We travel to expand our minds and relish in the journey. We travel to relax, rest our hard working bodies and discover something extraordinary outside our normal day to day lives. We seek adventure, history and a glimpse of the unknown. Our goal is to wander, to breathe in new air and tread on an unusual terrain. We long to trek paths our feet haven’t crossed or take residence and solace in a place we wished we lived. Thousands of unique places exist on this amazing planet—it would require a multitude of lifetimes to discover, but we can try. Of all the plethora of possibilities… here are 8 great places that might take your breath away and are worth lingering a little longer.
1. Niagra Falls
The power and size of what is said to be the largest waterfall in North America (by volume) can literally make you short of breath. Regardless, of what side you see it from Canada or the United States, the view is spectacular. Try Cave of the Winds as well as the Maid of the Mist, and hear and feel the force of the falls from its backside.
2. Northern Lights
Experience the magic of the Northern Lights
Neon colors of lights flashing through the sky will catch your attention. Aurora borealis has been astonishing and delighting gazers for centuries. Vow to see Nature’s light show before it fades away. Best viewing spots: Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Alaska, U.K. and Northern Canada. Scientists state in the next ten years the lights may fade, so if this phenomenon is on your bucket list, what are you waiting for?
A helicopter flight over The Great Blue Hole of Belize will bring out the photographer hidden inside even the most amateur of clickers and provide stunning photos. Hovering over this vast circular pupil of color is the best way to see this enormous ring of color. If you’re a diver, a boat ride will allow you to immerse yourself in one of the most famous sites in Belize.
4. Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower
Whether you go up in it or stand underneath it, Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic structures in the world. Journey to the top to absorb the breathtaking details of the tower and views of the monuments in Paris. Make sure to stand underneath the base of the Eiffel Tower and look up, for an inside view. A little-known vantage viewing point for some great photos is Montparnasse, the highest building in the city of Paris. The top floor is an open air 360-degree terrace with a restaurant and champagne bar. Have a glass of bubbly and enjoy the view of the city of lights.
5. Waipio Valley, Hawaii
Waipio Valley of Hawaii by Anita Kaltenbaugh
On the big island of Hawaii, you can discover Waipio Valley. It is a stunning place on the northern tip of the isle full of sacred land, waterfalls, and ancient legends. Even if you do not manage to go down, the views from the overlook can be breathtaking. The road down — noted as one of the steepest in the world–is not accessible by your rental car. Join a tour, hoof it down or go down on horseback. If you trek to the black sand beaches and waterfalls, you might just think you ended up on the set of Lost or Jurassic Park.
6. Sedona, Arizona
Sedona Arizona- photo Anita Kaltenbaugh
The red rocks of Sedona, Arizona are said to be one of the key energy vortexes of the world. A vortex is spiraling energy in a place where people feel inspired by the nature of rock formations and unusual landmasses. A town full of hiking, jeep tours, and resorts, these red statute forces of nature are impossible to be missed, and it’s easy to speculate why positive energy flows from the beauty of the majestic rocks. The spirit of Sedona’s beauty may just amplify your happiness if not your photographs.
7. Cinque Terra, Italy
Cinque Terra, Italy -Photo by Anita Kaltenbaugh
If you are searching for dramatic coastal scenery, this Italy destination is a must see. It’s no wonder these five stunning fishing villages dating back to the early medieval periods, have banned cars and pull their boats up on the shores at night. Jagged paths traverse stunning cliff trails leading one to gasp at the sighting of each hidden city. Castles, churches and an intricate system of terraced cliffs of gardens and fields are waiting to be discovered. Cinque Terra is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
8. Hubbard Glacier, Alaska
Hubbard Glacier- Photo by Anita Kaltenbaugh
If the world’s glaciers are melting, you might want to plan a cruise through the inside passage of Alaska while you still can. Calving, the sound of the glaciers falling into the water is a mad rush of ions. Imagine what the crew of the Titanic would have thought if they came upon this glacier, luckily many cruise lines offer this experience in a safe manner. The Hubbard Glacier is the largest calving glacier on the North American continent and said to be one of the fastest moving. Massive blocks of ice thunder to the water, some as high as a 10-story building. The rush is sure to make you exhale in wonder.