Domestic Dupes For International Destinations Just In Time For Spring Break

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Spring break is fast approaching and while we may dream of booking a flight to far-off lands miles away from our offices or educational institutions, sometimes we can find a similar kind of magic in our own backyard. If you are based in the United States but want to feel the wanderlust of being time zones away, here is our list of domestic dupes for international destinations just in time for this coveted vacation time. For an added bonus, we’ve also included some of our favorite Black-owned businesses to support while you’re in each town.

Instead of Turks & Caicos, Try Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Seated right on the Emerald Coast of the Florida panhandle, this beach town is surrounded by crystal-clear emerald water, the plushest white sand beaches, and is rich with marine wildlife like dolphins and sea turtles. Destin-Fort Walton Beach (or DFWB) has an array of waterparks, fresh caught seafood, and has a slower pace of life that is reminiscent of island living. For adventurous spring breakers, there are also local fishing charters led by Black and Latin boat captains, like Lionel James and Gabrielle Barnes, who teach newcomers how to fish in the open ocean, and private chefs, like Chef BK, who can prepare amazing meals from the seasonal fish you caught that day.

Instead of Sienna, Italy, Try The Finger Lakes, New York

Located in central Italy, this Tuscan city is a wine destination with postcard perfect landscapes to behold, much like The Fingers Lakes. If you want the culinary coziness of Sienna but without the sometimes sweltering Mediterranean heat, this is the dupe for you. The Finger Lakes are also ideal for history buffs. There is a self-guided Underground Railroad trail around a portion of this destination because Auburn, New York was the chosen home of Harriet Tubman. Be sure to check out Black-owned establishments in the area like Apogee Wine Bar, The Communion, Rashida Sawyer Bakery, and Mushroom Spirits Distillery.

Domestic Dupes For International Destinations Just In Time For Spring Break
International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park, Portland, Oregon, USA

Instead of Amsterdam, Try Portland, Oregon

Known for its biking culture, deep appreciation of flowers, and diverse food scenes, Amsterdam and Portland have a lot in common. While using a car to navigate both cities is possible, these cities are ideal for bikers and people who want to take the scenic route. Amsterdam is known for its cinematic tulip fields and Portland is known among many as the “City of Roses,” complete with a Rose Festival and an International Rose Test Garden. If you want to have a food tour around Portland and visit Black-owned eateries and bars like Assembly Brewing, Kann, #Loaded Kitchen, and so many more, packing pants with an elastic waistband is a must.

Instead of Havana, Cuba, Try New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is known as the northernmost Caribbean city due to the city’s deep relationship with many West Indian nations regarding food, music, and history. When it comes to similar cities, though, The Big Easy is definitely a domestic dupe for Havana, Cuba. Both of these cities have vibrant music scenes that are rich with Black culture, particularly jazz. Havana has an internationally renowned jazz festival every year and New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz (and the city also has its New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in late April). Not to mention, both destinations have similar climates and architecture enthusiasts will find Havana’s colorful buildings and Spanish colonial influences are reminiscent of the French Quarter. Of course, NOLA, is filled with Black-owned haunts worth a visit.

Instead of St. Moritz, Switzerland, Try Aspen, Colorado

Both St. Moritz and Aspen are known as premier ski destinations, but these historic cities offer visitors a plethora of outdoor activities that make for an iconic spring break getaway. Both locations have gorgeous nature trails lined with wildflowers, luxury fashion storefronts like Dior, Golden Goose, and Gucci, and both Maroon Lake and Lake St. Moritz Loop serve as idyllic settings for aquatic adventures. If you like kayaking, fly fishing, and paddle boarding, then certain hotels, like Limelight Aspen, offer guests access to book three-hour paddle board lessons guided by local experts. Aspen has a growing number of Black pillars in the community, like Patrick Davila, currently the hotel manager for Hotel Jerome, as well as Mawa’s Kitchen, and Black Diamond Grille.

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