Where to travel in 2014

See Chicago from a new angle this year. Credit: Getty Images
See Chicago from a new angle this year.
Credit: Getty Images

Need inspiration for your travels in 2014? The Fodor’s Travel 2014 Go List highlights 25 can’t-miss places that should be on everyone’s travel radar. The list incorporates everything from emerging destinations and new hot spots to noteworthy events and great values around the world.

 

Emerging destinations

Cartagena, Colombia
After years of caution, tourists are now flocking to this stunning, historic walled city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, which is experiencing a renaissance thanks to a cleaned up and stabilized economy. Direct flights from the East Coast and a boom of new luxury hotels make the trip easier than ever, and there’s plenty to explore, from galleries featuring work by local and international artists to restaurants serving the freshest seafood and salsa dancing till the wee hours.

Ethiopia
This country is a cultural and historical treasure chest just waiting to be explored, complete with nine Unesco World Heritage sites. Convenient and affordable flights connect its capital city, Addis Ababa, to the famous churches of Lalibela (dubbed “the second Jerusalem”), the colorful Lake Tana Monasteries and extraordinary Blue Nile Falls.

Bhutan
This tranquil kingdom in the Himalayas was closed off from the world for decades, only allowing tourism since 1974. But, those travelers willing to go the extra mile are rewarded with a traditional Buddhist society that also has embraced modern luxury and high style. Only two airlines are allowed to fly here, so the country remains difficult to reach, and that exclusivity is part of its allure.

 

Value destinations

Chicago
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, but the festivities aren’t the only reason to visit. Chicago’s star continues to rise thanks to culinary hot spots like Next and Alinea, exclusive bars like The Aviary, boutiques like Ikram (a favorite of Michelle Obama) and the nation’s largest bike share program.

Douro, Portugal
One of the world’s oldest wine regions and a Unesco site, the Douro Valley remains one of Europe’s lesser explored gems, but that may change soon. Recent awards for the country’s wines, especially the affordably priced, deep, rich Douro reds and effervescent Vinho Verdes, have spurred renewed interest in the region. In addition to wine tasting, explore Porto, Portugal’s famed second city perched on the ocean’s edge.

Vienna
This classic European city mixes Austria’s impressive history with modern attractions, rich arts culture and vibrant wine scene. Visit the new pedestrian Golden Quarter, watch dancing horses perform at the Spanish Riding School (the world’s oldest equestrian academy) or sip a glass of Viennese wine to experience why this city claims to be Europe’s hottest wine destination.

 

Events

This year is the time to visit these spots to be a part of noteworthy special events.

Antarctica
Antarctica’s stark and sometimes dangerous beauty and engaging wildlife make it one of Earth’s last untamed frontiers — and irresistible to explorers and travelers. Next year marks the 100th anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s dramatic Imperial Trans-Antarctic Exploration, making 2014 the perfect time to consider an Antarctic cruise. Climate change is altering the continent, and this journey of a lifetime is a unique way to appreciate Earth’s fragility.

Brazil
Expect an all-out party when the World Cup returns to this soccer-crazed country — hundreds of thousands of visitors will descend for the event, looking to cheer on their national teams in 12 host cities. More than 150 new hotels have opened in preparation, and the foodie scene continues to boom. In between matches, trek through the Amazon rainforest, ride into Iguacu’s raging waterfalls or enjoy a relaxing afternoon on Rio’s stylish beaches.

Scotland
Everyone with Scottish roots is invited to experience its rich culture for 2014’s Homecoming, including a yearlong calendar of activities, from caber-tossing at the Highland Games to a reenactment of the medieval Battle of Bannockburn, plus music, theater and dance festivals. Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games in July, and the Ryder Cup returns to the home of golf at Gleneagles in September.

As part of Metro’s New in the New Year series (running all week), we want to help you make it your best year yet. To help kick off your success, we’re giving away a FitBit activity tracker to one lucky reader. Like www.facebook.com/MetroBoston, www.facebook.com/MetroPhilly or www.facebook.com/MetroNewYork on Facebook and enter for a chance to win from now until Jan. 26. Get moving!



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