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Bucket list travel: the top 50 places in the world.

  • What's on your travel bucket list?
  • No matter how many places are on your bucket list, this ranking will get you dreaming of places near and far.
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According to a new survey, Bali is the top bucket list destination in the world.

What's on your travel bucket list? If you're like most people, the more you travel, the more places you add to your bucket list. So when the editors of the website Big 7 Travel announced the list of the world's top 50 bucket list destinations, we stopped in our tracks and started checking off the boxes.

The website surveyed its 1.5 million-strong social audience  in order to determine the best bucket list places around the world. According to Sarah Clayton-Lea, head of content with Big 7 Travel, this is the first time the site has assembled this list. "Bucket list travel was a trend that popped up again and again in previous surveys when asking our readers what sort of travel content they most enjoyed consuming," says Clayton-Lea. "So, our curiosity got the better of us and we wanted to know which destinations people are dreaming of for 2019/2020."

READ MORE: "Why You Should Skip Iceland And Go To These 9 Under-the-Radar Places"

The results of the world’s top 50 bucket list destinations include some of the most beautiful places on earth. "White sandy beaches are still a must-visit for many, with vibrant cities also making an appearance on a lot of people’s bucket lists," says Clayton-Lea. Countries with naturally beautiful scenery and world-famous landmarks came out on top: 22% of the destinations on the list have white sandy beaches, while 52% are iconic cities.

The famously colorful Bo Kaap neighborhood in Cape Town, South Africa.

In the study, Big 7 Travel found that people were also more likely to add a destination to their list if they had seen it on social media, and 33% of people research vacation destinations on their Instagram feed. "With over one-third of our readers saying they look to Instagram for travel inspiration, it makes sense that cities with colorful neighborhoods (such as Cape Town’s Bo Kaap) made the cut," says Clayton-Lea.

Bali topped the list of the 50 most popular bucket list destination on earth, but there were also some unexpected picks. "The top 10 list has a lot of the expected dream destinations, but there are a few surprises on the list: Paro Valley in Bhutan, for example, or Virunga National Park in the Congo," says Clayton-Lea. "I think this shows a great appetite for a need to get off the grid and can only assume that social media (and Netflix, in the case of Virunga!) is responsible for spreading the word of these amazing places."

An interesting factoid uncovered in the study: Most people have an average bucket list of just 11 places, with the hope of visiting seven of those locations during their lifetime. No matter how many places are on your bucket list, this ranking will get you dreaming of places near and far. Read on for the top 50 bucket list destinations in the world and what Big 7 Travel had to say about each one.

Overlooking the jungle on one of Bali's highly Instagrammed swings.

1. Bali, Indonesia:  "You’ll find beaches, volcanoes, Komodo dragons and jungles sheltering elephants, orangutans and tigers. Basically, it’s paradise. It’s likely you’ve seen an image of Bali on social media at least once in the past seven days, as it’s such a popular bucket list destination for 2019."

2. New Orleans: "The lively city known for its street music, festive vibe and a melting pot of French, African and American cultures is well worth the trip. NOLA is a city packed with adventures at every turn and should be on everyone’s must-visit list."

3. Kerry, Ireland: " All the way west in Ireland is one of the country’s most scenic counties. Kerry’s mountains, lakes and coasts are postcard-perfect, and that’s before you add in Killarney National Park. The unique small towns such as Dingle add to its charm."

El Badi Palace in the Marrakesh medina.

4. Marrakesh, Morocco:  "This ancient walled city is home to mosques, palaces and lush gardens. It’s known as The Red City thanks to the color of the brick walls surrounding the city. The medina is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre."

5. Sydney: "Sydney is known around the world as one of the greatest and most iconic cities on the planet. Amazing things to do aren’t hard to find; the city has gorgeous beaches, great cafes and world-class entertainment on offer wherever you look."

6. The Maldives: "This tropical nation in the Indian Ocean is made up of more than 1,000 coral islands. It’s home to some of the world’s most luxurious hotel resorts, with white sandy beaches, underwater villas and restaurants and bright blue waters."

Paris, France.

7. Paris, France: "One of the most iconic cities in the world, Paris tops many people’s bucket lists. You’ll see so many famous landmarks here: the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame cathedral—the list is never-ending."

8. Cape Town, South Africa: "Cape Town is a dream location to visit: endless natural beauty and clifftop views, pastel pink neighborhoods and turquoise waters."

9. Dubai, U.A.E.: "The high-flying city of the U.A.E, Dubai is one of the most glamorous destinations you’ll ever visit, and is particularly popular with Big 7 Travel readers."

Sunset In Bora Bora, French Polynesia.

10. Bora Bora, French Polynesia: "Bora Bora is Tahiti's most famous island. How do overwater bungalows and underwater adventures sound to you? To us, it’s everything we could want from a bucket list destination."

11. New York: "New York is one of America’s most exciting states. With charming upstate scenery, world-class cuisine and culture and more things to do than you could fit in one lifetime. The city’s five boroughs all have special features; it’s almost impossible to narrow it down"

12. Dubrovnik, Croatia: "As George Bernard Shaw once said, 'Those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik.' With its winding streets, cliffside beach bars and UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town, it’s no wonder Dubrovnik is such a popular spot."

Carlton hill in Edinburgh, Scotland.

13. Edinburgh, Scotland: "With the historic Edinburgh castle looming over the city, culture in spades and wonderfully friendly locals, this is one of the world’s greatest city breaks."

14. Rome, Italy: "Whether it’s your first time in Rome or your 50th, the best thing about this city is that you’ll always discover something new each time you stroll the scenic streets."

15. Paro Valley, Bhutan:  Paro Valley is known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs ) and dramatic landscapes. Tucked between China and India, Bhutan is a mysterious country that prides itself on sustainable tourism. You’ll find Paro Taktsang here, a Himalayan Buddhist sacred site."

At the Jal Mahal Palace at sunset in Jaipur, India.

16. Jaipur, India: "Jaipur is known as the ‘Pink City’ for its pale terracotta buildings. This was originally done to impress the visiting Prince Albert during his 1876 tour of India by order of the Maharaja (Sawai Ram Singh). Even today, it’s illegal to paint buildings any other color."

17. Waikato, New Zealand:  "Waikato, a region in New Zealand’s North Island, is home to massive underground caves, lush rainforest and the buzzy city of Hamilton. But the area’s main attraction? A Middle-earth adventure on the film set of  Lord of the Rings. Hobbiton Movie Set still has the original Hobbit holes from the making of the films."

18. Havana, Cuba:  "Cuba’s capital is almost 500 years old and a riot of color. Brightly painted buildings and vintage cars make Havana a photogenic dream."

A view of Tokyo Skytree and the city skyline from the Tobu Levant Hotel.

19. Tokyo, Japan: "Visiting Tokyo is like visiting the future—flashing neon lights, incredible technology—yet there’s still a rich sense of culture and history."

20. Antarctica:  "Earth’s southernmost continent, Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime destination. Nowhere else can compare with the extreme remoteness of this snowy place. It’s not an easy trip to make, but you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the white wilderness, icy sea kayaking and whale sightings."

21. Vancouver, Canada: "Vancouver is surrounded by water yet close to the mountains and has world-class art, restaurants and heaps of other attractions to keep you entertained."

22. Los Angeles: "In a city with year-round sunshine, glam bars, beaches and hikes, there are endless incredible experiences to enjoy in Los Angeles. It’s no wonder there are almost 5O million ‘LA’ hashtags on Insta."

In Kruger National Park, South Africa.

23. Kruger National Park, South Africa:  "The Kruger National Park is a vast space in northeastern South Africa that is home to a huge array of wildlife. The park has safari experiences of all kinds, allowing you the opportunity to escape busy city living and get back to nature."

24. Santorini, Greece: "Santorini is actually a group of islands; Thíra, Thirassiá, Asproníssi, Palea and Nea Kaméni. Beaches with volcanic black or red sand and clear blue waters make this an ideal holiday spot. With its famous Santorini sunsets, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most popular bucket list destinations."

25. Moscow, Russia: "Russia’s cosmopolitan capital, Moscow is a beautiful destination to visit in any season. Colorful domes and bell chimes ring out from over 600 churches in the city, and the sense of history is immense. Culture lovers will be impressed with the museums and ballet."

26. Singapore : "Singapore is a small island city-state off southern Malaysia which punches way above its weight on a global level. It’s a modern city with colorful buildings, futuristic bridges and a cloud forest."

London's Westminster Bridge.

27. London, England: "Pretty pink restaurants, futuristic space-age toilets and jungle skyline views are just some of our favorite things about London. And of course, all the classics: Big Ben, red phone boxes and world-class museums and galleries."

28. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:  "Rio de Janeiro has always been one of the most iconic cities in the world with instantly recognizable landscapes and landmarks."

29. Petra, Jordan: "The ancient Nabatean city of Petra in southern Jordan is surrounded by beautiful red rocks and steep gorges. The world wonder is without a doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction."

30. Hong Kong:  "Famous for its skylines and vibrant food scene, what most people  don’t  know is that 70% of Hong Kong is mountains and lush parks. Colorful playgrounds and sci-fi apartment blocks give HK an enviable edge."

Beach and sea waves shot from above in Barbados.

31. Barbados: "Barbados is one of those magical holiday destinations that everybody dreams about visiting. Who  wouldn’t  put this on their bucket list? Nestled in the south of the Caribbean, it offers stunning beauty and wonderful local culture and is the perfect place to unwind."

32. Amsterdam: "Forget about cliched images of smoke shops and gaudy red lights. From floating flower markets to bohemian neighborhoods, this city has it all."

33. Santiago, Chile: "Santiago is a cosmopolitan city with the very best of Chilean culture; art galleries, design shops and handicraft markets, as well as lively Latino nightlife. You’ll stroll through historic neighborhoods with pretty winding streets and charming bars and cafes."

34. Cairo, Egypt: "Cairo is one of the most ancient cities in the world. Sitting on the Nile river with wonderful museums, vibrant culture and friendly locals, it makes for a great holiday."

Biking in Copenhagen.

35. Copenhagen, Denmark: "Copenhagen’s rustic fishing ports, modern graffiti and winding red brick streets are just some of what makes it such a beautiful bucket list destination. It oozes Scandi cool from every corner, with top-notch food, stylish design and an always hip atmosphere."

36. Seoul, Korea: "Seoul is a vibrant metropolis where old-meets-new, with pop culture (K-Pop!) alongside Buddhist temples.

37. Laucala Island Resort, Fiji:  "Laucala Island Resort is a private island in Fiji, in absolute paradise. It is one of three small islands off the northeast coast of Taveuni in Fiji. There are coconut trees, a sustainable farm and miles of beach, as well as coral reefs, postcard-perfect beaches and lush rainforest."

38. Providencia, Colombia: "The Colombian island of Providencia is the perfect combination of South America and the Caribbean. It’s best known for Crab Cay: an unspoiled little island where all there is to do is snorkel and lie on the beach."

Photographing Machu Picchu, Peru.

39. Machu Picchu, Peru: "The best way to get here? Arrive at Machu Picchu in style on the 360° Train that will bring you through the Peruvian countryside to the lost city. The wide, panoramic windows are perfect for soaking up the view, plus they serve Pisco Sours on board."

40. Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo: "Virunga National Park is one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet and home to the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas. It’s full of lush rainforest and has received even more attention since the documentary  Virunga."

41. Lisbon, Portugal: "Lisbon, the hilly capital of Portugal, is postcard-perfect with its cobbled streets, pristine waters and local Atlantic beaches."

42. Hanoi, Vietnam: "Hanoi—the capital of Vietnam—is known for its rich history, busy street life and centuries of French, Asian and Chinese influences all blended into one bustling city. It’s a wonderful base from which to explore the North of Vietnam, including Halong Bay and Sapa, while also enjoying the comforts of a modern vibrant city."

A view of Honolulu's Magic Island And Waikiki Beach.

43. Hawaii: "From the hustle and bustle of Oahu to the romance of Maui and off-the-beaten-path adventures on Lanai and Molokai. The Hawaiian Islands are pure paradise. Explore colorful canyons and waterfalls and eat your body weight in fresh poke."

44. Ibiza, Spain: "While you’ll have your fair share of techno club experiences, Ibiza is also one of the most beautiful Spanish islands, with a pretty Old Town and scenic beaches. Spend the day on the beach and the nights in legendary clubs."

45. Beijing, China: "Beijing is China’s political, economic, and cultural center, with six Unesco World Heritage Sites in this city alone. Discover Forbidden City, street food dishes of Peking duck and of course, the Great Wall of China."

46. Budapest, Hungary: "The capital city of Hungary, Budapest is a fairytale city in Eastern Europe. The city itself is separated by the 19th-century Chain Bridge that connects the hilly Buda district with flat Pest—hence the name Budapest."

Photographing Vernazza in Cinque Terre.

47. Cinque Terre, Italy: "Is there anything prettier than this area of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline? The five towns (Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare) are made  for bucket lists."

48. Buenos Aires, Argentina: "Bookstores set in palatial theatres, tango dancing in the streets and brightly painted neighborhoods. These are just some of what makes Buenos Aires so beautiful."

49. Las Vegas: "With the bright lights, party atmosphere and endless things to see and do, it’s no wonder that Las Vegas has become a glittering global tourism destination. Take a chance in the casinos until the early hours or see world-class entertainment."

50: Matterhorn, Switzerland: "The Matterhorn is one of the world’s most iconic peaks—the pyramid-shaped mountain, which is very difficult to climb, is said to be the most-photographed mountain in the world."

READ MORE: •  "Ranked: The 20 Most Dangerous Places to Live" •  "Bucket List Travel: The Top 50 Places In The World" •  "Why You Should Skip Iceland And Go To These 9 Under-the-Radar Places" •  "23 Surprising Things That Will Get You In Trouble In Italy"

• "Bucket List Travel: Top 10 Places In The World And Top 29 In The U.S."

Laura Begley Bloom

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45 Amazing Destinations Worldwide (Our Favorite Places from 20+ Years of Traveling)

By Author Jurga

Posted on Last updated: October 15, 2023

45 Amazing Destinations Worldwide (Our Favorite Places from 20+ Years of Traveling)

People often ask us what is our favorite destination in the world or what’s the most beautiful place we have been to…

But the more we travel, the more difficult it gets to pick just a few favorite places. There’s just so much beauty in our world…

Nevertheless, in this article, we share some of the very best, most beautiful destinations from over two decades of traveling . Amazing places from all over the world made this list of our favorite destinations. Find out!

Good to know: This list was originally published as 39 of our favorite places worldwide after 15 years of traveling, then updated to 43… In the meantime, we visited so many other amazing destinations that it was high time to update it with a few new favorites. We are still very selective with which places we choose to feature here, so those that make the cut are really special and have left a remarkably memorable impression.

I hope that you will find some new inspiration for your trips in this article. Check it out!

READ ALSO: Most Beautiful Scenic Roads in the World

In no particular order, here is our selection of the most beautiful destinations from all over the world:

1. Cape Peninsula, South Africa

Cape Town and the entire Cape Peninsula in South Africa is one of our absolute favorite regions in the world. We hardly ever travel to the same place more than once; Cape Peninsula is one of the few places where we gladly make an exception.

Some of the most beautiful places not to miss here are the Cape of Good Hope, the scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive, the penguin colony in Simon Town, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the Twelve Apostles Road, Table Mountain, and Signal Hill in Cape Town.

How to visit: The Cape Town area is best explored by car. If you are not renting a car, you can also take tours and excursions . Plan at least 3-4 days here, but a week would be better!

LEARN MORE: Best Places to Visit in South Africa & South Africa Itinerary

The Twelve Apostles scenic drive near Cape Town in South Africa

2. Algarve, Portugal

Algarve region in southern Portugal is our newest favorite travel destination in Europe. Talking about visiting places more than once… this is a place we have been to countless times and where we even see ourselves settling one day.

There is just something about Algarve that captures your heart. With over 300 days of sunshine per year, some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and friendly people, Algarve is the best vacation destination you can imagine. Add to this fresh seafood, delicious wine, a wide variety of world-class resorts and restaurants, and affordable prices, and you’ll quickly understand why Algarve has been chosen as one of the world’s leading beach destinations time and again…

The coastal scenery here is absolutely breathtaking and Algarve’s beaches are unbelievably diverse. From long flat white sand shores with sand dunes, remarkable coastal cliffs with sea caves and grottoes, to some of the most impressive wild and rugged beaches of the western Atlantic coast, the coastlines of Algarve will leave even the most seasoned travelers in awe.

Some of the must-sees here include the coastal scenery of Ponta da Piedade , Benagil Cave , and the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail . Don’t miss Cape St. Vincent in Sagres , the southwesternmost point of the European mainland. It was known as ‘The End of The World’ before the Age of Discovery and it remains special today.

How to visit: The best way to explore Algarve is by renting a car and driving around. You can make a road trip, but the region is not that big, so it’s also perfectly possible to just stay in one place and take day trips. You can spend a few days here or a few months – there’s so much to experience!

LEARN MORE: Best Places to See & Things to Do in Algarve

Algarve coast in Portugal - favorite travel destinations

3. Dolomites, Italy

Italy is one of our personal absolute favorite countries worldwide. Since we live in Europe, we travel there quite often. In fact, I could easily fill this entire article with our favorite destinations from Italy alone… But there are a few places in Italy that I just have to highlight a bit more. One of them is the Dolomites region.

Somehow it took us years to discover one of Europe’s most beautiful mountain regions, the Italian Dolomites … But after the first glimpse, we were hooked and went back to the region time and again.

All I can tell you is that these stunning mountains are worth a trip from the other side of the world!

Over the years, we saw some of the most beautiful mountain destinations in the world; such as Switzerland, Austria, Western Canada, New Zealand, and Norway. But the Dolomites have it all in one place: the azure-blue lakes of Canada, the Alpine scenery of Austria and Switzerland, and the rougher landscapes of Norway or New Zealand… If you love mountains, you’ll love it here!

Some of the most beautiful places are the iconic three peaks  Tre Cime di Lavaredo , Lake Braies , the whole Val Gardena area, countless mountain passes, Cinque Torri , and jaw-dropping  Lake Sorapis .

How to visit: The best way to explore the Dolomites is by going hiking. You’ll need a car to get around, but public transport is also available. If you only have a day, you can also visit some of the easier-accessible areas with an organized tour from various cities in Northern Italy .

LEARN MORE: Best Hikes in the Italian Dolomites & Best Places in the Dolomites

Best hikes in the Dolomites, Italy

4. Yellowstone National Park, USA

Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming USA is everything you would expect it to be and so much more. This is one of the most diverse National Parks in the United States. Top spot travel where inspiration meets destination!

Yellowstone is a magical place with beautiful landscapes, an incredible variety of wildlife, spurting geysers, colorful geothermal features, deep canyons, lush valleys, and even hot rivers that you can swim in… Definitely, a place you should put on your bucket list!

Some of the main natural landmarks not to miss are the Grand Prismatic Spring , the Old Faithful Geyser , the Yellowstone Canyon , Hayden Valley, Mammoth Hot Springs , and Lamar Valley. But there’s so much more to this incredible place!

How to visit: Yellowstone is best visited by car, but there are also day excursions and multi-day tours available. Here you can find our complete guide to visiting Yellowstone .

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Yellowstone & Yellowstone Itinerary

Colorful Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park

5. Milford Sound, New Zealand

Milford Sound Fjord on the Southern Island of New Zealand is one of the most beautiful fjords in the world. It will take your breath away!

New Zealand is high on top of the most beautiful nature destinations worldwide, and Milford Sound is just one of the many spectacular natural landmarks we visited in New Zealand.

How to visit: Milford Sound can best be visited by boat tour . If you don’t have a car to get there, you can also visit it as a day trip from Queenstown or from Te Anau .

Milford Sound in New Zealand

6. Mopion Island, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

A tiny Mopion Island is one of the most unbelievable places we have ever been to. This island can be found near Petit St. Vincent resort-island in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean.

We were at Petit St. Vincent for our honeymoon and the resort organized a boat transfer to this tiny island for us. There was nobody else around us the whole day – just the two of us, this tiny umbrella, and the sea. Oh, and the picnic basket with a bottle of champagne, and the snorkeling gear for hours of underwater fun.

Extraordinary experience! But you sure hope that the boat comes to pick you up in the afternoon…

How to visit: If you stay in the Petit St Vincent resort, they can arrange the boat transfer for you. Otherwise, you can only get here by private yacht or by hiring a boat from one of the nearby islands.

Tiny Mopion island in the Caribbean. Sint Vincent and the Grenadines

7. Red Center, Australia

Australia’s Red Center is one of the most unique places in the world. Australian Outback is vast and you’d need weeks and months in order to travel around it. But there is one area that’s worth visiting the most and that’s the area between Alice Springs and Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park.

The Red Center is so much more than just Uluru (formerly known as Ayer’s Rock)! The West MacDonnell Ranges , Kings Canyon, and the stunning red rocks of Kata Tjuta are worth the visit just as much!

If you visit just one region in Australia, make it the Red Center, the true heart of this incredible continent!

How to visit: Australia’s Red Center is best explored in a 4×4 car and can be best reached from Alice Springs which has an airport. If you don’t want to rent a car, you can also take organized excursions and multi-day tours .

LEARN MORE: Australia Red Center Itinerary: from Alice Springs to Uluru

Kata Tjuta rocks in Australia's Red Centre

8. Bruges, Belgium

We live in Belgium and often forget how privileged we are to have some of Europe’s most beautiful cities within such an easy reach. No list of our favorite places in the world would be complete without mentioning Bruges .

If you visit just one place in Belgium, make it Bruges! It’s one of Europe’s most beautiful fairytale towns and one of our absolute favorites.

How to visit: You can easily get to Bruges by car, by train, or by taking a day tour from Brussels or from Amsterdam . In Bruges, the best way to explore is walking, plus taking a boat tour on the canals.

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Bruges

Bruges in Belgium

9. Lake Garda, Italy

Lake Garda is our favorite of the Italian Lakes. It combines the best of Italy in one: stunning mountain scenery, charming towns and villages, history, culture, but also plenty of activities for the whole family.

Some of our absolute favorites include Malcesine, Sirmione, Limone sul Garda, and Riva del Garda. Make sure to drive all around the lake and also take a boat tour around Sirmione. A boat trip on the northern side of the lake is also a must!

If you are visiting Italy in the warmer months, Lake Garda is not to be missed! If you like beautiful nature, quaint little villages, and Italian lifestyle, you will love Lake Garda and the other Italian lakes in Northern Italy.

How to visit: There are many ways to visit Lake Garda: by car, by public transport, by boat, and by taking organized tours . You can come for just a day or spend two weeks here – it’s always worth it! Here you can find some suggestions for the Lake Garda itinerary .

LEARN MORE: Most Beautiful Places on Lake Garda

Lake Garda in Italy

10. Tromso, Norway

Tromso in Northern Norway was one of those destinations that made me fall in love with winter travel. If you are looking for an incredible winter destination that truly has it all, then look no further!

Tromso is a real winter wonderland with activities such as reindeer and dog sledding , polar fjord cruises, snowmobiling, ice hotel visits or overnight stays, and aurora hunting .

In fact, Tromso’s location right on the Aurora Circle makes it one of the very best places to see Northern Lights in the world ! Yes, one of the very best in the entire world! If seeing auroras is high on your bucket list, Tromso is the place to be!

How to visit: Tromso is just a short flight from Oslo and other Scandinavian capital cities. There are also direct flights from some other places in Europe. Once in town, you can walk or take public transportation pretty much everywhere you need. For winter activities outside the city, tour operators offer free pick-up in Tromso.

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Tromso in Winter

Watching Northern Lights in Tromso Norway

11. Loire Valley, France

The famous Loire Valley is world-known for its stunning castles. If you like to visit some stunning palaces and castles that look straight from a fairytale, then this might just be the perfect destination for you!

Some of the finest castles of the Loire Valley are Château de Chambord, Chateau de Chenonceau, Château de Villandry, Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau, and Chateau d’Usse. Don’t limit your visit to just one castle, the region of Loire with hundreds of castles is worth exploring deeper!

How to visit: The best way to visit the castles is by car. If you want to take it easy, plan at least 3-4 days here. But there are also organized tours available that cover several most popular castles in one day, also as a day trip from Paris.

Chambord Castle in the Loire Valley in France

12. Berner Oberland Region, Switzerland

Berner Oberland is one of the most beautiful regions in Switzerland. The mountain sceneries here are out of this world! There are so many beautiful places to visit, charming towns, phenomenal hikes, and countless activities for the whole family… You can spend weeks exploring this region and still not see it all!

We have been here so many times, in summer and in winter, and we go back almost every year again. If you know that we hardly ever go back to the same place twice, this probably says it all. Switzerland is one of the few places in the world where we can visit and revisit again and again.

There are so many beautiful places in the Berner Oberland region that it would be hard to pick our favorites. Here’s a list of some of the nicest places – choose any of these and you can’t go wrong!

  • Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe  – a must-see, at any time of the year!
  • Schynige Platte  – a hidden gem of Switzerland
  • Grindelwald- First – the best mix of activities and jaw-dropping sceneries. If you only have one day in the region in summer, this is the place to be.
  • Oeschinensee Hike – one of the best hikes in the world!
  • Interlaken Day Trip  – with several suggested 1-day itineraries
  • Trümmelbach Falls  – underground waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen
  • Jungfrau Region in Winter  – just as beautiful as in the summer
  • Skiing in Wengen – one of our favorite ski resorts

How to visit: Stay in Wengen or Grindelwald for a few days. From there, you can take trains and gondolas to the most popular places. Hiking is the best way to explore the mountains! Interlaken is also a good place to base yourself; it just depends on how much time you have and what you’re planning to do.

Oeschinensee Lake in Switzerland

13. Santorini, Greece

Santorini Island in Greece is like no other place in the world! You’ll instantly recognize its typical whitewashed buildings against the rugged volcanic landscape.

And yes, it truly is as beautiful as in the pictures! Just be aware that you will not be enjoying the romantic sunsets alone – millions of tourists visit Santorini every year.

How to visit: Santorini is a popular stop on many Mediterranean cruises. You can also fly here from Athens and – in high season – from all major European countries.

Oia in Santorini Greece

14. Jasper & Banff National Parks, Canada

There are moments when you see a place so special that you know immediately that it was worth the whole trip. The tiny Spirit Island in Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park and the incredibly picturesque Moraine Lake in Banff National Park were such places for us. Wow!

Pictures don’t even do justice to the stunning landscapes of this part of Canada. The beauty of nature will take your breath away!

How to visit: Rent a car and make a road trip. There are so many possible itineraries, but no matter what you decide to do, make sure to include both – Jasper and Banff – in your trip.

Lake Moraine in Canada

15. The Azores, Portugal

If you are looking for stunning nature and sceneries that will take your breath away, I cannot recommend the Azores highly enough. This Portuguese archipelago is Europe’s hidden gem!

There are 9 islands in the Azores. The main one that most people visit is Sao Miguel . It’s absolutely amazing and there’s so much to see and do including the stunning Sete Cidades Lagoon and the geothermal area of Furnas !

But our personal favorite was the secluded Flores Island . At the time of our visit, there were less than ten rental cars and two hotels on the island. It felt like we traveled back in time to when tourism wasn’t the thing yet… I’m sure this has changed in recent years, but still – it’s a well-kept secret that not many people know about.

How to visit: You’ll need to fly to the Azores. The best flight connections are from Lisbon , but there are many direct flights to other European destinations as well. Island hopping by plane and sometimes by boat is the best way to discover the various islands. On the bigger islands, it’s best to rent a car and explore on your own. Organized tours are often available as well.

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Sao Miguel, Azores

Flores Island in the Azores Portugal

16. Arches National Park, USA

Utah is home to some of the world’s most magical natural landmarks. Monument Valley , Bryce NP, Zion NP , Canyonlands NP … I could fill half of this list of amazing travel destinations without ever leaving the state of Utah… But if I have to choose just one, it would be Arches National Park .

With over 2000 arches and the most incredible scenery, Arches National Park is truly one of a kind. Furthermore, from all the most unique nature destinations we ever visited in the world, Arches NP is one of the easiest and most simple to visit.

If you live in the U.S. and remember just one travel idea from this list of our favorite places, let it be Arches! Also because its’ a perfect destination the whole year round.

There’s a lot to see and do in Arches. The absolute must do’s are driving the Arches Scenic Drive and Hiking to Delicate Arch !

How to visit: Stay in Moab hotels as your base for this area including the nearby Canyonlands NP. Arches is best explored by car and hiking. If you want to get off the beaten path, you can also consider 4×4 tours and many other activities (see our guide to the best Moab tours ).

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Arches National Park

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in Utah USA

17. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland

Iceland is like a whole different planet! I could fill this entire list of our favorite travel destinations with so many amazing places in Iceland .

But if I have to choose just one and one that you can easily visit, it would have to be Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon . This lake is filled with icebergs coming from the nearby glacier. It’s an ever-changing spectacle and it’s different every time you visit. A true wonder of nature! In summer or in winter, it’s worth a trip to Iceland all by itself!

How to visit: You can get to Jokulsarlon by car or by joining a multi-day tour. Day trips to Jokulsarlon from Reykjavik are also possible. The lagoon itself can be explored by taking boat tours between the icebergs and you can also just walk along the shore.

LEARN MORE: Iceland 4 Days Itinerary – the best of Iceland’s South Coast including Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Iceland

18. Venice, Italy

With its medieval palazzos, richly decorated gondolas, hundreds of bridges, canals, and unforgettable romantic atmosphere, Venice is worthy of any bucket list. And so no list of the best travel destinations in the world would be complete without mentioning Venice.

We’ve been to Venice several times and it just never gets boring. Some of the best places to see in Venice are the famous St. Mark’s Square with its Basilica and Campanile, Doge’s Palace , Rialto Bridge, and the Grand Canal. A gondola ride in Venice is also an absolute must!

How to visit: Venice can be reached by car or public transport from other major cities in northern Italy. And because you can see the best of Venice in one day , it’s very easy to include in any Italy trip itinerary. Once in a city, the best way to explore is by walking.

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Venice

Venice Italy

19. Svalbard, Norway

If you are looking for truly unique destinations to visit, then look no further – Svalbard is as off the beaten path and as good as it gets! Just 1.050 km (650 miles) from the North Pole, Svalbard is one of the most remote destinations on the planet.

I visited Svalbard in winter and it was even more special than going in summer, I suppose. Extreme Arctic winter temperatures in combination with vast empty landscapes and few daylight hours, make you appreciate the majestic nature even more… At the same time, Longyearbyen, the main town in Svalbard, is a very lively place with many cozy cafes and contemporary restaurants.

This unique mix is something that cannot be described. You just have to experience it yourself. And you’ll want to go back before you even leave!

How to visit: Despite its remote location, Svalbard is actually very easy to get to. It’s just a 3-hour flight from Oslo and a 1.5-hour flight from Tromso in Norway. Once in Svalbard, you have to take guided tours for everything you ( boat tours , snowmobiling , dog sledding , etc.). This is a polar bear country and you should never leave town without a local guide who carries a gun.

LEARN MORE: Info & Tips for Visiting Svalbard

Stunning blue light in Svalbard in February

20. La Digue, Seychelles

Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean is one of the typical honeymoon destinations. But there is so much more to Seychelles than white sand beaches and luxury resorts!

We went island-hopping in Seychelles and visited several islands in one trip. It was surprising to see how much variety there is and how different many islands are. We saw stunning landscapes with granite boulders and giant palm trees, walked among two-hundred-year-old tortoises, drank coconut milk on the beach, and snorkeled among thousands of colorful fish and turtles in the ocean…

But if I have to choose just one island that I recommend the most, it would be La Digue . It’s easy to visit on your own, has good facilities and infrastructure, and some of the most incredible scenery. There’s also a good mix of activities, beaches, and local culture.

How to visit: La Digue can be easily reached by boat from the nearby Praslin Island or with a sailing tour. Praslin is the second-largest island in Seychelles and has good boat- and air connections to Mahe. Mahe is the main island where the International Airport is located.

LEARN MORE: Most Beautiful Seychelles Islands

La Digue Island in the Seychelles

21. Tulip Fields in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is famous for its tulips and there is no better time to visit the country than in the spring. If you arrive in Amsterdam by plane, make sure to get a window seat as the view over the colorful flower fields is absolutely incredible!

Even the most unromantic person will be impressed by the colorful tulip fields stretching as far as an eye can see.

How to visit: The easiest place to see tulip fields near Amsterdam is Lisse, just next to the famous Keukenhof Gardens. You can get here by car, with a shuttle from Amsterdam airport, with a transfer from Amsterdam , or by joining an organized tour .

LEARN MORE: Keukenhof Gardens near Amsterdam & Dutch Tulip Fields (Lisse)

TIP: Read also our tips for the best of Amsterdam in one day and a suggested 2-day Amsterdam itinerary.

Tulip fields in the Netherlands

22. Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is one of the most impressive man-made structures we ever set a foot on. It’s impossible to imagine the true scale of this wall stretching over the hilly landscapes for thousands of miles. And even when you stand there, you get just a glimpse of it…

If you can visit more remote parts of the wall, you’ll enjoy it more. But even if it’s a busy place, you can usually escape the biggest crowds by taking a longer walk on the wall.

How to visit: The easiest way to visit the Great Wall is by taking a transfer or an organized tour from Beijing . Just do some research before you go, maybe pick a private or a small-group tour , and try to avoid the crowds!

Great Wall of China

23. Deadvlei, Namibia

It’s difficult to find the right words to describe such a remarkable destination as Deadvlei in Namibia. It’s a magical, surreal place that has no equals anywhere else on Earth.

Go before sunrise if you want to have the whole place to yourself as we did. It’s a unique experience to see the desert wake up in the morning.

How to visit: Deadvlei is part of the more famous Sossuvlei area. You’ll need a 4×4 vehicle to get here, but even then, many people will advise taking a vehicle driven by local guides for the last few kilometers. We drove all the way to Deadvlei in our own 4×4 and it was doable, but we also saw many cars stuck in the sand along the way. You can also visit here with organized tours from Swakopmund or Windhoek .

LEARN MORE: Best Places to Visit in Namibia

Deadvlei Namibia

24. Rome, Italy

Rome , the Eternal City, is probably the most beautiful city in the world. I often call it a city-museum: there is so much art and history everywhere you go! And no matter how many times you visit, you’ll always discover something new.

On your first visit don’t miss the Colosseum , Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, the Vatican with St. Peter’s Basilica and Sistine Chapel, St. Angelo Bridge, and Castel Sant’Angelo.

Make sure to also get a bit off the beaten path in Rome , see some of the best views over the Eternal City , and visit Rome’s underground sites as well!

How to visit: Rome can best be visited on foot or by bike. Stay in the heart of the city center and prepare to walk a lot! Make sure to get skip-the-line tickets for all the main landmarks, or you risk standing in line the whole day (see Rome travel tips for more info).

TIP: Here you can find a very detailed Rome 4-day itinerary that covers all the musts and so much more. We also have itinerary suggestions for Rome in a day and 2 days in Rome .

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Rome

Trevi Fountain in Rome Italy

25. Maroon Bells, USA

Maroon Bells in Colorado are said to be the most photographed mountains in the United States. But no matter how many pictures you have seen, you won’t be prepared for the stunning beauty of the place!

Go early in the morning to beat the crowds and see the incredible reflections on the lake. If you have a few hours to spare, you can also hike to the nearby Crater Lake. This is one of the best day trips in the Colorado Rockies!

How to visit: Maroon Bells are just a short ride from Aspen, CO , and can be reached by car. In high season, you’ll need to take a shuttle bus.

LEARN MORE: How to Visit Maroon Bells & Hike to Crater Lake

Maroon Bells Colorado USA

26. Disko Bay, Greenland

Remote and less-visited nature destinations are always among our absolute favorite places in the world! There’s just something so special to discover places that are so totally different than anywhere else you’ve ever been… Disko Bay in Greenland was like that for us!

We visited the town of Ilulissat that is world-famous for its Ilulissat Icefjord , a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It exceeded all our expectations! And we also spent a few days in Qeqertarsuaq on the nearby Disko Island, one of Greenland’s best-kept secrets.

Icebergs higher than cruise ships floating in the ocean, whale spotting from the shore, dog sledding in summer, witnessing a local wedding in Qeqertarsuaq , and watching the stunning midnight sun from our hotel room the whole night – those are just some of our favorite memories from that trip…

How to visit: There are direct flights (+-3hrs) to Ilulissat from Reykjavik or Copenhagen. From there, it’s a 2-hr boat ride to Disko Island. In Ilulissat and Qeqertarsuaq, you can simply walk anywhere you need to be and there are guided tours available as well.

LEARN MORE: Greenland Travel Tips & Our Itinerary

Greenland - one of our favourite destinations worldwide

27. Li River, China

We were lucky to visit China before the big economic growth changed the country and its people for good. We didn’t know what to expect and were amazed to discover such a rich culture and incredibly beautiful nature.

This trip was long before our pre-blogging days and we don’t remember many practicalities of that trip, but we do remember the places we loved the most. Li River was one of those places that we remember even years later. Absolutely stunning!

How to visit: We visited China with a small-group organized tour and if we ever go back to the more rural areas, we’d go on a tour again.

Li River in China

28. Hermanus, South Africa

Hermanus in South Africa is my husband’s favorite place from all our trips. What is there not to love about this spectacular coastline where you can watch dolphins and whales from ashore!

One of our best memories from South Africa is having a picnic and watching dolphins from the spot in this picture.

This is the best place to watch whales in South Africa and one of the best in the world! So make sure to book a whale watching boat tour as well!

How to visit: Hermanus can easily be visited by car or with a tour from Cape Town . Often, you can see whales and dolphins from the shore, but if you want to see them close by, it’s best to take a boat tour.

Hermanus, South Africa

29. Prague, Czech Republic

Without a doubt, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Prague will surprise and enchant you. It’s a city that does not yield to Paris, Rome, or London.

For a long time, Prague was my personal favorite city in Europe. But its popularity has taken its tall and the city has become so crowded… Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful destination, well worth visiting, just try to avoid the peak season!

Some of the nicest places to see on your first trip are the Old Town Square with is famous Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle.

How to visit: Prague has a big international airport with direct flights from many destinations. Once in the city, it’s best explored on foot.

Prague, Czech Republic

30. Cape Cross Seal Reserve, Namibia

The sight of more than 100,000(!) seals at Cape Cross seal reserve in Namibia is impressive, to say the least. It’s an unforgettable experience to walk amongst so many wild animals. We have seen many seals in the world, but this place is like nowhere else. Unbelievable!

They say that the sound and the smell is something that stays with you forever. We were lucky to visit on a very windy day and so we missed the smelly part of the experience, but the sound was incredible indeed.

How to visit: Cape Cross Seal Reserve is just a short drive from Swakopmund. You can make a half-day trip or stop here on your way to Twyfelfontein or the Skeleton Coast. As in most other places in Namibia, you’ll need a 4×4 to drive here, but the road is very good.

READ ALSO: Namibia Travel Tips

Cape Cross Seal Colony Namibia

31. Trakai Castle, Lithuania

I couldn’t make any list of our favorite places without mentioning Lithuania, my home country. There are so many great places to see, but first-time travelers usually don’t go much further than Vilnius and Trakai.

Trakai is also one of our favorite places to spend a day and we go there every time we are in Lithuania.

The beautifully restored Trakai Castle is worth a visit, but if you have the chance, make sure to also explore the lake and the whole area around it. To truly appreciate the beauty of this place, you would have to see it from above – the castle is built on an island that is surrounded by lakes and forests as far as the eye can see.

How to visit: Trakai can be easily reached by car or by train. There are also organized tours from Vilnius .

READ ALSO: Best Things to Do in Lithuania

Trakai Castle Lithuania

32. Great Ocean Road, Australia

Great Ocean Road in Southern Australia is one of the most popular destinations in Australia. More than 20 million tourists more travel to this area every year, and most of them go to see the famous Twelve Apostles.

However, there’s so much more to the Great Ocean Road (GOR) than just this one viewpoint! Make sure to escape the crowds and take your time to explore the beautiful coastline beyond the most famous lookout points. There is so much you can see and do here. Don’t miss the Kennett River Koala Walk – one of the best places to see wild koalas in Australia

How to visit: GOR is in Southern Australia; the closes big city is Melbourne . You’ll need a car to drive this road and stop at its many scenic spots. Alternatively, you can also visit with a tour from Melbourne.

READ ALSO: Best Places to See on the Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road Southern Australia

33. Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands can be found in the North Atlantic Ocean, between Norway and Iceland. This 18-island archipelago is part of the Kingdom of Denmark and is really close to continental Europe. Yet, it feels like a world apart.

It’s difficult to pick just one or two favorite places here. Don’t miss Saksun village, Vestmanna bird cliffs, Mykines Island puffins, and the capital town of Torshavn. Our favorite place was the area around Kallur Lighthouse on Kalsoy Island. Phenomenal scenery!

How to visit: The Faroe Islands are just a short flight away from Copenhagen, Denmark. There are also direct flights from Edinburgh, UK, and Reykjavik, Iceland. Once on the islands, you can see most places by renting a car or by basing yourself in Torshavn and taking organized tours .

LEARN MORE: Faroe Islands Itinerary & Faroe Islands Travel Tips

Kallur lighthouse is one of the best hikes in the Faroe Islands

34. Paris, France

No list of the best destinations in the world would be complete without mentioning Paris ! Love it or hate it, Paris is a true bucket-list destination that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime.

On the first trip, don’t miss the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, a boat ride on the Seine River, Louvre Museum , Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Montmartre , and Moulin Rouge. D’Orsay Museum is really nice too and a day trip to Versailles is a must as well!

How to visit: Paris is big and you’ll have to walk a lot. For bigger distances, consider a hop-on-hop-off bus or hop-on-hop-off boat. Metro is the fastest way to get around the city. Check out our tips for visiting Paris and make sure to get tickets for all the main landmarks in advance!

LEARN MORE: Recommended Paris Itinerary (4 Days)

Notre Dame de Paris, France

35. Terracotta Army in China

No matter how many pictures of Emperor Qin’s terracotta army you had seen, you cannot be prepared for how impressive it is in reality.

This in itself is worth a visit, even if coming from the other side of the world. A must-see if visiting China!

How to visit: The Terracotta Army can be found inside the Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum in Xi’an town. Pretty much all China tours will include it in their itinerary. If you are traveling individually, you can also book a guided tour once you are in Xi’an.

Terracotta Army in China

36. Mont Saint-Michel Abbey, France

There is something about the abbey of Mont Saint Michel that is difficult to put in words. It has incredible views and such a unique atmosphere.

The place is magical at night and crowded with tourists during the day. If you can, try to visit off-season or avoid the crowds by staying the night and exploring the place after the day tourists have left.

How to visit: Mont Saint-Michel is located somewhat remotely and you’ll need a car to get here. There is a big car parking from where you can either walk or take a shuttle to the island itself. If you don’t have a car, you can also visit with an organized day tour from Paris .

LEARN MORE: How to Visit Mont Saint Michel

Mont Saint Michel Abbey in France

37. Taj Mahal, India

We have been to so many places in the world and in most cases, we left longing to go back. India, however, is one of the very few destinations that didn’t have this effect on us. Maybe we should give it a second chance one day…

Anyway, Taj Mahal , one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, is worth a trip to India all by itself! It’s a fascinating place that has to be experienced first hand. Definitely one for your bucket list!

How to visit: Taj Mahal is located in the town of Agra, about 3-4 hours drive from Delhi. If you are staying in Agra, you can visit individually or take a private tour . And if you are coming from Delhi, you can best take an organized tour .

Taj Mahal India

38. Tuscany, Italy

Oh, Italy… We could fill this entire list just with our favorite places to see in Italy … But if you are looking for just one region that encompasses the best of Italy in one place, then you cannot go wrong with Tuscany !

Tuscany truly has it all: the most beautiful landscapes, historical towns, wonderful art, Italy’s best wineries, great food, and (usually) good weather.

Some of the best places to visit are, of course, famous towns such as Florence , Siena , Pisa, or Lucca. But also the Tuscan countryside with its rolling hills and cypress trees and charming medieval towns and villages is a must! One of our favorite smaller towns here is Montepulciano .

How to visit: There are good railway connections between the main towns in Italy. The towns are best explored on foot. If you want to visit the countryside, it’s best to travel by car or take organized tours.

LEARN MORE: Most Beautiful Towns of Tuscany  &  Tuscany Itinerary

The rolling hills of Tuscany region in Italy

39. Burj Khalifa, Dubai

I was a bit skeptical about visiting Dubai with kids as it seemed such an artificial city. In a way, it is. But you just have to admire the vision of the people who turned a small village in the desert into the world metropolis that Dubai is today!

There is so much to see and do in Dubai, but Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world – is definitely not to be missed. It’s hard to imagine what a building of 828 m (2,717 ft) looks like until you stand right under it and look up. Dazzling!

How to visit: You can take an elevator to the 124th floor and also visit the 125th floor of Burj Khalifa (make sure to book your tickets in advance !). Going at sunset gives you the best experience as you can see Dubai at dusk and, if you wait a bit longer, also in the dark. If you want to go even higher, it’s possible to visit the 148th floor as well. Those tickets are a bit more expensive and give you a somewhat different experience, with fewer people around.

READ ALSO: Best Dubai Tours & Interesting Dubai Facts

Burj Khalifa Dubai

40. Alsace Region, France

Alsace is one of our favorite regions in France. Its charming quaint towns with half-timbered houses, beautiful countryside, vineyards, and regional cuisine make it one of the best destinations in France!

Our favorites are the picturesque town of Colmar and of course Strasbourg . If you can, take a trip through the countryside and also visit some of the most beautiful towns on the Alsace Wine Route such as Eguisheim , Kayserberg, Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé, or Obernai, to mention just a few.

How to visit: Strasbourg can be easily reached by train from Paris and Colmar is just a short train ride from there. The towns themselves are best explored on foot. For the countryside, you’ll need a car, but there are also many amazing tours available.

READ ALSO: Best Things to Do in Colmar & Strasbourg with Kids

Colmar in Alsace region France

41. Mauritius

Mauritius has always intrigued me. This paradise-like island in the Indian Ocean is a popular honeymoon destination, but it has so much more to offer than just its white-sand beaches and luxury resorts.

Despite its rather compact size, Mauritius offers more diversity than I ever imagined. There is so much to see and there is a big range of activities available. Of course, you can just stay on the beach the whole day, but you’d be missing so much. So if you already make the trouble to fly that far, go out and explore!

How to visit: Mauritius has an international airport with direct flights from Europe, India, several African destinations, etc. Once on the island, you can rent a car and explore individually. Taxis are also available, but distances are bigger than you’d think. If you are staying in a resort and just want to take an occasional day trip, you’ll find plenty of tours available.

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Mauritius

Favorite places worldwide - Mauritius

42. Okaukuejo Waterhole in Etosha National Park, Namibia

Why does a waterhole make it to my top destinations list? Okaukuejo in Etosha National Park is not just any waterhole; it’s like watching the National Geographic channel live!

Hundreds of animals come and go all day (and night) long. All you have to do is comfortably install yourself on one of the many benches facing the waterhole and let the African wildlife come to you. It’s not the same as going on safari, of course, but it’s an incredible experience, one that is not to be missed in Namibia!

How to visit: You’ll need a car for Etosha NP. Organized tours are also available. If you can, book at least one night at Okaukuejo Camp.

LEARN MORE: Best Places to Stay in Etosha National Park

Okaukuejo waterhole in Etosha National Park Namibia

43. Bali, Indonesia

Bali is one of our favorite destinations in Asia. To me, it’s the best of Asia on a rather small surface, allowing you to get a taste of a very different culture without having to travel around too much.

However, we visited Bali many years ago, before it became crazy popular. So I’m not sure how I’d feel about it today. But in the days when we were there, it was a wonderful mix of pristine nature, rich cultural traditions, and nice beaches and holiday resorts.

How to visit: Bali has a big international airport with direct flights from all over the world. Once on the island, it’s best to hire a private driver to get around. Driving there is hectic and I’d leave it for the locals!

Pura Tanah Lot in Bali

44. Lofoten Islands, Norway

Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway is one of the bucket list destinations for any outdoor lover! The scenery here is absolutely amazing. With stunning fjords, steep mountains, and traditional rorbuer cabins dotting the landscape, the Lofoten archipelago is picture-perfect!

You can spend just a few days here or a few weeks and you’ll find plenty of amazing things to see and do in Lofoten . Most popular are, of course, nature activities and especially hiking. But you can also go kayaking, take some boat trips, see wildlife, or visit one of the many museums to learn more about Viking history or the fishing industry in the region.

In the summer, you can experience the magical Midnight Sun here, and in the winter season, you may get lucky to see the Northern Lights.

How to visit: The best way to explore Lofoten Islands is by car, but you can also plan a trip using public transportation. There are several airports nearby, you rent a car or take a bus, choose one or several nice places to stay in Lofoten , and explore. It’s as easy as that.

LEARN MORE: Visiting Lofoten Islands

Amazing destinations in the world - Lofoten Norway

45. Panorama Route, South Africa

Panorama Route in South Africa will always hold a special place in our hearts! There’s a good reason why I wanted to end this list of our favorite places with it.

When I first met my husband, we traveled a lot. However, after extensive traveling for several years, we both had a feeling that we had seen so many beautiful places that it was difficult to get excited about a new destination. We decided to take a break.

After a while, we booked a 2-week trip to South Africa . On the first evening, we were staying close to Kruger NP and a couple of hippos walked into the garden of our hotel, just meters from the table where we were having dinner. The next day we were standing at this viewpoint on the Panorama Route and my husband said something I’ll never forget: ‘j ust when I thought that we’ve seen it all, South Africa has proven me wrong’.

It was here, at this place, that we knew that we would continue to travel as much as we could, as often as we could, and as far as we could. We now have three kids and don’t travel as often or for as long as we’d want to. Still, we try to make the most of the school holidays, explore the world, and show our kids how beautiful and diverse it is.

READ ALSO: Best Places to See in South Africa

Panorama Route in South Africa

So, here is the list of some of our favourite destinations in the world. Of course, this list isn’t complete (or it would have to be 454545 amazing places all over the world). This just scratches the surface of all the amazing destinations we have visited. It was really hard to choose what to feature here and what to leave out.

Either way, I hope that this will inspire you to travel more and to discover new places. And maybe you’ll decide to visit several destinations from our list as well.

One more thing I really want to say. There is always something new to be discovered, no matter how far or how close to your home. But once in a while, you should broaden your horizons and take that trip to another country or even to the other side of the world. It will change you forever!

READ ALSO: Why in the world do you have to travel so far?!

Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what your favorite destinations are. We are always looking for new ideas for our next trips!

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Amazing destinations worldwide - our favorite places to travel

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Wednesday 25th of October 2023

Thanks for the list of wonderful destinations. Here also thanks for tips regarding boating in Svalbard. I was able to go to Pyramiden 2 months ago and I really enjoyed the beautiful sceneries. Regretted not able to spot the polar bear.

Sounds like a great experience either way, with or without polar bears. Happy travels, Portia!

Saturday 21st of October 2023

GREAT list. I find it amazing that the 2 USA national parks on your list are both on my top 5 favorite USA national parks. Yellowstone is my #1 favorite.

@Jurga, Yellowstone #1 Zion National Park is my #2 favorite. Glacier National Park (International Peace Park in conjuction with Canadas' side of the Park) #3 Grand Canyon #4 and the Arches National Park #5.

Monday 23rd of October 2023

Now you got me curious on what the other three are in your top-5 list, Michael ;). But yes, Yellowstone and Arches are both amazing. Such a remarkable scenery!

Monday 16th of October 2023

As always...some amazing inspiration. We are always keen to read your blogs! Thank you.

Thank you, Carolyn. It's always great to hear from our loyal readers. Hope you found some new travel inspiration in this article!

Monday 31st of July 2023

For those who enjoy travelling, this book is must read!

Tuesday 1st of August 2023

I'm not sure what 'book' you are referring to. :) Happy travels.

Marie Eckhardt

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

These are fantastic destinations. I had fun checking off where I have traveled and overwhelmed by where I have yet to visit. Thank you for highlighting such grand places.

Wednesday 30th of March 2022

There's always so much still to be seen, isn't it? Happy travels!

The 60 most beautiful places in the world

By Katharine Sohn

The 60 most beautiful places in the world 2024

Where are the most beautiful places in the world? On a planet home to flamingo-pink lakes in Mexico, plus vast, multi-coloured hills in the USA, green ripples of rice paddies in Indonesia and epic icescapes in Antarctica, it's hard to choose a favourite – but why pick one? From countries all around the world, these are our top 60 most beautiful places to visit.

Scattered along Scotland's west coast this chain of isles is one of the country's most beautiful places to visit. Think...

Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Scattered along Scotland 's west coast, this chain of isles is one of the country's most beautiful places to visit. Think shimmering white-sand beaches , sparkling seas and crowd-free hinterlands – it's one of the UK's last remaining secrets, and for good reason.

With endless rows of vines tumbling down hillsides and birds of prey swooping along the riverside at first glance you'd...

Douro Valley, Portugal

With endless rows of vines tumbling down hillsides and birds of prey swooping along the riverside, at first glance you'd think this place was anywhere but Europe. Right in the depths of Portugal , this valley is as romantic as it comes – hike along ridges, taste-test your way through the region's wine and cosy up in some of the country's very best hotels, before waking up and doing it all again.

The most westerly point on mainland Australia is this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was founded before Captain Cook...

Shark Bay, Australia

The most westerly point on mainland Australia is this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was founded before Captain Cook discovered land at Botany Bay, with Dutch explorers touching down here in the 17th century. The area is diverse – there’s a beach made up entirely of tiny white shells, stromatolites on the shore of Hamelin Pool and the salt mine at Useless Loop, which produces the purest grade of salt in the world and is only accessible via four-by-four – or visible from the sky.

A small seaside town in the Ica region of Peru Paracas is where the desert meets the sea. A trip to the area isnt...

Paracas, Peru

A small seaside town in the Ica region of Peru , Paracas is where the desert meets the sea. A trip to the area isn’t complete without a boat ride to Islas Ballestas, the rocky islands off the Pacific coast known for their diverse wildlife including flocks of sea lions and crowds of baby penguins.

The redcliff coastline and pristine whitewashed Moorish villages that dot the southwestern region of Portugal have...

Algarve, Portugal

The red-cliff coastline and pristine whitewashed Moorish villages that dot the south-western region of Portugal have started shifting crowds away from the region’s busier hotspots. It has its own sunny microclimate and affordable places to stay such as Casa Mãe in Lagos make it a great winter-sun option too.

With its striking architecture grand boulevards worldclass art jewelbox patisseries and classic places to stay this is a...

Paris, France

With its striking architecture, grand boulevards, world-class art, jewel-box patisseries and classic places to stay , this is a city that never sleeps. Its unrivalled food scene is best experienced by stumbling upon corner bistros down cobbled streets.

Vietnamese for peace Hòa Bình province is located in the north of the country and is home to hill tribes including the...

Hòa Bình, Vietnam

Vietnamese for peace, Hòa Bình province is located in the north of the country and is home to hill tribes including the Hmong, Muong and Dzao, plus endless rice fields.

Offradar Milos has some of the best beaches in the Aegean without the buzz of Mykonos or Santorini. Moonlike Sarakiniko...

Sarakiniko Beach, Milos, Greece

Off-radar Milos has some of the best beaches in the Aegean without the buzz of Mykonos or Santorini . Moon-like Sarakiniko is made up of mounds of undulating bone-white, wave-like volcanic rock and forms one of the island’s most mesmerising bays.

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The most extreme continent on earth is also the coldest windiest driest and most inhospitable to forms of life. Pristine...

The most extreme continent on earth is also the coldest, windiest, driest and most inhospitable to forms of life. Pristine and practically untouched, no one lives in Antarctica full time, apart from seals, penguins and marine life. It’s as remote as one can get.

Known as the hottest place on earth Death Valley reached a record temperature of 53°C in 2019. Its a vast area of...

Death Valley, California

Known as the hottest place on earth, Death Valley reached a record temperature of 53°C in 2019. It’s a vast area of extremes: with snowy peaks, scorching sands and wildflower meadows, the National Park encompasses a wide range of different landscapes. One of the most popular locations is the multi-hued Artists Palette, a series of eroded hills whose colouring is due to the oxidation of natural metal deposits in the mountains. ‘ Star Wars ’ fans will be keen to see the site that inspired the planet Tatooine.

In summer endless fields of lavender in bloom turn the Provençal landscape purple. At the end of the season when the...

Provence, France

In summer, endless fields of lavender in bloom turn the Provençal landscape purple. At the end of the season, when the crop is harvested, honey, soaps and pastries are made with a fragrant dose of the plant.

Monks at Bayon temple

Bayon, Cambodia

Built in honour of one of Cambodia’s most famous kings, Jayavarman VII, Bayon is a 12th-century state temple that’s a unique architectural feat in the heart of Angkor Thom. Fifty-four gothic towers carved with 216 gargantuan smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara – the bodhisattva of compassion – fill the temple , and the design showcases the shift from Hinduism to Mahayana Buddhism. With Angkor Wat not far away, Bayon, its off-the-beaten track little sister, is a close second in popularity.

The famous three peaks of the National Park are among Wyomings most recognisable sights the Grand forming the highest...

Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

The famous three peaks of the National Park are among Wyoming’s most recognisable sights, the Grand forming the highest point of the range. It’s a hike on many pro adventurers' list, but for newbies looking for an outdoors excursion floating down the Snake River or mountain-biking through the 310,000-acre landscape are viable options, too. Top it off with supper at Snake River Grill in Jackson’s town centre and an overnight stay at the cliff-side Amangani .

The worlds highest waterfall with 3212ft cascades is located in the UNESCOprotected Canaima National Park and was the...

Angel Falls, Venezuela

The world’s highest waterfall, with 3,212ft cascades, is located in the UNESCO-protected Canaima National Park and was the inspiration for the Disney film ‘Up’. The site is only accessible by boat or plane.

A gateway to the East Kyrgyzstan has natural beauty. Unspoilt pine forests rocky ridges and rolling jailoos  are typical...

A gateway to the East, Kyrgyzstan has natural beauty. Unspoilt pine forests, rocky ridges and rolling jailoos (summer pastures) are typical of the country. In the warmer months visitors flock to glacial lakes, while in winter a stay with semi-nomadic shepherds is an experience unlike any other.

The 12500ftlong canal runs straight through the centre and has inspired numerous artists including Canaletto Monet and...

Grand Canal, Venice

The 12,500ft-long canal runs straight through the centre and has inspired numerous artists including Canaletto, Monet and JMW Turner. Flanked by buildings dating from the 12th to the 17th centuries, it’s the grandest waterway in the Floating City .

Hwange has a greater diversity of mammals than any national park in the world and is the largest natural reserve in...

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Hwange has a greater diversity of mammals than any national park in the world and is the largest natural reserve in Zimbabwe . The size of Belgium , it is home to more than 50,000 elephants and 500 species of bird. The wet-season winter months are the best time to see migratory birds or book an off-season safari when the park gets fewer visitors.

A third of Mongolia is covered in desert and while its the 18thlargest country in the world its three million...

A third of Mongolia is covered in desert, and while it’s the 18th-largest country in the world, its three million inhabitants make it the most sparsely populated. Visitors can go local: riding horses, helping to look after livestock and sleeping in a herder's ger – a traditional felt yurt.

This salt lake constitutes the lowest point on the continent. Normally dry due to evaporated water with its saltdeposit...

Lake Eyre, Australia

This salt lake constitutes the lowest point on the continent. Normally dry due to evaporated water, with its salt-deposit haze, the body only fills completely twice every 100 years on average.

Minutes from scooterbuzzing Ubud are artsy lowkey villages vivid green rice paddies lush forests and vast jungles. Bali...

Bali, Indonesia

Minutes from scooter-buzzing Ubud are artsy, low-key villages, vivid green rice paddies, lush forests and vast jungles. Bali is one of Indonesia’s 17,000 islands and sees an average temperature of about 30°C year round. Explore by bicycle and then head to one of its many cool beach clubs.

East Sussex England

Seven Sisters Country Park, East Sussex, UK

Britain’s unspoilt south coast is home to one of the country's greatest walking trails and seaside parks, the Seven Sisters. Made up of 280 hectares of chalk cliffs, a winding river valley and flat top grasslands with views of the English Channel, the coastal path begins near Eastbourne, the start of the 100-mile South Downs Way.

On a route made famous by revolutionary Che Guevara who kicked off his motorcycle journey in Buenos Aires head down to...

Atacame Desert, South America

On a route made famous by revolutionary Che Guevara who kicked off his motorcycle journey in Buenos Aires , head down to Chile through the Atacama Desert into the Peruvian Amazon and up to Venezuela. Vast expanses of sandy flats quickly roll into high tops of dunes and gorges leading to plateaus of dusty grass. It’s a trip for explorers, with the Andes standing tall above the Argentine –Chile border, blurring one side into the other. NASA even uses the desert as a testing ground for future Mars missions.

Fujisan the tallest peak in Japan is a sacred mountain and symbol. On a clear day it can be seen from Tokyo but one of...

Mount Fuji, Japan

Fuji-san, the tallest peak in Japan , is a sacred mountain and symbol. On a clear day, it can be seen from Tokyo , but one of the best ways to view the still-active volcano is by taking the shinkansen bullet train from the capital to Osaka (top tip: sit on the right-hand side for the best views). Surrounding areas Hakone (where there are natural hot springs) and Fujigoko are worth visiting during cherry-blossom season.

The largest city in Rajasthan is filled to the brim with buzzing bazaars sacred lakes and gilded royal palaces  the...

Jaipur and the Hawa Mahal Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan

The largest city in Rajasthan is filled to the brim with buzzing bazaars, sacred lakes and gilded royal palaces – the decadent 18th-century royal-owned Rajmahal Palace is a smart hotel. Among the famously rosy-hued buildings of the Pink City, the honeycomb-like Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds, is surely the most recognisable of all. The incredible sandstone structure has 953 small exterior windows (called jharokhas ) decorated with intricate lattice work.

The Namib Desert is the oldest in the world and in the middle of its vast Skeleton Coast are endless miles of stone and...

Skeleton Coast, Namibia

The Namib Desert is the oldest in the world, and in the middle of its vast Skeleton Coast are endless miles of stone and sand, dry riverbeds and dunes. Desert-adapted animals here include elephant, giraffe, lion, brown hyaena and Cape fur seals that thrive in the area.

Its a few hours from buzzing Edinburgh not far from the Cairngorms to the start of the eastern Highlands. Stretching...

The Scottish Highlands

It’s a few hours from buzzing Edinburgh , not far from the Cairngorms, to the start of the eastern Highlands. Stretching around Skye, around the North Coast 500 route up to the village of John O' Groats, the region is also home to the tallest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis. There’s natural beauty everywhere, from babbling Fairy Pools and big-horned cattle to clear coastal waters and snowy mountain caps.

Meaning cotton castle in Turkish this natural wonder is made up of layers of white travertine terraces of iceblue spa...

Pamukkale, Turkey

Meaning cotton castle in Turkish , this natural wonder is made up of layers of white travertine terraces of ice-blue spa pools. It’s also next to the site of the well-preserved ruins of Hierapolis, the Greek-Roman city established in the 2nd century BC.

Stretching over eight countries  France Switzerland Monaco Italy Liechtenstein Austria Germany and Slovenia  the Alps...

Stretching over eight countries – France , Switzerland , Monaco, Italy , Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany and Slovenia – the Alps are the most extensive mountain range in Europe . It has some of the greatest skiing in the world with popular towns including Chamonix -Mont-Blanc (the highest mountain), Lech , Gstaad and Courchevel .

This archipelago of five islands  Bazaruto the largest Benguerra Magaruque Santa Carolina and the smallest Bangue  was...

Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

This archipelago of five islands – Bazaruto, the largest, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and the smallest Bangue – was once part of a peninsula connected to the mainland but now, when the Indian Ocean retreats at low tide, swirls and ripples of white sand become visible. A protected marine park, its waters are rich in manta rays, schools of dolphins, hawksbill turtles and dugongs (cousins of equally curious manatees).

Six turquoise waterholes lie within the salty plains of Ojos del Mar in the Tolar Grande region of Bolivia. Inhabited by...

Ojos del Mar, Bolivia

Six turquoise waterholes lie within the salty plains of Ojos del Mar in the Tolar Grande region of Bolivia . Inhabited by stromatolites (deposits formed by algae) and microorganisms, the water can change slightly in colour, depending on the angle of the sun, from bright blue to seafoam green.

Home to the tallest mountain in New Zealand the AorakiMount Cook National Park part of the Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage...

Mount Cook, New Zealand

Home to the tallest mountain in New Zealand , the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, part of the Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Site on the South Island, is a mountaineer’s dream. More than 40 per cent of the area is covered in glaciers, with the largest and longest named the Tasman Glacier. It was here that Sir Edmund Hillary trained for the first momentous ascent of Mount Everest.

One of the Luberon's most striking hilltop hamlets Gordes stands tall on the edge of the Vaucluse plateau. With views...

Gordes, Provence

One of the Luberon's most striking hilltop hamlets, Gordes stands tall on the edge of the Vaucluse plateau. With views across the surrounding region of Provence , the quintessential medieval town is a must-visit. A stay at Bastide de Gordes , the village’s most glamorous hotel, will make the trip complete.

Easily one of the Canadian Rockies most recognisable landmarks Emerald Lake is located within Yoho National Park in...

Emerald Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Easily one of the Canadian Rockies’ most recognisable landmarks, Emerald Lake is located within Yoho National Park in British Columbia. Backed by the towering mountain peaks of the President Range, in summer the clear glacial water is ideal for canoeing and attempting a quick swim.

The selfgoverned group of 18 volcanic islands makes up this remote archipelago where sheep outnumber humans. Grasslined...

The Faroe Islands

The self-governed group of 18 volcanic islands makes up this remote archipelago where sheep outnumber humans. Grass-lined houses, craggy coastlines and lush waterfalls are all part of the Nordic landscape but there’s a surprising food scene too.

Modern highrise buildings meet period architecture in retro Hong Kong one of the most densely populated cities in the...

Modern high-rise buildings meet period architecture in retro Hong Kong , one of the most densely populated cities in the world. It’s a street-food capital where eating dim sum like a local in an old teahouse is a mandatory experience. For the best views of the harbour, catch a Star Ferry or hike the hills of Ma On Shan, one of the summits that surround the city.

The magical walled Blue City is a tangle of winding medieval streets. The monumental 15thcentury Mehrangarh Fort which...

Jodhpur, India

The magical, walled Blue City is a tangle of winding medieval streets. The monumental 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, which is still run by the royal family and now serves as a museum, looks out over the old city and its mesh of box-shaped buildings, shops and bazaars.

The Navajo name of this slot canyon translates to ‘the place where water runs through rocks and the narrow ravine is an...

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

The Navajo name of this slot canyon translates to ‘the place where water runs through rocks’ and the narrow ravine is an American Southwest treasure, filled with ripples of eroded stone formations, and sunlight creating orange filters and bright patterns. The popularity of this spot among keen photographers speaks for itself – this is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

This Arctic archipelago about a threehour flight north of Oslo has one of the harshest environments on the planet....

Svalbard, Norway

This Arctic archipelago , about a three-hour flight north of Oslo , has one of the harshest environments on the planet. Nearly two-thirds of it is protected and the islands are made up of bird sanctuaries, nature reserves and national parks where polar bears roam. The Northern Lights can be seen in the winter and in the summer, when the temperature tops out at 6°C, the sun doesn’t go below the horizon.

The forwardthinking capital of Scandi cool appeals to foodies design junkies and a cool young crowd. With its...

Copenhagen, Denmark

The forward-thinking capital of Scandi cool appeals to foodies, design junkies and a cool young crowd. With its ground-breaking food scene , including world-famous Noma (and Noma 2.0 ), it’s a city to be taken seriously. Colourful buildings dot the central Nyhavn port, but it’s worth exploring alternative community Christiania, quirky Vesterbro and hipster Nørrebro, too.

The old town of Lamu on the Indian Ocean island of the same name was established in the 14th century. Now a UNESCO World...

Lamu, Kenya

The old town of Lamu , on the Indian Ocean island of the same name, was established in the 14th century. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the port city is a mish-mash of cultures – Swahili, Asian, Arabic, European – while along the laid-back coast majestic dhows sail by all day long.

More than 3000 narrow quartzsandstone pillars make up Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area in the Hunan...

Wulingyuan, China

More than 3,000 narrow, quartz-sandstone pillars make up Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area in the Hunan Province. These natural wonders, many higher than 656ft, are broken up by ravines, gorges, caves and waterfalls. It’s easy to see why the UNESCO World Heritage Site was James Cameron’s inspiration for Avatar .

Home to the worlds tallest trees Redwood National Park north of San Francisco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part...

Redwood National Park, California

Home to the world’s tallest trees, Redwood National Park, north of San Francisco , is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of an International Biosphere Reserve that protects close to half of the planet’s old-growth redwoods – some of which are 370ft high. With more than 200 miles of trail routes, it’s ideal for camping, hiking and riding.

The crumbling façades of this island nation's capital keep bringing in waves of travelling artists rum fanatics and...

Havana, Cuba

The crumbling façades of this island nation's capital keep bringing in waves of travelling artists, rum fanatics and cigar smokers to the city. It’s where Hemingway wrote seven of his books and drank Mojitos at La Bodeguita del Medio. And with temperatures of 27°C in December, it’s an ideal winter-sun destination.

Considered to be the cultural centre of Japan Kyoto is awash with ancient temples and shrines serene teahouses and...

Kyoto, Japan

Considered to be the cultural centre of Japan, Kyoto is awash with ancient temples and shrines, serene teahouses and sublime gardens. The bright-orange Fushimi-inari, a shinto shrine in the hills, is a visual beauty. Grab an artisan coffee, taken very seriously in the traditional city, and make the two-hour pilgrimage through the shrine's thousands of torii (gates). Other spots worth visiting include Gion, the home of the geishas, the golden pavilion of Kinkaku-ji and Nishiki market for street food or a traditional kaiseki feast at one of the city's local restaurants.

The kaleidoscopic city may best be known for its market life spice sellers and ancient medinas but its reimagined riads...

Marrakech, Morocco

The kaleidoscopic city may best be known for its market life, spice sellers and ancient medinas, but its reimagined riads, cool independent shops and contemporary art scene are giving it a modern edge. There are lots of places to discover – from Yves Saint Laurent’s restoration of cobalt-blue Jardin Majorelle to the smoky street-food stalls in Jemaa el-Fna.

A quick ferry ride from Naples the island of Ischia  famed for its thermal spas and unshowy local life  is a tumble of...

Ischia, Italy

A quick ferry ride from Naples , the island of Ischia – famed for its thermal spas and unshowy local life – is a tumble of fishing villages and beaches that match Amalfi but without the crowds.

Bondi Icebergs might easily be the most famous pool in the world. The Olympicsize structure has been standing on the...

Bondi Iceburgs, Australia

Bondi Icebergs might easily be the most famous pool in the world. The Olympic-size structure has been standing on the southern end of Bondi Beach for more than 100 years. It’s not heated or chlorinated, but filled with seawater, with the Tasman Sea crashing against its edge.

The Philippines has more than 7000 islands  about 5000 of which are uninhabited  where roughly 175 languages are spoken....

The Philippines

The Philippines has more than 7,000 islands – about 5,000 of which are uninhabited – where roughly 175 languages are spoken. For diving, El Nido is the ideal spot with crystal-clear water and vibrant marine life.

About 20 minutes outside Kyotos city centre is the atmospheric Arashiyama bamboo forest. Arrive at around 7am to avoid...

Arashiyama, Bamboo Forest, Japan

About 20 minutes outside Kyoto’s city centre is the atmospheric Arashiyama bamboo forest. Arrive at around 7am to avoid the crowds and get a chance to see and feel the wood, as well as hear it creaking in the wind. Morning light is just as ethereal, too. Arabica coffee shop is nearby, overlooking Hozugawa River.

The incredible pink lakes here make up part of the protected nature reserve of Ría Lagartos Biosphere on Mexicos Yucatn...

Las Coloradas, Yucatan, Mexico

The incredible pink lakes here make up part of the protected nature reserve of Ría Lagartos Biosphere on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula. Red-coloured algae, plankton and brine shrimp that thrive in the waters not only turn the native flamingos pink but help produce 500,000 tons of salt per year.

The Avenue of the Baobabs Madagascar

Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar

This is one of Madagascar's most visited natural sites – and for good reason. Aside from the spectacular photo opportunities on offer as the sun casts auburn shades on the trees, travellers come to support local conservation efforts, and spot the unique wildlife that frolics in the overgrowth nearby.

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Blue lagoon, Iceland

One of  Iceland's  most spectacular sites is, surprisingly, man-made. The Blue Lagoon's waters are a byproduct of a nearby geothermal power plant, which passes through turbines and into the lagoon. Natural geological layers account for the water's rich mineral content, which travellers use to their benefit, bathing and smothering themselves in the rich clay.

Eager to spot a waddle of penguins in the wild There's no need to save up for the ultimate excursion to Antarctica ...

Cape Town, South Africa

Eager to spot a waddle of penguins in the wild? There's no need to save up for the ultimate excursion to Antarctica – although that's just as high on many bucket lists. On the shores of some of  South Africa's  most picturesque beaches, the animals mingle in search of a mate – safe from the fearsome great white that circle beneath the waves just metres away.

Colorado River in the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon, USA

The Grand Canyon is part of the Colorado River basin and, aside from its beauty, is geologically significant as the waters that pass through here have revealed billions of years worth of rock layers. While it's popular with travelling day-trippers, native Americans still call it home, having first settled in the caves thousands of years ago.

Inside view on IkKil Cenote close to Chichen Itza Mexico

Cenotes, Mexico

Formed by the collapse of eroded limestone,  Mexico's  cenotes harbour secrets and beauty discovered by sunshine-chasers each year. The unique formations were celebrated by the ancient Maya people, and archaeological investigations over the years have found artefacts made from gold, jadeite, shell and more on the sandy depths.

A road poising through the desert of Joshua Tree as sunrise

Joshua Tree National Park, USA

Stone tools and spearheads discovered in Joshua Tree National Park suggest the region was inhabited as long as 8,000 years ago. Modern travellers experience this wilderness in a very different way, checking into luxurious micro-resorts and serviced holiday homes. Think the landscapes are otherworldly by day? Look to the skies at night for an altogether different, and unforgettable, sight.

Maldives

The Maldives

Spoiling retreats of all shapes and sizes litter the sandy banks of the Maldives , an archipelagic state in the Indian Ocean. Between the indulgent wellness resorts and exotic restaurants, the crystal-clear waters offer ample opportunity for snorkelling and diving excursions. Dive into the blue and find yourself in a world of kaleidoscopic colour as fish fizzle in and out of focus.

Peyto Lake in Canada

Peyto Lake, Canada

One of Canada's most beautiful and most-photographed lakes is a pool of cerulean on darker days, while its glacier waters mirror the sky's dappled blue on brighter days. Keen amblers are well rewarded as they reach Bow Summit, the highest point on the Icefields Parkway.

Argent Beach on La Digue Island Seychelles

La Digue, Seychelles

The third most populated island in  the Seychelles , La Digue takes its name from a ship in the fleet of French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, who visited the Seychelles in 1768. Thanks to its otherworldly granite formations, glassy waters and fine sand, Anse Source d'Argent is often regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – a spot travellers fawn over as they venture out from the island's uber-luxurious hotels and resorts.

Grand Prismatic Spring Yellowstone National Park Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park, USA

Bison, bears, geese, deer – these are just some of the animals that call the oldest national park in the world home. Each change of the seasons beckons new residents out of their homes, as many cosy up during the cold winters and await the first signs of spring. A highlight of the park is the Yellowstone Caldera, a gargantuan crater that was formed by a cataclysmic volcanic eruption some 640,000 years ago.

World’s 30 Best Travel Destinations, Ranked

Best places to visit in the world.

Bali, one of the best travel destinations

The ultimate ranking of travel destinations aims to solve a serious problem: so many places to visit, so little time.

But even in a world with a trillion destinations, some manage to stand out and rise to the top. From the sleek skyscrapers of Dubai to the emerald-green waters of the Bora Bora lagoon, you’re sure to find at least one vacation that piques your interest (and likely several!).

These are the 30 best places to visit in the world. Which ones have you already been to? And which ones stoke your wanderlust most?

30. Argentine Patagonia

Traveler in Argentine Patagonia

In this region of the Andes, you’ll find glaciers, evergreen trees, deep blue lakes and clear skies everywhere you look. For a trip full of adventure and discovery, there are few better destinations on the planet.

No trip is complete without a visit to the craggy Mount Fitz Roy, the historic (and mysterious) Cave of the Hands, the Punta Tombo wildlife preserve, the Peninsula Valdes marine wildlife refuge and the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier. Be sure to bring your camera and your sense of wonder.

* Rankings are based on U.S. News & World Report's " World's Best Places to Visit ," traveler ratings as well as our own editorial input.

What to Know Before You Go to Argentine Patagonia

Argentine Patagonia Glacier National Park

Where to stay: Cyan Soho Neuquen Hotel

Hot tip: Since springtime occurs in the southern hemisphere in October and November, those months are your best bet when planning a trip.

Fun fact: The largest dinosaur fossils ever unearthed were found in Argentine Patagonia. They belong to the largest-known titanosaur, believed to have weighed about 83 tons. 

Note: We may earn money from affiliate partners if you buy through links on our site.

29. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Campania, Amalfi Coast

Set in the Sorrentina Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast has long been renowned for its natural beauty and idyllic coastal towns. During the golden age of Hollywood, it was a preferred vacation spot for glamorous movie stars.

Days here are spent eating Italian food, drinking wine and walking around colorful cobblestone streets. You can also expect to drink copious amounts of wine as you look out into the Mediterranean Sea.

The best way to see the coast is to rent a car and then drive to different towns each day.

What to Know Before You Go to the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast road

Where to stay: Hotel Marina Riviera

Hot tip:  If you're planning on using a beach chair to work on your tan, make sure you wake up early, as they are usually first come, first served.

Fun fact:  The Amalfi Coast is featured in Sofia Loren's 1995 Film, "Scandal in Sorrento."

28. Cancun, Mexico

Beach sunset in Cancun

For years, Cancun has been the preferred getaway for East Coast Americans (particularly Floridians) who want an international getaway that's still close to home. But despite the droves of tourists, the area has managed to keep the charm that attracted people in the first place.

The city is known mostly for its luxury hotels, wild nightlife and warm beaches. Definitely indulge in all of these — as well as the Mexican food! — but also consider other activities like visiting Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes and snorkeling. One thing is certain: You won't run out of things to do in Cancun .

What to Know Before You Go to Cancun

Cenote Zaci, Mexico

Where to stay: Hyatt Zilara Cancun

Hot tip:  While you're in Cancun, make a plan to visit one of Grupo Xcaret's six eco-tourism parks, with the best ones being Xcaret and Xelha. The Mexican-owned company is credited with starting the eco-tourism trend in the Yucatan Peninsula, and the parks offer incredible and varied local experiences.

Fun fact:  The Yucatan Peninsula, where Cancun is located, was the cultural, political and economic center of the Mayan civilization. Many locals have Mayan ancestry and Mayan continues to be widely spoken in the area.

27. San Francisco, California

Close up of Golden Gate Bridge

Everyone should visit San Francisco at least once in their lives. Though tech companies grab all the headlines these days, it remains down-to-earth, diverse and packed with things to do.

Where to start? No matter your style, you’ll want to check out the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge, see the sunbathing sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf, take a tour of the historic prison Alcatraz and relax in one of the city’s many parks, especially Dolores Park for its epic people-watching on the weekends. 

For dinner, treat your tastebuds and make a reservation at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the Bay Area .

What to Know Before You Go to San Francisco

San Francisco houses

Where to stay: The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square

Hot tip: Want similarly beautiful landscapes and rich cultural attractions, but at lower prices and with (slightly) fewer crowds? Head to Oakland just across the Bay Bridge, named one of the most exciting places on earth to travel by National Geographic. 

Fun fact: The fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco by a Japanese resident. Random!

26. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls in autumn Canadian side

Niagara Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the world . The power with which water storms down cliffs on the border between the United States and Canada has captivated the imagination of humans for centuries. 

This natural wonder is comprised of three awe-inspiring falls. One of the best ways to experience them is on a boat tour.

What to Know Before You Go to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls boat tour

Where to stay: Sheraton Niagara Falls

Hot tip: There is some debate about which side of the falls is better, but the general verdict is that the Canadian side offers better views. This is because you can (ironically) get a better view of the American Falls as well as get up close to Horseshoe Falls. 

Fun fact:  Established in 1885, Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the U.S.

25. Yellowstone National Park

Bison at the Great Prismatic Spring

Located mostly in Wyoming as well as Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone is America’s first national park and remains one of the most popular in the country, welcoming more than around 3.3 million people in 2022. With unpredictable geysers, rainbow-colored hot springs, craggy peaks, shimmering lakes and tons of wildlife — from elk to boars to bison — it’s easy to see why so many people flock here. 

The park makes for an awesome family trip and is well-suited to budget travelers since it offers so many campsites ( over 2,000! ). 

What to Know Before You Go to Yellowstone

Old Faithful Geiser erupting, Yellowstone

Where to stay: Stage Coach Inn

Hot tip: You’ll never fully beat the crowds at this wildly popular park, but April, May, September and November are your best bets for finding some solitude.  

Fun fact: Yellowstone is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.  

24. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

snorkle Destinations: Great Barrier Reef, Australia

As the largest reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of marine species. This makes it a paradise for scuba diving or snorkeling. 

The reef system is truly gigantic, with over 600 islands and about 2,900 individual reefs. This is one of Australia's greatest prides, but it's also a planetary national treasure. Seeing it with your own two eyes is an experience that is incredible beyond words.

What to Know Before You Go to the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef from above

Where to stay: Crystalbrook Flynn

Hot tip: Though going underwater to see the reef is a must, we also recommend booking a helicopter tour to experience the magic of it from above.

Fun fact:  Made of corals, which are animals that live in collectives, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on the planet.

23. Santorini, Greece

White washed houses in Santorini

With its picturesque blue-domed churches, whitewashed buildings and colorful beaches, the island of Santorini is a photographer’s paradise. If you want to snap photos to post to Instagram and make everyone back home jealous, this is the place to go. 

Also make sure to experience some of Santorini’s archaeologically significant sites, like Ancient Akrotiri (an ancient city preserved by volcanic ash) and Ancient Thera (where humans lived as early as the 9th century BC). And don’t forget to visit the smaller islands that surround it, including Thirassia, Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni. 

What to Know Before You Go to Santorini

Santorini houses

Where to stay: Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Santorini

Hot tip: To optimize your vacation, visit in September and October or April and May — when the weather is still warm, but there aren’t as many other tourists milling around.

Fun fact: While it’s difficult to prove, locals like to say there’s more wine than water on this island where it hardly rains (and vino abounds).

22. Florence, Italy

Florience center, Italy

For art and history buffs (and anyone who appreciates delicious Italian food), Florence is a must-visit city. 

As the birthplace of the Renaissance, it’s home to some of the most iconic artworks by the world’s premier artists throughout history — Michaelangelo, Brunelleschi and Donatello, just to name a few. In addition to art museums and architectural wonders, Florence is also home to chic shops, quaint cafes and spectacular gardens. 

What to Know Before You Go to Florence

Il Duomo, Florence

Where to stay:  NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa

Hot tip: Keep Florence in mind if you want to spend your honeymoon in Europe without spending a fortune, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Fun fact: The city’s famed “El Duomo” cathedral took over 140 years to build .

21. Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite, one of the most-visited national parks in America with more than 4 million annual guests, encompasses 750,000 acres of wilderness just waiting to be explored.

It’s home to scenic waterfalls, like the 317-foot Vernal Fall and the 617-foot Bridalveil Fall, as well as iconic rock formations like El Capitan and Half Dome, two popular spots for the world’s best rock climbers to test their mettle.

Not surprisingly, the wildlife here also impresses. Dozens of species of butterflies, marmots, bobcats and mule deer are just some of the animals that call Yosemite home. And keep your eyes peeled for black bears; some 300 to 500 roam the park . 

What to Know Before You Go to Yosemite

Yosemite National Park

Where to stay:  The Ahwahnee

Hot tip: Summer can get really busy here, so if you want to camp, be sure to book a spot early. Want to beat Yosemite’s notoriously bad traffic? Ditch the car and take advantage of the park’s extensive free bus system.

Fun fact: This is one of the only places in the country where you can catch a moonbow — like a rainbow, but created by the light of the moon instead of the sun. 

20. St. Lucia

St. Lucia Les Pitons

Whether you’re visiting on a cruise ship or just relaxing at an all-inclusive resort or boutique hotel, stunning St. Lucia is a clear winner. This Caribbean island offers diverse terrain for vacationers, from its pristine beaches to its lush rainforests to its volcanic peaks, the Pitons, that loom over the landscape. 

Adrenaline-junkies love hiking, climbing and zip-lining, while newlyweds (and soon-to-be-married couples) enjoy the romantic mix of fine dining, adults-only resorts and exotic activities. 

What to Know Before You Go to St. Lucia

St. Lucia boats

Where to stay: Rabot Hotel From Hotel Chocolat

Hot tip: Visit when temperatures are moderate, which is typically in May and June.

Fun fact: St. Lucia is the only country named after a woman: Christian martyr Saint Lucia of Syracuse.

19. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai skyscrappers

Everything is bigger and better in Dubai, home to one of the world’s largest shopping malls, tallest towers, largest man-made marinas — and the list goes on. 

This Las Vegas-like urban center in the United Arab Emirates has an eclectic mix of activities for visitors to enjoy, including beaches, waterparks, tons of shopping and even an indoor ski resort. Outside the skyscraper-filled city, the vast desert awaits, best enjoyed via quad-biking or sandboarding.

What to Know Before You Go to Dubai

Dubai beach

Where to stay:  Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Hot tip: Though you’re likely to pay a pretty penny for a trip to Dubai no matter when you visit, you can save a little cash by visiting during the scalding-hot summer months and by booking your hotel room two to three months in advance.

Fun fact: Dubai’s man-made Palm Islands were constructed using enough imported sand to fill up 2.5 Empire State Buildings . 

18. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Many travelers describe their visit to Machu Picchu as life-changing. Why? It’s an archaeological wonder, the remains of an ancient Incan city dating back more than 600 years. No wonder this is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most-visited attraction in all of Peru. 

Be sure to visit significant sites like Funerary Rock, where it’s believed Incan nobility were mummified, and Temple of the Condor, a rock temple sculpted to look like the impressive bird in its name.  

What to Know Before You Go to Machu Picchu

Llamas in Machu Picchu

Where to stay: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Hot tip: If you’re planning a trip, be sure to get your ticket in advance, as only 2,500 people can visit Machu Picchu each day. (And a lot of people have this destination on their bucket list.)

Fun fact: The site contains more than 100 separate flights of stairs . 

17. Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbor with boats

With its iconic Opera House and lively Bondi Beach, Sydney is the perfect spot to vacation if you’re looking for a blend of culture, arts, nightlife and relaxation. 

Spend the day on the water at Darling Harbour, then head to the Royal Botanic garden for even more fresh air. Want to travel like a local? Get a ticket to a rugby match and order a Tim Tam, a popular chocolate-covered cookie that pairs well with coffee. 

What to Know Before You Go to Sydney

Sydney Opera House in the evening

Where to stay: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Hot tip: You can make your trip more affordable by visiting during Sydney’s shoulder seasons, which are typically September through November and March through May.

Fun fact: In 2007, Bondi Beach was the site of the largest ever swimsuit photoshoot ; 1,010 bikini-clad women participated, enough to earn it a spot in the Guinness World Records book.

16. Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon from observation point

The Grand Canyon is truly massive (277 river miles long and up to 18 miles wide!), which helps explain why so many people feel the urge to see it in person. 

In 2022, 4.7 million people visited, making the Grand Canyon the second-most popular national park in the country (behind Great Smoky Mountain Nationals Park). Established in 1919, the park offers activities for all ability levels, whether you want to do an intense hike down into the canyon and sleep under the stars (with a backcountry permit, of course) or simply want to saunter along the South Rim Trail, an easy walking path with views that wow.

What to Know Before You Go to the Grand Canyon

Family in the Grand Canyon

Where to stay:  The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon

Hot tip: If you’ve wanted to visit the Grand Canyon for a while now, this is the year to do it. The park is celebrating its 100th birthday with musical performances, lectures, screenings and other special events.

Fun fact: The most remote community in the continental U.S. can be found in the Grand Canyon. At the base of the canyon, Supai Village — part of the Havasupi Indian Reservation — has a population of 208. It’s inaccessible by road, and mail is delivered by pack mule. Want to see it for yourself? The village houses a collection of campsites , accessible via a hiking trail.

15. Bali, Indonesia

Landmark Temple Gates in Bali

In recent years, Bali has become a popular expat destination, where groups of "digital nomads" work and play. 

But the island hasn't lost its original charm to this added tourism and continues to be an incredible destination. Divide your time between swimming in the beach, hiking active volcanoes, visiting temples and enjoying views of tiered rice terraces.

What to Know Before You Go to Bali

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple in Bali

Where to stay: Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach

Hot tip:  Though shoulder season (January to April and October to November) means fewer crowds and cheaper prices, it also means rain. Tons of it. We'd recommend avoiding the rainy season if possible.

Fun fact: On the Saka New Year, Balinese people celebrate Nyepi. This Hindu celebration is a day of silence when everything on the island shuts down and no noise is allowed.

14. New York, New York

New York City Manhattan

As the saying goes, New York City is “the city that never sleeps” — and you won’t want to either when you visit, lest you run out of time to take it all in. 

Be sure to check out newer attractions, like the High Line (an elevated park) and Hudson Yards (a mega-mall along the Hudson River), but also make time for some New York City classics, like catching a Broadway show or standing under the lights of Times Square. 

Foodies will have a hard time choosing where to eat (the city is home to almost 100 Michelin stars !), which is why an extended trip is always a good idea.

What to Know Before You Go to New York City

New York City Broadway

Where to stay: The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel

Hot tip: Yes, January and February get cold here, but this is also the best time to lock in relatively reasonable hotel rates. You can spend your time eating in the city’s restaurants, exploring its fabulous museums and catching its world-class theater shows without needing to spend much time in the chilly outdoors. 

Fun fact: There’s a birth in New York City about every 4.4 minutes — and a death every 9.1 minutes. 

13. Banff National Park, Canada

Banff Lake Louise

Some of the world’s most stunning mountain scenery and vistas are located in Banff, the tiny Canadian town located at 4,537 feet above sea level inside the national park by the same name. Banff is the highest town in Canada, and Banff National Park was Canada’s first, established in 1885.

Shred some powder at Banff’s three ski resorts in the winter, then come back in the summer for activities like hiking, biking, fishing and scrambling (scaling steep terrain using nothing but your hands).

What to Know Before You Go to Banff

Kayaking in Banff National Park

Where to stay: Fairmont Banff Springs

Hot tip: June to August and December to March are the best times to visit if you want to take advantage of summer and winter activities. 

Fun fact: Banff National Park has more than 1,000 glaciers.

12. Maldives

Sunset in the Maldives

You can look at picture after picture, but you still really need to visit the Maldives to believe its beauty. If rich sunsets, flour-like beaches and vibrant blue waters are your style, this is the destination for you. 

Though it’s somewhat difficult to get to this small island nation southwest of Sri Lanka, that also means it’s incredibly private and secluded, which makes it the perfect spot for a honeymoon or romantic beach getaway. 

And don’t worry about getting bored, either — explore the water by snorkeling or scuba diving, relax in the spa or wander around the bustling Male’ Fish Market.

What to Know Before You Go to Maldives

Maldives overwater bungalows

Where to stay: Velassaru Maldives

Hot tip: May to October is the island-nation’s rainy season — but that also means it’s the best time to go for fewer crowds and better rates.

Fun fact: In 1153 AD, the nation’s people converted to Islam. Today, the Maldives remains the most heavily Muslim country on earth.

11. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Sagrada Familia

Soccer, architecture, shopping, nightlife, world-class food and wine, arts and culture — is there anything Barcelona doesn’t have? If there is, we honestly can't think what it would be. 

This cosmopolitan Spanish city is home to some awe-inspiring architecture, including several buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi, so be sure to book tours of his whimsical creations like Park Guell and the yet-to-be-finished Church of the Sacred Family (La Sagrada Familia). 

For nightlife and shopping, Las Ramblas is always bustling; for an enriching arts experience, follow the progression of famed artist Pablo Picasso at Museo Picasso.

What to Know Before You Go to Barcelona

Barcelona Park Guell

Where to stay:  Hotel Bagues

Hot tip: It can get really humid here, so it's best to plan your trip in May and June before things really heat up.

Fun fact: In preparation for its 1992 hosting of the Olympics, the city flew in sand from as far away as Egypt to make Barceloneta Beach a place where people would want to go. Though largely man-made, the beach remains a wonderful spot for seaside R&R. 

10. Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park in the winter

The crown jewel of beautiful Montana, Glacier National Park is every outdoors traveler's dream.

Of course, the most defining natural feature of the park are its glaciers, which provide spectacular views as well as a number of pristine lakes. There are hundreds of trails that will take you up peaks, down through valleys and across some of the most beautiful landscapes you'll ever see.

What to Know Before You Go to Glacier National Park

Mountain goats at Glacier National Park

Where to stay: Firebrand Hotel

Hot tip:  Plan to spend a day or two in the nearby town of Whitefish. This gateway to Glacier National Park is one of the best small towns in America and a destination in its own right. 

Fun fact: During your visit, you're very likely to run into mountain goats, which are the official symbols of the park.

9. Tokyo, Japan

Akihabara Tokyo

The Japanese capital is one of the most exciting cities on the entire planet. It is notoriously fast-paced, with neon lights illuminating the multitudes that are constantly rushing to their next destination. 

But Tokyo is also a city of temples, of taking time to picnic under the cherry blossoms and of making sure you enjoy the abundance of delicious food that can be found on basically every corner.

What to Know Before You Go to Tokyo

Sensoji temple , Tokyo

Where to stay: The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Hot tip: Visit between the months of March and April or September and November for more comfortable temperatures. Of course, spring is when the city's cherry blossoms are famously in full bloom.

Fun fact: Tokyo happens to be the largest metropolitan area in the world, with more than 40 million people calling the greater metro area home.

8. Phuket, Thailand

Phuket boats

If you’re looking for a vacation destination that feels luxurious but won’t break the bank, start searching for flights to Phuket now. 

This island in southern Thailand, which is just an hour flight from Bangkok, is surrounded by the Andaman Sea, so white sandy beaches abound. If a stunning sunset is what you’re after, head to Promthep Cape, the southernmost point on the island and a popular spot for photo-ops. For views of the island and beyond, climb to the top of the massive alabaster statue called Big Buddha.

You can even learn something during your vacation by visiting the Soi Dog Foundation, an innovative animal shelter that’s fighting the meat trade and taking care of the thousands of stray cats and dogs in the area.

What to Know Before You Go to Phuket

Phuket temple

Where to stay: InterContinental Phuket Resort

Hot tip: Visit between November and April for the best weather — and ideal conditions for beach activities like swimming and boating. 

Fun fact: The island is not pronounced in the rather colorful way it appears to be. The correct way to say it is “poo-ket” or “poo-get.”

7. Rome, Italy

Rome, Colosseum

Though Rome’s historic significance cannot be overstated, don’t assume that this Italian city is stuck in the past. On the contrary, you’ll find posh storefronts and luxurious hotels not far from iconic structures like the Pantheon (built in 120 AD) and the Colosseum (built in 80 AD).

And then, of course, there’s the city’s art. Stroll through Rome, and you’ll stumble upon some of the greatest treasures the world has ever seen — an astonishing collection of frescoes, paintings, ceilings and fountains created by icons like Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael and Bernini.

After all that exploration, take advantage of ample opportunities to eat and drink, including at several Michelin-starred restaurants. City staples include suppli (deep-fried balls of risotto, mozzarella and ragu meat sauce) and cacio e pepe (a deceptively simple mix of al-dente pasta, pecorino romano and fresh black pepper). 

What to Know Before You Go to Rome

Rome Spanish Plaza at dawn

Where to stay: Radisson Blu Ghr Hotel

Hot tip: Tourists congregate here in the summer when temperatures are also sweltering. Go instead between October and April, when there are thinner crowds, better rates and cooler temps. Just make sure to bring a light jacket.

Fun fact: Each year, travelers throw about $1.7 million worth of coins into the Trevi Fountain. The money is donated to Caritas, a Catholic nonprofit that supports charities focused on health, disaster relief, poverty and migration.

6. London, England

Modern bridge London

English writer Samual Johnson once said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” 

From live performances of Shakespeare to truly world-class (and free!) museums like the National Gallery, London will enrich your mind and enliven your senses. Of course, no visit would be complete without a stop at Buckingham Palace to see the famous stone-faced guards outside and the 19 lavish State Rooms inside (though, unfortunately, you can’t see the queen’s private quarters). Another must-see landmark is the Tower of London, the historic castle on the north side of the River Thames.

What to Know Before You Go to London

London in the spring

Where to stay: Vintry & Mercer

Hot tip: Many U.S. cities now offer direct flights to London, so set a price alert and act fast when you see fares drop.

Fun fact: London’s pubs are worth a visit for their names alone; fanciful monikers include The Case is Altered, The Pyrotechnists Arms, John the Unicorn and The Job Centre. 

5. Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti, French Polynesia

Flavorful French cuisine, top-notch resorts, warm waters — need we say more? Though Tahiti can be pricey, travelers say it’s so worth it. 

The largest of the 118 French Polynesian islands, Tahiti is split into two main regions (connected by a land bridge). Tahiti Nui, the larger region, is home to the island’s capital Papeete and surfing hotspot Papenoo Beach, while Tahiti Iti, the smaller region, offers more seclusion and the bright white sands of La Plage de Maui.

What to Know Before You Go to Tahiti

Tahiti bungalows during sunset

Where to stay: Hilton Hotel Tahiti

Hot tip: Visit between May and October, Tahiti’s winter, when there are less humidity and rain. 

Fun fact: Overcrowding is not a concern here; Hawaii gets more visitors in 10 days than all of French Polynesia does in a year.

4. Maui, Hawaii

Rocky beach in Maui

If you’re short on time or you just can’t decide which Hawaiian island to visit, Maui is right in the sweet spot: not too big, not too small, but just right.

There are five regions to explore on Maui, including the popular West Maui and South Maui, home to some of the island’s best-known attractions and beaches (Wailea Beach is in South Maui, for example). But don’t overlook East Maui, where you can travel along the Road to Hana, or the Upcountry, where you can explore the world’s largest dormant volcano, Haleakala. 

What to Know Before You Go to Maui

Maui cave

Where to stay:  Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Hot tip: This is Hawaii we’re talking about, so your trip will be on the pricey side. Be sure to budget for add-ons if you need them (think gym access and WiFi at your hotel), and do some research on insurance before you head to the car-rental counter.

Fun fact: How’s this for a selling point? Maui has more beach than any other Hawaiian island — 60 miles of it, with red, white and black sand.

3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora overwater bungalows

Don’t write off the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora just because of its size. Though it’s a little more than 2 miles wide and just 6 miles long, Bora Bora packs in an abundance of natural beauty. To start, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the island’s turquoise lagoon surrounded by lush jungle.

If you’re looking for more than relaxation on your trip, consider hiking or booking a 4X4 tour of Mount Otemanu, part of an extinct volcano that rises 2,400 feet above the lagoon. You can also snorkel among the coral reef of Coral Gardens, where you might catch a glimpse of reef sharks, eels and stingrays.

Because of its remoteness, flying into Bora Bora Airport will be quite a journey, no matter where you're departing from. But you'll forget everything as soon as you see this Polynesian paradise that is beautiful beyond words.

What to Know Before You Go to Bora Bora

Bora Bora Island

Where to stay: Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Hot tip: Though Bora Bora can be wildly expensive to visit, you can cut costs by visiting between December and March (though you should avoid the Christmas holiday) and by bringing your own alcohol and sunscreen with you.

Fun fact: Bora Bora is one of the countries that no longer exists . The Kingdom of Bora Bora was an independent state until it was forcefully overtaken and annexed by France in 1888.

2. Paris, France

Paris from the Arc de Triumph

Paris has it all — incredible cuisine, legendary landmarks and centuries of history. Those are just some of the reasons it’s the second-best place to visit in the world.

Though you’ll want to spend your time hitting up popular tourist spots like the Eiffel Tower and the Musee d’Orsay, you should also carve out time to explore other parts of Paris — the city’s 20 diverse neighborhoods, called arrondissements, for instance. Standouts include the 2nd arrondissement, which touts covered passages and some of the city’s hippest restaurants, and the romantic 18th arrondissement, with charming squares, cafes and bars, set apart from the city’s more tourist-packed areas.

What to Know Before You Go to Paris

Paris Montmartre at dawn

Where to stay: Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal

Hot tip: Yes, summer in Paris is busy, but the weather is also ideal — average highs are in the 70s.

Fun fact: Built for the 1889 World Fair, the Eiffel Tower was originally meant to be temporary , and was almost torn down in 1909. Luckily, local officials saw its value as a radiotelegraph station, preserving the future tourist icon for generations to come. 

1. South Island, New Zealand

Milford Sound

South Island, the larger but less populated of the two islands that make up New Zealand, earn this top-spot honor for its gorgeous scenery, adrenelin-pumping experiences and affordability.

The 33.5-mile hike on Milford Sound, which is limited to 90 people at a time, is considered one of the world’s best treks, with stops at Lake Te Anau, suspension bridges, a mountain pass and the tallest waterfall in the country, Sutherland Falls.

For a heart-pumping experience, you can jump out of a helicopter while flying over the Harris Mountains with skis on your feet. Still not satisfied? Roam Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage area, and explore the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, two of the most accessible glaciers in the world.

What to Know Before You Go to New Zealand

South Island, New Zealand

Where to stay: QT Queenstown

Hot tip: Book your trip for the fall, when South Island is temperate, not overcrowded and offers great rates. Bonus: This is also when the island is at its most stunning.

Fun fact: New Zealand natives, called Kiwis, are among the most hospitable you’ll ever meet. The local saying “He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata” translates , appropriately, to “What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people.”

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  • BEST OF THE WORLD

20 of the coolest travel adventures for 2024

From a horseback safari in Kenya to river rafting in West Virginia, here’s our ranked list of the top travel experiences right now.

This page is a portal.   No, really, it is: Our annual Best of the World feature is a gateway to the streets of Paris , the snowy Caucasus Mountains of Georgia , the ancient rock art of Algeria . To help us engage with places more deeply and meaningfully, we drew on National Geographic’s global community of experts to create the following ranked list of 20 great adventures for 2024. Read on and you’ll discover that this page is also a celebration—of travel’s power to transform us and our connections with one another.

#1: Go on horseback safari in Kenya

Guide Hamprey Mweterwa, and riders Llewellyn, Eloise and Tatiana Rose Dyer, watch a herd of zebra from atop their horses in Borana Conservancy, Kenya

A safari in Africa usually conjures an image of mud-spattered 4x4 vehicles bouncing through the bush. But there’s another way to travel: on horseback .  

Although horse safaris originated in Kenya in the 1970s, they’re a perfect fit for today’s growing number of travelers looking for more engaging, sustainable wildlife encounters. At the 32,000-acre Borana Conservancy , two stables house thoroughbreds and ex-polo ponies for riders of all skill levels. Visitors can book half-day, full-day, or overnight rides. July through September is the prime time to go.

Since wildlife perceive equines as just another animal, exploring the landscape atop a horse makes for an intimate experience. “To journey on horseback is to break down the walls—meant to protect but also to separate—between oneself and the natural world,” says Nichole Sobecki , a photographer and equestrian who’s ridden in Borana. “Your horse is a translator, responding to the low growl of the lion, the soft scent of a herd of elephants.” A horse’s ears are an advance warning system, she says, helping knowledgeable guides navigate routes.

#2: Run an Olympic marathon in Paris

Silhouettes of runners pass in front of the Eiffel Tower during the 45th edition of the Paris Marathon

For the first time, members of the public will be able to run their own marathon during the 2024 Summer Olympics , in Paris, France , just one initiative aimed at creating a more inclusive Games.  

Travel gear you'll want to pack in 2024

National Geographic’s top travel products for 2024 run the gamut from customizable bags and backpacks to a recyclable jacket

Slated to be held the evening of August 10, between the men’s and women’s official races, the Marathon for All will allow 20,024 qualifying lottery winners on the 26.2-mile route that links Paris and Versailles , a loop beginning at the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) and passing through nine arrondissements before finishing at Les Invalides on the banks of the Seine. Before or after the big event, learn the route to follow in their tracks.  

#3: Ski tour UNESCO sites in Georgia

Long a means of transportation, exploration, and hunting, skiing is still a way of life in the mountainous republic of Georgia. Now visitors can enjoy some of the nation’s best backcountry skiing in the Caucasus with the help of outfitters such as Svaneti Ski and Georgia Ski Touring . In Svaneti, excursions may lead skiers through panoramic Gvibari Pass or to medieval Ushguli villages, among the highest continuously inhabited in Europe. The best times to experience this are December to April.

#4: Bear watch in Katmai National Park

Brown bears (Ursus arctos) graze on sedge grass in Hallo Bay in Alaska's Katmai National Park

Alaska ’s Katmai National Park is home to one of the highest concentrations of brown bears in the world. Far from the crowded viewing platforms of the Brooks Camp Visitor Center, a guided trip along the Katmai coast with outfitters like AK Adventures reveals a different side of the park.

Here, the bears feast on a diversity of foods: sedges, grasses, razor clams, salmon. “For me, seeing a single brown bear in the wild is meaningful because it is a sign that the landscape is healthy enough to support it,” says Alaska photographer Acacia Johnson , a frequent National Geographic contributor.

#5: Hear legendary live music in Kyoto

A singer on stage rocks out with a guitar

Guidebooks speak of Kyoto as frozen in time, with hushed temples and meditative gardens. But after hours, Japan ’s former imperial capital reveals a live music scene that can be loud and irreverent. At venues like Jittoku and Field , rock, swing, and even Irish music echo into the night. Whatever you’re into, from jazz to punk, there’s a community to share your jam. “This is what happens in Japan when the mask comes off,” says Kyoto guide Van Milton.

#6: Cruise an epic river in Colombia

A view down onto the Magdalena River

About 80 percent of Colombia ’s population lives in the river basin of the Magdalena, which flows for nearly a thousand miles from the Andes to the Caribbean. AmaWaterways’ new cruises on the river—said to be the first by a major cruise operator—take seven-night trips from Cartagena via Mompós to Barranquilla. Stops at colonial towns, performances of vallenato   and cumbia music, and visits to a stilt-house village highlight the region’s culture along this mighty waterway.

#7:   Road trip Route 66 in New Mexico

A ballon festival in Albuquerque at dusk

For nearly a century, Route 66 has beckoned to travelers. A trip along the Mother Road through New Mexico hits timeless landmarks , such as quirky motels and curio shops in and around Tucumcari and symbolic etchings in Petroglyph National Monument . In Gallup—mentioned as one of the places to “get your kicks” in Nat King Cole’s 1946 hit song “Route 66”—you can take in performances featuring Zuni, Lakota, and Diné (Navajo) dancers.  

Some 18 miles of the highway traverse Albuquerque , the longest urban interlude of the route in the United States. And it’s getting a half-million-dollar glow-up with the ongoing restoration of vintage neon signs along Central Avenue.  

While cruising down the brightened strip, stop at the new West Central Route 66 Visitor Center , with its museum and outdoor amphitheater. The center will host events like lowrider car shows, drive-in movies, and artisan markets.

#8: Explore ancient art in Algeria

A guide, wearing the traditional robes and shesh headscarf of the nomadic Tuareg tribe, stands on an outcrop at Adrit.

Algeria is home to Africa’s largest national park, which holds one of the world’s greatest concentrations of ancient rock art. Tassili n’Ajjer National Park is a geologic wonderland of sandstone towers, arches, and sculpted outcrops. But these rock forests are only half the story.  

Neolithic herders and hunter-gatherers carved 15,000 petroglyphs here, including images of elephants, giraffes, and rhinos. These animals are more commonly associated with sub-Saharan Africa—a hint that this arid wilderness was once a grassland crisscrossed by waterways. Five- to seven-day guided tours with Fancy Yellow take in the most spectacular works of Tassili’s art, like the “Crying Cows,” engraved at the base of a stone pinnacle 7,000 years ago.  

Travelers with more time might want to combine a trip to Tassili with a visit to the Algerian Sahara’s other great geologic marvel: the extraordinary mountain range of Ahaggar National Park .

#9: Dive with sharks in Western Australia

amazing trip destinations

Stretching almost 700 miles along the Indian Ocean north of Perth, Western Australia’ s Coral Coast is studded with natural wonders. But Ningaloo Reef is the star. Here, you can dive with giants: Some 300 to 500 whale sharks ,   one of the largest congregations on Earth, gather along the reef each year between March and July. Ethical outfitters ensure divers give the sharks space and avoid feeding them or using flash photography.  

Even more megafauna abound from July to October, when about 40,000 humpback whales migrate along the Coral Coast. You can also commune with more than 10,000 dugongs in Shark Bay or swim with manta rays at Coral Bay.  

#10: Hike a volcano in Panama

A sustainability leader, Panama recently launched its “1,000 Kilometers of Trails” project , which seeks to bring outdoor recreation and green tourism to rural communities and protected areas.

First out of the gate is the Ruta de la Caldera , a system of five trails around the extinct Valle de Antón volcano . The treks take in waterfall-speckled landscapes, according to photographer Rose Marie Cromwell , who hiked sections of the Ruta de la Caldera over five days.

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“There were some spectacular views on top of the volcanic crater—interesting land formations covered in so much green,” she says.

#11: Catch the eclipse at Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, a boat of tourists, and a rainbow as seen from Niagara Falls, Ontario

Directly in the path of totality, Niagara Falls will offer views of a total solar eclipse, which won’t occur again in the contiguous U.S. until 2044. For about three and a half minutes, beginning at approximately 3:18 p.m. on April 8, the sky will darken over the thunderous cataract as the moon crosses between Earth and the sun.  

On the U.S. side of the falls , Terrapin Point, Prospect Point, and the Observation Tower will be prime viewing areas (if clouds stay away). From the Canadian side, an excellent vantage point is Table Rock. A side bonus: The sunny-day rainbow that hovers above the falls will become pink.  

#12: Trek a glacier in Chile

In Chilean Patagonia‘s Laguna San Rafael National Park , visitors can trek to glaciers, taking in a panorama of pale blue ice massifs and glacial waterways. Some 17,300 glaciers still cover the whole of Patagonia’s ice fields, but rising temperatures are rapidly melting them. Climate scientists say sustainable tourism , such as hikes with Chilean outfitters like Turismo Valle Leones , supports local communities and inspires travelers to learn more about how to protect glaciers.

#13: Step back in time on Menorca

the archeological site of Naveta des Taudons lit up by a sky of stars

Spain ’s Balearic Islands are best known for the jet-set beach destinations of Ibiza and Mallorca . But quiet, less developed Menorca has a unique mother lode: The archipelago’s greatest repository of ancient architecture.

In an area of just 270 square miles, Menorca has a total of 1,574 inventoried archaeological sites , ranging from the foundation blocks of small dwellings to well-preserved village centers that existed long before the Roman Empire. Most striking are the navetas,   megalithic tombs dating back to 1600 B.C.; talayots, watchtowers built from mortarless blocks of limestone; and   taulas,   shrines exclusive to Menorca that evoke Stonehenge pillars. These remnants of the Talayotic Menorcan culture, the first civilization to inhabit the island, have now been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List .  

The open-air monuments are easy to visit; the island’s Me-1 road passes by some of the best-preserved sites, including the settlements of Talatí de Dalt, Naveta des Tudons, and Taula de Torretrencada.

Reenter the 21st century at the new Hauser & Wirth gallery in the picturesque town of Mahón. Housed in repurposed 18th-century hospital buildings, the cultural venue presents contemporary art exhibits and has an outdoor sculpture trail with works by Louise Bourgeois and Joan Miró.

#14: Ride classic rails in Scotland

A view from inside the Royal Scotsman as it drives through the Highlands

Exploring Scotland ’s wild, scenic Highlands doesn’t have to mean roughing it. The Royal Scotsman train glides among the moody lochs and dramatic peaks in style. New suites debuting in May 2024 sport interiors that reflect the compelling landscapes through dark woods, wool tweeds , and richly patterned bespoke tartans crafted by Scottish brand Araminta Campbell . After a day spent hiking to waterfalls or playing rounds of golf (a sport inextricably tied to the nation), guests can wind down with a massage at the onboard spa.

Departing Edinburgh ’s Waverley Station, the two- to seven-night rail journeys cross the heart of the Highlands, from Perthshire to Inverness to the rugged west coast. During stops guests can tour castles, stargaze in Cairngorms National Park , sample whisky at revered distilleries, and even take a dip in a loch.

#15: Find authentic flavor in Thailand  

An overhead view of a plate of Northeastern style Thai cuisine

The Isaan region in northeastern Thailand is known for its distinctive cuisine that reflects influences from bordering Laos and Cambodia. “Isaan is a hidden gem of Thailand,” says Weerawat “Num” Triyasenawat, the chef at Samuay & Sons , a Michelin Guide -recommended restaurant in the Isaan city of Udon Thani.

One key ingredient of the region’s delicious food is pla ra, a fermented-fish seasoning that boosts umami flavor. Local dishes include laab   (minced meat salad), traditionally served during celebrations.

#16: Wander tea trails in Sri Lanka

View over the tea plantations near Kotagala on stage 7 of the Pekoe Trail

Sri Lanka is virtually synonymous with tea. The island nation is one of the world’s top producers of tea leaves. British colonists introduced the first bushes about 200 years ago. Now visitors can trace the footsteps of historic planters on the new, nearly 200-mile Pekoe Trail , the country’s first long-distance walking route.  

Starting just outside Kandy, the trail follows the 19th-century tracks upon which workers and horse-drawn carts transported freshly plucked leaves. Hikers pass through hill towns and tea estates and can stop to take a cooking class or savor a cup of aromatic Ceylon tea.

#17: Gallery hop in São Paulo

Aerial view of the São Paulo Museum of Art (MAP) illuminated at night

São Paulo, Brazil ’s largest city, is an art lover’s paradise, home to numerous galleries, exhibitions, and street murals. The crowning jewel is the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), which is expanding to showcase more of its 11,000-plus artworks, from pre-Renaissance paintings to contemporary sculptures. Departing from the usual model of exhibiting works on walls, MASP hangs some pieces against clear panels, allowing visitors to view the art from all angles.

#18: Raft the rapids in West Virginia  

An overhead view of people rafting the Gauley River in Gauley River National Recreation Area

Despite its name, West Virginia ’s New River is actually one of the oldest on Earth, perhaps as old as 360 million years. The river falls 750 feet in only 50 miles between sandstone cliffs. It eventually merges with the Gauley River.   Outfitters such as ACE Adventure Resort can arrange whitewater rafting trips here on Class III to V rapids through the longest and deepest river gorge in the Appalachians.  

#19: Go antiquing in Hudson Valley

Shoppers congregate inside the Basilica Hudson

The bucolic Hudson Valley is booming, thanks to an influx of New York City residents during the pandemic. But it’s long been a mecca for creatives: Its landscapes inspired America’s first artistic fraternity, the Hudson River School. Antique collectors will be drawn to the hundreds of stores, boutiques, craft shops, and flea markets that sell everything from colonial furniture and rare books to mid-century modern decor. For vintage finds, head to the Antique Warehouse in Hudson, Sister Salvage in Catskill, and Opera House Co. in Athens.

“There’s a common denominator here—the charming historic villages,” says Sarah Gray Miller, owner of Coxsackie antique store UnQuiet . From Stuyvesant to Saugerties, these towns “share a strong commitment to preservation.”

#20: Sleep on the water in British Columbia

The exterior of the Tofino Wilderness Resort reflected in the lake

The newly reopened Tofino Wilderness Resort , owned by the Ahousaht First Nation, is an idyllic base from which to explore the western coast of British Columbia ’s Vancouver Island. In the heart of Clayoquot Sound, the luxury floating lodge was renovated with lumber cut from timber which fell on-site. Through guided whale-watching trips or visits to the Freedom Cove artists’ sanctuary, the Ahousaht share with guests their philosophy, hishuk ish tsawalk (“everything is one”), celebrating the interconnectedness of people and nature in a land they’ve occupied for thousands of years.

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Amazing-Travel-Experiences

  • Travel Tips

30 Amazing Travel Experiences Around the World in 2024

  • 10 minute read

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  • June 15, 2023

30 Amazing Travel Experiences Around the World in 2023

Amazing-Travel-Experiences

Are you yearning for adventure and ready to explore the world? In 2023, there are numerous incredible travel experiences awaiting you. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems off the beaten path.

This article will guide you through 30 amazing destinations that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Whether you crave cultural immersion, picturesque landscapes, or thrilling activities, we’ve got you covered.

So, grab your passport, and let’s dive into the 30 amazing travel experiences around the world in 2023!

1. Experiencing the Northern Lights in Iceland

Imagine witnessing the dancing curtains of green and pink lights illuminating the night sky. In Iceland, you can have a front-row seat to this magical display known as the Northern Lights. Hop on a guided tour and venture into the wilderness, away from light pollution, to increase your chances of witnessing this natural wonder. Don’t forget to capture the moment with your camera!

2.  Marveling at the Taj Mahal in India

A visit to India is incomplete without beholding the Taj Mahal. This architectural masterpiece, built in the 17th century, is a symbol of eternal love and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you stroll through the intricate gardens and gaze upon the ivory-white marble structure, you’ll understand why it’s considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

3. Exploring the Ancient City of Petra in Jordan

Step back in time and uncover the secrets of the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. Carved into pink sandstone cliffs, this archaeological marvel will leave you in awe. Walk through the narrow Siq, a natural rock formation, until you reach the Treasury, the iconic facade that greets visitors. Make sure to explore the various tombs and temples scattered throughout the city.

4. Safari Adventure in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Get ready for a thrilling wildlife experience in the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Embark on a safari and witness the breathtaking spectacle of the Great Migration, where millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles cross the Mara River. Prepare to be captivated by the majestic lions, graceful giraffes, and elusive leopards that call this reserve home.

5. Unwinding in the Maldives’ Picture-Perfect Paradise

Escape to the Maldives, a tropical paradise renowned for its pristine white sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters.

Indulge in luxury as you relax in your private overwater villa, basking in the serenity of the Indian Ocean. Snorkel among vibrant coral reefs, pamper yourself with rejuvenating spa treatments and witness mesmerizing sunsets that paint the sky.

6. Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru

Embark on a life-changing journey as you hike the Inca Trail to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Trek through stunning Andean landscapes, passing through cloud forests and high mountain passes.

Finally, as you reach the Sun Gate, witness the majestic citadel of Machu Picchu emerging from the mist. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an archaeological wonder you won’t want to miss.

7. Cruising the Norwegian Fjords

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Norwegian Fjords. Hop on a cruise and sail through deep blue waters flanked by towering cliffs and snow-capped mountains. Marvel at the cascading waterfalls and spot charming coastal villages along the way. The tranquility and grandeur of this natural wonder will leave you speechless.

8. Roaming the Streets of Tokyo, Japan

Experience the harmonious blend of tradition and modernity in the bustling city of Tokyo. Explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Shinjuku and Shibuya, where futuristic skyscrapers stand next to ancient temples.

Indulge in delicious sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market and immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife of the city. Tokyo is a city that never fails to mesmerize.

9. Discovering the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

Embark on a safari adventure in the Serengeti National Park, home to the iconic African wildlife. Witness the awe-inspiring wildebeest migration, spot majestic elephants roaming the plains, and listen to the roar of lions in the distance. The vast savannah and abundant wildlife make the Serengeti a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.

10. Soaking Up the Sun in Bali, Indonesia

Escape to the tropical paradise of Bali, where lush rice terraces, ancient temples, and pristine beaches await. Immerse yourself in the rich Balinese culture as you witness traditional dance performances and explore the sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud. Unwind on the idyllic beaches of Seminyak or catch a wave in the surfer’s paradise of Kuta.

11. Exploring the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Dive into the mesmerizing underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest coral reef system on the planet, teeming with vibrant marine life.

Snorkel or scuba dive among colorful coral formations encounter tropical fish, and perhaps even swim alongside majestic sea turtles. The Great Barrier Reef is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable aquatic adventure.

12. Embarking on a Road Trip along the Pacific Coast Highway, USA

Hit the open road and embark on a scenic road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway in the United States. This iconic route stretches along the breathtaking California coastline, offering stunning ocean views, rugged cliffs, and picturesque seaside towns.

Drive through Big Sur, explore the vibrant city of San Francisco, and marvel at the natural beauty that unfolds at every turn. A road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway is a quintessential American adventure.

13. Experiencing the Magic of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Discover the unparalleled biodiversity and natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. This archipelago is famous for its unique wildlife, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and blue-footed boobies. Explore the volcanic landscapes, snorkel with playful sea lions, and walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, who drew inspiration from the islands for his theory of evolution. The Galapagos Islands offer an extraordinary experience that will ignite your sense of wonder.

14. Trekking to Everest Base Camp, Nepal

Embark on an epic journey to the base of the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, in Nepal. Trek through the stunning Himalayan landscapes, passing through Sherpa villages and ancient monasteries. Marvel at breathtaking vistas of snow-capped mountains, including Everest itself. The trek to Everest Base Camp is a challenging but immensely rewarding adventure that will test your limits and provide you with a sense of accomplishment like no other.

15. Uncovering History in Rome, Italy

Step into the footsteps of ancient civilizations as you explore the historic city of Rome in Italy. Visit iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Pantheon. Marvel at the artistry of the Vatican Museums and the awe-inspiring beauty of St. Peter’s Basilica. Indulge in delicious Italian cuisine and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture that permeates every corner of the city. Rome is a living testament to the power and grandeur of the Roman Empire.

16. Cruising through Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Embark on a cruise through the mystical landscapes of Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its towering limestone karsts, emerald waters, and floating villages. Glide along the serene bay on a traditional junk boat, explore hidden caves and grottoes, and witness the surreal beauty of the natural surroundings. Ha Long Bay is a true gem of Southeast Asia and a feast for the senses.

17. Discovering the Vibrant Streets of Marrakech, Morocco

Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors, exotic aromas, and bustling atmosphere of Marrakech in Morocco. Lose yourself in the maze-like streets of the medina, where vibrant souks offer a treasure trove of handicrafts, spices, and textiles.

Visit the iconic Koutoubia Mosque, explore the lush Majorelle Garden, and indulge in the tantalizing flavors of Moroccan cuisine. Marrakech is a sensory delight that will transport you to a world of enchantment.

18. Experiencing Wildlife in the Amazon Rainforest, Brazil

Venture into the heart of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and immerse yourself in one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth. Cruise along the mighty Amazon River, spot elusive wildlife such as pink dolphins and jaguars, and learn from indigenous communities about their deep connection to the rainforest. The Amazon offers a unique opportunity to experience the raw power and beauty of nature.

19. Exploring the Cultural Melting Pot of Istanbul, Turkey

Delve into the vibrant tapestry of cultures that converge in Istanbul, Turkey. Wander through the historic streets of the Sultanahmet district, where the iconic Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia stand in majestic splendor. Explore the bustling bazaars, savor traditional Turkish cuisine, and cruise along the Bosphorus Strait to witness the seamless blend of Europe and Asia. Istanbul is a city that bridges continents and captures the imagination.

20. Witnessing the Majesty of Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

Prepare to be awe-struck by the thunderous roar and breathtaking beauty of Victoria Falls, situated on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. As the largest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls is a sight to behold.

Feel the mist on your face as you stand at the edge of the falls, take a thrilling helicopter ride for a bird’s-eye view, and embark on a sunset cruise along the Zambezi River. The sheer power and grandeur of Victoria Falls are sure to leave an indelible impression.

21. Chasing the Northern Lights in Tromsø, Norway

Embark on a magical journey to Tromsø, Norway, and witness the ethereal dance of the Northern Lights. Located within the Arctic Circle, Tromsø offers optimal conditions for viewing this natural phenomenon. Bundle up and venture into the wilderness, where you’ll be treated to a mesmerizing display of vibrant colors swirling across the night sky. The Northern Lights are a true bucket-list experience that will leave you in awe of the wonders of our universe.

22. Marveling at the Grandeur of the Grand Canyon, USA

Stand on the edge of one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders—the Grand Canyon in the United States. Carved by the mighty Colorado River over millions of years, this massive canyon stretches for 277 miles and boasts stunning panoramic vistas.

Hike along the rim, descend into the depths of the canyon on a guided tour, or take a scenic helicopter ride for a breathtaking perspective. The Grand Canyon is a testament to the power and beauty of nature.

23. Sailing the Greek Islands on a Yacht

Indulge in the ultimate island-hopping adventure by sailing the Greek Islands on a luxurious yacht. Explore the pristine beaches, ancient ruins, and charming whitewashed villages that dot the Aegean Sea. Swim in crystal-clear turquoise waters, feast on delicious Mediterranean cuisine, and immerse yourself in the laid-back island lifestyle. Sailing the Greek Islands offers a perfect blend of relaxation, exploration, and cultural immersion.

24. Venturing into the Wilds of Patagonia, Argentina/Chile

Embark on an epic expedition to Patagonia, a vast and untamed region shared by Argentina and Chile. Marvel at the towering granite peaks of Torres del Paine National Park, hike through glaciers and alpine meadows, and spot unique wildlife such as guanacos and Andean condors. Patagonia’s rugged beauty and pristine landscapes will leave you in awe of the power of nature.

25. Discovering the Ancient Temples of Angkor, Cambodia

Step back in time and explore the ancient wonders of Angkor in Cambodia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the legendary temple complex of Angkor Wat, with its intricate carvings and majestic architecture. Explore the sprawling ruins of Angkor Thom, marvel at the enigmatic faces of the Bayon Temple, and witness the magical sunrise over the temples. The temples of Angkor are a testament to the ingenuity and artistry of the Khmer Empire.

26. Diving into the Cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Descend into the mystical underworld of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico by exploring its cenotes. These natural sinkholes filled with crystal-clear groundwater offer a unique diving and snorkeling experience. Swim among stalactites and stalagmites, encounter diverse marine life, and discover the hidden beauty of the underground caves. The cenotes are a hidden gem of Mexico and a paradise for adventure seekers.

27. Trekking through the Rainbow Mountains of Vinicunca, Peru

Embark on a challenging trek through the otherworldly landscapes of Vinicunca, also known as the Rainbow Mountains, in Peru. Hike through high-altitude passes, witness the stunning array of vibrant colors that blanket the mountainside, and immerse yourself in the Andean culture of the local communities. The Rainbow Mountains offer a surreal and unforgettable trekking experience off the beaten path.

28. Experiencing the Festivals of India

Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural tapestry of India by experiencing its diverse festivals. From the colorful celebration of Holi, where people throw vibrant powders at each other, to the spiritual fervor of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, India’s festivals are a sensory explosion of colors, music, and traditions. Indulge in delicious street food, witness elaborate processions, and join in the joyous celebrations that showcase the country’s rich heritage.

29. Unwinding on the Beaches of Bali, Indonesia

Escape to the tropical paradise of Bali, Indonesia, and unwind on its pristine beaches. With its turquoise waters, lush green landscapes, and vibrant cultural scene, Bali offers the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Surf the world-class waves, practice yoga amidst stunning rice terraces, and indulge in spa treatments that rejuvenate the body and soul. Bali is a haven for beach lovers and seekers of tranquility.

30. Savoring the Culinary Delights of Tokyo, Japan

Embark on a culinary journey through the bustling streets of Tokyo, Japan. From world-class sushi to sizzling street food, Tokyo’s food scene is a gastronomic paradise. Indulge in traditional dishes such as ramen and tempura, experience the art of tea ceremony, and explore the vibrant Tsukiji Fish Market. Tokyo offers a feast for the taste buds and a chance to delve into the intricacies of Japanese cuisine.

In the vast tapestry of the world, these 30 amazing travel experiences around the world in 2023 are like bright gems waiting to be discovered. From natural wonders and cultural landmarks to thrilling adventures and culinary delights, each experience offers a unique glimpse into the beauty and diversity our planet has to offer.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, an adrenaline junkie, or a food enthusiast, these travel experiences will leave an indelible mark on your soul.

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Amazing Travel Experiences FAQ

  when is the best time to see the northern lights in tromsø.

The best time to see the Northern Lights in Tromsø is from late September to early April when the nights are dark and the conditions are optimal for viewing the aurora borealis.

  Are there guided tours available for exploring the Grand Canyon?

Yes, there are several guided tour options available for exploring the Grand Canyon. From hiking tours to helicopter rides, these guided experiences provide informative insights and ensure you make the most of your visit.

  How many Greek Islands can I visit on a yacht sailing trip?

The number of Greek Islands you can visit on a yacht sailing trip depends on the duration of your trip and the specific itinerary. There are over 6,000 islands in Greece, but popular routes often include islands like Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete.

  Do I need a visa to visit Angkor in Cambodia?

Yes, most visitors to Cambodia require a visa to enter the country, including for visiting Angkor. It’s recommended to check the specific visa requirements based on your nationality before traveling.

  What is the best time to visit the Yucatan cenotes in Mexico?

The best time to visit the Yucatan cenotes in Mexico is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to April. This ensures clearer visibility for diving and snorkeling activities.

  Which are the popular festivals in India that I should experience?

Some of the popular festivals in India that you should experience include Holi, Diwali, Navratri, and Ganesh Chaturthi. Each festival has its unique significance and offers a chance to witness the vibrant traditions and customs of India.

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Meet David Hoper, a passionate travel Blog writer with 7+ years of experience in travel content. Through his exemplary storytelling and engaging narratives, he shares his experiences and brings destinations to life. With a keen eye for detail and a love for exploration, he has cultivated a diverse portfolio of travel blogs that inspire and inform readers worldwide.

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amazing trip destinations

20 Amazing Destinations You Should Visit in Your Lifetime

Last Modified: August 23, 2023 //  by  Anda //   10 Comments

People often ask me what’s the most beautiful place that I have ever seen. But this question is always difficult to answer. There are so many amazing destinations in the world, that you couldn’t possibly put them in one list. Even if you think you’ve seen it all, chances are there are still a few unique places that you haven’t experienced.

Table of Contents

1. Torres del Paine, Chile

2. laguna de los tres, argentina, 3. iguazú falls, argentina, 4. napali coast, kauai, hawaii, 5. grand canyon, arizona, 5. banff national park, alberta, canada, 6. jungfraujoch, switzerland, 7. yosemite national park, california, 8. misty fjords national monument in alaska, 9. lake como, italy, 10. hallstatt, austria, 11. havasupai canyon waterfalls, arizona, 12. petra, jordan, 13. australian outback in the red center, 13. loire valley, france, 14. great barrier reef, 15. the pacific coast, california, 16. taormina, sicily, 17. tanzania, africa, 18. french riviera, 19. yuanyang terraced fields, china, 20. wadi rum desert, jordan, 20 amazing destinations from around the world.

In our 30 years of travel we visited some fantastic destinations which we’d love to share with you. So here they are, in no particular order:

Torres del Paine amazing destination

Nothing can quite prepare you for your first glimpses of the Torres del Paine National Park, in Patagonia. It’s intimidating and utterly unforgettable. A paradise of pristine rivers, roaring waterfalls, massive ice fields, and vertiginous granite peaks. Patagonia is pretty much at the top of our list of the most beautiful nature destinations in the world. A destination definitely worth adding to your bucket list ideas .

Laguna de Los Tres, Argentina

The tiny turquoise lake at the foot of the iconic Mt. Fitz Roy in Argentinean Patagonia, is one of the most beautiful places we have ever been to. 

The majestic mountain complex has three peaks: Cerro Fitzroy (3,405m), Cerro Torre (3,128m), and Poincenot (2,558m). Hence the name of the lagoon at its foot –  Laguna de Los Tres (the Lake of the Three). 

Iguazu Falls, amazing destination

You might have seen the photos of the Iguazu Falls before, or maybe read about it. But coming face to face with this mighty falls is like coming face to face with a dragon.

Located on the border of the Argentina province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Parana, Iguazú National Park is one of the world’s most stunning natural sites.

Na Pali Coast: unique place

Kauai’s Na Pali coast  is arguably the most amazing confluence of land and sea on earth: cascading waterfalls, sheer cliffs and water worn inlets.

Na Pali can be hiked , seen from a helicopter, or enjoyed from the boat. In my opinion, boating and hiking are the best ways to explore this 15-mile long pristine coast.      

Gran Canyon, one of the most amazing places in the world

Vast, magnificent and inarguably beautiful, the Grand Canyon is by far Arizona’s most recognizable landmark and at the top of the list of US National Parks . It’s also one of the closest National Parks to Las Vegas .

Measuring roughly 277 miles long and 18 miles wide, the Grand Canyon offers plenty of outdoor activities from hiking, to zip-lining, horseback riding and whitewater rafting on the Colorado River.      

Lake Moraine in Banff, a very unique place

Located in the Rocky Mountains, Banff is Canada’s oldest national park and Banff  one of the most unbelievable places we’ve ever visited. Banff is the epitome of perfection. A place of beauty, tranquility and peace, where you instantly forget about your busy life and daily worries.

Amazing destinations: Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

Located in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland at an elevation of 3,466 meters, the tall peak of Jungfraujoch will make you feel like you are in a different world. Icy air streams across your face, snow crunches under your feet, and the view nearly takes your breath away. Standing amidst this world of glaciers and everlasting snow makes your heart skip a beat.    

Yosemite National Park, one of the most amazing destinations in California

National parks are by definition astonishing destinations, but Yosemite is by far the most impressive national park I’ve ever seen. Located in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite is not just a great valley. It’s the strength of granite, the power of glaciers and the roaring of the waterfalls, all gathered together in a shrine of beauty and tranquility.

Yosemite National Park is best known for its deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and so much more. 

The Misty Fjords, one of the most amazing destinations in Alaska

If you are looking for truly untouched nature, Alaska is the place to go. Everywhere you look there’s beauty, majesty, and tranquility.

One of the most amazing destinations in Alaska are the pristine Misty Fjords. The huge granite cliffs rising straight up from the sea, the calm waters and the sheer beauty of the area around  will astound you.

Lake Como, Italy

Located in Northern Italy’s Lombardy region, Lake Como is one of Europe’s most unique destinations. A perfect mix of scenery, culture and seduction. Quaint villages, elegant villas and snow-capped mountains. This upscale resort area is known for its dramatic scenery set against the foothills of the Alps. 

View of Hallstatt village from the lake

The picture-perfect Hallstatt is probably one of the most scenic mountain villages in the world. Located in the Austrian Alps, Hallstatt was once a very quiet place which could only be reached by boat or on foot, via narrow mountain trails.

Today however, Hallstatt has become one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. Most tourist visit the village as a day trip from Salzburg.

Havasupay Canyon Waterfall

Hidden in the Grand Canyon of Arizona, the Havasupai Indian Reservation is not easy to reach. This gorgeous spot is for those who can ride a horse or enjoy hiking for 8 miles or more. 

The area consists of a plateau dissected with deep, scenic canyons and turquoise waters. The color of the water is the result of having been stored underground – in limestone caverns or aquifers for thousands of years.

Amazing destinations: Petra, Jordan

Once the thriving capital of the Nabatean Kingdom, Petra was a major caravan centre during the Roman period. But in time the city’s importance declined and Petra was ultimately abandoned and forgotten. 

READ NEXT : Useful Things to Know Before Visiting Jordan

Since it wasn’t marked on any modern maps, Petra remained ‘hidden’ to the Western world for more than 500 years. Today Petra is one of the world’s most amazing destinations and the very reason why most people travel to Jordan these days. 

Australian Outback

One of the most beautiful destinations in the world is the Australian Outback, a vast and remote territory that stretches from the northern to southern Australian coastlines.

Perhaps the most spectacular region of the Australian Outback is the Red Center , a dry area that encompasses mountain ranges, desert plains, and Aboriginal sacred sites. This largely intact natural environment is home to a number of landmarks and national parks that are best explored on a road trip.

Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley, France

Located in central France, just two hours away from Paris , the Loire Valley has always been a magnet for the French elite. Lured by the region’s spectacular scenery and fine wines, many aristocrats and kings of France came to live in the lush countryside of the Loire Valley, building fairy tale chateaux and impressive Renaissance-era mansions.

Amazing destinations: Northwest Island

Considered one of the original Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef is without a doubt a magical place. Whether you like gazing at the marine life, sail along the reef, or unwind on the beach in the tropical breeze, the Great Barrier Reef is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Great Barrier Reef spanns over 2,300km and can be visited from many islands and ports like Cairns, Port Douglas, Townsville, and others.

View of Pacific Coast Highway

One of the most dramatic stretches of coastline the world is without a doubt the California’s Pacific Coast drive between Los Angeles and San Francisco. This famous coastal region is dotted with tiny picturesque towns, redwood forests, state parks, and rich marine wildlife. The Pacific Coast is one of the top destinations in the United States.

Amazing destinations: The Greek Theater in Taormina, Sicily

Of all the amazing towns in Sicily , Taormina is perhaps the most amazing one. The city enjoys a spectacular location, surrounded by tall mountains and iconic beaches. and a dramatic coastline.

In contrast with other Sicilian towns, Taormina sits high up on a promontory overlooking a dramatic coastline. The city is a must on every European bucket list.

Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Africa

Tanzania is many things to many people. To safari lovers it means gazing at elephants, lions, leopards, and rhino in the Serengeti National Park. To outdoor enthusiasts it means the vast majesty of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain.

This culturally diverse country that is home to 126 tribes, each speaking their own language, is one of the most beautiful countries to visit in Africa.

View of Nice on the Côte d'Azur, France

The French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) is one of Europe’s most popular travel destinations, due to the region’s sunny weather and amazing scenery. The beautiful coast has always been a magnet for the European elite who has been gathering here during the cold winter months since the 1940s.

The French Riviera stretches along the coast from Menton to Théoule sur Mer and up into the Southern Alps. Some of the most famous cities on the French Riviera include Nice , Cannes, Antibes, and the small state of Monaco. There are also over 14 natural parks, Roman ruins, and countless perched medieval villages in this area.

image depicting the Yuanyang Terraced Fields in China

The picture-perfect Yuanyang is considered the largest and most spectacular Rice Terrace in the world. Located on the slopes of Ailao Mountain in the province of Yunnan, China, these amazing rice terraces were built about 2500 years ago, by the ancestors of  Hani people .

But what makes them so unique? The water from the rain and from the mountain springs around flows down to the rice terraces and the whole cycle repeats itself perpetually. However, without the hard work of maintaining the terrace walls and irrigation system, the precious topsoil would wash down the hillsides.

image depicting the Wadi Rum desert

The Wadi Rum is one of the most spectacular destinations in the world and an absolute must, if you travel to Jordan . This desert valley located the southern part of of the country is also known as “Valley of the Moon.”

Unlike other deserts in the world, the Wadi Rum it’s not so much made of sand dunes, but rather of soaring cliffs and granite mountains. The only inhabitants of this area are a few Bedouin tribes and their goats and camels.

amazing trip destinations

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE:

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  • 8 Amazingly Beautiful National & State Parks Near Las Vegas, Nevada

Anda is an award winning travel writer, avid globetrotter and passionate photographer. She is the voice behind "Travel Notes & Beyond," a collection of stories and travel impressions from her wanderings around the world. When she is not busy writing, traveling, or editing photographs, you can find her hiking in the foothills behind her house together with her husband and their dog.

amazing trip destinations

Reader Interactions

Elaine J Masters

July 22, 2020 at 3:01 pm

Love your photos and I was so pleasantly surprised to see the pinnacle from Misty Fjords. We cruised by while staying with fishing friends from Ketchikan. So much beauty in the world!

Anda Galffy

July 9, 2020 at 3:10 pm

I agree, Elaine, and so little time to see it all.

July 10, 2020 at 10:50 pm

I visited the Pacific Coast, Grand Canyon, Yuanyang, and Kauai.Hope to do the others sometime

Mary {The World Is A Book}

July 9, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Such beautiful photos and a great list! I have been to only 3 (Great Barrier Reef, Yosemite and Grand Canyon). Banff and Iguazu Falls are so high on my list. There are so many incredible places we have yet to visit. Thanks for the inspiration!

July 9, 2020 at 3:22 pm

You are welcome Mary. Banff and Iguazu Falls and perhaps the most grandiose from my list so you should definitely strive to visit them.

July 9, 2020 at 3:01 pm

I was there over 15 years ago, when my brother in law used to live in New Caledonia. He and my husband are great scuba divers and visiting the Great Barrier Reef was their dream. In fact the photos have been taken by my brother in law.

Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

July 9, 2020 at 11:56 am

I’ve only been to a few of these places, so I need to get moving and see the rest. Iguazu Falls would be incredible to see (and hear) in person, I’m sure. I’ve snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, but frankly, I think I may not have been in the best spot. We were in a place that, it turns out, is best known for its sea grass and turtles. I had been hoping fore more coral.

July 9, 2020 at 9:18 am

I loved reading through this post! I have been to a few but am dying to see the rest of them, great photos.

July 9, 2020 at 8:55 am

So many great places in here. I have only been to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite but look forward to visit the other places. The Havasupai Canyon is not that far from Southern California but the 8 to 10 mile hike sounds scary (more if you think you have to carry all your camping stuff with you).

July 9, 2020 at 3:11 am

You can take a horse down to the Havasupay Canyon, but it’s kind of scary. The road is very narrow and the horses stumble all the time making it feel that you are going to fall into the ravine.

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amazing trip destinations

Wander With Jo

73 Amazing Holiday Destinations to add to Your Bucket List NOW

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag

As travelers, our bucket list keeps growing based on our never ending wanderlust. There are so many amazing holiday destinations – some off-beat and some rather commercial.

However, we want to explore every inch, we possibly can, of this beautiful planet. Not that we need new ideas but here are 73 Amazing Holiday Destinations to draw travel inspiration from , as shared by top travel bloggers and avid travelers from across the globe.

So, what is the best place you have ever been on holiday? Tell us in comments below and read on to find what makes other travel experts tick.

Want to know what makes your favorite blogger kick off their shoes and say – This is where I belong? Check out my curated list below.

Read on to discover new amazing holiday destinations –

Ryan Biddulph From BloggingFromParadise

phuket thailand

Definitely Phuket, Thailand . Bali and Chiang Mai are knocking on the door but the combo of beautiful beaches, modern conveniences, kind locals and heck, the cost of living is so low, I hate leaving the place. I stay on the Southern end of the island, in Rawai, away from the hustle and bustle of Patong. Whenever we land at the airport, Phuket feels like home, more than any place on earth.

Dave Levart From Dave’s Travel Corner

hiking-santa-monica-mountains

California – The combination of diversity of weather, natural attractions and people in this state is highly appealing to me. I love the fact you can be on the beach in the morning and on the ski slopes in the afternoon. You can be in cities that people from around the world come to visit one day and then experiencing some of the most incredible natural beauty the next. And the people that have moved here from around the world – bringing their own cultures, food and customs. The can do attitude. And it is a hub for a number of prominent industries.

Rachael Drury From RoamTheEarth

dylan turkey

The riverside town of Dalyan in Turkey is my favourite holiday destination as it’s the one place in the world that I find myself going back to again and again. Not only is it one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, with its majestic mountains and crystal clear lake and river, the food is fantastic and one of the most amazing beaches in the world, Iztuzu Beach, is just a short boat ride away. Home to loggerhead turtles and some of the kindest people in the world, Dalyan is a place that everyone falls in love with, go back to again and again and some even set up home there.

Tip – Get your Turkey visa easily by reading these Turkey visa requirements first.

Lucia From Unexpected Wanderlust

old providence columbia

Old Providence, Colombia – Providencia is a tiny island no one knows about. Everyone heads to its sister island, San Andres, which is overrun with tourists and big hotels. Providencia, on the other hand, has passed laws that protect the island and keep it in the hands of the locals. You can drive around the entire island in 40 minutes, but you never get tired of the Sea of Seven Colors or of the incredibly warm islanders. It is truly the most beautiful place I have ever seen to.

Rob Taylor From 2TravelDads

Narada Falls Rainbow Mist in Mt Rainier National Park 3

One of the best places to escape into the great outdoors in the Pacific Northwest of the USA is Mt Rainier National Park in Washington State. The mountain is known for being beautiful from every vantage point around the state, but up close, it’s breathtaking. Our favorite activity here is hiking to waterfalls. From lush forests to alpine meadows, each trek to the next waterfall is more beautiful than the last.

Noemi From PinayFlyingHigh

pelion greece

Pelion or Pilio, a lesser known place in Greece is probably one of the underrated places I’ve ever visited. The non-touristic and rustic feel of the whole place makes such a good introduction of the true beauty of Greece. Pelion caters to all kinds of travelers – from the mountaineers to sun worshippers, an endless array of activities is available for them. Famous for its sunny beaches during the summer and also a popular destination skiing destination during winter, I’m surprised why this place has not been picked up by international travelers. But I guess that why it has kept its beauty all these time?

Lyssie  From She Went To Spain

IMG_5522

For me, one of the most amazing holiday destinations is Andalucia, Spain. What’s not to love: beaches, mountains, culture, history, and Spanish wine that flows more freely than water. Andalucia has perfect weather all year round, whether you prefer snow for skiing in the Sierra Nevadas or sun for beaches in Almeria and Cadiz. Beautiful Andalusian horses perform shows in Jerez, or venture to a traditional Flamenco show in Sevilla, the most romantic city in Spain. Take a step back in time and visit Moorish castles and palaces in every small village dotting the South of Spain. The Costa del Sol is known for averaging 360 days of sunlight per year. And everywhere in Andalucia, you can grab a local beer for one euro. Andalucia has something for everyone!

Karolina From KarolinaPatryk

IMG_9905

Our favourite place in the world is Thailand! We love to travel to different countries and don’t really like to visit the same place twice.But it’s different with Thailand. We can’t resist visiting this amazing country every year. We love everything about Thailand- Thai food, Thai people, awesome weather and low prices. We really appreciate that it is a safe country. We are not afraid to leave the hotel at night because we know that nothing bad will happen to us. After visiting more than 30 countries in the world we still haven’t found a place that can even be compared to Thailand!

Vik From I.Am.Vagabond

Alaska

Alaska the name itself conjures up visions of unadulterated natural beauty, of pristine glaciers and animals roaming wild, of cold chilling winters and bright sunny summer nights. Yes you can never go wrong with making Alaska your travel destination.

Priyanka Bhattacharya

old manali

Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay- Dalai Lama. The rustic charm of Old Manali makes one wonder how withered structures seem so inviting, how a simple narrow sidewalk scattered with years of heritage engages you. Nothing fancy just old and dingy condos with remarkable wood crafting but such was its charisma that even today if I get to walk through the same narrow sidewalk I would do so in an eye-blink. The moist breeze, the buzz from the nearby kiosk lane, surrounded by the earthy smell from the slight drizzle that day, I could recall each and every detail of the walk through the transcendent lane. The fact that we stumbled upon that particular route was a beautiful mistake. Things don’t always go as planned; plans don’t always work out no matter how thorough you are with it. What do you do when this happens…you just need to go along with it. When things go according to the plan, great! When they don’t even better! When we trust the timeline of our lives, when we surrender, when we let go of the plan, the true plan gets room to unfold. Manali has given me tons of memories and it has definitely given me innumerable reasons to come back. (To Manali, with love)

Rebecca From A Creative Nomad

amazing holiday destinations

The Isle Of Skye is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. I love the myths and history. I love the people (this is all without mentioning the whiskey). Edinburgh is a beautiful historical and unique city. The Lochness river is unlike any.

Josh Rigo From Wander With Josh

italy

It may be cliche, but I’m forever in love with Italy. The culture, the food, the people, the variety of landscapes…. There really is something for everyone. I particularly fell in love with the lakes and mountains of Northern Italy. I’m counting down the days until I get to go back!

Prue and Becks From Straight on Detour

Lake O'hara

Lake O’hara, Yoho National Park, Canada – When we approached the Parks Canada desk the ladies eyes sparkled the moment she mentioned Lake O’hara. We knew right then that we had to go. The bus was full though so we’d have to hike 16 kilometres via the ‘fire’ road just to get there. “No worries” we thought, “We’ll try.” After a 3 hour hike we emerged in an alpine haven of glittering iridescent lakes surrounded by cliffs. The larches had turned gold with the first hint of winter and the views from the top of Opabin Plateau showcased the most glorious view of region. A place so unspoilt and so exquisite that Lake O’hara tops our bucket list.

Raksha Nagaraj From Solo Passport

queenstown

I am a girl who believes in fairy tales. I love everything about them, including the mystical landscapes. Why am I telling you this? Well, because my favourite holiday destination comes straight from the fairy tale, which is “Queenstown” in New Zealand. Being in South Island of New Zealand, Queenstown offers some spectacular landscapes and breath taking views. Every time I visit Queenstown, I am awed and spellbound by the beauty this place has to offer. Of course, Queenstown is even more special as I overcame my fear of heights, by bungee jumping the first commercial bunjee bridge in the World. No other place, that I have visited so far, has even come closer in taking the crown of Queenstown.

Chris & G From Chris & G Travels

koh lanta

If I could snap my fingers and be there now…I would say Ko Lanta, Thailand. We stayed on the beach in a bungalow for $14 a night and rented at scooter for $5 a day. The people of the island were relaxed and friendly. We would sit on the beach with our computers and work a few hours a day for our mobile income. After “work” we would take the scooter all around the island and explore. However, these days, we spend our time living and traveling full time in our Class A motorhome around the US. At this stage in our lives/travels this is best for us. But I do think very fondly of our time on that island.

Duke Stewart From DukeStewartWrites

thai food

Honestly, my favorite holiday destination has to be Thailand. Whether it’s the awesome and exotic islands in the south, Bangkok and the madness that comes with it, or the beautiful natural scenes that form the north surrounding Chiang Mai and other cities; I’m happy. Not only does it abound of biodiversity and beautiful landscapes, but the cities are more civilized than some places I’ve lived in America. Then there’s the food that well, everyone who’s ever visited will mention something different that they love. I think that shows there’s something worth discovering in Thailand and why it’s my favorite holiday destination.

Elaina From NomadVentura

malta

Malta is a perfect place to relax, unwind, soak up some culture, meet people from all over the world, learn about fascinating European history, explore some amazing underwater life of, camp in caves and cliff dive into the sea and enjoy the breathtaking scenery and landscapes everywhere. All you could want or wish for, Malta delivers and then some.There are Neolithic temples still standing that date back to the time of the Pyramids of Egypt, beautiful crystal caves and alluring grottos to explore.The people of Malta are as memorable as the country itself. They welcome everyone to their shores and share stories over mouth watering Mediterranean food and wine. Malta is amazing – just go and see for yourself!

Svenja Willruth From Travel-Blog-Repeat

golden gate bridge california

One place very high on my list of favorite places is beautiful California, and as even that leaves too many options, I’d like to name San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge as a symbol for one of my all-time favorite travel destinations. California has it all, mountains, deserts, the ocean, big cities, small towns, good food and enough places and adventures for almost every kind of traveler. Golden Gate Bridge is not only well-known from movies and TV, it is also truly beautiful close up and personal. Even though the Bay Area is famous for its unpredictable weather, sometimes you get really lucky and can actually see the bridge in the sunshine, in all its bright red glory. In the photo (taken on a road trip in summer 2005) you can see me shivering in front of Golden Gate Bridge, high up on Battery Spencer, which is the perfect place to take postcard-worthy photos.

Divya Shetty 

Aescher Berggasthaus

A few years back while surfing the internet for unique places to visit I came across this picture that instantly made me sit back and take notice. I was not sure if this is real. I thought its one of those pictures that must be Photoshopped ,enhanced and put up on the internet. Somehow I couldn’t get this picture out of my head. I saved it and it remained my wallpaper for the longest time. This surreal picture triggered the travel bug in me once more. After years of drooling over a picture i saw on the internet , I finally managed to hunt it down and click the exact picture I saw minus the goat. After a 6 mins cable car ride up..a 40 minute hike down and a walk through a dimly lit cave i was finally here. I couldnt believe my eyes. I had to pinch my myself back to reality. Aescher Berggasthaus a 170 yrd old mountain hotel is built literally into a cliff. It serves the worlds best Rostii !! Its open only from May to Oct and remains shut for the rest of the year. There’s no wifi, internet or Tv, but with a view like this..who needs them anyways? It hardly sees any Indian tourists. It was like a Dream come true. I am so glad I finally managed to tick this off my bucket list. Enough reasons to add it to yours?

Jake Allegro From Carpe Diem Amigos

snorkeling in ko chang

If I had to choose just one I’d have to go with Ko Chang Thailand, a beautiful island off the southern coast with rolling mountain roads, beautiful ocean front views, the sweetest people you’ll ever meet, and of course AMAZING FOOD! Ko chang was an experience all its own in my opinion. It offered activities ranging from camping hiking, and snorkeling, to beautiful ocean walks, relaxing white sand beaches, and a cuisine that was just to die for! It definitely stood out as one of my favorite places I’ve ever stayed (and definitely tempted me to stay and run away to Thailand!)

Cynthia Lee From Every Footstep an Adventure

Canyon Sainte-Anne

Canyon Sainte-Anne – It’s no secret that I love waterfalls. There’s just something so indescribably beautiful and magical about them. Canyon Sainte-Anne is a spectacular feat of nature in Québec, Canada with the most gorgeous waterfall, Sainte-Anne Falls. The water plunges over 74 m into the gorge below where it continues flowing down the Saint-Anne-du-Nord River. There were rainbows in every single direction you looked. I was so happy when I was able to capture this distinct rainbow directly over the waterfall! The sights, the sounds, and the whole atmosphere around waterfalls are just so beautiful and bring me such joy.

Ayngelina Brogan From Bacon is Magic

long haul flights

One of our favourite places is Italy. With amazing food, wine and architecture you never need to visit a museum, everything is out on the street. Check out their complete list of long haul flight tips on Bacon is Magic.

Katja From KatjaVsWorld

barbados

My favourite destination is definitely Barbados. This small island in the Caribbean sea has everything you need for a perfect vacation. Breathtaking beaches with turquoise waters and tall palm trees, sugar cane plantations, rum distilleries, luxury resorts with golf courses, tasty food and friendly locals. It also offers budget accommodation and it is ideal for budget travellers (I didn’t believe that before I went there).

Ankita Sonawane From Transforming Escapes

hammock goa

Goa the land of the Susegad life, is a mesmerizing mix of Portuguese culture, coconut-laden curries, white-sand beaches, palm fringed highways and a cheery vibe that I have my heart set on. Goa is like a home I always want to keep going back to, every visit is distinctive. Rains have a magical ability to transform Goa into a wonderland of paddy fields, waterfalls and green landscapes. Go beyond the common perceptions of Goa to make the most of your time there, travel by local transport, visit the idyllic coastal villages, tuck into delectable Goan cuisine, choose home-stays and travel mindfully to experience the best of Goa.

Tanya From Sweet Pea Adventures

Phu Quoc vietnam

My new favorite holiday destination is Phu Quoc, Vietnam. It’s a small island off the southern tip of the country that hasn’t been overrun with tourists yet! There is awesome sea food and some of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve ever seen. The water is super clear and we had a great snorkeling trip. They also offered diving and kayaking tours that I’m excited to try for next time. We did a little jungle trekking which led to a beautiful waterfall one morning. Each night there is a fun Night Market that has several stalls for clothes, jewelry, art, and most importantly food! There are lots of great snacks, street food, and fresh seafood to choose from. Phu Quoc has everything you need for an awesome holiday, activities, beaches to relax on, and great food.

John Roberts From InTheLoopTravel

Burmese kid

The stunning beauty of Burma, also known as Myanmar, is obvious when you see the sunrises, sunsets and stunning golden temples and Buddhas. But the Burmese people, especially the friendly and heart-stealing children are the soul of this mysterious country in Southeast Asia. From the bustling city of Yangon to the serene villages and peaceful farms that sit along the important Irrawaddy River, Burma is opening to more tourism during a period of transition for the government. It’s a fabulous place to explore now while you can fully appreciate its innocence and charm.

Alyson Nachman From My Virtual Vacations

bermuda

Everyone must go to Bermuda! Not far from the US East Coast,it feels like you are visiting both the UK and the Caribbean. It’s is the perfect family vacation. The beaches are amazing with colorful foliage, stunning rocks, soft pink sand and crystal blue water. The cuisine, especially in the authentic British pubs, is delicious. They have a great variety of festivities, like Harbour Nights which is held every Wednesday night in the summer, along with sailing and sports tournaments year-round. The locals are always welcoming in their traditional high, dark socks and Bermuda shorts. Truly a beautiful tropical paradise, every day is a holiday in Bermuda.

Molly Geoghegan From HummingdazeProductions

Lake Klöntal

Lake Klöntal (Klöntalersee) in Glarus Sud, Switzerland – I traveled to Switzerland for the first time in summer 2013 and opted out of usual Swiss hotspots to visit a family friend an hour southwest of Zurich (by train) in a small town called Mitlödi. She graciously showed me around; the most breathtaking spot being this view over Lake Klöntal. In an area not swarming with tourists, there are trails, beaches lining the lake, boats to rent, and cafes overlooking the lake. I remember the glare in my camera being too bright to see what I’d taken and being genuinely stunned later just how #nofilter the scene really was.

Seema Shetty

Curaçao

One of the most amazing holiday destinations for me is this beautiful island named Curaçao. It is a Dutch Caribbean island so you will see the uniqueness in this island with the pastel colored buildings, architecture and of course beautiful beaches and rich coral reef. It is also a great location for scuba diving.I personally liked this place along with all the other islands that I have traveled to because I worked for a famous Cruise liner and I have traveled to almost 40 countries and more than 100 cities throughout the world; though Curaçao is the place that I would love to go back again and again. Curacao is an autonomous country now but it was from the kingdom of Netherlands. It has beautiful beaches and that’s what I enjoy the most. There is something to do irrespective of ones personality.Laze around and enjoy the serene beaches. Drink in European style (one of my favorites too) or just scuba or walk through the floating Emma bridge and enjoy having a meal on the boardwalk of Willemstad.

Trisna Brindamour From Suma Lifestyle

san marcos

San Marcos is this gorgeous little village on the banks of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The lake is known for it’s picturesque surroundings of volcanoes and hills. It’s said the area has healing powers and after visiting it’s easy to see why. This spot was so memorable to me because I did a yoga retreat up in the hills and this was the view from my morning shower! We stayed in shared cabins and woke every morning at sunrise to views of volcanoes spewing smoke then started the day with meditation and yoga!

Kat From Kat Is Travelling

tromso

I chose Tromso in Northern Norway as my favourite destination. When you’re as far North as Tromso you can experience natural phenomena that are pretty rare. In the summer there’s the midnight sun (which means you can ride the city’s cable car at 1am!) and in the winter there’s a great chance to see the much-chased Northern Lights.For me though Tromso is magical because of its connection to the Arctic. As the place where polar expeditions leave the mainland for Svalbard, there is something undeniably thrilling about knowing you are walking in the steps of people who have explored some of the wildest and most untouched places on Earth.

Vicky & Chris From Eat Sleep Love Travel

florence

Our favourite holiday destination is: Florence. Florence was were we took our first trip together and not only did we fall in love with each other we also fell in love with this gorgeous city.Bursting at the seams with culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments this city is an art lovers dream. We loved the UNESCO listed historic centre of Florence, home to the impressive Florence Duomo (Cathedral), we felt like we were walking through an open air museum. Coupled with amazing food and world leading fashion, what’s not to love about this beautiful romantic city?

Sandy and Vyjay From IM Voyager

Rapperswil

Here is our write up on Rapperswil in Switzerland which we consider as a favorite holiday destination in Switzerland. Switzerland is a country which must have inspired the great masterpieces of art and literature, it is like a painting come to life, a poem wafting tantalizingly in the air, a sculpture skillfully etched by Nature. One relatively unknown gem where you can listen to the sound of your own footfalls and gaze reverently at the lake and soak in nature is Rapperswil.

Crazy Travelista

Shipwreck Beach Zakynthos

Shipwreck Beach, Zakynthos, Greece: In an unexpected turn of events, we ended up at at the top of Shipwreck Beach. The most beautiful site I had seen in all of my travels stood right below me. Forget all the famous pictures of this place, this was raw, unedited beauty and it literally took my breathe away. It was there that I realized the true beauty of the world and I was instantly filled with peace and contentment. I get chills wherever I think of this magical day and this is exactly why I love traveling. It’s not about the destination, but the way it changes your outlook on life.

Scott MacLeod From At The Drop

indo pacific sergeant fish

For favorite destination, no place has the combination of great beaches, fantastic food, wonderful people, and real value of Thailand. The beaches are top notch, from Samuito Phuket. Thai food is legendary, found world wide, with universal appeal. It is even better in Thailand, whether from ubiquitous street vendors or the best restaurants.The Thais are taught from childhood that if one loses their temper, they weren’t raised properly. That is the genesis of a warmth, and graciousness that is rare, and part of the joy of being there. And the values are real. For example, the Bangkok rates for some of the world’s best hotels are often 25% less than others in the same chain. Put those all together, and Thailand is tough to beat.

Nina From Safari Junkie

Meroe Pyramids sudan

Meroe Pyramids in Sudan – If you like pyramids but don’t like tourist crowds, skip Egypt and head to Meroe Pyramids in Sudan! Not the easiest place to travel if travelling solo, but once you get there it will be only you, sand, wind and silent pyramids awaiting to discover their stories. As off beat destination as it can be!

Ashleigh Phifer From Paws and a Passport

Gatlinburg-Tennessee-Mountain

When it comes to vacationing I love to be at the beach or in the big city, but there’s one place that doesn’t quite fit that mold that will always be my favorite. Gatlinburg, in my home state of Tennessee, is located along the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the most visited national parks in America. The Smoky Mountains are home to amazing hikes, climbs, and sights. There’s a high chance you will see some awesome wildlife while you’re out and an even better chance of taking some amazing photos. Gatlinburg is a city with so much to do and there are always events and festivals held year round. Despite the draw of people from all over the world, Gatlinburg still finds a way to hold that peaceful mountain vibe.

Sierra From TakeMe-WithYou

Keswick england

The gem of the North Lake District, Keswick, balances small village charm with the rugged majesty of its surroundings. Thrill seekers of all ages will find Keswick well worth a detour from England’s typical train-linked destinations (although be sure you plan extra time to catch the bus from Penrith!). Sheep do seem to outnumber people on the walking trails. I love the hiking trails (or “walking” trails, as the locals say). There’s all different paths for every level of activity, and the views from some of the higher hills are absolutely breathtaking. The locals are extremely kind and proud to share their home with appreciative tourists.

Sharmistha From That Girl’s Life Stories

Krabi

Krabi is just gorgeous. Why it’s my favourite is not only because we spent our honeymoon there, but also because it offers so much for someone who wants to break free from everyday mundane activities. We lazed down on the white sandy beaches, snorkeled in the beaches, saw gorgeous sunsets, and gorged on delicious Thai cuisine. We couldn’t stop marveling at the striking natural beauty be it the gorgeous cliffs or the beaches. The hot springs are also almost therapeutic and refreshing at the same time! We did kayaking too to experience Krabi’s breathtaking landscapes.

Brianne Morford From Wander With Bri

Las Catalinas

Las Catalinas at Playa Danta, Costa Rica is on top of my amazing holiday destinations list. Las Catalinas is a d r e a m. Pura vida {Costa Rica’s country motto, pure life} can be easily achieved in this enchanting pedestrian town with it’s old quarter style to your left and it’s private black sand beach to your right. The sound of waves crashing heard from your front door will surely make you want to hit the beach immediately. You can rent all sorts of water equipment, mountain bikes, or sign up for outdoor activity tours at Pura Vida Ride. Did I mention Las Catalinas is surrounded by world-class hiking and biking trails? After you’ve hit the waves for a while, head over to Limonada to grab some fish tacos or tuna tartare. If all of those weren’t enough to win you over – you are sure to fall in love as soon as you experience your first picture perfect sunset – followed by a dark sky with thousands of stars gleaming above you. You will feel in tune with yourself and nature after this ultimate relaxation trip.

Ryan and Cristina From Honeymoon Travellers

Fisherman in Hoi An

One of our recent favorite spots was Vietnam. Vietnam is impossible to boil down to a soundbyte… the mix of cultures old and new, the flavors of locally grown food eaten humbly at curbside restaurants, the stunning scenery of jungle-covered mountains, sunsets by the Mekong and white sand beaches, and the nicest people on the planet, all combine to create something truly special in Vietnam. Add to all that how incredibly inexpensive it is to travel there ($37/day for two), and well, it’s a country we’ll definitely be returning to again as soon as possible.

Danik From Danik The Explorer

maldives

One of my all time vacation destinations has to be the Maldives. I am not normally a person who likes to relax by the sea, taking in the the sandy beaches, swimming in the clear blue oceans and simply enjoying the local cuisine but now and again I do need this and one destination always come to mind, the Maldives and is currently my number one destination to get away from it all. I really do feel miles away from home (or anywhere for a matter of fact), the remoteness and the wildlife ranging from dolphins to stingrays roaming around in the ocean. With plenty of resorts and hotels to choose from on its many islands, I am spoiled for choice!

Sadhvi Mythuli From Beauty Brain Bliss

Pykara falls Ooty

Ooty is located on Nilgiri Hills,Tamil Nadu. The journey to Ooty itself is very pleasant. Mesmerizing nature welcomes you from the very beginning. The weather in Ooty is the most impressing thing. I have visited many hill stations in both south and north India, they were either boring or extremely chilly places. Ooty seemed to have the perfect weather when we visited in August. It was not too cold and never hot wild mild rain sprinkling occasionally. We rented a bike there and roamed on it and even with hours of roaming we never got exhausted. .They were very few places exactly to be called as ‘Tourist spots’ , but some view points are simply breath taking.The Nilgiri toy train is a must try..as it is one of the UNESCO World heritage things in India.

Madeline Schürz

Rio de Janeiro

There are so many good reasons why Rio de Janeiro is also called the marvelous city. Copacabana beach, Christ the redeemer, samba parties, the sugarloaf, hiking trails and ice-cold caipirinhas are just some of reasons why I love the city so much. The opportunities of what to do, where to go and what to see are endless and the best of all are the people. Cariocas are probably the friendliest, happiest and most optimistic and social people I have ever meet. They have a talent of bringing out the best in everybody with their endless positivity.

Maria From GlobalMary

madeira

Madeira is my most favourite destination. This Portuguese island is not a beach paradise unlike it’s Spanish neighbours the Canary Islands. Madeira is rocky, unique and challenging! And that is why I love it. It’s a great destination for those who love the ocean, mountains, forests and desert at the same time. I know it sounds confusing, but Madeira has it all. It’s perfect for an active vacation with hiking, walking along the Levadas, swimming in the natural swimming pools of Porto Moniz and enjoying fresh fish and seafood with a perfect glass of Portuguese wine. For those who want to go there, I recommend to take a car and explore the island.

Jessica J. Hill From MissAdvenureTravel

amazing holiday destinations

When I decide to travel, I usually want to go somewhere new and stay for a while, which means I’m constantly making new favorite places around the world. However, there is one place that stole my heart several years ago, and the only one I’ve returned to again and again: Thailand. People often describe the country as “magical” and I think that’s because it’s difficult to put in words why exactly it has such a strong gravitational pull for many of us. It has something for every kind of traveler, and can cater to any kind of holiday. The only problem is that Thailand lingers in your heart and your mind for so long after your first visit that you never really leave.

iran

Iran is a colourful country which can offer you a diversity in history, culture, stunning natural places, surprising food and lovable people. It is a big country with plenty of cheap modes of transport. For urban, crazy life, a place where you can find basically everything – Teheran is your city (look for the right people for underground parties etc. if you are interested). I’m sure you will see so many things that are different for you than expected. In culture and beauty the cities Isfahan, Yazd and Shiraz (including the nearby Persepolis) are unbeatable. There you can also have the experience to sleep in the desert, visit fire temples of the Zoroastrians and submerge the world of poetry, romance and feelings of 1001 nights. I personally love the famous carpet bazaar of Tabriz in the north of the country. And if you like nice climate it’s also recommendable to be around this area. You can visit the stone-village Kandovan, the mountain-village Masouleh and the Caspian See. There are so many places that you can already spend one month only there. If you are into nature and mountains, then you should go to the West and explore Kurdistan and Luristan close to the Iraq boarder and, in my opinion, not dangerous. A note to the south: There is a place called Bandar Abbas and there you will find a completely different culture and behaviour. The people living there are descendants of an afro-Iranian culture and they still preserve some African culture and life.

Sherwin Mapanoo From Nomadic Travelogue

blue lagoon iceland

If I could just recommend one holiday destination in the world, I would have to say it’s the Blue Lagoon in Grindavik, Iceland. I have never seen anything quite like it before! It is as magnificent as the photographs make it look and dipping into its warm, cloudy, electric blue-colored water at 37-40 degrees Celsius surrounded by volcanic rocks is such a sublime and relaxing experience. The lagoon glows like a surreal painting as the steam rises off the water. Around it, you can also scoop some white silica mud and put it on your face and body. The entrance fee is definitely worth it!

Taran Ramshaw & Hannah Galpin From Nomad’er How Far

Fraser Island

Fraser Island is our top pick for our favourite holiday destination. The worlds largest sand island, home to dingo’s, snakes and some of the most photo-worthy views you’ll find in Australia, it is definitely worth exploring. Known as K’Gari by its traditional owners, the Butchalla people, it is raw and rough in places, with clean expanses of endless clean sand drifting down to the ocean; this place is a campers haven. Lake Mckenzie is a tranquil spot of epic blue beauty, with champagne pools the place to experience the rough surf in relative relaxation. Fraser is far enough from civilisation that it feels unspoilt, and yet it gives you a desert island experience without entering ‘Castaway’ territory. If you visit just one of Australia’s tropical islands, then this one will leave a lasting impression.

Violeta Matei From VioletaMatei

Praia Grande de Pera

Praia Grande de Pera, Algarve, Portugal – Hidden behind a field of almond trees and a stripe of sand dunes, Praia Grande de Pera is a natural beach, perhaps one of the very few pristine beaches left in Europe. I love it for its tranquility, for the clear waters and for its mix of wilderness and modern comfort. Fishermen launch their boats to water every morning. By late afternoon, they return, to the joy of the countless seagulls, eager to have their dinner served directly on the beach. Locals walk their dogs along the sand dunes, everybody is relaxed and smiling, and the food is simply fabulous. There’s also a wild park nearby, where you can watch various species of birds, rabbits and other tiny creatures. I’ve booked a two week vacation there and I ended up staying three months. I still dream of going back someday.

Anje Rautenbach From Going Somewhere Slowly

south africa

It doesn’t matter how far I travel and where I go, South Africa will always be my favourite holiday destination because it offers a history that still amazes and confuse me, cultures I still need to explore and places which are still undiscovered. The country boasts kilometers of pristine coastline, a desert and incredible mindblowing wildlife, mountains and forests. It is impossible to get enough of South Africa as it is the ultimate all-in-one country; affordable with incredible weather and a whole lot of soul. In South Africa you always get way more than what you bargained for!

Nikki Godwin From Where Is Noodles?

amazing trip destinations

My favourite destination so far is Moshi – a vibrant medium-sized town that sits humbly in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania . I lived here for five months as a volunteer and loved everything about it – the friendly, strong and optimistic people; the wildly contrasting landscapes and vivid colours wherever you look; the vibrant culture and sense of community and faith. It is also a great base for accessing some of Tanzania’s amazing national parks, home to an abundance of African wildlife, and the exotic island of Zanzibar is only a short flight away too. Moshi offers the perfect mix of adventure and comfort. It’s anything you want it to be….and then some!

Jessica Ingles From Jessisa Wanderer

pyramids in Giza

Controversially, I’m going to go with Egypt as my favourite holiday destination. I’ve been an expat there for five years and I can’t rate it highly enough. There’s something for everyone: history, culture, kite surfing, diving, sand boarding and much much more. Since living in Egypt, I’ve taken a cruise from Aswan to Luxor down the River Nile, I’ve camped out under the stars in the Sahara Desert, seen some of the most beautiful sunsets, met some of the friendliest people, flown in a hot-air balloon and enjoyed almost year-round sunshine. Egypt isn’t expensive either so it’s perfect for the budget traveller – especially if you’re happy to barter!

Laura Graham From Laurasaurus Travels

St Petersburg

Ever since I spotted a big red blob called U.S.S.R. on my first atlas, I’ve been a bit obsessed with Russia, so I jumped at the chance to visit my friend in St Petersburg a few years ago. The city is a fascinating combination of European and Russian architecture, with breath-taking views every time you turn a corner. We spent our time walking for hours, touring the amazing metro stations, drinking Soviet Champagne, partying till dawn, and pretending to be Russian to get cheap tickets to the ballet. I would jump at the chance to go back and explore more of Russia.

Francesca From Frankie Goes To Milano

atlas mountains

Hot air balloon ride over the Atlas Mountains Morocco- Floating across the sky at sunrise, enjoying a bird’s-eye view of Morocco’s deserts and the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Letting the wind take us to discover the earth from the air. Definite *bucket list *material – asking myself “*did I really just do that?” When you ride a hot air balloon, you’re at the airs mercy, only being able to control height, not speed or direction. The experience is exhilarating, slightly terrifying, but my eyes were vivid with wonder; trying to take everything in, whilst clutching to the basket for dear life. Flying was very peaceful and smooth but almost eerie, as it didn’t feel like we were even off the ground. We floated over small towns, farming areas and got to see the mountains illuminated by the morning sun !

Rashmi & Chalukya  From Go Beyond Bounds

Pena Palace

Sintra is a picturesque town at the foothills of Sintra Mountain around an hour away from Portugal capital city Lisbon by train. Sintra has some of the extravagant palaces built by the Portugal’s rulers. Popular ones being the Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira and Palacio de Monserrate. Sintra also has some of the gorgeous stretches of azure beaches. It is definitely a must-do day trip from Lisbon with well-connected transportation.

Tine Hemeryck From Fractions of The World

Scotland Hebrides

The Outer Hebrides -Scotland is known for many things like whisky and bad weather, but to me, it’s the romantic beauty that really sticks. Especially the Hebrides, just off the west coast of mainland, tick all the right boxes for a romantic getaway: there’s the charming little fishing villages, lovely scenic roads, gorgeous coastlines, idyllic beaches and lovely rolling grass hills that make the color palet all the more attractive. And the views don’t cost you anything! My favorite islands are part of the Outer Hebrides: the isle of Berneray, Lewis and Harris. The bright green fields and blue lagoons out here are so spectacular it’s easy to forget you’re in Scotland rather than some expensive exotic destination. And if you’re lucky, you’ve got it all to yourselves most of the time… Enjoy a picnic on the beach or walk up the reefs and wait for the sun to set. Even if the mist comes up from the ocean and starts covering the surroundings, you’ll still be treated with the most surreal vistas. To me, the Hebrides are all about the romance of being disconnected from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Just you and the world… and the sheep, of course. Ferry prices are reasonable and there are plenty of budget hostels and b&b’s with phenomenal views of the surroundings.

Ashley From Average People Amazing Travel

london england

My Favorite Travel Destination is London,England. Despite the fact it is consistently in the top 10 travel destinations in the world, often holding the number one spot, many people seemed surprised when I tell them the London, England is my absolute favorite place to visit.But why wouldn’t it be? The energy is intoxicating, the history is palpable, the architecture is incredible, and a more multicultural place I have never been. This is a city that more than anywhere else finds the perfect balance of past and present, with 11th century fortresses, 300 year old pubs and 1300 year old churches surrounded by some of the best shopping, theaters, galleries, and yes even food, in the world!

Vicki   Robey From TheIndependentNomads

KOH TA KIEV CAMBODIA

Koh Ta Kiev is an undeveloped tropical island located off the south coast of Cambodia. Covered in lusheous green jungle its bursting with wildlife including a stunning spectrum of brightly coloured butterflies and a wide collection of birds. The island is surrounded by crystal clear waters where one can snorkel, skinny Dip among the phosphorescent plankton and cool off from the days heat. This island plays host to only 5 basic guesthouses offering you a chance to get back to unspoilt nature and embrace the simplicity of island life! Koh Ta Kiev truly is paradise on earth!

Lindsay Davies From I’ve Been Bit

Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park – This gem in Newfoundland, the most eastern province in Canada, stole my heart when I road tripped there solo a few years ago. A part of the outlying range of the Appalachian Mountains, it has a variety of beautiful landscapes. From beautiful fjords carved from glaciers to tablelands that resemble a barren desert, Gros Morne is definitely a sight to see! A popular trail is the Western Brook Pond trail, but I suggest the Lookout Trail – it’ll give you some of the best views in the park!

Lillian Small

colorful house iceland

Iceland. Imagine a vast landscape.The deep blue ocean, big skies, volcanoes in the distance, glaciers by your side. The long windy Ring Road takes you through villages and natural rock formations. Hundreds of waterfalls are yours to discover. Icelandic horses greet you as you pass. It appears they may be the sole inhabitants.Lighthouses and churches mark human impact but Mother Nature is still in control. Untouched and pristine, the landscape drastically changes before your eyes as do the seasons. Relax in hot springs, admire the Northern Lights dancing above and soak in the nightlife of Reykyajik.

Sharukh Bamboat From Travel India Destinations

Elphinstone Point in Mahabaleshwar

Around 300 kilometers from Mumbai lies Mahabaleshwar, a quiet hill station nestled in the Western Ghats range at an elevation of 1,353 meters. Mahabaleshwar is the ‘Strawberry Capital of India’ contributing 85% of the total strawberry production in the country. I prefer to visit Mahabaleshwar for its peaceful environment where I can enjoy the gifts of nature. There are various points here like Arthur Seat Point, Kate’s Point, Wilson Point that are quite popular, but more than anything else I prefer to take a walk in the tiny villages close to Bhose where I can visit factory outlet of Mapro and other local jam manufacturers that offer products at rock bottom rates. A perfect getaway destination for nature lovers and couples.

Carmen From Carmen Everywhere

carmen in thailand

Although overly crowded with tourists, Thailand has some unique points for example it has something for everyone. Do you want city? then you go to Bangkok and enjoy the skyscrapers and the amazing city life it offers. Do you want beach? Thailand has a wide array of idyllic tropical beaches that are hard to find elsewhere unless you go to the Caribbean maybe but then that would cost way more than going to Thailand. Countryside? Thailand has beautiful landscape in different country side options.

Anchored in Alaska

Kodiak Alaska

Kodiak, Alaska, a remote Island in the Pacific Ocean. It can be an adventure just to get here, but well worth it in the end. This island has so much to offer for an adventurist. You are surrounded by beauty. During the summer months you can find the Salmon jumping in the streams, Kodiak Brown Bears catching Salmon from these riverbeds (right in front of you). Mountains jetting right out of the ocean – still snow capped from the winter months. Our temperature stays between 65-75, perfect for all the beautiful hikes throughout Kodiak. From fishing, hunting, hiking, trail riding, photography this island does not disappoint!

Diganto Ozzy

Kelvingrove Museum

Nestled on the banks of Clyde River, this beautiful little city called Glasgow is the capital of Scotland.  I loved the pebbled streets along with Victorian and Gothic structures; gives a feeling of being transported to a different era altogether. Within these oldish looking structures lies the modern times with offices and stores that one can ask for. The city centre (aptly named Argyle Street) is the main hub for people to meet and have a great time. I was mesmerized by the street performers ranging from a soccer jedi to the drummers from Scottish Highlands (damn they were good). Being a history buff myself, I really enjoyed exploring the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. It houses some of the exquisite stuff related to the Viking Era among others. It so happened that there was a AC/DC (the rock band) exhibition happening which made this trip perfect. I was quite surprised to find a NYPD (New York Police Dept) squad car parked in front of a cafe. Upon enquiry I found that it was a prop from the Hollywood movie World War Z. Hogwarts (from Harry Potter) is a place which is imaginary but if you look at the main building of Glasgow University it doesn’t look too farfetched.

Gloria Apara From Nomadic Chica

Easter Island Chile

It is very difficult to choose only one favorite destination, but if I might to think about a holiday destination (saying staying there for a week or two) the one that has become very close to my heart is Easter Island in Chile. It is fascinating to be in the Eastern piece of land from South America and you get to feel that distance from the continent. After few days I was on a peaceful mood and I had enjoyed every second of my time there. Being lucky enough to meet locals from the first hour in the island gave me a once in a life experience, watching them fish in the traditional way, partying and hiking with the input of the ones living daily a culture with a deep connection with the Universe you get to have a renewed way to view the world. I recommend everybody to take the chance to visit Chile and this magical Island!

JennFlo Taylor From Hungry Belly Travels

Hakone in Japan

My favourite destination would be Hakone in Japan! This spa loving, nature loving haven is only an hour away from Tokyo and is the perfect place to chill out. There is plenty to do- visit high end art galleries, hike in forests, sail a pirate ship on Lake Ashi, check out a volcano, visit picturesque shrines or (my personal favourite and the main drawcard to the area) bath outdoors whilst looking at Mt Fuji.

Daniel Groothuis From Wanderer Vs World

Curaçao

Beautiful white beaches and clear blue waters! It sounds amazing right? Well, that’s not the reason why I’m slowly falling in love with this Island. Don’t get me wrong tho, It’s beaches and nature are absolutely stunning, but what I absolutely admire about Curaçao is it’s rich culture. The locals are friendly and it’s a laid back culture where the importance lies on relaxation and true living. There’s always a party somewhere and mixed with the Latin American culture it comes quite close to paradise. Although most parts of Willemstad isn’t pretty, It’s absolutely worth it to visit!

Scott writes for Intrepid Escape

Jasper Natoinal Park

I’m not sure where to start with Jasper. Alberta isn’t a usual holiday destination for us Brits, but it should be. From incredible hikes, stunning lakes and adrenaline activities in the summer, to endless slopes for Skiing and snowboarding in the winter. There’s something about sitting on top of the Whistler mountain here, breathing in the beautiful fresh air, that makes me feel like I’m on top of the world. And then there’s the friendly atmosphere, chilled out bars, great food and craft beers to wind away the hours in the evening. Perfect!

diving

You cannot buy happiness, but you can go diving…that’s about same. Living in Germany, my favourite destination is a diving safari on the Red Sea. Reaching out for the touristy regions like Hurghada with crowded dive basis and spots near the big hotels might not be the best place for a calm dive, but when you join a liveaboard, stress flies away and the world under the sea opens up in its full beauty. Wake up on the boat, take an early morning dive right before breakfast….just dive! And if you’re lucky, you even might meet a hammerhead or a whale shark.

Meijin Fang

sapa vietnam

I have traveled around ASEAN countries but one of the most amazing holdiay destinations for me, is Sapa. Amazing weather, epic scenary, great food and drinks are just few of the reasons. The main reason why I visited Sapa was The rice terrace, Valley stream. It stole my heart. Greeery everywhere, nice weather, about 15 km trekking and costs 15 USD with experienced tour guide. There are so many experiences which I cannot explain – once you visit Sapa you will see why I fell in love with it.

Jon Algie From Jon Is Travelling

Don Det 4000 islands

Don Det is a tiny island in the 4000 Islands region of Southern Laos, one of the most scenic stretches of the Mekong River. It’s probably the most laid-back place I’ve ever been. Locally run bars, restaurants and guesthouses line the river on both the sunset and sunrise sides of the island. The sunsets are world class and nothing beats watching one from the deck of your $5 a night bungalow. There is a bridge connecting Don Det to another island, Don Khon, where you can check out a dramatic waterfall and go searching for endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. Don Det is the perfect holiday destination — everything is cheap, the scenery is beautiful and there’s plenty of things to do if you get sick of relaxing in your hammock.

Jo From WanderWithJo

Cheetah in Masai Mara

As for me, I have so many amazing holiday destinations popping in my head right now and it is hard to choose just one. To be fair to everyone, I will go ahead and zero in on Kenya. Being a naturalist and wildlife enthusiast, Kenya was the perfect getaway for me. Abundance of wildlife , friendly people and mouth watering cuisines are just few of the highlights. From the grasslands of Mara to the wetlands of Naivasha – It’s a destination one should not miss. Add it to your bucket list now.

Amazing Holiday Destinations

So, friends and fellow travelers – I hope you enjoyed this ultimate bucket list we created for you. Which one of these 73 Amazing holiday destinations have you added to your bucket list and which ones are the best places to holiday on your own? Share your thoughts on our guide and don’t forget to share the post with your friends – We all need some travel inspiration, don’t we?

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38 thoughts on “73 amazing holiday destinations to add to your bucket list now”.

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Awesome Article Jo!

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Thanks for reading Tanya! Hope you got some new ideas for your bucket list 🙂

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Great post Jo! Thanks for including me!

Thanks for joining Katherine – this was so much fun for me to collate.

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Thanks Jo for featuring our write up on Rapperswil. 🙂 After reading this post, so many destinations actually now got added to our list!

Thanks Vyjay – I have an overflooded bucket list now,myself. Thanks for joining and Rapperswil sounds fab!

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So many wonderful places to visit!!! 🙂 Great collection of places and photos. I have to agree with Queenstown, NZ — amazing!!

I know, I was impressed by the array of places as well.

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Thanks for featuring me, Jo. It’s such a nice way to discover some new blogs, too!

Thanks for joining Laura 🙂

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This is such an amazing list Jo! Some of these places I’ve never even heard of. Thank you for including mine. :p

Yeah me neither. Thanks for being a part of this roundup – I had so much fun putting it together.

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Best list ever! It’s so long and comprehensive. Don’t need to go to any other site to look at multiple places. Thanks for putting this together.

Thanks – Glad you liked it. Yeah its pretty extensive 🙂

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Aaahh Spain is on the top of my list for this year! El Camino here I come!

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Thanks for including my thoughts Joe to this inspired list!

Happy to , Ryan 🙂

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Wow! Great compilation of fellow travel bloggers’ fave destinations! I’ve been to a few but much more to explore and thanks to your list, I know which ones I’ll add to my own bucket list. 🙂

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This is a helluva list!!! Hahah I agree with all the fellow Thai lovers but now I have some more places to add to my bucket list!

I know what you mean – Thailand IS amazing if you don’t just visit Bkk/Pattaya and explore the lovely islands. Plus, tons of awesome ideas here – yay 🙂

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Some really good ones here! Though I’d have to disagree with the first one…Phuket, I think there are better Thai islands!

I would say – to each his own. Plus, I never visited Rawai (the Southern end) which Ryan mentioned – seems like a peaceful place (you should totally skip Patong). Have you been to there?

I stayed in Patong and drove around other parts of the island, which I know are calmer, but I think Phuket is just getting a bit too touristy! Lot’s of people still love it though, it is beautiful.

Yeah I feel ya. I was in Patong and drove around as well – it was nice but it wasn’t (Koh Chang or Koh Lanta or the likes).. but knowing Ryan, if he recommends Rawai, I am sure it’s a good bet 😉

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Wow Jo! What an amazing bucket list! Congratulations on this! So many amazing destinations! Totally enjoyed and made me think about my favorite destination as well.

It does give you some sure shot travel inspiration 🙂 So which is your favorite destination Brenda?

I think it is either Sweden or Azerbaijan, not quite sure yet but I have enjoyed both places.

Wow – I haven’t been to either! There is SO much if this beautiful world to explore. Sigh.

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Such a long and extensive list – there’s something on here for everyone probably!

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This is epic! I love how everyone has a different amazing place to share. I’ve been to a ton of those places but have oh so many more to visit! I also feel like a total jerk for not getting you my favorite place! Sad I missed out on contributing to this epic article!

Hey Katie – No issues at all – I will be sure to contact you personally for the next collab – deal?

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Awesome information. Mentioning the PNW for the win!!!

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Great post with a variety of options. Loved thet you’ve gathered this info by other travellers abd made one post! There are a lot of places i had no idea about.

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Great list of places to go. Since I am now around SE Asia I will use this list for places around. Thank you!

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Wow ! now this is an extensive list! Thanks for adding mine too 🙂

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Yay I love this list of destinations! Thanks for including me, Jo! Have scheduled to share! 🙂

Thats awesome – thanks hun

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Clear water of Lake Tahoe California in summer with snowcapped mountains in the background--one of the best places to visit in the USA bucket list

USA Bucket List: 50 Best Places to Visit in the US

From snowcapped mountains to tropical beaches, from some of the world’s most iconic cities to some of its most incredible deserts, from the east coast to the west, one thing is incredibly certain: there is absolutely no shortage of awe-inspiring, utterly diverse, and incredibly beautiful places to visit in the USA.

Our home country boasts one of the most incredible national park systems on the planet, along with a huge variety of cities, small towns, and other gorgeous places that ensure that a lifetime would not be long enough to see all of the best travel destinations in the USA.

… But that won’t stop us from trying to enjoy as many of the most amazing vacations in the United States as we can.

We teamed up with several other travel bloggers to put together this giant USA bucket list, and definitely added a few new spots to our personal list of places to see in the US in the process!

From coast to coast, city to countryside, here are the best places to visit in the USA.

Table of Contents

Best Cities to Visit in the USA

National parks + other beautiful places for a us vacation, beaches + islands for your usa bucket list, other beautiful places in the usa to visit.

antelope canyon in arizona with a beam of light streaming into the canyon

Some links in this post may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more detail.

New York, New York

From Disha of Disha Discovers

New York is one of the most iconic and beautiful cities in the United States and even the world.

It truly is a city that everyone should visit at least once in their lives even if it’s just for a quick weekend in NYC !

The tall buildings are mesmerizing and awe-inspiring, it’s home to some of the most exquisite museums and galleries in the world, and New York City is brimming with so much to explore and see.

Plus, NYC is a foodie’s heaven with cuisines from all over the world.

… And, these are only a few of the many reasons to visit this magnificent city.

kate storm standing at a magnifying glass on liberty island overlooking financial district manhattan

Some bucket-list-worthy things to do in New York City are to watch a play on Broadway, see the Statue of Liberty, hang out in Time Square, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and take a stroll around Central Park.

A few museums to visit are the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Guggenheim, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue, Empire State Building, and Chelsea Market are must-sees as well.

Whatever you decide to do in New York City , you’re in for a real treat!

This city will leave you feeling inspired and you’ll want to book another trip to come back!

kate storm spinning in front of manhattan bridge in brooklyn, a must see duing 4 days in nyc

Miami, Florida

From Veronika of Travel Geekery

Vibrant and colorful Miami is, without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in the US.

The downtown area merges into wonderfully diverse neighborhoods from Little Havana to Coral Gables.

However, most visitors to the vibrant yet laid-back city head to its beaches located on a long stretch of a barrier island.

South Beach especially is where the glamor’s at, topped by stylish Ocean Drive, which is lined with elegant Art Deco houses including Versace’s mansion, trendy restaurants, and nightclubs… the scene is pretty lively there.

Kate in a pink dress next to a blue Vespa on Ocean Avenue.

The beach itself features uniquely colored watchtowers spread around nice light sand. The waves are mostly mild. Pelicans like it here too and often float on the water near people.

Watching a sunrise on the beach belongs to one of the best experiences one can have in the area.

Miami City and its beaches can easily be visited  even without a car .

The public transport network and the ample ride/bike-sharing services make it an easy destination for any type of traveler.

Blue and yellor art deco lifeguard stand on South Beach in Miami, which is a must-see beach for your USA bucket list!

San Diego, California

From Maria of San Diego Explorer

San Diego is the perfect California beach city and a must on any USA bucket list.

Also known as America’s Finest City, San Diego has a lot to offer, whether you are looking for a beach getaway at one of the many beach resorts in San Diego , a fun time in the city, or a mix of both.

Here are some of the best things to do in San Diego!

In Downtown San Diego, there is something for everyone: from eating delicious Italian fare in Little Italy to visiting the Midway Museum to strolling through Seaport Village, and having a fun night out in the Gaslamp Quarter.

If you love the outdoors and animals, visit Balboa Park and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.  

cityscape of san diego california on a sunny day

And then, there are the beaches: San Diego has some of the best beaches in Southern California.

Some of the most popular ones are Mission Beach, Coronado, and the beaches in La Jolla.

You can relax on the sand, take surfing lessons, or ride your bike along the boardwalk for a fun day on the beach.  

San Diego has so much to offer and is simply a fun city, no matter what you are in the mood for. 

San Diego CA harbor with rows of sailboats in the foreground and the skyline in the back right of the photo

Austin, Texas

The Live Music Capital of the World and capital of the state of Texas is located in the heart of Texas Hill Country and offers a fantastic combination of excellent nightlife, plenty of outdoor activities and day trip opportunities, and truly phenomenal food.

Don’t leave without having at least one giant meal each worth of TexMex and barbecue!

While in Austin, be sure to visit trendy South Congress Avenue, watch the bats fly out from under the South Congress Bridge (if you’re visiting at the right time of year, that is), see a show, and go for a hike (or if it’s too hot, hit the lake!).

Want to get out of town?

Austin is within an easy day trip of natural swimming holes, Texas’ wine country, and adorable small towns.

Austin TX skyline with the South Congress Bridge in the foreground

New Orleans, Louisiana

Good food, good music, and good times: of all the best places to visit in the USA, NOLA definitely ranks toward the top of the list for places to go to simply have an amazing time.

There’s far more to New Orleans than Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street, and beignets, though.

With a dark and complex history heavily impacted by slavery and a constantly evolving modern culture, New Orleans deserves more than just partying during your visit–though there’s plenty of time for that, too.

While in New Orleans, be sure to listen to some jazz, learn a bit about the city’s history, visit the famous Jackson Square, head to the Garden District, check out the beautiful oak trees in City Park, and–this is very important–eat your heart out.

NOLA is indisputably home to some of the best food in the country–so good, in fact, that the food alone would be a good enough reason to add New Orleans to your USA bucket list.

For those interested in New Orleans’ spooky legends, a ghost tour through the French Quarter at night is also worth adding to your to-do list!

Street in NOLA French Quarter at night with neon lights from the bars lighting it up--don't miss a chance to experience the legendary New Orleans nightlife during your 3 days in NOLA itinerary!

Washington, DC

From Jordan of The Solo Life

One of the best travel destinations in the United States is the nation’s capital, Washington, DC.

With everything from museums to monuments to the White House and Capitol Building, DC has something for everyone .

In addition, DC’s public transportation and numerous free attractions make it a surprising destination for the budget-friendly traveler.

Kid-friendly options include the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum.

Art lovers will enjoy the National Gallery of Art or the Hirshhorn Museum for modern and contemporary art.

sunset on the national mall in washington dc facing the washington monument, one of the best places to visit on the east coast america

History buffs should check out the Library of Congress and the National Archives Museum.

Besides museums, the National Mall and Tidal Basin are must-visit locations to see the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial, among others.

The best times to visit DC include early summer before it gets too hot or in the fall once summer break is over.

Although extremely crowded due to the Cherry Blossoms, springtime is also a gorgeous time to visit.

No matter what time of year, Washington, DC is one of the best destinations to visit in the US.

Washington Monument in Washington DC framed by cherry blossoms in the foreground. Washington DC is one of the best places to visit in the United States

San Francisco, California

The city of hills, ocean views, and the famous Golden Gate Bridge is at the top of many people’s lists of bucket lists for the United States.

And, with an endless list of things to do that cater to all interests, why not?

Be sure to pay a visit to the touristed highlights that most interest you–Fisherman’s Wharf (and its adorable sea lions!), Alcatraz, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, visiting the Painted Ladies (of Full House fame), and checking out Lombard Street.

Once you cross those highlights off your list, though, make time for a few less-obvious attractions, like San Francisco’s Japanese Garden, the Land’s End Labyrinth, and Fort Point.

And, of course, you can’t forget to go for a walk in the woods while visiting San Francisco!

Visiting the Muir Woods is an unforgettable experience worthy of your time on any weekend trip to the area.

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco CA shot from above on a clear day

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia has been one of the coolest US cities to visit for centuries, and–like Boston–it features strong ties to the American Revolution.

This is where the Declaration of Independence and the Consitution were signed, touring Independence Hall and visiting the nearby Liberty Bell are among the best things to do in Philadelphia today as a result!

You can’t miss Philly’s food scene when visiting, either–from whoopie pies to Philly cheesesteaks, the city has a (literal) flavor all its own.

elfreths alley in philadelphia, one of the best places to vacation in usa

Start–but don’t finish–exploring Philadelphia’s food scene at the historic Reading Terminal Market.

Be sure to also make time to visit some of Philadelphia’s incredible museums during your visit, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of the American Revolution (we loved this one), and touring the dark but fascinating Eastern State Penitentiary.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is also home to another essential stop in this iconic East Coast City: the Rocky Steps.

And, if you’re willing to work up a sweat, definitely consider running up them yourself during your classic American vacation in Philadelphia!

independence hall in philadelphia on a sunny day with red and pink flowers in the foreground. attractions in usa things to do

Chicago, Illinois

From Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan

Chicago is the third-largest city in the US, and also one of the most ethnically diverse.

Its skyline reflecting off the waters of Lake Michigan is a sight to behold.

No matter what your interests are, whether it’s music, shopping, culture, art, or dining, you could spend months exploring all that Chicago has to offer.

On a shorter USA vacation, though, you can still see quite a few of the best sights in Chicago!

The city’s top museums include the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Don’t forget to check out the many outdoor sculptures and other public works of art around the Loop, either.

View of Chicago IL skyline from willis tower skydeck, a must-see during a 3 day Chicago vacation

A walk along the Magnificent Mile will take you past upscale department stores and through Millennium Park, home of the famous sculpture known as The Bean.

A visit to Bronzeville, also known as “the Black Metropolis”, is a must to learn about the city’s rich African-American history.

Architecture buffs will be interested to know that this is where Frank Lloyd Wright established the Prairie School architectural style. You can find some of his earliest buildings here in Chicago.

You’ll work up an appetite walking the streets of this massive city. This is a good thing, because the restaurant scene here is amazing!

You can find pretty much any cuisine you could imagine, from stylish Japanese to homestyle soul food, and there are even lots of vegetarian and  vegan restaurants in Chicago .

Photo of Chicago train traveling on a bridge over car traffic--using Chicago's public transportation is the best way to get around on a Chicago weekend getaway!

Houston, Texas

From Thanh of The Traveling Asian

Houston, Texas is one of the coolest places to visit in the United States, and while an unexpected vacation option, certainly one that will impress.

After all, it is the 4th largest city in the USA and is often ranked as the most diverse city in the country!

Because of this size, you can expect there to be all kinds of things for you to see and do here in this city.

One of the most iconic places you must visit in the city is Space Center Houston.

There you can learn about NASA and space travel as well as take a tour around the famous mission control center. If you love space, then this place is for you.

sunset over houston texas skyline with pond in the foreground, one of the unexpected places for vacation in usa

Houston is also home to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo which is the biggest rodeo of its kind in the country.

There, you’ll be able to eat some delicious rodeo foods, pet some livestock, learn about animals, play at the amusement park, and even watch a concert by famous celebrities.

But aside from the attractions, Houston is known for its food. Since it is the most diverse city in the country, you can find just about everything available here in this city.

For instance, you can find Tex-Mex, Chinese, Ethiopian, Greek, and many other ethnic cuisines available all around the area.

So if you love food and all things fun, then Houston is definitely the place for you.

Skyline of Houston Texas as seen on a sunny day with a park in the foreground, Houston is one of the best weekend getaways in Texas

Las Vegas, Nevada

From Kimberley of Two Travelling Toques

If you’re looking for a cool place to visit in the USA, you can’t get much cooler than Las Vegas .

This well-known city has been depicted in numerous movies such as The Hangover and Ocean’s Thirteen as party central.

And if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll definitely find it in Vegas.

Long known as both the wedding capital for a quick place to get married, or the perfect spot to hold a bachelor or bachelorette party, either way, it’s the spot to bring your friends, let loose, and have fun!

Gambling has been a big draw to Las Vegas since the early 1930s, and there is no shortage of showy and extravagant casinos to choose from.

view of venice st marks square in las vegas, one of the best attractions long weekend in vegas getaway

Nightlife also takes center stage here.

From world-class musicians to top-notch magical acts, to dependable artists like Wayne Newton who have had a residency here for years. 

During the day, you can grab a fancy drink and chill by the pool. Or hit up one of the pool parties and listen to the headlining DJ.

Either way, be sure to bring lots of money for the high-end shops, ever-flowing drinks, and dazzling casinos looking to draw you in. 

Welcome to Las Vegas sign, one of the most popular weekend getaways in the USA

Savannah, Georgia

Without a doubt, the small but stunning city of Savannah, Georgia is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the USA.

Featuring absolutely stunning architecture, 22 of its original 24 town squares, endless oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, and some of the best food in the country, spending a few days in Savannah is bound to be a delight.

While you’re there, be sure to meander down beautiful Jones Street, check out Forsyth Park, hear some of the city’s most enduring legends on a ghost tour, enjoy views from River Street, and take in some of Savannah’s complex history at its various house museums and houses of worship.

Don’t forget to set aside plenty of time to eat!

Kate Storm in a black dress in front of a brick home on Jones Street during a long weekend in Savannah GA

While there are dozens of incredible  restaurants in Savannah , favorites include The Olde Pink House and The Grey for special occasions, The Collins Quarter for their legendary lavender mocha latte, and Leopold’s Ice Cream for a scoop of their famous Tutti Frutti ice cream.

Have enough time for a quick  day trip ?

Tybee Island –also known as “Savannah’s Beach”–is less than a 30-minute drive away, and while you certainly won’t want to swim in the summer, strolling along the sand and climbing the lighthouse are a treat.

Jones Street in Savannh GA with a green house in the left foreground and an oak tree on the right. Jones Street is one of the best Savannah photo spots

Los Angeles, California

From Trijit of Budget Travel Buff

Looking for the coolest place to visit in the United States?

Visit Los Angeles; a unique combination of the entertainment industry, gorgeous beaches, great food, and vibrant nightlife.

It is certainly not the cheapest place in California , but for the right travelers, LA is definitely worth the price tag.

Los Angeles is a large city full of tourist attractions that won’t let you stay idle.

If you are a beach lover, LA won’t disappoint you with its stunning beaches that include Malibu, Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Venice Beach, Hermosa Beach, and so on.

There are several fantastic museums in LA. LACMA is the most popular one for its diverse art collections and special exhibits.

Skyline of Los Angeles CA with palm trees in the forground, one of the best places to visit in the US

Some other renowned museums are the Grammy Museum, Natural History Museum, and Museum of Broken Relationships.

While visiting LA, you will notice entertainment at every corner of the city. You can see a concert or enjoy a ride at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park.

If you rent a car in Los Angeles, go for a scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway that carves through the mountains of Malibu.

Los Angeles has some of the best restaurants in the US.

Once you are done with LA sightseeing, have lunch at any of these food spots – Diakokuya for ramen, Langer’s for a pastrami sandwich, Guisados for tacos, or pizza at Mozza.

aerial view of santa monica beach near los angeles, one of the best places to vacation in the united states

Seattle, Washington

Set right on the water with the dramatic backdrop of Mount Rainier, it’s no wonder that busy and beautiful Seattle is one of the best USA travel destinations.

When visiting Seattle, be sure to eat your way through Pike Place Market, head to the top of the Space Needle, visit the famous Chihuly Museum, and check out the fun and interesting Museum of Pop Culture.

Looking for interesting neighborhoods?

Head to Fremont, where the self-proclaimed unofficial motto is “des libertas quirkas”, aka “the freedom to be quirky”.

Hoping to spend some time outside?

Nestled in the heart of the magnificent Pacific Northwest, endless waterfalls, trails, and mountains–even Mount Rainier itself–are located within day-tripping distance from Seattle.

Seattle Waterfront with space needle visible through the ferris wheel

Charleston, South Carolina

Located just a couple of hours north of Savannah, Charleston shares a lot of similarities with its neighbor to the south.

Fantastic Lowcountry food, Spanish moss dripping from the trees, beautiful architecture, and lots of history to uncover are wonderful to appreciate in both Charleston and Savannah –but Charleston absolutely has its own distinct personality as well.

On your Charleston vacation, be sure to visit the beautiful and photogenic Rainbow Row, check out the tea-making process at the Charleston Tea Garden, visit the gorgeous and interesting Angel Oak Tree, stroll through Waterfront Park and Battery Park, and check out City Market.

Photo of Rainbow Row in Charleston SC, a must see during a 3 day weekend in Charleston SC

If you’d like to do some shopping while in Charleston, King Street is the place to go.

Those interested in US military history will no doubt want to visit Patriots Point to tour the former US naval ships docked there and Fort Sumter for its history (and views).

Beach lovers, don’t miss the chance to check out nearby Folly Beach and/or Sullivan’s Island!

Kate Storm sitting in front of the pineapple fountain in Charleston SC--choosing whether to visit Savannah or Charleston is no easy task, but we wrote this guide to help!

Orlando, Florida

As the theme park capital of the world, Orlando is one of the most popular places to visit in the USA for both domestic and international visitors, mostly on behalf of one iconic mouse.

As home to Walt Disney World , Orlando is a must-see USA bucket list item for many families across the world, and with four amazing Disney parks packed with rides, experiences, and intense amounts of nostalgia, it’s no wonder why.

Disney isn’t the only theme park game in town, though!

Universal Studios Orlando, home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, is also a fantastic theme park to visit, and big roller coaster fans may even want to take a day trip to Tampa Bay to experience Busch Gardens.

Though the parks are a big draw for people visiting Orlando with kids and kids at heart alike, theme parks aren’t the only places to visit in and around Orlando.

The Kennedy Space Center, plenty of beaches, and even cool swimming holes like Wekiva Springs are within day-trip distance of Orlando.

Lake Eola Park in Orlando Florida with swams in the water and a skyline visible in the background. Orlando belongs on a bucket list for the United States

Portland, Oregon

Much like Austin, Portland proudly embraces its weirdness, celebrating the eclectic and bizarre in all possible ways–and that makes it endlessly fun to visit!

Bookworms like me will immediately head to Powell’s City of Books–I still think it’s the biggest bookstore I’ve ever visited–while foodies will want to head directly to the local ice cream obsession, Salt & Straw. 

Voodoo Doughnuts, now with a few locations nationally, also originated here and remains popular with tourists (though depending on who you ask, not locals–for what it’s worth, we’d rate the doughnuts 7/10).

During your weekend trip to Portland, make time to visit the Japanese Garden and the International Rose Garden, especially if you visit when everything is in bloom.

Plenty of incredible parts of the Columbia River Gorge, including famous Multnomah Falls, are also within easy reach of Portland and deserve to feature on your USA bucket list!

Photo of steal sign stating "portland oregon" in front of a blue sky, a must-see during 3 days in portland or

Nashville, Tennessee

From Apryl of Southern Traveling Gal

No doubt about it, there’s something about Nashville, that casts a long-lasting spell on travelers.

For travelers visiting Nashville, it’s not unheard of to plan a return trip as soon as the current one is over!

Only in “The Music City” is it possible to catch the latest exhibit at the Frist Art Museum, see a replica of the Parthenon and enjoy live music at venues along the Honky Tonk Highway.

For first-timers, touring country music icons like the Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame is a must-do.

Don’t overlook artist-specific museums such as the Johnny Cash Museum and Glen Campbell Museum that provides a closer look at these music giants, either.

Much of Nashville’s allure lies within its distinctive neighborhoods, like the Gulch, filled with shops and restaurants.

Skyline of Nashville Tennessee at sunset overlooking the river, one of the most romantic getaways in the United States

It isn’t unusual to spot a long line or two here, typically featuring either people waiting in line to take a photo with the “What Lifts You” mural or getting into Biscuit Love.

Save some room for some barbecue from Peg Leg Porker!

12thSouth offers locally-owned boutiques, stores, and eateries. Also found here is Draper James, the flagship store of Reese Witherspoon’s clothing line.

Be sure to take home some cookies from Christie’s Cookie Company and snap a photo with the “I Believe in Nashville” mural.

Across the Cumberland River is the eclectic East Nashville. Don’t miss out on the mini doughnuts at Donut Distillery.

Depending on time, consider visiting Cheekwood Estates and Gardens, a 55-acre botanical garden, as part of your Nashville getaway.

Of course, no trip to Nashville is complete without hot chicken from Prince’s Hot Chicken or biscuits from Loveless Cafe, located near the Natchez Trace Parkway.

country band playing banjois in nashville tennessee

Boston, Massachusetts

From Linn of Brainy Backpackers

Boston is such a cool city to visit in the USA, rich in history, architecture, and food.

Along the waterfront, you can walk the 43-mile-long Harbor Walk.

But there is so much more to add to see during your trip to Boston, like the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile-long path taking you to 16 significant places in American history.

It is well marked and technically be walked in as little as 90 minutes, though you can download the app and visit each place which will take at least a whole day to complete.

Boston is home to the oldest public park in the United States, Boston Common, which is situated next to Boston Public Garden.

boston public garden in the summer, one of the best things to do in boston ma

You can wander the parks and enjoy a ride in the Boston Public Garden’s historic paddleboats.

Nearby, you’ll find the Boston Public Library at Copley Square, which is an incredibly beautiful Renaissance Revival structure from 1895 that you should visit.

You’ll also find the beautiful neighborhood of Beacon Hill nearby, as well as the trendy neighborhood of Back Bay.

For the best views of the city during your Boston itinerary , visit the Skywalk Observatory.

2 Days in Boston Itinerary: Beacon Hill

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

From Melissa of Parenthood and Passports

Yellowstone National Park is the oldest national park in the United States and one of the best places to visit in the entire country.

Known for its geothermal activity, more than half of the earth’s geysers are located in the national park which straddles the borders of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. 

Old Faithful is one of the most popular things to see in Yellowstone National Park .

The active and predictable geyser erupts approximately 20 times each day.

Visitors to the park gather around to watch the geyser blast hot water and steam into the sky.

Although quite impressive, Old Faithful is just one of many must-see geothermal features found in the park.

View of Grand Prism in Yellowstone National Park, one of the best places to visit in USA

One of the largest hot springs in the world, the Grand Prismatic Spring, is another popular attraction in Yellowstone.

Visitors can get an up-close view of the spring or take a short hike for a stunning overview of Grand Prismatic’s vibrant colors.  

Beyond all of its geothermal features, Yellowstone National Park also boasts beautiful waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, rivers, and more than 200 species of animals.

Bison, deer, moose, wolves, and even bears live in the park.

Because of all the wildlife in Yellowstone, visitors are strongly encouraged to use caution when hiking or camping and to carry bear spray to protect themselves in the event of an encounter.

herd of bison crossing the road and causing a traffic jam in yellowstone national park, one of the best places to vacation usa

Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

From Allison of She Dreams of Alpine

Idaho is often overlooked when it comes to cool places to visit in the US, but the tiny town of Stanley serves as the gateway to an abundance of outdoor adventures in the stunning Sawtooth Mountain range and along the swift Salmon River.

Although it has a population of less than 100, Stanley is easily accessible in a 3-hour drive from the main airport in Boise or about a 1-hour drive if you’re coming from Sun Valley.

The best way to explore the Sawtooth Mountains is on one of the many hiking trails.

The hike to Alice Lake is a perfect introduction to the area, and you can either do a 12-mile day hike or backpack the longer Alice/Toxaway Loop over the course of a few days.

sawtooth mountains idaho on sunny day with lake in the foreground, one of the best places to vacation usa

Whichever option you choose, you’ll discover gorgeous views of Alice Lake framed by the “Dragon’s Back” peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains, including Idaho’s own “El Capitan.”

For fun on the water, you can go fishing along the Salmon River or swim in Redfish Lake.

When you need some rejuvenation after your adventures, you can reward yourself with great food and drinks at the Stanley Supper Club and take a dip in the hot springs at the Mountain Village Resort.

Once you head home, you’ll surely find yourself raving to your friends about this hidden gem of a mountain town – unless you want to keep the Sawtooth Mountains and Stanley a secret for yourself!

Sawtooth Mountains Idaho with a lake visible on the left of the photo and mountain peaks in the background. These mountains definitely belong on your USA bucket list!

Oregon Coast

From Kay of The Awkward Traveller

The Oregon Coast is one of the most underrated travel destinations in the USA, but for those who love moody, dramatic scenery, it is the best place to be.

Although the actual coast isn’t very long (338 or so miles, about a 7.5-hour drive without stopping), it makes for a great weekend or longer trip with added stops.

Starting at the north end, about 2 hours outside of Portland, the city of Astoria will serve as your jumping-off point with picturesque bridges and locations from The Goonies.

Heading south, take a pitstop at the cheese capital of the state  –  Tillamook , Oregon.

One car driving along the oregon coast as shot from above

Visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory and gorge yourself on all things dairy before continuing on to stunning Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.

The highlight of the coast will be Yachats, Oregon, with incredible farm-to-table restaurants that are dedicated to sourcing local sustainable fish, meat, and produce providers.

On the southern end of the coast, you can find sand dunes in Florence, and natural rock arches among the cliffs in Brookings.

If your tolerance for rain is low, summer will be the best season to visit weather-wise, while winter and spring will have smaller crowds and lower prices.

Oregon Coast at sunset looking toward Haystack Rock, one of the prettiest places in Oregon

Acadia National Park, Maine

From Ale of Sea Salt & Fog

Acadia National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the eastern United States, perfectly showcasing the beauty of the Maine coast.

Acadia has miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as easy coastal access for kayaking and sailing. 

When visiting, plan to spend at least  2 days in Acadia National Park  so you can make the most of your time there.

One of the best things to do includes watching the sunrise at Cadillac Mountain, where you’ll get stunning views of the islands that dot the coast.

Things to Do in Acadia National Park

Drive Park Loop Road to enjoy some of the park’s most famous attractions, including Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Jordan Pond (don’t forget to stop for popovers at Jordan Pond House!).

For hiking, choose a paved Carriage Road to take you down to one of the many picturesque ponds and lakes in the park.

Plan your visit in the fall to see the famous New England fall foliage in full display, or in the summer to enjoy long, sunny days perfect for hiking.

If you love the outdoors, add Acadia to your list of places to visit in the US – you won’t be disappointed.

Things to Do in Acadia National Park

Joshua Tree National Park, California

From Monica of This Rare Earth

Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California is an incredible destination in the United States. 

This desert ecosystem became a national park as recently as 1994, and it’s easy to see why it was chosen!

The Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert meet in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park, which means that you will see two very different landscapes depending on which half of the park you are in.  

The Mojave Desert is home to the famous Joshua Tree – a tall and spindly yucca – as well as giant boulders popular with climbers and hikers. 

The majority of the park’s hiking trails are found in this region.

desert landscape at sunrise in joshua tree national park, an excellent part of several of the best west coast road trips usa

However,  while planning your Joshua Tree National Park itinerary , it would be a mistake to skip the Colorado Desert at the southern end of the park.  

The Colorado Desert is hotter, lower in elevation, and flatter, but holds gorgeous landscapes full of cacti and, at the right time of year, wildflowers. 

 In the summer months, avoid strenuous hikes or leave early in the morning as temperatures can reach over 100 degrees.

Joshua Tree National Park is a designated Dark Sky Park, perfect for stargazing and well outside the bright light of the city.  

Joshua Tree is roughly 2.5 hours outside of Los Angeles.

Joshua Tree NP in California with a Joshua tree on the right side of the photo

From Chris of Called to Wander

Alaska is known as the Last Frontier, evoking adventure for those looking to travel to a truly unique place.

Because the state is massive, at over twice the size of Texas, you could spend as much or as little time exploring it as you have.

Many people take cruises through the Inside Passage and make stops in places like Ketchikan, Haines, and Seward.

Others fly into the main cities of Anchorage or Fairbanks and then rent vehicles and head off on their own adventures.

By far the best way to make the most of an Alaska vacation (though it requires a steep time commitment) is by driving to Alaska and spending as much time as you’d like wandering from one place to the next.

glacier in glacier np in alaska with water in the foreground and a mountain in the background

You can drive to the Arctic Ocean along the Dalton Highway, view North America’s largest mountain (Mt. Denali), or observe wildlife like caribou, grizzly bear, and moose.

Or, catch a flight out to a handful of the most remote national parks, or drive up to and hike out to massive, ancient glaciers.

If you enjoy fishing, go after halibut in Homer or salmon in the famous Russian River.

Regardless of what kind of travel you prefer, Alaska offers adventure for everyone and should definitely be on your travel bucket list!

Train along an Alaska mountainside with wildflowers in the foreground and a mountain in the background. Alaska is one of the most beautiful places in the us

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

From Dan of Cabin Critic

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most popular national park in the US, hosting over 10 million annual visitors, and it definitely belongs on your bucket list for the USA.

Located in Tennessee and North Carolina, the park has diverse animal life, plants, and natural attractions. There are tons to do and see. 

If you are feeling adventurous you can go zoom down zip lines, go white water rafting, or go mountain biking. 

For a more relaxed trip, you can go on hikes, see beautiful waterfalls, or simply go for a scenic drive.

sunrise of great smoky mountains, one of the most beautiful national parks in the us

Cades Cove, for example, is a broad valley surrounded by mountains you can drive through that is well known for providing the best opportunities for seeing wildlife like white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, and more.

When you aren’t enjoying the outdoors there are numerous mountain towns to enjoy like Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, or Asheville .

Stay in  one of the cabins with a view  of the mountainsides and check out the local attractions like Dollywood in Pigeon Forge or the Biltmore Estate in Asheville . 

View of the Great Smoky Mountains during fall foliage season in the southern USA

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

From Michele of Adventures Abound

Just a 2-hour drive from both Portland and Seattle rest the foothills of the towering volcano Mount Rainier.

Known to the Indigenous since time immemorial, Mount Tahoma is covered in unimaginable beauty and can be enjoyed year-round. 

Visit in the summertime for hiking through meadows strewn with wildflowers of every color, and in the fall for ripening berries and a better chance to catch the trails and lakes free of ice and snowmelt on a variety of great day hikes just outside of Seattle .

To extend your visit overnight, pitch a tent in an established campground, stay in a rustic lodge in the national park, or backpack along the Wonderland trail that circumvents the park.

Not feeling up to a lengthy hike?

hiker in a field of wildflowers in mount rainier np with mount rainier visible in the background

Just driving through Mount Rainier National Park will afford endless views of waterfalls, glaciers, lakes, and even the chance to spot wildlife. 

For those thrill-seekers looking for a more challenging adventure, apply for a permit to climb more than 8,000 feet to the summit, but be aware this is only for experienced mountaineers.

Mount Rainier National Park can also be enjoyed in the winter when the park sees an average of 55 feet of snowfall or more.

Head to the Crystal Mountain gondola to catch a great view of the peak while skiing and snowboarding down the slopes, or pick one of many great locations to snowshoe and backcountry ski along the mountain.

Whatever the choice for season and activity, Mount Rainier National Park is sure to be full of memories and adventure in one of the most beautiful destinations in the United States.

Snowcapped Mount Rainier with wildflowers in the foreground, one of the most beautiful places in usa

Arches National Park, Utah

Home to over 2,000 naturally-occurring sandstone arches, Arches National Park in Utah is one of the most uniquely beautiful places in the USA.

Whether you’re hiking to the incredible Delicate Arch (so iconic that it’s featured on Utah’s license plates), wandering through the Devil’s Garden, or taking one of the shorter hikes to visit some of the most impressive arches in the park, there’s no shortage of things to do.

Even one day in Arches National Park is well worth your time, but more would certainly be better.

Arches National Park is also home to internationally-recognized dark skies and some of the best stargazing in the United States–in order to see the best of the park, be sure to visit at least once after dark!

And, while Arches National Park is easily one of the best places to vacation in the US in its own right, the nearby town of Moab also makes an excellent launching pad to visit Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.

Double Arch in Arches National Park Utah

Olympic National Park, Washington

From Sophie and Adam of We Dream of Travel

Not only does Olympic National Park cover nearly a million acres, but it is also the most biodiverse of all the US national parks.

It has it all, from glaciated mountains to breathtaking coastlines, crashing waterfalls, ancient rainforests, enchanting hot springs, and plentiful wildlife.

With such a treasure trove of natural landscapes, Olympic National Park is easily one of the best places to visit in the US.

Mountain lovers should budget plenty of time to hike the trails of Hurricane Ridge.

Here you will discover stunning views above the clouds, as well as an abundance of wildlife.

Rocky Beach in Olympic National Park washington at sunset, a fantastic view along a west coast usa road trip destination

A great way to explore the park is on foot, particularly as much of the park is roadless. There are numerous multi-day hikes to choose from and it’s popular with backpackers.

The 17.4 miles Hoh River Trail is one of the most impressive, taking you through a flourishing rainforest to the base of Mount Olympus.

For coastal visitors, Second Beach is one of the best Olympic Park photography  locations and a perfect spot for sunset. 

However, with 73 miles of wild coastline, there’s plenty to explore!

There are endless options for the waterfall, forest, and nature lovers too.

In Sol Duc forest you can watch crystal water plunge into the lush greenery.

Or, you can choose to explore the vibrant green mosses of the Hoh Rainforest.  

No matter which part of Olympic National Park you visit, you will not be disappointed.

Forested trail in Olympic National Park with a river flowing across the photo. Olympic National Park definitely belongs on your USA bucket list!

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Stretching over a mile deep, the Grand Canyon in northwest Arizona is one of the largest–and most impressive–canyons on the planet, and one of the most popular places to visit in the USA!

Come to Grand Canyon National Park to admire views from the rim, hike into the canyon , watch the sunrise and sunset, and perhaps even hike all the way down to the Colorado River.

If you do want to hike to the river, though, be warned: doing so is a 2-day commitment!

Anyone taking a southwest road trip in the USA should consider adding a visit to the majestic Grand Canyon to their list: it’s truly a sight that you’ll never forget.

View of the Grand Canyon from the south rim near sunset. The Grand Canyon is one of the best USA travel destinations

Death Valley National Park, California

From Michelle of The Wandering Queen

One of the best places to visit in California is Death Valley National Park .

This park is filled with bright white salt flats, mountains splashed with pastel colors, and eerie rocks that move on their own.

This park is such a strange yet unique environment which makes it perfect for avid photographers.

One of the best things to do is to watch the sunrise at Zabriskie Point. The views are glorious as the sun slowly sets on the unique colorful mountains.

Afterward, make sure to hike the Golden Canyon, Gower Gulch, and Badlands Loop Hike. The trailhead is right next to Zabriskie Point.

mesquite dunes in death valley national park during a pink sunrise

Another popular activity is visiting Badwater Basin. The basin stands at 282 feet below sea level and is filled with white salt.

This is a great spot to take pictures of the salt in contrast with the tall, dark mountains in the distance.

Nearby the salt flats, you can visit the devil’s golf course where spikey salt formations cover the ground.

The next outstanding area to visit is the Artists Drive. The mountain is sprinkled with pastel colors like yellow, pink, purple, and green.

It truly is a spectacular thing to see!

Rocky Mountain National Park

From Jyoti of Story At Every Corner

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most gorgeous parks in the US.

It’s also easily reachable from Denver, Colorado, which has many flights from across the country, making it fairly simple to access and one of the most popular places to vacation in America!

The best place to stay is in Estes Park , a quaint little tourist town in the mountains.

There are many small towns all around the park and many choices for all price points. 

white and green shop in downtown estes park. shopping downtown is one of the best things to do in estes park colorado

The easiest way to visit RMNP park is by car.

You can then enjoy the park by making stops at each vista point and taking hikes from there.

Most stops have short and long hikes; easy and challenging hikes.

There is a hike for everyone, but there is also spectacular scenery right at the vista points, even without a hike.

Keep in mind that the popularity of Rocky Mountain National Park means that certain places, like Bear Lake Road, must be accessed via reservation.

Kate Storm standing in front of Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the best places to visit in colorado

The most popular road that goes across the park is the scenic Trail Ridge Road.

If you don’t have time to visit anything else, I recommend driving Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park to the town of Grand Lake.

Other major attractions include Sprague Lake and Bear Lake, to the south of the trail ridge road.

They offer absolutely stunning views and many wildlife viewing opportunities along with the drives. 

There is so much to do around Denver that RMNP can be part of a week-long itinerary visiting Colorado  or a trip just for RMNP. 

jeremy storm in a gray backpack hiking in rocky mountain national park

Set in the Sierra Nevada Mountains along the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is easily one of the most beautiful places in the US.

With crystal-clear water and plenty of activities in and out of the water, from hiking to SUP to swimming, there is no shortage of ways to appreciate the otherworldly beauty of Lake Tahoe .

To enjoy the views of the lake itself, summer is definitely the best time to visit–but winter has its charms, too, including plenty of skiing and incredible views of the lake framed by bright white snow.

From romantic couples’ retreats to fun getaways to Lake Tahoe with kids , all kinds of travelers will find something to love about Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe from above during the summer, one of the best USA travel destinations

Havasu Falls, Arizona

Located on Havasupai tribal lands not far from the Grand Canyon, Havasu Falls is simultaneously one of the most famous waterfalls in the USA and one of the hardest to access.

In order to visit Havasu Falls, you’ll need to secure an extremely competitive permit (they sell out months in advance) and complete a 10-mile hike in each direction.

You’ll also need to spend the night nearby, as it’s one of the permit requirements set out by the Havasupai people.

If you manage to swing both the logistics and the hike, though, the rewards are pretty spectacular.

Havasu Falls in Arizona, one of the most beautiful places in USA. Turquoise waterfall with orange walls surrounding it

Zion National Park, Utah

Home to some of what are quite possibly the best hikes in the country, Utah’s most-visited national park is absolutely one of the best places to see in the US.

Test your fear of heights (if you have one, that is) by hiking the incredible Angel’s Landing, and be rewarded with stunning views of Zion Canyon.

Venture deep into the Virgin River by hiking The Narrows , a hike that takes place literally in the river!

Seek out incredible views along Observation Point, the Canyon Overlook Trail , and the Watchman Trail.

Try to score a permit to hike the Subway, but if you can’t get one, don’t worry: there’s more to see in Zion National Park than you can cover in one vacation.

No matter how you spend your days at Zion National Park, there’s no doubt that you’ll be experiencing something worthy of a bucket list!

Kate Storm at the viewpoint at the Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park Utah

Texas Bluebonnet Trail

California’s magnificent wildflowers may be a bit better known outside of the country, but Texas’ phenomenal spread of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes that decorate the countryside each spring absolutely belong on anyone’s USA bucket list.

Whether you choose to visit the official Texas Bluebonnet Trail near Ennis (not far from Dallas) or head to the Texas Hill Country , there is no shortage of places to admire bluebonnets in Texas.

Though the blooming times can of course vary a bit depending on the weather, late March and early April are generally the best times to experience the beauty of Texas’ bluebonnets.

Wooden cart parked in a Texas field surrounded by bluebonnets. Beautiful countryside like this close by many of the best weekend getaways in Texas!

Upper Peninsula, Michigan

From Emily of Em’s on the Road

If you’re looking for unforgettable outdoor experiences without the price tag of popular destinations out west, then the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the place for you.

One reason the Upper Peninsula (or U.P.) is really unique is that it is an ideal place for adventure seekers all year long. 

In the warmer months, the U.P is a great beach destination in the Midwest thanks to its location with beachfront on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron.

In the fall, pack your hiking boots and tackle rocky hiking trails for colorful views you’d never expect in the Midwest.

With an unobstructed panoramic view of Lake Superior, the hike up  Sugar Loaf mountain in Marquette, Michigan  is one of the most popular in the region.

Thanks to some serious snowfall, there’s so much to do in the U.P. in the winter months.

There are cross-country ski trails, snowmobiling trails, downhill skiing, dog sledding, ice climbing, and more. 

View of Lake Superior with a rainbow over it during fall foliage season on Sugarloaf Mountain in Michigan

Redwood National Forest

From Dhara of Roadtripping California

Most visitors to the Golden State put   California’s national parks at the top of their itineraries because they are just so spectacular.

Redwood National and State Parks, in the northern part of the state, offer you the chance to stroll among giant redwoods, some of the tallest and oldest trees on the planet.

A group of five parks, Redwood National and State Parks feature not just the towering redwoods, but also epic coastal views, beautiful prairies filled with wildflowers in season, and the chance to see birds and wildlife.

Enjoy some of the scenic drives in the parks: Howland Hill Drive, Coastal Drive, and the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway are all great choices.

Two people walking through a doorway in a fallen redwood tree in california usa

Do some of the trails through the redwood groves to see the giant trees up close: the Big Tree Wayside Walk, the Stout Memorial Grove Trail, and Lady Bird Johnson Grove are all super scenic and relatively easy walks.

Gaze up at the trees, and enjoy the ferns and rhododendrons in the understory.

You can also go biking in the parks, and camp if you plan to stay for a few days.

Redwood National and State Parks are about 5.5 hours north of San Francisco by road, and you can visit all year, although you will have the best weather in the summer.

Man standing in front of enormous Redwood trees with a sunflare in the top left corner of the photo

Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

From Jase of Roaming Vegans

A little-known gem in the north of Wisconsin is the Apostle Islands.

This island archipelago on Lake Superior looks like it belongs in Southeast Asia – not on the shoreline of a humble midwestern town.

However, its tucked-away location makes it all the more special for visitors.

While the lake freezes in winter, the islands come to life in summer with many activities like  sea kayaking , island hopping, and cliff jumping.

There is even an island home to one of the largest concentrations of bears in the Midwest–yes, bears!

The largest and most populated island is Madeline Island which makes for a great base to explore the nearby smaller islands.

sea caves as seen from the water at apostle islands, one of the best places to visit in the us

Maui, Hawaii

From Jessica of I’m Jess Traveling

Famed for her elegant beaches,  world-class resorts , and next-level surf, Maui attracts visitors from all over the world. 

It’s no surprise that Maui was named Condé Nast Traveler’s best island in the U.S. for 23 consecutive years. 

There are countless things to see and do in Maui depending on your travel style. 

For outdoor enthusiasts, hike through a majestic bamboo forest ending at a 400-foot waterfall.  

Ocean lovers can test their skills at surfing or set sail on a sunset cruise.

Bright blue water as seen along the Road to Hana in Maui, one of the best USA road trip itinerary ideas

There won’t be a shortage of exotic beaches to explore, no matter what your travel style is.

The adventure seekers have their pick among plunging the popular Road to Hana or watching the sunrise above the clouds at 10,000 feet inside Haleakala National Park. 

Whatever your draw, sunsets, beaches, luxury, or adventure, Maui has it all. 

Not only is Maui one of the best USA travel destinations but it’s one of the best places to take a tropical vacation in the world. 

Couple walking along Kaanapali Beach in Maui, shaded by a palm tree. Kaanapali Beach is one of the best beaches in America

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

For adorable beach towns, sandy beaches, and some of the best seafood you’ve ever eaten in your life, head to the classic New England summer getaway of Cape Cod.

While you’re in Cape Cod (or as New Englanders say, “on the Cape”), hit one of the beautiful trails, visit a lighthouse or two, stick your toes in the sand, and eat lots and lots of lobster.

While Cape Cod’s swimming season is much shorter than popular beach destinations elsewhere in the country, it’s still well worth visiting.

Just be sure to plan ahead, because rental houses for summer on the Cape tend to book up before winter even wraps up!

Provincetown Massachusetts on Cape Cod as seen from the water

Nā Pali Coast, Kauai

Towering cliffs covered in dense jungle, dramatic waterfalls, small valleys, and views of the Pacific Ocean far below: welcome to the Nā Pali   Coast.

Without a doubt, the Nā Pali   Coast on Kauai is one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the US.

Stretching 17 miles along the northwest portion of Kauai, the Nā Pali   Coast is best admired from air–usually via a helicopter tour–or from a boat on the sea.

Whichever option you choose, there’s no doubt that what is arguably the most beautiful corner of The Garden Island is bound to impress.

Na Pali Coast of Kauai Hawaii. Kauai is one of the best road trips in USA.

Florida Keys

For a taste of the Caribbean without leaving the USA, head to the Florida Keys!

Not only is the overseas drive from Miami to Key West one of the most scenic road trips in the USA, but the Keys themselves are also fantastic, home to beautiful beaches, colorful architecture, great food, and plenty of things to do.

While you’re there, be sure to hit the water via snorkeling or scuba diving, go for a swim, enjoy the famous Duval Street, tour the Ernest Hemingway House, and eat several slices of the region’s famous Key Lime pie!

Highway over the Caribbean Sea leading the to Floriday Keys as shot with a drone. The Florida Keys are one of the best places to visit in USA

Big Island, Hawaii

From Patricia of Travel Fam Life

The biggest of the Hawaiian Islands, Hawaii (also known as the Big Island) is a cool place to visit.

That starts with the weather: you’ll experience a lot of sunshine temperatures ranging from 85°- 90° in the summer months and 79°- 83 in the winter months, making it the perfect place to escape year-round. 

Hawaii is going to impress anyone that decides to visit.

The food is phenomenal and the choices are vast with plenty of history and cultural backgrounds.

The array of activities ranges from land to sea, from memorable ancient sites to beautiful folklore traditions. 

Some of the best things to do when taking a vacation to the Big Island include:

woman snorkeling in hawaii with orange fish in the foreground

Zip Lining over waterfalls is an activity that can be very exhilarating if you are an adrenaline junkie.

This can also be enjoyed as a family activity, some companies allow kids as young as 5 years old to participate.

Volcano National Park is a breathtaking experience with its majestic hikes, thrilling ride down to the Chain of Craters, and some spectacular scenery and photo opportunities.

Papakolea or Green Sand Beach is one of 4 green sand beaches in the world.

The hike to this remote beach is very worthwhile, and the backdrop of the Hawaiian blue ocean that keeps you company makes the whole experience priceless.

And the list goes on, you can check it out here .

Helicopter tour of Volcano National Park in Hawaii shot from inside the helicopter with lava visible through the windshield

Outer Banks, North Carolina

With sandy beaches framed by sand dunes and rolling waves, the Outer Banks of North Carolina may not boast the bright water of the Florida Keys or the tropical beauty of Hawaii, but they are stunning all the same, and absolutely one of the best places to visit in the USA.

Come for the small beach towns, the history of the Wright Brothers taking their first flight here, the southern food, the historic forts, and the beautiful lighthouses. 

Come for the sunken pirate ships, for the wild horses that live on some of the islands, for the great places to swim, and for the great day trip opportunities.

If you’re looking for a classic, all-American vacation, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina that make up the magnificent Outer Banks.

2 wild horses on a beach in North Carolina. Both horses are brown and they are standing near sand dunes

Oahu, Hawaii

From Sydney of A World in Reach

While visitors sometimes think of Oahu as just being a stopping point before visiting Hawaii’s other islands, the island has so much to offer than overcrowded beaches and tourist attractions.

Oahu is home to delicious food, beautiful scenery, and captivating history and is one of the best travel destinations in the United States.

Most visitors to Oahu will base themselves in Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital and largest city.

Guidebooks often recommend spending little time in Honolulu; however, this city is a melting pot of culture and is home to some of the best food on the island.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional Hawaiian meal or some of the best Asian food in the United States, you can easily find a delicious meal in Honolulu.

Start your visit to Oahu off by exploring Honolulu, seeing the sights, and eating all of the delicious food.

oahu hawaii beach at sunset with palm trees in the foreground

Spend a day at Waikiki Beach – it might be touristy, but it’s still worth a visit.

Plan a visit to Pearl Harbor, where you can learn more about one of the darkest days in US History, and spend a morning hiking Diamond Head, one of the best hikes on Oahu .

Spend the rest of your time on the island exploring the North Shore, visiting the famous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, and indulging in shave ice from Matsumoto.

Visit the beaches along the North Shore, where you might see some surfers catching waves, and hike through a botanical garden to a beautiful waterfall at Waimea Valley.

Lanikai beach in Oahu Hawaii as seen from above. One of the best beaches in USA

Napa Valley, California

Northern California’s wine country is definitely among the most beautiful–and for wine lovers, tastiest, places to visit in the USA.

With beautiful small towns, great boutiques, and rolling hills filled with vineyards that almost feel like being in Tuscany, both Napa Valley and Sonoma County have plenty to offer those looking for a laid-back, wine-filled getaway.

Vineyard in Napa Valley CA with a wood barn visible in the background, one of the best honeymoon destinations in usa

Door County, Wisconsin

From Paulina of Paulina on the Road

Wisconsin often isn’t the first US state that people think of visiting, but from beautiful beaches to quirky attractions like House on the Rock , it has plenty to offer.

One of the most beautiful USA landmarks, Door Country, Wisconsin welcomes you on board with 300 miles of stretched shoreline and an awestruck sunset over the water, you could not leave without a witness. 

It allows your soul to breathe and relax. Wisconsin lets you explore aesthetic art galleries, and thousands of miles of stretched orchards, cherish the local brews and wines, paddle along the beautiful lakes, and devour the cheery pies.

winding road through fall foliage in door county wisconsin, one of the best hidden usa secret vacation spots

Moreover, Green Bay, the capital of the region, is an underrated city that eventually captivates its visitors.

Though it’s a small city, the vibrant culture offers amazing  things to do in Green Bay .

Green Bay entertains visitors with prominent wineries. They produce their wines right up there which adds up to be a vital part of their culture. The landscape and heritage inspire the artists.

Walleye fishermen have the best water. It’s clean and portrays immense beauty. The botanical gardens and zoological parks play their role in charming travelers. 

Green Bay is an enchanting place that charms visitors with its intriguing features. 

Lakeshore at golden hour in Door County Wisconsin with evergreen trees on the right side of the photo

Route 66 isn’t technically just one place, but as one of the most iconic travel destinations in the United States, I couldn’t bear to leave it off this USA bucket list!

Stretching from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, Route 66 is America’s best-known road trip and the perfect place to find not-quite-forgotten slices of Americana, from quirky roadside attractions like Cadillac Ranch and the Catoosa Whale to beloved diners and 50s-era-inspired motels.

Route 66 passes through nine states in total (Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California), and is a fantastic way to experience some of the best of what traveling in the US has to offer, all in one large trip.

jeremy storm sitting on top of a car at cadillac ranch in amarillo

Big cities, small towns, incredibly diverse landscapes, and beloved national parks are all featured heavily on Route 66.

Though it’s not technically on the route, even the Grand Canyon is accessible as an incredible side journey when road-tripping Route 66.

Whether you want to find a quirky campsite in Oklahoma or go hiking in Arizona, there’s no doubt that Route 66 is a classic US travel destination.

Route 66 in California with Joshua trees on either side. Route 66 is one of the absolute best road trips in USA

Big Sur, California

From Lauren of Ready, Set, PTO

Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places in the US and should definitely be on your bucket list.

Cruising along the winding Pacific Coast Highway with sweeping views of the Pacific is a magical experience.

This rugged area is located in Central California, about 5 hours north of Los Angeles.

If you aren’t able to find available lodging within Big Sur, check out nearby towns of Carmel and Monterey for more options, or try car camping with an epic view!

mcway falls as seen on big sur from above, one of the best places to visit in california

There are plenty of amazing  things to do in Big Sur .

I definitely recommend checking out the iconic Bixby Bridge (as seen in HBO’s Big Little Lies), admiring McWay Falls, hiking in Andrew Molera State Park, and Limekiln State Park, having a drink with a view at Nepenthe and watching the sunset at Pfeiffer Beach!

There’s not much cell service in Big Sur, so be prepared for an off-the-grid weekend of relaxation and gorgeous views.

Pacific Coast Highway California shot from above, one of the best romantic vacations for couples in the United States

Page, Arizona

The small town of Page, Arizona may seem like no more than a small town worthy of a brief stop on a road trip at first blush–but this small, unassuming town is home to some of the most incredible sights in the entire southwest, and it definitely belongs on your USA bucket list!

Page is where you can find the famous Antelope Canyon, as well as Horseshoe Bend , the Instagram darling of the Colorado River (for very good reason).

Just outside of Page, you can also find the remarkable Glen Canyon Dam, one of the largest dams in the US, as well as Lake Powell–but to see the best of Lake Powell, you’ll actually need to cross into Utah!

That’s not hard to do, though: Page is located right next to the Arizona/Utah border.

With such an outsized list of fun attractions, there’s no doubt that Page is one of the coolest places to vacation in the USA.

2 photos of the USA, first from a train ride in Alaska and one from a geothermic spring in Yellow. Black and red text reads "50 bucket list usa travel destinations"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

3 thoughts on “USA Bucket List: 50 Best Places to Visit in the US”

Great info. I know its great because I have been to most of the beaches you mention!

Thank you – will also look at your Italian small towns to see which ones we should visit and maybe retire to.

Thank you so much, Laura!

Retiring to Italy–sounds like quite the dream! 🙂

Absolutely amazing article, just loved it.

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10 Best Adventure Vacations Around the World

From cage diving with sharks to jumping out of a plane, these adventure vacations are guaranteed to break you out of your comfort zone.

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After a year of indoor activities (and far, far too many Zoom meetings), it's finally time to break out. If you're anything like us, you've got plenty of energy to burn — and a long list of places you want to explore. Adventure vacations, like the 10 we've listed below, offer a fantastic way of getting to know a destination while also testing your own physical limits. So, whether you're diving with great white sharks or jumping out of a plane, you'll leave with a closer understanding of that part of the world, not to mention a rich repertoire of stories to share with your friends back home.

Not usually the daredevil type? Not a problem. We've curated these adventure trip ideas to be beginner-friendly, accessible, and most importantly, fun. Now, what are you waiting for? Go out there and ride that adrenaline high.

Paragliding in Umbria

The town of Castelluccio, in Italy's Umbria region, sits three hours from Rome. Perched high on a grassy hill, it's known for stunning views over the Piano Grande, a valley that comes to life with thousands of tiny red, white, and purple flowers every spring (there's even a festival honoring the floral event that takes place in June). It's the perfect place to soak up fresh mountain air while indulging in the region's notable pecorino cheese.

It's also a paraglider's dream.

At 8,123 feet in the air, Monte Vettore is the typical jumping-off point for a 20-minute tandem glide with Fly the Appenines . (If you're hungry for more air time, you can also sign up for longer 90-minute cross-country flights.) Piano Grande's year-round mild weather makes it ideal for this activity, so even if you show up after the flowers have faded, you'll still be in for a treat. Once you're back on the ground, there's still the rest of Umbria to explore by foot, car, or even horseback .

Heli-skiing in The Alps

It's no secret that the Alps are home to world-class skiing. But for those who want exclusive access to untouched powder and secluded wilderness, there's nothing like a heli-skiing trip to make you feel like the world's your own private playground. At the northern edge of Piedmont, Val Formazza offers all the isolation you'll need.

The protected valley is surrounded by three majestic peaks: Ofenhorn, Blinnenhorn, and Basòdino. And because it's so high up (the highest landing spot available is around 10,500 feet), the area receives an average of 4 feet of snow per year. To access all that unspoiled backcountry, Heli-Guides.com maintains a fleet of Airbus AS 350 BE helicopters, and the menu of options — from easy day trips to full-week packages — means travelers can spend as much (or as little) time in the valley as they like.

Of course, some prior skiing experience is needed, but you don't have to be a pro. Guides choose from a wide range of landing spots, meaning they can customize the trip to match your exact level of ability. And one thing's for sure: wherever you choose to land, the views aren't likely to disappoint.

Shark Diving in South Australia

Off the coast of Port Lincoln in South Australia , the Neptune Islands are home to Australia's largest colony of long-nose fur seals. And while those cuties are worth a visit themselves, what interests thrill-seekers are their top predator: the great white shark.

Little is known about the migration habits of great white sharks, which is what makes this site so exciting for adventure travelers. Thanks to a mingling of cold and warm currents merging from the Indian and Southern Oceans, the islands offer an incredible diversity of wildlife, hence the appeal for blood-thirsty sharks.

Humans aren't on the menu, of course. Safe inside a steel cage or what's known as an "aqua sub" (essentially a reverse aquarium, where the fish are outside the glass), you'll be free to marvel at these 19-foot-long beasts as they swim mere inches from your face. To add to the novelty, tour companies like Adventure Bay Charters use sound — not live bait — to attract the sharks. For some reason, heavy metal seems to get the job done. So what are you waiting for: Pull up your favorite AC/DC track, climb into the cage, and let the gasps begin.

Hut-to-hut Hiking in Colorado

Little known fact: Colorado is home to more huts and yurts than any other state in the U.S. And that's not by accident: Back in the 80s, members of the 10th Mountain Division of the US Army decided to recreate the huts they'd encountered while on duty in the Alps. And so the 10th Mountain Division Hut System was born.

Today, the network of 36 huts spread across a 350-mile route is a fantastic way for travelers to connect with the Colorado wilderness. Just don't come expecting turn-down service. The huts are rustic — you'll have snowmelt for water, a bare bed, and basic cooking utensils, and that's about it. But for all the austerity, the huts have a zen-like appeal (and they're very affordable). Some are close to popular trails, while others are miles (and we do mean miles) from civilization.

Best of all, you can go any season. Just be prepared to sweat. In winter, it'll be 6-7 miles of cross-country skiing to get from one hut to the next. (Intermediate skiing skills are required.) And in the summer, it's the same distance for hiking and mountain biking — just without the snow. However you do it, make sure at least one person in your group has wilderness experience, not to mention avalanche safety training for winter visits. As the website states: "Route finding may be the most important skill you'll need."

Seeing Red-hot Lava in Hawaii

On the Big Island of Hawai'i, a December 2020 eruption of Mount Kilauea, the most active of the island's five volcanoes, had residents worrying they'd have to relive the devastation caused by the last eruption in 2018. Luckily, the damage this time was minor. But it's been a boon for visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park .

While eruptions are ongoing, it's entirely safe to view the lava — from a distance, of course.

Each day, hundreds of people show up to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to witness the plumes of gas and steam; by night, the phenomenon is even more spectacular, as you'll see red-orange lava glowing from inside the rim of the caldera. The sight is enough to make you realize the sheer geological power of Hawaii's subterranean stirrings. And the trip is entirely family-friendly: On a 12-hour guided tour with Hawaii Forest & Trail , you'll embark on a 3-mile hike around the park, go romping through a dark lava tube, and enjoy views of the flowing lava from several key vantage points. Nature doesn't get any more thrilling.

Snorkeling in Belize

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

Belize's Great Blue Hole is not only one of the most mysterious — and beautiful — sites on earth, it's also a must-visit destination for divers. Venturing all the way down is recommended for experienced divers only. But that doesn't mean the rest of us can't go exploring, too.

Snorkeling is a fun, beginner-friendly way to glimpse life below the surface. On Belize's largest island, Ambergris Caye, an area called Tres Coco is a wonderful place to start. Here, snorkelers benefit from large brain and elkhorn coral in waters that only go 6 to 8 feet deep. You'll see not only tropical fish like yellowtail snapper and rainbow parrotfish, but also conch, banded shrimp, sea urchin, and stingrays.

A few miles off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye, you'll find Hol Chan Marine Reserve , another excellent destination for underwater thrills. The protected reserve is teeming with wildlife, including a sandy-bottom area that's become a gathering place for nurse sharks, hence the name: Shark Alley. Don't worry, though. Despite the sharks' intimidating appearance and rows of serrated teeth, they're harmless to humans, and will only respond aggressively if provoked.

Canopy Tour in Guatemala

If you're not afraid of heights, a visit to Guatemala's Tikal National Park might be in order. The UNESCO World Heritage site is home to a thrilling canopy tour that takes place each morning in the park at 9 a.m.

On the tour, you'll be able to soar through the trees via zipline. The route connects 10 platforms built 100 feet above the forest floor, and it offers an impressive bird's eye view of the flora and fauna. Along the way, a staff of naturalist guides will be able to identify any creatures — Howler monkeys, ring-tailed coatimundi, jaguars, and toucans, to name a few — that catch your eye.

While you're here, stick around to explore the park's impressive Mayan ruins. Scattered throughout the park is a network of 3,000 ancient temples, monuments and dwellings — the largest excavated site in the Americas.

Hiking Half Dome in Yosemite

Valerie de Leon/Travel + Leisure

America's national parks are full of enchanting scenery, but nothing quite compares to the magnificent peaks of Yosemite Valley. The sheer granite cliffs appear to poke the heavens, while the gently cascading 2,400-foot waterfalls will make you think you've wandered straight into Neverland. For a truly unforgettable panorama, try hiking Half Dome, the park's most recognizable monolith.

Only 300 hikers are allowed to climb its surface each day. And when you start making your way up the near-vertical rockface, you'll understand why. A steel cable acts as a handrail, with a series of wooden slats for your shoes to grip onto. Due to the treacherous nature of the climb, things move very slowly, as folks do their best to advance up the rock without tumbling into the valley below. (Don't forget: The route is two-way, so you'll also have to navigate sharing the cables and foot rests with all the folks climbing down, too!)

To apply for a climbing permit, simply log onto the park's website in March to enter a lottery for the upcoming season. A limited number of permits are available on a first-come, first-serve basis; those can also be secured through the website. And don't forget to drink water — lots of it.

Trekking to Machu Picchu

Rory Fuller/Travel + Leisure

If the idea of trekking through a stark landscape of craggy mountains and lush jungle sounds appealing, then maybe it's time you finally crossed Machu Picchu off your bucket list.

A colorful mix of landscapes awaits hikers on the Salkantay trek, a pleasantly crowd-free alternative to the popular Incan Trail that leads to the archaeological wonder. The classic 5-day itinerary begins with scaling Salkantay Mountain, the 12th highest in Peru. It's hard work, but the endorphins greeting you at the top of the pass — not to mention those views — will be reward enough. From there, it's onto the delights of the Sacred Valley's "cloud forest," where you'll cross under waterfalls, go ziplining, and sleep in simple yurt-like tents with all meals catered by a team of hard-working guides.

By the time you finally reach Machu Picchu (at sunrise, no less) on the fifth day, it'll feel less like a bucket-list item, and more like the natural continuation of a landscape which, after sleeping outdoors and sharing meals with locals, you'll feel intimately connected to. Enjoy the view from the top, you've earned it.

Skydiving in Dubai

Dubai might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of adventure. The desert metropolis is typically associated with glamorous hotels, gold, and its iconic skyscraper, Burj Khalifa. But for those looking to skip the malls, skydiving is a fun way to see another side of Dubai — literally.

Picture this: You're freefalling at 120 miles an hour, having been dropped out of a plane 13,000 feet over Dubai. Below you, the iconic Palm Islands are spread out like a painting made of sand. From above, you'll be able to make out the turquoise Persian Gulf, the symmetrical "fronds" of the islands, and, yes, the famous spiraling skyscraper.

You'll be strapped to an instructor, of course. (Someone's got to make sure that parachute deploys!) After freefalling for 60 seconds, you'll float slowly over the city for 5 minutes, and between the views, the howling wind, and the pleasant feeling of weightlessness, the sensory overload will leave you grinning ear to ear. By the time you touch down, you'll probably want to toast your bravery with a glass of champagne. Looks like that hotel bar will come in handy, after all.

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Good morning Steve, Thanks for an excellent trip, not one problem. The bus and driver was top notch. The driver was one of the best I have encountered during my forty odd years of coach traveling. Four stars for Amazing Destinations! Thanks and have a great day. R. Scotto

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Hi Cathy, Just an update of our trip to Holiday Hills. We had a ball and my seniors had a wonderful time, Our driver Henry was the best and we are requesting him for our September 17th trip to MT. Airy Casino. We already spoke to him and he said he would be more than happy to be our driver. Please see what you can do and I will remind you ahead of time. Again thank you for all your help with our trips. We still want to go to Villa Roma in December. Have a wonderful day. Thank you, D. Johnson

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Hello Steve & Cathy, Hope all's well. Just a short note to thank you for all you've done to make our Lake George trip enjoyable. You are the best.....courteous, reliable, and accommodating. ...all in all, everything was great. Our driver Kevin was very nice. Again, thank you and we are certainly looking forward to doing more business with you next year. Best regards, C. Springer

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Hi Cathy hope all is well! Everyone had such a wonderful time yesterday during the Joseph trip. Now that we have finished with this trip, I would like to get information regarding the Samson show. Also, with the response being so great from this trip, I'm actually considering booking two buses if that's at all possible. Looking forward to hearing from you. Best wishes, Arianny

Good Afternoon, Just wanted to let you know...on behalf of my staff, students and parents...THANK YOU!! We had an INCREDIBLE TIME in Washington DC! The drivers were very respectful and courteous to all our needs. Our parents and students really enjoyed the food and hospitality at Golden Corral. Mr. Scott the tour guide, truly enhanced the experience of the tour with his knowledge and friendly nature. We must, must do it again! Next yea, we are thinking about touring Philadelphia! Once again, Thank You! R. Peay

Good evening Steve and Kathy, I just wanted to say a very big 'Thank You'!!! Our trip was truly 'AMAZING'. From beginning to end the trip was awesome. Our driver, Mr Benito arrived on time and was perfect through out the trip. He drove with ease and got us to all of our destinations on time. The bus was perfect and everything we discussed was given to us. Our group had a beautiful time at the museum and the MLK memorial. Our tour guide Ms. Lynette was awesome. Her knowledge of Washington DC was phenomenal. As a first time trip planner you both helped me plan a trip that was just awesome. A great time was had by all. Even when we had a little 'bump in the road' you both made it your priority to contact me and the restaurant and speak on our group's behalf to solve the problem and to apologize for the restaurant's error. I really want to thank you both for that. Sincerely, D. Brewster

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Hi Cathy & Steve, A great big 'Thank you' to both of you for working with me and organizing my weekend getaway to the Baltimore Crabfeast on July 29-30. We had a blast!!! From beginning to end, everything was wonderful. The bus, the hotel, the service. You guys rock. I definitely want to book the trip again for next year. As soon as you get your dates and rates for next year, please let me know so that I can start early. Thanks again. V. Proctor

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Cathy, The kids had a great time and it was a good experience for all. The drivers were efficient and very kind to the kids. They were always on schedule and very safe. The school is very happy and we are already talking about Boston in the fall. Thank you very much! A. Pajares

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Hi Cathy! I just wanted to thank you - we had a great trip! Students and teachers all had a blast. On another note I wanted to say how happy I was, in particular, with the bus company especially my driver Benitio. I have an infant at home that I am breast feeding. He gave me full range of his bus so that I could pump. He took his stuff and napped on one of the other guy's busses, showed me how to work the door and was very accommodating. We will talk next year! Thank you! T. Johnson

Dear Steve and Cathy, Before I begin my day here, I just had to take a moment to thank you for a LOVELY Trip. The buses were absolutely Gorgeous, the food on the boat was somewhat better than last year, the music was so much better, we danced and danced. Everyone complimented me on this trip even when I went to church yesterday. I really enjoyed this this year, and I am certain they will talk me into doing this again next year, but we must have the SAME BUSES. Thank you both for making this trip a TOTAL SUCCESS, can’t wait to plan our next adventure. Diana

Cathy, Marie is elated at how well everything went! We had a great time and everything worked out perfectly. The bus driver and tour guide were fabulous. We are looking forward to our next trip in October. Thank you so very much. Beth

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Posted: January 3, 2024 | Last updated: January 3, 2024

<p>In order to grow as a person—to learn new things about the world and yourself—it’s important that you wander off the beaten path every once in a while to experience new things. The same goes for travel. Instead of vacationing in the same locations that everyone else has visited, consider exploring someplace a little unexpected for your next vacation. You might be surprised.</p>

In order to grow as a person—to learn new things about the world and yourself—it’s important that you wander off the beaten path every once in a while to experience new things. The same goes for travel. Instead of vacationing in the same locations that everyone else has visited, consider exploring someplace a little unexpected for your next vacation. You might be surprised.

<p>Everyone knows about the great culinary scenes in places like New York and Los Angeles, but you may be surprised to learn that one of the best foodie cities in the US is none other than Indianapolis. Indiana’s capital is home to <a href="https://www.timeout.com/indianapolis/restaurants/best-restaurants-in-indianapolis" rel="noreferrer noopener">several James Beard-nominated restaurants</a>, including Tinker Street, the famous Bluebeard, and Milktooth, a renovated garage that serves only breakfast and lunch.</p>

Indianapolis, Indiana

Everyone knows about the great culinary scenes in places like New York and Los Angeles, but you may be surprised to learn that one of the best foodie cities in the US is none other than Indianapolis. Indiana’s capital is home to several James Beard-nominated restaurants , including Tinker Street, the famous Bluebeard, and Milktooth, a renovated garage that serves only breakfast and lunch.

<p>Despite being the ninth-largest country in the world (and the largest landlocked country), Kazakhstan remains generally unexplored by tourists, which is a shame, because there’s <a href="https://www.journalofnomads.com/places-to-visit-in-kazakhstan/" rel="noreferrer noopener">plenty to see and do</a>, from beautiful natural sites (Altyn-Emel National Park, Big Almaty Lake) and bustling big cities (Almaty) to sacred grounds and ancient cities (Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi and The Lost City of Sauran).</p>

Despite being the ninth-largest country in the world (and the largest landlocked country), Kazakhstan remains generally unexplored by tourists, which is a shame, because there’s plenty to see and do , from beautiful natural sites (Altyn-Emel National Park, Big Almaty Lake) and bustling big cities (Almaty) to sacred grounds and ancient cities (Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi and The Lost City of Sauran).

<p>Described as “<a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0729/p18s02-hfes.html" rel="noreferrer noopener">Yosemite without the crowds</a>,” and welcoming fewer than 700,000 visitors per year, Kings Canyon National Park near Fresno, California, is the least visited of the Sierra Parks, but it is every bit as breathtaking with flowing rivers encapsulated by giant sequoia trees and tall mountains (several reaching higher than 14,000 feet (4,267 m).</p>

Kings Canyon National Park

Described as “ Yosemite without the crowds ,” and welcoming fewer than 700,000 visitors per year, Kings Canyon National Park near Fresno, California, is the least visited of the Sierra Parks, but it is every bit as breathtaking with flowing rivers encapsulated by giant sequoia trees and tall mountains (several reaching higher than 14,000 feet (4,267 m).

<p>Tourism in Wales has grown over the years, and most people head to the capital city of Cardiff, but there is so much more to see in the small UK country. Check out the ancient Roman fortress, Isca Augusta, in Carleon, or Bangor, the oldest city in Wales, on the western end of the North Wales Path, a 60-mile (96 km) long walking route with some of the best scenic views in the country. Book-lovers won’t want to miss the small community of <a href="https://theculturetrip.com/europe/united-kingdom/wales/articles/hay-on-wye-s-amazing-world-of-books-top-10-must-visit-bookshops/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Hay-on-Wye</a>, otherwise known as “the town of books” because of its many bookstores.</p>

Wales (not just Cardiff)

Tourism in Wales has grown over the years, and most people head to the capital city of Cardiff, but there is so much more to see in the small UK country. Check out the ancient Roman fortress, Isca Augusta, in Carleon, or Bangor, the oldest city in Wales, on the western end of the North Wales Path, a 60-mile (96 km) long walking route with some of the best scenic views in the country. Book-lovers won’t want to miss the small community of Hay-on-Wye , otherwise known as “the town of books” because of its many bookstores.

<p>With its <a href="https://theculturetrip.com/south-america/bolivia/articles/the-15-best-destinations-to-visit-in-bolivia-in-2018/" rel="noreferrer noopener">diverse landscapes</a>—from the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Real to the sweltering heat of the Amazon jungle and everything in between—visiting Bolivia is like touring several different countries at once. With a large indigenous population, Bolivia is also famous for its numerous untouched terrain. You’ll feel like an explorer discovering a new land.</p>

With its diverse landscapes —from the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Real to the sweltering heat of the Amazon jungle and everything in between—visiting Bolivia is like touring several different countries at once. With a large indigenous population, Bolivia is also famous for its numerous untouched terrain. You’ll feel like an explorer discovering a new land.

<p>The second-biggest city in the province after Winnipeg, Brandon regularly ranks as one of the <a href="https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/best-city-to-live-in-manitoba-canada.html" rel="noreferrer noopener">best places to live in Canada</a>, especially for families. It stands to reason, then, that it would also be a great place to visit. What makes it one of Canada’s top destinations? Aside from the low crime rate, low unemployment rate, and affordable housing, it “has abundant cultural and recreational opportunities,” such as the <a href="http://riverbank.mb.ca/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Riverbank Discovery Centre and Trail System</a> and the <a href="http://www.reptilegardens.ca/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Westman Reptile Gardens</a>, home to over 300 reptiles.</p>

Brandon, Manitoba

The second-biggest city in the province after Winnipeg, Brandon regularly ranks as one of the best places to live in Canada , especially for families. It stands to reason, then, that it would also be a great place to visit. What makes it one of Canada’s top destinations? Aside from the low crime rate, low unemployment rate, and affordable housing, it “has abundant cultural and recreational opportunities,” such as the Riverbank Discovery Centre and Trail System and the Westman Reptile Gardens , home to over 300 reptiles.

<p>With its tall cliffs and teal-blue waters, Bruce Peninsula National Park is unlike any other place in Ontario—or Canada, for that matter. One of the area’s most popular attractions is <a href="https://www.brucepeninsula.org/the-grotto" rel="noreferrer noopener">The Grotto</a>, a large sea cave on the Georgian Bay shoreline. The half-hour or so hike to the hidden spot is a treat in itself.</p>

Bruce Peninsula, Ontario

With its tall cliffs and teal-blue waters, Bruce Peninsula National Park is unlike any other place in Ontario—or Canada, for that matter. One of the area’s most popular attractions is The Grotto , a large sea cave on the Georgian Bay shoreline. The half-hour or so hike to the hidden spot is a treat in itself.

<p>Comedian <a href="https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/comedian-marc-maron-rips-canadian-city-as-a-ragtag-parade-of-frenetic-sadness-1.4486081" rel="noreferrer noopener">Marc Maron</a> clearly didn’t explore all that Hamilton has to offer when he described Ontario’s third-largest city as a “ragtag parade of frenetic sadness” and “not a high-water mark for Canada.” If he had, he might instead have called it a diverse community with an exciting arts and culture sector and a rapidly growing culinary scene, or perhaps a nature lover’s paradise with great hiking spots and <a href="https://tourismhamilton.com/hamilton-waterfalls-guide" rel="noreferrer noopener">over 100 waterfalls</a>.</p>

Hamilton, Ontario

Comedian Marc Maron clearly didn’t explore all that Hamilton has to offer when he described Ontario’s third-largest city as a “ragtag parade of frenetic sadness” and “not a high-water mark for Canada.” If he had, he might instead have called it a diverse community with an exciting arts and culture sector and a rapidly growing culinary scene, or perhaps a nature lover’s paradise with great hiking spots and over 100 waterfalls .

<p>A mix of <a href="https://theculturetrip.com/europe/spain/articles/tour-bilbaos-contemporary-architectural-landmarks/" rel="noreferrer noopener">modern architecture</a> (Zubizuri Bridge, The Guggenheim Museum, and the Bilbao Arena, just to name a few) and old-world charm makes Bilbao, in the heart of the Basque Country, a Spanish destination unlike any other.</p>

Bilbao, Spain

A mix of modern architecture (Zubizuri Bridge, The Guggenheim Museum, and the Bilbao Arena, just to name a few) and old-world charm makes Bilbao, in the heart of the Basque Country, a Spanish destination unlike any other.

<p>Of course, Hong Kong itself is no secret, but there are great things to do and places to see within the Special Administrative Region of China that are off the beaten path. What <em><a href="https://www.tripsavvy.com/secret-hong-kong-1535394" rel="noreferrer noopener">TripSavvy</a> </em>refers to as “Secret Hong Kong” features the largely tourist-free island of Peng Chau and the Kadoorie Farm wildlife refuge, home to hundreds of unique birds and animals. There are also historic walled villages that date back hundreds of years and stand in stark contrast to the tall, modern skyscrapers of the big city.</p>

Secret Hong Kong

Of course, Hong Kong itself is no secret, but there are great things to do and places to see within the Special Administrative Region of China that are off the beaten path. What TripSavvy refers to as “Secret Hong Kong” features the largely tourist-free island of Peng Chau and the Kadoorie Farm wildlife refuge, home to hundreds of unique birds and animals. There are also historic walled villages that date back hundreds of years and stand in stark contrast to the tall, modern skyscrapers of the big city.

<p>The microstate of San Marino, the third-smallest country in the world at just 24 km², is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in Europe. San Marino offers great food heavily inspired by Italian cuisine, a rich history dating back to 301 AD, and natural landmarks such as the UNESCO site <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1245/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Monte Titano</a> that will take your breath away. Unfortunately, the football isn’t great, as the San Marino national team is often described as the worst national side in the world with just one win in 155 total matches and a combined score of 23 goals for and 667 against.</p>

The microstate of San Marino, the third-smallest country in the world at just 24 km², is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in Europe. San Marino offers great food heavily inspired by Italian cuisine, a rich history dating back to 301 AD, and natural landmarks such as the UNESCO site Monte Titano that will take your breath away. Unfortunately, the football isn’t great, as the San Marino national team is often described as the worst national side in the world with just one win in 155 total matches and a combined score of 23 goals for and 667 against.

<p>You’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Mauritius. The island nation is so small that it often appears as nothing more than a speck in the Indian Ocean on maps of Africa. Mauritius is <a href="https://theculturetrip.com/africa/mauritius/articles/10-reasons-why-you-should-visit-mauritius-at-least-once/" rel="noreferrer noopener">unique in many ways</a>, from its rainbow-coloured sand to its food, which draws inspiration from France, India, Africa, and Asia, and its proximity to several other islands, such as Ile aux Cerfs, Ile aux Aigrettes, Ilot Gabriel, and Ile d’Ambre.</p>

You’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Mauritius. The island nation is so small that it often appears as nothing more than a speck in the Indian Ocean on maps of Africa. Mauritius is unique in many ways , from its rainbow-coloured sand to its food, which draws inspiration from France, India, Africa, and Asia, and its proximity to several other islands, such as Ile aux Cerfs, Ile aux Aigrettes, Ilot Gabriel, and Ile d’Ambre.

<p>Contrary to what you may have heard in the news, Iran is in fact a very safe place to visit, and the locals typically welcome outsiders. So, there’s no reason not to visit the country and its <a href="http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/ir" rel="noreferrer noopener">24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites</a> (22 cultural sites and two natural). Only two other Asian countries have more. Iran’s most famous attraction is the ancient city of Persepolis, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BC).</p>

Contrary to what you may have heard in the news, Iran is in fact a very safe place to visit, and the locals typically welcome outsiders. So, there’s no reason not to visit the country and its 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (22 cultural sites and two natural). Only two other Asian countries have more. Iran’s most famous attraction is the ancient city of Persepolis, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BC).

<p><em><a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/tmullen/2018/02/27/why-bhutan-is-still-out-of-this-world/#63f179b344be" rel="noreferrer noopener">Forbes</a> </em>described the small Buddhist nation of Bhutan, wedged between China and India, as an “out of this world experience.” The magazine cites the region’s many impressive monasteries—including the famous Paro Taktsang, which sits on the side of a cliff in the Paro Valley—and its “perceived (and actual) focus on peacefulness.” In other words, you’re guaranteed to leave Bhutan with a newfound sense of peace and serenity.</p>

Forbes described the small Buddhist nation of Bhutan, wedged between China and India, as an “out of this world experience.” The magazine cites the region’s many impressive monasteries—including the famous Paro Taktsang, which sits on the side of a cliff in the Paro Valley—and its “perceived (and actual) focus on peacefulness.” In other words, you’re guaranteed to leave Bhutan with a newfound sense of peace and serenity.

Ise Grand Shrine, Japan

Dating back to the 3rd century, the Ise Grand Shrine in Ise, Japan, is the spiritual centre of Shinto, Japan’s national religion. It is considered the country’s most sacred site and believed to house the Sacred Mirror. With millions of visitors each year, the shrine is hardly a well-kept secret, but a vast majority of those who visit are from Japan.

<p>When you think of Oregon, you probably think of endless precipitation, tall mountains, lush green trees, and running rivers. Believe it or not, however, tucked away in the southeastern part of the state is a <a href="https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/destinations/parks-forests-wildlife-areas/the-alvord-desert/" rel="noreferrer noopener">gorgeous desert</a> that receives very little rain throughout the year and is so flat that you can drive on it during the dry season.</p>

Alvord Desert, Oregon

When you think of Oregon, you probably think of endless precipitation, tall mountains, lush green trees, and running rivers. Believe it or not, however, tucked away in the southeastern part of the state is a gorgeous desert that receives very little rain throughout the year and is so flat that you can drive on it during the dry season.

<p>No, there are no castles in Castle Hill, just massive limestone boulders that, from a distance, give the appearance of old castle ruins. This New Zealand destination, which the <a href="https://awol.junkee.com/the-dalai-lama-called-these-nz-boulders-the-spiritual-centre-of-the-universe/41237" rel="noreferrer noopener">Dalai Lama</a> dubbed “the spiritual centre of the universe,” is especially popular among rock climbers, or “boulderers.”</p>

Castle Hill, New Zealand

No, there are no castles in Castle Hill, just massive limestone boulders that, from a distance, give the appearance of old castle ruins. This New Zealand destination, which the Dalai Lama dubbed “the spiritual centre of the universe,” is especially popular among rock climbers, or “boulderers.”

<p>The best part about the Isle of Man, a self-governing Crown dependency located between Ireland and Great Britain in the Irish Sea, is that it’s small enough to explore in a single day, from <a href="https://www.visitisleofman.com/things-to-do/attractions/landmarks" rel="noreferrer noopener">The Sound and Calf of Man to Snaefell Mountain</a>. The island is famous for its annual <a href="https://www.iomtt.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Tourist Trophy</a> motorcycle race, typically held in May or June.</p>

Isle of Man

The best part about the Isle of Man, a self-governing Crown dependency located between Ireland and Great Britain in the Irish Sea, is that it’s small enough to explore in a single day, from The Sound and Calf of Man to Snaefell Mountain . The island is famous for its annual Tourist Trophy motorcycle race, typically held in May or June.

<p>Perhaps you haven’t visited Tenerife because most people outside of Europe have never even heard of it. Or, maybe you’ve never been to the largest of the Canary Islands because of the price. Surely it must cost a small fortune to enjoy the area’s beautiful white sand beaches and comfortable Mediterranean climate. Well, you might be surprised to learn that <em>Forbes </em>named Tenerife as one of the <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom/2018/12/18/the-cheapest-places-to-travel-in-2019/#84016de787a3" rel="noreferrer noopener">most affordable places to visit</a>.</p>

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Perhaps you haven’t visited Tenerife because most people outside of Europe have never even heard of it. Or, maybe you’ve never been to the largest of the Canary Islands because of the price. Surely it must cost a small fortune to enjoy the area’s beautiful white sand beaches and comfortable Mediterranean climate. Well, you might be surprised to learn that Forbes named Tenerife as one of the most affordable places to visit .

<p>It’s no wonder this Utah destination was used as the setting of an alien planet in the 1999 film <em>Galaxy Quest</em>. With its surreal landscape of thousands of bizarrely shaped rock formations called hoodoos or goblins, <a href="https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/goblin-valley/discover/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Goblin Valley State Park</a> truly looks like it’s from another world, one you’ll be glad you discovered.</p>

Goblin Valley State Park, Utah

It’s no wonder this Utah destination was used as the setting of an alien planet in the 1999 film Galaxy Quest . With its surreal landscape of thousands of bizarrely shaped rock formations called hoodoos or goblins, Goblin Valley State Park truly looks like it’s from another world, one you’ll be glad you discovered.

<p>Referenced in the writings of a Roman named Pliny the Elder in AD 77, <a href="https://www.visitcolchester.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Colchester</a> is considered the oldest recorded town in Great Britain. A quick trip from London takes you to the oldest surviving Roman gateway in the United Kingdom, Balkerne Gateway, built between AD 70 and AD 96.</p>

Colchester, England

Referenced in the writings of a Roman named Pliny the Elder in AD 77, Colchester is considered the oldest recorded town in Great Britain. A quick trip from London takes you to the oldest surviving Roman gateway in the United Kingdom, Balkerne Gateway, built between AD 70 and AD 96.

<p>After <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/15/politics/trump-buy-greenland-wall-street-journal/index.html" rel="noreferrer noopener">President Trump’s recent inquiry into purchasing Greenland</a>, it’s as good a time as any to point out that the world’s largest island is a great place to visit. The country’s top attraction is the massive <a href="https://visitgreenland.com/things-to-do/ilulissat-icefjord/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Ilulissat Icefjord</a>, which is roughly the area of 66,000 football fields, while a popular place to stay is the capital city of Nuuk where you can learn all about the history of Greenland at The National Museum.</p>

After President Trump’s recent inquiry into purchasing Greenland , it’s as good a time as any to point out that the world’s largest island is a great place to visit. The country’s top attraction is the massive Ilulissat Icefjord , which is roughly the area of 66,000 football fields, while a popular place to stay is the capital city of Nuuk where you can learn all about the history of Greenland at The National Museum.

<p>Do you have Georgia on your mind for your next trip? If not, you should. We’re not talking about the American state, however, but the Eurasian country bordered by Russia to the north, Turkey and Armenia to the south, and Azerbaijan to the southeast. As <em>CNN Travel </em>says, “This small country is not only a crossroads of cultures but also has a wealth of spectacular landscapes,” including Europe’s highest village, Ushguli; mysterious cave cities; and the Caucus Mountains.</p>

Do you have Georgia on your mind for your next trip? If not, you should. We’re not talking about the American state, however, but the Eurasian country bordered by Russia to the north, Turkey and Armenia to the south, and Azerbaijan to the southeast. As CNN Travel says, “This small country is not only a crossroads of cultures but also has a wealth of spectacular landscapes,” including Europe’s highest village, Ushguli; mysterious cave cities; and the Caucus Mountains.

<p>Tourism in Germany is typically centred on Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg, but Cologne is just as worthy of a visit. The 2,000-year-old city, situated along the Rhine River, is a cultural goldmine, home to <a href="https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/cologne-d-nw-col.htm" rel="noreferrer noopener">dozens of museums and over 100 art galleries</a> as well as buildings and neighbourhoods dating back to the Middle Ages.</p>

Cologne, Germany

Tourism in Germany is typically centred on Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg, but Cologne is just as worthy of a visit. The 2,000-year-old city, situated along the Rhine River, is a cultural goldmine, home to dozens of museums and over 100 art galleries as well as buildings and neighbourhoods dating back to the Middle Ages.

<p>When you think of great American vineyards, Arizona probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind, but according to <a href="https://www.vogue.com/article/beyond-napa-emerging-american-wine-regions-to-visit-now/" rel="noreferrer noopener"><em>Vogue</em></a>, Verde Valley is one of the country's top emerging wine regions, specializing in Cabernet Franc and Zinfandel. Moreover, with Mingus Mountain and the Mogollon Rim in the background, you’ll enjoy stunning views while sipping your red wine.</p>

Verde Valley, Arizona

When you think of great American vineyards, Arizona probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind, but according to Vogue , Verde Valley is one of the country's top emerging wine regions, specializing in Cabernet Franc and Zinfandel. Moreover, with Mingus Mountain and the Mogollon Rim in the background, you’ll enjoy stunning views while sipping your red wine.

<p>Munich may be the beer capital of the world, but <a href="https://www.prazdrojvisit.cz/en/" rel="noreferrer noopener">the small town of Plzeň</a>, or Pilsen, located just west of Prague, is the birthplace of Pilsner. At the Brewery Museum, you’ll learn all about the history of beer from ancient times to today, and, more importantly, you’ll get to sample some of the best pale lager in the world.</p>

Plzeň, Czech Republic

Munich may be the beer capital of the world, but the small town of Plzeň , or Pilsen, located just west of Prague, is the birthplace of Pilsner. At the Brewery Museum, you’ll learn all about the history of beer from ancient times to today, and, more importantly, you’ll get to sample some of the best pale lager in the world.

<p>Don’t be deceived by its location off the coast of largely uninhabited Antarctica. Located in the South Shetland Islands archipelago, Deception Island is often described as one of the safest islands on the icy continent, and as such is a <a href="https://www.oceanwide-expeditions.com/to-do-amp/experiences/deception-island" rel="noreferrer noopener">popular tourist destination</a> for those seeking a truly one-of-a-kind travel experience.</p>

Deception Island, Antarctica

Don’t be deceived by its location off the coast of largely uninhabited Antarctica. Located in the South Shetland Islands archipelago, Deception Island is often described as one of the safest islands on the icy continent, and as such is a popular tourist destination for those seeking a truly one-of-a-kind travel experience.

<p>Located in southwestern Peru, just outside of Ica, the tiny village of <a href="http://www.huacachina.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Huacachina</a> (population of about 100) is truly a desert oasis that you have to see to believe. Popular activities at the resort include sand boarding and dune buggy rides. Some visitors choose to sit out by the lagoon, believed to heal ailments such as arthritis, rheumatism, asthma, and bronchitis.</p>

Huacachina, Peru

Located in southwestern Peru, just outside of Ica, the tiny village of Huacachina (population of about 100) is truly a desert oasis that you have to see to believe. Popular activities at the resort include sand boarding and dune buggy rides. Some visitors choose to sit out by the lagoon, believed to heal ailments such as arthritis, rheumatism, asthma, and bronchitis.

<p>“If there are places privileged by nature, the island of Flores is one of them,” declares <a href="https://www.visitportugal.com/en/node/73821" rel="noreferrer noopener">Visit Portugal</a> about this stunning spot in the Azores archipelago. For flower lovers, Flores (which literally translates to flowers) Island is the ultimate garden.</p>

Flores Island, Portugal

“If there are places privileged by nature, the island of Flores is one of them,” declares Visit Portugal about this stunning spot in the Azores archipelago. For flower lovers, Flores (which literally translates to flowers) Island is the ultimate garden.

<p>Rome, Venice, and Florence are teeming with tourists throughout the year, while the beautiful region of Puglia, located in the heel of Italy’s boot, remains relatively unknown to foreign tourists. If the <a href="https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/puglia/traditional-foods-from-italy" rel="noreferrer noopener">traditional Italian cuisine</a> (like the Puccia, “a sandwich made of pizza dough stuffed with meats, cheeses, and/or vegetables”) doesn’t blow you away, then the whitewashed buildings and endless Mediterranean coastline surely will.</p>

Puglia, Italy

Rome, Venice, and Florence are teeming with tourists throughout the year, while the beautiful region of Puglia, located in the heel of Italy’s boot, remains relatively unknown to foreign tourists. If the traditional Italian cuisine (like the Puccia, “a sandwich made of pizza dough stuffed with meats, cheeses, and/or vegetables”) doesn’t blow you away, then the whitewashed buildings and endless Mediterranean coastline surely will.

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7 Scenic One-Day Arizona Road Trips With Mountain Views

These one-day Arizona mountain road trips show off the state's scenic roads and byways that offer views of mountainous landscapes and high peaks.

  • Take a day to explore Arizona's mountain beauty - from the White Mountains to the towering San Francisco Peaks!
  • Enjoy a scenic drive on the Apache Trail winding through the Superstition Mountains' awe-inspiring landscapes
  • Venture through Navajo Nation on the Naat'tsis'aan Navajo Mountain Scenic Road for a unique cultural experience

Driving on Arizona roads is an absolute treat for anyone looking for scenery and adrenaline-pumping experiences. The state's dramatic landscape, ranging from arid deserts and deep canyons to imposing mountains and red rocks, makes its natural beauty just unparalleled! Experiencing it all is possible even without stepping out of the car by taking any of Arizona's scenic road trips . Better yet, Arizona offers an abundance of picturesque drives to scenic landmarks en route as well, enabling road-trippers to see the state's iconic sights and scenery along its network of roads.

Whether one fancies trying one-day Arizona road trips or intends to spend a whole week on the road exploring Arizona's spiritual destinations , like Sedona and its sacred vortexes , there is always at least one road trip in the Grand Canyon state that will suit the purpose. How about road trips that go through the mountains in Arizona, though? Indeed, the state has those, too, from the Superstitions to the White Mountains and beyond, and it's even possible to see many routes in one day, which is ideal for travelers short on time.

Here are several scenic one-day mountain road trips in Arizona that highlight the varied and alluring mountainous landscape of the state. Select one or give them all a try; they're all worth it for their amazing mountain scenery and exhilarating outdoor experiences!

7 Arizona Road Trips With Scenic Mountain Views

7 white mountains scenic drive, drive 92 miles to witness the majesty of the apache-sitgreaves national forest and the white mountains.

Marvel at the White Mountains while driving 92 miles on the White Mountain Scenic Road from Show Low to Alpine, stopping at numerous gorgeous mountain towns in Arizona on the way. The route also passes through Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest , offering Arizona's natural grandeur.

Beginning in Show Low, go east on AZ Route 260 through the White Mountains, stopping at Pinetop-Lakeside to witness the majesty of the surrounding mountains. Take a detour to Greer to appreciate the culture and natural splendor of this little mountain. Return to Route 260 and take in Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest's splendor. Just outside Eager, switch to US-191 and travel south all the way to Alpine.

6 Apache Trail

Drive 43 miles to admire the awe-inspiring vistas of arizona's superstition mountains and tonto national forest.

The Apache Trail Historic Road is among the most scenic drives near Phoenix ! The views of rock outcroppings, magnificent geologic formations, and steep-sided canyons are perhaps the best in the West!

Formerly Arizona State Route 88, this scenic route begins at Apache Junction and ends at Theodore Roosevelt Dam, winding through the Superstition Mountains and Tonto National Forest. The vista of jagged canyons, dry landscapes, and brilliant lakes is enthralling for road trippers. Along the route, Goldfield Ghost Town, Canyon Lake , Apache Lake , and Tortilla Flat are some of the most scenic stops.

Half the drive is on uneven, unpaved roads, so take a car that can handle this type of road. Furthermore, due to ADOT repair works, this scenic route is presently CLOSED between the Apache Lake Marina and Fish Point.

5 San Francisco Peaks Loop

Drive 44 miles to enjoy a scenic ride around arizona's highest mountain.

Take in breathtaking vistas and mountain views while driving 44 miles around Arizona's San Francisco Peaks, including the state's highest point, Humphreys Peak, which is also one of the many hike-worthy high-elevation peaks in Arizona . Also, enjoy the stunning landscape adorned with aspen groves, open prairies, pine forests, and quaint homesteads.

Travelers can pause at many locations along the way to take in the view and even enjoy a picnic. It's also recommended to plan some time for enjoying a primitive camping experience or a short hike through the landscape here for those who can extend this day road trip to a two-day adventure.

The San Francisco Peaks Loop begins in Flagstaff and travels 14 miles northeast on US 89 towards Forest Road 418 and then 12 miles towards Forest Road 151 in a westerly direction. It then travels 8 miles south to US 180 and 9.5 miles back to Flagstaff. Although the entire journey is only 44 miles long in total, it could take up to three hours or more, depending on the number of stops.

Since the roads are blocked for most of the winter, lasting from late November to early March, plan your road trip accordingly. Travelers can opt for skiing or snowmobiling during winter.

8 Scenic Desert Road Trips In Arizona

4 kayenta-monument valley scenic road, drive 26 miles to witness the natural splendor of mounment valley and the navajo nation.

The Kayenta-Monument Valley Scenic Road , or US Route 163, is unquestionably the most picturesque American Southwest Drive . This National Scenic Byway stretches for about 26 miles and winds through the magnificent scenery of Monument Valley, featuring buttes, stunning sandstone formations, mountainous landscapes, and rock formations.

The drive is barely thirty minutes long, but the breathtaking vistas of the desert and red rocks compel road trippers to stop and capture the splendor. This road trip on the Kayenta-Monument Valley Scenic Road is also an ideal way to learn about Navajo culture while being surrounded by stunning landscapes and the most iconic sights of the west. Additionally, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park offers a variety of guided tours, such as hiking, horseback riding, van, truck, and jeep tours.

Since Monument Valley is a part of the Navajo Nation, a large portion of it is inaccessible to outsiders or can only be visited via authorized guided tours .

3 Diné Tah (Among The People) Scenic Road

Drive 107 miles to see the stunning landscapes of the navajo nation.

Though the Dine'Tah "Among the People" Scenic Road crosses the state boundary between New Mexico and Arizona, the approved scenic road is exclusively located on the Arizona side, where two roads make up this scenic road. The first route travels north from Lupton via Window Rock, the Navajo Nation's capital, to the state line. Then it continues into New Mexico for a short drive and then the second road starts when the route re-emerges in the Lukachukai Mountains in Arizona.

The route then goes around the north face of the Canyon de Chelly National Monument, an underrated yet worthy stop , before ending at Chinle after a southwestern curve. The route takes road trippers around the stunning boundaries of the Navajo Nation. A trip filled with incredible experiences!

Even though the straight, non-stop drive takes about two hours, this route passes past multiple overlooks and picturesque stops, including Window Rock Tribal Park and Navajo Nation Museum, each offering distinct views of the stunning terrain.

8 Scenic Small Towns Right Next To Major Arizona National Parks

2 naat'tsis'aan-navajo mountain scenic road, drive 66.3 miles to see the beauty of the towering navajo mountains and the colorado plateau.

The 66.3-mile Naat'tsis'aan Navajo Mountain Scenic Road winds through the heart of the Navajo region. It is well known for its striking scenery, prehistoric petroglyphs, and Navajo cultural significance. This drive provides spectacular views of Navajo Mountain, red sandstone mesas, spires, and buttes from a distance, making it one of the scenic yet unique road trip ideas in the Grand Canyon State !

The route starts at US Highway 160 near Shonto and runs along State Route 98 until it ends at US Highway 89 near Page, taking road trippers through the Navajo Nation's stunning red rock landscapes. At the end of the trip, travelers can visit Antelope Canyon-Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park or Antelope Point Marina & RV Park.

The road is open for driving without permission, but some other Navajo Nation recreational activities—like hiking and camping—do require a permit from the tribe. Visitors can get more information about permits at Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation .

1 Kaibab Plateau-North Rim National Scenic Byway

Drive 44 miles to witness the natural splendor of the kaibab plateau and the grand canyon.

One of the most scenic drives in Arizona with mountain views to do in a day is the 44-mile drive from Jacob Lake to the North Rim . The route follows Arizona State Highway 67, a designated National Forest Scenic Byway, and the Kaibab Plateau-North Rim Parkway, a State Scenic Parkway.

The route passing through the Kaibab National Forest is full of green beauty because of high-altitude conifer forests, meadows, grasslands, and limestone outcrops, making it one of the most scenic byways in Arizona for a road trip . Another plus is the opportunity to spot a variety of wildlife! Voilà! The perfect getaway for nature, adventure, and animal enthusiasts!

The drive is around an hour nonstop, but there are numerous viewpoints to enjoy the scenery as well as North Rim hiking trails offering thrilling experiences.

State Highway 67 is usually closed from November through mid-May due to heavy winter snow.

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  1. 30 World's Best Places to Visit for 2023-2024

    Paris. #1 in World's Best Places to Visit for 2023-2024. France's magnetic City of Light is a perennial tourist destination, drawing visitors with its iconic attractions, like the Eiffel Tower and ...

  2. 50 World's Best Places to Travel in 2022

    Here are the best places to travel right now and in 2022 for summer, spring, winter, or fall vacations. Our list of best vacation spots includes destinations in Hawaii, California, Italy, the UK ...

  3. 21 Life-changing Bucket List Trips Everyone Should Experience

    21 Life-changing Trips Everyone Should Experience at Least Once. From African safaris to must-visit cities, these once-in-a-lifetime trips will make you want to plan your next great adventure.

  4. 55 of the World's Most Beautiful Destinations

    Uyuni Salt Flat, Bolivia. The world's largest salt flat covers 4,000 square miles of the Bolivian Altiplano. In the dry season, it's an endless white sheet of salt tiles made all the more dazzling ...

  5. Bucket List Travel: The Top 50 Places In The World

    The results of the world's top 50 bucket list destinations include some of the most beautiful places on earth. "White sandy beaches are still a must-visit for many, with vibrant cities also ...

  6. 45 Amazing Destinations Worldwide (Our Favorite Places from 20+ Years

    1. Cape Peninsula, South Africa. Cape Town and the entire Cape Peninsula in South Africa is one of our absolute favorite regions in the world. We hardly ever travel to the same place more than once; Cape Peninsula is one of the few places where we gladly make an exception.

  7. The 60 most beautiful places in the world 2024

    Stretching over eight countries - France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany and Slovenia - the Alps are the most extensive mountain range in Europe. It has some of the greatest skiing in the world with popular towns including Chamonix -Mont-Blanc (the highest mountain), Lech, Gstaad and Courchevel.

  8. 30 Best Travel Destinations in the World, Ranked

    The ultimate ranking of travel destinations aims to solve a serious problem: so many places to visit, so little time. But even in a world with a trillion destinations, some manage to stand out and rise to the top. From the sleek skyscrapers of Dubai to the emerald-green waters of the Bora Bora lagoon, you're sure to find at least one vacation ...

  9. The 10 most incredible travel experiences in the world, according to

    2. Visit the Galápagos - the islands that have astounded scientists. A literal wonderland of science, the Galápagos hold secrets of nature not seen anywhere else in the world. Famed as the place where Charles Darwin's ideas on evolution by natural selection were shaped, the islands inspire thought and wonderment.

  10. 25 amazing journeys for 2022

    Our global editors picked the planet's 25 most exciting destinations for 2022. Five categories—Nature, Adventure, Sustainability, Culture and History, and Family—frame unforgettable journeys ...

  11. 20 of the coolest travel adventures for 2024

    Our annual Best of the World list ranks 20 great travel experiences, including bear-watching in Alaska, glacier-hiking in Chile, swimming Australia's Coral Coast, and more. Video by Nichole ...

  12. 30 Amazing Travel Experiences Around the World in 2024

    This article will guide you through 30 amazing destinations that should be on every traveler's bucket list. Whether you crave cultural immersion, picturesque landscapes, or thrilling activities, we've got you covered. So, grab your passport, and let's dive into the 30 amazing travel experiences around the world in 2023! 1.

  13. 20 Amazing Destinations You Should Visit in Your Lifetime

    5. Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Lake Moraine in Banff National Park, Canada. Located in the Rocky Mountains, Banff is Canada's oldest national park and Banff one of the most unbelievable places we've ever visited. Banff is the epitome of perfection.

  14. 73 Amazing Holiday Destinations to add to Your Bucket List NOW

    Las Catalinas at Playa Danta, Costa Rica is on top of my amazing holiday destinations list. Las Catalinas is a d r e a m. Pura vida {Costa Rica's country motto, pure life} can be easily achieved in this enchanting pedestrian town with it's old quarter style to your left and it's private black sand beach to your right.

  15. 43 Amazing Travel Experiences Around The World

    Hire a knowledgeable guide to get the most out of your visit. 4. Swimming With Whale Sharks in the Philippines. Image Credit: Shutterstock. The Philippines is home to some of the world's most diverse marine life. One of the most unique experiences you can have is swimming with whale sharks around Cebu.

  16. USA Bucket List: 50 Best Places to Visit in the US

    The Oregon Coast is one of the most underrated travel destinations in the USA, but for those who love moody, dramatic scenery, it is the best place to be. Although the actual coast isn't very long (338 or so miles, about a 7.5-hour drive without stopping), it makes for a great weekend or longer trip with added stops.

  17. 50 Family Vacation Ideas for the Best Trip Ever

    You probably picture tropical vacation spots when you think about all-inclusive family vacations, but there are some great resorts here in the United States as well. These are the best family vacations in the U.S. where everything's included. 1. Sandpiper Bay All-Inclusive Resort by Wyndham.

  18. 10 Best Adventure Vacations Around the World

    Canopy Tour in Guatemala. If you're not afraid of heights, a visit to Guatemala's Tikal National Park might be in order. The UNESCO World Heritage site is home to a thrilling canopy tour that ...

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    MORE AMAZING DESTINATIONS, DATES & DEALS WILL BE ADDED - CHECK BACK OFTEN! WE SPECIALIZE IN STUDENT TOURS, SENIOR TOURS & CRUISES. WITH MORE THAN 50 YEARS OF COMBINED TOUR & TRAVEL EXPERIENCE, AMAZING DESTINATION, "WE TAKE YOU THERE!"... Group Trips & Tours, Broadway Shows, Lobster & Crab Feasts, Casino Trips, Senior & Student Tours ...

  20. Best Family Vacations in the USA for 2024

    San Diego. #11 in Best Family Vacations in the USA for 2024. Travel to San Diego for 70 miles of coastline, allowing for ample sandy fun. Mission Beach, Coronado Central Beach and La Jolla Shores ...

  21. 33 Utterly Amazing Travel Destinations in the U.S. You've Never Heard Of

    Geneva, New York. Shutterstock. The Finger Lakes are one of the most underrated wine regions in the country, and the cute town of Geneva is the perfect place to make your basecamp during a weekend of exploring and wine tasting. Book a room at Geneva on the Lake, a 10-acre resort where rooms have views of Seneca Lake.

  22. Amazing destinations you never thought to visit

    South Sudan grapples with ethnic violence and political turmoil, while Yemen faces a complex and protracted conflict, leading to dire humanitarian conditions. Venezuela contends with economic ...

  23. 7 Scenic Arizona Road Trips With Amazing Mountain Views

    1 hour 53 minutes. Scenic Stops. Goldfield Ghost Town, Theodore Roosevelt Dam, Tonto National Monument. Half the drive is on uneven, unpaved roads, so take a car that can handle this type of road. Furthermore, due to ADOT repair works, this scenic route is presently CLOSED between the Apache Lake Marina and Fish Point.