New Orleans, La.
There aren't enough hours in the day in New Orleans, but the frenzied pace keeps you moving. If you're staying in one of the balconied rooms overlooking the French Quarter, you can fall out of bed into Jackson Square, a good place to start your walking tour and people watching. The St. Louis Cathedral is the centerpiece of the square, around which you'll find museums, galleries, restaurants, shopping and an open-air artist colony.
From there, hop on the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar and head over to the Garden District to take in the opulent Greek Revival, Italianate and Victorian mansions. Stop at Lafayette Cemetery #1, one of the above-ground cemeteries, known as "Cities of the Dead," where remains are interred in the monuments and crypts. Note the street-like layout of the cemeteries. End your tour at the Garden District Book Shop to peruse regional titles and snag an autographed Anne Rice novel.
Back at the French Quarter, it's "happy hour" any time of night or day. Stop by Pat O'Brien's and share their requisite specialty drink -- the hurricane. After dinner, drop by Preservation Hall to hear the real deal -- authentic New Orleans-style jazz. There's no cover, but don't look for a seat, it's strictly SRO. Stop by a few more jazz clubs, and top off your evening with a leisurely nightcap in one of the French Quarter's upscale hotels. Grab a few winks, and start over the next day with beignets and chicory coffee at Café du Monde …
For more getaway ideas, take a tour of the links on the following page.
- Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We're a Musician's Town." (April 20, 2010)http://www.austintexas.org/musicians/
- Austin Parks and Recreation Department. "Barton Springs Pool." (April 20, 2010)http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/parks/bartonsprings.htm
- Belson, Ken. "Vacations Get Shorter, but Turn Up More Often." New York Times. August 18, 2007. (April 15, 2010)http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/08/18/nyregion/18weekend.html?fta=y
- Brown, Thomas S. "Travel pinch gives tourism leaders pinch." Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal. August 19, 1990. (April 15, 2010)http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1901&dat=19900819&id=IYofAAAAIBAJ&sjid=H9MEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4107,1629681
- Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority. "Biltmore Winery." (April 20, 2010)http://www.exploreasheville.com/what-to-do/activity-details/index.aspx?guid=baae90f0-d1c2-4876-9e3f-ca85e1e0b437
- The Butchart Gardens. "Our History." (April 20, 2010)http://www.butchartgardens.com/the-gardens/our-history/our-history.html
- Gatlinburg Visitors and Convention Bureau. "Great Smoky Mountains National Park." (April 20, 2010)http://www.gatlinburg.com/things-to-do/national-park/
- Gatlinburg Visitors and Convention Bureau. "Tennessee Artists and the Historic Arts & Crafts Community." (April 20, 2010)http://www.gatlinburg.com/things-to-do/arts-crafts/
- Harry Ransom Center. "Art." (April 20, 2010)http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/collections/art/
- PBS. "New Age Tour of Sedona." October 27, 2000. (April 19, 2010)http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week409/feature.html
- Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau. "NM History Museum Number 1 in Nation." April 9, 2010. (April 15, 2010)http://santafe.org/Media/Press_Room/Current_Releases/NM_History_Museum_Honored184887/
- Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau. "Why Plan a Meeting in Saratoga Springs, NY?" (April 15, 2010)http://www.discoversaratoga.org/
- Savannah Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Savannah's History." (April 15, 2010)http://www.savannahvisit.com/media/savannahs-history
- Savannah Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Savannah Secrets." Media Guide. (April 15, 2010)http://savannahvisit.com/images/userfiles/mediaguide.pdf
- Savannah Economic Development Authority. "Recent Awards." (April 15, 2010)http://www.seda.org/savannah/85/recent-awards.html
- Shelton-Roberts, Cheryl. "Lighthouse Tour." (April 15, 2010)http://www.outer-banks.com/lighthouse-society/lighthousetour.asp
- SPC Travel Network. "Interesting Facts." (April 20, 2010)http://www.10best.com/Austin,TX/locationDetails.html?tab=facts
- SPC Travel Network. "Interesting Facts." (April 20, 2010)http://www.10best.com/Victoria,BC/locationDetails.html?tab=facts
- SPC Travel Network. "More About Santa Fe: Overview." (April 15, 2010)http://www.10best.com/Santa_Fe,NM/locationDetails.html
- U.S. Department of State. "Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative." (April 21, 2010)http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html
- U.S. Travel Association. "Travel Facts and Statistics." (April 15, 2010)http://www.ustravel.org/news/press-kit/travel-facts-and-statistics
HowStufffWorks talks to the experts to find out how to pack a suitcase better, how to fit more clothes in and which items to take and leave.