Canceled trips. Dashed plans to see family and friends. Missed opportunities to explore different places and cultures.
It was a year of disappointment for travelers as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world. Health officials’ advice not to travel, personal concerns and government-imposed travel restrictions to stem the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 were an inconvenient backdrop to a much more sinister reality, with more than 81.6 million cases and 1,780,710 deaths worldwide as of Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins data. The U.S. accounts for 19.3 million of those cases and 336,325 deaths.
But as COVID-19 vaccines begin to roll out, we’re hopeful that 2021 will bring more opportunities to travel the globe – to the destinations we’ve been wanderlusting after during this trying year.
Here are the places that staff and contributors across the USA TODAY Network, including travel site 10Best.com, want to travel in 2021 – or when it’s safer to do so. When we’ll make it to these spots is yet unknown, but we’re holding on to hope for a brighter year of travel ahead.
1. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona: With plunging depths and spectacular vistas, this is one of the great wonders of the world and one of America’s most popular national parks. The Grand Canyon has inspired wonder since Indigenous people first farmed there centuries ago. I love it so much that I celebrated my bachelorette party there.
2. Madagascar: Maybe I’ve watched the DreamWorks movie too many times with my kids in quarantine, but Madagascar seems like the perfect respite from Zoom meetings to get reacquainted with nature.
3. Hawaii: Since moving to the West (meaning cheaper Hawaii flights), I’ve been dreaming of a beach vacation in Hawaii. It just might be time to pull the trigger after the year we’ve had.
4. As far as my saved-up Delta miles will take me: I was saving Delta miles for another trip to Europe in 2020 with my college-age son and hope to take that trip in 2021 instead. If not Europe, maybe the Canadian Rockies.
5. Anywhere my mom wants to go: I was fortunate to see my 78-year-old mom more than once this year, but a hoped-for trip over Thanksgiving didn’t materialize after she had a heart attack. As soon as COVID-19 clears and she’s ready to travel, we’re hopping on a plane.
6. Paris: The quote “we’ll always have Paris” from “Casablanca” wasn’t true for my cousin and me this year. We planned to celebrate my birthday and her graduate school acceptance there, but with an early-April departure date it was inevitably canceled, and I may have binged “Emily in Paris” more than once as an alternative sightseeing option. I have my travel credits ready to rebook ASAP.
7. Prague: I studied abroad in the Czech Republic in 2015, and five years away from the City of a Hundred Spires seems like too long an absence. My two girlfriends from the program and I have been itching for our post-college lives to align for a return –maybe in 2021!
8. Washington, D.C.: Since I graduated from Georgetown, I haven’t missed a yearly (or more) chance to return to my alma mater – until 2020. While D.C. is familiar, it always provides a new, exciting opportunity in the form of a restaurant, coffee stop or museum.
9. A COVID-19-free cruise: After a year of reporting on cruises, primarily covering the COVID-19 pandemic, I’d like to get on a cruise ship and see for myself what it’s like to be on board with new health and safety protocols and restrictions.
10. Amalfi Coast, Italy: After a 2019 trip to visit my brother, who was studying in Rome, provided an opportunity to see Naples and Capri, I’m itching to see more of Italy, especially the coastline, preferably with an Aperol spritz in hand.
11. Croatia: It’s been on my list for a while, and the wanderlust is real. Will be ticking off as many spots as possible in 2021.
12. Greece: I’ve never been to this European getaway, and living some kind of “Mamma Mia” fantasy sounds just what the doctor ordered right about now. If you’re reading this, you’re probably saying “here David goes again,” or something. You’re right, and you know ABBA.
13. Randolph, New Jersey: Maybe this is too simple or cliche, but I want to go home to New Jersey. I haven’t been back since the pandemic began, which pained me this fall. Nothing compares to the fall foliage leading to the house where I grew up – cozy canopies of red, yellow and orange. Plus, who wouldn’t want to walk through a picturesque walking trail while listening to Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” and “Evermore” albums? A rollicking European getaway is next on the list, to be sure, but a stop in exurban ecstasy sounds ideal first.
14. Australia: The whole country is a mecca for swim nerds (I qualify). I mean, you can swim laps a few feet from Sydney’s Bondi Beach and then go bodysurf in the waves.
16. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam: In addition to resuming swimming to maintain my sanity during the pandemic, I also took up kayaking. I first learned of this spot east of Hanoi through a 2008 episode of “Top Gear” and have been low-key obsessed with it ever since. It’s considered one of the new seven wonders of nature and a bucket-list destination for many paddlers thanks to its labyrinth of limestone monoliths, inlets and sea caves. And after a long day of paddling, there’s even a hidden bar and restaurant where I can indulge my love of Vietnamese food.
17. Salzburg, Austria: This is where I did my study abroad, and I haven’t been back since, although I still love the town and keep in touch with a friend there. Conveniently enough, my old dorm is a hotel now. I’d like to bike around the Lake District and have a pint at the Augustiner brewery. And maybe replace my ceramic steins, which I’ve lost since my student days.
18. Glacier National Park, Montana: The summer before starting college, I worked at Lake McDonald Lodge in West Glacier. I used to swim across that beautiful lake a couple of times a week. I want to do that again and pay another visit to Sperry Chalet, which is accessible only by foot or horse. This spot, where I spent my 18th birthday, burned down in the 2017 wildfires and was recently rebuilt. I also want to take the gift shop T-shirts up on their challenge to “go climb a glacier” before climate change renders that option impossible.
19. Poland: In an effort to connect with our Polish heritage, I wanted to take my dad on a trip to Poland this year – but health challenges and the pandemic put our planning on hold. So, Kraków, Warsaw and Białystok, we’ll see you when we can (and we’ll be hungry for pierogies)!
20. Montreal, Canada: My friends and I planned to take a trip to Canada this spring or summer, but, of course, the pandemic had other plans. Hopefully we’ll be eating poutine and enjoying exploring this city sometime soon.
21. France: Last year, some of my friends from France came to the U.S. for a road trip, and we made a pact to start alternating visits to one anothers’ countries every year. So, 2020 was supposed to be my year to visit them in France and go on a road trip to Poitiers, Bordeaux and more. But for now, all I can do is say, à bientôt (see you soon)! (Hopefully!)
22. Japan’s Kii Peninsula: I was supposed to take a self-guided walking trip on the Kumano Kodō pilgrimage trails of the Kai Peninsula in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics. I’m hoping to experience the redwood forests, shrines, hot springs and solitude as soon as it’s safe.
23. Coast of New England: Pre-pandemic, I had fantasized about driving the coast of New England, from Rhode Island to Maine. After having lots of time to research it more (and look at plenty of restaurant menus), the desire to explore that region on a road trip has only grown.
24. Japan for the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival: Over the past several months, I have focused on my hobby as a modern quilt maker as a distraction from the news and isolation of quarantine. I’ve always wanted to experience the sites, food and culture of Japan – what better way than viewing the intricate work of Japanese quilters at this famous show?
25. Ireland: My sister, cousin and myself were organizing a big family reunion in western Ireland to take place in July when COVID-19 hit in March. We were expecting a large contingent of siblings and cousins to come and visit the small town where our grandfather was born. Sadly, we had to put the reunion on hold and hope to make it to Ireland soon.
26. Portugal: A dear friend immigrated to Portugal before the pandemic, and it has an excellent digital nomad community as well as multiple paths toward extended residency for expats. The second I get stuck with a vaccine, that’s where I’m headed – the cliffs, wine, friends and culture are waiting!
27. French Polynesia: My husband and I grew up near the Jersey Shore. We got married this year in October and had planned to spend our honeymoon on the fabulous islands and beaches of French Polynesia. We love to travel and wanted to visit a beautiful location to relax and spend our first few weeks as a married couple together. Maybe we’ll go for our one-year anniversary!
28. Russia and Georgia: My friend moved to Russia last year. I had big plans to visit her in 2020, but – yeah. I want her to show me around Moscow, take the train to St. Petersburg and eventually head to Georgia because 🍷.
29. Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada: This is our go-to summer getaway spot, with wonderful boutique hotels, great food, wine and the world-famous Shaw Festival, a magnet for theater-goers throughout North America.
30. Cameroon and Guinea-Bissau: I took photos with a Cameroonian journalists who visited the newsroom last fall, and my father noticed how remarkably similar our faces were. A DNA test confirmed that my mother’s ancestors were from what is now Cameroon while my father’s ancestors were from the area of Guinea-Bissau. I want to explore these places and as much more of Africa as I can.
31. Madrid: When I’m feeling sorry for myself, I watch Pedro Almodovar’s “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.” I want to visit this beautiful city to stay in Pepa’s penthouse apartment, entertain loopy girlfriends and then race through the streets in a mambo taxi.
– Nichelle Smith
32. Belgium and the Netherlands: I’ve got a dream spring trip to Belgium to catch the spring cycling season with the Ronde van Vlaanderen and standing atop the famous Koppenberg. Then we’ll head up to the Netherlands to see the tulips at Keukenhof – drinking delicious beers of Northern Europe and riding ourselves.
33. Dollywood: The least I can do to pay my dues to the woman who funded one of the COVID-19 vaccines – the same icon who wrote “I Will Always Love You” and “Jolene” in the same day – is to take a trip down to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, get myself some cinnamon bread and take a spin on the Tennessee Tornado at Dolly Parton’s theme park. (Maybe not in that order.)
34. Germany: One of my friends was supposed to move to Germany after graduation, but her program got put on hold – and so did our hopes for an Oktoberfest girls’ trip. Maybe next year we can start planning a trip and all travel together again. We always have the best time when we’re traveling together.
35. Japan and Korea: My friends and I had already started planning a detailed itinerary through the beautiful seaside city of Busan in South Korea, the vibrant Seoul, the gorgeous Jeju island, and then on to explore Japan’s colorful capital city of Tokyo, see cherry blossoms in Yoshino and check out the gardens and palaces in Kyoto. Then the pandemic hit, and a trip we once saw in our near future feels further away. Maybe (soon) we can start dreaming of it again.
36. Thailand: Is there anywhere I am not wanderlusting about right now? No. But if I had to pick one place, I would choose Thailand. There is plenty of great food, culture and history to discover, while the beaches would offer some much-needed rest. And, of course, it will be easier to pop over to other Asian countries once I’m there.
37. The mountains: I’m not really a skier, but I can’t think of a better balm for 2020 than mountain air and a bloody mary (or two). Any mountains will do, but Crested Butte, Colorado, has a special place in my heart. It still feels a bit like an old ski bum town, not overly haughty, and there’s a Waffle Cabin. Enough said.
38. Grand Teton National Park: After spending the better part of 10 months in a 600-square-foot apartment, I’m craving a trip to a sparsely populated mountain wilderness somewhere. And it doesn’t get much better than the majestic views at Grand Teton.
39. Glacier National Park: I am determined to get myself and my family to Glacier because it’s beautiful and because I am terrified climate change will melt it before we get there. We spent the holidays last year planning a trip that included Banff, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Glacier that sadly didn’t materialize. Looking at pictures of it on Instagram amid pandemic has been a much-needed mental break. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to post my own.
40. Vietnam: We hope to take our four kids, ages 14-23, my mother and my parents-in-law while my mom can still handle international travel. We’d start in Hanoi, where my mom was born, and visit ancestral places that my kids are named after. We’d end up in Saigon, where I was born and from where my family fled toward the end of the Vietnam War.
41. Galway, Ireland: The west coast of Ireland is home to miles of wild and forbidding landscape, and the warmest most hospitable people in the world. An Irish hug along with a dose of Irish wit (in a cozy pub with a pint in hand) would do us all a world of good when this is over.
42. Treasure Beach, Jamaica: This corner of Jamaica isn’t ridden with high-rise hotels or tourist attractions. It’s a slow commune with nature, Caribbean pride and the recentering I long for in 2021. Time slows here and is exactly the type of intimate travel I crave and can’t wait to return to.
43. London: It’s hard to believe that I have never been to London. I had planned to go, and for one reason or another it hasn’t worked out. My plan would be to do a few cities in Europe once things settle down.
44. Margate, New Jersey: It’s my favorite Jersey Shore beach town, just a few miles from Atlantic City. I met my husband there and am looking forward to spending long weekends there in the spring and summer.
45. Israel: My husband and I have been talking about this trip for several years. We had seriously discussed going during the summer of 2020, and that didn’t happen. I hope to go there in 2021, and a bonus would be to bring our children. I would book a curated tour for sure.
46. Greece: Everyone who visits the Greek islands says they’re life-changing. I want to see the splendor of it all in the summer of 2021. This is surely a bucket trip for me!
47. Wales: Stuck inside the past year, I’ve transported to this small, fascinating country with works like Joe Dunthorne’s novel “Submarine” and the “Collected Poems” of Dylan Thomas. A few hours west of London, Wales and its craggy peaks is loaded with famous historical landmarks, castles and otherworldly beaches.
48. Crested Butte, Colorado: I love summer in the laid-back ski town. I miss its Rocky Mountain wildflower hikes, its epic mountain-bike trails and free outdoor concerts. Next year, I’ll savor it all.
49. Skiing in Japan: My trip this winter was canceled, but they have the best snow in the world, the best food and a slew of new slopeside hotels. I love everything about Japan, but the powder is epic!
50. Namibia: I have been on safari all over southern and eastern Africa many times and love it. But I haven’t been to Namibia, where the wildlife is extraordinary but there are also deserts of towering dunes, beaches, mind-numbing shipwrecks and lots of new lodges.
51. Turks and Caicos Islands: A much-needed breath of fresh air is definitely in order, and this British territory will do just fine. A second excursion to this nature wonderland will include photography, snorkeling, parasailing and sampling all-inclusive gourmet meals.
52. South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida: This winter I dream of relaxing on the wide white-sand beach after a swim in the ocean, coconut daiquiris by the pool, walks through town to admire the art deco architecture and great food. I want to stay at a beautiful boutique hotel or a grand extravaganza. On a cloudy day, I’d go into Miami to see contemporary art at Pérez Art Museum or Institute of Contemporary Art. I long to gaze at palm trees.
53. Dunedin, New Zealand: I am craving hikes through green grass and long walks in gardens, dolphins leaping in the sunshine and a view of the ocean from a sheep-covered hill. After a visit in 2016, Dunedin became my favorite place in the world, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s basically guaranteed to be COVID-free.
54. West Coast of Australia: I lived in Sydney in my early 20s and have long dreamed of taking my three children there, renting a camper van, parking up at gorgeous beaches, watching kangaroos hop along and surfing the coast. I never made it to western Australia and would love to experience it with my kids.
55. Viking World Cruise: After a year of seeing the same view out my windows, I want to wake up in a different city – nay, country – every day. I want to keep moving, to meet and live with a variety of people from all over and share new experiences in different cultures. This seems like the ideal way to see the world and make up for a lost year.
56. St. Maarten: I am an island girl at heart born in Manhattan, living now in Montreal and covering the Caribbean islands for longer than some of the resorts have been open. Missing the warm vibe, cosmopolitan charm and some of my dearest pals, my top choice in 2021 is St. Maarten and the other Dutch Caribbean islands nearby.
57. Denmark: I’ve long wanted to visit two historic amusement parks in Denmark: Tivoli Gardens, which dates to 1843 and is said to have inspired Walt Disney as he developed Disneyland; and Bakken, which (amazingly) first opened in 1583 and is the world’s oldest still-operating park.
58. Any airport in the world: I look forward to arriving early for a flight, getting coffee and an I-only-eat-this-when-I-travel muffin and watching waves of travelers heading off to great adventures and into the arms of those they love.
59. The Arizona Trail: This 800-mile gem gets you from the Mexican border across the Sonoran desert, the Grand Canyon and all the way to Utah, all on foot. Two months under the stars and among the cactus are the perfect remedy for being locked in and down forever.
60. Thailand: My wife and I were in Cuba when COVID-19 hit and have been stuck in the Americas ever since. A short vacation has turned into a sojourn far from our Bangkok residence, so we might be the only folks hankering just to go home.
61. Camino de Santiago, Spain: I’ve churned through a lengthy list of books from people who have walked the historic pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, which is home to the tomb of St. James. I’m still deep in research mode, pondering whether to take the Portuguese Way or French Way. Still, with every Google search, I’m romanticizing the journey, imagining savoring the food of northern Spain and enjoying the comradery of the albergues once I am able to travel to Europe again.
62. Germany: A friend in Berlin asked me if there was a care package she could send me of the things I miss from my time living in Germany. The problem is everything I miss can’t be shipped: the sound of the German language clattering around me; a Sunday wandering the flea market stands in Mauerpark; fresh bretzel and a radler in a biergarten; a late-night doner kebab from a stand by the U-Bahn; or the luxury of sitting on the sidewalk patio of a cafe for hours, leisurely enjoying a great meal and good company. I can’t wait to go back.
63. British Columbia: I feel a pull to return to this stunning Canadian province ASAP. Visiting the Haida Gwaii archipelago and glimpsing an elusive spirit bear are high on my dream list. Perhaps afterward I’ll pop up to the wide-open spaces of the Yukon, another gem that has captured my heart.
64. Cruising around New Zealand: I would have been photographing the fjords of New Zealand’s Milford Sound from the deck of a cruise ship just about now, were it not for the pandemic. Cruising is dear to my heart, as I can photograph both from land and sea and capture the sublime beauty of our world. And I only need to unpack once.
65. Oman: Upon my first trip to the Middle East, I was immediately entranced, so it’s a no-brainer that I’m yearning to visit the oldest independent state in the Arab world. Rich history, off-road adventures into otherworldly landscapes, ornate architecture, plus a side of zesty cuisine? Yes please.
66. Canada: I am a huge fan of Canada and have been eagerly awaiting the country to reopen its borders to Americans, but I understand why they are being extra-careful. I had multiple trips to the Great White North planned in 2020, including a rail adventure on the Rocky Mountaineer. My last international trip was to Tofino, British Columbia, in March before the world shut down, so I have lasting memories of spending carefree days dining at fabulous restaurants, enjoying storm watching and driving up and down Vancouver Island. I can’t wait to return to my favorite country and experience the beluga whales of Manitoba, the northern lights of the Yukon and the grandeur and beauty of Banff and Jasper national parks.
67. Oaxaca, Mexico: After my dad died, my mom and I started taking a yearly vacation together. My mom was born in Oaxaca, and we’ve never been there together. We’ve made a commitment that this will be our next trip, and we want to be there to celebrate Día de los Muertos in 2021.
68. Memphis, Tennessee: I’ve been listening to a lot of Elvis music while working from home for the past nine months, and I’m finding this burning desire to revisit his Graceland mansion. I first saw Graceland in my 20s, when I preferred the young Elvis; now that I’m older, I feel more in tune with the fried-peanut-butter-and-banana-sandwich guy in the white jumpsuit. I’d like to experience being totally immersed in the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
69. Prince Edward Island: Before my wife and I were married, in 2005, we fell in love with Prince Edward Island. I’d like for us to return with our two kids (ages 14 and 12) and camp out in a beach house for a week to explore this wonderfully pastoral setting: the red soil, the freshly hung laundry blowing in the breeze and the welcoming hominess of a lobster supper.
– Michael Pramik, USA TODAY travel contributor
70. The Seychelles: Because they’re warm, gorgeous and fragile.
– Scott Stein, Content Ventures
71. Sicily: It’s part of Italy but even more magical and ancient and traveling there stirs the heart, mind and stomach. Plus it’s the home of the Targa Florio, one of the oldest races in motor sports. Imagine bombing around the old course in a new Targa.
72. Tucson, Arizona: Some travelers follow their hearts, I follow my gut. Food is my focus when I travel, and Tucson has a food heritage that dates back 4,000 years. The distinct cuisine has earned them a City of Gastronomy designation from UNESCO, and it’s so well-deserved.
73. Corsica: I’ve always wanted to see Corsica for its coastal towns, craggy mountains and natural bounty. Thanks to aromatic herbs and flowers, this French island has earned the moniker Scented Isle, and I’d love to bask in all that rugged, sensual abundance. Plus, I’m dying to visit the vineyards and experience the 2,000-year-old wine culture.
74. New York City: Just before the pandemic, my 8-year-old daughter was really excited for her first trip to the Big Apple. She wanted to walk among the concrete jungle, experience amazing shopping and food and attend a Broadway performance. All those desires increased once “Hamilton” was released on Disney+. We’re hoping we’ll be able to take her before she turns 10.
75. St. Lucia: A favorite destination for its (inactive) volcanoes and black-sand beaches, it’s far less overrun with tourists like me than other Caribbean islands. But I haven’t been in nearly 20 years and am dying to go back.
76. Ann Arbor, Michigan: All I want to do after we get back to some kind of normal is head to Michigan to see my sister, brother-in-law, niece and new nephew, born in October, who I’ve only met on FaceTime. And since they live in a cute college town, I’ll happily hit up the restaurants I’ve loved while visiting before, and of course the legendary Zingerman’s Deli.
77. London: Speaking of visiting family at great locations, I also wouldn’t mind seeing my other sister in London. The pandemic has prevented seeing my expat sister, and any excuse to visit one of my favorite cities is welcome.
78. Palm Springs, California: All I’ve wanted to do since the pandemic started is lay out by a pool surrounded by good food, drinks and friends. Palm Springs seems like the perfect place to make that happen with its seemingly perfect weather all year. It’s a calm destination that would feel like a safe space to help get me into the swing of traveling again.
79. Positano, Italy: I had just started kicking around the idea of a trip with friends when quarantine began, so I’m determined to make this happen eventually. And call me basic, but I’m longing for the day my Instagram can show off somewhere more exciting than my neighborhood park.
80. Mount Desert Island, Maine: I visited my boyfriend and his family here, and it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I know – Maine can get absurdly cold (and dark) in the winter. But the high-quality seafood, the Downeast Maine coast, Acadia National Park and the historic architecture of the houses are worth the trip.
81. Scotland: When I lived in London, I met up with a friend in Edinburgh and fell in love with it (and Glasgow) on that trip. I’m eager to finally visit the Scottish Islands and Aberdeen, where my maternal grandfather’s family is from.
82. Napa Valley, California: What do I want for a 2021 escape? A lovely Napa vineyard vacation where I sip wine, nibble charcuterie, laugh with my best friends and don’t wash a single dish for four days.
83. Aokigahara forest, Japan: Last year, I went to Tokyo. It was my first-ever international trip, and I played it pretty safe, sticking to temples, cafes and arcades, marveling at the city’s size and efficiency. It was marvelous. But what I really wanted to do was go hiking in Aokigahara forest, a mossy, misty sea of trees that looks like something out of legend. I think on my second trip, I’ll be brave enough to venture into the wild.
84. Middleburg, Virginia: This is not far from my house, and I keep daydreaming about this small town surrounded by vineyards with sweeping mountain views. I took a trip with friends there last year, and I know already those memories will last me a lifetime. I had my first child in July, so it may just be natural that I don’t feel ready to go too far just yet. The sleepy style of a quaint main street seems like it will be just the right speed.
85. Paris: My husband and I were engaged there, and our 2020 plan had been to celebrate my milestone birthday there – and show our 9-year-old daughter the City of Lights. She already has a perfect French accent when she pronounces the name of her favorite pastry: croissant.
86. Austin, Texas: I’ve already got the tickets! They were purchased Jan. 20, 2020, for an Easter vacation to see family. Once we’re able, we plan on waiting in the long line for Franklin Barbecue, two-stepping at the Broken Spoke and listening to whatever great band is playing The Continental Club. And I’m sure there’ll be some bespoke shop or restaurant we’ll have to visit. An island of blue in a sea of red!
87. Sessa Cilento, Italy: I have cousins living on this remote mountain top in Palermo, a place I only visited once as a tween. So many years later, I long to return with my Italian-speaking husband and my own teen sons, and to bring my dad so he might more easily converse with his relatives. I recently discovered a friend in my South Jersey hometown is from Stella Cilento, one mountain top to the south, so now the region intrigues me even more.
88. San Diego: I’m itching to go paddleboarding in La Jolla, paragliding at Torrey Pines and hiking along the coast. I continually find reasons to go back again and again.
San Diego travel guide:Do’s and don’ts
89. Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii: With warm turquoise ocean waves and magnificent sunsets, Waikiki Beach is one of my favorite spots on Oahu. I love the blend of city and beach life – and enjoying the great restaurants, bars and legendary hotels nearby. I cover Hawaii often and can’t get enough!
90. Wailea, Maui, Hawaii: I’m missing that aloha spirit – especially strolling along Maui’s picturesque Wailea beach walk that winds along the dramatic coastline. It’s my top Wailea morning ritual when I’m on the island. In laid-back Wailea, spectacular beach days are guaranteed.
91. Lisbon, Portugal: I absolutely love exploring Portugal, with its rugged coastline, delightful wine regions and exquisite beaches. It’s especially fun to wander around Lisbon, with its hills, cleverly designed tiles and fountains. The culinary scene is amazing – especially the seafood.
92. Southern California’s beach towns: California is my “home away from home,” and I’m looking forward to returning to several SoCal beach towns: La Jolla for its stunning coastline and tide pools, Santa Monica for a bike ride, Venice Beach for skateboarding and Huntington Beach (Surf City, USA) for the waves.
93. Loire Valley, France: The real answer is wherever I can use my passport, but France’s Loire Valley is an early contender for the first trip. A college classmate mentioned that he took a fantastic week-long biking tour through the medieval monuments a few years ago, and I’m eager to follow his lead. It’s been a pretty sedentary few months, so the idea of biking from chateau to chateau sounds like a dream. See you on the road!
94. Ireland: Our April bucket trip was canceled due to COVID-19. I’m jonesing for that verdant beauty that has been speaking to me for decades.
95. Marquette, Michigan: The Upper Peninsula’s best small town for fall foliage, clean air and outdoor adventure, Marquette is on bracing Lake Superior. Unequaled hiking, biking, fishing, golf, waterfalls, specialty shops, breweries and indie dining make the Upper Peninsula a Midwestern mecca for adventure.
96. Barcelona, Spain: I fell in love with Barcelona after taking a brief trip there while studying abroad in Europe my junior year of college. The weather, the food and the art all made it a dream destination I’ve wanted to adventure back to ever since. Hopefully, one day I can.
97. Oxford, England: Oxford became my favorite place in the world after I studied for a summer at Magdalen College. I still daydream about my days spent with friends, getting lost in the magical architecture and exploring the university. Plus, Oxford is especially cool for fellow book nerd: It has the lamppost that supposedly inspired C.S. Lewis, the pub where J.R.R. Tolkien would grab drinks and some “Harry Potter” film locations.
98. Texoma: After spending much of 2020 quarantined at home in Los Angeles, I’ve been longing for a trip to a small town, filled with natural beauty. In researching places throughout the country, I came across Texoma, an interstate region between Oklahoma and Texas that has a large lake for fishing and plenty of cabins – perfect for a romantic retreat post-pandemic.
99. Universal Studios (or any theme park, honestly): The coronavirus pandemic meant my favorite event of the year, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, couldn’t go on this year. But that’s OK. It just means I’ll have to scream twice as loud when this fright fest comes back in the future.
100. Mars: Honestly, at this point, why not? After spending most of 2020 quarantined at home on Earth, I’m wanderlusting for anywhere in the galaxy.