Earth is a pretty cool place to live, isn’t it?
Sure, that might sound a little hippy for some people, but it’s important to stop and remind ourselves from time to time, just how incredible our world is.
It is the only place in the solar system that supports life, but there’s so much more here on this little blue marble than just a thin veil of atmosphere.
Just take a look outside, and see what the landscape looks like. A sprawling city, and a beautiful country meadow. A mountain range, a running river.
So many features that we just take for granted, when they are literally unlike anywhere else in the cosmos.
And these incredible sights pale in comparison to the truly awe-inspiring places that can be found dotted across the earth, both natural and man-made.
If you feel like expanding your horizons a little bit, as well as seeing some incredible new places that you’ll never forget for the rest of your life, then read on to find out about these amazing places that you can visit right now!
Maroon Bells, Colorado, USA
Starting with a homegrown neck of the woods for our first spot on this wonderful tour, we have the Maroon Bells that you can find in Colorado state in the US.
Being such a massive country, the USA is home to a massive variety of different biomes and landscapes, virtually all of them having their unique charm to them that is hard to find comparisons to across the country, and even the world.
However, even amongst them, the feet of the Elk mountains are something else.
Located less than 20 miles out from Aspen, Colorado, these two 14 thousand-foot peaks are nestled in the center of this gorgeous glacial valley, making it one of the most pictured locales in all of the Americas.
And with a view like this, we can easily see why!
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA
Of course, no conversation about iconic landmarks and areas including the United States and North America would be complete without a mention to perhaps the most iconic piece of nature here, Yellowstone National Park.
First opened under President Ulysses S. Grant in the latter half of the 19th century, Yellowstone is one of, if not the, biggest national park of its kind in the world, with almost 3,500 square miles of space for the many ecosystems to thrive in this corner of Americana.
Yellowstone is home to some of the largest animals in North America, from bears of several species to elk, antelopes, and buffaloes.
And, of course, who could ever forget the bison and wolves that roam free here?
And that’s not even touching on the geological and geographical beauty, from the sweeping sub-alpine forests and plains to the iconic geyser Old Faithful.
If you haven’t already, you owe it to yourself to see this amazing national park, if only once.
Zhangye Danxia Geopark, China
Moving away from the United States for a moment, we have an incredible geological feature in Gansu, China.
Also known as ‘the rainbow mountains’, this particular park is home to a rock formation unlike any other.
The layers of sedimentary rock that have built up over tens of millions of years have created an incredible coloring effect on the rock formations in this geopark, leaving colors of vivid red, stark white, and bright yellows too.
Couple that with the earth’s crust tilting these sediments on their sides over eons after forming, and you have a rock formation that looks like it came from the imaginative mind of a child!
If you have the chance to go to China, and you’re a lover of rocks and naturally formed beauties, this should be high on your list!
Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA
How could we have a list of incredible sites to see around the world, and not even mention the Grand Canyon?
Moving back to the United States for this next entry, we have the awe-inspiring vista and view of the Grand Canyon, nestled into the earth of Arizona.
Up to a mile deep in some cases, and up to 18 miles wide, you’ll struggle to get a good sense of the scale of this crack in the earth’s crust from even the best vantage point.
The scale of the Grand Canyon is something that can’t even really be done justice with statistics like these. It really must be seen to be believed!
With the Colorado River slowly carving its way through this canyon to form it over 5 thousand years, some of the rocks exposed at the bottom of the canyon date back as far as 1.8 million years ago. Older than the dinosaurs!
If you want to gaze upon a site almost 2 billion years in the making, you know where you need to go!
Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile
Of course, there are national parks across the world, including many all across South America.
This particular national park located in Patagonia, Torres Del Paine Nation Park, hosts unique geography and biosphere unlike anywhere else in the world.
For one thing, the land of this national park looks like it was ripped from an alien planet, with columns and peaks of windswept and white stones.
However, these peaks hide so much more to them. With grasslands, valleys, forests, and plenty of gorgeous rivers running like veins across this national park, it’s a place of natural beauty that is so different from the other major environmental formation in South America.
So completely different in almost every measure, and yet still teeming with life.
Nature does find its way, doesn’t it?
Of course, we can’t let mother nature take all the credit for every beautiful sight to see in the world (even if she certainly made A LOT of them).
Many of our cities have also become places of beauty unlike anywhere else in the world.
A case in point is the city of Venice, found in Northeast Italy.
Outside of new expansions on the coast, most of this old city was built on top of the swampier and wetter lands that stopped invaders from ransacking the city. The wooden pillars that held the settlement up turned to rock and turned into a foundation that has kept the city afloat ever since.
This made Venice a tricky city to invade, which might be part of the reason that it has survived, in one form or another, for well over a thousand years!
A thousand years of history, coupled with some of the most gorgeous architecture around, all of it separated by the many traversable waterways found throughout the city.
As far as cities go, Venice has to be one of the most incredible out there, and should be on anyone’s must-see list!
Blue Ridge Mountains, USA
We couldn’t stay away from the USA for long, however. Not when there are so many mountain ranges to find and explore!
Stretching from the South of Georgia, all the way to the north of Pennsylvania, this is a mountain range that goes FAR!
These mountains get their name from the gases that the trees release, which create a colored effect in the right light.
This means that, at the right time of day at sunrise or sunset, as the sun passes over these great rocks, the foot of the mountains look an eerie blue as the gases rise from the forests below.
It’s a sight that needs to be seen to be truly believed!
Na Pali Coast State Park, Hawaii, USA
So, while we are still technically in the United States, we’re taking quite the trip to get to this next island wonder.
Hawaii is practically the Platonic ideal of ‘island paradise’. With unique flora and fauna found across these archipelagos, as well as geography that could rival any mainland mountain range, creates a massive variety of environments for nature to thrive.
And the best place to view this unique life is at the Na Pali Coast State Park.
With everything from dense jungle, to mountain peaks and valleys, and the iconic Hawaiian coastline, this park demonstrates just what a few million years of island experimentation can do for you and your landscape!
Oia, Santorini, Greece
For another town that should be on everyone’s list of places to visit, we have the iconic homes of Oia in Santorini, Greece.
Do you know those iconic blue-roofed homes that you see in so many sweeping vistas of Greece? Well, this is where you can find them!
Located on the cliff face of the Palea volcano, and on the island of Thirassia, pretty much everything you can love about Greece can be found here on this island, from the beautiful weather to the incredible geography and wildlife, to amazing food, and, of course, distinct architecture!
So, as we have seen, there is no shortage of the number of wonders, natural and made by the hand of humanity, that can be found out there.
We’ve barely begun to scratch the surface with these examples. But hopefully, it has given you plenty of items on your bucket list!