1. Cape Town, South Africa
If you’re stuck in a cold weather slump and seeking a reprieve from the less than tempting temps, Cape Town is a safe (and satisfying) bet. Known for its varying types of terrain, from mountains to beaches, vineyards to wildlife reserves, the diversity of surroundings verges on surreal. Head to Foxy Beach to fawn over the packs of penguins, wander out to a local vineyard to go wine tasting, snap pictures of the colorful town of Bo-Kaap, brave a traditional braai (barbecue), seek out a safari on a nearby game reserve, or take a more leisurely stroll down the ever-popular waterfront Sea Point Promenade. The ambitiously adventurous can attempt rappelling down Table Mountain on the world’s highest commercial abseil or brave a bout of cage diving with sharks. If cultural fare is more your concern, the Museum of Contemporary African Art will soon be opening for the culture aficionados in the coming year.