The 22 Best Places to Go in 2022
Whether you're looking for a cutting-edge food destination or a relaxing beach getaway.
BY CNT EDITORS
This was the year of getting back out there—as vaccines became readily available in the spring and borders opened slowly throughout the summer and fall, our travel calendars began to fill up once again. Now, as we look ahead to what 2022 has in store, it’s clear that our travel priorities have changed. We’re no longer checking destinations off a list; instead we’re being purposeful about why we choose to take a trip, and thoughtful about how our actions impact local communities while we’re there.
This year’s list of the best places to visit reflects these shifts in thinking: We’ve organized these destinations based on some of our favorite reasons to travel, from exhilarating food and drink scenes and historic sites to explore, to new places to soak in the great outdoors. We hope it makes it easier to plan your next big trip—and helps you narrow down where to go first of the 22 exciting places that made our 2022 list. —Stephanie Wu
Downtown Birmingham is feeling more revitalized than ever, as several historic buildings have been reimagined as restaurants by local chefs. Five-time James Beard finalist Rob McDaniel, who grew up 80 miles from the city, opened contemporary Southern grill Helen in 2020 inside a 1920s shotgun-style building. You can smell his wood-fired meats from the sidewalk, and inside every meal starts with warm angel biscuits topped with whipped cane syrup butter. A block away at The Essential, Southern-bred chef Victor King and pastry chef Kristen Hall have partnered with farmers to serve vegetable-heavy dishes, homemade pastas, and the tastiest desserts in town (look for Parisian-inspired Bar La Fête from the duo in early 2022).
There’s plenty to do downtown as well. The new Urban Supply mixed-use development will bring century-old warehouses in the Parkside neighborhood back to life with restaurants, bars, shopping, and fitness studios when it’s completed in mid-2022. City Walk BHAM is also in the works, adding markets, green spaces, and food trucks to city blocks beneath Interstate 59/20. The project is set to be complete by summer 2022, when the Magic City will serve as the first American host for The World Games, an 11-day, 34-sport event (including tug of war and wheelchair rugby) expected to draw 500,000 spectators. While downtown has its share of big-box hotels for groups, find a quieter stay at Elyton Hotel in a restored historic building, or the boutique Valley Hotel in Homewood, a mere 10 minutes away. —Kelsey Ogletree