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 the Bahamas.
It requires a considerably longer flight over the Caribbean – about three and a half hours from Miami – but the spice island of Grenada, just north of Venezuela, is everything Nassau is not. Where cruise ship-crowded Nassau occupies what's basically a limestone rock, Grenada's rich soil grows everything from coffee and cocoa to nutmeg and ginger. There are rushing rivers to go tubing down, jungles teeming with monkeys and sweeps of long white beach that beat anything on Nassau's built-up shores. Visit Grenada's River Antoine Rum Distillery to see the oldest waterwheel-powered rum producer in the Caribbean, after scuba diving around the 600-foot-long Bianca C, an Italian cruise ship that sank here in 1961. And snag a room at the beachfront Flamboyant Hotel & Villas on the sublime beach of Grand Anse for a fraction of what a similar suite would cost on "Paradise Island."
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