Right off the bat, Edinburgh is a city of contrasts; embracing its rich history and inevitable cliches, yet at the same time it is a vivacious metropolis celebrated for as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, as well as its hard-to-resist Scottish charm. Set across multiple rocky hills overlooking the sea, Edinburgh is home to almost 5,000 historic buildings, monuments and sites, so how does one go about visiting such a magnificent city without being completely overwhelmed?

If ever there was the most idyllic castle that would suit my every need, then it would without a doubt be Miramare Castle, just 10 minutes from Trieste. A quaint, white stone castle perched on a cliff just feet above the Adriatic Sea, facing out to an endless blue sea and lush gardens with terracotta potted plants. I could have imagined a lovely, peaceful life here… until I discovered the curse of anyone who sleeps at Castello di Miramare…

Let me transport you to an enchanted forest where gnomes play tricks and scamper through the forest, and where the trees come to life beneath the canopy of pine trees. Where delicious aromas waft from a real life Gingerbread house and where you can experience a Christmas market away from the prying eyes of hordes of tourists and the same ole, same ole making it one of the most unique Christmas Markets in Germany!!

CALLING ALL PUMPKIN LOVERS!!! If you enjoy the chill of autumn, a thick mist which rolls in in the evenings and dissipates in the afternoon to clear blue skies, soaking up the last remnants of warmth. If you love bundling up to go to a Pumpkin Patch and get giddy every time you get a Pumpkin Spice Latte and love all things pumpkin, then you are my kind of kindred spirit. That means you’re officially invited to the world’s largest pumpkin festival, known as Kürbisaustellung which takes place every autumn in the gardens of Schloss Ludwigsburg, just outside of Stuttgart.

Autumn is a wonderful time to consider a visit to Southern Germany. Living in Regensburg, I often get asked, “When is the BEST time to travel to Germany?” and without hesitation, I quickly reply “Autumn”. Punkt. There are many great reasons to visit Germany any time of year, but Autumn is especially notable. From the variety of autumn festivals in Germany to our much cherished “Golden October”, crisp mornings and pristine blue skies in the afternoons, why wouldn’t you want to visit Germany in the fall!? You’d be cray-cray not to!

Europe is already an intriguing place to visit, as well as the most popular tourist destination in the world. But before you traverse this beautiful continent, why not learn about the royal past of Europe, of the kings and queens who shaped the continent as well as built some of the most stunning castles and palaces in Europe, all the while leading tumultuous lives behind closed doors filled with gossip, rivalries, heartbreak and more!

Just a half an hours drive away from Louisville, KY, just over the state line is the idyllic Huber’s Orchard, Winery and Vineyards. Upon discovering this country escape, I asked “how much goodness can possibly be wrapped up all in one!?” As an easy day trip from Louisville, we spent the afternoon riding tractors, picking a variety of fruits, licking scoop-fulls of ice cream and wine tasting to our heart’s content, all surrounded by lush countryside farms on a beautiful summer day!

Though I have traveled extensively through England, I have still yet to see it all. But of all the towns I have visited in England, nowhere is perhaps more ‘Medieval’ than York. An amazing 13th century wall still encircles the town, narrow streets with timber-framed houses twist and turn in a spider-like web with the York Minster at the heart of it all. The town bustles with modern cafes, restaurants, shops & museums while still holding on to the city’s heritage with traditional pubs, markets and antique shops. But why should you visit? It’s not exactly an easy day trip from London after all.

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