Arthur Frommer has much to choose from when compiling a list of favorite travel destinations. The man who has been on the road and guiding travelers to bargains and hot spots since the 1950s (and will speak Saturday at the L.A. Times Travel Show) offered up a list of his 10 favorite travel destinations for 2012. Why? To inspire us to make travel plans, of course. Here are some of his recommendations.
Paris: "I can never get enough of this glorious capital, whose beauty has been so well captured in Woody Allen's recent 'Midnight in Paris'," Frommer writes. To me, there's no better way to see the city than to do what Owen Wilson's character does in the film: Take a walk and get lost. Wander far from the Eiffel Tower to explore the Marais, a traditional Jewish neighborhood that's now a player in the city's art scene, or the club-hop in the Latin Quarter in search of great jazz (there are plenty of places).
Yachats, Ore.: I'd never heard of this coastal town of about 750 residents whose name is pronounced "YAH-hots." It has a rocky coastline and plenty of tide-pooling. Frommer singles it out as an "ideal spot for a stop in the course of a motoring trip along the breathtaking (and largely undeveloped) Oregon coast." An added bonus: No less than three state parklands are in the immediate vicinity.
Bali, Indonesia: This destination usually conjures images of lazy days spent in the tropical South Pacific. But Frommer finds cultural goings-ons as fascinating as the terrain. "A Hindu outpost in a Muslim nation, it is inhabited by some of the most gracious people on Earth, who invite you to witness their religious processions, wedding ceremonies and joyous funerals."
The rest of Frommer's list: Sanibel Island, Fla.; St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands; Cairo; Bonnaire in the southern Caribbean; Chiang Rai, Thailand; Greenwich Village and off-Broadway theaters in New York City; and Kenya.