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The Return of the Big City Trip: 5 Fantastic Urban Getaways

published on May 31, 2023 by

The pulsating energy of bustling streets, iconic landmarks, diverse cultures, and rich histories is beckoning travelers once again. As we dust off our suitcases and embark on new adventures, let’s explore a few fantastic urban getaways that are sure to captivate your senses: Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix/Scottsdale, San Diego, San Francisco and New York City. 

Fort Lauderdale: Coastal Florida At Its Best

Located on Florida’s scenic Atlantic coast, Fort Lauderdale offers vacationers a great way to blend a big city trip with surf and sand. Fort Lauderdale Beach is perfect for every watersport under the sun — paddle-boarding, kitesurfing, jet skiing and beyond. Just steps away from the sand, downtown’s dynamic Riverwalk is a pedestrian friendly area packed with restaurants, boutiques and cafes. For an eco-adventure, take an airboat tour the nearby Everglades National Park, during which you’ll see alligators, panthers, and manatees.

Fort Lauderdale Travel Tip: Florida’s unique Intracoastal Waterway passes through Fort Lauderdale, offering kayakers an unforgettable journey.

Where To Stay: Marriott’s BeachPlace Towers

Phoenix & Scottsdale: Desert Adventures

In Arizona, there’s no shortage of urban adventures. Embark on an exhilarating hot air balloon ride, soaring above Phoenix, soaking in breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. For a dose of culture, visit the Heard Museum, home to an impressive collection of Native American art and artifacts. Cool off from the desert heat at the Castles N’ Coasters water park, offering thrilling water slides and rides for all ages. And of course, no trip to Phoenix would be complete without experiencing the vibrant nightlife and dining scene in downtown Scottsdale, where you can indulge in delicious cuisine, craft cocktails and a wealth of spa options.

Scottsdale Travel Tip: Architecture lovers won’t want to miss Taliesin West, the amazing winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright, which is now open to the public for tours.

Where To Stay: Marriott’s Canyon Villas at Desert Ridge

San Diego: A Southern California Gem

From La Jolla to Coronado, San Diego’s beaches are justifiably famous. But that’s just the beginning of the fun in this southern California city. In downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter, you’ll find an exciting blend of nightlife options, including live music venues, swanky rooftop cocktail lounges, comedy clubs and energetic dance floors. In the 1,200-acre Balboa Park, discover a host of fascinating museums that range from ancient history to space travel — and then pay a visit to the San Diego Zoo, home to more than 4,000 animals.

San Diego Travel Tip: If you’re traveling with kids, make sure to get tickets for LEGOLAND California, which features more than 60 rides and shows built with the magic of Legos.

Where To Stay: Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara

San Francisco: West Coast Cool

Up the coast from San Diego, San Francisco offers a different California vacation experience, captivating visitors with its breathtaking views, dazzling bridges, and a thriving tech scene. Explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Chinatown and the Mission District, ride the classic cable cars, or visit Alcatraz Island, the former federal prison that was home to such infamous characters as Al Capone and the “Birdman.” Indulge in catch-of-the-day seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf or take a leisurely walk through the charming streets of Victorian houses in the picturesque Painted Ladies district.

San Francisco Travel Tip: SF’s famed Golden Gate Bridge isn’t just a spectacular sight — you can actually walk across its 1.7 miles, enjoying brilliant ocean and city views from a unique vantage point.

Where To Stay: Inn at the Opera

New York City: Big Fun In The Big Apple

From the bright lights and blockbuster shows of Broadway to the tranquil oasis of Central Park, New York City offers visitors a kaleidoscope of experiences. Marvel at the Statue of Liberty, stroll through the diverse neighborhoods of Manhattan, check out countless masterpieces new and old at world-class museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, and indulge in a global culinary scene to rival any other metropolis.

NYC Travel Tip: Manhattan is home to the most well-known NYC attractions, but take some time to explore Brooklyn, too, where you’ll find the sprawling Prospect Park and some of the destination’s hippest restaurants.

Where To Stay: The Manhattan Club

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