The New York Times just released its annual list of the 52 places every traveler should visit. Here are the only 7 US destinations that made the cut this year. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
Today, the New York Times released its "
52 Places to Go in 2020" list. Over the course of four months, Times travel editors polled contributors, correspondents, seasoned travelers, and travel industry professionals for their recommendations, asking the question: "Why this place, this year?"
The full list includes destinations hosting major events, such as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics; destinations celebrating major anniversaries, like the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's departure from Plymouth, England; and destinations undergoing drastic changes, such as the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. Sustainability and history were two themes running through the selections, Times travel editor Amy Virshup
This year, seven destinations across the United States made the cut, ranging from major cities to a remote island and national park. Seven travel professionals shared their thoughts on why for "52 Places."Take a look.
Glacier National Park and Whitefish, Montana
Glacier National Park and Whitefish, Montana
Only 25 glaciers remain in Glacier National Park, compared to 150 in 1910, Montana-based writer and photographer
Justin Franz notes. While the landscape is evolving, the park is still renowned for its beauty. Franz recommends a visit to the 17-room Sperry Chalet, a 100-year-old lodge reopening in 2020 after a $9 million renovation. The nearby town of Whitefish, Montana, is another great base destination with a few more urban comforts, such as award-winning restaurants and recently opened boutique hotels, Franz says. Source: The New York Times Austin, Texas
Southern lawyer turned journalist
Shannon Sims calls Austin a "buoyant economy and an intellectual hub packaged in an aesthetic of cowboy patina and broken-in leather." Beyond serving an important role in the upcoming presidential election as a "blue capital in a red state," Austin continues to be a talked-about travel destination for its music, art, and food scenes, she says. Sims encourages people to look beyond the buzzed-about Austin City Limits and South by Southwest, recommending art galleries on the East Side and relaxed dining establishments — in particular Tacodeli for breakfast tacos — as alternative attractions. Source: The New York Times Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is reawakening, New York Times contributing writer
John L. Dorman notes. Oft regarded as "sleepy" and "steeped in Confederate history," Virginia's capital has emerged a center of food and culture. A new food hall, the city's first, will open in 2020 on the heels of restaurant openings across the city.
Outside the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Kehinde Wiley's
2019 "Rumors of War" statue of an African-American man on a horse creates space for dialogue around the capital's large number of Confederate monuments, Dorman adds. On the recreation front, he recommends a visit to the James River, where visitors can enjoy Class III and Class IV rapids. Source: The New York Times Grand Isle, Louisiana
Grand Isle, Louisiana
Grand Isle is not only Louisiana's last inhabited barrier island, it also faces a high rate of sea level rise, freelance journalist Christopher Hall notes. Spanning seven miles and located two hours south of New Orleans in a high-traffic fishing zone, it is home to roseate spoonbills, majestic live oak forests, migratory birds, and bottlenose dolphins. The isle's survival is uncertain, so now is the time to go, Hall says. Catch the migratory bird festival in April or a cruise with Calmwater Charters to learn more about the isle's rich history.
Source: The New York Times Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado
The new $90 million US Olympic & Paralympic Museum as well as a brand new summit complex atop popular fourteener Pikes Peak will draw visitors to Colorado in 2020, according to travel writer and editor
Kathryn O'Shea Evans. After soaking up panoramic views at Pikes Peak, travelers can visit a growing number of farm-to-table restaurants serving everything from organic heirloom grain to freshly caught trout, she says. Source: The New York Times Paso Robles, California
Paso Robles, California
Bruce Munro's latest "Field of Light" installation, consisting of 60,000 glowing orbs of light spread across 15 acres, cast the world's eye on Paso Robles. More people are discovering "the good life" in this wine region, freelance journalist and frequent New York Times contributor
Danielle Pergament notes. Accordingly, two of Paso Robles' more than 300 wineries just underwent expansions, Hotel Cheval is debuting a spa and infinity pool, and a 16,000-square-foot food market will open in 2020 featuring everything from local produce to beer to vegan cheese, she says.
Travel & Leisure also included California's Central Coast on its
Best Places to Travel in 2020 List. Source: The New York Times Washington, DC
One hundred years ago, the 19th amendment was ratified and women earned the right to vote. To commemorate the historic anniversary, a handful of DC museums are introducing exhibitions. The best part? The majority of museums in DC are free to visit.
In 2020, DC will also witness the presidential election. History and politics aside, DC is a must-visit as a "cosmopolitan crossroads" with a growing number of "forward-thinking" restaurants, says
Zach Montague, who works for the New York Times' Washington bureau. Among DC attractions, Montague highlights U Street with its historic theaters and music halls as well as the district's many Ethiopian restaurants.
"Even as a modern, homegrown, and ever-changing culture percolates below the surface ...Washington holds to its historical ideal of a city built on a common heritage — a place for all Americans to reflect on a shared identity, even in a contentious election year," Montague writes.
Source: The New York Times