8 rising star cities from 2015

Date Posted: 19/01/2016

From Georgia and Texas to Bali and Melbourne, here are some increasingly popular destinations to inspire your 2016 travels.

The following destinations have become increasingly popular over the last year according to research by Airbnb, and there’s no better time than the present to book a visit before even more crowds appear.

1. The Bukit Peninsula, Bali

The Bukit Peninsula is the southernmost point of Bali, Indonesia. It is a large limestone peninsula, rugged and dry, which has two main towns called Pecatu and Ungasan.

Bukit is mainly known for its high waves and turbulent waters, which brought surfers to the area – be aware that to surf, you’ll need to be at least of an intermediate level as the waves are huge. Don’t worry though, there is plenty for non-surfers to do as well.

Visitors to the peninsula should also make time to visit the famous cliff-hanging temple at Uluwatu, which perches on a steep cliff 70 metres above the roaring Indian Ocean.

GTOS can organise a tour of the temple with a local guide, but be aware of the troop of pesky monkeys who live in the temple. They are notoriously known for steeling loose items, so hold on to your hats, sunglasses and bags.

2. Poncey-Highland in Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta

Poncey-Highland is a neighbourhood on the east side of Atlanta, located south of Virginia-Highland.

It’s home to numerous historic buildings, including the Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant (now a retail outlet) and the Briarcliff Plaza, containing the Plaza Theatre, which is  an art-deco cinema hosting numerous film events throughout the year.

Foodie groups will find a range of eateries in the suburb. Try pulled pork, grits, and mac and cheese at Sweet Auburn BBQ, or buffalo wings served with celery and blue cheese at Manuel's Tavern, one of Atlanta's oldest pubs. The tavern offers private rooms which are available for parties of 15 or more to hire.

3. Meireles in Fortaleza, Brazil

Meireles is the stretch of beach which surrounds the Brazilian handicraft fair of Feirinha de Artesanato. The fair will not disappoint anyone looking for local memorabilia to take home; artists carve wooden sculptures and paint images for tourists to buy, while food and drink is sold across hundreds of little stalls.

Further down the road in Fortaleza is the Museu do Ceará. There are some insightful exhibits in the museum on the state's history and anthropology, including a display on the four fishermen who sailed from Praia de Iracema to Rio in 1941 to bring their life of 'misery and suffering' to the attention of the Federal Government.

Two hour guided tours of Fortaleza are also available; groups can discover the history and story behind the city, and visit historic buildings such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and the President Castelo Branco Mausoleum.

4. Kaneohe on Oahu, Hawaii 

Sailing off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu Island is home to Kaneohe, which was originally important as an agricultural area, owing to an abundance of rainfall. Now it is predominantly a residential area, and GTOs looking for a relaxing getaway will find a peaceful way of life in Kaneohe.

Features of note are Ho?omaluhia Botanical Garden – free to enter with hiking trails across the parkland – and the new Hawaii National Veterans Cemetery, which serves as a memorial to honour those who served in the United States Armed Forces.

There are also three golf courses here: Pali Golf Course, Ko?olau Golf Club and Bayview Golf Park.

5. Constitución in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Constitución is situated to the south of Buenos Aires, and boasts some impressive architecture dating back to colonial times encompassing churches and religious houses. The most prominent of these is the Iglesia del Inmaculado Corazon de Maria built in neo-gothic style at the north end of Plaza Constitución, site of a former farmers’ market.

The beating heart of Constitución is the train station (Estacion Constitución) which is worth popping into even if you’re not getting on a train. It was built in four stages during the 1800s and 1900s, and presents a blend of neoclassic and Victorian architectural styles.

Also make time to visit the Museo de la Caricatura Severo Vaccaro, which is dedicated to the preservation of the history of Argentine humour and cartoonists.

6. Roma Sur in Mexico City, Mexico

Historically an aristocratic hub, Roma Sur's residential streets now teem with people from neighbouring Latin American countries.

The area puts great emphasis on simple traditions: think buying fruit from street vendors, grabbing lunch at the market Mercado Medellín, and sipping coffee while reading a newspaper at a street side café.

The best known landmark in the district is the Casa Lamm, which is a cultural centre and restaurant located in a restored mansion that dates to 1911. Groups can visit an art exhibition space and a bookstore before enjoying a bite to eat.

7. Oak Lawn in Dallas, Texas

Oak Lawn, Dallas

This American suburb is one of the wealthier areas in Dallas, and is peppered with upscale townhouses, condos, apartments, and duplexes.

Visitors will find various festivals going on throughout the year, including a Halloween street event which features a costume parade with live commentary, and booths selling food, beer and other refreshments.

Oak Lawn has plenty of outdoor spaces also, and has been described as a ‘walkable neighbourhood.’ It is home to several of Dallas's more notable parks, including Lee Park, which is a popular site for public events, picnics and strolls around Turtle Creek.

Also located within the same stretch is the Katy Trail, a 3.5 mile concrete hike-bike trail that winds through parts of Oak Lawn’s uptown and downtown.

8. Richmond in Melbourne, Australia

Richmond is three kilometres south-east of the centre of Melbourne, and the suburb is packed full of shops, restaurants selling a range of food from across the world, and art and music venues.

Make time for a marathon shopping spree at Bridge Road's label factory outlets, and stop on Bridge Road for a bumper lunch at Osteria La Passione. It’s open for dinner, but groups can book for lunch on request.

Follow with a visit to Church Street, the place to go for designer furniture and objets d'art, and conclude with a stroll around the art galleries on Albert Street.

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