Here are the 5 Spectacular Places You Should Visit Before 2015

Forget spur-of-the-moment trips. It’s time to think long and hard about your next vacay because, well, you deserve a good one! Instead of splurging on a weekend trip to Vegas or worse, Atlantic City, start saving now for one of these destinations. Whether you’re an art connoisseur or just seriously into shopping, these cities will satisfy your craving for culture.

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These hills are definitely alive with the sound of music, but that’s not all. While there’s never a bad time to visit this quaint Austrian city, their Summer Festival is sure to bring in a large crowd. This year’s event will pay tribute to Richard Strauss (2014 marks the 150th anniversary of his birth) with a performance of his comic opera Der Rosenkavalier. Another highlight will be Celilia Bartoli reprising her role as Cinderella in Gioacchino Rossini’s La Cenerentola.

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Cape Town

Cape Town was already making headlines for its picturesque beaches and revamped neighborhoods, but the tragic passing of Nelson Mandela served to remind people of how far South Africa has come over the years. Landscapes aside, Cape Town is the World Design Capital for 2014 so there will be many events highlighting everything from art to architecture, and you can expect myriad tributes to the great leader.

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Chicago is just one of those cities that suits every type of traveller. Music lovers get their fill at Lollapalooza while foodies can restaurant hop from Michelin-starred restaurants. The Great Bull Run and the Tomato Royale will also take place here in July. I’d imagine running down a track with 1,500-pound bulls behind you would be quite the rush. For a cultural overview, plan your trip around the Millennium Art Festival running from May 30-June 1st.

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Although there’s nothing specifically noteworthy about Auckland in 2014, it’s New Zealand’s biggest city and the culinary scene here is booming. Artsy types should wander through Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki to view national and international art — and for a 360-degree view of the city, take the elevator to the top of Sky Tower. Side note: this is Lorde’s hometown and that just makes it even cooler in our book.

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Riga, Latvia is now officially a European Capital of Culture, which means that there will be countless celebrations throughout the year. The biggest event will be The World Choir Games, where 20,000 singers from 90 different countries come together to unify the city through music. Riga is also quickly becoming a major destination for foodies and it’s also a good starting point for travelers hoping to hit a few other Baltic cities during their trip.

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