Underrated Destinations in the United States

 

International Balloon Fiesta pic

International Balloon Fiesta
Image: balloonfiesta.com

A Nashville-based community contributor, Benjamin “Ben” Perlin has spent the past several years capturing film photographs. When he’s not busy taking pictures or volunteering at various organizations, Benjamin Perlin enjoys traveling and he has been to several destinations around the United States.

Some examples of the best underrated destinations in the United States include:

1. Mackinac Island, Michigan. Featuring fantastic views of Lake Huron, Mackinac Island provides a unique vacation experience. Because of a local ordinances, cars and other motor vehicles are not allowed on the island. While this may seem inconvenient, some visitors enjoy spending some time away from drivers.

2. Albuquerque, New Mexico. Albuquerque features a blend of activities to keep visitors of all types entertained. Film buffs can scout the city–the site of many television and movie productions–for celebrities. Meanwhile, those seeking a more relaxing experience can walk past old-fashioned storefronts or enjoy the city’s annual International Balloon Fiesta.

3. Tacoma, Washington. This industrial, down-to-earth city is often regarded as a more relaxed version of Portland and Seattle. Complete with everything from a vintage car museum to fantastic food places and a craft distillery, Tacoma begs to be explored.

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When to Visit Amsterdam

Amsterdam pic

Amsterdam
Image: travel.usnews.com

Benjamin Perlin divides his time between volunteering at Habitat for Humanity and Tennessee State Veterans’ Home and taking photographs for Ben Perlin Photography. In his free time, Benjamin Perlin loves traveling. He counts Amsterdam among his favorite destinations.

As is the case with many cities in Europe, Amsterdam is particularly popular during the summer. Weather between June and August can be mixed, with brief spurts of heavy rain along with humidity and heat. Still, most days stay sunny, and the average temperatures hover between 66 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the high levels of tourism, attraction lines are often long, and accommodation prices are at their highest.

Tourism begins dying down by September as the temperatures start dropping. Featuring average temperatures in the high 40s to mid-60s, September, October, and November allow visitors to enjoy Amsterdam for a slightly lower price. As the city moves into winter, temperatures drop to about 30 to 40 degrees, and prices drop right along with them. Since there are hardly any tourists willing to brave the cold, visitors can often find great deals.

Spring is another good time to visit Amsterdam, but it is the start of the city’s tourist season. In March through May, the tulip fields around the city start blooming and cover the area with fantastic colors. Consider visiting in April, when temperatures and crowds are moderate, and flowers are in bloom.

The Five Best Places to Sail in the United States

Catalina Island, California pic

Catalina Island, California
Image: catalinachamber.com

Aspiring photographer and avid community volunteer Benjamin “Ben” Perlin enjoys spending time with those in need, giving back to a great number of charity organizations around Nashville, Tennessee. In his leisure time, Benjamin Perlin enjoys sailing and enjoying the outdoors. The United States is home to many incredible sailing towns, all with their own individual character. The following are five scenic areas to enjoy:

1. Catalina Island, California. Sailors can start in Los Angeles, and ride through bays and harbors to the sea, with a wide array of different terrains for those of all experience levels. The area also offers good sailing weather year-round.

2. Key West, Florida. Even without a personal boat, visitors to this southernmost point in the contiguous United States can enjoy a tour on a giant schooner. Renting a boat can offer more freedom to see the local wildlife and enjoy the breathtaking sunsets.

3. Apostle Islands, Wisconsin. Located in Lake Superior, these islands are covered in spruce and birch trees, alongside rock formations and chilly waters. It’s best to visit from May to October, as the lake is prone to freeze in winter.

4. Camdenton, Missouri. Located in the center of the state, this town offers the Lake of the Ozarks, which is very popular with weekend boaters. It is an excellent place to fish for Largemouth bass, and features gorgeous lakefront homes and mild weather in the summer months.

5. Burlington, Vermont. This town offers great summer and winter sailing, as well as one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country. The sailing center offers rentals, as well as sailing lessons right outside of the bustling city.

Kawai Kanjiro’s house pic

Lesser-Known Attractions in Kyoto, Japan

Kawai Kanjiro’s house pic

Kawai Kanjiro’s house
Image: tripadvisor.com

Benjamin “Ben” Perlin is involved in various industries. At his core, he is a talented photographer who enjoys giving back to his community through various philanthropic efforts. However, he also dabbles in science, music, engineering, and computer programming. In his free time, Benjamin Perlin loves traveling and has visited such places as Kyoto, Japan.

Kyoto has quickly become one of Japan’s most popular tourist cities thanks in part to its many well-known shrines and temples. However the city also houses numerous hidden sites and attractions that tourists can enjoy with fewer crowds. Below are just a few examples:

Kawai Kanjiro’s house: located near the famous Kyo-mizu Temple, Kawai Kanjiro’s house has been a public attraction since 1973. It is the former home of the famous potter, poet, and Folk Art movement leader Kawai Kanjiro and features a collection of the artist’s unique wood carvings and pottery.

Gio-ji Temple: this temple is often ignored by tourists due to its distance from the main Arashiyama sightseeing route. However, Gio-ji Temple’s remoteness makes it a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy an awe-inspiring moss garden. The moss garden at the temple is even regarded as a strong rival to Saiho-ji Temple’s famous moss garden.

Yasui Konpira Shrine: home to the “Stone of Breaking and Bonding,” an igloo-esque rock that supposedly affects the success of relationships, Yasui Konpira Shrine is often overshadowed by the nearby Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Visitors to the shrine write their wishes on a piece of paper before crawling through the igloo-shaped stone in an attempt to fulfill their desires.