can take pieces of your favourite travel locations and bring them into your daily life.