If one of your New Year’s resolution is to see the world in 2017 – or at least to visit more cool parts of it – there are plenty of places to consider and lots of advice from travel experts.
There will be partying up north as Montreal celebrates the 375th anniversary of its founding and Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation across the country. The festivities kick off New Year’s Eve with major celebrations in 19 cities and continues throughout the year with free admission to all Parks Canada locations and a wide variety of local, regional and national celebrations.
The U.S. dollar is still quite strong against the Canadian dollar, so a trip to Canada also offers a good travel value.
Catch America’s Eclipse
The path of the first solar total eclipse to be visible from the continental United States since 1979 will take place August 21, with viewing opportunities for the less than three-minute minute event stretching from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina (weather permitting).
The “point of greatest eclipse” has been identified as Hopkinsville, KY and “Eclipseville” has planned a long of pre and post-eclipse events, including the Summer Salute Festival (August 18 – 20).
More 2017 Hot Spots
AFAR put together a somewhat overwhelming list of 100 places to consider visiting next year, including 16 cities in the USA, but created a 25-question quiz to help you narrow down which locations might be a good match for you.
Travel + Leisure polled its travel specialists to come up with its list of the 50 Best Places to Travel to in 2017, giving the nod this year to Bermuda; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Belgrade, Serbia; and Angra dos Reis, Brazil as well as Columbus, Ohio; Honolulu, Hawaii and Indianapolis, Indiana.
And Lonely Planet editors shared a list of the top 10 places in the United States they urge travelers to visit this year.
At the top of the list is Asheville, North Carolina.
“It’s one of America’s most vibrant and eclectic small cities, with a welcoming, creative spirit, a thriving artistic community and music scene, and now world-class dining,” said Lonely Planet magazine managing editor Rebecca Warren.
Western Washington takes the #2 slot on Lonely Planet’s list.
“We were excited that iconic locations like Snoqualmie Falls and North Bend will once again get the spotlight in the Twin Peaks comeback in 2017,” said Lonely Planet’s Western US destination editor, Alex Howard, noting that “Seattle is a perennial favorite and a great springboard for exploring the area’s national parks. The San Juan Islands are also emerging, with new openings and farm-to-table restaurants next year.”
Other cities on the list include Lincoln, Nebraska (#3), which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year; Palm Springs and the southern desert area of California (#4), and Montana’s Flathead Valley (#5), which encompasses one of the largest wilderness areas in the contiguous states.
Atlanta, Georgia, home to The BeltLine and new state-of-the-art sports stadiums, sits at #6 on the Lonely Planet list, while New York’s Adirondack Mountains, which have 42 peaks over 4000 feet, claims the #7 spot.
“The Adirondacks are one of New York’s hidden gems,” said Ron Ofner, executive director of the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council. “We are known as a year-round destination for adventure seekers, and I think new visitors will be surprised by the incredible variety of unique breweries, distilleries, and wine trails, as well as how close we are to major metro centers.”
Rounding out the Lonely Planet list this year is the not-often-talked about Texas Hill Country wine region (#8), which is home to a long list of tasting rooms along Wine Road 290, the 10th Dripping with Taste Wine & Food Festival, and this year is celebrating the 46th annual Kerrville Folk Festival; and the Mile-High City of Denver, Colorado (#9), which has oodles of microbreweries, plenty of music and (legal) marijuana, and a new Ski Train that takes skiers and boarders from the city to the slopes.
And, at #10, is Florida’s Emerald Coast, with its 100-mile stretch of sugar-fine sand and laid-back beachfront towns.
(A slightly different version of my story about where to go in 2017 appeared on CNBC)
A few travel tidbits for you as we head into the busy holiday weekend:
Free meals for military personnel at MSY
Several Delaware North-dining locations at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport will be offering free meals to traveling military personnel during the upcoming Christmas holiday week.
From Saturday, Dec. 24, through Saturday, Dec. 31, uniformed servicemen and servicewomen can receive their free meal – an entrée and a large fountain drink – at these locations:
- Lobby: Dooky Chase, West Beignet
- Concourse B: Air Meals, Le Petit Bistro, PJ’s Coffee
- Concourse C: Copeland’s Gourmet Kitchen, PJ’s Coffee, Zatarain’s kiosk
- Concourse D: Copeland’s Cheesecake Scoop Café, WOW Café & Wingery!
Free parking at DFW
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is offering a free day of Terminal Parking for every two days travelers park during the holiday.
Travelers must enter the terminal by December 31st and park for a full two days at the terminal to be eligible for the promotion. The current Terminal Parking rate is $24/day. Details here.
(Photo: courtesy Library of Congress, via Flickr Commons; The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.)