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Best Places to Travel in 2014

National Geographic Travel presents the New Year's must-see places.

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This month National Geographic Traveler announced 2014′s must-see places in the annual Best of the World feature. From Argentina to Oz, the final lineup reflects what’s authentic, culturally rich, and sustainably minded. Discover what makes these destinations worthy of a visit—and how they ended up on the list.

DOMINICA -- A lack of white sandy beaches and an overabundance of rainfall keep this mountainous island of tropical rain forests off typical Caribbean vacation itineraries—a plus for adventure seekers. on.natgeo.com/...

TASMANIA -- In Australia’s smallest state, remote rain forests, secluded beaches, and more than 200 vineyards are accessible by foot. on.natgeo.com/...

ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA -- Late May to mid-July the skies above St. Petersburg’s Peter and Paul Fortress (resting place of the tsars, pictured here during White Nights) and Nevsky Prospekt (the city’s main thoroughfare) glow pale blue, pink, and peach well after midnight. on.natgeo.com/...

ALBERTA, CANADA -- Over 40 species of dinosaurs have been discovered at the Dinosaur Provincial Park UNESCO World Heritage site, and their bones, teeth and fossils are scattered naturally among the eerie hoodoos (lifelike rock pinnacles, pictured here) in the park’s preserved areas. on.natgeo.com/...

BARCELONA -- To the south and east, Barcelona’s fanciful cityscape—from playful Joan Miró sculptures to Antoni Gaudí’s fantastical architectural swirls—meets the Mediterranean Sea. on.natgeo.com/...

MENDOZA, ARGENTINA -- Hundreds of bodegas (wineries) are spread across a 57,000-square-mile valley surrounded by soaring Andean peaks. on.natgeo.com/...

WHITEFISH, MONTANA -- The Big Sky brand of equestrian skijoring (derived from the Norwegian snörekjöring or “driving with ropes”) is wild, western, and guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping. on.natgeo.com/...

PARIS -- Paris is at its most Parisian in winter. Without the crowds, there’s space to linger over a morning café crème and croissant at Le Bar du Marché and wander through the Louvre. on.natgeo.com/...

TORONTO -- Toronto’s extensive PATH network offers slush-, ice-, and snow-free pedestrian access to parking garages, stores, subway stops, restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues. on.natgeo.com/...

RUAHA NATIONAL PARK -- Located southwest of Tanzania’s most famous safari destinations—the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater—7,809-square-mile Ruaha National Park is off the beaten adventure tour track, offering a quieter, wilder environment for exceptional game viewing and birding. on.natgeo.com/...

WESTERN TAIWAN -- Hop a high-speed (186 miles an hour) bullet train in Taipei to zip across western Taiwan’s valleys, plains, and Central Mountain Range foothills. on.natgeo.com/...

BELIZE -- Belize’s three coral atolls—Glover's Reef (36 miles from the mainland), Lighthouse Reef (home to the rare red-footed booby), and Turneffe Islands (the largest and closest at only 25 miles off the coast)—offer exceptional beginner-to-expert sea kayaking and snorkeling along shallow reefs, plus secluded white-sand beaches and unspoiled nature reserves. on.natgeo.com/...

  • Ivette Salim

    Was there January 2013. Love and miss it there.

  • Lisa Mull

    I want to go again. I was there in 1970. Would love to compare!

JARASH, JORDAN -- A warm desert breeze whispers softly through Jarash’s hundreds of Roman columns, the bruised and fallen, the proud and unbending alike. on.natgeo.com/...

KYOTO, JAPAN -- The city is about to get an influx of luxury hotels, making room for more tourists, but for now a golden-hour walk along the Kamo riverbank still reveals the gentleness and gracefulness of Japan’s ancient capital, as does a self-guided tour of the 1.1-mile canalside Philosopher’s Path in the Higashiyama neighborhood. on.natgeo.com/...

MEMPHIS -- Memphis claims one of the largest urban parks in the country: the 4,500-acre Shelby Farms Park, with 6.5 miles of urban trails and a working farm. on.natgeo.com/...

  • George Cook

    Great place for food and entertainment and just to relax.

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA -- St. George Street, St. Augustine’s main drag, may have become overly touristy and crowded with T-shirt emporiums and fudge shops, but the side streets still harbor scrubby garden courtyards and off-the-radar bars, such as the 130-year-old Mill Top Tavern, where you can imagine what Old Florida was like before it became the Sunshine State. on.natgeo.com/...

  • Lisa Mull

    Happy memories over many years of visits to St A. You MUST see the fort, and you MUST shop on St George Street and its offshoots. Glorious experience.

  • Elaine Nalley

    Have been coming here for 5 years .. See the Christmas lights each year and see many other sites. A wonderful City loaded with history !

MISSOURI RIVER BREAKS -- Bighorn sheep and elk sip from the river while antelope scamper. Eagles scream, coyotes sing, and prairie dogs do that funky dance. on.natgeo.com/...

VALPARAISO -- Stacked high with faded mansions, 19th-century funiculars, and battered cobblestones, Valparaíso stands in contrast to the glitzy Viña del Mar resort town to the north. on.natgeo.com/...

BODØ, NORWAY -- Many visitors come here for the unique Arctic light, whether the soft pastels of winter that crescendo in a display of aurora borealis or the orange glow of summer’s midnight sun. on.natgeo.com/...

GRENADA -- It’s one of the last truly Caribbean islands, not yet overwhelmed by resorts and cruise ship crowds. The charm of this lush island lies beyond the white-sand beach of Grand Anse and its string of hotels. on.natgeo.com/...

THESSALONIKI -- Tucked between relics of Byzantine and Ottoman antiquity are art galleries, bohemian nightclubs, and culinary hot spots, all part of a grassroots vision turned reality by Thessaloniki’s large (about 50 percent of the population) do-it-yourself youth culture. on.natgeo.com/...

HUDSON VALLEY -- Just a couple hours north of New York City, this is a land of mom-and-pop shops, “u-pick” wildflower fields, and organic farm stands where “chain” is a four-letter word. on.natgeo.com/...

UGANDA -- The land mixes savanna, enormous lakes, rain forests, and the glacier-clad Rwenzori Mountains, one of Africa’s tallest ranges. on.natgeo.com/...

CAPE BRETON -- One-fifth of Cape Breton is preserved as a national park, laced by 25 hiking paths and looped by the Cabot Trail, a 186-mile driving route frequently ranked among the world’s most spectacular. on.natgeo.com/...

BAGAN, MYANMAR -- The once isolated nation at the culturally rich crossroads of India and China is a land that imbues even the most jaded traveler with a sense of wonder. on.natgeo.com/...

QUITO -- The Spanish colonial UNESCO World Heritage site often gets short shrift, with many travelers treating the city as a stopover en route to the Galapagos, but Quito deserves main-event status. on.natgeo.com/...

MALAWI -- Malawi offers much more than serene lakes. Dusty roads connect towns, and mountains give way to plains of green maize punctuated by baobab trees. on.natgeo.com/...

RAVENNA, ITALY -- Seven of Ravenna’s eight buildings from the fifth and sixth centuries are spectacularly decorated with examples of this ancient art. on.natgeo.com/...

  • Trish W

    Picture resolution is somewhat lacking here :-)

RAJA AMPAT -- There are single reefs here containing more species than the entire Caribbean. on.natgeo.com/...

MARSEILLE, FRANCE -- For all the new energy, Marseille’s old pleasures remain as alluring as ever: a stroll along the narrow lanes of the Panier Quarter, the lusty aromas of a good bouillabaisse, a boat ride into the fjordlike inlets called calanques. on.natgeo.com/...

THE CRIMEAN PENINSULA - The Crimean Peninsula, with its voluptuously curved Black Sea coast of sparkling cliffs, is paradise—with Riviera-grade vistas but without Riviera prices. on.natgeo.com/...

DERAWAN ISLANDS -- After you get up and watch sunrise from your stilt-house balcony, you jump into tranquil and crystal-clean turquoise water to hang out with as many turtles as you can imagine and then snorkel around breathtaking reefs. on.natgeo.com/...

BOLAVEN PLATEAU -- Slowly making its way onto coffee connoisseurs’ itineraries, the Bolaven Plateau is blessed with a cool climate, regular rainfall, and abundant nutrients, and produces the major share of the burgeoning Laotian coffee crop. on.natgeo.com/...

ALENTEJO, PORTUGAL -- Alentejo has served as Portugal’s breadbasket and seduces with its slow pace, a sense of modern times in half step. on.natgeo.com/...

GUYANA -- Guyana, a land the size of Kansas, may be the best kept secret in South America. on.natgeo.com/...

LIECHTENSTEIN -- This patch of Alpine meadows, craggy peaks, and vineyards finds itself wedged between Austria and Switzerland. What it lacks in size, Liechtenstein makes up for with a mighty landscape that swoops up from the marshy green banks of the Rhine into the cloud-kissed Alps. on.natgeo.com/...

RIGA -- Riga’s cobblestoned streets seem lifted from a fairy tale—and perfectly suit the little-known charm of this Baltic capital. on.natgeo.com/...

Cacao Trail - The best time to go to the Pacific coast is December to April (warm temperatures and sporadic rain). June to September (sunny and clear) is better for visiting the highlands. In the Amazonian jungle, it’s warm, humid, and rainy year-round; however, rains typically aren’t as heavy August to September and December to February. on.natgeo.com/...

ARBIL, IRAQ -- One of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, Arbil will make you forget everything you’ve heard about Iraq. The political capital of Kurdistan in northern Iraq is largely a world apart from the strife to its south. on.natgeo.com/...

JOHN MUIR WAY -- The John Muir Way opens in 2014. The 105-mile path sets out from Dunbar, Muir’s birthplace, and follows the coast west, passing natural wonders such as North Berwick Law, a volcanic remnant jutting abruptly out of the earth, and Loch Lomond, the largest freshwater lake (by surface area) in Britain. The Highlands views—enveloping visitors in vast lonesome moors, scraggly hills, and turbulent, dramatic skies—are the Scotland you see in movies. on.natgeo.com/...

SOCHI, RUSSIA -- Standing at the icy, windswept peak of the new Rosa Khutor resort, home of the downhill and slalom competitions, skiers gape at 360-degree views of the jagged black mountains of Sochi National Park, a haven for bears, wolves, deer, and the recently reintroduced Persian leopard. on.natgeo.com/...

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK -- Snow-packed granite peaks tower over a calm of ponderosa pines, which ease toward meadow and meandering stream—four ecosystems within one park. on.natgeo.com/...

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA -- Thick coffee cooked in copper pots perfumes the air in Bašcˇaršija, the Ottoman-era bazaar. Silversmiths and rug merchants haggle and banter on the cobbled streets. Secessionist buildings, erected during the archduke’s empire, sit alongside minarets punctuating the skyline. And obelisk Muslim headstones lean this way and that on patches of grass scattered between the oldest mahalas (neighborhoods). on.natgeo.com/...

PUGLIA, ITALY -- Alberobello in southern Puglia is the city of fanciful trulli, which are clustered in a settlement dating back to the mid-14th century. The fairytale landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage site, includes several trulli restored as vacation rentals. on.natgeo.com/...

  • Pam Pickard

    I totally loved Italy it was gorgeous. My father.s parents were from Italy. I didn.t get to see this city of Puglia but wish I could have maybe next time.

NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK --Chimps are the star attraction in Nyungwe, though they’re not as readily watchable as the famed “in the mist” mountain gorillas farther north in Virunga National Park. Far easier to view are colobus monkeys. on.natgeo.com/...

NANTES, FRANCE -- Pervaded by a spirit of creativity, Nantes has dreamed up a range of resourceful ideas—from mechanical elephants and art walks to a 15th-century castle turned history museum and a warehouse converted into a hammam. on.natgeo.com/...

  • Pam Pickard

    I had the privilege of going to PROVINCE AND NIECE they were gorgeous including the countrysde.

RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK -- Abundant with monkeys, leopards, wild boars, foxes, macaques, crocodiles, and birds, Ranthambore’s exotic landscape—punctuated by a crumbling, ancient fort—evokes scenes from a Rudyard Kipling tale. on.natgeo.com/...

CORDOBA, ARGENTINA -- Whether you’re heading to central Argentina for romance, adventure, business, or complete cultural immersion, here are a few recommendations based on my personal experience. on.natgeo.com/...

NEW ORLEANS -- Visit Louisiana’s filigreed, fleur-de-lis city twice or 20 times, and the scent will be as unchanging as the air is unmoving: a humid mix of confederate jasmine and fried shrimp, diesel fuel and desire. on.natgeo.com/...

NORTHERN TERRITORY, AUSTRALIA -- Australia’s “Top End” wears colors that sing: rust red earth, deep blue skies, and the golden eyes of watchful crocodiles in the flower-tangled waterways of Kakadu National Park. on.natgeo.com/...