Sin City, America’s Playground, the Entertainment Capital of the World … all worthy names for this Nevada hot spot. Think of Vegas as a theme park rather than a city – it can awe as much as it can overwhelm, and that’s part of the appeal. This is a city where inhibitions are not welcome: Every night, Las Vegas draws pleasure mongers to the brightly lit Strip like moths to a flame. While you may not want to go as far as to re-enact “The Hangover,” you certainly don’t want to leave without experiencing a bit of “Viva Las Vegas.”
Today, Las Vegas can provide any kind of vacation you can imagine. You can opt for the traditional high-roller getaway complete with all-nighters at the blackjack table or TAO Nightclub. Or you can make it all about luxury with visits to hotel spas, high-end boutiques and gourmet restaurants. Las Vegas is also a great jumping-off point for outdoor activities, such as hiking in Red Rock Canyon or visiting the Hoover Dam via a helicopter tour. You can even bring the kids along: Underage travelers will get a kick out of a Cirque du Soleil performance, the Bellagio Fountain show and the Neon Museum.
Centuries-old mansions, Spanish moss-draped trees, spooky cemeteries, cobblestone walks: in a word, Charleston. As you walk the gas lamp-lit streets at night, past horse-drawn carriages and the antebellum architecture, you just might think you’ve traveled back in time. But just because this South Carolina city is proud to celebrate its heritage doesn’t mean it’s stuck in the past. Charleston boasts innovative restaurants, interesting shops, contemporary art galleries and the world-class Spoleto Festival USA. This is the place to experience the genteel South – after all, it was the home of suave “Gone with the Wind” character, Rhett Butler.
History pervades almost every aspect of the Holy City, from the majestic homes-turned-museums to the landmarks that promote the city’s role in United States history. Civil War buffs should head to Fort Sumter, where the first shot of the War between the States was fired. Meanwhile, shopaholics looking for locally made goods should peruse the Charleston City Market. When you’re ready for a day at the beach, the city’s got you covered there, too. Several beach towns, including Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palm and Folly Beach, offer sun, sand and gentle waves.
Known for warm beaches and eccentric residents with a live–in–the–moment philosophy, Key West offers a relaxed yet unexpected seaside adventure. Do as the residents (known as Conchs) do and see where that free spirit might take you. Perhaps you’ll end up at a Duval Street bar, in a Mallory Square shop or even touring Ernest Hemingway’s old home.
Key West once threatened to go rogue (in 1982 with a mock secessionist movement to create “The Conch Republic”); so this is definitely the place to throw a firm itinerary out the window. Take a stroll, sip a margarita, spy a six–toed cat and set your own pace. While Hurricane Irma did impact the area in late 2017, Key West is definitely back in business, with almost all tourism sites ready for visitors.
Part 10 has more about the Best Cities in USA to Visit.
(Information from US News and World Reports)