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25 Places to See Before You Die

My wife and I love to travel.  At least we used to.  By the way, the featured picture above is from my favorite town on earth, Portofino Italy.  Lynne and I took an amazing trip to Italy pre-kids and this was number one on my list.  It didn’t hurt that there was an impromptu concert right on the harbor by the Gypsy Kings.  Alas, with the recent arrival of Kid 4.0, now our idea of an epic journey is a car trip to the 30A beaches on Florida’s Gulf coast.  For those of you with a bit more freedom to wander, Travel and Leisure is out with a list of 25 trips of a lifetime.  Some of these destinations are familiar; others will make you tilt your head with curiosity.  Enjoy.  Send me a postcard.


Santorini – This might be the quintessential Greek island with its breath-taking views of an azure sea from whitewashed houses that spill down the hills to black sand beaches.


Marrakesh, Morocco – A stunning mix of ancient and modern, featuring luxury shopping, plush hotels, and the Royal Mansour spa, a personal project of the King of Morocco.


Galapagos Islands – Every since Charles Darwin visited, these islands have been a hot spot for nature watching. Consider staying at the carbon-neutral Pikaia Lodge.


Cape Town, South Africa  — The seaside city has developed a reputation for world-class dining influenced by cultures around the world.


Provence, France — Great food, excellent wine and some of the world’s most picturesque scenery.  A must-see destination since the dawn of tourism.



Egypt – Start with the Pyramids outside Cairo, and then cruise the Nile deeper into the Land of the Pharaohs.


Myanmar – Take in the ancient temples and British colonial architecture before dramatic modernization transforms the former Burma.


Petra – Tourism has boomed since this 2,300-year-old city was featured in the climatic final scene of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”  There’s a lot more to see than what Hollywood showed us.


Zambian Safari — The country offers some of the best game watching at prices well below what you’d pay in other parts of Africa.


Tokyo – The city has 80,000 restaurants and some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.  Get there before the nuttiness of the 2020 Olympics.


Lake Como, Italy – A beloved hangout of the rich and famous for at least 200 years.  Keep an eye out for George Clooney or Richard Branson.


Bhutan – Gorgeously rugged terrain and ancient Buddhist temples, including one that sits on a rock outcropping 2,600 feet above the valley floor.


Montana – Take in the gorgeous vistas and western culture at any number of guest ranches and luxury spas.  Fishing, shooting and riding are just some of the ways to enjoy this rustic world.


Bali – Some of the world’s most luxurious beach resorts can be found on this lush Indonesian island.


New Zealand – This vibrant green island nation is best known for outdoor activities and wineries, but the city of Auckland is full of cultural delights.


Rajasthan, India – This province is the India of your imagination – beautiful scenery, ancient cities and forts, even colorful weddings featuring guests on elephants.


Petit St. Vincent – This spectacular little Caribbean island offers the greatest luxury of all — peace and quiet.  No TV.  No Wi-Fi.  No phones.  The food is pretty good, too.


Napa, California – You definitely want to check out the valley’s wineries.  But don’t miss the great restaurants and bars in the town of Napa.


Amalfi Coast – The stunning stretch of southern Italy’s coast is studded with impossibly luxurious hotels and amazing seafood eateries.


Easter Island – Truly in the middle of nowhere, the island sits 2,300 off Chile’s Pacific coast.   You know the reason to make that trip:  The moai, those mysterious giant stone sculptures that stand guard along the shoreline.


Naumenko Aleksandr /

Istanbul – The ancient city is growing more cosmopolitan with the addition of several luxury hotels and a boom in restaurants that build on the city’s culinary traditions.


St. Petersburg, Russia – History, art, architecture – it’s all here, along with vibrant nightlife and top-tier hotels.


Ireland – Explore the rugged beauty of the southern and western coasts before taking in Dublin’s shopping, culture and nightlife.


Patagonia – Soaring mountains, crystal lakes, endless steppes.  It’s all yours to explore.  Settle in to a local guest ranch and drink in the majesty of the place.


Antarctica — Yes, Antarctica.  There’s nothing easy about getting there or navigating the terrain, but it’s worth the effort to experience this most extreme environment and its wildlife.

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