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Top US Travel Destinations Ranked by National Geographic for New ‘Worth a Trip’ Series

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FIRST ON FOX: National Geographic has unveiled its latest “Best of the World” list for 2024, introducing a new segment called “Worth A Trip.”

This year’s list showcases hotels and wellness experiences worldwide, adding a fresh dimension to the brand’s long-standing tradition. Nathan Lump, the editor-in-chief of National Geographic, expressed his belief in the power of singular experiences to inspire travel.

The focus of the “Worth A Trip” series is on specific places and experiences rather than entire destinations, aiming to highlight unique and noteworthy offerings.

National Geographic’s team of editors, photographers, videographers, and contributors collaborated to curate the selections, emphasizing new, trendy, and exciting options for travelers globally.

Out of the diverse array of picks, 11 selections are situated within the United States, underscoring the exceptional experiences available closer to home.

Nathan Lump emphasized the accessibility of extraordinary experiences without the need for extensive travel, promoting the exploration of remarkable destinations in America.

Outstanding Hotels

Heart Song Lodge – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Located in Dollywood, Heart Song Lodge has earned its place among Nat Geo’s top hotels. Offering amenities like in-room balconies and pink Jeep tours of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this Smoky Mountain retreat provides a unique and immersive experience.

Hacienda at Armendaris – Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Situated at the Ted Turner Reserves in the Chihuahuan Desert of southwestern New Mexico, the Hacienda at Armendaris Hotel offers a luxurious stay amidst a 360,000-acre preserve dedicated to conservation efforts.

Under Canvas North Yellowstone-Paradise Valley – Livingston, Montana

Nestled in Paradise Valley, Under Canvas North Yellowstone provides a luxurious “glamping” experience against the backdrop of Montana’s stunning Crazy and Absaroka Mountains, just an hour’s drive from Yellowstone National Park.

Rosewood Kona Village – Big Island, Hawaii

Following its reconstruction post a 2011 tsunami, Rosewood Kona Village on Hawaii’s Big Island offers a range of activities including outrigger canoe paddling, lei-making, stargazing, and traditional luau ceremonies.

Cultural Highlights

Folger Shakespeare Library – Washington, D.C.

Reopening this year with extensive renovations, the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill boasts the world’s largest collection of “Shakespeareana” and features an Elizabethan-style stage, interactive exhibits, and a garden with plants referenced in Shakespeare’s works.

National WWII Museum – New Orleans, Louisiana

With the addition of the Liberation Pavilion, the National WWII Museum in New Orleans delves into the profound impact and historical significance of the war, showcasing artifacts and exhibits that illuminate this critical period.

Wellness Escapes

The inclusion of wellness experiences in the “Best of the World 2024” list reflects the growing interest in holistic well-being among travelers.

Kosa Spa – Madison, Wisconsin

Located in Madison’s historic Garver Feed Mill, Kosa Spa offers rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatments, including the signature abhyanga full-body massage, accompanied by detoxifying teas and post-treatment nourishment.

QC NY Spa – Governors Island, New York City

Escape the hustle and bustle of New York City at QC NY Spa on Governors Island, featuring indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, and steam baths with panoramic views of the city skyline, providing a tranquil retreat within the urban landscape.

Culinary Delights

The culinary offerings highlighted in the list showcase the diverse and exquisite dining experiences available across the country.

Okta – Willamette Valley, Oregon

Helmed by Michelin-starred chef Matthew Lightner, Okta in McMinnville offers a culinary journey through Oregon’s Willamette Valley, featuring locally sourced ingredients and a menu that celebrates the region’s flavors.

Carriqui – San Antonio, Texas

Located in San Antonio’s Pearl District, Carriqui serves up Tex-Mex delights in a historic wooden saloon setting, offering a unique blend of traditional flavors and innovative dishes.

Market 57 – New York City

Housed in a renovated dock house at Pier 57, Market 57 is a vibrant food hall showcasing diverse cuisines from minority- and women-owned vendors, providing a culinary exploration of the city’s global food culture.

Nat Geo’s comprehensive recommendations for hotels, cultural sites, wellness retreats, and dining experiences offer a curated selection of exceptional destinations and activities for travelers seeking unique and enriching adventures.