The reasons why we travel are as varied and divergent as the places we choose to visit. One day, we’re seeking natural landscapes that leave us breathless and adventures that push our boundaries; the next, we’re craving the slickest hotels and buzziest nightlife. In a region as vast as North America, boasting everything from undulating plains to mossy rainforests and towering peaks, the biggest question is: How does one choose?
Certainly, there’s the draw of what’s fresh. In Detroit, for instance, the much-anticipated Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park project will be a game changer for the city’s western riverfront come summer 2024; a short drive away, the iconic Bonstelle Theater will get reimagined as an event and bar space, ready for any reason to celebrate. In Riviera Nayarit, along Mexico’s Central Pacific Coast, ritzy new hotels from the likes of Rosewood and St. Regis are adding a sheen of luxury to its laid-back surf beaches.
Equally, there’s novelty in the rebirth of old favorites. In Tucson, long a draw for foodies and backcountry adventurers, the culturally rich neighborhood of Barrio Viejo will receive a National Historic Landmark designation in 2024, anchored by the soon-to-be-restored Teatro Carmen and a flurry of upcoming restaurants and cafés. And over in Mobile, Alabama, a new Amtrak route will link the port city with its sibling-rival New Orleans, just in time for a year-long spotlight on its African American history and a new Civil Rights and Cultural Heritage District.
But perhaps there’s nothing as filled with anticipation as the opportunity to forge a connection with untrammeled land—like in Nunavik, Quebec’s northernmost region, where, in the year ahead, Inuit-led adventures in the uninhabited Gyrfalcon Islands in Ungava Bay will offer priceless access to a bonanza of wildlife.
All that and so much more await in our list of the Best Places to Go in North America & the Caribbean in 2024: the vibrant, pristine, and restorative destinations that celebrate this continent in all of its diversity. We hope you use it to plot your travels—and stumble upon entirely unique ways to enjoy them once you arrive. —Arati Menon