Dubrovnik is the most famous of the destinations in Croatia, in part because it has been a location for filming of the popular HBO series Game of Thrones. Dubrovnik is not to be missed, but there is so much more to the Dalmatian Coast that can be considered essential Croatia.
If you like active trips, consider a Backroads adventure (biking, walking/hiking or multi-sport). It’s a fantastic way to connect with locals, experience the less-traveled parts of the country, and maybe even add on a visit to nearby Montenegro.
In Split, get a guided tour of Diocletian’s Palace, but then do as the locals do: enjoy a lengthy coffee at an outdoor cafe on the promenade.
Split has some wonderful seafood, and has a friendly, walkable old town.
The island (and old town) of Korčula is charming, and includes a few quiet roads for biking and perhaps a dip in clear water.
Back on the mainland, there’s a beautiful bike ride heading south along the coast toward Dubrovnik.
Montenegro is south of Dubrovnik (only about 1-2 hours by car, depending on the border). Don’t miss it.