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Travel: Put these 3 places on your list

From an overlooked part of France and a Mexican beach resort to a classic college town, I have compiled my travel recommendations for 2024.

My picks weren’t suggested by AI or copied from some listicle shared on social media. Rather, they are based on actual travel experiences, as I can hardly recommend going somewhere I haven’t visited myself.  

With that in mind, consider making plans to visit the following three places.

Le Buisson-de-Cadouin is typical of the small towns and villages found in the French region of Dordogne.
Le Buisson-de-Cadouin is typical of the small towns and villages found in the French region of Dordogne. | Dennis Lennox

Dordogne, France

This region in southwest France, historically part of the province of Perigord, is probably the best-kept destination in a country that is the most-visited country in the world.

While this column will feature more on Dordogne over the coming weeks, I wanted to highlight it now as a place to visit in 2024.

The Chapel of St. John, a Romanesque church from the early 12th century, in Chancelade, France.
The Chapel of St. John, a Romanesque church from the early 12th century, in Chancelade, France. | Dennis Lennox

In Dordogne, Americans can find everything they want in the Old World. Castles and chateaus, centuries-old churches, quaint countryside towns and villages, all things gastronomy — especially foie gras — and a wine scene that is admittedly overshadowed by nearby Bordeaux.

Domaine de Rochebois is highly recommended. Not only does the chateau-turned-hotel have all the amenities expected of a five-star hotel, including a golf course, but the location makes it a good base to discover everything the surrounding region has to offer.

Early morning in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Early morning in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. | Dennis Lennox

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The antithesis of a soulless resort factory is the 80-room Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel.

Located along Mexico’s Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is an authentic Mexican city that wasn’t purpose-built for tourists.

The streets of the old town in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The streets of the old town in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. | Dennis Lennox

Locals and visitors alike congregate on the cobblestone streets of the old town (Viejo Vallarta) with its thriving arts scene and along the malecon, the beachfront promenade that overlooks the Bay of Flags (Bahia de Banderas).

While Villa Premiere does offer an all-inclusive package, the small number of rooms make for a unique experience. It feels more like a private club than a resort. Even all-inclusive skeptics will be won over by the attentive service and well-appointed rooms.

For those wanting to leave the property, dinner at the fine dining restaurant Cafe des Artistes is highly recommended.

The quaint downtown of Oxford, Mississippi.
The quaint downtown of Oxford, Mississippi. | Dennis Lennox

Oxford, Mississippi

Football games will always be the big draw in this classic college town.

Yet, it’s entirely possible to visit Oxford and never see the University of Mississippi play a game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Dominating the quaint downtown is the landmark square with its National Register of Historic Places-listed courthouse. The stately postbellum edifice was built to replace an earlier courthouse burned in 1864 by Union troops during the Civil War.

Rowan Oak in Oxford, Mississippi, was the home of the author William Faulkner.
Rowan Oak in Oxford, Mississippi, was the home of the author William Faulkner. | Dennis Lennox

On all four sides of the square are numerous storefronts, some dating back more than a century. Anchoring it all is Neilson’s, which claims to be the oldest store anywhere in the South. Within walking distance are several excellent restaurants, including City Grocery, McEwen’s and Saint Leo.

Not far away is Rowan Oak, where the acclaimed author William Faulkner lived and did much of his writing.

Book a room at the Graduate. For something a little quieter, try The Oliver Hotel.

Dennis Lennox writes a travel column for The Christian Post

Dennis Lennox writes about travel, politics and religious affairs. He has been published in the Financial Times, Independent, The Detroit News, Toronto Sun and other publications. Follow @dennislennox on Twitter.

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