The definitive best part about the new year: You get all your vacation days back. So don’t let them go to waste! Here, the best place to visit every month of 2017.
OK, so realistically you’re not booking a trip for this January, but bookmark this Caribbean gem for next year, since Norwegian Airlines recently launched surprisingly affordable flights (try as low as $49 each way from NYC). The French-speaking island is made up of two parts: On Grande-Terre you’ll find secluded, sandy beaches and azure water, while on Soufriere you’ve got volcanoes and rainforest.
FEBRUARY: HAVANA, CUBA
You definitely want to visit this newly-opened-to-Americans city now, before it becomes overrun with tourists in the coming years. Hit up romantic, music-filled Havana in winter, when the days are warm and tropical, but the nights have a cool, welcome breeze.
MARCH: PARK CITY, UTAH
By March, you’re nearing the end of ski season, which means the crowds have died down from Christmas and the Sundance Film Festival, but you can still catch some fresh powder. If the slopes aren’t your thing, there’s also dogsledding, bobsledding and snowmobiling.
Mark our words: Everyone will be going to Bermuda this year. This small, British island just off the coast of North Carolina is known for its pink-sand beaches, cute colonial-style towns, gorgeous resorts and, of course, rum cocktails. The island has only two seasons: Spring and summer, which collide during April. The weather is warm enough to go to the beach, but you still won’t have to pay the peak-season prices.
MAY: MARRAKESH, MOROCCO
The allure of this African city begins with the serpentine pink walls of ancient Medina and ends with the sophisticated food scene (hello, tagine) and world-class fashion of the Souk. Visit during the spring, when you’re guaranteed warm days and breezy, comfortable nights.
JUNE: DUBROVNIK, CROATIA
If you’ve watched Game of Thrones, you might recognize this Adriatic landscape as the real-life site of King’s Landing. But it’s more than just prestige TV fodder. Dubrovnik promises serene beaches, awesome restaurants (Pantarul is a must-try for its fresh sea bream) and a local wine scene featuring stellar Dalmatian reds. June is Croatia’s shoulder season, meaning you’ll get the nice weather without the maddening crowds.
JULY: COMPORTA, PORTUGAL
Since Lisbon is flooded with tourists all summer long, make a trip to the sleepy fishing village of Comporta for a more secluded adventure. Here, the rustic landscape, made up of cork trees and rice paddies, leads to pristine beaches and blue Atlantic coast. Don’t expect anything fancy from this cool, off-the-radar town. Think: seafood shacks on the beach serving up just caught pulpo and langoustine.
AUGUST: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
Scandinavia is having a moment. (Um, hygge, much?) But while it’s been prohibitively expensive to visit in past years, the dollar has finally made a comeback against the krona. Head to cosmopolitan Stockholm for cutting-edge art and design, as well as that new Nordic cuisine the entire world is copying. The best time to visit is during the summer, when you can traverse the archipelago by bike and take advantage of the city’s many public parks.
SEPTEMBER: MONTREAL, CANADA
Canada may turn 150 this year, but Montreal, which is celebrating its 375th birthday, is definitely the place to be. Fall is the perfect time to enjoy activities like bike riding, al fresco dining and exploring the city’s famed farmers’ markets. Did we mention leaf peeping?
OCTOBER: JERUSALEM, ISRAEL
For a country the size of New Jersey, Israel is doing big things. Jerusalem in particular is earning a reputation for international cuisine (check out Machneyuda for amazing polenta with mushroom ragu) and open-air markets serving up everything from gourmet burgers to chapurias (cheese pastries). On the outskirts of the city, you’ll find a budding wine region in the Judean Hills. Go during October to catch the tail end of summer.
NOVEMBER: OAXACA COAST, MEXICO
A far cry from the spring-break-infused towns of Cancun or Playa del Carmen, the Oaxacan coast (nicknamed la costa chica) is comprised of a handful of laid-back towns like San Agustinillo, Puerto Escondido, Zipolite and Mazunte, and is known for quality surfing and a relaxed way of life. During November, you’ll get great, dry weather right before high season begins in December.
DECEMBER: MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY
Given Uruguay’s location between Brazil and Argentina, it’s often overlooked as a South American destination. So go now before the rest of the world finds out about this city known for untouched beaches, fin-de-siècle architecture and asado (barbecue) restaurants that rival those of Argentina. Visit during December when the weather is nice and steamy.