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
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
2. Finger Lakes, NY
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
3. Belfast, Northern Ireland
Trendy neighbourhoods, gorgeous green spaces and ground zero for Game of Thrones fans—Belfast’s dramatic transformation should be seen up close. —Mandy Savoie
4. Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec
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
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
6. Hamilton, Ont.
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
7. Glasgow, Scotland
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
8. Alberta’s Big Cities (Calgary and Edmonton)
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
9. Denver, Colorado
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
10. Bristol, England
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
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Why You Should Go to These Neighbourhoods in Toronto, L.A., Edmonton and London
Spend time exploring these recently revitalized neighbourhoods. Sip at brewpubs and cocktail bars in Toronto's Riverside, play at a retro bowling alley in L.A.'s Highland Park, see a hockey game in Edmonton's Ice District or shop at multicultural markets in London's Hackney.