50 Best Vacation Destinations in the World

Fifty of the world's best vacation destinations are but a hop, skip and a click away.
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50 Best Vacation Destinations in the World David Sim, Creative Commons, AFP

If politics, the daily news, weather and general life stress have got you down, why not opt for an escape? Exciting travel destinations abound for you to get out of your comfort zone or simply relax in style. Newsweek, along with sites such as Trip Advisor, has culled together the top locations for your vacation—be it a weekend getaway or a weeks-long adventure into the unknown.

While the number-one reason Americans travel is to visit relatives, the U.S. Travel Association reported that shopping, visiting friends and rural sightseeing are the top drivers for tourism. Many cities and countries are growing their tourism industries to meet this demand, offering great markets and bargains as well as opportunities for ecotourism. Indonesia's Bali, for example, is known as a shopper's paradise but also calls those interested in gorgeous beaches and historic sites.

Roughly one in four peoplesay they will travel alone in 2018, a figure on the rise, according to marketing firm MMGY Global. Bustling metropolises such as New York, London and San Francisco are great places for a solo traveler who might want to fill their days with sightseeing and museums, before spending their nights enjoying a nice meal. Lisbon, Portugal and Sydney, Australia, are also known as great, friendly destinations for those traveling on their own.

If you'd rather keep your travels stateside, oft-overlooked cities such as Minneapolis, Minnesota and Boulder, Colorado offer a host of activities —from outdoor activities in the Rocky Mountains and snowy fun along Minnesota's 10,000 lakes, to a booming brewery culture in both states. Visit the beaches in sunny San Diego and far-out Kauai, where you'll find stunning coastlines and many opportunities to engage with nature.

You can also visit the further-flung locations of Haifa, Israel, whose gardens are known the world over and whose caves hold religious significance, or Crete in Greece. The latter is the site of empires past and also a very culinary present. Other locales have experienced a cultural shift in recent years, offering a booming tourism industry. Cartagena, Colombia, Brasil's Rio de Janerio and Mexico City are among the destinations in this category.

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25. Sydney, Australia. Top attractions: Bondi Beach, Opera House, Harbor Bridge and Taronga Zoo. CC0 Creative Commons