Don’t get us wrong: We love Instagram. It’s inspirational, revelatory, and just so darn addictive. But therein lies the danger. Before you know it, just about every place in the whole wide world ends up on one almighty, must-see bucket list. Suddenly you’re booking flights to some Japanese hinterland just because that unicorn cookie looks extra delicious in X Pro II, or road-tripping a thousand miles off-course to visit your sort-of-friend’s sort-of-friend in Arkansas purely to see their photogenic pumpkin.
The 18 best places for a great trip in 2018
You don’t have all the time in the world, nor all the money. Realistically you have the funds and vacation days to make one or two epic trips happen this year, max. What you really want to know is where to go right now (or at least, this year, because we all know last-minute flights can be a killer). We pressed our globe-trotting writers for their tips for a single, blowout trip in 2018. These are the places that are at the top of their game this year, whether it’s down to a flashy one-off event, crazy low flight prices, or just because the rebels are finally giving it a rest. And don’t fret, they’ll all make a good ‘Gram, too.
18New Orleans, Louisiana
NOLA’s anniversary year will be a party 300 years in the making
Sure, New Orleans is in a perpetual state of celebration, but a party that only comes once every 300 years is going to be especially rowdy — like, downing hurricanes on a fan boat with Coach Orgeron bellowing “go Tigers!” rowdy. Every single festival this year will get a tricentennial upgrade. Mardi Gras floats will retell the founding story of Nouvelle-Orléans; Jazz Fest will have a lineup for the ages; and at no point should you skip the ongoing exhibition Prospect 4, a treasure map of murals and sculptures raising the city’s up-and-coming arts profile beyond the blur of purple and green fleurs-de-lis.
Even if you’ve come for beads and gumbo in years past, expect to see New Orleans from new perspectives. The Mississippi River is now dotted with riverside pocket parks, replacing the warehouses and railroad tracks that once blocked the view. The North Rampart Street cable car line has been extended to get visitors beyond the French Quarter into the Bywater district. Even Bourbon Street has gotten itself a $6 million facelift, and if a street that odorous can clean up for a good anniversary party, the least you can do is répondez, s’il vous plaît.
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