Five US Destinations Made National Geographic’s ‘World’s Best’ Travel List: Are You Surprised? | Tech US News

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Five places in the United States have been designated as some of the best places to travel in 2023.

National Geographic released its annual “World’s Best” list last week, which includes what it calls must-see places around the world.

National Geographic list curator and senior editor Amy Alipio told Fox News Digital that the picks for each year are determined in collaboration with explorers, writers and editorial teams from around the world.

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After 11 years of compiling the annual travel list, Alipio revealed that she and her team “always look for an interesting mix.”

“We want to get people interested in other places they might not have heard of,” he said.

Cynta de Narvaez soaks in the hot springs of Big Bend National Park on a Far Flung Adventures canoe trip down the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park near Terlingua, Texas on January 14, 2012.

Cynta de Narvaez soaks in the hot springs of Big Bend National Park on a Far Flung Adventures canoe trip down the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park near Terlingua, Texas on January 14, 2012.
(Erich Schlegel/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“It’s about finding places where you’re surprised, and I feel like when you’re surprised and in awe of a place, it creates empathy and a desire to protect that destination.”

That’s why National Geographic included Texas’ Big Bend National Park; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; San Francisco, California; Charleston, South Carolina; and Utah State in the mix.

1. Big Bend National Park, Texas

Big Bend National Park in Far West Texas made an appearance on NatGeo’s list in its nature category.

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Although it is one of the least visited national parks, according to Alipio, Big Bend has breathtaking views and features wildlife just like other popular outdoor destinations.

“One of the reasons we love that it was on the list this year was because with a lot of the overcrowding that’s going on in some national parks, like Yellowstone, for example, Big Bend gets a fraction of the visitors that Yellowstone does,” he said. .

Santa Elena Canyon on the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park in Texas.

Santa Elena Canyon on the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park in Texas.
(Educational Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

“But it has just as amazing scenery.”

Big Bend National Park straddles the border of Texas and Mexico, showcasing its desert landscape and scenic rivers.

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The national park also has several “interesting” towns around it, including Marathon, Alpine and Marfa, Alipio said.

The Prada Marfa sculpture by artists Elmgreen and Dragset is pictured March 3, 2014 in Marfa, Texas.

The Prada Marfa sculpture by artists Elmgreen and Dragset is pictured March 3, 2014 in Marfa, Texas.
(Veronique DUPONT/AFP via Getty Images)

The towns emulate the Texas feel of the early frontiers with small local shops and open spaces.

“It feels like you’re in a movie,” Alipio said.

2. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Wisconsin lakeside city of Milwaukee was named to the list as NatGeo introduces a new community category.

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The destinations listed in the community are highlighted to give back to the residents through tourism.

Milwaukee skyline with the Menomonee River in the foreground.

Milwaukee skyline with the Menomonee River in the foreground.
(Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Alipio noted that Milwaukee is much more than its “breweries and hot dogs” stereotype.

“It’s a lively city that supports its creative community,” he said.

Milwaukee recently reclaimed vacant lots to redevelop its entertainment district, also known as the Deer District.

The Milwaukee skyline with Lake Michigan in the background is seen at night on January 6, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee skyline with Lake Michigan in the background is seen at night on January 6, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
(ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)

The city also plans to open a new center for African-American arts and culture in the revived traditional neighborhood of Bronzeville.

“There’s always one place on the list that makes you say, ‘Who knew about this place?'” he said.

“And here – Milwaukee – we have it as this Great Lake city to see.”

3. Utah

The entire state of Utah has been singled out as a place to visit for ultimate adventure.

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The western state is known for its variety of outdoor excursions, from paddleboarding to mountain climbing, and its generally beautiful scenery.

Adventurers paddle on Lake Powell in Utah.

Adventurers paddle on Lake Powell in Utah.
(Educational Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

NatGeo’s list encouraged readers to get their “adrenaline” in Utah’s less visited areas.

As visitors flock to popular Utah stops like Zion National Park, Alidio said the state is working to avoid overcrowding problems by building the park’s east entrance and opening a visitor center.

A hike on the Emerald Pools Trail introduces families to the grandeur of Zion Canyon in Zion National Park in Utah.

A hike on the Emerald Pools Trail introduces families to the grandeur of Zion Canyon in Zion National Park in Utah.
(Doug Merriam/MCT/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

“It’s just as beautiful,” he said.

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“They are also promoting other areas of the state where you can have equally amazing adventure experiences.”

The east side of Zion is often known as the quiet side, according to VisitUtah.com, with closer access to other sites such as Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon .

4. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is known for its Southern charm.

NatGeo added the South Carolina city to its list in the culture category, noting the thrill of exploring Charleston’s low country cuisine and cultural history.

“We all love Charleston for its food and architecture and its place there in South Carolina,” Alipio said.

Historic Charleston housing and architecture during the Christmas holidays along Rainbow row, South Carolina.

Historic Charleston housing and architecture during the Christmas holidays along Rainbow row, South Carolina.
(Christopher Pillitz/Getty Images)

But Charleston also stands out now for acknowledging the city’s “less than ideal” history in the slave trade, Alipio mentioned.

The Charleston International African American Museum is scheduled to open in January 2023.

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“There are a lot of stories of tragedy there,” he said. “But also, stories of triumph too.”

The city also hosts a genealogical center where people can research family history and heritage.

Aerial view of historic Charleston, South Carolina.

Aerial view of historic Charleston, South Carolina.
(Visions of America/Joseph Sohm/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Historians believe nearly 90% of black Americans can trace an ancestor to Charleston, according to Alipio.

“This is a really important place in American history and for that reason we wanted to shed light on this destination.”

5. San Francisco, California

San Francisco’s Crosstown Trail made the list for being family oriented.

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While San Francisco is already a hot spot, Alipio shared that the city has reimagined its outdoor spaces.

The city’s new Crosstown Trail runs diagonally across San Francisco, allowing families to hike, bike and enjoy nature right at home.

Day hikers explore the view from Philosopher's Way, a 2.7-mile loop trail that was officially dedicated at McLaren Park in San Francisco on January 5, 2013.

Day hikers explore the view from Philosopher’s Way, a 2.7-mile loop trail that was officially dedicated at McLaren Park in San Francisco on January 5, 2013.
(Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

“You don’t have to go very remote or have special gear to go hiking,” he said.

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“An urban path is right there as close as your neighborhood basketball court.”

A construction worker stands on the roof of the northbound main pole tunnel as work continues on the Presidio Tunnel Tops landscaping project in San Francisco on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017.

A construction worker stands on the roof of the northbound main pole tunnel as work continues on the Presidio Tunnel Tops landscaping project in San Francisco on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017.
(Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

San Francisco also opened last summer the Presidio Tunnel Tops, which were built on top of the old freeway tunnels in Presidio National Park Bay.

The new attraction offers a stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as a nature center, playgrounds, food trucks and sites to start a campfire.

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“It’s a really fun place,” he said.

National Geographic’s full list is divided into five categories, each geared toward different travel styles: culture, nature, adventure, community, and family.

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