Best places to travel in 2023: National Geographic adds San Francisco to its ‘World’s Best 2023’ list

SAN FRANCISCO– National Geographic unveiled its “Best of the World 2023” list on Wednesday, and San Francisco was selected as one of 25 must-visit destinations for the coming year.

Each year, NatGeo’s team of travel experts and international writers selects destinations and experiences that “leverage the benefits of tourism to strengthen their local communities and environments, both natural and built”.

“We’ve also worked hard to provide lesser-known gems on the list, equally inspiring alternatives to destinations that have become overcrowded (think Choquequirao versus Machu Picchu in Peru),” Amy Alipio, Senior Editor at National Geographic Travel.

The list is grouped by categories, and The Golden City is part of Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Manchester and Switzerland in the Family category.

National Geographic groups the list into five categories: Familyeducational trips for all generations; Adventureexciting activities in breathtaking locations; Cultureexplorations of history and heritage; Nature, escape in wild and magnificent places; and the new Communityhealing 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, Historic Third Ward.

Dusk 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 looking for an international adventure should consider the Greek island of Karpathos, a thriving ecotourism hub, or Egypt, with its well-preserved 4,300-year-old tomb of Khuwy.

National Geographic’s “Best of the World 2023” list


Rome’s 3rd-century Arch of Drusus marks the start of a 360-mile hiking route through 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 herd of zebras wade through the waters of the Okavango Delta in the Selinda Spillway, a channel that attracts abundant wildlife to 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 towards divers.

Enric Sala, Nat Geo Image Collection

  • New Zealand
  • Choquequirao, Peru
  • Utah
  • austrian alps
  • Revillagigedo National Park, Mexico


A small white chapel is perched on top of Mount Profitis Ilias in Karpathos, one of the lesser-known islands of the Greek Dodecanese archipelago.

Ciril Jazbec, National Geographic

  • Dodecanese Islands, Greece
  • Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Alberta, Canada
  • Laos
  • Ghana


Rigi Railways cogwheel trains offer dazzling views of Lake Lucerne as they ascend Mount Rigi, known as Switzerland’s ‘Queen of the Mountains’.

Christian Meixner, Switzerland Tourism

  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • San Francisco, California
  • Colombia
  • Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Swiss

Learn more about the “Best of the World 2023” list online at

The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of National Geographic Partners and this ABC station.

Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.

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