Travel Resolutions of 2016

Posted By

Ravi Goel

Before planning your wonderful and exciting trips for the coming year, do go through the list of destinations which you have to travel in this year. You cannot let 2016 pass without absorbing the bliss out of these star vacation spots for the coming year.

1.     Visit Grand Rapids & Lake Michigan’s Gold Coast

Beach bums, beer lovers, and art enthusiasts agree: there’s a lot to love about western Michigan this year. Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second-largest city, was voted best beer city in the US by the national Beer Examiner blog in 2012 and 2013, and its beer-tourism revolution rages on. Over 25 craft breweries pour in the area, and events like Cool Brews Hot Eats and the Winter Beer Festival (both in February), and the Summer Craft Beer Festival (August), keep the city festive year-round. Hops aside, the secret about Grand Rapids’ fabulous art scene is getting out. In addition to the impressive blooms and Rodin sculptures in the Frederik Meijer Gardens, and the excellent Grand Rapids Art Museum housed in a cool LEED Gold certified building, Grand Rapids is home to the world’s largest art competition, ArtPrize, in which more than 1700 creatives display their masterpieces. A mere 30 miles away sprawls Lake Michigan’s Gold Coast, perhaps the USA’s most unexpected beach getaway. Some argue that these shores rival Hawaii’s and Southern California’s. Along 300 miles of seemingly endless beaches lie sugar-white dunes, wineries, antiquing, U-pick orchards and berry farms, cider houses, Hemingway haunts – you can even go surfing. In Michigan! So if you never thought you could head to the Midwest for a Cape Cod-esque beach vacation, think again.

2.     Visit Waikiki, Hawai

Once a favorite retreat of Hawaiian royalty, Honolulu’s Waikiki is home to many of Oahu’s finest hotels and much of its dining, shopping and nightlife. But after the recession and the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, visitor numbers dropped precipitously. The state and other government bodies responded by pumping money into a revitalization program, with more than $3 billion spent at last count. The result is a much nicer Waikiki with a wider beach, pretty pedestrian walkways, upgraded shopping areas and safer tourist regions.

Another plus: Waikiki doesn’t have room to build new hotels, so developers have been upgrading aging ones with great results and bargain rates. Among them are Coconut Hotel Waikiki, Hotel Renew and Vive Hotel. For those seeking more luxurious digs, check out the elegant Royal Hawaiian or Moana Surfrider, both of which have undergone multimillion-dollar updates.3

3.     Watch World Cup in Brazil

The modern game of football, or soccer, may have been born in England’s public schools, but many will claim its soul has settled in Brazil. It has the world’s most successful international team, winning the World Cup five times. It calls what many claim to be the world’s greatest player, Pele, one of its own. And company managers and bosses are known to demand their employees skip work to watch the big games.

The World Cup this year then, to be hosted over June and July in 18 cities across the country, is likely to be memorable, to say the least. Throw in the rest of the country, which includes rainforests, beaches and a party culture that makes most New Year’s Eve soirees look decidedly po-faced, and you have the makings of an epic trip.

4.     Experience Brand New Festivals in Japan

The 50th anniversary of the bullet train, several new festivals (in a country already in possession of some bizarre ones), a new luxurious cruise train called Seven Stars offering visitors a spectacular new way to explore the prefecture of Kyushu — there are plenty of reasons to visit Japan in 2014.

“The first official International Cool Japan Awards and POP Matsuri (festival), will take place in Osaka between March 21 and 30, 2014,” says Kylie Clark from the Japanese National Tourism Organization. “Categories will include manga, anime and gaming, and during the festival numerous events will be held throughout the city tied to Japanese pop culture.”

5.     Boston, For the Win!

Hot on the heels of another Red Sox World Series win, in January 2014 Boston is hosting the 100th annual US Figure Skating Championships, where the US Winter Olympics team is determined. Come spring, the gaze of international sports fans – if not the world in general – will turn to the Boston Marathon. Despite concern that the bombings in 2013 would deter entrants from the 2014 race, this will be the second-biggest Boston Marathon ever, with 36,000 runners flooding the course. And once summer hits, the city’s usual festivities are in full swing: all sorts of festivals abound, beer gardens and restaurant patios overflow, and a thriving arts and entertainment scene keep Bostonians content as the humidity yields to stunning, vibrantly colored autumn. Year-round, the past is very much alive here: follow in America’s revolutionary founders’ footsteps on the Freedom Trail, stopping to imbibe a bit of history at the Bell in Hand Tavern, the oldest tavern in the USA.

6.     It’s always happening in VEGAS Baby!

But this year there’s more to discover than how much your savings have been depleted, especially as this dazzling rhinestone of a city attempts to draw more lower-rolling tourists in 2014 (per-person gaming revenue has dropped by 30% since 2006). Fremont East and the Arts District near downtown are blossoming into vibrant neighborhoods in their own right; the former has recently developed into an artsy hub – this is where the locals come to eat and drink. Lots of hip new bars, cafes and galleries – not to mention the Burlesque Hall of Fame – give revelers excellent reason to venture off the Strip. For the Strip-bound, the world’s tallest observation wheel (aptly named the High Roller), part of Caesars’ new $550 million LINQ ‘district,’ is slated to open center-Strip in mid-2014.

For high-octane thrills, find time between Blackjack hands for Vegas Indoor Skydiving, go-karting at Fast Lap, or ziplining with Flight lines.

 

 

Written by Ravi Goel