Best Places to Travel in 2016

Road trip through British Colombia, Canada
Skip Ad
Andrew Hetherington

The 50 biggest, buzziest destinations to visit this year include France’s new culture hub, a revived Hawaiian hideaway, and Mexico’s next great arts city.

45. Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

7 of 51

With rolling hills dotted with sagebrush and ponderosa pine—and thousands of acres of vineyards—the Okanagan Valley can no longer be considered a nascent Napa. Lying between two mountain ranges and stretching roughly 125 miles north from the U.S.-Canada border, the geography varies from the desert-like conditions in the south to the green plateau of the Naramata Bench and Okanagan Lake’s sandy beaches. While the area’s stark beauty and hot, dry summers have always drawn outdoorsy types, there’s now an increasingly sophisticated scene revolving around food and local wine. Wine-focused restaurants like the Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl and Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek Winery serve up spectacular views and farm-to-table specialties, along with Pinot Gris and Meritage (a Bordeaux-style blend). For accommodations, the best options are the Sparkling Hill Resort (owned by the patriarch of the Swarovski jewelry dynasty, the design includes millions of crystals) or the more traditional, 1908 Mission-style Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa. It’s easy to spend a few days roaming around the countryside, hopping from winery to winery (there are over 130), but one place in particular is worth a special trip: the exquisitely modern Black Hills tasting room, where you can sample a glass of Nota Bene, one of the area’s big reds. Last year was even hotter than usual, which is good news for those planning a visit: many of the 2015 vintage wines, predicted to be the best in a century, will be ready for tasting in 2016. —Guy Saddy

Road trip through British Colombia, Canada

Best Places to Travel in 2016

45. Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

With rolling hills dotted with sagebrush and ponderosa pine—and thousands of acres of vineyards—the Okanagan Valley can no longer be considered a nascent Napa. Lying between two mountain ranges and stretching roughly 125 miles north from the U.S.-Canada border, the geography varies from the desert-like conditions in the south to the green plateau of the Naramata Bench and Okanagan Lake’s sandy beaches. While the area’s stark beauty and hot, dry summers have always drawn outdoorsy types, there’s now an increasingly sophisticated scene revolving around food and local wine. Wine-focused restaurants like the Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl and Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek Winery serve up spectacular views and farm-to-table specialties, along with Pinot Gris and Meritage (a Bordeaux-style blend). For accommodations, the best options are the Sparkling Hill Resort (owned by the patriarch of the Swarovski jewelry dynasty, the design includes millions of crystals) or the more traditional, 1908 Mission-style Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa. It’s easy to spend a few days roaming around the countryside, hopping from winery to winery (there are over 130), but one place in particular is worth a special trip: the exquisitely modern Black Hills tasting room, where you can sample a glass of Nota Bene, one of the area’s big reds. Last year was even hotter than usual, which is good news for those planning a visit: many of the 2015 vintage wines, predicted to be the best in a century, will be ready for tasting in 2016. —Guy Saddy

Andrew Hetherington
More from T+L
 
Advertisement