On the last day of 2011, we thought looking back at our favorite slideshow photos would inspire travel in the year to come. Collectively, we journeyed to dozens of destinations, and our snapshots span the globe—from Italy’s beautiful gardens along the Amalfi Coast, to Switzerland’s charming countryside, to Hawaii’s incredible natural wonders.
Where are we headed in 2012? That remains to be seen—and we can’t wait to show you.
Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi
This famous hotel has an incredible garden and offers stunning views of the Amalfi Coast. It’s nestled on a hilltop among villas and chalets, and is a relaxing retreat just far enough away from the crowded town below. See more of the Italy in Bloom: The Top Gardens of Campania slideshow.
Get to Know the Cows
While traveling in Switzerland’s countryside, you’re bound to see lots of cows—just get out of the car and you’ll hear the clank of cowbells. Also, don’t miss touring a dairy farm and sampling local cheeses. See more of the Top 12 Things to Do in Switzerland slideshow.
Taliesin West: Scottsdale, Arizona
Well worth the drive from downtown Scottsdale, Wright’s Arizona home and studio is a prime example of the artist’s influence on organic architecture. See more of the Top 10 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings slideshow.
Watch Volcanoes in Action at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
On the Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park promises a day filled with impressive vistas, exhilarating hikes, and—if you’re lucky—a steaming volcano. See more of the 15 Things to Do Under $15 on Hawaii’s Big Island slideshow.
View the Jefferson Memorial from a Paddle Boat in the Tidal Basin
One of the best times of the year to be in Washington, D.C. is while the cherry blossoms are in bloom. Don’t miss centennial celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, to be held March 20 to April 27, 2012.See more of the Washington DC’s National Mall: Top 15 Things to Do slideshow.
Snacks at Jimtown Store
Located in Alexander Valley in Sonoma’s wine country, this landmark café has been around since 1895, and is a fun place to stop in between tastings. See more of the Sonoma Wine: One Day Tasting Tour slideshow.
Bass Harbor Light: Mount Desert Island
At the southern end of Mount Desert Island in Maine, this lighthouse sits right on the coast. The grounds are open year-round, and it’s just a short drive from Acadia National Park and the town of Bar Harbor. See more of the Top Maine Lighthouses to Visit slideshow.
Which slideshow photos do you like best? Let us know by joining the conversation on Fodors.com.
Photo credits: 1) Robert I. C. Fisher, 2) Jess Moss, 3) courtesy Judith Bromley, 4) Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson, 5) Courtesy Destination DC, 6) courtesy Jimtown Store, 7) courtesy pchoui / iStockPhoto.