Lonely Planet names Richmond one of the best places to visit in 2018

Lonely Planet names Richmond one of the best places to visit in 2018

(WWBT) - Richmond is one of the best "underrated, rejuvenated and out-of-this-world" places to visit in 2018, according to Lonely Planet.

The list features natural wonders, as well as up-and-coming cities. The company said their experts scoured all over the country to find the spots.

Richmond made the list at no. 7 due to the "microbreweries, cideries, and buzzworthy restaurants." Lonely Planet also noted the adventures and whitewater rapids on the James River, as well as the new 52-mile bike trail.

The website also noted the exhibits at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Richmond's historical elements, such as the city's role as the capital of the Confederacy and St. John's Church.

River City has flipped from humdrum to happening, but the 'hey y'all' hospitality remains. Scott's Addition, once a gritty manufacturing district, thrums with microbreweries, cideries and buzzworthy restaurants, while the James River lures adventures with whitewater rapids plus a new 52-mile bike trail along its banks.

Here are the other sites and cities that made the list:

California's Redwood Coast

Lose all track of time (and cell signal) along California's Redwood Coast. Movie buffs might recognize the region's scene-stealing backdrops from Hollywood blockbusters like Jurassic ParkE.T. and Star Wars. But the full wonder of California's 2000-year-old redwoods – some reaching 20 stories high – is impossible to capture on any screen. Look up at the forest canopy: that last 100ft of redwood growth marks 50 years since Redwood National Park was established in California's tree-hugging triumph over logging. And this year, in celebration of their 100th anniversary, Save the Redwoods League are offering free entry to over 40 redwood state parks every second Saturday of each month.

Boise, Idaho

Home to a spirited arts community, an explosion of award-winning wineries and craft breweries and a socially responsible shopping district, Boise is what cool looks like before the rest of the world has figured it out. Fun festivals abound in Idaho's capital from downtown's Treefort Music Festival (hailed as the new alternative to SXSW) to the Boise Brew Olympics and Punk in Drublic – a beautiful marriage of punk rock and craft beer.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Once little more than a pit stop between Atlanta and Nashville, the nature-centric 'Noog has transformed itself into a bastion of elevated Southern living. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Chattanooga for some of the best rock climbing in the country, myriad hiking and mountain biking trails and wild rides on the Ocoee River – one of America's top spots for whitewater rafting.

Florida's Space Coast

Space tourism is a rising star, with 2018 set to mark the launch of the world's first lunar tourism flight from SpaceX. Don't want to lose your life savings down a black hole? Visit the next best thing, Florida's Space Coast: home to the Kennedy Space Center and the setting for countless iconic launches including Apollo 8 – the world's first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon – which celebrates 50 years since blastoff in 2018.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Set among steep hills with the bridge-strewn Ohio River swashing its edge, Cincinnati has always been a looker. Now beer, arts and savvy neighborhood development are giving it some swagger. The new Brewing Heritage Trail tells the beer story: how Cincy was a leading producer through the late 1800s, its citizens guzzling 2.5 times the national average. Today Rhinegeist and other modern beer makers have taken over the abandoned breweries, many of which are walkable in Over-the-Rhine, an old German neighborhood of ornate brick buildings, fresh eateries and funky shops.

Midcoast, Maine

One word says it all: 'Ayuh'. The easygoing equivalent of 'mm-hm', it's Mainers' characteristically quirky and modest go-to reply. Is it true, you ask, that about 90% of Maine is forested (the highest percentage of any state), making it ideal for adventure activities and escaping from tourist crowds? Ayuh. And how about Midcoast Maine's superb maritime museums and exploding foodie scene of craft breweries, local vineyards and gourmet farm-to-table restaurants? It's not the quiet backwoods it once was. Ayuh. In fact, 2018 will mark the region's 70th Maine Lobster Festival and a coming of age as an increasingly exciting cultural center of world-class art museums and galleries, right? Ayuh. So is now the time to visit? All together now: A-...

Kentucky Bourbon Country

The state of Kentucky is known for its rolling hills topped with stately horse farms, its fierce devotion to college basketball and, most importantly, its bourbon. The state's distilling heritage runs deep, and those looking for a taste should head straight to Kentucky Bourbon Country, the golden triangle between Louisville, Lexington and Elizabethtown where this seasoned spirit comes to life. You'll find an enticing network of the country's most well-known distilleries and top-notch restaurants with bourbon-inspired menus.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Despite landing atop lists of 'most affordable' and 'most livable' cities – and in a state ranked the USA's happiest – Minneapolis seems a bit underappreciated. But after its turn in the spotlight for this year's Super Bowl, that just might change. The city worked hard to spruce up for the big event, in particular with renovations to downtown's main thoroughfare Nicollet Mall introducing groovy light features, art installations and innovative social spaces.

Southeastern Utah

Arches National Park's multicolored sandstone spans. Island in the Sky's Colorado River-carved vistas. Monument Valley's sky-piercing towers. Southeast Utah's major landmarks have been firm favorites among travelers for decades. Recently, however, lesser-known regional sites like the forested plateaus of the new Bears Ears National Monument have become hot-button news items due to political tussles in Washington, DC over protecting natural and cultural resources.

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