Did you make a New Year’s resolution to travel more? Same here. So let’s get started. Here, six destinations you may never have heard of that will be huge this coming year. Whether you’re looking for an exotic beach, hidden wine region or something in between, it’s time to plan your escape.
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You might confuse the golden beaches, blue water and swaying palm trees for the Philippines or Thailand. But look deeper and you’ll find that Goa boasts a deep sense of spirituality, a vibrant (spicy!) cuisine and colonial architecture that’s like nothing found on most tropical islands.
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Later, Prague and Budapest—there’s a new Eastern European hot spot that deserves your attention. The gritty city of Belgrade, located on the banks of the Sava and Danube rivers, is often compared to Berlin for its hipster culture, vibrant street art and bustling nightlife. Belgrade’s pedestrian streets are lined with colorful coffee shops, cute cafés and outdoor flea markets selling everything from books to sausage.
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No, we’re not talking about the Dominican Republic, people. Probably the most unspoiled Caribbean island, the lush land in Dominica is dotted with hot natural sulfur springs, untamed rainforests, volcanoes, cascading waterfalls and hidden pools. Its lack of sandy beaches has kept it relatively untouched by tourism, but the secluded island nicknamed “the nature island” has a totally unique allure, particularly for the adventurous traveler.
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A far cry from the glitz and frills of neighboring Dubai, life in Oman moves slowly and tranquilly. There, Arab culture and Bedouin values work hand in hand with sophistication and modernity. Take a day to explore the gorgeous, massive Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in the old port city of Muscat. Then, for some beach time, head north to the new, luxurious Six Senses resort in picturesque Zighy Bay on the Persian Gulf coast.
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Okanagan Valley, Canada
If you don’t associate Canada with wine country, then you’ve clearly never been to the Okanagan Valley. This Napa Valley of the north is nestled between Alberta and Vancouver and is a young wine region known for Rieslings and Pinot Noirs. Plus, you can’t beat the gorgeous scenery of glistening lakes, sandy beaches, rolling vineyards and peaking mountain ranges.
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Add Kanazawa to your Japan travel bucket list right beside Tokyo and Kyoto. In fact, a new high-speed train connects Kanazawa (located on Japan’s northwest coast) to Tokyo, making it easier than ever to visit. Here, you’ll find a delicate blend of ancient Japanese tradition and modernity—think: traditional Japanese gardens and working geisha villages as well as the popular Omicho seafood market and light-flooded museum of contemporary art.