50 Best Places to Travel in 2023
Revenge travelers rejoice – we’ve got just the bucket list for you! From Madagascar to Mississippi, our 2023 list of places to travel highlights unexpected hidden gems and emerging destinations we think are poised to pop. And we bet you haven’t yet heard of half of them …
50 Best Places to Travel in 2023
1. Lafayette, Louisiana
Take in the aromas of Creole cuisine and the rhythm of Cajun music while wandering this Southern city’s historic streets.
Discover ancient Buddhist culture and pristine landscapes in one of the world’s least-touristed nations.
3. Utila, Honduras
Explore magnificent coral reefs and embrace island time in this lesser-known Caribbean escape.
4. Île Sainte-Marie, Madagascar
Choose your own adventure on this Indian Ocean isle, a beacon that draws thrill seekers, outdoor lovers, and beachgoers alike.
Among Europe’s last hidden gems, the continent’s youngest country is affordable, enchanting, and home to some incredibly friendly locals.
📚 Related Guides: Backpacking Europe Guide
6. Salento, Colombia
Found near the world’s tallest palm trees, this small Andean town is the focal point of Colombia’s flourishing coffee industry.
Explore the blue lagoons, lush rainforests, and stunning beaches that saturate this stretch of South Pacific Ocean islands.
8. Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia
Visit the “Jerusalem of the Balkans,” a rare UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring Bronze Age relics, a unique ecosystem, and lakeside retreats.
📚 Related Guides: Best Travel Backpacks for Europe
Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Silk Road, witnessing incredible madrassas, the disappearing Aral sea, and impressive mausoleums.
10. Detroit, Michigan
“Motor City” has revved up interest with a thriving cultural scene, but maintains its historic charm with Motown music and Art Deco architecture.
11. St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
A rock in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, this far-off destination emits a rustic and multicultural lifestyle unlike any other.
📚 Related Guides: US Virgin Islands Guides, Places to Visit in the USVI
12. Caye Caulker, Belize
Few tourists venture to this small island paradise, home to underwater bars, shark diving, and gorgeous tropical scenery.
13. Teotihuacán, Mexico
In this extraordinary place, rich history and human achievement inspire a sense of awe that (quite literally) takes your breath away.
📚 Related Guides: 33 Things to Do in Mexico City, Best Hotels in Mexico City, Mexico Packing List
14. Mammoth Lakes, California
Go skiing on deep powder or explore a web of hiking and biking trails—this Central California mountain town is stunning every season.
📚 Related Guides: 27 Things to Do in Mammoth Lakes
15. York, Maine
Embark on a classic New England summer vacation to experience pleasant beaches, historic lighthouses, and the freshest caught lobster.
16. Morelia, Mexico
In this captivating city, cobblestone streets and intricate stone buildings blend periods of history with today’s vibrant Mexican culture.
📚 Related Guides: Places to Visit in Mexico, Safety in Mexico, Travel Insurance for Mexico
17. Húsavík, Iceland
Visitors to this Icelandic fishing village spot whales and puffins, then thaw in hot spring pools just south of the Arctic Circle.
18. Aswan, Egypt
Venture where few explore to witness ancient wonders and float on a felucca, a centuries-old style of sailboat.
19. Cebu, Philippines
Relax on white-sand beaches or revel in daring adventures—this stunning Philippine province caters to both types of tourists.
20. Bogotá, Colombia
One of Latin America’s largest cities, this eclectic capital is a vibrant epicenter of South American culture and dazzling colonial architecture.
21. South Island, New Zealand
Full of postcard-worthy landscapes, New Zealand’s largest island is easily one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet.
22. Whidbey Island, Washington
This tranquil, unhurried island in Puget Sound entices nature lovers and artists with a slower pace of living.
📚 Related Guides: Places to Visit in Washington, Things to Do in Washington
23. El Cuyo, Mexico
A sleepy village on an out-of-the-way sandbar, El Cuyo offers one of the Yucatan’s last unspoiled stretches of white sand and the chance to truly disconnect.
📚 Related Guides: El Cuyo (Ultimate Travel Guide), Renting Cars in Mexico
24. Karijini National Park, Australia
One of the country’s best-kept secrets, the dramatic landscapes of Karijini National Park are well worth the effort to get there.
25. Crested Butte, Colorado
Claiming big titles, this historic Colorado mountain town strikes a balance between rugged and charming, drawing outdoor enthusiasts year-round.
📚 Related Guides: 41 Best Places to Visit in Colorado
26. Kraków, Poland
Discover poignant history, incredible architecture, and fantastic Polish cuisine in one of Eastern Europe’s most affordable cities.
📚 Related Guides: Places to Backpack in Europe
A remote cluster of islands in the western Pacific Ocean, Palau is home to some of the best scuba diving in the world.
28. Charlotte, North Carolina
Combining trendy with classic Carolina charm, this perfectly-sized city is located near some of North Carolina’s best attractions.
📚 Related Guides: 29 Places to Visit in North Carolina, 33 Things to Do in North Carolina
29. Xiaoliuqiu, Taiwan
Coastal drives, snorkeling with sea turtles, and fresh seafood await on Taiwan’s only coral island.
30. Cleveland, Ohio
A Midwestern city that embraces all communities and caters to every interest.
📚 Related Guides: Ohio Travel Guides, Places to Visit in Ohio
31. Louisville, Kentucky
Make a pilgrimage to the heart of Bourbon Country, where libations flow and the food and hospitality are both delightfully southern.
32. Reno, Nevada
Explore “The Biggest Little City in the World,” offering the same glamorous allure of Las Vegas but half the amount of tourists.
📚 Related Guides: Nevada Travel Guides
33. Sofia, Bulgaria
Alongside modern and ancient influences, this hidden gem in Eastern Europe is home to underrated cuisine and underground music.
34. Chiang Rai, Thailand
Visit this northern Thai city to marvel at some of Southeast Asia’s most stunning temples and Buddhist shrines.
📚 Related Guides: Thailand Travel Guides
35. Cape Coast, Ghana
In this West African city, experience a vibrant jungle oasis and educate yourself on important history.
36. Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
Peer down into kivas and crouch through brick passages as you explore this ancient city set in the high desert.
37. Salkantay Trek, Peru
Traverse glacial rivers, snow-capped peaks, and dense jungle terrain to arrive at one of the seven wonders of the world: Machu Picchu.
38. Cataño, Puerto Rico
Just a short boat ride from San Juan, this lively oceanside town revolves around good music, tasty food, and Caribbean rum.
📚 Related Guides: 64 Things to Do in Puerto Rico, Where to Stay in Puerto Rico
39. Tavira, Portugal
Set aside the party vibes for a quiet beach getaway in Portugal’s beautiful Algarve region.
📚 Related Guides: Things to Do in Tavira, Best Places to Visit in Portugal
40. Coos Bay, Oregon
A charming town on the Oregon Coast, Coos Bay attracts visitors with its stunning scenery, art, history, and seafood.
41. Taos, New Mexico
From the oldest, continuously inhabited Taos Pueblo to an array of outdoor activities, this eclectic community embodies the spirit of New Mexico.
📚 Related Guides: Where to Stay in Taos, Best Places to Go in New Mexico
Circled by coral reefs, this Indian Ocean island is a treasure in every way. It’s rich in culture, history, and raw beauty.
43. Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago
Calypso music, Caribbean cuisine, and a sandy coastline characterize this lesser-traveled tropical paradise.
44. Laurel, Mississippi
Experience small-town charm in South Mississippi, where main street façades are receiving a refresh.
45. West Orange, New Jersey
A regional suburb of New York City, this unexpected destination surprises visitors with its scenery and range of attractions.
📚 Related Guides: Places to Visit in New Jersey, Where to Stay in New Jersey
46. Grand Junction, Colorado
Adventure and leisure abound on Colorado’s Western Slope, a fertile area known for its outdoor activities, farm-to-table cuisine, and the scenic town of Grand Junction.
📚 Related Guides: 21 Things to Do in Grand Junction, Where to Stay in Grand Junction
47. Squamish, British Columbia
Travel north of Vancouver to discover this breathtaking mountain town where trails lead to summits, lakes, and cascading waterfalls.
📚 Related Guides: British Columbia Road Trip Guide
48. Zagreb, Croatia
What Zagreb lacks in coastline is dramatically made up for in culture, art, history, and locale, as it’s set near some of Croatia’s most stunning national parks.
📚 Related Guides: 27 Things to Do in Croatia, Croatia Itinerary Planner
49. Block Island, Rhode Island
Embrace the island vibes of this East Coast paradise, where bicycle rides, beach days, and brilliant sunsets charm summer visitors.
50. Mt. Shasta, California
With few crowds and mind-boggling natural wonder, this California mountain town beckons visitors to head north.
📚 Related Guides: Camping in California, 51 Best Things to Do in California, Best Hikes in California
👉 Not seeing enough places to travel? Try clearing your filters!
🌍 Want more travel inspiration? Browse last year’s list (which are still great places to travel!). Or check out our summer list of best things to do in the USA or our list of places to travel without a passport.
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