Month by Month: Here Are the 12 Places Not to Miss in 2018

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©Koen Smilde Photography
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Woman holds up handmade bracelet
January: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe's burgeoning art scene makes it a great pick for January. The city was ranked as one of the top five small cities for 2018 by Conde Nast readers. A stop at the Georgia O'Keefe Museum and maybe even hitting the ski slopes are just right for a winter visit. 

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The Alpensia Sliding Centre
February: Pyeongchang, South Korea

The Winter Olympic Games in 2018 are in this up-and-coming city from Feb. 8 to Feb. 25. In preparation, a high-speed train was built that can go from Seoul to Pyeongchang in an hour.

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MLK Jr. Birthplace in Atlanta
©Yvonne Boyd
March: Atlanta

Until May 27, 2018, the High Museum has a Civil Rights photography exhibit, "A Fire That No Water Could Put Out." The title is from Dr. Martin Luther King's last speech, appropriate for the exhibit that examines the aftermath of his assassination 50 years later. Visitors can also explore the brand new Civil Rights Trail opening in 2018 with stops in Atlanta; Montgomery, Alabama; Selma, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee and other historic Civil Rights era sites.

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Jackson Square in New Orleans
©Shawn Fink
April: New Orleans

New Orleans is always a hot destination but 2018 is one for the books as the city celebrates its 300th birthday. The whole year is a hotbed of events, but according to Doug Brantley, Where New Orleans editor, the best time to be there will be April for the arrival of the Tall Ships—and international dignitaries—tying in with French Quarter Festival and Jazzfest.

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Upstairs Cabaret in Canada
©Tourism Victoria
May: Victoria, Canada

Outdoor enthusiasts are in their element in Victoria. As the capital of British Columbia, the city also has endless culture-vulture hangouts, too. Victoria also offers traditions like afternoon tea—at spots like the chic Venus Sophia—alongside hip, new boutiques.

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Reykjavik, Iceland
©Visit Iceland
June: Reykjavik, Iceland

June in Reykjavik is a nonstop party and, at an average of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it's one of the warmest months of the year. The sun barely sets, which means more hours to explore. If you want to see the Northern lights, come back later in the year. With more airline stopover programs offering quick stops in Reykjavik it's almost silly not to admire the city's offerings.

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©Catarina Belova/Shutterstock
July: Moscow

The World Cup is back in Europe for the first time since 2006; more than a half dozen Russian cities are hosting the preliminary rounds between 53 teams from all over the world. The games run from June 14 to July 15, when the final game is scheduled for the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

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Swamp Rabbit Footbridge in Greenville, SC
©Steven Faucette Photography/VisitGreenvilleSC
August: Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville is on the up and up with major attractions opening all over the city. Free events, such as outdoor movies and live music series, complement more formal annual events like the Upstate Shakespeare Festival to make it a great choice for family adventures.

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Zietz Museum
(©Iwan Baan)
September: Cape Town, South Africa

Spring in Cape Town is a great time to explore. Head down Long Street to find a party, ride a Table Mountain cable car to gorgeous views or stop into Zietz Museum for its one-year anniversary on Sept. 22. The waterfront museum has the largest collection of contemporary African art on the continent.

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©Koen Smilde Photography
October: Amsterdam

In a city with more bikes than people, Amsterdam is like no other. Long known as a pot-fueled party location, the city recently has grown up a bit with swish boutique hotel openings like the Sir Albert on the edge of De Pijp, Amsterdam's trendiest  young neighborhood.

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©Matias Planas/Shutterstock
November: Melbourne, Australia

With average temps in the 70, November means sunnies, board shorts and your best summer street style in one of the world's most liveable cities. It's also a great time to explore all of Melbourne's offerings from cute coffee shops to the CBD's alleys of shops and restaurants.

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Biltmore Estate with Christmas tree
©The Biltmore Company
December: Asheville, North Carolina

If you suffer from OCD (Obsessive Christmas Disorder), you'll want to book a stay or a tour of the Biltmore during December. Miles of red, crushed velvet ribbon and a field of Christmas trees create an opulent spectacular each year. In the city, there are dozens of holiday events and a national gingerbread house competition display.

By Jamie Jackson on 11/10/2017

What if, for every month of the year, there was a destination waiting that almost no one had discovered? 

While some of the spots on our 2018 list are beloved locations not in the "new" category, each has something special to offer in 2018. From historic anniversaries to fall foliage and summer retreats, these spots are the cream of the crop. We examine a destination for each month that gives travelers a sense of the location's best offerings whether that's a laid-back off-season visit or a clamorous spot hosting a crowded special event like the World Cup or the Winter Olympics.

Jamie Jackson
About the author

Executive Digital Editor for WhereTraveler

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