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Just because you can’t feel your palms sweat or heartbeat with anticipation, doesn’t mean these simple bucket list ideas won’t take your breath away.
We love travel and iconic destinations, and while different people are in pursuit of different views, these ten trips make our bucket list for sites you don’t want to miss in your life. With your feet firmly planted on the ground, you can achieve an enviable, yet easy bucket list; check out these top ideas.
If you haven’t seen them, you won’t understand the mesmerizing attraction to the brilliant and beautiful iconic red rocks of Sedona.
[RED] ROCK YOUR WORLD | Sedona, Arizona
If you haven’t seen them, you won’t understand the mesmerizing attraction to the brilliant and beautiful iconic red rocks of Sedona. There are so many ways to see these glorious grounds, particularly from the Chapel of the Holy Cross built high into the rocks or on a hike through Red Rock State Park, a 286-acre nature preserve. Trails throughout the park wind through manzanita and juniper to reach the banks of Oak Creek. The creek meanders through the park, creating a diverse habitat abounding with plants and wildlife. The story of the red rocks tells of the most amazing natural features of Sedona and photos just don’t do them justice, as the red hues make sunrises and sunsets even more magnificent. It took just 320 million years for mud and sand to transform into rock. The hard rock had a thin layer of iron oxide that was caused by chemical weathering of natural minerals, turning the rock its iconic red color. While in Sedona pursuing this easy bucket list idea, don’t miss delicious local bistros.
The Grand Hotel
BE GRAND | Mackinac Island, Michigan
Enjoy high tea in grand style! Visit The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and visit the past with old-world charm. Built in 1887, The Grand Hotel is a National Historic Landmark and a bucket-list stay as well, and the century-old tradition of Afternoon Tea at Grand Hotel in the parlor is an iconic memory. Contributing greatly to the hotel’s ambiance is the relaxed atmosphere of
Mackinac Island, where cars are not allowed—you’ll get around in a horse and carriage, bicycle or by foot. For bonus points, enjoy sitting in a rocking chair on the world’s longest porch with views of the Straits of Mackinac.
VISIT WHERE FREEDOM WAS BORN | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
If you love American history, you simply must visit Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where 56 men gathered in defiance of the King of England and signed both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution to create the United States of America. Rich in history, there is so much to see at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Independence Hall is also part of the U.S. National Park Service and an Independence National Historical Park. Construction on the building started in 1732. Built to be the Pennsylvania State House, the hall originally housed all three branches of Pennsylvania’s colonial government. The state legislature loaned its Assembly Room out for the meetings of the Second Continental Congress and later, the Constitutional Convention. Here, George Washington was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in 1775, and the Articles of Confederation were adopted in 1781. Later, the room became a shrine to the founding of the nation, proudly displaying the original paintings of the Founding Fathers.
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BE ROYAL | Bavaria, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany is often referred to as the most beautiful castle in the world, and it oozes with iconic fairy-tale romance. Neuschwanstein Castle, built for King Ludwig II between 1869 and 1886 on a rugged cliff against a scenic mountain backdrop, was intended to “embody the true spirit of the medieval German castle.” With soaring turrets perched high against the backdrop of the majestic Bavarian Alps, this stunning castle seems like a dream. Once inside, be inspired by the beautiful interiors including lavish original furniture and extravagant ornamentation. From the pedestrian bridge Marienbrücke, you can take a perfect shot of Neuschwanstein Castle in all its glory.
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BE A SPORT | U.S.A.
Even if you are not a major sports fan, the roar of the crowd and the excitement over an iconic match-up is an unforgettable memory. Go to a World Series baseball game, the Super Bowl or a Stanley Cup Championship, and cheer for your favorite team. The best way to get tickets? Work with an expert travel planner who can put together an entire trip around the must-see event. If you are not up for a big game, then perhaps create a championship family tour to see every baseball stadium in the country.
These are one of the rare species in the world known to synchronize their flashing patterns.
Smoky Mountain National Park
SEE THE SYNCHRONZING FIREFLIES | Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Do you remember going out to see lightening bugs at night? For just two weeks every year, you can see the synchronized fireflies in the Smoky Mountains. There are at least 19 different species of fireflies that live within the national park, and synchronous fireflies are one of them.
These are one of the rare species in the world known to synchronize their flashing patterns. It’s unknown why the fireflies flash together, however one theory is that males are competing with each other during mating season, and they all want to be the first to flash. Whatever the reason, this natural phenomenon draws intense crowds each year to watch the spectacle.
INDULGE IN THE MOST LUXE SUNDAE | New York City, New York
Visitors to New York City’s famed Serendipity 3, with famous guests including Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy and Andy Warhol, are drawn to this charming locale for the much-talked-about frozen hot chocolate. However, it’s a much more indulgent menu item that has our attention—the “Golden Opulence Sundae,” which goes for $1,000 per sundae and must be ordered in advance. In 2004, Serendipity celebrated its 50th anniversary by introducing the record-breaking Golden Opulence Sundae, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive dessert.
It is made with three scoops of the Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream, infused with Madagascar vanilla, covered in 23K edible gold leaf, drizzled with the world’s most expensive chocolate, Amedei Porcelana, and covered with chunks of Chuao chocolate, which is from cocoa beans harvested by the Caribbean Sea on Venezuela’s coast. It is suffused with exotic candied fruits from Paris, gold dragées, truffles and Marzipan Cherries and topped with a tiny glass bowl of Grand Passion Caviar, an exclusive dessert caviar, made of salt-free American Golden caviar, known for its sparkling golden color. It is sweetened and infused with passion fruit, orange and Armagnac. The sundae is served in a Baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet (which the buyer gets to keep) with an 18K gold spoon, a petite mother of pearl spoon and topped with a gilded sugar flower by Ron Ben-Israel.
Sydney, Australia is the best place to celebrate New Year, as it’s the first major city on the globe to experience the first sunrise of the new year.
BE FIRST TO SEE THE FIRST SUNRISE | Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia is the best place to celebrate New Year, as it’s the first major city on the globe to experience the first sunrise of the new year, following fireworks at midnight over the iconic Sydney Opera House. This is the first of firsts of a new year, and then you get bragging rights, too. While in Sydney, visit Darling Harbour, the iconic Harbour Bridge, where thrill seekers do the bridge climb, and Royal Botanic Garden. Sydney Tower’s outdoor platform offers breathtaking views of the city. Bondi Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations known for outstanding surfing.
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EXPERIENCE ICONIC ARCHITECTURE | Agra, India
The Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you can travel directly to this wonder of the world or see it as an excursion from a luxury river cruise. The Taj Mahal is located on the right bank of the Yamuna River in a vast Mughal garden in the Agra District in Uttar Pradesh. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, with construction starting in 1632 AD and completed in 1648 AD. The mosque, guest house, main gateway on the south, the outer courtyard and its cloisters were added later in 1653 AD. The Taj Mahal is considered to be the greatest architectural achievements in Indo-Islamic architecture.
SEE THE ROCKIES BY RAIL | Canada
Travel across Canada by train—the greenest journey is the TransCanada Rainforest Route. or splurge for the Coast-to-Coast Route. Either way, scenic beauty, majestic mountains, magnificent wildlife and stunning views await in the Canadian Rockies and beyond. This is an easy bucket list idea, as the luxury train lines have created complete itineraries to see this iconic beauty in total comfort and culinary luxury.