Three destinations in the US are among Lonely Planet’s ‘best places to visit’ in 2023: Can you guess the choices?

Lonely Planet has released its annual “Best in Travel” list for 2023 – and three US destinations made the cut.

The travel brand’s chosen locations are based on predictions from experts who celebrate the best places to eat, connect, relax, learn and travel.

The 18th annual collection highlighted “transformative” and “meaningful” travel experiences, Lonely Planet’s senior vice president of content and executive editor Nitya Chambers told Fox News Digital in a telephone interview.

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“As travel has recovered, we’re finding that travelers want more meaningful experiences from the journeys they take,” she said.

“And so we not only leaned on that layout and structure, but also [we have] a real focus on local voices and expertise.”

A man jumps rocks during a walk on the beach at Lowell Point in Seward, Alaska.

A man jumps rocks during a walk on the beach at Lowell Point in Seward, Alaska.
(Nathaniel Wilder Lonely Planet)

The list is curated by nominations from staff, global travel experts and other contributors – and each destination is judged on community, tourism, global appeal and overall excitement.

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Lonely Planet then calls on locals to spotlight the best of the best of each destination.

New Mexico local ShanDien LaRance stands near a rocky landscape.

New Mexico local ShanDien LaRance stands near a rocky landscape.
(Lonely Planet Ghost Farm)

Here’s why the three U.S. locations — Alaska, New Mexico, and Boise, Idaho — made the 2023 list.

1.Alaska

The Last Frontier features prominently on Lonely Planet’s list in the “connecting” category.

The state of Alaska is known for its beautiful scenery, unique wildlife, and national treasures, such as Denali National Park.

The Kenai River in Alaska is seen from the air in this image.

The Kenai River in Alaska is seen from the air in this image.
(Nathaniel Wilder Lonely Planet)

However, what Lonely Planet says it loves and appreciates about Alaska is its energy and connection to both places and people.

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Chambers explained that Alaska is a standout for travel in 2023 because the state is a great example of how Indigenous groups manage authentic tourism experiences while embracing sustainability.

“You really see that connection woven through all of Alaska’s content,” she said

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“It’s a really fascinating framework to think about Alaska, a place that’s so familiar to so many of us — but really exposes parts of it that you might be experiencing in a new way for the first time.”

2. New Mexico

The entire southwestern state of New Mexico is presented as a location for learning.

Lonely Planet noted that the “Land of Enchantment” is home to 23 indigenous tribes and has much more history to discover.

A man beats a drum as the sun sets over the vast New Mexico landscape.

A man beats a drum as the sun sets over the vast New Mexico landscape.
(Lonely Planet Ghost Farm)

“This is an ideal place to learn about Native culture, art and music while enjoying the food and natural beauty of the American Southwest,” wrote Lonely Planet.

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Chambers added that part of the “souvenir” of visiting New Mexico is “taking home what you learned.”

Native American hoop dancer ShanDien LaRance provided Lonely Planet with a local perspective on the state, citing such features as New Mexico’s “fresh air and open air”.

ShanDien LaRance from New Mexico is a Native American hoop dancer.

ShanDien LaRance from New Mexico is a Native American hoop dancer.
(Lonely Planet Lightning Boy Foundation)

Chambers said LaRance drew attention not only to New Mexico’s conservation and sustainability aspects, but also to its native art, history, cuisine and Hispanic culture.

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“She talks about the arts community, talks about the history, talks about the people, talks about the food that’s really woven through that background,” Chambers said.

Hot air balloons are lined up for flight in New Mexico.

Hot air balloons are lined up for flight in New Mexico.
(Lonely Planet)

“And it’s really powerful, I think, to see her heritage in a sort of modern New Mexico setting.”

3.Boise, Idaho

The city of Boise, Idaho received much praise as a place that fosters community and belonging.

Lonely Planet mentioned some of Boise’s versatile adventure features, such as water rafting in the summer and skiing in the winter.

A couple walks a trail in Camel's Back Park in Boise, Idaho.

A couple walks a trail in Camel’s Back Park in Boise, Idaho.
(Tamara Kenyon Lonely Planet)

Boise offers year-round natural beauty, the brand added, as well as a remarkable wine and culinary scene that make it a “great place to connect.”

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Chambers credited Boise’s charming crossover of natural beauty and an “under-the-radar” dining and arts scene.

Croquetas, Tortilla de Patatas and grilled peppers at Bar Gernika in Boise, Idaho.

Croquetas, Tortilla de Patatas and grilled peppers at Bar Gernika in Boise, Idaho.
(Tamara Kenyon Lonely Planet)

“Boise was one of those places that you look at [into] — and you have a moment where you get really excited about something unexpected,” she said.

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According to Chambers, Boise has experienced a “boom” in population over the past decade, drawing more attention to the city’s “small farming town charm and local pride.”

A band plays in an amphitheater in Boise, Idaho.

A band plays in an amphitheater in Boise, Idaho.
(Tamara Kenyon Lonely Planet)

“It has that sense of community that you can connect with,” she said.

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“And I think there’s a great story about Boise’s community…as it grows and develops.”

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