Five Up-and-Coming Eco-Friendly Destinations

  • 01 of 06

    Five Up-and-Coming Eco-Friendly Destinations

    Overlooking Tel Aviv. Photo by: Olivia Balsinger.

    Some destinations are known for being green, while others fly under the radar. Here are a few examples of such cities and countries where the first word you might not think of as "sustainable" or "eco-friendly," but are usually making a lasting impression on its travelers and environment. 

    Whether looking for your next domestic or international adventure, consider one of the following eco-friendly destinations, from Canada to the European Union.

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  • 02 of 06

    Las Vegas, Nevada

    An aerial view of the infamous city. Photo by: Michaela Guzy.
    Michaela Guzy

    When you think of Las VegasNevada, you think of going green... at the poker table or slot machines that is. But off the casino floor and behind the scenes, Las Vegas is going green on the sustainability front too.

    Some destinations, like Las Vegas's City Center, are making green travel a reality. At 18 million sq. ft., City Center is one of the largest new construction projects to receive Gold LEED Certification.

    That's about 6.5 times the total floor area of New York City's Empire State Building! While not the first in Nevada to earn a certification, City Center is certainly paving the way for the state's green initiative. The project started the process from the beginning, with 93% of all construction waste diverted from landfills, and its own power plant.

    City Center includes the shopping center Crystals, the 61-story Aria Resort and Casino and Vdara Hotel and Spa.

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  • 03 of 06


    Overlooking Tel Aviv. Photo by: Olivia Balsinger.
    Olivia Balsinger

    Just like the urban American hubs of New York City (CitiBike) and Santa Monica (Hulu Bike), Tel Aviv, Israel is home to a bike-sharing program known as Telofun. Today, Tel Aviv has 85 miles worth of cycling lanes and travelers can join cycling tours to see the modern city by two wheels. And outside the city, communities are embracing eco-tourism as well.

    Looking to intertwine cycling and living history?

    Look no further than a biking tour with Gordon Active, ranging from day-long ventures throughout Tel Aviv to weeklong adventures starting in Jerusalem and riding through Masada, the Negev Desert and back to Tel Aviv. And, just like all Gordon Tours, the active adventures showcase Israel in all of its glory—from the Judaen period to the present day.  

    Israel is home to the kibbutz, a collective community composed of several families living and working together and centered around agriculture. Ein Gedi, one of the most famous kibbutz communities, is located at the Dead Sea and is home to a lush botanical gardenKibbutz Lotan is a remote and peaceful kibbutz centers around eco-tourism, providing eco-campus stays, workshops, hiking and bird watching in its private bird reserve.

    For another recommended eco-stay, book The Succah in the Desert, a camping accommodation known for its simple luxury under the stars in the town of Mitzpe Ramon. Or stay at Isrotel's Mitzpe Hayamin in the north of Israel, dually an organic spa and boutique hotel which prides itself on its diverse organic and livestock farms, which provide the majority of ingredients for the hotel's restaurant and kitchen.

     (And, not to mention, is a stunning property located on 37 acres of fields and orchards!) 

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  • 04 of 06

    Rural Germany

    The view from Brocken.
    Westend61/Getty Images

    Venture past the well-known cities of Berlin and Frankfurt to the less-known rural lands of Germany. Germany - a country that covers 138,000 square miles - has 15 UNESCO protected biosphere reserves and more than 100 natural parks.

    Experience a stay at the bio hotel Hotel LindenGut in Dipperz. It is the first "certified organic guesthouse," which it suitably lives up to. All your meals will be prepared from their organic onsite farm and you will doze off at night on organic linens.

    Fall asleep looking up at The Brocken at The KurkparkHotel-Ilsenburg. The 4-star property is not short on eco-conscious or luxury. Located at the foot of The Brocken, the highest peak of the Harz National Park, the property is a prime location to immerse yourself in Germany's rural beauty.

    Exploring the laundry list of natural sites will take you to some of the greenest trails you'll experience, like the Luther Trail, over 1,000 miles worth of hiking. Learn more about traveling through sustainable Germany beyond its cities

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  • 05 of 06

    Buenos Aires, Argentina

    The streets are more than colorful in Argentina; they're sustainable too.
    Copyrights by Sigfrid López/Getty Images

    Buenos Aires is the largest city in Argentina and the second largest in South America with a population of about 2.9 million. While Buenos Aires has plenty of work to do on the sustainability front, it is making efforts to become an eco-friendly city. EcoBici, a 24-hour free bike sharing service continues to expand throughout the city. Travelers can also take bike tours of the city to observe the European architecture and influence and history.

    Buenos Aires is home to The Costenera Sur Ecological Reserve, where you'll find a calm, green refuge in the midst of an urban hub.

    Stay at InterContinental Buenos Aires. InterContinental's parent company, IHG, abides by an extensive Green Engage System that makes this one of the greenest hotels in the city.

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  • 06 of 06

    Vancouver, Canada

    The ocean coastline of Vancouver. Photo by Michaeala Guzy.

    Vancouver is one of the most diverse cities in Canada with 52% of the population speaking a first language other than English. The city island has cultural influences from across the globe and the unique mix of rainforest and ocean coastline. While it might already be known as an excellent example of a Green City, Vancouver is just getting started. At the forefront of CO2 emission efforts (Vancouver committed to cutting emissions by 33% from 2007-2020) and hydropower, the city aims to be the Greenest City in the World by 2020.

    When traveling to Vancouver, take to the waters with Organic Ocean, a sustainable seafood supplier, to make your catch before making fresh sushi. The neighborhood of Gastown is walkable with everything from a shop supporting underprivileged street artists to a boot-maker who has been in business since 1833. The miles of coastline offer activities like cycling tours and a prime place for runners to train. 

    Stay at Fairmont Pacific Rim for a luxurious yet sustainable waterfront experience.