Most people who visit Croatia stay close to the shore and enjoy the beautiful medieval cities that lace the coastline. If you spare a day or two, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is well worth the trip. Located in the north half of Croatia, about an hour from the coast stretching to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was here where the former Yugoslavia War officially started. The Serbian rebel forces held the park during the conflict from 1991-1995. Along the way, you can still see many of the residential buildings with bullet holes in their facades. It is hard to imagine the war started 15 years ago.
I finally went to the park this summer and loved it. Although the main drag is smothered with tourists in July and August, the park is quite large and when hiking, one can get away from people pretty easily. The waterfalls, combined with the turquoise color of the water, are unbelievable.