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Lively Antwerp is a hidden gem. Its medieval streets, Renaissance monuments and vibrant nightlife tend to be overshadowed by its reputation as center of the diamond trade and as the world's fifth-largest port. Biking is a popular choice for getting around this stylish Flemish city. See thousands of Old Masters at the Royal Museum and Rubens House. Experience the bustle of life at the Grote Markt. Marvel at the art and architecture of the still unfinished Cathedral of Our Lady, started in 1351.
Take the train from Brussels and in less than an hour you'll arrive in Namur, the capital of Wallonia overflowing with charm and intimate little streets made for walking, shopping and people watching. Around every corner are quaint tea rooms, antique storefronts, jewelry stores, and boutique shop, but don’t let the size fool you, Namur is also a fashion city with classic and trendy deals. Namur must-sees include Namur Citadel, Felicien Rops Museum, Museum of Ancient Namur Arts, Chateau d'Annevoie, and the Museum of Groesbeeck de Croix.
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.
Touching Belgium on its west and just a few miles from Germany to the east, Maastricht is the capital of Holland’s southernmost region, Limburg. A town rich in history and culture, Maastricht boasts two wonderful town squares: Vrijthof, with Sint-Servaas Church, Sint-Jan's Cathedral and many bars, cafes and restaurants; and Markt, home to the town hall and, on Wednesday and Friday mornings, a fantastic vendor market. The city’s Vestigingswerken, or old town fortifications, are another big draw.
Eindhoven is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, but you’d never know it from the high-tech industry and cutting-edge design it’s currently known for. If you have kids obsessed by all things wheeled, they will love the trucks at the DAF Museum.
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.
Pittsburgh has been remade and reimagined. Think 24 miles of riverfront trails, beautiful parks and historic attractions. Home to 90 neighborhoods, the ‘Burgh feels authentic and unpretentious. No visit is complete without a trip to the Strip District or PNC Park, a ride up the Duquesne Incline or a stop at The Andy Warhol Museum. Architecture buffs love Pittsburgh for the amazing downtown buildings. Hollywood producers, do, too—the city has even been called the “Hollywood of the East."
Whether rocking out to music legends inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or viewing Monets and Picassos at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland is a city that mixes equal parts grit and sophistication. Nosh award-winning food in historic buildings, tip back some craft beers amid a Lake Erie beach party or cheer on a championship team with a hardball of locally distilled spirits. All in Cleveland.
The windy city is a cornucopia of modern art, fine dining, cutting edge comedy, and die-hard sports fans. Snap a photo of your reflection in the silver Cloud Gate sculpture at Millennium Park before heading to Grant Park to get hit with the refreshing spray of Buckingham Fountain. There are dozens of museums and theater companies in Chicago, so a cultural experience is never hard to find. You’re sure to laugh your head off at the Second City Theater, the professional launch pad of many famous comedians.
High-speed, history and good old Hoosier hospitality are a few reasons to put Indianapolis on your list of great getaways. Sports is another. From the legendary Indianapolis 500 to the Pacers and the Colts, the city offers ample opportunities to view professional and amateur sporting events, take part in athletic events and visit sports museums. At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hall Of Fame Museum you can tour the famous track (try to reserve tickets if there is a race in town) or visit the museum dedicated to automobiles and auto racing. Other sporty museums include the NCAA Hall of Champions. To get in on some of the action, head to SportZone which features six acres of indoor athletic facilities the whole family will enjoy. Those less interested in sports, or with kids in tow, can still find tons to do in and around the city. History, art and other cultural attractions abound. Visit the Children's Museum or checkout the zoo. Stroll along cobblestone streets past 19th-century buildings in the Lockerbie Square District or visit any number of historic landmarks. Known as the "Crossroads of America," more interstate highways bisect Indianapolis than any other city in the country, making it an exciting and easily accessible destination.
If you’re into eating locally and supporting sustainable agriculture, go to Asheville—and eat, eat, eat. This town of less than 100,000 people has 17 farmers’ markets, and the local restaurant scene is all about taking advantage of the seasonal produce sold there. And don’t miss the area’s microbreweries.
Each year, horse enthusiasts hoof it to Louisville and Churchill Downs, the legendary home of the Kentucky Derby. In addition to equestrian endeavors and bluegrass roots, Louisville boasts a range of exciting attractions the whole family can enjoy. Stroll through Central Park, in the historic district, to people-watch and get a real feel for the city. Visit other nearby parks for hiking, biking and fossil finding. Baseball fans will love the Louisville Slugger Museum, a celebration of the sport's legends. The museum is easy to spot, just look for the humongous bat that leans against the building.
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.
With live music to be heard all across town, 24/7, 365 days a year, Music City lives up to its name. From honky-tonk bands jamming at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge to songwriters in the round at the Bluebird Cafe and country music legends rocking the Grand Ole Opry, you never know who you might see. The creative spirit from Nashville's music landscape flows into the area's myriad art galleries, up-and-coming fashion scene, historic landmarks and chef-driven restaurants.
From the Magic Kingdom to magical spa treatments, Orlando sparkles with the promise of adventure. Spend a day exploring the world-famous Disney theme parks or screaming your head off on a Universal Studios roller coaster. For a less adrenaline-pumping afternoon, enjoy the quiet natural beauty of the Harry P. Leu Gardens or enjoy a seaweed scrub at a luxury day spa. Savor fresh and local ingredients at one of Orlando’s James Beard-nominated restaurants.
The home of swing and bebop for some, "The City of Fountains" to others, Kansas City is different things to different people. Music enthusiasts are drawn to the jazz clubs and old haunts of famous musicians such as Charlie Parker and Count Basie. With more fountains than Rome, there is ample opportunity for scenic strolling from fountain to fountain. Stop along the way to discover interesting neighborhoods and browse through eclectic shops. Families are particularly attracted to the city because of its child-friendly events and venues. Science City features hands-on exhibits including a mock television studio where kids can deliver a weather forecast, while the Zoo houses impressive African and Australian exhibits plus an IMAX Theater. The city's museums cover everything from the history of jazz music to a celebration of African American baseball players. Once a trading post for pioneers heading to the Western United States, today Kansas City is a burgeoning metropolis with activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests.