10 of the most beautiful places we visited in 2018


    2018 was an amazing year for seeing gorgeous destinations.  From the food to the culture to the pure eye candy, it’s difficult to highlight all of the stunning things we saw, but we’ll do our best. As you plan your 2019 travel, keep these beautiful locations in mind.

    1. Tree tunnels

    The Dark HedgesThe Dark Hedges — Photo courtesy of iStock / Mnieteq

    Is it real life or fantasy?  It’s hard to tell when you’re surrounded by a magical passageway of trees.  We explore 10 breathtaking tree tunnels around the world to add to your must-visit list. 

    Read more: Here are 10 enchanting tree tunnels (and where to find them) »

    2. Cruise in Norway

    Colorful fishing villages of Lofoten IslandsColorful fishing villages of Lofoten Islands — Photo courtesy of Mary Quincy

    During the summer, the sun never sets on the scenery of stunning Norway.  And a cruise is an ideal way to experience that.

    Read more: 10 reasons you need to cruise in Norway »

    3. Train in the Canadian Rockies

    Yoho National Park in CanadaYoho National Park in Canada — Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

    The Rocky Mountaineer luxury railroad experience marries the glamour of world-class travel with the breathtaking scenery of the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada.  

    Read more: This luxury train ride through the Canadian Rockies is the ultimate in fall travel »

    4. Towns of the Caribbean

    Beauty of Saint JohnBeauty of Saint John — Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

    Often your point of arrival to a Caribbean island, its capital city may be your first taste of a destination, but it should not be your last. Visit these 10 smaller towns, villages, hamlets and settlements to witness a different flavor of local culture, history and nature. 

    Read more: Get off the beaten path in these 10 terrific Caribbean towns »

    5. Columbus, Ohio

    The beautiful Children's Garden at Franklin Park ConservatoryThe beautiful Children’s Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory — Photo courtesy of Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

    Like its namesake, Columbus is all about exploring.  Here are 10 reasons why you should check out Ohio’s largest (and often underrated) city.

    Read more: 10 reasons you need to explore Columbus, Ohio »

    6. Cliff-diving in the U.S.

    Take the leap at Crater Lake National ParkTake the leap at Crater Lake National Park — Photo courtesy of Powderruns / flickr

    Looking to take a high-speed dip? Cliff-diving can turn up some of the most scenic spots, ideal for photo ops, in addition to offering the kind of thrill you only get from jumping into the abyss. 

    Read more: Here are 10 breathtaking spots for cliff diving in the U.S. »

    7. Slovenia

    Surreal Lake BledSurreal Lake Bled — Photo courtesy of iStock / Remedios

    Slovenia is home to some of the most beautiful places on the planet. It also leads the world in sustainable tourism.  So, what are you waiting for? 

    Read more: Prepare to fall in love with stunning Slovenia »

    8. Bratislava, Slovakia

    The striking Church of St. ElizabethThe striking Church of St. Elizabeth — Photo courtesy of Visit Bratislava

    The charming city of Bratislava is located on the shores of the Danube river, bordered by Austria and Hungary. Nearly all of its 18th-century Old Town is a pedestrian zone, making it a perfect destination for touring on foot.  The bustling district features historical buildings, quaint houses and notable churches as well as diverse restaurants, lively bars and cafés, and plenty of shopping opportunities.

    Here’s what you can see on an afternoon stroll through Slovakia’s capital »

    9. Leavenworth, Wash.

    Amazing outdoor art at Sleeping LadyAmazing outdoor art at Sleeping Lady — Photo courtesy of Andy Porter

    Located a scenic 2.5-hour-drive from Seattle, the Bavarian-themed mountain town of Leavenworth sits nestled at the base of Washington’s north central Cascade Mountains. This quirky, hospitable destination features unique architecture, a downtown maypole, thriving outdoor recreation scene, an ever-expanding culinary lineup and an active arts center at Sleeping Lady’s lovely mountain resort. 

    Did you know there’s a Bavarian village in the Pacific Northwest? »

    10. Boise

    Stream runs through Esther Simplot ParkStream runs through Esther Simplot Park — Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

    The state of Idaho has always been known for its dramatic natural beauty, making it a much favored destination for visitors from around the world. And the state capital of Boise has equally come into its own, thanks to an ongoing urban renaissance that has added a wide variety of experiences.

    Here’s why you need to discover the beauty of Boise »