Travel's Best for 2014

Luxury hostels, Cuba, local brew pubs and the Jersey Shore – they’re all reasons to pack your bags in 2014. See what hot destinations and travel trends are our favorites for 2014.

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Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland

With its historic homes, wooden sailboats and midshipmen strolling the streets in their whites, Annapolis is the epitome of classic Americana. It’s the perfect place to explore military history and get a peek at its future at the United States Naval Academy Museum. Stay for the food: No trip to Annapolis is complete without enjoying some Maryland crab with Old Bay, of course. 960 1280

K. Thom  

Peak to Peak Highway, Estes Park, Colorado

Peak to Peak Highway, Estes Park, Colorado

As one of the rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park described it, “You can take many photos, but you can never completely capture the beauty of this place.” True story. A three-hour stretch of green pine trees, snowcapped mountains and log cabins makes this scenic byway (Colorado's oldest) the perfect setting for a short-but-sweet road trip.  960 1280

Visit Estes Park  

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Washington/Oregon

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Washington/Oregon

Located on the state line between Washington and Oregon, this locale is an excellent nature-filled family retreat, with waterfalls, wildflowers and sweeping views of the Columbia River. If you're willing to get wet, take a short hike through the majestic Oneonta Gorge, a lush chasm leading to a hidden waterfall. 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/Ericfoltz  

Redwood National and State Parks, California

Redwood National and State Parks, California

This enchanted forest of giant trees is located next to miles of empty beach, combining history, culture, wonder and nature in one beautiful location. As sunbeams break through the towering canopy, you'll feel as though you've been transported into a real-life fairy tale. Redwood National Park is truly an awe-inspiring escape for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. 960 1280

Visit California/Carol Highsmith  

Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

A mix of historical and cultural influences has created the unique Cajun/French Creole food, music and language found only in this small part of the country. Enjoy a delicious (and messy) crawfish boil, dance to zydeco music and take a thrilling airboat ride! Plus, in Lafayette, you'll get all the Mardi Gras celebration without the New Orleans tourism. 960 1280

Louisiana Travel  

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

Craving Zen and beauty? White Sands offers perhaps the most serene experience in the country. Walking the dunes is like wading through an ocean of diamonds surrounded by purple mountains. Make sure to arrive when the gates open to witness the morning light dancing across the desert. 960 1280

Guillaume Dutilh  

Williams, Arizona

Williams, Arizona

In the town of Williams, Ariz., expect an eclectic mix of the rich history of Route 66 and the Wild West. Williams is the perfect place for a pit stop to find a kitschy souvenir and let the kids get up close and personal with wildlife at the Bearizona drive-through wildlife park. Then, hop aboard the 100-year-old Grand Canyon Railway for a scenic, 65-mile ride to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. 960 1280

Chris Hepburn/Photolibrary/Getty Images  

St. Louis

St. Louis

St. Louis is the “Gateway to the West” for more reasons than one. Yes, its iconic Gateway Arch is a sight to behold, but the city’s friendly Midwest sensibility, steamboats, vibrant riverfront along the Mississippi, and free attractions such as the St. Louis Zoo make it truly appealing for a family getaway. Plus, it’s a (Cardinals) baseball and beer town — could you get more American than that? 960 1280

Medioimages/Photodisc/Getty Images  

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the park created to honor the ship’s stellar service during World War II. Tour the battleship, the aircraft collection and the USS Drum submarine, or even book an overnight adventure to get a taste of how the sailors lived. Beyond beautiful Mobile Bay, streets lined with historic homes and giant oaks give way to a vibrant downtown once dubbed “the Paris of the South.” 960 1280

Richard Cummins/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Florida Keys Overseas Highway

Florida Keys Overseas Highway

Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffett — two American icons, with their own devoted fan bases, who’ve called Key West home. Discover why they fell in love with the Keys by driving the 127-mile Florida Keys Overseas Highway, which includes a network of bridges that stretch from mainland Florida all the way to the southernmost point in the U.S. Make sure to pull over for the occasional conch fritter and snorkeling break, of course. 960 1280

The Monroe Tourist Development Council  

Best Brunch: The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, CA

Best Brunch: The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, CA

Situated right on the beach, the Beachcomber is a favorite among locals and tourists who flock to historic Crystal Cove in Newport Coast, CA. It’s open for lunch and dinner as well, but breakfast is a must. Indulge in favorites such as its beignets, lemon ricotta blueberry pancakes, and crab cake Benedict. 960 1280

The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove  

Best Barbecue: Smitty’s Market, Lockhart, TX

Best Barbecue: Smitty’s Market, Lockhart, TX

When you arrive at Smitty's Market, expect to get up close and personal with your barbecue. No sticky-sweet barbecue sauces or forks are offered at Smitty’s, and we kind of like that. Situated in the sleepy town of Lockhart, TX, 30 minutes south of Austin, Smitty’s is not to be missed. 960 1280

Smitty’s Market  

Best Seafood: Cantler's Riverside Inn, Annapolis, MD

Best Seafood: Cantler's Riverside Inn, Annapolis, MD

Cantler’s restaurant in Annapolis, MD, is the perfect setting year-round but is especially appropriate in the summer, when it’s crab crackin’ time! We love the Maryland blue crab, of course, with potatoes, corn and bread. 960 1280

Cantler's Riverside Inn  

Best Summer Pie: Four & Twenty Blackbirds, Brooklyn, NY

Best Summer Pie: Four & Twenty Blackbirds, Brooklyn, NY

You can find the perfect pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds, a creative pie shop that turns out a flawless all-butter crust. The seasonal fillings really make the pies; try the rhubarb crumble, birch beer float or the year-round salted caramel apple. They’re also available at the Brooklyn Public Library and all 3 locations of Shake Shack in Brooklyn. 960 1280

Gentl & Hyers  

Best Ice Cream: Laduree SoHo, New York City

Best Ice Cream: Laduree SoHo, New York City

Enjoy the savory and sweet of Paris at Laduree SoHo bakery, where the locals and Francophiles flock. For a can’t-miss experience, settle in to Laduree’s outdoor seating while indulging in a cup or bowl of its macaron glaces. Flavors include raspberry, citron, pistachio and rose petal. 960 1280

Ladurée  

Best Ballpark Food: Blue Smoke on the Road, Queens, NY

Best Ballpark Food: Blue Smoke on the Road, Queens, NY

Try something new but classic at the ballpark this summer: a North Carolina pulled-pork sandwich in New York City! Blue Smoke on the Road has acquired prime real estate at Citi Field. Sure, there are countless other vendors to choose from, but this 1 comes from the creative mind of Danny Meyer, founder of Shake Shack. 960 1280

Melissa Hom  

Best Food Truck: Mei Mei, Boston

Best Food Truck: Mei Mei, Boston

Visit the Mei Mei food truck at Boston’s SoWa Open Market each Sunday between May and October. Thanks to its fresh, seasonal offerings, it has been dubbed Boston’s best food truck. The menu is forever changing, so make sure to follow Mei Mei on Twitter to lock onto its location Tuesday through Sunday and to find out the day’s food options. 960 1280

Fotodish  

Best Food Festival: Feast Portland, Portland, OR

Best Food Festival: Feast Portland, Portland, OR

Send summer off with a bang at the Feast Portland food festival Sept. 17-20. Artisans, breweries, cider houses, chefs and distilleries descend upon Feast Portland for 3 days of elaborate collaboration dinners, hands-on butchery demonstrations, brewery classes and a downright good time. 960 1280

Courtesy of Feast Portland  

Best Bar Food: Bartaco, Atlanta

Best Bar Food: Bartaco, Atlanta

With a bar scene you've only dreamed of — outdoor and indoor seating with a Mexican-style décor — Bartaco is the place to eat, drink and be seen. Don’t miss out on its sesame rib-eye taco, which is juicy and flavorful with just the right amount of spice. 960 1280

Manny Vargas  

Best Restaurant With a View: Da Salvatore Ristorante, Ravello, Italy

Best Restaurant With a View: Da Salvatore Ristorante, Ravello, Italy

Picture this: You’re driving along the Amalfi Coast when you arrive in the small, quaint town of Ravello and realize you’re starving! Head straight to Da Salvatore Ristorante for amazing cuisine, such as cocoa- and coffee-braised veal cheek with ricotta gnudi, accompanied by an unmatched view, easily one of the best in the world 960 1280

Da Salvatore Ristorante A Ravello  

Heritage Highway 89, Utah

Heritage Highway 89, Utah

"This route links several distinct areas of scenic beauty and Western history. Glass and woodworking studios reflect this heritage, and the towns boast numerous well-preserved historic buildings," says travel writer Mark Sedenquist. "Visit the Butch Cassidy Museum in Richfield; take a dip in the Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe; and shop for antiques in Sevier. Finish up exploring other wonderful destinations within easy reach, including Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks." 960 1280

Adam Kliczek [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Skyline Drive, Virginia

Skyline Drive, Virginia

"This road through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia has the views to live up to its name, but get out and hike for the real reward," says 100RoutesAcrossAmerica.com founder Shannon Entin. "Stop at a camp store — if only to observe the Appalachian Trail hikers gathered to rest, refuel and socialize. Strike up a conversation, and you'll hear true tales of stamina and fortitude." 960 1280

By Philip N. Wheeler [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Olympic Peninsula, Washington

"Seattle is known for its robust ferry system, which connects the islands of Washington state. From downtown Seattle, you can drive onto a ferry that will take you across the Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island, the start of a fantastic road trip around the Olympic Peninsula," says award-winning travel journalist Mike Shubic. "Fantastic inns, restaurants and outdoor activities await. On a clear day, drive to the top of Hurricane Ridge for views of Vancouver Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca." 960 1280

Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images  

Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming

Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming

"Beartooth Highway itself is the highest-elevation highway in the Northern Rockies and one of the most rugged areas in the Lower 48 states (20 peaks surpass 12,000 feet in elevation)," says RoadTrippers.com CEO James Fisher. "Hit the Rock Creek Vista Point rest area (which is at 9,000 feet above sea level) and the West Summit (whose highest point is at 11,000 feet) to feel the full significance of Beartooth’s elevation. Note that gnarly weather is a factor, so double-check that the passes are open before you make the trek." 960 1280

WizardFusion [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons  

Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia, Canada

Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia, Canada

"The Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler, British Columbia, is a beautiful drive with lots of great attractions along the way. The road hugs the North Shore Mountains, offering picturesque views of the many small islands in the Pacific Ocean," says avid road tripper Michelle Bucher. "Take a ride up the Sea to Sky Gondola, which takes you to the top of the iconic Stawamus Chief. This mountain is known worldwide for its rock climbing and hiking trails, as well as its stunning vistas of the valley below." 960 1280

By D. Vincent Alongi (Sea to Sky HwyUploaded by Skeezix1000) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Great River Road, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa

Great River Road, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa

"Start in picturesque Dubuque, IA, home of the shortest, steepest railway in the world and an aquarium that showcases the fish of the Mississippi," says travel writer Mark Sedenquist. "Head north on the Great River Road to Prairie du Chien, WI, a river town with a colorful past. Visit villages such as Harpers Ferry and Lansing, IA, or check out the world’s largest six-pack of beer in La Crosse, WI." 960 1280
Gulf Coast, Alabama

Gulf Coast, Alabama

"Road trip along the Gulf of Mexico, and you'll want to spend most of your time — and food budget — on Alabama's coast. Yes, you'll love its sugary white-sand beaches and Caribbean-like waters, but the real treasure here is the food," says 100RoutesAcrossAmerica.com founder Shannon Entin. 960 1280

toddmedia / E+ / Getty Images  

Page-Lake Powell, Arizona and Utah

Page-Lake Powell, Arizona and Utah

"Located on the central border of Arizona and Utah is one of the most stunning recreational areas in the country, Page-Lake Powell," says award-winning travel journalist Mike Shubic. "It’s extremely scenic, with tall canyons, red-rock formations and sand dunes, and it’s an unparalleled place for activities such as houseboating, waterskiing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping and so much more." 960 1280

Wolfgang Staudt from Saarbruecken, Germany (Lake Powell) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

17-­Mile Drive, California

17-­Mile Drive, California

"The 17-Mile Drive through the Monterey Peninsula rivals the Pacific Coast Highway in quintessential California fame and beauty," says RoadTrippers.com CEO James Fisher. "This loop hugs the coastline, running alongside Pebble Beach Golf Links, past the landmark Lone Cypress and through the Del Monte Forest." 960 1280
Extraterrestrial Highway, Nevada

Extraterrestrial Highway, Nevada

"Just a short 2-hour road trip north of Las Vegas, you’ll find State Highway 375, aka the Extraterrestrial Highway. This is the place where more UFO sightings are reported than anywhere else in America. Highway 375 is located fairly close to Area 51, making it a unique road-trip experience," says avid road tripper Michelle Bucher. "Along the way, you’ll pass several alien-themed shops and roadside attractions." 960 1280

By Famartin [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

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