Untrammeled oases beckon, once-avoided destinations become must-sees and familiar cities offer new reasons to visit.
1. Milan, Italy
4. Yellowstone National Park
5. Elqui Valley, Chile
It’s a year-long birthday party, and the world is invited.
Singapore is turning 50 in 2015, and the ambitious little city-state is pulling out all the stops to celebrate. Festivities began on New Year’s Eve with a huge fireworks display set to music over Marina Bay. That will be followed by the riotous Chingay Parade in February, featuring thousands of colorfully dressed performers. In the fall, a five-mile historic public art trail called the Jubilee Walk will be inaugurated, and the National Gallery Singapore opens in the grand former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, where it will house one of the largest collections of Southeast Asian art in the world. The showcase event will be the National Day parade at the site where Singapore’s independence was declared in 1965. Justin Bergman
9. Faroe Islands
11. Medellín, Colombia
12. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
13. Orlando, Florida
15. Burgundy, France
16. Lower Manhattan, New York
18. The North Coast of Peru
19. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
21. Cleveland, Ohio
22. Sri Lanka
23. New Orleans, Louisiana
Resilient and renewed, a decade after Katrina.
This year, the 10th anniversary of the catastrophic hurricane, the city will showcase just how far it has come, with events planned to commemorate the victims, and unveilings to highlight its rebirth. Through Jan. 25, Prospect.3 New Orleans, puts the spotlight on the burgeoning arts scene here in an exhibition of works by more than 50 contemporary artists. In March, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra opens in a new home that has a state-of-the-art performance space, as well as exhibits of current and former jazz greats. And the new development of the South Market District will be home to a diverse set of businesses, including the highly anticipated restaurant Ursa Major and the furniture store Arhaus. Further signs of the city’s recovery are evident in new lodging, like the just opened Le Meridien and Aloft New Orleans Downtown, to open in New Orleans’s Central Business district in late February. Ondine Cohane
25. Republic of Georgia
26. Manchester, England
27. Campeche, Mexico
29. Papua New Guinea
30. Bend, Oregon
New trails and ales beckon.
Once a frontier logging town called Farewell Bend, this picturesque city of 80,000 is a seductive spot for travelers who are into craft brewing and the great outdoors. The Bend region has 26 breweries, three wineries, two craft spirit distilleries, two cideries and the Cycle Pub, a tour that allows visitors to quaff craft beers while powering a sort of mobile pub by cycling. Two new distilleries, Cascade Alchemy and Backdrop, and a new cidery, Far Afield, are set to open this year. Bend has nearly 300 miles of single-track mountain bike trails, including two new ones, Tyler’s Traverse and Duodenum; a soon-to-open fat-bike trail (at Wanoga Sno-Park); world-class skiing at Mount Bachelor; and an embarrassment of riches for hikers, fishermen, climbers, stand-up paddle boarders and kayakers. Dave Seminara
31. Rabat, Morocco
32. Squamish, Canada
33. Seoul, South Korea
Over a million new square feet of art, architecture and design.
In 2014 the Dongdaemun Design Plaza alighted like a silver spaceship in a gritty old shopping neighborhood in the South Korean capital. Designed by the Pritzker-prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, the 900,000-square-foot, neo-futuristic, curvilinear exhibition space has helped transform the area around it into an international design hub. Visual-arts-minded visitors should also check out the 560,000-square-foot Seoul branch of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, opened in 2013 with the aim of being to the Korean capital what the Museum of Modern Art is to New York City, and the new 121,000-square-foot National Hangeul Museum, which is dedicated to the much-admired, ultra-rational Korean alphabet. Elisabeth Eaves
34. St. Kitts
35. Shikoku, Japan
36. San Antonio
37. San José del Cabo, Mexico
38. Alentejo, Portugal
39. The Catskills, New York
40. Quebec City, Canada
N.H.L. team or not, the Quebec capital is scoring.
Long overshadowed by nearby Montreal, Quebec City is stocking up on attractions, and seeking an N.H.L. team to again call its own. To that end, the city has been building Quebecor Arena, a state-of-the-art stadium costing an estimated $400 million to open before the 2015 season. It may take years to score an N.H.L franchise, but even without a big-time team to cheer, the capital of Quebec — and French Canada — has many new draws to keep visitors entertained, from the newly hip St.-Roch neighborhood to innovative restaurants serving nouveau Québécois cuisine to rival its neighbor’s finest. Ingrid K. Williams
- Related: Recent Quebec Coverage
41. Canton Valais, Switzerland
43. Danang, Vietnam
A coastal gateway becomes a destination in its own right.
For the last couple of decades, Danang, on the central coast of Vietnam, has been the place travelers flew into to get to historic Hoi An, a Unesco-protected but tourist-swarmed neighbor 20 miles to the south. But this city of almost a million people has become a worthy destination in its own right. After an airport expansion in 2011, resorts began popping up along the coast. Last year, two luxury lodgings were added: Premier Village and A La Carte Danang Beach. And Danang’s charms — long, sandy beaches and kiosks selling bahn mi sandwiches overflowing with pork and pickled papaya and fresh herbs — are even easier to reach since Dragon Air began direct flights from Hong Kong in 2013. David Farley