5 Unique And Intriguing Places To Add To Your Wanderlust Wish List

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Jan. 26 2024, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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If your New Year’s resolution was to travel more, or you have recently been hit by wanderlust, there’s good news: The New York Times has released a list of the top destinations to travel to in 2024. Below we explore a few of them, detailing why you might want to add a few new unique and intriguing locales to your list:

Tasmania, Australia

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Source: Pexels

Outdoorsy folks can sign up for a 3-day trek across Bruny Island to map flora and collect seeds, join the local Palawa community on hikes through Mount William National Park and forage for ingredients that will be used for an Indigenous tasing experience. A visit to Tasmania should also include the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can encounter the area’s unique wildlife such as wombats, Tasmanian devils, quolls, koalas and emus.   

Antananarivo, Madagascar

With a thriving arts scene, Antananarivo, Madagascar is a great spot for art enthusiasts and outdoorsy folks alike. The new contemporary arts space, La Fondation H was specifically designed to celebrate Madagassy art and supports the promotion and dissemination of artistic creations from Madagascar and the African continent more widely, according to its website.

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Visitors can also explore the Musée de la Photographie de Madagascar and the Hakanto Contemporary, which features art exhibits from artists from across the continent. History buffs can explore the Rova Palace Complex, home to the rulers of the Kingdom of Imerina and the Kingdom of Madagascar from the 17th to the 19th century, according to TripAdvisor. Of course, a trip to Madagascar wouldn’t be complete without seeing some exotic animals, and the Madagascar Exotic park offers the opportunity to see unique animals.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Sometimes, the best travel destinations take a little bit of work to get to. Salar de Uyuni is 12,000 feet high in the Andes, but once travelers complete the journey to get there, they can experience the world’s largest salt flat: 4,000 square miles of salt crust from prehistoric lakes. During the rainy season, visitors experience the “mirror effect,” and during the summer visitors are allowed to drive out onto areas of the flats that aren’t accessible during floods.

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Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

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Source: Unsplash

For those looking to visit the home of the largest puffin colony in the world, this archipelago is the place to go. The Westman Islands are located off the south coast of Iceland and during the summer locals and visitors flock to the main island, Heimaey, to attend concerts, visit the Beluga whale sanctuary or just explore the island itself. Heimaey is the only permanently habituated island in the archipelago, so it’s a great spot look for birdlife, take a hike and breathe in fresh sea air.

Yamaguchi, Japan

With its Rurikoji Temple featuring a five-story pagoda, Yamaguchi, Japan is known as the “Kyoto of the West,” according to the New York Times. The mid-size city is full of life, with plenty of opportunities for cultural experiences, like the Mizunoue pottery kiln, located at the base of the Toshunji Temple and the Yamaguchi Gion Festival, a version of the Kyoto festival that has been happening for more than 600 years that takes place in July. This year will be the first year since the pandemic that the Yamaguchi Gion Festival is expected to be as full and extravagant as it was pre-pandemic. Visitors to Yamaguchi should also explore Kozan Park, according to TripAdvisor, which features cherry blossoms and beautiful mountain views.

Want to know what other locales made the cut? Check out the full list of top 2024 travel destinations here.

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By: Gillian Smith

Gillian Smith is a professional communicator by day and night, leveraging more than a decade in the news industry to share stories that have a positive impact on society. Gillian believes everyone has a story worth telling, and she has made it her professional mission to tell those stories in a responsible way. Gillian received a BA in journalism from Ithaca College and a Master's in Journalism Innovation from Syracuse University. She is currently the director of external communication and media relations at Suffolk University.

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