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Alaskans have an unshakable sense of adventure, so it should come as no surprise that the Last Frontier was named one of the top travel destinations for 2018. There are also myriad destinations that'll tickle Alaskans' wanderlust fancy. See the top locales for your 2018 vacation, according to Lonely Planet.
Belfast & the Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland
"Belfast’s transformation over the past two decades has been remarkable. A city once patrolled by heavily armed troops and dogged by sectarian violence is now full of hip neighborhoods that burst with bars, restaurants and venues to suit all tastes... Beyond lies the Causeway Coast, whose timeless beauty and high-grade distractions – golf, whiskey and some of the world’s most famous rocks – are more popular now than ever."
"Mixing incredible wildlife with a rough-and-tumble outdoor spirit, Alaska satisfies any thirst for adventure. Where else can you spend 20-hour summer days tackling snow-laden mountains, spotting grizzlies or following the path of the Klondike gold rush?"
Julian Alps, Slovenia
"With the natural appeal of Chamonix or Zermatt – but with fewer crowds – the Julian Alps offer mountain bliss in an overlooked corner of Europe. Over two-thirds of the region is protected by the Triglav National Park mandate, a mechanism that not only curbs development along the summits but ensures that improvements to local infrastructure are affected in a slow and studied manner."
"The charms of the south of France are many and varied: white beaches, blue seas, country markets, maquis-covered hills... 2018 might be the year that the lesser-known region of Languedoc-Roussillon takes its turn in the sun. Two swish new museums are currently in the works, and they’re set to put this fiery corner of France on the map – although anyone who’s tasted the region’s fabulous food and fine wines really won’t need any extra reasons to visit."
Kii Peninsula, Japan
"Travel to Japan is red-hot. Since the word is out about this thrilling country, travelers need to dig a little deeper. The Kii Peninsula, which dips down into the Pacific Ocean south of major tourist draws Kyoto and Osaka, offers many of Japan’s most lauded attractions. There are Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, sublime natural scenery and steaming hot springs, traditional culture and modern convenience – but without the crowds. So far, that is... the Kii Peninsula is starting to get noticed, in part because traveling here is remarkably hassle-free."
Aeolian Islands, Italy
"Floating photogenically in the Tyrrhenian Sea, a stone’s throw off the tip of Italy’s boot, the Aeolian Islands are a slow travel paradise. Shaped by their explosive geology, these seven alluring sisters woo visitors with sublime seascapes, volcanic slopes, black-sand beaches, and some of Europe’s best coastal walks and dives."
Southern United States
"In 2018 it will be 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in Memphis, and the anniversary has spurred several civil rights-focused sights to open in America’s Southern USA. Foremost is the Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, a stunning structure of suspended columns that pays homage to the nation’s 4000 documented lynching victims. King’s birthplace in Atlanta is being refurbished for visitors, and the motel where he was killed – now transformed into the National Civil Rights Museum – is holding a year’s worth of poetry slams, concerts and other special events. Meanwhile, New Orleans turns 300, and it’s throwing a multi-event birthday party that’ll carouse through the year."
Lahaul & Spiti, India
"If you like your mountains big, your roads rugged and your landscapes verging on the supernatural, then the windswept valleys of Lahaul and Spiti, which run east and west from Keylong, are a little piece of Shangri-La. Kept bone-dry by the rain-shadow of the Himalaya, the ochre badlands of Spiti hide some of India’s most spectacular Buddhist art, while well-watered Lahaul has seldom-visited temples and a back route to Kashmir said to be one of the world’s most dangerous roads. "
"Located on the northeast coast of Brazil, Bahia is a tropical paradise of white sandy beaches and clear blue water, islands surrounded by coral reefs, plantations rich with cocoa beans, and Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina, famous for its wild waterfalls."
Los Haitises National Park, Dominican Republic
"In the south of Samaná Bay, Parque Nacional Los Haitises is a 1375-sq-km patchwork of craggy islets, blue canals and verdant forest, an ecosystem that appears plucked from prehistory. Venture deep into the park and you’ll find yourself in the heart of the Dominican Republic’s cultural history."
Lonely Planet also released a list of budget-friendly destinations for 2018. Be sure to check that out, too!