With less than a week to go before 2016 ends, countless "new year, new you" resolutions are likely underway — in addition to travel plans being made for the upcoming year.
For those would-be travelers vowing to see more of the world — or at least to visit cool parts of the country — there are plenty of places to consider. AFAR put together a (somewhat overwhelming) list of 100 places to visit next year, including 16 cities in the U.S. alone. It also created a 25-question quiz to help narrow down which locations might be a good match for vacationers.
Separately, Travel + Leisure polled its specialists to come up with its list of the 50 Best Places to Travel to in 2017, giving the nod to a lengthy list of destinations such as Bermuda; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Belgrade, Serbia and Angra dos Reis, Brazil. Yet for those wanting to stay within U.S. borders, however, the publication recommended domestic hot spots such as Columbus, Honolulu and Indianapolis.
Recently, CNBC canvassed a few travel experts to get a sense of where 2017's vacation hot spots might be, with a surprising number appearing to think America is where it's at in the new year.
In the wake of a grueling U.S. election, Canada soared in popularity among people looking for an escape. In 2017, there will be partying up north as Montreal celebrates the 375th anniversary of its founding and Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of its Confederation. New Year's Eve will mark major celebrations in 19 cities across the country, and continues throughout the year with free admission to all Parks Canada.
The U.S. dollar is still quite strong against the Canadian currency, so a trip to Canada also offers good travel value.
On August 21, the first solar total eclipse to be visible from the continental United States since 1979 will take place. That makes for prime viewing opportunities for the event, which will take less than three minutes but can be spotted from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina (weather permitting).
The "point of greatest eclipse" has been identified as Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Locals have rechristened the city "Eclipseville," and to that effect have planned a long list of events to mark the occasion — including the Summer Salute Festival on August 18–20.
Lonely Planet shared a list of the top 10 places in the United States they urge travelers to visit this year — and at the top of the list is a relatively obscure North Carolinian city.
Asheville is "one of America's most vibrant and eclectic small cities, with a welcoming, creative spirit, a thriving artistic community and music scene, and now world-class dining," said Lonely Planet magazine managing editor Rebecca Warren.
Meanwhile, Western Washington takes the number two slot on Lonely Planet's list.
"We were excited that iconic locations like Snoqualmie Falls and North Bend will once again get the spotlight in the Twin Peaks comeback in 2017," said Lonely Planet's Western U.S. Destination Editor Alex Howard. He noted that "Seattle is a perennial favorite and a great springboard for exploring the area's national parks. The San Juan Islands are also emerging, with new openings and farm-to-table restaurants next year."
Other cities on the list include Lincoln, Nebraska (#3), which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year; Palm Springs and the Southern Desert area of California (#4) and Montana's Flathead Valley (#5), which encompasses one of the largest wilderness areas in the contiguous states.
Atlanta, home to The BeltLine and new state-of-the-art sports stadiums, sits at #6 on the Lonely Planet list, while the 42 peaks of New York's Adirondack Mountains claimed the #7 spot.
"The Adirondacks are one of New York's hidden gems," said Ron Ofner, executive director of the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council. "We are known as a year-round destination for adventure seekers, and I think new visitors will be surprised by the incredible variety of unique breweries, distilleries and wine trails, as well as how close we are to major metro centers."
Rounding out Lonely Planet's list was Texas Hill Country wine region (#8), home to a long list of tasting rooms and festivals along Wine Road 290. Denver, otherwise known as the Mile-High City, checked in at number 9 on Lonely Planet's list.
The city has countless microbreweries, plenty of music and (legal) marijuana, and a new ski train that takes skiers and boarders from the city to the slopes.
Florida's Emerald Coast, with its 100-mile stretch of sugar-fine sand and laid-back beachfront towns, rounded out the list at number 10.
— Harriet Baskas is the author of seven books, including "Hidden Treasures: What Museums Can't or Won't Show You," and the Stuck at the Airport blog. Follow her on Twitter at @hbaskas. Follow Road Warrior at @CNBCtravel.