10 Places to Go Now

<em>Lonely Planet</em> magazine’s Spring 2017 issue, on newsstands now.
Lonely Planet magazine’s Spring 2017 issue, on newsstands now.

In the latest issue of Lonely Planet magazine (lonelyplanet.com/usmagazine), our destination editors round up the best seasonal experiences for travels near and far, from springtime festivals to nature’s awesome spectacles.

New Orleans in Mobile, AL
New Orleans in Mobile, AL

Jan 28–Feb 28 Mobile, Alabama

New Orleans gets all the credit for Mardi Gras, but the festivities first took place in the original capital of French Louisiana territory: Mobile. More than 30 parades filled with floats wind through the streets. — Lauren Keith @noplacelike_it

Feb 1–28 Ptuj, Slovenia

Join 10,000 revelers for the spectacular Kurentovanje spring carnival in February. Locals dressed as the fertility god Kurent parade through the streets to chase away winter with clubs. — Anna Tyler @go_AnnaT

Feb 26–28 Binche, Belgium

Dating to the Middle Ages, the Carnaval of Binche is the kind of stick-beating, orange-hurling, masked Mardi Gras celebration that makes you think there must be something in the beer. — Daniel Fahey @FaheyDaniel

April 9–15 Zamora, Spain

Spain is famous for its elaborate celebrations and hooded processions during Holy Week (the week before Easter), and this town does it best. — Tom Stainer @TomDoesTravel

Puffins in Grimsey, Ireland
Puffins in Grimsey, Ireland

March Grímsey, Iceland

Puffins flock to northern Iceland in March, after months out at sea. And where better to spot them than Grímsey, where birds outnumber people 10,000 to one. — James Smart @Smartbadger

March 11–12 San Juan Capistrano, California

Thousands of swallows return to the 200-year-old Spanish mission church here after wintering in South America; their arrival is celebrated by a festival held in their honor. — Clifton Wilkinson @Cliff_Wilkinson

March 19 Israel

A carnival atmosphere takes hold across Israel during the Jewish festival of Purim, when revelers dress up for parades, parties and plenty of eating and drinking. — Helen Elfer @Helen_Elfer

Pilgrimage in Taiwan
Pilgrimage in Taiwan

April Taiwan

In the third lunar month (usually April), join thousands of pilgrims on a nearly 190-mile walk through western Taiwan to honor the goddess of the sea, Matsu. The temple-dotted route crosses rivers and ascends mountains. — Megan Eaves @megoizzy

Easter in Patmos, Greece
Easter in Patmos, Greece

April 16 Patmos, Greece

Experience the spectacular Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations with midnight fireworks, candlelit processions and dancing in the streets. — Brana Vladisavljevic @branavl

Waisak in Java, Indonesia
Waisak in Java, Indonesia

May 11 Java, Indonesia

As the full moon rises, witness a procession of saffron-robed monks laying flowers and candles and offering prayers as they celebrate Waisak. — Dora Whitaker @dorawhit

For more travel inspiration and information, pick up a copy of Lonely Planet magazine. Enter now at lonelyplanet.com/usmagazine/competitions for a chance to win a five-day vacation to Florida’s Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Competition runs February 7 through April 28, 2017. Terms and conditions apply.

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