Photos by Getty, unless noted
“It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn.”
– Anthony Bourdain
The approach of the new year is a time for musing on what you’d like to explore in the coming months, both about yourself and about the world—and traveling is the perfect vehicle for such discovery. This list of places is just a taste of the adventures that await in 2024.
This coastal town in New England is bursting with charm and views. With its pristine beaches, vibrant arts scene, and cozy eateries, it’s an ideal escape for those who like to relax and be entertained.
Don’t miss: Marginal Way, a 1.25-mile easy walking path dotted with benches to rest and take in the view of the rugged coastline. It winds past photo-worthy hotels and inns to Perkins Cove, a picturesque fishing village with a small harbor and enchanting shops to duck into.
Feast on: A lobster roll at Footbridge Lobster
When to go: Late spring through early fall
New Hope, Pennsylvania
Less than an hour from Philadelphia, you’ll find this historic town along the banks of the Delaware River, where it invites visitors to slip into a bygone era of cobblestone streets and antique shops. A longtime sanctuary for artists, New Hope is filled with galleries boasting both local talent and renowned artists from all over.
Don’t miss: A show or live music at Bucks County Playhouse, once dubbed “America’s Most Famous Summer Theater.” Some of the best of the best have graced the stage, including Audra McDonald, Dick Van Dyke, and Bernadette Peters.
Feast on: The Amazing burger at the Burgerly
When to go: Year-round
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a soulful confluence of jazz and blues music, Creole and Cajun food, and historic architecture. Stroll down Frenchman Street to discover musicians playing venues like the Spotted Cat, d.b.a., and the Blue Nile, or catch local artists showcasing paintings, mixed media, and accessories at the Frenchmen Art Bazaar until late into the night. And make sure to stop by the French Quarter, which, as the oldest neighborhood in NOLA, mesmerizes visitors with its iconic architecture mixed with modern boutiques.
Don’t miss: Indulging in as much local food as you can. From jambalaya at the Gumbo Shop to sugar-dusted beignets at Café Du Monde, cuisine is at the heart of the New Orleans experience.
Feast on: A fried shrimp po’boy at Parkway Bakery and Tavern
When to go: February to May for comfortable weather and festivities
Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
This lesser-known national park is a dream for nature lovers: it encompasses 206 square miles of pristine wilderness and offers chances to glimpse wildlife such as wolves and moose in their untouched habitat. Access to this remote wilderness is restricted to a seaplane, ferry, or private watercraft. (Spots fill up fast, so make sure to book early.) Once you make it to the archipelago, activities abound, including camping, hiking, fishing on Lake Superior, scuba diving, canoeing, and kayaking.
Don’t miss: Seeing the stars. Isle Royale National Park is one of the darkest areas in Michigan, making it perfect for optimal stargazing.
Feast on: The Island Catch Sandwich at the Greenstone Grill
When to go: April 16 to October 31
Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, this laid-back destination is a paradise for outdoor adventurers of every sort. Whether your passion is hiking, biking, river rafting, skiing, or snowboarding, Salida has you covered. The town also plays host to events that speak to the spirit of its residents, such as the Salida Bike Fest and the Colorado Brewers Rendezvous.
Don’t miss: Taking a relaxing dip. Drive out to nearby Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort in Nathrop, Colorado, to warm up in the soaking pool at the hotel. Or make your way to the more primitive hot spring pools in Chalk Creek, which runs past the hotel.
Feast on: The Hot Mess (hash browns, carnitas, and poached eggs) at The Biker & the Baker
When to go: Year-round
Monument Valley, Utah
Officially called Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, this land on the border of Utah and Arizona looks almost otherworldly with its miles of mesas and red sand deserts. It is one of the most photographed points on earth, especially since the road Forrest Gump runs along in the movie (affectionately called Forrest Gump Point) cuts through it.
Don’t miss: The opportunity to go on a Jeep tour into the valley with Navajo tour operators. Some guides even offer a visit to a traditional Navajo hogan (home) to watch rug weaving.
Feast on: Navajo fry bread at Goulding’s Lodge Stagecoach Restaurant
When to go: Early spring or late autumn
Eighties babies might remember it fondly as the filming location for The Goonies, but this maritime town goes back much further. Astoria is the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains, and it boasts Victorian architecture to back up that claim. It also offers plenty to do for outdoorsy folks, like fishing and kayaking or hiking the Cathedral Tree Trail, which takes you to an impressively tall Sitka spruce known as the Cathedral Tree.
Don’t miss: The restored 1920s Liberty Theatre for a comedy night, Friday film, or live concert.
Feast on: Clam chowder at South Bay Wild Fish House
When to go: May through August
Whether you are flying across an ocean or simply driving down the road, travel is about approaching each place with curiosity and an open mind to whatever it has to offer. So try out one of these destinations, and make sure to talk to locals, taste the food, and learn the history—you may be amazed by what you discover.