A sunrise view of Portland, Oregon, which came in at No. 19 on the list. A sunrise view of Portland, Oregon, which came in at No. 19 on the list. A sunrise view of Portland, Oregon, which came in at No. 19 on the list. (Photo: Josemaria Toscano / Shutterstock)

Forbes list reveals world's most beautiful places

While some standards made the list, others will surprise you.

So you're perusing your Facebook feed and Instagram photo stream and you see eye-popping picture after picture of your friends' beautiful vacations. They're hiking the mountains of northern California or they're taking an afternoon nap while sunbathing on a pristine Mediterranean beach.

You'd like to emulate their globe-trotting ways, but you don't know where to start. Well, there's no need to fret.

Forbes partnered up with Beautiful Destinations – one of the largest travel and lifestyle communities on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat – to identify the 20 most beautiful places in the world. How did they decide on the roster of locales? According to the article, "The company pored through travel content on Instagram using its proprietary data tools, examined the most tagged places in the last six months, then drilled down to come up with this list."

Santorini, GreeceSantorini, Greece (Photo: Allard One/Shutterstock)

Many familiar American locales secured spots in the top 10 including New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Yosemite. The entire lineup had a strong Mediterranean presence as well with such places as Venice, Israel, Greece, Spain, Istanbul and Rome making the list.

For each entry, they asked a local expert to explain why their hometown should make the list. “Tel Aviv is a stylish, completely contemporary Mediterranean metropolis," said Israeli photographer Sivan Askayo, who has snapped pictures for the likes of Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines. "But the real seductive power of Tel Aviv is not necessarily in its cafes and restaurants, but in its people, who love the good life.”

Israel, with its coastal Mediterranean views and beautiful scenes of nature, also made a recent list of the world's happiest countries.

Galilee valleyAerial view of a Galilee valley in northern Israel. (Photo: Itamar Grinberg/Israel Ministry of Tourism)

Rounding out the Forbes/Beautiful Destinations top 20 list were Paris, London, the Bahamas, Thailand, the Philippines, Mexico City, Cuba, Portland, and Sydney.

So the next time you see your friends on social media enjoying a good vacation, have no fear. Pull up this list and book your next trip. You'll be posting your own photos online in no time.

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