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Old 06-19-2012, 01:33 PM   #61
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1. Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park
2. Big Sur - a drive down the coastal highway is awe-inspiring
We are heading to both places this July for a 2 week vacation, never seen either but the pictures I see of Big Sur are amazing!
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:21 AM   #62
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places

I would second Grace Bay Beach on Provo. Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and Muir Woods are all also amazing, although maybe not quite in that top echelon.

I'd add Iceland to the list -- the main town of Reykjavik, the glaciers, Thingvellir, northern lights. Landing as dawn breaks after an overnight flight from the US is surreal -- the landscape around the airport looks more like the moon than earth.

Switzerland around Lucern and up in the mountains at Zermatt is pretty incredible, too.

Machu Picchu is high on the to-see list.

We thought Hawaii was over-rated.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:48 AM   #63
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Boca del Toro back in 1999 was nice (no idea about now) Some parts of Costa Rica are beautiful and it was a relatively cheap and safe place to visit. Thailand is also relatively cheap and safe. Seems to have something for almost everyone. Japan has great culture, food, history and scenery. The best places are often not on the beaten path and part of the fun is in the journey.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:13 PM   #64
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I agree (and have first-hand knowledge of the following):

Yosemite National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Big Sur (I used to live in the SF Bay area, and we would go down there on the weekend sometimes...just beautiful with lots of wildlife to see (sea otters and sea lions and Gray Whales at the right time of year, etc.)
Yellowstone National Park
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

I will add:
Grand Tetons National Park
Sanibel Island, FL (one of the best shelling beaches in the world)
Cape Hatteras National Seashore in the Outer Banks, NC
Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
San Francisco, CA (the most beautiful city I've seen; certain areas of course)

Want to see:
Sequoia National Park
Redwood National Park
Acadia National Park
Badlands National Park and Custer STATE Park
Arches National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Big Bend National Park (My retired parents are volunteer Rangers there in the fall and winter months)
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:17 PM   #65
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Kokee (sp?) state park in Hawaii
Cascade mountains
Sedona
Hong Kong harbor at night
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:18 PM   #66
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Bdroc, where in the Cascades were you?
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:42 PM   #67
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This photo I took of Lake Coeur d'Alene speaks for itself.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:46 PM   #68
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I am fortunate to live in an area known as "The Palouse." Above is a sample of the hills around here in spring.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:49 PM   #69
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The photos in earlier posts are spectacular.

Still, I do not know how to compare one beautiful place to another and to rank them. Sometimes when I looked back at my old travel photos, some places were special to me because I remembered the special moments then. Most of the time, it was because I was there and experienced it with my sweetheart.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:34 AM   #70
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The Grand Canyon is at the top of my list. Then, some beaches in the Dominican Republic. I also love Hong Kong for its skyline.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:50 AM   #71
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Bdroc, where in the Cascades were you?
I've never actually been in the Cascade Mountains but I flew over them several times during the winter on my way to and from China. The view from the sky is majestic and that's why I included it on my list.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:06 AM   #72
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I am fortunate to live in an area known as "The Palouse." Above is a sample of the hills around here in spring.
I lived in Post Falls/Cd'a area both your photos capture the beauty of the area.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:42 PM   #73
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Sedona
Mackinac Island
Aruba
Acadia Nat'l Park
Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park

The short list includes Glacier (DH has been there) Bryce Canyon and Napa or Sonoma. (family wedding there next year)
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:25 PM   #74
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Wow, great photos... I agree with many of the choices but will endorse two:
The beaches of Pukhet, Thailand
Iguaçu Falls, Brazil

And add 5 more:
Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Krabi, Thailand
Loch Awe, Scotland (even in the rain)
The south of Ilhabela, Brazil (pick a high spot for the most spectacular views)
The upper reaches of Pecos River, New Mexico
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:15 PM   #75
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Sedona
Mackinac Island
Aruba
Acadia Nat'l Park
Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park

The short list includes Glacier (DH has been there) Bryce Canyon and Napa or Sonoma. (family wedding there next year)
Aruba?? Beautiful place?? Don't ge me wrong, we love it and go to Aruba every year for 2 weeks, booking next year's vacation the minute we get back home! But beautiful... ... nah!

My list includes Bryce for beauty and Dazu (China) and the Egyptian pyramids for absolutely stunning.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:13 AM   #76
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Aruba?? Beautiful place?? Don't ge me wrong, we love it and go to Aruba every year for 2 weeks, booking next year's vacation the minute we get back home! But beautiful... ... nah!

My list includes Bryce for beauty and Dazu (China) and the Egyptian pyramids for absolutely stunning.
+1

Aruba is a flat, unremarkable desert island with a couple of decent beaches, a resort or two, and a really good marketing campaign.

If it's beautiful Caribbean islands you want, St. Barts, St. Martin and Antigua are much, much better in every way.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:41 AM   #77
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+1

Aruba is a flat, unremarkable desert island with a couple of decent beaches, a resort or two, and a really good marketing campaign.

If it's beautiful Caribbean islands you want, St. Barts, St. Martin and Antigua are much, much better in every way.
Yes and no. Aruba certainly doesn't have the physical beauty you would expect, however, it has another beauty for us and that is the ability to totally relax and de-stress and do some jewelry shopping . And if you have a chance to talk to many of the other visitors who go there year after year, Aruba is something special.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:21 PM   #78
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I'm just seeing this thread now, but I was very pleased to see Na Pali (Kauai) mentioned by several folks, including the OP. I've traveled a lot (about 35 countries, mostly by bicycle), visited all 50 states, most Canadian provinces, and Na Pali is near the top of the list for sheer beauty. I'm somewhat surprised it's "merely" a state park, as opposed to a national park.

I was also pleased to see Sigiriya (in Sri Lanka) mentioned. It's a unique and breathtaking sight, both from a distance as well as on top of the massive rock.

Other favorites of mine:

Redwood Nat. Park. Those of you who only know Muir Woods would be even more blown away by the much larger trees and much more extensive forest in the national park. Similarly the equally impressive redwood forest of Avenue of the Giants, which I believe is state parkland.

Other favorite National Parks: Canyonlands, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Olympic, Glacier, Crater Lake, Mt. Rainier, Yosemite

Lake & volcano region of south-central Chile. Hiking up Villarica volcano and looking into the caldera of the active volcano was amazing (and probably dangerous, in retrospect). Also the boat traversing magnificent Lake Todos los Santos, and biking near Osorno volcano.

the forests (both cloud & tropical lowland) of Costa Rica

Parts of the South Island of New Zealand, though the North Island is not too shabby either, and is very different.

Favorite cities in terms of beauty & aesthetics:
Paris
San Francisco
Penang (Malaysia)
Luang Prabang (Laos)
Oaxaca (Mexico)
Guanajuato (Mexico)
Venice (touristy but undeniably beautiful)
Prague
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:11 PM   #79
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Just came back from Forillon National Park in Quebec and it will be going on my top 5 list. It astounding that 1000 foot cliffs go into the ocean on the East coast of North America.
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