The world’s 25 most inspiring places to visit in 2017

TAKE A SECOND TO STUDY THE ABOVE PICTURE OF BURNING MAN. As with all truly inspirational experiences, Burning Man is inseparable from the terrain itself. It could only happen there on the playa. The dust storms, the endless horizon: the landscape becomes more than just the setting of the story. It’s alive, present, almost like its own character.

It’s in this spirit that we rounded up these most inspiring places for travel in 2017. Our contributors, our editorial, the new community of users at our new app travelstoke: together we chose places that, like the playa, can redefine your sense of the world.

We wish everyone happy and fearless travels in the year ahead. See you out there!

Baja Peninsula, Mexico

Food-wise, camping-wise, swim-wise, and surf-wise, a road trip to Baja has the most payoff for the easiest traveling in North America. Photo: Ben Horton

Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Take a boat across the bay from Pavones to the largest old-growth forest left on the Pacific coastline. Photo: Felip Mroz

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Japan

Stalks of bamboo rise 100 feet over your head. If you don’t want to share the walkway with hundreds of other snap-happy tourists, go early. Like, 6am early. Photo: Elisabeth Brentano

Niagara Falls, Canada

Niagara Falls sees more than a million bathtubs’ worth of water plummet over the edge every second. Photo: Destination Canada

Wadi Rum, Jordan

Best explored by camel? Wadi Rum has been inhabited by human culture since prehistoric times. Photo: Scott Sporleder

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Learn about the mapped star trails at the annual Great Basin Astronomy Festival. Photo: Travel Nevada

Sossusvlei, Namibia

No picture can prepare you for your first glimpse of the desert pan and sand dunes. Photo: Julia

Yosemite National Park, California

That ledge is as dangerous, and as awesome, as it looks. Be careful out there. Photo: Michael Matti

Salinas Grandes, Argentina

Go the less traveled route and visit remote communities and the salt flats in Jujuy province. Photo: Sarah Tesla

Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho

This river flows through the largest roadless area in the continental US. Multi-day float with hot springs and epic whitewater the whole way. Photo: Zachary Collier


From the Front Range to San Juans, Colorado is home to some of the most rugged terrain and storybook towns in the Americas. Photo: Brian Lewis

Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina

Geologically, these are the oldest mountains on earth, and you can have epic moments in the quiet coves and deep forested gorges. Photo: Jared Kay

Shwesandaw Pagoda, Myanmar

At sunset, everyone is sitting up on top of a pagoda somewhere, taking it all in. Photo: Giselle de Castro

Atlantic Road, Norway

This road curves from island to island along the rugged coast of Norway. In stormy times the road looks especially interesting. Photo: Michael Matti

Denali National Park, Alaska

It leaves us in awe. Awe at the vastness and the overwhelming bigness. Awe at the sheer size and scale of everything. It reminds us to sit still, check the things of busy everyday life at the door and marvel. Photo: Denali NPS

Bruarfoss Waterfall, Iceland

The water was such an amazing blue shade, I could hardly believe it was real. Photo: Michael Matti

Deosai National Park, Pakistan

As the second-highest plateau in the world, the stars feel so close it’s like you can almost reach out and touch them. Photo: Will Hatton

Nigardsbreen Glacier, Norway

Nigardsbreen is part of continental Europe’s largest glacier. Photo: Visit Norway

Laikipia District, Kenya

Meet Bobby. Bobby is an Eastern Black Rhino orphaned just after birth when his mother was killed by poachers. There are just 800 Black Rhinos left in the world. Photo: Scott Sporleder

Red Shirt Table, South Dakota

Feel small in this part of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Photo: Scott Robinson

Giant’s Causeway, Ireland

Go late in the evening after all the tourists are gone and you will have this majestic place all to yourself. Photo: Stefan Klopp

Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

Take a boat tour to see one of only a few remaining glaciers in the world that is not retreating. Photo: Hannah McGrath

Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania is almost half World Heritage Sites and National Parks, and is the founding place of the world’s first environmental party. Photo: Matt Glastonbury

Dinosaur Provincial Park, Canada

Located in Alberta’s Badlands, it’s otherworldly and rich with dinosaur fossils. Photo: Dax Justin

Basque Country and Navarra, Spain

The park by the Old Town of Pamplona is one of the best urban green areas I’ve seen in the world. Photo: Urko Dorronsoro