Wizard101 has added plenty of side areas for players to explore through the years. While they're all fun to experience at least once, some hold more value than others. In this post, I'll be sharing which side zones/worlds I think are must-dos, maybes, and ones you could probably live without.
Crab Alley - More specifically, Waterworks. While the lower level quests are cute, they're definitely not noteworthy. However, once you reach level 60, I would recommend spending some time in Waterworks to try and get the gear. I used Waterworks gear up until level 100 - it's by far the best universal set you'll find for awhile.
Wysteria - Wysteria's storyline is a prerequisite to gaining entrance to the Tower of the Helephant. Waterworks may hold your level 60 gear, but the Tower of the Helephant holds an impressive ring (Aureate Band) and athame (Lexicon Blade) to match.
Aquila - I personally don't love the gear (robes, hats, boots) here, but some people swear by it. The reason why Aquila is in my must-do list is because of the Alpha and Omega ring and the Blade of the Felled Titan athame. The Alpha and Omega ring is dropped by Gladiator Dimachaerus in Mount Olympus, and the Blade of the Felled Titan athame can be obtained from Cronus in Tartarus. Both are "side bosses" within their designated side dungeons so you don't even have to complete the instances they're located in to farm them. I actually still use the Alpha and Omega ring with my current set, but I switched out my Blade of the Felled Titan athame for the Darkmoor one at level 100. I know the Amulet of Divine Influence is very sought after, but until the drop rate is increased (if ever), I wouldn't waste your time. But, that's completely up to you.
Darkmoor - Darkmoor has been a farming hotspot ever since its release. For good reason too! Darkmoor finally supplied the Waterworks gear upgrade that players had been asking for. In addition to the top notch universal gear from Malistaire, powerful school athames are also dropped by Yevgeny NightCreeper. If gear doesn't entice you, perhaps spells do? Players must complete the Upper Halls dungeon to receive their first shadow enhanced spell. Trust me, it's worth it.
Grizzleheim and Wintertusk - Grizzleheim must be completed before gaining access to Wintertusk, and that's usually why people do it. The reason why I listed Wintertusk as a maybe is because I think many people could do without it if they really had to. However, I understand the massive XP available there and that can be extremely useful before attempting Celestia. It's really a matter of how hard you want the game to be.
You'll Be Fine Without Them
Colossus Boulevard - Ah, Wizard City's forgotten street. Colossus Boulevard is home to what could be your first encounter with 2v1 mob battles and Briskbreeze Tower. While Briskbreeze Tower used to hold some great level 50 gear in the Pre-Celestia era, in just 10 levels you can get your hands on Waterworks gear. The only reason you may want to do this area is if you're on your first wizard and want some practice with 2v1 fights.
Kembaalung, Zigazag, and Barkingham Palace - All 3 side areas hold decent low level gear, but unless you're planning to keep a low level character for PvP purposes, gear usefulness will be short lived. You'll be leveling up and "growing out" of the gear in no time.
This list is very subjective and reflects how I personally rank their importance. Have some ideas and thoughts of your own? Share them in the comments below.