It’s nearly Memorial Day, y’all— and you know what that means: an Instagram feed cluttered with photos of vacations you aren’t on. Who knows, maybe you are going to the beach this weekend. In that case, I’m jealous. I’ll personally be spending those three days attempting to mooch off of friends with pool access…
Regardless, summer is undeniably upon us and everyone and their mother is retreating to bigger and better, or quainter and more secluded destinations. What’s most striking to me, as I scroll through my newsfeed green with envy, is how popular some of these places have become. So below, listed in order of proximity, are four vacation spots I have semi-subjectively deemed HOT right now. So read up and book your vacation! Or go to the beach or on your Eurotrip… don’t mind me!
Its recent rise: Nashville may have always been a music hub, but these days there’s much more to the Tennessee capital than country. With Google’s Entrepreneur Center located in its heart, the Music City is bustling with new business, giving additional life to the already-charming capital. Nashville additionally touts not only a dynamic culinary scene, but also beautifully preserved historic buildings and neighborhoods, plenty of museums, art galleries, and festivals, a slew of unique boutiques, and no shortage of stylish accommodations for the flood of tourists now pouring into the city. I could delve into the minutia of Nashville’s ascent into the spotlight, but this article does a much more thorough job than I ever could.
Brand, in a nutshell: A revived, humming, and oh-so-charming “Athens of the South” that has no shortage of good music, good food, and good line dancing (but really, when is line dancing not good??)
Its recent rise: Traveling to Cuba got a little easier for Americans when the Obama administration announced a thaw in relations between the two countries, resulting in relaxed travel restrictions. Correspondingly, the time to visit Cuba, according to everyone, is ASAP. Just ask the Kardashians or Content Producer Riley, who visited recently; part of the country’s appeal is its lack of ritzy chain hotels, inauthentic restaurants, and crowded beaches, all of which inevitably emerge as an area’s tourism industry picks up.
Brand, in a nutshell: Colorful, authentic, friendly, and a bit like stepping back in time.
Its recent rise: While this picturesque coastal city may have originally claimed its fame as the setting in numerous John Steinbeck novels, it has resumed center stage as the backdrop for Big Little Lies (I finally gave in— would recommend). As the show’s creator David E. Kelly told Vogue, “It just has a hypnotic beauty. Aesthetically, we were looking to draw the audience in and have them say, ‘I want to go there on vacation.” Mission accomplished: there’s now a travel guide that lets you “Do Monterey California like HBO’s Big Little Lies.”
Brand, in a nutshell: A rugged cliff-clad, handcrafted wine-heavy, surfing epicenter that’s perfect for the bougie roadtripper making his or her way down the coast.
Its recent rise: Remember that Icelandic volcanic eruption back in 2010? Not great for international travel, but good for motivating the country to revive its tourism efforts.
In fact, within a week of the natural disaster, the country’s tourism organization put out a request for a proposal, challenging those interested to come up with a plan to reverse the negative perception surrounding Iceland as a tourist destination for the summer. Soon after, but not without a marketing plan that defied conventional thinking, the conversation surrounding Iceland was transformed from economic downturn and natural disaster to a highly recommended, tourist-friendly destination.
Brand, in a nutshell: “A landscape full of legends,” that’s almost otherworldly for the I’m-too-restless-for-the-beach vacationer.
Instagrammable spots: The milky-turquoise water of the Blue Lagoon, or the Secret Lagoon if crowds aren’t your thing, and of course the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, which makes an appearance in Justin Bieber’s all-too-classic “I’ll Show You.” SWOON.
Are any of these on your summer 2k17 list? If so, please feel free to tuck me away in your suitcase.