These places keep popping up on our travel radar. Do you think they’re worth a trip?
Bone-like rocks jut out of the water like the bleached backbones of some giant beast off the coast of Bournemouth. This English town has beaches, Victorian architecture, lively nightlife, English gardens and “Instagramability.” (Bonus: the cliffs off the coast are named the giggle-worthy “Old Harry Rocks,”)
Havana exudes a classic feel like no where else. The architecture is a feast for the eyes. Art Deco and colonial style buildings in raucous colors beckon to be in your photos. And the art scene is just as vibrant, with dance, live music and street art all imbibing Cuba’s unique flair. Watch a rowdy round of baseball or take a day trip to the beach– Havana surprises and delights.
Thailand became the surprise super-star of travel within the past five years, with more visitors heading to Bangkok per year than any other city in the world. Thailand is considerably cheaper than Singapore, Japan and South Korea. Bangkok is a solid launch point for an exploration of Thailand, mixing an ultramodern city with a culture that runs deep.
Flanked by three volcanoes in the south of Peru is stately Arequipa. The bold, colonial era buildings in the center of Arequipa are constructed from white volcanic stone. Large palm trees stand out against the stark, grand buildings in a city that is distinct from other large cities in Peru.
Cold climates are drawing tourists like never before. Forget overcrowded beaches and burning to a crisp. Take advantage of Reykjavik’s perfect summer-time temps. Reykjavik is the largest city on the mostly unpopulated island, and is home to most of the major attractions. Experience Icelandic culture in the city and soak in the wild beauty of this (literally) cool island.
Egypt is back on travelers’ radars and Giza is a bustling hub. The pyramids of Giza are the main draw but the city is also central to the other, many, many (so many) incredible ancient sites. Have tea in the morning, explore a pharaoh’s tomb in the afternoon and shop a bazaar in the evening, all in the cradle of civilization.
Durban, South Africa
Travel to Africa still lags behind other regions of the world, but that just makes this continent a place to watch. The coastal city of Durban in South Africa is a modern escape. A large seafront promenade, theme parks, casinos and shopping areas along with the Moses Mabhida Stadium; a futuristic sports and events venue, and the Durban Botanic Gardens; a lush botanical garden with indigenous collections, make Durban the perfect place for vacationers and adventurers alike.
Miami has been a playground for decades but the city didn’t draw serious international interest until now. Americans and the international crowd alike are skipping Disney Land for the famed beaches of Miami and discovering the beautiful mix of cultures that make this city unlike any other. Cuban cafes and cigar shops in Little Havana are a must-see as are the extravagant houses around Biscayne Bay and the white sand and blue water of South Beach.
As mentioned in this post, Japan as a whole is having a moment as a popular destination. Tokyo and Osaka are major draws, but visitors are also exploring outside the major cities, looking for quieter places that highlight the lesser-known aspects of Japanese culture. Oita is one of those places. This scenic southern spa town is famous for its hot springs. Domestic visitors flock to the town for relaxation and health benefits. The surrounding land is breathtaking and the cuisine is distinct from Osaka and Tokyo.
Da Nang, Vietnam
Da Nang is known for its beaches but this city is more than a beach-town. Dramatically beautiful sites are the stuff of bucket lists. The mountain, cave and temples complex known as the Marble Mountains hide Buddihist shrines. The Bà Nà hills and the Hai Van Pass have breathtaking viewpoints, and museums and sanctuaries preserve ancient and modern history.