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12 Favorite Places in the World

Readers share their most treasured travel spots, from state parks to World Heritage sites.

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  • a solitary snowy egret looks over its domain in Florida's Everglades, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Jonathan Gewirtz/Tandem Stock
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    Everglades National Park
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    “An early-morning walk on the Anhinga Trail in Florida’s Everglades National Park is enchanting. Birds seem to be perched on every tree, while herons and storks cross the trail in front of you. It feels like the Garden of Eden.” —Carol Clark, Wood Village, Oregon
  • ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu sits high in the Peruvian Andes, picture
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    Photo: Rex Allan/Alamy
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    Machu Picchu
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    “Machu Picchu combines a fantastic World Heritage site with exhilarating outdoor adventure. Touring this mountaintop city in Peru provides insights into Incan building techniques, lifestyle, and religious practices. Zigzagging to the top of the sacred Huayna Picchu on a 500-year-old trail is a must-do.” —Karen Leibert, Idaho Falls, Idaho

  • bluefooted boobie looks at you with curiosity, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Karine Aigner/Tandem Stock
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    Galápagos Islands
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    “Visiting Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands was a dream come true. My husband and I shared a mutual curiosity with bluefooted boobies, cormorants, and sea lions as we walked over ancient lava rocks. Snorkeling with penguins, sea turtles, and what seems like millions of sardines makes this place like no other.” —Vicky Grogg, Portland
  • Devils Towers in shadow and sunlight, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock
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    Devils Tower
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    “At Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, prairie dogs popped up from their underground homes, entertaining us as we walked from camp to the tower’s base. The tower itself is magnificent, and hiking around it helped me appreciate why it’s sacred to Native Americans.” —Sue D’errico, Crescent City, California
  • molten lava flows into the ocean at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Alexey Kamenskiy/Shutterstock
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    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
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    “The huge craters and endless lava fields at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park let you forget about modern civilization and instead imagine primordial times. Witness the volcano in action at one of its active vents or drive down to the ocean to see lava flows just a few years old.” —Elena Baryshnikova, Campbell, California
  • elevated view of shoreline, beach and lagoon at Abel Tasman National Park, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Stuart Black/Alamy
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    Abel Tasman National Park
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    “Whether paddling kayaks or walking the trails, visitors to New Zealand’s Abel Tasman National Park can experience beautiful beaches and waterfalls backed by dense forests. Gazing out to the Tasman Sea from one of the park’s campsites adds to the wonderment of this place.” —Mary Lou Kinney, Boise, Idaho
  • multi-colored houses of Manarola, one of the Cinque Terre villages on the Italian Riviera, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: ronnybas/Shutterstock
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    Cinque Terre
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    “My very favorite place on earth is the Cinque Terre on the breathtaking Italian Riviera. It’s a magical spot with beautiful scenery, friendly people, delicious food, and inviting water that beckons for a daily swim. I never wanted to leave and even cried when my vacation ended.” —Inge Kendrick, Ashland, Oregon
  • seaplanes along shoreline in autumn at Lake Clark National Park in Alaska, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Courtesy of NPS
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    Lake Clark National Park
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    “My quest to see bears in their natural habitat led me to Alaska’s Lake Clark National Park. After flying from Anchorage to Crescent Lake by floatplane, I enjoyed hiking, kayaking, delicious meals, and comfortable cabins—and I saw 23 bears in two days!” —Laurie Barna, San Jose
  • waterfall among ferns in redwood forest at Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Courtesy of Owen Lloyd/Wikipedia
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    Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
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    “Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, north of Eureka, Calif., is enthralling. It has deer, elk, ferns, and fir trees, but the majestic redwoods are the park’s cynosure. Gazing up at them can inspire spiritual ardor.” —Harold Roy Miller, Stagecoach, Nevada
  • view across sage and juniper toward Cathedral Rock in Red Rock State Park, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Courtesy of Wendy/Wikipedia
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    Red Rock State Park
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    “After the long road trip from California, driving into Red Rock State Park near Sedona, Ariz., and seeing the magnificent bright red landscape through the sun’s glare on our windshield took our breath away.” —Bart Gach, Cupertino, California
  • view of Mount Kilimanjaro from the African savannah, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Andrzej Kubik/Shutterstock
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    Mount Kilimanjaro
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    “Climbing to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and watching the sun rise above the clouds was an unforgettable accomplishment. Our ascent required perseverance, and we were rewarded with a touch of heaven.” —Sheryl Miller, Vacaville, California
  • lighthouse at San Juan Island's Lime Kiln Point State Park, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Courtesy of Draugen/Shutterstock
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    Lime Kiln Point State Park
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    “My absolute favorite place to visit has to be Lime Kiln Point State Park in Washington. Take the walk-on ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, then head over to the park to watch for orca pods from the shore. It’s an experience everyone should have.” —Bonnie Meznarich, Cut Bank, Montana

This article was first published in Fall 2016. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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