20 Places To Travel On An Adventure This Year

Tom Malone/Adventure Tribune
Looking for a new adventure? No better time that this year to set out on a journey to explore the world. Here are some ideas to get you started.

As the new year approaches, many adventurers choose to make a yearly to-do list along with their New Year’s Resolutions. Adventurers create travel plans, annual schedules, and road maps that center around a major trip to accomplish at some point during the calendar year.

Some of these adventures include needed multi-week breaks from school/work in order to accomplish a lengthy travel itinerary, while others may only need a long weekend.

Regardless of the duration or distance of travel, every adventurers should plan some sort of trip as the new year arrives.

So, where should you go? The Adventure Tribune experts have some suggestions. Here are 20 places you should travel this year.

1. Havana, Cuba
With travel restrictions loosening rapidly, now is the time to visit a city that has been off-limits to United States traveler since 1961. It’s only a matter of time before the big, glitzy resorts gobble up authentic Cuba, so visit Havana this year to experience the city in its full culture before it’s too late.

2. Chichen Itza, Mexico
One of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza is an example of the technological advancements of ancient North America that was engulfed by the dense Mayan jungles until recently. Stroll around the massive temples, apartments, and observatories and feel like a real-life Indiana Jones.

3. Mesa Verde, Colorado
This opportunity to explore ancient ruins might be more easily accessible to a United States traveler. Located near the Four Corners, these 800-year-old cliff dwellings provide opportunities for explorers to actually walk through the ancient ruins and gain a true feeling for what life might have been like during the Anasazi civilization heyday.

4. Glacier National Park, Montana
When Glacier National Park was first dedicated, it boasted over 150 glaciers within its boundaries. Now, only 25 glaciers remain. It is estimated that by 2050, Glacier National Park will be devoid of glaciers altogether, which makes now the best time to visit this deteriorating natural oasis.

5. Machu Picchu, Peru
More people are beginning to discover Machu Picchu. The various routes and hostels near the train route to the legendary city of ruins in the sky are increasing in price as more people flock to this iconic adventure destination. Now is the time to travel to this place before it becomes completely overtaken by tourism. You can even backpack and camp along the route to lower your cost and increase the overall adventure.

6. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is one of the coolest cities in the world. With its beaches, thriving nightlife, bustling soccer culture, and authentic food, you’ll never have a dull moment in this unique European metropolis. Take a short ride into the mountains outside the city to adventure through the ancient monastery of Montserrat, or spend a day roaming through the Gaudi-influenced downtown parks and plazas. Maybe medieval Barcelona is more your style. And, while you’re at it, catch an FC Barcelona soccer game at the athletic palace of Camp Nou.

7. Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Looking for dozens of scenic hikes that overlook one of the most iconic rivers in the United States while exploring lush green wilderness dotted with waterfalls? Well, the Columbia River Gorge near Portland, Ore. is the place to travel. Stay in portland and experience its unique culture and make day hikes from there, or travel along Interstate 84 and stop at any Columbia Gorge exit to hike while on a road trip. Either way, you’re in for a true taste of the Pacific Northwest.

8. Patagonia, Argentina
Patagonia might be the world’s most epic national park. With massive mountain hikes, stunning, views, and South American flavor, this vast area of protected wilderness gives travelers an appreciation for nature in a way that no other place can. Camp, backpack, or stay at any of Patagonia’s cozy hostels.

9. Athens, Greece
With its rich history and recent economic woes, Greece is ripe for travel sooner rather than later. The Acropolis Museum is finally in full swing after a few years of cultivation. And the cost of living in Greece overall is extremely low compared to other European countries, so you’ll get plenty of Greece for your currency.

10. Moscow, Russia
The mystique of Moscow has enthralled travelers for centuries. Russian architecture paired with its cold climate and terrain makes Moscow  unlike any city you’ve been to before. With history spanning from the Romanov Dynasty through the Russian Revolution and into the modern era, the historian in you will love everything about Red Square.

11. Hong Kong, China
The former British colony and microcosm of Asian culture, this bustling, compact metropolis will push the Western traveler far outside their comfort zone. If you’re looking for a cyclone of modern technology and ancient civilization within the same city block, Hong Kong is the place to be.

12. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is one of the most iconic cities in the entire world. With famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Prison, and cable cars, every San Francisco adventurer will never have a dull moment. Venture through Chinatown and explore some of the West Coast’s best food from this famous port city.

13. Jerusalem, Israel
This ancient city is home to three major world religions who all peacefully share the same Old City walls. To experience major holy sites of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, venture into Jerusalem and take a walk in the shoes of multiple cultures all in the same day.

14. Hvalsey Church, Greenland
The once great Viking colony of Greenland featured massive European-influenced Catholic churches built for acceptance into A Christian world by the newly converted Vikings in the 1200s. After Greenland’s fragile environment overtook the Viking colony, Hvalsey church remains as an ominous landmark for all to explore at full capacity. Plus, who doesn’t want to visit a fjord?

15. Estes Park, Colorado
Venture into this small Rocky Mountain town to gain all the frontier experience you’ll need. Stop at a microbrewery. See herds of Elk in their natural habitat. Fly fish in peace. Ride a horse through the Rockies. And, visit the filming locations for the film, “The Shining”. Oh, and you can do this all in one day.

16. Freeport, Bahamas
Though this small Bahamian town does thrive on tourism, the resort areas are only confined to a few city blocks. Take a short stroll into downtown Freeport and experience island life in its full capacity. Fish off the beach. Play dominoes at a local bar after grabbing some fried conch from a friendly Bahamian kitchen (literally, someone’s kitchen). And feel safe in the fact that the island of Grand Bahama has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

17. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Travel to the capital city of Ethiopia and absorb the views of the largest mountain range in Africa. Feast on authentic Ethiopian food after climbing to the only spots on the continent that sees snow. Revel in the country’s history: the only country in Africa that wasn’t taken over by Europeans features rock-carved Christian churches from the 12th Century, as well as ancient Nubian ruins. Brush up on your Amharic before you arrive.

18. Moab, Utah
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Adventure Capital of the U.S. Moab is the basecamp for Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, which feature some of the coolest landscapes anywhere in the world. The town also allows adventurers to skydive, bungee-jump, fly, off-road four-wheel, and white water raft. Plus, it has a pretty solid brewery.

19. Auckland, New Zealand
The capital city of New Zealand might rival Moab for adventure potential. Near the sea, it offers incredible fishing and watersport activities, like surfing. Or, try skydiving, bungee-jumping, and mountain biking. If you’re feeling really adventurous, try blackwater rafting: raft over Class 5 rapids in an underground river in a cave that’s lit only by glowworms.

20. Munich, Germany
We conclude our list with a trip to the heart of Bavarian culture. Experience authentic German beer halls, or, if you visit in September, make your way to the original Oktoberfest. Take a day excursion to the countryside, or take a self-guided tour to some major World War II historical sites while you’re there. It’s a city that will surely leave an impression.

And that concludes our list of the 20 places to travel on an adventure this year. Whether you pick one or all of these locations, you’re in for the adventure of a lifetime. If you know of another place that any adventurer should visit this year, let us know by writing to our Submission Department. Or, create a list of your own and send it our way! And, whatever destination you choose, enjoy the adventure.


Tom Malone is the Editor-In-Chief of The Adventure Tribune and author of adventure novels, like Across Americana. He is based in Denver, Colorado, where he adventures through the Rocky Mountains while not traveling abroad.
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