Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Lonely Planet, the #1 travel guidebook publisher in the world, has released today its annual list of the best places to go on vacation in the US for the upcoming year. Lonely Planet’s Best in the US 2015 is a carefully curated list of destinations selected by Lonely Planet’s US-based editors and expert guidebook writers, who research the United States extensively for the travel media company. The list features locations all over the map and includes a mix of up-and-coming destinations, old favorites with timely reasons to visit next year and places otherwise poised to shine in 2015. Fantastic food scenes, epic adventures, small-town charm and anniversary celebrations are some of the elements that make these destinations among the best places for travelers to add to their wish lists for the year ahead.
Lonely Planet’s Best in the US 2015:
Queens, NY 1. Queens, New York City’s largest borough, is also quickly becoming its hippest, but most travelers haven't clued in… yet. Nowhere is the image of New York as the global melting pot truer than Queens. And with microbreweries springing up, new boutique hotels, a reinvented seaside at Rockaway and a world-class art scene, 2015 is the year to try Queens.
2. Western South Dakota With a combination of vast natural beauty, quirky small-town charm and Native American cultural sites, it’s hard to find anywhere that looks more like the America of one’s imagination than Western South Dakota. 2015 marks the anniversaries of two iconic South Dakota events: the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
3. New Orleans, LA In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ future was far from certain. A decade later, it's clear: The Big Easy is back and thriving. With a mix of refurbished history and new upstarts, the city has a raft of fresh options for travelers – all uniquely New Orleans.
4. Colorado River region Have you dreamed of rafting down the Colorado River? With a controversial proposal for large-scale development near the Grand Canyon, not to mention diminishing rainfall, now is the time for this epic adventure.
5. North Conway, NH This picturesque village celebrates its 250th anniversary in 2015. Quintessentially New England, North Conway serves up year-round activities, regardless of skill level, including an internationally renowned climbing school.
6. Indianapolis, IN On a trip to Indianapolis today, you can drink mead, entertain the kids at some of the US’s best children’s museums, eat food grown on local micro-farms, explore race car driving and tap out some witty prose on Kurt Vonnegut’s typewriter (careful– it live tweets).
7. Greenville, SC With the Blue Ridge Mountains in its backyard, outdoor adventure is one of Greenville’s main draws. It starts right in town where inviting trails and gardens greet visitors, leading off to a revitalized Main Street, with local shops, craft-beer pubs, top-notch museums and a global array of restaurants.
8. Oakland, CA As prices nudge up against the stratosphere in San Francisco, the quirky artsy cool has moved east across the Bay. Lonely Planet’s west coast home since the 1980s, we’ve long appreciated Oakland’s charms as locals, and watched first-hand as it has grown, flourished and become an enticing destination for travelers as well.
9. Duluth, MN More than 150 Olympians hail from Duluth, and one visit will show you why Duluth has emerged as the Midwest’s premier outdoors hot spot. This year also marks the 50th birthday of local boy Bob Dylan’s iconic Highway 61 Revisited, making it a great time to road trip this Blues Highway, starting from his hometown.
10. Mount Shasta region, CA The snow-capped volcano of Mount Shasta cuts a striking figure in the skyline of one of California’s lesser-known corners. It’s a deeply spiritual place that also offers family-friendly fun, great dining and fantastic hiking. Upon seeing it for the first time, the famed naturalist John Muir said, "…all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since."
Lonely Planet’s Best in the US 2015 goes beyond the locations featured in its annual Best in Travel 2015 book, which includes the company’s picks for where to visit in the coming year, all over the globe.
ABOUT LONELY PLANET Lonely Planet started in 1973 and is now the world's leading travel media company. Lonely Planet covers the must-see spots, but also encourages travelers to get off the beaten track and understand more of the nature, culture and environment in each destination.