There are some tourist attractions everyone has on their list of places to see in their lifetime: Buckingham Palace in London, the Sistine Chapel in Rome and Central Park in New York City are some of the most popular. But beyond the well-known attractions, there are some under-the-radar places that, while largely ignored by tourists, are breathtakingly beautiful, must-see parts of the world.
Here are 15 such destinations you may not have known existed until now that you really should put on your travel bucket list.
1. Hutt Lagoon, Western Australia
Also known as the Pink Lake, Hutt Lagoon is located on a road between Northampton and Kalbarri. It gets its color from a type of algae that releases beta-carotene, which is commonly used in food coloring. Visit the lagoon during a visit to Port Gregory, an area known for fishing and windsurfing.
2. Liechtenstein, Europe
You might need to squint your eyes on the map to see the sixth smallest country (only about 62 square miles!) in the world. Located between Switzerland and Austria, Liechtenstein is full of mountains and castles that look straight out of fairy tales. It’s a dream destination for those who love the outdoors.
3. Procida, Bay of Naples
Skip the touristy islands (Capri and Ischia) in Naples in exchange for Procida. Vacation among the locals, marveling at the pastel houses while dining at waterfront restaurants. The island is not only the smallest in the Bay of Naples but also its best-kept secret.
4. Crooked Forest, Western Poland
Located outside Nowe Czarnowo, the mysterious grove of about 400 pine trees is a sight to see. How and why the trees ended up bent in the same direction has baffled scientists since the 1930s.
5. Hitachi Seaside Park, Japan
Enjoy a walk through this 470 acre-reserve park. The park is well known for two flowers, the burning bush and blue nemophila. Though the flowers of course bloom only seasonally, there is an amusement park, cycling and walking trails to be enjoyed year-round.
6. Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
Did you know there are 21 islands right off the coast of Wisconsin? Enjoy a huge range of outdoor activities, from fishing and camping to kayaking through caves.
7. Huacachina, Peru
Huacachina is an incredible desert oasis. The resort town was built around a small lake in the Ica Region, with downtown Ica only 10 minutes away. Experience the stunning beauty of the desert and try sandboarding on the dunes.
8. San Juan Island, Washington
Hop a ferry to the San Juan Islands for some whale watching off the coast of Washington State. Enjoy the year-long temperate weather as you visit a ranch, lavender farm and winery.
9. Jain Temple, India
Known as the temple where no two marble pillars are the same, this architectural gem lies in the remote valley of the Arvallis. Marvel at the 1,444 pillars, each of which is uniquely and intricately designed.
10. Saint Pierre Et Miquelon, French Territory In Canada
Saint Pierre et Miquelon is often said to be where “France meets North America.” It is the last territory under French control in North America and is located off the coast of Canada. The colorful town feels like a rural French village but is only 12 miles south of Newfoundland.
11. Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
A hidden gem in Tanzania, Selous is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. Take a safari on the largely untouched reserve and get close to wildlife like elephants, lions, giraffes and more.
12. Fly Geyser, Nevada
There is more to Nevada than Las Vegas. But many people don’t even know that the Fly Geyser, on private land in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, exists. It was accidentally created in 1964 during a well drilling. While not open to the public, Fly Geyser can be seen from State Route 34 and is definitely worth seeking out.
13. Civita Di Bagnoregio, Italy
A medieval village perched on a hilltop that is slowly crumbling away at the hands of earthquakes, rain and landslides, Civita di Bagnoregio has been around since the sixth century. Situated in the Province of Viterbo and only a 90-minute train ride from Rome and Florence, the village can be reached by walking across a steep footbridge. With 20 percent of its terrain already gone, tourists are drawn to the town knowing that it may not be there forever.
14. Glacier National Park, Montana
“America’s little Switzerland,” Glacier National Park sits on the cusp on the U.S. and Canadian border and is home to beautiful meadows and lakes. Adventure seekers can hike more than 700 miles of trails while the less active can take bus and boat tours.
15. Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina
This village alonside the Buna river and a tekke, a Dervish monastery, is a national monument. Considered one of the most mystical places in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Blagaj is a hidden gem among stunning rocky cliffs.