Lonely Planet released a list of their 10 “Best in Travel” cities for 2015, and with the new year right around the corner, we want to ring it in with a few of our favorites. These are at the top of our bucket list for 2015!
1. Washington, D.C.
Lonely Planet (which I shall affectionately dub LP) gave the US capital the top slot for their roundup of 2015’s bests. Holla! If you’re already in the area, it looks like you’re due for a staycation in one of the states’ top draws. According to LP, Washington, DC is going to celebrating (er, commemorating?) the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination with “the kind of pomp you’d expect from a city whose official religion is national politics and whose history is etched into America’s foundation story.” Plus you’d get to see Lincoln’s top hat and the pistol that killed him, if you’re into such morbid things. Bonus: the Smithsonian Institution’s network of museums. You’ll never get bored, because museums are known to never be boring. 😉
2. Milan, Italy
Everyone knows that Milan (the second-largest city in Italy) is known for its wealth, splendor, and high fashion. But don’t shy away from the city because your wardrobe tends to revolve around H&M staples, because the new year will bring your “in” to Milan! All hail Expo 2015–stretching from May to October, and the latest in a series of world fairs that began in the 1800’s. This year, the focus will be on food (esp. issues revolving around sustainability and global nutrition). LP gives the best DL: “The 1.1 million sq metre fairgrounds will be laid out like a classical Roman city, with symmetrical avenues, a canal, and a huge artificial lake surrounded by pavilions. Explore the ‘future food district’, watch cooking demos, wander a plaza full of street musicians and dance performers, or indulge in nighttime wine-tastings. At least 144 countries will participate. In years past, world fairs have introduced or popularised such now-ubiquitous foodstuffs as cotton candy, ice-cream cones and hamburgers. So come to Milan to find out what we’ll all be eating in 50 years.” So basically……..the future of food. Um, YES PLEASE?
3. Toronto, Canada
Toronto boasts of being the most multicultural city in the world (it speaks of 140 languages), but this year is going to be extra good to the city as it hosts the 2015 Pan American (Pan Am) Games. Toronto has been preparing for this year with public perks like the “long-anticipated Union Pearson Express train, which will whizz passengers from the airport to downtown in 25 minutes, making it easier than ever to sink one’s teeth into the culinary and cultural delights of Toronto’s diverse enclaves.” And if the Pan Am Games aren’t your thing, there’s still plenty to do, with its diverse nightlife and restaurant scene. Eat, drink, and listen to live music. Repeat.
4. Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt has long been a mecca of sorts for daredevil mountaineers, skiers, and hikers, but 2015 holds an even bigger draw for this sacred Swiss city. The Matterhorn, which rises above the town, was first ascended 150 years ago by a team of seven (led by Edward Whymper), only three of whom actually survived the endeavor. Extreme winter sports fans will be happy to know that on this anniversary, Zermatt will be opening its Hörnli Hut in July, “a mountain hut perched with one finger to the gods at 3260m, at the base of the Matterhorn. Inside this brand new building – architectural homage to the sun with all the sustainable energy whistles and knobs on – world-class alpinists take refuge before dicing with death on the final iconic ascent up sheer rock and ice.” Holy.
5. Chennai, India
According to LP, Chennai is one of the most overlooked megacities in India. It’s looking to elevate its status in 2015 with the introduction of the first integrated mass transit system in India–the Chennai Metro Rail! “And there’s plenty to see: statue-covered Dravidian temples, institutes for Indian classical dance, fascinating museums, British-era fortifications and churches, a 3km-long beach that throngs with locals night and day, and India’s second-largest movie industry, centred on ‘Kollywood’ in the western suburb of Kodambakkam.” Even though this city used to only be a stepping stone to other Indian destinations, hopefully 2015 will see the rise of Chennai’s profile as a destination in its own right.
Cheers to 2015 and more exploration! Bucket list, here we go.