costa rica coast line

It’s that magical time of year — dreaming about our epic adventures for 2024. Whether you’re ready to spin the globe to discover a new locale or feeling the pull to reunite with some old favorites, we’ve got your list of inspiration just waiting to whisk you away. From three-day escapes to romantic getaways, and even heart-pounding adventures. Dive into our list of spectacular destinations (nope, we’re not playing favorites!), that are shining stars in this year’s travel must-go list. So, pack your bags and get ready to jet off to places that are worth traveling for.

Franklin, Tennessee

vineyards in franklin, tennessee
Courtesy, Southall Farm & Inn

Home to abundant musicians and celebrities, the laid-back town, with its Hallmark Card-perfect main street, celebrates its 250th birthday this year, proudly proclaiming its 100 percent LEED-certified status. Visit Franklin’s new carbon-neutral amphitheater — or any of its variety of chic cafes, galleries, breweries, and bars. In nearby Leiper’s Fork, on Franklin’s verges, there’s even a winery, behind which you can tipple atop chairs wedged into a burbling creek. Embodying the town’s authentic vibe, trending five-star Southall Farm & Inn emanates the community’s sustainably committed spirit. -Becca Hensley

Borobodur, Java, Indonesia

If you love Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, then Indonesia’s Borobudur — a gargantuan and gorgeous Buddhist temple constructed in the 8th and 9th centuries — should be your next destination. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is reportedly the largest Buddhist temple in the world and best viewed at sunrise. The adventure begins in Yogyakarta, a Javanese cultural and artistic hub, where — shepherded by Amanjiwo’s team and resident anthropologist, you will board a private luxe train carriage for the seven-hour voyage to the resort (meals prepared by Aman). Beyond exploring legendary temples, guests can join an ancient purification ritual by the Progo River called Rutawan, involving Javanese meditation, a holy water blessing, and spiritual session with a healer-shaman, or try the artful tradition of Jeparingan Mataram archery, a royal practice that originated in the mid-18th century. Save time for the spa, too, since the treatments are as next level as the cultural programming. -Kathryn Romeyn

Mendocino California

Indulge in the perfection of a timeless place. Go for the wine, the misty mountains, big redwoods, slightly hippie-meets-sophisticate populace, and the beaches.  Fly into fuss-free Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa to begin an evocative NoCal weekend of wine tasting, tromping along cliffside trails, kayaking, and gallery hopping. Plan time at Mendocino Headlands State Park for hikes and Russian Gulch State Park for its breathtaking 36-foot waterfall. Back in town, grab a pizza at family-owned Frankie’s, a glass of wine at Cafe Beaujolais and a good book at Gallery Bookshop. Poised on a cliff, The Stanford Inn & Resort, complete with organic garden, gets kudos for its vegan ethos, chef, and sensibilities. -Becca Hensley


beauty in switzerland
Image: Canva Pro

There’s no doubt that the Swiss hospitality scene is undergoing a Renaissance. Mandarin Oriental has opened two ultra-chic properties in the span of a year that allow travelers to explore the best of Swiss living — from idyllic lake views in Lucerne to the iconic Mandarin Oriental Savoy, Zurich’s grandest hotel. Craving endless mountain views and ski-in/ski-out convenience? Head to the new Six Senses Crans-Montana, a year-round Alpine playground with a 21,500-square-foot spa and a long list of amenities. And in Le Brassus in Vallée de Joux, Switzerland’s high-watchmaking mecca, the talk of the town is Hotel des Horlogers, sitting next door to Audemars Piguet’s headquarters. The visually intriguing structure embraces the valley’s topography and is reminiscent of a zigzagging path. -Dobrina Zhekova

Tulum, Mexico

Tulum’s star has been rising for a while now, but with the opening of the area’s new international airport at the end of 2023, this ancient Mayan city is bound for the stratosphere. The long-awaited facility will make the two-hour journey from Cancun Airport unnecessary and establish Tulum as a premier destination in the Caribbean. And with its white sand beaches, archaeological sites, cenotes, and a new national park slated to open in 2024, boasting 2,258 hectares, the largest in Quintana Roo, the region emerges as a more tranquil alternative to Cancun. And hospitality brands are taking notice—with Edition, Nobu, and Accor’s Mayaliah all opening properties there next year. -Dobrina Zhekova

Mustique, Caribbean

This small, privately owned island is by invite only. Guests stay in one of the luxurious private villas or at Cotton House (the only hotel). Brought to light recently in The Crown, Mustique has been discreetly entertaining royals and A-listers since 1958 when Scottish aristocrat, Colin Tenant, purchased it and gifted ten acres of land to the late Princess Margaret (sister of the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II). A few of the island’s original homeowners, including Toucan Hill’s Tatiana Copeland (the grand niece of composer Sergei Rachmaninoff), remain and continue to share lively stories of the island’s hedonistic days. Today’s new guard is just as intriguing. Expect to see familiars like Harry Styles, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Kelly Ripa cruising the windy roads in electric mules (there are no cars or traffic signals), picnicking under thatched palapas on the beach, and dipping into the stunning cerulean sea. -Shari Mycek


breakfast at anantara grand hotel krasnapolsky
Courtesy, Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky

If all you’ve seen of the Dutch capital is the inside of Schiphol Airport as you dash to your next flight, you’re missing out — compact and explorable, Amsterdam is packed with history, culture, culinary surprises, and luxury lodging. Amsterdam’s founders made the most of their swampy city by building a series of concentric canals out from the city center. Today, these waterways, which are lined with 17th-century buildings and topped by flower-filled bridges, have created a wonderland of hip shopping destinations, waterfront cafes, and some of the most important museums in the world. Stay on Dam Square at the 402-room Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, where dinner is served in the city’s oldest restaurant, the impeccably restored White Room, and a menu of exclusive excursions like private canal cruises and walking food tours inspire a sense of discovery. -Katie McElveen

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, the jewel of the Indian Ocean, beckons adventurers with its enchanting safari experiences and unparalleled biodiversity. It’s a wildlife wonderland where sustainable conservation efforts shine brightly. Imagine a single day that starts with thrilling whale watching in the deep blue ocean and ends with a heart-pounding land safari through lush jungles. This island nation boasts a unique “big five”: elephants, leopards, sloth bears, blue whales, and sperm whales, making it a dream destination for nature enthusiasts. But Sri Lanka isn’t just about wildlife; it’s also a cultural and luxury haven. Explore the UNESCO fortress city of Galle, sip tea amidst rolling hills, and indulge in opulence at Cape Weligama hotel while gazing at the Indian Ocean’s beauty. The future is even more promising with new resorts by Uga and the recent opening of the captivating Pekoe Trail, showcasing tea estates and heritage-rich communities. -Jordi Lippe-Mcgraw

Naples, Florida

Bathed in sunshine, Naples hugs the Florida coastline along the Gulf of Mexico, making it a temperate destination to visit any time of year. Home to the newly opened Ritz-Carlton Naples, unlike any Ritz-Carlton where you’ve stayed, you’ll find yourself making the most of the club-level amenities (seriously, they are incredible) and glued to the beach for dolphin watching (they come very close to shore). You’ll soak in warm ocean water, discover whole shells and sand dollars, and a calmness that feels like you’re in a fa raway locale. Naples is also home to designer shopping along aptly named Fifth Avenue and an incredible culinary scene. -Deanne Kaczerski

Blue Zones

porto rotondo in sardinia Italy one of the blue zones
Courtesy, Abi D’Oru Hotel & Spa, Sardinia

If living a longer, healthier life is enticing, consider traveling to the Blue Zones: Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria, Greece; and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. These four zones are home to the highest concentration of centenarians (110-120 years) in the world. While theories abound as to why, scientists consistently point to lifestyle: fresh air, wholesome foods, daily exercise, and lack of stress. The sea also plays a healing role. In recent years, wellness-minded travelers have shown increased interest in the Blue Zones. But in 2024, sparsely populated Sardinia (1.5 million people to 4.5 million sheep), is expecting to see a surge of visitors as hotels like five-star Abi d’ Oru Hotel & Spa (Porto Rotondo) wraps up a $20 million euro renovation and Romazzino (Porto Certo), will reopen as a Belmond hotel. -Shari Mycek

Jeju Island 

Few Americans have heard of Jeju, a remote island southwest of the Korean peninsula. Marked by the stirringly beautiful Hallasan, a shield volcano crowned by a crystal-clear lake, cascading waterfalls, lush fields, pebbly beaches, and centuries-old storied culture of haenyeo — females who free dive for seafood — Jeju has long been guarded as one of Asia’s best-kept secrets. But with the recent (2023) opening of the JW Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa, envisioned by famed designer Bill Bensley (of Four Seasons Golden Tented Camp and Rosewood Luang Prabang), the world’s most discerning travelers are taking notice. The hotel’s aesthetic is jaw dropping with dreamy black-and-tan rooms kitted out with huge handcrafted marble tubs; the cuisine exquisite. At The Flying Hog, chef Joon Ko forgoes grilling the island’s famous black pork belly and instead slow cooks it in a wood oven for crunchy skin and fork-tender meat. -Katie Chang

Reims, France

Blame the pandemic, but Champagne sales have been rising since quarantine. Next trip, forego Paris for a foray into this storied, eponymous region in northeastern France, a short train ride from CDG airport. Protected, the area’s 20,000 grape growers and more than 300 characteristic Champagne houses produce festive wine from their legendary chalky soil’s yield of Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir grapes. Base in historic Reims, the region’s centerpiece city, beloved for its Gothic cathedral, replete with Marc Chagall windows, pedestrian streets, independent boutiques, and striking art deco architecture. Tuck into castle-like Domaine Les Crayères, an intimate Relais & Chateaux, belle epoque mansion hotel with a walled garden, once home to the revered Pommery/Polignac family. Vineyards and tasting rooms await steps away. -Becca Hensley

Vancouver Island, British Columbia

vancouver island's famous fairmont empress
Courtesy, Fairmont Empress

Hallmark movie enthusiasts will love knowing that Vancouver Island — and picturesque town of Sidney — is where many of the movie channel’s romantic, by-the-sea, films are shot. The coastal town is also home to Victoria Distillers, makers of Empress 1908 indigo gin. The island’s fresh air, gorgeous gardens, microclimate, whales (humpback and orcas), and historic grand dame hotel — the Fairmont Empress, recently respun into lavish gold (22 new gold rooms and an exclusive Gold Lounge) — are also big draws. Check too, the Havn Sauna, set on a floating barge in the harbor (directly across from The Fairmont Empress). Travel Curator was among the first to experience the new wellness offering (opened June 2023) — that feels more like Sweden and Finland — with its lush green spaces, hidden saunas, and outdoor hot-and-cold plunge pools overlooking the water. Only 24 guests are booked at any one time. -Shari Mycek

Rio de Janeiro

Cradled between towering mountains, Guanabara Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean, Rio de Janeiro has staunchly remained one of South America’s most flocked-to destinations. Today, its appeal endures. The white sand beaches, like Ipanema and Copacabana, are so captivating they’ve been immortalized in song. Carnival, held in February, is widely considered one of the world’s most elaborate and decadent celebrations, while the city’s parks are lush and plentiful. There’s plenty of culture and cuisine to dive into as well, from Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) to feijoada, a hearty bean and meat stew. Check into Copacabana Palace — the legendary oceanfront hotel just marked its 100th anniversary. Beyond palatial and classically appointed accommodations, this iconic luxury hotel also boasts a pair of Michelin-starred restaurants, an exclusive rooftop black pool, and a hushed spa featuring treatments with indigenous ingredients. -Katie Chang

Manchester Vermont 

No matter the season, Manchester, Vermont, is a gorgeous place to visit for outdoor activities, high-end shopping, and memorable farm-to-table cuisine. The quaint town is driving distance from New York City and Boston; but most importantly, it’s approximately 30 minutes from ski destination, Stratton, for winter skiing. Come fall, enjoy the stunning foliage hiking Equinox mountain; and in summer, you can swim at gorgeous lake beach, Emerald State Park. Book dinners in advance as reservations can be challenging to get at the Silver Fork, an elegant restaurant set in the former Mark Skinner Library featuring an international menu. It’s also worth venturing to nearby Sunderland to dine at The Restaurant at Hill Farm by a former Blue Hill of Stone Barns chef. If you party too hard sipping wine at the firepit at the Equinox Resort, head to Up For Breakfast the next morning for an iconic Vermont breakfast. -Lauren Levinson

Roatán Island, Honduras

kimpton grand roatan resort & spa
Courtesy, Sergio Lopez for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

Diving aficionados would rather you didn’t know about Roatan, an island in the western Caribbean near Honduras. With 100 dive sites, this secretly guarded diver’s paradise has a pristine coral reef, jungle-carpeted hills, pearly beaches, and waters blanketed by a bevy of blues. Retaining a casual “Margaritaville” appeal, it excels at inspiring visitors to unplug from technology as they embrace nature’s zen.  Until now, all the island lacked was a luxury hotel worth the trip.  Just opened on West Bay Beach, Kimpton Grand Roatán Resort & Spa brings the art and craftsmanship of local communities into its sustainable design motifs. Choose from 119 pool- or ocean-facing rooms. Expect myriad activities from spa to snorkeling. -Becca Hensley

South Africa

It would take a year or more to do wide-ranging, transformative South Africa justice — but that’s why you must start now. A place for travelers who can’t decide if they want a wildlife experience, wine jaunt, or an urbane getaway in humming Cape Town, South Africa, presents like a lustrous buffet of dramatic nature, affable characters, animal encounters, history tutorials, and gastronomic ecstasy. Plan to do a sea safari along the Whale Coast, staying at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, tucked between mountains and sea. Head to Kruger National Park to look for the Big Five — and all the other unforgettable beasts. Royal Malewane, on its own reserve along the park’s boundaries, has some of Africa’s best guides and coddling suites. In the Winelands back near Capetown, sip away at La Residence in Franschhoek for an epicurean’s top-tier adventure. -Becca Hensley

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest may be steeped in history — it just celebrated its 150th birthday, but Hungary’s capital has its sights set on the future. The city, sitting along the banks of the Danube River, is emerging as one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities with its grand architecture (the city is often referred to as “Little Paris”) and trendy neighborhoods, where travelers can indulge in Michelin-starred cuisine, designer shopping (Nanushka is proudly based in Budapest), and sightseeing. And if you’re wondering where to stay, you have plenty of luxury options: the newly opened W Budapest blends the capital’s Old World charm (it is housed in a palace, after all) with ultra-modern amenities and an underground spa. Dorothea Hotel, Autograph Collection, is a newly built property at the heart of Budapest with interior design by Lissoni and a chic spa. -Dobrina Zhekova

Careyes, Mexico

castle-like villa in careyes Mexico
Courtesy, Careyes Mexico

Make like our wellness-minded friend, Kim Kessler, and head to Careyes, a gated community on Mexico’s Pacific coast between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo. Kessler moved to the exclusive beach town in 2020, after visiting it for years. “I love the eight miles of protected beaches with swimmable beach coves, the international community with 42 nationalities, and the beautiful architecture which is a mix between Mediterranean and Mexican influences,” Kessler tells us. “The area where my casita is located resembles Positano with views of the islands and beaches below.”  The beach town boasts a colorful history, villas with chefs and infinity pools (available to rent), colorful casitas, and one hotel — El Careyes Club and Residences, featuring one- to four-bedroom privately owned residential suites, five beachfront infinity pools, and the La Duna restaurant. -Shari Mycek

Costa Navarino, Greece

Overlooking a sun-drenched swath of Ionian coastline, Costa Navarino offers an elevated — and much more tranquil — alternative to crowd-packed Mykonos and Santorini. Located in the ancient Messinia region in the Peloponnese Peninsula, the area has top-notch amenities such as golf courses, private residences, postcard-perfect beaches, designer shops, and marketplaces. Several luxury brands have opened elegant outposts here in the past few years, including the Mandarin Oriental, W Hotels, and The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, transforming Costa Navarino into Greece’s next must-visit destination. World-class service and authentic experiences go hand-in-hand here. An emerald-hued blanket of fig and pine forests delivers extra privacy, cool breezes, and a stunning setting for a memorable Greek getaway. -Dobrina Zhekova


The natural wonder that is Australia continues to compel us to hop on some of the world’s longest flights in pursuit of not only koalas and ridiculous beaches, but fabulous food and fascinating indigenous culture. In 2024, visit the refurbished Sydney Fish Market and Art Gallery of New South Wales before heading to Byron Bay for A-list-inspired vacay vibes at favorites like Raes on Wategos (reminiscent of a beachside Hotel Bel-Air), or a hinterland escape with horses at the new ‘70s Cali-inspired lodge Sun Ranch. Victoria — where Melbourne is hosting the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival and Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in March — has the alluring Great Victorian Bathing Trail featuring the Phillip Island Hot Springs, connecting visitors to nature via 100,000 indigenous trees and shrubs; while Queensland, Brisbane, with its $2.6 billion dollar Queens Wharf development, is arguably Australia’s hottest new culinary city. -Kathryn Romeyn

Anguilla, Caribbean

anguila in the caribbean is known for its azure waters
Courtesy, Canva

Long known for its turquoise waters, sugar-white beaches, and elevated culinary offerings, the petite island of Anguilla (just 3 miles wide and 17 miles long) is quietly carving its name in the wellness world. No longer just a haven for couples canoodling into luxurious villas and hotels (although few places can top the island’s romance factor), Anguilla is increasingly beloved by spa and wellness aficionados. Some of the biggest spa news for 2024 is the debut of the Cap Juluca Spa by Guerlain. Designed by Rottet Studio (which oversaw the hotel’s transformation in 2018), the aesthetic will invite guests to connect with nature, sea, and the island’s lush botanicals via an open-air courtyard, calming fountains, and expansive ocean views. The spa’s healing menu will draw inspiration from the island’s original Arawaks. -Shari Mycek


Several airlines now offer direct flights from the US to Norway, so it’s easier than ever to experience the Scandinavian country. And there are plenty of reasons to add it to your 2024 travel wishlist. Book a table at Iris, the floating orb-like restaurant nestled in Hardangerfjord, one of the longest and most beautiful fjords in Norway. Except for its Instagram-worthy potential, the futuristic-looking eatery has been attracting much attention with its sustainable menu — guests are treated to an 18-course meal sourced mainly from the sea. Further north, Bodø became the first town north of the Arctic Circle to be named European Capital of Culture. On its ambitious 2024 program: over 600 events taking place throughout the entire Nordland region, among which are a sustainable Midsummer bonfire celebration, a submerged cave concert, and an Arctic food festival. -Dobrina Zhekova


With the oldest desert in the world (55 million years old), meerkats, some of the highest sand dunes on earth, ancient cultures, and a rocky coastline littered with shipwrecks, this unique country on Africa’s southwest coast is safe, fascinating, and unspoiled. Travelers can do self driving here which makes for deep immersions. Visit Etosha National Park, a peerless conservation area. Hike immense Fish River Canyon, which edges the border of South Africa. Those with a penchant for volunteerism can commune with wildlife at Naankuse Foundation, an acclaimed conservation outpost and animal sanctuary run by  Marlice and Rudie Van Vuuren, lionizned conservationists. Begin your visit near the capital city of Windhoek, at Omaanda, a Zannier property, which features ten Owambo-style thatch and clay huts, planted amid a  22,000-acre wildlife conservancy. -Becca Hensley

Mendoza, Argentina

winemaker's house & spa suites, mendoza argentina
Courtesy, Winemaker’s House & Spa Suites

Admit it. When you’ve ordered a glass of Malbec at your local wine bar, you tasted a bit of the Andes in your sip. And you couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to survey the region by bike or on horseback, to wander through the stylish, art deco city of Mendoza (and its same-named province), sniffing, swirling, color appreciating the jammy wine and its myriad, mostly family-owned wineries. A cosmopolitan part of the world that remains earthy and unpretentious, the Mendoza, situated in central-western Argentina, supplies 70% of Argentina’s wine production. Discover its virtues authentically at SB Winemaker’s House & Spa Suites, the lair of famed Argentine winemaker Susana Balbo, who’s often onsite to share her wine thoughts, tips, and insights. –Becca Hensley

Puglia, Italy

Italy is definitely having a moment. A record number of travelers (3 million more than before the pandemic in 2019) visited in 2023. And the interest in la dolce vita shows no sign of stopping in 2024. One of the hottest ‘old is new again’ destinations: Puglia in the southeastern region. Known for its rolling countryside and heralded for its gentler, slower pace of life, Puglia (pronounced “pool-ya”) has quietly become a celebrity escape (the Beckhams vacation often); and home-owners’ haven—both Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren (along with other well-traveled Americans and Europeans) have been snatching up the region’s Masseria-style farmhouses. Olive oil tasting is a must here (Puglia produces more than 40 percent of Italy’s olive oil), as is a stay at the five-star La Masseria San Domenico, known for its 15th-century, white-washed buildings and thalassotherapy (seawater) spa. -Shari Mycek


Finally fully reopened to visitors, Japan is making up for lost travel time. Especially hot in 2024: the FIA F1 World Championship Series Japan Grand Prix Race, to be held in Suzuka (April). The course is loved by drivers for its high-speed twists, technical corners, and exhilarating 200mph sweep. Also noteworthy: the Ritz-Carlton, Nikko. Although this dreamy property opened in 2020, few international travelers have seen or experienced it. Rooms feature lake views; the onsen, gorgeous stone; and we love the boat house-style restaurant modeled after the region’s lake houses built for European diplomats. Skiers in search of more traditional Japan should head to Nagano for less crowds, ryokans (classic inns), and chance to see Japan’s famed macaques (snow monkeys). From December to March, the snow monkeys are often found lounging in the healing hot springs at Jigokudani Monkey Park. -Shari Mycek

Death Valley National Park

death valley national park
Courtesy, RDNE Stock Project, Canva

Sounds unforgiving, right? In truth, this unfairly dubbed park, one of the hottest destinations on earth,  can be hideously searing and barren. But milder winters bring bearable temperatures, prime for enjoying stunning desert vistas, sunrises and sunsets — without death. Never crowded, located a short drive from Las Vegas, Death Valley rules as the largest park in the continental United States at 3,3 million acres. Its steep sand dunes, molten silver salt flats, and ethereal canyons strike an inner chord that awakens something spiritual. Discover it under the guidance of its revamped historic (1927) resort, a heyday Hollywood hotspot — no pun intended. Not a mirage, The Oasis at Death Valley has a natural spring, palm trees, elegant casitas, and fine dining. It offers activities from golf to horseback riding. -Becca Hensley

Styria Austria

Known as the breadbasket or belly of Austria, a land of rolling green hills, characteristic villages, vineyards, apple orchards, and pumpkin patches, Styria edges the Hungarian border, around two hours from Vienna. Its Baroque central city, Graz, with university town vibes, feels like a mini Vienna. Explore the region’s untrammeled expanses, its hot springs, winter skiing, and hiking trails. Partake of its bounty including delectable wines, craft beer, crunchy apples, pumpkin seed oil, ham, and local dishes such as verhackert (a bacon-rich dip) and backhendl, a light, lemony fried chicken. A boon for culinary travelers, Graz offers a host of food and wine festivals throughout the year, such as August’s Long Table of Graz, where the historic town center transforms into one communal open-air restaurant. -Becca Hensley

Fyn (Funen), Denmark

Step into a fairytale in Fyn (pronounced “foon”), a bucolic island just an hour from Copenhagen, accessible by car or train. Slower paced, it unfurls as a haven of orchards, mysterious sea coves, wineries, farms, forests, serpentine bike paths, and 123 castles — some of them purportedly haunted. Its largest city, Odense, boasts cobbled streets, walls bedecked with climbing rose vines, colorful wood-beamed houses, fairytale swans, witch-hat steeples, and cruiser bikes aplenty. Linger there to explore the H.C. Andersen House museum, an eccentric, whimsical, intellectual alternative reality that appeals to all ages. Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma on the grounds of Hans Christian Andersen’s former home, the museum opened in 2021. Also in Odense, Nonnebakken, a hidden Viking Ring fortress will delight history buffs. -Becca Hensley

The Great West Way and Bath

Envisioned and implemented to inspire slow travel, the United Kingdom’s The Great West Way had barely opened when the pandemic sequestered the world away. Now’s the time to experience the clever self-touring route, which runs between London and Bristol, meandering for some 500 miles through forestland, quaint village scapes, pastoral countryside, in front of pubs, and beside rivers. Take it at your own pace — there are no rules. Based on ancient routes, the Way can be traveled on water by canal boat, by rail, by bike, on foot, behind the wheel of a car — or in any combination. Plan to linger in Bath, which deserves to be more than a day-trip footnote from London. With its Jane Austen heritage, mineral springs, Georgian architecture, and two-millennium-old Roman bath complex, Bath captivates. -Becca Hensley

Featured image by Caroline Brundle Bugge