We’ve been back in the U.S. for over six months!
Naturally, we’re starting to feel a little wanderlusty.
Thankfully, we have a trip to Hawaii planned for March! It’s a big family trip to celebrate Matt’s parents 40th wedding anniversary. We’re looking forward to spending some quality time with everyone and getting a little vitamin D at the same time.
Looking ahead to the rest of the year, we’d like to fit in a week trip for just the two of us as well. The problem will be picking only one place to visit as we have a million different ideas running through our heads. With only seven days to work with, we certainly won’t be traveling to the other side of the world, but we definitely want to go somewhere new.
In honor of 2017, I’ve narrowed it down to 17 places. Yes, “narrowed” it down to 17 places.
Here are 17 trips to take in 2017!
Cuba is one of the hottest travel destinations for Americans right now as we no longer need to route through Mexico or Canada to visit this Caribbean island. It’s been on our radar for several years but after reading this post about exploring Viñales from Expert Vagabond and this post all about what to eat and drink in Havana from Savored Journeys; we REALLY want to visit this year!
2. Banff, Alberta
This beautiful place has been on our minds for a long time. While Matt spent plenty of time in Alberta for a previous job, he never made it to this picturesque town. Plus, entrance to Canada’s National Parks, Historic Sites and Marine Conservation areas are free for 2017; making it a great year to visit Canada in general. We’re not skiers, so we’re taking notes from Getting Stamped’s list of things to do in Banff for non-skiers.
Our friends at Fine Line Travels hail from this great place and they’ve had us wanting to experience it ourselves for awhile. Gros Morne National Park is high on our list of to-dos as is just about everything on their list of things to do in Newfoundland and Labrador.
4. Sonoma and Napa Valley
Another place that has been our list for quite a while: the Sonoma and Napa Valley areas. Of course, we want to take in our fair share of vineyards and wineries but we also want to do some hiking as well. We love this list of Napa and Sonoma County wineries as suggested by locals from Carpe Travel as well as this post of best places to hike in Napa Valley from The Visit Napa Valley blog. We still need to find the magic list of casual but amazing restaurants to eat at!
When we cruised down the Dominican Republic earlier this year, so many people told us our next cruise has to be an Alaskan cruise. We almost pulled the trigger on a cruise last summer until we came across Gone with the Wynns’ series on Alaska. And now we want to do it just like they did, by land.
6. Puerto Rico
Honestly, Puerto Rico was never really on our radar. Then our friends visited for their babymoon and raved about what an awesome place it is for a road trip. We’d love to follow Passport & Plates route and finish off with a few relaxing days on the beach!
7. Tuscany, Italy
We (ok maybe I should I use here) can’t stop thinking about Italy lately. We know one trip to this country won’t do it for us so we’ve already started breaking it down and decided Tuscany is at the top of our list. A lovely week-long road trip though countryside with plenty of cheese and wine. The Girl in Florence has a helpful guide for a stress-free road trip in Tuscany. And Liz from Peanuts or Pretzels sold us on the trip with this write up about her experience in the region (her accommodation choice sounds perfect for us!).
8. North Carolina
North Carolina, one of the many states we haven’t experienced yet. We’d love to kick off our week stay by checking out Flirting with the Globe’s recommendations on the food and drink scene in Asheville. And then spend rest of the week in the mountains: hiking, reading, relaxing and soaking up the views. You know, someplace with a view like this:
9. Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
While we’ve spent plenty of time at resorts in the Cancun area, we really want to spend some time in PDC. It’s a popular digital nomad hang out so it’s been popping up in our social media feeds quite a bit. We would look to find a cute (and clean) Airbnb rental somewhere between 5th street and the beach. This would allow us to spend our days at the beach or a roof top pool (or both); and our nights drinking tequila and eating tacos on 5th street.
10. Tulum, Mexico
Just an hour away from Playa Del Carmen is the picturesque beach town of Tulum. Known for its laid back vibe, fantastic beach and fresh seafood. It’s actually a shame we haven’t been here yet since the Cancun airport is convenient for us to get to from the Midwest. I think a long weekend would be enough time, look at everything Zach and Clay from the Bitten Word did (and ate) in just four days.
I have technically been to Iceland. It was a built in stopover for my study abroad group in 2004. We had just enough time to go to the Blue Lagoon and hurry back to the airport. So, in other words, I haven’t actually been there. This post and BEAUTIFUL video from The Healthy Maven made me believe that you can see a lot of the country in a week. I’d ideally like to go when the Northern Lights can be seen as Matt has never experienced them!
12. Road Tripping the Pacific Coast Highway
This has been very, very high on my bucket list for a long time. I think the thing that has been keeping us from just doing it is the planning. How many days, where to stop, where to stay, etc. Megan from Traveling Nine to Fiver has just kicked off an in-depth series on this topic and I am looking forward to her basically planning the trip for me. Check out her overview of driving the Pacific Coast Highway.
We never knew much about Grenada until The Goats on the Road house sat there. A link to their article on the best beaches in Grenada has been sitting in my inbox for several months now. I also love that Grenada offers plenty of jungle and waterfall hiking for days you want to be active. A perfect mix of activity and relaxation.
While I’m pretty sure I drove through Montana when I was kid, I don’t really feel like I have ever been there. I’ve always wanted to experience the city of Bozeman for myself. Several people from high school moved out there for (or right after) college and never came back. It must be great. I like the idea of finding a cabin in the woods and exploring the local area. I’d also make a point to see the Ross Creek Cedars and Kootenai Falls. Plus, our trip wouldn’t be complete without at least a day hike in Glacier National Park.
15. Door County, Wisconsin
As it turns out, our home state is quite wonderful and we haven’t seen nearly enough of it. We finally got way up north this past summer but one area we still haven’t explored is Door County. Door County is only a three hour drive away and is home to quite an array of activities. While it’s most popular in the summer months, I’d like to visit in the fall to see the colors and experience one of the many popular festivals. However, we might have to make two trips because kayaking the Lake Michigan caves and cliff jumping at Cave Point County Park (or at least watching someone do it) is high on our list as well.
Oh, Wales. We’ve heard so much about this country that it almost feels as though we’ve been there. We have a dear friend that lives near Cardigan, so, much of our trip would be spent letting her show us around. There is nothing better than having a local show you their home. With any spare time we would start ticking items off this list of best adventure activities in North Wales, starting with a hike up Snowdon (the highest mountain in Wales)!
Known as the Caribbean’s “Nature Island,” Dominica is located between Guadeloupe and Martinique. While it isn’t known for its beaches, it is known for its lush jungles and beautiful waterfalls. Dominca also offers an array of adventurous activities as suggested by Monica of The Travel Hack. We like that much of their tourism industry is focused on ecotourism and would love to experience it for ourselves.
There you have it, 17 trips to take in 2017. And the best part is each of these places is easily accessible from the U.S. (or is located within the U.S.)!
If you could go anywhere in 2017, where would you go?