10 Bucket List Travel Destinations for 2020
Since you’re reading a travel blog, I bet you have a bucket list of travel destinations you would love to visit. Maybe you’re the type who loves to relax on the beach with a beer in hand while watching the sunset. Or you might enjoy skiing in the mountains, then sitting by the fire with hot cocoa while admiring the snow falling.
Whichever type of traveler you are, it’s time to put that bucket travel list into action. I’ve put together a list of some of the top travel destinations for the next year. Read on and be inspired!
Bucket List Travel Destinations
OK It’s time to create your bucket list! Grab a pen and a piece of paper. Write down all the places you would like to travel in the next year. Then, narrow that down to your top 10 must-visit places. Now your top 5. OK cross out a few and list your top 3 places you HAVE to visit this year. Those are the ones! Now start planning your trip.
Keep reading below to get your travel juices flowing on the top bucket list travel places to visit in 2020!
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Bucket List Travel Destination #1 – Mexico City, Mexico
The capital of Mexico has become one of the most diverse, bustling cities in the world. With a huge major international airport, it’s the hub of Central America with easy flights from the US and South America. The city’s history center (Zocalo) is a UNESCO World Heritage site and exploding with culture. Mexico City’s central neighborhoods are richly packed with art, nightlife, and museums.
Mexico City has also established an impressive name for its food scene. Forget just tacos and guacamole as Mexico City is a progressive city where its visitors should become prepared with a hefty appetite.
Another major attraction in Mexico City is its annual festival, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). It’s a celebration with deep Mexican roots where people join in street parades to celebrate loved ones who have deceased.
Bucket List Travel Destination #2 – San Blas Islands, Panama
If you take a look around my blog, you can probably tell that I’m a beach person. I’m naturally drawn to warm climates where I can take advantage of afternoons dipping my feet in the water and listening to the sound of the waves.
The San Blas Islands have been on my bucket list now for a bit, and I can’t wait to visit. These islands are an archipelago consisting of approximately 365 islands and cays located off the northern coast of Panama. These amazing Caribbean islands are home to the Guna people, but the majority of the islands are uninhabited.
These islands are a top vacation destination for Central America and for good reason. The crystal clear waters are perfect for snorkeling and exploring. The main way to get around the islands is by sailboat, so hop aboard for an adventure!
Photo Hippie in Heels
Bucket List Travel Destination #3 – Big Sur, California, USA
I’m a sucker for a great road trip which is why Big Sur is on my travel destination bucket list. Big Sur is a 90-mile stretch along California’s central coast famous for its rocky cliffs, misty coastline, and expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. State Route 1 is a two-lane highway that stretches through Big Sur with lots of winding turns and known as one of the best road trips in the U.S.
Big Sur is a region with plenty of state parks abundant with trails for hiking and camping, like Big Sur Campground, Fernwood Resort, Riverside Campground, and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. It’s an incredible area to unplug from technology and escape the daily grind for a few days. Just don’t forget to bring your camera to get plenty of Instagram-worthy pictures so you can collect your memories on this epic U.S. road trip.
4 Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada
Since we’re on the topic of road trips, another bucket list travel destination this year is the Cabot Trail, located in Cape Breton (Nova Scotia, Canada). Once your rent your car in Halifax (or hop on a motorcycle), you’ll head out on the 185-mile Cabot Trail passing by fishing villages and a mountainous interior with dense woods. Cape Breton is known as the “prize of Nova Scotia” with abundant wildlife and natural lakes.
Along the trail, you’ll find plenty of restaurants offering fresh seafood along with picturesque inns and B&Bs on the way. If you’re feeling adventurous, step onto one of the 25 interior trails in the national park and enjoy any of the roadside outlook points for taking pictures and simply enjoying the view.
5 Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA
Whether you love snowy winters spending your days skiing and your nights by the lodge fire; or you enjoy warm summers hiking trails and kayaking on the lake, Jackson Hole, WY has you covered. This major tourist destination takes your breath away with its expansive mountainous landscape and abundant wildlife.
Located just south of Yellowstone, it’s considered a gateway to the major U.S. national park. The town itself has plenty of high-end hotels and lodges to stay, including the famous Wort Hotel and Four Seasons Resort. Or stop into the Cowboy Bar for a drink, a bar that feels like straight out of a western movie. The five-star restaurants and shopping will keep you well-fed and entertained before you set out on an authentic Wyoming adventure like dog sledding, snow mobile riding, or fly fishing on the Snake River.
6 Buenos Aires, Argentina
The capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires is a city rich in culture known for its eclectic European architecture and is the most visited country in South America. It’s also a hub for the famous sensual ballroom dance, the tango. If you’re interested in dancing tango, you can visit one of the many “milongas” which is simply a place where people go to dance tango.
Buenos Aires has long been on my bucket list, and I’m dying to learn some tango while I’m there. Beyond its famous tango culture, the city hosts many other attractions, including an iconic, balconied palace (Casa Rosada); a 1900s classic opera house with 2500 seats (Teatro Colón); and modern museums displaying Latin American art (MALBA). Once you’ve experienced everything there is to do in Buenos Aires, hop over to Mendoza to bask in Argentina’s wine country known for its Malbec.
7 Marrakech, Morocco
Morocco is an enchanting travel destination that conjures images of colorful markets, camel rides through the dessert, and mosques. Marrakesh is a former imperial city in western Morocco regarded for being a major economic center of the region. It might be most famously known for its medina which is a mazelike market with vendors selling textiles, traditional goods, jewelry, and interesting pottery.
The heartbeat of Marrakech is Jemaa el’Fnaa packed with snake charmers and entertainers during the day. At night, the square is busting with stalls offering traditional Moroccan food, local juices, and unique culinary delicacies.
The city is also known for its beautiful gardens, including Jardin Majorelle which is the creation of French painter Jacques Majorelle. It has over 300 species of plants and serves as a reprise from the sometimes overwhelming energy of the city.
8 Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Known as the “Island of Enchantment” Puerto Rico is one of the most diverse islands in the Caribbean. The hub of Puerto Rico is the City of San Juan where you’ll find inviting sandy beaches, incredible Puerto Rican food, and exciting nightlife. One of the most fascinating places to visit during your trip to Puerto Rico is Old San Juan, where you can walk its historic streets with French/Spanish architecture alongside the Caribbean Ocean.
When I tell people I’ve recently been to Puerto Rico, the question I always hear is “How Is Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria?” Puerto Rico is alive and bustling! Although there are parts of the island that are still recovering, most of the island is 100% fully functional and ready for tourism.
During your walk through Old San Juan, you can tour a historic fort (El Morro National Monument), take a cocktail tour to famous places like El Batey Bar, and go salsa dancing at the world-renown La Factoria. Head to Old San Juan during January for the San Sebastian Festival where thousands descend on the town for the annual celebration.
Related Post: 19 Best Things to Do in San Juan, Puerto Rico
9 Antigua, Guatemala
This city is a designated World UNESCO site and used to be Guatemala’s capital before a major earthquake in 1773 moved it to Guatemala City. Antigua is surrounded by volcanoes and known for its Spanish architecture and churches, like the baroque La Merced church. The city is a juxtaposition between deep Guatemalan culture & history and the new wave of restaurants, jade retailers, and coffee shops.
One of the best things to do while visiting Antigua is to head out for a tour on a coffee plantation. Guatemala is known as a prime coffee growing region, and you can learn everything there is to know about how coffee is grown, produced, and roasted. After you’ve finished your coffee tour, visit the center of town to snap a picture of the famous Santa Catalina arch which is nothing less than Instagram worthy.
Related Post: Best Things to Do in Antigua Guatemala
10 Holbox, Mexico
If you’re looking for an off-the-grid island location with a hippie vibe and quiet beaches, Holbox is the place for you. The small island is about a one-and-a-half-hour drive from busy Cancun, so there are far less tourists in Holbox (which is part of its appeal). Holbox is a perfect travel destination if you’re looking to get away for a bit with no cell service, no emails, and no texts. The island is known for having no cars, so the best way to get around is by bike or golf cart.
Isla Holbox has plenty of beach clubs where you can hop around the island splashing in the water, sipping some cocktails, and hanging in the over-water hammocks. From the island’s western beach (Punta Coco) to its eastern beach (Punta Mosquito), you’ll find stretches of sand and an endless horizon gazing over the water. After you’ve gone searching for the island’s famous pink flamingos, fill up on some lobster pizza or grab a beer at one of its many beach bars.
Related Post: 13 Amazing Things to Do in Holbox, Mexico
Which Travel Destination Is On Your Bucket List?
The beauty of a bucket list is that it’s always changing! What’s on your bucket list this year might be different than next year, and that’s alright. The point of a bucket list is to keep you inspired, working toward your next goal…or your next big travel adventure.
What is on your travel bucket list? Have you been to any of the travel destinations we mentioned in this article? What tips do you have for someone looking to create a travel bucket list of their own? Drop your answers in the comments below!