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Lexington, Virginia, is a college town rich with history, charm and natural wonders. Surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Shenandoah Valley, its bustling downtown offers unique restaurants, artisan shops and galleries. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy mountain vistas on a walk along the Woods Creek trail or on a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. History buffs can follow the Civil War and visit the final resting places of iconic figures like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
The 150-year-old University of Notre Dame is South Bend's biggest tourist draw, and for good reason. Though it's not easy to land seats at the 80,000-plus-capacity Notre Dame Stadium for a "Fighting Irish" football game, you'll find plenty of attractions on the beautiful, expansive campus. Highlights include numerous works of art, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, a replica of the famous shrine. Football fans will also want to visit the College Football Hall of Fame, which features interesting perspectives on the game and inductee videos. Whether or not you remember the Studebaker automobile, which saw its demise in the early sixties, you're sure to enjoy the Studebaker National Museum, featuring more than 75 vehicles drawn from the history of the company, beginning with horse-drawn carriages. South Bend has several fine museums, including the South Bend Regional Museum of Art and the Northern Indiana Centre for History, a complex of four museums. Don't leave without trying truffles or fudge from the South Bend Chocolate Company.
This port city of about 275,000 on Spain’s north coast began 3,000 years ago as a fishing village. Today it’s a departure point for regional cruises, making it busy in summer (and making us wonder what those ancient fisherman would have thought of cruise ships). The original village, Cimadevilla, with its narrow, cobblestone streets, draws many tourists, and Cerro de Santa Catalina park at the tip of Cimadevilla’s peninsula provides great coastal views.
The oldest university in the world isn’t Oxford or the Sorbonne—it’s the University of Al-Karaouine, and you’ll find it in Fes el Bali. This walled city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will transport you back to mediaeval times. Visit the ancient maze-like quarters of the Medina to Fes el-Bali and the four imposing Gates of Fes, with their distinctive Moroccan tile work. You can walk, or, if you're brave, take a taxi—the daredevil drivers will have you hanging on for dear life.
Aix, a graceful, lively city, is known for its thermal hot springs, art schools and universities. Wander the Cours, old town and Quartier Mazarin on foot, stopping at cafés, bookstores and markets. Kids whining? Have them count fountains… Aix reportedly has 1,000 of them.
Wandering the narrow caruggi alleyways of Genoa is a bit like solving a medieval labyrinth. In the heart of the Italian port city lies Piazza de Ferrari, a main square with a beautiful fountain and a perimeter lined with historic buildings, including the Palace of the Doges the Teatro Carlo Felice, which was destroyed during WWII and subsequently rebuilt. The seaside neighborhood of Boccadasse is vision of pink and yellow buildings that brighten up this lovely fishing village.
Part of Morro de Sao Paulo’s charm is its mix of upscale, new hotels and restaurants with older, shabbier pousadas and taverns. This car-free and carefree island has just one road and a handful of beaches… it’s a wonderful place to get away from it all.