As William Saroyan so wisely said, “If you’re alive, you can’t be bored in San Francisco.” Just looking at the city sparks new interest at every turn: a spire of the Golden Gate Bridge poking up through the fog, a swatch of the Bay Bridge visible between office towers, tiny pre-earthquake cottages hidden on a hillside where the streets are stairways. And, if just looking around isn’t entertainment enough, there’s everything from world-class opera to street jugglers.
Whether you're looking for wildlife or nightlife -- the gorgeous mountain
town of Aspen, Colorado offers plenty of both. It's no wonder this high-altitude
(8,000 feet) destination has grown to have international appeal. Breathtaking
ski runs and stunning mountain scenery coexist comfortably with pedestrian-friendly
streets lined with chic boutiques and award-winning restaurants. Serving
everything from sushi to Swiss fondue, Aspen's chefs have definitely put
the area on the nation's culinary map. Aspen's history as a rough and
tumble silver mining town in the late 1800s is preserved in much of the
town's architecture, though the miners never saw the likes of the sophisticated
film, art, music, dance and food festivals that fill Aspen's calendar
year-round. From ski tours and sleigh rides, hikes and bike rides to side
trips to hot springs, Aspen has something for everyone, year-round.
Aspen Club Lodge
Because of its location about 50 miles south of San Francisco, just north of San Jose (California’s largest city), and next to Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, Cupertino is synonymous with the famed Silicon Valley. While its claim to fame may be its location at the center of some of the world’s most powerful centers of business and technology, the city also has another side. Its proximity to over 50 California wineries means that daytrip options are both plentiful and relaxing. Surrounding hills produce famed old-vine zinfandels and lush chardonnays, often celebrated with local wine festivals. Or, visitors can go “next door” to San Jose for a dose of arts and culture, a home game with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, or a visit to the fascinating new Tech Museum of Innovation. The nearby Great America and Winchester House of Mystery in Santa Clara is another draw for families.
Cypress Hotel, Opening May 2002!
If Portland seems like an unusually well-planned city, attractively laid out with the right balance of green spaces and urban amenities, it’s no accident. It wasn’t long after the city was incorporated in 1851 that the first public parks were donated and the first elms were planted, forming the foundation for the attractive city center existing today. Portlanders have kept up their forward-looking approach to city planning over the years, developing a “Downtown Plan” in the 1970s which kept the improvements coming: adding a riverfront greenway, performing arts complex, electric transit system and architectural projects which have won national acclaim.
Avenue Suites Hotel
According to a number of recent magazine polls ranking U.S. cities, Seattle is the best place to live, the best place to visit, the best place to start a new business and even the best place in which to ride a bicycle. Fortunately, Seattle hasn’t let all this glowing publicity go to its head; it’s still the same down-to-earth, pioneer-spirited city surrounded by a spectacular backyard of water, forested islands and snow-capped mountains.
Tacoma combines the best of two worlds: the friendliness and ease of a small city with all the amenities of a much larger one. Nestled on the southern edge of Puget Sound, midway between Olympia and Seattle, Tacoma boasts an outstanding park system, thriving arts scene and a revitalized downtown celebrating its heritage while moving with the present.
Sheraton Tacoma Hotel
A tree-lined city cradled in a high mountain valley, Salt Lake offers visitors a vibrant and diverse community where major arts, sports and outdoor diversions converge. In a city with easy access to seven canyons, numerous parks and golf courses, it's no surprise that everyday activities include picnicking, rock climbing, fishing, and day hikes with breathtaking views. Summer nights bring a steady stream of outdoor concerts featuring major artists, both in the city and nearby canyons. Year-round dining at a growing number of award-winning restaurants and brewpubs is a favorite pastime. Winter brings downhill and cross-country skiing at Olympic venues a mere 40 minutes from downtown. Winter also brings a dazzling opera, ballet and theater season. Salt Lake is home to the Utah Jazz and a thrilling line up of NBA games, Utah Grizzlies IHL hockey, Utah Buzz PLC baseball, free concerts by the acclaimed Mormon Tabernacle Choir and easy access to the world's largest genealogy library. City walks through the historic Avenues District and Marmalade Hill behind the majestic state capitol building offer glimpses of the city's colorful history and eclectic architecture. A new light-rail system connects major downtown venues and runs the length of the Salt Lake Valley.
Hotel Monaco, Salt Lake City
A great western city set on high plains surrounded by majestic mountains, Denver rocks! Its central downtown area draws locals and visitors to major performing arts and sporting events. Nightspots, restaurants, shops and department stores abound, and a mile-long pedestrian mall cuts through the heart of it all, offering easy access and the diversions of numerous beautifully landscaped parks and lively plazas. Lower Downtown, know as "LoDo" offers one of the nation's greatest concentrations of Victorian buildings and artfully refurbished warehouses. Today they house art galleries, award-winning microbreweries and brew pubs, cafes and boutiques. Throughout the mile-high city, tree-lined boulevards double as bike paths. Four distinct seasons frame all the activity and add to the options, both indoors and out.
Hotel Monaco, Denver
Chicago is the quintessential American City – bold and exuberant, and a lot of fun. A Midwest metropolis, it pulses with art and commerce, sports and entertainment. Acknowledged as the birthplace of modern American architecture as well as the skyscraper, it’s also home to the beloved and historic Wrigley Field. The city that hosts the Oprah Winfrey Show and launched the famous Steppenwolf, Second City and Shakespearean Rep troupes also boasts major sports teams such as the Chicago Bulls, the Bears, the Cubs, and the NHL Blackhawks. This hub of business that gave rise to skyscrapers - including the magnificent Sears Tower - is constantly evolving and reinventing itself as a world class center of culture and leisure. Chicago is a city of bold public sculptures by Picasso and Oldenberg among many other artists’ works, as well as a world-famous collection of impressionist paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago. Vibrant neighborhoods throughout the city serve up everything from new American cuisine to Greek and Polish specialties, as well as American jazz and blues. Chicago's prestigious "Magnificent Mile" fulfills the needs of even the most ardent shopaholic, and gourmets and night owls alike are sure to find plenty to their taste in Chicago's trendy restaurants, cafes and nightclubs.
Whatever you call it, “The Big Easy” or the “City That Never Sleeps, ” the very words, “New Orleans” conjure images of legendary hospitality and fun; wild times and big appetites. The extroverted city’s personality is awash in an abundance of clubs with live jazz and blues, world-famous food and legendary watering holes. Cajun, French Creole, Choctaw and Chickasaw cultures form its backbone. A fascination with voodoo and cemetery tours, surreal scenes and, of course, the annual Mardi Gras celebration are part and parcel of the City’s style. NFL games at the Superdome – and of course the famous Sugardome – attract football fans every year, too. For a quieter side of New Orleans, stroll along the Moonwalk between the French Quarter and the Mississippi, or tour some grand old homes. Wander through antique bookshops or grab a fresh beignet and coffee and just watch the everyday parade go by.
Hotel Monaco, New Orleans
With the characteristic energy and excitement of an international capitol, Washington D.C. offers visitors a kaleidoscopic look at America and American history. Here, you can tour grand national monuments and awe-inspiring government buildings. Experience the magnificence of the National Gallery of Art, the wonder of the Smithsonian Institute, and the sheer depth and fascination of other great museums such as the National Museum of Natural History. D.C. neighborhoods are as varied as Chinatown – with its color and chaos -- and Georgetown, with its sedate tree-lined streets of Georgian, Federal and Victorian homes and boutiques. Throughout the city, restaurants and clubs range from posh to raucous, but there’s always a buzz in this city of ongoing policy debates and political jostling. Other than governmental proceedings, popular events include year-round Kennedy Center performances and the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, held each Spring.
Hotel Monaco, Washington DC, Opening May 2002!
As captivatingly cosmopolitan as it is naturally beautiful,
Vancouver, B.C. is a favorite destination for visitors from around the
world - many of whom arrive by luxury cruise ship. Home to high-fashion,
sophisticated shopping, abundant dining options and artful diversions,
Vancouver is also a Mecca for bike riders and boaters. All enjoy the fact
that this city is virtually surrounded by water, with miles and miles
of jogging and bike paths along the shores of Burrard inlet on the north,
English Bay on the west and False Creek to the south. And, did you know
that Vancouver is also a center of film activity? From feature films to
commercials, you're likely to come across some intriguing "lights, camera,
action!" during meanderings around Robson Street, Stanley Park, the Theatre
district, Chinatown and Gastown.
Pacific Palisades Hotel
Located 75 miles north of Vancouver, British Columbia, the vast and varied alpine destination called Whistler is more than a sports and outdoor paradise. It is home to luxury lodges, boutique hotels, nightlife both wild and tame, and an international crossroads of dining throughout a beautiful pedestrian-only village. Still, skiing is its claim to fame. In fact, The New York Times recently called Whistler "One of the premier ski resorts on the North American continent." Ask any downhiller who has experienced the thrill of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, whether from the summit on a heli-skiing or boarding adventure or via first-time lessons on a gentle slope, and they're likely to agree. Summertime visitors include some of the most discerning golfers in the world and fair-weather hikers find the rugged and ancient Coast Mountains surrounding Whistler Village offer something for everyone.