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Chapter 5 Travel destinations.


At the conclusion of this chapter, you should be able to

* identify many of the world's most important tourist areas.

* name various tourist attractions and discuss why they are popular.

* locate the most important tourist attractions and sites.

* discuss in detail various tourist designations and define their popularity.

Why do travelers select the destinations they do? What makes a destination popular? There are as many answers as there are possible destinations. Considering that entire books have been written that cover only one country or portion of a country, we cannot cover this topic in depth here. However, the following gives you a basic understanding of some of the more popular destinations of the world and why they are so.

Each list includes sites and attractions that are arranged alphabetically. Each listing includes its location, and many listings also include pertinent information and a brief description. Where relevant, dates are also included, identified as either B.C.E. (before the common era) or C.E. (common era). These identifiers replace B.C. and A.D., and you will see these new identifiers in all of the newer texts and reference sources.

In the following lists, we have tried to include areas and attractions that are the most important and popular. However, although we have made every effort to remain objective, it is difficult, if not impossible, to do so. For example, if you ask two people to name the most impressive tourist area or attraction, you will no doubt receive two different answers. We apologize if we have omitted your favorite in any of these lists.


* Abu Simbel, Egypt. Built by the Pharaoh Ramses II in 1300 B.C.E., the site includes the Great Temple and the Temple of Nefertari (favorite wife of Ramses II). The Great Temple is sculpted from living rock and is faced by four statues of Ramses II that are 65 feet (20 meters) high. Inside are three major halls, the largest of which is 58 feet (17.4 meters) deep and 54 feet (16.2 meters) wide. Thanks to the efforts of UNESCO and many supporting nations in 1959, these temples were saved from flooding when the Aswan High Dam was built; the entire complex was cut into blocks and moved to higher ground.

* Altun Ha, Belize. Mayan city, trading, and ceremonial center, dating from about 550 C.E., abandoned around 1000. Notable structures include the Temple of the Green Tomb and the Temple of the Masonry Altar (60 feet/18.3 meters high).

* Ankor Wat, Cambodia. King Jayavarman II began this Hindu temple complex (later converted to Buddhist) in the 9th century C.E. By 1431, it was all but abandoned by the Khmer Empire. The walls of the complex are 2 1/2 miles (4 kilometers) in circumference. The central block measures 717 by 620 feet (215 by 186 meters) and is 200 feet (60 meters high). The entire complex is covered with delicate bas relief carvings and magnificent friezes. ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES AND MYSTERIOUS PLACES

* Carthage, Tunisia. Dating from 814 B.C.E., this major Phoenician city and home of Hannibal was destroyed by the Romans in 146 C.E. The site includes baths, dwellings, temples, theatres, villas, shrines, and the naval port.

* Chaco Ruins, New Mexico, U.S. Remains of the Anasazi cliff-dweller structures dating from 750 C.E. Important areas include the 800-room, four-story Pueblo Bonito and the Great Kiva, which is 53 feet (16 meters) in diameter.

* Chan Chan, Peru. Located in a desert region between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, this city covers nine square miles (23.3 square kilometers). At its zenith, Chan Chan boasted nine royal compounds and a population of 50,000 people.

* Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico. One of the primary Mayan centers dating from 432 C.E., occupied by the Toltecs from 982. Important sites include the Cenote Sagrado (sacred well); Ball Court; Temple of the Jaguars; El Castillo; 1,000-column court; and other pyramids, temples, and towers.

* Colloseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), Rome, Italy. Constructed in 70 C.E., this arena could hold 55,000 spectators. It measures 620 by 513 feet (186 by 154 meters) and is 157 feet (47 meters) high. Originally, spectators were sheltered from the sun by a retractable roof as they watched gladiators, slaves, and exotic animals fight to the death.

* Copan (say "koh-pahn"), Honduras. Mayan city dating from 436 C.E. Important buildings include the Stairway of the Hieroglyphs (2,500 individual glyphs), Ball Court, plazas, pyramids, stelae, and huge sculpture of humans.

* Delphi, Greece. Dating from 1400 B.C.E., this site has been one of prophecy. The Oracle (Pythia) was believed to have divine sight and was consulted by Hercules, Oedipus, and Alexander, among others. Other important buildings include the Athenian Treasures, which was used for offerings, the Theatre, and the Temple of Apollo.

* Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Chile. Two thousand miles (3,218.7 kilometers) off the coast, the primary draw of this location is the statues. Called Moai, these statues are of unknown origin, and there are over 1,000 of them. Quarried in the central part of the island, they were dragged to the coast and stood upright, facing inland. The Moai range in height from 12 to 32 feet (3.7 to 9.8 meters) and weigh between 20 and 30 tons.

* Ephesus, Turkey. Founded between 1500 and 1000 B.C.E., this city is noted for the House of the Virgin Mary; the Temple of Artemis; the theatre, gymnasium, and baths; and the Library of Celsius.

* Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. Along a 31/2 mile (5.6 kilometer) stretch of coastline are some 40,000 octagonal basalt pillars that are joined to each other. Caused by magma eruptions, they range from 50 feet (15.3 meters) in height.

* Great Pyramids, Giza, Egypt. The largest was built for the Pharaoh Cheops (Khufu). Each side measures 756 feet (230 meters). It is 481 feet (147 meters) high and contains 21/2 million blocks that weigh from 2 to 15 tons each. Inside are granite chambers and passageways; originally, the outside was faced with Tura limestone. The other two major pyramids in the complex were built for Pharaohs Chephren (Khafre) and Mycerinus (Menkaure).

* Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe. Built of dry-fit stone blocks, this ancient city and trade center is of unknown date and origin. The enclosure measures 830 feet (253 meters) in circumference and ranges in height from 16 to 35 feet (4.9 to 10.78 meters). Within the enclosure is a mysterious conical tower, 30 feet (9 meters) high, with no doors, windows, or stairs.

* Knossos, Crete (Kriti), Greece. Here you will see the 1,500-room palace of King Minos. Dating from about 1600 B.C.E., the palace was three stories high and covered 237,000 square feet (22,018 square meters). It was the reputed site of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur who roamed within.

* Leptis Magna, Libya. Begun by the Phoenicians in the 10th century B.C.E., this city of 80,000 people was later under the control of the Numidians, followed by the Romans. Interesting sites include the law courts, forum (over 100 columns), shops, triumphal arches, temples, baths, amphitheatre, and harbor.

* Machu Picchu (say "mah-shoo pea-shoo"), Peru. Known as the "Lost City of the Incas," Machu Picchu is located in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of 8,000 feet (2,438.4 meters). Rediscovered in 1911, the site includes over 200 houses, palaces, the Temple of the Sun, and the Temple of the Three Windows (trapezoidal in shape). All of the structures were constructed of finely hewn stone without the use of mortar.

* Mesa Verde, Colorado, U.S. The Anasazi arrived here in the sixth century, and by 1200 C.E., there were over 600 dwellings. By 1300, the site was abandoned. The dwellings were multistory apartment complexes and were originally painted with red and white designs. To reach their homes, these cliff-dwellers used ladders or hand and toe holds in the rock.

* Ming Tombs, near Beijing, People's Republic of China. The site contains the tombs of 13 Ming Emperors, the most noted of which is that of Emperor Wan Li (Zhu Yijun) and his wives. The tomb is surrounded by beautiful gardens, pagodas, and statuary. Each tomb is linked by huge archways along the Sacred Way.

* Moenjodaro, Pakistan. The world's first planned city, Moenjodaro began in 2500 B.C.E. of kiln-fired brick. By 1900 B.C.E., the city was in decline. Today we see the remains of the Great Bath, homes, Assembly Hall, and Granary. Strangely, there are no known temples or religious structures in Moenjodaro.

* Mycenae, Greece. Dating from 1500 to 1200 B.C.E., this is one of Greece's oldest cities. Structures of note include the Treasury of Athens, Royal Burials, Amphitheatre, and the Lion Gate.

* Nazca Lines, Peru. This mysterious site is estimated to date from 900 B.C.E. to 630 C.E. and covers the Nazca Plateau. On this plateau are hundreds of dead straight lines, geometric shapes, fish, birds, and insects. The drawings in the earth are so large (100 yards/90 meters up to several miles/kilometers) that they can be clearly seen only from the air.

* Palenque (say "peh-len-kay"), Chiapas, Mexico. One of the most beautiful Mayan sites, it is surrounded by jungle with a stream running through it. Notable structures include the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Count, and the Temple of the Foliated Cross. Perhaps the most important is the Temple of the Inscriptions, which contains the tomb of Pacal. The lid of Pacal's sarcophagus weighs five tons.

* Parthenon, Athens, Greece. Located on the Acropolis, the Parthenon is the most famous of several temples on the site. It was constructed in 438 B.C.E. of white marble and was originally brightly painted. The magnificent friezes (Elgin Marbles) can be seen in the British Museum in London.

* Persepolis, Iran. Begun by Darius I in 515 B.C.E., this city was the ceremonial center of the Persian Empire. The Palace Audience Chamber could hold 10,000 people and was reached by a double reversed staircase, which was designed for people to mount while seated upon their horses. Other areas of note are the monumental statues and gateways, harems, and barracks.

* Petra, Jordan. Dating from 4000 B.C.E., this Nabatean city was carved from solid rock and supported a population of 30,000 people. Known as the "Rose City," it actually appears orange, purple, vermilion, and yellow as the sun's angle changes. The city is entered through a 1-mile(1.6-kilometer-) long ravine with sheer rock walls that soar to a height of 328 feet (100 meters). Once a popular rest stop on six caravan routes, Petra is now famous for its ten-story high building known as the Treasury.

* Pompeii, Italy. This city of 20,000 people was buried under 20 feet (6 meters) of ash when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E. Today's visitors can see homes, shops, theatres, the amphitheatre, baths, mosaics, frescoes, temples, and tombs.

* Roman Forum, Rome, Italy. From about 600 B.C.E., this was the center of the city and included the law courts, temples, civic buildings, shops, markets, and courtyards. What you see today was buried under 30 to 50 feet (9 to 15 meters) of rubble and is the result of excavations that began in the 1700s.

* Sphinx, Giza, Egypt. Thought to be the face of King Chephren, the Sphinx has the body of a lion. The paws are 50 feet (15 meters) long and the total length is 150 feet (45 meters). Originally brightly painted, the Sphinx has suffered badly from erosion. Its missing nose is the result of Turkish gunfire.

* Stonehenge, England, United Kingdom. Estimated to date from 3500 B.C.E., these giant megaliths make up one of the most mysterious places on Earth. The primary stones were quarried in Northern Wales, weigh approximately 26 tons each, and are 16 feet (5 meters) high. Arranged in a horseshoe, there are ball-and-socket joints on two so that the lintels (flat top stones) could be held in place. In the center is the altar stone and outside the primary horseshoe are lesser stone circles. Of unknown origin (the site pre-dates the Druids by many centuries), the Druids use the site for modern-day rituals.

* Temple of Karnak, Karnak, Egypt. Approached by the Avenue of the Sphinxes, this series of temples dates from about 1500 B.C.E. Of particular note are the Hypostyle Hall (54,000 square feet/5,000 square meters), the Sacred Lake, and temples dedicated to various Egyptian gods.

* Temple of Luxor, Luxor, Egypt. Begun in 1400 B.C.E. by Amenhotep III, the temple has been expanded by each of his successors. Within the complex are courtyards, massive statues, colonnades, and hypostyles. Originally dedicated to the god Amun, today's visitors may be surprised to see the remains of an ancient Christian Church and the Abu Haggag Mosque.

* Teotihuacan (say "tay-ah-tee-wah-kahn"), near Mexico City, Mexico. At its peak (300 to 600 C.E.), the city covered over eight square miles (20.7 square kilometers) and was home to approximately 150,000 people. Aztec and Toltec influences can be seen in the primary structures, including the Pyramid of the Sun (216 feet/65.8 meters high), Pyramid of the Moon (150 feet/45.8 meters high), the Avenue of the Dead, and the Temples of Tlaloc and Quetzalcoatl.

* Tikal (say "tih-kahl"), Guatemala. Mayan city covering 50 square miles (80.5 square kilometers) with a population of 45,000 at its height; deserted about 900 C.E. Tikal is noted for its ornately carved stelae (upright stone shafts), the Temple of the Jaguar Priest, Temple of the Giant Jaguar (187 feet/57 meters high), the Great Plaza, Plaza Mayor, and the Temple of the Masks.

* Tulum (say "too-loom"), Quintana Roo, Mexico. Enclosed Mayan fortress-city on the coast dating from about 600 C.E., although most of the structures date after 1200. Tulum is a popular shore excursion for cruise passengers. Important buildings include El Castillo, Temple of the Descending God, and Great Palace.

* Ur, Iran. This Sumarian ziggurat (stepped temple) was built of solid brick. It measures 210 by 140 feet (63 by 42 meters) and is 54 feet (16 meters) high. On top is the Sacred Shrine, which is reached by a triple staircase. The walls that separate the temple from the city were built by Nebuchadnezzar.

* Uxmal (say "oosh-mahl"), Yucatan, Mexico. One of the most important later Mayan cities, dating from 600 C.E. Major buildings include the Temple of the Magician, the Nunnery, the Great Pyramid, Ball Court, the Governor's Palace, and House of the Turtles.

* Valleys of the Kings, Queens, and Nobles, Egypt. The most famous of these rock-cut tombs is that of Tutankhamun. It was discovered in 1922, and many of the tomb's riches can be seen in the Cairo Museum or in traveling exhibits. Other important tombs include those of Seti I, Amenhotep II, Amenophis II, Ramses III, Ramses IV, Horemhep, and Tutmosis III.

* Xi'an Tomb, People's Republic of China. The tomb of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, covers close to 6 acres (2.4 hectares) and was built in 200 B.C.E. To guard the tomb's entrance, the emperor ordered that 8,000 life-sized warriors be crafted in terra cotta, each one armed with wooden and bronze weapons along with hundreds of horses. It is estimated that the entire complex covers 20 square miles (51.8 square kilometers).

* Xunantunich (say "zsoo-nan-too-neech"), Belize. Mayan city that flourished between 300 and 900 C.E. Includes the 130-foot- (39.6-meter-) high El Castillo, beautiful stucco friezes, and the vaulted palace known as "A-11."


Almost every state, province, or country that has a coastline may also have beaches. All of them are not necessarily popular with tourists. All of the islands in the Caribbean offer beaches and are visited to one degree or another by leisure travelers. The beach areas listed here represent many of the most frequently visited destinations in the world.

* Acapulco, Mexico

* Algarve, Portugal

* Amalfi Coastal Region, Italy

* Ambergris Caye, Belize

* Bali, Indonesia

* Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

* Bora Bora, French Polynesia

* Cable Beach, New Providence Island, Bahamas

* Cancun, Mexico

* Cannes, France

* Caragena, Colombia

* Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

* Costa del Sol, Spain

* Cozumel, Mexico

* Daytona Beach, Florida, United States

* Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States

* Fort Myers, Florida, United States

* Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

* Hawaii, United States

* Hilton Head, South Carolina, United States

* Huatulco, Mexico

* Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

* Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Mexico

* Jerbi Island, Tunisia

* Lucaya Beach, Great Bahama Island, Bahamas

* Mar del Plata, Argentina

* Margarita Island, Venezuela

* Mazatlan, Mexico

* Miami Beach, Florida, United States

* Montego Bay, Jamaica

* Moorea, French Polynesia

* Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States

* Negril, Jamaica

* Nice, France

* Ocho Rios, Jamaica

* Pattaya, Thailand

* Phuket, Thailand

* Seychelles

* St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

* St. Petersburg, Florida, United States

* St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

* St. Tropez, France

* Tahiti, French Polynesia

* Tampa, Florida, United States

* Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States


Castles, Palaces, and Mansions

* Alcazar, Segovia, Spain. Eleventh-century castle that includes the Throne Room, Tower of John II, Salon de la Galera, Pieze del Cordon, and Royal Apartments.

* Alhambra Palace, Grenada, Spain. This thirteenth-century walled fortress was built by Mohammed I. Important areas include the Puerta de la Justitia, Court of Myrtles, Court of Lions, Generalife Gardens, Hall of the Ambassadors, and Hall of Kings. Considered by many to be the star of the palace is the Room of the Two Sisters, with its celestial ceiling containing over 4,400 tiny plaster honeycomb cells.

* Atomium, Brussels, Belgium. Replica of an iron molecule, 165 billion times actual size.

* Big Ben, London, England, United Kingdom. Although the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament is usually referred to as "Big Ben," Big Ben is really the 13-ton bell in the 316-foot- (96-meter-) high tower. As the clock strikes every quarter hour, Big Ben's sound is heard all over the city.

* Biltmore Mansion, near Asheville, North Carolina, United States. Modeled after a French chateau, George W. Vanderbilt began his 250-room mansion in the 1890s, setting it within an 8,000-acre (3,237-hectare) park. On the estate are approximately 75 acres (30.4 hectares) of formal gardens and a winery.

* Blarney Castle, Republic of Ireland. In the upper level of the castle suspended over a shaft is a special stone, reputed to give those who kiss it the "gift of gab." To kiss the stone you must lie on your back, bending your head backwards, with someone holding your feet. Other areas of interest on the grounds are a Druid stone circle, the Witch's Stove, and the Dungeon.

* Blenheim (say "blehn-hem"), England, United Kingdom. Begun as a hunting lodge for King Henry I, Blenheim became the home of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Noted areas include the formal gardens, Long Library, Green Writing Room, Red Drawing Room, and the State Bedrooms.

* Bognor Botanical Garden and Orchid House, Jakarta, Indonesia. Garden featuring over 12,695 plant species.

* Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island, United States. In 1893, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt began work on his Italian Renaissance "summer cottage." On an 11-acre (4.5hectare) estate sits his 70-room mansion with its roofed central courtyard. Entire rooms were crafted in Europe, imported to the site, and reassembled. Of particular note are the Library and Grand Dining Room.

* Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, New York, United States. Suspension bridge built in 1889 at a total length of 5,989 feet (1,825 meters).

* Buckingham Palace, London, England, United Kingdom. Built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham and Candos, the palace is now the official royal residence in London. For a limited time each year, the palace is open to the public, but the most popular attraction takes place outside: the Changing of the Guard. Important rooms include the Queen's Picture Gallery, Queen's Gallery, and the lavishly furnished State Rooms.

* Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Founded in 1904 and covering about 50 acres (20 hectares), this is one of the most impressive gardens in the world.

* Capiland Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Soaring 230 feet (70 meters) over the river, this bridge really does swing.

* Chambord, France. Built between 1519 and 1541, this was the royal hunting lodge of Francois I who spent only 27 days there. The roof has a profusion of towers, chimneys, gables, turrets, and pinnacles. Within this 440-room "lodge" is a magnificent double spiral staircase.

* Chenonceaux, France. This summer house was built in 1515 for Thomas Bohier. The house is attached to a five-arched bridge over the River Cher with a gallery above.

* Chrysler Building, New York City, New York, United States. This art-deco building was begun in 1928 and is 1,048 feet (319 meters) tall. The top is eclipsed by a seven-story pinnacle.

* CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Built in 1976, this 1,820-foot- (555-meter-) high tower is topped by a seven-story Sky Pod, which houses a 400-seat revolving restaurant.

* Doge's Palace, Venice, Italy. Built for Doge Francesco Foscari in the 1340s, the facade is covered with arches, carved pillars, and a colonnaded balcony. The palace is connected to the law courts and prison by the Bridge of Sighs. Major sites in the palace include the Staircase of Gold and the Hall of the Great Council.

* Eiffel Tower, Paris, France. Built in 1883, this tower is 985 feet (300 meters) tall; there are three observation levels. The huge base measures 410 feet (125 meters) on each of the four sides.

* Ellis Island, New York City, New York, United States. Landing site for 12 million immigrants from between 1897 and 1938.

* Empire State Building, New York City, New York, United States. Built in 1931, this skyscraper has 102 floors and is 1,252 feet (381 meters) tall.

* Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Restored historic district offering a variety of shops and restaurants.

* Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, California, United States. Dating to 1846, the wharf area now offers a variety of restaurants, shops, and recreational opportunities.

* Fontainebleau Palace, near Paris, France. Built in 1270 for King Louis IX, the palace boasts the White Horse Courtyard with double staircase, Great Pavilion, Galerie Francois Ier, Marie Antoinette's Apartments, Red Room, Council Room, and Throne Room.

* Forbidden City, Beijing, People's Republic of China. Home of the Imperial Family from 1368 through 1911. The complex includes six palaces and 800 other buildings. The palaces are identified as the Halls of Earthly Peace, Union and Peace, Heavenly Peace, Protective Harmony, Medium Harmony, and Supreme Harmony.

* Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri, United States. At its base, the arch's width is the same as its height: 630 feet (192 meters) wide.

* Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco/Sausalito, California, United States. Built in 1933, this suspension bridge is 1.7 miles (2.7 meters) long.

* Gota Canal, Sweden. This 300-mile- (485-kilometer-) long canal connects the Baltic and North Seas via rivers, lakes, and manmade structures.

* Grand Central Station, New York City, New York, United States. Built in 1913, this is one of the most spectacular train stations in the world.

* Hearst Castle, California, United States. The fancy of William Randolph Hearst, the estate's buildings cover 90,080 square feet (8,368 square meters). The buildings incorporate 41 fireplaces and 61 bathrooms. In the main "house" there are 38 bedrooms, a wine cellar, Hidden Terrace, Private Suite, and libraries.

* Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria. This thirteenth-century palace includes the Grand Staircase, Festival Hall, Ceremonial Hall, Marble Hall, Radetzky Apartments, Ambassador's Staircase, Chamber of the Guards, and Hall of Knights.

* Hoover Dam, Nevada/Arizona, United States. Built in 1931 on the Colorado River, it is the highest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere at 726 feet (221.3 meters). At the base, the dam is 660 feet (201 meters) thick.

* Jantar Mantar, Jaipur, India. Observatory built by Jai Singh II in 1726.

* Jardin Botanique, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1931, this botanical garden boasts over 21,000 plant species.

* Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, France. Originally laid out in the seventeenth century, it is the only surviving Renaissance garden in Paris. Of interest are the numerous statues, monuments, and fountains.

* Keukenhof (Kitchen) Garden, Netherlands. Sixty-five-acre (25-hectare) garden boasting over 6,000,000 flowering plants.

* Khalili Bazaar, Cairo, Egypt. Ancient section of the city with narrow, winding streets and alleyways offering a variety of shops, stalls, and carts.

* Le Jet d'Eau, Geneva, Switzerland. Europe's tallest fountain at 476 feet (145 meters) high.

* Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa, Italy. Built in 1173 as the cathedral's bell tower, it is 200 feet (60 meters) tall and leans at a precarious angle. The 297-step circular staircase can be climbed to the top, but the stairs have been (and probably will be again) closed at various times due to structural problems.

* Linderhof Palace, Germany. Built in 1870 for King Ludwig II of Bavaria, this palace is high rococo with gold gilding everywhere. In front is the gold Neptune Fountain and on the grounds are the Grotto and Moorish Kiosk.

* Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California, United States. Built in 1927 and formerly known as Graumann's, the theater is bordered by the foot and hand prints as well as the autographs of over 200 stars of stage and screen.

* Marble House, Newport, Rhode Island, United States. In 1888, William K. Vanderbilt began work on his "summer cottage." The result includes the Ballroom, the Gold Room, and the Gothic Room, all filled with medieval and Renaissance objects of art and magnificent stained glass windows.

* Monet's House, Giverny, France. The artist's home and gardens, many of which are subjects of his paintings.

* Neuschwanstein (say noi-schvahn-stine), Germany. Built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in 1869, the fairy-tale castle was used by Walt Disney as a model for Sleeping Beauty's Castle. Ludwig used Wagnarian themes, heavy Gothic decor, and ornate and delicate woodcarving throughout the castle. Visitors can see the Royal Bedroom and the Throne Room as well as the artificial stalactite grotto.

* Nijo Castle, Kyoto, Japan. Home of the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, the castle was built in 1601. The main structure has 33 rooms, including the magnificent Audience Chamber. On the grounds are gardens and the Karamon Gate.

* Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany. The palace and pavilions were built in 1664 for the Electress Henrietta Adelaide and are laid out around gardens, artificial lakes, and streams. The baroque Amalienburg Pavilion features the rococo Central Hall and Mirror Room. Other pavilions include the Pagodenburg and the Badenburg.

* Oxford University, Oxford, England, United Kingdom. Of outstanding architecture, the first college was founded in 1263. Today there are 35 colleges.

* Panama Canal, Panama. Link built in 1914 between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the canal is 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) long. In the center is Gatun Lake. The entire crossing takes between eight and ten hours.

* Picadilly Circus, London, England, United Kingdom. This circular intersection of six major streets is the center of the West End and southern boundary of the Soho District.

* Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy. Built in 1345 over the River Arno, shops jut out from the sides, just as they did in its early years.

* Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet, People's Republic of China. The present palace was begun in 1645 by the fifth Dalai Lama, and it covers 1,399,308 square feet (130,000 square meters). The palace was the seat of Tibetan government until Tibet was annexed by China. Within the palace are the tombs of past Dalai Lamas, ceremonial rooms, and religious schools for monks.

* Royal Palace, Madrid, Spain. Built in 1738 for Philip V. Noted areas include the Royal Apartments, Main Staircase, Throne Room, Porcelain Salon (walls and ceiling are of fine porcelain), Armeria Real, and Sala del Gasparini.

* Royal Palace, Stockholm, Sweden. Built in 1692 for Carl XI, this is the largest palace in the world. It contains 600 furnished rooms on three floors, all decorated in baroque or rococo. Within the Royal Apartments are exceptionally fine porcelains, portraits, tapestries, and a solid silver throne. Within the vaults are the Royal Armory and Treasury.

* Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria. Seat of the Habsburg Austrian Empire, built for Maximilian II in 1569. The palace is of baroque architecture and features the Great Courtyard and Gloriette Triumphal Gate. Important rooms include the Blue Salon, Salon of Million, and the Hall of Mirrors where six-year-old Mozart and his sister entertained with a concert.

* Sears Tower, Chicago, Illinois, United States. At 1,450 feet (492 meters) and 110 stories, this is the tallest building in the United States.

* Space Needle, Seattle, Washington, United States. Constructed for the Seattle World's Fair, the needle is 605 feet (184 meters) high.

* Space Tower, Rotterdam, Netherlands. Tower topped by a revolving restaurant.

* Spanish Riding Academy, Vienna, Austria. Home to the fabulous Lipizzaner stallions.

* St. Mark's Square, Venice, Italy. Laid out around 1050 C.E., the famous square is bordered on three sides by palatial arcades.

* Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York City, New York, United States. Given as a gift from France in 1884, the statue is 151 feet (46.5 meters) high. The adventuresome can climb the 192 steps to the top of the pedestal for a magnificent view.

* Summer Palace of Catherine the Great, near St. Petersburg, Russia. Although completely gutted by the Nazis in World War II, the palace has been lovingly restored but for the Amber Room. This room was sheathed in finely carved amber and these panels have never been found. The facade is blue, white, and gold, and is about 950 feet (290 meters) long. Of particular note are the gardens with the Rastrelli Pavilion.

* Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Mausoleum built by Shah Jahan in 1630 for his wife, Arjuman Banu Begum. The white marble structure was originally encrusted with precious gemstones (now gone on the lower levels).

* Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany. Several hundred acres of park, gardens, and the famous Berlin Zoo.

* Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey. Built in 1453 for the Sultan Mehmet II. The kitchen building (fed over 5,000 people daily), Gate of Happiness (Bab i Saadet), white marble library, Harem, and Treasure House can be visited. In the Throne Room is the captured throne of Shah Ismail, which is covered with more than 25,000 jewels.

* Tower Bridge, London, England, United Kingdom. Built in 1886, the bridge has a center section that hydraulically raises and lowers to allow ships through. The upper gallery provides spectacular views of the city.

* Tower of London, London, England, United Kingdom. Built by William the Conqueror in 1078 as a royal residence, the castle was later used as a prison, and is now one

of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Yeoman Warders, known as Beefeaters, patrol the grounds and give visitors insightful historical information. Of particular interest are the White Tower, Traitor's Gate, the Bloody Tower, the Banqueting Hall, and the Crown Jewels.

* Trafalgar Square, London, England, United Kingdom. The square was laid out in 1829 and is now famous for Nelson's Column, bronze lions, and watching passersby.

* Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy. Built in 1732, the fountain is most well known for Bernini's sculpture of Neptune in his winged chariot.

* Versailles (say "vair-sye") Palace, near Paris, France. Begun as a chateau for King Louis XII, Versailles is usually associated with King Louis XIV. Noted areas include the Hall of Mirrors, King's Apartments, Queen's Great and Small Apartments, Orangery, Temple of Love, gardens with hydraulic water works, and the Grand Canal (200 ft/ 61 meters wide and 1 mile/1.6 kilometers long).

* Warwick (say "war-ick") Castle, England, United Kingdom. Built by William the Conqueror in 1068,Warwick is one of the largest and best-preserved castles in Europe. Primary sections of the castle include the Dungeon, Chapel, Guy's Tower (128 feet/39 meters tall), and Caesar's Tower (147 feet/44.8 meters tall). Within the castle are towers with very narrow spiral staircases, the Royal Apartments, the Library, the Music Room, the Great Hall, and Kenilworth Bedroom. On the grounds are the Conservatory and Peacock Garden and Victorian Rose Garden.

* White House, Washington, DC, United States. Begun in 1799 as the home and office of the President of the United Sates, important rooms include the elliptical Blue Room, the Library, the China Room, the East Room, the Red Room, the Green Room, the Map Room, the State Dining Room, and the Diplomatic Reception Room.

* Windsor Castle, England, United Kingdom. Built by William the Conqueror in 1100 and surrounded by the 4,800-acre (1942-hectare) Great Park. Important areas include St. George's Chapel, the Round Tower, the State Apartments with treasures from the Royal Collection, semi-state rooms, the Drawings Gallery, and Queen Mary's Doll House.

* Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia. Finished in 1754 for the Empress Elizabeth and her pet cats (over 100 of them), the palace is now the main building of the world-class Hermitage Museum. Of note are the Malachite Room and Carrara Marble Staircase. In Russian baroque, the palace has 1,057 rooms and 117 staircases.

* Wurzburg Residence, Germany. Built for Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp von Schonborn in 1720, the palace boasts 300 rooms with wonderful German baroque design, frescoes, and plasterwork.

* Zen Garden of Emptiness, Kyoto, Japan. One of, if not the, premier rock garden in the world.


Gaming can now be found in many U.S. states, especially on Native American land and along major rivers. A wide variety of countries worldwide also offer gaming. Listed here are some of the major gaming destinations.

* Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States

* Biloxi, Mississippi, United States

* Deadwood, North Dakota, United States

* Gulfport, Mississippi, United States

* Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

* Macau, People's Republic of China

* Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco

* Reno, Nevada, United States

* Sun City, South Africa

* Tunica, Mississippi, United States


Practically all major cities in the United States and throughout the world offer golf courses that are open to the public. In fact, almost all smaller towns in the United States have courses as well. The courses listed here represent some of the highest-rated public courses worldwide.

* #4 (Cog Hill), Lemont, Illinois, United States

* Banff Springs--Rundle/Sulphur, Alberta, Canada

* Big Sky Course, Pemberton, British Columbia, Canada

* Cascades, Hot Springs, Virginia, United States

* Challenger-Champion (Bay Hill), Orlando, Florida, United States

* Cordova Bay Course, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

* Cotton Bay Course, Rock Sound, Eleuthera, Bahamas

* Dorado Beach--East Course, Dorado, Puerto Rico

* East Sussex--East Course, Uckfield, England, United Kingdom

* Gallagher's Canyon, Kelowana, British Columbia, Canada

* Gary Player Course at Sun City, Sun City, South Africa

* Gleneagles--King's Course, Auchterarder, Scotland, United Kingdom

* Half Moon Golf Club, Montego Bay, Jamaica

* Harbour Town, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, United States

* Jasper Park Golf Course, Alberta, Canada

* Kawana--Oshima Course, Kawana, Japan

* Lahinch--Old Course, Lahinch, Republic of Ireland

* Mauna Kea, Kohala Coast, Hawaii, United States

* Mid Ocean Club, Tucker's Town, Bermuda

* Mirage Golf Course, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

* Monument (Troon North), Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

* Palmilla--Nicklaus Signature, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

* Pasatiempo, Santa Cruz, California, United States

* Pebble Beach, Pebble Beach, California, United States

* Penina Championship Courses, Algarve, Portugal

* Pine Barrens (World Woods), Brooksville, Florida, United States

* Pinehurst #2, Pinehurst, North Carolina, United States

* Port Royal Course, Southampton, Bermuda

* Pumpkin Ridge (Ghost Creek), Cornelius, Oregon, United States

* River Course (Blackwolf Run), Kohler, Wisconsin, United States

* Royal Dornoch, Dornoch, Scotland, United Kingdom

* Royal St. Georges, Sandwich, England, United Kingdom

* Royal Westmoreland, Westmoreland, Barbados

* Spyglass Hill, Pebble Beach, California, United States

* St. Andrews--Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom

* St. Mellion--Nicklaus Course, Saltash, England, United Kingdom

* Stadium Course (TCP Sawgrass), Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, United States

* Sunningdale--Old Course, Sunningdale, England, United Kingdom

* Whistler--Palmer, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

* Woburn--Dukes Course, Bow Brickhill, England, United Kingdom


* Alamo, San Antonio, Texas, United States. This Spanish Franciscan Mission (circa 1722) was converted into a fort in 1793 and is the site where Davy Crocket and a handful of men resisted 5,000 Mexican troops.

* Ann Frank House, Amsterdam, Netherlands. House where she hid from the Nazis for two years and wrote her famous diary. Ann Frank died at Bergen-Belsen on March 3, 1945 at the age of 16.

* Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France. Commemorating Napoleon's victories, the arch was commissioned in 1806 and finished in 1836. There are magnificent views of Paris from the top, and underneath the arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

* Arizona Memorial, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, United States. Memorial to the 1,000 men who lost their lives when the ship was sunk on December 7, 1941.

* Auschwitz, Poland. Site of one of the most infamous Nazi concentration camps of World War II, where millions of Jews, Poles, Slavs, and others were exterminated. The gallows, crematoriums, barracks, and gas chambers are now a memorial to those who died there.

* Battle of the Bulge, Bastogne, Belgium. Memorial to the American division who surrounded the town December 22, 1944, and pushed the Nazis back by January of 1945.

* Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Sites include the Old State House, Paul Revere's House, Granary Burial Ground, Old North Church, Freedom Trail, and Black Heritage Trail.

* Caraquet, New Brunswick, Canada. Established by the Acadians in 1758, the site now has about 40 restored buildings that re-create the original settlement.

* Dacau, Germany. Site of the first Nazi concentration camps, it is now a memorial to the thousands who perished there.

* Fort Sumter, South Carolina, United States. The site where the Civil War began on April 12, 1861.

* Gambia, West Africa. Location of the village Juffure, made famous by Alex Haley's magnificent work Roots.

* Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, United States. The largest battlefield site in the United States; the battle on July 1, 1863, was the turning point in the Civil War.

* Goree Island, Senegal. Primary embarkation site for the millions of slaves bound for Europe and the New World.

* Great Wall of China, People's Republic of China. Begun in 221 B.C.E. by the Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi as a defense against the northern tribes, the wall was extended and enlarged throughout several centuries. The wall is estimated to be 3,750 miles (6,000 kilometers) long. In places, it is 25 feet (7.6 meters) high and is wide enough for five horsemen to ride abreast.

* Hadrian's Wall, England, United Kingdom. Remains of a defensive wall (73 miles/117 kilometers long), forts, and watchtowers built in 120 C.E.

* Halifax Citadel, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Guards in period dress (kilts) patrol the grounds of this 1828 star-shaped fort.

* Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Site of the Bridge over the River Kwai. Some 8,000 Allied POWs died during the forced labor operation to build the bridge. Many of them are buried in the nearby cemetery.

* Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, United States. Visitors enjoy the rocket displays, command center, IMAX films, and launch pads.

* Little Big Horn National Monument, Montana, United States. Site where the Sioux defeated Custer on June 25, 1876.

* Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota, United States. On this 5,600-foot- (1707-meter-) high peak are the carved heads (1927) of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt.

* Normandy Beaches, France. Site of the Allied landing on D-Day during World War II. The beaches include Juno, Sword, Omaha, Utah, and Gold. In the area are several memorials, museums, and cemeteries for the Allied Forces.

* Old Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England, United Kingdom. Built by Charles II in 1675 to develop our current system of location and navigation. Here you can stand with one foot in the Eastern Hemisphere and the other foot in the Western Hemisphere.

* Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Sites include Independence Hall with the Liberty Bell, Graff House, Congress Hall, Betsy Ross House, and Penn's Landing.

* Plaza Boliva, Caracas, Venezuela. Park dedicated to Simon Bolivar, "The Great Liberator" of much of northern South America from Spanish rule.

* Richmond, Virginia, United States. Sites include the Richmond Capitol Building, Museum and White House of the Confederacy, and the Richmond National Battlefield Park.

* Roman Baths, Bath, England, United Kingdom. Site of ancient hot springs around which the Romans built a spa in the first century C.E.

* Southern Mississippi River Valley, United States. Numerous Civil War battle sites, former plantation homes, and antebellum mansions.

* Stone Mountain, near Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Granite monolith carved with Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis on their horses.

* Stratford-upon-Avon, England, United Kingdom. Sites include the birthplace of William Shakespeare, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and Shakespeare's tomb at Trinity Church.

* Tiananmen Square, Beijing, People's Republic of China. Sites include the tomb of Mao Zedong and the Monument to the People's Hero.

* Washington, D.C./Baltimore, Maryland/Arlington, Virginia area, United States. Sites include the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, the Washington Monument, the White House, Arlington National Cemetery, and Fort McHenry.

* Waterloo, Belgium. Site of Napoleon's defeat by Wellington and Blucher on June 18, 1815.


* Ballet Folklorico, Mexico City, Mexico

* Bolshoi Ballet, Moscow, Russia

* Branson, Missouri, United States

* British Museum, London, England, United Kingdom

* Broadway, New York City, New York, United States

* Carnegie Hall, New York City, New York, United States

* Frogner Park, Oslo, Norway

* Glyptotek Art Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark

* Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, Kentucky, United States

* Guggenheim Museum, New York City, New York, United States

* Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, United States

* Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

* Hollywood, California, United States

* La Scala Opera House, Milan, Italy

* Louvre, Paris, France

* Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York, United States

* Moulin Rouge, Paris, France

* Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City, Mexico

* National Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

* Opera--Bastille, Paris, France

* Opera House, Sydney, Australia

* Prado, Madrid, Spain

* Pushkin Art Museum, Moscow, Russia

* Radio City Music Hall, New York City, New York, United States

* Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio, United States

* Shin-Kabuki-za, Osaka, Japan

* Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., United States

* Soho District, London, England, United Kingdom

* Tate Gallery, London, England, United Kingdom

* Times Square, New York City, New York, United States

* U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C., United States

* Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

* Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

* Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, United Kingdom


* Aberdare National Park, Kenya. 297 square miles/770 square kilometers. Visitors to the park may travel through highlands and bamboo rain forests, viewing spectacular waterfalls. On safari, one may see warthogs, monkeys, elephants, leopards, and lions.

* Amboselli National Park, Kenya. 1,235.5 square miles/ 3,200 square kilometers. Park animals include rhino, elephant, buffalo, wildebeests, and cheetahs.

* Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. 1885; 1,640,960 acres/664,073 hectares. The park includes glaciers, Icefields Parkway, summer and winter sports, and the game sanctuary for grizzly bear, caribou, and wolves.

* Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, United States. 1928; 35,835 acres/14,502 hectares. This canyon has curiously eroded pinnacles of various colors that are known as "hoodoos."

* Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, United States. 1930; 46,753 acres/18,920 hectares. This series of huge limestone caverns contains the largest known underground room in the world. The Big Room is .5 mile/.8 kilometers long by 650 feet/198 meters wide by 285 feet/ 87 meters high.

* Denali National Park, Alaska, United States. 1917; 1,939,493 acres/784,885 hectares. The most recognizable feature of the park is Mt. KcKinley (20,320 feet/6,194 meters), the highest peak in North America. Wildlife include white Alaskan mountain sheep, grizzly bears, wolves, and caribou.

* Everglades National Park, Florida, United States. 1934; 1,400,533 acres/566,776 hectares. This park offers vast marshlands and mangrove swamps with wildlife that includes manatees, ibis, herons, snowy egrets, and alligators.

* Fjordland National Park, New Zealand. 3,224,725 acres/1,305,000 hectares. The landscape of the park includes snowcapped mountains, glacial lakes, valleys, fjords, waterfalls, and dense forest. Wildlife include penguins, seals, and dolphins.

* Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, United States. 1919; 1,218,375 acres/493,059 hectares. Throughout the millennia, the Colorado River has carved out the canyon to a depth of over 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) in places. Throughout the main canyon are many smaller canyons. The rock layers are a virtual history of the area because of the many aquatic fossils.

* Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina, United States. 1930; 516,626 acres/208,923 hectares, most visited park in the United States. The park is densely forested and offers a wide variety of flowering shrubs and flowers. The park was so named because the valleys are often shrouded in mist that looks "smoky."

* Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. 1907; 2,688,000 acres/1,087,795 hectares. Sites include a big-game sanctuary, Mt. Columbia (12,293 feet/3,748 meters), forested valleys, mountains, lakes, and glaciers. Wildlife include bighorn sheep, mountain lion, grizzly bear, caribou, wolves, and mule deer.

* Kakadu National Park, Australia. 19,000 square miles/ 49,210 square kilometers. This park is famous for its Aborigine art on the rock formations, Aboriginal Cultural Center, high cliffs, waterfalls, woodland forests, and various reptiles.

* Kruger National Park, South Africa. 1926; 8,000 square miles/20,720 square kilometers. The park's animals include rhinos, buffalo, lions, leopards, and elephants.

* Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, United States. 1941; 51,354 acres/20,782 hectares, world's longest cave system stretching over 150 miles/241.4 kilometers. Sites include caves on five levels, Bottomless Pit, Crystal Lake, Mammoth Dome, onyx cascades, gypsum flowers, stalactites, and stalagmites.

* Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya. 645.5 square miles/ 1,672 square kilometers. Park animals include cape buffalos, civets, zebras, jackals, hyenas, baboons, lions, hippos, crocodiles, antelopes, giraffes, wildebeests, and warthogs.

* Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica. Situated on steep mountains with deep valleys, volcanoes, waterfalls, thermal streams, and mineral baths, the park is famous for its emerald toucans and quetzal birds.

* Mt. Cook National Park, New Zealand. 270 square miles/699 square kilometers. Sites include glaciers, snowfields surrounded by some 3,000 peaks, and rain forests.

* Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. The crater of an extinct volcano, it is 2,000 feet (610 meters) deep and 12 miles (19 kilometers) wide. On the rich grassland live hippos, elephants, lions, jackals, wildebeests, hyenas, zebras, cape buffalo, black rhinos, and cheetah.

* Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, United States. 1915; 263,809 acres/106,760 hectares. This is the heart of the Rockies. Of particular note are Long's Peak (14,526 feet/4427.5 meters), Trail Ridge Road, and the Continental Divide. Wildlife include coyote, moose, elk, mule deer, and big horn sheep.

* Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. 360 square miles/ 932 square kilometers. With grass standing over 20 feet (6 meters) tall, this lush park is known for its tigers, leopards, rhinos, crocodiles, and monkeys.

* Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. 5,600 square miles/ 14,504 square kilometers. The landscape of the park varies between rain forests and plains and offers rivers and volcanoes. Wildlife include wildebeests, zebras, lions, hyenas, and gazelle.

* Torres del Paine, Chile. 1959; 447,261 acres/181,000 hectares. Sights include forests, lakes, glaciers, icebergs, craggy mountains, guanaco, puma, condor, and black-necked swan.

* Virunga National Park, Republic of Congo. 1925; 3,088 square miles/7,998 square kilometers. With varied landscape, the park offers swamps, steppes, snowfields, and lava plains. Virunga is most famous for its mountain gorillas, the subject of the film Gorillas in the Mist.

* Wolong Natural Reserve, People's Republic of China. With rolling mountains and bamboo forests, this park is famous for its giant pandas.

* Wood Buffalo National Park, Alberta/Northern Territories, Canada. 1922; 11,072,000 acres/4,480,679 hectares. The vast area is covered by forests and plains and is a buffalo preserve.

* Yankari National Park, Nigeria. 1956; 794.6 square miles/ 2,058 square kilometers. Park animals include elephants, baboons, crocodiles, hippos, buffalo, and monkeys.

* Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Montana/Idaho, United States. 1872 (first national park in the U.S.); 2,221,773 acres/899,199 hectares. Sites include Mammoth Hot Springs, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone River, lakes, waterfalls, and geysers. (Old Faithful erupts 17 to 21 times a day with water jets up to 130 feet/40 meters high.)

* Yosemite National Park, California, United States. 1890; 760,917 acres/307,937 hectares. Sights include high cliffs, lofty waterfalls, giant sequoia trees, and the rock formations of Half Dome, Cathedral Spires, and El Capitan.

* Zion National Park, Utah, United States. 1919; 147,035 acres/59,502 hectares. The sandstone cliffs of remarkable colors were carved by the Virgin River. Of interest are the Narrows (the cliff walls are 2,000 feet/610 meters high and as close together as 20 feet/60 meters), towering rock formations, and the abundant wildlife.


* Amazon River, Brazil. Second longest river in the world, it begins high in the Andes and flows some 4,000 miles (6,437 kilometers) to the Atlantic Ocean. Along the basin are rich rain forest and various tribal groups.

* Angel Falls, Venezuela. World's highest waterfall at 3,212 feet (979 meters).

* Black Forest, Germany. This region of rolling hills, lakes, mineral springs, and dense forest is known for wood carvings and cuckoo clocks.

* Cappadocia, Turkey. Site noted for its rock pinnacles, carved rock dwellings, caves, and ravines.

* Crater Lake, Oregon, United States. 6 miles/9.6 kilometers wide by 5,217 feet/1,590 meters deep, this is the crater of the extinct volcano, Mt. Mazama. Of particular note is the rich blue water.

* Diamond Head, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, United States. Promontory of an extinct volcano, there are ancient Hawaiian burial grounds along the rim.

* Fern Grotto, Kauai, Hawaii, United States. This lush green grotto is a popular site for weddings.

* Fjords, Norway. Narrow arms of the sea bordered by high mountains and cliffs, the most famous ones are Sognafjord, Geirangerfjord, Trollfjord, and Hardangerfjord.

* Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Located 600 miles/1,970 kilometers from the mainland, this island group is famous for its pristine ecosystem. Native animals include giant tortoises, red- and blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, penguins, sea lions, seals, herons, flamingos, pelicans, and flightless cormorants. The islands inspired Charles Darwin to write Origin of Species.

* Hell's Canyon, Idaho, United States. The deepest canyon in North America (7,900 feet/2,400 meters), it was carved out by the Snake River.

* Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina. Over a 2.5-mile/ 4-kilometer stretch are more than 20 cataracts separated by masses of rock and tree-covered islands that create approximately 275 waterfalls, some of which are 1,300 feet (91 meters) high.

* Inside Passage, British Columbia, Canada/Alaska, United States. Protected channel between the mainland and the offshore islands. Along the 1,000-mile/1,600-kilometer length are snowcapped mountains, glaciers, fjords, whales, bear, and moose.

* Lake Titicaca, Peru/Bolivia. This huge lake is the highest navigable lake in the world, located at an altitude of 12,500 feet (3,810 meters). It was the center of the ancient civilization at Tiahuanaco.

* Matterhorn, Switzerland. The most famous Alpine peak, it is 14,690 feet/4,475.5 meters high.

* Mauna Kea, Hawaii Island, Hawaii, United States. This volcano is the highest point in Hawaii at 13,796 feet (4,205 meters).

* Mauna Loa, Hawaii Island, Hawaii, United States. 13,680 feet/4,169 meters high, the central pit of this volcano is sometimes active. Recent lava flows have burst through the sides of the volcano.

* Milford Sound, New Zealand. Inlet of the Tasman Sea, it is noted for its scenery and magnificent fjords.

* Mt. Everest, Nepal. The highest mountain in the world, 29,028 feet/8,847.7 meters.

* Mt. Fuji (also FujinoYama or Fujisan), Japan. This sacred mountain is the almost-perfect cone of a volcano. It is 12,388 feet (3,744 meters) high.

* Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. The highest point in Africa at 19,340 feet (5,895 meters), it is the snowcapped peak of a dormant volcano.

* Niagara Falls, New York, United States/Ontario, Canada. On the Canadian side is Horseshoe Falls, 158 feet/48 meters high with a crest of 2,600 feet/729 meters. The American Falls are 167 feet/51 meters high with a crest of 1,000 feet/305 meters. At the base of the American Falls is the Cave of the Wind, and downstream are the whirlpool rapids in the gorge.

* Outback, Australia. The vast and desolate interior of Australia, where huge cattle and sheep ranches (stations) are found.

* Pampas, Argentina. Grassland covering 294,000 square miles (761,457 square kilometers), the area is famous for cattle and sheep ranches and the Argentine cowboys known as gauchos.

* Ring of Kerry, Republic of Ireland. This spectacular circular drive around the Dingle Peninsula passes old monasteries and ruined castles.

* Sahara Desert, Northern Africa. This region consists of deserts and oases and covers an area of 3,500,000 square miles (9,064,958 square kilometers).

* Uluru (also Ayers Rock), Australia. Part of the Olgas, this 1,143-foot- (348.4-meter-) high monolith is sacred to the Aborigines. At different times of the day, the rock appears orange, red, and purple. The outcrop measures 9 miles (13 kilometers) in circumference.

* Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe. This series of falls on the Zambezi River is broken by islands and stretches over a distance of 5,580 feet (1,700 meters).

* Yangtzee River Gorges, People's Republic of China. These gorges are most notable between I-ch'ang and Feng-chieh, with cliffs 1,000 feet (320 meters) high.


* Ajanta Caves, near Mumbai (Bombay), India. This series of caves have religious carvings and paintings that date from the second century B.C.E.

* Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Dating from the eighth century, this Buddhist temple complex is hewn from solid rock and is larger than the Pyramids of Egypt.

* Baha'i Temple, Haifi, Israel. Center of the Baha'i faith and the tomb of Baha Allah.

* Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey. One of the most famous mosques in the world, it is noted for its massive rounded structure and delicate minarets.

* Borobudur, Java, Indonesia. Dating from 1000 C.E., this Buddhist temple complex includes a truncated pyramid covered with carvings that illustrate the life and teachings of Buddha.

* Buddha's Universal Church, San Francisco, California, United States. The largest Buddhist temple in the United States, the five-story building has lovely murals and delicate mosaics.

* Cathedral of San Giovanni, Turin (Torino), Italy. Home of the Holy Shroud, said to be the cloth in which Jesus was wrapped after crucifixion.

* Chartres Cathedral, Chartres, France. This 22,000-square-foot (2,044-square-meter) cathedral was built in Gothic style in 1194. Of particular note are the 176 stained glass windows that are exceptional for their quality and brilliance.

* Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This 130-foot/ 40 meter tall statue of Jesus sits atop Corcovado Mountain and provides magnificent views of the city.

* Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, Israel. Built on the site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus, this church is one of the most holy in Christendom.

* Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Israel. The original church was built in 325 on the site of Jesus' birth. The church was rebuilt in the sixth century and was later repaired in the twelfth century by the Crusaders.

* Dome of the Rock (Mosque of Omar), Jerusalem, Israel. One of the most holy sites in Islam, the mosque contains the rock from which Mohammed ascended to heaven.

* Ganges River, India. This holy river is 1,560 miles (2,510 kilometers) long and is sacred to the Hindu. Although it is highly polluted, Hindus bathe in it as a purifying ritual. Note: It is not uncommon to see floating corpses of both humans and animals in the river.

* Jokhang, Lhasa, Tibet, People's Republic of China. This is the holiest of Tibetan Buddhist temples.

* Juma Mosque, Durban, South Africa. The largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere.

* La Sagrada Familla, Barcelona, Spain. Constructed in 1882, this church is a surreal mixture of a castle and a dragon's cave.

* Lourdes, France. In 1858, a peasant girl saw the Virgin Mary and a spring came forth on the spot. Today, pilgrims travel from all over the world to visit the underground basilica, which was completed in 1958.

* Masada, Israel. Atop a 1,300-foot (400-meter) mesa-shaped rock are the remains of a centuries-old fortress. It was here in 73 C.E. that 900 Jews withstood 10,000 Roman soldiers for seven months. When defeat was imminent, the Jews committed suicide. Masada is now a site of Jewish pilgrimage.

* Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Great Mosque marks the site of Mohammed's birth in 570 C.E. It is the goal of every Moslem to make a holy journey (hajj) to Mecca, the most holy site in Islam.

* Medina, Saudi Arabia. One of the most holy cities in Islam. Here are the Prophet's Mosque, place of his death in 632 C.E., and Mohammed's Tomb.

* Meiji Shrine, Tokyo, Japan. One of the most well known shrines of the ancient religion of Shinto.

* Mormon Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. Headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

* Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France. Probably the most famous cathedral in the world, it was built in 1163 on the Ile de la Cite. Of French Gothic architecture, the cathedral is noted for the flying buttresses that disperse the pressure from the height of the nave.

* Notre Dame de la Paix, Yamassoukro, Cote d'Ivoire. Built in the 1990s, it is said to be the largest church in the world. It is noted for its magnificent stained glass windows that illustrate stories from the Bible.

* Pagan, Myanmar. Dating from 849 C.E., this area contains thousands of Buddhist shrines, pagodas, and monasteries.

* Passion Play, Oberammergau, Germany. The first Passion Play was performed in this tiny village in 1634 because of a vow made to God during the plague of 1633. The vow has been kept and the play is performed every 10 years, reenacting the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

* Sacre-Coeur, Paris, France. This Byzantine-Romanesque basilica was built in 1875 on Montmartre Hill. Visitors can begin in the crypts and climb all the way to the dome for a spectacular view of Paris.

* Sistine Chapel, Vatican City. Built for Pope Sixtus IV in 1473, the chapel is most famous for the works of Michelangelo. Over a four-year period, Michelangelo painted nine episodes from Genesis on the ceiling and the Last Judgment on the altar wall. The chapel also includes magnificent marble floors, delicate mosaics, and frescoes by Botticelli and others.

* St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow, Russia. Built in the sixteenth century, this church is a landmark with its brightly colored onion-domes and surrounding cupolas.

* St. Catherine's Monastery, Sinai, Egypt. The cathedral was built in the sixth century on the site of the Burning Bush. It contains a huge library with early Christian manuscripts and relics.

* St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, New York, United States. Built in 1858, it is the largest Roman Catholic church in the United States. The marble structure is cruciform in shape and has 12 side chapels. Of particular note are the many stained glass windows and the 19-bell chimes.

* St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. Headquarters of the Roman Catholic faith and home of the Pope. Consecrated in 1626, the most notable areas include Michelangelo's Pieta and magnificent dome, the grotto-tomb of St. Peter, and the tombs of many popes. The basilica holds 50,000 people and is 700 feet (313 meters) long by 450 feet (137 meters) wide.

* Todai-ji Temple, Nara, Japan. This temple contains the largest bronze Buddha in the world (53.5 feet/16.3 meters high).

* Vishvanatha Temple, Varanasi (Kasi), India. The most holy city to those who follow the Hindu faith. The temple offers several sites to ritually bathe in the Ganges River, sprinkle ashes of the deceased, or pass on to the next life.

* Wat Phra Keo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Bangkok, Thailand. This famous temple is within the compound of the Grand Palace.

* Western Wall (also Wailing Wall), Jerusalem, Israel. Once part of King Solomon's Temple, the wall is one of the most holy sites in Judaism.

* Westminster Abbey, London, England, United Kingdom. Built in 1042 by King Edward I (the Confessor), the church has an octagonal chapter house and is the coronation site of kings and queens. Eighteen former monarchs are buried here as well as Chaucer, Browning, and Tennyson in "Poet's Corner."


As with some of the other lists, this one could include thousands of sites. In fact, any body of water could be considered a destination for travelers who are interested in scuba and snorkeling. Listed here are some of the top-rated sites in the world.

* Ambergris Caye, Belize

* Aruba

* Bahamas

* Cancun, Mexico

* Cayman Islands

* Cozumel, Mexico

* Eilat, Israel

* Great Barrier Reef, Australia

* Micronesia

* Palau

* Red Sea, Egypt

* Samoa

* Solomon Islands


* Alton Towers--England, United Kingdom

* Blackpool Pleasure Beach--England, United Kingdom

* Busch Gardens--Tampa, Florida; Williamsburg, Virginia, United States

* Cedar Point--Sandusky, Ohio, United States

* Disneyland--Anaheim, California, United States

* Disneyland Paris--near Paris, France

* Disneyland Tokyo--near Tokyo, Japan

* Dollywood--Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, United States

* Euro-Park--Germany

* King's Domain--Doswell, Virginia, United States

* Kings Island--Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

* Knott's Berry Farm--Los Angeles, California, United States

* Middle Kingdom--Hong Kong, People's Republic of China

* Opryland--Nashville, Tennessee, United States

* Port Aventura--Cost Daurada, Spain

* Sea World--Orlando, Florida; San Diego, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Aurora, Ohio, United States

* Six Flags--Valencia, California; Arlington, Texas; Gurnee, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, New Jersey, United States

* Tivoli Gardens--Copenhagen, Denmark

* Universal Studios--near Orlando, Florida; Hollywood, California, United States

* Walt Disney World--near Orlando, Florida, United States


* Alberville, France

* Angelfire, New Mexico, United States

* Aspen, Colorado, United States

* Bariloche, Argentina

* Big Four Ski East, Quebec, Canada

* Blackcomb Ski Mountain, British Columbia, Canada

* Bolzano (Bozen), Italy

* Cypress Bowl, British Columbia, Canada

* Garmish-Partenkirchen, Germany

* Grenoble, France

* Grouse Mountain, British Columbia, Canada

* Gstaad, Switzerland

* Innsbruck, Austria

* Interlaken, Switzerland

* Jackson Hole, Wyoming, United States

* Killington, Vermont, United States

* Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

* Lake Tahoe, California, United States

* Laurentian Mountains, Quebec, Canada

* Lillehammer, Norway

* Loon Mountain, New Hampshire, United States

* Pyrenees Mountains, Spain/France

* Seymour Mountain, British Columbia, Canada

* Snowbird, Utah, United States

* Snowmass, Colorado, United States

* Southern Alps, New Zealand

* Squaw Valley, California, United States

* St. Moritz, Switzerland

* Steamboat Springs, Colorado, United States

* Sun Valley, Idaho, United States

* Taos, New Mexico, United States

* Telluride, Colorado, United States

* Vail, Colorado, United States

* Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, United States

* Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

* Zermatt, Switzerland


In this chapter, you have read about a variety of attractions and destinations. You have learned some interesting facts about them, and have hopefully developed an interest in finding out more about some of them. Remember that each list contains only the most important and popular sites; there are thousands and thousands more sites in each category. The most important thing to remember is that a destination's history, culture, religion, art, and ethnicity all serve to make a destination what it is.

For additional Travel and Tourism resources, go to

Review Questions *

1. Uluru (Ayers Rock) is sacred to what group of people?

2. What ancient temple was moved to avoid being flooded when the Aswan High Dam was built?

3. Where are the four Disney parks located?

4. Name the Paris arch that commemorates the victories of Napoleon.

5. The famous Biltmore Mansion is located near this city in South Carolina.

6. Name five famous ski resort areas in Colorado.

7. What Canadian national park is known for its glaciers, year-round spots, and game sanctuary?

8. This region in Germany is densely forested and is known for its mineral springs and wood carvings.

9. This castle is famous for its stone, which gives those who kiss it the "gift of gab." --

10. The Old North Church, Black Freedom Trail, and Paul Revere's House can be visited in this historical city.

11. Name two national parks in Utah that are famous for their canyons and rock formations.

12. Famous sites at this palace include the Changing of the Guard, State Rooms, and the Queen's Picture Gallery. --

13. This famous garden was founded in 1904 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

14. Name two famous beaches in the Bahamas.

15. Name two areas in Mexico that are famous for snorkeling and scuba diving.

16. Begun in 1519, this former royal hunting "lodge" has 440 rooms.

17. Who were the three pharaohs who built the Great Pyramids?

18. What archeological site includes the Temple of the Jaguars, Ball Court, and Cenote Sagrado?

19. What church is built on the site of Jesus' burial and resurrection?

20. The Hoover Dam, located in Nevada and Arizona, spans this river.

21. On what island can visitors see the remains of King Minos's Palace?

22. Name the structure that was built on the site where Mohammed ascended to heaven.

23. What island is famous for its huge Moai statues?

24. At 985 feet/300 meters tall, this is the most famous site in Paris.

25. What Kauai location is a popular site for weddings?

26. This area of San Francisco is famous for its shops, restaurants, and recreational opportunities.

27. Name the island group that is famous for its pristine ecosystem and was the inspiration for Charles Darwin.

28. In what country is the village of Juffure made famous in Alex Haley's Roots?

29. In what country are the remains of the city of Petra located?

30. Name two Nevada cities known for world-class casinos.

31. What archaeological site is known as the "Lost City of the Incas"?

32. What Hollywood site is famous for hundreds of celebrity hand and foot prints?

33. This queen's doll house is one of the most loved attractions at Windsor Castle.

34. This area of New Zealand is known for its spectacular scenery and magnificent fjords. --

35. The heads of four presidents are carved in stone on this South Dakota mountain.

36. What castle in southern Germany was Walt Disney's inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's Castle?

37. This Paris cathedral is noted for its Gothic architecture and flying buttresses.

38. What structure in Central America connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans?

39. The tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, including 8,000 life-sized terra cotta warriors, is located in this country. --

40. The largest Buddhist temple in the United States is located in this city.

41. Gleneagles and St. Andrews are world-renown golf courses in this country.

42. What author and playwright is linked with the town of Stratford-upon-Avon?

43. The Western Wall was once part of this king's temple.

44. In what state is Hilton Head located?

45. In what city is the Hermitage Museum located?

46. One of the most famous sites in England is this ancient stone circle.

47. One of India's most famous landmarks is this mausoleum that was built by Shah Jahan for his wife.

48. Name the palace that is famous for its Treasure House, Harem, and Library.

49. Name the national park that is famous for its mountain gorillas.

50. In what city can the Smithsonian Institution be visited?

* Source: "A Guide to Becoming a Travel Professional" Student Workbook.
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Title Annotation:SECTION II Geography for Travel Professionals
Author:Gorham, Ginger; Rice, Susan
Publication:Travel Perspectives, A Guide to Becoming a Travel Professional
Article Type:List
Date:Jan 1, 2007
Previous Article:Chapter 4 Basic travel geography.
Next Article:Chapter 6 Air travel basics.

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