Friday, June 22, 2012

5 Of America's Most Overlooked Cities

But there is much more to this vast nation than these established locations. America offers some of the world's most breathtaking natural scenery, a limitless array of culture and a surprisingly diverse variety of natural and man-made monuments.

Here we explore the top five most overlooked US cities, all of which emit a distinctive, vibrant charm that many oversees visitors, and indeed Americans, have yet to discover.

Portland, Oregon
Greener than LA, more relaxed than the Big Apple, Portland's pleasant climate rewards it with a lush, vivid landscape that's ideal for growing roses. Indeed, the city is colloquially known as Rose City and is also regarded as one of the most eco-friendly built-up locations on Earth.

Portland's attractiveness can be witnessed in varied ways, from the architectural clout of the Hawthorne Bridge over the Willamette River to the Portland Art Museum, a leading US institution with 42,000 exhibits and an impressive Native American art centre.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Lots don't realise that this exciting Ohio city hosts some of the world's finest Italianate architecture. Over-the-Rhine, a cultural hub north of downtown, was once known as the 'Paris of America' and is home to a selection of awe-inspiring architectural sites, including the luxury Cincinnatian Hotel, the Music Hall and the Shillito department outlet.

Cincinnati was also a hotspot for German immigration towards the end of the 19th century. The Over-the-Rhine district is included on the United States' Register of Historic Places - similar neighbourhoods are found in New York, Munich and Vienna.

Charleston, South Carolina
Flamboyant homes, a sub-tropical climate and a collection of impeccably-clean sandy beaches make Charleston a fantastic and unspoiled holiday destination. The city boasts an important colonial past as well as a fast-growing travel industry, trendy hotels, award-winning eateries and popular shopping malls.

AmercianStyle Magazine named Charleston one of America's top 25 arts destinations; a recognition exemplified by its large number of museums, including Charleston Museum, America's oldest. The Powder Magazine, a gunpowder museum, opened in 1713, while the Exchange and Provost, a dungeon from 1767, once housed signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Sacramento, California
California travel guides will place an emphasis on Los Angeles and San Francisco, but Sacramento is an important national cultural centre and is therefore not completely overlooked. The California State Railroad Museum is the US's biggest railroad museum, while the Crocker Art Museum, one of the first art museums stateside, features a stunning new 129,791 sq ft addition.

The beautiful California Delta, a large 1,000-mile waterway to the south of the city, offers a taste of authentic California and is the perfect attraction for a hot summer's day.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Stunning mountainscapes offer the perfect background to Utah's thriving state capital. The Family History Library, the largest genealogical information centre in the world and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a diverse and internationally renowned cultural venue, are just two examples of its impressive cultural highlights.

Many visitors travel to Salt Lake City to discover its revered natural attractions close by. From the Big Cottonwood Canyon, a beautiful, lush wilderness, to the Great Salt Lake, a natural phenomenon with a lunar quality, Salt Lake City is the ideal gateway from where to roam many of the US's grandest landscapes.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Why You Should Visit Marrakech In Morocco?

If at the beginning the ever-growing interest in the most important touristic town of Morocco has been considered a fad, today Marrakech is one of the most visited travel destinations. So, what is its secret?

Marrakech is one of those places on earth which take you to another dimension. The Red City has introduced a concept of sightseeing based on emotions: the visitor is seduced, fascinated and amazed by the treasures Marrakech reveals - step by step - while strolling around. Built in the middle of the desert, Marrakech invites you to get to know a very special atmosphere, something close to mysticism. Everything there is unique: from the pink color of the buildings to the traffic jam with no rules up to the goats on the passenger seats of scooters.

Marrakech excels in the art of keeping the right balance between tradition and modernity. Sometimes secret, sometimes exuberant, this city has made a deal with the visitor: the more curious you are, the more you will enjoy.

As the main imperial city of the country, Marrakech is proud to have one of the most beautiful Medina in the world. In the heart of its 15 kilometers ramparts, a microcosm totally hermetic to outside influences perpetuates an age-old traditional lifestyle which has survived the test of time. Jemaah El Fna, the most emblematic square and epicenter of the Medina, has been the scene of a human spectacle which has crossed the centuries without losing an ounce of its essence: snake charmer, storytellers, orange juice stalls and giant barbecues make up the setting. The Medina takes you to a mysterious space the child inside you should take as a playground. In a hide and seek mood, the visitor is expected to wander in every single narrow street to find out behind which carved wooden door a beautiful palace offers a piece of heaven.

Sometimes you will find a quiet café, whose crazy adventurous steps lead up to an amazing panoramic terrace, to enjoy a mint tea. The Medina is the land of riads, better known as guest houses and the place where the visitor will get in touch with locals through the bargaining experience of bustling markets. Authentic tours are not your cup of tea? Do not worry. Let's sink into the modern version of the city and make the most of its trendy lifestyle. Authentic Riads, Contemporary hotels with swimming pool and spa, elegant restaurants with live music every night, international food, beautiful bar-lounge, private transport...

Marrakech holds an answer to all kind of expectations. Fancy some shopping? Just have a walk to the new town and enter every single exclusive shop. Fancy a big night out? Choose one of the amazing night-clubs of Marrakech and take the pulse of the magnetic Moroccan nights. So, what is really special in that?

Have you ever danced or had diner in a One Thousand and One Night palace with the best personal treatment ever? This is the Marrakech difference: this city offers the visitor a dreamy experience so far beyond any of his expectations. Every year cities all around the world make their entry into the international tourism industry.