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Welcome to bustling San Jose, where Silicon Valley meets Spanish history and modern edifices sit alongside meticulously restored 19th-century buildings. Such is the contrast of this city rich in tradition and, thanks to the tech industry, just plain rich. Five star-hotels and fine restaurants line the streets of the restored downtown area, and the cultural scene is thriving with museums, theater and art to rival any world-class hub. Don't miss the Tech Museum of Innovation, an exploration of Silicon Valley and its impact on the area. History buffs will relish the old mansions and can delve into the city's past at the History Museum of San Jose. Save time for a round of golf or the locals' other favorite pastime, sipping coffee and people-watching at a crowded cafe.
Think picnics on gorgeous, uncrowded beaches, fabulous seafood restaurants, and great hotels overlooking beautiful Monterey Bay… Monterey is a great place for a romantic getaway. Nature buffs can explore the bay by kayak for a close-up look at sea lions, seals and otters.
The first thing you need to know about Carmel: Clint Eastwood used to be the mayor, so don’t come here if you’re a hooligan. But if you’re after a romantic getaway to a seaside, art-filled village, Carmel might be perfect for you. You can even bring your dog—Carmel’s hotels, restaurants and galleries are remarkably Fido-friendly.
Oakland, in the hub of the Bay Area, is both historic and modern. Visitors will find a little bit of everything in this diverse metropolis, from the picturesque waterfront to expansive hills. Explore Oakland's growing arts, entertainment and food scene or enjoy recreational opportunities like hiking, sailing and biking. Root for one of the three professional sports teams or take a tour of a historic landmark. The city is easily accessible through Oakland International Airport, train, automobile, BART, bus and ferry.
Every neighborhood in San Francisco has its own personality, from the hippie chic of the Upper Haight to the hipster grit of the Mission. The Marina district boasts trendy bistros and postcard-perfect views of the Golden Gate Bridge, while Noe Valley offers quaint and quiet boutiques. Wave hello to the sea lions at Pier 39, and sample local cheese and charcuterie at the Ferry Building. Sit in on a yoga session in Dolores Park or marvel at the Dutch Windmill across from Ocean Beach.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Miami is hot hot hot! And it’s not just the sultry weather. Here, the nightlife is scorching, thanks to a strong Latin influence and spicy salsa culture. Dance the noche away in a nightclub, or indulge in a fancy meal at one of the city’s celebrity-owned restaurants. By day, hit the beach of course, or have yourself a walkabout, taking in Miami’s colorful art deco architecture. Grab a Cuban sandwich in Little Havana, then ride the vintage carousel at Virginia Key Beach Park.
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.