Vacation locales across the globe that rank among TripAdvisor’s top choices for the New Year. Later this week, we’ll take a look at Lonely Planet’s top picks.
The lists get you thinking about places as diverse as South Australia; North Wales, UK; San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; and Whistler, Canada. Later this week, we’ll detail Lonely Planet’s top up-and-coming destinations. But for now, here are TripAdvisor’s top five recommendations.
Destinations on the Rise: TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards
TripAdvisor uses empirical data to pick its Travelers’ Choice awards. The locales chosen are “the places around the globe that have seen the biggest year-over-year increase in positive TripAdvisor traveler review ratings for accommodations, restaurants, and attractions, as well as an increase in booking interest.”
1. San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
More low-key than its bustling spring break destination Cabo San Lucas to the south, San Jose del Cabo is a traditional Spanish colonial city of on the Sea of Cortes. The town, easy to visit on a day trip from Cabo San Lucas, features artists’ shops, boutiques, galleries and some restaurants and hotels.
2. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Whistler Blackcomb is big. The two mountains joined by a gondola feature a whopping 8,171-acres, making the resort North America’s largest. The destination features excellent snow sports instruction, a variety of lodging, and if you want an active mountain summer spot, Whistler Blackcomb offers hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting and ziplining.
3. Jericoacoara, Brazil
Located about 186 miles west of Fortaleza, Jericoacoara, or “Jeri,” draws windsurfers and kitesurfers as well as beach lovers. Crowds stay away since access to the area requires driving over unpaved roads through a national park.
4. Kihei, Hawaii
Kihei, on Maui’s South Shore, is more laid back than Wailea. Along with smaller hotels than those in Wailea, the town has condominium properties and three terrific beach parks a few blocks from each other: Kamaole I, Kamaole II, and Kamaole III. All feature bathrooms, lifeguards, good swimming and grassy areas shaded by trees.
5. Baku, Azerbaijan
TripAdvisor’s travelers praise Baku’s vibrant arts and cultural activities as well as its old city. Mosques, shops and two UNESCO World Heritage sites—the Palace of the Shirvanshas and the Maiden Tower–line the ancient, winding streets.