Busan

While Seoul may appear to be the heart and soul (see what I did there?) of South Korea, wander to the southern tip and you'll find yourself in the second largest city Busan. 

Only a 2 1/2 hour train ride from Seoul, it's known for its matjip 맛집 (literal translation: tasty house) aka delicious food, strong dialect, fresh air, and ocean.

It's not so much tropical as it is a refreshing getaway. It was the perfect weekend trip for me and my mom. We stayed at the Westin Chosun, a very nice, no-nonsense hotel with ocean views. My mom and I spent our time walking along the beach, the cliffs, and the streets of Busan, filling in the gaps with some wonderful meals and much needed rest.