State of Israel – the country of juxtapositions. It’s overflowing with historical sites of important religious significance, yet it plays host to one of the most well-known gay pride celebrations in the world. The Red Sea, the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea all touch its land, but deserts blanket well over half its surface. It’s home to the lowest point on Earth, The Dead Sea, that can be viewed from atop a mountainside fortress. Contemporary and ancient exist cohesively, each respecting the other. It’s small, roughly the size of the United States’ 5th smallest state, New Jersey, but within its borders, you can sunbathe, take a salty float, ski, hike, immerse yourself in history and well, just read on for more. We’ll tell you why this destination that may never have been on your family travel radar should actually top the list.

To lighten things up: Tower of David Light Show

The Tower of David is a stone medieval fortress located near the Jaffa Gate, a historical entrance into Jerusalem positioned to sit where the East meets the West. You can schedule a tour that takes you to the top of the Citadel, which gives 360 degree views of Old and New Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives, Mount Scopus, the Judean Desert and the Dead Sea.

In the evening, the walls of the Citadel serve as a backdrop for a 45-minute light and sound show that depicts the story of Jerusalem. The stone of the walls and structures fade away as the story unfolds through the use of large virtual reality images and original music. 

Good to know:

  • Dress warmly as the show is open air and it can get chilly when the sun sets.
  • No photography allowed during the show.
  • If you're late, they will not let you in, so plan accordingly.


photo: courtesy of the Israel Ministry of Travel

Have you had the opportunity to visit Israel? We’d love to hear about your experience in the Comments below.

— Maria Chambers

This trip, including hotel stays, food and activities, was paid for by Israel’s Ministry of Travel.