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My Favorite New Destinations of 2023

A view of the jagged coastline of Ischia, lots of little white boats in the bright turquoise water, and a bridge leading from the island to the castle.

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How do I sum up my travels of 2023? They were a bit random, with little trips in random spots whenever we could fit them.

Also — less Italy than we’ve had in YEARS. Believe me, we’re going to make up for it in 2024.

This year was all about getting married, and Charlie and I were very busy putting on our weddings — our civil elopement in Prague in April, our big Prague wedding in May, and our medium-sized Boston wedding in July.

Travels were a bit of an afterthought this year — but they were fun.

So what made the list of my favorite new destinations of 2024?

In 2012, I chose places like Iceland, Montenegro, and South Africa.

In 2013, I chose places like Japan, Berlin, and the Scottish Highlands.

In 2014, I chose places like Sri Lanka, New Orleans, and Skellig Michael, Ireland.

In 2015, I chose places like Nicaragua, Albania, and Chicago.

In 2016, I chose places like Puerto Rico, Alsace, and Western Australia.

In 2017, I chose places like Ukraine, the Florida Keys, and St. Petersburg, Russia.

In 2018, I chose places like Antarctica, Hokkaido, and St. Croix.

In 2019, I chose places like Newfoundland, Georgia, and Lake Orta, Italy.

In 2020, I chose places like Mexico City; Viñales, Cuba; and Vis, Croatia.

In 2021, I chose places like the Aeolian Islands, the Berkshires, and Valle d’Aosta, Italy.

In 2022, I chose places like Naples, Martha’s Vineyard, and Guanajuato, Mexico.

As usual, I am only including destinations that I visited for the first time in 2023 — so that excludes destinations that I’ve visited before, including Paris, Salzburg, and Český Krumlov. One exception: the Second Time Around award.

Ischia viewed from the castle

Ischia, Italy

When it came time to choose the number-one new destination of the year, I knew in my heart that Ischia was the place that made my heart beat fastest. (It’s a bit ridiculous, as Naples was my favorite new destination of 2022, but…I guess I know what I like!)

Ischia is so close to being the perfect island. It doesn’t have the huge tourist hordes of Capri and the Amalfi Coast — instead, most of the tourists are locals, often Neapolitans. They come here to enjoy beaches, hot springs, and the sea, along with fantastic pizza and seafood.

You can relax in Ischia, or shop, or head to an agriturismo to eat the island’s signature stewed rabbit, or…

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