INTO’s world travelers came up with a super scientific, expertly prepared, overly edited list of the top places trending in travel for 2018. Some unexpected places made the list as well as some popular, well-known destinations worth revisiting this year. While you may not be able to visit each location for a long time, each locale will certainly supply you with a good time.
San Blas, Mexico
A small fishing village, a short drive from Puerto Vallarta, of about 12,000 people, located in Riviera Nayarit. The main draw here is ecotourism as it’s located next to La Tovara National Park where more than 250 species of migratory birds can be found.
Check Into: The Hotel Garza Canela, a family operated business with an award-winning restaurant.
Luxury and style in the desert, Scottsdale continues to transform around its historic Old Town area, which heavily nods the once western town. The classic mega golf resorts have refreshed and many boutique luxury hotels are showing up, to keep up with travel trends.
Check Into: Mountain Shadows, originally built below Camelback Mountain in 1959 and reemerged as an icon of luxury and design after being completely rebuilt in 2017.
Favorably positioned with the South Saskatchewan River winding through it, Saskatoon is finally getting the attention it deserves. A city filled with active residents and visitors, it’s home to the Meewasin Valley trails, over thirty-seven miles of pathways in all seasons. A sophisticated arts community brings in an array of events and festivals taking place throughout the year.
Check Into: The James Hotel, a contemporary boutique hotel centrally located in the vibrant downtown area, on the banks of the river.
The capital of Taiwan, this modern metropolis has a skyline that is crowned by the bamboo-shaped, Taipei 101 skyscraper, one of the tallest in the world. The city is known for its night markets and lively street-food scene, and the country legalized same-sex marriage in 2017, paving the way for marriage equality in Asia.
Check Into: The Inhouse Hotel Heritage, a highly praised contemporary boutique located in the Ximending area, a pedestrian district with a mix of quirky shops, iconic restaurants, and cultural sights.
Part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Roatan is one of Honduras’s Caribbean Bay Islands best known for its beaches, marine life, and dive sites. Cruise ships have been coming here for decades, but the island is catering to luxury travelers with an abundance of over the top resorts.
Check Into: Xbalanque, a luxury five-star boutique resort located in the West Bay, is conveniently located midway between West Bay Beach and West End Village, surrounded by natural jungle and a private beach. The modern suites come in one to four bedroom options.
The southernmost tip of South America, known as the “End of the World,” Ushuaia is also one of the gateways to Antarctica. The town is perched on a hill and is surrounded by the mountain range of the Martial Glacier, in the Bay of Ushuaia. Visitors can visit Tierra del Fuego National Park and Lapataia Bay. The park is accessible either by highway or via the End of the World Train from Ushuaia.
Check Into: The Arakur Resort & Spa was designed with a standards-based sustainable architectural design, along a natural balcony, 800 feet above sea level, surrounded by panoramic views of the native forests.
Near the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, lies one of Europe’s oldest cities. Visit the city’s 1700-year-old fortress by day to imagine an Ottoman siege, and by evening, walk by socialist architecture to the city’s famous floating clubs full of debauchery and revelry.
Check Into: The historic Hotel Moskva for a taste of old Europe in a city sprinting to a modern skyline.
Todos Santos, Mexico
Those who tiptoe to Todos Santos agree: Cabo San Lucas is overrun with a spring break fever that rabbles year round. The not-so-secret-anymore town of 5,000 sits beneath the enticing Sierra Laguna mountains and collects artists from around the world to display in its small intimate galleries. Besides considerable relaxation and Pacific swells, the town is perfect for winter whale watching.
Check Into: Rancho Pescadero, a pristine shorefront location with a romantic embrace of the elements that doesn’t forgo pure luxury.
America’s most talked about city in the throes of a beautiful renaissance. Not only can you sip craft and draught cocktails, and taste awarding winning (and inventive) food in the trending Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, you can see world-class art at the Contemporary Art Center. The most wonderful part, of course, is the out-of-their-way friendly locals who are thrilled to recommend their favorite haunts.
Check Into: The 21C Art Museum and Hotel. Besides its stunning private bi-level collection of modern art, the quirky, unique, and cheeky room decor make this hotel wildly memorable.
DTLA, Los Angeles
Redefine LA. In Downtown Los Angeles, below the skyscrapers, food is royalty and celebrated accordingly at Grand Central Market and art is put on a high pedestal at The Broad and the MOCA. And by night, one of the country’s best drag shows, the Boulet Brothers “Queen Kong” takes the stage at Precinct while underground genderqueer, arty pansexual party palaces (like A Club Called Rhonda and Ostbahnhof pop up and stretch late into the California morning.
Check Into: The Ace Hotel for a wonderful array of rooms at various price points and be sure to dip in the sky-high pool to escape the torrid respite of Los Angeles sun.
Imagine having a beer as you look out onto the Indian Ocean, the last morsel of civilization for thousands of miles. Remarkably mellower (in a good way) than both Sydney and Melbourne, Perth’s size allows for a wonderful queer scene that emits smaller town affability. The adventurer will be wide-eyed for nearby desolate beaches, stunning bushland, and seemingly never-ending desert terrain. There are no limits in Western Australia.
Check Into: The Alex Hotel, a favorite boutique hotel with dreamy decor, prime location, and a groovy essence.
Yellow Knife, Canada
Yellowknife lies on the shores of the Great Slave Lake (the deepest lake in North America), high up in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The capital city is said to be one of the best locations to see the northern lights as they shimmy and shuffle across the negative degree nights. That’s not all, you can mush, kayak, water ski, hike, swim, and road trip until you find your own little piece of boreal heaven.
Check Into: Canada’s original floating B experience at Mo’s Houseboat B In winter, if you’re lucky, see the Aurora Borealis reflecting on the surface of the water.