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Known for walkable urban villages like Crystal City, Rosslyn and Ballston, Arlington was part of the "10 miles square" surveyed in 1791 to be the United States capital. Just across the Potomac from Washington, Arlington is home to the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima), Air Force Memorial and Pentagon Memorial. With 11 Metro stops, Arlington is car-optional and offers visitors everything from eclectic theater to Bohemian cafes.
With its collection of historic homes, museums and battlefields, Frederick, Maryland, is a must-see destination for any history enthusiast. The sites of two bloody Civil War battles are preserved at Monocacy National Park and South Mountain State Park. Within the city, visit the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and learn how soldiers wounded in those battles were treated, or visit the house of Barbara Fritchie and picture her hanging the Stars & Stripes in defiance of the Confederate Army.
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.
A short Metro ride from Washington DC, Alexandria, Virginia is the perfect escape from the fast-paced capital. First settled in 1695, the city retains its colonial spirit, with cobblestone streets and historic buildings in the Old Town, Gadsby's Tavern, a restaurant serving food since 1770, and centers of learning like the Black History Museum. For a more contemporary side of Alexandria, wander the streets of the stylish Del Ray neighborhood, where local artists operate boutiques and studios.
Join the local ghosts in a walk through the historic district of Fredericksburg, Virginia, a city that claims to be one of the most haunted locales in the United States. With a long history dating back to pre-Colonial times, and a legacy of slavery and war, it is no wonder that so many unhappy phantoms wander the streets. Visit the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, marking the spot of four bloody Civil War battles or Ferry Farm, the boyhood home of George Washington.
Calling itself "The Heart & Soul of the Chesapeake Bay," the town of Saint Michaels, Maryland retains the look and feel of a 19th century seaport. Walk on red brick sidewalks past the Victorian homes and boutique shops of the historic district, or head down to the pier in search of famously fresh seafood. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum preserves the history of Saint Michaels, with restored examples of "bugeyes" and "skipjacks," unique boats developed by the fisherman of Chesapeake Bay.
Yes, Cape May is, technically, on the Jersey Shore. But it’s the antithesis of the Jersey Shore you’ll see on TV—instead of nightclubs and tanning parlors, you’ll find Victorian mansions and a famous lighthouse.
The Clintons may have put Little Rock on the map, but this charming and historic capital city offers plenty of reasons to keep it there. The Central High Museum tells the painful, powerful story of the city's racial struggles. Political buffs and Clinton fans will want to check out the State Capitol. Shoppers can spend hours at the River Market, a collection of tasty eateries and eclectic stores. Kids will be more than wowed by attractions such as the Children's Museum, the Museum of Discovery and the Zoo, famous for its eye-popping ape exhibit. Stay at a charming historic abode, an inviting bed and breakfast or a luxury hotel. Eat at fabulous restaurants and enjoy exciting nightlife. Little Rock has all the ingredients of a perfect weekend getaway.
Settled by Europeans on Native American hunting grounds, the city of Baton Rouge has grown up under the influence of English, French, Spanish, and native cultures. The city is proud of its Cajun and Creole heritage, with clubs famous for playing the blues, and streets full of restaurants serving up everything from spicy Bayou foods to Caribbean home cooking. Located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi delta, visitors can watch the sun set over the levees or ride on a riverboat casino.
Long the home of Portugal’s monarchs, Sintra is a magnificent town of marvelous historic mansions, all set against the backdrop of lush hills. Sintra’s many castles include the Palácio Nacional de Sintra (a main abode of Portuguese royalty until the early 20th century), the hilltop and storybook Palácio da Pena, Quinta de Regaleira (incorporating several architectural styles and with gorgeous surrounding gardens), the Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle), and the Palácio de Monserrate.
Rich in medieval architecture, the northern city of Burgos provides a glimpse into bygone Spain. But the historic capital of Castile looks to the future, too, with its modern museums, celebrated culinary scene, and award-winning infrastructure.
The Rhône-Alps town of Morzine is a skier’s paradise, its alpine village atmosphere emphasized by mountain ranges and chalets. Morzine has hosted the Tour de France several times, and is also home to the Avoriaz ski resort, part of the Les Portes du Soleil. The pistes and valleys are the main attractions here, and you may enjoy an après-ski soak in the unique Aquariaz, an indoor tropical waterpark.
Corsica is a laid-back French island, with a breezy vibe that’s part European weekend and part tropical honeymoon. The port city of Bastia flings its arms wide open to weary travelers disembarking from a long ferry trip. For a truly charming Corsican experience, catch a train through the mountains to the beach, passing by rustic villages and grazing cows along the way. Take a few hours or even a few weeks to explore the island’s famous walking trails, including the varsity-level GR 20.