Are you looking to travel in 2020? Each one of these awe-inspiring bucket list destinations is sure to make this year memorable.
Grand Canyon, USA
Despite being documented, and raved about with breathless awe by everyone from Teddy Roosevelt to aspiring Instagram influencers, the glory of the Grand Canyon is impossible to express; you just have to go. A wonder of the natural world, this crown jewel of the American National Parks System is the result of billions of years of erosion and geological upheaval. Standing at the edge of the canyon and looking out at its sheer vastness—it’s 446 kilometers long and 1,800 meters deep— is a thrill that stays with you forever.
Venice, Italy appeals to visitors drawn to history, romance, and sheer loveliness—the New York Times calls it, “undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man.” A series of 118 small islands set in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, it has been navigated via bridges and small boats since its founding in the 10th century B.C. Full of beautifully preserved historic architecture, and imbued with a strong sense of identity, Venice is sat firmly atop countless travelers’ bucket lists.
Dramatically beautiful, vibrantly green, and full of famously welcoming locals always happy to pull up another chair for guests, Ireland is one of the most appealing vacation destinations in the world. The past is everywhere you look on the small island — from ancient castles to battlefields that changed the course of history — but modern life beckons just as warmly; inviting you to sample delicious and innovative flavors, meet delightful residents with an always engaging “gift of the gab,” and try your hand at some of the best golf courses on the planet.
Outdoor cafes, extraordinary music drifting out of restaurants, and the almost palpable joie de vivre that floats through the city like the scent of warm baguettes, give every inch of Paris a distinctive and irresistible appeal. Paris is the place to enjoy small, special moments in between visits to iconic cultural landmarks like the grand Eiffel Tower, sprawling Louvre Museum (home to the enigmatic Mona Lisa), the Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Élysées, perhaps the most famous avenue in the world.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Perched in the Andes, and overlooking the stunning Sacred Valley, you’ll find the breathtaking Machu Picchu: the ancient ruins of an abandoned Incan village that make up Peru’s most famous site. Built in the 15th century as a fearsome citadel and signal of the mighty Incans’ formidable power, it was mysteriously abandoned just a century later. Lost to history for hundreds of years, it was only rediscovered again at the start of the 20th century, when the “Lost City of the Inca” became an immaculately preserved sensation. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has numerous structures to explore, as well as some of the best mountain views in all of South America.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef, and the huge reef system off the Australian coast attracts an abundance of marine life and the visitors who flock to see them. Covering nearly 350,000 square kilometers, it is made up of 2,500 individual reefs and more than 900 islands. You can see 1,500 species of fish, 400 species of coral, and 240 types of bird in and around the shockingly blue water—not to mention sea turtles, dolphins, and migrating whales.