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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Petra, Jordan

Petra, Jordan

“The ancient Rose-Red City of Petra in Jordan is much more than a scene from Indiana Jones; it’s one of the world’s most impressive ancient sites,” says Matt Long. “From the 3/4-mile-long entrance through a narrow slot canyon to the massive building carved into the mountain, Petra rarely fails to impress visitors, as it has done for more than 2,000 years.” 960 1280

Jordan Tourism Board  

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Off the coast of Queensland, Australia, sits an underwater treasure: the largest coral reef system in the world, known simply as the Great Barrier Reef. “Its size is daunting — it can be seen from outer space — but that doesn’t stop the millions who visit every year to experience not only the warm tropical waters, but also the amazing diversity of life hidden just beneath the waves,” says Matt Long. 960 1280

Maxime Coquard/Tourism Australia  

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

“The great polar wonder of the aurora borealis has captivated imaginations for millennia, but it’s also one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders,” says Matt Long of LandLopers.com. “These dancing sheets of greens and pinks across the night sky may have their origins in outer space, but their effect on those of us here on Earth certainly can’t be denied.”  960 1280

Bard Loken/Visitnorway.com  

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

The lost city of Angkor is one of the world's most impressive architectural wonders. With more than 100 intricately carved 12th-century Khmer temples and sacred shrines, Angkor Wat is epic in size, scope and artistic detail, says travel junkie Julia Dimon. “A visit here is almost a mystical experience.”    960 1280

Matthew Micah Wright/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Antarctica

Antarctica

“It’s huge, it’s maddeningly hard to get to, and it’s all but impossible to thoroughly explore, but that’s what makes it great,” says Expedition Unknown host Josh Gates. Ships are crossing the Drake Passage in record numbers to give visitors a look at our mysterious seventh continent, “one of the most silent, raw and spectacular landscapes on Earth.” 960 1280

DreamPictures/Getty Images   

Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

The shining star of Myanmar, this soaring temple and ancient Buddhist stupa sits on a high hill at the heart of the country’s largest city, Yangon. The temple is like a small city, dominated by a 325-foot gilded spire at its center, says Expedition Unknown host Josh Gates.  960 1280

Mr Anujak Jaimook/Moment Open/Getty Images  

Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

Straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, this incredible natural wonder is one of the world's largest waterfalls. “A visit here makes you appreciate why the locals call it Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means ‘the smoke that thunders,’” says Julia Dimon. “Upon arrival to the falls, travelers will journey down a trail, leading them just a few hundred feet from the unrelenting, cascading waters” of the Zambezi River.  960 1280

Pascal Boegli/Moment/Getty Images  

East Africa and the Seychelles

East Africa and the Seychelles

“The perfect mix of glamping and R&R, the beach-safari honeymoon is going to be huge for 2014. With luxe private island resorts and some of the most crystal-clear waters you’ll ever see, the Seychelles has serious sex appeal. Go here first to unwind, then head to Kenya for the Great Migration. You’ll see wildebeest, lions, elephants, rhinos and more,” says advisor Yolanda Crous of Brides magazine. For a mix of private and posh, stay at Seychelles’ Maia Luxury Resort and Spa on the secluded sands of Anse Louis.   960 1280

Getty Images  

Brazil

Brazil

“Sexy beaches, buzzing nightlife, pristine jungles -- this South American nation has pretty much everything a honeymooner could want, ” says Yolanda Crous of Brides magazine. And with the World Cup happening this summer and the Olympics coming up in 2016, this country has never been hotter. Party all night in Rio de Janeiro, soak in some sun on the laid-back beaches of Bahia, then cross off the Amazon from your bucket list with a stay at Uakari Floating Lodge. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Rwanda and Mauritius

Rwanda and Mauritius

“Recently, we’ve seen more of our honeymooners twinning destinations to ensure they make the most of their time away together. So I’d recommend combining 2 contrasting destinations, such as the more intrepid Rwanda with the laid-back island of Mauritius to make for one truly incredible and eye-opening luxury honeymoon,” says advisor Tom Marchant of Black Tomato. Search for mountain gorillas in the remote African republic of Rwanda, then relax on the shores of the Indian Ocean at the romantic Oberoi Mauritius resort, “ensuring you return home sun-kissed and relaxed” says Marchant. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Java, Indonesia

Java, Indonesia

“The perfect combination of some of the world’s best beaches, private islands, bold cuisine and ancient temples, Indonesia is a surefire hit when it comes to choosing a romantic honeymoon destination,” says advisor Tom Marchant. For 2014 forget Bali and head to Java for post-nuptial relaxation. “The term “deserted island” tends to be overused in travel literature, but Kura Kura off the coast of Java truly is just that. Located in the Karimunjawa archipelago, this island hideaway is made up of only a handful of beach cottages and pool villas, so you can enjoy the unspoiled setting without any disruption,” says Marchant. 960 1280

Courtesy of Black Tomato  

Space Travel

Space Travel

“A common thing I have been hearing is that couples want to go somewhere unique -- somewhere none of their friends have gone. Well, I can promise that none of them went to space for their honeymoon! Be one of the first to experience zero-g and the incredible views from space with Virgin Galactic, and you will certainly never forget it!” says advisor Katie Frederick of Ever After Honeymoons. Interested couples should book soon, because prices are slated to jump 25% -- up to $250,000 -- in the coming year. 960 1280

Mark Greenberg/Virgin Galatic  

The Maldives

The Maldives

“Want to completely disconnect and relax in secluded privacy? Jet off to the Maldives where you can enjoy the views from an overwater bungalow. There are so many romantic experiences, like watching dolphins play on a sunset cruise, picnicing on a deserted island and snorkeling at night among thousands of fish,” says advisor Katie Frederick of Ever After Honeymoons. Couples planning a 2015 honeymoon can look forward to the futuristic 5 Lagoons project which will include a star-shaped hotel and floating golf course. 960 1280

AWL Images  

Marrakesh, Morocco

Marrakesh, Morocco

“Between the rolling desert, carriage rides through ancient markets, belly dancers and snake charmers, this North African city feels like an epic movie set,” says advisor Rebecca Dolgin of The Knot. Dolgin suggests taking a 90-minute car ride to the village of Imlil in the Atlas Mountains, and either trek or take a donkey up to the hilltop Kasbah du Toubkal to enjoy stunning views of Mt. Jbel Toubkal and authentic Moroccan fare at the kasbah’s rooftop restaurant. The Baldaquin Suite, outfitted with a “show-stopping canopy bed” is perfect for honeymooners, says Dolgin. 960 1280

  

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

According to The Knot's editor in chief Rebecca Dolgin, “Jackson Hole is a legendary ski slope, but non-skiers may partake in snow tubing or sleigh rides through the National Elk Refuge. Year-round, hop on the mountain aerial tram for an awe-inspiring, nearly mile-long vertical trip to the top of Jackson Hole Mountain. Rustic Snake River Lodge & Spa is famed for its mountain views and honeymoon specials.” Newlyweds can now fly direct from 12 cities and get on the slopes faster with J-Cards (advanced Radio Frequency ID lift tickets). 960 1280

  

Botswana and Cape Town, Southern Africa

Botswana and Cape Town, Southern Africa

“My husband and I went to Botswana and Cape Town for our honeymoon and it changed my life. Our first day in Botswana was magical -- before we even arrived at our lodge we saw a giraffe. Then we went on “a sundowner,” our first game drive where we saw 4 of the Big 5 -- leopards trying to mate, elephants cruising around, male lions making the women kill for their dinner and Cape buffalo charging,” says advisor Julie McCully of Travel Channel. After a heart-pounding safari, head to Cape Town’s beaches and unwind in secluded paradise at Llandudno cliff resort. 960 1280

Photographer: Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang and michaeljung)  

Argentina

Argentina

“Argentina has it all for a romantic honeymoon, especially for food lovers. Buenos Aires has fabulous architecture and amazing wine and food. It's a city where you have to be careful of your waistline because there is so much good food, but you will walk it off while checking out the sights,” says advisor Julie McCully of Travel Channel. After you have had your fill of late-night dinners and dancing tango all night in Buenos Aires, head to Mendoza and be wined and dined at the luxury wine hotel and spa, Entre Cielos. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Dyker Heights Lights, Brooklyn, NY

Dyker Heights Lights, Brooklyn, NY

What’s Travel Channel host Samantha Brown’s favorite hometown holiday tradition? Taking in "the most delightful, delirious and over-the-top Christmas decorations" with her family in the Dyker Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. 960 1280

Michael Heiman/Getty Images  

Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg, Germany

Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg, Germany

Samantha Brown has always wanted to visit this world-famous Christmas market filled with decorations and treats galore, including Nuremberg bratwurst, gingerbread and mulled wine. Yum. 960 1280

Sean Nel/Getty Images/Hemera  

Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Finland

Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Finland

Want to visit Santa Claus on his own turf? Meet Santa in his office in the Arctic Circle. Families can send letters with the assistance of Santa's official postal elves. 960 1280

shashinkoubou/Getty Images  

Skating by the Sea, San Diego

Skating by the Sea, San Diego

San Diego’s landmark Hotel del Coronado offers an ice rink on the lawn with breathtaking ocean views. Travel blogger Amie O’Shaughnessy, founder of Ciao Bambino!, thinks skating by the Pacific Ocean makes for the best family holiday card photo. 960 1280

Sam Antonio/Getty Images/Flickr Vision  

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, New York

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, New York

One of the most treasured holiday traditions in New York City is seeing the spectacular dancers of the New York City Ballet perform George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. Mickela Mallozzi, host of the travel dance series Bare Feet, says it's a must-see for any dance lover. 960 1280

Paul Kolnik  

12 Pubs of Christmas, Dublin

12 Pubs of Christmas, Dublin

A recent tradition in Dublin includes the 12 Pubs of Christmas, where revelers will don tacky sweaters and then make their rounds to 12 different pubs, swigging a pint at each one. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Sponza Palace, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Sponza Palace, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Mickela Mallozzi, host of the travel dance series Bare Feet, suggests visiting the Christmas fair in Dubrovnik’s Old Town. This 1-000-year-old city turns into a Christmas mecca right out of a storybook, hosting local artisans and musical performances. 960 1280

Jean-Pierre Lescourret/Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images  

Santa Claus, Indiana

Santa Claus, Indiana

One of the festive towns featured on ChristmastownUSA, Santa Claus, IN, celebrates Christmas 365 days of the year. Family-owned since 1946, the town’s popular amusement park, Holiday World, boasts 3 of the world’s top 10 wooden roller coasters. 960 1280

Spencer County Visitors Bureau   

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

You couldn't dream up a more magical place to spend the holidays than Reykjavik, with its vivid winter wonderland landscape and unique traditions. Visit the Christmas Village in Hafnarfjordur or Reykjavik's main Christmas market in Ingólfstorg Square for traditional Nordic holiday gifts, mulled wine and Yuletide music. 960 1280

Getty Images/Arctic-Images  

North Pole, Alaska

North Pole, Alaska

Yes, there really is a North Pole, and believe it or not, 3 men named Santa Claus live there. Opened in 1952, Santa Claus House, the town’s biggest attraction, is a Christmas-themed gift shop with oodles of ornaments, a 42-foot Santa statue and real reindeer you can visit. 960 1280

Davidd/flickr  

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