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Who cares about a little fog (okay, a lot of fog) when there’s so much to do in San Francisco? By day, explore Fisherman’s Wharf and the Aquarium of the Bay, ride a cable car, and stroll around the Presidio; by night, have a fabulous dinner (at a Michelin-starred restaurant or a tiny place in Chinatown), then hit some of the best clubs on the West Coast.
Modern myth has it that these days everyone in Los Angeles has written a screenplay, is writing a screenplay or is just visiting. For those in the latter category we offer a road map of ideas to help make a trip to this ultra-hip, ultra-happening haven easy, fun and exciting. While LA will always be associated with movies and movie stars, it is also a culturally vibrant city that boasts a range of interesting attractions from prestigious art museums and galleries to fabulous theatre, both well-known productions and smaller fringe shows. Art enthusiasts will be stunned by the extensive collections at the J. Paul Getty Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Visit the La Brea Tar Pits on Museum Row, then investigate the trendy shops on Melrose Avenue. Families will not want to miss the zoo or the action at Universal Studios Hollywood. Of course, no trip to LA would be complete without a stop at the Venice Beach Boardwalk or a visit to Mann's Chinese Theater and the Walk of Fame.
The first time you go to New York, go ahead and be a sight-seer—everyone should visit the Statue of Liberty, the Met, Times Square, etc. But on a return trip, pick a neighbourhood and go deep. You’ll find hole-in-the-wall bars, great delis, quirky shops… exploring the non-touristy side of New York is an incredibly rewarding experience for a traveller.
It seems like most folks have a grandmother, great-uncle or some other distant relative that used to live in Brooklyn, or perhaps a friend that lives there now. In the early 1900s, it was a mecca for immigrants arriving via Ellis Island. A hundred years later, young professionals and artists left pricey Manhattan digs for Brooklyn's cheaper and more expansive space. Neighbourhoods like Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope, which had fallen into disrepair over the years, were restored and reborn as funky enclaves. Walk or bike over the historic Brooklyn Bridge (or ride the subway) to Brooklyn Heights for a stroll along the Promenade and breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. Meander through Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens for a taste of nature in the urban wilds. Catch a performance at the world-famous Brooklyn Academy of Music. From the delicious Italian restaurants of Bensonhurst to the Irish bars that line the avenues of Bay Ridge, from the hotdogs and rollercoasters of Coney Island to the bagels and handball courts of Greenpoint, Brooklyn is a state of mind as well as a dynamic community. Discover why, no matter where people move on to, they remain Brooklynites at heart.
You've got to walk the Freedom Trail the first time you visit Boston. That's just a given. Make sure you step off the line on the pavement, though, and explore some of Boston's fine museums (try the Gardner—art masterpieces displayed in their collector's mansion) and old neighbourhoods (like the North End, where you can get the best cannoli this side of Italy). You can't claim to have experienced real Boston culture, though, unless you've watched a Red Sox game from the bleachers.
Let the Gulf Shore breeze carry you to a weekend of sun-kissed fun. The Tampa-St Pete area is Florida's second-biggest metropolitan area. Not as flashy as Miami or as crowded as Orlando, the region has grown as a tourist destination, and it's easy to see why: miles of waterfront, sandy beaches, cultural attractions and exciting amusements. Busch Gardens has been drawing visitors for years, but the city also has another zoo, an aquarium and several major museums for those who need some time in the shade.
This canal-laced city is a far cry from its rowdy, party image of the past. Today, following renovation and renewal, upmarket stores and restaurants have replaced fast-food stands and T-shirt shops. But the city's biggest draws are its stretch of gorgeous beaches, great swimming, nearly year-round sunshine and close-to-ideal climate. For great shopping, dining and nightlife, you can't go wrong at Las Olas Riverfront, a waterfront entertainment centre with top-notch clothing and jewellery shops, bars and free entertainment. The city has a host of family-friendly options, such as Everglades Holiday Park and the Museum of Discovery and Science. With the network of canals and waterways, boats are part of the Lauderdale lifestyle, and tourists can get in on the act by hiring a boat or hailing a water taxi. There's a lot to do here, but make sure and spend some quiet time just soaking up the sun or strolling along the beach at dusk.
Whether you're into sport, sunshine or salsa, Miami sizzles all year round with exciting entertainment venues and attractions, world-class hotels and restaurants, great beaches and a nightlife that never sleeps. While South Beach, with its hip nightclubs and pastel-hued buildings, gets all the press, other sections of Miami are just as hot and offer culture, recreation and more. Spend the day soaking in the sights and sounds of Little Havana or soaking up the rays at Haulover Beach Park. Explore the Art Deco District or take the children to the zoo. At the end of the day, chill out at one of the area's bars and nightclubs. In Miami at night, the day is just beginning.
Iceland’s biggest city, Reykjavik bears the distinction of being the world’s northernmost capital, and for virtually every Icelandic visitor it serves as a gateway, just to the city itself or to the rugged adventure options beyond. Founded in the country’s southwest at the end of the 18th century, Reykjavik has been Iceland’s cultural hub ever since. These days, that culture includes a hip and internationally recognised music and arts scene, not to mention a notoriously wild nightlife.