100 Destinations to Experience Right Now

It’s easy to find guides to famous attractions. But which new and newly relevant destinations are worth experiencing right now?

To assemble our first annual list of the World’s Greatest Places, TIME solicited nominations across a variety of categories—such as museums, parks, bars, restaurants, theme parks, cruises and hotels—from our editors and correspondents around the world as well as dozens of industry experts. Then we evaluated each one based on key factors, including quality, originality, innovation, sustainability and influence.

The result is a list as diverse as the world it reflects, with 100 entries spanning six continents and 48 countries—highlighting everything from a Texas water park that empowers kids with disabilities to a Maldives resort that’s building an undersea abode to a library in Tianjin, China, that’s almost as wondrous as reading itself.

Eight Tables by George Chen
George Chen has opened more than a dozen restaurants, including the James Beard Award–nominated Betelnut, but Eight Tables has been lauded as his most ambitious one to date. It stars a 10-course, high-end showcase of sifang cai, or private chateau cuisine, an experience popular during the Qing dynasty, when Chinese elite had private chefs and would invite friends to their homes for grand and elegant meals. The $225 meal starts, for instance, with nine small bites representing the nine essential flavors of Chinese cuisine, ranging from sweet (dates stuffed with chrysanthemum honey) to spicy (beef tendons topped with Sichuan peppercorns) and is studded with luxurious ingredients, like foie gras and caviar. To evoke a private chateau, Chen hired design firm AvroKO. The studio skipped the usual bar area for a bar cart, hung photos of Chen’s father and grandfather in the reception area, and carved out a semi-private room for each of the eight tables. – Time Magazine (08.23.18)