Monday, January 9, 2012

The 45 Places to Go in 2012

The New York Times published a list last week of the 45 places all round the world to visit this year. The full list is below. Click through for more info on each destination, and in particular, note number twenty-five on the list:
25. Chattanooga, Tenn.
A city stages a comeback fueled by artists and retailers.

In 1969, Walter Cronkite famously called Chattanooga the “dirtiest” city in America. In recent years, though, it has undergone a dramatic overhaul with a radical gentrification plan and an aggressive citywide push to lure artists. In addition to a $120 million clean-up-and-invest 21st Century Waterfront Plan, an incentive program called Arts Move brings artists of all mediums into town; a yearly Southern arts fair called Four Bridges draws thousands each April; and several arts districts have been cultivated and nurtured.

On the heels of this artistic transformation has come the inevitable, yet not unwelcome, boutique boom in places like the recently restored Warehouse Row, a Civil War-era factory turned shopping center filled with local, upscale and artisanal goods. SARAH WILDMAN

1. Panama -- Go for the canal. Stay for everything else.
2. Helsinki, Finland -- Design. Design. Design. Aesthetics fuel a new cool.
3. Myanmar -- Back on the tourist map after being off-limits for years.
4. London -- The Olympics! The Queen! Charles Dickens turns 200!
5. Oakland, Calif. -- New restaurants and bars beckon amid the grit.
6. Tokyo -- With some tourists slow to return, greater opportunities for those who do.
7. Tanzania -- Coming into its own as an upscale safari destination.
8. Chilean Patagonia -- Proof that adventure doesn’t have to mean roughing it.
9. Lhasa, Tibet -- New luxury hotels bring respite — and controversy.
10. Havana, Cuba -- The Cuban capital is once again within Americans’ reach.
11. Moscow -- New cultural venues add a dash of the sacred and profane.
12. Glasgow -- Zaha Hadid takes on a Scottish waterfront.
13. Puebla, Mexico -- International mole festival. Need we say more?
14. San Diego -- With breweries and brewpubs, a sunny heaven for suds lovers.
15. Halong Bay, Vietnam -- New ways to visit a natural wonder in Southeast Asia.
16. Florence, Italy -- A Renaissance city gets a contemporary kick.
17. St. Vincent -- A new resort may put this Caribbean island on the map.
18. Moganshan, China -- Luxury in the former mountain hideaway of Shanghai gangsters.
19. Birmingham, England -- Could England’s second city be first in food?
20. Space -- The final frontier now has a ticket agent.
21. Kerala, India -- A new Indian biennale will make its debut in this coastal state.
22. Paraty, Brazil -- Putting Brazil’s Costa Verde on the cultural map.
23. Koh Rong, Cambodia -- A string of islands recalls an undiscovered Asian paradise.
24. Vienna -- Modern art spruces up Austria’s imperial capital.
25. Chattanooga, Tenn. -- A city stages a comeback fueled by artists and retailers.
26. Dakhla, Morocco -- In Morocco’s south, an arty hideaway.
27. Maldives -- A cushy place for hard-core surfers? Here it is.
28. Malacca, Malaysia -- A World Heritage site ramps up its tourism options.
29. The Algarve -- Portugal’s Riviera gets a new spate of luxury hotels.
30. Tahoe, Calif. -- New lifts, lodging, trails and snowcat rides.
31. Wales -- A new hiking path brings new views of rugged shores.
32. Antarctica -- Still remote and exotic. Now luxurious too.
33. Uganda -- Stability and sustainable tourism restore luster to Africa’s pearl.
34. Ukraine -- Virginal beaches and czarist palaces — at Old World prices.
35. Saman√° Peninsula, Dominican Republic -- Unspoiled beaches, but not for long.
36. Dubrovnik, Croatia -- The St.-Tropez of the Balkans, equal parts classic and modern.
37. Chiloé Island, Chile -- A new look, and controversy, on the edge of South America.
38. Jordan -- New flights and a new modernist airport ease the way for visitors.
39. Crans-Montana, Switzerland -- Restaurants and luxury chalets shine a light on an Alpine resort.
40. Montpellier, France -- France’s eighth-largest city is dressing up in designer style.
41. Nosara, Costa Rica -- Surfing geeks have descended on a remote little town.
42. South Korea -- Is golf’s newest hot spot in Asia?
43. Lodz, Poland -- The Hollywood of Poland reclaims its industrial past.
44. Dalarna, Sweden -- A storied region offers a getaway from Stockholm.
45. Portovenere, Italy -- Stepping in while the Cinque Terre rebuilds.