National Geographic adds San Francisco to its 'Best of the World 2023' list

From craft breweries in South Korea to turtle nesting grounds in Trinidad and Tobago, the list highlights adventures near and far.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Exploring Scotland and its impact on fighting climate change
ABC News Foreign Correspondent Maggie Rulli is in Sutherland, one of the places on National Geographic's annual "Best of the World" list.

SAN FRANCISCO -- National Geographic unveiled its "Best of the World 2023" list Wednesday morning, and San Francisco was selected as one of the 25 must-see destinations for the year ahead.

Each year, NatGeo's team of travel experts and international editors handpick select destinations and experiences that "leverage the benefits of tourism to strengthen their local communities and environments, both natural and built."

"We also worked hard to provide lesser-known gems on the list, equally inspiring alternatives to destinations that have become overcrowded (think Choquequirao vs. Machu Picchu in Peru)," Amy Alipio, senior editor at National Geographic Travel.

The list is grouped by categories, and The Golden City is among Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Manchester and Switzerland under the Family category.

National Geographic groups the list into five categories: the aforementioned Family, educational journeys for all generations; Adventure, exciting activities in breathtaking places; Culture, explorations of history and heritage; Nature, escapes to wild, beautiful places; and the newly-added Community, healing journeys, community conservation, giving back, sustainable places and more.

Among domestic destinations, Utah is highlighted for its rugged landscape and Milwaukee is featured for its revitalized warehouse district, the Historic Third Ward.

Twilight falls over Delicate Arch and other red rock formations in Arches National Park, one of Utah's five national parks.
Chad Copeland, Nat Geo Image Collection

Those jonesing for international adventure should consider The Greek island of Karpathos, a growing center of ecotourism, or Egypt, with its well preserved 4,300-year-old tomb of Khuwy.

National Geographic's "Best of the World 2023" list


Rome's third-century Arch of Drusus marks the start of a planned 360-mile walking route across Italy along the Appian Way.
Andrea Frazzetta, National Geographic
  • Appian Way, Italy
  • Busan, South Korea
  • Longmen Grottoes, Henan Province, China
  • Egypt
  • Charleston, South Carolina


A zebra herd wades through the waters of the Okavango Delta in the Selinda Spillway, a channel that attracts abundant wildlife in northern Botswana.
Beverly Joubert, Nat Geo Image Collection
  • Scottish Highlands
  • Botswana
  • Slovenia
  • Big Bend National Park, Texas
  • Azores


The resident bottlenose dolphins of Revillagigedo National Park frequently show curiosity toward divers.
Enric Sala, Nat Geo Image Collection
  • New Zealand
  • Choquequirao, Peru
  • Utah
  • Austrian Alps
  • Revillagigedo National Park, Mexico


A small white chapel perches on the peak of Mount Profitis Ilias on Karpathos, one of the lesser known islands in Greece’s Dodecanese archipelago.
Ciril Jazbec, National Geographic
  • Dodecanese Islands, Greece
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Alberta, Canada
  • Laos
  • Ghana


Rigi Railways’ cogwheel trains present dazzling views of Lake Lucerne as they ascend Mount Rigi, known as the “queen of the mountains” in Switzerland.
Christian Meixner, Switzerland Tourism
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • San Francisco, California
  • Colombia
  • Manchester, UK
  • Switzerland

Find out more about the "Best of the World 2023" list online at

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