Travel editors at the New York Times have just released an epic list of 52 places to visit in 2023. To determine the world’s top spots, they asked the all-important question of why we travel. The chosen destinations hold the answers to that question. These worldwide destinations were chosen because they offer travelers food, culture, adventure, or natural beauty that is unique to that place and worth traveling for.
7. Kangaroo Island, Australia
Kangaroo Island off the southern Australian coast is packed with wildlife, beautiful landscapes, and unique accommodations. This small island is home to less than 5,000 people, but it really packs a punch. It is an absolute paradise for animal lovers who want to see wildlife in their natural habitat. The island is home to kangaroos, wallabies, fur seals, koalas, dolphins, and more.
In late 2019 Southern Australia suffered horrific wildfires that destroyed so much of the region. Kangaroo Island and its wildlife reserve were decimated. As the island rebuilds, it is welcoming back visitors to partake in recovery efforts.
6. Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs might be best known for its celebrity inhabitants, modern architecture, and hot springs, but the stunning surrounding nature is what really keeps visitors coming back year after year. Nearby Joshua Tree National Park has reignited popular interest in stargazing with its Night Sky Festival, which takes place each September.
In the spring of 2023, a new Museum dedicated to the Agua Caliente Tribe will open. The 10,000-square-foot museum will show off the Tribe’s storied art and artifacts and explore its connection with the surrounding lands.
5. Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland is an increasingly multicultural city in an incredibly unique location. It has become known as a destination for both food and nature lovers. With easy access from the city center to nearby beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails, and 26 regional parks, Auckland is perfectly situated for adventure seekers. Additionally, the city’s waterfront neighborhoods are home to fantastic restaurants featuring seafood, meats, produce, and wines from the region.
4. Kilmartin Glen, Scotland
Fans of ancient history will relish their time in Kilmartin Glen, a small village located in western Scotland. The area is full of relics from a time gone by – with stone circles, carved rocks, forts, and castles galore. There are 150 prehistoric monuments and ruins in the immediate area, giving history buffs plenty to explore. In 2023 the Kilmartin Museum will reopen after extensive renovations. The museum is unique in that the ancient relics it so proudly displays were all discovered nearby.
3. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona
The Four Corners Region in the western U.S. is chock full of breathtaking parks and otherworldly landscapes. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park on the Arizona/Utah border is no exception. Also known by the Navajo name of Tse’Bii’Ndzisgaii, the park is home to majestic sandstone rock formations – some up to 1,000 feet tall. Photographs simply cannot do this area justice – you must visit the park in person to truly understand the immense beauty and power of the land.
Visitors to the park can drive a 17-mile loop or hike through the valley on a 3-mile trail. Guided tours are also available to bring tourists to ancient cliff dwellings. No visit to the park is complete without a stop at the Trading Post for traditional Navajo arts and crafts.
2. Morioka, Japan
Now that Japan has finally reopened for international tourists, it is time for the world to discover the city of Morioka. Morioka is less touristed than other Japanese cities and is only a 2.5-hour train ride north of Tokyo. Visitors who make the effort to go will be rewarded with a charming, walkable city full of fantastic food and some of the best coffee in the country. Not only is Morioka a charming and authentic spot, but it is also a great base for exploring the surrounding region and all the mountains and hot springs.
Morioka is home to many rich cultural festivals. One of the largest is the Morioka Sansa Odori Festival which takes place each August. During the festival, over 10,000 drummers descend upon the city for the world’s largest taiko drum festival. The event plans to make a full return in 2023 after it was canceled or scaled back in previous years due to the pandemic.
1. London, UK
London seems to be at the top of everyone’s travel list this year, and for good reason. The city continues to thrive despite many recent challenges. London offers so much to its visitors – a thriving and diverse food scene, efficient public transport, and 95 museums that you can visit for free.
In 2023 people from near and far will flock to London to be part of a historic event. The first coronation in over 70 years will take place in May when King Charles III takes the throne.
Other Destinations In the NYT List:
- Vjosa River, Albania
- Accra, Ghana
- Tromsø, Norway
- Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil
- Kerala, India
- Greenville, South Carolina
- Tucson, Arizona
- The Namib Desert, Southern Africa
- The Alaska Railroad
- Fukuoka, Japan
- Flores, Indonesia
- Guadalajara, Mexico
- Odense, Denmark
- Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
- Boquete, Panama
- Tarragona, Spain
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Cayos Cochinos, Honduras
- Burgundy Beer Trail, France
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Taipei, Taiwan
- El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia
- Lausanne, Switzerland
- Methana, Greece
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Manaus, Brazil
- Vilnius, Lithuania
- Macon, Georgia
- Madrid, Spain
- Grand Junction, Colorado
- La Guajira, Colombia
- Bergamo and Brescia, Italy
- American Prairie, Montana
- Eastern Townships, Quebec
- New Haven, Connecticut
- The Black Hills, South Dakota
- Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com