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25 Bucket List Destinations to Inspire Your Next Adventure (Someday Soon!)

by Roslie L.
Published: Updated:
Italy Amalfi Coast Mountainside

Travel has pretty much come to a halt right now, but that shouldn’t stop us from dreaming of our next getaway. Of all the incredible places I’ve visited, choosing my favorite city in the world is a near-impossible feat. From iconic classics to hidden gems, there is a wealth of wonder to explore worldwide!

Since I couldn’t choose just one to be my top choice, I’ve compiled a list of what are, in my opinion, some of the best destinations in the world to visit—and you too should consider adding to your bucket list. My hope is this list will inspire you to experience one (or a few) of these destinations for yourself, someday soon.

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My 25 Must-Visit Bucket List Travel Destinations

1. Positano, Italy

Positano Italy View

Named after Poseidon, God of the Sea, this vibrant, multi-colored hillside village on the Amalfi Coast is worth all the hype. With its winding, characteristic streets and picturesque beauty, you can live out all your Italian fantasies.

Dine on ‘scialatielli ai frutti di mare’ – a traditional Positano seafood dish, and sip prosecco until the stars come out. You can’t go wrong here!

MORE: Things to do in Positano and the Amalfi Coast

2. Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai, Hawaii Waimea Canyon

Forget Honolulu in Oahu, Kauai is the best Hawaiian island for adventure-seekers! Aptly nicknamed the Garden Isle, Kauai’s intense backdrop will have you humming the theme to Jurassic Park as you navigate the lush jungles and steep ravines of this mountainous island.

Don’t miss Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” and discover for yourself the plunging valleys and range of this natural phenomenon. Just don’t forget to bring a jacket, it can get chilly up the lookout points.

3. Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece Whitewash Buildings

A honeymooner’s favorite, Santorini is one of the most romantic places to visit in Europe. Famed for its classical whitewashed buildings, stunning sunsets, blue-domed houses, and view of the Aegean Sea.

Santorini Greece Fira to Oia Hike Trail

If you’re in for a challenge special treat, put on your walking shoes and try the Fira to Oia coastal trail. The long and windy 3-hour (picturesque hike through the island’s towns and villages) is not for the faint of heart but a stunning experience that will easily become the highlight of your Santorini trip.

4. Miami, Florida

Pastel colored Art Deco buildings on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach South Beach Florida SoFi

You didn’t for once think I’d leave this incredible city out, did you? Known worldwide for its glitz and glamour, Miami’s beaches and nightlife will have you feeling like a Hollywood star in no time.

Whether you’re living the luxurious lifestyle cruising along the waters of Biscayne Bay or soaking up the Cuban flavors in Little Havana, Miami has something for everyone.

Whatever you do, be sure not to miss iconic Miami Beach with a variety of activities to check off your Miami bucket list.

Planning a trip to Miami? Here are some other resources you might find helpful:

Your Ultimate Miami Bucket List: 101 Ideas to Get You Started!

Ultimate 3-Day Miami Itinerary: Your Guide to the Perfect Long Weekend in Miami

From Budget to Luxe, An Insider’s Guide to the Best Hotels in Miami at Every Price Point

When is the Best Time to Visit Miami? How to Choose the Perfect Season

70+ Unique Date Ideas & Romantic Things to Do in Miami for Couples

Family Activities South Florida: Top 45 Things to Do in Miami with Kids

5. Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio, Costa, Rica Zip Lining

If it’s nature and biodiversity you’re after, the Central American country of Costa Rica is THE place to visit. I’m particularly fond of the Pacific coastline’s Manuel Antonio National Park rainforest jungle. With active volcanoes, picturesque waterfalls and lush rainforest jungles teeming with wildlife, you can put your exploring boots on and zipline through the trees into paradise.

Find Your Perfect Manuel Antonio Outdoor Adventure:

Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

Manuel Antonio: Rainmaker Park Bridge and Waterfall Tour

Manuel Antonio: Naranjo River Rafting

Manuel Antonio: Night Jungle Tour

6. San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

Best known for its landmark Golden Gate Bridge, this hip and buzzing city is one of my favorite US cities and a must-visit, especially if you’re planning on road-tripping the Pacific Coast Highway.

Whether you’re riding the iconic cable car up and down the city’s hills, venturing out to the infamous Alcatraz Island, or taking in the panoramic views of the city’s skyline from Twin Peaks, San Francisco is the place to be.

7. London, United Kingdom

London United Kingdom Parliament

The capital of England and home to Queen Elizabeth II, London is a must-visit destination. Whether you’re visiting iconic sights Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Tower Bridge, or getting down with the locals at the pub or for afternoon tea, London is as diverse as it is famous.

A trip to London isn’t complete without a stop to a market (or two), Borough Market, Covent Garden Market, and Greenwich Market are just a few of my faves. Even if you are just browsing, the electric atmosphere itself is worth a visit.

8. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

The gateway to the ruins of the iconic Angkor temples complex, Siem Reap is the perfect place for visiting Angkor Wat. From street markets to waterfalls, tuk-tuks and tree-root temples, you simply can’t miss this Cambodian gem.

Explore the temples shrouded in mystery and discover the secrets that lie behind the stone carvings.

9. Key West, Florida

Key West Florida

The southernmost point of the United States, Key West is a hot spot for water sports, snorkeling, and diving. Known for its magnificent coral reefs and the house of Ernest Hemingway, whether it’s culture or fun you’re after, you’ll find it in the Conch Republic.

10. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Czech Republic Skyline

Nicknamed the “City of a Hundred Spires,” Prague is famous for its gothic, medieval architecture and a multitude of churches dotting the central-European city. Get lost wandering the narrow, cobbled streets, or head to the nearest pub for a local beer tasting.

11. Plitviče Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia

If it’s natural wonders you’re after, visiting Plitviče Lakes National Park will satisfy your cravings. The turquoise-water terraced lakes are joined by gushing waterfalls, surrounded by picturesque greenery, and boast exceptional beauty. Croatia has its share of magical experiences, but Plitviče Lakes National Park is like something from a fairy tale.

TOURS: Plitviče Lakes National Park Day Trips

12. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans Canal Street Street Car

The ‘Big Easy’ is a melting pot of French, African, and American cultures, with bustling nightlife and the vibrant French Quarter.

Take a ride on one of the vintage streetcars that rattle down oak-lined avenues, or find your way to Frenchmen Street to watch live bands play as you explore this city seemingly frozen in time.

READ MORE: 72-Hours in NOLA: The Epic Guide to Historic New Orleans

13. Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand Sunset

The jade-hued waters, rainbow fish, and golden-white sand beaches of Phuket make the island a diver’s, snorkeler’s, and adventure seeker’s paradise. Trek through jungles reminiscent of the movie Avatar and explore treasures in the form of unparalleled views and sacred Buddhist temples.

I’ve been lucky enough to witness many golden hours, but Phuket sure does take the cake.

MORE: Tours and Things to do in Phuket

14. Panama City Beach, Florida

Beach in Panama City Beach, Florida

Famed for its miles of white sand beaches and calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Panama City Beach is the ultimate US beach destination.

Go on a dolphin-spotting tour by day and sip cocktails at the beach bars by night, Panama City Beach is the perfect place to kick back and relax.

15. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Also known as Siagon, the whirlwind city named after the former prime minister is a treasure trove of historical relics. Ho Chi Minh City played a pivotal role in the Vietnam War, and you can visit the wartime Cu Chi tunnels and War Remnants Museum for a closer look into the country’s turbulent history. Just watch out for the seemingly endless stream of mopeds!

16. Paros, Greece

Naoussa Village in Paros Greece

The Greek island of Paros is known for its tiny villages and surrounding crystal-clear waters. Hike the Byzantine Trail and take in the idyllic countryside, getting a feel for local life on the Aegean Sea. Surrounded by the picturesque landscape, you’ll feel just like you’re on the set of Mamma Mia!

17. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

The southern port city of Charleston is best known for its multitude of church steeples, horse-drawn carriages, and quaint cobblestone streets. There are many homes and plantations dating back to colonial times, documenting a turbulent part of US history.

18. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

The high-tech, buzzing metropolis capital should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Explore the colorful cosplay neighborhood of Harajuku, take in the neon lights and giant billboards of Shibuya Crossing, and take in the city’s rich history. From majestic temples to futuristic shopping malls, Tokyo is the place where tradition meets technology.

19. Saint Martin/Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten Saint Martin

This sun-soaked Caribbean island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten divided into two parts, the northern, French-governed Saint Martin, and the southern, Dutch-governed Sint Maarten. For me, it’s the fusion of cuisine and culture and stunning mountainous scenery is that sets this unusual beach-island apart from the rest.

 Activities to Add to Your St. Martin/ St. Maarten Itinerary:

20. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital is home to pastel-colored buildings and iconic rattling trams not unlike the ones found in San Francisco. You can even hop on a funicular that connects the neighborhoods above the city for the most incredible views of Lisbon and the sea below.

21. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah Georgia Historic District

Savannah’s quintessentially southern charm and picturesque natural beauty is what put this quaint city on the map. With its perfectly manicured parks complete with moss-laden oaks, majestic Gothic-style cathedral, and cobblestone streets, Savannah is a hidden gem of a destination bursting with soul.

22. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain Gaudi

If you’re an architecture and food lover, the city of Barcelona should be at the top of your list. Visit renowned architect Gaudí’s awe-inspiring cathedral La Sagrada Familia, dine on fresh seafood paella, and take in the wide tree-lined street of Las Rambla. Rich in both beach life and culture, Barcelona is the perfect city for those who want to see it all.

23. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Scotland medieval castles

The capital of Scotland is most famous for its medieval castles, rugged landscape, and buzzing social life. The city is rich with history and culture, the Old Town itself featuring roads that take you back in time (Mary King’s Close is a must-see!) and tell the tales of the city’s grisly past.

24. New Bern, North Carolina

New Bern, North Carolina Pepsi Cola Signage

Filled with historic landmarks, the town of New Bern is the second oldest settled colonial town in North Carolina – and the birthplace of Pepsi. Check out the town’s architecture or visit the exact point where the now globally loved drink Pepsi was created.

25. New York City, New York

New York City Skyline

No other world city comes close to New York. The bright lights of Times Square, yellow cabs, and dramatic skyscraper skyline will have you walking around with your jaw on the floor. Stroll down fifth avenue, sip on a pint in Long Island City, and marvel at Lady Liberty after sailing the Hudson. The Big Apple is your playground.

There are as many places to visit in the world as there are experiences to be had, but these are just some of my personal favorite destinations. What impact will these destinations have on your travels? The best way to find out is to go and see for yourself!

Have you visited any of these top world destinations? Which are your favorite cities? Let us know in the comments below!


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Ilana April 28, 2020 - 11:00 am

Loved this list Roslie as well as the info. Has me dreaming!

Coastlines to Skylines April 29, 2020 - 1:26 am

Thank you, Ilana! Now more than ever, travel is a state of mind, so it’s the perfect opportunity to work on that travel bucket list.?

Frank Rodriguez April 28, 2020 - 6:26 pm

Thanks, Rosalie for keeping my travel dreams alive during difficult times. I will share this with my FB friends.

Coastlines to Skylines April 29, 2020 - 1:05 am

Hi Frank, thank you for reading and sharing! Just because we can’t travel right now doesn’t mean that we can’t dream of travel.


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