Lonely Planet releases picks for top US destinations 2018

California's Redwood Coast — Picture courtesy of kurdistan / Shutterstock
California's Redwood Coast — Picture courtesy of kurdistan / Shutterstock

NEW YORK, Feb 7 — With the Redwood National Park turning 50 this year, Lonely Planet has named California’s Redwood Coast — home to majestic, towering redwood trees — the top US destination of 2018. 

Located four hours north of San Francisco, the Redwood Coast spans 282 km and is home to 2,000-year-old forest where sentinels stand as tall as 20 storeys high. 

For the eighth year in a row, Lonely Planet’s in-house editors, researchers and correspondents compiled a list of what they deemed to be the most compelling destinations to visit in the year ahead. 

“These are the places American travellers should know about in 2018,” said Lonely Planet US managing editor Alexander Howard.  

“...Some of them are cities on the rise, or that challenge our expectations, while others offer unique experiences you can’t find anywhere else.” 

At the top of their selection this year are the ancient woodlands of California, which have played supporting roles in Hollywood blockbusters like Jurassic Park, ET and Star Wars films, and in 2018 mark its 50th anniversary as a national park. 

Likewise, Save the Redwoods League, which works to protect and restore the national parkland, marks its centennial anniversary in 2018. To mark the double anniversary, the league is offering free entry to more than 40 redwood state parks, every second Saturday of each month. 

Rounding out the top three spots are Boise, Idaho, capital of the fastest-growing state in the US, and home to dynamic wineries, breweries and festivals, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, described as a “bastion of elevated Southern living.” 

Here are the top 10 US destinations and a teaser on why they were chosen: 

1. California’s Redwood Coast — “Lose all track of time (and cell signal)”

2. Boise, Idaho — “What cool looks like before the rest of the world has figured it out”

3. Chattanooga, Tennessee — “Meet the New South!”

4. Florida’s Space Coast — “Get a taste of outer space on earth”

5. Cincinnati, Ohio — “A new chapter for the city’s artistic icons”

6. Midcoast, Maine — “One word says it all: ‘Ayuh’“

7. Richmond, Virginia — “Flipped from humdrum to happening”

8. Kentucky Bourbon Country — “The state’s distilling heritage runs deep”

9. Minneapolis, Minnesota — “In the spotlight for this year’s Super Bowl”

10. Southeastern Utah — “Quintessential Americana road-trip country” 

The full list visit can be viewed here. — AFP-Relaxnews

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