Travelers often find themselves on the path most traveled because – amid the brush and bramble of advertisements, trend pieces, and travel magazine features – it's the only passage they can imagine. And that's fine: Popular destinations tend to be popular for a reason. That said, there is a singular joy in trying something different.
To encourage travelers looking to take a chance, we've compiled a list of places they can skip in 2014 and found the places they ought to go instead. Going to Vail is not (and never will be) a mistake, but there are other adventures out there.
Don't go to Montréal.
North Americans in search of a French fix tend to default to Montréal. Though there is a lot to do in Canada's second largest city, travelers looking for a more Gallic experience would be wise to set their sights on Québec City – the capital of Québec province and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Québec City is more than 400 years old and the architecture in Vieux-Québec is far more French than anything in Montréal. But it's the cuisine that's really turning heads here lately. Dine on foie gras, Quebec cheeses (the province produces over 300 varieties), and lobster with truffles in the cozy "winter garden" at Le Saint-Amour or opt for something easier on the wallet at the retro-inspired La Cuisine, a restaurant that morphs into a dance bar at night. Order the bouilli (beef stew à la pot roast), an unpretentious comfort food that, like Québec City, is the ultimate in all things Québecois.
Credit: Hiroyuki Matsumoto / Getty Images