1. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town’s importance to Nelson Mandela, who made his first address there as a free man, will doubtless draw many visitors in the wake of his death. The country has transformed itself since Mandela’s imprisonment and the world is invited to its renaissance.
2. Christchurch, New Zealand
Three years after two large earthquakes devastated central Christchurch, the city is experiencing a rebirth with creativity and wit, and is welcoming tourists back again.
3. North Coast, California
The moody bluffs of the Mendocino Coast have long been a spectacular place from which to observe marine life. The incorporation of the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands gives hikers new access to a contiguous stretch of coastline, much of it previously off-limits to the public.
4. Albanian Coast
What if you could combine the rugged beauty of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast with the ruins of an undiscovered Turkey, all wrapped in the easygoing nature characteristic of rural Italy—at a fraction of the cost? Turns out you can, on the coast of Albania.
5. Downtown Los Angeles
Gone is the musty, lifeless, only-open-for-Kings-hockey-games reputation of downtown Los Angeles. While the museums of the city are thriving, the growing dynamism of downtown is the food scene.
Namibia’s communal conservancy movement has been a much-heralded success: in 2013, the country’s 79 conservancies received the prestigious Gift to the Earth Award from the World Wildlife Fund.
Ecuador has over 1,600 species of birds, 4,000 kinds of orchids and one of the largest condor shelters on the planet. And there is a new way to see a good chunk of it: the recently refurbished luxury vintage train Tren Crucero.
8. Quang Binh, Vietnam
Son Doong Cave in the Quang Binh province of central Vietnam is now, for the first time, accessible to tourists. There
is also the nearby and more affordable Tu Lan Cave to explore.
9. Perth, Australia
Regional wine lists? Check. Modish new restaurants? Check. Transformation in Perth is evident on a large scale: the Riverside project is infusing the city with parks, shops and housing plazas.
10. Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Post-World-War-II reconstruction has changed the face of one of Europe’s largest ports, where striking, cubed architecture gives shape to the most modern skyline in the country.
This island has an easy-to-navigate public transport network that links a cosmopolitan capital with a bounty of natural and manmade wonders.
12. Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt used to land on the