Each January, the editors of the New York Times Travel section publish a Places to Go issue. And although the editors themselves admit that it is by no means a comprehensive list (here’s how they narrow it down)–because “there is an almost endless number of great destinations”–the locations chosen are always particularly compelling in the coming year. This year’s 11th annual Places to Go list features a few of our favorite destinations, and we can’t wait for you to experience everything they have to offer.
2. Bordeaux, France
An ancient wine region gets a stunning update.
Words by Charly Wilder
Next year will see the opening of La Cité du Vin, an ambitious institution along the coast of the river Garonne dedicated to the history of French viticulture. The undulating wooden structure, designed by XTU architects, is part of a huge greening and revitalization effort along Bordeaux’s waterways, which also includes the 2013 opening of the Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas, Europe’s largest lift bridge, and the transformation of over 7,500,000 square feet of former docklands into more than 5,000 new apartments and public waterside attractions. In 2007, half of the restored neoclassical city was Unesco-listed, making it the largest urban World Heritage site. And all the effort has been paying off: A 2013 survey ranked Bordeaux France’s second-favorite city, after Paris. More recently, a restaurant boom has welcomed enticing openings by the likes of Joël Robuchon, whose namesake restaurant opened at the end of 2014 within the city’s palatial Grande Maison hotel. Gordon Ramsay recently took the helm at Le Pressoir d’Argent, the restaurant within the InterContinental Bordeaux — Le Grand Hotel, while the French celebrity chef Philippe Etchebest, has taken over the Café Opera in Bordeaux’s Grand Théâtre. Other appetizing new entries include Franco-Chinese restaurant Dan, high-end minimalist Garopapilles and locavore Belle Campagne, in a rustic-chic townhouse in Bordeaux’s picturesque Old Town.
Experience our Bordeaux Cycling Vacation»
15. Road to Seven Lakes, Argentina
A newly paved road to beautiful vistas.
Words by Nell McShane Wulfhart
It’s no longer necessary to rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle to explore the Patagonian Lake District. With the long-delayed paving of the Road of the Seven Lakes completed last summer, it is now possible to drive, cycle or motorbike (new rental companies like Seven Lakes Rides are already setting up shop) down this 66-mile route that takes in some of Argentina’s most compelling scenery. Connecting San Martín de Los Andes to the mountain village of Villa La Angostura, an hour’s drive from the skiing and snowboarding mecca of Bariloche, the route is stunningly scenic, winding its way through forested valleys and around the namesake azure lakes, taking in national parks, snow-capped mountains and abundant waterfalls along the way. The trip can now be completed in a few hours, although it’s worth stretching out the journey to take advantage of the campgrounds (or boutique hotels) and excellent restaurants along the way.
Experience the Road to Seven Lakes on our Chile Cycling Vacation»
17. Korcula Island, Croatia
Experience authentic life on the Dalmatian Coast.
Words by Katie Engelhart
Beyoncé and Jay Z called this one. The couple’s 2011 visit to Hvar Island seemed to open the tourist floodgates to Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. Korcula is Hvar’s more modest neighbor. Much of the island is still untouched: dotted with blue-collar fishing villages and little pebble beaches. Instead of sticking to the Old Town, which claims to be the birthplace of Marco Polo, rent a moped and head west. Travel through olive groves and thick woodlands, and drive off-road to sample Korcula’s signature white wine, Grk, at any number of hopelessly charming family wineries. It’s bitter and earthy — and true to the region’s less fashionable days.
Experience Korcula Island on our Craotia Cycling Vacation»
29. Barcelona, Spain
Celebrating a beloved architect all year.
Words by Lindsey Tramuta
This year, Barcelona prepares for an influx of architecture aficionados as it marks the 90th anniversary of the death of Antoni Gaudí, whose work famously peppers the city. The Gaudi Exhibition Center at the Museu Diocesà de Barcelona will continue to offer an interactive deep dive with its “Walking With Gaudi” exhibition — a perfect primer for what is poised to be an important decade in Gaudian history: by year’s end, the Unesco World Heritage Site Casa Vicens — Gaudi’s first major work — will open as a public museum, and the completion of the Sagrada Família cathedral, his most ambitious work, is finally scheduled for 2026. Guests of the nearby Majestic Hotel & Spa will be offered private tours of both structures once they open.
Experience our Barcelona Villa Cycling Vacation»
31. Turin, Italy
Renewal in a former industrial capital.
Words by Robyn Eckhardt
A reopened Egyptian Museum isn’t the only draw in Turin, where projects like the warehouse district Docks Dora, home to galleries, ateliers and underground clubs; the street art initiative Arte in Barriera; and Lavazza’s new headquarters in Aurora near Porta Palazzo, Europe’s largest open-air market, are softening an industrial face. Fresh exhibition spaces and museums complement Contemporary Art Week, comprising Artissima, Paratissima and Luci d’Artista. The concurrent Club to Club is one of many music festivals (Torino Jazz, Kappa Futur, TODAYS, Movement Torino). The city, which is home to Slow Food’s annual Salone del Gusto, is also a jumping-off point for the Unesco world heritage-designated wine regions Langhe-Roero and Monferrato.
Experience Turin on our Piedmont Cycling Vacation»
43. Málaga, Spain
Beauty, but now a cultural capital, too.
Words by Shivani Vora
As home to touristy seaside cities like Marbella, the province of Málaga, part of the Andalusia region, is a popular beach destination. The eponymous capital city, however, is now a center of culture. The birthplace of Picasso and home to a namesake museum full of works donated by his family, Málaga has recently seen three major museums open. The most significant is a five-year pop-up of the Centre Pompidou, costing upward of $8 million, housed in a futuristic building on the waterfront and displaying a changing selection of 20th- and 21st-century paintings by artists like Frida Kahlo and Marc Chagall. There’s also a new branch of the St. Petersburg State Russian Museum with a collection of works by some of Russia’s most notable artists and the Carmen Thyssen Museum, featuring around 250 works from Baroness Thyssen-Bornemisza’s collection of past and present art world masters, including Jeff Koons. Getting to Málaga to explore this new side of the city is easier than ever: Delta now has seasonal flights into the local airport from New York City, and there are new high-speed train routes linking it to Madrid and Barcelona.
Experience Málaga on our Andalucia Cycling Vacation»
SEE THE NEW YORK TIMES FULL LIST OF 52 PLACES TO GO»