If 2017 was all about gorgeous landscapes, bucket list trips, the world's best beaches and traveling closer to home, 2018 is all about thinking outside the box for a great escape. The world is officially rethinking luxury travel, with people looking to explore the world now more than ever. Leave your presumptions about certain parts of the world at home and get your passports ready–these are the 18 top places to travel in 2018.
Why to go: Nature lovers will find it hard to resist this haven, with a 90-mile stretch of California’s Pacific coast on one side and the St. Lucia mountain range on the other. But even if your idea of getting back to nature involves more camera bags than hiking equipment, Big Sur has something for everyone. With multiple state parks and national forests, luxurious boutique hotels and award-winning restaurants, this serene spot makes for a perfect domestic getaway. “After the big winter storms earlier in 2017, the major hotels got big upgrades, giving travelers a whole new reason to visit this incredible stretch of California coast,” says travel writer John Wogan.
What to do: No trip to Big Sur would be complete without snapping a shot of the 80-foot McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Take the leisurely mile-long Overlook Trail with sweeping views of the granite cliffs and crashing seas to get there. While out west, opt for a scenic drive up the coast to the 86-year-old Bixby Creek Bridge, one of the highest single-span bridges in the world, for an astoundingly beautiful view of the rolling hills and glittering coastline; or, do some beach-combing at Jade Cove, where divers once found a 9000-pound jade boulder. Book a sunset table at Sierra Mar, the restaurant at the beloved Post Ranch Inn, whose cliffside setting and lauded seasonal California fare were practically made for a romantic evening for two.
Pro tip: “Winter and early spring are some of the best times to visit, with crowds scarce and dramatic fog and mist giving everything a cinematic vibe,” Wogan says.