Top 101 things to do before you die - Posted by Howard B

Posted by Howard B on December 02, 2000 at 24:25:44:

This wish list of ultimate trips will be showcased on the Travel Channel.

  1 Visit Paris and the Eiffel Tower. The city for lovers of art, lovers of nature, lovers of architecture, and lovers of love is inviting to all.
  2 Ride a Harley across America. Did you know you can rent a Harley? So now there's no excuse. Go "hog wild" and freewheel along the back roads of America.
  3 Dive Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It's larger than Britain and half the size of Texas. And it's one of the world's most beautiful natural wonders, for novice and professional divers alike.
  4 Test-drive a Ferrari. You don't even have to buy one to have this experience. Feel it hug the curves as you drive along your favorite highway, whether it's Malibu, Montana or Milan.
  5 Visit the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota. When it's finished, this memorial to the great American Indian leader will be the world's largest mountain carving; the head is nearly 90 feet tall, almost twice as big as the presidents sculpted on nearby Mount Rushmore.
  6 Take a riverboat down the Mississippi and read Mark Twain as you float down this American river. The famous author took his name from the river; his pen name literally means "two fathoms."
  7 Go on an African safari and feel the primal, exhilarating thrill of the wild beast on its own turf. And hope he won't be hungry.
  8 Enter "The Last Great Race on Earth" -- the Alaskan Iditarod, a sled-dog race across 1,049 miles of brutally cold terrain. You could win $50,000.
  9 Tour the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington. This memorial is a moving and dramatic reminder of the thousands of people killed by Nazi death squads.
  10 Visit a drive-in with someone you love. Make sure they're showing something with cool monsters or aliens, so you don't miss too much when the windshield steams up.
  11 Celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square and join the tens of thousands of people who cram into this funfest each year to see the famous ball drop and count down to a new year.
  12 Party at the World's Greatest Bash, Carnivale at Rio, or head down to New Orleans in February for Mardi Gras, the mother of all street festivals.
  13 Get down and dirty at La Tomatina Festival in Bunol, Spain, on the last Wednesday in August. This is potentially the world's largest food fight.
  14 Glide down a Venice canal with the Love of Your Life. Just think -- a romantic gondola for two. A gondolier crooning an aria. The Bridge of Sighs. You get the picture.
  15 Visit the Grand Canyon and drink in one of the great natural wonders of the world, the famous gorge cut by the Colorado River. It's 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep from river to rim.
  16 Ride on one of the scariest roller coasters in the world, or maybe ride all of them. There's Superman, the Ride of Steel in New England (221 feet high and an awesome 70 miles an hour), or Dueling Dragons at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. Riders of the Incredible Hulk, also at Universal Studios, experience zero gravity and are turned upside down 110 feet above the ground. Not for the faint of heart.
  17 Swim with the dolphins. These majestic creatures are so friendly, smart, and gregarious that you will be able to open your heart to a new kind of friend. Try the Florida Keys for special dolphin swims.
  18 Run with the bulls in Pamplona. Ernest Hemingway made this a famous male rite of passage. You go to Pamplona, Spain. You line up at 8 a.m. with 3,000 other people and you get a 30-second head start before they let the bulls go. And then you run. Very fast.
  19 Chase a tornado and experience Mother Nature at her most powerful. The Midwest is one place to go for tornado watching at its best. Tornadoes are the most destructive storms in the world. They can blow at up to 200 miles per hour and can have the destructive power of small atomic bombs.
  20 Stay at one of the world's fanciest five-star hotels and indulge yourself at the Ritz in Paris, the Peninsula in Hong Kong or L'Ermitage in Los Angeles. Or visit Burj Al Arab in Dubai, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. One night will set you back $10,000 -- but the private butler is included.
  21 Vacation at a nudist colony. It's not everyone's idea of a vacation, but if you want to strip off your inhibitions, this is one way to do it.
  22 Walk the Great Wall of China. It's one of the largest building construction projects in the world and runs for 4,500 miles. Nothing can prepare you for this amazing sight.
  23 See the seven modern wonders of the world. Most of the ancient wonders have long since disappeared, but here's our list: the Taj Mahal in India, the Egyptian pyramids, the Panama Canal, the Petronas Twin Towers in Lumpur, Malaysia (the two tallest buildings in the world). the Channel Tunnel linking Great Britain and continental Europe, the Statue of Liberty in New York and Hoover Dam, the highest dam ever built and one of the most magnificent public works of art constructed.
  24 Watch-the sunrise from Mt. Haleakala in Maui. You'll have to get up in the dark and take your rental car up 10,023 feet to the top, and you'll be rewarded with a sunrise you'll remember forever.
  25 See the Northern Lights, also known as God's light show. Northern Canada and Alaska are good places to view this rainbow- hued, luminous phenomenon.
  26 Behold Michelangelo's "David" in the Academy, in Florence, Italy, and it will fill you with wonder. Sculpted between 1501 and 1504, it is one of the great artist's true masterpieces.
  27 Attend a fashion show in Milan. For anyone who appreciates style, spectacle and La Dolce Vita, Milan's fashion shows are fabulously memorable.
  28 Go whale watching at the glorious San Juan Islands off Puget Sound.
  29 Visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the 900-year-old Hindu temple that remains one of the most enchanting, inspiring, and ambitious spiritual centers in world history.
  30 Travel on the Orient Express. When you get on board Europe's fabled luxury conveyance, you'll be traveling with the ghosts of Mata Han, the Duke of Windsor and, of course, Agatha Christie, who used the train as the basis for her book, "Murder on the Orient Express."
  31 Attend the Burning Man festival. This wild and crazy festival takes places in the Nevada desert. It began in 1986 and can best be described as free-form conceptual group art of the most radical kind. Be prepared to see a lot of naked people.
  32 Take a skinny dip at midnight. Certain things you have to do just because there's someone out there who doesn't want you to do it. It could be in the neighbor's pool or a beach in Bali -- you choose.
  33 Visit the New York Public Library. This amazing resource is visited by an average of 16 million visitors a year. Dubbed "the people's university," it is free to anyone in the world.
  34 Visit Macha Picchu, the remote dreamland in the Peruvian Andes, and discover the legends behind this Incan city that lay undiscovered for centuries.
  35 Take part in an archaeological dig and learn something valuable.
  36 Attend Thaipusam (a Hindu rite) in Singapore. This is one of the most fascinating religious rituals in the world. About a million people will converge in Singapore to watch.
  37 Visit the world's sexiest beach, Ipanema. This is Rio de Janeiro's famous beach that inspired a hit song and still glows with sunshine, sweet music, exuberance and beautiful people.
  38 Rediscover evolution in the Galapagos Islands. Charles Darwin studied the flora and fauna here in 1831; his studies formed the basis for his theory of evolution. The natural wonders have changed little since then.
  39 Read "War and Peace" in Minsk. This city inspired Tolstoy's legendary book.
  40 Attend an American Indian pow-wow. For thousands of years, American Indians have been dancing and drumming at these celebrations of life.
  41 Watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. This charming English tradition happens every day at 11:30 a.m. outside Buckingham Palace in London.
  42 Sip tea in a traditional Japanese tea garden. Did you know you could find spiritual bliss just by sipping a cup of tea? Experience the centuries-old tea ceremony and let go of the cares of the world.
  43 Soak in the mud at the Dead Sea. This amazing sea near Em Bokek, Israel, is seven times saltier than the ocean. Think of it as the largest natural spa on the planet.
  44 Visit the Blue Grotto in Capri. Rediscovered in 1826 by a German writer, the Blue Grotto is illuminated a brilliant blue as sunlight passes through the underwater cavern.
  45 Visit the Amazon rainforest before it disappears. The Amazon rainforest is disappearing at a staggering rate caused by deforestation and construction.
  46 Play millionaire for a weekend at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. You will join presidents, royalty and Gen. Robert E. Lee, who made this his home after the Civil War. Besides playing golf, be sure to tour its formerly super-secret underground Cold War V.I.P. Nuclear Attack Relocation Facility.
  47 Enjoy a great bottle of wine. The world's greatest liquid epiphany is probably the $75,000 Romanie-Conti, bottled in 1875. But you could find your own favorite for much less.
  48 Go whitewater rafting and face your fears -- run the rapids.
  49 Enjoy a fantasy meal cooked by a master chef, such as Ben Ford, one of the hottest young chefs in America and son of actor Harrison Ford.
  50 Go to Ireland and kiss the blarney stone in Blarney Castle. This may sound corny, but people do it all the time. The stone is said to give skill in flattery to those who kiss it.
  51 Stuff your face with chocolate in Hershey, Pa., at Hershey's Chocolate Park.
  52 Experience the Vietnam Memorial in our nation's capital.
  53 Wrestle gators. Holding the tail of a nine-foot-long alligator may not be everyone's idea of fun, but maybe it's yours. You can even get a full-time job wrestling these beasts at tourist attractions.
  54 Visit an active volcano and experience the awesome power of Mother Nature as red-hot lava flows push into the ocean in a massive cloud of steam. Try taking a helicopter ride over the Taupo Volcanic Zone in New Zealand for a once-in-a-lifetime view.
  55 Party on Ibiza, an island off the coast of Spain with a well- deserved reputation as a haven for beautiful people who enjoy a party- going lifestyle.
  56 Visit Yosemite, one of America's most spectacular national parks. Hike, rock climb, or just find a quiet spot and enjoy the magnificent scenery.
  57 Attend the Opera Ball in Vienna. This is one of Europe's classic occasions where everyone dresses up and hundreds of glamorous young debutantes waltz with their tuxedoed partners.
  58 Rent your own private island. This is another budget-cruncher but, hey, money won't be much use to you in the afterlife. So why not spend it now?
  59 Plan a great museum vacation. The Louvre in Paris, the Guggenheim in New York and L'Ermitage in St. Petersburg. What more could an art lover ask for?
  60 Immerse yourself in the great rivers of the world. Experience the great Ganges River, a ritual site for the people of India, and the world's longest river, the Nile in Egypt.
  61 Visit Africa's Serengeti Plain, home to the world's largest concentration of gazelles, as well as zebras and elephants. See rhinos by the thousands, and witness a mass wildebeest migration.
  62 Go to the Kentucky Derby. You can place your bets, cheer 'til you're hoarse, or just people-watch at this classic American sporting event in Louisville, Ky.
  63 Visit Pompeii. In 1748, archaeologists rediscovered the city of Pompeii that had been buried under volcanic ash more than 1,600 years before, when Mt. Vesuvius erupted. It's now a historical wonder.
  64 Visit Graceland to visit the home in Memphis of the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Eat fried banana sandwiches at the 14-acre estate where Elvis used to live.
  65 Fly a plane. Sure, you've flown on a commercial airliner dozens of times. Now find out what it feels like to be behind the controls of a plane. It's one of the world's greatest adrenaline rushes, and you'll never look at flying the same way again.
  66 Ride a cable car in San Francisco. Who hasn't seen this fabulous city in the movies or travel brochures?
  67 Experience the Pushkar Camel Fair in India. This colorful, delightfully chaotic camel convention takes place once a year, in November, for three days. More than 30,000 camels and 200,000 people journey here to buy, sell, or just enjoy the experience.
  68 Test your mettle at a survival camp. There's a survival school in Costa Rica that you might, or might not, want to attend before you die. It's run by a group of ex-Marines and Green Berets. Definitely not for wimps. But it'll leave you with a stronger mind and body.
  69 Play golf at St. Andrews in Scotland. Reputed to be one of the best golf courses in the world, St. Andrews is home to 600 years of golfing history and is the largest golf facility in Europe.
  70 Visit the Martin Luther King Memorial next to Ebenezer Church in Atlanta, Ga., where King used to preach. This memorial is testament to his life, work and legacy.
  71 See Stonehenge. Many believe that this stone formation in Wiltshire, England, is as old as the pyramids in Egypt.
  72 Sleep in a haunted house. You might try for Lizzie Borden's former home in Fall River, Mass., which is now a bed and breakfast inn.
  73 Go to Hollywood and take a screen test.
  74 Visit the Space Observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. You can't actually use the telescopes, but you can see the brilliant night sky and learn about it at the planetarium.
  75 Journey to the land of the Great Gatsby -- Long Island, N.Y. This area provided the glittering backdrop for F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous novel, but it looks nothing like it did in the 1920s. Better yet, take a trip to Newport, R.I., instead, where you can experience the glamour of the period as you read this landmark American story of romance, riches, and loss.
  76 Ride a bull, at least for a few seconds. Ever dreamed of being a cowboy?
  77 Visit the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik, Iceland, once called the most supernatural-looking body of water on earth. It's bluer than you could ever imagine, and it's a balmy 104 degrees.
  78 Run away and join the circus. Be a clown, learn how to fly on the trapeze. All this and more at the College of Circus Arts in Florida.
  79 Be James Bond for a day. Stay at author Ian Fleming's Goldeneye Resort in Jamaica, for the princely sum of $5,000 a night. Fleming's orig inal desk, where he invented Secret Agent 007, still sits in the master bedroom.
  80 Celebrate Christmas in New York and catch the famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes in their annual Christmas show, see the famous tree at Rockefeller Plaza, and shop 'til you drop. Or you can see the Rockettes at their show much closer to home -- in Branson.
  81 Eat something crazy, like fugu. Only the most expert sushi chefs know how to prepare blowfish or "fugu" so that a very small portion of the creature's poison remains and gives you a "buzz: too much, and it will kill you.
  82 Visit Gettysburg. Reputed to be one of the most haunted places on Earth, this legendary battlefield still resonates with the bravery and tragedy of one of the greatest battles of the American Civil War.
  83 Go to a NASCAR race and experience America's favorite motor sport.
  84 Become a friend of the Earth and protect the environment, whether it's in your back yard or half way across the world.
  85 Go heli-hiking. What could be cooler than taking a chopper into a remote wilderness area and getting dropped off miles from civilization? How about going to British Columbia or to Canada's pristine mountains, lakes and meadows?
  86 Celebrate the Day of the Dead in Mexico on Nov. 1.
  87 See a performance of "Hamlet," Shakespeare's most famous play. It transcends language and culture and is performed throughout the world. Catch a performance, or better yet, take part in one.
  88 Hit a major league fastball. For most people, this is a fantasy that will never come true. But we can dream, can't we? Lots of major league teams (and former players) have fantasy baseball camps where real people get the chance of a lifetime -- to train and hit with pro players.
  89 Get close to a wild animal. In a famous wildlife orphanage in South Africa, visitors can get up close and personal with wild chimpanzees. Bonding with these magnificent creatures will give you a new take on life and wildlife.
  90 Visit a prison and understand what it's like to be locked up, in solitary confinement, and appreciate the fact that you live a free and fulfilling life.
  91 Visit Area 51 in Nevada. Is there alien life in the universe? Does the proof lie here? What is hidden away at one of the world's most mysterious places? UFO's? Come here, and perhaps you'll find out.
  92 Jump out of a plane. Just once in your life, become a weightless wonder and tumble in the air.
  93 Climb Mount Everest. If you get to the summit 29,028 feet above sea level, you can say that for one golden moment you stood on top of the world.
  94 Spend a long weekend in Las Vegas. You can watch people and maybe even gamble a little.
  95 Visit the Acropolis and witness the cradle of civilization. It's the "Sacred Rock" of Athens, Greece, and home of its greatest temples. The Parthenon inspires the same awe today as it did when it was built in 438 B.C.
  96 Run a marathon. You could do it in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Napa Valley, or dozens of other places both urban and rural. It is one of the greatest tests of human endurance. Find out what you're capable of.
  97 Take a journey to the Titanic. It'll set you back $35,000, but the experience of going down to the ocean floor in a submersible and seeing the great sunken liner up close -- well, it will be worth it.
  98 Swim with sharks: Take a trip to South Africa and dive into the section of ocean known infamously as "Shark Alley."
  99 Travel to outer space and start with astronaut training at Space Camp in Florida where adults undergo the same training as the astronaut and experience simulated space travel as well. Space camps also exist in Alabama and Kansas. Then, go for the real thing on a civilian space voyage.
  100 Take a religious pilgrimage. Whether your soul longs to see the Vatican in Rome, travel to Mecca in western Saudi Arabia, worship at the Western Wall in Israel or visit some other great spiritual site, you will never forget the experience.
  101 Make your own list and tell us your suggestions by writing to Carolyn Olson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 900 North Tucker Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 63101. Fax her at 314-340-3080 or e-mail her at