LIFE

Where to Travel in 2017: From Cuba to Greenland, Get to Know the New Must-See Destinations

From Jerusalem to Bermuda, the destinations you’ll want to add to your travel bucket list for 2017.


When it comes to travel, 2016 was the year of Havana. After half a century of being off-limits, Americans could finally visit Cuba again and our Instagram feeds were flooded with images of the historic island. In 2017, think beyond the over-crowded capital and look for a more authentic experience in the smaller towns like historic Trinidad.

Twenty seventeen is also, officially, the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, as declared by the United Nations. Travelers are becoming more and more aware of the footprint they leave behind, and increasingly conscientious of endangered sites and animals around the world. Due to climate change, animal poaching, and urban sprawl, there are species and places that might not exist in the future, so the time to see them is now and high on our list is Greenland, a refreshing alternative to Iceland, and the Glacier National Park in Montana.

We’ve consulted travel industry experts and rounded up some of the most alluring destinations for 2017, from foodie hotspots like Jerusalem and Montreal, to the It vacation island in China.

Hampi UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo: @indiapictures

Hampi The Indian economy has been performing better than it has in a while and airlines are responding by increasing domestic and international flights to and around India. The country in general will continue to be a key travel destination in 2017, but the bewitching town of Hampi, home to dramatic ancient ruins (a UNESCO World Heritage site area), finally has luxe accommodations–the new [Orange County, Hampi]–to make your visit worthwhile.

Sanya “Sanya is booming,” hotelier Ian Schrager told W and a recent interview about his newest Edition in Sanya, China. “It is the vacation island of choice for the Chinese people. You have a big representation of just about every major [hotel] brand in Sanya right now.”

Greenland Iceland’s viral ad campaigns have paid off big time and the secret is out. While it’s still an amazing place to go as long as you are able to avoid the massive crowds at the main attractions, try something a little less Instagrammed and head to the more remote Greenland. Check out the Greenland ice cap and the breathtaking fjords and, of course, the Northern Lights.

Japan “Japan has been drawing more and more interest in part because of the new luxury properties like the Aman’s that have opened and the Four Seasons in Kyoto,” said Melissa Biggs Bradley, founder and chief executive of the high-end travel company and website Indagare. “But what really fascinates everyone who visits are the incredible traditions around everything from the food to shopping and even bathing.” Zipping between Kyoto and Tokyo is easy thanks the train and plane options already available, but there’s also a affordable rail pass for the new bullet train, the Hokuriku Shinkansen, that makes Kanazawa (a city—a UNESCO Creative City on the Sea of Japan—known for its beautiful gardens and impressive temples, also within reach for travelers.

Glacier National Park “I think that as people become ever more aware of the fragility of wildernesses, they are drawn to regions that have been preserved like Montana,” said Indagare’s Bradley. Glacier National Park in Montana is one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders and its glaciers are rapidly disappearing.

Jerusalem Known primarily as a historic jewel, Jerusalem has more to offer with its bustling contemporary art scene and, surprisingly, a burgeoning Latin-fusion food and cocktail scene. As for accommodations, the newly redesigned, Royal Rabin Suite at David’s Citadel is pure luxury that offers sweeping views of the Old City.

Dubai The Vegas of the Middle East has experienced tremendous growth in the past two years and according to Expedia’s air travel forecast for 2017, it will continue to grow in a big way. Dubai has become home to some of the most over-the-top, luxury hotels in the world and top culinary talents and with that, come people ready to spend big money.

Ilulissat, Greenland. Photo: @linbladexp

Mexico City With its trendy art and culinary scene, Mexico City has been on in-the-know travelers’ radar for several years now and last year, the New York Times pegged it as a top destination to watch. According to Expedia’s air travel forecast for 2017, it will remain as an in-demand city for travelers in the year ahead.

Shirakawa Village, Japan. Photo: @julliasd

Canada The Great White North celebrates its 150th birthday this year and across the board, travel experts are pegging the cities of Canada as key destinations for 2017. For New Yorkers, Montreal (which celebrates its 375th birthday this year) is such an easy weekend getaway (just a one-hour flight). Come ready to eat and perhaps by pants one size larger when you leave because this is a phenomenal food city. Perhaps most notably, there’s chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly’s new Marconi restaurant that you’ll want to check out. Also, make sure to buy a Discovery pass for free entry into all the country’s parks.

Bermuda. Photo: @princessbermuda

Bermuda This June, the island of Bermuda will play host to the 35th America’s Cup sailing race. In preparation for the big race and the slew of wealthy visitors who come with it, the 132-year-old Hamilton Princess & Beach Club has just had a massive makeover, adding a in impressive art collection, a spa, and food by none other than chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Cuba’s Other Cities “Havana has become way too crowded to properly enjoy,” said Indagare’s Bradley. Instead, explore some of Cuba’s smaller gems, like the cobbled-town of Trinidad or Viñales Valley National Park (both about a three-hour drive from Havana), where you can ride horseback and visit coffee plantations and tobacco farms.

Viva Cuba

Burberry dress; Miu Miu earrings.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful

Alexander McQueen dress; Kenneth Jay Lane earrings; Iradj Moini ring; Dior bag; Christopher Kane mules.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful

Rosamosario leotard; Marc Jacobs skirt; Miu Miu earrings; Kenneth Jay Lane bracelet; Mark Cross bag; Christopher Kane mules.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful

Louis Vuitton dress; Isharya earrings. Beauty note: Glam up eyes with Maybelline Eye Studio Master Graphic Liquid Eyeliner in Striking Black.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful

Opposite, top row, from left: Delpozo blouse and skirt; Miu Miu earrings; Iradj Moini ring; Mark Cross bag; Christopher Kane mules. Prada shirt; his own hat. Missoni Home beach towel. Middle: A monument honoring the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924. Azzedine Alaïa dress; Kenneth Jay Lane earrings; Ben-Amun by Isaac Manevitz bracelet; Rochas belt. Ron Dorff trunks. Bottom: Estadio Panamericano. Alexander Wang cardigan; Dolce & Gabbana bra; Valentino skirt; Paula Mendoza Jewelry earrings; Iradj Moini cuff; Paul Andrew mules. Valentino dress; Paula Mendoza Jewelry earrings.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful

Prada dress; Miu Miu earrings; Kenneth Jay Lane bracelet; Christopher Kane mules.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful

Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci corset, skirt, and earrings; Iradj Moini bracelet and ring.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful

Missoni sweater; Tomas Maier bikini; Miu Miu skirt; R.J. Graziano earrings; Erickson Beamon bracelet; Mark Cross bag. Beauty note: Etch out high and low contours with Estée Lauder New Dimension Shape + Sculpt Face Kit.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful

Michael Kors Collection dress; Dolce & Gabbana bustier and briefs; Kenneth Jay Lane earrings; R.J. Graziano bangles; Judith Leiber Couture minaudière; Lanvin sandals.

Max Mara bralette and skirt; Kenneth Jay Lane earrings; Erickson Beamon bracelet; Paula Mendoza Jewelry ring; Oscar de la Renta belt. Beauty note: Go highbrow with Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Brow Lift Duo.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful

Oscar de la Renta dress; Jennifer Fisher earrings; Ben-Amun by Isaac Manevitz bracelets; Kenneth Jay Lane ring; Rochas belt. On him: Vintage tank from 10 Ft. Single by Stella Dallas, Brooklyn, New York.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful

Marchesa dress; Simon Alcantara earrings. On him: Guess jeans. Beauty note: Be a loudmouth with Maybelline Lip Studio Color Blur Matte Pencil in Partner in Crimson.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful

Dolce & Gabbana dress and earrings.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful

Céline dress; Kenneth Jay Lane earrings and ring.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful

Hair by Duffy for Vidal Sassoon at Streeters London; makeup by Frankie Boyd for Nars at Tim Howard Management. Models: Adriana Lima at the Society Management; Joan Smalls at IMG Models; Nate Gill at Soul Artist Management.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan Stylist: Edward Enninful
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