Best Destinations in the world – put them on your bucket list.

Trip Advisor just published it’s top 100 destinations in the world starting with Milford Sound, New Zealand and ending with Monterey, California. You can download the entire pdf from their homepage. I had to do the count to see how many I’ve hit and I was surprised to have been to about a third of them. I’ve got a lot of traveling to do.

Here’s some thoughts on a few that I’ve been to that surprised me. Not that they weren’t fabulous. I just didn’t think they were very well know.

  • Bruges, Belgium: We visited friends in Brussels and they took us to this lovely medieval canal city that’s closed off to all car traffic. It’s full of lace shops, museums, chocolate shops and, of course, pubs full of hundreds of different Belgium beers with odd shaped glasses and mugs to go with each. You can find out more info at the official website.
  • Marigot, St. Martin/Phillisburg, St. Maarten: It’s one island that’s divided into a Dutch side and a French side. It’s beautiful and eclectic and has some of the most isolated beaches around. The French side is also bathing suit optional so don’t be shocked to see more than you might want to. The Dutch side is great for diamonds if you’re in the market. In fact, that’s where we bought my engagement/wedding ring.
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber: We spent a few weeks last summer touring southern Germany and found yet another little medieval town east of Frankfurt full of Gothic and Baroque architecture, quaint shops, and our favorite — the Medieval Crime Museum. This was the kids’ favorite place. Its four floors of Instruments of torture, death penalties and penalties of shame and honor. They’re twisted children. My personal favorites were the Masks of Shame — horrid metal masks that people had to wear around town for some designated time if they were found guilty (guilty until proven innocent) of things like gossiping, drunkenness and bickering.
  • San Francisco: Just to prove that I’m not just into quaint, medieval towns, I had to comment on SF. I fell in love with the place when my parents first put me on a plane to visit their friends in Oakland when I was 12. Some of my favorite places:

    • House of Nanking: This complete hole in the wall on Geary and Columbus is not the place to go if you want white tablecloths and impeccable service. You go for the food. The first time I was there, I made the mistake of asking for dessert and the waitress said, “No dessert, you go now.” There are up to hour waits at dinner but you can usually breeze in and out for lunch. If the owner, Peter, is there (you will recognize him by his striped Polo shirt and Khakis — a uniform) you should just let him order for you. But ask him for the pea tendrils. They’re not on the menu.
  • Walk, don’t drive, across the Golden Gate Bridge. Overcome your fear of heights. It’s worth it.

  • Wander through Haight-Ashbury, greet an old hippie, have some sangria at Cha, Cha, Cha. It’s the best neighborhood to people watch and lose a day.

Lots of other favorites on the list. Which are your top three sites to see?

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