Top Ten

TOP TEN FAVORITE CITIES

Over 300,000 People

Cities have never been our preferred places to visit or spend lots of time. But these cities have been our favorites and in retrospect, we would love to go back to all of them again!

Our time in these cities has been influenced by people we knew who lived there, transportation systems that made it easy to get around, welcoming friends we met along the way, great places to eat, and of course the weather that cooperated while we were visiting.

As we continue to travel we will keep on evaluating all of the cities we visit for their memories and we will reevaluate our list of Top Ten.

Our Top Ten List is in Alphabetical Order

Please Click on the Pictures to Enlarge

AUSTIN, TEXAS

2006 - Present

Click Here: Google Maps

Population: 820,611

Austin, the capital of the Great State of Texas, is one of the best food cities we have visited. Known for great "trailer food ", BBQ, and Tex-Mex; varieties better than we have eaten anywhere. One of the most memorable places to visit is the LBJ Presidential Library on the University of Texas Campus.

Keep Austin Weird Rudys BBQ LBJ Presidential Library Austin at Night Texas Longhorn

BARCELONA, SPAIN

2005 & 2012

Click Here: Google Maps

Population: 1,615,448

The heart of Catalonia, Barcelona is one of Spain's most exciting cities. On the Mediterranean Sea, visitors are reminded of the Spanish explorers, and also the independence of the people today. Home to glorious architecture by Gaudi, accessible bus and metro service, and delicious tapas; Barcelona is a city not to be missed.

Gaudi Building La Familia Sagrada Güell Park Columbus Monument Port of Barcelona

CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA

2010 & 2014

Click Here: Google Maps

Population: 892,545

The colonial center of Cartagena has all of the charm of the 1600's. Staying in the historical heart gives easy access to the cathedrals, markets, and shopping. A mix of Spanish and Caribbean cultures, the people of the city are friendly and very willing to share the traditions of their city on the sea.

Castillo SanFelipe de Barajas Old Town Cartagena Wall Old Town Cartagena Coconuts to Market Old Town Entrance Christmas

FLORENCE, ITALY

2001 & 2005

Click Here: Google Maps

Population: 371,282

The bridges over the Arno River span the gap between the birth of the Renaissance and the Modern Era. An easy walking city with cathedrals, (the Duomo) and museums, (Uffizi); Florence is alive with tourists, students, and artists. In the Basilica di Santa Croce are tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, and other noted Italians.

Ponte Vecchio Basilica di Santa Croce Statue of David Ponte Vecchio and Arno River Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower

GUILIN, CHINA

2008

Click Here: Google Maps

Population: 4,747,963

The bridges over the Arno River span the gap between the birth of the Renaissance and the Modern Era. An easy walking city with cathedrals, (the Duomo) and museums, (Uffizi); Florence is alive with tourists, students, and artists. In the Basilica di Santa Croce are tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, and other noted Italians.

Guilin from Wave-Subduing Hill Guilin Elephant Trunk Hill Li River and Karst Mountains Harvesting Tea Sun and Moon Pagodas

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

2006

Click Here: Google Maps

Population: 13,483,052

We visited Istanbul during the height of the spring tulip festival; an introduction to a city that cares about public places and parks. Our hotel was centrally located and within walking distances of The Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia. Friendly vendors and excellent walk up cafés welcomed us to this city caught between Europe and Asia.

Blue Mosque Hagia Sophia Grand Bazaar Preparing a Kebab Bosphorus from Galata Tower

PARIS, FRANCE

2005 & 2013

Click Here: Google Maps

Population: 2,234,105

Our visits to Paris, "the City of Lights" have always been too short. The métro system takes visitors from gallery to museum easily and inexpensively. Although restaurants can be expensive, we were able to find food vendors with simple and exciting meals. The parks and gardens provide people watching opportunities extraordinaire!

Notre Dame and Seine River Tuileries Garden View from Eiffel Tower Arc de Triomphe Eiffel Tower at Night

SANTIAGO, CHILE

2007

Click Here: Google Maps

Population: 4,985,893

The capital of Chile, Santiago has distinct neighborhoods. We were lucky to have our hotel in the "Providencia" area that was very safe, had many accessible cafés, and a near by shopping center. The city center is alive with the traditional Spanish culture, great places to eat, and numerous Colonial buildings that have survived earthquakes.

View of Santiago Statue to Montt & Varas Outside Justice Hall Old and New by Plaza De Armas El Mercado Central Chilean Vineyards

ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA

2008

Click Here: Google Maps

Population: 4,879,566

Located on the Neva River in the Gulf of Finland, St. Petersburg was the imperial capital of Russia. Today after over 300 years, the splendor of this port city has been restored. Under the direction of Peter the Great, the canals, palaces, the Hermitage Museum, and Peterhof, the "Russian Versailles" all shout the opulence of the Czars.

Double-headed Romanov Eagle Neva River Fountains Peter and Paul Fortress Peterhof Palace Hermitage Museum

VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA

2007

Click Here: Google Maps

Population: 603,502

Noted as one of the most livable cities in the world, Vancouver is fresh, alive, and welcomes everyone. The trail around Stanley Park brings the forests right down to the sea while honoring the First Nation ancestors. Restaurants in Gastown, the historical center and Granville Island with its trendy shops lure locals and well as tourists.

Local Air Transportation Vancouver Harbor Lions Gate Bridge First Nations Totem Poles The Search Sculpture

  Featured Journal

Day 2: Goat Cave Karst Nature Preserve


The Preserve was set aside to buffer some of the ecologically sensitive karsts in the area from encroaching neighborhoods. Karsts are caves that feed directly into the Edwards Aquifer below ground.

Because the three caves can be dangerous to hikers and nonprofessional spelunkers, they are...

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