North America

Napa and Sonoma Valleys

In 3 words: Wine lovers’ paradise.
For your visit three full days is the absolute minimum to enjoy Napa and Sonoma at reasonable pace.
Don’t miss:¬†Soaring up in a hot-air balloon one crisp morning.
Last visit: October 2016.
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Savannah, GA

In 4 words: A true southern belle.
For your first visit you need about two full days to be able to appreciate the city and all of its major sights while keeping pleasantly unhurried pace.
Distances are all walkable in the city center.
Love its leafy squares.
Worthy attractions: Owens-Thomas House; Davenport House; Forsyth Park; Andrew Low House.
Left for another visit: Cathedral of St John Baptist (had a quick look in between services); Congregation Mickve Israel (not open on weekends); Old Fort Jackson (further afield); Oatland Island Wildlife Center (further afield); Ships of the Sea Museum; Georgia State Railroad Museum; other historic houses and churches.
Last visit: December 2015.
    
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Our verdict

Savannah, GA

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Charleston, SC

In 4 words: Southern charm and history.
For your first visit you need about two full days to be able to appreciate the city and all of its major sights while keeping pleasantly unhurried pace.
Distances are all walkable in the city center, except when going to see plantations (for which transport is necessary).
Love its intimate streets with colorful architecture.
Worthy attractions: St John Baptist Cathedral; St Michael’s Church; Nathaniel Russell House; Edmonston-Alston House; Historic City Market; Middleton Place (further afield).
Left for another visit: Magnolia Gardens (further afield); Drayton Hall (further afield); Aiken-Rhett House and a few other historic mansions; a number of churches; Charleston Museum.
Last visit: December 2015.
    
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Our verdict

Charleston, SC

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Quebec City

In 12 words: Historic, pretty and your best bet to experience France in North America.
For your first visit you need 2 full days to be able to fully appreciate the city and all of its major sights while keeping pleasantly unhurried pace.
Distances are walkable, you are unlikely to need use of any public transport except the funicular.
Don’t miss: A cruise on the St-Lawrence river.
Worthy attractions: Basilique Cathedrale Notre-Dame-de-Quebec and a number of churches; Musee du Fort; Musee des Ursulines.
Recommended day trips: Montmorency Falls Park.
Left for another visit: La Citadelle de Quebec (only walked around); Musee de la Civilisation; Musee national des beaux-arts du Quebec.
Last visit: May 2015.
    
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***

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Newport, RI

In 4 words: Gilded Age and more.
For your visit two full days are sufficient to visit all top attractions, but at least three days are recommended.
Distances are mostly walkable and parking can be a challenge in central town, but use of the car is natural.
Love its magnificent mansions.
Don’t miss: Art galleries and antique shops along the waterfront and Thames Street.
Worthy attractions: Breakers; Elms; Marble House; Chateau-sur-Mer; Rosecliff; Cliff Walk; Ocean Drive.
Left for another visit: Kingscote; a handful of lesser historic houses; Fort Adams.
Last visit: May 2013.
    
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Our verdict
Chateau-sur-Mer, Newport, RI

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