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"The City of Tribes" provides a fun blast of the Ireland many first-time visitors expect. The compact city centre, with its winding streets, packed pubs and air of celebration, is easily walked - or pubcrawled. The west-coast city of almost 70,000 is home to merry bands of students, artists, writers and craftspeople, and is merriest during summer's Galway's Arts Festival. Don't miss shopping for Claddagh rings, the Druid Theatre or having a pint o' the black stuff at the atmospheric Tigh Neachtain pub.
Plan to cross many bridges when in Cork. Ireland's third-largest city began life as an island and now spans both banks of the River Lee, with watery channels running beneath some of its main thoroughfares. The best way to experience this hilly southern seaport is on foot, following the signposted walking tour past St. Finn Barre's Cathedral and the riverside quadrangle of University College up the hill to red and white Shandon Church. Along the way, you'll meet plenty of the city's talkative residents.
A true family destination, Westport boasts magnificent scenery, golf facilities, recreational fishing, sailing and yachting, beach swimming, hiking and cycling trails, and (to top it all off) a placed called Pirate Adventure Park. What kid wouldn't love this place? Visit in September and you'll witness the exciting Westport Arts Festival, perfect for all ages. And Westport was Google Earth's first fully 3D town, so you can relive the memories from your computer when you get home!
Don your most comfortable shoes for Killarney, where town trails offer history lessons and country walks traverse Ireland's first national park: 26,000 acres of woodlands, sandstone mountains and low-lying lakes. In the town centre, Killarney House and Gardens provide a break for urban explorers. Renowned Muckross House, with its 15th-century abbey ruins and massive yew tree, is just outside the town. If your feet wear out, take in Killarney National Park's legendary scenery from a boat trip from Ross Castle.
If you saw Chevy Chasy's masterpiece European Holiday, you'll recognise Stonehenge's massive formation. (As a citizen of the world, you should recognise Stonehenge anyway.) The prehistoric stone circle is eight miles from Salisbury, and its visitors provide a boost to the local economy. With a history dating back over 5,000 years, there is no shortage of significant places to visit in and around Salisbury. On the "must see" list are Salisbury Cathedral, Longleat and Stourhead gardens (and Stonehenge, of course).
Once a 13th-century cloth making center, Brugge, or Bruges, may have become a major tourist destination, but its wealth of wandering canals and ornate houses, plus the city's medieval charm, remains. The historic center's pedestrian-only streets bristle with Gothic spires and flourishes. Friendly residents of the West Flanders capital impress visitors with their enthusiasm to show their city's sights, such as the superb Groeninge Museum, Church of Our Lady and the Belfry and Market Halls.
One of the most historic cities in America, Philadelphia is an ideal place to spend a weekend - preferably a long one. Be sure to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were signed. Both are part of Independence National Historic Park. Philadelphia also boasts some outstanding art museums, including the Rodin Museum. The Franklin Institute Science Museum is one of many area attractions honoring the life and work of Benjamin Franklin, the city's most famous ambassador. After digesting all of that history, be sure you save room for a classic Philly cheese steak sandwich.
Once seen as the domain of cowboys and oilmen, today the mile-high metropolis is a cosmopolitan mix of natural beauty and world-class hotels, entertainment and attractions. The Denver Art Museum houses one of the finest collections of American Indian art in the world. The city is also the official home of four national teams: the Broncos, Nuggets, Rockies and Avalanche, meaning every season is sports season. Even with all the big-town glitz, Denver has managed to maintain its earthiness. Outdoor recreation is still a major draw. With 205 parks in the city and 20,000 acres of parks in the nearby mountains, there's ample opportunity for hiking, mountain biking, mountain climbing and more -- families visiting Denver won't know where to begin. The Zoo, the Children's Museum and the Botanic Gardens offer hours of entertainment. Or visit the United States Mint for a free tour. To prove that Denver really is "The Mile High City", head to the State Capitol. There's a spot on the west steps of the building that is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level.