Map Monday: what is there to do and see in the world?

Recently, a fellow blogger who also happens to be an experienced climber sent me a link to a map that she thought was pretty awesome: Awesome Maps’ complete guide to rock climbing opportunities around the world, all in one handy-dandy map. [Click for more details.]


I will admit that this map did not spark my interest in rock climbing enough to take it up as a new activity, but it did spark my interest as to what other maps like this might be floating out there.  It turns out that there are many.

As you can see above, the Awesome Maps are extremely detailed, perhaps more detailed than a casual viewer might be interested in (at least me), but if you google Awesome Maps and your activity of choice, you should find just what you’re looking for.

Just to give you a few ideas, let’s look at some less detailed maps of places to go and things to do.

How about surfing?!


Not every website has the same top 10 choices, but this will give you the idea. If you click on the map, you’ll be able to find the pros and cons of each of the top 10 surfing spots.  Some of the cons are pretty scary!


  1. Popoyo, Nicaragua
  2. Nosara, Costa Rica
  3. Uluwatu, Bali
  4. Cloudbbreak, Fiji
  5. Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
  6. Rincon, Puerto Rico
  7. Nazare, Portugal
  8. Siargao, Philippines
  9. San Clemente, California
  10. North Shore, Oahu

This map below shows that there are far more surfing opportunities than the top 10 selected above, in case you’re intrigued. And, of course, that’s just for starters.


How about golfing around the world?

Cypress Point, Monterey, California CypressPointThis site provides you with a list and description of the top 100 golf courses around the world. A great bucket list for those of you who like both travel and golf, although you should keep in mind that these famous world-class golf courses are not exactly cheap!


Here are their top 10:

  1. Cypress Point, tip of Monterey Peninsula, California
  2. Pine Valley, southern New Jersey
  3. Shinnecock Hills, Southampton, NY
  4. Royal County Down, Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  5. National Golf Links of America, Southampton, NY (!)
  6. Royal Melbourne (West), Melbourne, Australia
  7. Oakmount Country Club, Pennsylvania
  8. Turnberry (Ailsa), Scotland
  9. St Andrews (Old), Scotland
  10. Sand Hills, Nebraska

For those of you who prefer running, we all know that there are terrific marathons and half marathons held virtually everywhere.  And it’s always fun to be part of a running community, where for so many of us it’s about encouraging fellow participants to finish rather than worry about coming in first. But if you’re into marathons and are looking for bucket-list items, this is the map for you.


  1. Boston Marathon
  2. Chicago Marathon
  3. New York City Marathon
  4. London Marathon
  5. Tokyo Marathon
  6. Berlin Marathon

If sports aren’t your thing, then how about a bucket list that includes some of the Seven Wonders of the World?  This map includes both the ancient wonders (most of which no longer exist) and the “modern” wonders of the world .


Or how about adding the Seven Natural Wonders of the World to your bucket list?

Natural Wonders

There are two other maps I’m still looking for to add to this collection.  While I’m looking (or making them myself), I’ll include some top 10 lists for each of them, so you can think about adding some of these gems to your bucket list as well.

Top 10 places for wildlife viewing around the world (the lists vary slightly from website to website):

  1. Gorilla tracking in Rwanda and Uganda
  2. A Big 5 safari in Africa (Botswana or Tanzania highly recommended)BigFive
  3. Polar bears in the Arctic
  4. Tiger viewing in Ranthambore, India
  5. Galapagos Islands (everything there!)
  6. Whale watching (opportunities abound all around the world)
  7. Grizzly bears in the Rockies (don’t get too close!)
  8. Orangutans in Borneo
  9. Penguins and other species in Antarctica (or the Falklands or Australia)
  10. Lemurs in Madagascar

And, finally, how about the top 10 places to go hot air ballooning:

  1. Cappadocia, TurkeyBallooning-Turkey
  2. Serengeti, Tanzania
  3. Sossusvlei, Namibia
  4. Albuquerque, New Mexico (balloon festival)
  5. Luxor, Egypt
  6. Monument Valley, Utah
  7. Bagan, Myanmarbest-hot-air-balloon-rides-bagan-myanmar
  8. Queensland, New Zealand
  9. Park City, Utah
  10. Sedona, Arizona

I hope you can find something in these maps and lists that you hadn’t thought of doing and now you just can’t wait! Have fun!! 🙂

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20 Responses to Map Monday: what is there to do and see in the world?

  1. Bernie says:

    I am off to find a beer map!!

  2. These are awesome maps, Jane. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I had no idea that there were so many different kinds of maps.

  4. All the maps you showed are cool (extra points on the Seven Wonders one), but that first rock climbing map that you were sent is definitely the best. Such detail! – Marty

  5. Margaret says:

    Really interesting Jane but it’s made me realise just how much we haven’t seen 🙂
    … need to get our skates on

  6. Iman Lily says:

    These maps are really interesting and fun to look at.

  7. Dr. John Persico Jr. says:

    I love maps. The diversity of topics on these is great. Thanks for posting.

  8. Wynne Leon says:

    Love this post and these maps. It just filled me with the sense of possibilities and wonder. Thanks, Jane!

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