After over a year of travel restrictions, it’s no surprise that many people are booking their once-in-a-lifetime trips for 2021. Whether you prefer white, sandy beaches and breathtaking views or vibrant cities with world-famous landmarks, we’ve rounded up nine landmark destinations around the globe to inspire your next dream vacation. If they aren’t already on your bucket list, it may be time to add them!
New York City
Someone once said, “New York City isn’t a city. It’s a world.” With five boroughs to explore, there’s no way you can get to it all in one trip…but you sure can try! Whether you prefer upscale restaurants or unassuming pizza joints, Broadway shows or underground comedy clubs, museums and architecture or a jog around Central Park, you’ll never run out of things to eat, do, and explore in the “city that never sleeps.”
Plunging waterfalls, enormous glaciers, hot springs, and more – there’s simply so much to see in Iceland. Explore the dramatic landscape by driving Golden Circle Road and then wind down by taking a soak in the world-famous Blue Lagoon. And, if you time your trip correctly, you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights – another bucket list item to check off!
The sparkle of the Eiffel tower at night, the taste of a freshly made eclair, and a sunset cruise along the Seine River are just a few of the many reasons Paris deserves a spot on any travel bucket list. One of the most romantic destinations in the world, Paris is home to breathtaking landmarks such as the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame, just to name a few. Be sure to pack your most effortlessly-stylish attire – Paris is known for it!
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
If you’ve browsed Instagram or Pinterest for travel-related inspiration, you’ve certainly seen the overwater bungalows sitting atop the South Pacific Ocean in Bora Bora. It’s in that very ocean that you’ll be able to enjoy snorkeling, swimming with turtles and sting rays, boating, and diving in crystal clear water. Is falling asleep to the soothing swish of the ocean after a day full of luxurious adventures your thing? If so, this may be the bucket list destination for you.
If the great outdoors is where you like to spend most of your time, Alaska may be the place for you. Glaciers, mountains, forests, and more cover the terrain where you can spot brown bears, whale watch, kayak, fish, and zipline. For a truly unforgettable experience, consider an Alaskan cruise, one of the best (and most affordable!) ways to experience the absolutely unparalleled scenery.
One of Greece’s most picturesque destinations, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of a postcard when you visit Santorini. Set on rugged cliffs atop bright-turquoise water, you can enjoy learning about Greece’s rich history, sampling local wines and cuisines, visiting red or black sandy beaches, taking a catamaran ride, and more. And, chances are, you’ll never see a more beautiful sunset. Those panoramic views at dusk are worth the whole trip!
Gelato, pizza, pasta, repeat. While that’s certainly recommended, there’s also so much to do and see in Rome. Check out the Colosseum, drive a vespa around the lively streets, visit Vatican City, stroll around Piazza Navona, throw coins in the Trevi Fountain, take a cooking class…the list goes on! When you’re ready for more, there are plenty of day trips that can be taken from Rome including Florence, Pompeii, Naples, Tivoli, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast.
Cape Town, South Africa
Colorful streets, foodie neighborhoods, and majestic views of the mountains land Cape Town on our list of bucket list trips. Enjoy a helicopter ride, take a cable car up Table Mountain, or grab a “Gatsby” sandwich for lunch. Of course, the highlight of the trip will be when you set off on the adventure of a lifetime – an African Safari. A few hours outside the city, you’ll be able to try and spot the “big five” (lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos) in their natural habitat!
Hong Kong, China
Known for its skylines and vivacious food scene, Hong Kong serves as an exciting and eclectic city with plenty to do and see. Take in the view from Victoria Peak, ride on a traditional junk boat, shop at street markets, see the Symphony of Lights, or even spend some time at Hong Kong Disneyland. And, of course, it’s not a trip to Hong Kong without an authentic dim sum experience. There are countless spots to enjoy the delicious bite-sized dishes that you’ll likely continue to crave well after your trip is over!
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