If these 10 (ish) destinations aren’t on your bucket list (yet), then YOU ARE WELCOME!
1. Oneonta Gorge, Oregon
Keeping it close to home- the Oneonta Gorge is breathtaking! It is one of the most popular and unique places to see in Oregon. Anyone can take a short hike up the river to the beautiful falls. Just make sure you go mid summer when the water is low and the day is hot- be prepared and bring water shoes because you will get WET.
2. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Uninhabited and unaltered, these 2000+ islands create they most magical view. And it has a pretty magical story, too. Ha Long translates into “where the dragon descends into the sea”. Legend has it that these islands were created by the flailing tail of a great dragon. When the dragon crashed into the sea, the crevasses were filled with water, leaving only the pinnacles visible.
3. Gudvangen, Norway
Nature at its best!! Gudvangen is the ideal starting point for many tourists as they begin their journey through the Sognefjord- the largest and most well known fjord in Norway and the third largest fjord in the world! May- September is a great time to visit Norway. Don’t forget your camera!
4. Prague, Czech Republic
An absolutely charming city in the heart of the Czech Republic, Prague is for travelers who want to immerse themselves in culture! With a history that goes back a millennium, you will not run out of things to see and do here. Make sure you give yourself a few days do enjoy the gardens, museums, and architecture! This place is magical in the winter and the summer months!
5. Bora Bora, Tahiti
I think this picture speaks for itself. Located just northwest of Tahiti and less than an hour plane ride from Papeete. Lounge in your bungalow, explore by canoe, and go for a swim. The water is as crystal clear as it looks! Temperature usually ranges from 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to stay for cheaper, consider going during low season which spans from November to May. However, low season may also mean higher temperature and more rain. But if you’re cheap like me, it’s all worth it.
6. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest has a lot to offer! For starters, walking through Budapest is like walking through a time machine. The impressive architecture and history makes this a place you will never forget. Make sure you check out the Royal Palace, Parliament, Szechenyi Bridge, and at least one of the many hot springs aka “baths”. And don’t forget- Hungarian food remains one of the most sophisticated styles of cooking in Europe so make sure you try some!
7. Zhanggjiajie National Forest Park, China
Make sure you give yourself more than one day to explore this majestic place! The tall, pillaring mountains are the result of many years of physical erosion. The park is covered in thick foliage and has lots of streams running through it. Must sees= hiking up to Yellow Stone Stronghold and taking the Bailong Elevator so that you can get the best view of your surroundings! My sister went here last month and almost got stuck at the top of the elevator. Hint- don’t by a one way ticket 😉
8. Zakynthos, Greece
Among the largest Ionian Islands, Zakynthos offers crystal blue water, white sand, plenty of green vegetation, and rich cultural life. Everything about this place is paradise. March-May are particularly great months to see the island with minimal tourists. If you go, I suggest you check out the blue caves (found 3 places on the island), Shipwreck, Cape Skinari, and as many beaches as you can find. There is plenty of scuba diving, snorkeling, base jumping, boat riding, and night time concerts and festivals to keep you moving.
9. Machu Picchu, Peru
I don’t know how you can live your life without seeing this place. Equally beautiful as it is impressive, Machu Picchu resides just northwest of Cusco, Peru. It is easiest to get there by flying into Cusco and taking the 3.5 hour train ride (which you should book WEEKS in advance). However, going to such high elevation so fast can cause some pretty nasty altitude sickness. Aguas Calientes is at the foot of Machu Picchu and is a good place to stay and acclimate. If you stay there instead of in Cusco, you can give yourself more time to explore the ruins. Best time to go is between July and August but always expect a crowd and rain. Check out this blog for tips that helped me.
10. Chiang Mai, Thailand
(My favorite city on earth) Chiang Mai is located in Northern Thailand, at the base of the Himalayas. It is a modern city mixed with ancient ruins and surrounded by jungle. If you want to play with tigers, ride elephants, zip-line through thick jungle, take a bamboo raft down the river, and SO MUCH MORE, then this is the place for you! Make sure you see as many temples as you can, enjoy the night bizarre, try the street food, and at the end of the day get a cheap and much-needed foot massage. Prime time to visit Chiang Mai is sometime between October and February. Keep in mind that Loi Krathong (the Lantern Festival featured in the image above) happens during the full moon of November. For more information, please read Chiang Mai- A Complete Traveler’s Guide
11. Okavango Delta, Botswana
Okay Okay… I know I said I was only going to put TEN places on this list, but I can’t help adding one more to the list! I personally think I saved the best for last 🙂
Located in southern Africa, the Okavanga Delta of Botswana is one of Africa’s top safari areas. It is surrounded by desert and therefore the life source and home to one of the largest varieties of animal and plant life on the PLANET. There are many safari camps located in the delta and most are only reachable by small plane from Maun, the city that acts as a gateway into the delta. You can drive, canoe, fly, and (in some places) walk up-close to wildlife. June through August is the high water season and the best time for boating and canoe safaris.