Is traveling the world one of your retirement bucket list goals, but you’re finding it difficult due to budget restraints or health/mobility challenges? Or, are you ready to start exploring, but you simply don’t have a passport? Don’t hang up your wanderlust just yet! Check out these eight destinations that feel international—but don’t require a passport!
Visit the U.S. Virgin Islands (instead of Jamaica)
This Caribbean destination includes the islands of Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas, where you can soak up the sun on white-sand beaches, snorkel among coral reefs and windsurf on turquoise waters. In addition to enjoying nature, be sure to explore the islands’ Colonial heritage through a historical sightseeing tour.
Visit Boston, Massachusetts (instead of Great Britain)
Puritan colonists from England founded Boston in 1630—and the English influence still shows. Visit Acorn Street in Boston and experience the British feel of the narrow cobblestone street, brick row houses, and streetlamps. In the area, you can also find traditional British food and drink at pubs and tea rooms.
Visit Tarpon Springs, Florida (instead of Greece)
In the late 1800s, Greeks came to Tarpon Springs to harvest sponges, and today this Gulf coast town boasts the highest concentration of Greek Americans of any U.S. city. Visit the Sponge Docks and then stroll Dodecanese Boulevard. Here, you can visit shops and try delicious Greek food at authentic restaurants and bakeries.
Visit Holland, Michigan (instead of the Netherlands)
You’ll feel like you’re right in the Dutch countryside when you visit Holland, Michigan, which was founded by Dutch settlers in 1847. Visit in the springtime to enjoy the breathtaking fields of blooming tulips and authentic Dutch windmills. Then check out the living history Nelis’ Dutch Village and grab a bite at one of the authentic Dutch bakeries.
Visit New Orleans, Louisiana (Instead of France or Spain)
New Orleans was founded by French colonists and then ceded to Spain in the Treaty of Paris, leaving this city feeling like a mix of both countries. Visit the iconic French Quarter (aka Vieux Carre) to see Old-World architecture and to stroll the French Market. Be sure to try Creole cuisine, which is a fusion of French, Spanish, West African and Native American influences.
Visit Leavenworth, Washington (Instead of Germany)
In the 1960s, Leavenworth’s town leaders decided to take inspiration from the surrounding mountains and create an Alpine-inspired village. As you stroll through picturesque Leavenworth, you’ll feel like you’re visiting a quaint German village in the Bavarian countryside. Be sure to grab some schnitzel and bratwurst at one of the town’s authentic German restaurants.
Visit Healdsburg, California (Instead of Tuscany)
With rolling hills of vineyards and an abundance of wineries, the scenery of Healdsburg, California, will immediately transport you to the Tuscan countryside. This Northern California town is located along the same line of latitude as Tuscany, giving it a perfect climate for growing Tuscan grape varietals. The town’s authentic Italian cuisine is also a must.
Visit Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida
Take a trip around the world in a day by visiting Disney World’s Epcot theme park. Epcot is home to the World Showcase, which features 11 countries including: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada. Enjoy displays of traditional architecture, local arts, unique entertainment and authentic cuisine. Disney World is known as a great destination for wheelchair users, so is a good option if mobility is a concern for you.