Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Your next vacation

Have you ever wondered where you should go on your next vacation?

I was trapped on an airplane the other day, and one of the movies they showed was a BBC documentary called "50 places you should visit before you die." The list was compiled, at least in part, by running a poll of BBC viewers, and the order of the places was determined by the audience.

As I watched, I wrote down all the places that were mentioned (another handy reason to carry a laptop with you everywhere you go). One way to look at this list is, "your vacation plans for the next 50 years."

Here are all the places in reverse order -- the place ranked "best place in the world to visit" is at the bottom of the list:Some personal spots that were not on the list that I want to visit:Have you been to any of these places on the list, or are there places not on the list that you think people should visit?

I would highly recomend the Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory in vermont. I doubt I would go there specifically, but if you are ever in the area.
Mesa Verde in Colorado.
Forget Disney World....Goto Universal.
Do I dare let out a secret? Southeastern Oregon, in the vicinity of Steens Mountain, is some of the most magical open country in the USA and almost no one knows of it. It is right up there with the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon, but there might be 100 tourists spread out over 100 square miles in peak season.
Muir Woods National Monument

Absolutely unbelievable.
Everyone has seen the fantasy Chinese river paintings with the cormorant fishers and bamboo groves set among surreal round mountains shrouded in mist. These scenes actually exist and look exactly like the mythical places in the paintings the Li Jiang River at Guilin, China. This is one of the most gorgeous regions on the planet and largely unknown to people outside China. It is out of the way, but very cheap to visit even for an extended stay.
"24 people" in Manhattan if were as populated as Alaska. I wonder if that was a made up number to match the $24 the Dutch allegedly spent on Manhattan in the first place?
Lake Louise in Alberta is stunning. The first time I visited before I moved to Calgary, my wife held her hands over my eyes and led me to the observations point right outside of the hotel. When I looked, it was the most incredible landscape I had ever seen.
Bora Bora has nothing to worry about, but if you are in the U.S. and on a budget try this -

Manatee Springs state park

"over 100 million gallons of water gush forth daily at Manatee Springs. In winter, manatees swim upriver to spend the night in the warm waters of the headspring. Popular for snorkeling and scuba diving, the headwaters of the spring are also a great spot for swimming."

You can also see real live Mermaids here -

Weeki Wachee Springs

Cheesy, yes. The manatees are better.
The Moon

Really I wish the locales were ranked by priority and budget.
Not as nice as Muir Woods but nice if you are in the area: Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest in North Carolina
Everyone should visit a rain forest. Either in Brazil, or a place like Costa Rica.


Leigh and I went to Bermuda on our honeymoon (and have been back one more time) and loved it. It is a fantastic island. But don't go during hurricane season.
IMHO, Japan is the best place in the world to visit for one reason: unparalleled variety.

Simply put, Japan has something for everybody. Do you enjoy nature? Are you drawn to big, sprawling cities? Do you like technology? How about quirky customs and festivals? Do you smoke or drink? Look no further! Do you get a rush from speed? Why not take a ride on the Bullet Train. You prefer to go slow? Get away from it all at a mountain hot spring resort. Are noodles your thing? Then you're in luck! Rather have a burger? They've got those too! Perhaps you're attracted to jet-black hair and dainty figures? Ah, now you've found something worth dying for!
Anonymous (the Japan one). We are going to spend Christmas break in Japan with my in-laws (who live there). We have the "all you can use" rail pass, so do you have any recommendations of your favorite places? We are home based in Yokohama.
How could they leave Margaritaville off this list?

And for the wealthy, what about the International Space Station? Surely the views are more magnificent than NY?
Pompeii is the most impressive thing I've ever seen. It is a must.

Budapest and Stockholm are fantastic too.
Zion National Park in Utah. Hop over to Bryce Canyon While you are there. Unbelivable beauty. Go in winter or summer. Completely spectacular. I did these parks and Grand Canyon in one trip and I like the Utah parks as much or more than the Grand Canyon!
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