It’s the Great White North’s 150th birthday, and Canadians have graciously invited us to celebrate.
Start by signing up for the free Discovery pass. That gives anyone free entry into all of its national parks in 2017—we’re eyeing. But Canada’s cities are truly having a moment. Montreal is redefining itself as a food city worth the flight. Toronto is taking the Iceland approach and encouraging travelers to extend their layover vi Air Canada’s new free-up-to-seven-day stay. And the Rocky Mountaineer! A train that winds from Vancouver to Jasper without Wi-Fi, might just be the world’s best tech detox.
This year, we’ll be heading into America’s Midwest to explore cities and towns that rival anything on either coast.
If this election season has taught us anything, it’s that there’s still so much value in having conversations with our neighbors. Minneapolis said goodbye to Prince, but will honor his memory with a museum opening in his Paisley Park estate. Indianapolis is holding city-wide events to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the death of Kurt Vonnegut. Meanwhile, its food and craft beer scenes are exploding. It’s preparing for the 2018 arrival of the 21c hotel group, which has a way of anointing places bona fide destinations. Speaking of Vonnegut, the renowned author’s heart was never far from the Midwest: “We are America’s Great Lakes people,” he wrote. “Her freshwater people, not an oceanic but a continental people.”
The recent death of Fidel Castro only highlights how much this country continues to change, and while we can, we should get to know it better.
In some ways, 2016 was the yea American tourists started going to again, after a half-century away. But as more and more travelers visit the island, the new frontier is getting beyond Havana. Go exploring some of Cuba’s smaller cities for a more authentic experience. Go to Santa Clara, Holguin, Camaguey and Varadero. The recent death of Fidel Castro only highlights how much this country continues to change. While we can, we should get to know it better.
Scandinavia’s Countryside: Norway, Finland, Sweden
There’s little cooler than a Scandinavian capital—we see you, Stockholm , Oslo, and Helsinki.
Yet if 2016 was the year for biking down city streets and lounging in design hotels, 2017 is all about adventuring into the countryside. Thanks to new stopover programs, the temptation of affordable transatlantic flights, the arrival of a year-round ice hotel, and Finnish tourism initiatives inviting travelers to well, just relax, it will be easier than ever. Try a 100-mile road trip from Gothenburg to the border with Norway. Or skip Sweden and tackle Norway via fjord. Finland? Swap night life for nature. If that doesn’t speak to the spirit of the new year, we don’t know what does.
Having celebrated 25 years of independence in 2016, Croatia is seeing a major uptick in tourism , and it’s easy to see why.
Destinations like Hvar and Dubrovnik are already well known to travelers. Now we’re telling people to branch out to one of the country’s many islands and remote fishing villages. A three-hour ferry ride from Split is Vis, mountainous island best explored by scooter, eat fresh seafood, see tranquil coves, and zero crowds. You can also hop on a different ferry and head to Korcula Island instead. Its wine trails have grown in popularity; we can’t get enough of the dry white wine. Try to pack in Istria, too. Not too far from Trieste in Italy. it is known for both its fine food and first-century Roman amphitheater. And back near Split, Brad Pitt will soon open a luxury resort in Zablace. Promising to transform the small town’s beach into a hive of activity. Get there next year, before the paparazzi does.
Splitting a week between Tokyo and Kyoto is already a breeze thanks to excellent train and plane connections .
A completely new bullet train-the Hokuriku Shinkansen, and its new affordable rail pass now give travelers the option to squeeze a third city onto the itinerary. Departing Tokyo, the Hokuriku zips straight across the country to Kanazawa, a UNESCO Creative City. The Sea of Japan is famed for its traditional gardens. From there Hokuriku Arch Pa connects to the Thunderbird train to Kyoto and Osaka. The Hokuriku may be the hot transit topic on Japan’s main island right now. But come June 2017, travelers will be talking about the Twilight Express Mizukaze. It isset to run south from Kyoto to Shimonoseki. Taking a cue from the Orient-Express, the Twilight Express will offer private compartments. All with hotel-style bedrooms, entertaining salons, bathrooms with tubs, observation cars, and an Art Deco-inspired restaurant and bar.
Beachy Tel Aviv gets a lot of love, but Jerusalem is proving it has way more to offer than religious sites and ancient monuments.
The Latin-fusion food scene is blossoming. Burrito Chai in the Mahne Yehuda marketis a hot ticket on Saturday nights ( it’s kosher). The cocktail scene is about to get an important addition when the J’lem outpost of Brown Hotel opens, complete with a new bar in a onetime underground cistern, in March. Jerusalem is also named one of the top six art cities this year, celebrating its contemporary art scene. Check out Kayamuta, whose installations deal with environmental issues and sometimes include hands-on workshops to illustrate how the natural world informs the artistic one. In a desert city, it never hurts to look ahead.
January is, after all, the height of summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
Why aren’t more people going to Uruguay? It has gorgeous beaches that stretch for miles, terrific food including some of the world’s best beef. Phenomenal small-production wines that are surprisingly affordable. Your first stop will be Montevideo. The seaside capital feels like a smaller, tidier version of Rio. Your second should be the tiny town of Garzon. Best known for Francis Mallmann’s Restaurante Garzon. It’s now seeing a new wave of visitors, thanks to “Bodega Garzón, a winery powered by renewable energy that’s on track to become the region’s first LEED certified vineyard.” From there, press on to the country’s wild shores. There sleepy surf towns like Punta del Diablo and miles of perfectly golden beaches await.
It’s not we’d ever tell you not to go to BA—but we’re primed to fly south in late 2017 for the inaugural edition of Art Basel Cities.
A citywide program of cultural events that will connect local talent with the international art world. Buenos Aires restaurants and bars are also getting innovate. Stop by Florería Atlántico for one-of-a-kind cocktails. Mishiguene for reinvented Jewish classics, and brunch from celebrity chef Gastón Acurio’s La Mar. Book a room high above Puerto Madero after the summer 2017 opening of the 53-story, skyline-transforming Alvear Icon Hotel and Residence. It will have 159 rooms and suites and everything from a milk bar to a kosher restaurant.