By Jessica Haley
Sometimes I get a travel bug itch that cannot be scratched. When that happens, scrolling through old photos and reminiscing on earlier adventures helps ease my wanderlust a little.
Based on my experiences, here are my top five recommendations of the most Instagrammable places to visit.
Railay Beach, Thailand
The beaches in Thailand are unmatched, and the beaches in Krabi hold a special place in my heart. Railay is cut off from the mainland by steep cliffs, accessed only by boat. Staying on west Railay beach offers the best sunset views on the entire peninsula, in my opinion. The towering limestone cliff on the south end of the beach seems to change colours in the fading light, no filters needed. Pair that with the line of longtail boats bobbing just offshore, grab a coconut from a nearby juice stall, and it makes for an iconic photo.
On the opposite side of Railay lies Tew Lay Bar. It offers not only delicious food and drinks but a multitude of various seating arrangements that create awesome photo opportunities. There are lounging pillows under a shaded pavilion, a wooden platform up in a tree, several swings that dangle above the water, even a giant “bird’s nest” made from woven branches. It’s a great place to come for lunch and to snap a few pics that will liven up any Instagram feed.
Walt Disney World, Florida, USA
“The happiest place on earth” has a reputation for making dreams come true. The magical atmosphere is infectious, and the park is full of colourful surprises that encourage guests to indulge their inner child.
As a 90s’ kid, Disney holds a lot of nostalgia for me personally. Each of the parks offer something unique. Cinderella’s castle sits at the heart of the Magic Kingdom and is instantly recognizable; it is a popular spot for couples’ photoshoots. Not to be missed in Tomorrowland is the Instagram famous “purple wall”.
To get some #foodporn content, head over to Epcot during the International Food and Wine Festival (September-November). There are plenty of delectable treats that taste as good as they look. I always make sure to get a Mickey Mouse shaped pretzel or ice cream bar. Delicious and snap worthy!
Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
Towering above the desert metropolis of Dubai is the unfathomably tall Burj Khalifa. I finally checked ‘getting a photo in front of the world’s tallest building’ off my bucket list. Since I’m not afraid of heights, I even went all the way up to the observation deck on the 124th floor (452 m).
The 360 view from that height is stupendous. The city, desert, and the Persian Gulf all lie beneath your feet. Back on the ground, be sure to stick around after it gets dark to see the laser light show that runs every 30 minutes after 6:00 pm. Busting some moves in front of the fountain as the Burj Khalifa lights up in the background makes for an epic video!
If someone goes to Paris and does not take a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower, did they even go to Paris?
As one of Europe’s most famous cities, there is no shortage of photo opportunities. Architecture lovers will appreciate the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacré Coeur, and the Louvre. Then there is also the iconic Champs-Élysées known as “the most beautiful avenue in the world”. J’adore!
My favourite thing to do in Paris is to wander the streets in search of a quaint, French café preferably with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Simply order a ham and cheese baguette (or some ratatouille if they serve it), and you have an instantly enviable photo.
Yellowstone National Park, USA
Created in 1872, Yellowstone is the world’s first national park. It spans over 2 million acres of gorgeous wilderness that includes mountains, canyons, forests, hot springs, and geysers, making it a hiker’s paradise. The park is also home to many species of wildlife including bison and elk.
I have never found a more stunning place to fully enjoy being at one with nature. If the serene landscapes and free-roaming animals don’t take your breath away, the geysers certainly will. The volcanic activity beneath the park creates some truly spectacular hot springs that come in a kaleidoscope of colours as well as geysers that erupt in impressive displays. A visit to Yellowstone is a good reminder of how much we all need to respect and take care of the earth.I know I can’t be the only one dreaming of the day when COVID restrictions are no more, making international travel possible once again. Until then, we must be content with scrolling through the wanderlust hashtag on Instagram. Start planning a future trip, and remember destination inspiration is only a click away!