It’s that time of year, when everyone puts together their list of the hottest destinations for the new year. Not wanting to be left out, we decided to offer our ideas for the best places to visit in 2016.
Most people don’t automatically think of Brisbane when they consider a trip to Australia - but they should. Aside from the pedestrian zones and the museums, the one over-arching thought I had leaving Brisbane is just how incredibly livable it is. That’s saying a lot for a country like Australia, whose cities routinely rank in the top tier when it comes to judging the happiness of residents. I first noticed it when, after a couple of hours of walking with a guide, we hadn’t actually crossed a street. We ambled from one pedestrian-zone to the next, from park to promenade, enjoying the sights of the city without dealing with the typical city problems like cars and crosswalks. The city’s main pedestrian zone, Queen Street Mall, is a delightful circus of sights and sounds, restaurants, shops, cafes and people. It was the middle of the week and yet it was packed with folks out enjoying the wonderfully warm temperatures of a mild Queensland winter. Brisbane is blessed with a lot of great weather, and everything about the city encourages residents and visitors alike to get out and enjoy that natural gift. At the risk of sounding infantile, Brisbane is just a fun city to be in and sometimes that’s enough.
This city located in the German state of Hesse may not be on everyone’s bucket list, but it should be. After many years, the new Brothers Grimm Museum is enjoying its first full year of operation in 2016 and its the perfect starting point to explore the natural areas surrounding Kassel, Germany, that originally inspired the Brothers Grimm. Kassel is also home to the massive estate known as the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, one of the strangest yet also beautiful UNESCO World Heritage sites you’ll ever visit.
The provincial capital offer gets overlooked by flashier Calgary or the nearby Rockies, but with hundreds of festivals, a revitalized downtown and some of the best restaurants in Canada, there are many reasons to spend some time in Edmonton.
Whether it’s the world-famous Fringe Festival or the annual Military Tattoo, Edinburgh always figures high on traveler’s travel lists. Add to that the fact that The Forth Bridge recently received UNESCO World Heritage status, and there’s no shortage of reasons to visit the Scottish capital. My favorite activity in Edinburgh though is probably the most touristy, wandering around the Royal Mile. From the panoramic views of the city from Edinburgh Castle, to exploring the small alleys and shops along the Mile, there’s plenty to do in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
I loved most of my adventures in Croatia, but Zadar was one city that simply blew me away. It’s not only one of my favorite cities in Croatia, but easily the world. And yet it’s really hard for me to say why, exactly. Sure it’s beautiful and the mix of architecture from Roman times through today makes walking around a fascinating adventure, but it’s more than that. While in Zadar I felt connected to the town in a way that’s hard to replicate. I loved everything from watching one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world to hanging out with new friends at a local cafe. Everything worked for me, everything just seemed right. I’m not alone either, Zadar is quickly rising on ‘must-visit’ lists and it won’t be long until the masses discover this amazing town, so be sure to include a visit in your travel plans sooner rather than later.
Virginia’s mountain regions including the Blue Ridge and the Appalachian Trail that cuts through the state, has always known to be beautiful but lately more and more people from around the world are discovering that the region’s culture is just as interesting. Start off in Roanoke, the Star City, and learn about how this city has transformed itself over the last decade. Also be sure to spend some time either driving the Blue Ridge Parkway or hiking the Appalachian Trail. Finish things off with a stay at the secluded Primland Resort, recently named one of the best hotels in the world.
What's on top of your 2016 travel list?
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A luxury adventure traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his experiences with thousands of readers every day through his travel blog, LandLopers.com. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Matt is a Washington, DC based travel writer/photographer and has been featured on many other web sites and publications including BBC Travel, CNN GO, Huffington Post, AFAR Magazine and National Geographic Intelligent Travel. His work is also syndicated on the Flipboard and Pulse apps. Follow Matt on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus.
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