40 Places You Should Visit Before You’re 40
Dream vacations don’t have an age; most people want to explore the world all the time, if given the chance. However, the general perception is that you’ll actually be able to afford them when have some disposable income, which usually occurs after a person’s 30s. Many explorers need to save money and plan accordingly.
Burgundy region, France
Going to France to have wine may sound cliché but it is one for a reason – it’s a must-do. This is the land of wine and cheese. Head to the Burgundy region if you like red wine. Really, no trip to France is complete without a wine tour of the historical region that makes up the eastern half of the new Bourgogne–Franche-Comté region of France.
Foodie travelers cannot disagree. For the best pasta and pizza in the world, one must visit Napes. After all, this is where pizza was invented. Back in 1889, to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito created the “Pizza Margherita.” It’d developed to perfection nowadays.
This semi-arid region in central Turkey, which is most famous for odd rock formations clustered in Monks Valley, is best seen from above in a hot air balloon. Tourists go to explore Bronze Age homes carved into valley walls by cave dwellers. There are many cave hotels you can stay in, including the Uchisar Cave Pansion, which offers hiking, horseback riding, hot air balloon tours, and bike tours.
New York City, New York
New York City is known for its hustle and bustle, iconic landmarks, and spectacular attractions. Tourists flock to the city every year to experience the culture, scenery, and special events. And there are plenty of things you can do for free. You don’t need to have a heavy wallet to visit the city that never sleeps.
The Greek Islands
Can you name any other Greek islands besides Santorini? All of them are worth a visit. If you’re looking to expand your travel itinerary, consider the mountainous island of Kythnos in the Western Cyclades. It, too has stunning beaches, old-fashioned villages – make sure you stop by Chora and Driopida – and relaxing hot springs. Corfu and Crete should be on your list as well.
Hotel de Glace, Canada
If you’re looking for an original vacation, this one certainly qualifies. Everything is literally sculpted ice, including the beds. You’re surrounded by pure white snow and ice, which allows it to change its décor as often as customers please. Nearby activities include dogsledding, cross-country skiing and spa treatments.
Rincon de La Vija, Costa Rica
Ecological diversity abounds at Rincón de la Vieja National Park. It is a must-visit destination when you are in the Guanacaste Province. At over 34,000 acres, Rincón de la Vieja has room for two volcanoes, 32 rivers and streams, and an incredible variety of flora and fauna. A number of activities can be enjoyed at the park such as hiking, horseback riding, soaking in hot springs, swimming, picnicking, and camping.
Maasai Mara, Kenya
You are witnessing wild animals in their natural habitat from the comfort of a car. Kenya is one of the premier destinations for this amazing experience. Known as one of the best country parks in country, Maasai Mara offers wide range of safaris – hot air balloons, walking, photographing. The best time to visit is between July and October because of the wildebeest migration, famous as the World Cup of Wildlife. Even if you go off season, the number of animals you’ll see – from zebras and giraffes to lions, elephants and leopards – is incredible.
Cruise around Alaska
The Last Frontier has it all in every sense of the word— natural beauty and adventure combined to make even the biggest fans of tropical island vacations want to stay forever. Alaska cruises are very popular. They are a great way to tour the coastline. There’s no better way to experience the state’s stunning shore. Whether you choose to set sail via a cruise-liner trip (which operate May through September) or a short, day-long ferry excursion, you’re sure to witness unbelievable views more scenic than you could ever imagine. Bonus: You will cool off when the weather is hot.
Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
This is a destination that is getting more and more popular every year. The majestic submerged river canyon fenced by vivid rising mountain cliffs is the charm of Montenegro’s coast. Breathtaking medieval towns along the shores contribute to the area’s splendor. The bay is linked together by several picturesque and winding roads, so you won’t have any problems exploring.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Imagine that – it is larger than the Great Wall of China and is the only living thing on earth visible from space. Sounds intriguing enough to see from up close if you go to Australia? The lavishness of the comprises of over 3,000 individual reef systems, coral cays, tropical islands and stunning golden beaches, make for breathtaking views.
Regardless whether you are an Elvis Presley fan, this outrageous estate must be seen to be believed. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee, and sits on more than 13 acres of land. The rock ‘n’ roll legend bought the house in 1957 and continually modified it, adding a swimming pool, a recording studio, a racquetball court, a stable, a shooting range and the famous wrought-iron front gate shaped like sheet music.
Machu Picchu, Peru
You don’t have to be an experienced hiker to have a reason to climb Machu Picchu. Perched above the Urubamba River, this is a once in a lifetime hike. You will have the opportunity to discover a piece of history and admire some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Take any trek along the Inca Trail to finish at Machu Picchu. You will get to walk right through the Sacred Valley, which is an ancient wonder of the world.
It is one of the official New 7 Wonders of the World. The region in general is also surrounded with phenomenal hiking among these ancient ruins. The prehistoric city was “lost” for centuries. Petra, carved into red, white, pink, and sandstone cliff faces, was the flourishing capital of the Nabataean empire between 400 B.C. and A.D. 106, according to National Geographic.
Las Vegas, Nevada
If you are in your early 30s, the Sin City is one of the most affordable destinations, if you don’t hit the slots. The variety of adventures (other than gambling) are endless. Clubs remain open around the clock, making Las Vegas undoubtedly a top party spot. It has become as much about pool parties as a chance to win big at the tables. Then, when you’re not a party monster anymore and just want to try your luck, where else but in the most famous gambling place in the world?
Mount Fitz Roy, Patagonia
Why trek to the Andes, when you can visit one of the most challenging mountains for climbers? Mount Fitz Roy, which has become a famous symbol of Argentine Patagonia, is nestled on the border of Argentina and Chile. In person, this grand piece of land is anything but ordinary. The hike leading up to Fitz Roy is by far among the most stunning in the region.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Situated in the Julian Alps of northwestern Slovenia, the pleasantly picturesque surroundings of Lake Bled make it a well-loved destination for tourists and locals alike. Adding to its old-world charm, the medieval-era Bled Castle looks over the lake at its north shore and Bled Island is home to a majestic, Gothic-style pilgrimage church.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
This is one of the largest religious monuments in the world. Approximately 5 million tons of sandstone was used to build it. This historic temple complex in Siem Reap is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Travelers come from all over to see the architecture and religious markings that date back to the 12th century. It should be on your list even if it’s just to see a spectacular sunset.
There’s a reason Charles Darwin chose to study biodiversity and evolution on this far-flung Pacific archipelago, nearly 600 miles west of Ecuador: It’s a rare destination with tons of unique wildlife and nature. The Galapagos Islands encompass some of the most pristine beauty in the world. They consist of 13 major islands, five of which are inhabited. Each of them has their own unique atmosphere and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Any reason to visit Italy is a good one, but, perhaps a not so common one, is to go there in the spring some stunning natural hues. Wildflowers are blossoming in Tuscany. In April the countryside around Ragusa bursts into bloom with lots of colors. Don’t leave without visiting the region’s capital, Florence. This is where you’ll see the originals of some of the world’s most distinguishable Renaissance art, including Michelangelo’s “David” statue.
All Hawaiian islands are worth your time, but Maui should probably be your first stop. The state’s second largest island boasts a lush landscape littered with wondrous waterfalls, bamboo forests and of course, sandy shores lined with palm trees. Surfing and scuba diving are just two exciting adventures you can embark on. Go rappelling and zip lining, explore lava fields, hike a volcano, or visit Haleakala. There you can also go paragliding, camping, biking down a volcano, and stargazing.
If you believed in Santa Claus as a kid, then you must go visit his original home. Considering that Lapland is also among the absolute best places to see the magnificent Northern Lights –the Aurora Borealis appears in the sky around 200 times per year – there are no excuses to postpone your trip. Stay in glass igloos and log cabins with extraordinary views.
Paris is the place to go for incredible sightseeing experience with your best friends, significant other or even solo. It’s on everyone’s bucket list for a good reason – the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and Musee Rodin. Take a Paris Move Walk and see where some of your (probably) favorite movies were filmed. Also, go on a bike tour, take cooking lessons, and take a day trip to Reims – champagne country.
Great Wall of China
Gorgeous hues adorn Beijing in the fall and the forests surrounding nearby sections of the Great Wall of China. It was placed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1987. It is approximately 13,170 miles long. The landmark was continuously built from the 3rd century BC to the 17th century AD. Those of you looking for a challenge, run one of the most famous half marathons in the world that this attraction hosts.
Hoi An, Vietnam
If you’re getting married soon, consider Hoi An as your honeymoon destination. It’s really perfect for an adventurous couple. There are several amusement parks, mountains, lakes and national parks in the vicinity to explore. Climb the Son Doong Cave; hike to the Cat Cat old village of ethnic groups to learn about distinctive customs that have been lost; and swim in the Cham Island, recognized by UNESCO as the World Biosphere Reserve.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe/Zambia
Classified as the world’s largest sheet of falling water with a width of 5,604 feet and height of 354 feet, this is one of the greatest attractions in all of Africa, and a waterfall you should add to your bucket list. This alone should be a reason to go. But if you’re looking for more, take the trip from Victoria Falls to about 17 miles downstream is a mixture of huge flows and significant drops.
The trip is one of the most iconic of its kind for “self-discovery.” No part of the 2,174-mile footpath along ridge crests and across major valleys of the Appalachian Mountains from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in northern Georgia will disappoint. The trail attracts 2 million hikers annually, including about 2,000 would-be thru-hikers, according to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
This is a place to go before you have kids, or at least without them. It’s the ultimate party destination, at least in Spain. With some of the best and biggest clubs, underground parties and celebrations right on the beach, Ibiza caters to just about anyone looking for an unforgettable night out. The island is home to lower-key jazz joints and hosts some amazing local music, in addition to the world famous DJs and performers.
Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal is one of India’s UNESCO heritage sites and known as one of the most gorgeous places in in the world. Now imagine this site as the sun is rising in the background. This calls for a mind-blowing view. It’s known as “the jewel of Muslim art in India.” Just don’t take selfies – it’s quite dangerous.
Located in the middle of the Dalmatian Coast, Dubrovnik casts a spell over all those who visit. The coastline is stunning, rugged mountains are nearby, certain tourist sites have been for centuries, and the wine is divine. To give you an idea of how magical this city is – many episodes from Game of Thrones were filmed here.
You can start planning your vacation to explore the beauty that lies in Cuba. It is becoming a hot spot so go now before prices skyrocket. Don’t just walk around the colorful streets; go on adventures that will show you not just the people and the architecture, but also the history, culture and wild side of the country. Cave diving, rock climbing and scuba diving are favorites.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Antelope Canyon, which is 120 feet deep and 2,000 feet long, is one of the most photographed canyons in the American Southwest. When the sunlight shines in the colors of the canyon, they appear to vibrate off of the walls. The canyon looks red, gold and orange. Increase instances of flash flooding make visiting the canyon a risky endeavor.
Hitachi Seaside Park, Japan
Japan is the ultimate destination in the spring. And Hitachi Seaside park is the ultimate place to be in Japan in the spring. A baby blue carpet of roughly 4.5 million nemophila flowers take over the hillside every year from late April to early May. The park has an array of plants and gardens that bloom in all four seasons, including beds of daffodils, tulips and poppies that also bloom in the spring.
Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia
You are not going to see anything like it anywhere else in the world. Formed as a result of transformations between many prehistoric lakes, Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat. Because of the large, flat area and clear skies, it is often used for calibrating altimeters of Earth observation satellites. It also creates a dream-like reflection off of the crust.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Montana’s “Crown of the Continent Ecosystem” is home to some of the last large blocks of truly wild country in the continental U.S. Pristine forests, incredible mountains and beautiful glaciers are other reasons to visit. Explore Glacier by road, go on a hike, bike around the park, go fishing. Take a trip along The Going-to-the-Sun Road, a scenic drive that takes you through the heart of the park over Logan Pass.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A fun destination year-round, Rio transforms when it’s time of the Carnival. The February festival is more than just a major party; it’s one of the most artistic and culturally rich events on Earth. Expect music, dance and some of the most over-the-top costumes you’ll ever see. Outside of Carnival, visit the world famous Ipanema Beach, make your way to the Christ the Redeemer statue, and set aside time for a night of drinks and Samba music.
Route 66 is an American icon in its own right, and taking a road trip along the highway is a rite of passage. It has been immortalized in songs, on the big screen and has even been animated in the Pixar movie “Cars.” Despite being officially decommissioned, Route 66, also known as the Mother Road or America’s Highway, still carries a certain mystique as the ultimate American road trip route. Make sure you plan your trip in a way you can make the most of it.
Rice Terrace Fields of Mu Cang Chai, Vietnam
The eye-catching rice terraces in Yen Bai province are one of most attractive places in the entire country. The best time to visit in order to see the most colorful and lively displays is in September and October. The golden-green and toast-brown colors of the ripe rice are glowing because of the sun shining on them.
This is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, part of Norway, in the Arctic Ocean. Cruise ships dock at Longyear, and tourists can make walking tours of the island’s scenic landscapes. National parks and nature reserves are a feature of the island, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
You have probably visited the most famous canyon in the world, the second largest, as a child. On the off chance you haven’t, book a trip now. It is considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Intrepid explorers can also traverse the canyon by white-water rafting or tackle the dangerous Bright Angel Trail by mule.
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