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Home to two of America's most prestigious universities, Cambridge exudes a certain intellectual quirkiness. A mix of historical haunts, student hang-outs, alternative art and culture venues, vintage clothing shops, bookstores and ethnic restaurants, the city is, well, really cool. Although it is located just across the Charles River from Boston, Cambridge has a distinct vibe that is noticeable immediately. Start at Harvard Square, a hub of activity and mishmash of trendy stores, outdoor cafes and colorful local characters. Pick up a walking tour map at the visitors information booth in the center of the Square. The route will take you past many important landmarks including the Mount Auburn Cemetery, Tory Row and the Longfellow National Historic Site. Harvard University offers student-led tours through the illustrious buildings and monuments of its sprawling campus. Art and architecture buffs should meander around the M.I.T campus, which includes outdoor sculptures by masters such as Picasso and 20th-century buildings designed by modern greats like Eero Saarinen and I. M. Pei. Along the way, browse through bookstores, stop to watch street performers and grab a coffee at an outdoor café to take in all this captivating city has to offer.
Best known for the witch trials that took place in 1692, Salem is sure to bewitch you with its seaside charm, its maritime history and spellbinding beauty. Follow the Red Line along the sidewalks to navigate your journey through historic sites, including the Witch Trial Memorial, the Old Burying Point Cemetery and more. Discover serenity by the sea on the beaches of Salem Willows. The Bewitched statue, the Witch Museum and the Witch Dungeon conjure up diverse takes on witchery through history.
It's no wonder that the Pilgrims fell in love with America when they landed at gorgeous Plymouth, set in the calm waters of Plymouth Harbor along Cape Cod Bay. It was here that the first English colonists made war and then peace with the Natives, celebrating their newfound cooperation with the first Thanksgiving dinner. Visit the landmarks that honor this piece of American history, from Plymouth Rock to Mayflower II to Burial Hill. Or just enjoy the sandy beaches and calm sea breeze.
Providence seamlessly blends the old and the new with historic attractions, museums and theaters situated alongside more recent additions like the scenic RiverWalk, outdoor skating center, downtown mall, convention center, hotels and acclaimed restaurants. Wander back in time while strolling down historic Benefit Street or explore Roger Williams Park Zoo with the kids. Tantalize your taste buds on Federal Hill or tour the city from a unique perspective on an authentic Venetian gondola.
Visit Provincetown and have a blast enjoying some of Cape Cod’s best beaches (Race Point Beach and Herring Cove Beach are favorites of TripAdvisor travelers). Plenty of cool boutiques, restaurants and art galleries give this town a fun and funky vibe. It’s an exceptionally LGBT-friendly destination as well. One tip: if it’s high season, take the ferry or a quick flight from Boston (unless you enjoy spending hours sitting in traffic).
Don your walking shoes, breathe in the ocean air and set out to discover this picturesque maritime town. You can join one of several organized walking tours or explore on your own. Portsmouth is filled with old homes and museums, and you'll have your pick of fascinating historic sites. Climb aboard the USS Albacore, a retired U.S. Navy submarine offering tours and exhibits. View an 18th-century garden, striking stairway and period furniture at the Moffatt Ladd House, the home of William Whipple, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, or follow a costumed guide through the John Paul Jones House, home of the Revolutionary War naval hero. For a broader look at the city's history, visit Strawbery Banke Museum, where over 40 buildings have been assembled to depict Portsmouth life from 1695 to 1950, complete with costumed actors. If you know architecture, Portsmouth's array of Colonial, Federalist and Neo-classical styles will dazzle you. Weary of walking? Sit down for a meal at one of Portsmouth's fine eateries or relax on a narrated harbor or whale-watching cruise.
Here in the heart of Rhode Island’s “Classic Coast,” you can choose your own adventure. Soak in miles of spectacular coastal scenery, study authentic Colonial and Gilded Age architecture, saunter along the wharves of the bustling waterfront, and sink your toes into the sand of stunning beaches. You can be inspired at the legendary mansions, be energized by the vibrant nightlife, and savor local flavor at our many celebrated restaurants, wineries and breweries.
Yes, getting there is a bit of a project. But vacationers have been braving the ferry for years, and this tiny island off Cape Cod remains one of the most popular and picturesque destinations in New England. Among the island's towns, you're sure to find the Vineyard that's right for you. With stately Greek revival houses dating back to the whaling era of the early 19th century, Edgartown is a seaside village of boutique shopping and pristine harbor views. For more of a "beach town" feel, Oak Bluffs has the Flying Horses carousel, an arcade and an easy walk to the beach, plus the history and charm of the "gingerbread" houses in the Methodist campgrounds. Vineyard Haven offers visitors a blend of both. For a real retreat, Chilmark/Aquinnah is the place to get away from it all. In the off-season, the island is quieter and far less crowded, but the shore is always beautiful. Whenever you visit, leave your car behind! Cabs are plentiful and greet the incoming ferries to help you reach your destination. Most visitors prefer to explore the island on a bicycle, scooter or tourist-friendly public buses.
This pleasant, walkable town right at the elbow of Cape Cod is a classic New England vacation spot. Bringing kids? Check out calm beaches like Cockle Cove Beach and Harding’s Beach. If you’re looking for stunning scenery, however, try Chatham Lighthouse Beach. Its tides can be strong (heed the posted warnings), but it’s one of the most beautiful beaches on the Cape.
Conquering New York in one visit is impossible. Instead, hit the must-sees – the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art – and then explore off the beaten path with visits to The Cloisters or one of the city’s libraries. Indulge in the bohemian shops of the West Village or the fine dining of the Upper West Side. The bustling marketplace inside of Grand Central Station gives you a literal taste of the best the city has to offer.
Historic Charleston is bursting with Southern charm and hospitality. The city feels a bit like it’s suspended in time, thanks to its antebellum architecture and surrounding plantation landscapes. Take in incredible views of the Battery and the French Quarter as you stroll the Waterfront Park, then become inspired by the cultivated beauty of the gardens at Middleton Place. At night, try a ghost tour for an introduction to the spooky side of the city.
Charming Savannah is the picture of antebellum hospitality, thanks to period architecture and oak-lined streets. It’s tempting to spend your trip just relaxing on vast verandas and sipping mint juleps, but there are plenty of historical sites and museums to explore. Haunting (and possibly haunted) Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the hallmarks of the city, featuring beautiful obelisks, masses of flowers, and ivy-covered crypts. Dine on fresh seafood and creamy grits for a taste of Savannah home cooking.
At the shore in Miami Beach, visitors can swim, surf and jet ski in the warm and crystal-clear Atlantic waters. You can also nap on the white sands, work on a tan or simply watch the beautiful people, especially at South Beach, a favorite of models and celebrities.
New Orleans is full of life—but with a laid-back energy that sets it apart from other cities. You’ll wanna soak it all in: impromptu jazz performances up and down Frenchmen Street, the ding of the St. Charles Streetcar, moss-draped trees in the famous Garden District…even its gothic, above-ground cemeteries. (The city’s said to be one of the most haunted in America.) For some, NOLA will always be all about Bourbon Street, but for travelers looking to take it slow, the city’s distinct blend of cultures—including Creole and Cajun—means there’s tons to see, explore, and yes, eat.
The festive city of San Juan is the perfect place to experience true Puerto Rican culture. Get to know its roots by exploring the vibrant neighborhood of El Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan), which consists mostly of Spanish colonial buildings. Flesh out your self-guided history lesson with a visit to El Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th century citadel that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then reward yourself with a cooling dip at Luquillo or Carolina Beach, then a tasty tour of the Bacardi rum plant.
Mayan ruins tower over the sea in Tulum. The formerly walled city was one of the last to be built by the Mayans, and its archaeological sites are incredibly well preserved. Take a break from the beach to visit El Castillo, the Temple of the Frescoes, and the Temple of the Descending God. Explore an underground river under a canopy of stalactites in the sacred caverns of LabnaHa Eco Park, or dive into Cenote Dos Ojos to snorkel inside of caves in the middle of a forest.
Aruba is the quintessential Caribbean island, all sun and sea and stretches of powdery white sand. Time will slow to a pleasant crawl as you linger over a tropical cocktail or flutter serenely underwater, where only the parrotfish are in a hurry. The pastel façades of Oranjestad landmarks and shops lend an inviting and playful vibe to the capital city. Enjoy the shade of an Eagle Beach divi tree while the crashing waves of turquoise water create a soothing soundtrack just for you.
Whether you’re a high roller or a low-key lounger, Las Vegas has something to suit your vacation taste. Sample fare from top chefs and cornucopian buffets, try your luck at one of the world’s premier casinos, or take in a spectacular show. Just wandering the Strip is enough to get your heart pumping. Once you’ve had enough of the razzle-dazzle, wave hello to the toothy sea life at the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef, hike Red Rock Canyon, or visit the Neon Museum, where old signs take on new life.
San Diego embodies laid-back California culture, complete with a Boardwalk, surfing communities, and outstanding Mexican food. Breathe in the fresh ocean air at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, then gobble down a fresh fish taco at a La Jolla seafood joint. The naval aircrafts at the USS Midway Museum will have you standing at attention. A free Sunday concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion is the perfect way to unwind after a Saturday night bar-hop in the thumping Gaslamp Quarter.