By Bob Glaze
Happy New Year to all of you from San Miguel de Allende. I am back enjoying great weather, many friends and excellent food! Since the beginning of the year, I have been overwhelmed by the number of articles that I have seen making recommendations on new trends and where to travel in 2020. Deciding on where to go and what to recommend is being impacted by “overtourism” or overcrowding in many European cities which to many has become a permanent phenomenon. Then you have the recent fires in Australia, the protests in Hong Kong and Paris, the flooding in Venice, the major pollution issues in India and in parts of China and the major earthquakes in Puerto Rico in the last week. So where to go?
Though the articles do suggest some places closer to home, the top travel publications are now pushing many lesser-known destinations. AFAR Magazine includes Greenland, Mozambique, the Pantanal in Brazil, Trondheim Norway and Istanbul, Turkey. Conde Nast Traveler recommends Armenia, the Canadian Arctic, El Chaltén in Argentina, Guyana in South America, Mokpo in South Korea, Rwanda, Sri Lanka’s southern coast and Southeastern Australia. Travel + Leisure is suggesting Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Botswana, Costa Rica, Doha Qatar, Durban South Africa and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Malawi, Rajasthan in India and Songyang County in China. Lonely Planet for 2020 recommends Zakouma National Park in Chad, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, and Dubai. Forbes suggests Egypt Cape Town South Africa, Oman, New Zealand, Croatia, Tahiti in French Polynesia and Israel. Just out today I saw the New York Times 52 Places to go in 2020. They included Uganda, Tajikistan, Mount Kenya, Atlantic Forest in Brazil, Mongolia, Transylvanian Alps in Romania, Bolivia and Lesotho. To be honest, I get a little tired just thinking of getting to and planning a trip to some of these remote places, though several are on my bucket list.
Recent travel trends include more solo travel, trips for women traveling with friends, travel for wellness, culinary travel along with shorter weekend trips and more staycations. Taking a three-day vacation can be a great solution since it is less stressful to plan and cheaper than a longer vacation. You can take several throughout the year which gives you more trips and vacations to look forward to. In that vein, my recommendations for 2020 include the following:
For solo travel, my favorite spots include Nashville, TN with its growing food scene, Austin, TX with its growing South Congress and East Side neighborhoods, Boulder, CO for great food, beer, spirits, and outdoor activities and Asbury Park, NJ where there is great music, new hip boutique hotels, many new restaurants and a growing number of microbreweries and distilleries.
For a “girl’s trip” I recommend New Orleans where there are great new hotels, restaurants, and shopping outside of the French Quarter; Bentonville and Eureka Springs, AR to see Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Santa Fe, NM for great art, opera and food and Newport, RI where you can enjoy the historic mansions, charming inns and hotels, a lovely afternoon tea and excellent restaurants. Las Vegas, NV can be fun with excellent restaurants, shows, afternoon tea, shopping and art and many things to do away from Las Vegas Strip.
San Miguel de Allende in Mexico is an excellent culinary destination. Here you can find many excellent restaurants, a number of cooking classes, market tours, wineries, food tours, and even an excellent tequila tasting. Wine lovers might enjoy the wineries in the Finger Lakes in New York, near Traverse City, MI, in Palisade and Paonia, CO, near Charlottesville, VA, in the Texas Hill Country near Fredericksburg and on the North Fork of Long Island.
My recommended spots for a fun long weekend include Palm Springs, CA, Cape May, NJ, Galena, IL, Hudson, NY, Greenport, NY, Puerto Vallarta, MX, Sedona, AZ, Healdsburg, CA. Saugatuck, MI, Asheville, NC, Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.
For a healthy break or wellness vacation head to Tucson, AZ and Canyon Ranch. I have been going every year for the last 31 years. It has been life-changing for me. Now under new ownership, the rooms have been totally redone. The food, exercise classes, medical team, spiritual wellness offerings plus hiking and biking trips are all top-notch. Before you head to The Ranch spend a night or two in Tucson which is the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the US. The restaurant choices are excellent.
This year my list of places to explore includes a road trip from Memphis to New Orleans with stops in Vicksburg, Natchez and the plantation homes on the Mississippi River, the Coast of Maine including Portland and Camden, Oaxaca in Mexico, Steamboat Springs, CO, Detroit and Ann Arbor, MI and Toronto, Canada.
Again Happy New Year and Happy Travels in 2020!
For more travel destinations and recommendations, visit globalphile.com