Now that the post-Christmas recovery period is completely over and everyone has waded a little further into 2017, it’s time to start planning this year’s vacation. There is no better motivator to get you through those long hours of class, rehearsal and work than the thought of an upcoming retreat from regular life. Whether it’s stateside, abroad or even a staycation, why not let your favorite musicals inspire your choice for your 2017 getaway?
Here are 11 vacation spots straight from the stage:
Is there anything more romantic than Paris? Even though the Paris in “Les Misérables” is arguably pretty bleak, they still manage to yank a love story out of all that death and misery. Instead, think the romantic Paris of “The Phantom of the Opera” or “An American in Paris.”
Stroll along the Seine like Jerry and Lise, or visit the Palais Garnier, which inspired Gaston Leroux’s original novel-turned-musical, “The Phantom of the Opera.” Don’t forget to buy yourself a baguette or a French pastry and eat it while relaxing on the lawn near the iconic Eiffel Tower. You won’t regret it.
The picturesque Austrian city is the birthplace of Mozart and the setting for the famed Rodgers & Hammerstein musical , “The Sound of Music.” The city is rife with museums, culture and, of course, music.
No trip to Salzburg would be complete without taking part in one of the movie tours for “The Sound of Music,” visiting filming locations and shamelessly singing every corresponding song.
3. South Africa
Get a taste of the Pride Lands while visiting this gorgeous African country. Book a safari to Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves. Just like “The Lion King,” Kruger is home to rare African wildlife, including lions, elephants and rhinos. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, head to Cape Town and climb Table Mountain, or relax on one of its stunning beaches.
In the heart of the famous Tennessee city is Beale Street, now a historical landmark, where many musicians got their start. The street is home to several restaurants and blues clubs, like the one where Huey and Felicia meet for the first time in “Memphis.” Visitors can enjoy the musical sites, such as Stax Records and Elvis Presley’s famous Graceland Mansion, or take in a museum or attraction, such as the city’s Walk of Fame.
The capital of the Republic of Ireland is also the setting for Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová’s beautiful musical “Once.” Immerse yourself in Guy and Girl’s world, strolling the iconic cobbled streets or ducking into one of the countless local pubs for live music by some of Dublin’s most talented artists. Explore Dublin’s rich history at the local libraries and landmarks, or venture outside of the city and take in the gorgeous Irish countryside.
There is no shortage of inspiration in this gorgeous gathering of art and culture, the setting for Adam Guettel’s “The Light in the Piazza.” This enchanting Italian city in the famous region of Tuscany is a feast for the senses. Visit the Uffizi Gallery, home to some of the world’s greatest Renaissance art, where Clara finds love at first sight with local boy Fabrizio. Be sure to treat yourself to a gelato or five and stroll through the streets, taking in the historical landmarks and gorgeous architecture.
7. St. Petersburg
Shrouded in secret and steeped in mystery, this historical Russian city has long been a draw for tourists. The story of the Romanovs that has fascinated the world for years serves as the premise for Broadway’s new musical, “Anastasia.” Marvel at the city’s striking colorful architecture and visit the palaces belonging to the tsars of old. At night, take in one of Russia’s famed ballet productions at the Mariinsky Theatre.
8. Greek Islands
Donna and Sophie’s island home in “Mamma Mia” is nothing short of envy-inducing. Indulge in your fantasies and book a trip to the sun-kissed islands of Greece. Set up camp relaxing on one of the beautiful beaches or cruise through the various islands and enjoy the beautiful scenery, delicious local eats and welcoming communities.
Home of the famous West End theatre district, it seems obvious to recommend catching a show there, but it’s still worth mentioning. Then, channel your inner Mary Poppins by feeding the birds in the square of St. Paul’s Cathedral or follow the lead of the Banks children and escape to one of the city’s many parks, such as the famous Hyde Park. London in no way lacks tourist attractions or local history. The hardest part will be trying to see it all.
Rodgers and Hammerstein sure know how to choose a locale. In their famed musical “The King and I,” British schoolteacher Anna comes to Siam and falls in love with the king and his homeland. Experience Anna’s exotic journey by traveling to the same nation, now known as Thailand. From the colorful city of Bangkok, filled with its beautiful palaces to the beautiful Buddhist temples of Chiang Mai or the white-sand beaches of Phuket, there is something for every traveler.
11. New York City
The city that never sleeps is also the origin of countless epic musicals — not to mention one of the hottest spots in the theatre world. Needless to say, New York is always a good time. In between Broadway shows, stroll the streets of the city where the newsies delivered their papers or explore the Washington Heights neighborhood from “In the Heights.” You can also take a tour of the real-life locations of Alexander Hamilton’s life. The choices are endless. If you are lucky and keep an eye out, you might even catch a glimpse of your own favorite Broadway performer as you navigate the busy streets.
This year, why not let your favorite characters activate your wanderlust and spark your vacation dreams? Who knows, the adventure may inspire a musical of your own.