The Best Places to Travel in 2018

It's time to start making those travel plans. Here are our top 10 destinations to visit this year.
 

Kingston, Jamaica, is one of our must-visit destinations for 2018. Photo by Darien Robertson.

Explore a revitalized neighbourhood, celebrate a local milestone, taste your way around a culinary hot spot or embark on an unforgettable road-trip. Following are our picks for the top 10 destinations to visit this year. Click “read more” to dig deeper into why these spots made the list.

1. Kingston, Jamaica

Grassroots projects like Life Yard and Paint Jamaica are helping to ignite social change in Kingston. Photo by Darien Robertson.

This metropolis is in the midst of a cultural renaissance thanks to a growing local food movement, major infrastructure investments and a world-class music scene that has recently led to a UNESCO Creative City of Music designation. —Michele Peterson

Read more: Why You Should Visit Kingston, Jamaica, in 2018

2. Finger Lakes, NY

Sip cool-climate wines at Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars.

The Finger Lakes region has long been known for its natural beauty. But the upstate New York locale, a five-hour drive from New York City, is also steeped in civil rights history and has vineyards and cheese farms to tour. —Patty Lee

Read more: Where to Go in New York’s Finger Lakes Region

3. Belfast, Northern Ireland

The most famous Game of Thrones filming location is the Dark Hedges outside Belfast. Photo by spumador/iStock.

Trendy neighbourhoods, gorgeous green spaces and ground zero for Game of Thrones fans—Belfast’s dramatic transformation should be seen up close. Mandy Savoie

Read more: A Guide to Belfast, Northern Ireland, from a Game of Thrones Makeup Artist

4. Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec

Stop for a picnic at one of the region’s many lighthouses. Photo by Jean-Pierre Huard/Tourisme Gaspésie.

Sometimes overlooked in a country abundant in scenic routes, Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula is a place where mountains meet sea, and where a five-day drive around the 800-kilometre peninsula loop allows you to experience some lovely towns and enticingly wild boreal spaces. —Karan Smith

Read more: Six Things to Do On Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula

5. Costa Rica

To get close to a sloth, stay at Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens or Nayara Springs, where 15 sloths live. Photo by Jon G. Fuller, VWPics/Alamy.

Costa Rica’s rich ecosystem supports an abundance of wildlife including two of the world’s six species of sloth. And now, thanks to a new sanctuary, a sloth encounter is easier to arrange. —Diane Bolt

Read more: Hang Out With Sloths at Costa Rica’s New Sloth Sanctuary

6. Hamilton, Ont.

Go to Aberdeen Tavern for the weekend brunch. Photo by John Fraser.

Hamilton’s reinvention is happening at a furious pace. Leading the way is a strong food scene fuelled by boomerangs (Hamiltonians who left and came back), and by chefs and restaurateurs setting up shop away from Toronto’s sky-high real estate. —Michele Sponagle

Read more: 10 Dishes in Hamilton, Ont., to Get On a Plane For

7. Glasgow, Scotland

2018 welcomes a new Mackintosh exhibition at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Photo by Travellinglight/Alamy.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, an architect whose buildings have become hallmarks of Scotland’s largest city. To honour his legacy, Glasgow is holding a year-long celebration with events, talks and exhibits. —Mike MacEacheran

Read more: Five Stunning Buildings in Glasgow That Celebrate Charles Rennie Mackintosh

8. Alberta’s Big Cities (Calgary and Edmonton)

Simmons building in Calgary’s East Village, a formerly gritty, inner-city neighbourhood that’s undergone a massive transformation over the past few years.

Both Edmonton and Calgary have been making big investments in infrastructure and the arts, resulting in exciting openings and development. Instead of choosing just one, both cities are on our list. —Sara Samson

Read more: New Openings to Check Out in Edmonton and Calgary in 2018

9. Denver, Colorado

Denver boasts more than 100 brew pubs and taprooms, including Ratio Beerworks.

For years, travellers passed through Denver on the way to ritzy ski towns. But that’s all changed thanks to a thriving economy that has made Denver a must-visit destination with restaurants, attractions and outdoor activities galore. —Megan Barber

Read more: Denver’s Best Neighbourhoods, Breweries and Attractions

10. Bristol, England

The new CARGO 2 is a hip hub of restaurants and artisan shops. Photo by Jon Craig.

With its impressive track record for churning out visionary artists, digital innovators and groundbreaking engineers, South West England’s biggest city is a must-stop for anyone looking to be inspired. —John Lee

Read more: Why You Should Go to Bristol, England, in 2018