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Belgium's fourth-largest - and most beautiful - city is home to a quarter of a million people and a flourishing flower export trade. An important port, Ghent's city center is a pedestrian area that is like a museum to early Flemish architecture and a testament to the city's medieval might. Impressive Gothic sites, such as dramatic St. Bavo's Cathedral and the Castle of the Counts, inspire awe. The works of Flemish masters are housed in the distinguished Museum voor Schone Kunst.
Lively Antwerp is a hidden gem. Its medieval streets, Renaissance monuments and vibrant nightlife tend to be overshadowed by its reputation as center of the diamond trade and as the world's fifth-largest port. Biking is a popular choice for getting around this stylish Flemish city. See thousands of Old Masters at the Royal Museum and Rubens House. Experience the bustle of life at the Grote Markt. Marvel at the art and architecture of the still unfinished Cathedral of Our Lady, started in 1351.
Unassuming Brussels is the capital of Belgium, Flanders and Europe. Medieval Grand-Place, is indeed grand, with many 17th-century buildings and daily flower markets. Reopened in 2006, the Atomium, Brussels' Eiffel Tower, provides great views, inside and out. Architecture fans should visit Musee Horta, home of Belgian master architect Victor Horta. St. Gery's clubs and bars are packed year-round. Seafood eateries abound in Ste. Catherine. Walk, rather than get snarled up in traffic, in the narrow streets.
Holland's most modern city began as a fishing village in the 13th century. It was developing into an industrial and trading power when German bombers destroyed the city center and harbor in 1940. However, Rotterdam's unique architecture now brings many visitors to bike around this urbane, cosmopolitan city. Old Dutch-style houses can still be found in historic Delfshaven, from where the pilgrims set sail in 1620. Cultural offerings from summer's carnival to classical music give Amsterdam competition.
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.
Hilly Cincinnati boasts a thriving arts scene, major league sports teams, a world-class zoo and aquarium and a revitalized riverfront with shopping, clubs and restaurants. Located on the Ohio River in southwestern Ohio, Cinci claims more than 4,000 restaurants, and more chili restaurants than any other city in the world. Adrenaline-junkies will want to visit the nearby Kentucky Speedway and Paramount's Kings Island, home of the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world.
The windy city is a cornucopia of modern art, fine dining, cutting edge comedy, and die-hard sports fans. Snap a photo of your reflection in the silver Cloud Gate sculpture at Millennium Park before heading to Grant Park to get hit with the refreshing spray of Buckingham Fountain. There are dozens of museums and theater companies in Chicago, so a cultural experience is never hard to find. You’re sure to laugh your head off at the Second City Theater, the professional launch pad of many famous comedians.
High-speed, history and good old Hoosier hospitality are a few reasons to put Indianapolis on your list of great getaways. Sports is another. From the legendary Indianapolis 500 to the Pacers and the Colts, the city offers ample opportunities to view professional and amateur sporting events, take part in athletic events and visit sports museums. At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hall Of Fame Museum you can tour the famous track (try to reserve tickets if there is a race in town) or visit the museum dedicated to automobiles and auto racing. Other sporty museums include the NCAA Hall of Champions. To get in on some of the action, head to SportZone which features six acres of indoor athletic facilities the whole family will enjoy. Those less interested in sports, or with kids in tow, can still find tons to do in and around the city. History, art and other cultural attractions abound. Visit the Children's Museum or checkout the zoo. Stroll along cobblestone streets past 19th-century buildings in the Lockerbie Square District or visit any number of historic landmarks. Known as the "Crossroads of America," more interstate highways bisect Indianapolis than any other city in the country, making it an exciting and easily accessible destination.
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.
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.
From the Magic Kingdom to magical spa treatments, Orlando sparkles with the promise of adventure. Spend a day exploring the world-famous Disney theme parks or screaming your head off on a Universal Studios roller coaster. For a less adrenaline-pumping afternoon, enjoy the quiet natural beauty of the Harry P. Leu Gardens or enjoy a seaweed scrub at a luxury day spa. Savor fresh and local ingredients at one of Orlando’s James Beard-nominated restaurants.
Omaha is home to the world’s largest indoor desert under the world’s largest geodesic dome above the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit next to one of the world’s largest indoor rainforests! Climb aboard history at The Durham Museum, explore 100 acres at Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s Botanical Center and discover priceless works of art at the Joslyn Art Museum. Explore the Old Market, Omaha’s historic entertainment district, where boutiques, antique stores and restaurants line cobblestone streets.
The home of swing and bebop for some, "The City of Fountains" to others, Kansas City is different things to different people. Music enthusiasts are drawn to the jazz clubs and old haunts of famous musicians such as Charlie Parker and Count Basie. With more fountains than Rome, there is ample opportunity for scenic strolling from fountain to fountain. Stop along the way to discover interesting neighborhoods and browse through eclectic shops. Families are particularly attracted to the city because of its child-friendly events and venues. Science City features hands-on exhibits including a mock television studio where kids can deliver a weather forecast, while the Zoo houses impressive African and Australian exhibits plus an IMAX Theater. The city's museums cover everything from the history of jazz music to a celebration of African American baseball players. Once a trading post for pioneers heading to the Western United States, today Kansas City is a burgeoning metropolis with activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests.