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Smithsonian Magazine's 43 Places to See Before You Die
Posted by Michael on August 18, 2011
Visit the Tranquil Zen Garden of Kyoto
For a great list of the absolute must-see locations around the globe, Smithsonian magazine
has published a list of their top 43 places:
Some of the sites are portals into the past — ancient cities so well preserved that visiting them is like stepping into a previous century. Others feature feats of engineering or sublime works of art — or, in the cases of the Taj Mahal and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, both. Travelers can visit temples and churches so breathtaking they must have been built with divine inspiration. For the more adventurous, we offer rewards beyond mere sightseeing — from a three-day hike across the Grand Canyon to a ride along China's Yangtze River.
Visit Mesa Verde National Park COLORADO"Climb into the Colorado cliff dwellings and imagine what life was like for the Ancestral Pueblo Indians who lived there."
Visit Pompeii ITALY"Preserved under the volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius are the everyday goings-on of ancient Roman life."
Visit Tikal National Park GUATEMALA"An ancient Mayan city, once hidden by overgrown jungle, evokes a childlike sense of wonder."
Visit Petra JORDAN"Balancing tourist access and the preservation of the sandstone city may be a tough call."
Visit the Pyramids at Giza EGYPT"The ongoing debate about how the pyramids were built is a testament to the brilliance of its makers."
Visit the Taj Mahal INDIA"This year, millions of tourists will visit the marble monument—and the Indian government is restoring it for millions more."
See the Statues of Easter Island CHILE"A riddle of engineering hasn't stopped archaeologists from debating how the giant carved stones were transported around the island."
Visit Iguazu Falls ARGENTINA"A series of 200 separate waterfalls, Iguazu is best viewed when the river is high and the moon is full."
Visit Machu Picchu PERU"The “lost city of the Incas” has captivated visitors with its magnificent setting and detailed stonework."
Visit the Louvre PARIS"Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo are just two of the works housed within the walls of this fortress-turned-royal palace-turned-museum."
Visit Fallingwater PENNSYLVANIA"Fallingwater, a southwest Pennsylvania house designed by the famous architect, allows residents to live within a waterfall."
Navigate the Yangtze River CHINA"Dubbed “the wildest, wickedest river,” this 4,000-mile-long waterway has played a major role in Chinese civilization."
Visit Antarctica"The coldest and windiest place on Earth is still largely undiscovered."
Hike Mount Kilimanjaro TANZANIA"A trek up the world’s tallest freestanding mountain takes you through five different ecosystems and offers a stunning 19,340-foot view."
Visit the Grand Canyon ARIZONA"No matter how many times you’ve seen it, visiting the canyon never fails to take your breath away."
Visit the Parthenon GREECE"After a recent restoration, the center of the Athenian Acropolis and symbol of Western democracy still inspires."
Visit Angkor Wat CAMBODIA"The 12th century temple is the worlds largest religious structure and a jewel of Khmer architectural style."
Explore Ancient Ephesus TURKEY"Ruled over the centuries by Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, there is much to see of the city’s former splendor."
Visit Venice ITALY"The enchanting city celebrates its Middle Age and Renaissance glory through its art, architecture and enduring spirit."
Dive the Great Barrier Reef AUSTRALIA"Beautiful beaches and unrivaled underwater views lure lovers of marine life to the world’s largest coral reef."
Visit the Galápagos Islands ECUADOR"Evolution disciples and the merely curious can experience conspicuously adapted wildlife off the coast of Ecuador."
Ski the Vasaloppet SWEDEN"For the thrill-seeking sports enthusiasts, few races can compete with this exhilarating Swedish ski race."
Hike the Appalachian Trail USA"For decades, the backbone of the Eastern United States has given much needed respite for thousands of nature enthusiasts."
Drive the road to Hana"The zigzagging road may take long to traverse for only being 52 miles long, but the eye candy alone makes it worthwhile."
Visit Table Mountain SOUTH AFRICA"High above Cape Town, this craggy wildlife preserve provides sprawling views and thrilling hikes."
Visit Santorini GREECE"The Greek isle, a remnant of a long ago volcanic eruption, has most everything a traveler would want: great food and awe-inspiring scenery."
Visit Iceland's Volcanoes ICELAND"Set atop a tectonic hotspot, the small island is home to breathtaking eruptions and other geologic sites."
Visit The Outer Hebrides UK"Breathtaking views and millennia of history charm guests of these islands off the coast of Scotland."
Visit White Sands NEW MEXICO"The New Mexico national monument is a barren and desolate place with an otherworldly appeal."
Visit Berlin GERMANY"After withstanding world and cold wars, the German city is a thriving metropolis, filled with nightclubs and cultural treats."
See the original list and article from the January 2008 edition of Smithsonian magazine