If you’re anything like us, you have wanderlust coursing through your veins and are continually adding to your list of travel destinations you *must see* in this lifetime. Don’t let that travel spirit dwindle any longer! Instead of focusing on that work/life balance or comparing schedules with your bae or BFF to plan a trip “once things settle down,” start planning a trip to one (or more!) of Pinterest’s top 10 travel destinations below. Whether you travel solo or make it work with a travel buddy, these spots will satisfy that wanderlust and bring adventure, culture and a whole lot more.
1. Pink Sand Beach, Bahamas: If you thought the Bahamas was all restaurants and casinos, Pink Sand Beach is going to blow your globe-trotting mind. Natural coral reef begets pretty pink sands that meet up with the turquoise seas in a postcard-perfect way. Enjoy snorkeling, shelling, fishing and swimming, or rent a bike and tour the island.
2. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia: The lakes of this national park are famous for their ever-changing teal, turquoise or deep blue waters (depending on the ebb and flow of natural minerals deposits). Wooden footbridges and pathways link the 16 lakes, taking visitors over rumbling waters and under waterfalls. Camp nearby in small bungalows and rise at dawn to beat the summer crowd.
3. Lago di Braies, Italy: Located in a lush verdant valley beneath the towering snowcapped Dolomite mountains, Lake Braies is a sight to behold. There’s hiking in the mountains and water activities on the lake, but be aware that the crystal-clear waters are icy from snow runoff, even in summer. Those who prefer more leisurely activities can rent a rowboat and paddle about while filling their Instagram feeds with picture-perfect vistas.
4. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand: A galaxy of living lights fires up the night in the caves beneath the Waitomo River. Water creatures called glowworms, unique to New Zealand, radiate a natural luminosity that has been drawing sightseers for centuries. Walk amongst the geysers, hot springs and bubbling mud pools yourself, or enjoy one of the local guided underground boat tours. The Waitomo area is also home to black water rafting, the Waitomo Trail Run and a “Middle Earth Tour” for the Tolkien geeks among us.
5. Cascada Bigar, Romania: Located in a nature reserve in the Anina Mountains, Bigar Falls is a watery wonder. Underground springs flood high-terrain caves, pushing the water down smoothly rounded, moss-covered cliffs. The falls break over trees and brush, looking like leafy umbrellas in a deluge. Explore the 650-foot river upwards to the spring and go spelunking in the small cave. But beware: To enter, you must first cross an icy river in your bare feet and climb a fragile-looking rope ladder.
6. The Azores, Portugal: Majestic manor houses, 15th-century churches and sheep dot the landscape of this archipelago. Towering cliffs and sapphire waters make the islands a cliff diver’s paradise. Fun fact: It’s actually the home of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. But for the less daring among us, Santa Maria Island has amazing water sport facilities, and the other islands offer an array of cathedrals, churches and museums to tour.
7. Trolltunga, Norway: It’s hard to believe your eyes when you first see Trolltunga. A shear slab of cliff hovers seemingly in mid-air over a vast canyon that descends ever deeper into a blue ravine. An Insta-worthy photo-op, for sure, it’s also a climb-at-your-own-risk adventure. If you do plan to hike it, pack sturdy boots, a map, compass, flashlight, first-aid kit, extra clothing and plenty to eat and drink. The weather is moody, and every year search and rescue parties have to go after hikers in trouble. There are no nearby accommodations, but you can pitch a tent.
8. Faroe Islands, Denmark: These lush emerald-green cliffs floating in the frothy tide of the North Atlantic are beautiful, rugged and majestic all at once. Hikers and birdwatchers will be in their element, and almost all will fall in love with the colorful cottages and grass-roofed churches. Tiny towns are linked by dependable roads, making travel easy. Or you can see the sights by a century-old sloop.
9. The Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls, Arizona: Havasu Falls belongs to the Havasupai American Indian Reservation. Though not an easy hike, it’s well worth the effort. Havasupai means “people of the blue-green water,” and you’ll find that an apt description when you see the azure waters. After 10 miles of hiking, you’ll reach a village with a restaurant, a general store and WiFi. You can stock up there and only have two more miles to hike. Reward yourself at the end with a dive into the crystal clear pool at the bottom of the falls.
10. Jacob’s Well, just outside of Austin, TX: It’s known as one of the most dangerous cave diving spots on the planet, but don’t let that keep you away from Jacob’s Well. The well is spring-fed by the Trinity Aquifer, and its cool waters have lured locals and tourists for hundreds of years. Even if you don’t visit the caves below, you’ll enjoy jumping off surrounding rocks and into the clear water spewing from the well. The area offers many swimming holes and zip line tours.
When you go, be sure to tag us on Instagram @BritandCo. We want to see!
(Photos via Getty)