Wonder what are the wonderful places to visit this year? As New York Times put it, these places are "compelling" enough for you to pack your bags and fly transatlantic miles away.
#1 BEIRUT - is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. A destination for those looking to delight their unsatiable palate.
#2 WASHINGTON, DC - formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. Must see is the newly-opened 580,000 square foot Capitol Visitors Center.
#3 GALAPAGOS ISLANDS - an archipelago of volcanic islands and a province in Ecuador. The islands are all part of Ecuador's national park system and became famous for its natural species. Year 2009 marks the 200th birth anniversary of Charles Darwin and 150th anniversary of the book, "The Origin of Species."
#4 BERLIN - is the capital city of Germany and also the largest city. Exhibitions, art showcases and a number of festivals will mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall thus bonding the East and West Germany.
#5 LAS VEGAS - internationally popular for its number of casino resorts. It's The Entertainment Capital of the World as it provides venues for gambling, shopping, and entertainment. If you're up to some budget travel, then Las Vegas it is. It's been voted as the Frugal Destination of the Year! Ironic, isn't it? As far as I know, it's more spending when in your Las Vegas but due to the economic crisis, things have toned down a bit.
#6 FJALLNAS, SWEDEN - This travel destination is not for the small and shallow-pocketed travelers. With a lot of cash to burn, one can experience the majestic beauty of the mountains.
#7 HAWAII - Who doesn't know what this enchanting US state has to offer? Being the 50th state to be admitted to statehood, Hawaii is also celebrating its 50th anniversary of statehood on August 21, 1959. (Does my statement seem redundant to you? :))
#8 VIENNA - is the capital of Austria. This fabulous European city is world-renown for its opera houses and classical music.
#9 DOHA, QATAR - Aside from being its capital city, Doha is also the largest city in Qatar. It was also the venue of the first ministerial-level meeting of the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations and the 2006 Asian Games, which was the world's largest Asian Games. What makes this city a destination is that it is gaining ranks as a cultural capital in the region thus being the Cultural Destination of the Year.
#10 DAKAR, SENEGAL - Located in Western Africa, this city is making waves in the music scene with their original acts.
#11 MAREMMA, ITALY - Located in a secluded region of Tuscany, this place still sports quaint towns, sprawling fields of green and vineyards. Untouched by modern society, visitors will surely enjoy la dolce vita.
#12 PHUKET - Thailand’s largest island and a top-lister in the list of the world's finest beach and hotel selections.
#13 MARRAKESH - a city in Morocco and when you say Morocco, its authentic and exotic cuisine comes to mind.
#14 CHICAGO - A must-see is the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago that will soon house the finest and greatest artworks of the 20th century.
#15 AEGEAN SEA - lies between Greece on the west and the north and Turkey on the east. In the south, where Crete, Karpathos, Rhodes, and other Greek islands lie, the Aegean merges with the Mediterranean. Hopping in these islands and islets within the sea via cruise would be a sure fun to explore these places.
#16 MONTERREY, MEXICO - is the capital city of the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon. Despite being a modern industrial and business center, it is also fast-becoming an arts destination.
#17 DALLAS - The Dallas Center for Performing Arts and the Winspear Opera House will be a looking-forward-to experience
for the cultural arts fanatic.
There's still 20+ places to visit. I still have to read them before I post them here. It's taking time because I also google them to know better.
PS. The Philippines is included in the list. :)