I am truly blessed with the ability to travel! This past year was another one for the books as they say. Here are my top 10 travel sights & experiences from this past year, with 3 honorable mentions as garnish.
Before we begin...
While you're here, you might want to check out my list of the top 10 things I ate this past year also!
Now, on to the list!
Coors Brewery (Golden, CO, USA)
If there's one thing I love on this wonderful planet, it is beer. I even have a page for it! During a visit to the mile high city, we made the day trek to Golden, Colorado, home of the largest single site brewery MillerCoors.The free tour of the facility provided a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at the production of their vast portfolio of beers. More importantly, tour participants got to sample some of the freshest beer in the area!
National Harbor (Maryland, USA)
Just south of Washington D.C. is National Harbor, a deluxe district of shops, restaurants and one heck of a ferris wheel. Revel in the day and stay for a beatiful sunset along the Potomac River.
State Fair of Texas (Dallas, TX, USA)
"Everything is bigger in Texas" is personified quite beautifully at the Texas State Fair in Dallas. Under the purview of Big Tex, you can clog your arteries with every fried concoction you can imagine (including fried key lime pie), or make yourself very dizzy with the endless array of amusement park rides.
10. Binondo (Manila, Philippines)
Known as the oldest Chinatown in the world, Binondo is the mecca of Chinese commerce in the Philippines's capital. It is gritty, grimey and tourist friendly in only a handful of areas, but that is what gives it a realistic charm.
9. Hope Outdoor Gallery (Austin, TX, USA)
This wonderful co-op serves as a fantastic outlet for graffiti artists and mural maestros to craft large scale art pieces driven by inspirational, positive and educational messaging (according to their website) adding another fitting piece into Austin's eclectic puzzle.
8. Venice Beach (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
What more is there to say about this iconic stretch of beach in Southern California? I can almost guarantee that you'll see something here that you've never seen before!
7. Beco do Batman (São Paulo, Brazil)
I was extremely surprised to find this attaction ranked #54 on Trip Advisor. Located in the bohemian district of Vila Madelina, the magnificent walls of graffitti art graces your presence as you stroll through the alley.
6. Boracay Beach (Boracay, Philippines)
Boracay beach has transformed into quite a thriving beach metropolis chock-full of restaurants, beach chairs and nightlife. While true nature lovers may be thrown off by all the amenities, very few can argue about the picturesque, pristine jade colored water.
5. Millennium Park (Chicago, IL, USA)
The park itself is overshadowed by its most famous exhibit, the Cloud Gate, or Chicago Bean, while the supporting cast of fountains, gardens and amphitheatre round out an impressive place to visit in the heart of downtown Chicago.
4. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Palawan, Philippines)
As a member of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, this 8.2km subterranean river is a marvel to experience. If you are in the area, you would be remiss to not pay a visit, or you should come to Palawan just to visit this place. It is that good.
3. Top Of The Rock (Manhattan, NY, USA)
One of the most recognizable skylines in the world is best viewed atop this 70 story megastructure. Sure, there is a much taller building to get a killer view of the city from, but the wait times are much more manageable at 30 Rock.
2. National Mall (Washington D.C., USA)
American History buffs will wet their pants at the National Mall, but even for casual visitor like me, the impressive array of monuments, landmarks, memorials and museums will leave you in awe.
1. Red Rocks Amphitheatre (Morrison, CO, USA)
For over 100 years, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre has entertained scores of people with some of the world's most talented musicians from the Beatles to U2. To this day, concert go-ers flock here in droves to see the world's best musicians, surrounded by some the best natural geological rock formations in the area.