By Lilit Marcus, CNN
While many of the world’s most popular tourist destinations are expected to reopen to travelers in 2022, some places will still be closed.
Some of these iconic sites are under construction or modernization that will make them even better when they reopen, while others make the tourist equivalent of definitive sailing at sunset.
Don’t worry, we have backup plans and alternative options for all of these locations.
Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (Washington, DC)
This popular museum in the US capital is in the midst of a massive seven-year renovation where “the 23 exhibits will be completely redesigned, with new presentation spaces and attractions.”
Some of this work was done while tourists were visiting, but the museum will close for at least six months in 2022 to enter the next phase of transformation. At the end of the work, there will be room for some 1,400 new objects.
Plan B: The Smithsonian operates several museums across Washington, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Most of them are also within walking distance.
The Haiku Stairs (Oahu, Hawaii)
A beautiful hiking trail on Oahu sometimes referred to as “the stairway to heaven,” the Haiku Stairs has been plagued by overtourism.
Although the stairs were officially closed to the public in the 1980s, that hasn’t stopped many hikers from sneaking up the stairs and sometimes injuring themselves.
This fall, Honolulu City Council voted unanimously to remove the staircase permanently. It should be dismantled in 2022.
Plan B: Hawaii is full of beautiful – and less risky – hikes on its islands. If you’re already in Oahu, consider the Ehukai Pillbox Hike instead.
The Roosevelt Hotel (New York)
One of Manhattan’s grand hotels – this is where Mad Men’s Don Draper lived after his divorce from Betty – welcomed its last guests in 2020 after almost reaching the turn of the century.
Plan B: As New York City reopens, check out – or check in – another classic Midtown hotel, like the Plaza (directly across from Central Park) or the Knickerbocker (in Times Square). The Roosevelt building is still there, so you can drop by to see the architecture for now.
One Liberty Observation Deck (Philadelphia)
The downtown 57th floor tourist site quietly closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, citing the lack of tourists in the City of Brotherly Love.
Plan B: For Instagram-ready panoramic views of Philadelphia, the nearby City Hall Tower Observation Deck will do the trick.
Stalheimskleiva Trail (Vestland, Norway)
One of Scandinavia’s steepest roads, the Stalheimskleiva Trail connects two picturesque waterfalls in the UNESCO-listed Nærøydalen Valley.
The road, which is also known for its hairpin bends, is undergoing much needed maintenance in 2022. There is no confirmed reopening date at this time.
Plan B: There is no shortage of beautiful outdoor places in Norway. Try the ‘Nordic seaside islands’ of Lofoten or the remote northern island of Fleinvær to stay in wooden cabins surrounded by unspoiled nature.
Mound Arch Marble (London)
London has plenty to see and do, but locals were excited to welcome a new attraction in July 2021. Although the attraction was billed as a lush outdoor retreat with public art and views on Hyde Park, the end result has been derided on social media as “an unfinished heap of rubble.”
Despite a few obstacles along the way, Marble Arch Mound reopened in August and will close permanently in January 2022.
Plan B: Greenwich in South London is home to the Royal Observatory. As well as seeing the Prime Meridian ship and Cutty Sark, the walk through Greenwich Park to the Observatory offers beautiful views of the city.
Asia and pacific
Fraser Island (Queensland, Australia)
Okay, that’s cheating – Fraser Island didn’t go anywhere, but reverted to its aboriginal name of K’Gari. The name means “paradise” in the local language Butchulla.
Plan B: This picturesque island still lives as usual. Queensland – and the rest of Australia – will slowly reopen to foreign tourism in 2022, so start planning your trip now. In other words, plan B is plan A.
The yellow pumpkin (Naoshima Island, Japan)
Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is famous for his huge pumpkin carvings with polka dots. One of the most famous is the bright yellow one on the Naoshima Wharf, “the island of art” perched in the Seto Inland Sea.
In August, a severe typhoon swept the pumpkin into the sea. The Benesse Art Site, which manages the island’s museums, managed to recover the pieces, but it is not known if and when the pumpkin will be on display again.
Plan B: Many of Kusama’s beloved “infinity hall” installations can be found in museums and galleries around the world, including Tate Modern in London and the Broad Museum in Los Angeles. There is also a small museum dedicated to his work in Tokyo.
The Peak Tram (Hong Kong)
One of Hong Kong’s most easily recognizable attractions is the Peak Tram, which transports visitors to the highest point on the island. Red metal cars made their debut in 1989, on the 100th anniversary of the original funicular.
Now, however, it’s time for another iteration. The tram closed for renovation in June 2021 and there is still no specific date for its reopening.
Plan B: The good news, however, is that there are plenty of other ways to access the Peak while the streetcar is out of service – buses, taxis, and private cars are all permitted, and there are several easily accessible hiking trails. .
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