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 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.

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 Tennessee

If you’re one of the many travelers who believe the most visited of the United State’s national parks is either the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or Yosemite, you’ve probably not visited Tennessee. You may be surprised to learn that the number one most visited US national park is the Great Smoky Mountains (or “Smokies”), an area of outstanding natural beauty, which attracts twice as many visitors each year than its nearest rival, the Grand Canyon. Much of the state’s popularity is due to its accessibility, sandwiched as it is between eight other states. It also has much to do with its astonishing natural beauty, rich history, and numerous first-rate attractions. Then, of course, there’s the music. From the rock ‘n’ roll of Elvis to country greats like Johnny Cash, Tennessee was the starting place for many of the country’s greatest artists and musical genres. Discover the best things to do in the state with our list of the top-rated tourist attractions in Tennessee.

1 The Smokes: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

There’s no better place to begin your Great Smoky Mountains National Park adventure than in the small town of Gatling with its many big-ticket attractions, such as the excellent Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokes. From here, you can easily drive to the park’s most popular areas, or simply jump on the chairlift and head for the hills and the fun Obed Gatling, a ski resort and amusement park offering year-round activities. Park highlights include a variety of flora and fauna, more than 900 miles of hiking trails, and the 6,643-foot-high Cling mans Dome, with its Observation Tower perched atop the mountain’s summit and offering 360-degree views. Popular day trips include Sugar lands, a beautiful valley and favorite destination for hikers, and the lovely Sades Cove, once home to settlers and now attracting tourists eager to see its picturesque meadows, pioneer homesteads, mountain views, and wildlife. For the truly adventurous, look into an overnight camping trip or a fun stay in a rustic cabin deep in the woods.

2 Graceland and the Elvis Presley Memphis Complex

As popular as the White House in Washington D.C., Graceland and the Elvis Presley Memphis Complex is considered the top attraction in Memphis. Undoubtedly the most famous rock ‘n’ roll residence in the world, Graceland Mansion remains a place of pilgrimage to fans from far and wide, and tours of this fine, stately home provide a unique glimpse into the King’s life (nothing has been changed since he passed away there in 1977). The complex is also home to Elvis Presley’s Memphis, a vast warehouse-like structure that includes exhibits and displays of the star’s many outfits, his influences, and his rise to fame. Also worth checking out are the family tomb, an impressive collection of cars, aircraft, and memorabilia, and tours of his living quarters, including the music room, TV room, and Jungle Den. A variety of tour packages are offered, including accommodations at the luxurious Guest House at Graceland

3 Birth of the Music Biz: Memphis and Nashville

No US state can claim the rich musical tapestry that is evident everywhere in Tennessee. The center of the nation’s country music scene, Nashville is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame in the city’s famous Music Row, as well as the Grand Ole O pry, a name synonymous with the country-music-themed Gaylord Maryland Resort and the radio shows of the same name, broadcast from locations such as the Roman Auditorium.

Then, of course, there’s Memphis, the home of gospel and blues, and famous for Beale Street, where the greats like Elvis got his big break. Highlights include: the Memphis Music Hall of Fame; WC Handy’s House, where the “Father of the Blues” lived and worked; the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, highlighting musical pioneers from the 1930s through to the 1970s; the STAX Museum of American Soul, with its replica of the original S tax Records studio; and Sun Studio, where stars such as Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King, and Roy Orbison began their careers.

4 Hello, Dolly wood

Named after country singer Dolly Patton, Dolly wood has long been Tennessee’s most popular ticketed attraction, luring more than three million visitors per year. Located in the small town of Pigeon Forge, this always busy theme park provides family fun with its mix of folksy Smoky Mountains traditions and crafts, thrilling rides, and entertainment. All told, the site boasts more than 40 rides – including the Tennessee Tornado roller coaster – spread across 10 themed areas such as Timber Canyon and Jukebox Junction. Other highlights include live concerts and festivals, as well as an old steam railway, the Dolly-wood Express, which circles the park. Other Dolly-related attractions in this 290-acre site include Splash Country water park and the Dolly-wood Dream-more Resort.

5 Tennessee’s Civil War Heritage

Tennessee, perhaps more than any other state, has been shaped by war. Not only did this state provide more soldiers for the Southern cause than any other, it also contributed more troops for the North than any other Confederate state. As one of the most northerly of the Confederate states, Tennessee witnessed numerous battles during the deadly conflict, many of them commemorated by visitor centers, museums, and memorials. One of the best is Fort Do nelson National Battlefield, site of the first major Union victory and home to a cemetery, visitor center, fort, and a much-loved pair of breeding eagles. A visit to Shiloh National Military Park is a sobering experience: it was the location of the first significant Civil War battle in the west and contains more than 3,500 Union graves. Chickasaw-Chattanooga National Military Park, the country’s largest military park, is also of great historical significance, as is nearby Point Park Battlefield, where the infamous “Battle Above the Clouds” took place. All these sites, as well as Stones River National Cemetery, are part of the Tennessee Civil War Trails program.

6 The Hermitage: President Jackson’s Home

Just a few miles east of Nashville is The Hermitage, the plantation home of the seventh US President, Andrew Jackson, from 1804-1845. The current home was built in 1819, not long after Jackson was elected president, and is well worth the couple of hours needed to explore it. Highlights include the park-like gardens and woods, as well as the tomb where both Jackson and his wife were laid to rest. The mansion opened as a museum in 1889, and after a great deal of restoration, looks exactly as it would have in Jackson’s time, complete with numerous artifacts and documents relating to his presidency.

7 The Parthenon

No visit to Nashville would be complete without visiting one of Tennessee’s most remarkable attractions, the huge Parthenon. Built in Centennial Park, just a short walk from the city’s downtown core, this life-size replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece, was built to commemorate the state’s centenary in 1897. Made entirely of cement, the Parthenon doesn’t fail to impress with its vast dimensions, both inside and out. The building houses the city’s permanent art gallery, a collection of works by 19th- and 20th-century American painters, as well as a spectacular 42-foot-high gold-covered statue of the goddess Athena Parthenon

8 Oak Ridge: American Museum of Science and Energy

The American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge offers a fascinating insight into the history of nuclear energy. Highlights include the story of Oak Ridge’s role in the development of the nuclear bomb and the Manhattan Project, including videos, photos, artifacts, and documents that help paint a picture of this once vast facility. Other displays focus on national defense and include models of weaponry, tools, and the protective clothing used at the site. There’s also useful information and exhibits delving into other energy sources, including fun hands-on displays of static electricity and robotics.

9 Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley Railroad

Tennessee has had a lengthy love affair with the railroad. Along with the mighty Mississippi, railways were of vital importance for the shipping of wood and cotton during peacetime and military supplies during war (the state was a vital link in the Confederate supply chain during the Civil War). Fortunately, much of this rich heritage has been preserved, from the original terminal and an engine from the famous Chattanooga Coho Coho to heritage trolleys and fancy Pullman cars restored as luxury accommodation. Perhaps the most ambitious project has been the Tennessee Valley Railroad, which offers hour-long steam trips as well as main line excursions, dinner packages, and the popular Tennessee Rail-fest. Finally, there’s even Casey Jones Village in Jackson, a museum dedicated to the legendary railroad engineer, John Luther “Casey” Jones.

10 Downtown Knoxville

The seat of the University of Tennessee (founded 1794), Knoxville is a good base from which to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The first capital of the state, its most noticeable landmark is the Sun sphere Tower with its observation decks and views over the downtown core. The city also played an important role in the Civil War, as evidenced in the Confederate Memorial Hall (also known as Bleak House after the Dickens novel), which recalls the siege of the city in 1863 and was used as the headquarters of Confederate General James Longstreet. Other downtown highlights include the Museum of East Tennessee History with its displays that tell of the region’s history and culture through artifacts and documents. Nestled in the heart of downtown, Market Square has been Knoxville’s favorite gathering place since 1854. Today, it’s home to a busy farmers market and numerous events and festivals, as well as unique shopping and dining opportunities.

11 Lookout Mountain

Overlooking Chattanooga and offering some of Tennessee’s best views, Lookout Mountain makes for an excellent day or half-day outing. Getting there is half the fun, especially aboard the wonderful Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, a mile-long journey on trolley-style cars at an incline of 73 percent. Once at the top, you’ve got a number of excellent natural attractions to choose from, including Rock City with its dramatic cliffs and great views, and Ruby Falls, the deepest cave and largest underground waterfall in the US. Be sure to visit the excellent Battles for Chattanooga Electric Map and Museum with its displays regarding the epic Battle Above The Clouds, fought in and around Chattanooga during the Civil War, as well as Point Park, part of the Chickasaw-Chattanooga National Military Park.

12 The Titanic Museum

Despite the fact that Tennessee’s connection to the RMS Titanic is perhaps a little tenuous at best, it shouldn’t stop you from visiting the world’s largest Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge. Just a stone’s throw from Dolly wood, the building itself is spectacular, built in the shape of the ship and half the scale of the original. Highlights include more than 400 Titanic related artifacts in 20 unique galleries designed to create the illusion that you’re actually on the ship. Self-guided tours take approximately two hours, and its time well spent.

13 The Museum of Appalachia

This large open-air museum focuses on the people who settled the Appalachian Mountains, dealing with such important aspects as their culture, livelihoods, and customs. One of the best heritage villages in the US, it’s a great way to spend a day as you explore the past through hands-on activities such as weaving and farming. The focal point is the museum itself with more than 250,000 artifacts in its collection. Also of interest is the annual Tennessee Fall Homecoming, a three-day event held in October, as well as events including antique shows.

14 The Lost Sea Adventure

The Lost Sea Adventure Share:

In Sweet-water, 46 miles from Knoxville, is the spectacular Lost Sea, a huge cave system with the largest underwater lake in the US. A variety of guided tour options are available, including fun boat trips along this wonderful underground waterway with its many large caverns and tunnels. The attraction has a Civil War history of its own: Confederate soldiers mined the Lost Sea caverns for saltpeter, an ingredient of gunpowder. After the war, locals created a party room, called the Cavern Tavern. When you’re done exploring the Lost Sea, be sure to wander around quaint Old Sweet-water Village with its shops and authentic log cabins.

Tourist places in West Virginia

With some of the east coast’s most beautiful and rugged scenery, West Virginia is filled with year-round outdoor adventure opportunities. Its wild mountain country, densely-forested wilderness areas, and fast-running rivers are playgrounds for hiking, camping, caving, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, boating, and fishing. In the winter, ski resorts offer a range of snow sports.

Active travelers will never run out of things to do here. While many tourists come to the state for these outdoor activities and scenic landscapes, West Virginia offers much more in the way of tourist attractions, from the historic sights of Harper Ferry and the elegant Green brier and its legendary golf courses to some very unusual attractions, including a penitentiary to tour. You’ll find plenty of vacation ideas with our list of the top tourist attractions in West Virginia.

1. Harper Ferry

The Shenandoah River meets the Potomac River at this small West Virginia town, which was the site of abolitionist John Brown’s raid on the United States arsenal in 1859, an event that hastened the onset of the Civil War. Harper Ferry National Historical Park has museums, historical exhibits, and programs, plus about 20 miles of hiking trails. You can explore the rocks where the rivers meet and walk up to St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church and the old cemetery on the hill behind it.

Also in Harper Ferry is the Appalachian Trail Visitors Center, from which you can take a hike on the Appalachian Trail for views of the town and rivers. Local outfitters offer tubing excursions in the river.

2. New River Gorge National River

Contrary to its name, New River is actually one of the oldest rivers on the continent. As it flows into West Virginia, it cuts through the Appalachian Plateau, forming the New River Gorge and plenty of whitewater for tubing, rafting, and canoeing. Other recreational opportunities are all around it: hiking, zip lining, hunting, fishing, bird-watching, camping, biking, and rock climbing.

One of the state’s most photographed sights is the soaring New River Bridge, the longest steel span in the hemisphere and the nation’s third highest, 876 feet above the canyon floor. The National Park Service maintains 70,000 acres of park lands along the river, and at Hawk’s Nest State Park, you can ride an aerial tramway into the bottom of the New River Gorge, a prime spot for whitewater rafting.

South of New River Gorge National River at Blue stone State Park there is hiking, fishing, camping, and boating on the large lake behind the Blue stone Dam.

3. Black water Falls State Park

Named for the dark waters of the Black water River, colored by tannin acid from fallen hemlock and red spruce needles, Black water Falls drops 60 feet over sandstone ledges before the river continues to rush through an eight-mile-long gorge. Steps and viewing platforms make the falls accessible year-round.

Also popular places to visit in the park are Haleakala Falls, which cascade down the wall of the canyon and can be reached by a short trail, and Middleton Falls, easily seen from a roadside pull-off. The view into the Black water Canyon from Lindy Point, one of the most beautiful places in West Virginia, is another park highlight, as is Middleton Point Overlook, at the canyon’s deepest point. The park has a boating lake, as well as swimming, fishing, and camping.

4. Whitewater Rafting

It’s no secret that West Virginia is one of the best places to go whitewater rafting. Several rivers offer world-class rapids for experts, and others are well-suited to less experienced and learning rafters. The most famous waters are in the Galley River, between Cartersville and Fayetteville, in the Galley River National Recreation Area. Here, the 25-mile river flows at high speed through gorges and valleys, providing the thrill of a lifetime to experienced rafters; it’s no wonder the Class V rapids are nicknamed the “Beast of the East.”

Fall is the time to find the most challenging flow, but at any time it’s a good idea to hire an experienced guide who knows the river and its quirks and can help you find the places that are best suited to your own experience level. Although it’s known for its Class V rapids the Galley has some stretches of Class III that are suitable for intermediate levels.

For those with less experience, the Tarty River, Cheat River, and Potomac River are good options, as is the Upper New River, which has good stretches for beginners. Lower New River has Class IV rapids that offer runs past the New River Gorge Bridge.

5. Seneca Rocks and Monongahela National Forest

With elevations ranging from around 1,000 feet to 4,863 feet above sea level, the Monongahela National Forest offers beautiful views, wildlife, and the highest point in the state. The variety of terrain and rainfall across its more than 900,000 acres gives it one of the most diverse forest ecosystems in the country, supporting more than 225 bird species; 75 species of trees; and 70 fish species, both game and non-game.

About 100,000 acres of the park are designated as the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, offering some of the best traditional multi-pitch technical climbing on the east coast. Seneca Rocks is a distinctive 250-foot-deep formation of white and gray quartet that stands almost 900 feet above the North Fork River. Some routes are moderate, but experts are challenged by the exposed summit pinnacle.

Non-climbers can enjoy the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center and campgrounds at Seneca Shadows and Big Bend, along with thousands of acres of wild lands.

6. Snowshoe

This year-round resort is best known for its skiing, with three separate areas to choose from, all with 100 percent snow making. With an 800-foot vertical drop, Snowshoe Basin’s 38 trails cover all experience levels, served by seven lifts, including a high-speed detachable quad. Of Silver Creek’s 18 trails, 12 are open for night skiing. The Western Territory Area’s steep, rugged terrain has 1,500 feet of vertical drop, the most advanced terrain in the region. Steeps on Cupp Run, designed by legendary Olympian Jean-Claude Killy, and Shay’s Revenge reach 52 percent pitch.

In other seasons, activities include mountain biking, scenic chairlift rides, geocaching, horseback riding, Segway tours, zip lining, trampolining, climbing, pedal boats, paddle boarding, canoeing, hiking, fishing, and golf at the Raven Golf Club. Not far away, in Green bank, is the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

7. The Green brier

The Green brier has earned its designation as a National Historic Landmark several times over. Located at White Sulfur Springs, which have been in use as a natural spa since the 1700s, the grand hotel has hosted 26 presidents, foreign dignitaries, and royalty, including Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

But however grand and luxurious it is as a resort, it has played other historic roles, too. Early in World War II, it was used as a detention center for German and Japanese diplomats who were in the United States when war was declared. Later in the war, it was commandeered by the U.S. Army to use as a hospital, where nearly 25,000 patients were treated.

During the Cold War, an underground shelter was built to house the entire U.S. Congress in case of nuclear attack. This shelter, given the code name “Project Greek Island,” was decommissioned in 1992 and is open to the public for tours, as is the Presidents’ Cottage Museum, with exhibits about presidential visits and the history of the resort.

More than 50 different activities are available in the resort and in the 5,100-acre Green brier State Forest. Along with horseback riding, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, adventure courses, and a 40,000-square-foot spa, the resort has multiple golf courses (even an indoor one for winter) and a distinguished golf history as the venue for numerous championships.

Green brier State Forest offers cabins and campsites, swimming, fishing, bike trails and hiking — the 78-mile-long Green brier River Trail is a multi-purpose rail trail that is also used for cross-country skiing in the winter. A getaway in one of the centuries-old Legacy Cottages is one of the most romantic things to do in West Virginia.

Accommodation: The Greenbrier

8. Seneca Caverns

The formation of Seneca Caverns began 460 million years ago, when the cavern’s limestone bed first formed. The native Seneca people are thought to have used the caves for shelter beginning in the early 1400s. The caverns were later found by a local farmer, Lavern Deter, while looking for water for his livestock, and the largest chamber, rising to 60 feet in places, is named Teter Hall in his memory.

You can visit these on one-hour guided tours that descend to 165 feet below the entrance. Pathways are well-lit, and cement steps with handrails help visitors navigate deeper into the caverns. The separate Stratosphere Cave is on the same property.

9. West Virginia Penitentiary

One of the most unlikely places to visit in any state, the West Virginia Penitentiary welcomes guests from April through November to tour the grim prison that sometimes held more than 1,000 prisoners at a time. The forbidding Gothic fortress opened in 1876, and the last prisoner left in 1995. Between those dates it was the scene of fires, escapes, prison riots, and almost 100 executions.

Visitors can tour the building and its claustrophobia-inducing five-foot by seven-foot cells during the day, or explore the reportedly haunted location at night. The penitentiary is a popular place for paranormal researchers looking for evidence of spectral phenomena.

10. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

As unconventional a tourist attraction as the West Virginia Penitentiary, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is a landmark in the history of treatment for the mentally ill. Constructed between 1858 and 1881, the asylum is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in the hemisphere, and in the world it is exceeded only by the Kremlin in Moscow. It was designed by the architect Richard Andrews, who arranged the long rambling wings in a staggered formation, so that each of the connecting structures received as much therapeutic sunlight and fresh air as possible.

Tours highlight a number of historical themes, including architecture, Civil War raids, treatment of the mentally ill, even the facility’s agricultural history and place in the local community. Like the West Virginia Penitentiary, the asylum has also been a research location for paranormal investigators.

11. West Virginia State Museum at the Culture Center

Among the free things to do in West Virginia is touring the West Virginia State Museum in Charleston to learn about the state’s culture, history, art, paleontology, archaeology, and geology. One of the most popular of its 60,000 artifacts is a pair of dressed fleas from a 19th-century flea circus. Well-designed exhibits of a more serious nature literally follow a path through the state’s history, beginning with stone and dirt and ending in a paved highway. As visitors progress from room to room through the centuries, audio features augment exhibits and films.

Artifacts include everyday implements and items such as a telescope that George Washington used to survey land in West Virginia. In one section, you’ll learn more about John Brown’s raid at Harper’s Ferry, and elsewhere is an original settler’s cabin reconstructed in the museum.

12. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

At the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, you can relive the Golden Age of Steam on a line built in 1901 to haul lumber from the forest to the mill, riding in refurbished logging flat-cars pulled by an original Shay steam locomotive. The full 4.5-hour trip includes switchbacks that allow the train to climb grades as high as 11 percent to reach Bald Knob. At an altitude of 4,700 feet, this is West Virginia’s third highest point, overlooking spectacular views.

At Whittaker Station, a 1940s logging camp has been recreated, with the living quarters and the equipment. At the base, you can tour a museum and the depot and see restored company houses that can be rented for overnight stays. On the train ride, be prepared for noise, black smoke, and chilly temperatures at Bald Knob.

13. Adena Burial Mounds

One of the free things to do in West Virginia, and one of its secret places, is also one of the most intriguing, a glimpse into a culture that thrived here 2,000 years ago. Grave Creek Archaeological Complex centers on the largest known burial mounds of the Adena people, built about 250-150 BC. These mounds, as high as 69 feet and nearly 300 feet at the base, required moving more than 60,000 tons of earth, creating the largest conical type structure of any of the mound-building cultures.

The Del Corona Museum on the site displays artifacts found in the multi-level burial site, and its exhibits illuminate the lives of these prehistoric people and the construction of the mounds.

14. West Virginia State Capitol

Five feet higher than the dome of the US Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., the 293-foot golden dome at the State Capitol in Charleston reflects Greek and Roman architectural influences. It was designed by Cass Gilbert, who also designed the Woolworth Building in New York City, the world’s tallest building when it was constructed. During the building process, from 1924 to 1932, more than 700 train carloads of Indiana limestone were used. White marble from Vermont and Italian trainer sheath much of its interior, which you can tour daily.

Tourist places in Tasmania

For those who haven’t visited Australia’s smallest state, Tasmania or “Tessie,” seems shrouded in mystique. Perhaps it’s the state’s far-flung location some 300 kilometers south of the Australian mainland across stormy Bass Strait. Maybe it’s the vast expanses of windswept wilderness — almost half of Tasmania’s land mass 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 hyacinth, 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 heath land; and jagged dole rite 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 Windsurfer 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 Tar kine rain forest, Boron 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 unanimity/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 Casablanca 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. Frenetic National Park

World Heritage-listed Frenetic 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 bush land 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 Frenetic 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 unanimity/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 Der went 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 dole rite 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 dole rite 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 heath land; see spectacular dole rite columns rising from the sea; encounter wildlife like wombats, wallabies, and echidna; 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, Launce

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. Casablanca Place

Casablanca 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 Casablanca Arts Center. Every Saturday, tourists and locals alike flock to the Casablanca 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 watch the yachts cruise in after the iconic Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. From Casablanca 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 echidna 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 Der went 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 rain forests, 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 Dob-son, and experienced bush walkers 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 park 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 primeval rain forest, 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 Donaldson 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 Saharan. Official s

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 Orison 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 Boron 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 Flanders, 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 watermelons and wallabies along the trails, and take a jacket as the top can be quite windy.

Tourist places in Victoria

Vibrant, elegant, and multicultural, Australia’s second largest metropolis frequently tops the list of the world’s most livable cities. With its tangle of hidden lane ways, tree-lined promenades, and grand Victorian buildings funded by the 1850s Gold Rush, the city has a distinctly European feel. Foodies will also find plenty to love. Famous Aussie chefs flaunt their talents here, and you can feast on everything, from Greek, Italian, and Indian cuisine to Spanish and Vietnamese fare.

But perhaps Melbourne’s biggest claim to fame is sports. The famous Melbourne Cup horse race, held on the first Tuesday in November, brings the entire nation to a standstill, and Australian Rules football elicits an almost religious reverence here. Catch a game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground; explore the city’s diverse galleries, chic cafes, and shops; stroll through beautiful botanic gardens; cruise along the Yarra River; or hop aboard a heritage tram to discover Melbourne’s magic. On top of all these exciting things to do, rewarding day trip adventures lie a short drive from the city buzz.

1 Federation Square

When Federation Square opened in 2002 to commemorate 100 years of federation, it divided Mauritanians. There were those who loved it and those who hated it. Either way, it has become an integral part of the city and a great place for tourists to start their sightseeing. Located opposite Flinders Street Station, a major public transport hub, the building’s ultra-modern design of open and closed spaces contrasts with the surrounding Victorian architecture. With more than 2,000 events annually, you can always find entertainment in the central outdoor performance space and intimate indoor venues. Federation Square also houses the Ian Potter Center: NGV Australia, dedicated to Australian art, and the Australian Cent re for the Moving Image (AC MI). More commonly called “Fed Square,” it is also one of the largest free WI-Fi sites in Australia.

2 Royal Botanic Gardens

In the heart of green parkland extending south of the Yarrow River, about two kilometers from the CBD, the Royal Botanic Gardens are among the finest of their kind in the world. Established in 1846, the gardens encompass two locations: Melbourne and Cranberry. The Melbourne Gardens cover an area of 38 hectares with more than 8,500 species of plants, including many rare specimens. The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is designed to encourage the next generation of gardeners, and the Aboriginal Heritage Walk is a popular tour that looks into the rich heritage of indigenous Australians. Visiting the gardens is one of the best free things to do in Melbourne. In summer, live theater is a highlight of the gardens, and a moonlight cinema is set up under the stars. This is also a popular spot for a picnic by the lake or a traditional high tea at The Terrace cafe.

3 Melbourne Cricket Ground and the National Sports Museum

Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australia, so it’s no surprise that a sports stadium numbers among the city’s top tourist attractions. With a capacity of 100,000 and a history dating back to 1853, the MCG is considered one of the world’s greatest stadiums. As the main stadium for the 1956 Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games, the birthplace of Test Cricket, and the home of Australian Rules Football, “the ‘G” is woven into the fabric of Melbourne. Daily 75-minute tours take visitors for a trip down a memory lane of great moments in sporting history and incorporate the National Sports Museum, including the Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum. You can also catch a game of cricket in summer or football during winter.

Directly opposite the MCG is Melbourne Park, home of the Australian Open tennis tournament, held every January. You can hire a tennis court, and many concerts are held here during the year.

4 South bank and Arts Center Melbourne

On the banks of the Yarrow River, a short stroll from Flanders Street Station, this area is packed with cultural attractions. South bank promenade is filled with indoor/outdoor cafés, restaurants, and live entertainment. An excellent arts and crafts market is held every Sunday, and the area is also home to many festivals throughout the year. Easily recognizable by its spire, the Arts Center incorporates a range of theaters and spaces, including the State Theater, Playhouse, Fairfax Theater, and Homer Hall, the premier performance space for the revered Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

5 National Gallery of Victoria

The oldest public art gallery in Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria holds more than 70,000 works of art in two city locations. The international collection is housed in the St. Kilda Road building, originally opened in 1968 and extensively renovated in 2003. The building is renowned for The Great Hall, where visitors are encouraged to lie on the floor and gaze at the colorful stained glass ceiling. The extensive Australian collection is held in the Ian Potter Gallery in Federation Square, featuring the history of Australian art from Aboriginal works through to the Heidelberg School, and contemporary mixed media. One of the highlights is the large triptych format, The Pioneer by Frederick Clubbing.

6 Eureka Tower

Named in recognition of The Eureka Stockade, the 1854 rebellion of prospectors in the Victorian goldfields, the Eureka Tower stands 91 stories above ground in the heart of South bank. The skyscraper’s gold crown and gold-plated windows add to the theme and literally sparkle when the sun catches the top of the building. Sky deck, on the 88th floor, affords the highest public view in any building in the Southern Hemisphere. Adding to the experience is The Edge, a glass cube that slides out three meters from the building for vertigo-free visitors.

7 Arcades and Lane ways

Wandering the labyrinth of lanes and alleyways around Flanders, Collins, and Bourke Streets reveals elegant, interesting, and quirky Melbourne at its best. The jewel in the crown is the magnificent Block Arcade in Collins Street. With its mosaic floor, period details, and unique shops, this is the place where late 19th-century gentry promenaded, coining the phrase, “doing the block.” It’s worth lining up for a morning or afternoon tea at the Housetop Tearooms. This Melbourne icon dates back to 1892 and is the only original shop still in the arcade today. The opulent Royal Arcade is Melbourne’s oldest arcade, and Blinders and De graves Lanes are also well worth exploring. Several companies run guided walking tours of the lanes and alleyways.

8 Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building

A short tram ride from the CBD, the Melbourne Museum is surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland. This modern purpose-built museum houses a diverse collection depicting society and cultures. Highlights include Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Center; the Paar Lap exhibit, about Australia’s greatest racehorse; and the Children’s Gallery, a series of hands-on activities designed to stimulate and engage youngsters.

Adjacent to the Melbourne Museum is the elaborate Royal Exhibition Building. Built in 1880 to host Melbourne’s International Exhibition, the building also held the first Commonwealth Parliament of Australia in 1901. Regular tours are available, and the building is still used for exhibitions and special events.

9 City Circle Tram Tour

Trams are a big part of Melbourne’s public transport system, and the City Circle Tram offers tourists a free and easy way of seeing the CBD. Accompanied by a commentary, the hop-on, hop-off heritage tram passes many of the grand historic buildings, including Parliament House, the Old Treasury Building, Princess Theater, and the Windsor Hotel. The trams run every 12 minutes and take about 50 minutes to complete the entire loop.

10 Melbourne Zoo

Although the 22-hectare Melbourne Zoo dates back to 1862, the 320-plus species of animals have the best of modern facilities in state-of-the-art enclosures. The award-winning Trail of the Elephants is an insight into the lives of the resident Asian elephants in a traditional village-garden setting. Another highlight is the O rang-u tan Sanctuary, where the animals live in their treetop home. With many wild encounters, including “roar and snore,” twilight music concerts, and behind-the-scene tours of some enclosures, Melbourne Zoo offers animal-lovers a fun-packed experience.

11 Captain Cook’s Cottage, Fitzroy Gardens

Captain Cook’s Cottage was brought to Melbourne from Captain James Cook’s native home in Yorkshire, England and erected in Fitzroy Gardens. The quaint cottage is an insight into the life and times of Cook’s seafaring adventures and exploration of Australia and other parts of the world.

Also in the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens is the magnificent Spanish-mission style conservatory that is always filled with a vibrant floral display. Children will love the tiny Tudor village and Fairy Tree.

12 Yarrow River Cruise

A river boat cruise is not only the perfect way to see the sights, it’s also an insight into the history of the Array River. Many cruise companies can be found along South bank, and it’s a relaxing and fun way to get your bearings before you set out to explore the city on foot. While you’re gliding down the river, keep an eye out for Birdbrain Marr, originally called “Birrarung,” meaning “river of mists and shadows,” a waterfront parkland celebrating Aboriginal ties with the Yarrow River. If you’re short on time, the one-hour River Gardens Melbourne Sightseeing Cruise gives you a relaxing tour past top city sights, like the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne Cricket Ground, and National Tennis Center.

13 Shrine of Remembrance

Sitting majestically in Kings Domain gardens, the Shrine was built after the First World War to commemorate Victorians involved in the Great War, either abroad or at home. Today, it serves as a poignant reminder for all servicemen and women and is the central focus for ceremonies on ANZAC Day, held on 25 April, and Remembrance Day, held on 11 November each year. Guided or self-guided tours are available daily, and lighting on the building is particularly beautiful at night.

14 Docklands

Docklands is Melbourne’s newest waterfront entertainment precinct. With the highest concentration of green-star rated buildings in the Southern Hemisphere, the satellite village is filled with cafés, restaurants, tourist attractions, and parkland. The view from the giant observation wheel, Melbourne Star, is spectacular, and the area is also home to Jihad Stadium; the Junior Wonderland amusement park; and the Ice house, a world-class ice sports venue. An art and vintage market is also held along the waterfront every Sunday.

15 Queen Victoria Market

A popular place with locals and tourists, this historic icon has been at the center of fresh produce shopping since 1878. In addition to the magnificent food halls, market stalls sell everything from clothing, art, and toys to that hard-to-find unique souvenir, five days a week. Tours are available, and special events such as night markets, music concerts, and other functions are often held during summer.

16 Parliament House

Open to the public, even when parliament is in session, Parliament House is one of Melbourne’s best kept tourist secrets. It was built during the Gold Rush, and its interior is lavishly decorated with gold leaf, chandeliers, and a superb mosaic floor. Free, informative tours are held Monday to Friday on days when parliament is not in session.

17 Immigration Museum

Located in the elegant Old Customs House, the Immigration Museum tells real stories of people from all over the world who now call Melbourne home. The permanent collection is interactive and engaging, and special exhibitions add to the museum’s appeal. A visit here provides a different perspective of early European settlement, as every person arriving had to pass through customs here.

Tourist places in New South Wales

The oldest state in Australia, New South Wales (NSW) is home to one of the world’s most beautiful cities: the stunning harbor city of Sydney. This sophisticated state capital, wows tourists from around the world with its glittering harbor; the iconic Sydney Opera House; and top-notch restaurants, galleries, and museums. Venture beyond the big city, and you will find a state full of surprises, with six of Australia’s World Heritage Areas.

Topographically, New South Wales reflects the diverse landscapes of the country as a whole. The Great Dividing Range cuts through the center of the state, carving it into an eastern coastal strip, rimmed by dazzling beaches, while the stark desert beauty of the Outback sprawls to the west. Exploring New South Wales is easy, and you’ll find plenty of rewarding things to do. You can climb or ski the rugged peaks of the Snowy Mountains, hunt for opals in red-earthed Outback towns, hike through World Heritage-listed rain forests, dive the coral reefs of Lord Howe island, and step back in time at Norfolk Island’s World Heritage historic sites. Learn more about the best places to visit in the state with our list of the top attractions in New South Wales.

1. Sydney

Sydney, the capital of NSW, is one of the world’s most alluring cities. Graced by the iconic Sydney Opera House and harbor bridge, the sparkling blue harbor is the city’s crown jewel. Hop aboard a ferry or harbor cruise to really appreciate these top Sydney attractions and the city’s stunning waterfront location.

In addition to world-class restaurants, festivals, galleries, and museums, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Sydney. Stroll along the cobblestone streets of the historic Rocks area; wander through the Royal Botanic Gardens; climb the Sydney Barbour Bridge; explore the shops, restaurants, and attractions at Darling Harbor; or surf the breaks at Bond Beach. Stretching northwest from Sydney, the picturesque Hattiesburg River and surrounding national parks are great day trip destinations, with excellent opportunities for bush walking, birding, and boating.

2. Explore the Blue Mountains

For more than a hundred years, the Blue Mountains have been a favorite New South Wales’ holiday destination for nature lovers. About 65 kilometers west of the city, the mountains rise steeply out of the coastal plain, combining magnificent gorges, waterfalls, rock formations, and sacred aboriginal sites with excellent tourist facilities.

Named for the blue haze created by the many eucalyptus trees, the Blue Mountains region is one of the state’s magnificent World Heritage Sites and offers excellent hiking, rock climbing, abseiling, and mountain biking. Top attractions in the area include Went worth Falls, the towering sandstone rock formations called the Three Sisters, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Toma, and some of Australia’s best hiking trails. At Nolan Caves, the world’s oldest known open cave system, you can view glittering stalactites and stalagmites.

A popular way to explore the region and admire the scenery is by signing up for the adventures offered by Scenic World. These include a Sky way, cable way, an elevated walkway, and one of the world’s steepest railways. You can also opt to experience a combination of these adventures to see the park from different perspectives. Blue Mountains National Park is one of the top places to visit near Sydney by car, but you can also catch a train or join a guided day trip tour.

3. Byron Bay

On the north coast, Byron Bay is a hot spot for surfers and New Age nature buffs. A wide stretch of golden beach fronts the ocean here, and a lovely hike along the Cape Byron Track leads to the most easterly point on the Australian continent and its famous lighthouse. Dolphins and whales frolic in the waters, and water sports abound.

In the hinterland, you can explore World Heritage-listed Columbine National Park (formerly Mount Warning National Park) with tranquil rain forests and waterfalls. Byron is also known for its colorful markets, as well as its health and yoga retreats, spa resorts, and luxury boutique hotels.

To soak up the soul of old Byron Bay, venture about an hour inland to the tiny town of Nimbi, a hippie hub and hotbed for counterculture and alternative lifestyles.

4. Editor’s Pick Lord Howe Island

World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island is a haven for serenity-seekers and nature lovers. Surrounded by the world’s most southerly coral reef, this spectacular island, about 660 kilometers off the New South Wales north coast, only allows a maximum of 400 guests at a time. The island encompasses a number of islets, which are part of a former volcano, with dramatic cliffs rising along the rugged coast, white-sand beaches, pristine native forests of panda nus and gentian palms, and spectacular views from atop 875-meter-high Mt. Gower.

Nearly two-thirds of the island is protected. Birding is excellent on Lord Howe with more than 130 permanent and migratory species, and the island is also home to a rich diversity of flora. The Lord Howe Island Marine Park protects offshore coral reefs with superb diving and snorkeling. Fishing, surfing, kayaking, and hiking along the many walking trails are also popular activities. Bicycles are the main mode of transport, and you won’t find any cell phone reception here, which helps to preserve the peaceful ambience. Lord Howe Island lies less than a two-hour-flight away from Sydney or Brisbane, and although it’s not technically a tropical island, it still ranks as one of the most beautiful islands in the South Pacific.

5. Bask on the South Coast’s Beaches

Blenheim Beach, Jervis Bay

The South Coast of New South Wales, from the southern fringe of Sydney to the Victorian border, is home to some of the state’s most beautiful white-sand beaches set against the dark summits of the Great Dividing Range. Rolling green hills, lakes, inlets, and forests fringe the coast, and the climate is mild throughout the year.

Strung along the coast here are a series of small holiday resorts, many with fantastic opportunities for water sports from their beaches, including swimming, fishing, and surfing. Kama is home to the world’s largest blowhole, and Jervis Bay is a standout with its radiant powder-soft sands. Nearby, the dazzling H yams Beach, reputedly with the world’s whitest sand, is one of Australia’s best beaches. Batman’s Bay, Perambulate and its sister village, Ambulant, are also popular holiday spots famed for their beautiful beaches and fantastic opportunities for water sports.

One of the most southerly places on the coast is the old fishing village of Eden, once a prosperous whaling station. North and south of town lies the Ben Boyd National Park with magnificent views of reddish sandstone cliffs from Boyd’s Tower, a former lighthouse.

6. The Hunter Valley

The picturesque Hunter Valley, about a two-hour drive north of Sydney, is one of Australia’s most famous grape-growing regions. It’s a popular weekend escape from Sydney — especially for foodies, who come here for the delicious farm-fresh produce, cooking schools, and gourmet restaurants with chef’s tasting menus. Highlights of the region include the beautiful Hunter Valley Gardens, several excellent art galleries, and vast stretches of unspoiled bush land.

At World Heritage-listed Barring ton Tops National Park, you can hike through ancient rain forest and see impressive waterfalls and a diversity of wildlife. Also in the region, Willem National Park, is one of the largest national parks in New South Wales. It’s home to the famous Willem pine and offers excellent bush walking, rock climbing, and canoeing. Newcastle is one of the largest towns in the region, and the Bathers Way coastal walk is one of its most popular attractions. Accommodations in the Hunter region range from luxury spa resorts and boutique hotels to rustic cabins.

7. Coffs Harbour

Blessed with beautiful beaches and a mild, subtropical climate, C offs Barbour is a favorite holiday destination for families. The town is famous for its Big Banana, an homage to the local banana-growing industry, with interesting displays and kid-friendly attractions. Along the coast, you can bask on uncrowded beaches, fish, surf, dive, kayak, and visit the Mutton bird Island Nature Reserve.

About 50 kilometers west of Offs Barbour, nature lovers can explore the rain forest and waterfalls of Rigor National Park, a World Heritage Area. To the north lies a string of pretty beaches (Emerald Beach is a favorite), and the town of Grafton. Famous for its jacaranda trees, Grafton has six large national parks within easy reach, including the World Heritage Areas of Gibraltar Range National Park (Glen Inness) and Wash pool National Park.

8. Norfolk Island

Once a brutal convict colony, Norfolk Island is now a charming holiday resort with World Heritage-listed historic sites. Although the island is an external territory, it remains part of the Commonwealth of Australia and is home to the Pitcairn Island descendants of the Bounty mutineers.

Today, you can tour ruins of the old settlements and learn about the island’s Polynesian heritage and colonial past at its excellent museums. A third of this emerald island consists of national parks and reserves with scenic hiking and biking trails, excellent birding, and sweeping green landscapes dotted with native Norfolk Island pines. Diving, swimming, and snorkeling are popular pastimes.

Beach lovers will find a few secluded coves carved into the rugged and rocky coast. Coral reefs lie offshore, and the fishing is superb in these remote waters. Norfolk Island is about a 2.5-hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane.

9. Port Stephens

About an hour drive north of Newcastle, Port Stephens is a large and beautiful blue-water bay enclosed by two volcanic headlands. Natural bush land fringes many of the 26 white-sand beaches here, and whales and dolphins are often spotted in the bay. Despite the many vacationers who come here in the summer, you can still find a quiet stretch of beach. This is also one of the top fishing destinations in Australia, especially for big game fishing. Other popular water sports include swimming, surfing, kayaking, and boating.

To see panoramic views of the Port Stephens coastline, take the Amaretto Head summit walk. Another popular activity here is quad biking or sledding on the southern Hemisphere’s largest sand dunes. The main holiday resorts are Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay, but you can also stay at Soldiers Point, Fingal Bay, and Lemon Tree Passage. Nearby, Mall Lakes National Park encompasses one of the state’s largest lake systems and is another great destination for fishing, swimming, and kayaking.

10. Ski, Hike, or Fish in the Snowy Mountains

Forming part of the Great Dividing Range, the Snowy Mountains are home to the continent’s highest mountains, including 2,228-meter Mount Kosciusko, Australia’s highest peak. Kosciusko National Park here is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a popular year-round recreational area. Snowy winters lure skiers, while, in the summer, the easily accessible alpine terrain of snow gum forests and glacial lakes attracts hordes of bush walkers, climbers, anglers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and water sports enthusiasts.

Famous for its excellent trout fishing, Dependably is a great base for adventures into the Snowy Mountains. Perisher Blue Ski Resort incorporates the popular Perisher Valley, Swigging Holes, Guthrie, and Mount Blue Cow, while Bothered Village, at the foot of the Crackerjack Range, boasts a year-round chair lift and is one of Australia’s best ski resorts. Near the summit of Mount Kosciusko, Charlotte Pass is a great base for ski tours to the highest peaks in the Australian Alps. With all these snow-capped peaks, it’s not surprising the Snowy Mountains are one of the most popular places to visit in New South Wales in winter.

11. Kangaroo Valley

Gorgeously green, the Kangaroo Valley is a quintessential and impossibly picturesque Aussie country town surrounded by lushly-cloaked escarpments and rolling pastures. It lies about a two-hour drive southwest of Sydney in the scenic Shoal haven Region. Perhaps the town’s most distinctive landmark is the handsome, historic Hampden Bridge spanning the Kangaroo River, Australia’s only remaining wooden suspension bridge. Driving across its single-lane between the soaring sandstone pillars sets the tone for a relaxed visit here, encouraging visitors to slow down and smile at passing drivers.

Popular things to do include horseback riding, hiking, golfing, kayaking along the rivers and creeks, and absorbing some local history at the Pioneer Village Museum. Nature is also a highlight. Don’t miss the impressive Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park, and while you’re in the valley, keep an eye out for the namesake marsupials, as well as wallabies, especially at Tallow Dam, where you can also kayak and fish. Beautiful Bender Camping and Picnic area is one of the best spots to see wombats in the wild.

The Kangaroo Valley is also earning a reputation as a foodie destination, with its abundance of fresh produce, cute tea rooms, and farmers market. Try to squeeze in a cooking class, and don’t miss the fresh-baked pies at Kangaroo Valley Pie Shop in Barrelling Old Store.

12. Outback NSW

Outback New South Wales is a land of sacred aboriginal sites, harsh deserts, and haunting beauty. Munro National Park in the Willard Lakes World Heritage Area holds records of aboriginal life dating back some 40,000 to 60,000 years. At Unwarrantable National Park, in the zone of transition between the arid areas to the west and the rainy east, spectacular rock buttresses and domes are the result of volcanic activity. On the summits of the hills are snow gums, while deep spring-fed gorges lie in the valleys. You can explore this park on an excellent network of hiking trails and see colorful displays of wildflowers in the spring.

In addition to exploring the rugged national parks, the country towns in the Outback are some of the most unique places in New South Wales, with plenty of unusual things to do. You can hunt for opals at the mining towns of White Cliffs and Lightning Ridge; visit the Living Desert Sculptures of Broken Hill; and ride a bike around Tarragon Western Plains Zoo in Dumbo.

13. Armidale

In the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, the elegant university town of Armidale is a city of four seasons. Just shy of 1,000 meters in altitude, it’s the state’s highest town, with relatively mild summers, riotous spring blooms, fiery fall foliage, and even a sprinkling of snow during winter. Highlights of a visit here include heritage tours of the town’s lovely old buildings funded by the region’s rich agricultural wealth, as well as visiting the excellent galleries, gardens, and museums. Saints Mary & Joseph Catholic Cathedral is a famous landmark, and the University of New England adds a youthful buzz to this stately town.

Pristine wilderness areas surround the city, with attractions for families and nature lovers, as well as plenty of outdoor adventures on tap. Trout fishing, mountain biking, canyoning, hiking, and bird watching are just some of the popular things to do.

If you’re driving to Armidale, don’t miss Waterfall Way. This 185-kilometer scenic drive connects the coastal town of Coffs Harbour with Armidale, revealing beautiful scenery around almost every bend, from river-carved valleys and World Heritage-listed rain forest to picturesque cascades. Ebro Falls is a highlight. The road also passes through five national parks, including Rigor National Park; the Colombia Gorge and Falls, with one of Australia’s highest waterfalls; and New England and Oxley Wild Rivers national parks.

14. Canberra

Brimming with cultural treasures, the Australian capital city of Canberra lies about 280 kilometers southwest of Sydney. It’s technically in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) a 2,400-square-kilometer self-governing federal district, rather than the state of New South Wales, but it is entirely surrounded by New South Wales and is an easy weekend getaway from Sydney.

Besides the city’s excellent museums and memorials, it’s also known for its fun family-friendly festivals — in particular, the Deloria festival, usually held in September to October, which celebrates the city’s many spring blooms.

A central feature of this carefully planned city is sparkling Lake Burley Griffin, a long artificial lake surrounded by parks, picnic areas, and a walking trail. Canberra’s streets are laid out on a generous scale, with many of them flanked by colorful flower gardens and thousands of trees with glorious autumn colors.

Canberra’s principal buildings lie within the Parliamentary Triangle and include the National Gallery of Australia, with three levels of exhibitions and a sculpture garden; the National Library of Australia; Old Parliament House, now a museum depicting the story of Australian democracy; and New Parliament House. Don’t miss the poignant Australian War Memorial, and make sure you save time to stroll around the impressive collection of native plants at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

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 Flanders Ranges, the opal mines of Goober Hedy, vast deserts crossed by famous 4WD tracks, and the legendary Null arbor 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 Fleur 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 Flanders 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 Silurian honey. To get here, you can fly direct to the island from Adelaide, or hop aboard a ferry from Cape Jervis on the Fleur 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 Center.

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 Glenn from Victoria Square to swim, sail, and soak up the seaside ambience, or venture into the beautiful bush-covered hills of the Mount Lofty Ranges (Adelaide Hills).

3. Barbarossa Valley

The Barbarossa Valley, about an hour 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 is 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 farmers 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 Barbarossa 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 blue stone 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 Seven hill, 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 Berra, which has preserved its rich history in mine buildings, stone dwellings, and museums along Burr’s Heritage Passport Trail. The English-style heritage town of Min taro is home to Martin dale Hall, a Neoclassical mansion that is now a hotel.

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

5. Flanders Ranges

Named for famous explorer Matthew Flanders, the Flanders 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 Flanders Ranges National Park, the most scenic area of the region, a rich growth of vegetation cloaks the sheltered valleys, and wild flowers carpet the parched earth in spring. Top attractions here include the natural amphitheater of Wilden Pound with St. Mary’s Peak at its highest point, Aboriginal art at Kangaroo Rock, fossils, and part of the long-distance Hey sen Trail named for the famous German-born Australian artist, Hans Hey sen.

6. Fleur Peninsula

The picturesque Fleur Peninsula, a spur of land projecting southwest from the Mount Lofty Ranges, is a playground for many activities such as fishing, boating, bush walking, 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 Goolagong was known as the New Orleans of Australia in its heyday because of the numerous paddle steamers plying the river. Off Goolagong, Hind marsh Island is a favorite haunt of birdwatchers.

Other popular stops on the peninsula include the surfing hotpot of Port Elliot and the vine-draped hills of Clarence 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 Wallah, or swim with balletic sea lions at Baird Bay. Whale watching is another popular activity during 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 bush land and wildlife of the Brawler Ranges or venture into the outback across the legendary Null arbor 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 Gerrymandering and Orangutan 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 Remark 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 Olive wood Historic Homestead and Museum, organize a river cruise, or hire a houseboat.

Another popular place to visit is Lox ton, the “garden city” of the River land 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 Lox ton, the little town of Friederike is a popular spot for gliding and offers a pretty cliff-top walk.

9. Mount Gamier

Along the Limestone Coast, Mount Gamier 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 round the crater.

While you’re in the area, stop by the McPherson Sinkhole. Created when the roof of a cave collapsed, this popular tourist attraction was transformed into a beautiful “sunken garden” by James McPherson 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 Gamier, you can explore South Australia’s only World Heritage Site, Coordinate 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 Coroner, a chain of lagoons and salt lakes between Lake Alexandrina and the sea; the grape-growing region of Cookware; pretty Beach port, a former whaling station; and the historic beach resort of Robe.

10. Inness National Park, Yorke Peninsula

Sitting at the tip of the spectacular Yorke Peninsula, about a three-hour drive from Adelaide, remote Inness 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, malleable, and hooded plovers.

11. Coober Pedy

The opal-mining town of Cooper Hedy 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 round Coober Pedy into a lunar-like landscape. You can still try your luck looking for these preadolescent beauties after obtaining a prospecting permit from the Mines Department in Cooper Hedy. The Old Timers Mine and Museum displays exhibits on the history of prospecting for precious stones. Sightseers can also tour underground homes and the subterranean Catacomb Church.