The top 10 places to visit at home and abroad

Whether you're in the mood for a breezy bungalow beside a tropical beach or a cosmpolitan flat in a bustling big city, this handy guide to our top 10 places to visit in the world has what you're looking for—and the perfect vacation home rental to make your stay a dream.

Vacation rentals in the Hawaiian Islands

Regularly ranked among the top 10 vacation spots in the US, Hawaii's tropical scenery, white-sand beaches, and bustling modern cities offer the best of both worlds. You can get away from it all with villa rentals on the serene island of Kauai, where the Napali Coast offers sweeping ocean views from lush jungle-covered mountains. On Oahu, you can catch a big-wave surf contest on the north shore, or peruse the upscale shops, restaurants, and bars in the plush resort town of Waikiki.

Getaway cabins near the Grand Canyon

One of the most iconic natural landmarks on the planet, Arizona's Grand Canyon boasts sweeping red rock vistas high above the Colorado River. You can hike or take a burro ride to the canyon floor, or admire the view from the horseshoe-shaped skywalk. When it comes to lodgings, you can find modern condos in cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas, both about 4 hours' drive away, or look for getaway cabins amid the pine forests of Flagstaff, just an hour away by car.

Cosmopolitan stays in NYC

The most populous city in the country, New York City is a treasure trove of things to see, do, and taste. From your loft or apartment in Manhattan or Brooklyn, you can easily get to top sights like the renowned Guggenheim Museum, panoramic city views at the art deco Rockefeller Center, and all manner of live entertainment at Times Square. Further afield, you'll find old-school rides and roller coasters at Coney Island, excellent Italian fare on Arthur Avenue, and plants galore at the Bronx Botanical Garden.

Fascinating sights in Fukuoka, Japan

Brimming with tasty cuisine, ancient historic sights, and breathtaking natural scenery, the Japanese city of Fukuoka has more than enough to keep even the most voracious visitor entertained. Culture vultures can explore the Fukuoka City Museum and the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, or you can head to Canal City Hakata for some retail therapy. Inject some tranquility into your trip with vacation rentals near the lakeside Ohori Park, the gardens of the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shinto shrine, or Shofuku-ji, a 12th-century Zen Buddhist temple.

Paradise awaits in tropical Phuket, Thailand

A serene island escape in the Andaman Sea, Phuket is home to lushly rainforested mountains and plenty of sandy beaches. Along the coastline, you'll find upscale resorts, spas, and restaurants, while the urban centers like Patong and Phuket City boast lively markets and entertainment. Look for laid-back bungalows and chic villa rentals for easy access to top sights like the Wat Chalong temple complex, Phuket Zoo, Phuket FantaSea theme park, and Sirinat National Park.

Riding high in Valparaiso, Chile

Known for its steep hills dotted with colorful buildings and a funicular railway system that offers riders panoramic views of the city and the ocean beyond, Chile's Valparaiso is just 90 minutes by car from Santiago. Once you're here, you can admire art at Baburizza Palace, lounge on the nearby Reñaca Beach, or check out the Museo La Sebastiana, a biographical museum in the onetime home of poet Pablo Neruda. Or you can enjoy a tasty meal on the deck of your light-filled rental.

Medieval sights in and around Budapest

Spanning the Danube river, Budapest in Hungary boasts a wealth of historic sights and under-the-radar good times. In the hilly Buda district, you can climb Castle Hill to explore the storied Old Town, or head to Trinity Square with its 13th-century Matthias Church and striking Fisherman's Bastion, a turreted fortress dating from the 19th century. From your vacation rental in low-lying Pest, you can visit the House of Terror museum, the Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden, and the Museum of Fine Arts, or simply stroll the streets and sample local fare like goulash and deep-fried langos.

Lively Seoul is a top vacation spot

Offering a blend of the ancient and the contemporary, bustling Seoul is a great place for a cool urban getaway. Book an airy condo in a sleek high-rise with city views, where you'll be close to popular city sights like the dazzling Dongdaemun Design Plaza and the 14th-century Gyeongbokgung Palace. Head to the busy Myeongdong Market to sample traditional Korean snacks, or check out the lively Gangnam and Hongdae districts that are famous for their upscale shopping and buzzing nightlife.

Visit the Italian Riviera at Cinque Terre

Known for steep hills dotted with terraced vineyards and colorful villas, Cinque Terre is actually a collection of 5 towns along a stretch of shoreline on the Italian Riviera. Stroll the Sentiero Azzuro—a 7-mile cliffside hiking trail that connects the 5 villages—and stop in at one of the many waterfront trattorias for some freshly caught seafood. Look for vacation rentals in Riomaggiore, at the southern end, for its bars, shops, and restaurants, or stay in the northern village of Monterosso Al Mare for its sandy shoreline, Gothic church and 17th-century monastery.

Cool vacation ideas in Iceland

With its wealth of breathtaking natural scenery just a few hours by plane from the East Coast, Iceland is fast becoming one of the world's top vacation destinations. You can book a modern Scandinavian-style apartment in bustling Reykjavik, the country's capital, where you'll be close to the contemporary Hallgrimskirkja cathedral, the Reykjavik Art Museum, history displays at The Settlement Exhibition, and countless cozy cafes and quirky museums. You can also take a day trip to the geothermal sites of the Golden Circle, chase the Northern Lights, explore an ice cave, or soak in the Blue Lagoon.