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NYT's 52 Places to Visit in 2019

New York Times' annual feature:

Some interesting European choices:

Munich and Dessau (Germany)
Aberdeen (Scotland)
Aalborg (Denmark)
The Azores (Portugal)
Zadar (Croatia)
Puglia and Golfo Paradiso (Italy)
Cadiz (Spain)
Tatra Mountains (Slovakia)
Lyon and Marseille (France)
Frisian Islands (Netherlands/Denmark/Germany)
Vestlandet (Norway)
Batumi (Georgia)
Plovdiv (Bulgaria)
Vevey (Switzerland)

Also some interesting U.S. destinations, including heavy-hitters like New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, but also lesser-knowns like Columbus, Orcas Island, Wyoming and Huntsville.

Outside of Europe, a mix of big names (Hong Kong, Tahiti, Doha) and some truly off-the-beaten-path places like Uzbekistan, Ontario Ice Caves, Lake Baikal and Gambia.

Posted by
4150 posts

I'd like to be among the first to extend my condolences to all residents of these places.

Posted by
2989 posts

Gambia has been a popular winter destination with Brits for years, so to me it’s not off the beaten path. I have been on a bird watching holiday there.

Uzbekistan has been featured on a recent British tv programme about the Silk Road, so every local travel agent is pushing the ‘Stans, Armenia and Georgia.

What’s “off the beaten track” for some isn’t for others in different parts of the world.

Posted by
8397 posts

I hope my little town never makes the list. We swelll from 8500 residents to 40000 occupants as it is in August and on holiday weekends. Maybe “overtourism” would not be such a thing if these “places to go” articles would stop,

Posted by
2340 posts

Columbus, OH is an interesting choice. Must have seemed exotic to the
greenhorns from New York City.

No mention in the OP of which state. Could be --

Columbus, KS

Columbus, NJ

Columbus, MN

Columbus, IL

Posted by
11277 posts

Huntsville...interesting? Texas or Alabama. I went to the one in TX in 1976

Posted by
11277 posts

Only 3 places in Germany according to the NY Times? Must be very esoteric, discriminating, or simply does not know Germany. Nothing wrong with the islands, Norderney or Borkum, or even Ostfriesland.

Posted by
2572 posts

I have been to a lot of these places, or near them.

Some are very nice, but frankly, I wouldn't waste my money on others.

For example, the Azores Islands are beautiful and frankly, we found the Azores on par with Hawaii for scenery. We visited there twice, while on transatlantic cruises, but I am not sure I would pay a lot of money to fly there as a destination.

As for Huntsville, not sure what state. There is a huge prison in Huntsville, Texas, don't think that it the one. Huntsville, Alabama is not so bad and it was the rocket center for Werner Von Braun. Still, not sure it is that great a destination.

Lyon France is great, but Marseille (Yuck)!

Posted by
125 posts

It’s Huntsville, Alabama.

It was included in the list because of the many space institutions there and the fact 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.

Posted by
11277 posts

I went to Huntsville, TX as part of my Texas "vacation" trip in August 1976 because of its historical significance, was driven from Houston, ... yes the prison is there too, not interested in that.

Posted by
3 posts

Frisian Islands in the North of The Netherlands are definitely interesting. Not very well known abroad yet.

The Wadden Sea with its oysters, seals, ands birds, is a truly unique nature park in Europe. Take a boat to spot seals or go for an adventure and cross the sea by foot (!) at low tide (with professional guide)!

Posted by
11277 posts

Regarding islands up north, how about Helgoland or Sylt?

Posted by
7200 posts

Gosh, hadn't planned on ever going back to my hometown of Columbus, but maybe I should?
Nah, too tough to get there to their "International Airport" just for some food.

I have several German friends that adore going up to the islands in northern Germany, like Sylt. One friend goes there every year for a week, just to relax.

Surprised Munich made the list. It is an ok city, but nothing stands out there for me enough to make me want to visit there again. Too many other cool, interesting, unique cities in Germany that beat Munich hands down.

Posted by
125 posts

I've been to Columbus, Ohio recently.

It's charming enough, but it sprawls and doesn't have the grit and character that I prefer from Midwestern cities. Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland and Pittsburgh are far more appealing cities, in my opinion.

Also, Intrepid Travel published their own Top 10 based of NYT's picks, including tips on how to get to places like the Azores, the Tatra Mountains, Zadar, Uzbekistan and more. Here's the link.

Posted by
1866 posts

Interesting is a good word for Cadiz. To me, there’s not much interesting in the city itself, but Cadiz region has a lot to offer.

Posted by
129 posts

During my youth, I had a ritual every Sunday morn. After gathering copies of several newspapers' Travel sections (occasionally including the NYT), I'd go sit on a beach bench here in Toronto to peruse them all. In those days, I did a little bit of amateur travel writing on the side, mostly for local publications, so my interest was quasi-professional. Back then, coming across lists such as this latest '52 Places' meant a lot to young travelers---the articles were taken somewhat seriously.
Nowadays, such lists seem silly, as though each locale is competing for 'value points' on some Grand International Scoreboard.
One of the key things that my wife and I have since learned from and about Travel, is that one shouldn't let others have too much say about what constitutes a worthy destination or how best to structure a voyage. Make up your own mind, or as a wise rocker once sang, 'Write yer own script'.
I am done. The end.

'We are young
wandering the face of the Earth.
Wondering what our dreams might be worth.
Learning that we're only immortal
for a limited time

Posted by
2577 posts

Ms. Jo, I'd be interested in seeing a list of the cities in Germany that you find unique and interesting to visit. I liked Munich, but also would feel no need to return. At some point, I'd like to visit some of the quieter wine villages near Stuttgart and also Hamburg and surrounding areas, beyond that I'm open to some new ideas.

Posted by
11016 posts

My former father in law liked Cadiz. I think he was there for Mardi Gras or a similar festival.

I went with high hopes, having read it's arguably the oldest city in Western Europe. I wasn't impressed in the least. It doesn't show it's age well at all, just a run down/beat up town with lots of poor lodging choices and not much worth seeing. The Costa de la Luz, however, is my favorite beach area in Europe.

Posted by
2572 posts

The author did nail some great places, but on the other hand some of these places are underwhelming.

Sorry, but Marseille, France has little to brag about. Yes, its history as an ancient Greek colony is fascinating, but the South of France has a lot more interesting places to visit than this city.
Cadiz is OK, but compared to Seville, it is a pipe dream.
Been to Bulgaria, don't know where Plovdiv is, but I would not spend extra money deviating my trip to stop there again. Like I said, it was OK.
Huntsville, Alabama is mildly interesting due to the HQ of the Army's Rockets developed by Werner Von Braun, but again, underwhelming.

The Azores are super, loved them as much as Hawaii.

Posted by
1023 posts

I think the point of these lists is that there are places in Europe other than Paris, Florence and Venice, places in SE Asia other than Angor Wat and Chiang Mai etc. I also highly doubt that a list from the NYT is going to "put a place on the map" so to speak.

Posted by
1023 posts

And I'm sorry but:

Been to Bulgaria, don't know where Plovdiv is, but I would not spend
extra money deviating my trip to stop there again.

So basically you are saying you have "been" to Bulgaria, but haven't seen what most people would consider its best city, which would be probably #2 on any itinerary, with its roman ruins, ottoman old town, etc, a place that was named the European city of culture for 2019? This is like saying you've "been" to Poland, and were turned off by Warsaw and think there is nothing much else to see in the country.

Posted by
23 posts

Interesting list, I must say. However, does anyone have more details about The Azores? I'm looking to move it up my places to visit list and I'd really like to have the best experience. It's one of the few places I haven't visited yet.

Posted by
125 posts

I know the Portugal forum has had some excellent, user-contributed threads on the Azores.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Rick Steves himself has written much about the Azores.