Tahiti, French Polynesia
Must-stay: The Brando
Must-eat/drink: Poisson cru and Tahiti Drink (yes, that’s what it’s called)
Must-hit: Paul Gauguin Museum
The clichéd Tahitian images really are born of truth: outriggers, thatched bungalows, white sand beaches, and emerald lagoons do indeed abound everywhere. Just remember that French Polynesia is actually made up of 118 atolls -- easily hopped between, but you’ll want to choose your home base carefully. Bora Bora has its obvious charms, but Tahaa, Rangiroa, and Moorea, to name but three, give you a quieter feel and the same unparalleled natural beauty. Other options: Rurutu for humpback whales, Nuku HIva for horseback riding, and Tetiaroa, once owned by Marlon Brando and now home to the luxe Brando resort.