Here we’ve outlined 10 top destinations, from remote beaches with SCUBA diving to cities with unexpected outdoor adventures; these are the spots you should consider for your 2015 travel plans.
LA SAGESSE BAY, GRENADA
A mere 10.5 miles from the bustling resorts of Grand Anse sits La Sagesse Bay—a practically desolate section of paradise. The bay is not accessible by car so most beach-goers looking to access La Sagesse stay in the tiny 12-room hotel to enjoy clear shallow waters and hiking trails of La Sagesse’s nature center. Though La Sagesse is a favorite spot, it’s hard to go wrong in Grenada—the area is known for pristine beaches, sea breezes and some of the best SCUBA diving in the world.
When you’re cycling past 187-year-old canals in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, kayaking on Lake Erie at the base of the city skyline or simply wandering around the West Side Market—one of the best and oldest food markets in the country—it’s hard to imagine that most people only know Cleveland for one thing: the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. This city is so much more than just one attraction and 2015 is the time to see for yourself. The city that was once “the heart of the industrial revolution” has flourished into a city of independent craft beer breweries, citywide celebrations and passionate cyclists—an all-around pleasant place to visit.
TORRES DEL PAINE, CHILE
The Cordillera del Paine is a small group of mountains and the centerpiece of the Torres del Paine National Park. The subject of many stunning photographs, spectacular wildlife sightings and some of the best hikes in all of Chile, the park attracts an incredible number of people. The area is so enchanting 150,000 visitors make the trip to this remote wilderness each year.
TAOS SKI VALLEY, NEW MEXICO
Perched proudly in the Southern Rockies, Taos may not be “manufactured for the masses,” but those who have skied this epic mountain can’t seem to get enough. Taos was a top tier resort before this season, but with the addition of a new chairlift to the 12,481-foot-tall Kachina Peak—and the resulting 50 percent increase in advanced and expert lift-serviced terrain—Taos is the must-ski spot of 2015. Other advancements include 35 acres of new gladed terrain, improved snowmaking and updates at the base lodge.
ATACAMA DESERT, CHILE
The Atacama Desert, otherwise known as the driest place on Earth, might not seem like the ideal spot for a trip at first glance; but the arid land stretching 600 miles down the Chilean coast offers travelers a unique look at desert life. Home to natural features like salt flats, hot springs and geysers, the region is known for its unique fruits, archeological sites and the Incan and Spanish influences that remain strong with the indigenous people who still inhabit the desert.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
As the Cajun French say, Laissez les bons temps rouler—let the good times roll. New Orleans is a destination unlike any other, steeped in history, famous fare and, well… good times. Best known for Mardi Gras, the city has earned a wild reputation and Bourbon Street is always worth a stroll, but there’s more to the city than a stretch of bars. Visit the historic French Quarter, tour the Garden District and take one of the amazing ghost tours that winds through bars, alleyways and cemeteries. 2015 marks 10 years since Hurricane Katrina and the city that fought its way back is certainly worth a visit.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
The 32 islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are known for spectacular SCUBA diving and this year that experience will get even better. The Island resort of Petit St. Vincent is home to a new dive center, which is overseen by a renowned marine conservationist. The once tough-to-reach islands now have a brand new airport—The Argyle International Airport will open this year and will offer non-stop flights from the U.S. and Europe, making it easier than ever to reach the Grenadines.
QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND
Breathtaking scenery worthy of the silver screen is just the first of the many reasons you need to visit to New Zealand. Adventure seekers will find Queenstown particularly remarkable for its variety of thrilling activities. Bungee jump from the infamous Kawarau Bridge, sky dive from 14,000 feet above the stunning landscape and white water raft the Shotover River—those are just some of the things that will get your heart pumping. After you’ve exhausted your sense of adventure, enjoy some wine at one of the region’s many wineries and be sure to check out the country’s largest underground wine cave.
This capital city is likely best known for its storied history, but there’s much to see alongside the monuments and museums. Berlin, Germany’s second most populous city, is home to an unusually high amount of flora and fauna. Forests, parks, stunning gardens, rivers and lakes add to the urban comforts to make Berlin a must-see city.
LORD HOWE ISLAND AUSTRALIA
Australia—home to breathtaking natural beauty, incredible wildlife and the Great Barrier Reef. Its charm is undeniable, but those looking for a more exclusive and serene trip should check out Lord Howe Island, or “the last paradise.” It’s a two hour flight from the mainland, and you’ll need to book ahead—they only let 400 travelers on at any given time to preserve the environment and atmosphere. That capacity cap is what makes it all the more special and it’s what will preserve the island for years to come.