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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. Neighborhoods 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.
Queens is the most ethnically diverse area of its size on Earth, which means there's a little something for everyone. Chow down on Indian food, sit in on a traditional Irish pub music session, and dance the night away at a Puerto Rican nightclub, all of it located within a few subway stops. Queens is also the home of the Mets and the US Tennis Open, and the former home of the New York World's Fair, now Flushing Meadow-Corona Park, and Paramount Pictures, now the Museum of the Moving Image.
Famous as the home of Yankee Stadium, elevated trains, and dense apartment blocks, the Bronx is also the greenest of New York City's boroughs. Visit the gorillas at the famous Bronx Zoo or wander through the 50-acre forest at the New York Botanical Garden. Pick up some gourmet foods on Arthur Avenue, the Bronx's Little Italy, and have a picnic at Van Cortlandt Park, which features two square miles of boating, horseback riding, tennis, and the oldest public golf course in the United States.
The home to Yale University since 1701, the city of New Haven is packed with an unrivaled collection of arts and antiquities, with collections ranging from natural history specimens to antique musical instruments. The towering translucent marble cube of the Beinecke Library contains 600,000 rare volumes, including one of the only surviving Gutenberg Bibles. The Yale University Art Gallery is as famous for its collection as it is for its building, a Modernist masterpiece designed by Louis Kahn.
Atlantic City draws tourists by the car- and bus-load, topping more than 20 million visitors per year! Stroll along the famous Boardwalk with its numerous amusements and eateries or visit the historic Absecon Lighthouse and the new Wheel at Steel Pier. Several championship golf courses are within a 30 minute drive to attract golf enthusiasts. In summer, the local free beaches are popular with families. Beach bars are peppered throughout the resort and you can dig your toes in the sand and enjoy your favorite cocktails. Water-based activities include parasailing, charter fishing and dolphin-watching cruises. Casino hoppers have 9 establishments to choose from and there is something for everyone's taste. Those who remember Atlantic City in its pre-gambling days can wax nostalgic with a taste of saltwater taffy and iconic rolling chairs which have been Atlantic City favorites for over 100 years.
From the National Mall’s monuments and memorials to vibrant neighborhoods filled with character and charm, DC is a world-class destination featuring breathtaking views, award-winning hotels and hundreds of free things to do. Experience outstanding performing arts at acclaimed theaters, shop in historic Georgetown, hear great live music at legendary venues, enjoy sporting entertainment from six professional franchises and be dazzled by a flourishing dining scene with Michelin-starred restaurants.
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.
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.
Atlanta has been dubbed everything from the "capital of the new South" and "the next international city" to "the best place to do business." It's also a great place to visit. Fueled by the prosperity of local mega companies like Coca Cola and Holiday Inn, the prestige of hosting the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and the energy of young upwardly mobile types who have migrated to the city in droves - Atlanta is on fire. And this time it's a good thing. From world-class restaurants and a myriad of cultural attractions to a hip nightlife and sporting events galore, the city is cosmopolitan in every sense of the word. But Atlanta has also managed to maintain its historic character. Stop by the Atlanta History Center or visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Historical Site, a moving tribute to an American icon. Browse through the former home of famous author Margaret Mitchell or pop into the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum for details on the life and times of the former president and his family. Whether you choose modern urban endeavors or old southern pleasures, Atlanta will not disappoint.
Houston hums with an energy and independent spirit all its own. A leading cultural and culinary destination in the South, the city is home to over 11,000 restaurants featuring cuisine from more than 70 countries. The thriving arts scene includes resident opera, ballet, symphony and theater companies. The Museum District houses 19 museums, all within walking distance. Be sure to visit Space Center Houston, where you can visit NASA’s Historic Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center.
Get major-city sophistication in a location that is one of the world’s natural wonders. Obviously a hub for those seeking the Rocky Mountain ski slopes, Denver is also home to four major sports teams, major museums and a wide variety of neighborhoods that make the city a destination in its own right.
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.
Hollywood beckons to tourists who long for a brush with Tinseltown glamor. Tour movie studios, slip your hands into the famous prints at the TCL Chinese Theatre, or indulge in a celeb sighting at one of LA’s white-hot nightspots. Spot your favorite star while shopping at The Grove, or forget all about the famous eye candy as you take in the iconic artwork at The Getty Center. For a different type of star-gazing, peek through the telescopes at the Griffith Observatory.
This city, full of colorful homes, canals and bridges, is one of Europe's most picturesque capitals. Must-sees on any visitor's itinerary include the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum and the world's only floating flower market. Rent a bike and join thousands of locals navigating Amsterdam's labyrinthine streets, or just take in the sights on foot. For an unusual and memorable alternative to hotels, consider staying in a houseboat.