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Where to Travel in 2021 When It's Finally Safe

As we break into 2021, the world is looking bright, and we can soon feed the wanderlust that’s been building up. It’ll soon be time to take a trip that makes 2020 nothing more than a distant memory, but how do you choose? Some destinations are old classics that spent the year rejuvenating and improving, while others are newly-discovered treasures just waiting for their first travelers. Regardless of where you visit, 2021 is the year of adventure.

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01Celebrate a legend in Dollywood

Dolly Parton is a country music legend, a good-hearted philanthropist, and one of the reasons we all get to travel again. Dolly’s donation to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center's research efforts helped make a vaccine possible. Why not honor her efforts and have a ton of fun by heading to the world-famous amusement park celebrating her legacy? Dollywood is an eclectic mix of classic rides, music festivals, and foodie hangouts. Plus, 2021 marks the beginning of the new Flower and Food Festival, so there’s never been a better time to visit.

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02Conquer the year in Cancun

Woman playing on swing over the sea, Mexico, beautiful and idyllic landscape. People travel vacations concept. swissmediavision / Getty Images

When planning a trip in 2021, it’s important to think about what you missed most while stuck at home. For many people, a thriving club scene and nights out with friends were a way to unwind and enjoy life. Cancun is one of the most famous destinations in the world for people who love a good party, and the city wants travelers to return. In 2021, many Cancun businesses are offering hotel vouchers, discounts, and gifts for people who visit. What’s better than a night out on the town? A night out on the town and an inexpensive spa trip on the following day.

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03Ride into the sunset in Loire Valley

Chateau de Saumur, Loire Valley, France

Shake off the claustrophobic grasp of 2020 by exploring the peaceful beauty of France’s Loire valley. Rent a bike and leave your worries behind as the wheels carry you off through storybook villages and over lush valleys. Make time for the Jules Verne museum or marvel at the gorgeous Gothic cathedral in Nantes. Of course, Loire Valley has plenty of dining options, ranging from classic French dishes to heavenly gelato.

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04Explore the desert in Scottsdale

You probably won’t see Scottsdale on many recommended destination lists, but they're making a mistake. Scottsdale has always been a city of rugged beauty and excitement. Recently, the city has built on its natural charm and become a must-see destination. Zoom across the desert on an electric bike or take in the scenery while dining on a high-class meal on the Verde Canyon Railroad. Scottsdale is the home of Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio, has an incredible contemporary art museum, and a free ArtWalk for anyone to enjoy.

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05Take a hike in the Kii Peninsula

woman traveler tourist enjoy looking the wonderful shrine

After spending a year cooped up in our homes, many people are craving a breath of fresh air. Most travelers visit Japan for its bustling cities and legendary cuisine. However, take a train outside of the cities, and you’ll find some of the most beautiful and spacious landscapes in the world. The Kii Peninsula has risen in popularity in recent years, thanks in part to its gorgeous temples and long, relaxing hiking locations. Locals are often extremely friendly, and many travelers find themselves making friends thousands of miles from home. Try visiting in the spring to watch the mountains erupt in vibrant, pink cherry blossoms.

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06Bask in the sun in Bermuda

Bermuda Matt Henry Gunther / Getty Images

With a deep history, phenomenal beaches, and some of the best food you can eat, Bermuda is a destination that everyone should experience at least once. The island’s crystal blue waters and shockingly pink beaches are beautiful enough, but then there are the rustic forts, historical sites, and elegant sea glass beach. Don’t forget to check out the island’s incredible crystal caves. Plus, the climate is milder than neighboring islands.

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07Expand your horizons in Hokianga Harbour

Though many travelers tend to overlook it, Hokianga Harbour is one of the best destinations in New Zealand. Take a journey on horseback, enjoy some dune boarding, or watch as dolphins leap from the perfect blue waters. Pick one of the nearby villages and take in the local Maori culture. If you have time, make sure to head south for a one of a kind sight. The Waipoua Forest is home to the two largest living kauri trees, which are sure to leave you awestruck.

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08Try out a Sicilian adventure

Sicily tops many people’s lists of dream vacations. It has something for everyone, whether you want to see incredible museums, try out life-changing cuisine, or just bask in the golden Italian sun. As an additional bonus, Sicily is missing its visitors as much as travelers are missing the beautiful city. Throughout 2021, businesses are offering discounts on flights, museum tickets, and hotel rooms. If cost was ever an issue in deciding to visit Sicily, 2021 might be your year.

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09Take to the waters in Hạ Long Bay

Halong bay, vietnam Juan Carlos Hernández Hernández / Getty Images

In 2012, the New 7 Wonders Foundation named Vietnam’s Hạ Long Bay one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the world, and it’s easy to see why. Enjoy the serene waters in whatever manner suits you, whether that’s kayaking, swimming, or relaxing on a small ship. After a long day in the water, seek out a hidden bar, or indulge in Vietnamese dishes in one of the charming shoreside restaurants. However, if you want to make the most of your visit, don’t miss the night cruises. As the sun sets, the already beautiful bay becomes something magical.

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10Live your dream in Orlando

Sailing activities at the Ponce Inlet jetty in Florida on a reflective blue ocean and pink sky. Melissa Janssens / Getty Images

Travelers sometimes have to make a few concessions when deciding on a destination, but Orlando really does have everything you could ask for. A booming nightlife, massive amusement parks, scientific complexes, gentle lakes, fields of flowers, and so much more. Many of us spent 2020 escaping into worlds beyond our own thanks to cinema, literature, and television. Finish off the experience by fully immersing yourself in the wizarding world, a city of stackable, colorful bricks, or a galaxy far, far away.

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