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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.
You may have all heard that everything is bigger in Texas. Well, Dallas does its best to fulfill that promise. You'll find several museums with vast art collections and fascinating specialty museums like The Sixth Floor Museum/Texas School Book Depository, which, though small in size, offers an immense amount of information about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. And of course, visit a local steakhouse for a terrific (and enormous) meal.
Although Tucson's fantastic weather, national parks and forests and desert provide the perfect environment for tons of outdoor recreational activities, this city of half a million people also has its share of history and culture. With a history that goes back much further than many of its southwestern neighbors, Tucson boasts turn-of-the-century architecture, historic neighborhoods, museums and the Mission San Xavier del Bac, a still-functioning 18th-century mission considered one of the most beautiful in the U.S. Mexican and Native American influences are pervasive, and the city has a distinctly Western flavor. There's also a college-town atmosphere, thanks to the University of Arizona, which has its own share of museums and a science center. Whether golfing at a world-class golf resort, horseback riding, hiking in the wilderness, discovering desert flora and fauna at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum or exploring pre-Columbian and other art at the Tucson Art Museum, you'll have a mind-boggling array of things to do.
With live music to be heard all across town, 24/7, 365 days a year, Music City lives up to its name. From honky-tonk bands jamming at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge to songwriters in the round at the Bluebird Cafe and country music legends rocking the Grand Ole Opry, you never know who you might see. The creative spirit from Nashville's music landscape flows into the area's myriad art galleries, up-and-coming fashion scene, historic landmarks and chef-driven restaurants.
Nearly perfect year-round weather and several impeccably designed championship courses have made Phoenix one of the top golf destinations in the world. But there's more to this mild-mannered metropolis than pristine greens and tee times. The greater Phoenix area also offers visitors an array of impressive cultural attractions. Visit the internationally renowned Heard Museum for an in-depth look at Native American history or peruse the fine collection at the Phoenix Museum of Art. Enjoy a ballet performance at the ornate Orpheum Theater or or catch a concert at the state-of-the-art Comerica Theatre. In addition to golf, the city offers access to numerous outdoor endeavors including rock climbing, hot-air ballooning, desert jeep tours and more. Family-friendly attractions, first-rate shopping, dining and entertainment, and spectacular recreational activities make Phoenix a must-visit destination.
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.
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.
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.
Dubbed the Queen City, Charlotte reigns over a 300-square-mile (482-square-kilometer) hodgepodge of neighborhoods that spin out from the banks of the Catawba River. From brewery-heavy art districts to historical corridors dripping in charm, consider Charlotte a crowd pleaser.
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.