• Kathryn Schutz

Hot for 2016 (Part 2)

Here are more exciting destinations for 2016!

1. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: A city of diversity - thoroughly modern high design buildings sitting alongside 500-year old windmills. A must for art lovers - Museum Rotterdam opens in a new spectacular building in 2016 and Kunsthal Rotterdam is hosting a political exhibition of Keith Haring artworks and a Peter Lindbergh fashion photography retrospective will debut September 2016.

2. New Zealand: A new collection of nationwide cycling trails is connecting active adventurers to 1600 miles of breathtaking landscapes across the country. Try skydiving in Taupo, soak in hot mineral pools, then cool down on the snowy slopes of Mount Ruapehu or South Island's Southern Alps. Cuddle on a glacial cruise on Tasman Lake, float above vineyards in a hot air balloon and hike amid mountains in Fjordland. See fantastic views of river gorges from the TransAlpine train.

3. Barbados: Barbados celebrates its 50th year of independence in 2016. In January they will host the posh Caribbean sailing event, the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series. In November famous chefs such as Marcus Samuelsson and Chris Cosentino will come in for the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival. Barbados is renowned for the Crop Over Festival beginning in June when the last sugar canes are blessed by the king and queen of the crop. The island also features catamaran sailing, The Oistins Fish Market (one of the world's best) and a tremendous game reserve.

4. Quito, Ecuador: With a sparkling new airport and refurbished train station, traveling around the Ecuadorian capital is a breeze. Quito is starting to be noticed for its cuisine at restaurants such as Cedron. Climb the main spire of the gorgeous Basilica del Voto Nacional. Ecuador has the world's oldest known cacao producer and biggest cultivator of high-end beans. Experience a journey that traces the source of chocolate in the Amazon and continue to the spectacular Galapagos Islands (see #10 on our list).

5. Botswana: This country is so special we've included it in Part 1 and Part 2! Botswana also celebrates 50 years of independence in 2016. Experience a water-based safari in the Delta grasslands, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the largest inland water systems. The country boasts a diversity of terrain from wetlands to forests to arid deserts. See the Rhino Trail, Nata Bird Sactuary, Moremi Gorge, Chief's Island or Krokavango Crocodile Farm all while experiencing luxurious resorts and safari camps.

6. Georgia: Kakheti is the top winemaking region (the origins of wine can be traced to this region) offering vineyard tours and exceptional tastings. Batumi is a laid-back Black Sea coastal city and home to one of the world's largest botanical gardens. See the Caucasus Mountains, the Persian, Soviet and Art Nouveau architecture in Tbilisi. Visit a myriad of UNESCO heritage sites such as Jvari Monastery and Sveititskhoveli Cathedral (known as the burial site for Christ's mantel). Make stops along the ancient silk route. History abounds!

7. Casablanca, Morocco: for that matter all of Morocco in general! A mixed-use development abuts the city's beachfront Corniche area featuring a Four Seasons hotel. In a few years the city will boast Africa's tallest skyscraper. Go now to see architectural wonders such as Hassan II Mosque which holds 25,000 people, delicious food, friendly people and an amazing culture.

8. Bozeman, Montana: Bozeman has great qualities - a university town, easy-to-access mountain adventures, and proximity to Glacier National Park. Main Street features a variety of shops from an old-school outdoorsman supplier to trendy menswear. Great restaurants such as the Roost, Blackbird, Open Range and the Feed Cafe have sophisticated flavors in a comfortable setting. And taste great craft beers including White Dogg Brewing Company. Visit Yellowstone to see bald eagles, mule deer, antelope and bighorn sheep. See Mammoth Hot Springs. Delight in a mountain town that is becoming rapidly sophisticated.

9. Sicily, Italy: Where to start? Fifth-century B.C. Greek ruins, architecture of Arab-Norman Palermo, stunning coastlines, Mount Etna and newly discovered wine tourism. And new spas - how about a day of wine tastings ending with a thermal bath in an old wine tank? Take a six-day bike ride through Sicily's citrus- and olive-scented countryside, with lunch picnics and espresso breaks. Feast on incredible Sicilian cuisine in the evenings.

10. Galapagos, Ecuador: 600 miles from mainland Ecuador lies and amazing biodiversity. See the extremely rare Galapagos penguins, hike the islands' volcanic formations, kayak with sea lions, bird watch for blue-footed boobies and see more iguanas, giant tortoises, dolphins and whales than you could ever imagine! Visit Darwin's living laboratory where animals have no instinctive fear of humans presenting incredible photographic opportunities.


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