Ask Jessie: What Are The Best Places To Travel For Sightseeing? [Photo Essay]

Hey Jessie,

I’m trying to decide where to plan my next trip and have no idea where to begin. I’m a regular reader of your blog, and figured I’d ask you what some of the best places to travel are in terms of your favorite sights around the world. Hopefully this will spark some ideas. Thank you!

-Gianna, New York

There are so many wonderful sights around the world, it’s hard to narrow it down into a list; however, I will do my best. Hopefully this helps you figure out some of the best places to travel for you.

As you’ll see below, most of my favorite sights are landscapes/nature-related.

best places to travel

Having an organic farmstay experience at Dewalokam, which means “paradise,” in Kerala, India.

Dewalokam (Kerala, India)

My two-week cycling trip through Kerala, India, was full of amazing sightseeing. One of my favorite experiential attractions was Dewalokam, an organic farm homestay featuring 12 acres of Ayurveda herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables used in onsite meals, cleaning products and spa treatments. It’s surrounded by lush jungle and river bird sanctuary, and is the type of accommodation that truly immerses you serene local culture.

best places to travel

Grand Canyon at sunrise.

The Grand Canyon (Arizona)

Recently I got to visit the Grand Canyon, which was just as beautiful as people say it is. You feel so small staring out over it… and even smaller if you hike inside!

best places to travel

Swimming in the crystal waters of the “Indigenous Eyes” in the Punta Cana Ecological Reserve

Punta Cana Ecological Reserve (Puntacana, Dominican Republic)

When visiting Punta Cana I was surprised that, despite being a city essentially created by PUNTACANA Resort & Club, much of the place was very laid back and quiet. The most serene sight was the Punta Cana Ecological Reserve, home to 12 freshwater lagoons — three of which you can swim in — filled with fish and turtles.

best places to travel

Proud to be a New Yorker. Here I am enjoying street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Bushwick Collective (Brooklyn, New York)

I may be biased as I’ve lived in Bushwick now for about two years, but I can’t say enough how great it is for sightseeing. Get past the gritty exterior of the neighborhood and you can enjoy delicious raw chocolate at Fine & Raw (free samples and an open factory!), amazing street art hosted by the Bushwick Collective (Troutman Street between Wycoff and St. Nicholas is the best area for this) and experimental galleries. Get off at the Morgan L subway stop and roam from there.

best places to travel

Climbing El Peñol in Colombia with friends. Thanks to Seattle’s Travels for taking this fun shot!

El Peñol (Guatape, Colombia)

Medellin, Colombia, makes for an excellent home base for sightseeing both in and around the city (adventure-enthusiasts should not miss a paragliding experience and other great Medellin day trips). One attraction not to miss that’s about two hours from Medellin is El Peñol de Guatape, a 2,135-meter (7,005-foot) monolith you can climb (~740 steps) for stunning aerial views of the colorful pueblo of Guatapé and surrounding lakes and lush green islands. El Peñol is considered a National Monument in Colombia.

instagram photos

Lake Atitlan (Guatemala)

Guatemala is one of my absolute favorite places in the world. So much so I’ve thought about — and am still thinking about — moving there for a few months. One not-to-miss sight is Lake Atitlan, surrounded by villages, each with their own personality. For an unforgettable experience, hike to the top of Indian’s Nose from San Pedro (the popular backpacker/nightlife village) at sunrise.

best places to travel

Exploring the works in Eigen + Art at the Spinnerei Galleries. Photo courtesy of Jessica Festa.

Spinnerei (Leipzig, Germany)

During a trip through Northern Germany, one of historically- and culturally-rich city I visited was Leipzig, located about two hours from Berlin. A highlight of the visit was exploring Spinnerei, a cotton-mill-turned-arts-complex with 14+ galleries, 120 artists, creative shops, design firms and independent businesses. Here, the rich history is still apparent through the red brick exterior, still-present train tracks used to ship the cotton and a small museum with original black and white photos and artifacts from the time.

best places to travel

A curious deer biting my hip

Nara (Kansai Region, Japan)

The Kansai Region of Japan has much to explore, especially in the city of Nara. Here, Japan‘s Nara Park, you’ll be truly immersed in a fantasy-like world — beginning with over 1,000 friendly deer. Being from Long Island where it’s forbidden to touch and feed wild deer, it was amazing to me that in Nara deer are protected and visitors can pet and feed them. From February 1 to March 16 and certain dates in August every day from 9:30-10am visitors can enjoy a free calling and feeding show. During this time, an individual from the foundation for the protection of the deer in Nara will blow a French horn, causing about one hundred deer to come sprinting from the forest.

best places to travel

The Soleli Desert (Uyuni, Bolivia)

In Bolivia, the Soleli Desert is like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, with geysers, otherworldly rock formations, hot pink lakes full of flamingos, train cemeteries and endless expanses of salt flats that make for an interesting photo shoot location (as seen above).

best places to travel

Perito Moreno Glacier (Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina)

While there are many excellent hiking destinations around the world, not many can hold a candle to the one of the planet’s most picturesque glaciers, Perito Moreno, a popular day trip from El Calafate in Patagonia. Famous for its one-of-a-kind forest and mountain views, Perito Moreno is said to be one of the only glaciers in the world that is still growing – about two to six feet per day. You can trek the glacier for a unique outdoor experience.

These are just a few of many amazing sights around the world. When thinking about the best places to travel, what are your favorite attractions and experiences?

Also Check Out:

ProBlogging 101

Mastering The Art Of Solo Travel

Ask Jessie: How Do You Travel After College With Student Loan Debt?


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