When one is naming the “must-see” attractions in the world, several landmarks such as the Great Wall of China, Eiffel Tower, The Great Barrier Reef, and Mount Rushmore often top the list. These popular travel destinations offer beautiful scenery and new cultural experiences.
For the more adventurous traveler seeking a unique and off the beaten path travel experience, it’s the unexpected and unusual travel destinations that offer true excitement.
Sun City, South Africa
If one’s idea of adventure involves flying through the air without a parachute or plane, then Sun City, South Africa, provides a fantastic opportunity for those aerial explorers. Sun City boasts the world’s longest zipline adventure. At 6,500 feet long, this zip line allows you to fly Superman-style at up to 93 miles per hour over gorgeous scenic grasslands. This is a must-see for anyone who likes speed, heights, and the inevitable adrenaline rush!
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
The second unforgettable and unique travel destination is Ha Long Bay, located in the Quang Ninh province of northern Vietnam. Visitors to Ha Long Bay can spend one or more nights aboard a small cruise ship known as a Junk. While in Ha Long Bay, travelers will witness the beauty of nature’s architecture featuring thousands of limestone karsts and isles rising out of the ocean, covered in jungle vegetation. In addition, travelers can explore several beaches, caves, and inhabited islands.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Geographically, Ethiopia lies within the Horn of Africa, with a tropical climate, warm and sunny for significant periods even through the rainy season. Addis Ababa is an incredible city, one of Africa’s largest and home to more retail outlets than many other urban centers on the continent. Adama is another place people love to visit while they’re in the country; you may know it more as Nazareth – the volcanic water pool in Sodere (near Nazareth) s a must-do experience when you’re here.
Indonesia is a vast archipelago with literally tens of thousands of islands in it. Lying across the equator on the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the climate is hot, rainy at some times in the year. Jakarta is the biggest urban center here, a bustling and fun one. The town of Bandung on West Java is a much-loved spot for visitors, a university town with lush, intense greenery and magnificent mountains. Bali is another well worthwhile destination while you’re here, you’ll see why it’s known as the Island of the Gods.
Blue Lake Cave, Brazil
For a quieter experience, the Mato Grosso do Sul region of Brazil boasts the serene and peaceful Gruta do Lago Azul or Blue Lake Cave. The impressive geological formations, including a multitude of stalactites and stalagmites, is enough to provide some stunning imagery for those who travel to photograph. However, the real gem in this attraction is the large deep cobalt blue colored lake.
Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio, USA
Finally, nestled in the western Appalachian foothills of Ohio is a destination for the true nature lover. Hocking Hills is an unexpected find in the Midwest, but it offers something for everyone. With several state parks and nature areas, hikers from novice to expert can trek across steep cliffs, under gorgeous flowing waterfalls, and alongside Ohio’s native wildlife. Ash Cave even boasts a hiking trail that is ADA accessible. In addition to hiking, travelers to Hocking Hills can also explore via zipline tours or with one of several canoe liveries in the area.Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio; photo by explorehockinghills.com
No matter what experience you’re looking for, going off the beaten path can lead to a vacation that is both unique and unforgettable.