50 Amazing Places for Your Travel Bucket List (2024)

Travel Bucket List Amazing Places

Inside: From incredible world wonders to dreamy remote islands, these are the 50 best places to add to your travel Bucket List this year.

After 10 trips around the world, I know a little something about the world’s most amazing places. And the only thing I enjoy more than traveling is sharing the beautiful places I visit with the readers of this blog. 

This brings me to what I consider the Ultimate Travel Bucket List. Lovingly cultivated from my own travel experiences to more than 175 countries on all 7 continents, these are the places I firmly believe everyone should visit in their lifetime.

How do I know these are the world’s best places to see?

Because I have visited every single destination on this list (in some cases multiple times). I got married in #27. Oh, and I happen to currently reside in #36. 

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to book through these links, I receive a small commission, which I will undoubtedly blow on more flights (it’s a vicious cycle).  All of this internet voodoo takes place at no additional cost to you. 

Sure, there are tons of “Top 25/50/100 Bucket List Destinations” articles floating around the internet. But I’ll wager almost none of the people who wrote them have actually visited all (or even any) of those places. So what do they know?

On this list I’m going to share the Top 50 places I think should be on every travel Bucket List (including a few little-known gems you’ve probably never heard of).

For the sake of simplicity, I’ve broken down my Travel Bucket List list into 6 distinct destination categories:

CategoryWhat’s included?
World Wonders 🏛️Structures or places created by people considered the “must-see” destinations in your lifetime.
Natural Wonders 🏞️Beautiful places created purely by Mother Nature.
Remote Destinations 🛤️Typically, these are destinations only super-travelers venture to. Think hard to get to and expensive to visit.
Bucket List Countries 🌍Entire countries that are blessed with so many lovely places to visit, it’s impossible to pick just one.
Bucket List Islands 🏝️My favorite category! These dreamy islands deserve a category all their own on any travel Bucket List.
Bucket List Road Trips 🚗Not just a single destination, these are regions especially suited to an epic road trip experience.

So if you’re planning a BIG trip around the world and looking for itinerary ideas, you’ve come to the right place. Or if you’re just planning your next big vacation, this list is for you, too! 

Here are my top 50 Bucket List travel destinations to visit around the world.

Let’s get started…

World Wonders 🏛️

1. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Bucket List Pyramids Egypt
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

No Bucket List is complete without a visit to the Pyramids. Nearly 5,000 years ago the ancient Egyptians built the three pyramid complexes to serve as tombs for their dead kings. 

The Great Pyramid is the oldest and largest of the three and was built during the 4th dynasty by King Khufu. The other two pyramids belong to Khafre (son of Khufu) and Menkaure, successor to Khafre.

Don’t miss a camel ride through the desert where they’ll guide you to the perfect point for stunning pictures of all three pyramids. This is one photo op you need in your life.

Pro Tip: If you want to check “been inside a pyramid” off your travel Bucket List, skip the Great Pyramid and go for the 2nd or 3rd pyramid. The entrance fee is cheaper and it’s a shorter walk in an uncomfortable crouched position. To see the best of Cairo you’ll want a guide, this is one of the best tour options 8-Hour Private Tour of the Pyramids, Egyptian Museum and Bazaar from Cairo.

Where to Stay: Marriott Mena House

Read More: Cairo on Camel Back

2. Taj Mahal, India

Taj Mahal India Bucket List Travel
The Taj Mahal, India

Mughal dynasty Emperor Shah Jahan had three wives but his third, Mumtaz, was his only love marriage. In 1631, she died after giving birth to their 14th child (you read that right, fourteenth).

Struck with grief, Shah Jahan ordered the construction of a magnificent mausoleum across the river from his royal palace. Construction took more than 20 years and the resulting structure is one of the world’s most outstanding examples of Mughal architecture.

The work is considered so significant it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983 and stands today as a symbol of India and one of the world’s most celebrated monuments.

Pro Tip: The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays, don’t plan your visit for this day! And yes, I learned that the hard way. A sunrise tour like this one – Sunrise Taj Mahal Trip from Delhi – is a great way to see the Taj at its most stunning time of day.

Where to Stay: The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra

Read More: Life, Death & Love in India: Varanasi to Agra

3. Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China Bucket List Travel
The Great Wall of China

This marvel of ancient engineering took centuries to build and when you see it, you’ll instantly understand why. Built to protect Chinese states against invasions, the iconic winding structure stretches over 13,000 miles from east to west. 

A stroll along the Great Wall of China is an unforgettable Bucket List experience for any traveler. 

I’ve visited the Great Wall of China twice. The first time was during winter and I had it all to myself one spectacular chilly morning. On my second visit years later (during the summer) it was packed with both locals and tourists. But the Great Wall is still pretty darn great, no matter how many people you have to share it with.

Pro Tip: Don’t take a group tour. You want to get there early and beat the large tour groups that typically arrive around 10:00am. Instead, book a private tour like this one – Private All-Inclusive Day Tour: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Mutianyu Great Wall

Where to Stay: The Peninsula Beijing

Read More: A Second Date with Beijing

4. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

Set high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, the mysterious lost city of the Incas was built in the 15th century and later abandoned. Hidden from the outside world for centuries, it was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911.

Bingham discovered an entire lost province that likely only survived the centuries because no one knew it was there. Within this UNESCO World Heritage Site are numerous Inca roads and ruins, towns, cities, forts, and outposts to explore. It’s a fascinating window into the ancient Inca civilization. 

Pro Tip: Yes, you can visit on a day trip from Cusco with a tour like this one – Private Full Day Machu Picchu Guided Tour from Cusco. But spend one night near the ruins so you can visit twice and maximize your chance of good weather (especially if you’re visiting during the rainy season like I did).

Where to Stay: The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is a splendid choice near the ruins.

Read More: Machu Picchu at Last

5. Petra, Jordan

The Monastery Petra Jordan
The Monastery – Petra, Jordan

Dating back as early as the 5th century BC, this city on the edge of the Wadi Araba was quite literally carved into the rose-colored sandstone of a deep canyon.

Created by the Nabateans, Petra (“stone” in Greek) controlled trade routes stretching from Africa to India and China. The Romans later conquered the area and it was eventually abandoned and forgotten until a Swiss explorer rediscovered it in 1812.

Featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Petra’s famous Treasury was painstakingly chiseled from sand and stone. The hike to Petra’s magnificent Monastery is another must-do.

Pro Tip: This one’s an easy (but very long) day trip by bus or private car from Amman. For comfort and convenience, I’d suggest a private tour like this one: Full-Day Trip to Petra from Amman.

Where to Stay: The Ritz Carlton Amman

Read More: The Ancient Charms of Petra Jordan

6. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Sunrise at Angkor Wat Cambodia
Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Cambodia

The temples of Angkor are the capital of Cambodia’s ancient Khmer empire. Often dubbed the 8th wonder of the world, the walled city of Angkor Wat is widely believed to be the largest religious structure in the world.

Most of Angkor’s great temples were abandoned to the jungle for many centuries until a massive restoration took place in the 1960s. But it was not until the years of brutal Khmer Rouge rule ended in the 80s that Angkor Wat emerged as a viable tourist destination. 

It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 and was removed from UNESCO’s endangered list in 2003. Sunrise is the real can’t-miss experience here. 

Pro Tip: Go for sunrise EVERY single morning you’re in Siem Reap. Every sunrise is magical and you can explore the surrounding temple complex afterward in cooler morning temps. Once you buy your ticket for the Angkor Archaeological Park, you don’t need to book a tour. However, I highly recommend it for exploring the vast surrounding temple grounds. This is a great inexpensive option: Small-Group Explore Angkor Wat Sunrise Tour with Guide from Siem Reap.

7. Stonehenge, England

Stonehenge England United Kingdom
Stonehenge, England

Archaeologists believe that the standing stones that form Stonehenge were constructed between 3000 BC and 2000 BC. Evidence of cremated remains at the site indicate that Stonehenge was likely a burial ground from its earliest beginnings.

But Stonehenge is the work of a culture that left no written records, so many mysteries remain. The most significant mystery is how this ancient culture moved the enormously heavy stones such great distances and placed them without the benefit of modern engineering.

It is impossible to imagine how such a place could have been created at that time.

Pro Tip: There’s no need to book a tour to visit Stonehenge. But if you do, splurge for a tour that includes “Inner Circle” access for an extra special experience.

Where to Stay: The Savoy, London

Read More: The Great UK Road Trip! Scotland, England & Wales in 5 Days

8. Borobudur Temple, Java, Indonesia

Borobudur Sunrise Indonesia
Sunrise at Borobudur – Java, Indonesia

Along with Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Myanmar, Java’s Borobudur is considered one of Asia’s “Big Three” temple experiences. Built by the rulers of the Sailendra dynasty somewhere between AD 750 and AD 850, Borobudur was abandoned for many years before the Dutch began to tackle restoration in the early 20th century.

In 1973, a massive Unesco-sponsored restoration project began and in 1991 Borobudur was finally declared a World Heritage Site.

Pro Tip: A pre-dawn visit for sunrise is a must for a visit to Borobudur (which means getting there by 4:30am!). It’s best to book a tour like this one –Borobudur Sunrise, Merapi Volcano & Prambanan Full Day Tour – or hire a car and driver. After sunrise, head for Yogyakarta’s other incredible sight, the Prambanan Temple. 

Where to Stay: Villa Borobudur Resort

Read More: How to See the Sunrise at Borobudur from Yogyakarta

Natural Wonders 🏞️

Next up, the magic of Mother Nature at work in the most beautiful places around the world. 

9. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Heart Reef Great Barrier Reef Australia
Heart Reef – Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Stretching more than 1,600 miles along the coast of Queensland, Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. Composed of more than 2,600 individual reefs and more than 900 islands, the reef is the only world wonder that can be seen from outer space. 

The two most popular destinations for visiting the reef are Cairns or the Whitsunday Islands (the Whitsundays get my vote, especially the spectacular swirl of sand known as Whitehaven Beach). 

You can explore the reef itself via a day trip like this Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise to one of several full-service pontoons located around the reef.

Pro Tip: Seeing the Great Barrier Reef from above is truly the only way to properly appreciate its grandeur. Don’t miss the chance to take a Scenic Flight over Heart Reef and the Whitsundays. It’s a little pricey, but worth every penny.

Where to Stay: Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort

Read More: How to See the Whitsundays & Great Barrier Reef (even on a budget!)

10. Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls Zambia Zimbabwe Africa
Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

Located on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Victoria Falls is the largest curtain of falling water in the world. More than twice the height of Niagara Falls, it’s matched only by Iguazu Falls in South America.

Explorer David Livingstone is believed to have been the first European to view Victoria Falls in 1855. Livingstone named his discovery after Queen Victoria but the indigenous name, is Mosi-oa-Tunya, literally, “the smoke that thunders.”

During the high water season (February to May) more than 19 million cubic feet of water plummets over the edge and the falls are at their most dramatic. Bonus – it’s rainbow season! 

During the dry season from June to January, the falls often dwindle to a trickle. The shoulder season between high and low is an ideal time for viewing (I visited in February and it was fabulous). 

Pro Tip: The Zimbabwe side of the falls has better views. But, if you stay on the Zambia side (which I recommend), Zimbabwe offers a convenient single-day visa for $30 which allows you to visit their side of the falls without enduring a complicated visa process. Regardless of where you stay, for ease of getting around and crossing the border, you’ll want to book a guided tour like this one – Victoria Falls: Scenic Day Tour, Lunch and Helicopter Flight.

Where to Stay: Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara

Read More: Lucky in Livingstone: An Extraordinary Visit to Victoria Falls

11. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

I could easily have included all of Croatia under “Bucket List Countries” on this list. There’s so much to see! From the history of Dubrovnik to the charm of Rovinj and the beauty of all those sparkling islands off the Croatian Coast. 

Inside Plitvice Lakes National Park, 16 interconnected lakes wow visitors with dazzling emerald colors and dramatic waterfalls. The boardwalks here let you walk amidst this aquatic spectacle, surrounded by lush forests. It’s like stepping into a fairy tale, with every turn offering a new, enchanting view. It is unlike any place I’ve ever visited and I adored it. 

Pro Tip: Don’t take a tour. Spend the night near the park and get there early to beat the barrage of tour buses that arrive around 10:00am each day. Or go later in the afternoon after the tour groups leave. Just avoid the crowds by not visiting mid-day.

Where to Stay: Hotel Degenija

Read More: Dazzling Dalmatia: The Best of the Croatian Coast in 7 Perfect Days

12. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Discovered by accident in 1535, the Galapagos Archipelago mostly served as a safe harbor to a succession of pirates, whalers, and sealers for nearly 300 years. 

In 1835, the islands’ most famous visitor, Charles Darwin, arrived and spent 5 weeks collecting specimens to provide evidence for his theory of evolution. 

Today, the Galapagos Islands are 97% national park and one place where you really feel the pulse of nature’s unbridled beauty. From swimming with sea turtles to observing the famous Galapagos tortoises and blue-footed boobies, it’s a living museum of natural history. 

Pro Tip: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to take an expensive cruise to see the Galapagos Islands, you can stay on several of the islands and take local speedboats between them.

Where to Stay: Finch Bay Galapagos Eco Hotel

Read More: How to See the Galapagos Islands on a Budget

13. Patagonia, Chile/Argentina

Patagonia Chile explora Salto Chico Torres del Paine
explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico, Torres del Paine – Patagonia Chile

Located in the southernmost part of South America, the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Patagonia is a vast territory spanning more than 260,000 square miles across Chile and Argentina. 

The remarkable geography of Patagonia is defined by abundant glaciers, dramatic mountain peaks, lakes, rivers, and unique wildlife. 

It’s an enormous area to explore and it can be hard to decide exactly where to go. The two most popular Patagonia destinations are El Chalten on the Argentinian side and Torres del Paine National Park on the Chilean side. For pure natural beauty and excellent hiking, I recommend Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park.

Pro Tip + Where to Stay: Do yourself a favor and book the incredible, all-inclusive, explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico. The location is like something out of a movie and small, customized tours from hiking to horseback riding are led by experienced local guides daily. 

Read More: The Best of Patagonia Chile in Luxury at explora Patagonia

14. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay Vietnam
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

It took me two tries to get Ha Long Bay right. My first visit (on RTW #3) involved a 36-hour train ride from Saigon to Hanoi, a 2 ½ hour drive from Hanoi, and then a junk boat to Ha Long Bay. Worth it, but exhausting. 

My next visit was via a 2-week Asian cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore with my husband. After departing Hong Kong the night before, we looked out the window our first morning to discover we were surrounded by the emerald-green waters and spectacular limestone cliffs of Ha Long Bay. With zero effort on our part. Needless to say, I recommend that option!

Pro Tip: An Asian cruise is a great way to check Ha Long Bay off your travel Bucket List. Or stay in Cat Ba and take an overnight junk boat cruise like this Paradise Elegance 1 Night Hq Long Bay Cruise to explore.

Where to Stay: Hotel Perle d’Orient Cat Ba

Read More: Asia with Ease: A Cruise to Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand

15. The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon Iceland
The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Located between two continents where the Eurasian and American tectonic plates meet, the island nation of Iceland is quite literally a volcanic and geothermal wonderland. From grinding glaciers to gushing geysers, Iceland’s got it all.

Its most famous attraction, the Blue Lagoon, is a combination of mineral-rich freshwater and seawater from deep within the earth that is naturally heated to between 98-102 degrees. The milky-blue waters flow over vast black lava fields giving the whole place an other-worldly feel.

You can visit the Blue Lagoon any time of year. But if spotting the Northern Lights is on your travel Bucket List, winter (November to February) is the best time to visit.

Note: As of December 2023, the Blue Lagoon is currently closed due to nearby earthquake activity. It is expected to reopen soon.

Pro Tip: If you visit during the summer, don’t hesitate to rent a car and drive yourself around the Golden Circle, it’s a great way to spend a day! If you’re hesitant to drive yourself, this Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon & Kerid Volcanic Crater tour hits all the highlights.

Where to Stay: The Reykjavik EDITION

Read More: Incredible Iceland: Europe’s Geothermal Wonderland

16. Alaska, USA 

Mendenhall Glacier Juneau Alaska USA
Mendenhall Glacier – Juneau, Alaska

Alaska is one of those wild, unspoiled places that really lends itself to cruising. It’s a great way to see the state’s rugged natural beauty without traversing long distances across land. 

With that said, it’s entirely possible to see a lot of Alaska without doing a cruise. There are regular flights to great towns like Anchorage and Juneau and plenty of local hotel tour options like this Anchorage Wilderness Wildlife Glacier Experience. From Denali National Park to the Kenai Fjords and salmon fishing to whale watching, Alaska is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. 

Pro Tip: Don’t limit your Alaska travel plans to just the summer, the winter months offer a snowy wonderland and the chance to see the Northern Lights (aurora borealis).

Where to Stay: The Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage

Read More: Wild Alaska: Land of Moose, the Mayor’s Marathon and the Midnight Sun

17. Cappadocia, Turkey

Hot Air Balloons Cappadocia Turkey
Hot Air Balloons – Cappadocia, Turkey

Turkey is home to an astounding 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but Goreme National Park and the rock sites of Cappadocia are undoubtedly its most famous.

Cappadocia’s unique geological landscape feels like another planet. The region’s whimsical “fairy chimneys” and rose-hued rock formations are a testament to nature’s artistry. When I first arrived, I felt like I’d stepped into a Pixar movie. It didn’t even look real. 

A hot air balloon ride at sunrise (complete with a post-flight champagne breakfast) is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences you can’t pass up. It’s the best way to fully appreciate the area’s incredible beauty. The fairytale town of Goreme is the perfect home base for exploring the region.

Pro Tip + Where to Stay: This is your chance to stay in a fabulous cave hotel like the Secret Hill Cave Suites.

Read More: 6 Awe-Inspiring Things You Have to See to Believe in Cappadocia, Turkey

18. Pumukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale Turkey
Pamukkale, Turkey

While we’re in Turkey, let’s head west to one of the country’s other impressive UNESCO World Heritage sites, the jaw-dropping travertine terraces of Pamukkale. 

Though they have the appearance of salt, the scalloped terraces of Pamukkale are actually made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by the thermal waters of 17 hot water springs. The temperature of the water ranges from 95 to 212 degrees (F) and some of the pools even allow visitors a relaxing soak which is a fun experience (check for pools that are clearly marked).  

Though photos of Pamukkale often just show the iconic travertine terraces, the entire site also includes the ruins of the ancient Greco-Roman and Byzantine city of Hierapolis, which was built on top of the “cotton castle.”

Pro Tip: The best time of day to visit Pamukkale is late in the afternoon around 4 or 5pm and then stay until sunset. No tour needed here, just buy your entrance ticket and explore.

Where to Stay: Pamukkale Sahin Boutique Hotel

Read More: How to Visit the Travertine Terraces of Pamukkale Turkey

19. The Azores

Furnas Azores Portugal
Furnas – Azores, Portugal

Like Iceland, there’s a whole lotta geothermal activity happening around these 9 islands off the coast of Portugal. The Azores are one of the country’s two Autonomous Regions (the other is Madeira). 

In 2009, UNESCO designated several of the islands (Flores, Graciosa, and Corvo) as Biosphere Reserves for their impeccable preservation. From dazzling blue lakes and emerald pastures to bubbling hot springs and volcanic caverns, the islands of the Azores make a pretty good case for heaven on earth.

They’re also one of the best places in the world for dolphin and whale watching.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the delicious spiced meat stew cooked daily by local restaurants called Cozido das Furnas. The recipe varies by restaurant but the stew is cooked underground with natural volcanic heat.

Where to Stay: Octant Furnas

Read More: Why the Amazing Azores are Europe’s Hottest Undiscovered Islands

20. Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve Portugal
The Algarve Portugal

Nicknamed Portugal’s “sunshine region,” this relaxed, Mediterranean retreat is known for year-round sunshine, sandy coves, azure waters, and stunning golden cliffs. Among those scenic cliffs, epic cave formations and arches combine for a dazzling landscape from the sea.

Dotted with quaint seaside resort towns, continental Portugal’s southernmost region is the perfect blend of natural beauty and charming towns. The Algarve’s many caves and sea arches are a must-see, easily explored by boat tours.

Pro Tip: Boat trips are heavily dependent on sea conditions so give yourself a few days to spare when you visit. You’ll definitely want to get out on the water while you’re there. If you only have time for one boat trip, make it the Benagil Caves Tour.

Where to Stay: W Algarve

Read More: The Best of the Algarve Portugal in 3 Sizzling Sun-Splashed Days

Remote Destinations 🛤️

Hard to get to, less developed tourist infrastructure (or, in some cases, none at all!), but oh so worth the effort to get there. 

21. Antarctica

Neko Harbour Antarctica 7 Continents
Neko Harbour, Antarctica

Hands down, Antarctica is the ultimate remote adventure destination. And if visiting all 7 continents is on your travel Bucket List, you’ll have to make this journey to do it.

This is the one place on my list that has ZERO tourist infrastructure. No hotels or tours here. To visit, you’ll board an expedition ship and journey across the notoriously rough Drake Passage. And that journey isn’t for wimps.

To actually set foot on the white continent, you’ll need a bit of luck. Landings are via zodiac from your ship and based entirely on weather conditions.

I like to tell people a trip to Antarctica is the most money you’ll ever spend with no guarantee of actually reaching your destination. Sounds like fun, right? The truth is, Antarctica is the single most incredible place I’ve ever been and the closest I’ll ever come to visiting another planet.

Pro Tip: There are a number of expedition companies to choose from but Quark Expeditions gets my vote. And if crossing the often tumultuous Drake Passage isn’t for you, they do have fly/cruise itineraries that skip that part. But where’s the fun in that?

Read More: Expedition Antarctica: The Bucket List Journey that’s Worth Every Penny

22. Mount Everest, Nepal

Mount Everest Nepal Scenic Flight
View of Mount Everest from a scenic flight, Nepal

No, you’re probably not going to climb Mount Everest. Neither am I. Not very many people do. But did you know you can see it in all its glory by taking a scenic flight from Kathmandu

Do that.

Bonus: Kathmandu is a quirky and unique place to visit, too. And you’ll have plenty of time to explore while you wait for that clear weather window to get your birds-eye view of Everest.

For a real splurge, you can even take the easy route to Everest Base Camp by Helicopter

Pro Tip: Schedule the flight for your first morning in Kathmandu. If the weather isn’t favorable, you’ll have another chance the next day.

Where to Stay: The Dwarika’s Hotel

Read More: The Kathmandu Krush

23. Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

Tigers Nest Monastery Bhutan
Tigers Nest Monastery, Bhutan

While this unique mountainside monastery doesn’t make many world wonder lists, it should. 

Perched high on a sheer cliffside at a dizzying height of 9,678ft, the 8th century Taktsang, or “Tiger’s Nest” is a highly revered Buddhist monastery. It’s the landmark of Bhutan and likely the only photo you’ve ever seen of this tiny Himalayan kingdom that measures its national well-being by Gross National Happiness instead of Gross National Product (I swear, that’s an official policy passed by Parliament).

The high-altitude hike to this spectacular place is one of my all-time favorite travel memories. 

Pro Tip: You’ll want to be in decent shape for this one, the altitude is no joke.

Where to Stay: Pemako (Thimphu)

Read More: Himalayan Happiness in the Kingdom of Bhutan

24. Easter Island

Easter Island Chile Sunset
Sunset on Easter Island, Chile

The United Nations once proclaimed Easter Island the most isolated inhabited island in the world.

Located a startling 2,200 miles west of the nearest continent and 1,290 miles east of the nearest populated island, this far-flung island is also one of the world’s greatest mysteries. An undisputed archaeological treasure, Easter Island is home to more than 20,000 archaeological sites.

It’s rare that I visit a place where tour groups don’t exist. No mass tourism, no tour buses, no charter flights of tourists, nada. Easter Island is difficult to get to but it’s SO worth the effort. 

The moai that dot the island remain a mystery to this day. How did they get there? And why?

Pro Tip + Where to Stay: The ultimate way to experience the culture and beauty of Easter Island is to book your stay at the fabulous explora Lodge Rapa Nui. Guests can take advantage of more than 30 small group, expertly guided “explorations” (as they call them) and everything’s included.

Read More: Budget or Luxury? How to Explore the Mysteries of Easter Island Chile

25. Lhasa, Tibet

Potala Palace Tibet China
Potala Palace, Tibet

I’ll be honest, Tibet is NOT an easy place to visit. And it’s impossible to visit on your own without a guide to help secure your essential Tibetan travel permit so you’ll want to book a Lhasa City multi-day tour in advance. Even with a guide, there are lots of restrictions. 

But Lhasa’s most iconic structure, the Potala Palace, is worth the effort. Built in the 7th century, this Tibetan palace is more than 1,300 years old and is the largest, intact group of ancient buildings in Tibet. Other must-see sights include the Jokhang Monastery and the Summer Palace (Norbulingka).

Pro Tip: Be prepared for the altitude, it’s a killer. 

Where to Stay: The St. Regis Lhasa

Read More: Thin Air, Don’t Care: Three Days in Lhasa Tibet

26. Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands Waterfall
Mulafossur Waterfall, Faroe Islands

This is one of the most unique places I’ve ever visited and I was instantly smitten. Dramatic plunging waterfalls, endless grassy countryside, turf-roofed houses, cuddly sheep, and other assorted wondrous things make the Faroe Islands extra special.

Situated about halfway between Iceland and Norway, the Faroe Islands are an archipelago of 18 main islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Just 200 miles north-northwest of Scotland, they’re much easier to get to than the other Remote Destinations I’ve listed here. 

Yet somehow the Faroe Islands remain blissfully off the tourist radar, which makes them feel like a remote, undiscovered paradise.

Pro Tip: The 3 subsea tunnels that connect the Faroe Islands are a true marvel of engineering including the world’s only underwater roundabout. Be sure to rent a car so you can drive them for yourself!

Where to Stay: Havgrim Seaside Hotel 1948

Read More: 15 Wild & Wonderful Things to Do in the Faroe Islands (Don’t Miss #6!)

Bucket List Countries 🌍

You haven’t really seen the world until you’ve visited at least a few of the countries below. These amazing countries are so much more than one-trick ponies. There are dozens of incredible places to visit in each country, too many to list (but I’ll name a few!).

27. Italy

Procida Island Italy
Procida Island, Italy

You probably saw this one coming. Everyone in the world seems to want to go to Italy at some point in their lives. And they should. Italy is incredible.

The history, the culture, the food, the wine…don’t get me started.

From Rome’s wondrous Colosseum (an actual World Wonder) and the romantic canals of Venice to the rugged coastlines of Cinque Terre, the Italian Riviera, and the Amalfi Coast, there’s so much to see. 

I’ve visited Italy more than 20 times (including my wedding in Tuscany) and there is still more of the country I want to see.

Don’t miss the fairytale Republic of San Marino or the gorgeous islands of Elba and Ishchia. My favorite hidden gem to add to your travel Bucket List this year is the colorful island of Procida (a quick ferry ride from Naples). 

Read More: Pretty Procida is the Best Italian Island You’ve Never Heard Of

Pro Tip: Spring and fall are my favorite times of year to visit Italy. I avoid July and August like the plague. 

Where to Stay: There are dozens of Bucket List hotels in Italy but Positano’s Le Sirenuse along the Amalfi Coast is a true gem.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Italy (2024)

28. Greece

Sarakiniko Beach Milos Greece
Sarakiniko Beach – Milos, Greece

There’s only one country in the entire world I love more than Italy and it’s Greece. The ancient history of Athens is reason enough to visit but can we talk about the Greek Islands? Absolutely magical.

The volcanic beauty of Santorini, the nightlife of Mykonos, the beaches of Naxos and Paros, the history of Rhodes and Crete…I could go on. And on. And I often do. Especially after ouzo. Opa!

My favorite off-the-radar Greek Islands (and my top picks to visit this year) are Symi and Milos

Pro Tip: If you’re visiting Greece for the first time this year, plan at least 2 full days in Athens. Then head straight for the islands. 

Where to Stay: Add this one to your travel Bucket List – Katikies Santorini.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to the Greek Islands (2024)

29. Thailand

Hong Island Krabi Thailand
Hong Island – Krabi, Thailand

Thailand is the only country I visited on all 10 round the world trips. After my first visit on Round-the-World #1, I was hooked. I still can’t get enough of the culture, the food, and let’s not forget the islands!

Bangkok is one of my favorite cities in the world. But Thailand’s magnificent islands are some of the world’s most beautiful and affordable places to visit. Phuket and Krabi are great launching points for island-hopping (though Krabi gets my vote for a more laid-back, less touristy experience). 

Koh Samui and Koh Lanta are popular islands to visit, but it’s tiny Koh Lipe that totally stole my heart.  

Pro Tip: Avoid the summer months if you can, Thailand’s monsoon season is no joke. December to February is paradise.

Where to Stay: There are so many fabulous hotels in Thailand but the W Koh Samui is one of my favorites.

Read More: 5 Dreamy Day Trips from Krabi that Prove Thailand is Drop Dead Gorgeous

30. France

Mont Saint Michel France
Mont Saint Michel, France

France is synonymous with romance, art, and gastronomy. And you simply have to visit Paris in your lifetime, right? The Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysee, the Louvre…they’re a must for any world traveler. 

But for me, the real magic happens when you leave the city and venture out into the French countryside or the French Alps (where I once under-trained to run the Mont Blanc Marathon – zero stars, do not recommend). Don’t miss the historic beaches of Normandy, the gothic style abbey of Mont Saint Michel, the glitz of the French Riviera, or the decadent wine region of Champagne.  

Pro Tip: Yes, you can visit Normandy and Mont Saint Michel from Paris but it’s a LONG day. Bayeaux or the seaside town of Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer are the perfect home base for exploring the area. 

Where to Stay: Shangri-La Paris

Read More: How to Visit Mont Saint Michel from Paris (by Train, Car or Tour)

31. New Zealand

New Zealand Bay of Islands Otehei Bay
Otehei Bay – Bay of Islands, New Zealand

New Zealand’s stunning natural beauty is unparalleled. From the fjords of Milford Sound and the peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park to the Marlborough wine region (a personal favorite for this sauvignon blanc fan) and the energetic city of Auckland.

Like to live dangerously? New Zealand has you covered with the adventure hubs of Rotorua and Queenstown. This is, after all, the country that invented bungee jumping. Whether you visit the South Island or the North Island (or both!), you’ll find plenty to see and do.

Pro Tip: Auckland is a terrific city to explore but don’t miss a road trip north for a few days to the gorgeous Bay of Islands.

Where to Stay: The Hilton Auckland on Prince’s Wharf is my favorite choice in the city but the Huka Lodge in Taupo is one of New Zealand’s best destinations.

Read More: How to Spend 4 Perfect Days in New Zealand’s Brilliant Bay of Islands 

32. South Africa

Cape Town South Africa
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront – Cape Town, South Africa

South Africa is a world in one country, with everything from wildlife safaris in Kruger National Park to the beautiful beaches of Cape Town. The lush wine regions of Stellenbosch and the dramatic landscapes of the Garden Route are also a must. 

Cape Town itself is a glorious city. Backed by majestic Table Mountain, it’s one of the world’s most scenic and historic cities. One of the best tours I’ve ever taken was a private Township tour in Cape Town. Don’t miss this experience when you visit. 

Pro Tip: For an easy way to visit the neighboring countries of Namibia and Mozambique, consider doing a short cruise from Cape Town while you’re there.

Where to Stay: Mount Nelson Cape Town

Read More: Exploring the Townships of Cape Town, South Africa

Bucket List Islands 🏝️

Ahhh…my favorite subject! The idyllic tropical islands of the world are where you’ll always find me anytime I can swing it. Yes, I’ve already listed a few islands above, but for the sake of argument, this portion of the list includes islands of the tropical variety. 

So grab a pina colada and let’s keep going…

33. The Maldives

W Maldives Resort & Spa Maldives
W Maldives Resort & Spa Maldives

The Maldivian Archipelago of 26 atolls stretches over 500 miles from North to South and forms a natural barrier across the Indian Ocean. The entire country consists of hundreds of tiny, idyllic islands scattered across an expanse of brilliant blue ocean.

With romantic overwater bungalows and crystal-clear lagoons, the Maldives are the epitome of a tropical paradise. Just the seaplane flight to get to your resort should be on everyone’s travel Bucket List, it’s incredible.

And the underwater life here is as stunning as the beaches and 5-star resorts above.

Pro Tip: Don’t BYOB, this is a Muslim country. They will search your luggage.

Where to Stay: W Maldives Resort & Spa

Read More: Where are the Maldives? (& Why You Should Go Now!)

34. Palawan, Philippines  

El Nido Palawan Philippines
El Nido – Palawan, Philippines

Located in the southwestern Philippines, the jungle island of Palawan has often been described as the country’s “last ecological frontier.

The northern part of Palawan is home to the small fishing village of El Nido. Just offshore… spectacular islands, secret lagoons, and limestone rock formations dating back 250 million years await. Yep, it’s just as gorgeous as it sounds.

Exploring from El Nido is a breeze, the clever local tour operators have conveniently grouped all those lovely islands and lagoons into four specific day trips known as – Tour A, B, C, and D (creative, right?). If you’re short on time, Tour A and Tour C are the must-do’s.

Pro Tip: Cash is king in El Nido so bring plenty when you visit. ATM’s are few and far between and few places accept credit cards.

Where to Stay: El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island (a private island resort)

Read More: The Paradise of Palawan: Your Ultimate El Nido Travel Guide 

35. Moorea, French Polynesia

Hilton Moorea Resort & Spa French Polynesia
Hilton Moorea Resort & Spa, French Polynesia

An overseas collectivity of France, the 118 islands and atolls of French Polynesia stretch lazily across the south-central Pacific Ocean covering more than 1,200 miles. It’s a remote honeymoon paradise known for 5-star resorts and overwater bungalows that feature prominently on most travel Bucket Lists.

The distance between the main island of Tahiti and Moorea is just 12 miles, but arriving at the ferry port in Moorea is like entering another world. The island is ringed by a coral reef enclosing a narrow lagoon. There are hues of brilliant blue here that are like nothing else that exists in nature.

Moorea is pure rest and relaxation where the primary activity is jumping into the crystal blue lagoon from your own personal dock and snorkeling for hours. When not in the lagoon, monitor the underwater world through the glass panel in your bungalow floor known locally as “Tahitian television.

Pro Tip: A lot of people will tell you that Bora Bora is the ultimate destination in French Polynesia but I disagree. Moorea is less touristy, cheaper and easier to get to.

Where to Stay: Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa

Read More: Forget Bora Bora: 3 Reasons Moorea is the Best of Tahiti 

36. The Hawaiian Islands (yes, all of them)

Diamond Head Waikiki Beach Oahu Hawaii
Diamond Head views from Waikiki Beach – Oahu, Hawaii

A volcanic archipelago, the US state of Hawaii is a captivating blend of stunning natural scenery, rich Polynesian culture, and (most importantly) a warm aloha spirit that stays with you long after you visit.

From the dramatic cliffs of Kauai to the vibrant beaches of Oahu, each island is uniquely special with its own charm. I’ve been visiting the Hawaiian islands since college, most frequently to run the Honolulu Marathon. But my love affair with the islands really took off when my husband took a job on Oahu and we moved to Waikiki.

It’s been such a great adventure that I started a whole new blog devoted specifically to Hawaii and all the amazing things to see and do here (it’s called Next Stop, Hawaii).

Pro Tip: Hawaii has a wide variety of great tour options but if you’re the “do-it-yourself” type like me, rent a car and download the Shaka Guide App. The app is full of local audio guides to some of the most popular day trips like Oahu’s Circle Island Tour or exploring the North Shore.

Where to Stay: For history and elegance, it’s hard to beat The Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Read More: Next Stop, Hawaii!

37. Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Aitutaki Cook Islands South Pacific
Aitutaki, Cook Islands

The 15 islands that make up the Cook Islands are situated northeast of New Zealand, between French Polynesia and American Samoa. Most of the islands’ population of roughly 18,000 lives on the main island of Rarotonga but the real magic happens when you hop a 40-minute flight to the atoll of Aitutaki.

While Aitutaki is minuscule in landmass, it is surrounded by miles and miles of the most magnificent lagoon you’ve ever imagined. So many hues of blue it’s easy to lose count.

Aitutaki is, to this day, still the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. And that’s a bold statement when you’ve visited 175+ countries.

Pro Tip: It’s possible to do a day trip to Aitutaki with Air Rarotonga. But don’t settle for just one day, spend a few nights in this South Pacific paradise.

Where to Stay: Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort

Read More: Are the Cook Islands & Aitutaki the Best Kept Secret in the South Pacific?

38. New Caledonia

Ile des Pins Isle of Pines New Caledonia
Isle of Pines, New Caledonia

Located about 750 miles east of Australia, New Caledonia sits in the middle of the South Pacific between Australia and Fiji. The French Overseas Territory consists of the main island (or Mainland), the Isle of Pines (Ile des Pins) to the southeast, and the four Loyalty Islands (Mare, Lifou, Tiga, and Ouvea) to the east.

New Caledonia is home to the world’s second-largest reef (second only by a hair to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef) and the world’s largest lagoon – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to the obvious underwater sights, there’s also an interesting blend of French culture and US WWII history to explore.

Pro Tip: Just a short ferry ride away, time seems to stand still on nearby Ile des Pins with its turquoise lagoons, sparse Melanesian tribal population, swaying palms and soaring Araucaria pines. Don’t miss the chance to visit this lovely island.

Where to Stay: Le Meridien Ile des Pins

Read More: Paris in the Pacific: Bonjour! New Caledonia 

39. Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

Nusa Lembongan Bali Indonesia
Nusa Lembongan – Bali, Indonesia

Known primarily as a haven for divers and surfers, Lembongan and its sister islands of Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida offer a variety of dive sites for both novice and expert divers.

More importantly, the island offers vast stretches of empty beachfront. Meaning it’s perfect for those looking for a break from the bustling bliss of Bali.

Nusa Lembongan, off the coast of Bali, is a serene escape from the hustle. With beautiful beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and a laid-back atmosphere, it’s a perfect spot for relaxation and adventure.

Pro Tip: The best way to get around the island and explore is by golf cart, your hotel can usually arrange one for you.

Where to Stay: Get away from it all at the Bay Shore Huts (Mushroom Bay)

Read More: 3 Reasons Nusa Lembongan is the Perfect Escape from Your Bali Vacation 

40.  San Blas Islands, Panama

San Blas Islands Panama
San Blas Islands, Panama

These self-governing islands off the coast of Panama could easily fall under the “remote adventure destination” category as well. They are not easy to reach and the infrastructure is minimal (power and running water are not really a thing).

Run by the indigenous Kuna, this autonomous region is a 140-mile stretch of Caribbean coastline with almost 400 tiny palm-lined islands just offshore. 

An island for each day of the year, they like to say.

But my favorite part of visiting these remote Caribbean islands was meeting the local Kuna families. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with a truly remote culture.

Pro Tip: The absolute best way to explore the islands is with a few off-the-grid days on a charter sailboat. But it is possible to visit from Panama City with this Day Tour to the San Blas Islands Visiting 4 Islands. Just keep in mind this is a VERY long day with the drive from the city.

Where to Stay: Hotels in the San Blas are more of the “shack” variety. But here’s a terrific Sailboat Charter in San Blas (Sailing in San Blas – Wichitupo Grande Panama) option.

Read More: Kokomo, Kuanidup & the Kuna Yala: The San Blas Islands, Panama

41. Zanzibar

Zanzibar Tanzania Africa
Nungwi Beach – Zanzibar, Tanzania

A semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, the Zanzibar archipelago is actually made up of a number of islands, the largest of which are Unguja (commonly referred to as Zanzibar) and Pemba.

The capital of the islands is Zanzibar City (located on Unguja) and its historic city center is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stone Town which is claimed to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa. As part of the “Spice Islands,” it did a bustling business in the spice markets for centuries and was also a major hub for the East African slave trade.

Today, tourism tops the still bustling spice trade. The island’s beaches are sensational and a visit to Stone Town to explore it’s rich history is essential.

Pro Tip: I don’t recommend renting a car and driving yourself in Zanzibar (traffic is chaotic and involves multiple police checkpoints). To get out and explore, hire a private guide through your hotel or book a day tour like this Full-Day Private Stone Town +Spice Farm and Prison Island Tour.

Where to Stay: Zuri Zanzibar (Kendwa Beach)

Read More: Zen in Zanzibar

42. Fiji  

Modriki Island Cast Away Movie Mamanuca Islands Fiji
Modriki Island (set of the movie Cast Away) – Mamanuca Islands, Fiji

When you visit Fiji, don’t settle for the main island of Nadi, where most of the mega resorts are located, like I did on my first trip. The real beauty of Fiji can only be found when you get out to the outer island groups – the Yasawa islands and the Mamanuca islands.

The Mamanuca Islands are a tropical haven with white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and world-class resorts. It’s an ideal spot for snorkeling, diving, and just soaking up the sun in a picture-perfect setting.

Pro Tip: I’m especially partial to the Mamanuca island group and this is an excellent day trip that explores all the best sandy shores.

Where to Stay: Sheraton Tokoriki Fiji (we stayed here on our Fiji honeymoon stop!)

Read More: The Song of the South Pacific: Fiji & the Mamanuca Islands

43. Vanuatu

Erakor Island Resort Vanuatu
Erakor Island Resort, Vanuatu

An archipelago made up of 83 islands, the island nation of Vanuatu is about a 2 ½ hour flight from either Brisbane, Australia or Auckland, New Zealand.

In 2007, Vanuatu was named the Happiest Country in the World by the New Economic Foundation’s “happy planet index.” This brought a surge to their tourism industry.

After all, who wouldn’t want to visit the happiest country in the world?

It’s easy to get around the island and explore using the whimsical “B” for bus system. But if navigating public transportation isn’t your jam, this is great Full-Day Vanuatu Round Island Tour from Port Vila that hits all the highlights.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss a visit to the Hideaway Island Resort to mail a waterproof postcard from the world’s only underwater post office. 

Where to Stay: Erakor Island Resort (on a private island accessible only by boat)

Read More: Vibrant, Vivacious…Vanuatu: The Happiest Country in the World

44. Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island Nicaragua
Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

The Corn Islands are a hidden gem in the Caribbean, offering a laid-back vibe and unspoiled beauty. These small islands are perfect for diving, snorkeling, and experiencing a more rustic and authentic Caribbean.

To get here, it’s a flight from Managua to Big Corn Island and then an adventurous panga ride over to Little Corn. Both islands are are terrific but Little Corn Island’s “off-the-grid” Caribbean vibe really won my heart. Hotels here are basic beach bungalows right on the water. It’s truly an unspoiled paradise.

Pro Tip: Little Corn only has power a few hours a day, don’t forget to charge your devices (or just pour yourself into a hammock and let them die).

Where to Stay: Little Corn Beach & Bungalow

Read More: The Best Caribbean Islands You’ve Never Heard Of: Nicaragua’s Corn Islands

45. Aruba

Flamingo Beach Aruba
Flamingo Beach, Aruba

Aruba is one of the Caribbean’s sunniest islands, it also happens to fall south of the hurricane belt making it an ideal Caribbean destination during hurricane season. Located in the southern Caribbean Sea, Aruba is renowned for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and warm year-round climate.

Aruba’s picture-perfect beaches, sunny climate, and friendly locals have earned it the apt nickname, “One Happy Island.

Of all the dreamy islands on this list, Aruba is definitely the easiest to reach thanks to quick and easy flights from most US airports.

Pro Tip + Where to Stay: If you want to visit Flamingo Beach (pictured above), there’s just one choice, the Aruba Renaissance Wind Creek Resort. Guests of this resort have exclusive access to Flamingo Beach.

Read More: Know Your Caribbean ABC Islands: Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao

46. St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Located between St. Lucia and Grenada in the southern Caribbean Sea, the multi-island nation of St. Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) includes 32 islands and cays spanning 45 miles. Of those 32 islands, only 8 are populated.

The largest of the islands is St. Vincent. Home to the majority of SVG’s population of 110,000, it’s also the home base for the island’s booming yacht charter industry. Popular destinations for sailors include the islands of Bequia, Union, Cannouan, the Tobago Cays, and Mayreau.

Like the popular Virgin Islands, the Grenadines offer turquoise waters and a closely-grouped abundance of picture-perfect islands but at a more affordable price (and with fewer tourists!).

Pro Tip: If you’ve always wanted to learn how to sail, the Grenadines are a pretty fabulous place to do it. Week-long sailing courses depart Kingstown regularly offering the chance to combine a vacation with a learn-to-sail course. (Fair warning, I’ve done this course and it’s far more work than it is vacation – but it was still awesome!)

Where to Stay: The Grenadines are also well-known for a handful of exclusive private island resorts on Mustique, Petit St. Vincent, and the luxe Palm Island Resort.

Read More: A Learn to Sail Caribbean Vacation: Rookie to ASA Sailor in 7 Days

Bucket List Road Trips 🚗

Each of these road trips offers a unique journey through some of the most beautiful and culturally rich landscapes in the world, perfect for any travel bucket list. 

Let’s hit the road…

47. Bavaria, Germany (the Romantic Strasse)

Neuschwanstein Castle Bavaria Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle – Bavaria, Germany

I lived in a small village in Bavaria for 3 years and it’s still one of my favorite places in the world. 

The Romantic Road in Bavaria, Germany, is a journey through medieval towns and fairytale castles. Starting in Würzburg and ending in Füssen, highlights include the picturesque Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the stunning Neuschwanstein Castle, and the scenic Alpine landscapes.

This road trip is a delicious deep dive into the rich culture and history of Bavaria. You can easily make this drive yourself, but if you’d rather let someone else take the lead, this tour is the perfect choice – Neuschwanstein Castle, Ettal Abbey and Oberammergau Private Tour from Munich.

Pro Tip: Do this drive in the Spring (mid-April to mid-May is ideal) for the added beauty of the bright yellow rapeseed (canola) fields in full bloom along your drive. These gorgeous fields were one of my favorite things about living in Germany.

Where to Stay:  

Read More: Magical Neuschwanstein: How to Visit Germany’s Disney Castle Like a Pro

48. Pacific Coast Highway, California USA

Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip California
Big Sur, Pacific Coast Highway California

California’s Pacific Coast Highway is one of the world’s most iconic road trips.

This classic American road trip includes jaw-dropping vistas, seaside villages, incredible wildlife, excellent dining, unique shops, mom-and-pop produce stands, quirky attractions, and even America’s answer to Buckingham Palace.

Must-see stops from San Francisco to Los Angeles include Big Sur, McWay Falls, the Bixby Creek Bridge, Pebble Beach, Hearst Castle, and the charming towns of Monterey and Santa Barbara.

Pro Tip: Drive the PCH from north to south for the most beautiful, unobstructed views of the sea. Also, some restaurants and roadside attractions are closed on Tuesdays. So if there’s a day of the week to avoid, it’s Tuesday.

Where to Stay: Alila Ventana Big Sur

Read More: The PCH in 25 Breathtaking (& Bizarre!) Stops You’ll Adore

49. The Scottish Highlands

Isle of Skye Scottish Highlands UK
Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands

It’s absolutely true that no visit to Scotland is complete without hitting the road to explore the mystical Scottish Highlands, one of the most intriguingly beautiful regions in the world. But you may not even realize (many people don’t) that Scotland also has some pretty fabulous islands to explore – like the magnificent Isle of Skye.

From rolling green hills and lochs to majestic castles and historic villages there’s so much to see in Scotland’s northern region. You could easily spend months trying to see it all.

Encompassing nearly 10,000 square miles of moorland, islands, and sea lochs, at the northern tip of Great Britain, the Highlands are, by far, Scotland’s largest and wildest region.

Pro Tip: If driving on the “wrong” side of the road isn’t your idea of a good time, this tour will take you to Loch Ness, Glencoe & Pitlochry Tour from Edinburgh without worrying about which side of the road you’re on.

Where to Stay: Loch Ness Lodge (Drumnadrochit) 

Read More: The Bucket List Scotland Road Trip Itinerary in 7 Amazing Days

50. Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

Cliffs of Moher Ireland Road Trip
Cliffs of Moher – Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Stretching for more than 1,500 miles along the western coastline, Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is the longest defined coastal drive in the world.

From jagged cliffs and deserted beaches to Signature Discovery Points like the Cliffs of Moher, you could spend weeks exploring this scenic length of (mostly) pavement. Highlights include Galway, Limerick, Killarney, Adare, and the Dingle Peninsula.

This road trip is a showcase of Ireland’s natural beauty and unique Gaelic culture.

Pro Tip: Driving in Ireland can be stressful! Roads are crazy narrow in small villages. Get all the insurance the rental car company offers. And if driving in Ireland just isn’t for you, this day trip from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher, Galway and the Wild Atlanta Way is the perfect way to see the highlights stress-free.

Where to Stay: The Killarney Park Hotel

Read More: How to Survive Driving in Ireland (and Actually Enjoy It!)

And that’s a wrap!

Who’s ready to start planning that Round-the-World trip

How many of these places have you visited? I hope you found at least a few new places to add to your Travel Bucket List.

And if you’re looking to dive deeper into amazing travel experiences, here are my Top 30 most extraordinary travel experiences around the world.

Travel Bucket List Top 50 Around the World