Where to go? We ask ourselves that question all the time. Cost is always top of mind of course, but other considerations that factor into play include a destination’s climate, safety, food scene, cultural attractions and “wow” factor. We’d like to think the following cities hit all the right marks. A new year has arrived; see if you can’t hit up all five of these hot spots in 2017!
If you, like us, are always scoping out the next “it” destination, then listen up. We scoured Google trends to see where everyone will be traveling in 2017. Here, the top five rising cities for upcoming vacays.
If you thought Iceland was old news, think again. Its moment in the spotlight is just beginning. Icelandair now offers affordable flights, which makes getting there easier and cheaper than ever. From the capital, you can explore the country’s otherworldly landscape — from waterfalls and geysers to black lava-sand beaches and, of course, the Blue Lagoon. But don’t sleep on downtown Reykjavik itself, with its candy-colored rooftops, hip galleries and cozy cafés. There you’ll also be able to take in the up-and-coming food scene spearheaded by restaurants like Dill and Grillmarket that blend local ingredients with Scandinavian and other European cuisines.
There’s no doubt Cuba is already changing, but now is the time to go to authentic Havana before it’s totally transformed by tourism. Multiple airlines like Jetblue and Southwest have started flying from all over the U.S., and while your visit must fall under 12 general categories, it’s not terribly difficult to book a trip. As you explore the colorful old city with its Spanish colonial buildings, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The best way to experience the city: Stay at a bed-and-breakfast (called a casa particular) and eat at paladares (unofficial restaurants operated in people’s homes).
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Allow us to make a bold statement: Toronto might be one of the most underrated cities on the planet. The city is incredibly culturally diverse and home to dozens of vibrant neighborhoods from Little Portugal to Chinatown. It follows that the city has an eclectic food scene, drawing from its multicultural population. At first glance, the city is a concrete jungle of skyscrapers, but look closer and you’ll find a lakefront town, made up of green spaces and shared urban communities, often compared to Chicago.
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Mexico City, Mexico
Of course, there’s way more to Mexico than sandy beaches. Take the cosmopolitan capital: It boasts a rich history, world-class museums, striking Baroque architecture and beautiful neighborhoods clad with street art, boutique shops and galleries. But above all, it is one of the most incredible food cities in the world, with everything from high-end eateries like chef Enrique Olvera’s Pujol to markets lined with street-food carts.
Few places in the world so delicately balance an ultra-modern way of life with ancient tradition. In the midst of neon skyscrapers and cutting-edge architecture, you’ll find Japanese gardens with tranquil ponds, ancient Buddhist shrines and people practicing hanami (the viewing of cherry blossoms). Whatever you do, don’t miss a trip to the Tsukiji Fish Market. You’ll have to wake up around 4 a.m. to see the tuna auctions, but the traditional sushi breakfast should make it all worthwhile.
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