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IT’S NO longer enough for trav­ellers to tick off a des­ti­na­tion’s top at­trac­tions or his­toric high­lights on

their trip. now we all want to ex­pe­ri­ence more, feel more and get an in­sight into where the lo­cals go and what they know. Across the U.s. those res­i­dents are ready to

wel­come you to their own lo­cal neigh­bour­hoods, so dive in

– you won’t be dis­ap­pointed.


A whisker away from Washington D.C., Vir­ginia’s pretty port town of Alexan­dria blends its his­toric colo­nial past with a cool and ca­sual din­ing and arts scene that makes vis­i­tors feel in­stantly at home. Walk the Old Town’s cob­bled streets, with its in­de­pen­dent restau­rants and bou­tiques, be­fore ex­plor­ing the wa­ter­front’s Tor­pedo Fac­tory Art Cen­tre, home to over 80 work­ing artists' stu­dios.


Out­stand­ing art col­lec­tions abound in Philadel­phia’s world­class mu­se­ums, in­clud­ing over 600 French post-Im­pres­sion­ist and modern mas­ter­pieces at the city’s Barnes Foun­da­tion. Be­yond the gal­leries, colour­ful art­works adorn many of the city’s walls, sup­ported by the Mu­ral Arts Philadel­phia pro­gramme.


Even if sport’s not your thing, no visit to Bos­ton is com­plete with­out catch­ing a game at Fen­way Park, the U.S.’s old­est Ma­jor League Base­ball sta­dium. Stay across the road at The Verb ho­tel with its mu­sic mem­o­ra­bilia and record play­ers, and grab lunch at ve­gan hotspot By Chloe.


It may be known as a ‘ghost town’ but Ter­lin­gua, near Big Bend Na­tional Park in Texas, is alive and kick­ing. Born from the mercury min­ing boom in the early 1900s, it’s now home to an artsy com­mu­nity and an an­nual in­ter­na­tional chilli cook-off, plus the straight-out-of-a-western Starlight Theatre saloon.


While Mickey and co. are the ma­jor draw for Or­lando, there’s plenty more be­yond. Thorn­ton Park Dis­trict is within walk­ing dis­tance from Down­town and of­fers events such as a Wine & Art Walk, Thorn­ton Thurs­days with street DJs and live mu­sic, and a Sun­day farm­ers’ mar­ket with yoga at Lake Eola Park.

Sweet Home Alabama is more than a song. It’s a place where the skies re­ally are so blue - a land of his­tory, cul­ture, mu­sic and ad­ven­ture. Here, Gospel is sung in churches and folks dance to Blues, Coun­try and Jazz in bars. Lo­cally owned restau­rants dish up meals of mouth-wa­ter­ing bar­be­cue and fresh seafood from Alabama’s fish­ing vil­lages. Alabama’s top mu­se­ums in­clude the U.S. Space & Rocket Cen­ter, the Bar­ber Vin­tage Mo­tor­sports Mu­seum and the leg­endary stu­dios of Mus­cle Shoals. Sur­rounded by great cities - New Or­leans, Mem­phis, Nashville and At­lanta among them - Alabama is the heart and sould of any South­ern USA trip.

PIC­TURED Main im­age: mu­rals in Philadel­phia; Above: Fre­mont Street, Las Ve­gas; Right: Old Town Alexan­dria; Op­po­site page: Ter­lin­gua Ghost Town, Texas

Tear your­self away from the daz­zling Strip to dis­cover a very dif­fer­ent vibe in DOWN­TOWN LAS VE­GAS. Stay at the au­then­tic Down­town Grand Ho­tel & Casino to ex­plore funky Fre­mont Street and the ex­cel­lent Mob Mu­seum, and check out The Neon...

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