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17 best places to visit in 2017

1/7/2017, 8:24 p.m.
Lobster suppers near the rocky red shores of Prince Edward Island.
Vacation rentals can save travelers money, but finding the right fit requires effort on the part of vacationers.

— Lobster suppers near the rocky red shores of Prince Edward Island.

Panda-cuddling and Sichuan food in Chengdu.

Big waves and raw blues at Senegal's secret surfing spots.

After consulting CNN's experts around the world about their favorite spots to vacation, we've put our heads together and chosen 17 of the best places to visit in 2017.

Prince Edward Island, Canada

With Canada celebrating its 150th birthday in 2017, there's no finer excuse to head to the birthplace of the nation, Prince Edward Island.

Travelers are falling in love with the island's rocky red shores and picturesque fishing villages all over again thanks to several new TV and movie productions of the Lucy Maud Montgomery classic, "Anne of Green Gables."

The best way to explore the island's capital, Charlottetown, is on foot.

Many of the highlights are in the historic downtown core including the Charlottetown Province House -- the famed government building where the Charlottetown Conference took place in 1864. It was here that a small group of elected officials gathered to discuss the possibility of joining the region's independent provinces to create a singular nation.

Three years later, Canada's Constitution Act was passed by British Parliament and a new country was born.

Upscale restaurants have multiplied on the island in the last 10 years, taking advantage of the excellent local produce.

But there's nothing quite like an old fashioned lobster supper -- a massive gathering traditionally held in a cavernous community hall that ends with a table full of empty shells and butter-coated fingers.

Penang, Malaysia

Another country celebrating a big milestone is Malaysia, which turns 60 in 2017.

The best way to celebrate a birthday? Food, of course.

The Malaysia island of Penang is arguably one of Asia's best street food destinations. It offers a mix of traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian dishes, as well as fusion cuisines such as Baba Nyonya, or Peranakan, which incorporates regional ingredients and Chinese and Malay cooking methods.

All of it can be found in hawker centers and shop houses throughout George Town. Combine this with the city's collection of historic buildings in various styles, from old English colonial mansions to classical Chinese shophouses and Islamic mosques, and you have a city made for walking and eating.

Colombia

With Pope Francis expected to visit to Colombia this year, a peace accord has brought even more prosperity and visitors to this bustling South American nation.

From the sizzling bean-to-coffee scene in Bogota to Medellin's sophisticated architecture and Cartagena's defensive fortifications dating back to the 16th century and its packed arts scene, Colombia has arrived.

Some of the world's finest coffee beans are grown here, and coffee aficionados love to do the farm-to-café tours.

But there's no need to leave the cities to get a good cuppa. The capital city of Bogota features baristas at La Devocion and Bourbon Coffee Roasters to rival those in Paris or Rome. And the beans are grown in Colombia.

Sophisticated public architecture shines in Medellín, where a renaissance in design and infrastructure has produced buildings such as Giancarlo Mazzanti's Parque Biblioteca España, the most famous of a half-dozen libraries in the city. A gondola-like public transit system transport residents and visitors alike to the city's public rail system.