50 Best Places Ever to Visit

National Geographic Traveler Magazine is known for its "Places of a Lifetime" list first published in October, 1999 that lists 50 places you should visit in your lifetime. For the 10-year anniversary of this article, the magazine has republished the original 50 places plus added an additional 50 new places. Take a look and count how many you've already been to.

National Geographic Traveler Magazine's October issue features "Places of a Lifetime: The World's Greatest Destinations". The print version lists both the original 50 plus the new 50. The online version seems to contain a mix of the old and new ones.

The print version has 5 categories that are a little too broad and nondescriptive for my tastes. Here's a sampling from each category:

  • Urban Spaces: Florence, Mexico City, St. Petersburg
  • Wild Places: Aleutian Islands, Grand Canyon, Serengeti
  • Paradise Found: Aitutaki, Cook Islands; Greek Islands; Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique
  • Country Unbound: The Alps, Gobi Desert, Tuscany
  • World Wonders: Easter Island, Pyramids of Egypt, Vatican City

There are some oddities like Cyberspace listed under World Wonders, and a 51st Place of a Lifetime category containing these very broad places: the ocean and space.

They don't describe how each place was chosen. Some you might expect like Athens, Greece or Istanbul, Turkey. But others are a bit mundane, especially if you're from the U.S. In fact, I counted 10 places that are in the U.S. cities, most of which I've been to. The online version seems to feature U.S. more since 13 of the 50 places are U.S., but perhaps that's because I'm visiting the U.S. website.

I'm no world traveler by any means. So far, I have gone to 12 of the 100 places of a lifetime, well, 13 if you count Cyberspace :). I don't know how that compares to everyone else, but I'm glad it's not zero and it gives me a goal to travel more.