National Geographic content straight to your inbox—sign up for our popular newsletters here

An aerial view of Karpathos and the surrounding sea


25 breathtaking places and experiences for 2023

Looking for your next adventure? You’ll find it on our annual list of the world’s best destinations for travelers.

Travel inspiration is everywhere you look. The question is where to go next. Here’s our annual list of superlative destinations for the year ahead—places filled with wonder, rewarding to travelers of all ages, and supportive of local communities and ecosystems. Reported by our global editors and framed by five categories ( Community , Nature , Culture , Family , and Adventure ), these 25 destinations for 2023 are under the radar, ahead of the curve, and ready for you to start exploring.

Community: Where conservation benefits everyone

A man visits and leans on the Profitis Ilias chapel overlooking the sea

Discover Karpathos, Greece, a surprising and sublime spot in the Dodecanese Islands , where women-led ventures are leading the charge in sustainable tourism. Spend a long weekend in Milwaukee, Wisconsin , a vibrant Great Lakes city that celebrates its cultural community as much as its breweries. Experience how long-held traditions and contemporary perspectives intersect, with Indigenous tourism outfitters in Alberta, Canada . Board a new high-speed train that makes lesser known regions of Laos accessible to tourists and brings economic opportunities to locals. Head to Ghana to explore Black heritage and hang out with a fashion-forward crowd in the capital, Accra. ( Learn more about how these Best of the World destinations support their communities. )

Nature: Escapes to wild, beautiful places

A zebra herd exits a deep spillway on the Selinda Reserve

Marvel at the biodiversity of Botswana —as well as the programs to rehabilitate endangered species, create wildlife corridors, and develop community-owned tourism projects. Linger in the   Scottish Highlands , where a rewilding movement is aiming to restore the original landscape and native flora and fauna. In Slovenia , a longtime leader in sustainable tourism, set off on new gastrotourism biking routes that visit farms, vineyards, cheesemakers, and other food producers. Big Bend National Park   brings to life the frontier legend of Texas—but the landscape will also surprise you. In the Azores ,   applaud   award-winning sustainability programs that conserve the natural wonders of this volcanic archipelago known for whale watching and thermal springs.   ( Delve into our best destinations for nature lovers. )

Culture: Places where history and heritage rule

Portrait of Dr. Mohamed Abdel Moneim Megahed, Egyptian Archaeologist, inside the tomb of Khoi in Djedkare Cemetery at the Archaeological Area in Saqqara

Visit King Tut’s new home in Egypt at Cairo’s Grand Egyptian Museum and see Luxor’s Avenue of the Sphinxes. Tap into the creative energy of Asia’s top film festival and sip craft beer in Busan, South Korea , the nation’s second largest city. Make a pilgrimage through history along Italy’s Appian Way , Europe’s ancient “superhighway.” Explore culture and history—with a side of Low Country cuisine—at the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Caroli na . See one of the world’s largest assemblages of stone statues at Longmen Grottoes , a UNESCO World Heritage site in Henan Province, China.   ( Here’s how to visit these Best of the World destinations .)

Family: Inspiring journeys for all ages

A train in Switzerland runs on the track along the coast through the wine country

In Switzerland , ride the rails to quaint Alpine towns for chocolate, hiking, and skiing. Help save the turtles in Trinidad & Tobago , one of the most important leatherback turtle rookeries in the world. In San Francisco, California ,   gather around a campfire with Golden Gate views at Presidio Tunnel Tops and hike the urban Crosstown Trail.   Go birdwatching in the avian paradise that is Colombia , the enchanted land of Disney’s Encanto.   Visit the playing grounds of a storied soccer team in Manchester, England —and be inspired by the city’s art scene as well.   ( Explore more of these family-friendly destinations .)

Adventure: Adrenaline-pumping outdoor excursions  

Aerial view of the Hanan zone (high) and the hurin zone (low) of the Choquequirao arqueological center

Trek to Choquequirao, Peru ,   an isolated Inca site that’s under the radar—but soon to be more accessible. In New Zealand , the country that invented bungee jumping, rekindle your sense of adventure post-pandemic. Get your adrenaline rush in less visited areas of the popular adventure state of Utah . In Austria , hike the cross-country Bergsteigerdörfer network of mountaineering villages to sample local culture. Finally, add Revillagigedo National Park, Mexico , to your itinerary. Its protected waters, supported by National Geographic’s Pristine Seas initiative, hold one of the largest aggregations of sharks and manta rays in the world.   ( Dive deeper into these adventure trips. )


Get National Geographic magazine for $10 off

Related Topics


You May Also Like

top 10 travel destinations 2023

10 whimsical ways to experience Scotland

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Atlanta isn’t all that Georgia has to offer. Here are 7 other worthy trips.

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Looking for a truly remote, off-the-grid adventure? Try Panama.

top 10 travel destinations 2023

The essential guide to Switzerland

top 10 travel destinations 2023

10 best things to do in Switzerland

  • Environment

History & Culture

  • History & Culture
  • Mind, Body, Wonder
  • Interactive Graphic
  • Paid Content
  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Your US State Privacy Rights
  • Children's Online Privacy Policy
  • Interest-Based Ads
  • About Nielsen Measurement
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information
  • Nat Geo Home
  • Attend a Live Event
  • Book a Trip
  • Inspire Your Kids
  • Shop Nat Geo
  • Visit the D.C. Museum
  • Learn About Our Impact
  • Support Our Mission
  • Advertise With Us
  • Customer Service
  • Renew Subscription
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Work at Nat Geo
  • Sign Up for Our Newsletters
  • Contribute to Protect the Planet

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society Copyright © 2015-2024 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved

The 18 best places to travel in 2023

Featured Image

For many people, this year marked the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic that travel was back within reach. It was a year defined by joyous reunions — reconnecting with friends and family in person, rediscovering favorite destinations and taking stock of this new, changed world.

It was also a year of novel travel challenges . As demand soared, so, too, did prices. We returned to the roads and skies to find a travel industry that could barely keep up with our ravenous appetite to explore the globe.

But somehow, our love of travel has endured, our wanderlust is just as insatiable as ever and destinations around the world are beckoning us to visit.

That's why we're thrilled to share the destinations on our list of the best places to go in 2023. And this year, we've not only tapped our editorial team to contribute their tips and insights but also our extraordinary network of writers from around the world.

Reaching your travel goals has never been easier when you download the free TPG App !

As always, we looked at exciting new hotel openings and boundary-pushing flights, plus the places that embody the travel trends and philosophies we see taking shape in 2023 and beyond: The destinations prioritizing sustainability, focusing on Indigenous and community-based tourism and encouraging travelers to venture beyond the obvious gateway or itinerary.

We also saw a proliferation of innovative new ways for travelers to use their points and miles to experience the world, including exciting ultra-long-haul flights where miles will come in handy and hotels in destinations that previously might have been absent from most reward travelers' maps.

As we head into 2023, get excited (we are!) about embarking on unforgettable journeys to new corners of the globe, prepare to take a second look at places you already thought you knew and connect more personally with the people who call them home along the way. We hope this list of places to visit rekindles your passion for travel and look forward to exploring this wonderful, awe-inspiring planet with you. — By Eric Rosen and Melanie Lieberman

Aotearoa-New Zealand: The future of inclusive travel

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for sustainability-focused outdoor adventurers and sports enthusiasts.

Laid-back beach towns, award-winning wine, genuine hospitality and outdoor adventure aren't the only reasons why you should put Aotearoa-New Zealand at the top of your 2023 travel list.

Although the country's commitment to sustainability has long, deep roots (more than 33% of its land is protected), New Zealand's tourism industry launched the Tiaki Promise, a sustainability pledge, just prior to the pandemic. The Maori word "Tiaki" means to care for people and places, so the aim of this pledge is to avoid overtourism and encourage visitors to explore lesser-known destinations.

One way to do so is to seek new Maori cultural encounters and experiences, such as a traditional hangi feast in Rotorua, which is prepared in underground pits, after a visit to the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Or, take an interpretive storytelling trek up Maunga Hikurangi on the North Island's east coast. If you're there in June or July, you can celebrate the Maori New Year, Matariki, which is based on the lunar calendar and became an official public holiday in 2022.

Next year, New Zealand will also co-host the largest FIFA Women's World Cup ever along with Australia. Matches will be played on both the North and South islands. Along with other large sporting events like the Women's Rugby World Cup, it's a clear example of the nation's efforts to promote diversity and inclusion as international visitors return.

A handful of new hotels have opened recently, too, such as the art-filled Park Hyatt Auckland , the environmentally friendly Hotel Britomart in Auckland's central business district and, on the South Island, The Carlin Hotel in Queenstown, which overlooks the Eyre and Remarkables mountain ranges surrounding Lake Wakatipu.

Getting to the country from the U.S. is even easier now with Air New Zealand's new nonstop flights from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Auckland Airport (AKL) and Qantas' launch of the same route starting in March 2023.

TPG tip: If you're staying in Tamaki Makaurau, the Maori name for Auckland, explore one of the towns or nearby islands in the harbor. The ferry ride to Devonport takes 15 minutes, while Waiheke Island is only 40 minutes away by ferry. The latter has fabulous beaches and wineries to explore using a hop-on, hop-off bus. — By Becky Blaine

Orlando: Easy fun with classic experiences

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for roller coaster riders, of course, but also space geeks and culture freaks.

Whether you want to feel like you're in outer space, watch an actual rocket lift off or catch a concert in one of the world's best theaters, Orlando is the destination to visit in Florida — and 2023 is going to be a banner year for the city.

Many travelers come for the world-class theme parks, but Orlando is undergoing a travel renaissance that includes a just-opened terminal at Orlando International Airport (MCO) and 170 miles of railway that will connect the high-speed Brightline train from Orlando to Miami by mid-2023.

But don't hop the train too fast. Book tickets to a concert at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts' Steinmetz Hall, which opened in 2022 and is rated as one of the world's most acoustically perfect spaces. An urban pocket park downtown called Art2 is also elevating this area of Orlando with can't-miss experiences, including performances and food trucks.

Cape Canaveral, an hour east on the coast, is also now home to Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex, a 50,000-square-foot, multilevel addition to the Kennedy Space Center that's full of interactive exhibits. And that's to say nothing of the full lineup of planned rocket launches travelers can check out over the course of 2023.

Of course, it's always a good idea to visit the theme parks, especially to catch the final months of Disney World's 50th-anniversary celebration , which includes a reimagining of Epcot with that park's first-ever roller coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind , and the spring 2023 debut of Tron: Lightcycle Run in the Magic Kingdom.

Disney World is also home to the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser , a "Star Wars"-themed journey unlike any other. The immersive, interactive two-night hotel experience (ahem, space mission) opened in early 2022.

Walt Disney World Resort isn't the only theme park behemoth elevating the park experience in 2023. Universal Studios Florida opened the thrilling VelociCoaster ride just last year, and it's keeping the excitement up with an all-new theme park, Epic Universe, already under construction. It will deliver new rides, themed lands, hotels and restaurants.

TPG tip: If you are one of the millions of travelers who rent a car in Orlando each year, there is a new 7-Eleven on the airport property where you can refill your tank at retail prices and make a pit stop to grab snacks for your journey. — B y Summer Hull

Oslo: Europe's coolest art capital

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for art and design lovers seeking new city-shaping museums and hotels.

Norway continues to claim the attention of travelers, but in 2023, all eyes are on the capital city, which is finally ready to flaunt its latest investments in the arts and hospitality.

Across from the white, angular slashes of the opera house's Carrara marble ramps and staircases is the curving 13-story tower housing the new Munch Museum, which opened in 2021. Even more imposing is the sprawling new National Museum, now one of Europe's largest art museums, which houses works from Edvard Munch's iconic "The Scream" to masterpieces from European artists like Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Henri Matisse.

This fall also saw the debut of Sommerro, an art deco hotel packed with contemporary art collections curated by museum director and art critic Sune Nordgren, along with 1930s works by Norwegian master Per Krohg — including a mosaic feature in the restored public baths, which opened in November. There's more to come from the boutique hotel and cultural center next year, including the addition of Villa Inkognito, an 11-suite retreat in a former 19th-century residence.

You can even bookend your trip to Oslo by venturing farther south to Kristiansand, where Kunstsilo, a modernist Nordic art museum, will debut next year inside an award-winning functionalist silo from the 1930s.

TPG tip: It's never been easier to explore beyond Oslo thanks to a flurry of new flights and cruises. Low-cost carrier Norse Atlantic (which began operating in 2022) continues expanding its reach in the U.S. by offering a number of promising nonstop routes, including one between London's Gatwick Airport (LGW) and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) that's coming next year. Norwegian airline Widerøe is connecting Bergen to four new European cities next summer as well. For those interested in heading north, Norway's oldest cruise company, Hurtigruten, is restarting the Svalbard Express next year, while Viking and Disney have announced new itineraries to the remote Arctic region . — By Melanie Lieberman

Jordan: Connections by air, land and sea

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for travelers who want a taste of the ancient world at the heart of the modern Middle East.

Home to some of the world's oldest pieces of history, Jordan is on many travelers' bucket lists, especially now that there are several new additions on the way. In 2023, this Middle Eastern country is channeling its renowned hospitality to welcome travelers via new flights and a host of new hotels and experiences.

In the capital city of Amman, The Ritz-Carlton is the latest luxury hotel to join the gaggle of points-friendly properties near the city's 5th Circle landmark. Lavish white interiors and crystal chandeliers bedazzle the new hotel, which has 194 rooms and 34 suites with floor-to-ceiling views of the capital's sand-hued buildings. Next summer, Radisson will pump up its Middle East portfolio with Radisson Blu Hotel, Amman Galleria Mall. And across the red sand desert, the Crowne Plaza Resort Petra will reopen after a 10-year renovation and expansion.

Northwest of Amman, the former ancient trading town of Al-Salt became Jordan's sixth and latest UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its reputation as "the city of tolerance and urban hospitality." History and design fans can explore touches of European architecture alongside the city's distinct yellow limestone facades. This city is also a new stop on the Jordan Trail's Thru Hike. Launched in 2017, the trail offers the chance to spend 40 days hiking through eight regions that, together, traverse the entire country. Originally connecting 52 villages, it's recently been upped to 75 different communities.

Nearly 75% of Jordan is covered in pomegranate-hued sand, but head south and the watercolor greens and blues of the Red Sea emerge. Here, cruising is making waves in a country renowned for its mystical desert landscapes. Emerald Cruises recently debuted its first oceangoing yacht the Emerald Azzurra, which sails from the famed seaside city of Aqaba to Athens, Greece. Next year, Windstar Cruises is following suit by launching new itineraries from Amman to Athens and Athens to Dubai, with a stop at Aqaba.

TPG tip: Hopping on a flight to Jordan from select North American cities has just gotten easier. United has launched its first-ever direct flight from Washington, D.C.'s Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Amman's Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) , which departs three times per week. Last summer, Royal Jordanian Airlines, a Oneworld member, also launched a new route from Amman to Toronto via Montreal, and it will be increasing frequencies to Chicago, Detroit, Montreal and New York in the spring and summer of 2023. — By Katie Lockhart

American waterways: Rediscovering our backyard

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for travelers craving a nostalgic way to see America's small towns.

There's something charming about life along the water — and we're not talking about the swanky condos overlooking Miami Beach or Malibu, California's Billionaires Beach. Think instead of historical small towns like Natchez, Mississippi, and Muskegon, Michigan, as well as industrial cities like Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Chicago, which have long relied on the nation's waterways.

American lakes and rivers remain key commercial arteries, but the cruise industry has turned them into some of the world's top leisure destinations as well thanks to a slate of new, offbeat itineraries that are only going to draw more passengers in the coming years.

Although Great Lakes and U.S. river cruises have been around for more than a century, 2023 could be one of the best years yet to sail domestically thanks to lines like American Queen Voyages , American Cruise Lines , Ponant , Viking and Pearl Seas Cruises, which are adding more capacity and itineraries along the Mississippi, Ohio, Columbia and Snake rivers; the Great Lakes; and the Chesapeake Bay.

Viking's new expedition arm rolled out its first two ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, which both spent time sailing the Great Lakes in 2022. Next year, travelers can also look forward to two new vessels, American Eagle and American Glory, from American Cruise Lines. The ships will debut along the East Coast and sail exclusively domestic itineraries. Additionally, American Queen Voyages will roll out the longest river voyages to date: 23-day sailings on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers .

If you book a domestic cruise, you'll see unexpected sides to major cities like Cincinnati, where the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center provides a sobering experience, as well as Detroit, which is a staple on many Great Lakes voyages, and New Orleans along the Mississippi. You might also visit towns such as Madison, Indiana, home to stately houses and a historical saddletree museum, that you might not have heard of otherwise. With more itineraries rolling out over time, there will be plenty more destinations to discover along America's waterways.

TPG tip: If you're looking to engage your competitive spirit, book American Queen Voyages' Kentucky Derby Cruise on American Countess. During the sailing on May 3, 2023, the boat will go head-to-head against two other vessels in Louisville, Kentucky's Great Steamboat Race, part of the annual Kentucky Derby Festival. — By Ashley Kosciolek

Los Angeles: In-person events are the hottest ticket in town

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for travelers seeking a new side to the City of Angels.

Events for sports enthusiasts and tech acolytes will draw big crowds to Los Angeles next year.

In January, the College Football Playoff National Championship will kick off at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, and the 123rd U.S. Open Championship golf tournament will be held at the Los Angeles Country Club in June. A third major event, the 40th Annual Breeders' Cup horse racing world championship, will gallop out of the gate at Santa Anita Park in November. The venue sits across the street from the still-new Le Méridien Pasadena Arcadia.

You'll also want to get your virtual reality headset ready, because E3 is getting back in the game, live and in person this June at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The video game industry's biggest annual event was held virtually in 2021 and canceled outright in 2022.

It will at long last be easier to get around Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) , too. After three years of construction, the Automated People Mover at LAX will finally open, connecting all terminals, the Metro Rail and a new rental car center. This state-of-the-art train will reduce travel time both to and within the airport.

Even frequent visitors will find exciting new places to bed down in LA since eight major hotels opened in 2022, including the Hyatt -branded tommie Hollywood, The Shay in Culver City and the adjoining Hyatt Place and Hyatt House LAX/Century Blvd. Two Marriott hotels — a Moxy and an AC — will debut downtown in the 38-story Fig + Pico tower, which sits across from the convention center and Arena. A few blocks away, a $1 billion, Frank Gehry-designed mixed-use development called The Grand LA opened. Here, you'll find Hilton 's splashy Conrad Los Angeles and four new restaurants from chef José Andres.

Also new downtown is the Sixth Street Viaduct, a 3,500-foot-long bridge with an accompanying 12-acre park with walking and bike trails. Spanning the Los Angeles River, this bridge connects downtown's Arts District with the Mexican food hot spot, Boyle Heights.

TPG tip: The Los Angeles Dodgers are considered the early-odds baseball team to beat in the 2023 World Series, so we recommend keeping an eye out for autumn points deals at downtown LA hotels near Dodger Stadium. — By Melanie Wynne

South Africa: More flights to wildlife sites

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for nature lovers dreaming of visiting the Rainbow Nation.

South Africa has a wealth of natural and cultural riches that travelers never tire of exploring, from the Big 5 of safari lore (elephants, lions, leopards, hippos and buffaloes) to the historic steps of Nelson Mandela's "Long Walk to Freedom." One thing the country has been lacking, however, is direct flights to both Cape Town and Johannesburg via multiple U.S. carriers.

In mid-December, Delta will commence a triangle service, flying the Airbus A350 from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) to Johannesburg's O.R Tambo International Airport (JNB) and then on to Cape Town International Airport (CPT) with a nonstop return from there. And through a special arrangement with the Department of Transportation , United is now offering nonstop flights between Washington, D.C.'s Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. This is in addition to its nonstop services from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to both Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB).

When they arrive, travelers will find new safari lodges opening next year in some of the best wildlife-viewing destinations. The Tswalu concession in the southern Kalahari Desert is South Africa's largest private reserve — and it's less than two hours away by plane from both Cape Town and Johannesburg. There are few lodges here, though, so the new Loapi Tented Camp opening in 2023 is truly notable. With just six modern, eco-friendly tented micro-camps that are perfect for privacy, it will feel like you have the remote savannah all to yourself as you head out on private ranger-led safari drives to spot African wild dogs and desert black rhinos.

Also set to open in 2023 is The Homestead, a sustainability-focused luxury lodge in the secluded Nambiti Private Game Reserve. Nestled into the mountains of malaria-free KwaZulu-Natal, the lodge is around a three-hour drive from either Johannesburg or Durban. In addition to a dozen sleek safari suites with expansive wilderness views and butler service, expect electric safari vehicles for game drives and innovative energy-saving touches as part of the lodge's larger conservation efforts, such as grass-planted roofs and a solar farm.

TPG tip: Plan a trip around South Africa's epic music festivals, including Johannesburg's Afropunk Festival on Constitution Hill, the seat of the country's lawmakers, in December. In March, the largest music festival in sub-Saharan Africa (the Cape Town International Jazz Festival) takes center stage. And AfrikaBurn, South Africa's answer to Burning Man, sets up on the Eastern Cape in April. — B y Melissa Klurman

Rome: The Eternal City shines anew

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for history buffs and hotel enthusiasts itching to discover ancient ruins amidst modern luxury.

In 2023, Rome's full historical heritage will be front and center for visitors to enjoy.

A project to open the Sacred Area of Largo di Torre Argentina (where Julius Caesar was assassinated) via a series of elevated walkways is slated for completion next summer. The archaeological site near the Pantheon was unearthed in the 1920s but has been inaccessible for decades. It joins The Mausoleum of Augustus, which reopened in 2021 following an 8 million euro ($8.2 million) restoration, as one of the ancient sites newly accessible to visitors.

Additionally, the Museo dell'Arte Salvata (the Museum for Rescued Art) opened in 2022. Here, precious antiquities that were returned to Italy after being plundered from archaeological sites and trafficked on the black market to auction houses, private collections and even institutions like New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art are on display. The exhibits will change, but you might see sculptures, ancient coins or even an amphora painted with erotic scenes that dates back to the sixth century B.C.

But there are new, modern developments luring luxury travelers back to Rome, too.

The arrival of international brands like W, Soho House, The Hoxton and Mama Shelter, plus boutique hotels like The First Musica and Umiltà 36 have heralded a contemporary hotel boom. Next year's openings will up the ante even more, with arrivals by Six Senses, Edition, Bulgari and Nobu, as well as a renovation of the 19th-century Palazzo Naiadi, a neoclassical landmark on Piazza Della Repubblica, by Anantara.

Rome will also see increased airlift from the U.S., with three daily seasonal flights (up from two) on Delta from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Rome's Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and a new daily seasonal route from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Fiumicino Airport (FCO) on United , both of which will launch on May 25.

TPG tip: The best way to explore the Eternal City is on two wheels. Just in time for the 2023 season, Scooteroma is revamping its popular Street Art Vespa Tour and debuting a brand-new experience focused on the city's oft-overlooked early 20th-century art and architecture, such as the iconic Vittoriano Emmanuel II National Monument in Piazza Venezia. — By Laura Itzkowitz

Bangkok: Setting the table for an epic comeback

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for passionate foodies and arts aficionados.

For the last few years, Bangkok has been quietly setting the stage for a monumental rebound once the travel floodgates reopened and international tourists returned en masse.

On the Chao Phraya riverfront, a luxury hotel revival led by Capella and Four Seasons outposts has been underway since 2020. Both properties house destination restaurants, including soulful Thai at Capella's Phra Nakhon and the swanky Buenos Aires-themed BKK Social Club at the Four Seasons. This summer, Hong Kong's Mott 32, plus five other dining outlets, arrived at The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon around the corner. Early next year, Southeast Asia's first Soho House opens in Bangkok with multiple bars and restaurants (plus a 39-foot outdoor pool), and an Aman will follow in the coming years.

Hotels aren't the only places for tourists to experience the energy of Bangkok's evolving culinary scene. Innovators all across the city are transforming it into the world's next great food destination. Just this year, a former monk opened Small Dinner Club, which serves offbeat dishes like dessert tom yum, while mixologists at Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar craft boozy, zero-waste concoctions starring an individual element like coconut or squid.

The 2023 Michelin Bangkok guide features 35 starred restaurants (five more than last year). Additionally, both Samrub Samrub Thai and Raan Jay Fai ranked on the World's 100 Best Restaurants list in 2022. Buzz is gathering around watering holes like No Name Noodle, which opened in 2022 and serves just 35 bowls of Japanese soba per day, and chef Arnaud Dunand Sauthier's just-opened, alpine-inspired restaurant Maison Dunand as well.

Bangkok's art scene is also reawakening. Just before the pandemic, 31-year-old Mook Attakanwong founded ATT 19, an exhibition space in a former Chinese school where works broach once-taboo topics like mental health. At Aurum The River Place, exhibits range from street art to a subway car installation.

Airlines are putting flights to Thailand back on their schedules, too. Air Canada's seasonal route from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Bangkok running through March 24 is the first nonstop from North America in more than a decade. Just don't forget to make those restaurant reservations first.

TPG tip: Spend a few days hiking through tropical, UNESCO-listed Khao Yai National Park and stay in a Bill Bensley-designed heritage train car suite at the brand-new InterContinental Khao Yai Resort , which is located just a 2.5-hour drive away from Bangkok. — By Kathryn Romeyn

Panama: Leading the way with homegrown tourism

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for adventure seekers looking to explore an untouched paradise.

Panama might be best known for its famous canal, but in 2023, all that changes for the Central American country, as previously untouched areas become more accessible to travelers. The country is a hotbed of biodiversity and an eclectic blend of cultures unlike any other in the region. Now, it's easier than ever to experience it all.

Launched in August 2022, Panama's community tourism network, SOSTUR, is a digital platform connecting travelers with rural communities and local tourism businesses. Travelers planning a visit for 2023 can select tours across 10 pilot communities in remote corners of the country. Experiences range from agritourism farm visits to sloth watching in the jungle.

Hikers will love exploring the pristine southern coast of Panama's Azuero Peninsula, which is brimming with tropical flora and fauna, natural caves and hidden beaches. Next year, the tour operator Azuero Adventures — based in the rural village of Cambutal — is introducing its Cerro Hoya Mountain Expedition, a six-day adventure that includes a three-day camping tour in Cerro Hoya National Park, home to some of the last areas of primary jungle on the peninsula.

Bookend your trip with a few days in the capital and a stay at the stylish new Hotel La Compañia, part of Hyatt's Unbound Collection. Also in the city's Casco Antiguo colonial district is the new Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo, an Accor-affiliated property slated to open before the end of the year. It has a desirable location on the water's edge and unobstructed city skyline and Pacific views.

Since Delta launched three new routes from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Orlando International Airport (MCO) and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Panama City's Tocumen International Airport (PTY) late last year, it has gotten that much easier for many flyers to visit Panama.

TPG tip : If you're flying to Panama on Copa Airlines, the nation's flag carrier, consider upgrading to see the new Copa Club lounge in Tocumen International Airport (PTY)'s new Terminal 2. It's a sprawling 21,500-square-foot space with buffet-style dining, leather loungers, a dedicated family entertainment area and a bar. — By Jordi Lippe-McGraw

Bhutan: A legendary trail reopens

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for adrenaline junkies craving both nature and culture.

When Bhutan reopened for tourism in September 2022, it also unveiled the highly anticipated Trans-Bhutan Trail, an ancient footpath that stretches for 250 miles across the country. Over the previous two years, the trail was carefully restored by people from around the country, connecting the popular western area with the less-traveled eastern edge of Bhutan.

For decades, hiking has lured mountaineers to Bhutan. The tiny Asian kingdom has exceptional trails, especially through the Himalayas, such as the famous Snowman Trek, a demanding 216-mile hike considered one of the toughest in the world. The newly restored Trans-Bhutan Trail, by contrast, has sections that can be tackled in single or multiple days, so it's more beginner-friendly. Hikers wind through forested mountains, rice paddies and bustling villages with new campsites and homestays along the way. While there are still challenging tracts, the intention is to open parts of the country that are less touristed.

As a commitment to a more sustainable tourism strategy, the country also implemented a new, higher $200 daily tourism fee. The tariff (which replaces a daily $65 fee) funds various economic, social, environmental and cultural developments and is partially intended to limit tourist entries to manageable numbers. It also means travelers no longer need to purchase packaged trips, which allows more flexibility to book preferred hotels and tours.

The country has no shortage of luxury lodges (Aman, Como and Six Senses all have properties here), and more are on the way. Next year, andBeyond will unveil the new Punakha River Lodge on the banks of western Bhutan's Mo Chhu River in a bucolic, rice-growing region. It will have tented suites and two villas designed in a traditional Bhutanese architectural style.

TPG tip: Along with the new daily tourism fee, travelers have to adhere to a number of rules, which include hiring a local guide (in certain areas) and not self-driving. The upside is a guide can unlock the country's history and reveal its storied heritage. The roads are also extremely steep and winding, so having someone navigate them for you is a major plus. When planning your trip, keep in mind that there are no direct flights from the U.S. to Bhutan. Most travelers transit via Bangkok or Delhi, both of which have direct flights with Drukair to Paro International Airport (PBH). —By Mary Holland

Mexico's Pacific Coast: Stylish new destinations emerge

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for swimmers, surfers and sybarites who appreciate design-driven beach resorts.

The roughly 1,200-mile stretch of mainland Mexico's Pacific Coast from Nayarit to Oaxaca is famous for the resort destinations of Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and Zihuatanejo. But swanky new hotels, major infrastructure improvements and breathtaking natural scenery have brought three very different areas along it into focus for 2023: Riviera Nayarit, Costalegre and Riviera Oaxaqueña.

Beginning just north of Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit is undergoing one of Latin America's biggest luxury hotel booms. This 65-mile string of resort communities includes Punta Mita, already home to Four Seasons and St. Regis properties, as well as the surf town of Sayulita and, farther north, the up-and-coming Mandarina and Costa Canuva developments. Recent openings include the Conrad Punta de Mita , Secrets Bahia Mita, One&Only Mandarina and Auberge Resorts' ultra-exclusive Susurros Del Corazón. Rosewood Mandarina and Costa Canuva's Ritz-Carlton Reserve Riviera Nayarit are coming soon, along with the VidantaWorld theme, water and nature park.

The dramatic headlands and secluded beaches of the 60-mile Costalegre, which is 2.5 hours south of Puerto Vallarta, have drawn celebrities to enclaves like Careyes for decades. The region is about to take off with the opening of a new airport in Chalacatepec and continued improvements along the winding coastal artery, Highway 200. The posh Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo opened in November 2022 with 157 open-air rooms and suites, and the famed Las Alamandas boutique resort recently completed a top-to-bottom renovation. There's also the continued expansion of the 36,000-acre Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve, home to a posh 40-room eco-resort with a Byzantine design.

Served by two smaller airports, including the recently expanded Puerto Escondido International Airport (PXM), Riviera Oaxaqueña is increasingly appealing to visitors seeking an easygoing, mindful vibe (think: yoga retreats and eco-conscious architecture). Grupo Habita's new Hotel Escondido and Hotel Terrestre offer understated luxury, while Puerto Escondido's adults-only Casona Sforza is an idyllic end-of-the-road beach retreat. And just down the coast, the artsy and diverse villages of Mazunte and Zipolite (with its LGBTQIA-popular, clothing-optional beach ) are blissful beach towns for chilling out.

TPG tip: The anticipated early 2023 completion of the Barranca Larga-Ventanilla Highway, which traverses a 10,000-foot-high mountain pass, will cut the drive time from Puerto Escondido to the historic town of Oaxaca, with its art galleries and renowned restaurants, from seven hours to less than three. — By Andrew Collins

Kenya: Africa's top ecotourism destination

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for wild-at-heart travelers seeking adventure and eco-friendly luxury.

Kenya has long been the standard bearer for sustainable tourism in Africa. The emergence of wildlife conservancies in the 1970s not only prevented poaching and illegal trade but also ushered in a new era of community involvement.

In 2023, Kenya's ecotourism movement will forge ahead with bold new initiatives to protect what is arguably the greatest safari destination on Earth. Kenya's emblematic mountain bongo (a critically endangered, notoriously shy type of antelope) will be repatriated to Mount Kenya from a preserve in Florida in a project spearheaded by the Meru Bongo and Rhino Conservation Trust. Sanctuaries within Mount Kenya National Park will also provide refuge to endangered black rhinos and draw on the knowledge and engagement of local Masai communities.

Points travelers will soon have even more reason to add the East African nation to their travel wish list. In 2023, Marriott will debut its first high-end safari lodge on the continent: the JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge . Its location, at the heart of Masai Mara National Reserve, will ensure optimal wildlife viewing; the park is home to a staggering inventory of more than 450 animal species, including the Big 5. The lodge will feature 20 classic safari-style tents with canopy beds, stone tile floors and Masai-inspired prints and fabrics. Marriott has committed to hiring 50 individuals from the Masai community, too.

Beyond the Masai Mara, Amboseli National Park is home to an extraordinary density of wildlife thanks in no small part to conservation efforts such as the Amboseli Trust for Elephants. Today, the park is one of the best places on the planet to see long-tusked elephants, as well as giraffes, eland, zebras and wildebeest in large numbers. Debuting in November 2023, Angama Amboseli will comprise 10 luxury tented suites located within Kenya's first community-owned conservancy, the Kimana Sanctuary. All tents will frame views of Mount Kilimanjaro, but the main draw here, no doubt, will be the once-in-a-lifetime elephant encounters.

TPG tip: The Billionaire Resort & Retreat Malindi, an erstwhile A-list hangout that opened to the masses in 2022, offers the ultimate safari and Indian Ocean combination without any grueling border crossings. Located in Malindi (75 miles north of Mombasa, Kenya), the resort's opulent villas and gorgeous infinity pool overlook a private white sand beach you won't want to miss. — By Caroline Lascom

Turks and Caicos: Getting out in the archipelago

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for sun seekers and beach lovers.

Beyond the white sands and aquamarine waters you'll find around the Caribbean, Turks and Caicos offers exciting developments, including new hotels and cruise facilities, plus better airports that will make some of its previously remote islands much more accessible. So, it should come as no surprise, then, that Turks and Caicos has seen the fastest-growing travel demand by Americans year over year, according to TripAdvisor's Fall Travel Index .

To help with the influx of inter-island and private flights, the new South Caicos Airport (XSC) on South Caicos Island — the easternmost island in the Caicos group — will complete construction in June 2023. The government will also break ground on a new-and-improved international airport for Providenciales in early 2023, a project expected to cost $300 million.

Visitors will have plenty of new accommodation options, too. Andaz Turks & Caicos Residences at Grace Bay is targeting a spring 2023 opening and will be the first Andaz-branded resort and residential property in the Caribbean. Also coming in 2023, The Shore Club is adding eight six-bedroom pool villas to its iconic Long Bay Beach property. Travelers can also look forward to boutique-style suites and panoramic views of Grace Bay Beach at The Bight Hotel and Providenciales' newest resort and marina, South Bank Turks & Caicos, both of which are in the pipeline.

A recently completed dock extension at the Grand Turk Cruise Center can now accommodate larger cruise ships, so it's bound to be a port of call on more itineraries. Additionally, $1 million in grants has been distributed to water sports operators and beach vendors to accommodate the projected increase in cruisers.

TPG tip: For the first time since the pandemic, a full lineup of events is planned for Turks and Caicos in 2023. This includes the weekly Island Fish Fry at Bight Park and legendary events like the Conch Festival, the Valentine's Day Cup on Middle Caicos, the Caribbean Food and Wine Festival and the largest festival in Turks and Caicos, Maskanoo, a cultural celebration started by enslaved people in the 19th century mocking the wealthy islanders' costume balls. —By Devorah Lev-Tov

Charleston, South Carolina: A new museum casts light on a dark past

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for diving deeper into a much-loved city .

Yes, we know. Charleston on a "best of" travel list is a lot like saying "florals for spring" — universally popular but hardly groundbreaking. But in 2023, the International African American Museum will open in Charleston, heralding a new era for cultural tourism in the city. In the works for the past two decades, the museum officially opens its doors on Jan. 21.

The museum will be a powerful lens on the past and is fittingly located at Gadsden's Wharf, where slave ships docked in Charleston Harbor and thousands of enslaved Africans first set foot in North America. The museum is raised off this now-hallowed ground on 18 pillars, each 13 feet high — a monumental structure designed by renowned architect Henry Cobb.

Inside, exhibits explore both the history of enslavement and the stories of African Americans in South Carolina's Lowcountry from the past through the present. There's a genealogical center here as well. Outside, the African Ancestors Memorial Garden includes a reflecting pool facing the harbor and a soundscape that explores the diverse range of African languages.

Beyond the IAAM, Charleston is welcoming new nonstop flights to several cities. Breeze Airlines continues to roll out new flights, including two weekly nonstops each to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and six direct flights per week to Provo Airport (PVU) in Utah, which all commenced in November. Earlier in 2022, Breeze rolled out daily nonstops to Orlando International Airport (MCO) and New York's Westchester County Airport (HPN).

On the hotel front, travelers can stay at the historic Charleston Place hotel, which is under new ownership as part of the Beemok Hospitality Collection and in the midst of a $100 million renovation. Mills House Charleston in the city's French Quarter recently emerged from a complete refurbishment as the city's first Curio Collection by Hilton property. The Loutrel, a new luxury hotel in the heart of Charleston's historic district with a buzzy on-site restaurant, is also worth checking out.

TPG tip: Spoleto Festival USA presents more than 150 performances of opera, dance, theater, classical music and jazz spanning two full weeks from Memorial Day through the beginning of June. It's a fun time to plan a visit, and there are numerous hotel package deals available. — By Melissa Klurman

Ecuador: Coastal towns capture the limelight

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for travelers searching for new destinations to unlock with points.

Though Ecuador's capital city, Quito, and remote Galapagos Islands may be the first to come to mind, exciting developments along the country's Pacific Coast are drawing a new wave of adventurers to unexpected corners of the nation.

In March of 2022, Kontiki Expeditions launched expeditions aboard the exclusive M/S Wayra, a nine-stateroom yacht that bears the distinction of being the first "water-based" Small Luxury Hotels of the World member, which partners with World of Hyatt . That means travelers can earn Hyatt points while exploring such seldom-visited ports of call as the surf spot San Mateo and Isla de la Plata, often referred to as an inexpensive alternative to the Galapagos.

Travelers eager to connect with Ecuador's overlooked coast can also take advantage of the country's increased airlift: LATAM resumed its route between Miami International Airport (MIA) and Mariscal Sucre Quito International Airport (UIO) in October with daily flights, making it altogether easier for Americans to reach Ecuador. American Airlines has also increased the frequency of its flights between Miami and Guayaquil, the gateway to Ecuador's beachy coastline.

Even Ecuador's most famous destination, the Galapagos, continues to see significant travel industry investments. Earlier this year, Ecuador's president expanded the protected Galapagos Marine Reserve by more than 23,000 square miles. Months later, a former boutique eco-friendly hotel was reborn as Royal Palm Galapagos, a Curio Collection hotel, making it possible for travelers to redeem Hilton Honors points in the Galapagos. Standard award nights start around 80,000 points, putting the islands well within reach for many travelers with points and miles stashes.

Plus, a new Hotel Indigo is now accepting reservations for end-of-year trips to the archipelago, unlocking IHG One Rewards points redemption opportunities there, too.

TPG tip: If an eight-day sailing along the coast isn't enough immersion in the culture and wildlife of Ecuador, remote workers can take advantage of Ecuador's new Nomad Visa, which launched in 2022 and allows foreign workers to live and work in Ecuador for up to 24 months. — By Melanie Lieberman

Disney Wish: The most magical place at sea

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for travelers who want the best of Disney while exploring the Caribbean.

Disney Wish first set sail in mid-2022, but 2023 is going to be the best time to sail on the company's first new cruise ship in a decade.

The itineraries and cabin types (ranging from a first-ever funnel suite to the cleverly designed oceanview staterooms with split bathrooms that help a whole family get ready faster by creating two distinct spaces) are now more widely available than in the first few sold-out months, but the new ship smell and sparkle remain.

Of equal importance, the staff has now had the necessary time to hit their stride with service, including on stage with Broadway-caliber reimaginings of "The Little Mermaid" and "Aladdin," and in the thrilling all-new restaurants with "Frozen"- and Marvel-inspired dinners (be sure and try the sticky date pudding with vanilla ice cream while in the Worlds of Marvel and Anna's Koldtbord with goodies like smoked salmon, sweet shrimp and dill honey mustard while dining in Arendelle).

With its three- and four-night sailings from Florida's Port Canaveral to the Bahamas, most passengers book Disney Wish to experience the ship itself rather than the ports of call. In fact, many guests don't even disembark in Nassau, preferring instead to take a turn on the AquaMouse slide, book a treatment at the Senses Spa or just have fun with the many Disney characters and themed spaces on board. It's a stress-free alternative to the increasing complexity and cost of indulging in a visit to the Disney theme parks.

TPG tip: There's the magic that's easy to spot on Disney Wish, but then there is more waiting to be discovered. For example, if you enjoy whiskey, don't walk past Hook's Barbery without popping in, as the secret space is far more than just a nook for a shave and a haircut. And if you can stay up late, make your way to the Grand Hall at midnight and look up for a fun surprise. — By Summer Hull

Sydney: Global celebrations abound

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Best for travelers eager to say they attended some of the biggest events in 2023.

A fabulous flock of international visitors will descend upon Sydney in February and March to celebrate WorldPride (the first in the Southern Hemisphere) mashed up with the city's Mardi Gras festival. An opening concert headlined by — who else? — the inimitable Kylie Minogue is reason enough to hop on a flight Down Under.

In August, the city's Accor Stadium will host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup final, bringing to an end a month of soccer (sorry, football ) and Australia's shared hosting of the tournament with New Zealand.

Fortunately, getting there will be easier than ever, as Qantas recently announced it would fly from Sydney Airport (SYD) to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) via Auckland Airport (AKL) in June, cutting travel times for East Coasters and heralding a new age of super-long-haul flights.

Arrivals will have a bounty of new hotels to choose from for their visit, too, including the recently opened Kimpton Margot Sydney and Ace Hotel Sydney, as well as a luxurious new Capella opening by Circular Quay early in the year and the forthcoming W Sydney set to debut in October.

Aside from all the sundry Sydney outdoor activities visitors can continue to enjoy year-round, from beach walks to BridgeClimb Sydney, travelers will also be able to explore the Art Gallery of New South Wales' stunning (and eco-friendly) new Sydney Modern Project, which the museum has billed as "the most significant cultural development in the city since the opening of the Sydney Opera House nearly half a century ago."

Opening in December of 2022 and overlooking the lush Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the complex will comprise both new and historical buildings, performance spaces, creative studios and terraces and gardens. It was designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architectural firm SANAA and will house specially commissioned works by both international and Australian artists along with rotating exhibitions … so, you never know what you might see on your next trip to Sydney.

TPG tip: Indigenous tourism experiences are flourishing across Australia, including in Sydney, where travelers can learn about Indigenous Australians' way of life on a walking Dreamtime Southern X tour of The Rocks neighborhood or even book BridgeClimb Sydney's popular Burrawa Indigenous Experience guided tour as you scale the Sydney Harbour Bridge. — By Eric Rosen

Feeling inspired? Our sister site, Elsewhere , can help you plan bespoke itineraries to several of these destinations.

52 Places to Go in 2023

  • Share full article

An Indian woman wearing a traditional sari wrap is using a taper to light a whole wall filled with hundreds of little oil lamps. They are illuminated and casting a bright glow over the scene; each lamp is set in its own little box within the wooden wall structure, tied with supporting pieces of bamboo. There are bunches of tiny bananas also tied to the top of the wall case.

London  Copied to clipboard!

A buzzing city ready for a coronation, a brand-new airport link and a prehistoric colossus read more.

Tom Jamieson for The New York Times

The Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Palace has a royal marching band walking out of the palace gates, with waiting crowds gathered and police standing nearby. The band are blowing their instruments and wearing navy topcoats with gold buttons and gold helmets with long red tassels hanging from the top.

Between an altered post-lockdown landscape, sensational changeovers at 10 Downing Street and the death of Queen Elizabeth II, there is no doubt that London is in transition. But the city continues to juxtapose old traditions and new possibilities, offering something for everyone who loves culture, history, art and nightlife.

For fans of the royal family, and maybe a few naysayers, the crowning of King Charles III , Britain’s first coronation in seven decades, will be the main event in May. There’s also the revamping of Battersea Power Station , an iconic former coal-fired power plant, into a shopping and leisure hub, and a new line on the Underground will directly connect Heathrow Airport to the central boroughs. A cast of a titanosaur, the largest creature ever to walk the planet, will make its European debut at the Natural History Museum , and late-night obsessives can head to newly opened dance clubs like the Beams . Big changes, yes, but a wealth of new choices, too.

— Isabella Kwai

Morioka  Copied to clipboard!

A walkable gem without the crowds, just a short bullet train ride from tokyo read more.

Andrew Faulk for The New York Times

Morioka, Japan

Until this past October, Japan maintained some of the most stringent travel restrictions of any major country. Now, travelers are beginning to stream back to popular destinations like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

The city of Morioka, in Iwate Prefecture, however, is often passed over or outright ignored. Circumscribed by mountains, it lies a few hours north of Tokyo by Shinkansen, the Japanese high-speed rail lines. Morioka’s downtown is eminently walkable. The city is filled with Taisho-era buildings that mix Western and Eastern architectural aesthetics as well as modern hotels, a few old ryokan (traditional inns) and winding rivers. One draw is an ancient castle site turned into a park.

There’s also fantastic coffee, including one of Japan’s third-wave originators: Nagasawa Coffee, whose owner, Kazuhiro Nagasawa, is so committed to his beans that he uses a vintage German-made Probat roaster, which he personally imported and restored. Azumaya serves up all-you-can-eat wanko soba , which comes served in dozens of tiny bowls; Booknerd offers classic Japanese art books; and Johnny’s, a jazz cafe, has been open for over 40 years. An hour west by car: Lake Tazawa and dozens of world-class hot springs.

— Craig Mod

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park  Copied to clipboard!

The majesty and awe of towering buttes in a setting fit for hollywood read more.

Rachael Wright

Three enormous sandstone towers, which appear to be several hundred feet tall, rise above a flat, red landscape, while a road curves through the foreground. The sky above is light blue and is partially occluded by wispy white clouds. Small green shrubby plants dot the ground.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park,

Americans have been flocking to national parks, many of which were overrun with visitors during the peak of pandemic-related international border closures. Amid the bustle, peacefully taking in the majesty of nature can be a challenge.

Monument Valley offers a less crowded alternative. The site, known as Tse’Bii’Ndzisgaii in Navajo, has been a popular insignia for the American West ever since John Wayne rode in to film “Stagecoach” in 1939, and the grandeur of its cinematic sandstone buttes, towering above a copper-red desert vastness, elicits a feeling of reverence and awe.

The tribal park, which features a 17-mile driving loop, is open to visitors under the stewardship of the Navajo Nation. Its relatively basic infrastructure — in contrast to sites governed by the National Park Service — and its out-of-the-way location on the Arizona-Utah state line help create a more serene experience compared with other awe-inspiring U.S. destinations.

— Rachael Wright

Kilmartin Glen  Copied to clipboard!

A misty scottish stonehenge, with all of the mystery and far fewer visitors read more.

Andy Haslam for The New York Times

Kilmartin Glen, Scotland

The sun rises over Kilmartin Glen as it has for thousands of years, illuminating an ancient landscape of more than 800 archaeological monuments sprouting in the mist. This verdant valley on Scotland’s wild west coast is one of the most significant prehistoric sites in Britain, yet it’s largely off the visitor circuit; imagine Stonehenge without the crowds.

Wander among majestic stone circles, standing slabs that jut from the earth, burial cairns and rock carvings of concentric rings, expanding like ripples from a drop of water. And now the past is getting a refresh: The Kilmartin Museum is reopening with expanded exhibits and new experiences that delve into the region’s relics and flourishing natural life, including Moine Mhor (Great Moss), one of the few remaining raised bogs in Europe, above which looms the Iron Age hill fort of Dunadd.

For full immersion into the Scotland of yore, stay at the moody 16th-century Kilmartin Castle , which was recently transformed into a boutique hotel, with vaulted ceilings, copper tubs and a wild swimming pond.

— AnneLise Sorensen

Auckland  Copied to clipboard!

New Zealand

Pastries that rival France’s best, with a side of adventure tourism on the North Island Read more

Susan Wright for The New York Times

Over 20 French pastry cases are set out in rows on a black metal baking tray, in the process of being filled with a cream and having segments of fresh strawberries arranged artfully on top in a circular design. A hand holding a pastry brush is glazing the strawberries.

Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland is usually considered the entry point for the rest of New Zealand’s natural attractions, but travelers just passing through can miss that it’s also the culinary capital (sorry, Wellington).

Restaurants that have been germinating while the country’s borders were closed are now ready to be sampled by all. Just 10 minutes on foot from the newly renovated downtown, for instance, takes you to Hugo’s Bistro , where a regular clientele, including many lawyers, dines on unfussy French-inspired food that takes advantage of New Zealand’s fertility: Saffron, wasabi and truffles, among other delicacies, are grown in the country. Cazador , a longtime staple of the residential neighborhood Mt. Eden, serves local game in its restaurant and house-cured meats in its delicatessen.

The city’s famous multiculturalism also plays a part: Omni , which opened in 2020 and whose head chef worked at Hong Kong’s Yardbird, makes high-end yakitori, and Little French Pastry ’s founders, originally from France, serve up mille-feuille rivaling Paris’s best.

Palm Springs  Copied to clipboard!

Spotting stars in the streets and counting galaxies in the sky read more.

Beth Coller for The New York Times

A large telescope is aimed upward through a slit in the roof of an observatory dome. The dark blue sky, visible through the slit, is dotted with stars, and the interior of the dome is illuminated with a red light.

Palm Springs, California

Yes, this is the land of midcentury nostalgia, with its low-slung Modernist architecture and the recent return of the 26-foot-tall “ Forever Marilyn ” statue. But these days, there’s another headliner: the surrounding desert, and the dark skies above.

Astrotourism is on the rise, with a constellation of ways to explore the cosmos, including at the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory , which offers tours and monthly “Swoon at the Moon” events. Unfurl a blanket on the desert floor and gaze up at the starry sky at Joshua Tree National Park . This designated International Dark Sky Park has one of the darkest skies in California, with stargazing treks and the annual Night Sky Festival .

The desert nature and history that flourish around Palm Springs are also shaping the city’s landscape, including the new Palm Springs Downtown Park , designed to reflect Indian Canyons , ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians; the Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza and Museum , which, when it opens later this year, will be one of the largest Native American cultural centers on the West Coast; and new desert-inspired hotels like Azure Sky .

Kangaroo Island  Copied to clipboard!

A haven for koalas and other wild creatures, healing after devastating wildfires read more, kangaroo island, australia.

A short trip from Adelaide, South Australia’s capital, the nearly 1,700-square-mile Kangaroo Island is known for incredible wildlife, breathtaking ocean views and its status as an ecological haven — like a zoo without fences.

Three years ago, devastating fires consumed the island, wiping out wildlife and destroying a famous luxury hotel, the Southern Ocean Lodge . Efforts to rebuild are continuing, and the island is more compelling than ever to visit. New organizations that sprang up to help with the wildlife recovery offer visitors a chance to play a part in funding that regeneration.

At the Kangaroo Island Koala and Wildlife Rescue Centre , you can book a private tour to see the animal hospital facilities, or bottle-feed a joey (a baby kangaroo). At the long-established Seal Bay Conservation Park , you can watch one of Australia’s largest colonies of sea lions frolic on the beach. And in 2023 the Southern Ocean Lodge will reopen, grander and better than before.

— Besha Rodell

Vjosa River  Copied to clipboard!

Cycling through the canyons and valleys of one of europe’s last untamed waterways read more.


A verdant river valley with undulating mountains surrounding it is shown at sunset. There is a glow over the green as the sun is slowly going down behind the rocky mountains in the distance.

Vjosa River, Albania

Protecting the Vjosa , one of Europe’s last undammed rivers, hasn’t been easy. After a decade of proposed projects that threatened to alter the waterway’s wild flow, its innumerable ecosystems and its valleys strewn with ancient communities, the Albanian government signed a commitment last June to create the Vjosa Wild River National Park .

Making good on that pledge, scheduled to become reality in 2023, will establish a global conservation model while preserving the country’s canyon-lined, 120-mile stretch of the 169-mile waterway, which runs from the Pindus Mountains in Greece to the Adriatic Sea, as well as including around 60 miles of tributaries.

For travelers — on trails like Albania’s new UNESCO Cycling Route (opening January 2023), which runs along the river and visits World Heritage sites like the city of Gjirokastra — safeguarding the Vjosa and its river system, with over 1,100 animal species, encourages responsible discovery of alpine settlements, where locals welcome adventurers for coffee, raki (local fruit brandy) and a chance to imbibe oft-overlooked Balkan culture.

— Alex Crevar

Accra  Copied to clipboard!

Feast first, dance later, in a hub of innovative west african cuisine read more.

Jessica Sarkodie for The New York Times

Three local Ghanaian restaurant staff are busy working behind a tiled bar with a wooden top; there are shelves behind them lined with alcohol bottles of different colors and varieties. There are stools strewn with colorful words in front of the bar, and wait staff, including a waiter carrying a tray with bowls of food, are walking by.

Accra, Ghana

Accra’s food scene typically consists of two schools: “chop bars” that serve traditional, cheap meals like fufu (made from pounded cassava, green plantains or yams) with tomato-based spicy soup, and pricier restaurants serving foreign fare.

Travelers to Accra, Ghana’s capital, can now see a new wave of chefs and entrepreneurs bridging this gap by emphasizing and innovating with local produce. At the Mix, a new restaurant and design hub, the West African staple gari (granulated cassava root) is dyed pink with beetroot and accompanies squid in a passion fruit sauce.

The sustainable food space in Accra is also one to watch; Ghana Food Movement , an educational group, hosts events throughout the year, including a signature Dine & Dance series in which underutilized indigenous ingredients like millet, eaten by Ghanaians almost exclusively as porridge, are made into stars over three courses. The meal is followed by a dance party, of course, in true Ghanaian fashion.

— Jessica Sarkodie

Tromso  Copied to clipboard!

A clear-skied hot spot where aurora seekers are likely to spy their dazzling prize read more.

Nerd Nomads Travel Blog

A deep blue sky is striated with neon green lights, as if shooting upward from a point in the far distance. Closer in the foreground are dramatic hills and a cabin with lights on inside.

Tromso, Norway

After years of low solar activity, projections are looking up for travelers hoping to experience the aurora borealis, or northern lights. As the sun’s volatility increases, with more coronal mass ejections and solar flares, so, too, will the frequency and intensity of the aurora. Experts predict solar activity to peak in 2025, explained Trond S. Trondsen, an aurora expert at Keo Scientific , a designer of specialized optical instruments for space research in Calgary, Alberta. Already, he said, “the number of sunspots are climbing faster than predicted .”

One of the best places to see the northern lights, Tromso, Norway, is more than 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, and is relatively accessible, as far as reliable viewing locations go. Travelers can get there either by plane or by a combination of train and bus. Cruise ships and ferries are also a possibility.

Most important, the town’s surrounding landscape, near the sea but with mountains nearby, offers enough distinct weather zones to make it likely that there will be clear skies most nights — a must for seeing the lights when they do appear.

— Ingrid Williams

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park  Copied to clipboard!

Blinding white dunes and aquamarine pools in an otherworldly natural water park read more.

Scott Baker

An expansive dune of windswept white sand stretches out to the horizon, with a blue-green lake in the midground. The sky above is partly cloudy and deeply blue.

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil

Want to feel like you’ve traveled so far that you’re only vaguely tethered to Earth? Welcome to Lençóis Maranhenses , a horizon of rolling, blindingly white sand dunes rising into the sun and descending into otherworldly green and blue lagoons filled with rainwater.

Forget your cell signal or trappings of comfort: There are few if any structures, people or even trees around, and the park’s location near the Equator means it’s blazingly hot during the day. Yet almost all Brazilians will tell you they want to visit this remote area to experience the sensation of playing in a lunar water park.

Logroll down the dunes, splashing into the natural pools. Traverse the area on horseback, stopping at “oases” along the way. Or be mesmerized by its immensity via helicopter tour. It’s the antidote to that claustrophobic Covid-era feeling — a vast, borderless moonscape where you can roam wild and free.

— Shannon Sims

Bhutan  Copied to clipboard!

Cliff-top fortresses and rhododendron forests on a revived trekking trail read more.

Marcus Westberg

Buddhist monks in scarlet-red robes descend the stone staircase of a temple high in the mountains on the side of a cliff. The sides of the staircase are painted white and decorated ornately with gold, and the temple is surrounded by trees, with a series of mountain ranges rising in the background, the furthest one snowcapped.

After two and a half years of pandemic isolation, Bhutan reopened in September with changes to its longstanding “high value, low volume” tourism policy. Visitors are no longer required to travel on package tours, but Bhutan’s mandatory “sustainable development fee” increased to $200 from $65 per day.

At the same time, the 250-mile Trans Bhutan Trail, a path used for centuries as a pilgrimage and communications route, reopened after a three-year restoration that mended suspension bridges, stone stairs and long-overgrown temples. The trail stretches east to west across nearly the entire country, passing through cities, villages, farmlands and wilderness. Depending on the route and time of year, trekkers might spy the snowcapped Himalayas, visit cliff-top fortresses, scale sacred mountain passes or pass through blooming rhododendron forests.

Official guides are required, and itineraries range from half a day to more than a month. Accommodations include guesthouses, home stays, luxury hotels and well-appointed campsites on each of the trail’s 28 sections. Proceeds from trips booked with Trans Bhutan Trail , the nonprofit that led the restoration, go toward trail maintenance, educational programs, guide training and other community causes.

— Sara Clemence

Kerala  Copied to clipboard!

Learn to climb a palm tree, visit a temple during an annual festival and get a sustainable taste of village life read more.

Poras Chaudhary for The New York Times

Kerala, India

We travel to immerse ourselves in other cultures, but some forms of community tourism put residents on display without offering benefits. Not so in Kerala — a southern Indian state celebrated for its beaches, backwater lagoons, cuisine and rich cultural traditions like the Vaikathashtami festival — where the government has adopted an award-winning approach that allows visitors to experience village life while supporting the communities that host them.

In Kumarakom, one of several “ responsible tourism destinations ” in the state, visitors can paddle through jungly canals, weave rope from coconut fiber and even learn to climb a palm tree. In Maravanthuruthu, visitors can follow a storytelling trail and enjoy village street art before taking in an evening performance of a traditional temple dance.

— Paige McClanahan

Greenville  Copied to clipboard!

South Carolina

Adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and on dinner plates downtown Read more

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

An overhead view shows a variety of dishes from a Georgian restaurant, including khachapuri, a cheese-filled bread with an egg at its center.

Greenville, South Carolina

Set in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville has established itself on the culinary scene. The quaint city of about 70,000 has more than 200 restaurants — 85 percent of which are local, without a tie to a national chain — in its strollable downtown area alone. Visitors may come for the access to outdoor adventures, but they’ll most likely leave having been introduced to flavors from around the world.

Even as the renowned Soby’s celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2022 and two food festivals — euphoria and Fall for Greenville — attract tens of thousands of people annually, restaurants continue to crop up around the city. The second location of Charleston’s acclaimed Lewis Barbecue opened to long lines in September. Mr. Crisp , with Greg McPhee as executive chef, highlights seafood, especially its crisp-yet-tender hand-battered fish and chips. Keipi celebrates Georgian khachapuri and the country’s ancient wines; Aryana delivers a taste of Afghanistan; and Califas has brought Mexican birria tacos to Greenville.

“The real heartbeat of Greenville is a creative and diverse food community that keeps reinventing itself,” said Sid Evans, the editor in chief of Southern Living. “The food here is adventurous, and the chefs have embraced the global influences shaping the modern South.”

— Ari Bendersky

Tucson  Copied to clipboard!

A rebounding center of art and adobe with centuries-old ties to mexico read more.

John Burcham for The New York Times

Tucson, Arizona

Barrio Viejo, an area of more than 150 acres in Tucson, is the largest barrio in the United States and exemplifies Tucson’s connection to Mexico, with centuries-old Sonoran adobe architecture.

This year, the neighborhood, which has one of the most diverse racial, cultural, religious and ethnic populations in the country, will receive National Historic Landmark designation . Revival projects include the restoration of the 300-seat Teatro Carmen , built in 1915 and later converted into the Black Elks Club , and female-owned boutique hotels, like the Citizen in the former home of the Tucson Citizen newspaper and the Downtown Clifton in a once-faded motel.

Take the Tucson Origins Tour by Borderlandia , which specializes in tours of the U.S.-Mexico border area, for a deep dive into history. Then explore the famed Etherton Gallery and Andrew Smith Gallery , both in new spaces. Don’t forget Barrio restaurants like the local coffee drinkers’ favorite EXO Roast , housed in an 1885 adobe home, and the Coronet , which moved to the neighborhood in 2019.

— Daniel Scheffler

Martinique  Copied to clipboard!

Creole culture, giant ferns and hummingbirds that don’t back down from a staring contest read more.

A small hummingbird with green iridescent feathers and plumage on the top of their body flies and feeds from a flowering plant. The pink blooms its flying in front of are long and chandelier-shaped, hanging off a light-green branch.


While travel was frozen in 2020, Martinique celebrated the induction of its traditional yole sailboat — a lightweight craft kept upright by crew members, who use their body weight as ballast by sitting on poles that extend over the sides of the hulls — on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. In the fall of 2021, the entire island was named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve , recognizing the destination’s commitment to sustainable economic and social development.

Islanders are awaiting yet another decision from UNESCO, which they hope will name the nearly 4,600-foot volcano Mount Pelée and the Pitons du Carbet range to the World Heritage List. The region represents “the diversity of Martinique,” said Alex Dobat, who owns Natiyabel , a scuba diving and hiking outfitter (whose name means “nature is beautiful” in Creole), who described ferns the size of trees, wild begonias and hummingbirds “staring at you quietly.”

Tourism officials are counting on the UNESCO certifications to attract ecotourists to its peaks, rainforests, reefs and Creole culture.

— Elaine Glusac

The Namib Desert  Copied to clipboard!

Southern Africa

1,000-foot dunes and crashing waves along a nearly uninhabited coastline Read more

A large desert expanse with deep red sands gives way to a gently rising sand hill then a rocky mountain range in the background. Tufts of dry grass poke through the sand in the foreground.

The Namib Desert, Southern Africa

Along the desolate coast of Namibia, 1,000-foot-tall sand dunes descend into the sea. During low tide, intrepid adventurers can drive along the beach, past towering yellow dunes on one side and the South Atlantic’s churning waters on the other. This is the Namib, the world’s oldest desert, and the perfect place for a long road trip . After almost three years of Covid-19 restrictions, it’s hard to imagine a place where you can feel more free.

“Namib” means “vast place” in Khoekhoegowab, a language spoken in many parts of Namibia. It’s astonishingly easy to get lost in this almost entirely uninhabited expanse of sand, where you might travel for days without seeing another human being.

In the Namib-Naukluft National Park, travelers can go back in time at the Deadvlei, where 600-year-old trees stand eerily lifeless, preserved by the dry air; challenge themselves to climb the 100-story Big Daddy Dune; observe desert-adapted wildlife like oryx and springbok; and even see mysterious fairy circles .

— Jen Guyton

The Alaska Railroad  Copied to clipboard!

470 miles of mountains, glaciers and grizzlies from the comfort of a glass dome read more.

Christopher Miller for The New York Times

The Alaska Railroad,

Since 1923, the Alaska Railroad — the last railroad in the United States to carry both people and freight — has connected millions of passengers and trade goods over 470 miles of track, from Seward to Fairbanks. This year is the centennial of its operation and a celebration is planned in Nenana, where President Warren G. Harding drove in the golden spike on July 15, 1923, completing the railroad.

Operational well before Alaska became a state, in 1959, the railroad is an environmentally friendly way for passengers to see wilderness, and even the aurora borealis, without sacrificing comfort: Glass-domed rail cars make viewing easy. It is also the only remaining flag-stop major railroad in the country. Passengers can wave a flag to embark or disembark, gaining access to more remote locations, including harder-to-reach areas of the Chugach National Forest, through a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.

Sights along the way include Denali, North America’s tallest peak, and Kenai Fjords National Park. History buffs can view a special exhibit at the Anchorage Museum that runs from May to February 2024, chronicling the railroad’s history.

— Charu Suri

Fukuoka  Copied to clipboard!

Savoring an endangered street-food tradition on the often overlooked island of kyushu read more.

Diners are sitting outside around the counter of an open-air food stall. Smoke is emanating from the open kitchen, and the diners are chatting and huddled over plates of food. Red lanterns attached to the stall are glowing brightly, along with the illuminated signs on top of each stall.

Fukuoka, Japan

Fukuoka, a subtropical city perched on the northern shore of Kyushu, is one of the few remaining places in Japan where you will see rows of yatai — open-air street-food stalls resembling boxes of neon light. Many sell traditional foods like ramen, yakitori and oden, but if you stroll along the riverfront on Nakasu, a small island that is Fukuoka’s red-light district, you’ll find some diversity with wine, coffee, and even French sausages and garlic toast.

Yatai were a common sight across Japan in the 1950s, but during the 1964 Summer Olympics, the authorities had them removed to project an image of economic recovery. In the present, Fukuoka is the only city left that’s fighting this bureaucracy. The government has acknowledged the cultural significance of yatai by increasing the safety and quality of the food and by offering more licenses in 2022. Even so, the number of yatai has fallen drastically to around 100 stalls today from more than 400 in the ’60s. Pull up a seat while you can and enjoy rubbing shoulders with strangers over supper again.

— Harvard Wang

Flores  Copied to clipboard!

An island paradise where crater lakes change color and nine-foot dragons roam read more.

Lauryn Ishak for The New York Times

Five boats, two passenger motorboats and three wooden fishing boats with covers, are gathered around a pier. They are surrounded by turquoise blue water, with a few people in swimwear waiting on the pier. The sky is bright blue with fluffy white clouds in the distance.

Flores, Indonesia

The term “fairy-tale getaway” is overused, but what else do you call a far-off, unspoiled, Southeast Asian island with nine-foot Komodo dragons, active volcanoes, white-sand beaches, coral gardens, rushing waterfalls and color-shifting crater lakes reputed to house departed spirits?

Such are the allures of Flores, one of the roughly 17,500 islands of the Republic of Indonesia. An hour’s flight from Bali and far less visited, Flores may be seeing more visitors with the scheduled opening late this year of Kodi Bajo , a luxury resort in the fishing town of Labuan Bajo. Operated by the group behind the NIHI hotel on Sumba, a nearby Indonesian island, Kodi Bajo will offer sumptuous hillside accommodations and views of the nearby Komodo National Park archipelago — the only place in the world inhabited by the famous giant lizards.

— Seth Sherwood

Guadalajara  Copied to clipboard!

Celebrating queer culture’s diversity and l.g.b.t.q. athletes from around the globe read more.

Adrian Wilson for The New York Times

Two bartenders stand within an enclosed bar, surrounded by the glow of a yellow-orange light. Nearest to the camera, one of them measures out alcohol in a metallic jigger. Shelves of alcohol line the walls.

Guadalajara, Mexico

Travel has always been a way to experience diversity, and in 2023 you’ll find a variety of sexual expression and shifts in traditional gender roles in Jalisco’s capital. This fall, the city will co-host (with Hong Kong) the 11th annual Gay Games . Athletes from around the world — of varying ages, sexual orientations and levels of athletic experience — will participate in 20 sports.

The city is also home to the annual Prohibido festival , during which an abandoned theater is transformed into a celebration of sexual diversity through art installations, interactive experiences, live music and talks about polyamorous and nonbinary culture. In Guadalajara, too, women take on nontraditional performance roles. On most nights, you can hear one of almost a dozen female mariachi bands from the area at Hotel Riu Plaza Guadalajara or El Patio, a restaurant. There are also local performances by female cowboys, known as escaramuzas, who present their choreography on horseback.

The city is considered by some to be Mexico’s drag capital, with numerous performers and shows. Guadalajara has also developed “antiturista” maps, including one for L.G.B.T.Q. travelers, that provide a local’s perspective on places to see and stay.

— Maggie Jones

Tassili n’Ajjer  Copied to clipboard!

Rock art, sandstone pillars and a glimpse at a lost saharan history read more.

Bright red-orange sand dunes stretch across a vast landscape that is interspersed with slightly darker-brown rock formations. The rocks are jagged and irregularly shaped.

Tassili n’Ajjer, Algeria

Often overshadowed by its neighbor, the tourism giant Morocco, Algeria — a stone’s throw from Mediterranean Europe and a mere three-hour flight from London — has recently relaxed its visa policies, allowing for much easier exploration of the country. While most visitors tend to stick to the coastal north, which contains some of the region’s best preserved Roman ruins, Africa’s largest country also contains its largest national park.

Virtually unknown to the outside world, Tassili n’Ajjer is eight times the size of Yellowstone. At the heart of the vast landscape of Saharan sand and stone lie the deep red dunes and pillars of Tadrart Rouge. Accessible only by a four-wheel-drive vehicle, this astonishingly striking national park is home to thousands of ancient works of rock art, stretching back to when the desert was a thriving savanna, as well as to a very much living nomadic Tuareg culture.

— Marcus Westberg

Kakheti  Copied to clipboard!

New flavors and ancient winemaking traditions in tiny hilltop towns and green valleys read more.

Irma Laghadze

A big steel bowl filled with a large amount of hand-twisted dumplings (more than 50) is being held by two pairs of hands over an open fire, as steam rises around it.

Kakheti, Georgia

The mountainous nation of Georgia’s 8,000-year-old winemaking tradition is at the center of several new trends in the wine world, including skin-contact (a.k.a. orange ) wines, amphora fermentation and charismatic grape varieties like saperavi. As a result, Georgian wine exports to the United States recently topped one million bottles and are growing at almost 29 percent annually, as Wine Enthusiast recently reported .

For wine lovers, a tasting trip to estates like Vazisubani and Kardanakhi in Kakheti offers a chance to discover new wines in a landscape of tiny hilltop towns and verdant valleys framed by the Caucasus. Many wines are made in traditional pointed qvevri clay vessels that are buried in the earth.

To complement the experience, local chefs have started offering cooking classes where gastronomes can learn how to make the meaty dumplings known as khinkali and other dishes from what Saveur magazine called “Europe’s great unsung cuisine.”

— Evan Rail

Nîmes  Copied to clipboard!

A sunny mediterranean morsel whose charming streets are studded with roman monuments read more.

Joann Pai for The New York Times

Nîmes, France

Nîmes is that rarest of Gallic delicacies — a sunny southern French city with great charm and fascinating architecture and museums that hasn’t yet become thronged with tourists like Arles or Avignon.

The city has a growing word-of-mouth reputation for the excellence of its dining options, which include everything from Michelin two-star restaurants like the chef Pierre Gagnaire’s Duende at the recently renovated Hotel Imperator to exceptionally good lunchtime dining in Les Halles de Nîmes, a covered food market, where the Halles Auberge and La Pie Qui Couette offer first-come first-serve counter service at noon. The latest local buzz is about the chef Georgiana Viou, originally from Benin, who serves up her personal and very delicate Afro-Provençal cooking at Rouge , the restaurant of the elegant new 10-room Margaret-Hôtel Chouleur in a landmarked mansion in the heart of the Écusson, or Old City. Le Coin and Menna, two excellent cosmopolitan modern French bistros — a type of restaurant that’s new to Nîmes — are not far away.

Shed some calories after a meal by taking in the sights of the Rome of France, a sobriquet explained by the most spectacular collection of Roman monuments in Europe outside of Italy.

— Alexander Lobrano

Ha Giang  Copied to clipboard!

A two-wheeled thrill ride leads to mountainside settlements where hmong and tay culture lives read more.

An elderly Vietnamese woman with glasses and a head-scarf sits outside at a small wooden table, hand-painting a fabric made of hemp that she is unrolling. She is wearing a purple and yellow print shirt, and there is a wooden wall behind her.

Ha Giang, Vietnam

The several-day loop by motorbike through the Ha Giang highlands in northern Vietnam is not for the timid. Getting to the city of Ha Giang takes six hours by road from Hanoi, and the loop’s steep roads, serpentine passes and recurring switchbacks can make the journey both treacherous and exhilarating.

This remote tableau of soaring peaks and cavernous valleys inspires a deep connection to the landscape and its inhabitants. Veer off the main road onto the narrow ribbons of concrete streaking the mountainsides and into the Hmong and Tay settlements dotting the hillsides and hollows. To learn more about their cultures, you can hire a guide from QT Motorbikes and Tours .

Road improvement projects and new high-end accommodations have made the loop more accessible and inviting. Don’t miss a boat ride through the canyon on the emerald river at Ma Pi Leng Pass.

— Patrick Scott

Salalah  Copied to clipboard!

A historic frankincense-trading center where the desert erupts in waterfalls read more.

Traversing a gently flowing river, a desert oasis, a line of five camels are following each other in procession, walking in the water up to their shoulders, single file. Trees in varying shades of green line the riverbank, and there is a mountain range in the background.

Salalah, Oman

With last year’s World Cup drawing attention to the built environment elsewhere in the Persian Gulf states, seaside Salalah, Oman, offers visitors a chance to see the region’s natural beauty. Depending on when you go, the area is either lush and green and blanketed in thick fog, or basking in sunlight and a warm breeze.

During the khareef (monsoon), the valleys and riverbeds are flooded with fresh water, and the mountains flow with waterfalls. The city is also home to Al Baleed Archaeological Park and the Museum of the Frankincense Land , which provides a visual history of the ancient incense trade and the associated export routes to the rest of the world. (A nearby collection of sites, known as the Land of Frankincense , is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.) Another draw is the collection of historical ports spread along the coast.

The population of Salalah, one of Oman’s largest cities, is around 330,000, so it’s easy to find oneself alone in the crystal clear waters of the area’s many tranquil beaches, including Mugsail, Fazayah and Haffa.

— Noa Avishag Schnall

Cuba  Copied to clipboard!

An island of music and white-sand beaches ripe for rediscovery as the united states eases travel restrictions read more.

Robert Rausch for The New York Times

A deserted beach is seen at sunrise, with the waves gently lapping the shoreline and the wet sand glistening and reflective. There are piles of rocks and palm trees further back on the shore, leading up to a grassy mound and the sun rising on the right in the distance.

With its sea-sprayed, pastel facades, white-sand beaches and tobacco-rich valleys, Cuba sits tantalizingly close to the United States, though it often feels out of reach — especially in recent years, when the Trump administration reinstated strict rules for American citizens hoping to visit.

But a confluence of factors just made travel to the island nation a bit easier. Last spring, President Biden relaxed many of the restrictions imposed by his predecessor. And in November, American Airlines resumed flights beyond Havana, adding departures to the beach town Varadero and the interior city Santa Clara, a regional capital steeped in revolutionary history. More flights from other carriers are set to begin in the coming months.

Cuba’s people are as generous with their stories — of history, family, even politics and protest — as they are with their music, an omnipresent, joyful soundtrack thrumming through the island’s cities and towns. Less than two years after historic protests were met with harsh repression, and as the country rebuilds from Hurricane Ian, travel to Cuba and support of its people may never be more valuable.

— Lauren Prestileo

Odense  Copied to clipboard!

A mystical new museum and garden with all you need to write your own fairy tale read more.

Andreas Meichsner for The New York Times

A solitary woman wearing headphones is seen standing in front of a museum exhibit. She is looking at a light display and surrounded by other luminous installations. She is wearing headphones and plaid pants.

Odense, Denmark

Designed by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma & Associates, the new Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense, on the island of Funen, is more than a museum. It’s a mystical land, featuring labyrinthine gardens that double as a public park.

The museum explores Andersen’s literary interplay between real and imaginary: You can gaze up at the sky through a glass dome and feel like the Little Mermaid; roam sunken courtyards, illuminated by sunlight splintering through trees; and engage with exhibits by contemporary artists in cylindrical spaces wrapped in latticed timber that suggest the city’s traditional thatched-roof houses. The museum is as much about telling stories as it is about imagining your own: Creativity is encouraged at the magical Ville Vau children’s center, where children can paint, draw, write and play dress-up amid colorful scenes from Andersen’s fairy tales.

Time your visit with Odense’s summertime H.C. Andersen Festivals , and then find artistic inspiration, as Andersen did, by venturing across his home island of Funen, the “garden of Denmark,” with its storybook castles (the moated Egeskov is the stuff of dreams), heather-coated hillsides and misty coastline.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park  Copied to clipboard!

The shape-shifting sandstone heart of a continent and its indigenous heritage read more.

Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

Uluru, the sandstone monolith, is seen off in the distance at sunset, glowing a terracotta red, with the mellow-toned blue and pink sky behind it. Tufts of grass and shrubs rise from the earth in the foreground.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

At Uluru, time stretches, dissolves. Over 500 million years old, the 1,142-foot sandstone monolith in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a shape-shifter: aflame in pink, orange and violet through the day; its crevices gush with the rain, its surroundings erupt with wildflowers.

Now, Uluru is a symbol of urgency. In 2017, it was the site of the Uluru Statement From the Heart , which calls for an Indigenous “voice to Parliament” to be enshrined in Australia’s Constitution. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced there would be a national referendum on the issue in 2023.

Uluru is sacred to the Anangu people, who protect and manage the land, and for decades tourists climbed the rock against their wishes. Climbing was banned in 2019, and now visitors can take a 5.8-mile walk around Uluru’s base to experience its splendor. The ban was a rare victory for Indigenous rights and cultural respect, and evidence that even deep-rooted attitudes can change.

— Tacey Rychter

Boquete  Copied to clipboard!

A slope-side nirvana for coffee geeks, waterfall hikers and white-water rafters read more.

Paul Castillero

Shining through a peek-hole in the lush growth of a forest is the orange glow of the rising sun, with clouds and a mountain range around it.

Boquete, Panama

Geisha, among the world’s most expensive coffee varietals, thrives on the slopes of the Barú Volcano, near Panama’s western border. In recent years, specialty coffee geeks the world over have gravitated here, encouraging coffee farms around the highland town of Boquete to act more like Bordeaux vineyards. New cupping rooms and bodega tours have been added at farms like Lamastus Family Estates , Chevas Coffee Estate and Finca Altieri , while coffee-themed hotels — including Finca Lérida and Panamonte — have updated their facilities.

In Boquete’s town center, which acts as a base for adventure activities like waterfall hikes and white-water rafting, the noted Panama City chef Mario Castrellón has opened a branch of the coffee roaster Café Unido , as well as a restaurant and bar with seasonal menus and Geisha-infused cocktails, in the new Selina hostel . The bold, 60-room property straddles a small river, with rooms ranging from beds in concrete cylinders to luxe suites.

— Nicholas Gill

Tarragona  Copied to clipboard!

An unsung artsy seaport rich in well-preserved roman ruins, and delicious tapas read more.

A old, stone cathedral, seen in the distance through a maze of residential buildings with clay-tiled roofs, is illuminated with yellowed lights. The sky shows a rich palette of colors ranging from blue and purple to orange and gold.

Tarragona, Spain

Long upstaged by the flash of Barcelona, this unsung waterfront city on the Costa Daurada is a culturally rich alternative, with thriving Catalan traditions, from the famous castells (human towers, formed by people standing on one another’s shoulders) to earthy Romesco sauce, often served with grilled fish and vegetables, and best enjoyed in El Serrallo, a maritime neighborhood.

But what elevates the Tarragona experience is the past: This is one of the oldest Roman settlements in the Iberian Peninsula. The impressively preserved Tarraco ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, transform the city into an open-air museum, from the mighty Roman walls to the amphitheater framed by the Mediterranean.

Against this ancient backdrop, the city is in the midst of change: a revitalized port, new low-cost fast trains to the region and a growing contemporary arts scene. Perhaps the best way to savor it is to partake in a paseo: Stroll the Rambla Nova, grazing on tapas along the way, to the aptly named Balcó del Mediterrani observation point, where touching the iron railing is said to bring good luck.

Charleston  Copied to clipboard!

A powerful space will examine a city’s past and honor the african american legacy read more, charleston, south carolina.

Charleston’s brutal history of slavery can be overshadowed by a romanticized portrait of a city with charm, award-winning restaurants and plantation gardens. The planned opening of the $100 million International African American Museum this year will help comprehensively display the city’s complicated past.

The I.A.A.M. occupies the former Gadsden’s Wharf, where an estimated 30,000 African captives landed during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, more than at any other site. The sleek, single-story building floats atop 18 pillars clad in tabby, a kind of concrete made from oyster shells, and houses a genealogy center, a social justice action lab and 10 exhibit galleries that include stories of slavery and the Great Migration. A public outdoor space offers an African Ancestors Memorial Garden featuring indigenous plants like Lowcountry sweet grass and Canary Island palm trees.

This spring, the Charleston tourism board will debut a comprehensive guide to Black-owned businesses to elevate the overlooked successes of creative locals.

— Lauren Matison

Cayos Cochinos  Copied to clipboard!

Planting coral and counting sea turtles where there are no cars or roads read more.

Looking through a gap in the dense forest with a tree bough framing overhead, there is a view of a wooden beach cabana on stilts, siting over the turquoise water of a lagoon.

Cayos Cochinos, Honduras

Off the northern coast of Honduras, the Cayos Cochinos archipelago, part of a marine preserve where commercial fishing is banned, encompasses about 300,000 acres, two main islands and 13 small cays, with a collective population of about 200 Indigenous Garifuna residents.

Before the pandemic, the nonprofit Cayos Cochinos Foundation, which manages the reserve, derived much of its funding to study and protect its biodiversity from the fees paid by day-trippers to snorkel there. Now, the nongovernmental organization is gently opening itself to tourism, allowing visitors to stay in basic cabins (from $45 a night) that previously hosted exclusively scientists.

Between scuba dives and hikes to see pink boa constrictors and black-chested spiny-tailed iguanas, travelers can volunteer to propagate new coral or count sea turtles. Travel to the islands, which are roadless and free of cars, also supports the Garifuna community, which offers guide services, restaurants and tastings of the local root-infused spirit, guifiti.

Burgundy Beer Trail  Copied to clipboard!

Paying homage to hops and yeast in a region where wine has long reigned read more.

A man with dark hair and a beard and wearing a zip-up puffer vest is standing surrounded by huge wooden beer barrels in the cellar of brewery. He is pouring beer from a long-neck bottle into a large stemmed goblet, and there is an ancient stone wall behind him.

Burgundy Beer Trail, France

Wine lovers have long revered the great vintages of Burgundy. Now, beer lovers have their eyes on the Burgundy region, following the arrival of head-turning new breweries like Ammonite , Vif , Independent House and 90 BPM , all within 90 minutes of one another, and all rated among the best in France by fans on sites like Untappd and RateBeer .

Winemaking influences these new brewers, some of which employ solera barrel systems (like those used to age and blend sherry and Madeira wines), natural yeast, small oak barrels and other tools and techniques most often used by vintners.

For years, France has been a laggard in the global craft beer revolution, running far behind neighboring countries like Spain and Italy. The emerging beer trail in Burgundy’s wine region shows how France might soon develop an enviable beer culture of its own.

Istanbul  Copied to clipboard!

Reviving a city’s historic architecture just in time for modern turkey’s centennial read more.

Maria Mavropoulou for The New York Times

A modern-looking, three-level museum building of steel and glass is seen from the front, leading out to a forecourt of polished stone. There are people walking past the facade, and there is a sign in big capital lettering on the front that reads, “Istanbul Modern”

This October, the Turkish Republic celebrates its 100th anniversary, and to mark the occasion, Istanbul’s local government has invested millions in giving historic structures new life.

Among them: Feshane, a factory that manufactured the iconic Turkish hats and one of Istanbul’s first steel buildings, will become one of its largest art centers; west of the old city, a comprehensive restoration of the stone-and-brick Mevlanakapi city walls with their 22 towers dating back to the fifth century, will transform them into a four-and-a-half-mile walking path; and the Botter Apartment, one of Istanbul’s earliest Art Nouveau buildings, whose bottom floor was originally a studio for the sultan’s private tailor, will be turned into a fashion design center.

There’s more. Art museums are planned for the former Yedikule gasworks and the Halic Shipyard, one of the world’s oldest still in operation. And most notably, the newly built Istanbul Modern museum, designed by the architect Renzo Piano, will open its doors along the Bosporus in Karakoy, showcasing the works of notable Turkish artists such as Fahrelnissa Zeid and Erol Akyavas.

— Nora Walsh

Taipei  Copied to clipboard!

Floating sky lanterns and soaring skyscrapers in a sprawling, thrumming capital read more.

A bustling night market in Taipei has shoppers roaming up and down a long strip, lined on either side with stall fronts. There is backlit lettering on signage over many of the stalls, and illuminated yellow lanterns hang overhead. The night sky is black.

Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei is a glorious assault on the senses, a capital with stunning natural beauty, low crime, and clear air despite its immense urban sprawl. From its neon-lit night markets to its Qing Dynasty temples, visitors can feel the quiet drum of independent pride, however fragile its future.

Beijing, which sees self-ruled Taiwan as an unruly child, continues to assert its desire to reunify with Taiwan and put the island firmly back under its control. But for now, a visit to this city offers a riot of culinary and cultural pleasures. In 2023, the island’s third-tallest skyscraper will open, and the Taiwan Lantern Festival , a beloved tradition in which thousands of glowing lanterns float skyward in tandem, will return to Taipei after more than two decades.

Taipei’s future is uncertain. But in 2023, it remains an ideal place to gape at the sheer power of human innovation.

— Debra Kamin

El Poblado  Copied to clipboard!

Medellín, Colombia

A chic shopping district, pulsing nightlife and rainbow-colored macaws Read more

Federico Rios for The New York Times

A bartender, wearing an apron and standing in front of a large mirrored array of alcoholic beverages, slides an orange and green drink toward the viewer.

El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia

In the 1600s, Spanish settlers established El Poblado, “the village,” along the Medellín River. Eventually, the larger city of Medellín grew to the north, and El Poblado became a rural getaway for wealthy Colombians.

Today, it is once again a center of activity. The grid of two- or three-story homes has blossomed with shops and restaurants, interspersed with boutique hotels rising above the treetops. Nearby, gushing waterfalls and rainbow-colored macaws add to the lush tropical vibe.

An afternoon roaming the neighborhood, popping into Mon y Velarde for menswear or Makeno for artisanal home goods, followed by coffee at Pergamino or modern Colombian cuisine at Oci.Mde , is a worthy entry on any South American traveler’s bucket list. Stay out late enough to see the area transform into the pulsing heart of the city’s nightlife, with D.J.s on the rooftops and dance parties in the streets.

Lausanne  Copied to clipboard!


Spectacular views of Lake Geneva and an exploding architectural and artistic scene Read more

Clara Tuma for The New York Times

Looking down onto a cityscape from above, cars are driving down a bustling retail main street and apartment buildings are above the shops. A church steeple is seen in the distance.

Lausanne, Switzerland

Already blessed with a sublime Lake Geneva location and dramatic mountain views, Lausanne, Switzerland’s fourth-largest city, has been adding architectural and artistic beauty to its repertoire as well.

Known as Plateform 10 , the city’s three-year-old arts district recently inaugurated a bold new building that resembles an artfully cracked block of white stone for a pair of museums. Photo Elysée is dedicated to exhibiting photography in all its forms, while MUDAC is a haven of five creative outlets: design, glasswork, ceramics, jewelry and graphic art. The two institutions join the new home of the city’s international art museum, the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts , which moved into its ridged, rectangular building in 2019.

Methana  Copied to clipboard!

A hike, a stroll or a run into the bronze age followed by a soak in an ancient tub read more.

Two runners, a man and a woman, are seen from behind as they are running along a rocky mountain trail, at the very edge of the cliff. They are dressed in black and gray and the blue sea and a mountain are seen in the distance.

Methana, Greece

Athens’s nearest active volcano, Methana, sits on a peninsula of the same name some 30 miles southwest of the Greek capital. Though largely unknown to tourists, the area is slowly evolving, in part because of its increasing popularity as a hiking destination.

In recent years, groups of locals have managed to reopen and map old walking paths, some of which date back to the Mycenaean Era, creating hiking trails that attract visitors from around the world. (So far, more than 18 miles have been cleared and marked.) The Methana Volcano Challenge , first organized in 2021, offers a trail run across the peninsula’s sloping landscape.

Visitors to this volcanic peninsula can also enjoy several hot springs, the most interesting of which is an ancient (and recently renovated) tub known as the Pausanias Baths near the village of Agios Nikolaos.

— Demetrios Ioannou

Louisville  Copied to clipboard!

A rising l.g.b.t.q. scene with quilts, drag shows, the derby and, of course, bourbon read more, louisville, kentucky.

One of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains, and arguably among the most beautiful, Louisville somehow flies under the radar. This despite its graceful 19th-century park system , designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, and its bourbon-fueled convivial spirit.

Today, its L.G.B.T.Q. scene is also thriving, with hot spots like Chill Bar and Play Dance Bar , which hosts regular drag nights featuring touring artists. (The city has also earned top marks from the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index for seven years running and is home to two new L.G.B.T.Q. community centers.) This spring brings Hotel Genevieve , from the Texas-based Bunkhouse Group, which offers Louisville-inspired touches like décor that pays homage to the city’s rich quilting heritage, an on-site market selling work from local artists and bourbon selections from neighboring Rabbit Hole Distillery .

Make plans for 2023, because the city might not stay below the radar much longer: 2024 will draw the masses for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby.

— Paul L. Underwood

Manaus  Copied to clipboard!

River-to-table cuisine and ancestral recipes in the heart of the amazon read more.

A fish, cooked whole, sits on a small plate beside a sliced lime. Two additional bowls — filled with colorful food — sit beside the plate, as does a glass filled with a yellow-green drink.

Manaus, Brazil

Michelin-starred restaurants in São Paulo use Amazonian ingredients to appear exotic, but in Manaus, where you can sip steamy gourds of tacacá from a stand in front of the Teatro Amazonas or wander past plastic bottles of tucupi, the juice squeezed from grated cassava, in Adolpho Lisboa Municipal Market, Amazonian ingredients are a fact of life.

At the Indigenous-owned Biatüwi , a restaurant that pays homage to ancestral recipes and cooking techniques, drinks are made from fermented purple yams, and chiles are used to purify river fish in piquant stews like quinhampira.

Then there’s the chef Felipe Schaedler, who has helped threatened Yanomami communities commercialize their native mushrooms and runs two restaurants of his own: Banzeiro and Moquém do Banzeiro . Steering away from traditional preparations, Mr. Schaedler reimagines ingredients like lemon-grass-flavored ants and tambaqui ribs in a modern format, as do the bistros Caxiri , set in a colonial building overlooking Largo de São Sebastião, a grand plaza, and Fitz Carraldo, in the boutique hotel Villa Amazonia .

Vilnius  Copied to clipboard!

A 700-year-old survivor ready to party like there’s no tomorrow read more.

Gordon Welters for The New York Times

A man sits above a river, his feet dipping into the water, on a two-seated chair that is suspended about ten feet below a decorative bridge. Atop the bridge, three people look down at the man. Behind them is what appears to be a collection of residential buildings.

Vilnius, Lithuania

Lithuania’s cobblestoned capital has a long history of bootstrap survival. Occupied once by the Nazis and twice by the Soviets, Vilnius has a story that is complex and fascinating to explore. Its architectural riches span from Gothic to Renaissance to Baroque; grand churches rub shoulders with quaint timber homes on leafy streets.

In 2023, the resilient city celebrates its 700th birthday with a full year of revelry. A light festival , free music performances and the first Vilnius International Biennial are all on the calendar. Artificial intelligence will resurrect one of the city’s first operas from the 17th century, and an exhibition space will allow visitors to virtually explore Vilnius’s streets as they looked more than 200 years ago.

Ringing in its eighth century, Vilnius reminds travelers that, when viewed through the long lens of history, our own uncertain times are fleeting.

Macon  Copied to clipboard!

1,100-year-old native american mounds and deep rock ’n’ roll roots read more.

A pathway leads into a large mound of earth, perhaps around 10 or 15 feet tall at its peak and covered with neatly manicured grass. The mound has a large opening framed with wooden logs.

Macon, Georgia

The area around Macon has been home to multiple Native American tribes for 12,000 years. That history will be acknowledged this year, when Georgia is expected to get its first national park: The Ocmulgee Mounds, some of the most significant prehistoric Indigenous mounds in North America, date to the year 900, and are now a national historical park .

The national park will include the Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge , for a total of 50,000 acres, and offer a network of exquisite hiking trails and artifacts from American Indian culture. Management will be shared by the Muscogee Nation and the National Park Service.

Additionally, the city, whose musical roots run deep — Little Richard, the Allman Brothers and Otis Redding all got their start here — is celebrating its 200th anniversary with a new 10,000-seat amphitheater . Visitors can check out the Hotel Forty Five , a boutique hotel that opened downtown last year and that was named both for the angle of the street on which it sits and as a nod to musical history.

— Ondine Cohane

Madrid  Copied to clipboard!

Kicking off a worldwide tribute to picasso in a place that’s a masterpiece unto itself read more.

Emilio Parra Doiztua for The New York Times

If art is a universal language, as travel often reveals, Pablo Picasso’s antiwar “ Guernica ” may be one of its most potent symbols.

The Spanish and French governments recently announced the Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 in front of the famous painting at the Reina Sofia museum, kicking off a transnational commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death. The worldwide tribute, from Madrid to Paris to New York City, includes some 50 exhibitions, many of which explore the artist through the lens of the present day. Madrid leads the way, with tributes throughout the year, including “Picasso. The Sacred and the Profane” at the Thyssen-Bornemisza ; “Picasso 1906. The Turning Point” at the Reina Sofia ; and an exhibition exploring Picasso and El Greco at the Prado .

During Picasso’s anniversary year, it’s worth noting that the city’s artistry isn’t just within its museums, but outside as well: Madrid’s cultural core is an urban masterpiece of art, nature and light, and in 2021, the entire area of the Paseo del Prado and verdant Parque del Buen Retiro, called “Landscape of Light,” was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Grand Junction  Copied to clipboard!

A bonanza of canyons, arches and cliffs, without the hordes of tourists read more.

Sharp orange-red sandstone cliffs contrast with the deep blue of the sky in the background. The cliffs, dramatically steep at the top, give way to gentler slopes of eroded material below.

Grand Junction, Colorado

On Colorado’s Western Slope, arid Grand Junction offers attractions similar to those of Moab, Utah, the gateway to Arches National Park, without the throngs.

The area around the Colorado alternative has the second-largest concentration of natural arches in the country in Rattlesnake Canyon, where some 35 sandstone spans are part of the roughly 123,700-acre McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area , reachable via off-road vehicle or a strenuous 14-mile round-trip trek. More convenient hiking trails in the Colorado National Monument — where geologic uplift and erosion formed monoliths of the same Entrada sandstone found at Arches — lie within about 10 minutes of town.

The 2021 opening of the Palisade Plunge adds a 32-mile descent — from the world’s largest flat-topped mountain, 10,000-foot Grand Mesa, down to the Colorado River — to the area’s biking challenges. All trails lead back to downtown Grand Junction, filled with shops, craft breweries, locavore restaurants and wine-tasting rooms from area vineyards.

La Guajira  Copied to clipboard!

An unspoiled land of orange-sand beaches and flamingo-lined lagoons read more.

Four figures, silhouetted against a dark orange-blue sky, are standing atop a hillside, with the ocean in view in the distance on the right.

La Guajira, Colombia

The remote and arid La Guajira peninsula, straddling Colombia’s border with Venezuela, remains largely unknown to international tourists — in spite of its dramatic salt flats, flamingo-lined lagoons and orange-sand beaches.

Terrorist activity made this area mostly off limits until 2016, but eco-minded hotels, including La Casa del Pavo Real and Hotel Waya Guajira , have spread along the peninsula, relying on increased flights to Riohacha, the regional capital, and nearby Santa Marta.

This region is the home of the Indigenous Wayúu people, who have expressed concerns that giant development projects may irreparably alter their ancestral lands. Tour operators visit Wayúu weavers known for their chinchorros, the colorful hammocks that take months to make, and their rustic kitchens, where cooks like Zaida Cotes showcase traditional cuisine based on salted fish, goat meat and purple corn.

Bergamo and Brescia  Copied to clipboard!

Open-air theater, art, music and a plateful of local delicacies in a cultural crossroads read more.

Andrea Wyner for The New York Times

An ancient city with pretty red roofs and facades of white and yellow sits in the foreground. In the distance are rolling forested hills and mountains.

Bergamo and Brescia, Italy

Milan may outshine Bergamo and Brescia , but in 2023 a spotlight will fall on these two Lombardy cities after they were jointly named the Italian Capital of Culture . More than 100 art projects, music and theater events (some open-air), nature walks and new bike routes are ​meant to map a way forward after the tragic headlines this northern region generated in 2020, when it was more ravaged by the coronavirus than anyplace else in Italy.

Bergamo is distinctive for its ancient, walled Città Alta (Upper Town) and modern Città Bassa (Lower Town), the two connected by ​narrow roads, a funicular and a footpath. Brescia, around 30 miles southeast , is a handsome crossroads of Roman, medieval and Renaissance sites .

Outstanding food is another draw — it’s Italy, after all — with menus in both areas featuring creamy, nutty polenta taragna and variously stuffed crescents of casoncelli swirled with butter and sage — little pasta miracles that prove how good life can still be.

— Julie Besonen

American Prairie  Copied to clipboard!

A vast, and growing, swath of nature where you can still feel tiny read more.

Janie Osborne

A dark-brown buffalo grazes through a field of light-yellow grasses, forming a striking contrast. In the distance, a row of trees showcases variously colored leaves: green, yellow, orange.

American Prairie, Montana

With its wide-open skies and boundless horizons, American Prairie is ideal for visitors seeking a respite from the fast pace of modern life. A vast nature preserve founded by a Montana nonprofit, A.P. has been accumulating grasslands since 2004. It currently consists of 455,840 acres — and the preserve continues to expand by acquiring private properties that connect to surrounding public lands. The goal: to create a contiguous, three-million-acre reserve and restore a disappearing ecosystem.

A.P. offers a broad range of activities, including leisurely walks, cross-country skiing and expert-level hiking, biking and paddling. Paved roads lead to Antelope Creek Campground, which features an interpretive trail and distant views of the Little Rockies. Buffalo Camp, accessible by gravel roads and situated among the reserve’s largest bison herd, is a little farther off the beaten path and provides a chance to see a buffalo jump, a cliff traditionally used by Indigenous peoples to harvest bison.

— Janie Osborne

Eastern Townships  Copied to clipboard!

A leisurely journey through the countryside with stops for wine, cheese and poutine read more.

An abbey — several stories tall, built from light-colored stone and showcasing a deep-green roof — is dusted with snow and sits among snow-covered trees.

Eastern Townships, Quebec

This is slow travel at its best: Pedal across the quiet Quebec countryside, refueling on local cheese, wine and, yes, poutine. Montreal and Quebec City are the stars of the region, but the bucolic, lake-laced terrain between them is often relegated to fleeting glimpses from the windows of a rental car.

The Eastern Townships — Canada’s New England, with French flair — deserves a visit all its own, and especially now, with the recent debut of the Véloroute Gourmande . The 150-mile cycle route traces the Route Verte and Trans Canada Trail across this charming region dotted with flower-festooned villages, and features more than 100 epicurean stops along the way, from farmers’ markets to maple groves to fromageries to vineyards.

Try the lush, sweet vin de glace (ice wine), made from ripe grapes that have frozen naturally on the vine, at Le Cep d’Argent , and the buttery Brise des Vignerons at the family-run Fromagerie des Cantons , one of the first in the area to develop cheese exclusively from Jersey cows, a nod to the region’s British influences.

New Haven  Copied to clipboard!


A home to tinkerers and rebels, and a treasure trove of contemporary art and architecture Read more

New haven, connecticut.

Connecticut’s third-largest city is a historic, mostly walkable and bikeable seaside town with distinctive neighborhoods, an encyclopedic collection of great American architecture, a thriving cultural life and one of the best food scenes in the country for a city of its size (134,000).

Founded in 1638, it’s a place where people have always tinkered with, mused about and challenged the status quo, which is why the New Haven Preservation Trust is now looking at saving the modernist buildings of the 1970s, which many see as disastrous examples of urban renewal. Discover one of the best of these brutalist concrete buildings by checking into the new Hotel Marcel , named for its architect, Marcel Breuer. Recently renovated, it’s become the first completely solar-powered, energy-neutral hotel in the United States.

Check out NXTHVN , a cutting-edge, community-focused arts center founded in 2019 in two abandoned factory buildings in the Dixwell neighborhood that has become the heart of a vibrant African American artists’ community. And then treat yourself to a great meal — maybe crispy artichokes with Parmesan aioli and pork belly with Tuscan cabbage and apple mostarda — at the recently opened Villa Lulu .

The Black Hills  Copied to clipboard!

South Dakota

Pine forests, powwows and a climb up to Crazy Horse’s giant granite face Read more

Benjamin Rasmussen

On top of a high rocky overlook, with green fields visible far below in the distance, three trees are covered in many dozens of prayer cloths, which have been tied to the trees’ trunks and branches.

The Black Hills, South Dakota

The Lakota people trace their creation to the He Sapa, or Black Hills, a mountain range of dramatic peaks and pine forests in an area that is South Dakota’s chief tourism attraction.

Now, representatives of all nine tribes in the state — working as the South Dakota Native Tourism Alliance — are having a say in how to experience Native American sites with the publication of a new tribal nations’ visitors guide , including destination suggestions and tips on visitor etiquette. The assembly helped identify the Great 8 , eight sites and experiences — among them powwows, or dance celebrations — that are significant to Indigenous culture, with a concentration in the Black Hills. These include Bear Butte State Park where hiking trails may lead past prayer cloths tied to trees, 7,244-foot Black Elk Peak, the state’s highest, and the Crazy Horse Memorial .

The massive sculpture of the Lakota warrior turns 75 next summer, when the biannual Volksmarch will allow hikers to ascend the carving, still under construction, and stand beneath Crazy Horse’s more than 87-foot-tall granite face.

Sarajevo  Copied to clipboard!

Bosnia and Herzegovina

A living museum of resilience where empires and cultures have long intersected Read more

Todd Heisler/The New York Times

A town center is seen from above at night, with the main high street illuminated as it runs between the dark building and surrounding apartments. There are people walking in the street, churches glowing as they rise from the other buildings, and the surrounding mountains in the distance are dotted with lights from many homes.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo’s history lives in the present. There is the Latin Bridge, where a certain archduke was assassinated, catalyzing World War I. There are buildings still pockmarked by shells from the siege three decades ago. And there is the intricate interplay of empires, from the Ottoman to the Austro-Hungarian, that allows visitors to tour a mosque, a cathedral, an Orthodox church and a synagogue all within a few blocks.

These layers of history, of course, can detonate as easily as they can coexist. Bosnia’s multiethnic capital remains on edge. Look up to the hills, and there are the artillery positions built on the grounds of the 1984 Winter Olympics. But Sarajevo’s splendor comes from this intrusion of the past. It remains a living museum that hints at how a Ukraine or a Syria cannot only survive but perhaps one day flourish anew.

— Hannah Beech

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Design and Production

Sean Catangui and Gabriel Gianordoli

Danial Adkison, Stephen Hiltner, Suzanne MacNeille, Morrigan McCarthy, Fiona Murray, Nancy Ramsey, Tacey Rychter and Amy Virshup

Photo Editing

Phaedra Brown

Baden Copeland


A photograph with an earlier version of this article misidentified the city shown in the image. The photograph depicted the province of Tarragona, Spain, not the city itself. The image has been replaced.

The article also misstated the size of the Barrio Viejo neighborhood of Tucson, Ariz. It is more than 150 acres, not 150 blocks.

A photograph with an earlier version of this article misidentified the location in the image. It is Keelung, Taiwan, not Taipei.

top 10 travel destinations 2023


The Rough Guide to the best travel destinations in 2023

Book your individual trip , stress-free with local travel experts

Select Month

  • best-travel-destinations-2023

Plan your tailor-made trip with a local expert

Book securely with money-back guarantee

Travel stress-free with local assistance and 24/7 support

Joanne Owen

written by Joanne Owen

updated 19.12.2022


Our recent 2023 travel survey asked you to share where you'd most love to visit in 2023. As well as quizzing you, our readers, we also picked the brains of Rough Guides’ editors and our local travel experts around the world, asking “Where’s best to visit in 2023?” Now all the results are in, we’re excited to bring you our definitive list (drumroll, please): The A-Z of the 23 best travel destinations for 2023.

1. Antarctica

2. berlin, germany — one the best travel destinations in 2023, 3. bohol island, the philippines, 4. cordoba, argentina, 5. dominica, nature island of the caribbean, 6. fes, morocco, 7. kanazawa, japan, 8. korčula, croatia, 9. leeds, yorkshire, 10. ljubljana, slovenia.

  • 11. Mekong Delta, Vietnam

12. Naples, Italy

13. northern cape, south africa.

  • 14. Oaxaca, Mexico

15. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

16. pembrokeshire, wales, 17. pensacola, florida, 18. scottish highlands, scotland, 19. sydney, australia.

  • 20. Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

21. Toulouse, France

22. wellington, new zealand.

  • 23. Zagori, Greece

Travel ideas for Greece, created by local experts

The Historical and Mythological Cyclades islands

The Historical and Mythological Cyclades islands

The Cyclades islands include two of the most famous Greek Islands: Mykonos and Santorini. Visit these and some of the smaller, quieter, islands. With white washed houses, narrow cobbled streets, blue domed roofs and stunning beaches, they are what Greece is all about.

A secluded villa stay on Mainland Greece

A secluded villa stay on Mainland Greece

Stay in a secluded private villa with magnificent views to the sea and explore this beautiful corner of Mainland Greece with your own rental car. Under the impressive Mt Taygetos in Southern Peloponnese, the region of Mani will give you a snapshot of authentic Greece.

Along the Coast of Crete: from Heraklion to Platanias

Along the Coast of Crete: from Heraklion to Platanias

As Greece's largest island, Crete's culture and atmosphere is distinctly different from mainland Greece. Thousands of years of unique culture and rich history complement the island's untamed natural beauty. Explore Crete at your own pace with this unique self-drive trip!

Cultural and natural sites of Athens and the Peloponnese

Cultural and natural sites of Athens and the Peloponnese

Welcome to wonderful Athens for an unforgettable adventure. Enjoy getting lost in this maze of charming streets, where the modern sits beautifully with the ancient. Venture out into the Peloponnese on mainland Greece, and discover historical, cultural and natural wonders the region is blessed with.

An Odyssey Adventure in Ancient Greece

An Odyssey Adventure in Ancient Greece

Learn the secrets of Ancient Greek mythology and history visiting the world-renowned site of the Acropolis, explore the unspoiled landscape of Peloponnese, become a true Spartan warrior in Thermopylae and much more - this self drive tour takes you on a real Greek adventure.

Explore Classical Greece: self-drive motorhome trip

Explore Classical Greece: self-drive motorhome trip

This 15-days motorhome road trip will take you to Athens, the city of legends and some of the most fascinating classical sites, such as Epidaurus, Olympia, Delphi and the man-made marvels of the Corinth Canal and Byzantine monasteries of Meteora. A perfect tour for history.

Best for bucket list chasers and wildlife-watchers

Kicking off in especially aspirational style, we were struck by the prominence of Antarctica as one of your dream destinations for 2023. As a result, we had to include it in our run-down of the best places to visit in 2023.

It goes without saying that you can’t just rock up to Antarctica. So, we recommend taking a look at our tailor-made trip that combines southern Argentina with a four-night cruise to Antarctica . 

This awe-inspiring experience begins in Buenos Aires . After enjoying a few nights in El Calafate and Ushuaia , you'll set sail for four nights in the Antarctic.

Expert guides aboard your boat will give exhilarating talks on landscape and wildlife. Expect to see migrating whales, penguins, and seals as you visit Cape Horn, and cruise the Drake Passage to King George Island.

Make the most of your time in Antarctica

  • Bring lots of layers and decent gloves for your cruise. Having your own binoculars is also recommended.
  • From Ushuaia, book a guided trip to walk the thrilling Tierra del Fuego nature trails to the Emerald Lagoon.
  • If you plan to spend longer in the region, read up on Ushuaia , and the best travel experiences in Argentina .
  • Explore our Antarctica itinerary and talk to a local expert to make it 100% yours.
  • Where to stay

You’ll stay aboard a boat during your cruise (obvs), so here are some places to stay in Ushuaia before and after your trip. Being the world’s most southerly city, it's known as the End of the World.

  • Best for rustic charm: Cabañas Bosque Del Faldeo . This lovely lodge with a garden is close to lots of sights.
  • Best for groups and families: Casa Magallanes . Three bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and a city-view patio.
  • Best for couples: Hotel Canal Beagle . Modern, stylish, with a pool and wellness spa.

Discover more places to stay in Ushuaia .

Emperor Penguin, Snow Hill, Antarctica © vladsilver/Shutterstock

Antarctica — one of the best travel destinations in 2023, and one of your 2023 dream destinations © Shutterstock

Best for culture, clubbing and arty city breaks

There are plenty of reasons you voted cosmopolitan, dynamic Berlin one of the coolest cities in the world . It boasts crazy nightlight, incredible museums, and a cutting-edge art scene unlike anywhere else on earth.

Talking of edgy art, the world-renowned European Month of Photography celebrates its tenth anniversary in Berlin in March 2023 — all the more reason to visit if you're into art and culture.

At once gritty and glamorous, we're big fans of Berlin's Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain area, not least for its cafés, bars, markets and independent clothes shops.

Make the most of your time in Berlin

  • Into urban culture? Take a tour of Berlin's street art .
  • Read up on the best things to do in Berlin , and discover fab things you can do in Berlin for free .
  • Get yourself a Mini Rough Guide to Berlin .
  • Like to dig deeper into the places you visit? Check out this in-depth tour of Berlin and Potsdam . Or how about a culture-focused Capitals of Europe trip that covers Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and more?

Where to stay in Berlin

  • Best for cool couples: Eastern & Western Comfort Hotelboat . Cosy cabin rooms moored on the River Spree.
  • Best for budget travellers: Die Fabrik baxpax Hotel . Cool, comfy, and near East Side Gallery and Görlitzer Park.
  • Best for 5-star luxury: Hotel Adlon . This Brandenburg Gate legend has a double Michelin-star restaurant.

Browse more places to stay in Berlin .

Museum Island in Berlin © canadastock/Shutterstock

Into art and culture? Berlin is one of the best travel destinations for 2023 © canadastock/Shutterstock

Best for adventure, wildlife and out-of-this-world beaches

Part of the Visayas — the central island group of the Philippines — beautiful Bohol is known for its paradisiacal beaches and lush forests.

As such, it's a fabulous destination for travellers who want to spice up a blissful beach break with wildlife-watching and adventure activities. Bohol and its 75 islets sure pack a lot into its splendid landmass.

Located in the centre of the island, the UNESCO World Heritage listed Chocolate Hills are a must-see. Here, over 1,000 near-identical, symmetrical mounds represent one of the Philippines’ most iconic sights. They're also a dream to hike.

Into animals? Head to the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary to see the world’s smallest primates in a swathe of protected forest. Meanwhile, the marine life around Panglao Island presents dazzling snorkelling and diving experiences.

Make the most of your time on Bohol Island.

  • Board a traditional Banca boat to enjoy a turtle and dolphin-watching trip around Balicasag and Virgin Island.
  • Cruise the Loboc River to watch wildlife, see villages and enjoy a gourmet local lunch.
  • Read up on the best things to do on Bohol Island , and read The Rough Guide to the Philippines .
  • Visit Bohol as part of an immersive trip to the Visayas .
  • Want to travel better? Discover the best eco-friendly resorts in the Philippines .

Where to stay on Bohol Island

  • Best for budget travellers: Adriana's Place . Glorious grounds, great food; dorms and bungalows available.
  • Best for honeymooners: Epic Suites by Bohol Social Club . Stunningly-sited, with sea views and private pools.
  • Best for home comforts: Villa 301 B&B . Cosy, quaint and quiet, with top home-cooked breakfasts.

Browse more places to stay on Bohol Island in the Philippines .


Bohol Island is a wonder for wildlife-watchers © Shutterstock

Best for arty culture, gaucho culture and German culture...

With a dynamic vibe coming courtesy of its student population, Cordoba — Argentina's second city — is emerging from the shadow of  Buenos Aires .

Undeniably vibrant, it's an old-meets-new kinda place. Its well-preserved microcentro is packed with colonial-era churches, monasteries, and municipal buildings, with the Centro Cultural Córdoba adding modern architectural flair.

Beyond its capital, the region of Cordoba is ripe for world-class horse-riding adventures. For example, you can experience gaucho culture at the Anglo-Argentine-owned  Estancia Los Potreros ranch.

For something entirely different — and unexpected — head to kitsch Villa General Belgrano. With streets lined by Alpine-style buildings, and the aroma of sausages, sauerkraut and strudel wafting from restaurants, you'll be forgiven for thinking you haven't been transported to Munich.

And the reason? Villa General Belgrano was founded in the 1940s by survivors of the Graf Spree, a Nazi battleship that sank off the coast of Argentina in World War Two.

Make the most of your time in Cordoba

  • Head to the hills for a horseback riding trip with an authentic Argentinian asado barbecue.
  • Discover why Cordoba is Argentina's most underrated region .
  • Arm yourself with the picture-packed Insight Guide Argentina .
  • For country-wide inspiration, browse our Argentina itineraries .

Where to stay in Cordoba

  • Best for couples: Caseros 248 Hotel . Modern, spacious and close to attractions.
  • Best for families: AT Suites . Self-catering apartments, with an on-site pool.
  • Best for four-star comfort: Amérian Cordoba Park Hotel . Slick service and good food in downtown Cordoba.

Find more places to stay in Argentina's Cordoba .


Cordoba, Argentina © Shutterstock

Related articles from the blog

Vietnamese vendor in Hanoi, Vietnam © Shutterstock

Best for adventure, exhilaration and soulful inspiration

Whether you reach dramatic Dominica by air or sea, it's clear why the region's indigenous Kalinago named the island  Wai'tukubuli  — tall is her body. The majestic peaks of Dominica's volcanic, forested mountains are, quite simply, awe-inspiring. 

It's also clear why Dominica is known as the Nature Island of the Caribbean, and deeply rewarding for lovers of outdoor adventures, not least if you're a diver, or opt to walk the  Waitukubuli Trail . Split into 14 segments, the Caribbean's first long-distance walking network showcases Dominica's heritage, culture, and wild beauty in one fell swoop. The island's beaches aren't half bad, either.

To experience stacks of spectacular nature in one place, head to the heights of Laudat — Dominica's highest village. Here you can soak up the misty splendour of  Freshwater Lake  and Boeri Lake , and join the trail-head for Dominica's legendary  Boiling Lake hike — you'll need a guide for this. And all these soul-stirrers sit within the UNESCO designated Morne Trois Pitons National Park. 

Alongside being an exceptional destination for nature and adventure lovers, Dominica is also a place to gain a deeper understanding of Caribbean history and culture. For example, the  Kalinago Barana Autê  shares the history and contemporary culture of the island’s indigenous Kalinago community.

And in good news for merry-makers, 2023 will see Mas Dominik — Dominica’s carnival — back to its exuberant full-scale incarnation for the first time since the pandemic. It run from 14th January, with six weeks of "Mas an Lawi" (Mas in the street) events culminating on 22nd February.

Make the most of your time in Dominica

  • Be exhilarated by Dominica's natural beauty on a Secret Waterfall Canyoning Experience .
  • Dominica is the only place in the world where sperm whales are resident year-round, so go whale-watching .
  • Head to Sunset Bay Club to enjoy lobster of a lifetime. This beach-front restaurant is also a small resort.
  • Be inspired by tales of nurture from the Nature Island .
  • Discover why Dominica breaks the Caribbean mould .

Where to stay in Dominica

  • Best for beachfront bliss: Picard Beach Cottages . Cute, well-equipped cabins with on-site whale-watching.
  • Best for chic sustainability: Sea Cliff Eco Cottages . Welcoming, stylish, and close to vibrant Calibishie.
  • Best for back-to-nature luxury: Jungle Bay . Gorgeous grounds and breath-taking views over the south coast.

Discover more places to stay in Dominica .

Stairway Pathway on the island of Dominica on Boiling Lake Hike, Dominica © Shutterstock

Stairway to hiking heaven — Dominica's Boiling Lake hike © Shutterstock

Best for foodies and culture vultures

The most complete medieval city of the Arab world, Fes ' old town feels magically suspended between the Middle Ages and the modern world.

With some 9000 alleys buzzing with living history and traders, it's a place to lose — and find — yourself in.

The oldest part of the city, walled Fes El-Bali, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its mosques, medersas and fondouks, plus a mile-long labyrinth of souks, there are enough sights here to warrant several days exploration.

Fes is also a feast for the senses. Head to Souk el Attarine to savour the aroma of spices, herbs, and incense, and buy traditional Moroccan crafts. Given that some traders are set up in beautiful old mansions, you'll most likely find yourself exploring a regal riad while shopping.

If that wasn't enough, Fes is also the culinary capital of Morocco. A place to feast on some of the country's best eating and drinking experiences.

While wandering Fes El-Bali, try street-stall snacks like bisara soup, or jben, an acidic white goat’s cheese. Fes is also the home of pastilla — a succulent pigeon or chicken pie dusted with sugar and cinnamon.

Make the most of your time in Fes 

  • Feast on Fes' food and culture on a cookery class experience .
  • Uncover the imperial cities of Morocco — including Fes — on an immersive trip.
  • Read up on the best markets in Morocco .
  • Plan a bigger trip with The Rough Guide to Morocco .

Where to stay in Fes

  • Best for special occasions: Riad Authentic Palace & Spa . Five-star splendour and service in the old town.
  • Best for foodies: Riad Tahyra . A boutique beauty where chefs often invite guests into the kitchen.
  • Best for families: Riad Laayoun . Relaxed, rather reasonable and very friendly.

Find more places to stay in Fes Morocco.


Fes, Morocco — a feast for the senses © Shutterstock

Best for magical gardens, galleries and unique history

With a long, rich history, Kanazawa's exquisitely preserved historic districts exude stepped-back-in-time magic.

The dazzling jewel in the city's crown is Kenrokuen Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan . Designed to enchant in every season — snow-shrouded boughs in winter, cherry blossom in spring, blazing leaves in autumn — it's been stunning visitors for over two centuries.

If you’re interested in learning about Kanazawa’s samurai history, explore Nagamachi District on foot. Located just beyond Kanazawa Castle, here you can visit the restored residence of one of Kanazawa’s most influential samurais, Nomura Denbei Nobusada, 

History buffs will also want to head to Higashi Chaya District, where old geisha houses sit centre stage.

But Kanazawa isn't only about the past. Affectionately known as “Little Kyoto”, the city also boasts modern buzz. For example, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art showcases a programme of exciting exhibitions.

Meanwhile, foodies will be in seventh heaven in Omicho Market — expect some of the freshest, finest fish and seafood in the region.

Make the most of your time in Kanazawa

  • Get to know Kanazawa through the eyes of a learned local resident.
  • Love your grub? Take a personalised food-themed walking tour with a local guide.
  • Read up on the rise of Japan's Little Kyoto and The Rough Guide to Japan .
  • Into food and culture? Take an extended culinary tour of Japan that takes in Kanazawa.

Where to stay in Kanazawa

  • Best for 5-star finery: Kanazawa Hakuchoro Hotel Sanraku . Elegant tea lounges, a hot spring bath, castle views.
  • Best for indie travellers: B&B Mikawa Kanazawa Fish Harbour . This tiny trad-style house offers free bikes.
  • Best for couples: Zaimoku-an . Villa-style living and space in a top location.

Explore more places to stay in Kanazawa Japan .


Kenrokuen Garden. Kanazawa, Japan © Shutterstock

Best for wine, food, and fabulous family-friendly beaches

With a magnificent Old Town, safe and scenic out-of-town-beaches, and excellent, unstuffy restaurants, the laid-back Croatian island of Korčula  sure ticks lots of boxes.

As a result of this diversity, and an upturn in multi-generational holidays, Korčula earned a place in our best travel destinations in 2023. In short, if you're in the market for a sun-soaked break that'll keep everyone happy, Korčula has your name on it, your kids' names on it, and your granny's name on it.

The soft sand bays and quiet coves on the island's southern coast are the perfect place for little ones to learn to swim. And, given the calmness of the Adriatic around these parts, Korčula is also the ideal place for first-time sailors to take the plunge.

Into nature? Korčula is one of the greenest Adriatic islands, with an abundance of Aleppo pines, olive groves, and rolling vineyards. The latter of which are responsible for another reason to visit Korčula — world-class wine, especially dry whites like Pošip.

Make the most of your time on Korčula

  • Little ones will adore viewing marine-life from a semi-submersible boat .
  • Love the water and want to see more than one island? Consider booking a Croatian sailing trip , and arm yourself with our practical guide to island-hopping in Croatia .
  • Read up on the top Croatian islands for getaways (psst — it includes the idyllic islet of Proizd, reached by water taxi from Vela Luka on Korčula).
  • Keen to know more about Croatia? The full Rough Guide to Croatia has you covered, plus there's a Mini Rough Guide for shorter breaks.

Where to stay in Korčula

  • Best for couples: Aminess Korcula Heritage Hotel . This quay-front gem oozes Old Town charm.
  • Best for families: Villa Stone House Poplat . Boasts a pool, private beach and variously-sized villas.
  • Best for budget travellers: Dragan's Den Hostel . Friendly, with dorms and private rooms.

Find more places to stay on Korčula Croatia .

Korcula, old medieval town in Dalmatia region, Croatia © Shutterstock

Korcula's medieval Old Town, Croatia © Shutterstock

Best for gourmands, gallery-lovers and theatre fans

When it came to the UK, including Leeds in our best travel destinations to visit in 2023 was a no-brainer. Firstly, Leeds is the UK City of Culture in 2023 . Secondly, Yorkshire was one of your top UK regions for 2023 staycations.

Leeds is home to  Opera North (the only nationally recognised UK opera company outside London), Leeds Grand Theatre and  Northern Ballet – lovers of live performance are spoiled for choice.

Then there's the magnificent City Varieties Music Hall , which holds a Guinness World Record as the nation’s longest-running music hall. And, being the nation’s last gas-lit cinema, we can't not mention the  Hyde Park Picture House .

Meanwhile, Leeds Art Gallery presents a diverse collection of work to suit all tastes, from Francis Bacon paintings, to Grayson Perry sculptures and Damian Hirst installations.

If all that art and culture leaves you feeling hungry, fear not — Leeds isn't known as the "Foodie Capital of the North" for nothing. Kirkgate Market — well worth visiting for a wander in its own right — now boasts a refurbished food hall that'll have you struggling to pick your lunch.

Come May, Leeds plays host to the UK's first independent food festival, Leeds Indie Food . Expect a celebration of fresh fare from local growers and creators, plus global innovators drawn to the city's embracing of culinary culture.

Make the most of your time in Leeds

  • Book a local food tour  to experience why Leeds is the foodie capital of the north .
  • Travelling with kids or a group? Take a self-guided treasure hunt tour of Leeds.
  • Into the unusual? Enjoy an urban axe-throwing experience .
  • Read up on where to find culture around every corner of Leeds , and find out how to love Leeds for longer

Where to stay in Leeds

  • Best for 5-star treats: Dakota Leeds . Stylish rooms, plus an on-site bar and great grill restaurant.
  • Best for indie couples: The Chambers . Boutique apartments in a well restored turn-of-the-century residence.
  • Best for romantic escapes: Hinsley Hall . 1.5 miles from the centre, this listed building has acres of grounds.

Check out more places to stay in Leeds .

Leeds City Kirkgate Market © Prawrawee Lim/Shutterstock

As 2023 UK City of Culture, Leeds had to be one of our best travel destinations in 2023 © Prawrawee Lim/Shutterstock

Best for enchanting scenery and sustainable travel

Green and clean, Slovenian capital Ljubljana — a place you voted one of the most beautiful countries in the world — has an abundance of scenic charm. Caressing the Ljubljanica river and overlooked by a castle, cities don’t come much more picturesque. 

What’s more, Ljubljana has the EU’s biggest pedestrianised area, plenty of parks to stroll in, and is a beautiful base from which to visit a host of Slovenian attractions. 

Under an hour from the capital,  Lake Bled  is a must-visit. A fairy tale island juts from its expanse of clear water, with a cliff-top castle and mountain backdrop adding to the magic. It's also at the forefront of sustainable travel practices — arguably Europe's greenest destination .

Postojna Caves in  southwest Slovenia is another unmissable day-trip. On arrival, you’ll take a train into a sublime subterranean world, with a show-stopping, cathedral-like chamber at journey's end.

More rocky wonders await at sixteenth-century Predjama Castle. Built into elevated cave entrance in the heart of an unforgettable karst landscape, it defies the imagination, and everything you assumed about engineering. 

Meanwhile, beyond its awe-inspiring interior, Slovenia’s coastline is every bit as beautiful, and diverse with it . From picturesque Piran, to the spa town of Portorož, expect atmospheric Old Towns with Venetian flair, flavour and “I can't wait to come back” allure.

Make the most of your time in Ljubljana

  • Book a day trip to Lake Bled, Postojna Caves and Predjama Castle .
  • Interested in nature and the environment? Find out why there’s a buzz about Slovenia’s bee tourism . 
  • To experience Slovenia in all its majesty, book a customisable treasures of Slovenia trip .  
  • Read our beginners guide to Ljubljana and The Rough Guide to Slovenia . 
  • Looking to take an early break in 2023? Find out what to expect from exploring Slovenia in spring .

Where to stay in Ljubljana

  • Best for old time charm: Grand Hotel Union Eurostars . Art Nouveau style in the heart of the city.
  • Best for families: Boutique Hotel Asteria . Homely vibes, with triple and quad rooms available.
  • Best for budget travellers: Boutique Hostel Angel . Quiet and cosy, with personal sleeping capsules.

Look at more places to stay in Ljubljana Slovenia .

Lake Bled, Slovenia © Alberto Loyo/Shutterstock

Lake Bled, Slovenia — a clean, green dream of a destination © Alberto Loyo/Shutterstock

11. Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Best for tropical lushness and cultural immersion.

Emerald paddy fields. Floating markets dappling lush canals. Expansive green horizons speckled with coconut trees. Cone-hatted farmers working the land. The Mekong Delta presents some of Vietnam’s most iconic images, and saw you vote it one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam .

A highlight here is visiting the floating markets and fruit orchards around Can Tho. There’s no better way to soak up the region’s culture while also marvelling at its maze of waterways and mangrove forests. 

Taking a ferry to An Binh Island is another unforgettable experience. With a landscape that represents the delta in miniature, it has its own floating market. And, with many families offer rewarding homestays, it's a wonderful place to try some of the best Vietnamese food — eating it, and cooking it.

You’ll also want to visit the Khmer pagodas around Tra Vinh. Here over 100 Buddhist temples serve not only as places of worship, but as a testament to the artistry and extraordinary craftsmanship of the Khmer people.

Make the most of your time in the Mekong Delta

  • Discover how to go beyond the tourist trail in Vietnam , and read up on the mighty Mekong River .
  • Interested in a bigger trip around the region? Read the Rough Guides to Vietnam and Cambodia .
  • To take the hassle out of planning, explore our fully-customisable, tailor-made trips to Vietnam .

Where to stay in the Mekong Delta

  • Best for nature-lovers: Mekong Lodge Resort . Peaceful, pretty riverfront bungalows surrounded by gardens.
  • Best for foodie couples: Phuong Thao Homestay . Close to the An Binh ferry, with a pool and cooking classes.
  • Best for families: Mai Binh Phuong Bungalow . Near Long Beach, this has an outdoor pool, garden and terrace.

Read up on more places to stay in Vietnam's Mekong Delta .

Mekong Delta in Vietnam © Shutterstock

Mekong Delta, Vietnam © Shutterstock

Best for cracking culture, heady heritage, island excursions, and perfect pizza

Like its Mount Vesuvius backdrop, Naples is firecracker of a destination. From the depths of its subterranean caves, to its erotic ancient art, the city smoulders with ravishing, rough-round-the-edges appeal.

Visible from just about everywhere in the Bay of Naples, visiting Mount Vesuvius is one of the very best things to do in the region. It's dominated the lives of residents since AD 79, when it first erupted and buried the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. You'll want to visit both of these unique ancient heritage sites during your trip.

On the subject of ancient attractions, Naples' National Archaeological Museum has an exceptional collection of mosaics and classical sculptures. That said, its main allures are in the Gabinetto Segretto (Secret Room), which displays paintings and sculptures from the brothels, baths and bars of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

What's more, with the Amalfi Coast on its doorstop, and glamorous islands easily accessed from its bay, Naples makes a great base for beach-lovers.

For example, just over an hour by train from Naples, the cliff-top coastal town of Sorrento is a maze of medieval alleys and piazzas, with plenty of stunning sea-front restaurants to dine in. Sorrento also happens to be one of the most beautiful places in Italy .

Meanwhile, back in town, Naples lays claim to being the birthplace of pizza. 

Make the most of your time in Naples

  • Visit the ruins of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius on a full-day tour .
  • Go underground to explore the history of Naples on a unique subterranean tour .
  • Discover unusual things to do in Naples , and read up on the best pizza joints in Naples .
  • Get yourself a guidebook to Naples and the Amalfi Coast .

Where to stay in Naples

  • Best for splashing out in style: Grand Hotel Parker's . Live la dolce vita at this luxurious bay-view establishment.
  • Best for couples: Spanish Palace Rooms . A beautiful B&B in an 18th-century building.
  • Best for families: Case Così Apartments . Modern, well-equipped apartments and suites.

Discover more places to stay in Naples Italy .


Old Town, Naples © Shutterstock

Best for off-the-beaten-track adventures and wildlife

The biggest and most dispersed of South Africa’s provinces, the Northern Cape is also one of its least visited regions — good news for those of you who like to go your own way.

Boasting a landscape of dramatic red dunes, South Africa’s longest river, and desert miracles in the form of Namaqualand’s flower carpets, it’s a place to marvel at nature.

Talking of which, landscapes don’t get much more marvellous than Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. Tucked in a loop of the Orange River, it’s the world’s only arid biodiversity hotspot, and home to almost 5000 plant species.

Famed for its endemic halfmensboom (“half-man”) tree, the park is also known for klipspringer antelopes, leopards and wild cats.

Nature-lovers will also want to experience the mighty Aukoerebis waterfalls — South Africa’s largest — in the Augrabies Falls National Park. It plummets sixty metres to create the creating the earth-shattering noise that gives them their name — Aukoerebis means "the place of great noise" in the Khoisan language.

Make the most of your time in the Northern Cape

  • Need more convincing? Discover why you should choose the Northern Cape for your South African holiday .
  • Read up on how to experience the Northern Cape off the beaten track .
  • Into animals? Get The Rough Guide to the Game Parks of South Africa .
  • For more inspiration, take a look at our suggested South Africa itineraries .

Where to stay in the Northern Cape

  • Best for couples: Boutique Guesthouse Hanover . A welcoming, comfortable stop-off.
  • Best for food and wine: Bezalel Wine & Brandy Estate . Friendly hosts, superb surroundings, and top tastings.
  • Best for safari stop-offs: Kalahari Lion's Rest . Ideal if you're visiting Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Find more places to stay in South Africa's Northern Cape .

Namaqualand, South Africa © Marie-Anne AbersonM/Shutterstock

Namaqualand, South Africa © Marie-Anne AbersonM/Shutterstock

14. Oaxaca, Mexico

Best for mixing mountains, culture and blissful beach-life.

Exhilarating fiestas. A cosmopolitan capital. Indigenous villages. Forested hillsides, and Pacific beaches that range from peaceful backwaters to established resorts. There’s no question that the state of Oaxaca is one of the most enticing destinations in Mexico .

Oaxaca city is the region’s prime destination, attracting visitors from Mexico City to its markets, craft stalls, magnificent Baroque architecture, and gallery-rich walkways. 

Nearby, the Zapotec and Mixtec sites at Monte Albán, Yagul and Mitla might be less known than their counterparts in central and eastern Mexico, but they’re every bit as impressive. What’s more, fewer crowds make for a more rewarding experience. 

Meanwhile, down on the coast,  Puerto Escondido attracts surfers, with lesser-visited beaches around Puerto Ángel boasting something of an alternative vibe.

Make the most of your time in Oaxaca

  • Into food? Take a traditional Oaxacan cooking class with a market visit.
  • Want to learn about the region's ancient history? Take a trip to Monte Alban to discover Zapotec culture.
  • Our Amazing Mexico trip includes an immersive few days in Oaxaca, along with Mexico City and Mayan gems.
  • Want to mix Mexico City, Teotihuacan, Oaxaca City and the Yucatan? See our Explore Central Mexico itinerary.
  • Discover more cool places to visit in Mexico , and get yourself a Rough Guide to Mexico .

Where to stay in Oaxaca

  • Best for couples: Casa Joseph Zicatela . An adults-only 5-star steps from Zicatela Beach.
  • Best for outdoor activities: Cabañas Rancho Viejo . Free bikes, mountain views and top hiking.
  • Best for beachfront bliss: Un Sueño Cabañas del Pacífico . Cute cabanas on a stunning beach.

Discover more places to stay in Oaxaca Mexico .

Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman in Oaxaca, Mexico © Shutterstock

Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman in Oaxaca, Mexico © Shutterstock

Best for wildlife, nature, sustainable travel and a 2023 solar eclipse

Home to pristine rainforests, majestic volcanoes, tangled mangroves, and stunning beaches lapped by both the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans, exuberant Costa Rica exudes life at every turn.

One of the world’s most biodiverse countries, this Central American stunner has been blazing the trail for responsible travel for decades. Alongside its exceptional eco lodges and community-minded tourism projects, the country exudes its  pura vida  (“pure living”) ethos from every town, village, cloud forest and jungle.

One the best places to experience Costa Rica’s natural and wildlife wonders is on the Osa Peninsula in the southern province of Puntarenas. Here the  Parque Nacional Corcovado is one of Costa Rica’s best walking destinations, and among its most biodiverse regions. 

Also one of the most beautiful national parks in Costa Rica , the Corcovado reserve is home to many of the world's most endangered and spectacular mammals, including tapirs and jaguars. 

If you need another reason to visit this year, it's worth knowing that on 14th October 2023, you'll be able to see an annular solar eclipse in Costa Rica. This is when the moon covers the sun's centre, leaving a “ring of fire” (annulus) around the moon.

Awesome wildlife and landscapes aside, this stellar event secured Costa Rica's spot as one of the best travel destinations in 2023.

Make the most of your time in the Osa Peninsula

  • Explore the jungles of the Tamandua nature reserve on a half-day trip with a guide.
  • Book a Costa Rica eco-adventure tour that kicks off in the Osa Peninsula, or explore the wild south . 
  • Discover more of the best places to visit in Costa Rica , and read up on the best hikes in Costa Rica .
  • Read The Rough Guide to Costs Rica for in-depth detail on the whole country.

Where to stay in Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica

  • Best for mountain magic: Santa Juana Lodge . Stunningly sited, with a bounty of birds, waterfalls and walks.
  • Best for eco beach-life: La Leona Eco Lodge . Cute candle lit beach cabins near Corcovado National Park.
  • Best for indie nature-lovers: Tico Tico Villas . Adults only, and near Manuel Antonio National Park.

Discover more places to stay in Costa Rica's Puntarenas province .

A spider monkey climbs high trees of the rainforest in the Corcovado © Kit Korzun/Shutterstock

The Osa Peninsula's Corcovado National Park is a must-visit for wildlife-lovers © Shutterstock

Best for beautiful beaches, epic coastal walks, family fun and responsible travel

Nestled in  Wales’ most south-westerly corner, and surrounded by the mighty Atlantic on three sides, Pembrokeshire is a jaw-droppingly scenic, family-friendly destination. A place where natural beauty, ancient history, elite outdoor adventures, and fun family attractions await. 

The county’s beaches are breath-taking, with Caribbean-esque Barafundle Bay often cited as being among the world’s best.  

Then there’s the internationally renowned Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the bird-rich islands of Skomer, Skokholm and Grassholm, and exhilarating kayaking, hiking and coasteering trips. Fun fact: Pembrokeshire is the birthplace of coasteering.

The county is also the perfect place to travel more responsibly. In fact, Wales as a whole has long been leading the way when it comes to responsible travel. This beautiful, welcoming land offers lots of practical ways to travel better , for every type of traveller .

Make the most of your time in Pembrokeshire

  • Read up on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path , and get the Pocket Rough Guide to Pembrokeshire .
  • Want to travel better? Discover eco-friendly holidays to enjoy in Wales , and download the FREE Rough Guide to Responsible Wales .
  • Travelling further afield? Find out about  places in Wales you’re probably never heard of , and get The Rough Guide to Wales .

Where to stay in Pembrokeshire

  • Best for foodies: The Grove . An 18th-century country house surrounded by meadows.
  • Best for majestic views: Roch Castle . A 12th-century stunner on a rocky outcrop overlooking St Brides Bay.
  • Best for families: Timber Hill Self Catering Cedar Lodges . Spacious, scenic and close to beaches.

Discover more places to stay in Pembrokeshire Wales .

Tenby Harbour, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales © Billy Stock/Shutterstock

Tenby Harbour, Pembrokeshire, Wales © Billy Stock/Shutterstock

Best for laidback vacations and family fun in the sun

From Miami and Orlando, to Key West and the Everglades, Florida's allure can't be denied. But, given that so many of you expressed a strong desire to escape to pastures new in 2023 , we wanted to highlight an alternate area of the Sunshine State. Namely, Pensacola.

With a growing reputation as a place that'll keep the whole family happy, it's a top destination if you want to chill out on miles of white sand beaches, try your hand at water-sports, or get your culture on in the city.

Protecting 5,842 acres of land and 18,953 acres of water, the Gulf Islands National Seashore of Pensacola  presents countless ways to find serene solitude. Or, if you're in the mood for action, the same area is ripe for snorkelling, kayaking, hiking, biking and boating.

In town, Palafox Street is packed with places to eat, shop and be entertained. Don't miss the Saturday market for fresh bread, local cheese and sweet treats, along with handmade crafts and art.

When you're done, head to historic Fort Pickens. From downtown Pensacola, the journey will take you past spectacular beaches you'll vow to return to.

In good news for those planning to visit next year, a fabulously quirky boutique hotel is set to open in 2023. Located in a restored historic Baptist church, Lily Hall Hotel will feature Pensacola's first speakeasy. With only fifteen rooms, and a whole lot of buzz around it, you'll want to contact them early to secure yours.

Make the most of your time in Pensacola

  • Take to the waters off Pensacola Beach to see dolphins on a guided cruise .
  • Uncover eccentric Florida in our run down of ways to weird out in the Sunshine State .
  • Want full detail on the Sunshine State? Dive into The Rough Guide to Florida .
  • Travelling with kids? Find out how to have family fun in Florida .

Where to stay in Pensacola

  • Best for families: Quality Inn & Suites Pensacola Bayview . Close to Escambia Bay, with an on-site pool.
  • Best for seeing the region: Best Western Plus Blue Angel Inn . Friendly service, close to downtown.
  • Best for couples: Pensacola Victorian Bed & Breakfast . Big beds and top breakfasts in a beautiful building.

Find more places to stay in Pensacola Florida .

Pensacola Beach, Florida © AdobeStock

Pensacola Beach, Florida © AdobeStock

Best for freedom, fresh air and recharging

A landscape of lochs, rivers, mountains and glens, the Scottish Highlands is one of the places you most want to visit in 2023. You also voted this region one of the most beautiful places in Scotland — high praise, indeed.

The ideal destination if you’re looking to recharge, the Highlands also satisfy cravings for fresh air and glorious walks. And Inverness , the region’s only major city, is a great springboard for your exploration of more remote areas.

South of the city, the area around the dramatic  Cairngorm mountains  offer fabulous opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities in stunning scenery. You won’t want to miss legend-steeped  Loch Ness , the largest of the string of lochs which make up the  Great Glen .

Cutting across the Highlands from Inverness, the Glen's ancient geological fault line leads to Fort William , a town that's stunningly sited beneath Scotland’s highest peak — Ben Nevis.

Other highlights include the West Highland Railway, which runs from  Glasgow to Mallaig via Fort William. You can also use this scenic railway route to reach  Loch Lomond , where more mysterious landscapes await.

Make the most of your time in the Scottish Highlands

  • Want to walk on the wild side? The Rough Guide to the North Coast 500 is packed with rewarding routes.
  • Gawp at our gallery of the  most beautiful places in Scotland , and read up on the  best things to do in Scotland .
  • Take a trip focused on Scotland's Highlands .
  • Be inspired by  The Rough Guide to the 100 Best Places in Scotland , and read  The Rough Guide to Scottish Highlands and Islands .

Where to stay in the Scottish Highlands

  • Best for fairy tale family breaks: The Little Houses . Picture-book-perfect cabins near Fort William.
  • Best for star-gazers: Aurora Rural Retreats . Epic mountain views, clear skies and cosy comfort in Glendale.
  • Best for couples: SeaBeds . Luxury lakeview lodges with hot tubs.

Browse more places to stay in the Scottish Highlands .

The Kylesku Bridge spanning Loch a' Chà irn Bhà in in the Scottish Highlands and a landmark on the North Coast 500 @ Helen Hotson/Shutterstock

The Kylesku Bridge in the Scottish Highlands is a landmark of the North Coast 500 © Helen Hotson/Shutterstock

Best for city slickers, beach bums and the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

With its sparkling harbour, amazing beaches, fab food scene, and outstanding national parks on the doorstep (almost), Sydney packs punch as a destination with something for everyone. You also voted it one of the most beautiful cities in the world .

If you’re thinking of stopping off in Sydney as part of a longer trip around Australia , be sure to allow at least five days here.

For example, you’ll most likely feel hard done by if you don’t visit at least one of Sydney’s eastern-suburb beaches. We recommend strolling the coastal path that stretches from Bondi to Coogee.

If you’re into nature and wildlife, top national parks are within an hour of the city, including Ku-ring-gai Chase and Royal.

Meanwhile the magnificent, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains present opportunities for isolated bushwalking. You'll feel a million miles away from Sydney's glitzy commercial centre and gritty suburbs.

Follow the beautiful game? You have an extra reason to visit Sydney in 2023. From 20th July to 20th August, New Zealand and Australia will co-host the FIFA Women’s World Cup , with Sydney set to stage the final on 20th August 2023.

Make the most of your time in Sydney

  • See the natural beauty of the Blue Mountains on a full-day tour to Featherdale Wildlife Park.
  • Love wine? Head north toward the luscious lands of the Hunter Valley for a wine-tasting tour .
  • Want to save some dollars? Discover fab free things to do in Sydney .
  • Planning a bigger trip? Read The Rough Guide to Australia , and our tips for backpacking Australia .

Where to stay in Sydney

  • Best for an iconic experience: View Sydney . Stylish rooms overlooking Sydney Harbour. Nuff said.
  • Best for families: Coogee Sands Hotel & Apartments . Right by Coogee Beach, in easy reach of the city.
  • Best for budget travellers: Sydney Harbour YHA . Modern and friendly with Harbour views from the terrace.

See more places to stay in Sydney Australia , and read our guide to accommodation in Sydney .

Aerial view of Sydney Opera @ Shutterstock

Sydney at dusk © Shutterstock

20. Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Best for bucket list hikes and otherworldly landscapes.

Silver glaciers, blue icebergs, and sculpted mountains that’ll take your breath away (really).  Torres del Paine National Park in Chile’s Patagonia region is a bona fide paradise for hikers who want to unleash their inner explorer.  

Given that Chile only fully opened to visitors post-pandemic in September 2022, 2023 is the perfect time to support tourism in the country, while also fulfilling big bucket list dreams. 

The park’s soaring centrepiece is the twin-peaked Cerro Monte Almirante Nieto, framed to the north by the elegant Torres del Paine (“Paine Towers”). To the west, the Cuernos del Paine (“Paine Horns”) spike the sky. 

Collectively forming the Paine Massif, the best views are found from the south bank of Lago Nordenskjöld. The lake’s weird milky-turquoise waters act as an uncanny mirror. 

To the west, llama-like guanacos roam on plains beneath the mountains. If you’re lucky, you might see an elusive, rare huermúl deer. Get really lucky, and you could glimpse a puma. 

Since you’ve made the effort to come all this way, you’ll want to hop over the border to explore  Argentina’s most amazing national park –  Parque Nacional Los Glaciares .

Make the most of your time in Torres del Paine

  • To focus on more important things (like getting into explorer mode), book a customisable, tailor-made trip from Santiago to Torres del Paine .
  • Prefer to book things yourself? Check out guided hiking tours of the national park .
  • Read up on Patagonia's legendary Ruta 40 , and be mesmerised by pictures of Patagonia .
  • Get yourself The Rough Guide to Chile and Easter Island , and arm yourself with Insight Guide Argentina .

Where to stay in Torres del Paine

  • Best for exploring in style: Río Serrano Hotel . Amazing views over the Massif, plus a pool and spa.
  • Best for couples: Hotel Lago Grey . A cosy, welcoming base with stunning vistas.
  • Best for regional road-trips: Hotel Estancia El Ovejero Patagónico . Well-located for Argentina crossings.

Browse more places to stay in Chile's Torres del Paine region .

House on the island in the national park Torres del Paine, lake Pehoe, Patagonia, Chile © Shutterstock

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile © Shutterstock

Best for French flamboyance, foodies and the 2023 Rugby World Cup

Chances are, if you’ve already visited France , you’ll be hankering to return at some point. But before you book a trip to delve deeper into Paris , see more of Provence , or soak up sun on the Côte d'Azur, consider adding Toulouse to your 2023 travel destination wish-list. 

And the reasons? Though officially outside the administrative  région , Toulouse is the cultural capital of medieval and modern Languedoc. Known as the Pink City due to the blushing hue of its historic buildings, it’s a vibrant urban hub with a Vieux Quartier (Old Quarter) you might just fall in love with.

Toulouse is also the capital of European aerospace industry. It lays claim to being one of France's top culinary cities — think hearty cassoulet, duck confit, and (of course) saucisse de Toulouse . It's also the capital of wine in South-West France .

If that wasn’t eclectic enough, Toulouse is one of the host cities for the 2023 Rugby World Cup , which kicks off on 8th September.

Make the most of your time in Toulouse

  • Learn about the city's history and cultural hotspots on a guided walking tour .
  • Head out of town for a tasting tour of a 16th-century vinery, Domaine de Baronarques.
  • Discover more places to visit in the Languedoc region .
  • Read The Rough Guide to  Languedoc and Roussillon , and get yourself a French phrasebook .
  • Browse our customisable France itineraries .

Where to stay in Toulouse

  • Best for 5-star style: La Cour des Consuls Hotel and Spa . Ultra-elegant, with a wonderful restaurant.
  • Best for couples. Hôtel de Brienne . A cosy, canal-side gem.
  • Best for groups: Haut Lofts . Spacious, stylish central apartments.

Street view in Toulouse, France © AdobeStock

Pretty and pink — Toulouse, France © AdobeStock

Discover more places to stay in Toulouse .

Best for culture, cuisine and the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Given that you ranked New Zealand as your number one dream destination in our recent reader travel survey, we had to include it in our best travel destinations in 2023.

After much debate, we went for Wellington , partly because it's another host city for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which runs across New Zealand and Australia from 20th July to 20th August.

While it’s true to say that if you’re heading to New Zealand, you won’t want to spend all your time in a city, Wellington warrants a sizeable chunk of your time. Given that it’s the main departure point for the South Island, consider planning a trip that takes in Wellington’s sights before heading off. 

New Zealand’s second most populous city, Wellington sits top of the tree when it comes to café culture, nightlife and the arts, not least during the summer when a stack of fringe festivals erupt. 

Boasting more places to eat and drink per capita than New York City, Wellington is New Zealand’s culinary capital, with a cracking craft beer scene and renowned regional wine.

Courtesy of its surrounding wooded Town Belt, Wellington also boasts excellent, easily accessible walking.

Meanwhile, Mount Victoria Lookout is one of Wellington’s best viewpoints, offering sweeping views of the city, waterfront, docks, and beyond to the Hutt Valley.

Make the most of your time in Wellington

  • Sample Wellington's fabulous food scene on a city tasting tour .
  • Discover New Zealand’s native wildlife at Zealandia Ecosanctuary .
  • Want to explore New Zealand more widely? Take inspiration from the Insight Guide.
  • Given the epic nature of the country, you might want to consider taking a tailor-made trip. Our customisable North to South self-drive trip includes a few days in Wellington.
  • For more rewarding road experiences, read up on some of New Zealand's best routes .

Where to stay in Wellington

  • Best for families: Terrace Villas Apartments . Home comforts in 100-year-old historic villas.
  • Best for couples: Bolton Hotel. An elegant boutique 5-star.
  • Best for budget travellers: Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers . Affordable dorms and rooms in a former fancy hotel.

Find more places to stay in Wellington New Zealand .

Wellington, New Zealand © Tom Zahnas/Shutterstock

Wellington, New Zealand © Tom Zahnas/Shutterstock

23. Zagori, Greece

Best for epic hikes and laidback village life.

Fallen for Greece after visiting its glorious islands ? Can’t get enough of fresh and zesty Greek food ? Fancy doing something different in 2023? You might want to look into visiting Zagori for a 2023 trip that delivers big on traditional Greek culture and cuisine. This wildly beautiful region of Greece's central mainland is also big when it comes to magnificent natural sights and hikes.

Sparsely populated, Zagori is characterised by thick forest, with rugged mountains wrinkled by foaming rivers. All this is best explored by hiking several paths that connect its traditional villages. 

The pinnacle of these hikes is to the UNESCO-protected Víkos Gorge — the second deepest Gorge in the world, no less (only the Grand Canyon is deeper). 

Steep in sections, the undulating trail takes you through a lush wilderness of untouched forest as dolomite and limestone cliffs tower overhead.

Happily for fans of Greek food, the region's impossibly pretty villages aren't short of family-run restaurants serving hearty seasonal dishes. All the better if you've worked up an appetite during an awe-inspiring hike.

Make the most of your time in Zagori

  • Venture to Vikos Gorge on full-day guided hike .
  • Immerse yourself in nature and food on a guided hike through the Valia Calda forest plus picnic.
  • Read our tips for travelling in Greece .
  • Get in-depth, insider info from The Rough Guide to Greece .
  • For more inspiration, view our customisable Greece trip itineraries .

Where to stay in Zagori

  • Best for traditional charm: Orestis House . Lovely stone buildings and great food.
  • Best for rustic luxury: Aristi Mountain Resort . A boutique spa hotel with lofty views.
  • Best for families: Ameliko Zagori . Pretty, friendly and near the gorge.

Discover more places to stay in Zagori Greece .

Aerial view of Vikos Gorge, a gorge in the Pindus Mountains of northern Greece, lying on the southern slopes of Mount Tymfi, one of the deepest gorges in the world. Zagori region, Greece © Shutterstock

Aerial view of Vikos Gorge © Shutterstock

If reading the Rough Guide to the best travel destinations in 2023 has left you ready to book your trip, you might want to browse our guidebook shop to arm yourself with more info before you go.

Alternatively, explore our customisable tailor-made trips . Whether you're looking for one of the world's best adventure holidays , or somewhere to take your kids , the suggested itineraries will surely stoke your wanderlust.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this doesn’t influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Header image: Bohol island tarsier © Shutterstock

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

  • Coasts & Islands
  • Where to Stay
  • Walking Hiking Trekking
  • Authentic Experiences
  • National Parks & Reserves
  • Australasia
  • Central America & the Caribbean
  • Philippines
  • Inspiration
  • See & Do
  • Travel Tips
  • South Africa
  • New Zealand

Planning your own trip? Prepare for your trip

Use Rough Guides' trusted partners for great rates

Find even more inspiration here

Ready to travel and discover greece, get support from our local experts for stress-free planning & worry-free travels.

AFAR Logo - Main

The Best Places to Travel in 2023

Start planning your 2023 travels to these 12 places—the most creative, delicious, and soul-reviving destinations of the year..

  • Copy Link copied

It’s our favorite time of year: the Where to Go season, when AFAR reveals our list of the ultimate places to travel in the coming year. How to choose? Our editorial team reached out to writers, reporters, and correspondents around the world and curated 12 global destinations for 2023 that feel poised for a “moment": creative cities, seaside villages, national parks, and other places where wonder prevails. Read on and prepare to start wandering...

AFAR Where to Go 2023 Tasmania

Located 150 miles south of Melbourne, Tasmania is teeming with adventure and beauty.

Sean Fennessy

1. Tasmania, Australia

Across this secluded and beautiful island state near Melbourne, irreverence and experimentation reign.

It was my first trip to Australia—my first trip abroad —in 2001, and I arrived in Melbourne a green-as-they-come university student, all nerves and adrenaline, ready to pounce on whatever adventure lay before me. Show me the city! I screamed silently at our study-abroad orientation leaders. Let me loose! We visited the Coney Island–like neighborhood of St. Kilda on the south shore, learned the finer points of Australian rules football, and ferried to nearby Phillip Island, site of a nightly parade of pint-size penguins that dashed from sea to land at dusk, prompting a chorus of “awwws” from everyone with a heart.

Those points of interest were lovely but ... safe. Introductory. What if I had realized that a couple of hundred miles off the coast of Melbourne was an island known for its irreverent art? For its stark and dramatic natural beauty, its world’s-best single-malt whisky, and seafood so fresh, it asks you about the catch of the day. What if I had visited Tasmania?

For the full story from Laura Redman, read Eclectic Art, Fresh Seafood, and Wild Landscapes—Why Your Next Trip Should Be to Tasmania .

AFAR Where to Go 2023 Ruaha National Park

Asilia camp administrator, Leena Lulandala, using telemetry to track collared animals in Ruaha National Park.

Photo by Greg Funnell.

2. Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

In a remote corner of Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park, travelers can find an abundance of wildlife without the crowds—and help with important conservation work.

Sprawled across 7,700 square miles in southern Tanzania, Ruaha is the country’s second-largest national park. Yet it draws only a tiny fraction of Tanzania’s safarigoers, who flock in much larger numbers to the more famous Serengeti in the north. But low visitation rates make biodiverse Ruaha a wildlife enthusiast’s dream: This vast landscape of habitats, ranging from savannas to wetlands, feels like a private game reserve, and travelers can go days without seeing another vehicle.

In one of the park’s less-visited corners, you’ll find the Usangu wetlands , site of a former hunting reserve and home to the Wasangu tribe for centuries. The wetlands feed the Great Ruaha River, a critical water source for people, animals, and hydroelectric dams that supply energy to much of the country. Wildlife audits have revealed populations of cheetahs, leopards, and lions. Topi antelope can exceed 1,000 animals in one herd.

In 2017, the Tanzania National Parks Authority , Tanzanian Wildlife Research Institute , and safari lodge company Asilia Africa came together to introduce a tourism model where revenue from visitors helps fund research, management, and conservation. Asilia’s Usangu Expedition Camp , which opened in 2022, is the only place to stay for more than 30 miles in any direction. Its four high-ceilinged rooms feature enormous beds, rain showers, and wraparound mesh walls that provide views of acacia-dotted wilderness. The lodgings make a stylish base for exploration in two upcycled vehicles that run on ethanol created from the cane waste of a nearby sugar plantation. Guests pitch in on data collection from camera traps by day and thermal monocular cameras by night.

The area’s conservation story is brought to life by the mostly local staff, including Wasangu guide trainee Anderson Pakomyus Mesilla, whose family roots in Usangu run generations deep. “I’m helping to conserve my ancestral home, but this wetland also supplies electricity to a large part of the country, including my village,” he said. “We all benefit from conserving the source of the river.” —Jennifer Flowers

>> Watch the video: What it’s Like to Safari in Ruaha National Park

AFAR Where to Go 2023 Graz, Austria

Vienna, Salzburg, Linz—take a trip to Austria’s best kept secret, Graz.

Photo by Felix Bruggemann

3. Graz, Austria

A DIY spirit brings a historic city to life in a riot of yoga, silent discos, and avant-garde music.

Just over 100 miles south of Vienna, amid the surprisingly Mediterranean climate of the Styrian wine region, sits Austria’s second-largest city. Here, a fairy-tale jumble of baroque and Renaissance buildings clusters at the base of the Schlossberg, the hill that was once Graz ’s ultimate defense. Back in medieval days, a daunting fortress stood at its summit; Napoleon had it destroyed, but the colorful facades and terracotta roofs that sprang up beneath it still shine brightly in the southern Austrian sun. On the east side of the river Mur, Graz’s past is a vivid presence.

On the west bank, however, you will find its future. What the districts of Lend and Gries lack in architecture they make up for in creativity and an entrepreneurial soul. At Bo Suppe , Arnd Hoffmann sells different flavors of homemade soup from his kitchen window (try the vegan pumpernickel Bolognese). At Managerie, Maria Reiner sells drinks and crocheted lampshades from the “kiosk shop” at the front of her apartment. Daily life revolves around the Lendplatz morning market , and small businesses thrive thanks to a fierce community spirit that manifests in a busy calendar of events and projects, such as backyard flea markets, walking tours, outdoor yoga, and knitting circles. Travelers can find out more through the Annenviertel project , which was launched by local campaigners in 2014 to breathe new life into the quarter (or “viertel”) around the shopping street of Annenstrasse. Live music at the 1930s bar Café Wolf ranges from Israeli space-rock to an improvisational autoharp trio. The Lendwirbel festival in May fills empty shop fronts with art installations, silent discos, workshops, and discussions.

The Kunsthaus Graz modern art museum , meanwhile, has inspired artists and designers to make their homes and livings here. Stroll along the main strip Mariahilferstrasse and you’ll find jewelers, fashion boutiques, and homeware shops. A spirit of social enterprise infuses the city: One of the trendiest accessory stores in town, tag.werk, has helped hundreds of young people find employment over the past two decades by teaching them crafts and life skills. Come to Graz for the history, for sure—but stay for its hopeful vision of the future. —Emma John

AFAR Where to Go 2023 the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are home to the largest fresh water ecosystem on the planet.

Photo by Christina Holmes

4. Great Lakes, USA

From charming lake towns to expedition cruises, there are many good reasons to explore the Greats.

A native of Michigan, I have a birthright bond to the Great Lakes, the magnificent five that span two countries and eight states, from New York in the east to Minnesota in the west. Michigan, which claims shoreline on four of the five lakes, always seemed like both the center of it all and a remote peninsula, buffered by its treasures. During high school, when my family had moved to a suburban Detroit home near a smaller lake that connects the Greats, I would fall asleep to the faint bass notes of freighters’ foghorns, the songs of vast waters you can’t see across, inland seas at once familiar and strange.

All these years later, they remain a place to splash in the calm shallows each summer or brave the waves by kayak. Winter brings ephemeral ice caves and adaptations such as iceboats, or sailboats on blades. “Great” describes not just their size but their influence on culture, history, and our climate future.

For the full story from Elaine Glusac, read The Great Lakes Offer Culture, History, and One of the Most Unique Ecosystems on the Planet .

AFAR Where to Go 2023 Cambutal, Panama

Black sand beaches, big waves, and rushing rivers. There’s lots to love about Cambutal.

Photo by Hassen Salum

5. Cambutal, Panama

Adventure and community-centric tourism beckon on the southern coast of Panama’s Azuero Peninsula.

Few travelers who visit Los Santos, one of Panama’s least-touristed provinces, venture to the end of the only main road heading south. That’s where Cambutal awaits, 228 miles from Panama City—a beach town garnering much-deserved attention from Panamanians and intrepid international travelers alike.

The town sits on the shores of a never-crowded, volcanic black-sand beach with perfectly surfable waves. The surrounding jungles hold rivers, canyons, natural pools, and multitiered waterfalls.

Having spent a lot of time on the southern coast of the Azuero Peninsula during his childhood, Panama-born Bryan Goldner founded Azuero Adventures in November 2020 to help visitors safely explore the region. As Cambutal’s only registered tour operator, the company started small, with horseback rides through grassy hills to bring travelers to see petroglyphs carved by Indigenous people.

In 2022, Azuero Adventures introduced multiday trips to Cerro Hoya National Park , just west of Cambutal. Encompassing more than 80,000 acres with no direct road entry, Cerro Hoya can only be accessed by boat, on horseback, or in a 4x4 vehicle, making it one of the hardest-to-reach national parks in Panama. The mostly untouched land is known for its diverse wildlife, including the great green macaw and the Azuero spider monkey, both endangered species. Guests can stay in secluded oceanfront cabins or opt for full immersion with an overnight camping expedition that includes a hike through the cloud forest more than 4,200 feet above sea level.

With sustainable and equitable tourism at the heart of his operations, Goldner works closely with the people of Cambutal—a vision directly in line with the Panama Ministry of Tourism ’s efforts to strengthen rural and community-based tourism enterprises.

“We use local captains and local guides,” Goldner says. “The idea is not to hire people and bring resources from outside when we have such a rich community that’s already here.” —Jessica Poitevien

AFAR Where to Go 2023 Transylvania, Romania

No vampires to worry about here.

Photo by Fundatia Adept

6. Transylvania, Romania

Nature and tradition thrive in one of Europe’s last wild regions.

It’s been 125 years since Bram Stoker wrote Dracula , branding Transylvania as a dark, forbidding land populated by bloodsucking counts with an aversion to holy water. And while perhaps no other book has clouded its readers’ impression of a place in quite the same way, Stoker was right when he wrote of the region’s wild side. North of Bucharest, in the heart of Romania, Transylvania is home to one of Europe’s last great wildernesses: a sprawl of alpine meadows, ragged limestone ridges, and old-growth forests that billow across the landscape in a thick quilt of juniper, spruce, beech, and fir.

These wild mountains harbor some of the highest numbers of large carnivores—brown bears, wolves, and lynx—on the continent. The nonprofit Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC) is in the process of creating a vast reserve to safeguard all this for future generations—a “European Yellowstone” as Christoph Promberger, FCC’s executive director, envisions it—that will stretch for nearly 618,000 untamed acres across Romania’s Southern Carpathian Mountains .

For the full story from Keith Drew, read This Misunderstood Romanian Region Is Known as “European Yellowstone.”

AFAR Where to Go 2023 Bangkok, Thailand

Prepare to be surprised on your next trip to Thailand’s most visited city.

Photos courtesy of The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakho and The Small Dinner Club

7. Bangkok, Thailand

Ambitious young Thais are driving a creative reawakening in one of the world’s most visited cities.

From the end of an L-shaped bar I watched three chefs in black caps delicately plate 11 dishes of what appeared to be snow. Loud music masked the sounds of the busy Bangkok street outside. “OK guys, this one is titled, ‘Daft Punk Is Playing in My Mouth,’” said chef Sareen Rojanametin, setting the intriguing dish before me. Marvelously on cue, the throbbing LCD Soundsystem song “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” burst onto the stereo.

The first bite rocked me to my core. At Small Dinner Club , which “pulls apart, questions, and reimagines Thai food,” you’re not handed a menu. The 12-course evenings are a delightful mystery accompanied by inspiration notes from the 32-year-old chef, who opened the hidden boîte in February 2022. “For me this dish represents the essence of Thai cuisine,” he wrote. I expected coconut or lime; instead I got an explosion of Thai green chile. My eyebrows started sweating. I swirled it all up: hot ice, tiny iridescent fish, watermelon, and a sumptuous black sesame sauce. These were the flavors of Thailand composed into an entirely new song. Rojanametin, who spent two years in a forest monastery before opening the restaurant, tells me, “The city has changed a lot in the last four years. People are much more daring.”

For the full story from Kathryn Romeyn, read Just When You Thought You Knew Bangkok, Thailand’s Most Visited City Changes .

AFAR Where to Go 2023 Salvador, Brazil

Experience the intersection of history and culture in Salvador, Brazil.

Photo by Luisa Dorr

8. Salvador, Brazil

Engaging with Brazil’s Black history is essential—and easier than ever in the city of Salvador thanks to new cultural offerings.

In Salvador, a port city on the northeastern coast of Brazil, history isn’t relegated to textbooks. More than 4 million people were kidnapped from Africa and forced to harvest coffee beans and sugarcane in the country—a legacy that is most evident in the state of Bahia, where 80 percent of the population is Black or mixed race. Today the descendants of those enslaved people carry on traditions through Salvador’s food, culture, and music.

Tour company Guia Negro leads English-language histori- cal outings delving into Brazil’s Black heritage, including a walk through the streets where Michael Jackson and Spike Lee shot “They Don’t Care About Us,” the 1996 music video featuring the storied Afro-Brazilian drum team Olodum. The Casa do Carnaval da Bahia is a museum dedicated to the history of Brazil’s annual carnival celebration. The City of Music of Bahia museum, which opened in 2021, invites visitors to experience more than 800 hours of Bahian music, with the goal to educate them about specific styles such as pagode , a Brazilian subgenre of samba, and axe ́, an Afro-Caribbean mash-up that originated here.

The painful, racist history of Pelourinho, the city’s old town, is preserved in its name, which translates to “whipping post.” Once the site of slave auctions, it’s now home to brightly painted houses, cobblestoned streets, and numerous restaurants. At the rustic eatery Di Janela , chef Nara Amaral serves the food that brings her joy: roasted garlic with octopus, ruby-red lobster with heavily seasoned potatoes, and traditional fare such as moqueca, a seafood stew. At Ana Célia Santos’s Zanzibar restaurant, the moqueca takes numerous forms. A vegetarian version is prepared with rice and farofa (toasted cassava flour), while another is made with shrimp, stingray, and soft-shell crab.

For late-night entertainment, visitors should go to ABOCA Centro de Artes , a theater that hosts Afro-Brazilian musicians such as Mariene de Castro and Mateus Aleluia. After all, there’s no better way to end a day in Salvador than by listening to the residents who give the city its heartbeat. —Kayla Stewart

AFAR Where to Go 2023 Sharjah, UAE

Sharjah is often overlooked by its glitzier neighbors, but this emirate has plenty to offer in terms of art, architecture, and culture.

Photo by Ieva Saudargaite

9. Sharjah, UAE

Thought-provoking art and architecture shine a light on an emirate often overshadowed by its glitzier neighbors.

Ever since I moved to the United Arab Emirates seven years ago, I’ve loved Sharjah . It may not have the biggest/tallest/highest superlatives of Dubai or the epic palaces of Abu Dhabi, but understated Sharjah is home to some of the region’s most exciting cultural institutions. And 2023 is a big year for the emirate, with headline events showcasing two of its greatest draws: art and architecture.

The 15th Sharjah Biennial runs from February to June, presenting the creations of more than 150 artists from 70-plus countries. Thirty newly commissioned pieces, including works by Moroccan photographer Hassan Hajjaj and British Palestinian multimedia artist Mona Hatoum , will be featured in a program that spans 16 venues and explores the theme “Thinking Historically in the Present.” The exhibition spaces are as intriguing as the art: from traditional coral-stone houses to the Sharjah Art Foundation ’s recently acquired 1970s-era Flying Saucer, a UFO-shaped building that once housed a French patisserie and a fast-food chicken shop.

For the full story from Nicola Chilton, read Sharjah Is One of the Most Exciting—and Overlooked—Cities in the UAE .


Baltimore is quickly becoming an entertainment and foodie destination.

Photo by Irina Sitnikova/Unsplash (left) Scott Suchman (right)

10. Baltimore, USA

Long-overdue upgrades to major downtown attractions are turning Charm City into a veritable food- and-entertainment hub.

From its early days as a thriving seaport to its current status as a seafood paradise, Baltimore is ever evolving. A $45 million overhaul of Lexington Market —billed as the oldest continuously operating public market in the country, with roots dating to 1782—recently welcomed visitors to an airy, light-filled space enlivened by 16-foot murals from local artist Ernest Shaw Jr. and photographs by Shan Wallace depicting Baltimore’s Black food culture. (This is, after all, a majority Black city.)

The developer’s gut renovation of the old market reimagined the space as a fresh version of the com- munity gathering spot it had been before it fell into disrepair. Benches flank the central staircase and serve as prime people-watching spots, while an adjacent plaza hosts events and concerts. Input from residents informed the mix of more than 40 stalls, half of them Black-owned, including the coffee shop Black Acres Roastery and the husband-and-wife-run Sunnyside Café . The market also maintains its devotion to the ocean with Faidley’s Seafood , the famous crab cake spot, and the Korean family-owned Cho’s Sea Garden .

A few blocks away, the CFG Bank Arena will reopen in time to host college basketball tournaments in February and a nearly sold-out Bruce Springsteen show in April. Its $200 million revamp, backed by singer Pharrell Williams and an investment firm cofounded by NBA star Kevin Durant, gives the 60-year-old facility the updated concessions, audio, and lighting it needs to compete with other venues in the region.

Also notable for 2023: an exhibition of Baltimore native John Waters’s personal art collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art (through April 16) and the return of Artscape , a multiday cultural extravaganza in September that, in the past, has featured wildly decorated cars. Festivalgoers can stay in the Mount Vernon neighborhood’s new literary-themed boutique hotel, Ulysses , a 116-room property whose name pays homage to both the James Joyce novel and a ship that brought Bavarian immigrants to Baltimore. —Julekha Dash

AFAR Where to Go 2023 Prince Edward Island, Canada

Prince Edward Island’s new hike and bike trail offers travelers a new way to experience the coastal idyll.

Photo by Brendan George Ko

11. Prince Edward Island, Canada

A 435-mile hiking and biking route around Canada’s small but mighty province invites visitors to travel slowly and joyfully.

Prince Edward Island, or PEI, off Canada’s eastern seaboard, is home to some of the country’s most enchanting pastoral scenery. You’ll find fields of potatoes and strawberries, beaches that stretch for miles, storybook villages (the 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables was set here), red-and-white wooden lighthouses, and docks anchoring fishing boats. The Island Walk , a new 435-mile walking and cycling route circumnavigating “the Island,” as locals call it, gives travelers a unique opportunity to experience it up close.

My husband and I cycled 180 miles of the route in June 2022, starting in the compact capital city, Charlottetown, and spending six days working our way across a section in the central region of the province. From Charlottetown, we pedaled 35 miles along crushed-gravel trails, wide red-dirt roads lined with trees, and country lanes—all relatively flat. After checking into the Orient Hotel , a historic B&B in the tiny village of Victoria-by-the-Sea, we browsed in shops, talked with local anglers bringing in the day’s catch, and walked barefoot along an expansive beach with rose-colored sand at the edge of the village. The tide came in while I ate possibly the best lobster roll I’ve ever tasted—a buttery toasted roll loaded with chunks of tender fresh-caught crustacean and house-made mayo—at the Lobster Barn restaurant.

For the full story from Debbie Olsen, read Idyllic Villages, Fresh Lobster Rolls, and a New Trail—Why Now Is the Time to Visit Prince Edward Island .

AFAR Where to Go 2023 Bergamo and Brescia, Italy

In the heart of Bergamo near the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and the famous Colleoni Chapel.

Photo by Andrea Frazzetta

12. Brescia & Bergamo, Italy

Find venerable history and hip cocktails in two Italian cities connected by a cycling trail.

The key ingredients of la dolce vita? Golden light beaming across ancient stones, a piazza that bustles at aperitivo hour, and streets ripe for a passeggiata (stroll) to work it all off. Enter Brescia and Bergamo, two cities in the northern Italian region of Lombardy that have been named joint Italian Capitals of Culture for 2023. If you only know them from news reports in early 2020—the two were hit hard during the pandemic—prepare to be bowled over.

Bergamo is the better known of the two; its historic Città Alta (Upper City) crowns a ridge nearly 300 feet above its more modern section. The Bergamaschi love the outdoors, and they kick back in deck chairs at the 17th-century gardens of Palazzo Moroni, which opened to the public for the first time in 2020. New tuk-tuk rides wind around the Città Alta’s UNESCO-protected 16th-century city walls. The lion- and sphinx-surrounded fountain in the main square, Piazza Vecchia, has been restored, and new walking routes through Bergamo’s layers of history connect the old and new town. Travelers and locals alike can amble through the nearby Val d’Astino, a valley filled with vineyards, wildflower- strewn meadows, and a monastery that was founded in 1107.

With a ceremonial opening in early 2023, a 47-mile bicycling route will roll from Bergamo past Lake Iseo, then through Franciacorta wine country to Brescia, the most colorful Roman city north of the Italian capital.

While Bergamo life is mainly outdoors, Brescia is inside; you’ll find gourmet pizza tasting menus at Inedito and Roman- themed cocktails at Massenzio . Try the Domitilla at the latter. Named after the wife of Emperor Vespasian, it’s a mix of berry gin with grapefruit, rosemary syrup, and egg white. Spend the night at Areadocks Boutique Hotel , where all the modern art- work and vintage furnishings are for sale. Here in northern Italy, the sweet life just got an upgrade. —Julia Buckley

The Santiago Calatrava-designed Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge spans Dallas’ Trinity River.

clock This article was published more than  1 year ago

The top travel destinations for 2023, according to experts

Italy will be hot again next year, along with a re-opened Asia, sunny beaches and the Mountain West

top 10 travel destinations 2023

At the beginning of 2022, the outlook for travel felt uncertain. A new coronavirus variant had tripped up society again, and it was still a roll of the dice to plan a vacation — let alone take one. But once the omicron wave waned, travel roared back with a vengeance: Testing requirements fell, borders opened and it seemed as if every other person you knew went to Europe.

As we begin 2023, all signs show the collective appetite for travel remains huge, despite inflation and recession concerns. Industry experts are forecasting certain 2022 trends will carry over in the new year, such as people taking longer trips, going on more of them and spending more to take them.

Julia Carter, founder of Craft Travel , says her typical client would usually book one big trip a year. Now, two or even three are the norm, with one person already locked in for four major trips: Morocco, Switzerland, Botswana and a tiger safari in India. For Brittany Campbell, owner of Bucket List Holidays , most clients are booking trips for at least 10 days, and some as long as 32.

Our 10 best City Guides, according to readers

A notable change in the new year is a willingness to book long in advance again, even as far out as 2024 for clients of Susan Blume at Personal Escape Travel . That may be because more people are interested in taking bucket-list trips, which require more planning. Or it could be because many people couldn’t get what they wanted in 2022 thanks to high demand for travel, says Liz Einbinder, spokesperson for the biking and hiking tour company Backroads .

So where are people going in 2023? We asked dozens of travel advisers, tour operators and booking platforms to find out. Some of our findings won’t surprise you — “Europe is still very hot,” says Alisa Cohen, founder of Luxe Traveler Club — while other breakout destinations might. Zambia, anyone?

The absolute, undisputed most popular destination for 2023 is Italy. And if you thought everyone went in 2022, buckle up.

Fulvio De Bonis, president and co-founder of Imago Artis Travel , says they’re bracing for “way more” business in 2023.

De Bonis puts Italy travel trends into three categories: people, nature and sports. Travelers want to meet interesting locals, such as chefs or fishermen. They want to see beautiful places by going foraging in the mountains near Lake Como, for example, or hitting the beach. And they want to have exciting sports experiences , maybe by catching a soccer game or touring a team’s training facilities.

Shayna Mizrahi, founder and CEO of Vive Voyage , says her clients are also highly interested in connecting with Italian culture through cooking classes, boat excursions and artisan workshops.

For private tour operator Access Italy , the Amalfi Coast, Lake Como, Tuscany, Puglia and Sicily are clients’ most requested destinations. These classics are also the most popular for Imago Artis, but De Bonis notes that travelers want off-the-beaten-path experiences within these well-known places. They don’t just want to see Tuscany’s highlights; “there is a world outside of Florence,” De Bonis says, and travelers want to explore it.

Other European destinations trailing behind Italy next year (but still in hot pursuit) are Greece, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Our best Italy travel advice:

  • Everything to know about traveling to Italy
  • 7 Italy vacations that check every travel style
  • A local’s guide to Rome

As the last region in the world to reopen during the pandemic, East Asia is expected to have a banner year for tourism, with Japan poised to be the fan favorite.

Although people want to go to the “Golden Triangle” — Tokyo , Kyoto, Osaka — Mike Salvadore, a travel agent with Travel Leaders, recommends adding a stop to see Japan beyond its best-known cities, such as mountainous Sapporo in the north or beachy Okinawa in the south.

If you’d like to go during cherry blossom season, you may be out of luck. Jeff Krevitt, vice president of marketing for the Americas for Inside Travel Group, which owns InsideJapan Tours , notes that this will be the first spring since 2019 that the country will be open to international travelers, so big crowds can be expected.

For a cheaper alternative with more availability, Rani Cheema, chief executive and travel curator at Cheema’s Travel , recommends traveling to South Korea to see the flowering cherry blossoms this spring instead.

Our best Japan travel advice:

  • We visited Studio Ghibli’s long-awaited theme park. It’s a sensory delight.
  • Everything you need to know about traveling to Japan
  • Staying in a historical Japanese temple is an extraordinary experience. Here’s how to do it .

Southeast Asia

Behind Japan, Southeast Asia is also high on travelers’ wish lists, with Thailand, Bali and Vietnam at the top.

The travel subscription service VIP Traveler has seen a 200 percent increase in interest in Bali, perhaps following Indonesia’s newly launched digital-nomad visa .

It could also be that Bali appeals to the growing number of travelers interested in trips focused on wellness. Salvadore says most of his clients want to go to Ubud, Bali’s lush jungle town near the center of the island. But some have been open to suggestions to try the lesser-visited eastern coast or northwestern Bali, “which is a little bit more secluded but also really beautiful,” Salvadore said.

Our best Asia travel advice:

  • Asia is slowly reopening to travelers. Here’s where you can go.
  • Traveling to a newly reopened Asia allowed me to be myself again
  • Marijuana is now legal in Thailand. What does that mean for tourists?

The Caribbean

A perennial sunshine-filled favorite that tends to be easy for Americans to reach, the Caribbean will remain sought-after in 2023.

“A lot of people will go to the typical places like the Dominican Republic or Jamaica or the Bahamas,” Salvadore said, but eastern Caribbean countries are some of his favorites, such as Barbados, Saint Lucia, Anguilla, Antigua and Grenada.

Our best Caribbean travel advice:

  • 6 Caribbean vacations that check every travel style
  • Caribbean trips are expensive, so I went to the Caribbean of Maryland
  • In Grenada, a.k.a. the Spice Isle, a foodie paradise blossoms

Jonathan Alder, owner of the luxury travel company Jonathan’s Travels , has booked more Egypt trips for clients in the past two years than he has over the entire decade, and requests are picking up speed in 2023. “We’ve had one after another after another after another,” he said.

Some of the renewed interest may be attributed to the anticipated opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, says Jasmine Padda, Egypt destination expert for Kensington Tours . She also pointed to the increase in major cruise lines adding sailings in the region.

Carolyn Addison, head of product for the luxury travel company Black Tomato , credits Egypt’s trending status to people who want to check classic trips off their bucket lists.

“We have lots of people who are like: ‘I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids. I’ve always wanted to cruise the Nile,’” she said.

The American West

Jen Moyse, VP of product for the travel app TripIt , says that although international travel is having a moment, Americans will continue to return to iconic cities at home that are still rebounding from the pandemic.

Of the Top 5 most booked domestic destinations on the travel booking platform Hopper , four are out west: Las Vegas, Denver, Los Angeles and Phoenix.

For Skyscanner bookings, Las Vegas and Los Angeles took the top spots for most booked flights in the new year, with San Francisco, Honolulu and Denver also making the Top 10.

The vacation rental platform Vrbo says demand for homes in western U.S. destinations is on the rise, as customers look for trips in the great outdoors.

Our best travel advice on the American West:

  • How to do Montana like a local, beyond Glacier and Yellowstone
  • A hater’s guide to Las Vegas
  • UNESCO at 50: 24 World Heritage sites to see across America

Mexico has been breaking tourism records throughout the pandemic and will return as a powerhouse destination in 2023. Its most popular and easy-to-get-to beach destinations are major contributors to that success.

“People are welcoming that beach vacation,” Cohen said. “They want to go to Mexico and just relax.”

Cancún, on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, is the most booked international destination next year for Hopper, Skyscanner and the airfare search engine Skiplagged . However, demand for cultural capitals will also continue to rise.

Oaxaca is the second-most popular destination for the travel company Modern Adventure, and Mexico City ranks high as well.

Our best Mexico travel advice:

  • 6 Mexico vacations that check every travel style
  • Where to drink natural wine in the heart of Mexico
  • A local’s guide to Mexico City

Another carry-over from 2022, Costa Rica is attracting travelers — including families, honeymooners and retirees — with its abundance of affordable flights, outdoor adventures, wildlife and coastline.

For customers of travel planning company Zicasso , the most sought-after places to visit are Arenal, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, Tortuguero and the Osa Peninsula, which lines up with our expert recommendations .

The most booked 2023 itinerary for Road Scholar, a group tour company for senior travelers, is a Costa Rica vacation that hits many of those places, as well as Punta Leona, on the central Pacific coast, and Sarapiqui, a renowned birdwatching region in Costa Rica’s Caribbean lowlands.

The Galápagos Islands

Another dream trip becoming a reality for travelers in 2023 is the Galápagos Islands. The biggest seller for Astonishing Travel owner Heidi Bocianowski, the Pacific Ocean archipelago appeals to people who want to see something new every day, including black lava rock, red sand and rare wildlife.

Brian Tan of Zicasso says customers are keen on combining a trip to the Galápagos with other South American highlights.

That may be Patagonia, which has been “by far one of the most popular destinations” for Craft Travel founder Carter. It helps that travelers can once again cross between Chile and Argentina by road. Carter has been planning combination trips for clients to Torres del Paine National Park on the Chilean side, with the charming villages of El Calafate and El Chaltén on the Argentinean side.

7 travel mistakes to avoid in 2023

African safaris

Keeping with the once-in-a-lifetime theme, Brian Pentek, owner of LuxeLife Travel , says “Africa is huge” for his clients.

Most are going in multigenerational groups who use the trip as graduation presents or family reunions. They may be going to Cape Town, South Africa, as well as Botswana (for game reserves) or Rwanda for gorilla trekking.

In addition to safaris, Salvadore incorporates ways for his clients in Africa to experience local culture, check out the food and drink scenes, and enjoy bush camping instead of staying in luxury lodges. In 2023, he’s sending travelers to Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia, a country listed as one of the top up-and-coming travel spots in a summary compiled by Scott Dunn luxury travel planners.

The most booked destinations for Niarra Travel also include South Africa, Victoria Falls (which sits on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe) and Kenya, while trips to the Serengeti in Tanzania dominate reservations for Deeper Africa . One of the company’s owners, Karen Zulauf, said she has noticed upcoming travelers are more interested in adding active excursions, such as “walking safaris, mountain biking, horseback riding, you name it.”

For those who have already done a traditional safari vacation, Carter recommends Namibia, a country seeing a resurgence in interest, where travelers can go on self-driving road trips (vs. ones with a guide) between eco-lodges or take small planes to some of the world’s most remote places, such as the Skeleton Coast and Hoanib Valley.

Gorillas are Rwanda’s main attraction. Dian Fossey would hate that.

Even before the North African country drew international attention in the World Cup, Morocco was emerging as a major travel hot spot. It’s the most booked country for Intrepid Travel , and “we expect Morocco to continue to be incredibly popular in 2023, given the increase in flights into the destination and the ability to get out and have great experiences in one-week, 10-day or two-week itineraries,” said the company’s CEO, James Thornton.

That’s also true for Modern Adventure. Liz Boudreau, vice president of experiences for the company, says it has had a 53 percent increase in bookings compared with 2022.

If you’re worried about your travel budget, consider visiting as a work exchange volunteer, like Washington Post reporter Andrea Sachs tried in Fez.

Small cruises

Cruises are making a strong comeback, even for travelers who might not consider themselves cruise people. But instead of taking megaships, they’re looking for smaller options operating expedition trips (think Antarctica and Alaska) or luxury voyages, mainly river cruising in Europe and Egypt.

For destinations with the highest interest, such as Portugal, Emma Cakmak, owner of the cruise-focused company A Passport to Travel , is warning clients that May through September is practically sold out across all the top cruise lines, although there’s some availability in low-end stateroom categories.

If you’re striking out, keep shopping around. As they notice demand climb, some cruise lines seem to be “bringing on significant capacity as they move into” 2023, said Priceline CEO Brett Keller.

Our best cruise advice:

  • One side effect of cruise covid rules: Norovirus has plummeted
  • CDC stops reporting coronavirus cases on cruise ships
  • Virgin Voyages gets its sea legs

An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Susan Blume as Stephanie Blume. The error was updated.

More travel news

How we travel now: More people are taking booze-free trips — and airlines and hotels are taking note. Some couples are ditching the traditional honeymoon for a “buddymoon” with their pals. Interested? Here are the best tools for making a group trip work.

Bad behavior: Entitled tourists are running amok, defacing the Colosseum , getting rowdy in Bali and messing with wild animals in national parks. Some destinations are fighting back with public awareness campaigns — or just by telling out-of-control visitors to stay away .

Safety concerns: A door blew off an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 jet, leaving passengers traumatized — but without serious injuries. The ordeal led to widespread flight cancellations after the jet was grounded, and some travelers have taken steps to avoid the plane in the future. The incident has also sparked a fresh discussion about whether it’s safe to fly with a baby on your lap .

top 10 travel destinations 2023

  • Skip to primary navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar
  • Skip to footer


Our mission is to serve the 50+ traveler who's ready to cross a few items off their bucket list.

10 International Destinations Topping Our Readers’ 2023 Travel Lists

top 10 travel destinations 2023

  • Destinations

Over three-fourths of TravelAwaits readers, 77 percent, plan on going abroad in 2023 according to this year’s State of Travel survey. Below, you’ll find the top international countries our readers plan to visit in the coming year. Spoiler alert: All roads lead to Rome.

Trevi fountain in the morning, Rome, Italy. Rome baroque architecture and landmark. Rome Trevi fountain is one of the main attractions of Rome and Italy

Our returning champ, for the second year in a row , Italy tops our readers’ list of desired international destinations in 2023. Most survey respondents plan to visit Rome this year. The Eternal City wasn’t built in a day, but it sure has been attracting history buffs for a while. In addition to ruins and historical sites , there is so much to see and do in Italy’s largest city . Take in the view from romantic rooftop terraces and ogle over gorgeous gardens . When in Rome, do as the Romans do and sample the pizza . For accommodations, you have your pick of fantastic boutique and luxury hotels .

Other Italian destinations that top our travelers’ lists are Sicily , the Mediterranean island that lies just off the toe of Italy’s “boot,” and the picturesque Amalfi Coast . Located in southern Italy, this 25-mile stretch between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno is known for its blue skies, steep coastal mountains on the edge of blue seas, and colorful villages, as well as olive groves, vineyards, and lemon terraces.

view from above of the Cote d'Azure, or French Riviera

Paris brings France to the second spot on our readers’ list of international destinations to visit this year. It’s easy to see why; the City of Light boasts amazing museums , charming restaurants and brasseries , and incredible shopping . If you’re headed there in 2023, check out our guide to the 20 arrondissements of Paris to get your bearings. Here’s what to pack to avoid looking like a tourist (Hint: Leave the sweats at home!).

Another French destination our readers have their sights set on this year is Nice , located on the famous French Riviera. Featuring walkable beaches, tasty local food, and exceptional views of the Mediterranean Sea, this luxurious destination is perfect for travelers looking for a relaxing getaway.

Oenophiles plan to sip their way through Bordeaux , the world capital of wine . Visit the last weekend of June to catch the Bordeaux Wine Festival !

Aerial view of strip of Cancun, Mexico between the ocean

A Mexican beach vacation is on our readers’ agenda this year, bringing Mexico into the top three countries TravelAwaits readers want to visit in 2023. Gorgeous turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and tequila-based beverages make it a solid choice.

On the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun offers beautiful beach resorts, swimming in the stunning tropical waters, and nearby Maya ruins . Riviera Maya is also located on the beautiful eastern coast of Mexico. Trying to decide between the two? Here are seven key differences to know before visiting .

Also located on the east side of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is the Caribbean island of Cozumel . Mexico’s largest island is part of what’s known as the Mayan Riviera , which includes Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum. Divers and snorkelers flock to Cozumel for its proximity to the Great Mayan Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world.

Speaking of scuba, Cabo San Lucas offers endless opportunities for diving, fishing, surfing, sailing, and, of course, sunbathing. This resort city can be found on the southern edge of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.

Aerial view to the illuminated Tower Bridge and skyline of London, UK, just after sunset

England is number four on our list, thanks to London , its capital and largest city. Beyond its top attractions, London is home to unique bookstores and beautiful walks . If London is on your list for 2023, check out these lovely vacation rentals . First time? Here are nine things to know before your first trip to London and some helpful tips for navigating the Tube .

11 Lovely London Vacation Rentals For A Proper British Getaway

Known for its ancient and medieval sites, historic Glastonbury also made our readers’ travel lists. Perhaps this is because Sir Elton John will perform the final UK show of his last-ever tour at this year’s Glastonbury Festival at the end of June.

Located in North West England, Manchester is also on our readers’ lists. It’s known for its industrial past, its lively music scene, and its rabid Man City and Man U football (soccer) fans. For fish and chips , head to The Chippy On Burton Road . For something a little more upscale, treat yourself to a meal at Ivy Roof Garden .

Moraine lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Oh, Canada! Of course our U.S. readers want to visit our neighbors to the north this year. Several Canadian destinations are on our readers’ radars, including Toronto , Vancouver , Montreal , Ontario , Quebec City , Victoria, British Columbia , and Banff . Heading to the Great White North in 2023? Check out these 10 amazing places in Canada our travel experts love .

Beautiful sunrise in Barcelona seen from Park Guell. Park was built from 1900 to 1914 and was officially opened as a public park in 1926. In 1984, UNESCO declared the park a World Heritage Site

From paella and sangria to siestas and flamenco, there are so many reasons to visit Spain. (Not to mention its laidback culture, historic architecture, and incredible coastal beaches!)

Situated on the Balearic Sea, Barcelona is best known for its Gaudian architecture, world-class seafood, and the Picasso Museum . Spain’s capital, Madrid , is the country’s second-most-visited city after Barcelona, as well as its largest and most diverse.

Amazing Cliffs of Moher at sunset in Ireland, County Clare

Explore the Emerald Isle’s treasure trove of destinations, including the enchanting Connemara region , picturesque Killarney , and charming Donegal . Rent a cozy Irish cottage and enjoy a nice Irish coffee , or perhaps a pint of Guinness . In Dublin , don’t miss the only Leprechaun museum in the world !

Aerial view of Tower of Belem at sunset, Lisbon, Portugal on the Tagus River.

8. Portugal

Sharing a border and Mediterranean climate with Spain, Portugal is just as popular with retirees and expats as it is with travelers . It is home to affordable oceanfront villas , the musical art form of fado , and much more to see and do , even if you’re on a budget .

Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon , serves as its center for cultural experiences, sightseeing, nightlife, and history. Looking for more of a hidden gem? Look no further than the spectacular archipelago of Madeira . This island paradise belongs on everyone’s bucket list. First-timers should check out our article 5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Visiting Portugal .

Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps, Germany

Coming in at number nine, Germany boasts two coastlines, one on the North Sea and one on the Baltic, with several islands on either side. Major destinations include Frankfurt , Nuremberg , Munich, and Hamburg . Sample traditional German foods such as bratwurst and tour amazing fairytale castles that dot the Rhine River . For more fairytale vibes — think alpine peaks, charming towns, and vast, enchanting forests — head to Bavaria, Germany’s largest state.

Bordering nine countries, Germany serves as a great base for visiting the rest of Europe. Need help planning your itinerary? Check out our article on The Best Experiences In Each Of Germany’s 16 States .

Santorini Island, Greece

From Athens to the Greek Isles , Greece belongs on this list in perpetuity. Once you have checked the Acropolis and Parthenon off your list in the Greek capital, cruise around its Mediterranean islands, including Santorini , Mykonos , Paxos , Corfu , and Crete . If it’s all Greek to you, check out our article 11 Important Things To Know Before Your First Trip To Greece to avoid any surprises !

Related Reading:

  • 17 Most Popular Tour Destinations To Visit In 2023, According To Experts
  • 12 Under-The-Radar Tour Destinations For 2023, According To Experts
  • National Geographic Reveals 25 Amazing Places To Travel In 2023

Image of Laura Ray

Laura Ray has lived in Atlanta, the Bay Area, SoCal, and Austin. After moving from Texas, she and her husband rambled about the Midwest in a camper for a couple of years before finally settling on 35 acres in their home state of Kentucky. When she isn't clacking around on the keyboard (cat in lap), you can find her practicing yoga, gardening, or playing the ukulele. This travel-lover's favorite destinations include Italy, the Greek isles, and Kentucky Lake.

  • Search Please fill out this field.
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Give a Gift Subscription
  • Newsletters
  • Sweepstakes
  • Destinations
  • The Caribbean

The Best Hidden Gem Destinations to Visit in 2023, According to Travel Experts

Looking for an eco-resort in Ecuador? A Japanese village lined with boathouses? A fly-fishing paradise in Cuba? Our travel experts reveal their favorite hidden destinations.

Since 1971, Travel + Leisure editors have followed one mission: to inform, inspire, and guide travelers to have deeper, more meaningful experiences. T+L's editors have traveled to countries all over the world, having flown, sailed, road tripped, and taken the train countless miles. They've visited small towns and big cities, hidden gems and popular destinations, beaches and mountains, and everything in between. With a breadth of knowledge about destinations around the globe, air travel, cruises, hotels, food and drinks, outdoor adventure, and more, they are able to take their real-world experience and provide readers with tried-and-tested trip ideas, in-depth intel, and inspiration at every point of a journey.

SimonDannhauer/Getty Images

Ever wondered where seasoned travels go to avoid the crowds and find real culture away from touristy hubs? We asked our  A-List advisors  to share their favorite "hidden gem” destinations in 2023 that are lesser-known and offer incredible experiences steeped in local flavor.

Outer Islands, Italy

“If you’re looking for a different Italy, one where time has stood still, head to the so-called outer islands. It will involve one more flight or boat, but you'll be rewarded with fewer travelers. The Aeolian Islands are a volcanic archipelago where you can hike Stromboli (volcano permitting) , boat around Panarea, and taste Malvasia di Lipari wines. Pantelleria, Italy’s southernmost point, is about 47 miles from Tunisia, giving the island a decidedly North African feel. And Ponza, part of the Pontine Islands, begs you to discover its seaside coves and white-sand beaches. — Joyce Falcone, The Italian Concierge

Lyon, France

“France is so much more than Paris and the South. Discover lesser-known regions such as Burgundy, the Loire Valley, and Brittany. Lyon amazes travelers every time they visit, with cultural, gastronomic, and architectural delights. Let your travel expert show you a more authentic France at prices that are considerably less than the country’s top spots, even in high season.” — Philip Haslett, French Promise

Smaller Greek Islands and Wroclaw, Poland

“Tourists are flocking to Greece, especially places like Mykonos and Santorini, but we're having great success encouraging people to consider the smaller and less-famous islands of Milos and Naxos. In Poland, as much as we love Krakow, it's the country's most touristy city. Wroclaw, a university city less than 200 miles from Krakow, is a below-the-radar delight, with similar architecture and far fewer crowds.” — Jay Ternavan, JayWay Travel

Aurore Kervoern/Getty Images

Siracusa, Italy

“I'm a big fan of Siracusa in Sicily. This jewel gets overlooked because it doesn't have big-brand hotels, but it's a magical city with a Greek and Roman history. Great boutique hotels give you easy access to explore this UNESCO World Heritage site.” — Keith Waldon, Departure Lounge

Asturias, Spain

“Asturias in northern Spain crams everything into its borders, including snowy mountains and sandy beaches, humble tapas bars and avant-garde restaurants, raucous fiestas and quiet valleys where bears and wolves still roam.” — Nigel Hack, Madrid & Beyond

Alex/Getty Images

Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador

“Mashpi Lodge, a former National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World property, is tucked away in a private reserve in Ecuador. There are waterfalls, butterflies, soaring views over the canopy, and private birding guides. It is a challenging three-hour transfer from the airport, but worth every moment for luxury in the middle of the wilderness.” — Allie Almario, Premier Tours

mehdi33300/Getty Images

Barichara, Colombia

“Barichara is an incredible hidden gem in Colombia, a perfectly preserved colonial village with a strong artistic community and few crowds. It's near one of the world's deepest canyons, Chicamocha, and is a great base for family adventure, including hiking, biking, horseback riding, rafting, and rappelling.” — Joe Sandillo, Almaz Journeys

San Blas Islands, Panama

“The San Blas Islands of Panama are a stunning archipelago of 365 picture-perfect islands. Home to white-sand beaches lined with coconut trees, pristine coral reefs, and crystal-clear waters, the San Blas Islands are where travelers can disconnect from the outside world and enjoy the slower pace of island life. The islands are run by the Indigenous Guna tribe, and guests have the chance to immerse themselves in Guna culture.” — Emmanuel Burgio, Blue Parallel

Jardines de la Reina, Cuba

Jardines de la Reina, a protected archipelago off the southern coast of Cuba, is a diving and fly-fishing paradise that also offers local Cuban culture. It was named by Christopher Columbus in honor of the Queen of Spain.” — Betsy Donley, Camelback Odyssey Travel

Lanai, Hawaii

“In Hawaii, the two hidden gems are the island of Lanai and Kauai. Lanai has a population of only 3,100 people, so if you're looking to get far from crowds, this is the island to unplug and relax on. Lanai City features casual restaurants and art galleries. Plan a trip around the July Pineapple Festival, and you'll enjoy a small-town feel. For lodging, stay at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai , Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort , or Hotel Lanai .” — Jim Bendt, Pique Travel Design

preuk13/Getty Images

Nikko, Japan

“Nikko in the Tochigi Prefecture of Japan offers mystical views of a mountain region and is home to the famous 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' monkeys. Luxury accommodations have arrived, which makes a two-night stay a must. Another gem is Kyoto by the Sea. Two exceptional areas are Amanohashidate, a gorgeous sandbar jetting out into the Sea of Japan, and Ine, a bayside fishing village lined with boathouses.” — Scott Gilman, JapanQuest Journeys

Tsodilo Hills, Bostwana

“The Tsodilo Hills, in the northwest corner of Botswana, offer an archaeological record of human activities and environmental changes over 100,000 years. Imposing rock paintings inside shelters and caves may date back as early as the Stone Age. Massive quartzite rock formations and a dry fossil lakebed also provide insight into early human life.” — Julian Harrison, Premier Tours

Luc Hardy/Getty Images

South Georgia Island

“South Georgia, an island halfway between Antarctica and Argentina, is sometimes called the 'Serengeti of the Southern Ocean.' Imagine being surrounded by as many as 450,000 penguins, elephant seals, albatross, and so much more. To us, this is the wildlife fantasy that people dream of, and the absolute highlight of any trip to Antarctica.” — Jonathan Alder, Jonathan’s Travels

Related Articles

Map Options

map placeholder

Most Visited Countries 2024

European countries, often rich in history, culture, beautiful beaches, and ocean views, attract the highest number of tourists.

France, leading in tourism for over 30 years, offers attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Disneyland Paris, drawing 38 million tourists to Paris alone in 2019.

Global travel and tourism, an $8.9 trillion industry in 2019, suffered a loss of $4.5 trillion and 62 million jobs in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Global travel and tourism was an $8.9 trillion (US$) business in 2019 . Moreover, though the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced that number to roughly a quarter of its previous value, all signs point to tourism continuing to grow, expand, and evolve. Every country on Earth has something to offer international visitors, from the pyramids in Egypt to the rainforests of Brazil or the sidewalk cafes of Paris —but which countries attract the most visitors of all? Most of the countries with the highest tourism rates are located in Europe , whose rich history, architecture, and cultural influence make it an appealing destination for many travelers. Countries positioned on or near a body of water are also very popular, particularly those that offer a relaxed, low-key atmosphere mixed with beautiful beaches and ocean views.

Top 10 Countries Most Popular with Tourists (by number of 2019 visitor arrivals)

The most popular tourist destination in the world for more than 30 years, France offers a myriad of attractions: the Eiffel tower, countless world-class restaurants, the Musée du Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, the Notre-Dame cathedral, the beaches of the Côte d'Azur, and of course, Disneyland Paris. Moreover, the lushly beautiful countryside is full of storybook villages, mountains, vineyards, and the occasional castle. One can even view prehistoric cave paintings in Lascaux. Paris, France's capital, is the most visited city in Europe, receiving 38 million tourists in 2019.

Spain is another tourist destination overflowing with interesting attractions. Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia cathedral and other works in Barcelona , the Guggenheim museum, the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, Europe's largest aquarium (the lily-shaped L'Oceanogràfic), the beaches of Gran Canaria, and La Rambla in Barcelona. Spain is also home to El Teide, an ancient—but not entirely dormant—volcano, which visitors can hike around at the Parque Nacional del Teide on the Spanish island Tenerife.

England's capital city, London , attracts visitors with a wide range of sights including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and the British Museum, which includes the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo . Beyond London, England offers the mysterious Stonehenge, the Beatles' birthplace in Liverpool , the quaint beauty of the Cotswolds, the sci-fi botanical gardens of the Eden Project, and more. Speaking of more, the UK also includes three additional subdivisions. First is Scotland, with the charming city of Edinburgh , moody Loch Ness and Inverness , the scenic highlands, and the historic St. Andrews golf course. Next comes charming Wales and its castles, scenery, and capital city of Cardiff . Finally, Northern Ireland boasts attractions including Belfast 's bubbling nightlife, the glens and coastline of Antrim, and one of Europe's most compelling natural wonders: the Giant's Causeway.

The Mediterranean nation Turkey balances captivating man-made attractions such as Hagia Sophia mosque and Topkapı Palace with archaeological wonders such as the Biblical city of Ephesus, the fairy city of Cappadocia, and the desolate fallen splendor of Mount Nemrut. It also has more than its share of natural wonders, including the famous beaches at Ölüdeniz and Patara, the mineral pools at Pamukkale, and the Mediterranean coastline itself.

The South Asian country of Thailand is also known as the "Land of Smiles", and offers both modern comforts and wild adventure. Thailand's capital, Bangkok , receives over 20 million visitors every year. Popular attractions include the Grand Palace in Bangkok; beaches including Railay, Long, and Monkey beach; the ancient city Ayutthaya and ornate Buddhist wat Coi Suthep, and national parks including Khao Yai (where wild elephants roam) and the otherworldly Khao Sok.

The impact of COVID-19 on travel and tourism

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21 had a devastating effect on the travel and tourism industry. According to a report released by the World Travel & Tourism Council , the pandemic cost the industry an estimated US$ 4.5 trillion in 2020, which resulted in the loss of 62 million tourism-dependent jobs. Data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization backs this up. Consider the following table:

International tourist arrivals (in thousands of visitors):

Compared to 2019, tourism dropped by approximately 74% in 2020, with a total of a billion fewer travelers over the course of the year--making 2020 the worst year on record for tourism. The UNTWO's own estimates registered a loss of US$ 1.3 trillion in lost revenues and 100-120 million jobs either lost or at risk.

The impact has been particularly damaging in countries that rely heavily upon tourism as part of their GDP. Lost tourism in Macau , one of China 's special administrative regions, led to a 79.3% drop in year-on-year gambling revenues , which caused overall GDP for 2020 to fall 43.1% compared to the previous year.

While tourism has picked up slightly in 2021, they still fall far short of the pre-pandemic numbers. Late 2020 projections were hopeful that the industry would be back on track by late 2021, but the ongoing nature of the pandemic has thwarted that optimism. As of late 2021, most estimates do not expect the industry to rebound to 2019 (pre-COVID) levels until sometime in 2023 at the earliest.

  • Visitor totals are displayed in 1000s. For example, South Africa 's displayed total of 3886.6 equals 3,886,600 visitors.

Download Table Data

Enter your email below, and you'll receive this table's data in your inbox momentarily.

What are the top 5 most visited countries?

Frequently asked questions.

  • UNWTO Tourism Data Dashboard - United Nations World Tourism Organization
  • World Tourism Barometer - United Nations World Tourism Organization
  • Trending in Travel - World Travel & Tourism Council
  • Economic Impact Reports - World Travel & Tourism Council

top 10 travel destinations 2023

NYC steeply drops off top 10 list of home sharing destinations for July 4 as hotel rates soar: report

N ew York City has dropped off the top 10 list of home sharing destinations for the Fourth of July following a clampdown that has meanwhile sent hotel rates soaring citywide, according to a report.

The report by AirDNA, which tracks bookings on Airbnb and VRBO, showed the Big Apple plunged to No. 54 — down precipitously from its two-year perch at No. 10 in 2023 and 2022.

New York City lost the most bookings compared with any other market, according to the report. It was replaced in the top 10 by oceanside property in Delaware and Maryland, which is now ranks at No. 7.

The city’s dizzying drop in the rankings comes as local officials crack down on home sharing sites including AirBnb.

Under new, restrictive rules that went into effect last September hosts must register with the city and can’t rent out their apartments for less than 30 days unless they are at home while their guests are visiting.

“New York City’s strict regulations on short-term rentals have significantly reduced the number of legal listings,” AirDNA’s chief economist Jamie Lane told The Post in a statement.

At the same time, hotel rates in NYC have shot up. The average daily rate for a hotel stay in New York City increased to $301.61 in 2023, up 8.5% from $277.92 in 2022, according to CoStar data.

Hotel rates have continued to rise in 2024, and were up by 6.7% to $231 during the first several months of the year when most rates dip because of slower demand compared to the same period in 2023.

In New York, just 2,242 hosts are registered with the city agency enforcing the new regulations – known as Local Law 18 – which among other things limits reservations to two guests. 

The law also imposes hefty fines for violations, including longstanding rules that hosts be home for the duration of the stay.

Short-term rental listings dropped by 82% from 22,246 last August to 4,000 in May, “potentially making the city less attractive to tourists,” Lane added.

The city has argued that Local Law 18 was necessary, because too many hosts didn’t follow existing rules and were a menace to their neighbors and contribute to the affordable housing crisis in the Big Apple.

“The short term rental registration program has been pivotal in protecting the city’s housing stock from illicit activity and keeping New Yorkers safe,” Christian Kossner, executive director of the Office of Special Enforcement told travel trade publication Skift .

“It has effectively prevented the misuse of thousands of permanent housing units for illegal short-term rentals,” Klossner added.

Other big cities that passed laws to regulate short term rentals are also losing out to coastal and rural regions for the Fourth of July, AirDNA reports.

Coastal locations are the most popular, with 1.63 million nights already booked, or a 7.7% increase over the same period last year while rural locations are seeing demand rise by 10.6% compared to a year ago, AirDNA reports.

NYC steeply drops off top 10 list of home sharing destinations for July 4 as hotel rates soar: report

More From Forbes

The 20 best places to travel in the u.s. in 2023, according to the experts.

  • Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to Linkedin

For the past three years, with borders closed around the globe, U.S. travel has provided Americans with much-needed solace—a tonic during a time of uncertainty and fear. We rediscovered national parks, we explored this country’s hidden shores and we found new appreciation for America’s wide open spaces.

Despite the fact that many international countries have reopened to travelers, domestic travel remains strong, according to the U.S. Travel Association —proving that there’s still a lot to discover close to home.

A view of Avila Beach, along the Central Coast of California, one of the best places to travel in ... [+] 2023.

So what are the best places to travel right now? Every year, I round up the best places to visit in America. Once again, I tapped into leading women travel experts and influencers to find out their favorite places to travel in the U.S. in 2023. I also opened my own little black book to reveal the destinations that are on my radar.

This year, the top choices for where to go span the country from coast to coast, ranging from seaside escapes to mountain hideaways to urban hot spots, with some surprises thrown in along the way. Compare these choices to 2022’s list of the best places to travel in America , and it’s clear that the U.S. is the travel gift that keeps on giving.

Road tripping in Phoenix, which is one of the best places to travel in the US in 2023.

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Of September 2023

Best 5% interest savings accounts of september 2023, where to go: phoenix, arizona.

Chosen By : Lucee Santini is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger who has contributed to Huffington Post , SheBuysTravels and Newsbreak and is the chief editor and writer for She shares her adventures and tips on Instagram @ and @familytraveldestinations.

Why : Phoenix made headlines recently as the host of Superbowl LVII, the kickoff location of Taylor Swift’s tour and the home of the MLB Spring Training. But there’s so much to experience in Greater Phoenix in 2023—one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.—not to mention the natural beauty that made it a must-visit destination in the first place. “The Valley of the Sun is known for sunny weather all year around, beautiful hikes and scenic landscapes,” says Lucee Santini, who is a big fan of spots like the Desert Botanical Garden , a 144-acre oasis in the middle of the desert.

The city is in the midst of a $23 million redesign of South Mountain Park and Preserve—America’s biggest urban park—that will culminate with the park’s 100th anniversary in 2024. “Stay at WorldMark Phoenix - South Mountain Preserve ,” says Santini. “It’s the perfect home base to explore nearby trails and catch an amazing show or exhibition.”

Over the next year, Phoenix will see the opening of several major resorts, including Moxy Phoenix Downtown (set in a 1920’s Luhrs building), The Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley, The Palmeraie (overlooking Camelback Mountain) and the $1 billion VAI (complete with white-sand beaches, a 52,000-square-foot party island and the Mattel Adventure Park).

Some iconic properties are also getting overhauled. The Wigwam , an historic resort with luxury casitas and suites in the West Valley, will undergo a comprehensive renovation in 2023. Look for two expansive swimming pools, bocce and tennis courts, as well as an enhanced golf club with 54 holes of championship golf including two courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Meanwhile, JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa recently debuted an $80 million transformation and will soon be unveiling a reimagined AquaRidge Water Park, as well as a new Pan-Asian restaurant concept, Kembara.

The Phoenix metropolitan area’s food and wine scene is also exploding, with exciting entries like Chic Chef 77 (Arizona’s first Black-owned wine bar from celebrity chef Nik Fields) and Chilte (Mexican street food at the Grand Avenue Arts District’s new Egyptian Motor Hotel). The drinks scene is also making global headlines , thanks to trend-defining spots like Platform 18 and UnderTow , which have established a new brand of cocktail theater.

Talley Farms Vineyard in San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast of California.

Where to Go: Central Coast, California

Chosen By: Molly O’Brien is a freelance journalist.

Why: The Central Coast of California—stretching from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo—is undergoing a renaissance, with new and renovated hotels, expanded wine offerings and a burgeoning culinary scene, not to mention a unique vibe. “Something special just opens up inside of you when you're on the Central Coast,” says Molly O’Brien. “Perhaps it’s the warmth of the community that welcomes you, or the abundance of open space to explore, or maybe it’s the freshness of the ingredients used in the local dining and drinks scene—you can feel yourself almost instantly relax and let go of your stresses.”

In Santa Barbara—which is also known as America’s very own Riviera—the new tech-driven boutique hotel, Drift Santa Barbara , officially opened its doors in early 2023 in a restored 1920s building, offering contactless check-in, a third-wave coffee shop and eatery (Dawn) and a craft bar (Dusk) inspired by Mexican heritage. The Steward , a new Tribute Portfolio Marriott Hotel, is set to make its debut in May. Set on nearly five acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, this all-suite boutique hotel has a deep commitment to sustainability, from eliminating single-use plastics to using staff uniforms made of vegan materials.

The area’s art and food scene is also buzzing. The former Bellosguardo estate will open to the public for the first time later in 2023, while the Urban Wine Trail is welcoming numerous new tasting rooms, including La Lieff Wines and Frequency Wine Co. Among Santa Barbara's culinary newcomers are the Rosewood Miramar Beach's AMA restaurant (which serves authentic Japanese sushi in a beautiful setting) and Augie's tequila bar and restaurant (which features the largest selection of tequilas and mezcals on the West Coast, including local agave spirits).

There’s lots of other exciting news in 2023 throughout the Central Coast—from the latest American Viticultural Area , which is growing in size, to new restaurants like the Italian-inspired Cielo (opening in Atascadero) and Antigua Brewing Company (set to open in San Luis Obispo). The wine-tasting destination of Paso Robles now boasts a new Michelin star at Six Test Kitchen and the town will soon be home to two Nomada Hotel Group properties: the Farmhouse and River Lodge, offering easy access to the quaint downtown area. What’s old is also new: In the once forgotten frontier town of Pozo, the Nomada Hotel Group is transforming the iconic Pozo Saloon into a modern day travel escape with Airstreams, glamping tents, RV hookups for sprinter vans, outdoor soaking tubs and a distillery.

Exploring San Francisco.

Where to Go: San Francisco, California

Chosen By: Emily Carmichael is the managing editor of Fifty Grande .

Why: The City by the Bay is buzzing this year, thanks to an array of fresh concepts in hospitality, food, technology, green spaces and sustainability. “With all the Silicon Valley distress, people may be tired of hearing about SF at this point, but if there’s one thing they should pay attention to, it’s the city’s leadership in sustainability. It made our sustainability-slanted list of best destinations in 2023,” says Emily Carmichael.

Exciting openings include the Hearst Hotel from Auberge Resorts (which is transforming an iconic building into a lavish space that blends tradition and innovation) and the LINE Hotel San Francisco (a contemporary interpretation of the area’s historic architecture with a landscaped rooftop solarium that has panoramic city views).

Additionally, the recently opened Presidio Tunnel Tops , designed by James Corner Field Operations (the firm behind New York City’s High Line), is providing the city with an abundance of space to explore and relax among 14 acres of new national park land and panoramic views of the Bay.

The culinary scene is also red-hot. “It’s not hard to find really delicious food here that emphasizes sustainability or local sourcing like that of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese or Lolo,” says Carmichael. “There’s also the Japanese Tea Garden and picnics in Dolores Park. San Francisco is just a great place to eat and be outdoors, fog be damned.”

Then there’s the influence of technology. Joining the growing NFT phenomenon is SHŌ , a two-story culinary and entertainment nightlife experience that will debut in downtown San Francisco in fall 2023. The concept will include a restaurant and rooftop Sky Lounge, as well as a private membership club with the purchase of an NFT.

Overlooking the heated outdoor pool at the Grand Hyatt Vail.

Where to Go: Vail, Colorado

Chosen By: Laura Begley Bloom is a travel expert and the author of this column.

Why: Sixty years ago, a group of visionaries decided to open a ski resort at Vail Mountain that would eventually revolutionize the industry and help make this former mining town a must-visit not only for the jet set but for nature lovers looking for year-round adventures. As the mountain hits its 60th anniversary, Vail has a lot to celebrate in 2023.

A big headliner is Camp Hale , President Biden’s first national monument. The groundbreaking new monument on the outskirts of town honors this area’s original dwellers, the Ute people, as well as the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, which helped liberate Europe in World War II and used to train here. Plus, there are 53,804 acres to explore with mountain biking, guided hiking, rock climbing, fly fishing and overnight excursions to the nearby 10 th Mountain Division Huts. (Delaware North recently announced the acquisition of Nova Guides, an outdoor recreation and adventure tour company based at Camp Hale.)

In other feel-good news, Vail Resorts has reached 100% renewable electricity not only in Vail itself, but across all of its North American ski resorts. It’s part of this trailblazing company’s Commitment to Zero effort to reach a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Vail has also built two new lifts at Wildwood and paired up with the local 10th Mountain Whiskey distillery to create a pair of limited-edition bourbons in honor of the anniversary.

In a town where restaurants, lounges and hotels are always innovating, the hot dining reservation is the private gondola experience at Alpenrose , while Chasing Rabbits is shaking things up with its a unique entertainment venue that includes dining, an arthouse cinema, a cocktail-forward speakeasy and more.

Set at the base of Vail Mountain along the revered fly-fishing waters of Gore Creek, Grand Hyatt Vail is also pulling out all the stops for its own milestone 40th anniversary. New executive chef Pascal Coudouy is reimagining the alpine menu at the fine dining restaurant Gessner, while the Yoshimi pop-up restaurant has been so popular that it will soon be replaced with a new permanent sushi restaurant. And the hotel has introduced plenty of memorable moments, from an après ski Moët Yurt to Colorado’s first and only Moët & Chandon champagne vending machine. Even dogs get spoiled at the summertime Yappy Hour.

Skytop Mountain House in Bailey, Colorado

Where to Go: Bailey, Colorado

Chosen By: Kathryn O’Shea-Evans is a travel and design writer and co-author of the new book Lodge: An Indoorsy Tour of America’s National Parks (Gibbs Smith, April 2023), with a foreword by Ken Burns.

Why: “Colorado locals like me know the truth: Sometimes, you’ll get stuck in crazy-making, Los Angeles-worthy traffic on 1-70 for hours just trying to get into the mountains for a ski day or alpine hiking adventure,” says Kathryn O’Shea-Evans.

But O’Shea-Evans and her husband recently discovered a dreamy alternative far from the madding crowds: Bailey, Colorado. “It’s an easy one hour drive from downtown Denver on Highway 285 and chockablock with so many mountain thrills that it feels like you’re in an undiscovered corner of Europe,” says O’Shea-Evans.

To get into nature, O’Shea-Evans recommends Deer Creek Trail . “If you want to soak up a peaceful mountain forest and take a short, easy stroll along a rushing creek, this is the spot,” she says. Another favorite location: Wellington Lake . “Open year-round and a go-to for the region’s anglers, it’s stocked twice a year with fish like rainbow and palomino trout,” she says. To delve into regional history, McGraw Memorial Park is a must. “The 20-acre creekside park is home to a historic homestead from the 1870s, Keystone railroad bridge and Shawnee School,” says O’Shea-Evans.

Other top vacation spots include Aspen Peak Cellars , set on the banks of the South Platte River (“don’t miss the charcuterie board, fresh-baked baguette with Tuscan olive oil and authentic Swiss Cheese fondue”) and the PCCP Resale Boutique (“an entirely volunteer-run shop that’s a treasure trove of secondhand finds, all at amazing prices—whether you’re looking for wardrobe staples or fun kids toys”).

In fact, O’Shea-Evans loves Bailey so much that she and her husband bought a modern vacation house and turned it into a luxe short term rental, Skytop Mountain House . “It’s got a prime panorama over Bandit Peak and Rosalie Peak,” she says. “When we’re vacationing with our son up there, we always, always see wildlife—from elk to moose—and never experience a traffic jam. It’s Colorado the way it was meant to be…just don’t tell anybody about it.”

The clear waters of Florida's Henderson State Park.

Where: Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Chosen By: Kate Schweitzer is a Chicago-based freelance travel writer and mom of two. Follow her on Instagram @kateschweitzer .

Why: Family-friendly Destin-Fort Walton Beach offers near-perfect weather year-round, a growing hotel scene, rich ecotourism that the destination is working hard to protect, plus “a fishing community so vibrant that the beach town has come to be known as ‘the world’s luckiest fishing village,’” says Kate Schweitzer.

Set on the Gulf of Mexico, Destin provides travelers with an array of immersive and educational activities such as artificial reefs for snorkeling and diving, educational beach walks to learn more about sea turtles and emerald green waters where dolphins roam freely in their natural habitat. To protect and restore the local sea life, the destination has introduced a range of projects including new sea turtle lighting initiatives, the continental United States’ first ever Fishing Aggregating Device and The Emerald Coast Open and Lionfish Removal & Awareness Day Festival to promote effectively removing the invasive species from the Gulf.

“Visitors can also foster their love of marine life with a visit to Destin’s Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center , which promotes the rehabilitation and release of stranded sea turtles,” says Schweitzer. “My kiddos loved the marine-biologist-led tour just as much as setting sail on a trimaran in search of dolphins.”

Destin is also home to a buzzing gulf-to-table seafood scene, including spots like Lulu’s (owned by Jimmy Buffett’s little sister Lucy), Rockin Tacos and Brotula's Seafood House . “In fact, do some good and order up whatever lionfish—an invasive species that prey on the area’s native fish population—is on the menu,” says Schweitzer. “Destin truly is a Florida hidden gem, and you’ll be so glad you discovered it.”

A waterfront view of St. Pete, Florida.

Where to Go: St. Pete, Florida

Chosen By: Terry Ward is a Florida-based travel writer whose work appears in CNN, National Geographic, Lonely Planet and the Washington Post, among many other outlets. Follow her along her journey on Twitter and Instagram at @TerryWardWriter.

Why: “St. Pete presents one of Florida’s best mixes of a cool and lively urban downtown with beautiful beaches right nearby,” says Terry Ward. “The town is known for its art scene—from the murals everywhere to Salvador Dali and Renaissance masterworks in museums—but it remains delightfully casual and approachable at every level, too.”

With 35 miles of uninterrupted coastline including some of Florida’s top-rated beaches and a booming arts and culture scene, it’s no surprise that St. Pete is popping on travelers’ radars. The Dalí Museum continues to offer unique and innovative exhibits that explore multi-sensory, immersive experiences for all types of travelers and is a must visit when in the destination.

Also appealing: “It’s an LGBTQ+ haven and home to the state’s largest Pride parade every year,” says Ward. “And the new St. Pete Pier has become a center for gathering all year round, whether at a pop-up roller rink, among the pelicans and anglers casting out line at its tip or while enjoying sprawling views of downtown and Tampa Bay from a rooftop Tiki bar washed with salty breezes.”

This year is bringing big changes in the hospitality scene, including major renovations to the iconic Vinoy Resort & Golf Club and hot new hotels popping up all around town. The EDGE District is welcoming its first lifestyle property, the Moxy Hotel by Marriott , while Mint House is set to open in the district in June 2023, offering apartment-style accommodations. Additionally, the AC Hotel St. Petersburg by Marriott opened earlier this year.

And when it comes to soaking in St. Pete’s annual 361 days of sunshine, it doesn’t always happen at the beach. This year the 75-mile Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail Loop is being completed with a 6.7-mile addition. The multi-use pathway stretches from Tarpon Springs to St. Pete with connections to coastal communities along the way, making it a great way to explore the area.

Exploring Savannah, Georgia.

Where to Go: Savannah, Georgia

Chosen By: Melissa Klurman is a travel expert and contributor at Reader’s Digest , The Points Guy and Travel Awaits .

Why: A charming southern escape, the “Hostess City” of Savannah is a favorite of travel writer Melissa Klurman for its rich history—the entire downtown is a National Historic Landmark; its 22 park squares, including the illustrious Forsyth Park of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil fame; and, of course, its numerous regional culinary delights.

Despite its many allures, Klurman says, Savannah’s live music scene has been a bit under the radar. “Savannah is seemingly always in the shadow of Nashville and Austin. That’s all about to change though,” says Klurman.

This year, the city got a new entertainment venue, Enmarket Arena, bringing big name acts to a 9,500 seat arena. That comes on the heels of the opening of the Plant Riverside District, an entertainment zone that debuted during the pandemic.

Even more enticing is the vibrant Savannah Music Festival , a 17-day celebration of stellar live jazz, blues, folk, global roots and classical music. It’s an easy-to-attend (and enjoy) concert series, says Klurman, who also notes that tickets start at wallet friendly prices of just $31. “You can dip into indoor and outdoor performances, ticketed big name draws like Buddy Guy, or smaller lunchtime events to get a flavor of this southern festival,” says Klurman. “It’s been a local favorite for more than 30 years, but I’m betting that with the new focus on Savannah as a truly notable music destination, that the Savannah Music Festival will be at the top of music lovers’ lists in the coming years.”

A rendering of the Longfellow Hotel, which will open this summer in Portland’s historic West End ... [+] neighborhood.

Where to Go: Portland, Maine

Chosen By: Born and raised in Maine, Vanessa Santarelli is the founder of Your Maine Concierge (the state’s first custom guided-experience company) and co-host of the Maine Life TV show .

Why: “One could visit Portland for a week and still only scratch the surface of all that Maine’s largest city has to offer,” says Vanessa Santarelli.

From fine dining to local seaside eats, Portland has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the country besides San Francisco. Earlier this year, Per Se and Eleven Madison Park alums opened Twelve to rave reviews. Some other notable spots include The Danforth (a restaurant and cocktail bar with sleek interiors by the Death & Co team), Tandem (a bakery and coffee shop in a former gas station), Crispy Gai (“a locals’ hot spot where bartender Arvid Brown’s twist on the classic daiquiri with Thai basil is not to be missed,” says Santarelli). Miyake also just reopened after having been closed for years due to Covid. “Chef Masa’s signature hamayaki dish alone will make you want to plan your return trip to Maine before the check gets to the table,” says Santarelli.

Looking for a quintessential Maine experience? “Pop across the bridge to South Portland for local oysters on the half shell, ceviche, smoked trout and salmon toast at SoPo Seafood Market and Raw Bar , paired with a local craft beer like Patina from Austin Street Brewery , on their way to a casual, yet breathtakingly scenic lunch of delicious Maine lobster rolls on the no-frills picnic tables at the Lobster Shack at Two Lights, watching the sailboats and fishing vessels cruise by,” says Santarelli. “After lunch, walk in the footsteps of famed painter Winslow Homer by scheduling a private studio tour with the Portland Museum of Art on the ocean cliffs in Scarborough that inspired many of his most admired works.”

This year will also bring exciting hotel news: Designed by the same folks that did the acclaimed Lake House on Canandaiga , Longfellow Hotel will open this summer in Portland’s historic West End neighborhood. The property will be the first independent, full-service hotel to open in Portland in 20 years, and is the namesake of famed Portland poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Owned and operated by two lifelong Maine brothers, the hotel reinterprets Maine’s wild, rugged beauty into a sophisticated, calming oasis in the heart of Portland.

Another new hot spot: The Washington Baths , a design-forward Scandinavian style public bath house. This year will also mark the 200th anniversary of the first steamship to Portland from Boston, which started regular passenger service between the two cities and helped transform Maine into “Vacationland.”

A Sand Dune Trail in Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Traverse City, Michigan

Chosen By: Erica Zazo is a freelance outdoor and travel writer based in Chicago. She often writes about lesser-known hiking trails and outdoor adventures across the Midwest.

Why: For an underrated destination to add to your 2023 bucket list, look no further than waterfront Traverse City, located on the Northwest side of Michigan. The destination is the perfect blend of small-town charm, mixed with elevated offerings in the cultural and culinary space, such as Modern Bird (from a husband and wife duo who trained in Michelin-level kitchens) and Dennos Museum Center (with the largest collection of Inuit art in the country).

“As a Michigan native, I can’t say enough about my love of Traverse City,” says Erica Zazo. “I’m a huge fan of going on outdoor adventures throughout the region, including kayaking and fly fishing on the Boardman River, biking through downtown, hiking on Old Mission Peninsula and boating in the Grand Traverse Bay.”

One of this lesser-known destination’s claims to fame is that it is the country’s Cherry Capital: Visitors can stroll through the cherry blossom trees in springtime and celebrate the region’s favorite crop at the National Cherry Festival in July. Traverse City is also home to a hidden wine gem: the Traverse Wine Coast . With its location on the 45th parallel, the region lines up with prestigious wine regions in Europe and has two unique areas climatically moderated by the massive waters of Lake Michigan: The Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsula .

This is also beer country. “I’m a big Michigan craft beer fan, and visiting Farm Club north of downtown Traverse City is one of my favorite places to drink local beer,” says Zazo. “They have an amazing food menu, impressive brews and an unbeatable view from their amazingly beautiful taproom that oozes with cozy modern cabin vibes.” For a bike-and-brew adventure, Zazo recommends a ride along the Leelanau Trail, a 17-mile paved bike path that passes right by Farm Club and stretches all the way to Suttons Bay.

Lastly, Traverse City is a destination for all seasons—whether it’s skiing and winter sports at Crystal Mountain Resort, leaf peeping in the fall, or exploring Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in the spring and summer. For a great place to stay, the Alexandra Inn will debut this summer on a private beach along East Grand Traverse Bay. Each of the 32 guest rooms will have soaker tubs and glass-faced balconies with stunning water views.

Up-and-coming Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Where to Go: Mississippi

Why: The Magnolia State has everything a traveler could want in 2023, from a cutting-edge culinary scene to buzzing small towns to incredible natural beauty.

In Hattiesburg, take in over 50 pieces of art on the public art trail, tuck into the Hattiesburg Pocket Alley Pocket Museum (a 48×36-inch window display filled with a monthly rotating collection of objects) and thrift your heart out at the Lucky Rabbit , which even has glassblowing demonstrations.

Other hidden-gem towns include Waveland (the only community of the Gulf Coast that prohibits commercial buildings on its beachfront), Bay St. Louis (which has a quaint downtown filled with art galleries and antique shops) and Diamondhead (known for its golf scene and some of the best greens on the coast.

Mississippi has also carved out a signature culinary culture, with high-end dining by celebrity chefs to farm-to-table spots to no-frills establishments. In historic downtown Ocean Springs, Vestige offers a contemporary American menu paired with inspiration of the flavors and techniques of Japan, while at Elvie’s in Jackson, chef Hunter Evans channels his passion for food and hospitality learned in his grandmother Elvieretta’s New Orleans kitchen. The Delta is also known for tamales, and the easiest way to experience this beloved snack is by following the Hot Tamale Trail .

When it comes to nature, Quapaw Canoe Company runs daytrip and overnight wilderness customized expeditions on the Lower Mississippi River via its Back Waters, Bayous, Oxbows and Flood Plain. The Mississippi also offers great birding throughout its forests and sandy beaches, and the Mississippi Coastal Birding Trail helps guide visitors to identifying over 40 birding sites identified by local birders.

Mississippi’s lodging ranges from forest retreats to historic inns and everything in between. The Roost in Ocean Springs is a restored boutique hotel located within walking distance of the beach and the eclectic downtown. Set on 26 acres, the Monmouth Historic Inn in Natchez was originally built in 1818 and is now a National Historic Landmark.

Kansas City, Missouri's downtown skyline with Union Station.

Where to Go: Kansas City, Missouri

Chosen By: Anna Petrow is a Kansas City-based culinary, travel and lifestyle photographer and regular contributor to The New York Times, Travel + Leisure and Fathom .

Why: “Kansas City’s culture includes a unique blend of the creative and the culinary,” says Anna Petrow. “A city positioned in the heartland, our chefs and farmers were among the first in the country to quietly lead the farm to table movement.”

Now, Kansas City is having its moment, thanks in part to people who genuinely care about where their food comes from. “You see that care come to life in a creative way in everything from cocktails to chocolate handcrafted in KC,” says Petrow. “Christopher Elbow ’s confections have gained a place on the national stage, while local liquor brands like J. Rieger & Co. and Mean Mule have quickly won the hearts of Kansas Citians through both innovation and homage to the heritage of our city, which eschewed prohibition in favor of speakeasies and jazz, earning us the nickname ‘Paris of the Plains.’”

Another hallmark of this city is that it’s a place that values community over competition. “You see this all the time, from restaurants supporting each other’s new ventures, to coffee shops leading the charge for community initiatives,” says Petrow. One person who embodies this spirit: Jackie Nguyen, owner of Vietnamese coffee shop Cafe Cà Phê . “Her shop has become a home for artists, organizers and dreamers,” says Petrow. “Rarely a week goes by when they aren’t hosting a culture workshop or fundraiser for a fellow small business inventor—true advocacy.”

All of this feeds into the general spirit of support for the arts, including First Fridays in the Crossroads , open gallery nights, street art festivals that draw big crowds, open-air barbecue competitions in the summer and institutions like the beloved American Jazz Museum . “Great food and drink are never far behind,” says Petrow. Case in point? “KC’s most anticipated brewery, Black-founded and owned Vine Street Brewing , will be opening near the museum this year,” says Petrow. “So go ahead and book a flight to our new airport—your tastebuds will thank you.”

A nighttime view of Atlantic City's waterfront.

Where to Go: Atlantic City, New Jersey

Chosen By: Andrea Doyle , a journalist with Skift Meetings.

Why: “Atlantic City is set to have a banner 2023 and I will be a frequent visitor,” says Andrea Doyle. America’s Playground (as this beachside city is called) has seen significant reinvestment into the destination over the last several years, including multi-million dollar hotel renovations, game-changing restaurants and all-new attractions.

“There are so many new features coming online that I am excited to experience,” says Andrea Doyle. “I am looking forward to dining at Nobu , which is set to open this year, enjoying a show at Spiegelworld and checking out a few of the many top-name concerts featured this summer.”

When it arrives at Caesars in Atlantic City with a brand new production of “The Hook” in summer 2023, Spiegelworld is set to be the planet’s premier purveyor of submersive entertainment. Also bringing new life to the destination: the highly-anticipated $55 million rebrand and remodel of Borgata’s Water Club to MGM Tower. Adding to the excitement: Island Waterpark at Showboat Atlantic City , which will be the largest indoor waterpark in the country and will feature state-of-the-art surf machines creating life-size waves and the largest custom aqua forms in the world.

And of course, there are the tried-and-true favorites that continue to deliver. “On getaways with my girlfriends as well as my book club, we enjoy shopping, dining at prestigious restaurants, spa treatments at wellness centers like Exhale Spa + Bathhouse at Ocean and dancing the night away at Boogie Nights at Tropicana ,” says Doyle.

Niagara Falls on a summer day.

Where: Niagara Falls, New York

Chosen By: Michele Herrmann, Travel, Culinary and Lifestyle Freelance Writer and Content Creator

Why: Niagara Falls is a bucket-list destination for people from all over the world, thanks to iconic attractions such as the Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds . Founded in 1885, Niagara Falls State Park has always been a point of interest for visitors to the Falls, and now a new $46 million Welcome Center opening later this spring will feature sustainable elements, hands-on exhibits and indigenous history to enrich the experience.

“The New York State side of Niagara Falls has really seen a lot of growth and revitalization,” says Michele Herrmann. “From establishments such as Wine on Third, to the new Visitor’s Center, there’s a lot going on. Other sites to visit include the Aquarium of Niagara and the Niagara Power Vista.”

Nature is the focal point of any visit to Niagara Falls USA, and the new Niagara Hiking Company offers guided day hikes into the Niagara Gorge, with scenic vantage points and narrated history of the area.

A short walk from Niagara Falls, visitors can stay at the Red Coach Inn , celebrating its 100 th anniversary in 2023. The historic hotel overlooks the spectacular Upper Rapids of the Niagara River. Also located within walking distance of Niagara Falls: the recently renovated voco The Cadence Hotel . Rooms have balconies where guests can kick up their feet and enjoy a glass of wine from one of the many local Niagara wineries .

Oklahoma City's Bricktown neighborhood at dusk.

Where to Go: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Chosen By: Kay Kingsman, travel writer and blogger at The Awkward Traveller .

Why: “Oklahoma City is not often at the top of dream destinations for travelers, but 2023 is the year that will change,” says Kay Kingsman. “Other cities around the country may get the colloquial title of ‘weird’ or ‘quirky,’ but Oklahoma City, also called OKC for short, flies under the radar for its unconventional attractions and locally curated art scene.”

The Bradford House boutique hotel in uptown is a new staple to OKC hospitality. “It offers guests unique guest rooms, delightful afternoon tea, jazz nights with regional musicians, and even weekly French classes,” says Kingsman. “It’ll be hard to leave your cozy hotel room, but once you do, check out two of the most unique museums you'll ever come across: the American Banjo Museum and the American Pigeon Museum . While both are seemingly random, visitors will learn how both pigeons and banjos were integral to the foundation of modern American culture.”

Be sure to round out your cultural enrichment with a trip to the newly opened First Americans Museum . “It explains the decolonized history of the Americas through the lens of the continent’s Indigenous peoples,” says Kingsman.

There are other amazing things to do in OKC beyond museums. “Have a psychedelic experience at Factory Obscura and dine at the award-winning Grey Sweater restaurant,” says Kingsman. “Oklahoma City is also a fantastic road trip stop, as it lies along Route 66, one of the strangest, but also most artistic, highways in the country.”

Whether you are just passing through or staying a while, be sure to also add on at least a day trip to the nearby city of Tulsa. “Tulsa is a destination all on its own, but if you only have time for one activity, be sure to join the eye-opening Greenwood Black Wall Street tour ,” says Kingsman. “Visitors will learn the seedy reality of how government entities systemically destroy and displace Black neighborhoods, and also the steps on what they can do to take action.”

The skyline of Portland, Oregon, with Mt. Hood in the distance.

Where to Go: Portland, Oregon

Why: “Like a phoenix from the ashes, Portland, Oregon is reemerging in 2023 with unprecedented growth in the food and beverage scene, both in quality and variety,” says Kay Kingsman.

Awarded “best foodie city of 2022” by WalletHub, Portland is leading the industry in innovative menus representing cuisines from every corner of the globe. “One especially exciting trait of Portland’s new trajectory is how many of the new and rising businesses are owned and operated by BIPOC and LGBTQA+ trailblazers, reinforcing that a visit to Portland can suit every traveler,” says Kingsman.

With so many great food options, it might be a little overwhelming for first-time visitors. Kingsman’s top recommendations: Matutitna or Masala Lab for breakfast, followed by Nong’s Khao Man Gai or Heavy Plays for lunch. “End the night with a bang at República or Kann , both James Beard-nominated restaurants,” says Kingsman. Or grab a bite at the establishments that made Portland a household name in the culinary world: food carts. “There are literally hundreds of food carts, and for the most part you can’t go wrong, but a few of my personal favorites are Balong , Erica’s Soul Food , Kim Jong Grillin and Speed-o Cappuccino ,” says Kingsman.

How to fill your time between meals? “Get active at a few of the new inclusive fitness studios like Flow in the City or join in for a community run hosted by Deadstock Coffee Roasters ,” says Kingsman. “You can also go at your own pace with a stroll through the Portland Japanese Garden , which added a new tea cafe, or explore the city on an urban hike and pop into a few locally owned small businesses for a little souvenir shopping—sales tax free.”

Exploring Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th-century Spanish fort in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Where to Go: Puerto Rico

Why: Powerfully rebounding from Hurricane Irma and Maria in 2017, Puerto Rico is sprinting full speed ahead into 2023—and beyond—with new avenues to enjoy while remaining loyal to its Boricuan identity. “One of the first things visitors may notice is the variety of lodging options that directly benefit the community, like the Dreamers Welcome , a new LGBTQIA-owned hospitality group co-founded by Puerto Rican artist and designer Roy Delgado,” says Kay Kingsman.

From surfing, to hiking, to just suntanning near the lagoons, Puerto Rico is a destination of natural beauty, with miles of beautiful coastlines and the only rainforest National Park in America. “For the nautically inclined, there are also multiple islands off the coast with soft white sand and crystal clear waters for snorkeling,” says Kingsman. “Or grab a kayak and waft through one (or all!) of the three bioluminescent bays.”

Other nature highlights include the reopening of the renowned Camuy Caves , known for its extensive network of natural lime caves and underground waterways waiting to be explored. And then there’s the state-of-the-art self-sustainable company Earthship PR , which offers educational tours and short-term rentals of its off-grid and sustainable homes built with recycled materials

Along with the island’s natural beauty, Puerto Rico’s cultural attractions are also a big draw. “Companies like Higuaca Adventours and Sojourn offer accessible Taino and Afro-Borinken heritage tours,” says Kingsman. Coupled with the worldwide explosion of Puerto Rican musicians such as Bad Bunny, Rauw Alejandro, and Villano Antillano, the island is experiencing incredible growth in the art scene as well. “Be sure to check out community art collectives such as El Local en Santurce to get the latest pulse on the creative events in Puerto Rico,” says Kingsman.

There are also a number of new restaurants blooming across the island. “A food tour with Flavors of San Juan Food or Spoon is a must-do to get a taste of some of the best flavors Puerto Rico has to offer,” says Kingsman. “If tours aren’t your style, you can DIY your own culinary adventure by following recommendations by local Puerto Rican food influencer Come Con Juan .”

Nneya Richards in Rhode Island's South County.

Where to Go: South County, Rhode Island

Chosen By: Nneya Richards is a speaker and travel blogger at ’N A Perfect World , a curated intersection of travel, food, fashion and geopolitics inspired by the global-citizen lifestyle of the millennial. Richards aims to empower young people, especially those of color, to travel, as she believes it is through exploring the world that we will bridge cultural gaps and misunderstandings.

Why: “It’s just over three hours away from NYC on a fast, comfortable Amtrak ride. But shhh… don’t tell the New Yorkers,” says Nneya Richards. “During the summer season, getting to South County, Rhode Island is easier than getting to the Hamptons. And you’re going to want to head here all year round.”

South County, Rhode Island is on the list for 2023, thanks to all its secret diversions and some not-so secret celebrity fans. “You may know the town of Watch Hill from Taylor Swift’s Last Great American Dynasty, ” says Richards. “Or maybe it’s because Watch Hill is home to the oldest Flying Horse carousel in the country, dating back to 1754.”

Also going for South County: “There’s something for everyone,” says Richards. “There are laidback surf town vibes in places like Narragansett, and you’ll find the best seafood in the country at restaurants like Matunuck Oyster Bar , and cuisine that could easily be just at home in a hotspot in Mexico City at Dalia , a waterfront Mexican restaurant at Ocean House.”

There’s plenty of hotel news in South County, including The Cottage Collection (new accommodations from the acclaimed by Ocean House), The General Stanton Inn (an historic property in Charlestown that’s reopening in May) and Surf Shack Bed & Breakfast (a funky inn coming in late 2023 in Narragansett).

Other new exciting spots include Double Barrel Steak by David Burke , which recently debuted at The Preserve Sporting Club & Residences and Seaside Shadows ghost tours in Westerly (new since last fall). And coming in 2024: Charleston’s Ninigret Park will be home to new Troll works by the famed Danish artist Thomas Dambo.

Best of all: “It’s one of those pockets of peace that the rugged coastlines of the Atlantic can do so well,” says Richards. “And the sunrises and sunsets are just marvelous.”

The clear nighttime skies in Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

Where to Go: South Dakota

Why: Besides its six national parks, 63 state parks and recreation areas, iconic monuments and scenic byways, South Dakota has plenty of new reasons to add the state to your travel bucket list in 2023.

In the legendary Badlands, the Oglala Lakota Living History Village is a new entry point to the beautiful landscape and the past and present culture of Lakota Country. Another new adventure in the heart of Lakota Country: a Buffalo Road Vacation at the legendary Farlee Ranch on the Cheyenne River Reservation, which provides visitors with an understanding of the life of Native Americans. This year also marks the 75 th year anniversary of the Crazy Horse monument—which is still being constructed and honors the Lakota leader who bravely defended the Lakota people’s way of life.

In Custer State Park, the new Bison Center brings an all-bison experience to the park’s scenic drive through the southern prairie, educating future generations on the importance of these majestic animals through dynamic interpretive displays. For a new way to see the Black Hills, the Custer-based Overland America specializes in off-road adventures in Jeep and Overland Trailer rentals.

Another South Dakota must-see for landscapes, tribal history and rich culture: the Native American Scenic Byway , which takes travelers through the lands of the Yankton, Crow Creek, Lower Brule, Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux Tribes.

South Dakota’s culinary scene might also surprise you, especially in Sioux Falls, which is home to spots like The Treasury (an imaginative cocktail lounge located through the bank vault doors of the area’s newest boutique hotel, Hotel on Phillips), Remedy Brewing Company (a newly opened family and dog-friendly brewery) and the trailblazing Sanaa’s Gourmet Mediterranean (led by 2023 James Beard Award-nominated chef Sanaa Abourezk).

The entrance to the Woodstock Inn & Resort in Woodstock, Vermont.

Where to Go: Woodstock, Vermont

Chosen By: Amanda Gabriele is a writer, editor, world traveler and martini enthusiast. She’s currently a senior editor at InsideHook and her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Eater, Gear Patrol, Thrillist, Matador and more. She lives in Brooklyn, New York but is constantly looking for her next adventure, which you can follow on Instagram @amandameatballs .

Why: Woodstock, Vermont has been making headlines for reasons big and small. The town was recently named to American Express Travel’s 2023 Trending Destinations list , based its popularity with cardholders. And the destination garnered attention when it reopened its iconic Suicide Six ski area—one of the oldest in the country— with a new name, Saskadena Six Ski Area , and new amenities. The change was recognized both for its long overdue nod to the Abenaki people’s ancestral lands, as well as the importance of mental health awareness.

The town’s simple appeals add to its allure. “I can’t think of a more idyllic place than Woodstock, Vermont—it makes for a perfect getaway in any season,” says Amanda Gabriele. “It has all the outdoor activities (hiking, skiing, fishing) and a lovely main street with great shops (don’t miss F.H. Gillingham and Sons, Woody’s Mercantile and Yankee Bookshop).”

For such a small town, Woodstock also has a buzzing hospitality scene. “I’m always in search of the perfect cocktail bar, and I could live inside Au Comptoir with its cozy interior and delicious drinks,” says Gabriele. On the mountain, Perley’s Pourhouse at Saskadena Six offers a selection of Vermont craft beer on tap, an outdoor wood-burning fireplace and fire pits.

The town is also home to the iconic Woodstock Inn & Resort . “It’s dog-friendly, which is a huge plus,” says Gabriele. “and there are comfy sitting areas (and an awesome game room!) scattered around the property that are perfect for a nightcap and chatting up new friends. Its two restaurants— Red Rooster and Richardson’s Tavern —are excellent and many of the dishes are made using fresh produce from the inn’s own garden.”

• Ranked: The 20 Happiest Countries In The World In 2023

• Quit Your Job And Move Abroad: 10 Cheapest Places To Live

Laura Begley Bloom

  • Editorial Standards
  • Reprints & Permissions

Join The Conversation

One Community. Many Voices. Create a free account to share your thoughts. 

Forbes Community Guidelines

Our community is about connecting people through open and thoughtful conversations. We want our readers to share their views and exchange ideas and facts in a safe space.

In order to do so, please follow the posting rules in our site's  Terms of Service.   We've summarized some of those key rules below. Simply put, keep it civil.

Your post will be rejected if we notice that it seems to contain:

  • False or intentionally out-of-context or misleading information
  • Insults, profanity, incoherent, obscene or inflammatory language or threats of any kind
  • Attacks on the identity of other commenters or the article's author
  • Content that otherwise violates our site's  terms.

User accounts will be blocked if we notice or believe that users are engaged in:

  • Continuous attempts to re-post comments that have been previously moderated/rejected
  • Racist, sexist, homophobic or other discriminatory comments
  • Attempts or tactics that put the site security at risk
  • Actions that otherwise violate our site's  terms.

So, how can you be a power user?

  • Stay on topic and share your insights
  • Feel free to be clear and thoughtful to get your point across
  • ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’ to show your point of view.
  • Protect your community.
  • Use the report tool to alert us when someone breaks the rules.

Thanks for reading our community guidelines. Please read the full list of posting rules found in our site's  Terms of Service.

top 10 travel destinations 2023


Our top 10 travel destinations for 2023.

Picture of Guardian Nigeria

  • January 1, 2023

top 10 travel destinations 2023

As the new year begins, everyone is looking for the perfect travel destination to kick off the year in style. While there are many great places to visit, there are a few that stand out for their unique charm and unforgettable experiences. Here are seven great travel destinations to consider in 2023: 

top 10 travel destinations 2023

  • Tokyo, Japan: Tokyo is the largest city in the world and offers a unique blend of modern and traditional culture. In Tokyo, you can experience the hustle and bustle of city life, explore amazing ancient temples and shrines, shop in bustling markets, and indulge in the city’s delicious cuisine. Tokyo is also home to some of the world’s most iconic attractions, such as the Tokyo Tower, the Imperial Palace, and the Meiji Shrine.

top 10 travel destinations 2023

  • Bali, Indonesia: Bali is an Indonesian paradise, offering something for everyone. From its stunning beaches and lush rainforests to its vibrant culture and unique temples, Bali is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Visitors can explore the island’s stunning rice terraces, take part in water sports, or just relax on the beach. Bali is also a great place to experience the vibrant nightlife, as there are plenty of bars and nightclubs to explore.
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Rio de Janeiro is the vibrant and beautiful capital of Brazil. This stunning city is known for its stunning beaches, lively culture, and amazing nightlife. Rio de Janeiro is also home to numerous attractions, including the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugarloaf Mountain, and the Tijuca Forest.

top 10 travel destinations 2023

  • Cape Town, South Africa : Cape Town is South Africa’s second largest city and is known for its stunning natural beauty. From its iconic Table Mountain to its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture, Cape Town is a must-visit destination. Visitors can explore the city’s diverse neighbourhoods, take part in outdoor activities, or simply relax on the beach.

top 10 travel destinations 2023

  • Bangkok, Thailand: Bangkok is the vibrant capital of Thailand and is known for its chaotic streets and bustling nightlife. From its bustling markets and delicious cuisine to its stunning temples and vibrant culture, Bangkok is a great place to explore. Visitors can experience the city’s bustling nightlife, take part in exciting water sports, or simply relax on the beach.

top 10 travel destinations 2023

  • Prague, Czech Republic: Prague is a beautiful city located in the heart of Europe. It is known for its stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine. Visitors can explore the city’s famous castles and cathedrals, stroll through its cobblestone streets, and experience the city’s vibrant nightlife.

top 10 travel destinations 2023

  • New York City, USA: New York City is a bustling metropolis located on the east coast of the United States. It is home to iconic attractions such as the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Central Park. New York City is also home to numerous art galleries, museums, and Broadway shows.

top 10 travel destinations 2023

  • Tasmania, Australia: For the adventurer, Tasmania is the perfect spot. This Australian island state is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, from the rugged mountains of Cradle Mountain to the pristine white beaches and turquoise waters of the Freycinet Peninsula. Tasmania is also a great destination for wildlife lovers, with an abundance of diverse wildlife, including Tasmanian Devils, wallabies, and echidnas. The vibrant capital city of Hobart is also worth a visit, with its lively restaurants and waterfront bars.

top 10 travel destinations 2023

  • Japan: For a truly unique experience, Japan is the perfect destination. With its rich cultural heritage, Japan offers a variety of activities to explore. From the bustling metropolis of Tokyo to the tranquil temples of Kyoto, Japan has something for everyone. From traditional tea ceremonies to modern art galleries, there is plenty to do and see. With its friendly people and delicious cuisine, Japan is sure to make for a memorable experience.

top 10 travel destinations 2023

  • Egypt: Egypt is a country full of history, culture, and adventure. From the pyramids of Giza to the Valley of the Kings, Egypt is a great place to explore the past. You can also take a cruise along the Nile River, explore ancient temples, or simply relax on the beach.

No matter where you’re planning to travel in 2020, these destinations are sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience. From the vibrant culture of Tokyo to the stunning beaches of Bali, there are plenty of exciting destinations to explore in the New Year. So, start planning your travels and get ready for an amazing 2020!

Guardian Nigeria

View all posts

  • 2023 travel destinations

More Stories On Guardian

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Enjoying A Greek Yoghurt Parfait with Fresh Berries and Nuts

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Sunday Special: Crispy Fried Plantain And Spicy Pepper Sauce Recipe

Raw foods

5 Foods Eaten Raw In Different Countries

top 10 travel destinations 2023

The Perfect Weather For Two: A Saturday Food Recipe

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Step By Step Guide to Making Classic Nigerian Fruit Punch

top 10 travel destinations 2023

3 Best Ways To Cut Onions Without Crying

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Hwachae: Try This Easy Korean Fruit Bowl To Boost Your Mood

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Know Your Onions: 6 Different Types And How To Use Them

top 10 travel destinations 2023

Try Out This Fluffy Doughnut Recipe

top 10 travel destinations 2023

5 Easy Steps To Make Your Own Mayonnaise At Home

Please enable javascript in your browser to visit this site..

  • Twitter / X
  • Readers' Choice
  • Food & Drink
  • Arts & Culture
  • Travel Guides


USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards logo

Wallet-friendly wonders: 10 best free attractions in the US

USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards logo

Best Free Attraction (2024) June 26, 2024

When you visit one of these 10 free attractions — selected by a panel of travel experts and voted by readers as the best in the U.S. — you can save big travel budget bucks for other things. Even though they come at no cost, in each case, you get way, way more than you pay for.

Independence National Historical Park

No. 10: Independence National Historical Park - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Enjoy a visit to Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, where you can learn about the history of the American Revolution and the nation's founding. It includes iconic landmarks, such as Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed, as well as the Liberty Bell.

Freedom Trail

No. 9: Freedom Trail - Boston, Massachusetts

Starting at the Boston Common, but easily picked up at any point along the way, the Freedom Trail offers historical insight into the city and its surroundings. Easy to hop on and off, the Freedom Trail weaves throughout the city and highlights some of Boston's most special places, including Park Street Church, the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, and the USS Constitution.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

No. 8: Great Smoky Mountains National Park - North Carolina and Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States, and there are many free things to do within this massive, preserved space that spans the North Carolina-Tennessee border. Cades Cove is one of its most popular places to visit with its abundant wildlife and historical buildings. Biking and hiking trails lead to scenic marvels across the Smokies, and picnic pavilions and campsites can be found throughout much of the park.

National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center

No. 7: National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center - Columbus, Georgia

At the National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center, guests start their visit by walking through "The Last 100 Yards" exhibit that depicts significant battles throughout the Infantry's history. Beyond that, the Infantry's history is divided into galleries covering different eras, from the Revolutionary War through today. 

JC Raulston Arboretum

No. 6: JC Raulston Arboretum - Raleigh, North Carolina

The JC Raulston Arboretum welcomes visitors to come stroll through the grounds, learning about flora on display that's specifically adapted for use throughout the Southeast. Visitors can also take part in the many events and educational programming offered to explore more about gardening and plants. 

Golden Gate Bridge

No. 5: Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco, California

Easily recognizable to many people as the symbol of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge is a historically significant suspension bridge across the Golden Gate, the strait that connects the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It’s between Golden Gate National Recreational Area and Golden Gate Park — both great for outdoors lovers — and no visit to the Golden City is complete without crossing the bridge.

U.S. Mint Philadelphia

No. 4: U.S. Mint Philadelphia - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

At the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, visitors can learn the history of the nation's coins through a 45-minute, self-guided tour. During the tour, you can see the first coining press from 1792, meet Peter the Mint Eagle (a real bald eagle!), and watch the coining operations in progress. 

Cape May County Park & Zoo

No. 3: Cape May County Park & Zoo - Cape May Court House, New Jersey

At Cape May County Park and Zoo, you can check out your favorite animals including giraffes, zebras, lemurs, and many more. Check out the zoo's calendar for a full schedule of year-round events to enhance your visit. Both admission and parking are free.

TECO Manatee Viewing Center

No. 2: TECO Manatee Viewing Center - Apollo Beach, Florida

Situated in Apollo Beach, Florida, the TECO Manatee Viewing Center is a protected marine sanctuary that offers visitors the rare opportunity to see manatees up close. You can also enjoy beautiful butterfly gardens, an impressive observation tower, a boardwalk, and walking trails. The park is open seasonally, from November to April.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center

No. 1: Loggerhead Marinelife Center - Juno Beach, Florida

Situated in Juno Beach, the Loggerhead Marinelife Center is focused on ocean and sea turtle conservation, and it’s free and open to the public each day. Since the goal is to rescue and return wildlife to their natural habitats, the number of resident sea turtles will vary when people visit. Additionally, there are plenty of other sea creatures to observe, and volunteers are helpful and willing to answer questions from visitors.

About 10Best Readers' Choice Awards

Nominees are submitted by a panel of experts. 10Best editors narrow the field to select the final set of nominees for the Readers’ Choice Awards. Readers can vote once per category, per day. For any questions or comments, please read the FAQ or email USA TODAY 10Best .

The Experts

Cheryl rodewig.

Cheryl Rodewig

Cheryl Rodewig is an award-winning journalist...   Read More

Cheryl Rodewig is an award-winning journalist specializing in travel. When she’s not planning her next trip — preferably to a waterfall or garden — she’s putting her MBA to use crafting marketing stories for brands. You can read her words in Thrillist, AARP, USA Today, Insider, The Guardian, and all over . She loves it when people reach out on  Twitter  and sometimes  Instagram .

Cheryl Rodewig

Imani Bashir

Imani Bashir

Imani Bashir is a travel journalist who has lived...   Read More

Imani Bashir is a travel journalist who has lived in five countries across four continents. Her work has been in major magazines and focuses on destinations, culture, family, and accommodations.

Imani Bashir

Jamie Davis Smith

Jamie Davis Smith

Jamie is an attorney, writer and photographer. She...   Read More

Jamie is an attorney, writer and photographer. She was born with deeply ingrained wanderlust and has visited 45 countries and counting. She often brings her children along for the adventure and is passing her love of travel on to the next generation. Jamie has written for   Insider,   Fodor's Travel ,   Yahoo ,  the Huffington Post , the  Washington Post,   Viator  and  Reviewed  among many other publications. Jamie is from Philadelphia and now lives in Washington, DC, where she takes advantage of everything the region has to offer.    Jamie can be reached at  [email protected]  and can be found on  Twitter ,  Instagram  and  TikTok .

Jamie Davis Smith

Larissa Milne

Larissa Milne

Larissa Milne has been traveling the world...   Read More

Larissa Milne has been traveling the world full-time with her husband Michael since 2011 in search of historic and quirky spots around the world and to date has visited nearly 80 countries and all 50 states. She's passionate about food and can often be found seeking out local flavors at a destination--whether it's a fancy restaurant, local market or the best hot dog stand. Learn more about the Milnes' global adventures on their award-winning travel blog, Changes In Longitude  and their recommendations on Arizona at Arizona Journey . 

Larissa Milne

Melissa Curtin

Melissa Curtin

Melisa Curtin is a travel and food writer who has...   Read More

Melisa Curtin is a travel and food writer who has documented her globetrotting adventures for over a decade. A Connecticut girl madly in love with California, her work has appeared in Lonely Planet, LA Weekly, Canadian Traveler, AAA, Roadtrippers, JohnnyJet, Travel Awaits, and many southern California print publications. Melissa is always on the hunt for the best local bites and destinations with few tourists, splitting her non-travel time between Malibu and Palm Springs with her husband and ever-growing collection of plants.    Traveling around the world at age 20 on Semester at Sea sparked Melissa's desire for learning about other cultures. As a 20+ year educator and new travel advisor with Fora, she inspires others to reach their goals and pursue their travel dreams. Some of her recent favorite jaunts include a Viking river cruise from Paris to Normandy with her mom, truffle hunting in Tuscany, and eating her way through Florence. Get to know the Best of L.A. and California by checking out her website  or following the @lalascoop on Instagram .

Melissa Curtin

Skye Rodgers

Skye Rodgers

Skye Rodgers is a seasoned travel writer who fell...   Read More

Skye Rodgers is a seasoned travel writer who fell in love with Tampa, Florida over a decade ago and has since made it her home base. Originally from Canada, Skye traded snowy winters for sunny beaches and now enjoys sharing her adventures with readers worldwide. Whether she's uncovering hidden gems in Tampa Bay or jetting off to exotic destinations, Skye's passion for exploration shines through in her engaging travel narratives. Follow her journeys and discover the best of Tampa and beyond on her Facebook page @BestofTampa.

Skye Rodgers

Wendy O'Dea

Wendy O'Dea

Born and raised in western New York, Wendy O'Dea ...   Read More

Born and raised in western New York, Wendy O'Dea moved to L.A. to attend the USC graduate School of Journalism and stayed for the innovative and creative lifestyle the city offers. Other than the traffic, there's not much about California she doesn't love. You can track her gallivanting ways on Instagram via @WendyTravels . 

Wendy O'Dea

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

USA TODAY 10Best provides users with original,...   Read More

USA TODAY 10Best provides users with original, unbiased and experiential travel coverage of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world.

10Best Editors

Best Family Attraction in Hawaii

Best Winery Tour

Best Winery Tour

Best Tour Company in Hawaii

Best Tour Company in Hawaii

Best Frequent Flyer Program

Best Frequent Flyer Program

Best Hotel Loyalty Program

Best Hotel Loyalty Program

Browse the best.

Best Free Attraction (2023)

Best Free Attraction (2023)

Best New Attraction (2022)

Best New Attraction (2022)

Best Drive-In Theater (2024)

Best Drive-In Theater (2024)

Best Scenic Train Ride (2024)

Best Scenic Train Ride (2024)

Best Pop Culture Museum (2024)

Best Pop Culture Museum (2024)

Back to readers' choice.


  1. The most popular holiday destinations in 2023

    top 10 travel destinations 2023

  2. Top 10 Travel Destinations 2023

    top 10 travel destinations 2023

  3. Top 10 Travel Destinations in the World 2023

    top 10 travel destinations 2023

  4. TOP 10 PLACES VISIT IN 2023

    top 10 travel destinations 2023

  5. Top 10 2023 Travel Destinations (Year of Travel)

    top 10 travel destinations 2023

  6. Top 10 travel destinations 2023

    top 10 travel destinations 2023


  1. Top 10 European Destinations

  2. Top 10 Must Visit Destinations 2023

  3. Top 10 Hidden Travel Destinations in 2024

  4. Top 10 travel destinations in 2024

  5. Top 10 Travel Destinations for 2024



  1. The 23 Best Places To Travel In 2023: Top Travel Destinations

    Best Places to Travel in 2023: Caribbean, Central and South America. Author Peggy Bree in Manizales, Colombia. Peggy Bree. Where to Go: Manizales, Colombia. Chosen By: A digital nomad from Toronto ...

  2. The 23 Best Places to Go in 2023

    The 23 Best Places to Go in 2023. For Indigenous-led wildlife experiences, design-forward stays, and expedition sailings. By CNT Editors. November 29, 2022. Mountain Lodges of Nepal. This is part ...

  3. The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2023

    Bermuda. Patrick Michael Chin. Already a favorite weekend getaway for East Coasters, Bermuda will become even easier to get to in 2023. American Airlines resumed flights to the island from New ...

  4. Where to travel in 2023: The best destinations to visit

    Poland: The country's show of solidarity with neighboring Ukraine is one reason to visit. Historic Krakow, pictured, Warsaw and the forests, lakes and mountains of the countryside are more good ...

  5. 30 World's Best Places to Visit for 2023-2024

    Paris. #1 in World's Best Places to Visit for 2023-2024. France's magnetic City of Light is a perennial tourist destination, drawing visitors with its iconic attractions, like the Eiffel Tower and ...

  6. 25 breathtaking places and experiences for 2023

    Reported by our global editors and framed by five categories (Community, Nature, Culture, Family, and Adventure), these 25 destinations for 2023 are under the radar, ahead of the curve, and ready ...

  7. The 18 best places to travel in 2023

    Today, the park is one of the best places on the planet to see long-tusked elephants, as well as giraffes, eland, zebras and wildebeest in large numbers. Debuting in November 2023, Angama Amboseli will comprise 10 luxury tented suites located within Kenya's first community-owned conservancy, the Kimana Sanctuary.

  8. 52 Places for Travelers to Visit in 2023

    52 Places to Go in 2023. Travel's rebound has revealed the depth of our drive to explore the world. Why do we travel? For food, culture, adventure, natural beauty? This year's list has all ...

  9. Here They Are: The 23 Best Places To Travel In 2023

    Here are the 23 best places to travel in 2023, according to OvationNetwork's list of the top leisure destinations, compiled exclusively for FORBES. Queenstown, New Zealand. Marrakesh, Morocco. Big ...

  10. Lonely Planet reveals its top destinations for 2023

    Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2023: The travel brand has revealed its destination picks for 2023. One of them is the southern European island nation of Malta (pictured). Click through to see the rest.

  11. National Geographic reveals its top destinations for 2023

    Trinidad & Tobago. San Francisco Crosstown Trail, California. Colombia. Manchester, United Kingdom. Switzerland. National Geographic has released its latest Best of the World list with 25 must-see ...

  12. The Rough Guide to the best travel destinations in 2023

    2. Berlin, Germany — one the best travel destinations in 2023 Best for culture, clubbing and arty city breaks. There are plenty of reasons you voted cosmopolitan, dynamic Berlin one of the coolest cities in the world.It boasts crazy nightlight, incredible museums, and a cutting-edge art scene unlike anywhere else on earth.

  13. Best places to go in 2023: The 25 hottest destinations this year

    For that reason alone, Japan will be big in 2023. The ski season will be big. Cherry blossom season in April will be big (maybe too big so also consider the spectacular autumn displays). Classic ...

  14. The 30 Top World Destinations For 2023 From Lonely Planet's ...

    This is the Best in Travel 2023 complete list: EAT. Umbria (Italy), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Fukuoka (Japan), Lima (Peru), South Africa, Montevideo (Uruguay). JOURNEY. Istanbul to Sofia, Nova ...

  15. The 12 Best Places to Travel in 2023

    11. Prince Edward Island, Canada. A 435-mile hiking and biking route around Canada's small but mighty province invites visitors to travel slowly and joyfully. Prince Edward Island, or PEI, off Canada's eastern seaboard, is home to some of the country's most enchanting pastoral scenery.

  16. The top travel destinations for 2023, according to experts

    Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy. (Shutterstock) 384. At the beginning of 2022, the outlook for travel felt uncertain. A new coronavirus variant had tripped up society again, and it was still a roll ...

  17. 10 International Destinations Topping Our Readers' 2023 Travel Lists

    1. Italy. Our returning champ, for the second year in a row, Italy tops our readers' list of desired international destinations in 2023. Most survey respondents plan to visit Rome this year. The Eternal City wasn't built in a day, but it sure has been attracting history buffs for a while. In addition to ruins and historical sites, there is ...

  18. 50 Best Places to Travel in 2023

    49. Block Island, Rhode Island. Embrace the island vibes of this East Coast paradise, where bicycle rides, beach days, and brilliant sunsets charm summer visitors. Announcing our picks for the 50 best places to travel in 2023. Explore emerging destinations, discover hidden gems & go off the lemming path ….

  19. Istanbul was the most-visited city in the world with over 20 million

    Euromonitor International ranked cities worldwide with the most international arrivals in 2023. ...

  20. The 10 Most Visited Destinations of 2023

    London was the second most-popular destination for international travelers, welcoming 18.8 million international arrivals in 2023. The city, known as one of the best destinations for international travelers in the world and as the most-visited in Europe, offers a plethora of historical, cultural and entertainment offerings, besides its being an economic powerhouse.

  21. Best Hidden Gem Destinations to Visit in 2023, According to ...

    Lanai, Hawaii. "In Hawaii, the two hidden gems are the island of Lanai and Kauai. Lanai has a population of only 3,100 people, so if you're looking to get far from crowds, this is the island to ...

  22. The 23 Best Places to Go in the U.S. in 2023

    This is part of our global guide to the Best Places to Go in 2023—find more ideas on where to travel in the year ahead in India, Spain, the U.K., and beyond.. For most Americans, domestic travel ...

  23. Summer 2023 Hot List: The Most-Searched Destinations, According to Google

    Take a look at the most popular destinations on travelers' wish lists this summer. The Top 10 Destinations. Disney World is so 2022. In 2023, London is calling. That's right, London tops the list for 2023 summer flight searches, unseating Orlando in a sure sign of international travel's unprecedented comeback this year.

  24. Most Visited Countries 2024

    Global travel and tourism, an $8.9 trillion industry in 2019, suffered a loss of $4.5 trillion and 62 million jobs in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic. ... Top 10 Countries Most Popular with Tourists (by number of 2019 visitor arrivals) ... As of late 2021, most estimates do not expect the industry to rebound to 2019 (pre-COVID) levels until ...

  25. 2023's Wanderlust Bucket List: Ten Popular Holiday Destinations

    Best Time to Travel. For the best weather, go to Germany between April and October. The best times to go are in the middle of spring and at the height of summer. In late April and early May, beer gardens open, and flowers grow, but only a few people are there. Austria - Sound of Music Yearly visitors (2023): 16.5 million

  26. NYC steeply drops off top 10 list of home sharing destinations ...

    New York City has dropped off the top 10 list of home sharing destinations for the Fourth of July following a clampdown that has meanwhile sent hotel rates soaring citywide, according to a report.

  27. The 20 Best Places To Travel In The U.S. in 2023

    The Wigwam, an historic resort with luxury casitas and suites in the West Valley, will undergo a comprehensive renovation in 2023. Look for two expansive swimming pools, bocce and tennis courts ...

  28. Our Top 10 Travel Destinations For 2023

    Here are seven great travel destinations to consider in 2023: Tokyo, Japan: Tokyo is the largest city in the world and offers a unique blend of modern and traditional culture.

  29. The world's most liveable cities for 2024

    Travel Destinations Food & Drink Stay Videos ... Vancouver fell backwards while remaining in the top 10, and Toronto (ninth on the list in 2023) dropped out of the top 10 to 12th place.

  30. Free attractions: Top 10 budget-friendly spots in the US

    When you visit one of these 10 free attractions — selected by a panel of travel experts and voted by readers as the best in the U.S. — you can save big travel budget bucks for other things. Even though they come at no cost, in each case, you get way, way more than you pay for.