Pike Place Market. Photo © Dreamstime.

A Seattle Weekend Itinerary

A weekend in Seattle gives you enough time to sample the best of a city full of achievements with a healthy attitude about fun and leisure; in this town, all work and no play is no one’s motto. With that in mind, here’s a two-day fully-catered itinerary. Get playing.

Sonoma Mission. Photo © Mariusz Jurgielewicz/123rf.

Highlights of the Sonoma and Carneros Wine Region

The Sonoma and Carneros wine region features beautiful scenery, excellent and unique wineries, and wonderful spas. Make sure to spend time in the small city of Sonoma, which includes the famed Sonoma Mission Inn, historical sights, and a charming town square with plenty of shopping and great places to grab a bite. Here are the highlights.

Hole 'n the Rock. Photo © Judy Jewell.

Family-Friendly Fun in Moab, Utah

It’s fair to say that Moab doesn’t tempt travelers with a lot of traditional tourism establishments, but all you have to do is raise your eyes to the horizon. The locale is so striking that you’ll want to get outdoors and explore, and the astonishing sights of Canyonlands and Arches National Parks are just minutes from town. But there’s nothing wrong with just enjoying the enthusiastic vibe of the town.

Catedral de Puntarenas. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Sights in the Port Town of Puntarenas

Puntarenas has long been favored by Josefinos seeking R&R. This sultry port town is built along a narrow spit running west from the suburb of Cocal and backed to the north by a mangrove estuary; to the south are the Golfo de Nicoya and a beach cluttered with driftwood. Though tiny, there’s plenty to see here from museums to festivals to mingling with the locals.

View of Lake Izabal from Castillo de San Felipe de Lara. Photo © Stuart Gray/123rf.

Planning Your Time in El Oriente and Izabal

The Izabal region features a unique kind of Caribbean experience not at all like Cancún or the West Indies but nonetheless beautiful. Meanwhile in El Oriente, Copán showcases some of the Mayan world’s finest ruins and the surrounding mountainous countryside is becoming increasingly popular with travelers exploring coffee farms, a jungle bird park, and hot springs.

El Mercado Viejo in Masaya. Photo © Carles-Amalaric Navarro Parcerisas/123rf.

Sights in Masaya, Nicaragua

Soak in the culture and people-watching of Masaya’s plazas, especially the throbbing social and commercial heart of the mostly indigenous Monimbó neighborhood, peruse crafts markets where find all manner of delightful surprises: locally made leather shoes, brass, iron, carved wood, and textile handicrafts, plus paintings, clothing and hammocks, and cool off after an intense morning in the market on the windswept malecón.

Glass Beach. Photo © Elizabeth Linhart Veneman.

Sights in Fort Bragg

The village of Mendocino may be where folks savor the scenery, but Fort Bragg is where the work gets done. This blue-collar town is home to lumber mills, fishing boats, and scores of working train tracks. It is rougher around the edges than its gentle cousin down the coast, but it has some great attractions, beautiful scenery, and tons of local color.

Catedral Santiago de los Caballeros. Photo © Dreamstime.

Sights in Managua

You can easily visit all of Managua’s main attractions, which are scattered along the Avenida Bolívar, in half a day. Many are ruins and monuments to the disastrous 1972 earthquake that leveled the city, others are simply lovely places to sit and take in the city views. Expert author Elizabeth Perkins is here with a guided tour.

Temple I at sunrise. Photo © Al Argueta.

Explore the Ruins of Tikal

There is plenty to explore in this vast Mayan city that once harbored thousands of people, and you could easily spend several days here taking it all in. The ruins in evidence today are representative of the latter years of Tikal’s existence, as the Maya built on top of existing temples and palaces.