Matt Long a RoamRight Blog Author

Top Travel Destinations in 2014

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As 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.

Detroit

Detroit 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.

Belgium

2014 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 right.

Croatia

Many 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.

Scotland

In 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 should visit.

Brazil

Like 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.

Virginia

I 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.

These are some of my top travel hotspots for 2014, what do you think should be added to the list?


About the Author

Matt Long

Matt Long, a RoamRight Blog Author 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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