As I like to say, a new year always means new adventures. 2016 brought us from time-honored classic destinations, like Paris and Cinque Terre, to new, hip, and trendy ones, like Thailand and Rio. Now, in 2017, the sun has set on some destinations, but others are rapidly rising, because of their previously undiscovered status, affordable prices, culture, and natural beauty. Here are the 17 hottest destinations of 2017.
17 Hottest Destinations of 2017: Canada
I know what you’re thinking. What the heck? Is there anything in Canada besides igloos, polar bears, and maple syrup? Well… maybe. But in all seriousness, Canada is a veritable smorgasbord of terrain, from the rugged snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the frozen tundra of the territories to the stunning cliffs and rock formations in Newfoundland. From coast to coast to coast, there’s a ton of ecological diversity. And to celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary, Parks Canada is handing out free national parks passes, valid for the whole year! If being out in nature isn’t your thing, don’t fret. Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal present three thriving cosmopolitan alternatives with museums, galleries, historical architecture, and foodie scenes.
Great for: 150th anniversary celebrations, natural landscapes, cosmopolitan cities
Related: Are you planning to go camping in Canada? Check out these tent reviews
17 Hottest Destinations of 2017: Mexico
When one thinks of Mexico, usually, one thinks of some shady stuff. However, this reputation is completely unwarranted given the vast array of other characteristics that set Mexico apart. From Aztec ruins to authentic Mexican architecture, from luxury living to beautiful beaches, there’s more to Mexico than meets the eye (or ear)!
Great for: luxurious resort vacations, Aztec ruins, colonial architecture
17 Hottest Destinations of 2017: Norway
Speaking of places where people can freeze their butts off… Norway happens to be another one of the 17 hottest destinations of 2017. Fjords, small towns, sauna culture, and rustic landscapes all contribute to its charm, but one of its greatest draws, as with any country in the Arctic Circle, is the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, which light up the sky with beautiful colors at night. Adventure sport enthusiasts, artists and photographers, and hipsters all flock to this country. Though it’s not cheap, per se, a visit to Norway will be well worth your time and money.
Great for: fjords, northern lights, being a hipster
17 Hottest Destinations of 2017: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Many locals still refer to it as Saigon, a name that evokes the three thousand-year heritage of the city. Within, colonial European structures intermingle with modern skyscrapers and monuments paying tribute to the Vietnam War. It’s a good idea to visit these structures and get a good history lesson in – while getting away from the seemingly ubiquitous Western viewpoint. However, in addition to these grand buildings, the city also plays host to various markets. The Mekong River is worth exploring as well, and make sure to check out the diverse religious heritage of this city by visiting its temples, mosques, and other places of worship.
Great for: Vietnam War and colonial history, street and market culture
17 Hottest Destinations of 2017: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Move over Croatia, move over Serbia! It’s time for Bosnia and Herzegovina to shine in this list of 17 hottest destinations of 2017. After general unrest following the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 90s and the subsequent ethnic tensions, the entire region fell into disarray. However, these countries have reemerged in recent years as both peaceful and beautiful places to visit, still bearing the scars of war. Mostar and Sarajevo are two particularly popular cities where the influence of both the Ottoman and Holy Roman Empires are seen. Check out Stari Most bridge in Mostar, Sarajevo tunnel, constructed during the siege in the 90s, and the beautiful emerald waters of Kravica waterfall.
Great for: Yugoslavian history, natural beauty, multi-ethnic influences