#1 Kauai, Hawaii
Since White Heat was the first movie filmed on the island in 1934 to 2015’s Jurassic World, Kauai has been the stunning backdrop of more than 60 movies. Check out some of the views featured in the films, including waterfalls and the Na Pali Coast sea cliffs on a relaxing helicopter tour, or dive deep into a more intimate view of the island by exploring the Garden Island’s marked hiking paths. Hit the trails and explore the floor of Waimea Canyon or the bogs of Alakai Swamp for an up close and personal view of the landscape. Visiting the island’s North Shore? Then check out the Wai Koa Loop Trail, a 5-mile trek through North America’s largest mahogany forest.
#2 Baja California
For an up-close view of marine animals including great white sharks, whales and manta rays with 20-foot-long wingspans, look no further than the waters off Baja California Peninsula. At 775 miles long, extending from Mexicali in the north to Cabo San Lucas in the south, it is the second-longest peninsula on Earth. For an even closer look at the marine life, consider heading to Cabo Pulmo National Park on the peninsula’s east coast to snorkel or dive in the home of the only Pacific coral reef in the Sea of Cortez.
#3 Banff, Canada
The town of Banff, Canada, located in the Banff National Park, features crystal-clear blue lakes, hot springs and the rugged mountain peaks of Alberta’s Rockies. A resort town and a tourist hot-spot, Banff offers plenty for the outdoor adventurer, from horseback rides and hikes to mountain biking and fishing. For those who prefer to relax, the town offers luxury accommodations and soaks in the hot springs, an ideal place to celebrate our neighbor to the north’s 150th anniversary in 2017.
#4 Guadeloupe Islands
Made up of five islands, Guadeloupe, a region of France located in the North Caribbean Sea, brings together French and Caribbean influences for a unique culture like no other. African, French and Indian cultures intersect in Guadeloupe, creating new music and dance forms unique to the islands. Perhaps most notable of these styles is Gwo-Ka, a Guadeloupean folk music combining drum rhythms with responsive singing in Creole and dancing. In 2014, Gwo-Ka was inscribed on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In addition to the culture, explore Guadeloupe’s history with a stop at Mémorial ACTe, a cultural center that explores the impact the African slave trade had in shaping the islands’ distinctive culture.
#5 South Africa
A trip to South Africa more often than not involves a safari, but with luxury accommodations popping up in national parks across the country, it doesn’t have to mean roughing it. Visit Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves, and go on a guided tour to see elephants, lions, cheetahs, giraffes and more in their natural habitats. Then, return to a luxury cabin that can meet the needs of a couple on a romantic honeymoon or a family on the adventure of a lifetime. Check out one of the 13 suites at the Singita Lebombo Lodge or spring for the lodge’s private use villa. Find your perfect accommodations by visiting KrugerPark.com.