1. Petra, Jordan.
In the ancient fortress city of Petra, the houses, temples, and tombs were carved into canyon walls. While some parts have been eroded by time and the elements, others have been miraculously preserved. At dawn and dusk, the desert sun turns the walls a gorgeous ping.
2. The Great Pyramids Of Giza, Egypt.
A miracle of construction, the Pyramids are one of antiquity's most world-recognized icons. But nothing can prepare you for the awe-inspiring experience of seeing them in person. "From the summit of these monuments," Napoleon cried, "forty centuries look upon you."
3. Giants' Causeway, Northern Ireland.
Few attractions are as grand, strange, and astonishing as the Giants' Causeway, a honeycomb of more than 40,000 vertical basalt columns, some reaching as high as 40 feet, created by a volcanic eruption some 60 million years ago.
4. Ayers Rock, Australia.
Known by its aboriginal name Uluru, or "giant pebble," Ayera Rock dramatically rises 1,142 feet in the air from the featureless plain around it. Five miles in circumference, and as smooth as a human body, it is considered sacred by the Aborigines. If you see it at sunrise or sunset, you'll understand why.
5. The Hope Diamond, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
The 45.5 carat Hope Diamond is an exquisite steely blue. Said to be stolen from a statue of an Indian goddes, it has passed through the hands of many owners, including King Louis XIV, Pierre Cartier, King George IV, and Harry Winston. Winston donated it to the Smithsonian, where it continues to dazzle.
6. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio.
This museum brings to life and pays tribute to the music we all love. It contains more than 100,000 iconic artifacts-including Jim Morrison's scout uniform, Janis Joplin's 1965 Porsche, and Jimi Hendrix's scribbled Iyrics and Stratocaster guitar.
7. The Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Arizona.
One of the great, enduring symbols of America, the Grand Canyon is what you see in your mind's eye when you think of the Old West. And in Person? The canyon's unearthly colors and inhuman scale provide a truly humbling example of what Mother Nature can do if you give her 2 billion years.
8. Easter Island, Chile.
The world's most remote inhabited island, Easter Island is famous for its moai, more than 600 huge, elongated stone figures that stare eyeless at the distant horizon. They were carved from the island's volcanic tufa, transported for miles, then raised onto stone altars.