Among carefully collected recipes and craft ideas on Pinterest, the site now boasts more than seven-billion travel-themed pins — which pretty much means it should be one of the first places you go when in need of travel tips or planning inspiration. Since we’re always in the midst of mapping future adventures, we spent an afternoon poring over Pinterest’s official top pinned places board. Read on for the five destinations that majorly deserve a spot on your 2016 travel list.
Amazing food and important history are at the heart of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital. Taste the tea, rice wine and local cuisine as you take in the sounds and sights of the bustling Asian city. Stroll through the Old Quarter, dotted with temples and narrow streets. Make time for some of the city’s most adored museums — like the National Vietnamese Museum of History and the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology — and get an Insta-worthy aerial view from the Lotte Tower Observation deck.
The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down either! When in Hanoi, be ready to hit some high notes during karaoke and shop the night markets. Both are sure to be unique cultural experiences you’ll never forget!
2. Tulum, Mexico
Who ISN’T talking about Tulum these days? The Mexican beach town has become a popular place for destination weddings, spring break travel and vacay, thanks in part to its accessibility and affordable flights. Bask in the sun, swim in the sea, drink the wild air — and don’t you dare leave without trying the ceviche, guacamole and mescal margarita, which have totally been perfected over time.
There’s plenty to do if you need a break from the beach. Head to the heavenly Cenotes for a dip in windy fresh water holes, or plan a day trip to see the nearby Mayan ruins, which boast Chichen Itza and El Castillo, the ancient step pyramid. A trip like this is literally the best of both worlds.
3. New Orleans, LA
Mardi Gras may be over, but New Orleans is still a top destination for 2016. Instead of throwing beads on Bourbon Street, plan to taste test coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde, experience the historic French Quarter first-hand and get a sense of the city’s famous supernatural vibe with a ghost or graveyard tour. NOLA is a city of hospitality, pride and strength — and the people who live there have gone to great lengths to preserve the most special things about it.
You’ll love the sweet southern vibe and Pinterest-esque photo opps that come with visiting Jackson Square, as well as strolling the city’s super charming streets in search of treasures. Are you a foodie? Check out The New Orleans School of Cooking or reserve a table at the renowned Palace Cafe to try some of the world’s best Cajun and Creole cooking. You’ll be glad you did!
4. Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia
The most low-key destination on our list, Port Fairy was actually once voted one of the world’s most livable cities. It’s also home to one of Australia’s biggest music festivals — the Port Fairy Folk Festival— which draws people from all over the world every March. Creative types will LOVE the smattering of boutiques, antique shops and art studios scattered around town, while wine lovers can sip and savor local bottles while popping from pub to pub.
Since Port Fairy is a coastal city, you’ll be in prime position to get out on the water. No worries if standup paddle boarding and surfing aren’t your jam (though lessons are available!) — you can charter a boat to catch sight of seals, dolphins and migrating whales. To take in even more of the shoreline, dedicate a day to driving along Great Ocean Road or consider road tripping to Melbourne. There are only 180 miles between the two cities, and you just might catch a wallaby or kangaroo crossing.
5. Reykjavik, Iceland
Rainbow-colored houses and a geothermal blue lagoon are just two things you’ll find in Reykjavik, Iceland. Among the others? Dazzling nightlife, museums dedicated entirely to Viking traditions and architectural design that will make your jaw drop. Did we mention that Reykjavik is actually pretty affordable too?
We think that all Iceland itineraries should include a stop at Reykjavik’s Harpa Concert Hall and the Hallgrimskirkja Church. The concrete church’s rotating glass dome is the best place to see past the city limits for a glimpse of the amazing scenery that surrounds it. Set aside lots of extra time to explore — there are tons of guided tours that will take you to the enormous cliffs of The Golden Circle, trekking across glaciers and so much more.
Which places do you want to visit most this year? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)