Best 250 Travel Destinations in the World (according to Gary) — Installment 1 — #241-250

           This assemblage of excellent tourist sights focuses on Europe and the Americas; they are fittingly among Gary’s best travel destinations in the world.

           250. Hadrian’s Wall, England — This 75-mile wall marked the northern limit of the Roman Empire and was erected to keep the barbarian Scots at bay.                              

Hadrian's Wall

              249. Morne Trois Piton National Park, Dominica — It’s no wonder that Dominica is known as the “Nature Isle.” Much of the island’s interior is set aside as national park land.

Waterfall in Morne Trois Piton NP

               248.  Quito, Ecuador — This is the second highest capital city in the world at 9,200 feet (almost 3,100 meters). Its historic Old City, which dates to 1534, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains excellent examples of fine Colonial architecture amid its steep, cobblestone streets. (Walking Tour available for purchase on website)

               247. The Cotswolds, England — This region, northwest of London, contains many small, quaint towns with strange-sounding names, such as, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, Upper and Lower Slaughter, etc. The houses and other buildings are constructed from the dark stone of the area; thus, there is a certain amount of sameness from village to village. The overall effect is like stepping back in time. Perhaps the most important of the Cotswold villages is Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare.  (Walking Tour available for purchase on website)                

Anne Hathaway Cottage, Stratford-upon-Avon

               246. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada — This commercial and recreational hub on the western coast of Canada is a frequent launching point for cruises to Alaska. It is also a world-class city in its own right, with numerous attractions for the tourist within the city limits, and many more in the vicinity. Vancouver was the host city for the 2010 Winter Olympics and made a global splash with visitors and viewers alike.  (Walking Tour available for purchase on website)                       

Canada Place, Vancouver

               245.  Oslo, Norway — The capital of Norway lies at the end of a Fjord, a fitting location for this Scandinavian country. When visiting, tourists should definitely make an effort to check out the Vigeland Sculpture Park, dedicated to the country’s greatest sculptor, just outside the city. (Walking Tour available for purchase on website)

               244. San Marino — This is the oldest and smallest Republic in the world. It is located northeast of Rome, near the Adriatic Sea, and is entirely surrounded by Italy. The town of San Marino is a medieval gem, heavily fortified by the Tre Castelli (Three Castles), and made even more impregnable because of its setting, at the very top of Mount  Titiano. The narrow, cobblestone streets and incredibly well-preserved and well-maintained buildings and walls make it an utter pleasure to experience.  (Walking Tour available for purchase on website)                  

One of the Tre Castelli, San Marino

               243. Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington, USA  —  On May 18, 1980, the top of this mountain blew off in an incredible display of thermal geology. Mud and lava flows devastated the surrounding area and the force of the blast leveled trees for miles. Since the eruption scientists have benefited from this living laboratory and have been able to study first hand the extent of destruction as well as the resiliency of the landscape. Visitors can still see evidence of this catastrophic eruption and they can also witness the recovery of the ecosystem, which has been remarkable.                      

Mount St Helens

               242. Savannah, Georgia, USA — This is my favorite of the classic cities of the Deep South (except for New Orleans of course). Its wealth was the result of slave labor and the importance of cotton. The town was designed by George Oglethorpe, founder of the Georgia colony, and many of his original 24″squares” have been preserved, creating a downtown just perfect for walking. (Walking Tour available for purchase on website)                      

Forsyth Park, Savannah

               241. Helsinki, Finland — Unlike most European destinations, Helsinki is a modern city. Rather than medieval buildings, it has elegant 19th century Neo-classical architecture. The Sibelius monument is an important stop for visitors here. (Walking Tour available for purchase on website)

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