Jackson Hole, Wyoming
This one is at the top of my list this year and you can bet that I am going to be booking a liiiiitle getaway this Summer. And you should be too! On August 21st of 2017 the first total solar eclipse in almost 40 years will be visible from the continental US and for the best shot at the best view, head to Jackson Hole, WY. Not only does it offer optimal viewing but also has minimal light pollution and when the whole hurrah is over, you have the good old Grand Teton National Park to explore.
Torres del Paine
It’s no secret that Patagonia makes it’s way to a lot of bucket lists, but it’s time to stop procrastinating folks. With global warming taking it’s toll on the stunning mountains, fjords, and glaciers – there really is no better time than the present to visit this beauty. Not to mention, LATAM airines now offers a non-stop route from Santiago, Chile to Puerto Batales (the closest airport to the park). This eliminates what used to be four hours of driving that used to be unavoidable when visiting Torres del Paine. How many more reasons do you need?
A jaw dropping alternative to Santorini that is beginning to make it’s mark among the travel blogger world – Paros. Colorful fishing villages, crystal clear water, beautiful beaches. Like a small island paradise in the middle of the Aegean Sea. Paros even now has a new airport, opening it up as a more viable option for many travelers. And with new luxury hotels popping up, like the stunning Seven Santa Maria with it’s all white suites and private boat for exploring the island’s secret coves, it’s hard not to fantasize about this place.
This coming year will mark Canada’s 150th birthday which means parties ALL year round! I’m actually headed to Victoria, BC myself for New Year’s Eve and hope to experience some of the 150th birthday celebrations that are going on. Not only that but the Great White North is also giving free entry to ALL it’s National Parks as long as you have a Discovery Pass (also free). Not to mention the exchange rate which is especially good for Americans right now.
If you haven’t heard already, 2017 is the last year for optimal viewing of the Northern Lights before they begin to dim gradually over the next decade. The Northern Lights visibility works in waves and right now, we are coming off of the peak of one of those waves. So get your rear in gear and find that magical horizon! Hence, Lapland! Not only does it offer some of the best views of the Northern Lights (the further North the better!) but also boasts 40 national parks and 12 wilderness areas. If you are planning to travel here specifically for Northern Lights viewing, I would recommend September to March for the best visibility and activity.
Photo C/O Roberto de Micheli
This colorful gem off of Colombia’s coast is quickly climbing up my list of “must see” places this year. Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, received the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end 52 years of war in the country. However, Cartagena has remained untouched by the conflict. It is commonly referred to as “an artist’s paradise” as it has been the source of inspiration for many artists and writers. And really, who could argue with them? Iconic brightly painted mansions, cobbled streets, historical architecture, stunning balconies and open air courtyards? It’s a breath of fresh air if you feel like you’ve already “done” the Caribbean.