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Where to Go in 2017: Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Destinations

It’s not too early to begin planning trips for next year. Which means reviewing and choosing from an overwhelming array of options. Domestic or overseas? Old favorites or new horizons? Urban or outdoorsy? It’s a wide, wide world, with more than enough choices to overload the average brain.

Helpfully, Lonely Planet, publisher of popular travel guides, has just published its “Best in Travel 2017” guidebook, with recommendations by its team of travel writers. That’s important: This isn’t a crowd-sourced list of places other travelers plan to visit; it’s a list of destinations a group of travel experts think you should visit.

Here are their top-10 visit-worthy cities:

  1. Bordeaux, France
  2. Cape Town, South Africa
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Merida, Mexico
  5. Ohrid, Macedonia
  6. Pistoia, Italy
  7. Seoul, South Korea
  8. Lisbon, Portugal
  9. Moscow, Russia
  10. Portland, Oregon

There’s something on the list for everyone, whether it be a sun-and-fun spot close to home (Los Angeles) or a tiny lakeside town in a country most Americans couldn’t begin to place on a map (Ohrid, in Macedonia).

And it’s not just a simple list. Each city gets a paragraph or so elaborating the reasons for its inclusion among the recommended destinations. It’s pointed out, for example, that Pistoia, a town not on most travelers’ Italy itineraries, will be designated as Italy’s official Capital of Culture in 2017. “Pistoia earned the title in recognition of its impressive cultural credentials and devotion to grass-roots ideas and local entrepreneurship. In return, the award offers the city an opportunity to showcase an alternative side to Tuscany: one that eschews grand-slam sights in favour of thriving small towns full of personality and dynamic, living culture.”

Worth a look.

Reader Reality Check

Any of the recommendations strike your fancy?

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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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