Tourist places in Artois

1. Lille

Lille is the largest city of French Flanders and has a distinctive Flemish character. Known for its vibrant culture, happening ambiance, and friendly people, Lille is a surprisingly pleasant urban destination with lovely architecture.

The main town square, Place du Général de Gaulle, is lined with elegant Flemish Baroque monuments such as the Vieille Bourse (Old Stock Exchange). The nearby Rang du Beauregard buildings exemplify an ornate Lilloise Neoclassical style. The Flemish influence is also seen in the hearty local cuisine, featuring typical Belgian dishes like Moules-Frites (mussels and French fries) and gaufres (Belgian-style waffles).

Art enthusiasts will have plenty to explore in Lille at the Palais Beaux-Arts and several museums outside the city: the Musée Louvre-Lens, which shares its collection with the Louvre Museum in Paris; the Lille Métropole Musée d’Art Moderne in Villeneuve d’Ascq, which displays works by Braque, Modigliani, and Picasso; and a unique collection of fine arts and decorative arts in the town of Roubaix.

On the first weekend of September, the Braderie de Lille (Flea Market) brings together hundreds of stalls selling vintage items and antiques. Bargain hunting at the Lille Flea Market is one of the most popular things to do in the city.

2. Arras

The historic capital of the Artois province, Arras has the architectural heritage to prove it. Arcaded squares, high-gabled burghers’ houses, and exquisite old churches reveal the authentic character of this Flemish town.

The Cathédrale d’Arras, originally the abbey church of Saint-Vaast, was rebuilt in the 18th century in awe-inspiring Neoclassical style. Another building of the former Benedictive monastery of Saint-Vaast now houses the Musée des Beaux-Arts. This museum has a diverse art collection, from medieval sculptures to Dutch and French paintings. Highlights are the masterpieces by Jean-Baptiste-Camille, Corot, Charles Le Brun, Delacroix, and Rubens.

During World War One, the area around Arras was the scene of heavy fighting, which is now commemorated by several military cemeteries and memorials. The Vimy Memorial pays homage to the Canadian Expeditionary Force members (more than 11,000 men) who fought and died in France during the First World War. A grandiose and evocative limestone monument, the Vimy Memorial stands on the Vimy Ridge, where the pivotal Battle of Vimy Ridge took place; this 107-hectare piece of land (12 kilometers north of Arras) was granted by France to Canada for its accomplishment of capturing Vimy Ridge during the April 1917 Allied offensive.

3. Calais

Calais provides a gateway to England as a port on the English Channel and the starting point for Channel Tunnel (or “Chunnel”) train rides to England. The high-speed Eurostar train travels through the Channel Tunnel (crossing the English Channel’s Strait of Dover in a 50-kilometer undersea tunnel) and takes one hour to arrive in London. The English Channel crossing by ferry takes one hour and 30 minutes from Calais to Dover, England.

In this spectacular seaside location along the Opal Coast, the area around Calais boasts expansive sandy beaches, which are popular for surfing and sailing, as well as other outdoor activities like hiking and cycling.

For those spending time in Calais (rather than simply traveling through), must-see attractions are the UNESCO-listed Flemish Renaissance-style Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall) and the nearby group of Auguste Rodin’s sculptures, Les Bourgeois de Calais, which commemorate the siege of Calais in 1347 by the English, and occupation until 1558.

Next to the leafy Parc Richelieu, the Musée des Beaux-Arts displays paintings and sculptures from the 16th century to the 21st century. Among the masterpieces are works by Auguste Rodin, André Derain, and Pablo Picasso. The Cité de la Dentelle et de la Mode (on the Quai du Commerce) has a superb lace and fashion collection.

4. Boulogne-sur-Mer

As France’s largest fishing port, it’s fitting that Boulogne-sur-Mer has a superb aquarium and sea museum. The Nausicaá aquarium is the largest in Europe, home to 58,000 sea creatures, including 1,600 different species. Nausicaá especially appeals to families with kids, who are sure to enjoy the touch pool and entertaining sea lion performances.

Near the Nausicaá aquarium is access to a wonderful sandy beach, along the Boulevard Sainte-Beuve. The beach has a yacht club and a promenade, which is ideal for taking a seaside stroll. During summertime, beach tents, lounge chairs, and parasols are available for rent; in July and August, lifeguards are on duty. The town host the Fêtes de la Mer (Festivals of the Sea) every year in July.

The oldest part of Boulogne-sur-Mer is the Ville Haute (Upper Town), a medieval walled town. This historic area brims with old-world charm, seen in its atmospheric cobblestone streets and picturesque squares. Highlights of the Ville Haute include the UNESCO-listed belfry, dating to the 12th century; the Notre-Dame Basilica, which incorporates a Romanesque crypt; and the 13th-century fortifications with four gated entrances.

Tourists will enjoy walking along the “Promenade des Remparts” (ramparts path) to admire panoramas of the city and its gardens. Another interesting spot to explore is the Rue de Lille, a pedestrian street lined with restaurants, antique shops, and small boutiques.

5. Gerberoy

With its tranquil, bucolic setting; pedestrian alleyways; and charming half-timbered houses, the medieval village of Gerberoy is one of the “Plus Beaux Villages” (“Most Beautiful Villages”) of France. Many buildings throughout the town are adorned with rose vines. Gerberoy is also famous for its Fête des Roses (Festival of Roses), which has been held in the village every year since 1928.

In keeping with the village’s love of flowers, the post-Impressionist painter Henri Le Sidaner (who settled in Gerberoy) created magnificent Italian terraced gardens that he used as an outdoor art studio. Classified as a “Jardin Remarquable” (Remarkable Garden), the Jardins Le Sidaner are open every day except Mondays from April through September.

Near the garden is another must-see landmark, the Collégiale Saint-Pierre, which is adorned with 17th-century Aubusson tapestries. The church dates to the 11th-century but was renovated in later centuries.

6. Bergues

Surrounded by remnants of medieval walls, the picturesque town of Bergues is traversed by winding canals, which lend a typical Flemish ambiance. Bergues is most famous for its belfry, considered one of the finest in France. The UNESCO-listed Beffroi de Bergues features an unusual open design, with 50 bells that chime to mark the hours. As the town’s top tourist attraction, the Beffroi de Bergues also has an exhibition space and music room.

Housed in the old Mont-de-Piété (municipal pawnshop), the Musée du Mont-de-Piété displays paintings and drawings by Flemish and French masters, including George de la Tour, Charles Le Brun, Nicolas Poussin, Anthony van Dyck, and Maerten van Heemskerck.

7. Musée Louvre-Lens

The Musée Louvre-Lens is an ultramodern museum space in a tranquil park. The Musée Louvre-Lens does not have its own collections, instead, the museum exhibits different rotations of masterpieces from the Louvre Museum in Paris. The museum’s 3,000-square-meter gallery features natural lighting and an innovative presentation of artwork. Many exhibits focus on specific themes or highlight the common denominators of artwork spanning different time periods and artistic styles.

It’s easy to get to the museum from Lille ( a 30-minute drive) or Paris (90 minutes by train). The train station in Lens offers free shuttle bus rides to the museum.

8. Cambrai

Cambrai is a quiet historic town with remnants of medieval fortifications and impressive cultural heritage. A relic of the old ramparts, the 14th-century Porte de Paris once provided an entrance into the previously walled town. The Eglise Saint-Géry is noteworthy for its blend of French classical and Dutch Baroque architectural styles, as well as the famous Entombment painting by Rubens.

Not-to-be-missed are Chapelle du Grand Séminaire, renowned for its Baroque facade, and the Cathédrale Notre-Dame, which contains exceptional works of art, including Trompe-l’oil paintings by Martin Gheeraerts and marvelous stained-glass windows.

Art lovers will appreciate the Musée des Beaux-Arts, which has an excellent assortment of 16th- to 19th-century Dutch and French paintings, and the Musée Matisse, which displays over 80 paintings by Matisse (donated to the museum by the artist).

Many cultural attractions are found just outside of Cambrai, including the Musée des Dentelles et Broderies de Caudry (Museum of Lace and Embroidery), housed in a 19th-century lace factory in Caudry (15 kilometers from Cambrai). This museum presents the local history of lace fabrication and embroidery arts along with craft demonstrations and fashion exhibits.

9. Saint-Omer and the Marais Audomarois

Cobblestone streets and stately old townhouses reveal the traditional character of this historic market town. One of Saint-Omer’s most elegant 18th-century townhouses, the Hôtel Sandelin, is now a museum with an excellent collection of European paintings, as well as decorative arts. Other must-see landmarks are the 13th-century Eglise Saint-Denis, which has a majestic Gothic tower, and the Cathédrale Notre Dame, a splendid Gothic monument built between the 13th and 16th centuries.

In the surroundings, the Marais Audomarois (marshland) is among the best places to visit in northern France for fishing (allowed with a local fishing association card) in the gentle rivers. Taking a boat ride through the marshland’s waterways is another way to discover the wetland scenery, with its lush plant life and market gardens. There are several options for tourists: traditional artisan-crafted wooden boats led by a local boatman, rowboats and canoes for rent, and guided boat tours.

For those who’d like to explore the terra firma aspects of the area, the Audomarois Forest has scenic trails for hiking and cycling.

10. Dunkerque

Just 14 kilometers from the Belgian border, Dunkerque (Dunkirk) is France’s northernmost town, on the North Sea near the Strait of Dover. Dunkerque has an important commercial port, as well as ferry boat access to Dover, England. During the Second World War, Dunkerque was the scene of a dramatic military rescue as boats of Allied troops were brought to safety.

Every year before Ash Wednesday, the Dunkirk Carnival transforms the town into a wild and crazy scene of unbridled celebration. Thousands of revelers show their festive spirit, wearing colorful costumes; some carry whimsical umbrellas on long handles. The three-day carnival includes gregarious processions, musical entertainment, and joyful balls.

11. Douai

Douai is an old university town, originally founded by the Spaniards. The central features of the town are the UNESCO-listed Belfry, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture that dates to the 14th and 15th centuries, and the Place d’Armes, also called the Grand Place.

Douai also has a renowned museum, the Musée de la Chartreuse, housed in a 17th-century convent. The museum’s fine-arts collection includes masterpieces of Flemish, Dutch, Italian, and French painting. Highlights are the works by Véronèse, Rubens, Courbet, Renoir, Sisley, Corot, and Pisarro, as well as the precious Polyptyque d’Anchin by Jean Bellegambe (created between 1509 and 1513).

12. Abbaye de Vaucelles

The Abbaye de Vaucelles is a remarkable 12th-century abbey founded by Saint Bernard, which was one of the largest Cistercian monasteries in the world. Two of the original buildings remain the Monks’ Quarters (an 80-meter-long wing with a chapter house, oratory, and chapel) and the Palais Abbatial (Abbot’s Palace); both buildings have been beautifully restored.

Among the most prestigious historical monuments in northern France, the Abbaye de Vaucelles is open to the public from March through October. Art expositions and other events are held here throughout the year. The abbey is located 12 kilometers from Cambrai.

Tourist Places in Limousin(Limoges)

The Limousin region is an area of unspoiled natural beauty and rich history. This idyllic countryside of green rolling hills and lush forests surprises visitors with its magnificent medieval castles and picturesque villages, many of which are listed as “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (Most Beautiful Villages of France).

The area’s regional nature parks are a paradise for sports enthusiasts. Opportunities abound for hiking on the scenic trails, fishing in freshwater rivers, and boating on pristine lakes. Plan your trip to this beautiful region with our list of attractions and best places to visit in Limousin.

1. Aubusson

The historic city of Aubusson has been renowned since the 15th century for its intricately patterned tapestries. The city has earned a UNESCO Cultural Heritage designation for its craft of traditional tapestry. This time-consuming and labor-intensive weaving process has produced the gorgeous tapestries that were used during the Middle Ages to decorate French castles.

Tourists may visit tapestry workshops throughout the city, such as L’Espace Tapisseries (32 Rue Vaveix) and the Maison du Tapissier (Rue Vieille). Aubusson also has a fabulous tapestry museum, the Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie (Rue des Arts).

2. Limoges

Designated a “Ville d’Art et d’Histoire” (“City of Art and History”), the capital city of Limousin has a rich cultural heritage. The Cathédrale Saint-Etienne is the most important monument in Limoges and its only Gothic building. Begun in 1273, the cathedral continued to be renovated throughout the centuries. Behind the cathedral are the Jardins de l’Evêché (Gardens of the Bishop), and to the east is the eight-arched Pont Saint-Etienne bridge built in the 13th century. Visitors should also stroll through the city’s historic quarters along the Rue de la Boucherie and the Rue du Temple to soak up the city’s old-world ambiance.

Impressionist painter Auguste Renoir began his career as a porcelain painter in Limoges, and it’s easy to see the connection between this artisan craft and the fine arts. A wonderful collection of Impressionist paintings is on display at the Musée des Beaux-Arts. To learn more about the history of porcelain, tourists should head to the Pavillon de la Porcelaine – Musée Haviland, which also has a boutique that sells the refined Haviland porcelain items.

The Musée National Adrien Dubouché highlights the beauty and variety of porcelain, the art form for which Limoges is famous. The museum has an extensive collection of pottery, faïence, glassware, and Limoges porcelain.

3. Uzerche

Uzerche is known as the “Pearl of Limousin,” because of its beautiful historic buildings and spectacular setting on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Vézère River. This medieval fortified town has many architectural treasures, including impressive old towers, atmospheric vaulted pathways, and elegant “hôtels particuliers” (mansions). Not to be missed is the Abbatiale Saint-Pierre, a marvelous Romanesque church built in the 11th century by Benedictine monks.

The countryside surrounding Uzerche offers ample opportunities for hiking and nature walks. A great place to take in views of the countryside is from the Esplanade de la Luna de. During the summer, outdoor markets, festivals, and music concerts draw many visitors.

4. Abbatiale Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul, Solignac

Solignac (15 kilometers away from Limoges) is home to one of the most important sights in the Limousin region, the Abbatiale Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul. This splendid Romanesque abbey, built by Benedictine monks in the 10th and 11th centuries, was a medieval pilgrimage destination on the “Way of Saint James” route to Santiago de Compostela. Typical of Romanesque churches, the exterior is decorated with rounded arches and sculpted figures. The spacious domed interior features awe-inspiring 15th-century stained-glass windows and columns adorned with details including griffins, palm leaves, and snakes.

The historic village of Solignac charms visitors with its pastel-shuttered old stone buildings and a pleasant ambiance along the Briance River. Spanning the river is the 15th-century Pont-Vieux de Solignac (Old Bridge of Solignac), a graceful arched masonry bridge.

5. Château de Val

Surrounded by dreamy pastoral scenery, the Château de Val looks like an image from the pages of a child’s storybook. The turreted castle stands on a rocky spur within the Lac de Bort Les Orgues, one of the largest lakes in Europe. This medieval fortress, with its grandiose Gothic rooms, is one of the best places to visit to discover the ambiance of another era. Unlike many French castles, the Château de Val is sumptuously furnished with period pieces, creating a good picture of what it was like to live here. The castle’s Saint-Blaise Chapel is listed as a Historical Monument.

The castle grounds include a courtyard by the lake and a tranquil garden planted with many flowers. All around the property are quiet spots that invite visitors to commune with nature under a shady lime tree, by a fountain, or near the old stables. During July and August, the Château de Val hosts outdoor music concerts on Wednesday evenings. The Château de Val also offers bed-and-breakfast accommodations.

6. Musée d’Art Contemporain de la Haute-Vienne

This museum of contemporary art is housed in the majestic Château de Rochechouart overlooking the Graine and Vayres valleys. The well-restored medieval-Renaissance castle houses the museum’s collection devoted to 20th- and 21st-century art. On display are over 300 works created from the 1960s to the present day, plus an assortment of 2,000 decorative arts objects, as well as unique commissioned pieces.

Equally noteworthy are the artworks found on the walls of the château, especially the 16th-century frescoes in the Salle des Chasses (depicting hunting scenes) and the Galerie d’Hercule (illustrating the labors of Greek mythological figure Hercules).

7. Parc Naturel Régional de Millevaches en Limousin

The Parc Naturel Régional de Millevaches en Limousin is a paradise of deep green forests, gently rolling hills, sheltered valleys, grassy meadows, and peaceful lakes. The regional park, which encompasses the Plateau de Millevaches, has freshwater rivers and streams that are home to river otters. The Millevaches Regional Park is dotted with charming small hamlets and traversed by nature trails. Hikers will enjoy the diverse landscape, from heathlands and oak groves to pastures where the famous Limousin cows graze.

Besides hiking and biking, other popular activities are boating, fishing, and cycling. Overnight travelers can stay at campsites or other accommodations in the park.

8. Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat

This quaint medieval town has a well-preserved historic center and a UNESCO-listed Romanesque church (dating to the 11th and 12th centuries) that was a stop on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage trail. Wandering through the town’s cobblestone streets and narrow alleys takes visitors back in time. Much of the town has not changed since the Middle Ages.

The Quartier de Noblat riverside district is especially atmospheric with its old mills and 13th-century bridge. Tourists can arrive here by taking the Chemin du Pavé pedestrian path. This charming area is a delightful place for a stroll. Other things to do include fishing and picnicking.

Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat is also known for its gastronomy. During July, the Fête de la Saint-Martial, a traditional market of regional food products, is held at the place Saint-Martial by the Vienne River. Those with a sweet tooth should try the local specialty called “Massepain de Saint-Léonard,” a little almond cookie that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The recipe has a Mediterranean origin and was brought to the town by pilgrims returning from Saint-Jacques de Compostela in Spain.

9. Collonges-la-Rouge

Collonges-la-Rouge is a picture-perfect hamlet listed as one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (Most Beautiful Villages of France). Most of the buildings are constructed from red sandstone and date back to the 15th and 16th centuries when many noteworthy citizens of the Viscount of Turenne had residences here. The unusual rosy-hued houses and noblemen’s mansions make this town incomparable to any other in France.

Another must-see attraction in Collonges-la-Rouge is the 11th-century Eglise Saint-Pierre, an exquisite church that was visited by medieval pilgrims on the “Way of Saint James” trail to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

10. Curemonte

Listed as one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France, Curemonte sits on top of a rocky mount presiding over two valleys. Three castles dominate the townscape and are visible from far in the distance. Tourists can easily imagine the formidable impression that this village must have made during the Middle Ages. Curemonte boasts a 12th-century Romanesque church, as well as two other historic churches. At the 14th-century Château Saint-Hilaire, the author Colette wrote, Journal à Rebours. The village’s perfectly preserved squares and buildings make it popular as a filming location for movie sets.

11. Mortemart

Another one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France,” Mortemart is a charming village with lovely architecture. Several historic religious buildings dazzle visitors, including a 14th-century Carmelite convent and the Eglise Saint-Hilaire, a humble little chapel in an Augustinian convent. Equally noteworthy is a 10th-century castle, the Château des Ducs, which was home to the Dukes of Mortemart. Stately noblemen’s mansions reflect the town’s wealthy heritage.

In the center of the city is an old covered hall that is still a hub for weekly markets, where farmers sell fresh fruits, vegetables, and other local products to villagers.

12. Ségur-le-Château

Ségur-le-Château is yet another one of the region’s “Plus Beaux Villages de France.” The village is nestled in a spot that was favored by the Viscounts of Limoges because of its safety from invasions. History is felt at every corner of the village. Visitors will enjoy wandering the ancient narrow lanes to admire handsome half-timbered houses and turreted noblemen’s mansions. On a sunny day, it’s pleasant to go for a scenic stroll along the riverside. Tourists should also be sure to visit the town’s medieval château, which requires a climb up the hill but offers the reward of a stunning view of the landscape.

Tourist places in New Mexico

Boasting one of most incredibly scenic and diverse landscapes in North America, New Mexico offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. With strong influences of both Native American and Hispanic culture, the state offers the visitor a multitude of unique attractions both in large cities like Santa Fe and Albuquerque, as well as the smaller hubs of UFO-focused Roswell and the artists’ colony of Tao’s. Center of the American Southwest, the “Land of Enchantment” didn’t gain statehood until 1912. Today, New Mexico offers the visitor fantastic nature experiences, distinctive cuisine, and an impressive fine arts scene.

1 Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Comprised of nearly 120 known caves, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is hidden mostly underground. Carved from limestone deposited in an ancient sea, the alien underground landscape is one of the most famous New Mexico tourist attractions. The Park Service offers self-guided audio tours and ranger-led tours. Visitors can also experience bat tours, trips to specific caves, and walks through the outlandish geological formations. Up above, visitors will find a wide range of opportunities for back-country hikes and backpacking. Be sure to bring ample water.

2 White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument is one of the most stunning landscapes in the state, located a half an hour’s drive southwest of Alamogordo in the south of New Mexico. It lies in the Tularemia Basin, a northern offshoot of the Chihuahua Desert, and is surrounded by rugged mountains. Here, gleaming white gypsum sand has built up into an extraordinary landscape of dunes up to 60 feet high, which are constantly displaced by the wind.

3 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Each autumn, Albuquerque hosts the world’s largest hot air balloon festival, drawing crowds of more than 80,000 people. The tradition, which started in a parking lot in 1973 with only 13 balloons, has grown to occupy a 365-acre park with more than 500 balloons participating. This nine-day festival is kicked off by the breathtaking “Mass Ascension” and continues with unique displays of coordinated ballooning and nighttime presentations. In addition to the brightly colored skies, the festival offers plenty of things to do, from kids’ activities and live musicians to a juries craft show and dozens of street performers among the numerous vendors. While in Albuquerque, tourists will enjoy sightseeing in the city’s old town, where the Spanish first settled, also home to the Albuquerque Museum, which contains historical artifacts and exhibits about the area.

4 Bandolier National Monument

Bandolier National Monument is a 33,677-acre preserve encompassing some of the most dramatic volcanic landscapes and archaeological ruins in the state. Former home of ancestral Pueblo people, the area was occupied from AD 1150 to 1600. Among the remains of the indigenous habitats are structures such as masonry walls and dwellings that were carved from the volcanic rock, as well as hieroglyphs that illustrate the Pueblo culture and daily life. This national park has an educational museum, hiking trails, and campsites.

5 Petroglyph National Monument

The Petroglyph National Monument is managed jointly by the city of Albuquerque and the National Park Service, which help preserve this culturally significant site while educating visitors. The area encompasses 7,244 acres consisting of a basalt escarpment, five dormant volcanoes, and an expansive mesa. The park’s most famous feature is its petroglyphs, images which were carved in the basalt by indigenous peoples and early Spanish settlers centuries ago. There are a total of approximately 20,000 petroglyphs within the park, many of which can be viewed from the hiking trails. There are three main hiking routes, the least strenuous being Bo ca Negro Canyon, which has 100 petroglyphs along one mile of trails. Those who are up for a longer hike in the desert can take the 2.2-mile Concordat Canyon trail or the 1.5-mile Madagascar Canyon Loop, each of which have around 300 petroglyphs. Hikers should be aware of local wildlife, especially rattlesnakes, and should be well prepared with water for the longer treks.

6 Tao’s Pueblo

Just outside the city of Tao’s, the Tao’s Pueblo has the oldest continuously inhabited dwellings in the United States. These adobe structures have stood for more than 1,000 years, constructed of straw-reinforced mud bricks and timber-supported roofs. These apartment-style homes are up to five stories high, and around 150 people live within the old town full-time. An additional 2,000 reside on the 95,000-acre property in a variety of traditional and modern homes. Residents welcome visitors to take a tour of the community, which has been designated both a National Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are fantastic photo opportunities, as well as regular markets. The Pueblo is closed to the public during several of its annual traditional events. Tourists visiting Tao’s can easily see the area’s top attractions on the Tao’s Highlights Small-Group Driving Tour, which visits the Pueblo as well as historic Tao Plaza, the St. Francis de Assisi Roman Catholic Church, and Gorge Bridge.

7 Cumbers-Toltec Scenic Railway

The Cumbers & Toltec Scenic Railroad is a narrow gauge heritage railroad that runs between Champ, New Mexico and Antonino, Colorado. Constructed in 1880-81, this cozy train ride traverses the 10,015-foot Cumbers Pass and heads through the dramatic Toltec Gorge. The ride offers stunning views of the surrounding land, from grassy, deer-filled, hillside meadows to stream-laced mountains. This is the highest steam-powered railroad in the nation, and the ride has thrilling moments as it crosses the Cascade Creek trestle 137 feet in the air, climbs the face of a cliff, and doubles back dramatically on the Tangle foot Curve. Passengers will see many of the Railroad’s original structures along the journey and have the chance to stop in the rustic Osier, Colorado halfway through the trip for a lunch break and some exploring.

8 Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

North of the old mining town of Silver City are the Gila cliff dwellings: 42 rooms in six caves, built into the cliff face by the Mongol Native Americans around the year 1300. Tourists can learn more about the Mongol culture and the region’s natural history at the museum in the visitor center. Among the park’s geological features are numerous natural caves, as well as hot springs, some of which can be reached by trail from the visitor center. Tours of the cliff dwellings are available, although visitors should take note that the tours start at the cliff dwellings themselves, and it takes about a half hour to walk up to them from the trailhead.

9 Tao’s Ski Valley

Northeast of Tao’s, in the Sanger de Crista Mountains, at 8,900 to 12,500 feet, is the magically beautiful and excellently equipped winter sports region of the Tao’s Ski Valley. In recent years, the ski resort has come under new ownership and undergone considerable upgrades. This hill has always been known as a skiers’ hill, with outstanding intermediate and advanced terrain. Half of the trails are for experts.

10 Pecos National Historical Park

Pecos National Historical Park encompasses what was once one of the largest Native American pueblos in the state. It was inhabited from the early 14th century until 1838, with a population over 2,000. In 1990, the park was expanded to 6,600 acres. The visitor center contains exhibits and park information and also offers an Ancestral Sites Walking tour, a guided 1.25-mile hike that explores evidence of the area’s indigenous peoples. The park is also home to the Civil War battlefield of Gloriana Pass, which can be toured via a 2.25-mile trail with or without a guide. The visitor center also offers van tours of the Civil War site, as well as tours of nearby Forked Lightning Ranch.

11 The Very Large Array

In the remote rolling hills west of Socorro lies the Karl G Jan sky Very Large Array (VELA) – a radio astronomy observatory located on the Plains of San Agustin. The array is used to observe black holes and other astronomical phenomena. There are self-guided walking routes through the site, and the VELA also hosts free, guided tours on the first Saturday of each month. Though reservations aren’t required, it is worth checking ahead for times. Tours begin from the VELA Visitor Center.

12 Chaos Culture National Historical Park

Perhaps one of the most stunning archaeological sites in all of North America, Chaos Canyon was occupied by ancestral Pueblo an peoples from about AD 800 to 1200. It was a major center, comprised of 15 massive ruins and hundreds of smaller constructions. Located in a remote area northwest of Albuquerque, the park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Park facilities and activities include camping, an excellent interpretive center, interpretive and back-country hikes, and astronomy experiences from telescopes located in the canyon.

13 Billy the Kid Museum

Out on the eastern plains of New Mexico is the small town of Fort Sumner, the resting place of the infamous Billy the Kid. The lanky youth was shot and killed at the nearby Fort Sumner State Monument by Sheriff Pat Garrett at the age of 21. The museum hosts the Kid’s rifle, horse-riding equipment and the original Wanted poster. Rumor has it they even have some of his hair. The museum also has a collection of cavalry swords, old firearms, and antique cars and trucks. Guided tours are available.

14 Wheeler Peak Wilderness

The highest point in New Mexico is the summit of Wheeler Peak, at 13,161 ft. The mountain is next to Moreno Valley near Angel Fire in the Carson National Forest, in the Sanger De Crista mountain range. The area is home to a variety of wildlife and visitors may be lucky enough to see marmots, pikas, elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and golden eagles. Hiking is one of the most popular things to do with several trails, most ranging from 4 mi to 8 mi long.

Due to the elevation, Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area enjoys moderate summer temperatures and cold winters, when temperatures regularly fall below freezing. Most visitors come here during the summer months, which are warm but also a little wet. July and August are the rainy months, so be sure to bring a rain jacket to deal with passing showers. Official site

15 International UFO Museum and Research Center

A top tourist attraction in Roswell, the international UFO Museum and Research Center was opened in 1992 as an information center inspired by the 1947 “Roswell incident.” This widely speculated event put Roswell on the map as a hub of UFO activity and curiosity. Despite this, the museum’s intention is not to convince visitors to believe in extraterrestrial life or government conspiracy theories. Exhibits take an objective look at local events, as well as numerous others around the world, inviting visitors to come to their own conclusion. The museum contains a variety of material, including documents, eyewitness accounts, and artifacts related to UFO research. Tourists interested in Roswell’s alien mystery will also enjoy one of the many local “UFO tours” that visit spots like Building 84 at the former army base where the downed craft and its occupants were allegedly brought by military personnel.

Union Territories of India

There are eight beautiful union territories in India, Administered by the Central government. These Union Territories are the fastest developing modern and beautiful belt for tourism in India as well as in terms of industry and infrastructure too.

Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli are famous for its excellent beaches, Portuguese churches and forts while on the other hand, Delhi is known for a list of old era monuments and heritage sites and islands of Andaman, Lakshadweep with pristine beaches.

How many Union Territories are there in India in 2020?

After the decisions announced by the Government of India on Aug 5, 2019 – J&K as a state will be granted special status and decided to bifurcate the state into two Union territories, Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature, and Ladakh without a legislature. A total of 8 Union territories in India.

After the merger of the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu in December 2019, effect on 26 January 2020. There are now eight union territories in India.

National Capital Territory of Delhi – Delhi

The official name National Capital Territory of Delhi, in 1956 Delhi was converted into Union territory. Today, Delhi is the largest metro green city of India by area and eighth in the world by population. Delhi also owns the National Capital Region (NCR) urban area in which Noida, Gurgaon, Greater Noida, Faridabad, and Ghaziabad are included.

The capital of India Delhi is located on the banks of Yamuna river one of the holy rivers in India. Delhi has many tourist attractions for the people of all around the world like Palika Bazaar, lotus temple, Red fort, Mugral era tomb, Jama Masjid and the Pride of India “The India Gate”.

Chandigarh – Chandigarh

Chandigarh is one of the best city in India to live and work, It is also known as the Green city of India. Chandigarh is the capital of both states Haryana and Punjab.

Chandigarh is considered as the first well-planned city of India, List of tourist attractions includes Rock Garden and Sukhna Lake and a bird sanctuary located in the city which is home for a variety of bird species are best places to visit in Chandigarh.

Daman and Diu/ Dadra and Nagar Haveli – Daman

Daman and Diu are located on the western coast of India, Daman city is the capital having an area of 72km. Daman and Diu is the second smallest among the other union territories in India and has a mixed culture of Indian and Portuguese

Daman and Diu are known for its untouched and explorer natural beauty. A trip to the famous beaches, Portuguese churches and forts of Daman and Diu can not be forgettable, also Daman city has one of the most famous casinos in India.

– Silvassa

Dadra and Nagar Haveli located between Maharashtra and Gujarat and a few kilometers from the city of Daman. A beautiful lake Garden Vanganga is located at the entrance of the city. Because of its scenic natural beauty and pleasant climate, Dadra & Nagar Haveli are dream tourist destinations of Indian. Silvassa capital is one of the best places to visit in Western India.

Pondicherry – Puducherry

Pondicherry is located on the eastern ghat of India, It was a former French colony. Puducherry is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. Beaches, Walkways, and Churches of Puducherry are must-see places in the southern belt of India.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Port Blair

Andaman and Nicobar are the groups of islands located in the Indian Ocean. The Andamans and Nicobars are separated by a channel. These Islands are blessed with unique tropical evergreen forest.

The British used these islands as an isolated prison knows as Kala Pani for Indian freedom fighters. Local people of Islands still maintained their separated existence, these Indian tribes are known as Jarwa and Great Andamanese. Port Blair is the largest city and the capital of Andaman Island.

Lakshadweep – Kavaratti

Lakshadweep is the smallest union territories in terms of area as well as in population. Lakshadweep located off of the coast of Kerala in the Laccadive Sea. The total area is 32 km and Kavaratti is the capital with the largest city is Andreotti.

Lakshadweep is one of the growing tourist island in India as well as India’s one of the best tourism location for Adventure sports. Though some of the Islands of Lakshadweep are still inhabited and full of natural beauty, color reef and virgin beaches hence become one of the best honeymoon destinations in India.

Jammu and Kashmir

The state of Jammu and Kashmir is now geographically divided the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Kashmir Valley, Srinagar, and Jammu are the most popular places to visit in J&K. Image by confused_me from Pixabay

Ladakh

Ladakh is the land of high altitude mountain passes, now a union territory of India and home to world highest motorable roads like Umling La, Marsimik La, and Khardung La. The Government of India is also promoting tourism in Ladakh as well as in the Kashmir region and Siachen Glacier. Image source.

Tourist places in Alaska

The largest state in the U.S. at nearly 600,000 square miles, Alaska offers almost countless destinations to immerse yourself in stunning natural beauty, including glistening lakes and rugged coastline, mountains, glaciers, wildlife and more. The biggest problem comes with trying to decide where to go – to help, consider these especially spectacular places in Alaska.

Denali National Park and Preserve

This breathtaking national park contains over six million acres, filled with dazzling lakes and jagged mountains, including the tallest peak in North America, Mount Denali, for which the park was named. One of its must-experiences is the 92-mile Park Road. At Mile 15, you’ll need to take a shuttle or tour bus, as private vehicles aren’t allowed past that point. Once on, you can hop off and hop back on at just about any point along the way. In addition, taking in the magnificent scenery, you’ll have the chance to spot many of the park’s iconic animals like wolves, moose, caribou, grizzly and black bears. Dall’s sheep, spotted foxes, marmots, arctic ground squirrels, and red squirrels are often seen as well.

Juneau

Sitting on a hillside overlooking the Inside Passage, Juneau’s downtown area is nestled between Mount Juneau, Mount Roberts, and Gastineau Chanel. Its labyrinth of narrow streets run past a mix of old storefronts, new structures and charming houses with early 19th-century architecture, dating from its gold mining beginnings. Popular activities include whale watching tours providing a great way to see the wide variety of marine life like humpback and killer whales as well as Steller sea lions and Dall’s porpoise.

Juneau is also home to Mendenhall Glacier, located just a short drive from downtown. Adventure enthusiasts can kayak to the 12-mile-long glacier and then ice-climb to the caves inside. As the recent rising temperatures have caused the caverns to shrink to about a third of their original size, there have been dramatic shifts of color inside.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Located just west of Juneau, this park is another fine example of the state’s wild, majestic beauty. By staying at Glacier Park Lodge, you’ll have access to the best of it, with the chance to hike across the land or explore the waters via kayak. It’s a popular place for fishing, with the opportunity to fish the rivers for halibut and rainbow trout, and a variety of wildlife can be seen as well, including mountain goats and black bears.

Margerie Glacier, a tidewater glacier that starts on land and stretches out to the sea, has been retreating, so you’ll want to see it before its gone. The 21-mile-long and one-mile-wide glacier can only be accessed by air or water, but your reward is a pristine glacier with jewel-like blue ice – and, if you’re lucky, you might even be able to witness calving. This incredible natural phenomenon is accompanied by the booming sound of ice cracking and crashing into the water below.

Kodiak Island

Kodiak Island is famous for its fishing and its bears. A renowned fishing destination, it offers the chance to catch trout, halibut and five species of salmon. At the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, which protects a diverse 2,812-square-mile area with everything from alpine meadows and wetlands to rugged mountains, offers the chance to view bears. There are some 3,500 bears that live here, with some of the males weighing over 1,500 pounds and standing over 10 feet tall. As there are no roads in the refuge, visitors view the bears via air charters or an excursion from one of the many wilderness lodges.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Chitina

If you’re looking for extreme remote wilderness, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the place to go. The small town of Chitina, population 125, is the prime jumping-off point to Alaska’s largest national park at 13 million acres. It sits at the confluence of the mighty Copper River and the Chitina River, overshadowed by 16,390-foot-high Mount Blackburn. After its mine closed in the late 1930s, it was all but abandoned, but in 1980, with the creation of the park, it began serving as the main gateway for visitors who embark on McCarthy Road, which winds 60 miles east into the heart of the park. With habitats ranging from temperate rain forest to tundra, you’ll find an incredible diversity of animals as well, including moose which are often seen near willow bogs and lakes. Other species of large mammals include mountain goats, caribou, wolves, bison, black bears, and brown bears.

Truly get back to nature, with the time to admire the northern lights and discover glaciers, by staying at Ultima Thule Lodge – 100 miles from the nearest road, there is no cell service or the Internet, but you can spend your time gazing at some of the most jaw-dropping wilderness on Earth.

Ketchikan

Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s “first city” as it sits at the southern tip of the Inside Passage and is the first city cruise passengers see when heading north. If you’re a fan of the “Deadliest Catch,” you might want to take the Bering Sea Crab Boat Tour which was featured on the reality series. You’ll get a hands-on look at what it takes to haul up the crab, salmon, shrimp, and other sea creatures. Other outdoor adventures possible here include zip-lining between the soaring trees over salmon streams and wildlife, hiking to the top of Deer Mountain, flying over the Misty Fjords in a floatplane or just spending a few hours watching for whales, sea lions and other signs of sea life along the shore. In town, discover an award-winning arts scene, live music and theater, a host of shops, fantastic eateries and more

Seward

If you’re looking for a town that offers a little bit of everything Alaska has to offer, you might want to head to Seward. It’s easy to reach via a scenic drive on the Seward Highway from Anchorage, which winds through the spectacular Alaskan wilderness offering dramatic views of the shorelines of Turnagain Arm, the towering, craggy peaks of the Chugach Mountains, waterfalls, azure-colored glaciers, and glistening valley lakes. Just some of the wildlife you might spot along the way include moose, eagles, and bears. As you reach Seward, the pristine waters of Resurrection Bay, home to humpback whales, orcas, harbor seals, porpoises, otters and sea lions, come into view. And, as you look up, bald eagles can be seen soaring through the sky or perched atop a tree.

Rent a kayak or take a water taxi to check out some of the secluded coves around the bay that are ideal for beachcombing, or paddle to tidewater caves, bird rookeries, and sea lion hangouts. You can also take a mile-long walk on the beach or hike the five-mile coastal trail to Caines Head, known as one of the top hikes in the state.

Homer

As you reach Homer, an amazing panorama of snowy peaks, dramatic mountains, glaciers, and the famous Homer Spit, a long strip of land jutting into a brilliant blue bay, all await. Homer is an “artsy,” town, with a reputation as the cultural capital of Southcentral Alaska, hosting numerous art galleries and museums, as well as a live theater and music venues, along with fine restaurants and coffee bars on every corner.

Homer Spit offers beachcombing, fishing and bird watching, with more bald eagles than you can count, and just across the bay is Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park, a 350,000-acre paradise of glaciers, mountains, protected coves for paddling and an extensive trail system to explore on foot. Kayakers, backpackers, and campers hop on water taxis and to escape the bustle of Homer to an idyllic wilderness.

Chugach State Park, Anchorage

Chugach State Park is the state’s most easily accessible wilderness area, with many of its trailheads just minutes from downtown Anchorage. The country’s third-largest state park at 9,000 square miles, with magnificent terrain that’s popular for hiking, rafting, biking, ATVing, kayaking, and fishing. Rent a yurt near the Eagle River and watch the spawning salmon in the summer. As the historic Iditarod Trail makes its way through this area, it’s a good spot for watching the famous dog-sledding race too. And, at Beluga Point, you can watch for pods of the always-grinning white whales.

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords is located near Seward, offering 607,000 acres of snow, ice, long fjords and hundreds of tranquil bays and coves, as well as lots of wildlife, including harbor seals, Steller sea lions, sea otters, moose, black bears, wolverines, mountain goats, and coyotes. Snow and ice cover 60 percent of the park, and lining the edge is its crown jewel, the vast 936-square-mile Harding Icefield. It feeds nearly three dozen glaciers flowing out of the mountains, as a vestige of the massive ice sheet that covered much of Alaska in the Pleistocene era.

Park adventures include Activities include kayaking, camping, fishing, beachcombing, biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, boat tours, flightseeing, mountaineering and more.

Fairbanks

Fairbanks is renowned as one the very best places to watch the northern lights in the U.S. At the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, you can even get forecasts on aurora viewing conditions. To get a good look at the stunning light display, you’ll need to get away from city lights and into the vast wilderness. Chena Resort is considered a great place to do just that, where guests can marvel at the display from a hot spring. If you’re worried about missing it while you sleep, the resort offers alerts to guests when the lights appear via the aurora alarm service. You can also enjoy other activities, including a visit to its Aurora Ice Museum, the world’s largest year-round ice environment, as well as join dog-sledding tours or flight-seeing excursions

Talkeetna

Talkeetna sits in the shadows of Mount Denali. This small town founded at the height of a gold rush now draws visitors in the summer for its fabulous fishing on three rivers that converge here, as well as kayaking and four-wheeling. During the winter months, it’s a popular spot for snowmobiling, dog sledding, and nordic skiing. Walk around town and you can enjoy the historic buildings that stand to a testament to local craftsmanship, having endured a century of Alaskan weather. Today, they’re filled quaint shops, local breweries, restaurants and more.

Sitka

Sitka, located on Baranof Island, on the southern tail of Alaska, can only be reached by air or sea, which makes getting there an adventure of itself. It’s the only Inside Passage community that fronts the Pacific Ocean, hugging the west shore of the island in the shadow of the impressive Mount Edgecumbe, a dormant volcano with a cone reminiscent of Mount Fuji in Japan. There are 22 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places right downtown, along with plenty of restaurants, unique local shops, and art galleries.

Thanks to its incredible natural landscape, visitors can enjoy kayaking, fishing, whale watching and hiking on trails that begin in the lush rain forest that surrounds Sitka, with many ending high in the surrounding mountains.

Skagway

Once the gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush, Skagway was filled with treasure seekers out to make their millions back in the day. Today, It offers the chance to experience days gone by on the Alaskan frontier. If you want to delve into its history, taking a self-guided walking tour narrated by a Skagway local, Buckwheat Donahue, well-known for being a captivating storyteller, entertainer, historian, and adventurer, is the best way to do it.

Misty Fjords National Monument

Be sure to check out the old cemetery which holds remains of outlaws, gold miners, and local legends, and pops into one of the honky-tonk piano bars for a drink. Of course, you can enjoy plenty of outdoor adventures too. Hardcore enthusiasts can hike the Chilkoot Pass Trail, the only long trail traverse in Southeast Alaska, crossing through the Coastal Mountains from Skagway to Canada, while others can enjoy flight-seeing, kayaking, rafting, dog-sledding and more.

The Misty Fjords National Monument is located 22 miles east of Ketchikan and is the largest wilderness area in the state’s national forests, with its 2.3 million acres spread across the Tongass National Forest. It’s filled with rock walls that rise 3,000 feet from the ocean, steep fjords, and sea cliffs. Living up to its name, there is almost always precipitation in the area, which means the monument is covered with dense rain forests that grow on practically vertical slopes from sea level to the mountain peaks, while dramatic waterfalls can be seen tumbling throughout the landscape.

The best way to explore the region’s fjords is by kayak, although sightseeing flights and boat excursions are available too. However you choose to see it, you’ll have the chance to view some of the area’s wildlife, from killer whales and Dall porpoise in the water to black bear, moose, marten, wolf and mountain goats on land.

Nome

Just 190 miles from the Siberian coast, Nome is most famous as the end of the Iditarod Trail. But it’s also home to active gold mines and wonderful backcountry roads across the tundra. It’s a fabulous place that blends the state’s gold rush history with Inupiat Eskimo culture and lots of unique wildlife.

While it can only be reached by air or sea, once you’re there you’ll be able to get out on the 350 miles of roads that connect to other Seward Peninsula communities, viewing coastal plains and majestic mountains along the way. Artifacts from the gold rush can be seen at nearly every turn, from old mining claims to decaying trestles and even turn-of-the-century steam engines. Some of its resident wildlife to be on the lookout for include reindeer and musk oxen that tend to graze right off the side of the road. Moose, bears, wolves, fox, and wolverine roam the area too.

Yakutat

The small village of Yakutat which sits on beautiful Monti Bay is a popular destination for steelhead and salmon fishermen, but surprisingly, it offers a whole lot more than that, including incredible beaches with big-wave surfing and towering glaciers. In fact, this remote town made a name for itself in the late 1990s as the first Alaska town with a surf shop. If you’re into beachcombing, you’ll love the miles of unspoiled, sandy beaches abound with driftwood and occasional glass balls.

There are some gorgeous hiking trails in and around the village, including a challenging trek to Situk Lake and an easy hike to Russell Fjord. Like many other Alaska destinations, the area is teeming with wildlife, including brown bears, eagles, and moose on land, while humpback, gray, orca, beluga, and minke whales can be spotted on Yakutat Bay as well as harbor porpoises, harbor seals and sea otters.

Tourist Places in California

The Golden State gets its name for a reason. California’s diverse cultural and geographical offerings, vibrant cities and critically acclaimed culinary scenes are truly the gold standard for travelers. Whether you’re hiking the trails in one of the state’s many scenic parks, sampling some bubbly in the northern valleys, kicking back on sunny, southern shorelines or walking where stars once stood, California is truly a sight to behold. U.S. News took into account expert opinion and traveler sentiment to determine the best places to visit in California. Have a favorite? Vote below to help influence next year’s list.

Yosemite

One of California’s most formidable natural landscapes, Yosemite National Park features nearly 1,200 square miles of sheer awe: towering waterfalls, millennia-old Sequoia trees, striking, daunting cliff faces and some of the most unique rock formations in the United States. But despite its enormous size, most of the tourist activity takes place within the 8-square-mile area of Yosemite Valley. Here you’ll find the park’s most famous landmarks – Half Dome and El Capitan – as well as excellent hiking trails through the natural monuments. Even inexperienced hikers can enjoy Yosemite: Guided tours and climbing lessons are available from local adventure outfitters. Just don’t expect to experience it by yourself. Like so many other American tourist destinations, crowds are the biggest obstacles to an enjoyable Yosemite vacation – approximately 4 million people visit each year. But if you go at the right time (and start your day a little earlier than usual), Mother Nature’s wonders will reveal themselves to you in a miraculous and serene way.

San Francisco

A jumbled collage of colorful neighborhoods and beautiful views, San Francisco draws those free-spirited types who have an eye for edgy art, a taste for imaginative cuisine and a zeal for adventure. It’s really not surprising that songwriter Tony Bennett left his heart here: The city boasts jaw-dropping sights, world-class cuisine, cozy cafes and plenty of booming nightlife venues – there’s no shortage of ways to stay busy here. Spend an hour or two sunning yourself alongside sea lions on the bay, admiring the views of the city from Twin Peaks, or strolling along the Marina. And for the quintessential San Franciscan experience, enjoy a ride on a cable car or hop on a boat tour for a cruise beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

Often described as Los Angeles’ more refined northern cousin, cool and compact San Francisco takes the big-city buzz exuded by its southern counterpart and melds it with a sense of small-town charm. Here, you’ll discover a patchwork of culture flourishing throughout San Francisco’s many vibrant quarters. Follow the crowds to the touristy Fisherman’s Wharf area (which offers spectacular views of Alcatraz) before heading along the bay to the Presidio for a glimpse of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. But don’t forget to save time for the Mission District, the Haight and the Castro for exposure to all of the different varieties of the San Francisco lifestyle. And when you’re ready for a break from the city, join one of San Francisco’s best wine tours for a relaxing day trip.

San Diego

Consistently sunny weather and 70 miles of magnificent coastline are what draw active types and sun-seekers alike to San Diego throughout the year: that and the mouthwatering Mexican cuisine, thriving nightlife and one of the country’s favorite zoos. And then there are the beaches: Retreat to Mission Beach to catch a wave, to La Jolla to soak up the sun and to Coronado for a leisurely seaside stroll. When you’re ready to ditch your flip-flops and board shorts for more formal attire, you’ll find pockets of vivacious nightlife throughout, especially near the historical Gaslamp Quarter.

Lake Tahoe

Incredible, extraordinary, mind-boggling … try as you might, you’ll have difficulty finding words that do justice to the sheer beauty of Lake Tahoe. Resting on the California-Nevada border, Lake Tahoe has long been a favorite vacation spot, welcoming upward of 2.7 million people a year. Visitors are drawn here by the steep granite cliff sides and towering mountaintops, as well as the crystal-clear waters that have earned Lake Tahoe the reputation of being one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the United States. While the stunning blue lake alone is worth a trip, the surrounding area, also known as Lake Tahoe, boasts miles of hiking trails, dozens of picture-perfect vistas and some of the best skiing in North America.

But wait – there’s more. Lake Tahoe seems to have adopted the major traits of its neighbors. You’ll find San Francisco-style high-end shopping and dining along the lake’s north shore, while opportunities to test your luck reside in the south shore’s Reno-Esque casinos. You’ll also find plenty of activities that Lake Tahoe is proud to take credit for, including mountain gondola rides, hot air balloon adventures and scenic cruises across the mirror-like water.

Monterey

The Monterey Peninsula is different than any other part of California. Here, time slows, the architecture is humble (with the exception of the homes in Pebble Beach), and the lifestyle is the perfect synthesis of SoCal laid back and NorCal sophisticated. On the northern side of the peninsula, the town of Monterey draws most of the tourists, while farther south, Carmel-by-the-Sea lures the easygoing wealthy set. Tremendous price tags on real estate help maintain the small-community atmosphere along Monterey’s jaw-dropping coastline.

This area makes for a tremendous road-trip stop or romantic weekend stay. And did we mention the golf courses? This stretch of the California coastline boasts some of the most coveted fairways in the world. Add to that an abundance of natural wonders, luxury resorts, and seafood restaurants, and Monterey might just be the ideal destination for your next getaway.

Big Sur

Big Sur is not just a destination, it’s a state of mind. Stretching 90 miles between Monterey Bay and San Simeon on the west coast of central California, Big Sur’s remote location, peaceful nature, and incomparable beauty entice visitors to change gears, both figuratively and literally. Pacific Coast Highway, which was built less than 100 years ago, is the main road that runs through the region and becomes the most scenic in Big Sur. Sitting high above the surf, the highway clings to the edge of the area’s cliffs, providing spectacular views as it weaves in and out of the seemingly endless coastline. Driving conditions aside, Big Sur’s calming culture is contagious and has been known to attract minds of all kinds seeking inspiration, refuge or transformation. It was Jack Kerouac who took off to Big Sur in search of inner peace, as recounted in his novel “Big Sur.” Fellow writer Henry Miller called Big Sur the first place he felt at home in America, later penning the memoir “Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch.” Since then, countless musicians, artists, writers, and photographers have chronicled Big Sur’s powerful presence in their work, yet travelers say its grandeur remains indescribable.

Today, Big Sur draws millions of visitors every year, but it still hasn’t lost its sense of place. Independent art galleries dot the highway, sharing space with wellness retreats and cliffside eateries. But the diverse landscape trumps all of the area’s amenities by a landslide, with state parks and beaches reigning supreme as the main attractions. Mountains, beaches, rivers, valleys, creeks, coves, wildflowers and wildlife linger at every turn. That is if you can find them. Some of Big Sur’s natural attractions are intentionally unmarked to preserve the sense of seclusion that the region is so famous for. Some areas, believe it or not, still don’t have electricity. Big Sur, however, is meant to be an experience rather than just a typical vacation. So kick back, unwind, and open your eyes and ears to the sights and sounds of Big Sur.

Napa Valley

After a visit to Napa Valley in the 1880s, writer Robert Louis Stevenson pronounced, “Wine is bottled poetry.” You’ll see this quote as you pass the area’s landmark sign on Highway 29. Unfortunately, Stevenson was referring to French wine — what Napa vintners should aspire to. But as the film “Bottle Shock” documents, California wineries have since risen to the level of their European predecessors. Now, both connoisseurs and amateurs savor the respected vintages from Napa. Whatever your level of expertise, a guided tour can help you make the most of your time here.

With its rise in the wine industry, Napa Valley has also become a vacation hot spot. The tiered hillsides, wine caverns, and illustrious estates make for stellar scenery, and top-class hotels are taking note. Scattered between the vineyards, sumptuous resorts cater to every indulgence — golfing, spa pampering, gourmet dining, you name it. A trip to California wine country is made unforgettable by not only the life-changing cabernet but also the intoxicating natural setting. And if you can afford it, you’ll be back for more.

Sequoia National Park

Home to some of the tallest trees in the world, Sequoia National Park is a humbling place to visit. With the magnificent trees towering hundreds of feet above you, it’s easy to feel small in comparison. Located about 80 miles east of Fresno, California, in the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range, the park was established in 1890 as a measure to protect the giant trees from being logged, making it America’s second national park. The adjacent Kings Canyon National Park was formed in 1940 and eventually, both parks became linked together.

Highlights of the park are, of course, the trees, including the General Sherman Tree, the world’s largest tree, standing 275 feet tall with a base more than 36 feet in diameter. But there is plenty to see and do, from exploring caves to hiking to snowshoeing. What’s more, the park is open every day of the year and each season holds its own charms.

Santa Monica

Situated about 15 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica easily stands alone as its own destination. This beachfront city is equipped with ample hotels, restaurants, and shops in addition to its star attractions: Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier and the beach. After a day of fun in the sand or at the popular Third Street Promenade, visit Palisades Park for an unforgettable Southern Californian sunset.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles both confirms and dismantles all of its stereotypes. Sure, it’s a sprawling metropolis with eternally congested freeways, but it also contains one of the most diverse and unique sets of neighborhoods in the United States. La-La Land is filled to the brim with the glamour of chic Hollywood name brands and movie set backdrops, yet it’s also home to renowned art galleries like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and architectural masterpieces like the Getty Center. The world’s visual entertainment empire, LA offers tourists behind-the-scenes looks into the world of filmmaking and television broadcasting at studios like Paramount Pictures Studios and Warner Bros. Studio. What’s more, the City of Angels features some of the country’s most eclectic cuisine and dozens of highly acclaimed restaurants. Away from the revitalized downtown area, the Malibu and Santa Monica beaches provide sun, sand, and surfing, while Venice Beach offers close-ups of the city’s most unique residents. Additional outdoor pursuits like hiking can be found at Griffith Park and Angeles National Forest.

At more than 500 square miles, Los Angeles is massive and touring it can be exhausting – but that doesn’t deter visitors. The area is one of the most visited in the country, especially between June and October when thousands of travelers use their summer vacations to experience as many LA attractions as possible. But the key to a successful LA vacation is simple: Plan ahead. Pick a few areas that best suit your interests and needs, or take a guided tour if you want a little more assistance. Then all that’s left to do is explore, explore, explore.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs, centered in the Southern California desert, is far from being a dried-up destination. This city once lured the likes of heartthrob crooner Frank Sinatra and rock ‘n’ roll legend Elvis Presley. In fact, the King even took up residence here in the late 1960s, honeymooning with Priscilla and later having their daughter, Lisa Marie. In the ’60s, glamorous piano bars and retro storefronts lined the vibrant streets of the desert town, which is beautifully bookended by the San Jacinto Mountains.

When Elvis and Sinatra left, the city lost some of its spirits. But today, Palm Springs is experiencing a resurgence of sorts. After all, its desert scenery and colorful sunsets are the same as they were 50 years ago. And its pools, spas, and nightclubs are attracting a wide swath of travelers, from seniors to hipsters to LGBT couples. Plus, the surrounding Coachella Valley has blossomed with interesting things to do, from The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens to the Coachella Valley Preserve. But if you want a true Palm Springs experience, you should take it easy, whether by the pool or in a trendy bar. In short, you won’t regret a visit to this California city. If Palm Springs passed muster for the King and Ol’ Blue Eyes, then it should be a great mix of fun and relaxation for everyday travelers as well.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is the perfect destination if you’re looking for a small town, Southern California experience. Situated between LA and San Diego, Laguna Beach offers an array of scenic beaches both big and small, remote and central that’ll keep visitors occupied for days. Main Beach and Crescent Bay are a couple of local favorites, though travelers also highly recommend taking a trip to the wild shores of Crystal Cove State Park. For a break from the sun, pop into one of downtown’s art galleries or boutiques.

Anaheim-Disneyland

Many vacationers come to Anaheim for Disneyland Resort. A plaque at the entrance of the park reads: “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy,” and for more than 50 years, this complex of amusement parks and hotels has remained a fun fantasy world. Even if you’ve been to other Disney resorts, nothing beats the original’s unique place as a vintage landmark in the heart of Southern California. This vibrant park is still a great place for families – in fact, your kids will most likely have so much fun with Mickey and friends that they’ll never want to leave. And with plenty of thrilling rides and a bustling entertainment district, you might not want to leave either. Plus, the park’s newest themed land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, brings a whole new dimension to the park.

But Disneyland isn’t the only thing luring visitors to this Southern California city. There are other (more affordable) theme parks like Knott’s Berry Farm and Adventure City, the picturesque Yorba Regional Park, and even an “angelic” baseball stadium. When you need a break from the crowds, simply hop in your car and drive west to the coast: the shorelines of Long Beach, Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach are all within about 25 miles of Anaheim.

Sonoma

TNCDT0215A GLEN ELLEN, OLEA HOTEL

Sonoma, a county in Northern California known for its bucolic charms and array of wineries, could also be described as Napa’s rustic, less-refined and more-relaxed sister. Its rolling hills, which rise into the Sonoma Mountains and descend to the Pacific shore, also contain a cache of small cities that are worth a visit: Try Santa Rosa for an urban escape, complete with museums and buzzy restaurants, but pop by Glen Ellen for a slice of small-town Americana. In short, if you want a laid-back introduction to stellar vintages and gorgeous properties, Sonoma – rather than Napa – should be your California wine country destination.

Huntington Beach

Nicknamed Surf City USA, this Orange County beach offers some of the country’s best waves. It is home to the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing (the world’s largest surfing competition) and has a rich surfing history and culture. After visitors learn more about the sport at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum, they can enjoy views of the water as they walk along the Huntington Beach Pier or sip cocktails at an oceanfront lounge. Families should save time for shopping and playing at the weekly Surf City Nights Street Fair.

Santa Barbara

In the early 20th century when Flying “A” Studios opened its doors, Santa Barbara was slated to become the epicenter of America’s movie-making industry. But the movie stars moved south to Los Angeles, and today’s Santa Barbarans wouldn’t want it any other way. On the “American Riviera,” Santa Barbara aspires for casual yet fashionable elegance. Just take a look at the well-dressed pedestrians on state Street to comprehend the city’s understated indulgence. And although some of America’s budget-friendly favorites – like Motel 6 and the McDonald’s Egg McMuffin – have their origins here, Santa Barbara’s boutique shops and world-class resorts have a reputation for making a dent in your vacation savings. If you can afford the price tag, this quiet, seaside paradise might just be the ideal California retreat for you.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park established as a national monument in 1936 and then later as a national park in 1994, sprawls across approximately 800,000 acres. Joshua Tree is a deserted wilderness, with few facilities or services, however, those very reasons draw nearly 3 million yearly visitors. Located just outside Palm Springs, California, and about 140 miles east of Los Angeles, the desert park is actually made up of two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and Colorado.

The stark and sometimes surreal landscape, shaped by fierce winds and rains, is famous for its Joshua trees. Still, a wide variety of other plants and animals call the park home, including bighorn sheep, coyotes, and jackrabbits. Joshua Tree is also a magnet for rock climbers, as there are more than 8,000 established climbing routes scattered throughout the park. In the springtime, large swaths of wildflowers become a big draw for many visitors. Plus, the incredibly clear night sky, unpolluted by artificial lights, make the park a great place to stargaze.

Venice Beach

2017 Venice Beach Neptune Festival. Photo sponsored by The Sidewalk Cafe. Photo by VenicePaparazzi.com. #VeniceBeachFun

Eclectic Venice Beach, one of LA’s most popular neighborhoods, is packed with things to do and see. The area features a vibrant local art scene, which you can get a taste of while checking out the Venice Art Walls. Plus, the beach offers top-notch conditions for surfing. But the highlight of any trip to Venice Beach is its boardwalk. Here, you can watch everyone from musicians and street performers honing their crafts to fitness buffs breaking a sweat at the outdoor workout facilities.

Sausalito

Travel north across the Golden Gate Bridge and you’ll discover Sausalito, a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco. This small town is best known for its laid-back atmosphere and colorful houseboats, some of which were built during World War II. The Bridgeway Promenade is where you’ll find the bulk of Sausalito’s shops, restaurants, and art galleries. And just south of the town center is where educational attractions like the Bay Area Discovery Museum and Fort Baker reside.

Malibu

Everyone from celebrities like Tom Hanks and Barbra Streisand to cultural icons (think: Barbie) has called this quintessential California beach townhome – and it’s easy to see why. Malibu’s gorgeous stretches of sand, such as Zuma Beach and Surfrider Beach, appeal to both sunbathers and surfers. The Malibu Pier is a great place to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the view. Away from the shore, visitors can see ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities at the Getty Villa or sample wines during a wine hike or a wine safari.

Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore’s 70,000-plus acres beckon to wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. This protected area off of Northern California’s coast offers ample opportunities to see hundreds of animal species, including elephant seals, gray whales and nearly 490 kinds of birds. Visitors can also explore various beaches, wander down to the Point Reyes Lighthouse and hike some of the area’s miles of trails, including the Earthquake Trail, which travels along the San Andreas Fault.

Mammoth Lakes

If you’ve never thought of California as a ski destination, Mammoth Lakes might change your mind. Nestled in the Eastern Sierra region, Mammoth Lakes is home to the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, the highest ski resort in the state. In winter, the region’s dozens of trails welcome skiers and snowboarders in droves. When the temperatures rise and the snow melts, vacationers can try other outdoor activities, such as hiking, rock climbing, and paddleboarding.

Kings Canyon National Park

Head to Kings Canyon National Park if you want to see more of California’s famous sequoias after visiting Yosemite and Sequoia national parks. The park’s most famous tree is the General Grant Tree, the second-largest tree in the world by volume. Named after former President Ulysses S. Grant in 1867, the tree has been lovingly called “the Nation’s Christmas Tree” since 1926. Aside from admiring Kings Canyon’s sequoias, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, and rock climbing, among other activities

San Luis Obispo

Located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo often serves as a stopping point during road trips between the two cities. But this small town is worth a longer stay. With art galleries, museums, parks and a central district filled with shops, SLO offers plenty to see and do. Looking to satisfy your taste buds? SLO is packed with highly regarded wineries, breweries, and restaurants and even hosts a popular farmers market every Thursday night.

Newport Beach

Newport Beach tends to conjure up images of glamour and sophistication (think: massive mansions, mega-yachts, and high-end shops). Places like Fashion Island – Newport Beach’s lavish open-air mall – and the lush Sherman Library & Gardens give you a taste of some of this luxury. But there is also a more laid-back side to this Southern California city. Quaint Balboa Island is the place to go for Newport Beach’s famous frozen bananas and offers family-friendly fun at the Balboa Fun Zone. And at the Wedge on the Balboa Peninsula, surfers and boogie boarders can catch gnarly waves.

Tourist places in New York

One of the greatest cities in the world, New York is always a whirlwind of activity, with famous sites at every turn and never enough time to see them all. Some people come here to enjoy the Broadway shows; others come specifically to shop and dine; and many come simply to see the sites: the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, historic neighborhoods, and numerous world famous museums. Many of the best places to visit in New York are within walking distance of each other, or just a short ride away, making this city a delight for sightseeing.

Some of the newer tourist attractions that have opened in New York in recent years, like the High Line and One World Observatory, offer unique perspectives of the city. Any time of year and any time of day or night there are an endless array of things to see and do in New York.

1. Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was France’s gift to America. Built in 1886, it remains a famous world symbol of freedom and one of the greatest American icons. It is one of the world’s largest statues, standing just under 152 feet tall from the base to the torch, and weighing approximately 450,000 pounds.

You can see the statue from land, with particularly good views from Battery Park, on the southern tip of Manhattan. However, to truly appreciate the Statue of Liberty, the best thing to do is to take a short boat trip to Liberty Island and see it up close. You can walk around the base, enter the pedestal, or, with advance reservations, go right up to the crown.

On a tour to the Statue of Liberty, you have the option to stop at Ellis Island and explore the Immigration Museum. This fantastic museum is located in the historic immigration station complex, where thousands of immigrants were processed before entering the United States. Displays focus on the process, the experiences, and the stories of the people who came through here on their journey to the United States. You can even search the on-site computer database to see a record of immigrants who came through here.

Tickets to go inside the statue sell out. Pr-purchasing tickets is a must during the high season and a good idea at any time of year. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Guided Tour is a four-hour trip that takes you to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. This tour allows early reserve line access to board the ferry, and includes access to the Pedestal Museum and the Museum at Ellis Island.

Note: Buying tickets at the ferry can be tricky, with hawkers claiming to be “official representatives” trying to sell you more expensive tickets before you can find the ticket booth.

2. Central Park

A walk, peddle, or carriage ride through the crisscrossing pathways of Central Park is a must-do on anyone’s New York City itinerary. In winter, you can even lace up your skates and glide across Wollman Rink. This huge park in the city center, a half-mile wide and 2.5 miles long, is one of the things that makes New York such a beautiful and livable city.

Besides being a great place to experience a little nature, Central Park has many attractions within its borders, and most of them are free, making it one of the few cheap things to do in NYC. Some of the most popular places to visit include the Belvedere Castle, Strawberry Fields, the Central Park Zoo, and the Lake. If you are exploring the park on your own, start by picking up a map at one of the visitor centers and plot your routing.

3. Rockefeller Center & Top of the Rock Observation Deck

When it comes to New York attractions, Rockefeller Center is on almost all tourist’s itineraries. This vast entertainment and shopping complex in the middle of Manhattan is home to NBC-TV and other media, but the centerpiece is the 70-story 30 Rockefeller Plaza, an Art De co skyscraper that offers awesome views over Manhattan from the famous Top of the Rock Observation Deck.

The “deck,” as it’s known, includes three floors, located on the 67th, 69th, and 70th floors. Indoor and outdoor viewing spaces offer spectacular views by day or night. You can buy a Top of the Rock Observation Deck Ticket in advance. These tickets come with a flexible voucher redemption policy, so you can change the date if your plans change or the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Skating on the outdoor skating rink at the base of the tower is one of the most popular things to do in winter in New York City and a fun activity for families and couples. The rink is typically open from October to April.

4. Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met, as it is commonly known, was founded in 1870, and is one of the most famous museums in the United States. The permanent collection of The Met contains more than two million works of art, spanning a period of 5,000 years.

Although the museum has three sites, the centerpiece is The Met Fifth Avenue. Highlights of the collection include American decorative arts, arms and armor, costumes, Egyptian art, musical instruments, photographs, and much more. Exhibitions bring some of the world’s most famous works to the public. If you are serious about your visit to the Met, consider a VIP: Empty Met Tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and see this incredible museum with just 25 people before it opens to the general public in the morning.

The Met Cloisters, located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan, is another extremely popular New York museum. This branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, housed in an outstanding structure, built around medieval cloisters, chapels, and halls, focuses on the medieval art and architecture of Europe.

5. Broadway and the Theater District

Attending a Broadway show is one of the top things to do in New York City. Considered the pinnacle of American theater, this is the place to see the latest shows and the long-running classics. Broadway usually refers simply to Broadway theater, which encompasses a large number of theater venues in the Theater District and along the street of Broadway. For the most popular shows, tickets should be purchased well in advance.

Schubert Alley is a famous pedestrian-only alley in the Theater District and home to two well-known playhouses: the Schubert on 221 West 44th Street and the Booth at 22 West 45th Street. Historically, aspiring actors would frequent Schubert Alley looking for opportunities to perform in a play sponsored by theater baron, Sam S. Schubert.

A Chorus Line played at The Schubert for a record 6,137 shows. The musical Oklahoma debuted in 1941 at the St. James playhouse just down the street. Other legendary places include Sandi’s restaurant, where many famous actors met, and the Music Box Theater, where Irving Berlin staged The Music Box Revue in 1921.

6. Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is one of New York’s most famous landmark buildings and key tourist attractions. The 381-meter-tall, 102-storey building was the tallest in the world until the 1 World Trade Center tower rose higher, 41 years later. Topped with a mooring mast for airships, the Empire State Building immediately became a landmark and a symbol for NYC when it opened in 1931.

There are actually two observatories atop the Empire State Building, but both offer astounding views. On clear days, you can see up to 80 miles, looking into the neighboring states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

The 86th Floor Observatory (1,050 feet) is the city’s highest open-air observation deck, and what most people are expecting to find when they go up the Empire State Building. If it feels familiar, it’s because this area has been featured in countless movies and TV shows. Reached by high-speed, automatic elevators, it has both a glass-enclosed area, which is heated in winter and cooled in summer, and spacious outdoor promenades on all four sides of the building. Views are incredible.

The Top Deck on the 102nd Floor stands 1,250 feet above the bustling streets below. While you are 16 store’s higher, the viewing area here is enclosed.

The line to go up the Empire State Building is almost always long, and during peak times, it can be ridiculous, making the whole experience more frustrating than it needs to be. It’s well worth buying the Empire State Building Ticket – Observatory and Optional Skip the Line Ticket that lets you bypass the lines. This is a flexible ticket, good for up to a year, so if the weather is bad, you can save the ticket and use it another day.

7. 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The World Trade Center’s twin 110-story towers once dominated the Manhattan skyline but were destroyed by suicide-piloted jetliners on September 11, 2001, with a tragic loss of life. Where the two towers of the World Trade Center once stood, now stand two square reflecting pools, each one acre in size. Known as the National September 11 Memorial, the area is a moving tribute to the almost 3,000 people killed as a result of attacks on September 11, 2001 and also the six people killed in the earlier World Trade Center bombing in February, 1993.

Surrounded by trees and grass, the pools are recessed, with water cascading over the sides and flowing into a seemingly bottomless square. These are the largest man made waterfalls in North America. Around the pools are bronze panels with the names of all those who were killed in the attacks.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum is located in an awesome, curving glass building, between the two pools. It features displays that include artifacts, photos, and videos, presenting the story of 9/11, as well as the aftermath and impacts. The building is constructed around the remnants of the World Trade Center and incorporates the old structures within the extraordinary new museum building.

The memorial and the museum are located on the south side of One World Trade Center, on Greenwich Street. Also worth seeing in this area, on the opposite side of Greenwich Street, is the eye-catching West field World Trade Center, which contains Locus Plaza. You can’t miss this building with its white fins and spaceship-like appearance. This is a public building with shops and high-end stores, but it’s worth popping in for a quick look at the architecture.

8. High Line

An exciting new attraction in New York City, the High Line is a former rail line that has been transformed into an urban walking trail above the city streets. This unique linear public park has been planted with a variety of plants and trees, many of which are native species. In spring many of these come into bloom. The park is lined with glass railings in most areas, giving it a natural feel, while still offering outstanding views of the city.

This oasis on Manhattan’s West Side runs from Gansevoort Street at the south end (just south of West 13th Street) to West 34th Street at the north end, running parallel to 10th Ave most of the way. You can access it at various points along the route, some of which offer stair access only, and others with elevator access.

Although the High Line is only about two to three stories above street level, the views of the city’s architecture and the lookouts over the streets offer a whole new perspective. Along the route are art installations, benches, and near the south end is a sitting area with bleacher-style seating and a glass wall looking out onto the city. The trail is heavily used, and on weekends it can be extremely busy, but without the surrounding traffic, it’s still a peaceful retreat.

You’ll find other interesting places to visit just off the High Line. The south section runs through the Meatpacking District, with plenty of trendy restaurants and fine dining. The southernmost access point is adjacent to the Whitney Museum of American Art, which is also worth a visit. If you hop off the High Line at the 16th Street access (elevator access), it’s just a short stroll to the popular Chelsea Market, located in a former Nabisco factory, where you’ll find restaurants and unique shops.

9. Times Square

Lined with huge, brilliantly lit billboards and screens, Times Square is the place to go in New York in the evening, but still exciting at any time of day. This is the location of New York’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations and the famous “ball drop” at midnight, when the square and surrounding streets are filled with people. Times Square is busy and perpetually crowded but has its own unique appeal. Bleachers set up at one end are a great place to take a break and appreciate the scene.

Formerly Longacre Square, Times Square was named in 1904 after the New York Times tower. The newspaper first posted current headlines along its moving sign, the first of its kind in the world, in 1928.

Address: Broadway and 7th Avenue, New York, New York

10. Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge, with its Gothic-shaped arches and suspension cables, is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks and has inspired generations of poets, songwriters, and painters. This historic bridge, spanning the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn, was completed in 1883 and was the world’s first steel suspension bridge. You can see it from many of the ferries, or the east side of Manhattan, but the best way to experience this icon is to take an hour and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

A wood plank walkway, only open to pedestrians and cyclists, runs above the lanes of traffic. If you are not up for walking the whole distance, at least go as far as the first pillar, where there is a viewing platform, and you can see one of the granite towers up close.

From the bridge are beautiful views over Manhattan, the East River, and beyond to the Statue of Liberty. Biking over the bridge is another option, but pedestrian traffic is often very heavy, and cycling can be slow and challenging on busy days. Be aware that the access to the bridge begins well back from the water’s edge.

11. Fifth Avenue

One of the most famous shopping streets in America, Fifth Avenue is New York’s premier shopping area, where many top designers have their flagship stores. Cartier, Tiffany, Berger-Goodman, the famous Apple Store Fifth Avenue, and of course Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as many others line this posh avenue. Even non-shoppers can enjoy a walk along Fifth Avenue. The best area runs from approximately the south end of Central Park to the New York Public Library, or more specifically, between 60th Street and 40th Street.

12. Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal, often called Grand Central Station, is a fantastic Beaux Arts building, and it’s definitely worth popping in to take a look at this famous landmark. The building first opened in 1913 as a terminal for the subway and train stations.

Outside, the 42nd Street colonnaded faces and the statuary on top are some of the key highlights. Inside, you can’t miss the Grand Staircase, where you can stop to gaze out over the concourse. The beautifully restored ceiling here shows a celestial scene. You’ll also find an extensive selection of retail shops and restaurants inside.

13. One World Observatory

At the top of the newly constructed One World Trade Center building, One World Observatory is an observation deck offering outstanding views from floors 100, 101, and 102, 1,776 feet above the city. The elevator to the top is part of the attraction. As you ascend, the surrounding panels show New York as it transformed over the years, from a rural landscape to the metropolis you see today.

This glass building, which can be seen from all over the city, is a unique structure on the Manhattan skyline, with angles that give it a very distinct appearance. If you stand near the base and look straight up, the tower appears pyramidal.

If you want to go up and see the view, you can buy a NYC One World Observatory Skip-the-Line Ticket to save you some time, but note, you will still need to clear security.

14. The Prick Collection

For ambience, the Prick Collection tops the list when it comes to New York City museums. Housed in an early 1900s mansion, the building and the original collection were donated by Henry Clay Rick, who had the mansion built to display his art collection.

The artwork, which includes a mix of paintings, porcelain, and furniture, is beautifully laid out in sixteen galleries. On display are works by Monet, Rembrandt, Bellini, El Greece, and many other famous artists. The collections are not laid out according to period, artist, or country, but in a more random fashion designed for enjoyment. Rooms surround a beautiful covered Garden Court, with tropical plants and a central pond.

15. New York Public Library

The New York Public Library’s main branch was designed by architects, Carr ere & Hastings, in the Beaux Arts style. The library, with its impressive rooms, is a prominent city attraction that has been featured in many movies and TV shows over the years.

Although colloquially known as the main branch, the proper name is actually the Stephen A. Schwarz man building. It opened in 1911 to immediate acclaim. An enormous library, the Main Reading Room alone stretches two city blocks, and the Periodicals Room holds 10,000 current magazines. The collection at this location is vast, to say the least.

Location: Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, New York

16. Wall Street

Stretching for eight city blocks from Broadway to South Street is the world famous Wall Street. This street and the surrounding area are home to some of the most important exchanges in the world, including the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ, and the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Also located nearby are the impressive Trinity Church and Federal Hall. Look for the bronze statue of Charging Bull at Bowling Green, on Broadway. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Financial District and a popular photo opportunity for visitors.

17. Radio City Music Hall

Lying in the shadow of Rockefeller Center is Radio City Music Hall, a famous entertainment venue and a designated city landmark. This 1932 Art Dec theater offers musical extravaganzas and films and is the home of the dance company, The Retrorocket.

The building was built and financed by the Rockefeller during the 1930s and contained the largest indoor theater in the world at the time. Today, the venue frequently hosts major events, including the Grammy Awards and Tony Awards. Its prominent marquee is hard to miss as it curves around the building and stretches down the block.

Address: 1260 6th Avenue, New York, New York

18. St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of New York’s finest examples of Gothic Revival, with its massive bronze doors, white marble facade, 330-foot spires, the Great Organ, rose window, bronze brainchild, 2,400 seating capacity, and the statue of Peta at the side of the Lady Chapel. With millions of visitors annually, the cathedral is a major destination for believers and tourists alike.

The building was erected in 1879 and has been carefully restored and maintained throughout its existence, including a $200-million renovation that was completed in 2016.

19. Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall opened in 1891 as New York’s first great concert hall. Musicians from Tchaikovsky, who conducted on opening night, to Leonard Bernstein and The Beatles have filled the hall. It is said to have some of the best acoustics in the world.

While the best way to enjoy the hall is to take in a performance, one of the best ways to learn about it is on a guided tour. The tour offers a comprehensive look at the hall, insight into the construction, and discusses some of the artists who have taken to the stage. Tours end at the Rose Museum.

20. Bryant Park

On a summer’s day, it’s hard to beat a leisurely afternoon at Bryant Park. The grounds feature monuments and gardens, and “Le Carrousel,” a popular carousel. A games area makes available chess boards, checkers, and backgammon boards for a small fee.

Bryant Park was a seedy area known for crime and a hangout for undesirables until 1989, when the city reclaimed it and turned it into a beautiful urban oasis. Locals have embraced this park, and today, it’s a pleasure to walk through. If you don’t want to play a game, it is still interesting to watch others playing. The park is located adjacent to the New York Public Library.

Tourist places in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is an authentic gateway to the west – a land of red dirt, where buffalo roam the plains and oil rigs pump riches. But the largest cities, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, also have a distinctly refined air, having been built on the proceeds of an early-1900s oil boom. Modern museums, galleries of international art, and lavish gardens all give the state a more cosmopolitan edge, but many tourists choose to experience Oklahoma with the simple pleasures of a road trip, and no highway is more iconic than the state’s stretch of Route 66.

1. Route 66

The full stretch of Route 66 runs from Chicago to Los Angeles, but the longest run of miles cuts diagonally through the state of Oklahoma. This OK length begins in the northeastern corner of the state and travels through Tulsa and Oklahoma City before crossing the border into Texas. Roadside attractions range from the historical, such as Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton and National Route 66 and Transportation Museum in Elk City, to the odd, like the Blue Whale of Tuscaloosa or Golden Driller in Tulsa. The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton is a great way to learn about the road’s history, with immersive experiences like a 1950s diner and changing exhibits that celebrate the Route 66 experience. Generally, sightseeing draws on Route 66 have a motor-head bent, such as drive-ins, motorcycle museums, and old-time filling stations, meaning that it’s avid road-trippers who most enjoy the journey.

2. Phil brook Museum of Art

Collections at the Phil brook Museum of Art include works from Africa, Asia, and Europe in a variety of media, as well as the work of American artists and craftspeople. This Italian Renaissance-style villa turned art museum sits on 23 acres of picturesque formal and informal gardens along Crow Creek. It has the elegance and wealth of oil-rich Tulsa in the 1920s, while the art collection has a decidedly international scope. When visiting the gardens, keep an eye out for the cats on rodent patrol and the bees who both pollinate and produce local honey which is sold in the gift shop seasonally. There is a second branch of the art museum located in downtown Tulsa.

3. Oklahoma City Zoo

Ambling pathways take visitors through many ecosystems at the Oklahoma City Zoo, from African plains to tropical jungles. The zoo and botanical gardens were established more than a century ago and have since nurtured 500 species of animals, including some endangered, as well as a grand garden landscape. Demonstrations and educational sessions are a highlight for families, whether it’s a giraffe feeding or elephant show. Other fun things to do include exploring the stingray touch tank, hopping on a train ride, or boating on the zoo’s lake.

4. University of Oklahoma

In Norman, on the southern fringes of Oklahoma City, the University of Oklahoma is home to many tourist attractions as well as strong sports programs. The school was established in 1890 and has since grown into a 3,000-acre campus. Draws include contemporary exhibits at the Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art and artifacts from worldwide civilizations (plus dinosaur bones) at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. For bibliophiles, the Belize Memorial Library is a lovely landmark structure dating to 1929.

5. Marland Estate Mansion

Marland Estate Mansion

Near the Kansas border to the north, Ponce City is another Oklahoma oil-boom town. The grand Marland Estate Mansion dates to 1928, ordered as a second home for millionaire oilman and 10th governor of Oklahoma, E. W. Marland. The palatial home has 55 rooms, including three kitchens, plus expansive grounds with a swimming pool, artist studio, and boathouse. Other historic museums within the estate include the Bryant Baker Gallery dedicated to the namesake sculptor and the Marland Oil Museum. For a look at the Marland’s earlier home, visit his smaller city residence (also in Ponce City) known as Marland’s Grand Home.

6. Museum of the Great Plains, Lawton

The Museum of the Great Plains in Lawton features hands-on and interactive natural history exhibits that unveil life in the west for Native Americans and pioneers. Venture outdoors to see a number of historic buildings, including a train depot, trading post, and schoolhouse. Also in Lawton, tourists can discover local culture at the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center, or tour The Holy City – an unusual collection of buildings constructed to look like Israel during the Biblical period.

7. Gil crease Museum

The Gil crease Museum in Tulsa presents an extensive art and history collection from the American West, exploring both frontier settlement and Native American cultures. Collections include art, historical manuscripts, and anthropological artifacts. The museum is set on 460 acres in the Osage Hills. Stunningly lush gardens cultivate 23 of those acres with thematic gardening styles, including pretty Victorian, colonial, per-Columbia, and pioneer landscapes.

8. Oklahoma City National Memorial

The 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murray Federal Building is poignantly remembered at this outdoor memorial and museum in Oklahoma City. Victims, survivors, and rescuers are honored within the grounds, which include a reflection pool, gardens, and symbolic sculptures. It’s become a landmark of the state capital. The nearby Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum recounts the tragic events felt across the nation.

9. Oklahoma Aquarium

Located in Jinks, just south of Tulsa, the Oklahoma Aquarium is renown for having the world’s largest collection of bullhead sharks. You can see them in the Shark Adventure exhibit, where you can watch these beautiful creatures glide gracefully from the walk-through glass tunnel. Other interesting exhibits include Extreme Fishes, Sea Turtle Island, Eco Zone, and Polynesian Reef, all of which showcase colorful and fascinating sea creatures from around the world. In addition to exotic species, the aquarium presents local marine life in the engaging Aquatic Oklahoma exhibit, where you can see a 120-year-old alligator snapping turtle.

10. Wroclaw Museum & Wildlife Preserve

Wroclaw Ranch covers 3,700 acres where American bison, longhorn cattle, and elk roam free on the wide-reaching landscape. Visitors can safely see and photograph these magnificent beasts from their vehicles. Also on the ranch grounds are a western-focused museum (exhibiting art and artifacts) and a rustic lodge. The preserve is a 20-minute drive southwest of Cartersville, which is also worth a visit to see Price Tower Arts Center – the only skyscraper constructed from renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs.

11. National Weather Center

Oklahoma State has some of the most severe weather occurrences of anywhere in the world, with powerful tornadoes, sky-splitting lightning, and searing heat. These extreme conditions are what makes a tour of the National Weather Center in Norman (south of the capital) so interesting. The guided session visits Oklahoma University’s School of Meteorology, as well as the Storm Prediction Center. Advance reservations are required. There is also an on-site café open to the public, and there is no admission charge to visit the weather center.

12. Cherokee Heritage Center

Harlequin has been the capital of the Cherokee Indian Nation since 1839, but the living history displays at the Cherokee Heritage Center explore even earlier times. Outdoor exhibits at Diligent recreate a 1710 Cherokee Village while the historic wooden buildings of Adams Corner Rural Village revive Cherokee life in the 1890s. Both are worth visiting to discover an unusual perspective on Native American history. Harlequin is located southeast of Tulsa, midway between Muskogee and the Arkansas border.

13. JM Davis Arms & Historical Museum

The collections at the Jim Davis Arms & Historical Museum in Oklahoma City include 50,000 items. The main exhibit is Davis’ massive private collection of more than 12,000 firearms that date as far back as the 14th century. Additional displays include Native American artifacts, authentic riding saddles, and spurs from the “Wild West” historic items. The museum also features a re-creation of the lobby from JM Davis’ Mason Hotel, as well as World War II memorabilia and information on local history. Outside, visitors can admire the collection’s largest piece, a U.S. Army M41 Walker Bulldog tank, circa 1950.

14. Myriad Botanical Gardens

Myriad Botanical Gardens provides an oasis in Oklahoma City’s downtown for residents, families, and tourists. The space and facilities are free to use, covering 15 acres with walking paths, a large lawn, and small lake. There is also a playground, an off-leash dog park, and a visitor center. The gardens include a children’s garden, ornamental gardens, and the impressive Crystal Bridge Conservatory. Here, visitors can explore the plants of two climates, the Tropical Wet Zone and the Tropical Dry Zone, and the desert plant area. Together, more than 750 species of plants are represented in lovely surroundings that include a waterfall and a bridge over the tropical forest from which visitors can get a bird’s-eye view.

15. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City began in 1955 as a “Hall of Fame” dedicated to American cowboys, and has grown to be the country’s foremost archives of Western art, artifacts, and cultural history. Galleries display a variety of Western art that includes painting and sculpture, as well as interactive exhibits about the people and culture of the Old West. Areas of focus include military and firearms, the tradition of rodeos and Western performers, and Native American culture. The museum also includes a replica of a western town, and hosts regular educational events. Parents can relax in the garden while the kids play and learn outdoors in a kid-sized Wild West that includes the Children’s Cowboy Corral.

Tourist Places in Tasmania

For those who haven’t visited Australia’s smallest state, Tasmania or “Tassie,” seems shrouded in mystique. Perhaps it’s the state’s far-flung location some 300 kilometers south of the Australian mainland across the stormy Bass Strait. Maybe it’s the vast expanses of windswept wilderness — almost half of Tasmania’s landmass lies in national parks and World Heritage Areas, with sparkling alpine lakes, wild rivers, and mist-cloaked peaks. Perhaps it’s the bizarre wildlife — from real-life Tasmanian devils to the extinct thylacine, the Tasmanian tiger. Or is it the haunting convict history and beautifully preserved heritage towns, which seem frozen in time? Today, this mystique lures more and more tourists who are discovering the island’s many jewels.

Shaped appropriately like a heart, Tasmania is also a foodie’s delight. Gloriously creamy cheeses, crisp fruits, and succulent seafood are just some of the mouthwatering local treats on offer, and hanging out at a waterfront cafe or restaurant is one of the top things to do in the port city of Hobart. Explore the state with our list of the top attractions in Tasmania.

1. Explore Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park

In the north of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park is the jewel in the crown of the state’s many natural wonders. Glacier-carved crags; glittering lakes; beech forests; alpine heathland; and jagged dolerite peaks, including 1,616-meter-high Mount Ossa (the highest point on the island), are some of its most breathtaking features. Hiking here is legendary. Favorite day walks include the Lake Dove Walk, with magnificent views of Cradle Mountain (1,545 meters), and the Weindorfer Walk, a six-kilometer circuit through dense forests.

The northern part of Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, is particularly beautiful. From the summit of Cradle Mountain, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the central highlands. The famous 80-kilometer Overland Track runs south from Cradle Valley to stunning Lake St. Clair, the deepest lake in Australia.

If you’re based in Hobart and want to explore this magnificent national park, as well as some of the state’s other top natural attractions, the budget-priced five-day Best of Tasmania tour from Hobart takes care of all the details. As well as Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, you’ll experience the wonders of Wineglass Bay, the Tarkine rain forest, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Bay of Fires, with optional add-ons, like a cruise on the Gordon River.

2. Hobart

In a beautiful setting between the sea and the soaring peak of kunanyi/Mount Wellington, Tasmania’s capital has transformed itself from a sleepy backwater with a turbulent convict history to a hub of cutting-edge culture. Opened in 2011, MONA: Museum of Old and New Art pushes the art world envelope with its provocative and confronting exhibits, while the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery takes a more traditional look at the country’s art, as well as its natural history. Foodies will also find plenty to smile about. The city’s waterfront precinct buzzes with hip cafes and restaurants, and you can eat around the world on the restaurant strip in North Hobart.

For a glimpse at the city’s convict history, visit the Hobart Convict Penitentiary and explore the historic sandstone warehouses at Salamanca Place, now filled with shops, cafes, and antique dealers. From here, you can also follow the Battery Point Sculpture Trail to see elegant convict-built architecture.

Natural attractions are also never far away from the city buzz. Climb kunanyi/Mount Wellington to really appreciate Hobart’s picturesque setting and gaze out at the World Heritage wilderness in the distance.

3. Port Arthur Historic Site

The old convict settlement of Port Arthur, about an hour’s drive southeast of Hobart offers a sobering look at Tasmania’s turbulent past. The ruins are part of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. Here, in 1830, Governor Sir George Arthur established a brutal penal settlement where convicts were forced to hew coal in the mines and fell timber.

In spite of a devastating fire in 1897, the remains of many buildings still stand, including the guard tower, church, model prison, and hospital. You can also browse fascinating documents and relics of the penal settlement in the museum, visit the nearby Coal Mines Historic Site, or join an evening lantern-lit “ghost tour” of the ruins. After touring Port Arthur, take a drive along the coast to explore the soaring sea cliffs and sheltered coves of the spectacular Tasman peninsula.

4. Freycinet National Park

World Heritage-listed Freycinet National Park, on Tasmania’s relatively sunny east coast, is one of Australia’s oldest nature reserves and one of its most beautiful. The star of this picturesque peninsula is the perfect curve of powder-white sand and azure sea at Wineglass Bay — one of the top beaches in Australia. A lookout provides the best views. Take the 20-minute walk from the lookout to the southern end of Wineglass Bay to admire beautiful views of the Hazards, three striking pink granite crags rising out of the sea. The peaks are best photographed at sunrise and sunset when their color deepens in the golden light.

Throughout the park, hiking trails wind through pristine bushland to secluded bays and lookouts, and birding is fantastic — black cockatoos, kookaburras, and sea birds are just some of the resident species. At the entrance to Freycinet National Park, the little beach resort of Coles Bay is a good base for walks and climbs in the surrounding hills, and you can also explore the entire region on the East Coast Escape scenic drive.

5. See the Views from kunanyi/Mount Wellington

Undulating to the west of Hobart, the comforting presence of 1,270-meter-high kunanyi/Mount Wellington is a constant reminder of the unspoiled wilderness that lies on the doorstep of this waterfront capital. Follow a winding 21-kilometer mountain road to the Pinnacle, often sprinkled with snow, for breathtaking views over Hobart, the Derwent Valley, and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. At the summit, boardwalks lead to panoramic viewpoints, and a pavilion displays old photographs of Hobart and Mount Wellington.

The mountain is a popular spot for biking and hiking through the temperate rain forests, and the distinctive Organ Pipes, a dolerite cliff, is renowned for its excellent rock climbing. Standing atop the summit and admiring the sweeping views is one of the best free things to do in Tasmania, but dress warmly as the weather here is notoriously fickle.

6. Tasman National Park

On the wind-lashed Tasman Peninsula, 56 kilometers east of Hobart, Tasman National Park protects some of Australia’s most spectacular coastal scenery. If you look at a map of Tasmania, this park cloaks the far southeast tip of the state, with nothing but ocean between here and Antarctica. It’s a place of raw beauty. Towering dolerite cliffs plunge 300 meters to the sea, islands shimmer just offshore, waterfalls tumble to the sea, and contorted rock formations bear witness to the relentless forces of wind and water.

The Blowhole and Tasman Arch are two of the park’s most famous features. Other top sites include Remarkable Cave, Waterfall Bay, and the Devil’s Kitchen — a collapsed rock arch.

Wildlife also scores top billing here. Apart from many species of rare birds, the area plays host to Australian fur seals, dolphins, whales, fairy penguins, and possums. A popular way to explore this stunning national park is by hiking the Three Capes Track (see below).

You can also explore some of the top attractions by car or hop aboard a boat to glimpse the soaring cliffs from sea level, or cast a line — fishing can be excellent here. In the southern end of the park, climbers scale the dolerite cliffs, and Pirate’s Bay is popular with hang-gliders. Nearby lies the World Heritage-listed Port Arthur, one of Australia’s most poignant historic sites.

7. Hike the Three Capes Track

Starting and ending in World Heritage-listed Port Arthur, the stunningly scenic Three Capes Track slices through more than 48 kilometers of awe-inspiring wilderness in Tasman National Park. A boat delivers you to the trailhead from Port Arthur, where you’ll walk along the edge of the continent, with breathtaking views of the Tasman Sea from the cliff-top trail.

Along the way, you’ll walk through pristine eucalyptus forests and windswept heathland; see spectacular dolerite columns rising from the sea; encounter wildlife like wombats, wallabies, and echidnas; and stay in comfy eco-friendly cabins.

Every hiker receives a guidebook with maps and notes about the journey, as well as stories to read as they sit on strategically placed benches along the track. This four-day, three-night hike is suitable for all levels of hikers — even children — and is one of the best things to do in Tasmania in spring, fall, or summer, although hardy hikers could also tackle it in winter if they dress appropriately.

8. Cataract Gorge, Launceston

A mere 15-minute stroll along the river from Launceston’s city center, the wild and romantic Cataract Gorge is a deep chasm carved over many centuries by the South Esk River. Precipitous walking paths, first built in the 1890s, cut into the cliff face on both sides of the gorge, offering heart-stopping views of the river far below.

The less adventurous can hop aboard the world’s longest single-span chairlift, while the Kings Bridge and Gorge Restaurant also afford fine views. On the south side, you can relax at a café and paddle in the bush-fringed swimming pool. At Cliff Grounds on the northern side, lies a beautiful Victorian garden replete with ferns, strutting peacocks, and wallabies. River cruises offer another perspective of this popular attraction.

9. Salamanca Place

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Salamanca Place, with its lovingly restored sandstone buildings, is a tourist hub in the heart of Hobart’s historic waterfront. Built by convicts between 1835 and 1860, these beautiful Georgian buildings were once warehouses along the commercial center of old Hobart. Today, they house art galleries, cafés, restaurants, and shops.

You can dine alfresco along this cobblestone strip; shop for antiques and souvenirs; or visit the galleries, performing arts venues, and ateliers of the Salamanca Arts Centre. Every Saturday, tourists and locals alike flock to the Salamanca Markets, where more than 300 vendors sell everything from handcrafted jewelry and woodwork to fresh produce.

Nearby Constitution Dock is a favorite spot to buy fresh seafood, and one of the most popular things to do in December here is watching the yachts cruise in after the iconic Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. From Salamanca Place, you can also descend Kelly Steps to Battery Point, a picturesque seaside suburb with heritage houses.

10. Bruny Island

About 55 minutes from Hobart by car and ferry, Bruny Island is a popular day trip from the city for foodies and nature buffs. The island lies across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel from the seaside town of Kettering. It’s famous for its delectable gastronomic treats, such as handmade chocolates, local berries, artisan cheeses, and succulent seafood, which you can sample on island tasting tours. South Bruny National Park, on the island’s southern tip, offers beautiful coastal scenery with soaring green sea cliffs, sheltered beaches, and challenging surf breaks.

You can explore the park on an eco-cruise or hike the many nature trails. Keep an eye out for wildlife. Fur seals and fairy penguins swim offshore, and wombats, wallabies, and echidnas are some of the more charismatic land animals. Built by convicts between 1836 and 1838, Cape Bruny Lighthouse offers beautiful views of the surging Southern Ocean.

11. Mona Museum and Art Gallery

Cutting edge and controversial, the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart has made a splash on the Aussie art scene since it opened in 2011. Its Tasmanian owner, David Walsh, described the thought-provoking collection of art and antiquities as a “subversive adult Disneyland.”

After entering the museum’s foyer at ground level, art lovers descend a spiral staircase to a subterranean gallery, where exhibits range from Sidney Nolan’s Snake to an Egyptian sarcophagus and a machine that turns food into brown sludge. Portable touch screen devices provide commentary on the works.

Also on-site are entertainment venues, a trendy restaurant, library, cinema, and accommodation pavilions. The most popular way to travel to MONA is a 30-minute ferry ride along the Derwent River, which drops you off directly at the museum’s steps.

12. Mount Field National Park

About 80 kilometers from Hobart, Mount Field is one of Australia’s oldest national parks, with magnificent rainforests, tall swamp gums, alpine moorland, and stunning waterfalls. Beautiful walking trails wind throughout the park, which is often dusted with snow in the high moorlands until summer. The short Russell Falls Nature Walk to these triple-tiered cascades is suitable even for wheelchair-users. You can also hike around Lake Dobson, and experienced bushwalkers have a choice of more challenging routes.

One of the popular things to do in winter in Tasmania is cross-country skiing, and this is an ideal place to indulge, only a 90-minute drive from Hobart. In the fall, the spark ignites with yellow, orange, and red-leafed trees. This is also the site where the last Tasmanian tiger was captured in 1930.

13. Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the spectacular Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park has become a symbol of one of Australia’s most famous conservation victories. In the 1970s and 80s, this majestic mountain region of the primeval rainforest, steep gorges, and wild rivers was the subject of bitter controversy over a proposal to dam the Franklin River. The opponents of the scheme, with their battle cry “No dams!” were victorious, and the wild beauty of the Franklin River and its surrounding wilderness remains.

Today, the national park is the nucleus of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which also includes the rocky 1,443-meter peak of Frenchman’s Cap. Its aboriginal sites are evidence of a rich indigenous heritage stretching back more than 36,000 years. White-water rafting enthusiasts come here to tackle the tumultuous Franklin River, one of the top outdoor adventures in Australia, while hikers enjoy the short walks. A highlight is Donaghys Lookout Walk. You can also explore the park by car on the Lyell Highway. Better still, hop aboard a river cruise from the west coast village of Strahan.

14. Richmond

About 25 kilometers northeast of Hobart, Richmond is a kind of living open-air museum. Of all the early settlements in Tasmania, it presents the most complete and homogeneous picture of a Georgian colonial town. It was founded soon after the landing of the first settlers in Risdon Cove in 1803 and soon developed into the commercial center of a very fertile grain-growing district. Richmond was also an important military post, and inmates from the town’s penal colony constructed many of the buildings, as well as the Richmond Bridge, which dates from 1825 and is the oldest bridge in Australia.

Often seen in the background of bridge photos is the timber-topped St. Luke’s Church with beautiful stained-glass windows. It was so well constructed that the convict carpenter responsible was pardoned. A short distance to the north, the neo-Gothic St. John’s Church, dating from 1837-59 is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Australia.

Other historic highlights include Richmond Gaol and the well-preserved heritage buildings of Bridge Street. A favorite family attraction, the Old Hobart Town model village recreates life in the 1820s. Many day trips to Richmond from Hobart also include a visit to Bonorong Wildlife Park in Brighton, where you can get up close to favorite Aussie animals like kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and Tasmanian devils.

15. Climb The Nut

On Tasmania’s northwest coast, the Nut is a 143-meter-high volcanic plug, which looms over the picturesque heritage town of Stanley. Matthew Flinders, who viewed it in 1798, thought it was reminiscent of a Christmas cake with its steep, rounded sides and flat top. You can climb the steep path to the Pinnacle, which takes about 15 minutes, or hop aboard a chairlift for fantastic photo opportunities. At the top, trails of varying lengths lead visitors through fern-fringed forests and to scenic lookouts with 360-degree views of the curving coastline, the quaint hamlet of Stanley, and surrounding farmland. Look for pademelons and wallabies along the trails, and take a jacket as the top can be quite windy.

Tourist Places in South Australia

The sprawling wilderness, stunning coastline, and stark desert beauty of South Australia have captured the imagination of artists and adventurers for centuries. The state capital, Adelaide, sits on the brink of all these natural wonders, boasting a lively agenda of festivals and things to do. But this sparsely populated state has a trove of other tourist attractions.

Quaint country villages steeped in European charm, emerald hills, and cobalt crater lakes are some of the top inland sites. Along the coast, you can bask on beautiful beaches; picnic in secluded coves; or commune with wildlife on Kangaroo Island, one of the country’s much-loved tourist gems.

South Australia is also a haven for foodies. The state’s wild seas and picturesque pastoral land, fed by the mighty Murray River, produce a bounty of fresh produce—from citrus fruits and hand-made cheeses to some of the country’s best seafood.

Further afield, in the west and northwest, the arid wilderness meets the pink-tinged peaks of the Flinders Ranges, the opal mines of Coober Pedy, vast deserts crossed by famous 4WD tracks, and the legendary Nullarbor Plain. Find the best places to visit in this diverse Aussie state with our list of the top attractions in South Australia.

1. Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island off the Fleurieu Peninsula is the third largest island in Australia and one of the country’s top natural jewels. This beautiful island is a must-do on your South Australia itinerary.

Sparkling cerulean seas, pristine beaches, rugged coastal scenery, fascinating rock formations, caves, and close-up encounters with charismatic wildlife are the prime attractions. Besides its namesake marsupial, you can see koalas, seals, penguins, sea lions, and a diversity of birds in their natural habitat. Scuba divers frequently spot sea dragons in the crystal-clear temperate waters, and many wrecks lie sunken offshore.

In Flinders Chase National Park, the wind-sculpted boulders of the Remarkable Rocks and the eroded curve of Admiral’s Arch are striking geographical features. The island is also known for its bounty of fresh produce including fresh seafood, free-range eggs, and Ligurian honey. To get here, you can fly direct to the island from Adelaide, or hop aboard a ferry from Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

2. Adelaide

Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, is Australia’s fifth-largest city and one of its most charming. Parks and gardens punctuate the city, and venerable 19th-century buildings stand proud amid the burgeoning high-rises in the city center.

Popular Adelaide attractions include the cultural precinct of North Terrace with its museums, galleries, and carefully preserved historic gems; the Adelaide Central Market, a shopping institution; and the impressive line-up of performances and events at the Adelaide Festival Centre.

If you have time during your visit, try to catch a cricket match or AFL game at Adelaide Oval, which has played host to a wide range of Aussie sports since the late 1800s.

For a change of scenery, hop aboard the tram to Glenelg from Victoria Square to swim, sail, and soak up the seaside ambiance, or venture into the beautiful bush-covered hills of the Mount Lofty Ranges (Adelaide Hills).

3. Barossa Valley

The Barossa Valley, about an hour’s drive from Adelaide, is a favorite day trip from the capital. Blessed with fertile soils, this verdant valley is one of Australia’s oldest grape-growing regions and a haven for foodies, who are lured by the high-quality fresh produce and artisan foods. German and English immigrants originally settled the valley, and their history and culture are still palpable today in the historic buildings, heritage trails, museums, and European-style cuisine.

In addition to all the historic attractions, the region offers plenty of other diversions. You can shop at the popular farmer’s markets, attend cookery schools, feast at the fabulous restaurants, relax at the day spas, and browse the many gift shops and art galleries.

4. Clare Valley

Along with the Barossa Valley, the Clare Valley is another famous Australian grape-growing region, about 136 kilometers north of Adelaide. Picturesque pastoral landscapes provide a perfect setting for romantic weekend retreats, and the region is known for its flourishing gourmet food culture. Polish, English, and Irish immigrants originally settled the valley, and their culture and customs are still evident in the charming heritage towns and historic bluestone buildings.

In the main town of Clare, named after County Clare in Ireland, you can explore the region’s history in the town’s museum, housed in a mid-19th century courthouse, or visit nearby Sevenhill, named for its rolling countryside reminiscent of the hills around Rome. From here, you can take the scenic drive to Polish Hills River Valley, explore the region’s history in the Polish Church Museum, or bike the old railway route.

From 1845 to 1877 copper mining brought prosperity to the area around Burra, which has preserved its rich history in mine buildings, stone dwellings, and museums along Burra’s Heritage Passport Trail. The English-style heritage town of Mintaro is home to Martindale Hall, a Neoclassical mansion that is now a hotel.

Popular things to do in the Clare Valley include exploring the beautiful Skilly Hills; dining at the excellent cafés and restaurants; and browsing the local markets, gift shops, and art galleries. Each year in May, foodies flocks here for the annual Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend, a celebration of the region’s abundant fresh produce.

5. Flinders Ranges

Named for famous explorer Matthew Flinders, the Flinders Ranges are a delight for nature lovers, photographers, and artists. In the shifting light of day, the arid landscapes provide a striking play of colors—from pale pink and gold to burnt orange. Despite the dry conditions, the area is home to a surprising abundance of wildlife (emus, yellow-footed rock wallabies, and flocks of brilliantly colored parrots inhabit the region).

The mountains run from north to south through the eastern part of South Australia, stretching northward for 400 kilometers into the scorched Outback. In Flinders Ranges National Park, the most scenic area of the region, a rich growth of vegetation cloaks the sheltered valleys, and wildflowers carpet the parched earth in spring. Top attractions here include the natural amphitheater of Wilpena Pound with St. Mary’s Peak at its highest point, Aboriginal art at Arkaroo Rock, fossils, and part of the long-distance Heysen Trail named for the famous German-born Australian artist, Hans Heysen.

6. Fleurieu Peninsula

The picturesque Fleurieu Peninsula, a spur of land projecting southwest from the Mount Lofty Ranges, is a playground for many activities such as fishing, boating, bushwalking, whale watching, surfing, and swimming—just to name a few. Top tourist attractions include the beautiful scenery, wildlife reserves, and superb beaches like the sheltered sandy inlets in Gulf St. Vincent. Victor Harbor is one of the most popular beach resorts on the peninsula. Connected by a long causeway, Granite Island, protects it from the turbulent Southern Ocean and is a haven for kangaroos and penguins.

On the narrow channel at the outlet of Lake Alexandrina, into which the Murray River flows, the rapidly growing resort of Goolwa was known as the New Orleans of Australia in its heyday because of the numerous paddle steamers plying the river. Off Goolwa, Hindmarsh Island is a favorite haunt of birdwatchers.

Other popular stops on the peninsula include the surfing hotspot of Port Elliot and the vine-draped hills of McLaren Vale, a prime grape-growing region. From Cape Jervis, at the tip of the peninsula, tourists can hop aboard a ferry service to Kangaroo Island.

7. Eyre Peninsula

Rimmed by a rugged and ravishing coastline of cliffs and sheltered beaches, the triangular-shaped Eyre Peninsula is one of Australia’s least crowded coastal stretches, and one of its most beautiful. It is located east of the Great Australian Bight, and cage diving with great white sharks scores top billing on the list of tourist adventures. You can also snorkel with giant cuttlefish near Whyalla, or swim with balletic sea lions at Baird Bay. Whale watching is another popular activity from May through October when southern right whales migrate along the Great Australian Bight Marine Park.

Coffin Bay is known for its superb seafood and stunning national park. Occupying the southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula, Lincoln National Park offers spectacular scenery with rugged cliffs and abundant birds, while Port Lincoln is becoming an increasingly popular holiday resort. Its fishing fleet, the largest in Australia, produces some of the country’s best seafood.

Inland, you can explore the bushland and wildlife of the Gawler Ranges or venture into the outback across the legendary Nullarbor Plain for a serious 4WD adventure through the scorched desert.

8. Murray River

Australia’s longest river, the mighty Murray flows from its source in the New South Wales Alps to the Southern Ocean in South Australia. Sandstone cliffs and tall eucalyptus trees fringe the river, and its wetlands are important habitats for many water birds. Once home to the Ngarrindjeri and Nganguraku people, today the river irrigates a vast citrus-growing industry and agricultural region and provides a wealth of water-based activities, from fishing, boating, water-skiing, and swimming to gliding along on a paddle steamer.

Peppered with colorful gardens and fragrant roses, the riverside town of Renmark lies at the point where the states of South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria meet and is home to huge plantations of citrus fruits. From here, you can tour the Olivewood Historic Homestead and Museum, organize a river cruise, or hire a houseboat.

Another popular place to visit is Loxton, the “garden city” of the Riverland region, with galleries and historical sites. Here, on the banks of the river, the Historical Village takes visitors back in time with its faithfully recreated late-19th century buildings and artifacts. Northwest of Loxton, the little town of Waikerie is a popular spot for gliding and offers a pretty cliff-top walk.

9. Mount Gambier

Along the Limestone Coast, Mount Gambier is an extinct volcano with four beautiful crater lakes, as well as sinkholes and gardens. A curious natural phenomenon occurs on the Blue Lake annually in November, when the color of the lake transforms from dull gray to a brilliant cobalt blue. A scenic drive with spectacular views runs around the crater.

While you’re in the area, stop by the Umpherston Sinkhole. Created when the roof of a cave collapsed, this popular tourist attraction was transformed into a beautiful “sunken garden” by James Umpherston in the 1880s. Ferns, hot pink hydrangeas, and calla lilies flourish in the gardens, and lush plants cascade over the lip of the sinkhole, imbuing the space with a magical feel. In the evenings, lights illuminate the gardens, and friendly possums congregate here looking for a meal.

South of Mount Gambier, you can explore South Australia’s only World Heritage Site, Naracoorte Caves, with fascinating fossils, colonies of bats, and haunting subterranean scenery. Other attractions on the Limestone Coast include the bird-rich lagoons and coastal dunes of the Coorong, a chain of lagoons and salt lakes between Lake Alexandrina and the sea; the grape-growing region of Coonawarra; pretty Beachport, a former whaling station; and the historic beach resort of Robe.

10. Innes National Park, Yorke Peninsula

Sitting at the tip of the spectacular Yorke Peninsula, about a three-hour drive from Adelaide, remote Innes National Park is an under-rated and refreshingly uncrowded raw slice of nature. If you look at a South Australia map, the Yorke Peninsula is the boot-shaped claw of land jutting out to the west of Adelaide, and it makes a wonderful weekend getaway from the capital.

Rugged seascapes, wildlife, and windswept white-sand beaches lapped by dazzling blue seas are the prime attractions. You can explore the park on hiking trails or by car, stopping at the empty beaches along the way. Popular things to do include surfing the remote breaks, camping, boating, fishing off the ravishing beaches, and scuba diving the many wrecks scattered along this tempestuous stretch of coast. To learn more about the region’s fascinating shipwreck history, visit the rusted hull of the Ethel, and follow the maritime interpretive trail along the coast.

Wildlife is abundant. Emus and kangaroos are among the most frequently spotted animals in the park, and you might also spot southern right whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions off the coast. The park is also home to more than 150 species of birds, including ospreys, malleefowl, and hooded plovers.

11. Coober Pedy

The opal mining town of Coober Pedy lies in the heart of the South Australian outback. The name of the town comes from an Aboriginal phrase meaning “white fellows in a hole,” since most of the inhabitants live in underground dwellings (dugouts) to escape the fierce heat of summer and the extreme cold of winter.

In 1911, gold miners found valuable white opals here. Since then, opal mining has converted the desolate countryside around Coober Pedy into a lunar-like landscape. You can still try your luck looking for these pearlescent beauties after obtaining a prospecting permit from the Mines Department in Coober Pedy. The Old Timers Mine and Museum display exhibit on the history of prospecting for precious stones. Sightseers can also tour underground homes and the subterranean Catacomb Church.