The World’s 30 Best Places to Visit in 2019-20 Part 2

2019-07-09

20. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho

Established as the world’s first national park in 1872, Yellowstone is home to a massive web of ecological and geological diversity, including the largest free-roaming herd of bison in America and more than 150 species of birds. Visitors can camp, hike, bike and boat through this 2.2 million-acre park, which was formed atop one of the world’s largest active volcanoes and carved by glaciers, geysers, canyons, thermal pools, basins and valleys. You likely can’t traverse Yellowstone in its entirety in one visit, but after seeing Old Faithful, Yellowstone Lake and Mammoth Hot Springs, you will definitely want to plan a return trip to see some of its lesser-known natural formations as well.

19. Florence, Italy

Travelers are sure to fall in love with the artistic treasures and ethereal Arno River that define this Tuscan paradise. The “birthplace of the Renaissance” features quaint streets and detailed fountains that never fail to impress, but aside from wandering through town, visitors should also shop for inexpensive Massimo leather and enjoy an authentic panini. Florence radiates a small-town feel even though some of the world’s most striking architectural and artistic masterpieces, such as the Duomo and Michelangelo’s David sculpture, call this city home. When it’s time to unwind, enjoy a glass of Chianti during sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo, where you will get a panoramic view of Tuscany’s capital.

18. San Francisco

San Francisco is filled with attractions for all kinds of travelers. If you’re a foodie or a fashionista, explore Ghirardelli Square (home to some of the nation’s best chocolate) and roam the trendy Fillmore Street to scour boutiques and enjoy top-notch dining experiences. For the best photo opportunities, stop by the pastel Painted Ladies houses, the Presidio neighborhood, historic Chinatown and Pier 39, where playful sea lions sunbathe and relax. Adventure-seekers can get their fix through listening to the riveting escape attempt stories of some of America’s most notorious criminals during an Alcatraz tour. Consider visiting in the fall, when mild temperatures make it comfortable for travelers to walk or bike through the culturally distinct neighborhoods.

17. Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s maze of canals is adorned with a deeper educational and artistic history than you might have thought. Feast your eyes on the impressive artwork within the Van Gogh and Moco museums, say cheers with some beers at the Heineken Experience and put yourself in 15 year-old Anne Frank’s shoes when learning about her Holocaust story at the Anne Frank House. Travelers can also enjoy romantic cruises along the canal, which pass the stunning houses in the Herengracht neighborhood, or stop in eccentric coffee shops in Leidseplein. Other popular activities include swinging over the city at the A’dam Lookout and people-watching in verdant Vondelpark.

16. The Maldives

The Maldives is the epitome of paradise, situated in the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean. Follow the radiant marine life below the surface by scuba diving or snorkeling to explore the hundreds of coral reefs. Then, head to Vaadhoo Island on the Raa atoll after the sun sets to see thousands of floating plankton that illuminate the shoreline in glowing shades of blue. Known for excellent hospitality, Maldivian resorts often welcome visitors with a fresh coconut drink. And in addition to numerous luxury accommodations, The Maldives offer a plethora of ways to indulge, including fine dining at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant.

15. Sydney

From striking sunsets at Sydney Harbour’s world-famous Opera House to sweeping landscapes along the Blue Mountains, Sydney offers many reasons why millions of visitors vacation here each year. On top of beautiful natural scenery at Manly Beach and The Royal Botanic Garden, this city also boasts legendary chefs and fresh seafood. Treat yourself to a meal and a bloody mary at the Coogee Pavilion after you take on the 4-mile coastal walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach – the cliffside vistas make the journey completely worthwhile.

14. Machu Picchu, Peru

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, this Incan citadel is the ultimate bucket list destination. Once you get to the Cusco region, you have two ways to journey to the grand site: by taking a train to Aguas Calientes and then hopping on a bus, or by devoting yourself to the four-day Inca Trail trek. No matter how you get there, heart-stopping vistas at The Sun Gate, Huayana Picchu and Watchman’s Hunt await your arrival. For the best weather, plan your trip between the end of May and September. However, be sure to book tickets well in advance: A limit of 2,500 people at a time are allowed on these ancient grounds.

13. Dubai

In Dubai, visitors can soak up the shoreline views from the tallest building in the world, shred powder on one of the longest indoor ski slopes on Earth and shop at one of the largest malls. Despite new developments in this futuristic city like the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel and Dubai Mall, Dubai holds onto its past, too. Travelers must make time to visit the Al Bastakiya Quarter, the city’s charming historic district, and the spice and gold souks, where vendors flaunt their finest herbs and jewels. Beat the triple digit temperatures by visiting in the winter months, but be prepared to encounter crowds as you enjoy the popular Jumeirah Beach.

12. New York City

The Big Apple’s five distinct boroughs make this melting pot overflow with ethnically diverse people, eateries and attractions. Let hipsters guide you down the trendy streets of SoHo, line up behind Brooklynites for a slice of award-winning pizza, follow Manhattanites into Fifth Avenue’s finest stores and give your regards to one of Broadway’s top-notch performances – the opportunities are endless. In addition to dozens of renowned museums, monumental skyscrapers and some of the world’s most celebrated restaurants, New York City offers hundreds of lodging options, from budget-friendly to splurge-worthy.

11. Barcelona, Spain

With a mix of Spanish and Catalan culture, Barcelona is full of authentic flair. Travelers can admire architectural genius Antoni Gaudí’s unique designs at the renowned Sagrada Familia, Park Güell and Gaudí houses. Visitors should also explore the rich history built into the streets of the Gothic Quarter, stop for a cocktail at one of the bars situated along Barceloneta Beach and shop the numerous stores along Passeig de Gràcia. If you’re not already a gastronome, the sizzling patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), paella, fresh seafood and Spanish tortilla will certainly turn you into a foodie.

Courtesy of USNews

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