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The 20 Best Places to Get Some Sun This Winter

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Now that we’ve passed the daylight savings mark and the holidays are starting to bear down upon us, each of us must come to terms with one simple fact. The weather is going to start getting cold, and we’re all going to want to find ways of escaping that cold weather.

Sure, that first snowfall of the year is great. And the second one is pretty cool, too. But what about the third, and what about the fourth? And what about those days where it gets just above freezing and that winter wonderland turns into a giant, gross slush pile?

Well, maybe things never get that bad, but all of this brings up a good point. Don’t you want a place to escape to this winter? Don’t you want to know about a place you can go where the weather stays warm and you can get a taste of that summer living even when the calendar says December, January or February?

If so, then you’ve come to the right place. On the list below, we’re going to share our picks for the 20 best places you can head to this winter in order to escape the winter doldrums and get some much-needed vitamin D! Let’s take a look…

1. South Beach in Miami

When it comes to favored destinations in the United States for getting some sun during the winter months, South Beach is right at the top.

2. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

If you’re looking to have some fun while you’re soaking in that sun, then Cabo could very well be the place for you!

3. Santorini, Greece

Not only will you get plenty of sun during a visit here, you’ll also have enough beautiful pictures to fuel your Instagram for the next year.

4. Mykonos, Greece

While Santorini is all well and good, don’t sleep on Mykonos, which is definitely a bit more popular with the younger crowds.

5. Dubai

You can bet that it’s always hot and sunny in Dubai… Perfect for checking out one of the planet’s most unique cities.

6. Rio de Janeiro

After you’ve spent enough time checking out Ipanema Beach, it’s time to head up to Christ the Redeemer!

7. Gran Canaria

Part of the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria offers a wealth of possible experiences, from soaking rays on the beach to epic hikes.

8. Lanzarote

Also a part of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote always captures travelers’ imaginations due to its unique landscape.

9. Kauai, Hawaii

If the winter doldrums are really getting you down, then why not book a trip to a literal paradise on Earth?

10. Barbados

Who wouldn’t love to cure those winter doldrums by sipping local Barbados rum on a secluded beach?

11. Amalfi Coast

If you want to combine your beach-going experience with some fine Italian fare and culture, then look no further than the Amalfi Coast.

12. The Gambia

While this country may be tiny, it’s definitely big when it comes to heat with temperatures that average at about 86 degrees.

13. San Diego, California

Right at the bottom of California, you’ll find an incredible city with much and more to offer and where the weather is almost always perfect.

14. Los Angeles, California

If you’re looking for a bit more excitement out of your California experience, then you can always hob nob with the hoi polloi of L.A.!

15. Morocco

There are some great beaches to be found in Morocco, but you may wish to spend your time throwing yourself into the local culture instead.

16. Malta

You’ll love the wonderful blue waters of Malta, an island that gets sunshine 300 days out of the year.

17. The Dominican Republic

From great local culture to stunning resorts and sun-soaked beaches, the “D.R.” truly does have it all.

18. Cape Verde

Sitting off the coast of Senegal, the weather in Cape Verde is always super warm – perfect for getting some much-needed Vitamin D.

19. Costa Rica

Make sure you plan some days of activities when you visit; in particular, look into the amazing zip-lining opportunities.

20. Tenerife

When it comes to finding year-round awesome weather in Europe, most people bank on this wonderful destination.

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Travel

Explore Harry Potter Film Locations Around England And Wales

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Harry Potter was a book and movie series that has changed a generation. If you happen to be a true Potterhead then a trip around England visiting some major film locations might be just for you. Here at Places You’ll See we thought we would make things easier for you and have come up with a list of our favourite Harry Potter film locations throughout London, the English countryside and Wales.

London:

London was a major filming location throughout all the movies and you could spend days hunting down little Harry Potter gems. Here are 4 stops to get you started.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour:

HP Studio Tour

No true Harry Potter fan would pass up the opportunity to visit the Harry Potter studio where much of the filming takes place. You can easily spend a full day here as you browse through thousands of props, enjoy short videos by all the major actors, sit on the Knight Bus, and drink a mug of Butterbeer. The cost is £50 for the day and includes transport by bus from several locations

Platform 9 ¾:

Platform 9 and 3 quaters

Who knew a book would propel a random platform in Kings Cross Station to international fame? Well Harry Potter has done just that. Thousands of tourists flock to the platform every week to see where the magical world begins. There is a baggage trolley half through the wall where you can have your next Instagram photo taken as well as a store selling nothing but Harry Potter merchandise.

Millennium Bridge:

No doubt you’ll be visiting the Thames anyway (to see Big Ben, the London Eye, Tower Bridge etc) so while you are here why not walk across the bridge that the Death Eaters

Claremont Square:

Siruis Blacks House

Sirius Black was always our favorite character so a trip to 12 Grimmauld place was a must. This line of streets was used as the exterior to Sirius Black’s (and then Harry’s) house in the later films.

Film Locations In The English Countryside:

Harry Potter film locations can be found throughout England, Wales and Scotland so no tour would be complete if we didn’t step outside of the city and find some more rural locations.

Hardwick Hall:

Malfoy Manor And Voldermort Stronghold

If you head north of London you can find Hardwick Hall. A beautiful English countryside manor which just so happened to be owned by the Malfoys. This manor was used in a number of the later films especially once Voldemort chose it as his base of operations. Entry into the grounds and manor only costs £12 for adults and £6 for children. If you like the countryside you can continue heading north into Scotland to see some of the lakes and mountains used as beautiful backdrops for the films.

Ashbridge wood:

Quidditch World Cup

Heading west of London you’ll soon find yourself at Ashbridge Wood. Home of the Quidditch World Cup. Grab a bottle of water and walk through the lovely landscape and take in the fresh air found outside of London.

Gloucester Cathedral:

Hogwartz Interiors

Continue heading west of Ashbridge Wood and you’ll find yourself at Gloucester Cathedral where many Hogwarts interior shots are taken. This beautiful old church has free entry and its architecture is a wonder to see.

Freshwater West beach:

The Beach Dobby Died At

If you get lucky and have a few sunny days then a trip to Freshwater West Beach in Wales is a great way to spend the day. Enjoy the sun and the sand and try not to think about the death of Dobby too much as you visit the place where it all happened.

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Travel

The 7 Best DIY Campervans & How To Build Them Yourself

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One of the latest trends that have been popping up around the world is the “glamper camper”. A beautifully designed and built campervan made into often times an old van or bus. Chucking a bed in a van has been around since at least the 60’s when surfers and hippies made the Volkswagen Kombi van as iconic as the Beatles, but these new designs have taken them to the next level. Here at PlacesYoullSee we decided to make a list of our favourite 7.

#1 Mercedes Sprinter by Daniel B

Campervan number one

Decked out in white with a sideways bed and kictchenette Daniel has made an absolute masterpiece. See more pictures on his instagram.

#2. More Bedroom Than Van

A campervan that looks like a bedroom

We loved how much this van looked like a bedroom compared to a van with a bed in it. The use of wood on the floor and ceiling gives this camper a touch of class that you rarely see. Little touches like a bookshelf show just how much planning went into the design and building on this campervan. Read about the conversion here.

#3 The Top and bottom split

This van takes a different approach to give you a lot more storage room. By splitting the van into 2 levels the entire bottom half of the van can be used for storing anything large (think mountain bikes, canoes etc). The upper level has a large bed and classy wooden roof. See more build photos here.

#4 Wood Wall To Walls In A Ford Transit

Prize number 4

The more wood the better! This beautiful design fits out a Ford Transit with a luxurious interior. To see some build photos click here:

#5 Drop Down Table And Beds

Drop down bed campervan

This van made our list due to how well they have taken advantage of limited space. Much smaller than a lot of the other vans used here the use of fold down beds and a hanging table allows for a great use of available space.

#6. Simple And Stylish

A simple design campervan

This simple and elegant design has couches that can be converted into beds by removing the back cushions. To see the build click here

#7 Window Addons To Enjoy The Great Views

This build has had window flaps cut into their Mercedes Sprinter so you can enjoy the amazing views you see as your travel. If you’d like to build something like this you can read all about it here: http://www.enuze.com/go.php?u=http://thevanual.com/

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Travel

9 Reasons Why Winter Vacations Kill Summer Vacations

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With Winter fast approaching lots of people think the ideal holiday is a beach front hotel and a cocktail. A few of us here at Places You’ll See disagree with that statement so we have decided to come up with a list of reasons why Winter vacations are better than Summer vacations.

Skiing and Snowboarding

There’s not much that tops a bluebird day with a foot of fresh snow. Every year thousands of people around the world flock to the mountains chasing the snow. Whether you’re a skier or a boarder the mountains in Winter can offer as much fun as anywhere in the world. This Winter head north to some of the worlds iconic snow resorts including Whistler, Aspen or Vail. If you’re looking for something a little different this Winter check out some of the European resorts such as Chamonix, Innsbruck or Val Thorens. If you’re one of those people chasing deep untracked powder Japan if the place to be although it doesn’t have the same after ski atmosphere as the resorts in Europe and North America.

The Northern Lights

The northen lights in Winter

The northern lights are one of the most beautiful, captivating and aw inspiring sights in the world. They are only found a long way north (or south for the Aurora Australis) and they can only be seen in the Winter. Some of the most famous places for seeing the northern lights include all of Iceland, Lapland in northern Norway, and Fairbanks Alaska. You can take Northern light tours or if you are looking for something truly unique and magical Kakskauttanen Resort in Finland offers glass igloo accommodation allowing you to spend the night cuddled under a blanket watching the lights roll by above you.

Apres Bar Parties

There is just something about the vibe of Apres bars and after ski parties that regular bars just cannot compete with. The nightlife in some Apres bars such as Krazy Kangaruh or Rond Point is so famous that people travel to them even if they don’t want to ski or snowboard. A sunny afternoon on a mountain with a live band playing and everybody having a great time is something all people should experience at least once in their life. And you never know, you might even find some time to go skiing or boarding while you wait for the bars to open up again.

Dog Sledding

Step back into the olden days with a dog sled across the snow. Dog sledding tours can be found in a number of Winter towns throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Sit back, relax and take in the serenity as you glide silently though snow covered trees. Just a tip we have learned: When giving your weight it’s better to exaggerate how much you weigh so they use more dogs otherwise you might find yourself walking up a hill because there were not strong enough dogs to pull you up.

A Jacuzzi In The Mountains

Grab a bunch of beers, a few friends, and sit in a jacuzzi outside. The cold of the air on your face and warmth of the water make for an amazing time. If it’s clear you get to sit back and see all the stars that you don’t normally get to see in the city. If its cloudy you might get lucky and see some snow start to fall from the sky.

Ice Skatting Outdoors

Ice Skating On A Lake

In the Winter and if you are far enough north you can enjoy ice-skating the way it is supposed to be done. Forget indoor arenas, ice-skating should be done outdoors on lakes or canals. If you find yourself in Ottowa during the Winter make sure to grab some skates and head to Rideau Canal or if you happen to be in Europe when a cold front hits you might be one of the lucky people that gets to skate around the canals of Amsterdam. Remember to always play it safe and make sure the ice is deep enough to safely hold your weight. Speaking from experience a Winter swim is not much fun.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing at sunset

If you’re a fishing enthusiast, then you have to try ice fishing at least once in your life. Head onto the water and see if you can’t jag a hungry trout looking for some snacks to get through the Winter. When you do hook a fish remember to keep the line away from ice or you might never get to see that hungry trout. A quick tip: A small cover tent, a heater, beers and a good friend or two make this a much more enjoyable adventure.

Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling

For the adrenaline junkies who love the sound of an engine and the air rushing past your face then you can’t go past a snowmobiling trip. While they may seem slow as the cruise around ski resorts with the sirens blaring looking for people skiers and boarders breaking the rules a snowmobile in the backcountry is an adrenaline junkies dream. These things are fast, scary fast! Go out for an afternoon and you’ll be smiling the whole time.

That Fresh Mountain Air

The number one thing to enjoy about Winter holidays is the fresh, cold, mountain air. It makes you feel alive. Forget humid tropical beach, a cold clear mountain view is the best way to start the day.

Got a friend that disagrees with you? Send them this article and prove them wrong.

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