If you took a moment to consider what you really wanted to do in 2017, there’s a good chance that you might answer “travel more.” Unfortunately, traveling takes money and time, something too few Americans have these days. But what if money weren’t an issue? What if you had $90,000 that you could use to plan the trip of a lifetime? Where would you go?
Here are ten of the best places to travel to in 2017.
In 2017, Canada will be celebrating its 150th birthday and our neighbor up north wants everyone to join in on the celebration by experiencing the stunning beauty the country is so well known for. Whether you choose to take in Montreal’s culinary scene, Ontario’s rustic landscape, or Toronto’s vibrant arts, there’s no limit to what you can expect to discover in the Great White North. This year only, Canada is allowing free entry into all of its national parks. All you need for entry is the free Discovery Pass.
#2: Athens, Greece
Athens, Greece has slowly reinvented itself over the last few decades. Once considered a routine pit stop for those whose ultimate destination was Rome, Athens has come into its own as a premier vacation destination worthy of a dedicated visit. From the city’s renowned ancient architecture to its modern art galleries to its swanky new luxury hotels, the past, present, and future combine to make a vacation in Athens one the gods would be proud of.
With its snow-capped peaks, deep verdant valleys, and nature-loving spirit, there are few prettier vacations than that of visiting the Scandinavian countryside. And the trifecta of Norway, Finland, and Sweden makes for one of the most photogenic and relaxing vacations you will ever have. Stop by for a soak in one of Helsinki’s saunas, enjoy the innovative cuisine of Stockholm, and go island hopping in the Oslo Fjord. By the end of your vacation, you’ll be recharged, relaxed, and ready for the rest of your life.
You know the lush, summery landscape that graces every episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones? Those scenes are shot on Croatia’s coast and thanks to the hit series, this area has become one of the hottest vacation destinations of the last few years. Along with popular locales like Hvar and Dubrovnik, the area is also rich with islands and remote fishing villages, all of which have their own unique adventures waiting to be discovered.
#5: New Zealand
Much like Croatia’s link to Game of Thrones, New Zealand’s ties to The Lord of the Rings movies has made it a top contender on most dream vacation lists. Tourism has become so popular in New Zealand that American travelers can now get there via three daily directs (San Francisco, Houston, and Los Angeles). From Auckland’s innovative culinary scene to the vibrant green lands of Northland to beautiful Queenstown, there’s a reason why so many travelers keep going back to New Zealand.
Zimbabwe might seem like a surprise addition to this list, but fear not, the country has devoted a massive amount of resources to its tourism infrastructure in recent years and it has started paying off. There’s even a brand new $150 million airport in Victoria Falls to make getting into and out of the country all the more easy. While Kenya, South Africa, and Botswana continue to draw congestive amounts of visitors, Zimbabwe is much more relaxed and it’s home to Hwange National Park, the country’s largest game reserve.
For the nature lover, Madagascar is a treasure trove. It is literally home to thousands of species found nowhere else on earth. In fact, more than 90 percent of the island’s flora and fauna are endemic. But, climate change and deforestation are taking a tremendous toll on this region, so if you have ever desired a trip to Madagascar, you should plan it soon. Be sure to plan a visit to Ankarana National Park for lemur-watching and to Amber Mountain National Park for its scenic waterfalls and crater lakes.
#8: Noosa Heads, Australia
Located on Australia’s eastern coast and less than two hours from Brisbane, Noosa Heads is fast becoming a popular vacation destination down under thanks to its excellent restaurants and upscale hotels. Its Main Beach is a surfer’s paradise, while Noosa National Park is where adventurers can walk cliff-hugging boardwalks through the verdant rain forest. For a truly luxurious stay, book your vacation accommodations at Richard Branson’s Makepeace Island Resort.
#9: Provence, France
Travelers have trekked to Provence, France for years mainly due to the region’s wineries and hilltop bastides. But, renovations to some of the area’s top hotels, like the Domaine de Fontenille, the Hôtel de Tourrel, and the Villa La Coste have in part, made a vacation to this illustrious part of France a must for art lovers and fine dining aficionados the world over.
#10: Suzhou, China
The 2,500-year-old city of Suzhou is home to dozens of classical gardens and for centuries it has been a leading producer of Chinese art and poetry. But, Suzhou is also home to the ultra-modern Suzhou Industrial Park, which not only serves as home to several Fortune 500 companies, but also contains a recreational, shopping, and entertainment district named Times Square, a concert hall, and several colorful musical fountains. With a gaggle of luxury hotels set to open over the next few years, Suzhou, China is blending the old with the new for a truly one-of-a-kind vacation experience.
Play the First Class Cash Sweepstakes and Win the Vacation of A Lifetime!
Publisher’s Clearing House wants to help make your 2017 a year to remember. Just enter our First Class Cash sweepstakes for your chance to win $90,000 toward a first class adventure of your own. Whether you choose to visit one of the places listed above or you have your own dream vacation already in mind, your winnings will be more than enough for you to enjoy the trip of a lifetime!
For PCH Creative