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La Fortuna de San Carlos is at the center of an array of geological wonder. The nearby Arenal is Costa Rica's most active volcano, routinely bursting with lava and ash, and the Catarata de La Fortuna is a waterfall pouring from a seventy-meter cliff. The Tabacon Hot Springs are a relaxing intermission in the midst of the various spectacles, and the Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is a blissful end to any day's excursion.
Six thousand years ago, human footprints were left in the volcanic mud along the shores of Lake Managua. Preserved over centuries, these footprints can be seen at The Museum of Acahualinca in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. In addition to the footprints and impressive collections of pre-Colombian artifacts in the city's museums, Managua has much more to offer. The Tiscapa Lagoon Natural Reserve is a watery retreat within the city, with bars, shops, ziplines, and a canopy ride with views of downtown.
Boasting almost exclusively Mediterranean Revivalist buildings and urban planning following the City Beautiful movement, Coral Gables is an elegantly laid out, pedestrian-friendly city boasting tropical foliage, charming boutiques and architectural grandeur. Historic landmarks such as the Biltmore Hotel and Merrick House provide a document of the history of the City Beautiful, while the crystalline Venetian Pool provides relaxation in a setting of exquisite beauty.
Known primarily as the only place in the U.S. that manufactures Corvettes and for the large ancient cavern that sits in the center of the city, Bowling Green has built a thriving tourist business on cars and caves. At the General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant, visitors can see the step-by-step production of America's favorite sports car. The Corvette Museum includes one-of-a-kind prototypes, that were designed but never manufactured, among other Corvette memorabilia. To view awesome creations made by nature head to the Lost River Valley and Cave. Take the underground boat tour, on the shortest deep river in the world, to see a land formation that is more than 10,000 years old and has been used as shelter by Native Americans and Civil War soldiers. Though Bowling Green never officially left the Union, it's home to a number of historic war landmarks, exquisite old homes and remarkable buildings that can be visited on foot or by car during a leisurely drive through this beautiful part of the country.
Since the redevelopment of the Inner Harbor in the late 1970s, Baltimore has set the standard for urban renewal. While a good part of the city's action centers around the fun and festive Harbor area, where street entertainers, open-air concerts, fireworks and parades abound, the surrounding neighborhoods offer all sorts of interesting landmarks, unique shops and delicious restaurants. Wander around Fells Point, the oldest section of Baltimore, reminiscent of an old English village, complete with pubs and cobblestone streets. Take the kids to the aquarium and check out the imaginative creations at the American Visionary Art Museum. Or stop by the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum for an in-depth look at the Great Bambino's life. Baltimore is also renowned for its African-American heritage sites, plus festivals and cultural events that take place throughout the year. From historic places and harbor cruises to family friendly attractions and fabulous neighborhoods, Charm City is one of the top tourist destinations in the United States.
This pleasant, walkable town right at the elbow of Cape Cod is a classic New England vacation spot. Bringing kids? Check out calm beaches like Cockle Cove Beach and Harding’s Beach. If you’re looking for stunning scenery, however, try Chatham Lighthouse Beach. Its tides can be strong (heed the posted warnings), but it’s one of the most beautiful beaches on the Cape.
Santiago is one of those metropolitan joys where the more you look, the more you find. Funky cafes and dance clubs dot Bellavista, Forest Park art collections range from pre-Columbian to contemporary, and architecture runs the gamut from the 16th-century San Francisco Church to mirrored office towers. Shop with the locals at Mall Panora¡mico and give your palate meals to remember with hearty Chilean fare.
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.
The largest island along Brazil's coast and, literally, a “beautiful island,” Ilhabela offers visitors almost 40 kilometers of pristine beaches and a tropical island's worth of hiking trails, waterfalls and even a nascent party scene. At 207 kilometers from the city of São Paulo, Ilhabela can get crowded, so try to get your beach time in during the work week.
Named for a local swamp fish, Paraty sits on Brazil's southeastern coast, 125 miles south of Rio, with the Bocaino Mountains at its back. The small colonial town's center is a national historic monument with well-preserved buildings on its pedestrian-only streets. Take a boat trip out into the bay to the flotillas of islands and coves nearby. Explore sugarcane plantations and hike or take a train through Atlantica Forest. Keep an eye out for the monkeys that roam the cobblestone streets.