clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Planning a vacation? Here are the top destinations for 2022

If you are ready to explore again, then here are 25 adventures for you

Photo of a Vacasa vacation rental in Gulf Shores, Alabama
A Vacasa vacation rental in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Business Wire

The pandemic isn’t over yet, but travelers are hopeful that the next year offers some respite.

As the year-end traditions of Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas mornings fast approach, travel publications, such as National Geographic, are releasing their recommendations so you can make plans ahead of time.

The 2022 “must-see” recommendations this year — based on five categories: nature, adventure, sustainability, culture and history, and family — celebrate numerous World Heritage Sites to highlight 50 years of work done by the United Nations, per the list.

The list includes many other destinations that will unleash your sense of wanderlust:

National Geographic’s ‘Best of the World 2022’ list:

Culture

To truly understand a place, it’s important to understand its roots through food, art and people. These cities help with just that:

  • Jingmai Mountain, Yunnan, China.
  • Tin Pan Alley, London.
  • Hokkaido, Japan.
  • Procida, Italy.
  • Atlanta, Georgia.

Sustainability

Whether it’s witnessing a conservation success, exploring a green city or getting creative with solutions yourself, these places offer tourism without forgetting about our planet:

  • Ruhr Valley, Germany.
  • Parque Nacional Yasuni, Ecuador.
  • Łódź, Poland.
  • National Columbia Gorge Scenic Area, Oregon/Washington.
  • Chimanimani National Park, Mozambique.

Nature

Discover the next great safari, get lost in the dark sky full of stars or drive along the ocean view with these picks that help you explore the unseen side of mother nature:

  • Caprivi Strip, Namibia.
  • Northern Minnesota.
  • Lake Baikal, Russia.
  • Belize Maya Forest Reserve.
  • Victoria, Australia.

Adventure

Ready for the next life-changing experience? Here are some options that let you swim with the sharks, climb tall mountains and trek from sea to sea:

  • Seine River Bike Trail, France.
  • Costa Rica.
  • Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail, New Brunswick, Canada.
  • Palau.
  • Arapahoe Basin, Colorado.

Family

These places offer immersive an immersive way to explore cities, whether it’s walking through castles or learning about the nomadic life. Your children won’t help but stay entertained:

  • Danube River Cruise.
  • Lycia, Turkey.
  • Granada, Spain.
  • Bonaire.
  • Eastern Shore, Maryland.

Where to visit in the United States

The list features destinations within the U.S. If you’re interested in being surrounded by thousands of stars, then Northern Minnesota, known for its dark sky, might be the place for you.

Have an interest in rock climbing? The Arapahoe Basin in Colorado has granite mountain cliffs that can accommodate all levels of experience. The Rock Mountain cliffs ascend from 1,200 to 13,000 feet. Mountain goats often appear and disappear during the climb.

Santa Fe, New Mexico, is another North American city with plenty to offer. The artist enclave and community was founded in the early 17th century, offering plenty to explore for couples, families and groups of friends.

For wining and dining, the National Geographic recommends Columbia River Gorge, in Oregon and Washington. Here, you’ll find the “nation’s largest National Scenic Area.” The East Gorge Food Trail has “a network of farms, historic hotels, wineries and other homegrown experiences.”

Where to visit with your family and loved ones

Children can often become the priority during a vacation. “Learn about the nomadic life,” and the culture through experiences such as “making syrup with pomegranates, cooking local pastries, milking goats, or taking part in the olive harvest,” in Lycia, Turkey, according to National Geographic.

Taormina, Italy, offers the best of both worlds with the views of Mt. Etna as the backdrop of a charming town, according to another list by Ovation Travel Group in Forbes. Explore the lava craters and learn about volcanoes. This is ideal for families looking for a five-star stay, per the report.

Palaces with intricate architecture and gardens with marble fountains in Granada, Spain, can be captivating for families. The geometrical beauty within the historic buildings is “a colorful classroom for age-appropriate exploration of math concepts, such as shapes, symmetry, proportion, and measurement,” according to the National Geographic list.

Are your children interested in the Middle Ages? The Danube River “can seem like traveling through a realm of fairy tales,” as you pass through castles and medieval towns.