These five destinations may not be what you expect but will each offer something unique to experience. If you’re ready to build memories that will last a lifetime on your next vacation, read on for some of the best destinations for 2014.
1. Cape Town, South Africa
The city is currently undergoing a reinvention, and its position as 2014’s World Design Capital makes Cape Town a perfect destination for those who are looking for a destination rich in arts and culture for their vacation. Cape Town will be celebrating design in all areas and putting forth all the talent found in its artists.
Expect to find fashion shows, architecture tours, open houses, open studios with artists, and finally a visual arts conference as part of the February finale. All parts of the city are participating and using the opportunity to make changes happen. Townships are opening homes up as galleries and performance spaces, using their land to illustrate sustainable farming practices, and encouraging tourists to visit.
2. Christchurch, New Zealand
The city might be known for the large quake that ravaged it three years ago, but Christchurch is intent on making a comeback. The city’s resident are focused on rebuilding their city as a unique destination and are succeeding at it through the use of their creativity and determination. Empty lots are being transformed into gardens and other creative spaces, and the downtown area is being rebuilt. Several programs are working to bring culture and community back to the city.
The Gap Filler Program has turned vacant lots into performance spaces, dance floors, and even a mini golf course. Revival is obvious all across Christchurch through new architecture, innovative uses of repurposed materials, and new ideas for bringing people together. 2014 is turning out to be the year to witness all the change firsthand.
3. Mendocino Coast, California
The rugged beauty and wide array of wildlife found on the coast 130 miles north of San Francisco have attracted nature lovers for decades. The rugged bluffs offer perfect views of the coast and the marine life which often includes sea lions, whales, and many others.
Nearly 1,300 acres of wilderness has now been opened to the public for hiking and exploration. With more proposals coming in the near future for more funding and maintenance for the whole area, the Mendocino coast is ripe for exploration.
4. Albanian Coast
This often overlooked country’s coastline offers ancient ruins, rugged outdoor beauty and an easygoing culture comparable to those found in Italy. Tourists can enjoy these attractions and much more for a fraction of the cost of visiting a major European city. Albania is a small country just north of Greece and about 45 miles east of Italy’s heel.
Here you’ll find limestone beaches, ancient ruins, and quaint accommodations right on the water. For those looking for a uniquely European experience without spending a fortune, the Albanian Coast is the perfect destination.
5. Downtown Los Angeles
The Downtown LA filled with desolate streets and crime you see in movies is gone and has been replaced with a food and culture lover’s dream destination. Museums here are thriving and the restaurant scene has grown tremendously. Be sure to check out Grand Central Market, an indoor venue with 30 of the city’s best food vendors.
The revitalization of Downtown LA has been going on for awhile and is most evident with the restaurants. You’ll find the country’s best new restaurant, Alma, here as well as the newly opened Ace Hotel. Retail destinations will soon follow with several openings of major label outlets in the works.