Beirut, Lebanon
Credit: Ramzi Hachicho / Getty Images

Why You Didn't Want to Go: Beirut has been consumed by violence on a regular basis since Lebanon achieved independence after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The latest full-scale conflict was the 2006 Lebanon War, which saw Israeli lobbing missiles at the city's southern suburbs. The bombing has ended but terrorist attacks have continued to be a consistent problem. 

Why You Want to Go Now: "The Paris of the East" got its nickname for a reason. The city is cosmopolitan, sophisticated, and – as if that wasn't enough – on the beach. Beirut is famous for its clubs (check out La Plage) and it's beautiful women, but the real selling point is its neighborhoods, which feel intimate and welcoming. Also the food. Everyone likes Lebanese food.