When you want a vacation to be lively and bustling with energy, it's time to choose a big city destination vacation. Cities dazzle with bright lights, nightlife, worldly cuisine, and multicultural flare. Cosmopolitan character and constant activity provide visitors with all types of entertainment options and attractions. You can tour museums and art galleries, explore the unique characteristics of the city you're visiting, and see one-of-a-kind landmarks. Cultural activities are typically concentrated in a relatively small area, making it easy to get around town on foot and on public transportation. Pedestrian sightseeing is often the best way to discover local culture. Experience everything a city has to offer, from the well-heeled neighborhoods to the gritty and eclectic districts. Use Hotwire to plan your big city adventure today.
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Decadent and extravagant, Las Vegas remains the ultimate big city vacation destination. So turn yourself loose in this vibrant town. When neon lights up the desert nights, you'll not only see but feel the electricity. Around-the-clock pleasure is what Las Vegas is all about. Have fun gambling at casinos, dining on fabulous food, and catching world-class entertainment. Sin City excludes no one. When it's time to eat, go gourmet or tackle the classic all-you-can-eat buffet. Stay in a budget hotel or choose a themed luxury mega-resort like the Mirage. Or go luxurious with the European glamour of the Bellagio, with a casino, spa, upscale shopping, several gourmet restaurants, fine art on display, and the popular Bellagio Fountains — water and lights choreographed to music on a grand scale. The Stratosphere Tower has an outdoor observation deck at its 869-foot level where you can simply enjoy the view or take a one-minute ride on the X Scream for the thrill of a lifetime. Las Vegas has many other unique attractions, and a marriage license costs $55. Feeling lucky? You should be! Tell your friends you're going to Vegas — no explanation necessary.
New York City is the last word in big city vacation destinations. The core of the Big Apple is Manhattan and each neighborhood has its flavor and specific cultural appeal. SoHo — short for "South of Houston" — is New York's old artistic sanctuary and a fantastic area to shop, eat, or just hang out, with an eclectic assortment of residential, commercial, and gallery spaces. Midtown Manhattan has Times Square, the Museum of Modern Art, the Theater District, and the famed shopping of Fifth Avenue. People are drawn to Greenwich Village by its bohemian history, local diversity, funky shopping, top-notch restaurants, and fascinating Old New York architecture. The Village remains one of the most romantic neighborhoods in the city with its tree-lined streets, brick houses, celebrated coffeehouses, jazz clubs, and sidewalk cafes. Nearby is the trend-setting and eclectic East Village with its experimental music clubs and abundance of reasonably-priced ethnic restaurants. Get off the streets and take the elevator to the observatory of the Empire State Building, where you can see up to 80 miles away on a clear day. Amid the dense urban landscape is America's first public park, the man-made and glorious 843-acre Central Park. View the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan or hop a ferry out to Liberty Island to get a closer look. New York's appeal is timeless, its activities are endless, and it's not waiting around. Don't waste a New York minute! Start planning your New York City tour today.
Chicago is called the "birthplace of modern architecture" and it's the heartbeat of the Upper Midwest; we also call it a great urban vacation spot. The Chicago Loop, originally named for a 19th-century streetcar loop, now refers to the area within the tracks of the city's elevated train (the "L" or "El"). Historical buildings inside The Loop include the Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Sears Tower, and the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District — featuring many significant buildings on Michigan Avenue, the Loop's eastern boundary. The Chicago Water Tower and the Hancock Observatory are on Michigan Avenue, as is the Magnificent Mile, a stretch of Michigan Avenue with upscale department stores, restaurants, and four- and five-star hotels. Nearby attractions include Navy Pier amusements and the Wacker Drive riverfront promenade. Shops, museums, and beaches attract visitors to the North Shore, an area along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan north of Chicago. Other North Shore attractions include the Ladd Arboretum, the Grosse Point Lighthouse Maritime Museum, and Northwestern University. And, of course, sports fans have much to appreciate in this legendary sports town. It all comes down to this: Chicago is a happening place.
People still flock to Los Angeles for sun and beautiful beaches, but this big city vacation destination has even more on offer. It's true that there are many miles between sites of special interest, and the best way to explore it all is by car. If you're renting a car, get a convertible! Shop on Rodeo Drive or cruise the famed Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. You can drive on Sunset Boulevard for miles (it's the scenic route and avoids the freeways) until you hit the Pacific Coast Highway — turn right for Malibu, turn left for Santa Monica and Venice Beach. The beautiful Santa Monica Pier with its carnival atmosphere is a must-see and more romantic at night. Westwood Village is home to UCLA and the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Culture. Not far from there is the Getty Center, home of the J. Paul Getty Museum, with its remarkable architecture and landscaped grounds. Wonderful restaurants can be found in every area, from cheap eats to the most posh dining experience. And there's no better place to see a movie — not because movies made L.A. famous but because there are still numerous single-screen movie theaters from Hollywood's glamorous heyday. The 1922 Egyptian Theatre is a Hollywood landmark and the 1963 Cinerama Dome — the first and largest theater of its kind — has recently been refurbished.