Destinations 2013: The big list of great escapes

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As the calendar turned to 2013, I started to think of the destinations that might imprint their mark on me. This year, as in 2012, I’ve gathered a list of places for travelers of all kinds: From those who love luxury to the budget-minded, the tried-and-true spots along with the off-the-beaten-path gems, and the in- and out-of-country lands.

Some unexpected places are becoming popular, while old haunts are enjoying a renaissance. Iceland and the Galápagos are still on my long list of places to visit. Off we go – get your checklist ready.


National Geographic Traveler’s editor chose these 20 destinations as their must-do trips for 2013.

  1. Crimea
  2. Marseille, France
  3. Raja Ampat, Indonesia
  4. Ravenna, Italy
  5. Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada
  6. Malawi, Africa
  7. Quito, Ecuador
  8. Bagan, Myanmar
  9. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada
  10. Uganda
  11. Hudson Valley, NY USA
  12. Thessaloniki, Greece
  13. Grenada
  14. Bodø, Norway
  15. Valparaíso, Chile
  16. Missouri River Breaks, MT USA
  17. St. Augustine, FL USA
  18. Memphis, TN USA
  19. Kyoto, Japan
  20. Jarash, Jordan


Luxury is top consideration in Condé Nast’s Traveler’s must-do list of 10 destinations.

  1. Brazil
  2. Philippines
  3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  4. Congo, Africa
  5. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
  6. Kashmir
  7. Mayan Riviera, Mexico
  8. New Zealand
  9. Panama
  10. Oman


Fodor’s Go List targets value, access, buzz or simply travel-worthy journeys in their list of 25 places to see in 2013.

  1. Albuquerque, NM USA
  2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  3. Azores Islands, Portugal
  4. Botswana, Africa
  5. Brooklyn, NY USA
  6. Easter Island, South America
  7. England, UK
  8. Germany
  9. Gettysburg, PA, USA
  10. Ireland
  11. Istanbul, Turkey
  12. Maldives
  13. Marseille, France
  14. Mexico City, Mexico
  15. Montenegro
  16. Myanmar
  17. New Orleans, LA USA
  18. New Zealand
  19. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
  20. Portland, OR USA
  21. Samaná Peninsula, Dominican Republic
  22. Sardinia, Italy
  23. Seville, Spain
  24. Slovenia
  25. Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL USA


Traveling on a budget? Budget Travel lists its 10 best destinations for pocket-lite, but travel-starved voyagers.

  1. Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
  2. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. Palm Springs, CA USA
  4. Antalya, Turkey
  5. Loire Valley, France
  6. Nashville, TN USA
  7. Northern Ireland
  8. Slovakia
  9. Boracay Island, Philippines
  10. Bahamas


Lonely Planet offers three distinct best-in-2013 lists: Countries, regions and US cities. These places are up and coming, special or much beloved among the staff.

 Top 10 countries (some off the beaten path)

  1. Sri Lanka
  2. Montenegro
  3. South Korea
  4. Ecuador
  5. Slovakia
  6. Solomon Islands
  7. Iceland
  8. Turkey
  9. Dominican Republic
  10. Madagascar

Top 10 US cities

  1. Louisville, KY
  2. Fairbanks, AK
  3. San Juan Islands, WA
  4. Philadelphia, PA
  5. American Samoa
  6. Eastern Sierra, CA
  7. Northern Maine
  8. Twin Cities, MN
  9. Verde Valley, AZ
  10. Glacier National Park, MT


Travel Bloggers rated these 13 lucky places as the 10 best destinations for travel in 2013.

  1. Brazil
  2. Albania
  3. Myanmar
  4. Mongolia
  5. New Zealand
  6. Bolivia, South America
  7. Sri Lanka
  8. Istanbul, Turkey
  9. Iceland
  10. Singapore


Travel Squire spotlighted forbidden travel in its 2013 list. Perhaps when the State Department names these places as “no-go” on their travel lists, they become more desirable.

  1. Cuba
  2. Kabul, Afghanistan
  3. Pyongyang, North Korea
  4. Mogadishu, Somalia


Climate changes threaten to make some of the most beautiful natural places on earth disappear, or become severely altered. Many countries’ rivers, lakes, islands, glaciers, deserts and cities are at risk. Here’s Squidoo’s list of 10 places to visit. Hurry, before they disappear.

  1. Kintla Lake, Glacier National Park, MT USA
  2. Venice, Italy
  3. Bangladesh
  4. Maldives
  5. Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland
  6. Denali National Park, AK USA
  7. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  8. Sahara Desert, Africa
  9. Glacier Torres del Paine, Chile
  10. Lake Eyre, Australia

There you have it. Where are you off to in 2013?

PS I’m adding The New York Times Place to Go in 2013, as it was published after this post.

Design + illustration: © 2013 Janet Giampietro

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