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National Geographic’s 21 Best Places to Visit in 2018

Where to go in 2018? National Geographic’s editors have some suggestions. Twenty-one of them, in fact, divided equally among three categories: cities, culture, and nature.

According to the news release accompanying the 2018 Best of the World article, “The No. 1 question we get from our 9.6 million readers is, ‘Where should I go next?’ … Packed with surprise, humor and relevance, our list advances our National Geographic mission to explore, conserve and share unforgettable stories about the best of our world.”

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Whether it lives up to that rather grand billing or not, the list is an intriguing one, and certainly includes some surprising choices.

Cities

  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Malmo, Sweden
  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Santiago, Chile
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Tbilisi, Georgia

Culture

  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Friesland, Netherlands
  • Harar, Ethiopia
  • Labrador, Canada
  • Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Tetouan, Morocco
  • Vienna, Austria

Nature

  • Albania
  • Jordan Trail, Jordan
  • Jujuy Province, Argentina
  • Madagascar
  • Oahu, Hawaii
  • Ruaha NP, Tanzania
  • Seoraksan National Park, South Korea

Cleveland, for culture? National Geographic makes the case as follows:

Cleveland rocks: on stage in the eight theaters on Playhouse Square, at indie-music venue Beachland Ballroom, and in hip meat-lovers’ restaurants like the Black Pig and the Plum. Shop and stroll in the revived Hingetown neighborhood and Waterloo Arts District.

OK, maybe there’s a case to be made. But, as with some of the other choices on the list, it seems more geared to surprise than to impress. Which might just be a good thing if it serves to get us out of our usual where-to-go thinking rut.

Reader Reality Check

Any of these destinations catch your eye?

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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