The 3 best places to travel every month of 2019

Mexico
(Photo via Tero Vesalainen / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Slide 1 of 37: 
  Business Insider has spent a year finding the best best
  places to visit in the world for each month of the year.
  
  Now, we've taken the top destinations and compiled them into
  a travel guide for each month of 2019.
  
  The best places to visit in 2019 include tropical paradises,
  rugged outdoor playgrounds, and vibrant cultural hubs.
  
  The new year is right around the corner, which means there's no
  better time to start thinking about where you want to visit in
  2019.
  Over the course of 2018, I've compiled Business Insider's
  "Best
  Places to Visit" series, highlighting 13 destinations that
  are best for holiday travel for every month of the year.
  Business Insider considered everything from airfare trends and
  climate data to local cultural events to determine the optimal
  month to travel to each destination. February, for example,
  offers the cheapest airfare to Hawaii, with November coming in a
  close second.
  
    Related:
    See
  the entire "Best Places to Visit" series, highlighting 13
  destinations each month
  
  Now, as 2019 approaches, I'm taking three of the best
  destinations from each month and presenting them below. The
  following guide can help you plan a year's worth of vacations and
  cover everything on your traveler's checklist, from famed
  historic sites to vibrant nightlife, tropical paradises to icy
  wonderlands.
  Check out the best places to travel each month of 2019, and enjoy
  planning.
Slide 2 of 37: 
  What we said: "More than 200 inches of snow lure
  winter sports lovers to scenic Aspen, Colorado, each winter.
  "Although December through February are the most expensive months
  to travel to this powdery haven, early January is when rates for
  hotels and ski lifts are the most affordable of the season.
  That's the sweet spot on the calendar between December holidays
  and the start of the annual X
  Games, which start in late January."
  Find other places to travel in January 
  here »
Slide 3 of 37: 
  What we said: "Winter temperatures plunge below
  zero in Harbin, China's northernmost major city. But there's a
  reason more than 10 million travelers flock there each December,
  January, and February - the Harbin International Ice and
  Snow Festival.
  "The festival - the largest of its kind in the world - centers on
  a surreal, neon-lit theme park with castles, sculptures, and
  replicas of monuments like the Taj Mahal and the Sphinx, all
  carved from ice. It's a scene that needs to be witnessed to be
  believed - just make sure you bring your warmest jacket."
  Find other places to travel in January 
  here »
Slide 4 of 37: 
  What we said: "Wanaka is a picturesque town on
  New Zealand's South Island, and it's the perfect place for
  outdoor adventure. The town's mountain and lakeside setting, as
  well as its proximity to Mt. Aspiring National Park, make it the
  ultimate base for outdoor activities like hiking, bicycling, rock
  climbing and skydiving. Remember, January means warm weather in
  this part of the world.
  "Back in town, you can take in the magnificent scenery from
  viewpoints, go wine-tasting, and while away the hours at quirky
  places like Puzzling World and the National Transport and Toy
  Museum."
  Find other places to travel in January 
  here »
Slide 5 of 37: 
  What we said: "Venice is a renowned vacation
  hotspot in the summer, but travelers say it's the winter months
  that showcase the charm, elegance, and serenity of Italy's
  Floating City.
  "Unpredictable spells of rain often leave Venice's winding canals
  shrouded in mist, adding a layer of enchantment to the city's
  signature mode of transportation. Tourist attractions like Saint
  Mark's Basilica often sit "blissfully empty," as Fodor's Travel
  
  described. And even if it's below freezing outside, you can
  warm up with a hot cocoa at Caffè Florian, where the likes of
  Charles Dickens and Marcel Proust often visited.
  "For a unique experience, time your visit to coincide with
  Venice's Carnevale,
  which fills the city with music, street performances, and
  ballgoers in dazzling costumes."
  Note: Carnevale runs from February 16 to March
  9, 2019.
  Find more places to visit in February 
  here »
Slide 6 of 37: 
  What we said: "February seems like the best time
  to visit Puerto Vallarta, one of Mexico's premier beach towns.
  The weather is perfect - mid-70s and 80s on average - and hordes
  of spring breakers have yet to descend, giving you a little more
  room to breathe than you'd get in March."
  Find more places to visit in February 
  here »
Slide 7 of 37: 
  What we said: "Curaçao is a veritable gem of a
  winter vacation spot, and according to Lonely Planet, it's one of
  the most affordable Caribbean destinations.
  "Apart from having some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean,
  the island boasts a diverse history that is manifested in its
  music, food, and arts scene. Willemstad, the capital city, is
  filled with brightly-colored Dutch colonial buildings and has
  countless authentic restaurants and bars tucked along winding
  streets. The town's floating market is another favorite of locals
  and visitors alike."
  Find more places to visit in February 
  here »
Slide 8 of 37: 
  What we said: "If you're looking for one of the
  best places to visit this winter that offers great weather, food,
  and entertainment, it's hard to beat New Orleans.
  "Of course, the main draw for the Big Easy in February is its
  epic Mardi Gras celebrations. Often called "the greatest free
  show on Earth," Mardi Gras draws hundreds of thousands of
  visitors for days of parades and revelry. The biggest
  celebrations occur the weekend before Fat Tuesday itself.
  "If big crowds aren't your thing, there are endless things to do
  in New Orleans. Bars and restaurants on Frenchman Street offer
  live jazz in a cozier setting, while Jackson Square provides for
  world-class people-watching. Be sure to grab a poboy and some
  beignets before you go."
  Note: Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, March 5 in 2019.
  Find more places to visit in March 
  here »
Slide 9 of 37: 
  What we said: "Mild weather and low rainfall
  make March the optimal time to visit this Caribbean gem with an
  affinity for rum.
  "Indulge in the island's stunning tropical beaches, go
  whale-watching on the north shore, and be sure to check out
  historical sites like the Columbus Landing Site, the only known
  location where members of a Christopher Columbus expedition set
  foot on what is now US soil.
  "And if you plan your trip right, you can take part in the
  raucous St. Patrick's Day parade in Christiansted - one of the
  only celebrations of the Irish holiday you'll find in all the
  Caribbean."
  Find more places to visit in March 
  here »
Slide 10 of 37: 
  What we said: "The vibrant Hindu holiday of Holi
  begins on March 20 this year, and Mumbai is one of the best
  cities in India to celebrate it.
  "The peak of the holiday is a free-for-all festival of colors, in
  which revelers take to the streets and hurl colored powder and
  spray colored water at one another, turning people into walking
  rainbow canvases."
  Find more places to visit in March 
  here »
Slide 11 of 37: 
  What we said: "Hundreds of thousands of tourists
  flock to America's capital in April for the world-famous
  National Cherry
  Blossom Festival, which celebrates the blooming of the
  Japanese cherry trees the city received as a gift from Tokyo in
  1912.
  "Attendance at the festival, which lasts three weeks and features
  events like a kite-flying display, an all-day concert, and a
  parade, has topped
  1.5 million in recent years.
  "Apart from the festival, April is when Washington weather heats
  up to the low 70s Fahrenheit, making it perfect for an outdoor
  stroll around the National Mall or a free trip to a national park
  on April 20, the first day of National
  Parks Week."
  Find more places to visit in April 
  here »
Slide 12 of 37: 
  What we said: "The Malaysian state of Penang is
  considered one of the best destinations for street food in Asia -
  and arguably the world.
  "Walk through the capital of George Town and you'll pass hundreds
  of hawker stalls, food courts, and open-air markets brimming with
  Malaysia's signature blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cuisine.
  Penang also has its own unique cuisine with staples like asam
  laksa, a bowl of silky rice noodles served in a sour, spicy,
  tamarind-based mackerel soup, and frequently topped with onion,
  pineapple, mint, ginger, and shrimp paste.
  "Between meals, you can spend hours hours visiting Buddhist
  temples, trekking through the jungle, and discovering example
  after example of Penang's famous street art."
  Find more places to visit in April 
  here »
Slide 13 of 37: 
  What we said: "April is a magical month in
  Japan's capital. For one thing, residents take cherry blossom
  season further than anyone else in the world, holding elaborate
  viewing parties to coincide with the blooming of the trees.
  "You can also see the city decked out in fish-shaped windsocks
  called koinobori
  in preparation for the Children's Day holiday in early
  May.
  "At night, soak in the frenetic energy of the city's nightlife,
  and if you're up for it, party long after the sun comes up the
  next day."
  Find more places to visit in April 
  here »
Slide 14 of 37: 
  What we said: "May is the perfect time to visit
  the funky mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina. Nestled in
  the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers a crisp breath of
  fresh air from the rest of the South, whose heat and humidity
  will be ratcheting up by May.
  "Asheville is a magnet for lovers of music, beer, and the great
  outdoors. Time your trip right and you'll catch the
  LEAF
  Festival for local and world music or the
  Montford Music
  and Arts Festival."
  Find more places to visit in May 
  here »
Slide 15 of 37: 
  What we said: "May is considered one of the best
  times to visit Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire and
  the gateway to the wondrous Machu Picchu ruins.
  "It's then that you'll get the optimal combination of pleasant
  weather and relatively sparse crowds on the trails and at the
  citadel itself. The city of Cusco itself is home to impressive
  colonial churches and the remains of other Incan sites, a
  distinction that led Lonely
  Planet to call the city 'the undisputed
  archaeological capital of the Americas.'"
  Find more places to travel in May 
  here »
Slide 16 of 37: 
  What we said: "The scenic, tranquil island of
  Bali offers travelers a transcendent experience you won't get
  anywhere else.
  "Between peaceful Hindu temples, iconic views of sprawling rice
  terraces, and vibrant coral reefs along its sandy beaches, it's
  no surprise why Bali is one of the most beloved tourist
  destinations in the world. Travel in May to avoid monsoon season
  and enjoy close to 12 hours of sunshine - you're going to want to
  be outside as long as possible here."
  Find more places to travel in May 
  here »
Slide 17 of 37: 
  What we said: "Summer solstice in Anchorage on
  June 21 is one event you do not want to miss.
  "That's when residents of Alaska's biggest city
  celebrate
  the longest day of the year, and party with music, food, and
  entertainment underneath the midnight sun.
  "Being the northernmost major city in the US, Anchorage allows a
  cool breath of fresh air for a summer vacation. You can expect
  temperatures to hover in the 50s and low 60s, which is close to
  as warm as it gets for most places in Alaska. You'll have more
  than 18 hours of sunlight a day, giving you plenty of time to
  enjoy the wildlife and picturesque scenery."
  Find more places to visit in June 
  here »
Slide 18 of 37: 
  What we said: "Chilly Iceland is enjoying its
  moment in the sun as a tourism hotspot, and you should pounce on
  the opportunity to visit this summer.
  "If Anchorage's midnight sun isn't extreme enough for you, then
  head to the Westfjords at Iceland's northwestern tip - you can
  expect a full 24 hours of sunlight on June 21.
  "Regardless of what part of the country you're in, there are
  endless activities for you to do in June. Wildlife enthusiasts
  can enjoy the best time of the year for whale and puffin
  sightings. Breathtaking views of mountains, glaciers, and hot
  pools provide a backdrop for all sorts of outdoors activities,
  from nature treks to picnics."
  Find more places to visit in June 
  here »
Slide 19 of 37: 
  What we said: "The awe-inspiring Croatian town
  of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic sea is ideal for a June getaway.
  Steeped in history, Dubrovnik's old town offers enchanting walks
  along its limestone streets and ancient city walls.
  "Temperatures climb up to the low 80s in June, and tourists can
  cool off with a swim at the Lokrum, a forested island right off
  the mainland."
  Find more places to visit in June 
  here »
Slide 20 of 37: 
  What we said: "Don't have plans for the Fourth
  of July? Take a trip to Bristol, Rhode Island, to witness
  America's longest-running Independence Day celebration.
  "The Fourth of July festivities in this small seaside town
  date back to
  1785. And one month isn't enough to contain the party - it
  actually starts midway through June, and includes several nights
  of concerts, carnivals, dances, and other entertainment.
  "Apart from the patriotic celebration, there are plenty of other
  activities to do in Bristol, including boating, bicycling, and
  indulging in some delicious New England seafood."
  Find more places to visit in July 
  here »
Slide 21 of 37: 
  What we said: "The small town of Boquete in
  western Panama is an adventurer's paradise. Nestled in Panama's
  green highlands, Boquete is a popular destination for hiking,
  mountain climbing, zip-lining, rafting, and plenty of other
  activities.
  "Bird lovers can try to spot the aptly named resplendent quetzal,
  considered "arguably the most
  stunning bird on Earth." The region is also famous for its
  coffee, and many coffee plantations offer tours for visitors.
  "Expect a good amount of rain in July, like the other summer
  months, but not enough to deter you from the great outdoors."
  Find more places to visit in July 
  here »
Slide 22 of 37: 
  What we said: "Athens in the summer is full of
  things to do for travelers: Its streets are bustling with energy,
  and its ancient sites provide visitors with a window into ancient
  civilization.
  "The Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus
  are just a few of the must-see wonders. And if you're discouraged
  by the throngs of tourists who descend on Athens each July, you
  can visit any of the numerous Greek islands that are within
  two
  hours of the capital."
  Find more places to visit in July 
  here »
Slide 23 of 37: 
  What we said: "August is the perfect time to
  visit Mackinac Island, the scenic island between Michigan's Upper
  and Lower peninsulas.
  "On Mackinac Island - pronounced
  'mackinaw'- visitors can enjoy the sunny weather while
  boating, fishing, and parasailing. On land, you can hop between
  historic sites like Fort Mackinac and Fort Holmes, both key sites
  in the War of 1812.
  "And sweet tooths will have something to celebrate too: the
  Mackinac
  Island Fudge Festival, which takes place every August and
  allows the many fudge shops on the island to show off their best
  work."
  Find more places to visit in August 
  here »
Slide 24 of 37: 
  What we said: "There's never a bad time to visit
  Barcelona, but you can't beat summertime in Spain's vibrant
  cultural center.
  "Use the warm weather to explore the city's maze of winding
  streets - you may get lost, but there's no better way to discover
  cafes, shops, and other gems. Take a stroll through Park Güell
  and admire the funky, colorful architecture, and enjoy some tapas
  and wine at your choice of rooftop bar.
  "The urban Barceloneta beach can provide an unexpected getaway,
  and the medieval-style Sagrada Familia cathedral is a must-see to
  get a glimpse into the city's religious heritage. You could spend
  weeks in Barcelona - there's really something for everyone."
  Find more places to visit in August 
  here »
Slide 25 of 37: 
  What we said: "Every year, one of the grandest
  spectacles in nature culminates in Kenya's Maasai Mara National
  Reserve - the Great Migration.
  "The annual
  migration sees more than 2 million wildebeest,
  zebras, and gazelles make the treacherous journey across the
  Serengeti in search of greener pastures. Along the way, predators
  such as lions and crocodiles lie in wait for the incoming herds,
  providing tense drama for intrepid sightseers and nature lovers.
  "The migration typically reaches the national park in late July
  or August, so plan
  your safari in advance to ensure you get a good
  vantage point."
  Find more places to visit in August 
  here »
Slide 26 of 37: 
  What we said: "September is the perfect month to
  visit the Grand Canyon, one of the America's most famous natural
  wonders. With summer vacationers and road-trippers out of the
  picture, you'll be competing with far fewer people for the best
  vantage points.
  "On top of that, temperatures are much more comfortable this time
  of year. While summer temperatures at the bottom of the Grand
  Canyon often
  reach triple digits, in September they fall to the 80s and
  90s, and even as cool as the high-60s at the top of the canyon.
  Meanwhile, if you visit the national park after autumn, many
  areas will be shut down until the weather heats up again."
  Find more places to visit in September 
  here »
Slide 27 of 37: 
  What we said: "September might just be the best
  month to visit London, England. You'll save money on
  accommodations thanks to the end of the summer tourist rush, and
  the weather is slightly better than it is from March to May - the
  period typically considered shoulder season.
  "Apart from traditional sights like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben,
  and the London Eye, England's capital also offers some unique
  events in September, like the food-and-music-oriented Camberwell
  Fair and the London Fashion Week Festival. Check
  the
  calendar for the full slate of events."
  Find more places to visit in September 
  here »
Slide 28 of 37: 
  What we said: "South Africa's Western Cape
  province has something for everyone, from rugged outdoor
  excursions to relaxing tours through wine country.
  "Whale-watching season is in full swing in September, and Table
  Mountain offers adventure-seekers a chance to hike,
  mountain-bike, and rock-climb. If that's not enough, September
  brings the Cape Town
  Street Food Festival, where you can enjoy local favorites and
  sample world cuisine."
  Find more places to visit in September 
  here »
Slide 29 of 37: 
  What we said: "If you're a beer lover, then your
  mecca for the month of October is Munich, Germany, home to the
  world's largest Oktoberfest celebration.
  "Over the course of 16 days, visitors from all over the world
  drink 7 million
  liters of beer and revel in amusement park
  rides, games, and attractions. The event attracts millions of
  thirsty travelers, and should be on your radar for a European
  excursion."
  Note: Oktoberfest runs from September 21 to
  October 6, 2019
  Find more places to visit in October 
  here »
Slide 30 of 37: 
  What we said: "It's going to be hot no matter
  what time of year you visit Dubai, the glimmering capital of the
  United Arab Emirates. If you can tolerate it, we recommend
  visiting in October, when the mercury drops below triple digits,
  but a couple of months before the city becomes packed with
  tourists during the "cool" season.
  "If stunning architecture is your thing, it's hard to beat the
  futuristic Dubai skyline, including the tallest building in the
  world, the Burj
  Khalifa. You can also indulge in some shopping at the
  world-famous Dubai Mall, cool off at at the Jumeirah beach, and
  get a taste of traditional culture at the Jumeirah Mosque and any
  of the city's outdoor gold and spice markets."
  Find more places to visit in October 
  here »
Slide 31 of 37: 
  What we said: "Marrakesh, Morocco, is a place
  teeming with culture and life. It's home to beautiful mosques,
  palaces, and gardens, and visitors can get lost for hours in its
  sprawling bazaars, sampling the best of Moroccan cuisine along
  the way.
  "Between wonders like the Bahia Palace, the Ben Youssef Madrasa,
  and the Jemaa El-Fnaa market, it's no surprise that TripAdvisor
  users once ranked Marrakesh the number
  one travel destination in the world."
  Find more places to visit in October 
  here »
Slide 32 of 37: 
  What we said: "The annual Loi Krathong lantern
  festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is a sight to behold. The
  festival, celebrated on the full moon of the 12th lunar month, is
  marked by the release of thousands of lanterns into the night
  sky.
  "Admiring the festival is far from the only thing to do in Chiang
  Mai. Between the elephant sanctuaries and the majestic temples
  around every corner, you can spend days and days exploring this
  spiritual haven."
  Note: Loi Krathong begins Monday, November 11,
  2019
  Find more places to visit in November 
  here »
Slide 33 of 37: 
  What we said: "November is when Buenos Aires,
  the vibrant and electric capital of Argentina, comes to life.
  Temperatures creep up into the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit, setting
  the perfect stage for outdoor market strolls, admiring the
  dazzling lights of Puerto Madero, and touring timeless sites like
  the Casa Rosada, where Eva Peron used to address the masses, and
  the Recoleta Cemetery, her final resting place.
  "For some November-specific events, you won't want to miss
  only-in-Argentina classics like the cowboy-filled
  gaucho
  festival and the 
  Argentina Open Polo Championship, once called the World
  Series for the sport of polo."
  Find more places to visit in November 
  here »
Slide 34 of 37: 
  What we said: "November is one of the cheapest
  times of the year to fly to Hawaii (although
  February
  takes top honors in that department).
  "Like the rest of Hawaii, Kauai's climate barely changes from
  month to month, with highs in the mid-70s Fahrenheit.
  "What sets Kauai apart is its lush scenery and serene beauty. You
  won't find too many mega-resorts or throngs of tourists here,
  just stunning wildlife, friendly people, and good vibes."
  Find more places to visit in November 
  here »
Slide 35 of 37: 
  What we said: "There's arguably no other city in
  the world that celebrates the holiday like Vienna, Austria.
  "As temperatures drop to near-freezing, Vienna comes alive as its
  legendary Christmas markets take center stage. Mulled wine,
  roasted chestnuts, angelic choir music, and spectacular sky-high
  Christmas trees set the scene for shoppers looking for unique
  holiday gifts. You can check out a guide to the best Vienna
  Christmas markets here.
  "For lovers of the arts, splurge on tickets to "The
  Nutcracker" ballet performed at the Vienna State Opera. And
  all across the city, churches like St. Stephen's Cathedral and
  Malteserkirche play host to seasonal classical concerts that will
  get you in the Christmas spirit if you weren't already."
  Find more places to visit in December 
  here »
Slide 36 of 37: 
  What we said: "December in Hong Kong means
  pleasant weather, clear skies, and lots of culture.
  "Hong
  Kong Winterfest is the city's unique celebration
  of Christmas, when travelers marvel at spectacular light shows,
  breathtaking fireworks displays, and citywide special shopping
  and food-tasting opportunities.
  "If you're around for New Year's, you'll want to head to Hong
  Kong Times Square to be in the heart of the festivities.
  Otherwise, the Tsim Sha Tsui district and Victoria Harbour are
  favorites for shopping and nightlife."
  Find more places to visit in December 
  here »
Slide 37 of 37: 
  What we said: "The Australian island state of
  Tasmania beckons travelers from all over the world with its
  rugged beauty and charming culture.
  "Adventure lovers who want to take advantage of the breezy summer
  weather will enjoy hikes to Montezuma Falls, Stanley Nut, and
  Mount Williams National Park, and while you're there, you can
  swim in the Bay of Fires, whose shores are marked by orange-hued
  granite rocks.
  "If you travel at a slower speed, you'll want to see the
  Bridestowe
  Lavender Estates in full bloom, and you could
  spend days roaming the capital city of Hobart, home of the
  unusual Museum of Old
  and New Art and countless markets and
  restaurants offering scrumptious cuisine."
  Find more places to visit in December 
  here »

The new year is right around the corner, which means there’s no
better time to start thinking about where you want to visit in
2019.

Over the course of 2018, I’ve compiled Business Insider’s
“Best
Places to Visit” series, highlighting 13 destinations that
are best for holiday travel for every month of the year.

Business Insider considered everything from airfare trends and
climate data to local cultural events to determine the optimal
month to travel to each destination. February, for example,
offers the cheapest airfare to Hawaii, with November coming in a
close second.


Related:
See
the entire “Best Places to Visit” series, highlighting 13
destinations each month

Now, as 2019 approaches, I’m taking three of the best
destinations from each month and presenting them in the slideshow above. This  guide can help you plan a year’s worth of vacations and
cover everything on your traveler’s checklist, from famed
historic sites to vibrant nightlife, tropical paradises to icy
wonderlands.

Check out the best places to travel each month of 2019, and enjoy
planning.

January — Aspen, Colorado

What we said: “More than 200 inches of snow lure
winter sports lovers to scenic Aspen, Colorado, each winter.

“Although December through February are the most expensive months
to travel to this powdery haven, early January is when rates for
hotels and ski lifts are the most affordable of the season.
That’s the sweet spot on the calendar between December holidays
and the start of the annual X
Games, which start in late January.”

January — Harbin, China

What we said: “Winter temperatures plunge below
zero in Harbin, China’s northernmost major city. But there’s a
reason more than 10 million travelers flock there each December,
January, and February – the Harbin International Ice and
Snow Festival.

“The festival – the largest of its kind in the world – centers on
a surreal, neon-lit theme park with castles, sculptures, and
replicas of monuments like the Taj Mahal and the Sphinx, all
carved from ice. It’s a scene that needs to be witnessed to be
believed – just make sure you bring your warmest jacket.”

January — Wanaka, New Zealand

What we said: “Wanaka is a picturesque town on
New Zealand’s South Island, and it’s the perfect place for
outdoor adventure. The town’s mountain and lakeside setting, as
well as its proximity to Mt. Aspiring National Park, make it the
ultimate base for outdoor activities like hiking, bicycling, rock
climbing and skydiving. Remember, January means warm weather in
this part of the world.

“Back in town, you can take in the magnificent scenery from
viewpoints, go wine-tasting, and while away the hours at quirky
places like Puzzling World and the National Transport and Toy
Museum.”

February — Venice, Italy

What we said: “Venice is a renowned vacation
hotspot in the summer, but travelers say it’s the winter months
that showcase the charm, elegance, and serenity of Italy’s
Floating City.

“Unpredictable spells of rain often leave Venice’s winding canals
shrouded in mist, adding a layer of enchantment to the city’s
signature mode of transportation. Tourist attractions like Saint
Mark’s Basilica often sit “blissfully empty,” as Fodor’s Travel

described. And even if it’s below freezing outside, you can
warm up with a hot cocoa at Caffè Florian, where the likes of
Charles Dickens and Marcel Proust often visited.

“For a unique experience, time your visit to coincide with
Venice’s Carnevale,
which fills the city with music, street performances, and
ballgoers in dazzling costumes.”

Note: Carnevale runs from February 16 to March
9, 2019.

February: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

What we said: “February seems like the best time
to visit Puerto Vallarta, one of Mexico’s premier beach towns.
The weather is perfect – mid-70s and 80s on average – and hordes
of spring breakers have yet to descend, giving you a little more
room to breathe than you’d get in March.”

February — Curacao

What we said: “Curaçao is a veritable gem of a
winter vacation spot, and according to Lonely Planet, it’s one of
the most affordable Caribbean destinations.

“Apart from having some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean,
the island boasts a diverse history that is manifested in its
music, food, and arts scene. Willemstad, the capital city, is
filled with brightly-colored Dutch colonial buildings and has
countless authentic restaurants and bars tucked along winding
streets. The town’s floating market is another favorite of locals
and visitors alike.”

March — New Orleans, Louisiana

What we said: “If you’re looking for one of the
best places to visit this winter that offers great weather, food,
and entertainment, it’s hard to beat New Orleans.

“Of course, the main draw for the Big Easy in February is its
epic Mardi Gras celebrations. Often called “the greatest free
show on Earth,” Mardi Gras draws hundreds of thousands of
visitors for days of parades and revelry. The biggest
celebrations occur the weekend before Fat Tuesday itself.

“If big crowds aren’t your thing, there are endless things to do
in New Orleans. Bars and restaurants on Frenchman Street offer
live jazz in a cozier setting, while Jackson Square provides for
world-class people-watching. Be sure to grab a poboy and some
beignets before you go.”

Note: Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, March 5 in 2019.

March — St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

What we said: “Mild weather and low rainfall
make March the optimal time to visit this Caribbean gem with an
affinity for rum.

“Indulge in the island’s stunning tropical beaches, go
whale-watching on the north shore, and be sure to check out
historical sites like the Columbus Landing Site, the only known
location where members of a Christopher Columbus expedition set
foot on what is now US soil.

“And if you plan your trip right, you can take part in the
raucous St. Patrick’s Day parade in Christiansted – one of the
only celebrations of the Irish holiday you’ll find in all the
Caribbean.”

March — Mumbai, India

What we said: “The vibrant Hindu holiday of Holi
begins on March 20 this year, and Mumbai is one of the best
cities in India to celebrate it.

“The peak of the holiday is a free-for-all festival of colors, in
which revelers take to the streets and hurl colored powder and
spray colored water at one another, turning people into walking
rainbow canvases.”

April — Washington, DC

What we said: “Hundreds of thousands of tourists
flock to America’s capital in April for the world-famous
National Cherry
Blossom Festival, which celebrates the blooming of the
Japanese cherry trees the city received as a gift from Tokyo in
1912.

“Attendance at the festival, which lasts three weeks and features
events like a kite-flying display, an all-day concert, and a
parade, has topped
1.5 million in recent years.

“Apart from the festival, April is when Washington weather heats
up to the low 70s Fahrenheit, making it perfect for an outdoor
stroll around the National Mall or a free trip to a national park
on April 20, the first day of National
Parks Week.”

April — Penang, Malaysia

What we said: “The Malaysian state of Penang is
considered one of the best destinations for street food in Asia –
and arguably the world.

“Walk through the capital of George Town and you’ll pass hundreds
of hawker stalls, food courts, and open-air markets brimming with
Malaysia’s signature blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cuisine.
Penang also has its own unique cuisine with staples like asam
laksa, a bowl of silky rice noodles served in a sour, spicy,
tamarind-based mackerel soup, and frequently topped with onion,
pineapple, mint, ginger, and shrimp paste.

“Between meals, you can spend hours hours visiting Buddhist
temples, trekking through the jungle, and discovering example
after example of Penang’s famous street art.”

April — Tokyo, Japan

What we said: “April is a magical month in
Japan’s capital. For one thing, residents take cherry blossom
season further than anyone else in the world, holding elaborate
viewing parties to coincide with the blooming of the trees.

“You can also see the city decked out in fish-shaped windsocks
called koinobori
in preparation for the Children’s Day holiday in early
May.

“At night, soak in the frenetic energy of the city’s nightlife,
and if you’re up for it, party long after the sun comes up the
next day.”

May — Asheville, North Carolina

What we said: “May is the perfect time to visit
the funky mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina. Nestled in
the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers a crisp breath of
fresh air from the rest of the South, whose heat and humidity
will be ratcheting up by May.

“Asheville is a magnet for lovers of music, beer, and the great
outdoors. Time your trip right and you’ll catch the
LEAF
Festival for local and world music or the
Montford Music
and Arts Festival.”

May — Cusco, Peru

What we said: “May is considered one of the best
times to visit Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire and
the gateway to the wondrous Machu Picchu ruins.

“It’s then that you’ll get the optimal combination of pleasant
weather and relatively sparse crowds on the trails and at the
citadel itself. The city of Cusco itself is home to impressive
colonial churches and the remains of other Incan sites, a
distinction that led Lonely
Planet to call the city ‘the undisputed
archaeological capital of the Americas.'”

May — Bali, Indonesia

What we said: “The scenic, tranquil island of
Bali offers travelers a transcendent experience you won’t get
anywhere else.

“Between peaceful Hindu temples, iconic views of sprawling rice
terraces, and vibrant coral reefs along its sandy beaches, it’s
no surprise why Bali is one of the most beloved tourist
destinations in the world. Travel in May to avoid monsoon season
and enjoy close to 12 hours of sunshine – you’re going to want to
be outside as long as possible here.”

June — Anchorage, Alaska

What we said: “Summer solstice in Anchorage on
June 21 is one event you do not want to miss.

“That’s when residents of Alaska’s biggest city
celebrate
the longest day of the year, and party with music, food, and
entertainment underneath the midnight sun.

“Being the northernmost major city in the US, Anchorage allows a
cool breath of fresh air for a summer vacation. You can expect
temperatures to hover in the 50s and low 60s, which is close to
as warm as it gets for most places in Alaska. You’ll have more
than 18 hours of sunlight a day, giving you plenty of time to
enjoy the wildlife and picturesque scenery.”

June — Reykjavik, Iceland

What we said: “Chilly Iceland is enjoying its
moment in the sun as a tourism hotspot, and you should pounce on
the opportunity to visit this summer.

“If Anchorage’s midnight sun isn’t extreme enough for you, then
head to the Westfjords at Iceland’s northwestern tip – you can
expect a full 24 hours of sunlight on June 21.

“Regardless of what part of the country you’re in, there are
endless activities for you to do in June. Wildlife enthusiasts
can enjoy the best time of the year for whale and puffin
sightings. Breathtaking views of mountains, glaciers, and hot
pools provide a backdrop for all sorts of outdoors activities,
from nature treks to picnics.”

June — Dubrovnik, Croatia

What we said: “The awe-inspiring Croatian town
of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic sea is ideal for a June getaway.
Steeped in history, Dubrovnik’s old town offers enchanting walks
along its limestone streets and ancient city walls.

“Temperatures climb up to the low 80s in June, and tourists can
cool off with a swim at the Lokrum, a forested island right off
the mainland.”

July — Bristol, Rhode Island

What we said: “Don’t have plans for the Fourth
of July? Take a trip to Bristol, Rhode Island, to witness
America’s longest-running Independence Day celebration.

“The Fourth of July festivities in this small seaside town
date back to
1785. And one month isn’t enough to contain the party – it
actually starts midway through June, and includes several nights
of concerts, carnivals, dances, and other entertainment.

“Apart from the patriotic celebration, there are plenty of other
activities to do in Bristol, including boating, bicycling, and
indulging in some delicious New England seafood.”

July — Boquete, Panama

What we said: “The small town of Boquete in
western Panama is an adventurer’s paradise. Nestled in Panama’s
green highlands, Boquete is a popular destination for hiking,
mountain climbing, zip-lining, rafting, and plenty of other
activities.

“Bird lovers can try to spot the aptly named resplendent quetzal,
considered “arguably the most
stunning bird on Earth.” The region is also famous for its
coffee, and many coffee plantations offer tours for visitors.

“Expect a good amount of rain in July, like the other summer
months, but not enough to deter you from the great outdoors.”

July — Athens, Greece

What we said: “Athens in the summer is full of
things to do for travelers: Its streets are bustling with energy,
and its ancient sites provide visitors with a window into ancient
civilization.

“The Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus
are just a few of the must-see wonders. And if you’re discouraged
by the throngs of tourists who descend on Athens each July, you
can visit any of the numerous Greek islands that are within
two
hours of the capital.”

August — Mackinac Island, Michigan

What we said: “August is the perfect time to
visit Mackinac Island, the scenic island between Michigan’s Upper
and Lower peninsulas.

“On Mackinac Island – pronounced
‘mackinaw’- visitors can enjoy the sunny weather while
boating, fishing, and parasailing. On land, you can hop between
historic sites like Fort Mackinac and Fort Holmes, both key sites
in the War of 1812.

“And sweet tooths will have something to celebrate too: the
Mackinac
Island Fudge Festival, which takes place every August and
allows the many fudge shops on the island to show off their best
work.”

August — Barcelona, Spain

What we said: “There’s never a bad time to visit
Barcelona, but you can’t beat summertime in Spain’s vibrant
cultural center.

“Use the warm weather to explore the city’s maze of winding
streets – you may get lost, but there’s no better way to discover
cafes, shops, and other gems. Take a stroll through Park Güell
and admire the funky, colorful architecture, and enjoy some tapas
and wine at your choice of rooftop bar.

“The urban Barceloneta beach can provide an unexpected getaway,
and the medieval-style Sagrada Familia cathedral is a must-see to
get a glimpse into the city’s religious heritage. You could spend
weeks in Barcelona – there’s really something for everyone.”

August — Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

What we said: “Every year, one of the grandest
spectacles in nature culminates in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National
Reserve – the Great Migration.

“The annual
migration sees more than 2 million wildebeest,
zebras, and gazelles make the treacherous journey across the
Serengeti in search of greener pastures. Along the way, predators
such as lions and crocodiles lie in wait for the incoming herds,
providing tense drama for intrepid sightseers and nature lovers.

“The migration typically reaches the national park in late July
or August, so plan
your safari in advance to ensure you get a good
vantage point.”

September — Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

What we said: “September is the perfect month to
visit the Grand Canyon, one of the America’s most famous natural
wonders. With summer vacationers and road-trippers out of the
picture, you’ll be competing with far fewer people for the best
vantage points.

“On top of that, temperatures are much more comfortable this time
of year. While summer temperatures at the bottom of the Grand
Canyon often
reach triple digits, in September they fall to the 80s and
90s, and even as cool as the high-60s at the top of the canyon.
Meanwhile, if you visit the national park after autumn, many
areas will be shut down until the weather heats up again.”

September — London, England

What we said: “September might just be the best
month to visit London, England. You’ll save money on
accommodations thanks to the end of the summer tourist rush, and
the weather is slightly better than it is from March to May – the
period typically considered shoulder season.

“Apart from traditional sights like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben,
and the London Eye, England’s capital also offers some unique
events in September, like the food-and-music-oriented Camberwell
Fair and the London Fashion Week Festival. Check
the
calendar for the full slate of events.”

September — Western Cape, South Africa

What we said: “South Africa’s Western Cape
province has something for everyone, from rugged outdoor
excursions to relaxing tours through wine country.

“Whale-watching season is in full swing in September, and Table
Mountain offers adventure-seekers a chance to hike,
mountain-bike, and rock-climb. If that’s not enough, September
brings the Cape Town
Street Food Festival, where you can enjoy local favorites and
sample world cuisine.”

October — Munich, Germany

What we said: “If you’re a beer lover, then your
mecca for the month of October is Munich, Germany, home to the
world’s largest Oktoberfest celebration.

“Over the course of 16 days, visitors from all over the world
drink 7 million
liters of beer and revel in amusement park
rides, games, and attractions. The event attracts millions of
thirsty travelers, and should be on your radar for a European
excursion.”

Note: Oktoberfest runs from September 21 to
October 6, 2019

October — Dubai, United Arab Emirates

What we said: “It’s going to be hot no matter
what time of year you visit Dubai, the glimmering capital of the
United Arab Emirates. If you can tolerate it, we recommend
visiting in October, when the mercury drops below triple digits,
but a couple of months before the city becomes packed with
tourists during the “cool” season.

“If stunning architecture is your thing, it’s hard to beat the
futuristic Dubai skyline, including the tallest building in the
world, the Burj
Khalifa. You can also indulge in some shopping at the
world-famous Dubai Mall, cool off at at the Jumeirah beach, and
get a taste of traditional culture at the Jumeirah Mosque and any
of the city’s outdoor gold and spice markets.”

October — Marrakesh, Morocco

What we said: “Marrakesh, Morocco, is a place
teeming with culture and life. It’s home to beautiful mosques,
palaces, and gardens, and visitors can get lost for hours in its
sprawling bazaars, sampling the best of Moroccan cuisine along
the way.

“Between wonders like the Bahia Palace, the Ben Youssef Madrasa,
and the Jemaa El-Fnaa market, it’s no surprise that TripAdvisor
users once ranked Marrakesh the number
one travel destination in the world.”

November — Chiang Mai, Thailand

What we said: “The annual Loi Krathong lantern
festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is a sight to behold. The
festival, celebrated on the full moon of the 12th lunar month, is
marked by the release of thousands of lanterns into the night
sky.

“Admiring the festival is far from the only thing to do in Chiang
Mai. Between the elephant sanctuaries and the majestic temples
around every corner, you can spend days and days exploring this
spiritual haven.”

Note: Loi Krathong begins Monday, November 11,
2019

November — Buenos Aires, Argentina

What we said: “November is when Buenos Aires,
the vibrant and electric capital of Argentina, comes to life.
Temperatures creep up into the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit, setting
the perfect stage for outdoor market strolls, admiring the
dazzling lights of Puerto Madero, and touring timeless sites like
the Casa Rosada, where Eva Peron used to address the masses, and
the Recoleta Cemetery, her final resting place.

“For some November-specific events, you won’t want to miss
only-in-Argentina classics like the cowboy-filled
gaucho
festival and the
Argentina Open Polo Championship, once called the World
Series for the sport of polo.”

November — Kauai, Hawaii

What we said: “November is one of the cheapest
times of the year to fly to Hawaii (although
February
takes top honors in that department).

“Like the rest of Hawaii, Kauai’s climate barely changes from
month to month, with highs in the mid-70s Fahrenheit.

“What sets Kauai apart is its lush scenery and serene beauty. You
won’t find too many mega-resorts or throngs of tourists here,
just stunning wildlife, friendly people, and good vibes.”

December — Vienna, Austria

What we said: “There’s arguably no other city in
the world that celebrates the holiday like Vienna, Austria.

“As temperatures drop to near-freezing, Vienna comes alive as its
legendary Christmas markets take center stage. Mulled wine,
roasted chestnuts, angelic choir music, and spectacular sky-high
Christmas trees set the scene for shoppers looking for unique
holiday gifts. You can check out a guide to the best Vienna
Christmas markets here.

“For lovers of the arts, splurge on tickets to “The
Nutcracker” ballet performed at the Vienna State Opera. And
all across the city, churches like St. Stephen’s Cathedral and
Malteserkirche play host to seasonal classical concerts that will
get you in the Christmas spirit if you weren’t already.”

December — Hong Kong

What we said: “December in Hong Kong means
pleasant weather, clear skies, and lots of culture.

“Hong
Kong Winterfest is the city’s unique celebration
of Christmas, when travelers marvel at spectacular light shows,
breathtaking fireworks displays, and citywide special shopping
and food-tasting opportunities.

“If you’re around for New Year’s, you’ll want to head to Hong
Kong Times Square to be in the heart of the festivities.
Otherwise, the Tsim Sha Tsui district and Victoria Harbour are
favorites for shopping and nightlife.”

December — Tasmania, Australia

What we said: “The Australian island state of
Tasmania beckons travelers from all over the world with its
rugged beauty and charming culture.

“Adventure lovers who want to take advantage of the breezy summer
weather will enjoy hikes to Montezuma Falls, Stanley Nut, and
Mount Williams National Park, and while you’re there, you can
swim in the Bay of Fires, whose shores are marked by orange-hued
granite rocks.

“If you travel at a slower speed, you’ll want to see the
Bridestowe
Lavender Estates in full bloom, and you could
spend days roaming the capital city of Hobart, home of the
unusual Museum of Old
and New Art and countless markets and
restaurants offering scrumptious cuisine.”

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