If your idea of a great vacation includes European destinations but your budget doesn’t allow for overseas flights and airport parking, try planning a close-to-home trip that includes the best tastes of the Old World right here in America. You may be surprised at the fantastic options you have to emulate a European vacation without stepping foot in a foreign airport. Take a look at these destinations we’ve uncovered just in time for your summer vacation.
The closest place stateside you can find to remind you of the iconic culture and food of Italy is in New York City. The most famous landmark in the old Little Italy neighborhood, bounded by Canal and Broome, Baxter and Elizabeth streets, is Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral. But when you think “Italian”, you probably first think of food and New York City’s Little Italy is full of family-owned grocery stores, bakeries, and restaurants that will make you think you’re overseas with just one taste.
Travel to the opposite side of the country in order to get a taste of the Oriental in San Francisco. Billed as the largest Chinatown outside of Asia, you can spend an entire week in the City by the Bay’s Oriental region and never run out of things to do and see. There’s always lots of options for live entertainment as well as art exhibits, shops packed with great souvenirs and restaurants that offer interactive dining with dim sum and Mongolian barbecue.
It might not be an entire city transplanted in the U.S., but Paris Las Vegas is the next best thing. Boasting a complete miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower, beautiful French gardens, restaurants with world-class French cuisine, and a nightclub reminiscent of Moulin Rouge, the Paris Las Vegas hotel is a memorable vacation experience all in itself.
When you’re looking for the luck of the Irish during your travels, look no further than Chicago, Illinois. Home to a large population of Irish immigrant families, the city is home to the huge Irish American Heritage Center complete with theatre, library, museum, art gallery, and even an authentic Irish pub. But don’t limit yourself to the Center; there’s plenty of pubs and restaurants with Eire-inspired food and drinks within the confines of Chicago’s downtown area as well as Gaelic Park for cultural entertainment all year long.
Tarpon Springs, Florida is not only home to the largest percentage of Greek-Americans in the country, it’s located right on the water and if you use your imagination, you might be able to picture yourself relaxing on a Greek isle a la Mama Mia. The most popular tourist destination is the Sponge Dock District along Dodecanese Avenue, where you can find lots of great shopping, Greek restaurants and even hear people conversing in their native language. A visit to the aquarium at the end of the street is a wonderful way to end a day in America’s “Little Greece”.
Even if your budget won’t allow for a true European vacation, there’s no reason you can’t take a city-hopping tour across America for the next best thing. With airline travel often being offered at more reasonable rates than you’ll pay for gasoline, why not book several flights and airport parking right now?
S. Hurley Hall runs the Taking Off Travel Blog for off airport parking provider ParkRideFlyUSA.com/blog. It covers travel destinations, business travel, travel gadgets, travel tips and more. Join the email list and be the first to hear about special offers. Book your airport parking reservations at Park Ride Fly now and receive a 10% discount.