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If you placed a check mark next to everything you planned on doing or seeing in 2017, we’re very proud. But 2017 is so three weeks ago and now that the new year is upon us, it’s time to make a new list. And in case you were having trouble figuring out where to go and what to do, we’ve dug deep to come up with the top 10 places to visit in 2018. From tricentennial celebrations and jazz festivals to scenic drives, these locations will suit you just fine. And you better go now because some of these celebrations won’t happen again. At least not for another 300 years or so.

Detroit, Michigan

The Detroit from 10 years ago is a long way back in your rearview mirror. With a revitalized downtown district and the grand opening of Little Caesars Arena, “The Motor City” is back! And what a fitting nickname that is. This city is more connected to the auto industry than Luke Skywalker is to the Force. Show your appreciation for the city’s car-making traditions with a visit to the Henry Ford Museum in nearby Dearborn. It’s only 9 miles down the road so there’s no reason to not explore it.

Scenic Drive: Detroit River shoreline via Lakeshore Drive and Jefferson Avenue.

Providence, Rhode Island

Why Providence, Rhode Island, in 2018? Well, for starters, the 19th Annual Federal Hill Stroll will take place in early June. Mingle with the locals in this traditional Italian-American neighborhood while enjoying some of the best food in all of New England.

Scenic Drive: Drive from Providence to Newport via Route 114.

Denver, Colorado

If you fancy yourself a baseball fan, make your way to Denver in 2018 and celebrate the 25th anniversary season of the Colorado Rockies. There’s nothing like drinking a cold Coors Original at Coors Field while major leaguers belt homers to the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

Scenic Drive: Mount Evans Scenic Byway to the summit.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The 50th anniversary of the Oklahoma Writers Federation Inc. conference on May 4th and 5th is a top reason to visit Oklahoma City in 2018. But before you listen to New York Times best-selling author Jay Asher give the keynote speech, road trip 88 miles southwest and take a drive through the Wichita Mountains Scenic Byway. It’s a side of “The Sooner State” that doesn’t include barren plains as flat as flapjacks.

Scenic Drive: The Wichita Mountains Scenic Byway.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Partying on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras is pretty awesome. Now, imagine doing the same thing while simultaneously celebrating New Orleans’ 300th birthday. With city-wide events like parades and concerts, this is the perfect year to visit NOLA. Here’s a short list of some of the biggest events this year: Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Block Party on January 15th, Tricentennial NOLA Navy Week from April 19th to the 25th, the New Orleans Jazz Fest April 27th to the 29th and again from May 3rd to the 6th, and the Tricentennial Fireworks Show on May 6th.

Scenic Drive: Self-guided driving tour through New Orleans Plantation Country.

Bozeman, Montana

Before the 2018 winter comes to end, make your way down Interstate 90 through Bozeman Pass and take in all the beautiful scenery. Then, stop off in the city of Bozeman and celebrate Bridger Bowl’s 63rd season of being open. Strap on a pair of skis and keep your tips up while flying down its steep slopes. 2018 is going to be a fine year.

Scenic Drive: Interstate 90 through Bozeman Pass.

Panama City Beach, Florida

Whether you’re going to escape winter snowstorms, party for spring break, or for purely tanning purposes, Panama City Beach, Florida, should be high on your list of places to travel in 2018. Why? Well, for one, the 20th anniversary of the Seabreeze Jazz Festival kicks off at the end of April. Nothing’s better than listening to smooth jazz tunes on one of the most pristine beaches in the country. After the awesome music has given you a case of the feel-goods, drop the windows on your rental car and cruise along the gorgeous Gulf Coast.

Scenic Drive: Panama City Beach to Pensacola Beach via US-98.

Omaha, Nebraska

Summer time and baseball go hand-in-hand and that’s why Omaha, Nebraska, is one of the best places go this coming year. Best, because the 71st College World Series will take place in mid-June and is a raucous good time. Watch future major leaguers battle it out for NCCA supremacy at TD Ameritrade Park. But don’t be afraid to venture outside of town for a few hours by way of the Lewis & Clark Scenic Byway. You’ve heard of those fellows, right? Their scouting party is the reason we have a west coast.

Scenic Drive: Lewis & Clark Scenic Byway.

San Antonio, Texas

Yee-haw! Welcome to San Antonio, Texas. The place where boot spurs are still in, the Alamo looms large, and where 300 is the new 30. That’s right, San Antonio is turning 300 this year and you should be there to celebrate. Enjoy the Founder’s Day Gala on January 5th, the Botanica Music Festival on March 4th, and several art exhibitions throughout the year. The fun just will not stop in San Antonio during 2018.

Scenic Drive: Drive through the Texas Hill Country to Canyon Lake.

Roswell, New Mexico

If you’ve had enough of earthlings in 2017, head to Roswell in 2018 and maybe you’ll have a close encounter of the third kind. The annual UFO Festival takes place every summer and is a mecca for any UFO enthusiast. The festival includes guest speakers who claim to have been abducted, alien costume contests, and a whole lot more. If you don’t get abducted by martians, take your rented road ship on an easy, but scenic drive 21 miles north to Salt Creek Wilderness.

Scenic Drive: Roswell to Salt Creek Wilderness via US highway 285.

2017 has come and gone. Forget about what you did or didn’t do last year; it’s all about now. We hope this list of amazing places to visit in 2018 will help kick start your adventurous side.

Chris Killen
Chris Killen
Chris is a San Diego based writer and editor who loves nothing more than sharing his travel experiences, tips, and insights with anyone who’ll listen. When it comes time to escape everyday life, you can find him in a lounge chair on his local beach or exploring the desolate coastline of Baja. “There’s no adventure too far.”

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