You know why so many people celebrate so hard when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st? Well, aside from the fact they have been drinking since noon, it's also because on January 1st we get a fresh slate of TEN WHOLE VACATION DAYS! And as soon as the New Year's Day hangover wears off, it's time to start planning where we'll spend those 80 working hours a year.

It might be tempting to go somewhere overseas. Somewhere exotic. But time and money are scarce commodities, and you already happen to be in the world's most interesting country. Around this great nation of ours, some outstanding new things are popping up: museums, hotels, parks, water slides in the shapes of volcanoes, the usual. You're about to have the time, so look to hit one of these US cities in the coming year.

Chattanooga, Tennessee
A new rare guitar museum rises in a historical train station.

SongbirdsDo you love music. No, like, do you really LOVE music? Then your top 2017 destination is Chattanooga, which this year welcomes a new museum called Songbirds to its Chattanooga Choo Choo complex, a renovated 1880-vintage train station. The museum's keystone exhibit is a display of 300 historic guitars, including over 30 Gibson Sunburst Les Paul guitars, 300 custom Fenders, and an extensive collection of both solid- and hollow-body Gretsches.

If this all sounds like Martian to you, don't sweat it. Chattanooga's still got plenty going on. Also opening at the complex is the Revelry Room, a new live-music venue, and a new location of the Comedy Catch club. Station St -- where the station-turned-entertainment complex resides -- will be opening a slew of new shops and restaurants to complement the new attractions. And for those who want to do more than eat, drink, and look at guitars on vacation, the Ironman 70.3 World Championship will be here in September. 

Written by: Matt Meltzer
Published on: December 16, 2016

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