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30 of the most beautiful places in the world

By: Melissa Breyer on July 8, 2014, 9:01 a.m.
Big Island Hawaii

Photo: Dai Mar Tamarack/Shutterstock

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Big Island

While most people associate Hawaii with the "perfect beaches and palm trees" brand of beauty, we're taking another tack here; we're adding Big Island to the list for its "otherworldly planet turning itself inside out" appeal. Pristine Pacific paradises are one thing, but the opportunity to see active volcanoes oozing and spewing lava is a humbling sight. Between 1983 and 2002, lava flows added 543 acres of land mass to the island; how incredible to be able to witness geology in action. (And if you get tired of watching volcanoes, you can always head back to the perfect beaches and palm trees.)