Best Cities in Florida (I)

Tag: City Guides

Best Cities in Florida (I)

When the Spanish arrived on the coast of Florida in the early 16th century, they initially thought that it was an island. They were not entirely wrong, as The Sunshine State, with its tropical temperatures, palm groves and sandy beaches, is in many ways more like a Caribbean island than the rest of the USA.  We sought to identify the best cities in Florida and here is what we found:


1. St. Augustine (Best Cities in Florida)

This idyllic small town is considered to be one of the smallest settlements in the USA founded by Europeans. Right by the harbor is the Castillo de San Marcos, a star-shaped fortress from Spanish colonial times. In the town centre, above all on St. George Street, visitors can admire the countless old buildings which have been lovingly restored, while in the Living History Museum, actors in historical costumes bring the everyday life of a bygone era back to life.


2. Saint Petersburg (Best Cities in Florida)

Saint Petersburg is a city on the Florida peninsula, which is also called “Florida’s Sunshine City”. A pier stretches 400 meters out into the bay, which offers visitors a wonderful view. The view of the skyline is also very pleasant at nighttime, as is a walk through the harbor area in general.

When it comes to leisure time there are approximately 125 city parks, play areas and sporting activities. The 70 km-long cycling and hiking router is the longest in the eastern USA. Also worth noting is that America’s only reprocessing plant for domestic water was built here. Attractions include the botanical gardens “Sunken Garden”, the “Tampa Bay Walk of Fame”, “Baseball Boulevard” and the “St. Petersburg Times Walk Through History” as well as the “Bayfront Center Arena”, “Mahaffey Theater” and the “Coliseum”.


3. Fort Lauderdale (Best Cities in Florida)

It’s worth discovering Fort Lauderdale by boat, as it is also known as the “Venice of America”. It’s not just the canals and many arms of the river that offer wonderful views, there’s also a lot to discover at the harbor. Ten ships can be processed simultaneously at this harbor, and there is the option to take a day trip to the Bahamas.

Many yachts are built or serviced in Fort Lauderdale. The world’s biggest drive-in cinema with 13 screens also comes highly recommended. The nightlife is also very lively and highly regarded by youngsters.

Best Cities to Visit in China (II): Chengdu

Best Cities to Visit in China: Chengdu


If you could sum up Chengdu in three words, it would be tea, pandas and cuisine. The capital of Sichuan province, Chengdu is the most important city in western China and the obvious place from which to explore the surrounding mountains and wildlife reserves. The capital of the ancient kingdom of Shu, Chengdu also has some excellent museums.


Best Cities to Visit in China: Chengdu


What's here? Pandas are certainly Chengdu's biggest draw, and you can see them outside town in the Breeding Research Base. If you'd rather see them in their natural environment, visit the Bifengxia Panda Base, which is about two hours away. Note that the Wolong Panda Center was damaged in the 2008 earthquake and has not yet reopened.


The ancient kingdom of Shu is also a hallmark of Chengdu and there are two excellent archeological museums nearby: the Sanxingdui Museum north of the city, which contains gorgeous Bronze Age artifacts from the 13th century BCE, and the Jinsha Site Museum, which is located in Chengdu itself and contains artifacts that date from 1200–600 BCE.


Best Cities to Visit in China: Chengdu


Cuisine and tea: It's impossible to miss out on Sichuan (formerly spelled "Szechuan") cuisine, arguably China's most accessible cooking style. Foreign favorites like kungpao (gongbao) chicken and mapo tofu are only the tip of the iceberg – hotpot restaurants, dan dan mian (担担面; Sichuan noodles) and other street snacks (小吃) are also an excellent introduction to this incredibly rich (and spicy!) culinary tradition. 


The city is also known for its many teahouses; try out the most famous, Heming Teahouse, in People's Park, or the Shufeng Yayun Teahouse in Culture Park, which stages evening performances. For something a little more low key head to Wenshu Temple, which has an attached teahouse; outside the temple is a renovated old part of town, which is an enjoyable place to stroll. Another site worth visiting is the Taoist Green Ram Temple.


Best Cities to Visit in China: Chengdu


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Best Cities to Visit in China (I)- Beijing

Best Cities to Visit in China – Beijing


"Urbanity, courtesy, a manner at once smiling and restrained; a preference for the pleasant tastes, sounds and colors that money could buy rather than for wealth itself; an instinctive appreciation of beauty in art and nature–all these were commonly found in every level of society [of Beijing]." – John Blofeld, City of Lingering Splendour


Center of the known universe, Beijing elicits a range of emotions that run the spectrum from uncontainable excitement to moments of utter bafflement. It's been capital of the country since Kublai Khan set up shop in 1271 and the echoes of the imperial dynasties that followed still resonate in peerless sights such as the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. 


Best Cities to Visit in China – Beijing


Over the centuries Beijing has always attracted China's brightest minds and best talent, and even if the capital today is a thoroughly modern place, regardless of your interest – art, cuisine, politics, history, well being, or language – it still holds the keys that will get you started on your journey.


You could fill a library with books about Beijing, so we will simply say this: all roads in China eventually lead here.


Best Cities to Visit in China – Beijing


What's here? Wander through the Forbidden City for a taste of imperial splendor before you pop into a tiny eatery for some simple, freshly made dumplings. Compare the timeless artwork of the past with the enigmatic creations of the present. Pick up a few tai chi tips at dawn before you head off to stretch your legs at the Great Wall


Best Cities to Visit in China – Beijing


If you want to read more about the sights and tourist attractions in Beijing or China in general, use the search bar on the top of this page or subscribe to our Blog and make sure you don't miss any of our updates!