21 places to go in 2018

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Photos by Raquel Maria Carbonell Pagola, Getty Images (Tétouan, Morocco); Marc Mol (Ruaha National Park, Tanzania); Bernd Jonkmanns, Redux (Dublin, Ireland); Kevin Boutwell (Malmo, Sweden); Pete Oxford (Madagascar); Elaine Ferritto Calip (Albania) Photos by Raquel Maria Carbonell Pagola, Getty Images (Tétouan, Morocco); Marc Mol (Ruaha National Park, Tanzania); Bernd Jonkmanns, Redux (Dublin, Ireland); Kevin Boutwell (Malmo, Sweden); Pete Oxford (Madagascar); Elaine Ferritto Calip (Albania)
(Source: National Geographic Traveler) (Source: National Geographic Traveler)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

If you’re like me, you’ve been seeing lots of 2018 “must” lists, and for all manner of things, ranging from things to wear, things to buy -- or not buy -- and, my personal favorite, places to go.

I devour lists like this if only to see what people in my industry think are the up-and-coming destinations, the tried-and-true classics, or something for the bucket list. And, in the interest of full disclosure, when I see a favorite destination on someone else’s list, I sometimes smile a “Ha! I was there before anyone knew it was cool” kind of smile before moving down the list. 

And then I saw National Geographic Traveler magazine’s “Best of the World -- Where to go in 2018.” Wow.

Seriously. Wow. Each destination looks more interesting than the one before!

[SLIDESHOW: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVEL'S Best Trips of 2018]

What went into determining this year’s list? According to George Stone, National Geographic Traveler editor in chief, “We looked for cities that bustle with new energy and intrigue; parklands that percolate with vitality and ecological protection; and communities rich in local character that offer opportunities for cultural engagement.”

A+ for effort, Mr. Stone!

National Geographic Traveler has broken out the 21 destinations into three lists -- Cities, Culture, and Nature. Yes, I smiled when I saw several places I’ve experienced on the list, but there are many more I now want to see for myself!

I’ve listed the destinations below, along with a brief sketch of why each one is on the list, but you’ll definitely want to check it out for yourself at NatGeo.com/besttrips2018.

[MAP: Best of the World: Where to go in 2018]

Cities

Dublin, Ireland (Photograph by Bernd Jonkmanns, Redux); Santiago, Chile (Photograph by Lucas Vallecillos, Redux) ; Malmo, Sweden (Photograph by Kevin Boutwell) ; Sydney, Australia (Photograph by David Maurice Smith, Redux); Tbilisi, Georgia (Photograph by Christian Kober, Getty Images); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Photograph by Yadid Levy); San Antonio, Texas (Photograph by Raymond Y. Choo)

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Dublin, Ireland -- I couldn’t agree more. Dublin is a young and lively city.

Malmo, Sweden -- This is a “U.N. of food,” where 180 nationalities operate 450 restaurants.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia -- This is active as a movie backdrop and there are new museums.

San Antonio, Texas -- Happy 300th birthday, San Antonio!

Santiago, Chile -- Enjoy outdoor “urban art galleries.”

Sydney, Australia -- The massive refurbishment of the famous Opera House is finished!

Tbilisi, Georgia -- This small city is filled with “authentic charm,” but booming development may change that.


Culture

Friesland, Netherlands (Photograph by Ruben Drenth); Tetouan, Morocco (Photograph by Raquel Maria Carbonell Pagola, Getty Images); Oaxaca, Mexico (Photograph by Diego Huerta); Vienna, Austria (Photograph by Lucas Vallecillos, Redux); Cleveland, Ohio (Photograph by Yuanshuai Si, Getty Images); Labrador, Canada (National Geographic); Harar, Ethiopia (Photograph by David Kirkland)

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Cleveland, Ohio -- The downtown theatre and music scene is fueling this previously industrial city’s revival.

Friesland, Netherlands -- It is, among other things, the 2018 European Cultural Capital.

Harar, Ethiopia -- Harar features the country’s best beer and nighttime visits with hyenas.

Labrador, Canada -- The new Canadian National Park found here is larger than the country of Jamaica!

Oaxaca, Mexico -- Discover the art of dyeing.

Tetouan, Morocco -- This is the heart of Morocco’s art scene

Vienna, Austria -- Celebrating the Secessionist Art Movement of Klimpt, Moser, and Wagner.


Nature

Oahu, Hawaii (Photograph by Ryan Moss); Jujuy Province, Argentina (Photograph by Dmitry Saparov, Getty Images); Albania (Photograph by Elaine Ferritto Calip); Jordan Trail, Jordan (Photograph by Yadid Levy); Madagascar (Photograph by Pete Oxford); Seoraksan National Park, South Korea (Photograph by tawatchaiprakobkit, Getty Images); Ruaha NP, Tanzania (Photograph by Marc Mol) 

App users: Click here to see image

Albania -- Dive unexplored waters -- literally. Albania outlawed diving to keep citizens from leaving the country.

Jordan Trail, Jordan -- Hike this 400-mile trail believed to have been walked by Jesus, Moses, and Mohammed.

Jujuy Province, Argentina -- See the Painted Desert of Argentina.

Madagascar -- See the endangered lemur in the wild.

Oahu, Hawaii -- Agritourism is ... well ... growing here.

Ruaha NP, Tanzania -- Sustainable tourism helps support wildlife preservation.

Seoraksan National Park, South Korea -- Embrace the Olympic spirit.


If any of these sound as amazing to you as they do to me, contact me at Preferred Travel Services -- Rosanne@preferredtravelservices.com. I’ll get you there!

[RELATED: 5 things every traveler needs -- according to Rosanne]

And from all of us at the agency, have a safe and very Happy New Year!

[MORE: Travel blog]


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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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