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Top 20 places to travel in 2018

The Property Addict / Travel

Nov 06 2017

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Where should you be traveling in 2018? We consulted travel experts, got the inside scoop on the hottest new cultural institutions and hotels opening, and scoured the globe for the most exciting emerging destinations. From idyllic islands and remote mountainous regions to bustling metropolises, these 20 destinations are at the top of our list for 2018.

thetop1Photo: Courtesy of CDMX - Mexico City

Mexico City It should come as no surprise that Mexico City has the honor of being named the 2018 World Design Capital. This bustling metropolis has been on the rise for the last few years, but is now a bona fide must-visit destination for design aficionados. If you missed this year's edition of Design Week, plan a trip for 2018.

thetop2Photo: Courtesy of Azores Getaways

Azores, Portugal You've heard the recent buzz about Lisbon, and maybe visited, but are the Azore Islands off the coast of Portugal on your bucket list? They should be. These nine pristine islands boast stunning natural beauty, charming villages, sandy beaches, and excellent cuisine. Book an island-hopping excursion with Azores Getaways and take advantage of Delta's new direct flights from New York.

thetop3Photo: Courtesy of MOCA Toronto Shuttered since 2015, Toronto's Museum of Contemporary Art is projected to open in a new location in Sterling Road's Automotive Tower in spring 2018, giving art lovers a new reason to visit. The city is developing at a rapid clip, as evidenced by construction on what will be Canada's tallest skyscraper, currently being built by Foster + Partners.

thetop4Photo: Courtesy of Belize Tourism Board

Belize This tiny country bordering Mexico and Guatemala marries the best of Latin America and the Caribbean, with white sand beaches, lush tropical jungle, a wealth of Mayan ruins, and the world's second largest barrier reef. Two new resorts, the eco-chic Itz'ana Resort and Hilton's Mahogany Bay Village, are offering laid-back, boutique alternatives to the Yucatà ¡n Peninsula's big-box resorts.

thetop5Photo: Dennis Welsh / Courtesy of Baha Mar

Bahamas Hurricanes Maria and Irma may have decimated Puerto Rico and a few other Caribbean islands, but that doesn't mean the entire region is closed, and their economy is relying on tourism dollars. You can"�and should"�visit the Bahamas, where the massive Baha Mar resort debuted this year with a Grand Hyatt Hotel, a casino, a golf course, a spa, and nine restaurants. Next up, SLS Baha Mar is slated to open this fall, and Rosewood Baha Mar will open in spring 2018.

thetop6Photo: Courtesy of Destination New South Wales

Byron Bay, Australia Australia's hippie-dippie beach town has always attracted surfers and beach bums, but now it's growing up, with more sophisticated lodging and dining options. Stay at the beachy-chic Halcyon House, a member of Small Luxury Hotels, or one of the eco-chic villas at the Elements of Byron. Savor the ultimate farm-to-table lunch at Three Blue Ducks at the Farm and take in the sunset over the Byron Bay Lighthouse"�the easternmost point of Australia.

thetop7Photo: Joe Vaughn

Detroit, Michigan Motor City has been slowly gaining momentum over the last few years, but it seems the city will be ready for its close-up in 2018 thanks to improved infrastructure and several chic new hotels. This year, the QLine streetcar launched, making it easier to get around, and the Detroit Foundation Hotel opened in the former Fire Department Headquarters with 100 sleek rooms and a restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Thomas Lents. Stay tuned for more exciting openings, including the Siren Hotel and the Shinola Hotel.

thetop8Photo: Annie Ojile

Ischia, Italy Italians have been flocking to Capri's sister island for centuries, but it's coming onto the radar now thanks to Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels, which are being transformed into a TV show by HBO in 2018. Known for its thermal waters, Ischia is a fascinating mix of picturesque Amalfi Coast landscapes and rough-around-the-edges grit. Tour the island with Personalized Italy, which is launching tours that include spa time and trekking in former volcanoes.

thetop9Photo: Courtesy of Slovenian Tourist Board

Ljubljana, Slovenia Melania Trump may have increased awareness of this small central European country, but its capital is making strides of its own. Since emerging from the Communist bloc, Ljubljana has embraced its past while pushing sustainable development. Its car-free historic center mixes Secessionist, Baroque, and Art Nouveau architecture with ample green space, and new wine bars, restaurants, shops, and hotels"�like the just-opened InterContinental Ljubljana"�are spurring new reasons to visit.

thetop91Photo: Courtesy of Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Monterey County, California HBO's hit show Big Little Lies put Monterey on the must-visit list of viewers around the country. After massive landslides cut Big Sur off from the rest of the Central Coast, the area is bouncing back and better than ever. With Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge reopened, travelers will once again be able to access the Pacific Coast Highway, and the area's luxurious Ventana Big Sur reopened this fall as Alila's first North American property after a massive renovation. Andaman &amp; Nicobar Islands


Andaman & Nicobar Islands The Maldives may have been on everyone's mind this year, but next year all eyes will be on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal. When Taj debuts its new five-star resort composed of 75 seaside villas in the style of the area's native Jarawa's huts, it will be the standard-bearer of luxury in the archipelago.

thetop93Photo: Richard James Taylor / Courtesy of Belmond

Peru This incredibly diverse South American country has so much to offer, it's impossible to choose just one region within it. Adventure-seekers and nature enthusiasts should explore the Amazon aboard a river cruise by boutique outfitter Delfin Amazon Cruises. The Belmond Andean Explorer is the luxe new way to experience Cuzco and the highlands by train. And Lima is worth a trip for its colonial architecture, stunning Pacific coastline, and hot restaurant scene.

thetop94Photo: Justin Weiler / Courtesy of Abercrombie & Kent

Russia According to Abercrombie & Kent, Russia is the largest growth leader for Europe, and the tour company is introducing a new Imperial Russia itinerary to satisfy travelers' curiosity. Whatever your feelings about the government, it's impossible to deny that a culinary renaissance is sweeping Moscow, with chefs like Vladimir Mukhin (of Chef's Table fame) leading the charge.

thetop95Photo: Bisate Lodge, Wilderness Safari

Rwanda Travel experts like Red Savannah are hailing Rwanda's recovery after the devastating 1994 genocide as Africa's greatest success story. The changes implemented by President Paul Kagame are aiding locals and visitors alike, with mandatory education, universal health care, and new career opportunities in the tourism industry. Wilderness Safaris opened Bisate Lodge to much acclaim this year, and over the next couple of years, luxurious new lodges by Singita and One&Only will bring more options for visitors.

thetop96Photo: Courtesy of Abercrombie & Kent

Bhutan Known for its Buddhist monasteries and breathtaking Himalayan landscapes, this sheltered nation was closed off to the outside world until the 1950s. Still under-the-radar, Bhutan will become much more appealing and accessible when Yonphula Airport adds a new runway and Six Senses opens a cluster of five new lodges in 2018. Discover the country with Abercrombie & Kent's expert guides.

thetop97Photo: Nuwan Mahawattage

Sri Lanka After more than 25 years of violence and conflict, this island nation formerly known as Ceylon has emerged from political strife and social upheaval to become one of South Asia's most fascinating destinations. Tour operators like Nomadic Expeditions, Abercrombie & Kent, and Red Savannah are bringing visitors to admire the Buddhist temples, tea plantations, wildlife (including endangered leopards), and beaches. Luxury hotels include Amanwella, Anantara Kalutara (opened this year), and the Owl & the Pussycat, which just won Small Luxury Hotels' most Instagrammable hotel award.

thetop98Photo: Getty Images

Faroe Islands This year, it seemed like everyone was visiting Iceland, but we predict that next year the Faroe Islands will be showing up nonstop on your Instagram feed, thanks in part to tour operators like Jacada Travel. Part of Denmark, the wild, rugged islands offer adventure-seeking visitors stunning natural beauty, hotels awash in Scandinavian "hygge, and a new Michelin-starred restaurant, Koks (the islands' first).

thetop99Photo: Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Valletta, Malta Named the 2018 European Capital of Culture, Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its 16th-century fortifications created by the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. The festivities planned will extend far beyond Malta's capital, with some 400 events and 140 projects by 1,000 local and international artists, curators, performers, writers, designers, and filmmakers.

thetop991Photo: Jonas Gratzer / Getty Images

Hong Kong There's no bad time to visit Hong Kong, but in 2018 we recommend Kowloon specifically, and Cathay Pacific's new direct flights from Newark will get you there more easily. Like Hong Kong's version of Brooklyn, Kowloon has a more local flavor than the à ¼ber-developed main island. Use the luxurious Peninsula Hong Kong (located in Kowloon) as your base to explore Sham Shui Po, which fashion designers love for its edgy street art, and the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping and nightlife district.

thetop992Photo: Getty Images

Marrakesh, Morocco Morocco's most visited city is seeing renewed interest thanks to the opening of the Musà ©e Yves Saint Laurent near the Jardin Majorelle. Marrakech has been undergoing a creative renaissance, with a new generation of designers picking up where Saint Laurent left off, bringing traditional Moroccan and Berber craftsmanship into the present day.

By Laura Itkowitz. Originally published in Architectural Digest.




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