Beautiful places to visit for unforgettable vacations

Looking for a change of scenery? Hoping to inspire envy with truly craveworthy Instagram photos? Whatever your motivation, you can't go wrong with vacation homes in some of the most beautiful places to visit around the globe. Whether you're looking to admire the spectacular views views in South Dakota's Badlands National Park or claim some beach space in Santorini, Greece, you'll find the perfect villa rental or getaway cabin for your trip. Check out this guide to some of the world's most beautiful vacation spots and start planning today.

Beautiful vacation spots in the US

You don't have to travel around the world to find that picture-perfect vacation destination—there are loads of breathtaking scenery right here in the US of A. From Oregon's Columbia River to the otherworldly red rock formations of South Dakota, beautiful places to visit abound. Better yet, you'll find plenty of cottage rentals and getaway cabins that offer easy access to these scenic spots, as well as modern amenities and added perks to make your trip memorable.

Picturesque picks in the Pacific Northwest

Widely regarded as one of the most stunning spots in the United States, Oregon's Oneonta Gorge lies off I-84, just south of the Columbia River. A short hike from the road, the gorge boasts a cascading 100-foot waterfall and a unique mix of woodland and aquatic plant life. Look for vacation home rentals near the gorge for easy access to more hiking trails and waterfront recreation along the Columbia River, or make the 35-mile drive into Portland for farm-to-table dining, hip breweries, live entertainment, and quirky shops.

Good times in Badlands National Park

Don't let the name lead you astray—we've got nothing but good things to say about South Dakota's Badlands National Park. Boasting unique rock formations like buttes, pinnacles, and table mountains, the 242,000-acre park is widely known for the many dinosaur fossils found on-site. It also features grassland prairies that support present-day wildlife like bison and big-horned sheep. The park is well worth the hour-long drive from Rapid City, where you'll find plenty of vacation home rentals among the city's museums, eateries, and riverfront parks. They'll also put you close to more scenic sights in the Black Hills National Forest.

Beautiful places to visit in India

Think of India and you might picture bustling cities, colorful temples, and the iconic architecture of the Taj Mahal—but the country's got plenty of scenic open spaces, too. From the mountain peaks of the Himalayas to the white-sand beaches along the Arabian Sea, India's natural beauty is tough to beat. Choose from vacation home rentals scattered throughout the nationy and see a different side of this one-of-a-kind country.

High times in the Himalayas

Nestled between the Zanskar and the Great Himalaya mountain ranges, the Valley of Flowers National Park is a must-see for nature lovers of all stripes. With a wealth of plant and animal life and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, it's no wonder the park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vacation home rentals in the area tend to be fairly straightforward, but they've got everything you need in a home base for exploring the park and the mountains.

Head for the hills in Tamil Nadu

Another spot with loads of spectacular scenery, Udhagamandalam—also known as Ooty—makes an excellent jumping-off point for exploring the breathtaking Nilgiri Hills. Part of the Western Ghat mountains, the hills here are known for their tea plantations and wealth of plant and animal life, including wild horses and Indian bison. Look for vacation home rentals in Ooty with full kitchens so you can prep a picnic lunch or dinner or stop in the nearby hill station of Coonoor to sample the local cuisine.

Breathtaking destinations all over the world

From Europe's medieval architecture to the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean, you'll have all manner of epic backdrops at your fingertips when you look for beautiful places to visit around the world. These stunning vacation destinations offer a wide variety of vacation home rentals—from simple getaway cabins and overwater bungalows to villa rentals and mansions for rent—and many boast perks like balconies or hot tubs where you can sit back and take in the sweeping views.

Recapture the glory of medieval Europe in Venice

Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful vacation spots in the world, Venice, Italy, is built on 118 small islands in the Venetian Lagoon. Instead of roads, the city is connected by a series of bridges and canals, and a ride in an iconic gondola or vaporetto is a must for any visitor. From your Venice villa rental, you can stroll the ancient streets and admire the city's wealth of medieval architecture, including the 14th-century Doge's Palace, as well as Saint Mark's Basilica, which was completed in 1092.

Making memories in the Maldives

Another of the world's most scenic spots, the Maldives is an island nation made up of 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean. Here, you can stay in a tropical overwater bungalow or a modern residence with a full kitchen, living room, and deck. Whatever you choose, you'll be close to all manner of waterfront activities, from swimming and snorkeling to surfing and kayaking. Some islands are dotted with luxe accommodations, just steps away from fine dining, entertainment, and full-service spas, while the traditional fishing villages offer a more tranquil, laid-back take on island living.