What would you add to the Smithsonian Life List?

Add your own itinerary to the Smithsonian’s list of places to visit in your lifetime

Completed in 1345, this Roman Catholic cathedral named “Our Lady” is an example of Gothic architecture. iStockphoto

Editor’s Note: We’ve since expanded our life list to 43 sites around the world for wildlife lovers, adventure seekers and those seeking just a respite from their busy schedules.

A growing number of Americans of all ages are renewing their resolve to live life to its fullest.

Exhibit A is the recent popularity of "life lists"—itineraries of things to do and places to go before taking the ultimate trip to the Great Beyond. In our January 2008 issue, the staff of Smithsonian—as diverse a group of travelers as you're likely to meet—put their heads together and came up an exclusive list of 28 places the Smithsonian reader might wish to visit before...it's too late.

The response was tremendous—and since many Smithsonian readers themselves have traveled the globe, we received quite a bit of mail recommending additional, must-see places.

So, Smithsonian readers, now it's your turn. In this special, web-exclusive series, we present your additions to the Smithsonian Life List.

Sacred Places
Temples, churches and palaces that inspire

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey
The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet
Notre Dame in Paris, France
Churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia

Building Big
Experience feats of engineering on a grand scale

Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia
Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona
Pantheon in Rome, Italy
Alhambra in Granada, Spain
Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
Stonehenge in England
Terracotta Army at Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor in China

Natural Wonders
Discover breathtaking vistas and scale new heights

Papua New Guinea
Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yosemite National Park, California
Glacier National Park, Montana
Himalayas of Nepal
Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia, Turkey
Niagara Falls, New York

Must-See Cities
Metropolises that offer superb art, history and entertainment

Havana, Cuba
Las Vegas, Nevada
New York City, New York
San Francisco, California
Vatican City in Rome, Italy

Overlooking the American Falls in Niagara, New York. The Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the last ice age. Kevin Tavares/iStockphoto
Old Faithful geyser at Yellowstone National Park Nathan Chor/iStockphoto
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is roughly 20 miles long and 10,000-14,000 years old. iStockphoto
El Capitan and Lower Falls, Yosemite National Park Natalia Bratslavsky/iStockphoto
At 2,425 feet from top to base, Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park is the tallest measured waterfall in the U.S. Chee-Onn Leong/iStockphoto
Hanging garden at Glacier National Park in Montana Aimin Tang/iStockphoto
Saint Mary Lake and Goose Island in Glacier National Park, created in 1910. Chip Phillips/iStockphoto
View of Gokyo Ri on Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest glacier in Nepal. Rafal Belzowski/iStockphoto
A view of Ama Dablam in Himalayan Khumbu region of eastern Nepal. Andrzej Stajer/iStockphoto
These sandstone formations in Cappadocia, Turkey, affectionately named “fairy chimneys,” are made of a cone of softer rock that has been eroded and a cap of harder rock such as basalt. Jillian Pond/iStockphoto
Volcanic eruptions that occurred 30 to 60 million years ago began the process of shaping these sandstone rock formations. Jarno Gonzalez Zarraonandia/iStockphoto
Beautiful staghorn coral on a reef in Papua New Guinea. Tammy Peluso/iStockphoto
View of Capitolio Nacional and downtown of Havana, Cuba. Bruno Medley/iStockphoto
The skyline of Havana, Cuba's center of government and commerce. Giovanni Rinaldi/iStockphoto
Evening skyline of the city famous for its Las Vegas Strip. Denis Tangney/iStockphoto
Gondolas that ferry visitors along the Venetian hotel’s canal in Las Vegas. Michael Klenetsky/iStockphoto
The New York skyline at night from Weehawken, New Jersey. Jeremy Edwards/iStockphoto
The New York skyline with the Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from France dedicated in 1886. Dennis Morris/iStockphoto
This now cosmopolitan city became a popular destination for prospectors during the 1848 California Gold Rush. Andy Hwang/iStockphoto
San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands, a recreational and historical area yielding panoramic views of the city. David Porter/iStockphoto
Saint Peter’s Basilica, the burial site of St. Peter according to Catholic tradition. Roberto A Sanchez/iStockphoto
Baroque sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the current Saint Peter's Square. Eugene Llacuna/iStockphoto
These five-story stone and mortar cliff dwellings were discovered in the 1860s. Steve Cukrov/iStockphoto
View of Hagia Sophia—one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture—in Istanbul, Turkey, at night. Yusuf Anil Akduygu/iStockphoto
The Potala Palace contains more than 1,000 rooms and 10,000 altars. Ricardo De Mattos/iStockphoto
Inside the Potala Palace in Lhasa, once the chief residence of the Dalai Lama. Benoist Sébire/iStockphoto
Completed in 1345, this Roman Catholic cathedral named “Our Lady” is an example of Gothic architecture. Dina Magnat/iStockphoto
A view of Notre Dame, which is located on an island in the Seine River. iStockphoto
The Church of St. George built in Lalibela, Ethiopia, during the 13th century. Klaas Lingbeek-van Kranen/iStockphoto
Bet Giyorgis, or St. George’s Church, in Lalibela, Ethiopia, was built by hewing out all pieces of unnecessary stone. Robert Bremec/iStockphoto
The Hermitage’s collections include works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian, among many other celebrated artists. iStockphoto
The Raphael Loggias gallery in the Winter Palace, St Petersburg, Russia, was created for Catherine II and is a copy of the Raphael Loggias in the Vatican. Adrian Beesley/iStockphoto
Montezuma's Castle is a 20-room dwelling built into a limestone cliff by the Singua people around 1400. Thomas Polen/iStockphoto
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, constructed between A.D. 532 and 537. Yusuf Anil Akduygu/iStockphoto
Rome’s Pantheon, meaning "Temple of all the gods," in the evening. Hedda Gjerpen /iStockphoto
Leonardo Sormani sculpted the 16th-century Fontana del Pantheon located in front of the Pantheon, Hadrian’s 2,000-year- old temple built in the heart of Rome. iStockphoto
The Alhambra, meaning “the red fortress,” is located on the southeastern border of Granada and was the residence of Spain’s Muslim kings until 1492. iStockphoto
The Alhambra's courtyard and reflecting pool. David Pedre /iStockphoto
A view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, from the Trocadéro Garden. Matjaz Boncina/iStockphoto
Completed in 1889, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, was built for a centennial celebration of the French Revolution. Alexander Hafemann/iStockphoto
A view of Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England’s prehistoric monument. Bryan Busoviki/iStockphoto
Stonehenge, the earliest portions of which date to 3100 B.C. David Ciemny/iStockphoto
Discovered in 1974, the Terracotta Army was buried with the Chinese Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huang) in 209-210 BC to help him rule another empire in the afterlife. David Pedre/iStockphoto
Aerial view of Papua New Guinea coast and palm oil plantations. Tammy Peluso/iStockphoto
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska
The dramatic tidewater glaciers that define this 3.2-million-acre park are remnants of the Little Ice Age that began about 4,000 years ago. With 16 active glaciers, Glacier Bay is the park's main attraction. As recently as 200 years ago the bay was almost completely covered by a glacier more than 4,000 feet thick and some 20 miles wide. But as it retreated over the years, it left behind smaller, separate glaciers. iStockphoto
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
From lush rain forests to tropical beaches and snow-covered peaks, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park protects seven different ecological zones and houses the world's most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. The more active of the two, Kilauea, has created more than 568 acres of new land and buried almost nine miles of highway with lava as deep as 115 feet. Jim Sugar/Corbis
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Perhaps the most iconic park in the U.S., Yellowstone National Park is famous for having the greatest concentration of geothermal features in the world. Geysers, steaming fumaroles, multi-colored hot springs and boiling mud pots make up the 10,000 known thermal spots in the park. Old Faithful is one of the most popular, regularly shooting 8,400 gallons of scalding water into the air every 33 to 120 minutes. Congress officially protected the Yellowstone area in 1872, making it the first American park and the only preserve of its kind in the world. iStockphoto
Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida
Located in the biologically diverse Florida Everglades, Big Cypress National Preserve protects more than 720,000 acres of swamp and provides habitat for many mammals, birds, reptiles and plants unique to Florida's climate. It's also home to eight federally listed endangered species that include the Cape Sable seaside sparrow, the West Indian manatee and the Florida panther. The Florida panther is the most threatened mammal in the U.S., and almost 40 of them live within the preserve's boundaries. iStockphoto
Arches National Park, Utah
Arches National Park in the desert of eastern Utah boasts more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches formed by wind and water erosion over millions of years. The red sandstone arches range in size from a three-foot opening to Landscape Arch, which measures 306 feet from base to base and is the longest freestanding natural span of rock in the world. Towering spires, fins and balanced rocks are also hallmarks of the park and some of the most unique formations can be seen at popular sites such as Balanced Rock, Courthouse Towers, Delicate Arch, and Fiery Furnace. iStockphoto
Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri
The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is world famous for more than 300 known caves. The park's landscape is typified by karst terrain—rocky ground, springs, caves, sinkholes and underground rivers. Jam Up Cave is one of the Ozark's most spectacular, and it's only accessible by boat. The entrance is about 80 feet high and 100 feet wide. During the Civil War, Northern and Southern soldiers received medical care in Hospital Cave, located in a bare-rock cliff, while farmers in the surrounding area are also thought to have used Meeting House Cave as a hideout. David Muench/Corbis
Fossil Butte National Monument, Wyoming
Located in southwestern Wyoming's cold sagebrush desert, Fossil Butte National Monument contains 13 square miles of Fossil Lake. This 50-million-year-old lake bed dates back to the Eocene age and is one of the richest fossil sites in the world. It contains some of the most perfectly preserved remains of ancient fish, reptile, bird, mammal, plant and insect life. A combination of quiet, deep waters and fine-grained lake sediments created conditions that kept the skeletons intact. David Muench/Corbis

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