Follow my blog with Bloglovin
ONLY 5 places to go in 2017? Why the short list? Actually, the list is endless…and still manages to grow. But we’ve got to start somewhere. And thanks to Pauline Frommer and her crew at Frommers.com, we can use the fingers on one hand to consider possible destinations. Frommer’s offers 17 places to go. I’m trying to narrow it down for you.
1. Paris. I know what you’re thinking: “Go to Paris? Really?!?! It’s not exactly a new and exciting destination.” Well…Yes and No. Yes, because there are 30% fewer tourists since the November 2015 attack. This means that the City of Light can be explored more easily now. Imagine no throng in front of the Mona Lisa. You know that famous restaurant you could never get a reservation for? It’s a phone call or email away. No…because Paris is still that wonderful city you’ve always loved. And she’s poised to remind you why.
2. Montréal. Come to the Birthday Party! Montréal turning 375 and you’re invited to the celebration! A full year of displays, live performances, and a multi-media show by the St. Lawrence river from May 17-September 7 are just part of the 2017 schedule. Reminder that Montréal is home of Cirque du Soleil, so you know the city will get this right. Upload the 375MTL app and make your reservations. For Leonard Cohen fans, maybe you didn’t know how much he loved the city: “I feel at home when I’m in Montréal — in a way that I don’t feel anywhere else,” he told an interviewer in 2006. “I don’t know what it is, but the feeling gets stronger as I get older.”
3. Northern Lights. In 2017, if you snooze, you lose. Literally. Listen up! After this year, the solar cycle that causes the spectacular Aurora Borealis goes into a serious slump for the next 10 years. Where to see them at their best? Luckily, you have some choices. Frommer’s suggests Karasjok, Norway. Other options: Fairbanks, Alaska; Iceland; the Yukon; and Abisko, Sweden. There is no guarantee that these locations will deliver a spectacular show when you’re there, but you’ll find other interesting things to see and do in each place. The Aurora Zone is a good website with information for each time of year.
4. Martin Luther 500-Year Anniversary, Germany. 2017 marks 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 Theses on the church door at Wittenberg. You don’t have to be Lutheran to know that this was a Very. Big. Deal. Fly into Frankfurt to start a tour that takes you to the important Luther sites. Luther’s ideas and influence cannot be underestimated. Get an idea from this Rick Steves video. Luther not only challenged the Church’s ideas of indulgences and Purgatory, he called them on their money-making schemes and attempts to keep the poor as fearful contributors. Today, we don’t bat an eye at Protestant churches, but Luther showed that one person can make a difference.
5. Nashville. After the other heavy-hitters? Little old Nashville? For sure! If you live in the United States, it definitely should be on your list. Why? For starters, on August 21, Nashville will be the only major city in the U.S. to be the perfect place to directly view the total eclipse. Before and after the 7 minute 31 second blackout, there is plenty to do. Music, music, music…after all, it’s called Music City! Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, Johnny Cash Museum. Great food (barbecue, anyone?) and cool neighborhoods. Plus, you can see the Parthenon without the jet lag of going to Athens. Built in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, it was built to play up Nashville’s reputation as “Athens of the South.”
Cuba: If you’ve got extra time and money, get to Cuba. It is on everybody’s “Get There Now” list. Cruise ships are heading there, luxury hotels are being built, and it’s only a matter of time before Starbucks and McDonald’s show up. President Obama lifted the travel restrictions, but Donald Trump has already promised to shut it back down. The rest of the world has had the ability to visit Cuba for years, but Americans finally have been given the go-ahead. All those ’50s cars and cigar-smoking grandmas are heading to extinction.
All that remains is to decide which first of the 5 places to go in 2017…or just head straight to Cuba?