If you’re anything like us, the end of the year snuck up on you so fast that you haven’t yet had time to make your holiday travel plans, let alone think about where you might want to go after the ball drops on 2016. Well, Lonely Planet is way ahead of all of us, having just released their list of the best destinations of 2017. Here, the travel publication’s top five cities, as well as a few of our favorites from each to further entice you into booking next year’s vacations, stat.
The Top 5 Cities To Visit In 2017
Why Now: According to Lonely Planet, this sleepy city will finally be connected with Europe's high-speed train network, cutting travel time from Paris down to two hours. What's more, the new, much buzzed-about "wine theme park," La Cité du Vin, is located in Bordeaux. Enough said.
TZR Must-Visit: Saint-Émilion, an old wine town 40 miles west of Bordeaux. For your dealings in the city proper, we recommend buying a CityPass, which allows you free public transportation as well as entry into 30 local museums.
Cape Town, South Africa
Why Now: In September of 2017, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA)—the largest museum of contemporary African art—will open in Cape Town. The city is also notable for its emerging food scene and historic wine estates.
TZR Must-Visit: We're still partial to champagne bar Hallelujah, with its tacky decor and Asian street food offerings.
Los Angeles, USA
Why Now: LA has been "gaining steam as a cultural destination," which is due in some part to all of the transplanted artists fleeing the cost of living in San Francisco and New York. Lonely Planet also cites the metro expansion as a reason to visit LA now, but as locals we must counter that our public transportation system still has a long way to go before it actually enables our city to be hospitable to those without cars.
TZR Must-Visit: The Broad, LA's new contemporary art museum, which is located downtown, inarguably one of the city's most up-and-coming areas.
Why Now: We had a feeling it was only a matter of time before this gem made it into the mainstream. Mérida, located on the Yucatán Peninsula, has been designated the Cultural Capital of the Americas for 2017. As a result, "The White City" will host large-scale events throughout the year. This picturesque destination also ranks as one of the safest cities in Mexico.
TZR Must-Visit: Manjar Blanco, for traditional Yucatecan food and La Fundación Mezcalería, for mezcal and dancing.
Why Now: According to Lonely Planet, Ohrid has, in recent years, transformed "from Macedonia's religious center to its busiest holiday resort," and it boasts the best beaches in the area. Further development threatens, however, which is why LP suggests the time to go is ASAP.
TZR Must-Visit: Letna Bavča Kaneo, for a dip in the lake followed by a meal of fresh fried fish.