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Famed for its soccer team and music scene, which has produced the likes of the Smiths and Oasis, this center for sports and the arts is a down-to-earth and friendly city. The so-called Capital of the North has overcome industrial decline, bombing (in WWII and by the IRA) to become a confident and cosmopolitan city of well over two million. It is well served by a bus and light rail network. Top attractions include the Lowry art complex, arcade Affleck's Palace and Canal Street gay village.
Leeds, a city in West Yorkshire, England, was one of the leading centers of industry in Victorian England. The Leeds City Museum is a great place to brush up on local history, and many TripAdvisor travelers say no visit to town is complete without exploring the Royal Armouries. You’ll also find lovely parks and a lively restaurant scene, with many eateries specializing in international cuisine.
Dubai is a destination that mixes modern culture with history, adventure with world-class shopping and entertainment. Catch a show at the Dubai Opera, see downtown from atop the Burj Khalifa and spend an afternoon along Dubai Creek exploring the gold, textile and spice souks. If you’re looking for thrills, you can float above the desert dunes in a hot air balloon, climb aboard a high-speed ride at IMG Worlds of Adventure or skydive over the Palm Jumeirah.
Myrtle Beach is all at once a spring break destination, golfing destination, retirement community, and family vacation spot. Take in a foot-stomping show at the Carolina Opry, or cheer on your favorite knight at Medieval Times. Mingle with the fishermen of Springmaid Pier, then stop for ice cream along the boardwalk. Shop and dine at one of the area’s many outdoor entertainment complexes, or simply explore the many beaches of the Grand Strand – all with a personality of their own.
Get the experience of visiting two island colonies in the same 37 square miles. Saint Maarten/Saint Martin's spicy marriage of Caribbean, French and Dutch cultures matches its physical diversity: the island is both urban and untamed, with rain forest-like landscapes, white beaches, and amazing caves and wildlife.
Puerto Rico offers the perfect balance of rum-soaked nightlife and tranquil retreat. The Spanish colonial buildings of San Juan set a perfect backdrop for a day of shopping and sightseeing. Hike the massive El Yunque rainforest to see waterfalls, stone towers, and colorful Puerto Rican wildlife. As far as beaches go, it doesn’t get better than the private sands of Isla de Vieques – particularly Mosquito Bay, where by moonlight the water glows blue-green thanks to magical microorganisms.
Among the best golf destinations in the world, Punta Cana is the very picture of leisure. Several of the courses have been designed by professional golfers, making for the perfect sort of kicked-back challenge that you want on a golfing vacation. The beaches here are simply perfect: calm, warm waters that gently lap at stretches of fine white sand. Thrill yourself with a zip-line adventure, clap along with traditional Dominican music at a cultural performance, or explore the magical lagoons of the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park.
Home to some of the best beaches in America, Clearwater is a great family beach destination. Sure, it’s in Florida, but it’s not Giant Rodent Florida (a.k.a. Orlando) or Crazy Spring Break Florida (a.k.a. Fort Lauderdale). Rather, it’s Calm, Old-Fashioned Florida… which is something worth seeing. Oh, and the weather’s outstanding.
Destin is located on Florida’s Emerald Coast, which gets its name from its beautiful, clear green water. Beaches here have extremely fine, soft sand, so if you’re a beach-walker or your kids enjoy building sand castles, this could be a great destination for you.
Most vacation spots are either relaxing (Tahiti) or family-friendly (Orlando). Sanibel Island, however, is that rare place which is both. Spend a quiet afternoon shell-collecting, or find a hotel with a kids' program so you can enjoy a trip to the spa or a round of golf.
A city trapped in time, Havana captures the imagination like no other. Faded glamour meets careful colonial-era reconstruction with a backdrop of irresistible color. Walk El Malecón, the walkway bordering the ocean; visit Old Havana and the Catedral de San Cristóbal; and listen for salsa music, open-air bazaars and parties that last all night.