The destination showcased in “The Hangover” has plenty to offer beyond gambling and bachelor parties — consider its world-class dining, the eye-popping, free fountain show at the Bellagio, and nightlife that includes performances of Cirque du Soleil and Celine Dion, and there really is something for everyone.
Think of it as the Paris of the Midwest. With museums like the Chicago Art Institute, breathtaking architecture from Renzo Piano and Frank Lloyd Wright, soaring Sears Tower, and sparkling Lake Michigan, it’s no mystery why this city is one of the top-searched tourist spots.
The pricey city was in the global spotlight thanks to the Summer Olympic Games — and the Diamond Jubilee celebration that marked Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne. But plenty of other attractions, from Big Ben to Buckingham Palace to museums like the Tate Modern to yes, the Warner Bros. studios tour of “Harry Potter,” tempt searchers to this town, too.
It’s hard to compete with the “city that never sleeps,” and the Big Apple consistently draws tourists from around the world to its teeming and tiny island — an island that was recently hit hard by Sandy, but as Broadway says, the show must go on. Along with checking out iconic sites like the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, hoof it over the Brooklyn Bridge to explore the hipster mecca.
As the nation’s capital, the city is accustomed to tourists and doesn’t disappoint: a vast network of museums, mostly free, is at your disposal, including the Smithsonian Institution. Monuments from Washington to Lincoln to Martin Luther King Jr. certainly merit a visit. And with a subway system, it’s easy to explore the quirky neighborhoods beyond the city center.
The city by the bay is a paradise for food lovers: from gourmet food trucks to ice cream shops to farmers’ markets, travelers can easily eat their way through the multicultural neighborhoods that make up the 7-by-7-mile city. Luckily, walking all those hills will work off many a meal.
The city offers the San Diego Zoo, plenty of beaches, and a beach culture that includes serious fish tacos and an obsessive focus on handcrafted brew, not to mention the historic Gaslamp Quarter for dining and nightlife. And don’t forget, the city is home to the pop-culture phenom ComicCon, the largest comic book and popular arts convention in the world.
Forbes named it the “shopping capital of the Middle East.” That’s tax-free to you. Beyond that, there are some sites that appeal to Web browsers: From an indoor ski slope located at the Dubai Mall to the Nad al Sheba racetrack that races camels by day, thoroughbreds by night, this city has to be seen to be believed.
Sure, you’ve heard of Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras, but as visitors also know, every day is a party in this place. From the music to the crawfish, the tourist playground of the French Quarter and the Old World mansions of the Garden District, the city is, quite simply, magical.
Travel + Leisure calls it “Asia’s most cosmopolitan city,” and with good reason: a “superb” subway system, cheap cabs, and bilingual signs make the place easy to navigate and worth investigating, from high-end boutiques to tai chi in the parks.