Nonstop Ticket
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18 Travel Destinations Where One Visit Isn't Enough

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Nonstop Ticket
Martina Birnbaum/istockphoto

Nonstop Ticket

The top travel destinations have so much to offer that visitors keep coming back again and again. Think Greece, with its countless ancient monuments and thousands of picturesque islands; Italy, with its art-filled cities; and India, a country so vast in size and offerings it can be overwhelming — not to mention popular places closer to home. Here's a look at some favorite spots for repeat visits.

Related: 50 Affordable Vacations to Add to Your Bucket List

Alaska
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Alaska

America's largest state, Alaska possesses more coastline than the rest of the United States combined. It's home to 616 officially named glaciers, according to the National Park Service. Add to that miles of stunning interior to explore and centuries of history and it becomes clear one visit is not nearly adequate for all Alaska has to offer. Many visitors aim to spot the local big five when visiting: moose, caribou, grizzly bears, Dall sheep, and gray wolves. Still other visitors look for marine wildlife such as orcas, humpback whales, sea lions, otters, and puffins. Denali National Park (home to Mount McKinley) is another must-see, as are Kenai Fjords National Park and the Mendenhall Glacier — just outside the state capital.

Related: 15 Best Places to See the Northern Lights on a Budget

Hilton Head, South Carolina
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Hilton Head, South Carolina

It's not that there's so much to see in Hilton Head. It's the temperate climate, variety of activities, and expanding culinary scene that bring travelers back year after year. A picturesque low-country gem, Hilton Head Island is a perennial favorite that can be explored by bike, kayak, paddle board, and on foot. Among the highlights is the annual arrival of loggerhead sea turtles, which make their way onto the beaches of Hilton Head Island for nesting season between May and September. The island is also home to more than 60 miles of multi-use trails and 12 miles of bike-friendly hard-packed sand trails. Food offerings include Hudson's Seafood House on the Docks, a restaurant that employs its own fishing fleet to bring fresh local seafood to its kitchen.

Related: 35 Best Beach Towns for an Affordable Summer Vacation

South Korea
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South Korea

With significant seasonal temperature variations in South Korea, your experiences can be vastly different depending when you visit, says Chris Choi, chief executive of VIP Travel. "Spring is filled with cherry blossoms; winter is action-packed with skiing, snow, and hiking, and unique foods. Summer is beach season and a good time to visit coastal resorts and Korea's islands, while autumn offers stunning bright yellow and gold colors perfect for visiting Nami Island and Korea's numerous mountain areas." Seasonal variation isn't the only reason to visit again and again. "Korea is one of the fastest-paced countries in the world. Things are constantly changing, improving, updating, and expanding," Choi says. "This alone makes revisiting Korea all the more surprising. You'll always find something new."

Ireland
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Ireland

Small enough that you can travel nearly anywhere in the country in under three hours, Ireland is packed with vibrant cities, pubs galore, stunning places to hike, and medieval buildings and castles. A popular starting point is the legendary capital of Dublin, "a bustling city where you can go shopping on Grafton Street, listen to live traditional music in the pubs, take a tour of the Guinness storehouse, take a nap on St. Stephen's Green, or see a concert in Phoenix Park," says Kerianne Vianden, writer for Hotels4Teams. Once you've had your fill of Dublin, hop on a train and head west to Galway, an equally lively city. You can also plan a trip seeking out "Game of Thrones" filming locations or the country's many castles.

Related: 30 Free Things to Do in Ireland

MS Freedom Trail, Medgar Evers Marker Back
MS Freedom Trail, Medgar Evers Marker Back by Visit Mississippi (CC BY-NC-ND)

Coastal Mississippi

Mississippi's "Secret Coast" between New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, offers 62 miles of coastline and 12 unique communities that include championship golf courses, picturesque greenways, and hiking trails that take visitors through parks, beaches, and forests. Still more options include wildlife tours, museums, and historic attractions and trails to explore — including perhaps the most famous, the Mississippi Freedom Trail, which commemorates the civil rights movement. For music buffs there's the Mississippi Country Music Trail and the Mississippi Blues Trail. The region's art scene is also booming, and includes the renowned Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art designed by famed architect Frank Gehry.

Italy
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Italy

From Rome, with its famed Colosseum dating back nearly 2,000 years, to Florence, with its museums filled with legendary works of art — not to mention the picturesque Amalfi Coast, the unforgettable isle of Capri, and the rolling hills of Tuscany — one lifetime may not be enough for this European nation. "Italy consists of 20 regions that feel like separate countries in their own right, with their own type of food, art, culture, and history," says Chizoba Anyaoha, founder of TravSolo.

India
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India

It would take a visit of several months to say you've truly seen India, says Rishi Kapoor, founder of Nanak Flights. "What's great about going to India on separate occasions is that your trips can be entirely different," says Kapoor, who suggests that at least one trip to India be focused the country's capital, Delhi. It offers the hustle and bustle of a big city and historic sites that can be traced back to ancient civilizations and empires — including the Qutub Minar, India's tallest minaret, an ornate structure from the 12th century. After Delhi, Kapoor suggests exploring India's northern states, including Meghalaya, which he describes as "one of the most picturesque states in the country … covered with massive green trees, vibrant blue waterfalls, and shining rivers and lakes."

Related: 25 Destinations Where Your Dollar Will Go Far

Mexico
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Mexico

Mexico is another country where sheer size and diversity makes multiple visits practically essential. From seaside hotspots such as Cabo San Lucas and Cancun to the rich culture of Mexico City, the culinary capital of Oaxaca, and the historic colonial mountain town of San Miguel de Allende, tourism possibilities feel endless. "Every area of Mexico is so different," says Jennifer O'Brien, editor-in-chief for The Travel Women. "While certain seaside areas get a bad reputation for college kids who love to party, kids of all ages can learn about the history of Mayan ruins or enjoy the culture of Mexico City. Though Mexico is remembered for its beaches, after traveling to Mexico City this year it is now one of my favorite cities in the world, and I cannot wait to go back."

Greece
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Greece

Where to start in Greece? One of the cheapest destinations in the European Union, Greece has been a tourist hot spot for decades. "There's so much culture packed into this country, from traditional olive oil farms to architecture built by the ancient Greeks ... and every single city seems to have its own micro-culture," says Raj Vardhman, co-founder of GoRemotely. "One vacation is enough to just get a small glimpse of what Greece has to offer." Athens, home to the Acropolis and the Parthenon, is a popular starting point. Heading north, the province of Halkidiki, which consists of three peninsulas known for their Mediterranean forests and sandy beaches, is fascinating to explore. And, of course, island-hopping in Greece — ferrying between such hot spots as Mykonos and Santorini, along with thousands of smaller islands — makes for a getaway you won't soon forget.

Indonesia
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Indonesia

Though he spent a full month in Indonesia, Charles Breitbart, founder of the site TripTins, says he left wanting to visit even more of the country. "As most people's vacations aren't even two weeks, Indonesia is a perfect example as a country where one visit isn't nearly enough," Breitbart says. "There are several main islands of Indonesia — such as Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, and Bali — but there are over 17,000 individual islands that make up the country. Just that fact alone shows you how much there is to see all throughout the country." There's also a vast number of activities to choose from when visiting. "Whether it be volcano hiking, scuba diving, waterfall chasing, exploring temples, or relaxing on the beach, Indonesia has a huge variety of things to do. By just taking one standard trip there, it would be impossible to fit it all in."

London
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London

Just because Meghan and Harry are ditching London doesn't mean this fascinating city has lost any of its luster. With roots dating back to about 43 A.D., it would be an understatement to say there's a great deal of history to explore. From Buckingham Palace tours and the changing of the guards to the Tower of London (which houses the crown jewels) and iconic Westminster Abbey, there's more to take in than one visit allows. The city's more than two dozen free museums, which showcase a dizzying number of priceless works of art, could occupy several days on their own. They include the British Museum, which contains the world-famous Rosetta Stone. If all that's not enough, in recent years London has become quite the foodie's paradise.

Japan
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Japan

Many first-time visitors to Japan have just enough bandwidth to explore what's known as the "Golden Route," which includes such touristy stops as Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. It's a journey that showcases the country's modern metropolises and ancient culture but merely scratches the surface of all Japan has to offer. Repeat visitors can head to regions more reminiscent of woodblock prints of the country from the past, where there's significant variation in food and culture, as well as beaches, mountains, and volcanoes, says Alex Bradshaw of Japan travel consulting company Gotoku. "Areas like Kyushu, Shikoku, and Tohoku are gaining attention among overseas media and travel experts," Bradshaw says. Kyushu, one of Japan's four main islands, is a destination where few tourists venture, but those who do are rewarded with a glimpse of traditional Japanese life unspoiled by overtourism.

Peruvian Amazon
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Peruvian Amazon

Although the Amazon is spread over nine countries, Peru stands apart with jaw-droppingly abundant biodiversity, says Thomas Adams of Kuoda Travel. "Peru is a paradise of birds. Only Peru and Colombia have around 1,800 species," he says. "There's 25,000 species of flora, which is 10% of the world total, and Manu, one of the three jungle regions, is the most biodiverse area on the planet." With such rich diversity, it can be challenging to see it all during one visit. There are many ways to explore the Peruvian Amazon, including by small boat or cruise, or by spending time at a lodge in the region.

Tasmania
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Tasmania

Far-flung Tasmania may be a tiny island (home to just 500,000 people), but its attractions are so diverse it's nearly impossible to experience them all in one visit. "Pristine rainforests, alpine hiking, quirky Tasmanian devils, six UNESCO World Heritage sites, beaches that wouldn't look out of place in the Bahamas — it has it all and yet it takes less than a day to drive from one side of the island to the other," says Andrew Strikis, founder of the travel site Lap of Tasmania. The sprawling Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area encompasses rainforests, rivers, and stunning coastline. And Wineglass Bay on Tasmania's east coast has been repeatedly named one of the top 10 beaches in the world.

California
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California

From Napa and Sonoma Valley wine getaways to the glitterati of Hollywood and Los Angeles and foodie tours of San Francisco, there's so much to explore in California. The state is simply too expansive to experience fully in one visit. One popular way to see the Golden State includes driving down the state's picturesque coastal Highway 101, making sure to spend ample time in the Central Coast and the Big Sur region. The state is also home to some of the country's most famous national parks, including Yosemite, Death Valley, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The only question is where to begin.

South Africa
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South Africa

Full of bucket-list opportunities and one of the top destinations on the African continent, South Africa is a richly diverse, fascinating country that showcases several different ecosystems. In Kruger National Park it's still possible to spot the big five in local wildlife: lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhino. In the western part of the country are lovely beaches and picturesque wine regions. The northern Cape includes Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, one of the largest wilderness areas on the planet, while the Garden Route, along South Africa's southeast coast, features unforgettable coastline scenery and charming coastal towns.

Cuba
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Cuba

Havana is merely a starting point when it comes to exploring the intriguing island of Cuba, a welcoming country that's still entirely possible to visit on a "support for the Cuban people" itinerary. Beyond exploring Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site, some of the most noteworthy places to explore include the colorful town of Trinidad (also a World Heritage site), where you'll find streets lined by restored buildings, and the lush valley of Viñales, known for its striking limestone mountains and tobacco plantations. The island's arts and food scene is also exploding, with many young artists opening businesses, galleries, or storefronts to showcase their creations and up-and-coming chefs launching restaurants.

China
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China

The Great Wall, the glittering megacity of Shanghai, and Beijing's Forbidden City and Imperial Palace are merely some of China's best-known attractions. This country is filled with countless secondary cities that are bigger and more populous than New York City, as well as many rural provinces where it's still possible to experience a simpler version of life. Don't miss the legendary Terracotta Army in Xi'an — one of China's most significant archaeological treasures — or the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province, where it's possible to get up close to the lovable creatures. And still you'll have only scratched the surface in this country that dates back more than 3,000 years.