A new year brings with it a whole new list of plans—and for the intrepid traveler, a whole new list of places to visit. 2018 is no different: Economies and tourism are flourishing in far-flung locales that travelers rarely considered previously, while beloved but forgotten destinations are experiencing sudden cultural resurgences. It all makes for a whole world’s worth of destinations to consider—from South American cities on the cusp of becoming culinary meccas to landlocked African countries that boast surprising waterfront views, to revamped classics closer to home. Here, 13 places travel experts recommend adding to your list for 2018 and beyond.
Santa Barbara, California
“Santa Barbara has always been an idyllic escape, but recently the city has traded its signature sleepy glamour for something a bit more lively. This newfound energy is especially apparent along the waterfront, where the gorgeously designed Hotel Californian opened just a few months ago. The hotel’s three mission-style buildings include a spa, rooftop pool, and impressive Mediterranean-influenced restaurant helmed by Per Se and French Laundry alum Alexander La Motte. Located on a previously underdeveloped stretch of lower State Street just one block from the main beach, the hotel makes an ideal base from which to explore the city’s pedestrian-friendly streets as well as other recent additions: the newly opened Museum of Exploration and Innovation, the trendy restaurants and galleries of the Funk Zone warehouse district, and the ever-growing number of tasting rooms on the Urban Wine Trail. At the Four Seasons Biltmore, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year, guests can experience a slice of Santa Barbara’s golden-era Hollywood past by whiling the day away on a pink lounge chair at the historic Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club overlooking the cliffs of Butterfly Beach, while those looking for a peek into the town’s future would do well to book a room at the secluded Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito, set to open in 2018.”
By Christina Perez