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Belgium's fourth-largest - and most beautiful - city is home to a quarter of a million people and a flourishing flower export trade. An important port, Ghent's city center is a pedestrian area that is like a museum to early Flemish architecture and a testament to the city's medieval might. Impressive Gothic sites, such as dramatic St. Bavo's Cathedral and the Castle of the Counts, inspire awe. The works of Flemish masters are housed in the distinguished Museum voor Schone Kunst.
What could be more romantic and inspiring than a place that looks like a backdrop for a fairy tale? The medieval overtones of Bruges’ cobblestone streets lead to countless historical, architectural and artistic wonders. Marvel at ornate houses lining intricate canals, and understand why this is a favorite destination for all types of travelers. The whole city emanates an appreciation of the past, a love of the present, and enthusiasm for the future. Don’t miss Hof Bladelin, Groeninge Museum, Church of Our Lady, and Belfry and Market Halls.
An ancient city in the Flemish province of West Flanders, Ieper (as it’s known in the Flemish tongue) has enjoyed financial and cultural status since the 12th century. Today, visitors can check out remnants of its impressive past, including ramparts that date back to 1385 and an historic moat, which now is a haven for wildlife. Ieper found itself in the middle of World War I and suffered tremendous damage to all of its buildings, but has been both reconstructed in its medieval style and built up with modern structures.
A smorgasbord of flavors come from this lofty land in the hilly southeast of Belgium: game, wild boar, venison, smoked ham, the region's famous paté and world-renowned Trappist beers. Primarily located in Belgium, the Ardennes mountains also nudge into France and Luxembourg. Dense forests flank the steep hillsides, and market towns and villages perch on river banks. Spring and summer show this lush area at its best, but cross country skiing opportunities make a good case for winter visits.
Holland's most modern city began as a fishing village in the 13th century. It was developing into an industrial and trading power when German bombers destroyed the city center and harbor in 1940. However, Rotterdam's unique architecture now brings many visitors to bike around this urbane, cosmopolitan city. Old Dutch-style houses can still be found in historic Delfshaven, from where the pilgrims set sail in 1620. Cultural offerings from summer's carnival to classical music give Amsterdam competition.
In the center of the French Alps, Courchevel has well more than 100 ski runs for visitors to choose from. Some courses are dotted with moguls, so snowboarding and snowmobiling are popular here, and skiers of all levels of experience will find a slope that's just right.
Copenhagen was once a Viking fishing settlement, and you can still find traces of the Norse explorers here. Visit reconstructed villages, the remains of a 1,000-year-old castle, and museums dedicated to the notorious raiders. Copenhagen also features a blend of modern architecture and historical artifacts such as the Round Tower observatory – a wonderful example of 17th-century architecture. Art galleries, narrow streets, canals, parks, and Baroque churches round out the city’s cultural attractions.
Palma, the economic and cultural hub of Majorca, is a delightful base for exploring the island's many gold and white beaches. A former Moorish casbah, or walled city, Palma's Old Town is an appealing maze of narrow streets that are a delight to explore on foot. Hop on the Soller Railway for a 17-mile scenic trip, visit 14th-century Bellver Castle and the museum of contemporary art, and check out the nightlife.
<p>While most visitors choose Benalmadena for its glorious beaches, there are plenty of other attractions to keep your family amused. Take a trip out to sea on a boat or a ferry; you can even go whale and dolphin watching. A cable car ride would make a welcome change, or perhaps a visit to Bil Bil Castle. The castle is distinctive with its Arabian architecture, and it hosts concerts as well as art exhibitions. Visit the Sea Life Centre, where you can walk through the transparent tunnels in the underwater park or watch feeding demonstrations; the centre even has a mini golf course. At the end of a relaxing day, Benalmadena becomes a great place for nightlife. Whatever kind of cuisine you are looking for, you are sure to find a restaurant that will suit your family's tastes. </p>
Charming Savannah is the picture of antebellum hospitality, thanks to period architecture and oak-lined streets. It’s tempting to spend your trip just relaxing on vast verandas and sipping mint juleps, but there are plenty of historical sites and museums to explore. Haunting (and possibly haunted) Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the hallmarks of the city, featuring beautiful obelisks, masses of flowers, and ivy-covered crypts. Dine on fresh seafood and creamy grits for a taste of Savannah home cooking.
Like seashells, no two holidays in the Bahamas are alike. With options as diverse as its 700 islands, it's a place where you can find exactly the getaway you love most. Looking for a family destination, a place for lovers to sneak away, a gambling mecca, a haven for cruise passengers, or a shopper’s world market? The Bahamas is all these… and much more.
At the shore in Miami Beach, visitors can swim, surf and jet ski in the warm and crystal-clear Atlantic waters. You can also nap on the white sands, work on a tan or simply watch the beautiful people, especially at South Beach, a favorite of models and celebrities.