Feels Foreign: Escape to the Exotic Without a Passport

One thing that draws visitors to Hawaii is the allure of the exotic. While it’s part of our own country, the climate, culture and landscape often look and feel like a foreign country that is new and exciting yet comfortable and familiar. We’ve chosen several other destinations that RTX members can visit that feel far away but might just be a short drive. Whether it’s due to a tropical setting, unique architecture or food, culture and traditions that can be found nowhere else, these vacation favorites will open your eyes to a whole new world.


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Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe is the nation’s oldest capital city, and has earned nicknames over the years like the Native American’s “Dancing Ground of the Sun” and the founding frontiersman’s “A City Different.” The distinctive adobe architecture that can be found throughout the city reflects both Native American and Spanish Colonial styles while modern and traditional artists have brought styles from cultures around the world. The city’s rich history melds Hispanic, Anglo and Native American cultures whose influences are apparent in the architecture, the food, the art and more. In one day you might see several Indian pueblos, visit historic basilicas, chapels and missions, or attend the Japanese Cultural Festival or Greek Heritage Festival. Visit Santa Fe and discover why it’s different from anywhere else.

New Orleans, Louisiana

The unique culture of New Orleans can be attributed to a number of historical influences including French colonists, the Spanish empire, Caribbean emigrants and slaves from Africa. All of these cultures and more are present throughout the city in a number of ways. The intricate Spanish Creole architecture along brick-paved streets leads to a European-style town square with street performers and artists selling their wares in pedestrian-only areas. Bright colors featured by many local artists reflect Caribbean or African heritage, and tales of mysterious practices tell of an amalgamation of religious beliefs. The world-famous cuisine can combine all of these influences with unique Cajun cooking and traditional Southern comfort food to make flavors that are at once exotic and familiar. Go to the Crescent City to experience a completely different world.

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Florida Keys, Florida

Known as the American Caribbean, this chain of islands off the south coast of Florida has been a popular vacation destination for decades. Thanks to Highway 1, most of the keys are accessible by car, and several of the smaller, uninhabited islands can be visited by boat. Once you arrive, you’re sure to be on island time where you can simply relax on the beach and take in the scenery. When you’re ready, you can enjoy fresh seafood with spectacular views, explore towns and villages that have inspired great writers and artists and experience the tropical sea life by swimming, snorkeling or diving. Dance the nights away in a reggae bar or listen to the lullaby of the crashing waves on the moonlight-drenched sand. Experience the tropical paradise of the Florida Keys.

Any large city in the U.S.

America’s bustling cities have tons to offer visitors, and the term “cultural melting pot” is completely apropos in many cases. Often within just a few blocks, you can sample dim sum from China before feasting on shepherd’s pie from Ireland and then top it off with vin santo from Italy. Beyond the variety of food, explore boutique shops with clothing, household items and souvenirs from different parts of the world, attend a festival or religious ceremony native to another country, take a historical or cultural tour or simply meet the people who have emigrated to the U.S. from all corners of the world. Whether you want to explore Chinatown in San Francisco, Little Italy in New York or Irish heritage in Boston, use RTX to search for hotels in cities across the U.S. for your “foreign” escape.


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