Log in
There’s more to see...
Sign up to see the rest of what’s here!

Best Places to Travel in 2014

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

52 Pins

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.

Intelligent Travel - Cultural, Authentic, Sustainable

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.

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.

St. Petersburg: Then and Now

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.

The Alberta Story: Welcome to Calgary!
  • Laney Lou

    Town of Banff... Picture of Calgary... Description of Druheller... ???

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.

I Heart My City: Jessica’s Barcelona

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.

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.

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.

  • 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!

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.

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.

Downtown Memphis
  • 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.

24 Hours in St. Augustine, Florida
  • 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.

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument

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.

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.

Iconic Greece: Thessaloniki

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.

Guide to Parks Canada: Atlantic Provinces, Quebec & Ontario

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

Ravenna - Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna
  • Trish W

    Picture resolution is somewhat lacking here :-)

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.

The Crimean - North Melbourne - North Melbourne, VIC

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.

Bolaven Cafes - Pakse, Champassack

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.

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.

John Muir Country Park

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.

Сочи / Sochi - Краснодарский край

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.

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).

Sarajevo - Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine

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.

Alberobello - Alberobello, Puglia
  • 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.

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.

Best of the World: Nantes, France
  • Pam Pickard

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

  • OSKA-Seattle

    A delightful side journey on a trip to for le Tour!

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.

Checking In: Rajasthan Retreats

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.

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.

Australia: Animal Lover’s Paradise