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18 Best Places to Travel in 2024

Updated: Feb. 21, 2024

Get your suitcase ready, because we came up with the definitive list of the best places to travel this year. Whether you want to stay close to home or trek across the globe, these trips will be epic!

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Tourist With Backpack Walking Towards Arc De Triomphe In Paris France
Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

Embark on a new adventure in the new year!

If you’ve been to an airport recently, what we’re about to tell you will come as no surprise: Travel is back in a BIG way. Travelers are hitting the skies—and the rails, roads and seas—in record numbers, looking for the best places to travel. With COVID closures now securely in our rearview window, the world is open again, and we are here for it.

So what does that mean for 2024? “We’re looking at a wave of excitement over traveling with family and friends,” according to Heather Heverling, managing director of Audley Travel. “One thing we’re seeing a lot of is ‘skip-gen’ travel,” when grandparents take their grandkids on vacations but leave the parents at home. “The grandparents spent COVID waiting for opportunities to see the world—they don’t want to wait anymore, and they want to see their bucket list with their grandkids,” she says. (We say: Those are some lucky kids!)

And while domestic travel will certainly be popular, people are also looking to expand their horizons. Interest in Japan is booming, says Heverling. And there’s a desire to leave the crowds behind and find hidden gems in spots like France, where many people will be headed to watch the Olympics this summer.

We know—there are so many amazing places to go and cool things to see, and it’s hard to narrow things down! To help you pick the perfect spot, we’ve rounded up some of the best places to visit in 2024, whether you’re looking for quick trips, beach getaways, cheap places to travel, city experiences or far-flung adventures. Read on to get a whole year’s worth of inspiration!

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A Woman Is Sea Kayaking The Coastline Of Abel Tasman National Park South Island New Zealand Andrew Peacock/Getty Images

South Island, New Zealand

Why you should go: A brand-new direct flight makes it easier than ever to visit

Wondering which hot spot to visit first? Our pick for 2024 is South Island, New Zealand. For starters, it will be summer there when it’s winter here, which is always a plus. And in December 2023, United is launching the first, and only, international direct service from the United States to Christchurch. Take a long nap on the 14-hour flight from San Francisco, and you’ll be ready to start exploring one of the best places to vacation when you land.

Christchurch is considered the base camp for South Island explorations. During the day, kayak in the emerald waters of Abel Tasman National Park, bike or hike to gorgeous hot springs, or sample New Zealand’s best pours at spots like Tussock Hill Vineyards (where you can also spend the night in new luxury suites nestled in the vineyard). When the sun goes down, it will be time for spectacular stargazing at Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, which recently became the first Dark Sky Reserve in New Zealand.

Where to stay: The newly opened Observatory Hotel puts you right in the heart of Christchurch and within walking distance of restaurants, shops and the Botanical Gardens. The Gothic Revival walls of what was once a university hide the very modern and colorful spaces waiting inside.

Eiffel Tower Aerial View Paris saiko3p/Getty Images

Paris, France

Why you should go: The 2024 Summer Olympics and the 80th anniversary of D-Day

Everyone is talking about visiting France this year, and for good reason. Paris will be hosting the Summer Olympics, with events held throughout the City of Lights and the surrounding area—including boating and swimming events on the Seine River and dressage events at Versailles. (According to France’s tourism office, 95% of the Olympic and Paralympic events will be held in existing locations for a more sustainable world event.) The city is in full-throttle preparation mode, with new hotels opening, art exhibits launching and plenty of projects underway to make Paris shine even brighter than usual.

And that’s not all France has going on. June 6, 2024, is the 80th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy. To get the most context out of a visit, it helps to go with a guide. Scott Dunn, a luxury tour operator, takes you through the area on a vintage military vehicle, helmed by a historian who brings the past to life through storytelling and interactive exhibits.

Where to stay: Base yourself at Hotel Maison Colbert, Meliá Collection, an intimate spot in the ever-popular Left Bank neighborhood in the 6th. We love it for its quiet rooms, attentive service and sophisticated cafe, which serves a complimentary breakfast every morning. It’s also right across the river from the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral, which is set to reopen in late 2024 after its devastating 2019 fire. Like we said, it’s a big year!

Dallas Texas Usa Downtown City Skyline In The Afternoon Sean Pavone/Getty Images

Why you should go: Epic solar-eclipse viewing

As far as natural wonders go, it’s hard to beat a total solar eclipse for grandeur … and for being easily predictable. (Circle April 8, 2024, on your calendar, if you haven’t already!) But even if you know the eclipse’s path, you’ll still need to get to a spot with good visibility. That’s where Texas comes in. It will be in the eclipse’s direct path all the way from Austin to Dallas, which means there will be plenty of locations where you can watch day turn to night.

When the viewing is over, there’s plenty more that makes Texas one of the best places to travel. Explore the great outdoors in spots like Ladybird Lake in Austin or the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. And, of course, don’t miss out on getting some real Texas barbecue while you’re here too.

Where to stay: Many hotels in the path of totality are already nearly sold out, but you don’t need a traditional hotel room to watch the show. Check out KOA (Kampgrounds of America) to find campgrounds with available space and a host of amenities, including a pool. Pro tip: There’s a KOA just 10 minutes from historic downtown San Antonio, which is predicted to experience the eclipse for more than four minutes.

Another idea? Beat the crowds by staying in Fort Worth, which has a number of new hotels. That includes the Crescent Hotel, which has a Mediterranean restaurant and rooftop bar (a possible viewing location), plus access to the new Canyon Ranch Wellness Club and Spa. There’s also Auberge Resorts’s Bowie House, which will open in early 2024 and feature sophisticated Western-inspired rooms, an outdoor restaurant and a rooftop pool that could potentially be a good watch spot.

Preah Khan Temple In Angkor Wat Cambodia bloodua/Getty Images


Why you should go: More ways to explore and two new airports to reach the country

Cambodia is a bucket-list destination for many travelers. “With the addition of luxury lodges and resorts, travelers can now enjoy a true luxury immersion in Cambodia—blending ancient ruins and culture, cuisine and handicrafts, rainforest and jungle, and ending with a sublime beach stay,” says Brady Binstadt, CEO of GeoEx, an adventure-travel company. In the little-visited Cardamom Forest Protected Area, options for hiking, mountain biking, boating and bird-watching abound, says Binstadt, who also recommends boating through lush forest to Tatai village, where visitors can walk by the river, kayak through mangroves and listen to the symphonic sounds of wildlife from a floating lodge.

You’ll also want to visit Angkor Wat, famed for its glorious temples. Happily, reaching Angkor Wat just became a lot easier with the brand-new, $1 billion Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport, which is just a short drive from the UNESCO Heritage Site temple complex. Later in 2024, the capitol of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, will also unveil a new $1.5 billion airport, providing even more ways to reach the country.

Where to stay: Shinta Mani Wild in the Cardamom Mountains is a luxury jungle retreat about three hours from Phnom Penh; it boasts its own zipline over the waterfalls and river where the remote lodge is located. Another unique option is Six Senses Krabey Island off the southern coast, where 40 glass-front villas are tucked into the dense foliage of this romantic resort. Indulge in a treatment at the luxe spa after exploring the nearby Kbal Chhay waterfalls and the waterways of Ream National Park.

Downtown Los Angeles At Sunrise With Mountains Behind Buildings Gettyimages 636845848 Ksedit Shabdro Photo/Getty Images

Los Angeles, California

Why you should go: Massive new art and culture exhibits

Yes, we know, you hear “LA” and think beach and sand. But for 2024, replace that with cool art and culture, since Los Angeles will be hosting two awesome openings. When it opens in February, Destination Crenshaw will be the largest Black art program in the nation, with a 1.3-mile stretch of Crenshaw Boulevard in South LA, containing 100 commissioned works by Black artists displayed within beautifully landscaped community spaces.

And September will see the launch of Getty’s colossal PST ART: Art & Science Collide. The latest edition of the initiative (previously known as Pacific Standard Time) will include more than 50 exhibitions across the Los Angeles area, including iconic spots like the Griffith Observatory, the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Getty Center. The exhibits aren’t just paintings and sculptures. They are intersections of art, science and the natural world—including “Color in Motion: Chromatic Explorations of Cinema” at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures; “From Fire We Are Born,” which explores Native American culture at the Fowler Museum at UCLA; and “Seeing the Unseeable: Data, Design, Art” at the ArtCenter College of Design.

Where to stay: No matter which room or suite you book at the InterContinental Los Angeles, you’ll be greeted with what feels like a never-ending view. You’ll see everything from the Pacific Ocean to the Hollywood sign and downtown skyscrapers. And not only is it the tallest building west of Chicago, but the location puts you right in the middle of all the arts action.

Riverfront Park In Downtown Spokane Washington Kirk Fisher/Getty Images

Spokane, Washington

Why you should go: The upcoming Expo 50, which is as close as the United States will get to a World’s Fair anytime soon

Fun fact: In 1974, Spokane became the smallest city in the world to host the World’s Fair. Now, 50 years later, it’s ready to pull out all the stops for Expo 50, a World’s Fair–like celebration that will run from May 4 to July 4, 2024. (It’s worth noting that the next World’s Fair in 2025 will be held in Osaka, Japan; the United States will have to wait until at least 2035, since the UAE, Italy and South Korea are the finalists to host 2030.) While plans are still being locked in for the Expo, expect the Riverfront Park to be filled with entertainment and activities that highlight local, regional and international communities through arts and culture, food, history and infrastructure.

A visit here can also be one part of a fantastic Northwestern road trip. Another spot to hit? In 2024, Spokane is getting a new 5,500-seat stadium, and the United Soccer League, a brand-new women’s pro league, will start playing in March. The stadium will also be used for special events.

Where to stay: For lodging, the Historic Davenport Hotel has been welcoming guests for a century, so it knows its way around a World’s Fair. The hotel is within walking distance of Riverfront Park, and it’s right near the SkyRide gondola, as well as plenty of local boutiques and cafes.

Turks And Caicos Grand Turk Island mikolajn/Getty Images

Turks and Caicos

Why you should go: Because kiteboarding will be the thing to do in 2024—and Turks and Caicos is also heaven on earth

We’re calling it: When kiteboarding makes its official Olympic debut in 2024, the sport will surge in popularity. But don’t go to Paris to do it. Instead, head to Turks and Caicos, a fabulous warm-weather winter getaway that offers some of the best kiteboarding conditions in the world. “The island’s consistent trade winds, shallow warm waters and large areas of flat, uncrowded riding make it an ideal destination for this thrilling water sport,” says Vasco Borges, the owner of Beach Enclave Turks and Caicos and a passionate kiteboarder.

Swimming and snorkeling are popular activities on the island as well, and avid divers love the mammoth undersea coral wall off Grand Turk. Plus, Turks and Caicos is home to some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world. In other words, it’s always one of the best places to travel!

Where to stay: New for 2024, Beach Enclave will offer new beach houses with privacy, tranquility and an oceanfront private pool on the North Shore. The Grace Bay location of the multi-location resort is introducing contemporary villas with a blend of indoor and outdoor living, called the Reserve at Grace Bay. And finally, at the resort’s Long Bay location, which is known as a kiteboarder’s haven, you’ll find new beach houses along the pristine white-sand beachfront, ideal for families and water-sports enthusiasts.

The Great Blue Hole Off The Coast Of Belize R Lolli Morrow/Getty Images


Why you should go: The second-largest barrier reef in the world

Have you heard of the Great Barrier Reef? We thought so. How about Belize’s Barrier Reef? Not so much, right? We’re here to tell you that in 2024, it’s time to put this natural wonder on your must-visit list. The world’s second-largest barrier reef (behind Australia’s), it is actually the biggest reef in both the northern and western hemispheres. The snorkeling here is magnificent, and so is the diving—plus, it’s not as crowded as the better-known Australian alternative. Even better, Belize is easy to reach, one of the safest countries in the world and an affordable place to visit. It’s also one of the foreign countries that uses U.S. dollars.

If you’re looking for the perfect home base while visiting, consider Belize’s largest island, Ambergris Caye. The Belize Barrier Reef is just a quarter-mile offshore, and you’ll want to check out the protected Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which is just a 10-minute boat ride from the main town of San Pedro. When you’re not snorkeling or swimming, spend your days popping into Belizean art galleries and souvenir shops or just lounging on the white sand.

Where to stay: Try the Alaia Belize, an Autograph Collection hotel in the island’s historic town of San Pedro. This beachfront hotel is just 650 yards from the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve and has stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. Plus, it has an on-site dive shop and three pools, including Belize’s first-ever suspended rooftop pool and a lounge with 360-degree views.

Beautiful Greek Island Of Paros Starcevic/Getty Images

Paros, Greece

Why you should go: The perfect Greek island vacation—without the crowds

Have you heard of destination dupes? According to Expedia, these are “places that are a little unexpected, sometimes more affordable and every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true destinations travelers love.” One of our favorites on Expedia’s list is this stunning Greek island that usually sails under the most travelers’ Mediterranean radars in uncrowded bliss while the hordes of tourists head to Mykonos and Santorini.

Visiting the island, which is about a two-hour ferry ride south of well-known party island Mykonos and right next to Naxos, is one of the best things to do in Greece since it means enjoying idyllic beaches framed by the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. While you’re here, explore the winding streets and charming villages of Naoussa and Lefkes, and sip whipped coffee frappes or ouzo at the picturesque port of Parikia (the island’s capital), home to whitewashed houses adorned with vibrant bougainvillea.

Where to stay: You can’t go wrong at the newly opened Minois hotel, where the whitewashed walls hold luxurious touches, such as decadent dining at Olvo and pampering spa treatments. But the best part may be simply floating in the infinity pool with views of the sea spread out in front of you.

Kyoto Sightseeing Symbol In Japan show999/Getty Images

Kyoto, Japan

Why you should go: An array of new luxury hotels and the opening of the first Nintendo Museum

“One thing we can say for sure is that interest in visiting Japan is not slowing down,” says Audley Travel’s Heverling. After a years-long tourism shutdown due to COVID, Japan finally welcomed visitors back in 2023, and the numbers are soaring. And for 2024, we’re seeing cool new openings and numerous developments that will make your trip even easier. Kyoto, especially, will be the city to watch in the new year, when the world’s first Nintendo Museum opens in spring 2024 in the former Nintendo Uji Kokura factory site in Kyoto. This will be a big draw for pop-culture lovers and gamers.

Even if you don’t know a controller from a cruller, though, Kyoto will enthrall you with ancient temples and beautiful architecture that make it look like a real-life fairy-tale town. Plus, there are four amazing new hotels opening in Kyoto in 2024, where you can happily rest, relax and enjoy.

Where to stay: Luxury brand Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto will feature a private onsen bath; elegant Six Senses Kyoto will have a spa and zen-like rooms situated around seasonal gardens; and the 313-room Hilton Kyoto will be the brand’s first flagship hotel in Kyoto. Finally, the new Regent Kyoto (an IHG property) is opening a resort-like property in a hundred-year-old garden complex that’s also home to a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Aurora Borealis Northern Lights Close To Yellowknife In The Northwest Territories In Canada Vincent Demers Photography/Getty Images

Northern Territories, Canada

Why you should go: An almost-guaranteed opportunity to see the northern lights during the “solar max”

There are two truths about seeing the northern lights: They’re beautiful, and they’re elusive. Unlike the solar eclipse, there’s no date or time that you’re guaranteed to see the nighttime spectacular. You do need, however, to go north … in winter … and then wait. That’s why we’re so excited about the news from the Northern Territories of Canada, where a “solar max” cycle is going to make it possible to see the aurora borealis with new ease. According to the Canada Tourism Board, in the Northwest Territories, “travelers have a 98% chance of witnessing the spectacle” during a three-night stay November through March, when longer hours of darkness each day and clear nights make it easier to spot the lights.

The jeweled green, purple and gold lights can be seen due to the perfect combination of clear nights, flat landscape, low humidity and the location beneath the earth’s auroral oval. Even better, 2024 is the peak of the 11-year solar cycle, which means the light show will be even more dramatic than usual.

Where to stay: The main gateway to the area is Yellowknife, the location of Aurora Village, an entirely Indigenous-owned experience that leads guided nighttime tours and where you can go dog sledding and snowshoeing. You can also spend the evening in a cozy teepee, complete with a wood stove, which makes it easy to pop out and see the aurora borealis when it lights up the sky.

Aerial View Of Independence Monument Mexico City ferrantraite/Getty Images

Mexico City

Why you should go: Tour tourism for live-music lovers—and Madonna fans!

Expedia predicts that “tour tourism,” following a favorite artist on their headlining tour, will thrive in 2024. “In 2023, the cultural impact of the Eras and Renaissance tours was undeniable, driving ticket sales but also travel and tourism,” according to Expedia Brands travel expert Melanie Fish. Perhaps driven by ticket prices, 30% of travelers told Expedia they would travel outside of their home city for a concert because tickets were cheaper elsewhere, with Mexico City coming out near the top of that list. We’re totally in on the trend, especially since Madonna will play four dates the Palacio de los Desportes in 2024, making Mexico City a live-music hot spot for the coming year.

And as an extra bonus, Mexico City is an affordable warm-weather destination, not to mention a hub for art, culture and cuisine. Translation: There’s plenty to do and see when you’re not rocking out. Check out the Colonia Roma neighborhood, called CDMX—often referred to as “the Williamsburg of Mexico City” for its hipster vibe and cool architecture, art galleries and restaurants.

Where to stay: The new boutique hotel Colima 71 features hundreds of authentic Mexican art pieces, a craft coffee bar with an on-site barista and plenty of communal spaces perfect for mingling with fellow travelers. Located in the heart of artsy CDMX, it’s also a super convenient and central location.

Aerial View Of Orlando Skyline And Reflection In Lake Eola Michael Warren/Getty Images

Orlando, Florida

Why you should go: A grown-up getaway, including train transportation and Michelin-starred dining (really)

Yes, we know, Orlando is the theme park go-to, and visiting Disney World and Universal (which will open a new DreamWorks-themed park in 2024) is basically guaranteed family fun. But, hear us out: There’s a ton for grown-ups to do in 2024—away from the nonstop revving of rides and park attractions. First, there’s a newly launched, super easy way to get to Orlando from Southern Florida: the Brightline Train. It effortlessly delivers you from Miami and South Florida right to the heart of Orlando, meaning you don’t have to worry about parking or even dealing with the airport.

Then there’s the food. And we’re not talking Disney’s ice cream and hot pretzels (although we like those too). Orlando is now a certified Michelin “hot spot,” with multiple star-awarded restaurants and more than a dozen notable “bib gourmand” spots. You can easily eat your way around the city, sampling everything from luxe sushi to pulled pork to elegant French cuisine, and never see a theme park.

Where to stay: If you’re looking for a hotel home base with an adult vibe that’s also a foodie find, head to the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, which is home to Top Chef alum Richard Blais’s Four Flamingos, a Michelin-recommended restaurant. It also offers golf, tennis and a pool complex, so you can work up an appetite for all your foodie adventures.

Skyline Of Cartagena With The Church Of San Pedro Claver And Monastery And The Modern Building Of Bocagrande In The Background Cartagena De Indias Colombia Yadid Levi/Getty Images


Why you should go: Set-hopping, Encanto-style

Another trend from Expedia’s report on where to travel in 2024 is “set hopping,” where travelers head to the locations of their favorite movies and shows. Think: The White Lotus, Season 2, in Sicily (which was one of our 2023 where-to-go picks) and you’ll get the idea. Sometimes, it’s not just how new the show is, but the new opportunity to visit in a unique way, which is why we’re super excited about Colombia. If you have kids and have been listening to “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” on repeat, you’ll want to hear about Adventures by Disney‘s newest trip to the Latin American country. It includes arepa making, a coffee-farm visit, tours through Cartagena and a visit to Proyecto Tití, a cotton-top tamarin monkey conservation center. There’s also a hike in the Cocora Valley, which was an inspiration for the movie.

Where to stay: If you’re not ready to book a weeklong group adventure, there are other options to stay in Colombia too. Nestled in the heart of the Colombian Andes 40 minutes from Medellín airport, Cannúa is the country’s first high-end and sustainable ecolodge. Its location is one of the most biodiverse bird areas on the planet, and much of Cannúa’s property is designated as a protected forest, with 100 species of birds living here.

The United States Capitol Building In Washington D.C f11photo/Getty Images

Washington, D.C.

Why you should go: To watch democracy at work during an election year … and visit some cool museums too

Following a record year of tourism to the nation’s capital, 2024 will likely see visits continue to rise, thanks to the upcoming presidential election in November. But even if you’re not a pollster, there are plenty of other attractions in the nation’s capital that make it one of the best places to travel year-round. First, travelers will be happy to hear that it’s easier to get into the heart of the city now that the Metro added service to Dulles International Airport with direct service on the Silver Line of the underground train system—and it’s never more than $6!

While you’re in town, check out the newly renovated and reopened National Museum of Women in the Arts, which spotlights women artists from the 17th century to the present. And in 2024, the Smithsonian’s contemporary art museum, the Hirshhorn, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a collection of new exhibits. Also, remember: Nearly all D.C. museums are free, so the sightseeing part of your trip will be super affordable.

Where to stay: Book a room at The Dupont Circle, a hotel that successfully walks the line between feeling luxurious and homey. It’s steps away from dozens of art galleries and museums, and it boasts an impressive art collection of its own. Don’t miss brunch and dinner at the delicious new American on-site Pembroke restaurant.

Tea Plantation And View Towards Ella's Rock Sri Lanka John Harper/Getty Images

The Pekoe Trail, Sri Lanka

Why you should go: To check out amazing new hiking trails and old cultures

The newly opened Pekoe Trail in Sri Lanka is a fantastic way to explore the country’s varied landscapes. Ten years in the making, the Pekoe Trail is the first collection of destination-based walking trails that aims to support remote communities, promote cultural heritage and showcase Sri Lankan scenery. Most of the trails opened in the fall of 2023, with a few more opening at the beginning of 2024.

The 186-mile route starts in the central city of Kandy, famous for the Temple of the Tooth, and meanders through to stunning mountain views of Ella. Audley Travel, says Heverling, can arrange treks to the most scenic parts of the Sri Lanka trail. Hikers will walk on the region’s famed tea trails, as well as through forests, jungle and remote towns and villages.

Where to stay: The experts at Audley recommend Mountain Heavens for its fantastic infinity pool that will make you feel like you’re literally floating over the valley. Big, comfy beds and modern amenities, not to mention a delicious included breakfast, all add up to a very luxurious end to a hike.

Green Pastures Of Horse Farms Horse Country Kentucky volgariver/Getty Images

Horse Country, Kentucky

Why you should go: The 150th Kentucky Derby and the equine culture of Lexington

We think 2024 is the perfect year to scratch the Kentucky Derby off your travel sports list, when the longest-running sporting event in the United States celebrates its 150th anniversary. Although the “First Saturday in May” celebration has had some issues in the last few years, equine culture is alive and well and being celebrated in nearby Lexington, just 70 miles east of Louisville. Known as the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington is home to plenty of stables, and you can watch the Derby’s qualifying races in April and October here. (This “shoulder season” is also a more affordable time to travel.) Plus, Lexington excels in what’s called the “horse tourism space,” since you can also visit retired steeds and even find spots to ride yourself.

You’ll also want to visit the newly created Bourbon Distillery District in Lexington for nightly food and entertainment, as well as taste aged whiskey along the Bourbon Trail, at its fantastic distilleries.

Where to stay: For a boutique hotel, try the modern Manchester, which just opened. It embraces its location with special guest programs, including private distillery tours and polo lessons. You’ll also get to enjoy two restaurants, Lost Palm (a 1960s-inspired rooftop bar) and Granddam (classic Appalachian style), plus loads of Southern charm.

Aerial View Of Beach Road And Resorts Of Marjan Island In The Emirate Of Ras Al Khaimah In United Arab Emirates Stefan Tomic/Getty Images

Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

Why you should go: Seaside vibes in Dubai’s under-the-radar neighbor to the north

Dubai is always popular, and always full of flashy new attractions and frenetic energy. But if you want an Emirates vacation that’s a little more relaxing, head 40 minutes north of the city to this under-the-radar gem. Well, under the radar until 2024, that is, when the luxury Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort opens and more people realize that it’s one of the best places to travel. It’s set amid the area’s stunning mountains and mangroves in the seaside neighborhood of Mina Al Arab, which is quickly becoming a trendy destination, with new openings and plenty of sunshine.

Ras Al Khaimah is a great spot for outdoorsy types, who can snorkel or swim in the crystal-clear turquoise waters, then head off for a quad biking adventure in the desert or soar over the desert on the world’s longest zipline. And speaking of world records: If you get a chance to spend New Year’s Eve here, don’t miss it. The Emirate holds multiple Guinness World Records for its spectacular fireworks performances held during its New Year’s celebrations.

Where to stay: The Anantara Resort here is more than just a getaway from the bustling city. It also boasts Bali-style overwater bungalows for an over-the-top romantic getaway.

About the experts

  • Heather Heverling is the president and managing director (North America) at Audley Travel, a custom tour operator that designs trips to more than 75 destinations around the world, each tailored to the client’s budget, interests and travel style.
  • Nick Cunningham is the European destination manager for Scott Dunn, a bespoke tour company offering luxury and highly customized travel experiences.
  • Melanie Fish is a travel expert at Expedia.
  • Brady Binstadt is the CEO of GeoEx, or Geographic Expeditions, a travel adventure company.
  • Vasco Borges is the owner of Beach Enclave Turks and Caicos and an avid kiteboarder.