These Cool 2022 Travel Destinations Offer a Bucket List Update!

Wanderlust simply never left.

Springbok antelope seen on sunset on safari in Namibia

(Ondrej Prosicky /

National Geographic’s new list of the most amazing places to visit in 2022, “Best of World 2022”  is an inviting medley of 25 global destinations that will whet your appetite for travel in the New Year, despite the impact of the Pandemic on most people’s travel plans. 

As National Geographic details, the places on its list of our planet’s best adventures for the year ahead come handpicked by its global editors to be the settings for unforgettable journeys of discovery. 

According to business publication Forbes, this selection of travel recommendations celebrates the new, the different and the influential. “From the ‘next great safari destination’ in Caprivi, Namibia, and the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, to the ancient tea mountains and traditions of Yunnan, China, and the new Seine River bike trail in France, this year’s list explores inspiring locations.”


These picks come arranged by category so there really is something to appeal to everyone. The list includes easily accessible US destinations as well as faraway settings..

National Geographic’s best places to enjoy nature include Northern Minnesota which offers skies filled with thousands of dazzling stars as it has little or no light pollution. These are celebrated in the region’s “Heart of the Continent Dark Sky Initiative” which includes Voyageurs National Park, the first International Dark Sky Park in Minnesota, and another in bordering Ontario.

Apart from the wondrous views and ecological benefits to wildlife, “It also allows us a window to the past; to see the skies as they were hundreds of years ago, used for navigation and storytelling by peoples like the voyageurs of the fur trade and the Indigenous Ojibwe” says Christina Hausman Rhoda, of the nonprofit Voyageurs Conservancy, about this initiative.


One of the inspiring adventure ideas is an invitation to cycle a new bike trail. The route of the Paris to the sea La Seine à Vélo trail  passes the house and famous water lilies of Impressionist painter Claude Monet in Giverny, and protected natural areas including Normandy’s Grande Noé Bird Reserve, located along a major migratory flyway

 “Two years off road have given people a better chance to think about how they want to be a better traveler when they return to the world,” George Stone, Executive Editor  of National Geographic tells Good Morning America in our video. This pause has provided millions of people who travel and communities around the world with “a moment  to reflect and regroup on how we explore the world,” Stone told Forbes.

The iconic green Japanese bridge reflecting in the water lily pond in Claude Monet's Garden of Giverny, Normandy, France

(Eric Valenne geostory /


One fascinating location that is part of the set of  best places championing sustainability is Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park. Designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1989, it is almost 4,000 square miles in size, and is thought to be one of the most biodiverse places on earth. It offers shelter for an impressive  assortment of creatures including anteaters, sloths, spider monkeys, capybaras, and about 600 species of colorful birds. Endangered and enigmatic Amazon river dolphins frolic in the Napo and Curaray rivers flanking the park. 

National Geographic also explains that the area is home to indigenous tribes: “Yasuní also provides refuge for the Tagaeri and Taromenane people, Waorani Indigenous groups who live in voluntary isolation and use handcrafted canoes to travel between waterways.”

Amazon River Dolphin


Culture and History

This brand new 2022 list also celebrates several UNESCO-designated destinations in honor of how UNESCO has been helping safeguard cultural and national treasures for 50 years.

This selection of cultural hubs takes in Procida, an island city located 40 minutes southwest of Naples by ferry, which will be the Italian Capital of Culture in 2022. This city, renowned for its colorful buildings, plans to use its year in the spotlight to emphasize the importance of culture as a social glue connecting people, particularly in times of uncertainty. Its year-long festival of cultural programing aims to encourage responsible travel throughout the year, and to avoid an influx of visitors during the summer as happened in the past. 

The beautiful island of Procida, the Italian Capital Of Culture 2022

(Onigma /


The publication’s list of best places for families includes astonishing settings in the US and further afield. One of these is Granada in Spain. Marvel at the geometric beauty of  this city’s Alhambra Fortress. Built by the rulers of the longest-lasting Muslim dynesty on the Iberian Peninsula, this Alhambra or red fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is considered the Moorish architectural jewel of Europe.

At this palace, kids of all ages and their parents can appreciate the intricate mosaics, repetitive, stylized patterns based on floral designs, and ornamental vaulting that promise “A colorful classroom for age-appropriate exploration of math concepts such as shapes, symmetry, proportion, and measurement.”

Ornate colorful architecture in Granada, Spain

(Emily Goodwin /