Rugged coastline, dramatic vistas, and uncrowded spaces—such as Pfeiffer Beach, pictured here—draw romantics to Big Sur on the central California coast.
The famous prangs of Wat Arun, a Buddhist temple on the Chao Phraya River, reach into the Bangkok sky. Construction of the temple, a popular tourist attraction, was begun in 1809.
Napa Valley, California
Each year more than four million people visit California's Napa Valley, where the rolling geography and Mediterranean climate contribute to the creation of world-class wines.
Taj Mahal, India
A sunlit alcove provides a quiet moment at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The 17th-century marble mausoleum is a monument to love—Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had it built in memory of his beloved wife.
Daybreak comes slowly to a secluded beach on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, off Africa's Swahili Coast. White, sandy beaches and fringing coral reefs lure sunseekers away from the beaten path.
A new angle on a familiar sight: Looking up from under the Eiffel Tower is a heady sensation, suitable for the City of Light, arguably the most romantic destination in the world.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
For a getaway with spice, you can't beat Bolivia's stunning Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt plain. One of the flattest places on Earth, the surface turns into a mirror when it rains.
Prague, Czech Republic
Dense fog draws a curtain on Prague's Charles Bridge and its promenade of sculptured saints. The bridge, a revered symbol of the city, crosses the Vltava River.
A popular destination for skiers, snowboarders, and mountaineers, the French Alps have plenty to offer less adventurous visitors—storybook villages, luxurious resorts, and breathtaking scenery.
For every resident Venetian, hundreds of visitors pour into the Italian city each year to savor its gilded charms. La Serenissima ("the most serene one", as it's known, has been a tourist destination since the 14th century.
The wild side of Oregon's southern coast (such as the rocky coastline at Bandon Beach, pictured here) is tempered by creature comforts: premier golf resorts, luxurious inns, and fine dining.
San Francisco, California
Angel's trumpets bloom at the base of the "Victory" statue in San Francisco's Union Square, which anchors a central shopping district. Mild weather and off-peak pricing make winter a good time to visit the city.
Rugged Nā Pali Coast on Kaua'i provides a rampart against the Pacific—and a pot of tourist gold. Secluded Kalalau Valley is accessible only by boat, when the seas are calm in summer, or by way of a dizzying 11-mile (18-kilometer) trail that hugs the cliffs.
Angry clouds provide no chance for the photovoltaic "Greeting to the Sun" art installation to soak up solar energy on Zadar's waterfront. Perched on the Adriatic Sea, Zadar has miles of beaches, Roman architecture, and a modern nightlife scene.
Star trails streak through the skies over Penarth, a suburb of Cardiff in South Wales. A popular summer destination during the Victorian era, the seaside resort town still draws crowds.
A warm glow in the night, the Colosseum is a nearly 2,000-year-old attraction in the Eternal City. Rome's allure comes from its rich history, its world-famous food, its strollable streets, and its warm, welcoming people.
Pismo Beach, California
Located about midway between the Bay Area and sprawling Los Angeles, Pismo Beach lies tucked amid redwoods and rocky outcroppings on one of America's least developed stretches of coast. More than 50 hotels fill with visitors during summer months, when Main Street's boutiques and wine bars bustle. Once high season ends, though, the town becomes positively idyllic.
Timeworn cobblestones and narrow streets give Erice, Sicily, a cozy feel. A cable car connects the historic town, perched about a quarter of a mile (750 meters) above sea level, to the city of Trapani.
New York City
Lights lead the way from Brooklyn to Manhattan, where world-famous theaters, restaurants, museums, and hotels await the many millions of visitors that flock here each year.
Lake Garda, Italy
Tranquil Lake Garda, largest of Italy's lakes, stretches for miles through Lombardy. The nearby town of Sirmione, famous for its thermal springs, has shores lined with pebble beaches and a castle where Dante was once a guest.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Windswept Cape Cod is home to nearly 20 lighthouses, a beacon for romantics. The keeper's house at Race Point Lighthouse near Provincetown, pictured here, is available for vacation rental.
Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Picture-perfect scenery, even on a gray winter's day, draws visitors to Lake Louise in Banff, Alberta. Banff National Park embraces more than 1.6 million acres (650,000 hectares) on the eastern flanks of the Continental Divide.
Hyde Park is quiet on an autumn afternoon, an oasis in the thrum of London. The capital city's attractions—world-class theater, famous artworks, and immaculate parks, just to name a few—have a strong pull.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The sensual city of Buenos Aires has a European heritage and a devotion to tango that shapes its urban soul. Here, street performers entertain crowds near the San Telmo market.
Idyllic weather, clear waters, white-sand beaches, and exotic overwater bungalows make Bora Bora a dream honeymoon destination. The lush island, part of the Society Islands in the South Pacific, is renowned for its snorkeling and scuba diving.
Life is centered on the water in Capri, an Italian island in the Tyrrhenian Sea. A popular vacation spot for Italians, the island boasts a classic Mediterranean landscape and is an easy day-trip from Naples and Sorrento.
Place de la Bourse anchors the city of Bordeaux, center of the renowned wine-growing region. Once the capital of the ancient Roman province of Aquitania, Bordeaux flourished under the wine-doting Romans as it did centuries later under English kings.
A gracious fountain in Forsyth Park enthralls children in Savannah, one of the U.S. South's great cities. Live oaks, Spanish moss, and explosions of azaleas drape the historic city in charm.
Colorful Antigua Guatemala, founded in the early 16th century, is now a World Heritage site, noted for its Spanish colonial architecture. Tourists come for the charm and the convenience—Antigua makes a good central base for exploring the rest of the country.