Maya Angelou wrote that “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”
The more we see of the world, the more we see travel as the bridge to human understanding. From the desert coast of Peru to the organic farms of St. Kitts, we hope you find some humanitarian inspiration for your future travels in part two of our 52 Must-sees series.
- The North Coast of Peru
A desert coast begs to be explored. As tourism in Peru expands beyond the obligatory trip to Cuzco, this often-overlooked desert region is opening up. Lindblad Cruises has added stops in Trujillo, near important archaeological sites like the adobe city of Chan Chan and the Moche pyramid complexes of Sipán and El Brujo, which have opened museums in recent years.
- Steamboat Springs Colorado
This winter marks the 100th anniversary of Colorado’s oldest continually operating ski area. In late 1914, a Norwegian bricklayer named Carl Howelsen cleared trees and brush from a steep hillside overlooking Steamboat Springs to build what would eventually become Howelsen Hill Ski Area. Howelsen has produced at least 88 Olympians over the years.
The Middle East’s best-kept secret no longer. The sultanate of Oman shares little with the United Arab Emirates aside from a border: The staggering peaks in Oman’s landscapes come from mountains not skyscrapers; its dramatic coastlines owe little to man-made engineering; and the unending hubbub of Dubai and Abu Dhabi is contrasted here with the sheer silence of Oman’s numerous wadis, or ravines.
- Cleveland, Ohio
Yes, Cleveland, Ohio. Lebron James isn’t the only one crooning, “Why Oh Why Oh did I ever leave Ohio?” When LeBron James decided to return to his roots, Cleveland was already rallying after decades of decline. A mile-long stretch of Detroit Avenue is now the Gordon Square Arts District, the city’s newest creative hub. Waterfront warehouses are being transformed into restaurants and retail spaces. And the recent reopening of the Museum of Contemporary Art in a modern mirrored, hexagonal structure has solidified the Uptown district’s newly hip status.
- Sri Lanka
More stability means better access to treasures. While tourism on this South Asian island was growing in fits and starts for almost a decade, visits to the region were hampered by unrest. Lately, however, the country seems genuinely stable, and a new generation of hotels is offering luxurious and creative accommodations. Exhibit A is a coastal highway that has made the journey between Galle and Colombo.
- New Orleans, Louisiana
The resilient Big Easy is renewed a decade after Katrina. This year, the 10th anniversary of the catastrophic hurricane, the city will showcase just how far it has come, with events planned to commemorate the victims, and unveilings to highlight its rebirth. In March, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra opens in a new home that has a state-of-the-art performance space, as well as exhibits of current and former jazz greats. And the new development of the South Market District will be home to a diverse set of businesses.
- Adelaide, Australia
Adelaide is the coastal capital city of South Australia, just a jaunt from wineries and country beaches. But there are more reasons to stay in the city, thanks largely to an energetic arts scene — anchored this year by festivals like the Adelaide Festival, WOMADelaide, SALA and the biennial Adelaide Film Festival — and robust dining scene that encompasses everything from street food to fine dining. Adding to the city’s vitality are Art After Darkand First Fridays: live music, speakers, exhibitions and screenings
Georgia the little-know country at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains has all the makings of the next great wine destination. Georgia maintains the world’s longest-running wine tradition (underground fermentation in clay vessels), has hundreds of indigenous grape varieties, stunning landscapes and a band of vintners espousing natural methods. Its output has all become easier to sample, too, thanks to wine bars in the capital, Tbilisi. Taste Georgia, a new local venture, can arrange food and wine tours, private meals with winemakers and tastings in Kakheti and beyond.
- Manchester, England
Famed for its soccer team and music scene, which has produced the likes of the Smiths and Oasis, this center for sports and the arts is a down-to-earth and friendly city. The so-called Capital of the North has overcome industrial decline and bombing (in WWII and by the IRA) to become a confident and cosmopolitan city of well over two million.
- Campeche, Mexico
A less-traveled Mayan city deep in the Yucatan peninsula’s jungle-shrouded interior, in the heart of a protected biosphere reserve, lie the extensive but little-known ruins of Calakmul, which in its seventh-century prime was one of the most powerful cities in the Maya world. Last year UNESCO recognized 1,280 square miles of the tropical forest surrounding it as a World Heritage site, making the ruins and jungle together Mexico’s first “mixed” property on the World Heritage List.
Faced with banishment, the Norwegian King Eric the Red sailed off into the sunset and found this island — But to be fair, the Inuit Eskimos were already living there. Greenland is Greener than you think. In 2010, studies conclude that the Greenland ice-sheet is shrinking faster than scientists thought. Visitors to Greenland often go for whale-, iceberg- and glacier-watching tours, but active overland travel (beyond dog-sledding) is now becoming more enticing. Working farms sit among the fjords of southern Greenland, where a changing climate and a longer growing season have fueled interest in the new Greenlandic cuisine.
- Papua New Guinea
This island has long been off the radar for most visitors, largely because of the difficulty getting there. Tourism is set to boom, however, now that the country has begun welcoming mega-cruise ships. In remote areas, more eco-lodges are popping up, as well, such as the Lake Murray Lodge, a rustic retreat that opened last June on the shores of the country’s largest lake, a bird-watching paradise.
- Bend, Oregon
Bend was once a Frontier Logging town called Farewell Bend. But now this picturesque city of 80,000 is a seductive spot for travelers who are into craft brewing and the great outdoors. The Bend region has 26 breweries, three wineries, two craft spirit distilleries, and two cideries (A facility that specializes in cider making). Bend has nearly 300 miles of single-track mountain bike trails, world-class skiing at Mount Bachelor; and a multitude of riches for hikers, fishermen, climbers, stand-up paddle boarders and kayakers.
- Rabat Morocco
Long overshadowed by the Hollywood luster of Casablanca and the storybook Moorish cities Fez and Marrakesh, this seaside metropolis, with its Roman ruins, labyrinthine medieval districts, European-style boulevards, newly expanded airport and sleek modern tram system, got another boost this fall with the long-awaited opening of the Musée Mohammed VI, the nation’s first modern and contemporary art museum
- Squamish, Canada
An hour’s drive north of Vancouver, Squamish has long been a pit stop for the 9.5 million travelers who go to Whistler ski resort each year. But last spring, the new Sea to Sky Gondola began shuttling passengers nearly 3,000 feet from sea level to a perch in the surrounding Coast Mountains. . Hundreds of trails weave through Pacific rain forest to glacial lakes, waterfalls and peaks. Kite boarders ply a 26-mile fjord, adventurers climb 2,300-foot Stawamus Chief, and birders gather for the annual return of thousands of bald eagles.
- Seoul South Korea
More than “Gangnam Style,” Seoul is fast becoming known for its art and architecture. In 2014 the Dongdaemun Design Plaza alighted like a silver spaceship in a gritty old shopping neighborhood in the South Korean capital. Designed by the Pritzker-prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, the 900,000-square-foot, neo-futuristic, curvilinear exhibition space has helped transform the area around it into an international design hub. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, opened in 2013 with the aim of being to the Korean capital what the Museum of Modern Art is to New York City, and the new 121,000-square-foot National Hangeul Museum, which is dedicated to the much-admired, ultra-rational Korean alphabet.
- St. Kitts
The 65-square-mile island of St. Kitts is best known for its annual music festival, with performers ranging from Michael Bolton to Nas. Now two landmark hotel developments will put this lush, unpretentious island on the map for luxury upscale in the Caribbean but sustainable. In the south. A grand development featuring a new mega-yacht marina, Tom Fazio golf course and trendy beach club, SALT Plage — will in 2015 break ground on the Caribbean’s first Park Hyatt. Transforming the mountainous north, meanwhile, is Kittitian Hill — not just a lavish resort but a sustainable community, honoring all things local, with a 400-acre organic farm, “edible” golf course on a former marijuana farm, plush accommodations and farm-to-table cuisine
People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.”
– St. Augustine
Stay tuned for the third and final installment of 2015’s hottest destinations.