Imagine viewing London’s eclectic skyline—the soaring glass Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tate Modern—as you cycle three stories above the street on an elevated pathway reminiscent of New York City’s High Line. When architect and cycling enthusiast Sir Norman Foster released his bold plan for the SkyCycle just before the new year, it sent the blogosphere abuzz, even if it might not be realized till 2030.
Similar futurist leanings pepper our list of cool new tourist attractions you can actually check out. From an office building in China that glints in the sunlight like a giant gold coin to a glass-bottomed platform that knee-quakingly arcs out over a 1,000-foot-high cliff, there is plenty to capture the imagination in 2014. Thrill seekers can strap on a pair of aqua rockets or strap into a wooden roller coaster with an almost 90-degree drop. More sedate travelers can check into a tropical archipelago turned eco-resort or kick back for a Rocky Mountain high.
Related: America’s Top Tourist Attractions
Museum lovers can especially rejoice: lots of projects we’ve been looking forward to will finally open their doors to the public this year. Blame the financial downturn, complicated architecture, or overoptimistic launch dates, but this particular scourge of tourism—the ever-shifting completion date—was a frequent theme among our picks.
Related: Best Places to Travel in 2014
From Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Museum of Image and Sound in Rio to Paris’s long-delayed Picasso Museum and Gehry’s BioMuseo in Panama: all prove the old adage that the best things come to those who wait.
Well, the waiting is over. Read on for some of 2014’s must-see new attractions worth adding to your bucket list.