Every January I look forward to the New York Times’ list of must-see places that year.
The newspaper picked 41 locales for 2011, ranging from little coastline town of Sopot in Poland to the historic town of Pingyao in China. Even Oahu made the list, believe it or not, highlighting Disney’s Aulani resort and the swanky new Waikiki EDITION.
While it would be cool to take in the art scene in Santiago, Chile or ski the terrain of the Republic of Georgia, those two wouldn’t have made my personal 2011 list.
It’s not like I can afford these vacations — not just in 2011 but ever — but it’s fun to daydream, especially at work on a particularly bad day.
So here’s my own list of Places To Go in 2011. Go ahead and add your own!
• Amami Oshima (Islands), Japan: Located north of Okinawa, this island boasts some of the best surf in Japan. And the water on this semi-tropical island relatively warm. Amami is also home to several rare and endangered animals including the Amami rabbit, which would be appropriate as this is the Year of the Rabbit.
• Iceland: I’ve long been a fan of Iceland, seduced by its icy exotic landscape with thermal springs, glaciers, volcanoes and other things geology fanatics (like me) get excited about. I’m guessing the bars here are heated.
• Byron Bay, Australia: Yes, I’m lured by the famous surf. But the city of Byron Bay in the far-northeastern corner of New South Wales has a lot more to offer than idyllic waves. It also boasts award-winning restaurants, music festivals and a popular farmer’s market.
• Carmel, Calif.: I read somewhere that Carmel in northern California had the most restaurants per square foot than any other American city. I don’t even care if that’s true or not — I’m sold. The quaint little town situated on the Monterey Peninsula has restaurants with names like La Bicylette (rustic European family-style cuisine) and Merlot! Bistro (California wine cuisine). But I really want to eat the famous French toast by Em Le’s Old Carmel Restaurant. The photos alone make me salivate. In addition, it could be the most dog-friendly city in the United States, with off-leash beaches and restaurants that don’t mind the four-legged company.
• Paris, France — again: I know I’ve been there already — and last year! — but you really can’t get enough of this iconic French city. The Louvre, the Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower — I could see these things again and again. It’s a must if you’ve never been — and a must-do-again for everyone else. And don’t forget to eat the streetside crepes. What are you waiting for?
What are your picks?
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Barcelona in June. I was in Spain once almost 30 years ago, and only passed through Barcelona. My wife has never been to Spain. Sevilla and Caceres were also possibles, and I will have to save them for future trips.
Korea with Mari 🙂 Visit my New York Friends in October.
Disneyland with my 4 y/o grand daughter
@Ynaku I’d go anyplace with Mari!
Wouldn’t mind checking out Antartica, heard its like Alaska on steroids….just beautiful.
We’re planning a trip to Peru in September to visit Machu Picchu….been on my bucket list for some time and my husband finally said we can go! Yaahhhhh!!!!
What are you planning to do/see in Peru???
@Cat Doing an 18 day tour of Peru, visiting Lima, Ica, Nazca, Arequipa, Puno, Aguas Calientes and Cusco. I know those cities sounds strange, but the highlights are a boat trip to the Ballestas Islands, flight over the Nazca Lines, Colca Canyon tour, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Lake Titicaca tour and the highlight would be to see Machu Picchu. Been wanting to go there every since one of our tour guides said that was the best trip he ever went on and it was so amazing.
@LyndaTakara @Cat My aunt won a trip to Peru two years ago and took me as her partner. It was awesome! I’d love to go back there again. My only regret is that I got stomach flu before I got a chance to eat cuy (guinea pig). Enjoy your trip!
@Masako @Cat Looking forward to eating a guinea pig, not really, but gotta try it at least once. Heard a lot of people who went there actually lost weight, is it the food or the altitude?
@LyndaTakara @Cat I’m not sure why I got sick. It happened to me during the train ride up to Machu Picchu. I figured it was either the food or altitude. I think I over did it in Cusco before we took the train to Aguas Calientes. I was going non stop cause I didn’t want to miss anything. Our trip was really short, with 18 days your trip should be at a slower pace. I usually carry Po Chai pills when I travel to help with upset stomach but did not have any on this trip, I wish I had remembered to bring it.
every year, my list is the same: NYC, Tokyo, Kurume (to visit relatives), Ho Chi Mihn City, Hong Kong, Spain
Also, I’d like to, eventually, take a fishing vacation to Alaska.
and home (btw, “home” is Hawaii…where I live is Bay Area, CA)
@matti2d I forgot Alaska! I want to see the Northern Lights and – in a strange way – want to see the sunset at midnight.
@Cat @matti2d You have to go way high for that Cat. Above the arctic circle for non-stop day, or just below for late-night sunsets… might freeze your okole off!
I remember flying to London from Chicago in June. We flew over Greenland to get there and passed above the arctic circle. The sun never set on the whole flight. It was pretty cool!
@Cat @matti2d You’d have to goto Alaska twice to see the Northern lights (winter) and the midnight sun (summer)!
I want to go back to southern Italy.
Sarrento, Isle of Capri, etc.
It’s so beautiful there. I have never felt so at peace and relaxed. There moreso than at any other place I’ve visited.
But you have to be gazillionaire to live there.
I also have plans to see the Pyramids of Giza, outside Cairo Egypt this month………….oh wait, scratch that. ( I’m kidding )
Places I’d like to go that I’ve never been to:
• Machu Picchu
• Spain (Barcelona/Catalonia area)
• New Zealand (southern island where they filmed Lord Of The Rings!)
• Giza (if only the timing could be right)
Places I’ve been to that I’d recommend to others:
• Yosemite Valley (everyone MUST go there once in there life)
• Bay Area
• New York
• Austin, TX
• Tuscan region of Italy (Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca)
• Paris (and a day trip to Versailles is a must)
• The Alps (out of the German, Swiss and Austrian Alps, I found Austria most beautiful)
Other places that were OK, but not so returnable
• Philippines (been multiple times and am going again (work), but unless you go to the rural country areas and experience the third world areas and nature, it’s not much. Manila is particularly urban and gloomy.)
• Germany in general
• Mexico (Juarez)–certainly not a good time to go to Mexico either
• Chicago (the downtown area is nice, but other than that, meh)
• Dallas or Houston (big, spread out, and not much to see)
• Yosemite Valley (everyone MUST go there once in “THEIR” life)
Would it kill Livefyre to allow for edits?
Laos, the Antarctic, Hanoi, Peru, Bhutan, Burma, Buenos Aires
Return to: Cambodia, Thailand, India, japan
The letter “I” intrigues: Italy, Iceland, India…anywhere international
Renewed my passport last year (who knew they expired) so I am looking forward to a bit of global travel in 2011.
as much of the Pacifc as possible. from Oahu south to Fr. Poly westward. trace backward the route of the ancient Hawaiians til i hit the Phillippines, then back again up thru the Marshalls, the northwestern islands and back to HNL.
i follow @HokuleaWWV crew.
Hoping to get back to NYC and Australia this year – that reminds me I need to renew my passport. Wishing I could also afford to get back to Paris, head to Tuscany and Umbria in Italy and Barcelona.
I’d like to trace my Dad’s way accross the Pacific. Midway, Guam, Philipines, Tahiti
I’d like to go to London, Sweden, Korea, Vancouver, Toronto, San Francisco, Seattle, … heck, a road trip across America and then the world. I’ll go anywhere, really. I’d also like to go back to Paris and NYC because my first trips there weren’t long enough! Where’s my round-the-world plane ticket?
My destination every year is Japan. I just can’t get enough of that country.
As a matter of fact we are planing our trip to Japan with a few friends for this summer to Climb Mt. Fuji, go to Tokyo Disney and Tokyo Disney Sea, sight seeing, shopping and of course eating.
There are so many places I want to visit. Right now we are focusing on Japan….i’d love to go to the Snow festival in Sapporo. I would love to visit Italy. I would go almost anywhere at least once.
I’m trying not to get attached to the idea of actually getting to Europe this summer — I have been dying to go, but something always seems to get in the way. I am so jealous of you travelers! A friend of mine is heading to Barcelona, Ibiza y Morocco this year and I’m trying to muster up a promise to myself to go.
Yes, Egypt in February–shows its true colors, lots of things to do, beautiful people…
Amsterdam, fun place. Yes, Iceland and Maldives.
I agree Amami Oshima is an awesome hidden gem unlike the over crowed Okinawa, surf for surfers and lots of nature, the only island in the sub tropics with its own rain forests in the mountains, the real gem is the scuba diving and snorkelling, from humpback whales to Hawks bill turtles and water temps between 21 deg C to 30 deg C, Divers Cove in Amami is the only English owned dive shop in Amami – and will cater for all your needs – http://www.scubajapan.com
Yes I have also heard that Amami Oshima is a beautiful place …..i would like to visit it in 2011.
@Emmi134 drop us a email when your planning to come, will answer any queries you may have [email protected] – cheers John