5) Connemara National Park – Ireland
Make sure when you visit this national park you go on a clear day and take a hike to the top of Diamond Hill Trail. The lasts leg of the hike can be difficult but your hard work will be rewarded with the amazing landscape witnessed throughout, from beautiful bogs to rolling hills and ocean views. Bring a jacket, the temperature can be quite cold at the top, even on a warm day. Find a comfortable spot at the top to enjoy the Irish countryside while you rest from the climb.
4) Neuschwanstein Castle – Bavaria, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle really is something out of a fairy tale. If it seems familiar to you it probably is, it was the model for the Walt Disney World Castle. The entire castle grounds and surrounding terrain have an element of magic that can only be felt by those who stop to look for it. The best place to find it is on the wooden bridge that offers amazing views of the castle and gorge below.
3) Anne Frank’s house – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Before you visit Anne Frank’s house, be sure to read her diary. Even though the house now sits on a busy street, the minute you set foot into the first room the atmosphere changes. You know this is a place for deep reflection, remembrance, and respect. There is a hushed feeling to the museum visitors as they make their way through the exhibits. Take your time in each room, put yourself in their shoes. Never forget.
2) Observation Hill – Amboseli National Park, Kenya
After spending a morning viewing all of the wildlife you dreamed of seeing as a child, ask your guide to take you to Observation Hill for lunch. While you eat, you will be rewarded with amazing panoramic views of the surrounding plains, under the watchful eye of Kilimanjaro’s snow capped peak. If you watch closely, you can see elephant herds moving uninhibited in the deep marshlands and herds of wildebeest running from predators stirring up dust devils.
1) Grand Canyon – Arizona, USA
Everything about the Grand Canyon is awe inspiring. No photograph will ever do the incredible landscape justice, nor can its vastness be adequately conveyed by words. The only way to experience it is in person, sitting on the edge (safely of course), and pondering the millions of years it took for the amazing canyon to be carved by the never tiring Colorado River meandering a mile below. If you visit at sunset you can experience natural beauty in its truest form as the colors of the canyon walls become indistinguishable from the palette of the sky and setting sun.
Submitted by: Dana Kennedy
Dana is a stay-at-home mom, former zookeeper, and adjunct professor. She loves to travel, read, cook, spend time with her family, and experience all that life has to offer.