Aching to sate your wanderlust this year? 2014 marked the debut of a number of exciting attractions, each offering something different to patrons. Here are some examples of brand new sights to see (and tours to take) from around the globe.
The Smithwick’s Experience, Kilkenny, Ireland
Smithwick’s is Ireland’s oldest beer, and if you prefer a brewery tour that’s a little out of the ordinary, then off to Kilkenny you go–there, you’ll experience not only a pint or two of the perfect ale, but a tour complete with re-enactments of the company’s history.
Played out by local actors, holograms, and living portraits of the family who took their business from a small operation to a worldwide brand, the differences between Smithwick’s tour and other brewery tours are obvious. It opened in July 2014, and has since received global acclaim.
BioMuseo, Panama City, Panama
This unique museum is a combination of technology, science and art that marries all the biodiversity that Panama has nurtured throughout the ages. It literally acts as a “bridge of life” between the Atlantic and Pacific, allowing species to cross over and evolve.
Panama is home to more species of birds, bugs, amphibians and animals than the United States and Canada combined. Take all of that science-drenched information, add a dash of this museum’s stunning architecture, and you’ve got yourself a fascinating attraction.
Observation Wheel, Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
If a breathtaking view is what you seek, the Observation Wheel is exactly where you’ll find it. Climb into one of the 42 climate-controlled gondolas (with free wi-fi) and soar 60 meters above Hong Kong, capturing all the 360-degree photos you can in your three-rotation trip on the giant ferris wheel. Though it’s not the highest lookout point in Hong Kong, it is the one that offers the most unobstructed view.
The Yellow Submarine, Argentina
As far as aquatic adventures go, the Yellow Submarine in Puerto Piramides, Argentina provides a whale-watching experience like no other. Get up close and personal with these beastly but beautiful creatures from the observation deck, or head to the submerged area of the submarine and watch them through the windows in their underwater environment.
The main whale-watching season is from mid-June to mid-December – but if you find yourself here in the off season, the submarine travels to the colony of Punta Pyramids to host a sea lion observation tour.
The King Richard III Visitor Center, Leicester, England
This new $6.8-million museum highlights the life and death of Richard III, and is located in a former school building that happens to be right next to the parking lot where his remains were discovered and excavated in September 2012. A stylized AV show highlights the places and people that surrounded his controversial rise to the throne, as well as information and artifacts about the architectural dig itself.
The Giant Frame, Dubai
Set to be completed in the second half of the year, this giant picture frame located between old and new Dubai will offer glorious views of both areas from the panoramic elevators and glass walkway – nearly 500 feet (150 meters) above the ground. After its completion, it’s estimated that almost $33 million will have been spent on this new landmark, which offers an unparalleled view of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
Funtasy Island, Singapore
Billed as the world’s largest “eco theme park”, this ongoing construction project will be a mecca of tropical fun. The park, situated close to Sentosa Cove on Singapore’s Sentosa Island, sprawls for 800 acres and features a water park, theme park, a beach/sport club, aquariums, a “love island” (a destination wedding extravaganza), and palatial resorts strewn about the entire area. Not much else can compare to this luxurious hotspot.
The Broad Museum, Los Angeles
Construction delays will put this modern art museum’s estimated completion time in the fall of 2015, but it’s never too early to plan your trip to this “vault and veil” styled building, which will be home to over 2,000 individual pieces of contemporary art from the private collection of billionaires Eli and Edythe Broad. Artists include Jean-Michel Basquiat and Roy Lichtenstein. Myriad lectures and programs will also be offered. General museum admission will be free.
Eternity Passage, Beijing
About 20 miles from the city center, this multi-faceted, high tech sci-fi amusement park will be part of the Beijing Outlets World complex. The amusement park itself will feature fifteen interactive areas that teach about Chinese culture, specialized gaming zones, walkways, and five and six-dimensional interactive theaters. A more spectacular journey through time and information will not be found.
One World Observatory, New York
Atop the tallest building in the Western hemisphere, One World Trade Center, there will be a new, 120,000 square foot observatory offering unique vantage points of the city. With special lifts that take you to the top of the skyscraper in 60 seconds, you can explore this three-level observatory via the Sky Portal, a 14-feet wide platform on which you can stand for a street view, or let the motion sensor screens give you more information about the city. Other features include an event space and three dining areas.
The Philharmonie, Paris
For the music buffs, the new ultra-modern Philharmonic Hall in Paris promises an intimate acoustic experience, with a design that “envelops the audience” by noted visionary architect Jean Nouvell. In addition to the large acoustic space, it also contains five rehearsal spaces and ten practice areas. Though it was chiefly designed for major symphony orchestras, if you make it there in March, you can see David Bowie perform.
The Goods Line, Sydney, Australia
Soon to be located in inner Sydney, this public, elevated park space will be a transportation and culture hub, and act as a spine to unite several diverse neighborhoods.
The Museum of Tomorrow, Rio De Janiero
Science and sustainability come together in Rio De Janiero’s Mauá Pier, where the Museum of Tomorrow will cover 30,000 square meters of gardens, reflecting pools, and recreational areas as well as the museum itself. Water from Guanabara Bay will be used to cool the building and to fill the main pool. Steel structures on the roof will possess wing-like motion to help the solar panels increase their productivity. It is slated to open in the first half of 2015.