2013 gracefully comes to a close, it’s time to look forward into the new year
and start planning our travel experiences. Every year there are several
destinations that are special either because most tourists haven't discovered
them yet, they are featuring special events or because they’re great bargains.
With this in mind, here are some of my top picks for your 2014 travels.
has had a rough few years, finally culminating in a citywide bankruptcy, a first
in the United States. But that doesn’t mean Detroit should be avoided, far from
it. The downtown core in particular has undergone an amazing boom of
development, spurred by big businesses that have relocated to the Motor City.
This in turn has led to new restaurants and shops opening, along with a great
loaner bike program. For the culture lover, the museums in Detroit are
spectacular, especially the Detroit Institute of Arts. Here you’ll find many
works by famous artists such as Van Gogh, Degas, Rembrandt and more. No matter
what your interests are, there is something for you in Detroit.
marks a solemn anniversary year, the start of World War I. The War was the
first global conflict and the repercussions, both political and cultural, are still
felt today. To commemorate this anniversary, the Flanders and Wallonia regions
of Belgium have planned a variety of events throughout 2014 since Belgium
played such an important role in the War. Be sure to visit several important
cities and sites including: Flanders Field, Mons, Liege and the many national
cemeteries commemorating those who lost their lives. While in Belgium you
should also be sure to visit other interesting cities, like Brussels, Ghent and
Bruges. Often overlooked, Belgium is a great travel destination in its own
have heard how much fun Croatia is to visit, but few know why. The scene of a
bloody conflict in the 1990s, the country has recovered and prospered in the 20
years since the war ended. To really see all of Croatia would take weeks, but
first-time visitors should include on their schedule the beautiful lakes of
Plitvice Lakes National Park, the gorgeous coastal city of Dubrovnik and a few
of the many islands off the coast of the mainland. If you have time, be sure to
explore the Istria Region, especially if you’re a foodie. The culinary heart of
Croatia is in Istria and there you can find everything from great Croatian
wines, earthy truffles and delicate olive oil.
2014 Scotland is welcoming the world through its special Homecoming year.
Whether or not you have Scottish heritage, Scotland is planning events
throughout the year to welcome people to the land of tartans and pipers.
Starting off with the massive New Year’s Eve event Hogmanay, the year includes
mega-events like the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games, but also many other
smaller events and festivities around the country, throughout the year. If you
have been thinking about planning a trip to Scotland, 2014 is the year you
Scotland, Brazil is preparing for its moment on the world stage when it hosts
two of the biggest sporting events on the planet: the World Cup in 2014 and the
Summer Olympic Games in 2016. Even if you don’t attend the events, they’re a
great excuse to plan a trip to sunny Brazil. Much more than just Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil is a large and dynamic country with plenty to do. From the beautiful Iguazu
Falls, to surfing along the north coast or trekking into the jungle for a
cruise on the Amazon River, you definitely won’t get bored in Brazil. There are
also more urban, luxurious escapes available in both Rio and Sao Paulo
including vibrant culinary scenes in both cities.
may be biased, but I have to give a nod of the cap to my former home state of
Virginia. This large southern state has always been a great travel destination,
but in recent years the Commonwealth has made a lot of improvements and proven
itself to be a world class travel destination. If you like history you’ll be
overloaded with options including Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown, Richmond
and a variety of Civil War sites around the state. If you just want some beach
time you can either hang out in Virginia Beach or head to the Eastern Shore for
a different type of beach vacation. There’s nothing quite like the mountains of
Southwest Virginia though, where you can drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway or
even hike part of the Appalachian Trail. Bordered by Washington, DC to the
north, Virginia is easy to reach and a breeze to navigate.
are some of my top travel hotspots for 2014, what do you think should be added
to the list?