Surreal Places Series: Travel Locations You Must See
As you start narrowing down your next adventure, consider these surreal places and spaces. These are the first suggestions in our new series focusing on travel locations you must see!
Conjuring up visions of locations that you can barely imagine? Well, the ancient site of Pompeii, would fit that dream. As you take in the ruins, it’s difficult to juxtapose the tragic disaster that occurred in A.D. 79 with the peaceful, majestic Mount Vesuvius of today. While trying to grasp the magnitude of the volcanic eruption, you’ll also be exploring an archaeological site (with homes and streets!) that is so much larger than pictures portray.
Pompeii is a hauntingly surreal place.
This is one place that really messed with my mind. And I feel compelled to visit again — to try to take in the magnitude of this hauntingly, beautiful excavation.
I love traveling by train in Europe; it’s a convenient transportation option especially while traveling through a foreign country. The train stop nearest the excavation is Pompei Scavi-Villa Misteri. It’s a very short walk to the entrance, however you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking for the better part of your day, plus the surface is uneven so watch your footing.
United States Virgin Islands
A popular land and cruise based vacation spot, St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands boasts a stunning harbor near Charlotte Amalie. My favorite way to enjoy this view is on from the balcony of a cruise ship.
Blue turquoise water soothes the soul at St. Thomas, USVI.
On St. Croix, an excursion to Little La Grange will entice your senses. A 19th century plantation turned cattle ranch, the house is now the Lawaetz Family Museum showcasing family antiques. Spend time touring the impeccable grounds with tropical flowers and trees.
The gorgeous Little La Grange Plantation House and grounds on St. Croix.
The grounds at Little La Grange.
Headed to the U.S. Virgin Islands? Do not miss St. John for tranquility. In fact, swimming at Trunk Bay Beach is one of my all-time favorite memories. Add it to your vacation itinerary for playing in warm waters amidst an unspoiled setting. We took a boat from St. Thomas to St. John, however, I’m dreaming about an actual stay on St. John! How about you?!
Zion National Park, Utah
Experience the beauty of the steep, red cliffs of Zion National Park. Nestled in this surreal place are forest trails cut alongside the babbling Virgin River.
Zion National Park is a contrast of red steep cliffs and green forested trails.
Of all the parks that we have visited, this is my teen son’s favorite. From horseback riding to hiking, Zion offers a multitude of family activities.
Even teens appreciate the surreal beauty of Zion!
Plan to hike and/or horseback ride in the morning or evening. Avoid the hottest afternoon hours; the heat was brutal during our vacation in late May – early June.
Recommended Lodging: Desert Pearl Inn in Springdale, Utah.
Desert Pearl Inn, Springdale, Utah.
Stay tuned for our second part in the Surreal Places Series, plus watch for in-depth reviews of our recommended surreal places to inspire your vacation plans.
Have you been to any of these surreal places?
Where should we (and our readers) go next?
50 Travel Bucket List Items to Inspire Your Vacations
Before you “kick the bucket”, you probably have a few things that you still want to accomplish and thus, you’ve placed them on your travel bucket list. If you’re not terrified of heights (like me), you may want to climb Mount Everest. Or perhaps you want to escape to a wilderness cabin. If you aren’t sure what to put on your travel bucket list, I have some inspiration for you gathered from 50 travel bucket list items that I’ve crossed off my list. (Except for the ones I want to do again!) 😉
50 Travel Bucket List Items
I’m truly grateful that these items have been crossed off my list. I hope you add some of these to your list too.
1. Visited Stonehenge on a day trip from London.
2. Visited Carthage and Sidi Bou Said in Tunisia, Africa.
3. Explored Pompeii in Italy.
Pompeii was amazing.
4. Sailed into the port at Valletta, Malta.
Sailing into the Grand Harbor, Malta.
5. Toured The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota.
6. Saw the Roman Colosseum.
7. Stared in awe at Niagara Falls from both the U.S. and Canada sides.
8. Walked around Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.
9. Spent time horse back riding in Wyoming.
Horseback riding at Bill Cody Ranch in Wyoming
10. Saw amazing wildlife in Yellowstone National Park.
11. Gazed out on the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
12. Saw cherry blossoms in full bloom at the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC.
13. Went whale watching from Provincetown, MA.
14. Drove through the Badlands National Park, South Dakota.
15. Hiked in Zion National Park, Utah.
The Virgin River on the Emerald Pools Trail in Zion.
16. Contemplated logistics in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas.
17. Took a picture of a ghost at Farnsworth House, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
18. Looked for aliens in Roswell, New Mexico.
19. Saw Phantom of the Opera in Toronto, Canada.
20. Saw a Broadway play in NYC.
21. Swam with dolphins while visiting Grand Bahama Island.
22. Took our son for his first ocean trip to Ocean City, Maryland.
First trip to the ocean
23. Rented beautiful beach houses in the Outer Banks, NC.
24. Snorkeled in the Bahamas.
25. Traveled solo on a seven night Caribbean cruise with Disney Cruise Line.
26. Traveled by train to Pisa and saw the Leaning Tower.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
27. Kissed my husband under the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
28. Gazed up at the oculus in the Pantheon, Rome, Italy.
29. Spent a beautiful day at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.
30. Visited the British Museum in London.
31. Toured the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa in Paris, France.
There she is!
32. Visited the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Castles and Royalty
33. Saw the Queen of England in London.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh leave Buckingham Palace for the State Opening of Parliament
34. Saw Princess Diana’s wedding gown on display in St. Louis, Missouri.
35. Contemplated history at the Tower of London.
36. Visited Windsor castle.
Movies and Literature
37. Rode a train then double decker bus to the Warner Bros. Studios Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
Choose YOUR travel themed vacation!
38. Descended into the Delta-01 Launch Control Facility at the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in South Dakota.
39. Went aboard the USS Midway in San Diego, California.
40. Toured the Churchill War Rooms in London.
Walk in Churchill’s footsteps.
41. Rode a trolley in San Francisco.
Food and Beverages
42. Drank hot chocolate in Barcelona, Spain.
43. Visited the D-Day beaches, near Normandy, France.
Remembering D-Day at Utah Beach.
44. Enjoyed living history at Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg, VA.
45. Experienced a candlelit evening of colonial dance at the Governor’s Palace, Williamsburg, Virginia.
46. Went to a Memorial Day ceremony in the dark at Mount Rushmore.
47. Saw the Milky Way from Bryce Canyon.
48. Saw a rocket launch (twice) from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
New Horizons Rocket Launch, January 2006.
49. Rode in Cinderella’s Coach between Disney’s Grand Floridan Resort and Disney’s Wedding Pavilion at Walt Disney for our vow renewal.
Cinderella’s Coach arrives The Wedding Pavilion for our 10th Anniversary Vow Renewal
50. Stayed at Prince of Wales Hotel at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada.
Now I can’t wait to hear what’s on your travel bucket list. Tell me one unique item on your list!