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The south Santa Cruz County region of Watsonville and Pajaro Valley boast pristine beaches and a Mediterranean climate. Birders flock to the miles of trails around the Wetlands of Watsonville. Nearby, the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve is one of California's last undisturbed wetlands and is ideal for bird watching. An annual Birding Festival, the Strawberry Festival, a weekly farmer's market, Watsonville Plaza, and the Agricultural History Museum are sights not to be missed.
Combining the redwoods and the sea into one idyllic setting, Aptos is a quaint town that serves as home to the forested Nisene Marks State Park, perfect for mountain biking and hiking. Historic Aptos Village features antique shops, restaurants and boutiques. For the perfect spot to picnic, barbecue, or take a seaside stroll, head to Seacliff State beach and walk to the end of the pier to see the S.S. Palo Alto, an experimental concrete vessel known as “the cement ship”.
Capitola, just minutes south of Santa Cruz, is California’s oldest seaside resort town, and boasts a Mediterranean flavor. An esplanade winds around village shops and bistros, while picture-ready views from the Capitola Wharf create a relaxing atmosphere. Experience signature events like the Capitola Art & Wine Festival, Capitola Begonia Festival, wine tasting rooms, and shopping. Take a hillside “cable car” to dinner overlooking Soquel Creek, next to scenic gardens and waterfalls.
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.
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.
Montreal, c’est si bon! This French-speaking city is considered the cultural capital of Canada, and is a cosmopolitan celebration of Québécois style. A horse-drawn carriage ride around the cobblestone streets and grand buildings of Vieux-Montréal will give you a taste of European flavor. The Basilique Notre-Dame is a confection of stained glass, and the Plateau Mont-Royal district will delight you with its quaint boutiques and cafés. Dig in to a massive plate of poutine to fuel up for a tour of the epic Olympic Park.
Cayo Coco, an island just north of mainland Cuba, has some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches—think superfine white sand and shallow, clear water. It’s popular with European travelers seeking a sunny escape at one of the island’s beach-side resorts. Snorkeling and diving are fantastic.