Editors' Picks: Best Post-Graduation Trips

You may never have to take another final again. Just let that sink in for a minute. Then let your mind wonder to your next adventure, wherever that may be. There is rarely a time in your life when you will feel more accomplished, relieved or free than after you receive that diploma. Whether you crave a little R&R, 1 last hurrah or the chance to finally see the world, these editor-approved destinations for recent graduates won’t disappoint. Let’s just hope you can push that job’s start date.

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Madison Avenue - Mad Men
Madison Avenue

Madison Avenue

The ad men of Madison Avenue unleash their creative juices, and sometimes a little bit more, on Manhattan’s famed north-south avenue. Don a fedora like Mr. Draper, and explore the avenue’s famed architecture in style. Just don’t look too hard for Sterling Cooper’s offices at 405 Madison Avenue -- it doesn’t exist. 960 1280

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NY Rail Travel

NY Rail Travel

Work hard, play hard in Manhattan, and when evening comes, take the train up to the wife and kids in posh Westchester County. And so it goes for chain-smoking, debonair Don Draper. Leave behind the hustle-and-bustle of the Big Apple yourself, and take the Ethan Allen Express from NYC to Rutland, VT, passing through the Catskills and Vermont’s Green Mountains on the way. 960 1280

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Betty and Don Draper's House

Betty and Don Draper's House

The fresh white paint, the perfectly manicured lawn … everything seems just a little too perfect. And for Don and Betty Draper, it is -- in fact, this house isn’t really located at 42 Bullet Park Road in Ossining, NY. It’s actually in Pasadena, CA. 960 1280

waltarrrr, flickr   

The Roosevelt Hotel

The Roosevelt Hotel

Sorry, Don, but you had it coming: The lying, the cheating -- Betty had no choice. See the Midtown Manhattan hotel where Don stayed after his wife gave him the boot. Of course, with its grand interior décor from posh mahogany furniture to luxurious suites, you may not ever want to leave. 960 1280

The Roosevelt Hotel  

LA Music Center

LA Music Center

Ah, Roma! A city packed with ancient wonders -- but it was Betty’s Colosseum-high-hair we couldn’t keep our eyes off during her trip to the Eternal City with Don. Which may explain why location didn’t really matter so much; the episode was actually filmed at the Music Center in downtown LA -- a city landmark for the arts since it opened in 1964. 960 1280

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P.J. Clarke’s

P.J. Clarke’s

“Should we drink before the meeting, after the meeting or both?” That is the question, and the guys and gals of Mad Men find the answer at this famous saloon on Third Avenue in Manhattan. Kick back with a selection of specialty cocktails, wine, beer and spirits. You’ll find plenty of options -- whether you swing by before, during or after a meeting. 960 1280

Sheila Y., flickr  

Oyster Bar

Oyster Bar

Make it a 3-martini power lunch at this iconic seafood restaurant in Grand Central Terminal’s lower level. Just don’t get too plastered on oysters and vodka if you have a big business meeting that same day -- unless, of course, your name is Roger Sterling, and it’s payback time for hitting on Don’s wife a few nights before. Bad move, Roger -- Don’s got your number. 960 1280

Jazz Guy, flickr  

Dublin House

Dublin House

We knew Joan’s fiancé, Greg, was no good, especially after his behavior with Joan in Roger’s office one day. So when Greg says he’s been sitting in the Dublin House until 2 a.m. after being declined a medical residency, we say, “Stay there!” Of course, you may want to as well, and for all the right reasons: This Upper West Side Bar has some of the best Guinness this side of the pond. 960 1280

Paul Lowry, flickr  

Bloomingdales

Bloomingdales

Oh, Pete, you’re such a bad, bad boy. Too bad Trudy didn’t realize as much before you rather ungraciously returned the ceramic chip-and-dip platter from her aunt here. (How could you?!) Fill your own “Little Brown Bag” up at this legendary department store on Third Avenue in Midtown. And don’t worry: Your secret’s safe with us if you return the chip and dip. 960 1280

iStock  

The Pierre Hotel

The Pierre Hotel

We still don’t get why Peggy had a tryst with over-the-hill Duck Phillips -- and at this elegant hotel overlooking Central Park, too. (Seriously, Peggy, what were you thinking?!) Obliterate the memory from your mind, and enjoy the Pierre’s finer side, from its high ceilings and abundant natural light to a delectable evening for 2 at the hotel’s Sirio Ristorante. Men named “Duck” not invited. 960 1280

The Pierre Hotel  

Sardi’s

Sardi’s

Do not cross Don Draper -- Bobbie Barrett learns that first-hand at this famed NYC restaurant. The walls of this restaurant showcase hundreds of caricatures of show-business celebrities. This veritable Broadway institution is also the birthplace of the Tony Award. 960 1280

Jazz Guy, flickr  

Bob's Big Boy Broiler

Bob's Big Boy Broiler

Welcome to the diner where lust turned to love: It all started with a milkshake -- it spilled, and Don got angry at his careless kid. But then the secretary-on-vacation-with-the-family, Megan, stepped in and cleaned up the mess and … Don’s heart melted. Visit the scene of it all at this iconic American diner in Downey, CA. 960 1280

Photos

Grand Cayman - October 2012

Grand Cayman - October 2012

Rebecca H. from Indiana 960 1280

  

Grand Cayman - October 2012

Grand Cayman - October 2012

Rebecca H. from Indiana 960 1280

  

Cabo San Lucas - Travel Like a VIP 2012

Cabo San Lucas - Travel Like a VIP 2012

Linda T. from Georgia 960 1280

  

Cabo San Lucas - Travel Like a VIP 2012

Cabo San Lucas - Travel Like a VIP 2012

Linda T. from Georgia 960 1280

  

Spain - May 2012

Spain - May 2012

Margaret L. from New Jersey 960 1280

  

Spain - May 2012

Spain - May 2012

Margaret L. from New Jersey 960 1280

  

Spain - May 2012

Spain - May 2012

Margaret L. from New Jersey 960 1280

  

Belize - April 2012

Belize - April 2012

Linda M. from Connecticut 960 1280

  

Belize - April 2012

Belize - April 2012

Linda M. from Connecticut 960 1280

  

St. Lucia - January 2012

St. Lucia - January 2012

Lynn M. from Tennessee 960 1280

  

Singapore - November 2011

Singapore - November 2011

Mark L. from Kansas 960 1280

  

US Virgin Islands

US Virgin Islands

A Caribbean vacation isn't out of reach without a passport if you stick to the US Virgin Islands: St. John, St. Croix and St. Thomas (pictured here). Since they're US territories, a driver's license or birth certificate will suffice. 960 1280

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Vieques, Puerto Rico

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Another option in the Caribbean is Vieques, a small island that lies about 8 miles east of Puerto Rico. Along with the Puerto Rican mainland, it is a United States commonwealth with a strong Spanish influence. 960 1280

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Culebra, Puerto Rico

Culebra, Puerto Rico

Culebra, another island municipality of Puerto Rico, offers some of the Caribbean's most serene beaches. 960 1280

Getty  

San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Not to be overshadowed by its islands, Puerto Rico's capital, San Juan, is steeped in Spanish heritage and culture without sacrificing waterfront sunsets. 960 1280

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Whistler, British Columbia

Whistler, British Columbia

Have your sights set on a Canadian ski vacation? You can hit the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb, but not without restrictions. First, you'll need to travel by land, and second, you'll need either an enhanced driver's license or a US passport card. These travel documents were created in conjunction with changes to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative that took effect in 2009.  960 1280

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Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida

Who says you can't find an island paradise in the continental US? Just off the coast of Florida, Key West is the southernmost city in the country and is unlike anywhere else. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Guam

Guam

Guam is the westernmost US territory, and while it's known for its military base, it's also one of the leading tourist destinations in the Western Pacific. This tropical paradise features beach clubs, luxurious accommodations and world-class golf courses. 960 1280

DuReMi, flickr  

Hawaii

Hawaii

Of course, if you want to be on an exotic island far, far away, your first thought should be of Hawaii and the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai and Maui. 960 1280

Rhiannon Taylor  

American Samoa

American Samoa

You can also experience the heart of Polynesia and Samoan culture in the 5 volcanic islands that make up the territory of American Samoa. 960 1280

Walter Spina/iStock/Getty Images  

Swains Island, American Samoa

Swains Island, American Samoa

If you're feeling adventurous, travel to Swains Island in American Samoa, one of the territory's 2 atolls (coral islands) halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. 960 1280

Wikimedia Commons  

Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

Your last option for a tropical vacation without a passport is Saipan, one of the 14 lush Northern Mariana Islands, a US commonwealth. The Micronesian paradise has been called "America's best-kept secret." 960 1280

Getty  

Pyramids of Giza

Pyramids of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering Cairo, Egypt. It is the only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the World and is believed to have been built as a tomb for Fourth Dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu, constructed over a 20 year period concluding around 2560 BC. The Great Pyramid is the main part of a complex or set of buildings that include two mortuary temples in honor of Khufu. There are also three smaller pyramids for Khufu's wives. 960 1280

JimPix / Getty Images  

Temple of Luxor

Temple of Luxor

The Luxor Temple was dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun-Re, his wife Mut, and his son Khonsu. The large ancient Egyptian temple complex is located on the east bank of the Nile River in the city once known as Thebes, but today it is known as Luxor. For the ancient Egyptians and modern tourists, access to the temple is granted from the north, where a path lined by sphinxes once led all the way to Ipet Sut in modern city of Al-Karnak. 960 1280

Hosam Zienedden / EyeEm / Getty Images  

The Great Sphinx

The Great Sphinx

The Great Sphinx of Giza is a large half-human, half-lion statue in Egypt, on the Giza Plateau at the west bank of the Nile River near Cairo. The commonly used name "Sphinx" was given to it based on the Greek creature with the body of a lion, the head of a woman and the wings of an eagle, though this sphinx have the head of a man. It is one of the largest single-stone statues on Earth, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians in the 3rd millennium BC. 960 1280

Paul Hardy / Getty Images  

Cairo

Cairo

Cairo, which means "The Vanquisher or "The Triumphant", is the capital city of Egypt. Old Cairo was founded in 648 AD near other Egyptian cities and villages, including the old Egyptian capital Memphis, Heliopolis, Giza and the Byzantine fortress of Babylon in Egypt. Today, Greater Cairo encompasses various historic towns and modern districts. A journey through Cairo is a virtual time travel: from the Pyramids, Saladin's Citadel, the Virgin Mary's Tree, the Sphinx, Al-Azhar (the Mosque of Amr ibn al-A'as), Saqqara, the Hanging Church, and the Cairo Tower. 960 1280

danefromspain / Getty Images  

Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel

The archaeological site is comprised of two massive rock temples that were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his Queen Nefertari. The Great Temple at Abu Simbel took about 20 years to build and after its completion, it was dedicated to the gods Amun Ra, Ra Harakhti, and Ptah, as well as the deified Ramesses himself. 960 1280

Jasper Sassen / EyeEm / Getty Images  

Temple of Karnak

Temple of Karnak

The largest ancient religious site in the world, the Temple of Karnak is a vast open-air museum and is probably the second most visited historical site in Egypt, second only to the Giza Pyramids. It consists of four main parts, of which only the largest temple -- The Precinct of Amon-Re -- is accessible by tourists and the general public. The key difference between Karnak and Egypt's other temples is that construction occurred over a vast amount of time; approximately 30 pharaohs contributed to the buildings, enabling it to reach a size, complexity and diversity not seen elsewhere. 960 1280

Hector de Pereda Photography / Getty Images  

Saqqara

Saqqara

Located about 30 km south of Cairo, Saqqara or Sakkara is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt, featuring the world's oldest standing step pyramid. While Memphis was the capital of Ancient Egypt; Saqqara served as its cemetery. Although the earliest burials of nobles at Saqqara can be traced back to the First Dynasty, it was not until the Second Dynasty that the first kings were buried there, including Hotepsekhemwy and Nynetjer. 960 1280

Reinhard Dirscherl / Getty Images  

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