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San Pedro is "La Isla Bonita" that Madonna made famous. Now it's a tourist mecca, but still boasts great beaches and plenty of dive shops so you can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. Plan a side trip to Caye Caulker while you're here; it is less developed and more laid back, and has its own splendid swimming areas.
The DR delights visitors with its mix of white-sand beaches and "gingerbread" Victorian architecture. Nine hundred miles of Caribbean coastline make the Hispaniola Island country a beach-lover’s paradise. Day-trip to Puerto Plata and ride the cable car up Mount Isabel de Torres, or groove to the steel drum beats of Cabarete nightlife. The breezy palms and sparkling waters of Punta Cana make it a true tropical paradise.
Gorgeous Longboat Key combines serene seashore enjoyment with luxury shopping and dining choices. Families enjoy the many water sport activities from fishing, boating and kayaking to plucking perfect seashells along the shoreline. Couples and friends explore chic dining and shopping spots around St. Armands Circle. The aristocratic heritage of the St. Armand and Ringling families resonates through quiet gardens and plush Palm Beach-style shopping. Umbrella-draped cafes and handsome restaurants offer exceptional European fare and inventive coastal specialties. Work off that decadent dessert with a stroll around the circle for leather, jewelry, resort wear and art gallery browsing.
Venture just across the bridge over Sarasota Bay for unrivaled cultural treats. The Ringling circus family bequeathed an elegant legacy of art and architecture. The estate includes the acclaimed John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the family’s winter Ca’ d’Zan mansion – a Venetian Gothic masterpiece - the Circus Museum and historic Asolo Repertory Theater. With elegant gardens and terraces spread over 20 bayside acres, the complex provides hours of enjoyment.
Step to the beat of wafting flamenco music as you wander the downtown River Walk before sampling as much chili (San Antonio’s signature dish) as your taste buds will allow. A visit to the Alamo is an absolute must, as is taking in a show at the ornate Majestic Theatre. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is dotted with 18th-century buildings and features, making for an enriching excursion.
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.
Virginia Beach has all the elements of a classic seaside resort: gorgeous beaches, a lively boardwalk, plenty of restaurants and nightspots, and amusement rides sure to appeal to kids. Sports enthusiasts will find celebrated golf courses in Virginia Beach and the surrounding area, as well as sea kayaking and miles of hiking trails. Many believe Virginia Beach is at its best in the off-season, when the town is less crowded but the weather is still mild.
Atlantic City draws tourists by the car- and bus-load, topping more than 20 million visitors per year! Stroll along the famous Boardwalk with its numerous amusements and eateries or visit the historic Absecon Lighthouse and the new Wheel at Steel Pier. Several championship golf courses are within a 30 minute drive to attract golf enthusiasts. In summer, the local free beaches are popular with families. Beach bars are peppered throughout the resort and you can dig your toes in the sand and enjoy your favorite cocktails. Water-based activities include parasailing, charter fishing and dolphin-watching cruises. Casino hoppers have 9 establishments to choose from and there is something for everyone's taste. Those who remember Atlantic City in its pre-gambling days can wax nostalgic with a taste of saltwater taffy and iconic rolling chairs which have been Atlantic City favorites for over 100 years.
A ski town that is also an authentic ranching center, Steamboat Springs is more down home than glitzy. Cowboy hats and ski boots are equally welcome on the city's friendly streets. The place where downhill skiing first flourished in the United States, Steamboat Springs remains a premiere slopes destination. But the town also offers outdoor recreation of every stripe and season. And after a long day hiking, schussing or shopping, you can relax in one of the natural hot springs for which the town was named.
Catapulted to fame for its part in the 1988 Winter Olympics, this former coal-mining town in the Canadian Rockies is a perfect base for visiting some of the country’s most impressive national parks. First stop for most visitors is the ski trails in Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park. Contemplate natural wonders at the Museum and Geoscience Centre, and mush through the snow on a sled-dog tour.
It's true: you can surf in Canada. And Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is where you'll find exceptional surfing, Canadian-style. Busiest in summer, Tofino also fills up in winter when storm watchers descend upon this tiny town. Stay at an upscale inn and enjoy the town that affectionately calls itself The Tree Loving Capital of the World.