Best Places to Travel in 2014

National Geographic Travel presents the New Year's must-see places.
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Louisville’s whiskey revolution is making a splash.

Where Bourbon Hits the Spot: Louisville

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.

Port of Call: Dominica

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

Tasmania – Search Results – Digital Nomad

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!

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

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

Malbec in Mendoza

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.

Friday Night in Whitefish

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.

Know Before You Go: Paris

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.

I Heart My City: Natalie’s Toronto

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.

Ruaha National Park

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.

Painting the Town in Taiwan

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.

Port of Call: Belize City

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

Saved from

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.

Saved from

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

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

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

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.

An Expat’s Valparaíso

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.

Saved from

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.

Saved from

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

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.

A Valley for All Seasons

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

Learning to See in Uganda