Thought the crush around the Tidal Basin during the Cherry Blossom Festival (or on the left side of the Metro escalator) was bad this year? Just wait till 2015. Lonely Planet has come out with its top 10 global destinations for the coming year, and the District is No. 1.
Credit the Smithsonian museums, new developments like CityCenterDC and The Yards, and restaurateur José Andrés for the top ranking, all cited by Lonely Planet in its glowing writeup of the District’s offerings. And of course there’s an anniversary peg, the sure-to-be-festive 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln‘s assassination, which “will be marked with the kind of pomp you’d expect from a city whose official religion is national politics and whose history is etched into America’s foundation story,” according to the Lonely Planet.
It’s the first time D.C. has made Lonely Planet’s list at all, according to the Washington Business Journal, which first reported the news.
D.C. beat out a list of famous and not-so-famous destinations for the No. 1 spot; it’s followed in the rankings by El Chaltén, Argentina; Milan, Italy; Zermatt, Switzerland; Valletta, Malta; and Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Of course, there’s always an element of arbitrariness in these types of rankings, which often go out of their way not to include previous picks. And so it’s not clear that Lonely Planet’s choices will truly bring a substantial tourism boost to the District—-not an obscure destination to begin with—-to eat at Jaleo and check out mementos of our 16th president’s bloody death.
But Lonely Planet is the best-known publisher of travel guides, and if thousands of additional tourists do follow its advice, at least we’re prepared with a whole bunch of new hotels to put them up.
Image via Wikimedia commons / public domain image of Abraham Lincoln