visit that is!
The NY Times has a list of 41 Places to Go in 2011, and our future home (for the next three years anyway) makes the list at #21.
Of Tallinn, the article says:
The beautiful capital city aims to shed its stag-party past.
Soon after EasyJet began flights from London and Berlin to the Estonian capital in 2004, Tallinn became known as the Las Vegas of the Baltics, luring hordes of party tourists with its cheap liquor and wild seaside night life. But now, with the city’s selection as a 2011 European Capital of Culture, cash is flowing in and pulling Tallinn out of its stag party adolescence.
Some seven years after Estonia joined the European Union, large-scale infrastructural and restorative work, including several rebuilt museums, a waterfront promenade and a large arts venue, KultuuriKatel (Culture Cauldron), are reshaping Tallinn’s cultural identity. Much of Northern Europe’s arts community will converge on the city this year, as it debuts a yearlong schedule of European Union-sponsored events, including the student-focused contemporary art triennial Exsperimenta! and “Stories of the Seashore,” a project that enlists writers, actors, artists and musicians to reflect on the sea that has been so central to Estonia’s development.
The rest of the list is:
1. Santiago, Chile - Undaunted by an earthquake, a city embraces modern culture.
2. San Juan Islands, Wash. - Bold-face restaurateurs vie with unspoiled nature. Nature wins. (Pulling Stakes used to live here, and my friend Sez and her wife E still do)
3. Koh Samui, Thailand - A toned-down version of Phuket, heavy on wellness and food.
4. Iceland - Where a country’s hardships are a visitor’s gain.
5. Milan - A reborn cathedral joins fashion-forward galleries and hotels. (I wonder if Z over at Something Edited This Way Comes has room...)
6. Republic of Georgia - A rustic ski wonderland on the verge of discovery.
7. London - Anticipating the 2012 Olympics, a slew of new hotels and restaurants. (Been there, but hey, the Olympics are coming!)
8. Loreto, Mexico - A beach hideaway with sport fishing gets a luxury resort.
9. Park City, Utah - Beyond the film festival, a growing group of top-tier resorts.
10. Cali, Colombia - Cafe culture is on the rise while salsa fuels the night life.
11. The Danube - From Budapest to the Black Sea, new cruises on a storied river.
12. Niseko, Japan - An Aspen emerges in Asia, with luxury to spare.
13. Oahu - Hawaii’s most developed island adds resorts and attractions.
14. Antwerp, Belgium - A new breed of boutiques have made it a fashionista’s paradise.
15. Melbourne, Australia - New hotels plus big-name chefs put Sydney on notice.
16. Tlemcen, Algeria - An ancient Islamic city dresses up for a gala year. (Don, you got room?)
17. Sopot and Gdansk, Poland - Poland’s Baltic coast welcomes party hoppers and soccer fans.
18. Erzurum, Turkey - Skiing in Turkey? A winter sports capital emerges in Anatolia.
19. Hyderabad, India - Dynastic grandeur in the heart of modern India. (Andrea...need a dog sitter?)
20. Manchester, England - An industrial city reinvents its famed musical past.
21. Tallinn, Estonia - The beautiful capital city aims to shed its stag-party past. (Home Sweet Home to be)
22. Fogo Island, Newfoundland - An art colony blooms on remote and rugged shores.
23. Singapore - With new resorts and casinos, the city lets its hair down.
24. Port Ghalib, Egypt - A low-key beach escape with clear water and sea creatures. (I've been near here, but I'd go back).
25. Whistler, British Columbia - The Olympians are gone. Now it’s your turn.
26. Guimarães, Portugal - A city of youth is fired up by its art scene.
27. Olympic Park, Wash. - Bad weather is good for skiers and storm-watchers.
28. Dresden, Germany - A new museum leads the way to a historic city’s future.
29. Oualidia, Morocco - On a Moroccan lagoon, oysters, flamingoes and no crowds.
30. Zanzibar - On an African isle, luxury lures the après safari set.
31. Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay - The ranches beyond a historic village offer a dose of rural chic.
32. Tozeur, Tunisia - Camel racing, souks and eco-lodging in a Saharan oasis. (I could hang with the Four Globetrotters...I think.)
33. Hangzhou, China - An hour from Shanghai, a historic jewel goes five-star.
34. Iraqi Kurdistan - Safety, history and a warm welcome in a stable corner of Iraq.
35. Durham, N.C. - A downtown turnaround means food worth a trip. (Used to live near here...a famous blogger I used to date still does.)
36. Kosovo - Mountains, medieval architecture and unexpected night life. (Todd K...I know you are reading this!)
37. Pingyao, China - Ming architecture is intact as contemporary culture takes root.
38. Salonika, Greece - Out of the country’s economic woes, a new wave of artists. (T, how far are you from here?)
39. Okinawa, Japan - A ‘Japanese Amazon’ with some luxury thrown in.
40. Budapest - A scene pops up in abandoned buildings, and glamour rises.
41. Miami - Big-time music arrives in a town known for beaches and art.
Now I just need to figure out which of my friends are close enough to each spots so I can begin my vacation planning!