If you’ve been in adventure mode or caught the travel bug recently, you’re probably working on a list that includes your dream destinations. Whether you want to hit the road, unwind by the beach, explore the outdoors or simply plan an epic adventure, here is a list of five places that you should consider to visit this year!
Kauai is recognized as the Garden Island for their beautiful landscapes of lush greenery, secret waterfalls and golden sand beaches. This destination is for active individuals who love adventures and being surrounded by the outdoors. There are several hiking trails of all levels including the Kalalau Trail, where you can view one of the true wonders of the world, the Na Pali Coast. The island also features Waimea Canyon, which is known as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’ — complete with tons of photo opportunities at each lookout. As for cuisine, the island is home to true local food including poke, loco moco, kalua pig and plate lunches, which are inspired by a traditional Japanese bento. It’s a crowd favorite among others, so definitely check out Mark’s Place, Pono Market and Hanalei Taro & Juice Company.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Known as the “The Big Easy,” New Orleans has lived up to its history and tradition as a Southern city on the Mississippi River. The city celebrates its 300th anniversary this year so what better time to explore more of what New Orleans has to offer? Mardi Gras is celebrated by joyous street parades that are always fun and memorable for tourists and the locals. For food enthusiasts, the grand Creole cuisine served in dining palaces combines European and Caribbean city influences. The sounds of New Orleans are filled with soulful jazz, blues and rock– you’ll find musicians pour their heart and soul out at local clubs, bars and restaurants. And live music isn’t the only source of entertainment — New Orleans also has a strong arts community featuring museum events, gallery walks and workshops in the city. No matter your interests, New Orleans has unique neighborhoods for everyone to explore whether it’s going back to the city’s roots in the historic French Quarter or visiting the infamous Cafe Du Monde for their signature beignets.
Sicily has a unique culture with its interesting architecture and it’s known as the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Sicily is also a great destination for foodies, especially their classic Pasta alla Norma with minimal ingredients of tomato sauce, eggplant, basil and ricotta salata. With its cultural treasures, Mount Etna is Europe’s largest active volcano where tourists can view this natural attraction located in the Sicilian province of Catania. Sicily is also home to beautiful black-sand beaches, all the way from the tiny Aeolians Islands, to the north of Sicily. The Valley of the Temples is a recommended must-see landmark for its significant archaeological state and history of the preserved temples including Heracles (Hercules), Olympian Zeus (Jupiter) and many others.
Bangkok embodies the vibrant atmosphere of street life in Thailand. It’s full-on food galore in this city, including a popular tourist attraction called Chatuchak Weekend Market, which is the mother of all markets. It consists of 15,000 booths selling goods and divided into 27 sections from local crafts, souvenirs, apparel, food and so forth. From the tropical beaches, architecture and ornate temples, Thailand values food as an experience with their use of fresh local ingredients, herbs and spices to their signature dishes with a variety of influences.
Dubrovnik is one the world’s glorious walled cities and known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic.’ This city has major Medieval-esque vibes and also a popular filming location for HBO television drama series, Game of Thrones in Old Town. There are many pristine secret beaches, where you can try top-notch seafood or catch a cable car to enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of the terracotta-tiled rooftops and the noteable Mount Srd. The beautiful architecture in this city, including its marble streets, baroque churches and scenic walk to Ancient City Walls, is why Dubrovnik is the most-visited tourist destination in Croatia.