Griffith Observatory and Big Sur among ‘500 best places on the planet’ (Sorry, Hollywood sign!)

A view of the Griffith Observatory with downtown Los Angeles in the background.

A view of the Griffith Observatory with downtown Los Angeles in the background.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

If your bucket list needs some puffing up, check out this new collection of 500 must-see places from Lonely Planet.

The Temples of Angkor in Cambodia came in first on the mega-list voted on by the travel guide company's staff writers and editors. It was a "landslide" choice, a Lonely Planet statement says.

Destinations are revealed in the new guide book "Ultimate Travel: 500 Best Places on the Planet ... Ranked."

466. Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

L.A.'s Griffith Observatory, reflected in a puddle during 2014 rains. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Start your check list in Los Angeles by visiting the city's very own Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park, which ranked 466th. It is the only L.A. landmark to make the big 500 (sorry, Hollywood sign).

97. Big Sur, California

A time-lapse photo of the Bixby Historic Bridge in Big Sur. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

A road trip to the other six California locations that made the list would take you to Yosemite National Park (21), Redwood National Park (77), Big Sur (97), the Golden Gate Bridge (101), Alcatraz (228) and Death Valley National Park (278).

The California destinations are among 27 in the U.S., including the Grand Canyon (6) and Yellowstone (61) national parks.

If your travels take you farther afield, here are the rest of the top 10.

1. Temples of Angkor, Cambodia

(David Sim / Wikimedia Commons)

2. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

(Sarah Lai / AFP/Getty Images)

3. Machu Picchu, Peru

(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

4. Great Wall of China

(AFP/Getty Images)

5. Taj Mahal, India

(Yann / Wikimedia Commons)

6. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

7. Colosseum, Italy

(Danilo Schiavella / EPA)

8. Iguazu Falls, Brazil

(Scott Kraft / Los Angeles Times)

9. Alhambra, Spain

(Jebulon / Wikimedia Commons)

10. Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya), Turkey

(Wikimedia Commons)

A hardcover "Ultimate Travel" is set to come out Oct. 6 and costs $24.99. Check out the book -- and a free download of five destinations -- at Lonely Planet's website.


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