New Zealand is, of course, the real-life Middle-Earth, where the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit (above) films were shot. You’ll find so many varieties of terrain (mountains, beaches, forests), you may wonder whether Kiwis ever leave. Try Auckland’s Sky Tower for a bird’s-eye view of the city; and take the Twin Coast Discovery Highway for dramatic coastal views, beaches, and 82-foot-high Whangarei Falls.
Explore Cape Town's Table Mountain National Park and hang out with the penguins (yes!) on Boulders Beach (above). For bigger wildlife thrills, head to Kruger National Park to see lions and elephants in the wild. Cape Town is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean; the west side is best for soaking up the sun, the east side for swimming and surfing.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA. You'll find a summer high of 76, winter low of 50 here, where the cool Pacific and inland desert create a perfect oasis.
BIG ISLAND, HAWAII. With temps in the 70s and a variety of microclimates in the rain forests and mountains, this is a Pacific paradise. Here, the iconic Waipio coastline.