Thanks for bringing up this post again, Ark. I like it.
As Stuart wrote two years ago, I think most Americans just travel to see family for their holidays. Otherwise, I think Florida, New York, and southern California are the big destinations. In Ohio, it's popular to travel with family to the mountains in eastern Kentucky or West Virginia. As far as tourism goes, West Virginia is completely unspoiled. I think that some of our international friends would love West Virginia. There isn't much nightlife, but the natural surroundings and culture are just beautiful.
I spend most of my vacations in Costa Rica with my wife. Costa Rica is, for a large part, an international tourist destination, with good reason. The natural beauty there is incomparable, but relatively busy with other tourists. Of course, with all tourist destinations, there are two different economies: one for locals and one for tourists. None of the big tourist guidebooks ever show the little "soda" restaurants or "room for let" "hotels." I think I'm lucky to have a wife who is from a very small village which is made up mostly of her extended family, so I am fine being a vagabond at the hole-in-the-wall places around her village.
The worst part about Costa Rica is not the eco-tourists though, who are prevelant but generally respectful. The worst part is the Evangelical missionary movement. When we visit, I would take the bus to town about twice a week. I would frequently see a group of teenage missionaries led by an equal number of adults acting out some Biblical scene. I have nothing against Christians, obviously, but I just think it's ironic that they would evangelize a country where 95% of the country is already Christian. It seems to me that they just wanted a reason for a vacation that is paid for by donations.
"I really like the attitudes of eagles. They never give up. When they grab a fish or something else, they never let it go. It doesn't matter. In a book, they write they find a skeleton of [an] eagle and there is no fish. It means that the fish beat him and killed him, but he didn't let go." -- Donatas Motiejunas
In Latvia people mostly visit Egypt, Turkey, Greece because of the cheap prices, warm climate, beaches, historical sites etc.
In winter many go to Alps to ski. It is a trend here especially for youngsters to celebrate New Year in Paris or London, the economics is developing, young people meet other young people from France or Great Britain here in Riga or writing e-mails, plane tickets are cheap so almost everybody can afford it.
I like Bavaria region in Germany, have been there a few times. Mountains, great scenery, people. I like to be there. Not too far to the Czech border, good beer in both sides. Prague is too crowded for me nowadays.
I also like Tallinn. I think the city has the best Old Town in Baltic, great stuff there. Lithuanian big cities and Riga are nice too. As a Latvian I recently rediscovered the Old Town of Riga and to my surprise there was much to see and there were many interesting things and stuff I had forgotten already. As I am not from Riga it was nice and it is still nice too walk the narrow streets of Vecriga (Old Riga) at night. Though more and more tourists are coming here too, in summer you might even not hear Latvian there.