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Best Small Towns For Big Vacations *Finish

While we know the some of the bigger cities to visit, sometimes we want a bit of down-home culture. Take a look at some small town spots in the country.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Here’s a spot located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg. It’s a nice family getaway that has shops with taffy, moonshine, and you can even see a 360-degree view from the Gatlinburg Space Needle (40 stories above town) . You can also zip-line from the highest point of a mountain in the new Anakeesta theme park.

Taos, New Mexico

Taos is home to Taos Pueblo, an UNESCO site that is among the most seasoned ceaselessly occupied networks in the United States. Visitors can ski at Ski Taos, get some culture by  acquiring some legitimate Native American arts and crafts, and take a look at the museum.

Fredericksburg, Texas

If you’re looking to be here on the fall, take a stop to go to the Oktoberfest. The scenery is beautiful with the bluebonnets blooming in the spring. Imagine this is as you go to the local winery. Also, you can learn about the United States’ 36th president at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park.

Chatham, Massachusetts

Chatham is a nice ocean side town to help you relax and get some adventure. Go kayaking or swimming on the lakes. Get a bit of nightlife with the shops, cafes, and Chatham Bandstand on your Friday summer evenings.

Tallahassee, Florida

Get some delicious food, such as Ernestine Fryson’s famous catfish and hushpuppies. Take a listen of some quality music at the Bradfordville Blues Club. If you enjoy crisp water, take a swim at the beautiful Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park.

Durango, Colorado

Not only does this place make for a nice family getaway, but it’s definitely a spot to be physically active. Enjoy some street biking, kayaking and even climbing at the San Juan Mountains. Enjoy Purgatory Resort with your special spouse.

Cody, Wyoming

Here’s a famous town named after Buffalo Bill Cody for his Wild West history. Also, take in some of the history, Western guns and workmanship.

 

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Top 10 Most Beautiful Colleges in the United States

When picking a university one should go for a good mixture of setting and study. Consider the layout of the buildings and the aesthetic of the quad. Can yourself studying here for the next four years? Do you want to go somewhere with ornamented footpaths? Or architecture that will make your heart melt? It’s important to consider these things and to know where to find them so we’ve completed a list just of the 10 most beautiful colleges in the country.

10. Pepperdine University in California
You wouldn’t be alone if you confused this Malibu campus for indulgent resort on the coast. This specific campus was built in 1972 so students could catch a glimpse of the layered landscape that meets the Pacific Ocean on their way to class. Definitely a place to consider applying.

9. University of Hawaii at M?noa
What’s not to love about a college in Hawaii? Hawaii is easily one of the most beautiful states in the country so it should be no surprise that it is home to one of the most beautiful colleges as well. The statue university in M?noa stands out for it’s beachside campus and its views of nearby volcanoes (something you won’t see at any other college in the states).

8. University of Chicago in Illinois
There are many lovable colleges in the prairie state, but none stood out as much as the University of Chicago. In Hyde Park rests this architectural salute to the Gothic era. This stand out university even played home to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

7. Tulane University in Louisiana
This college offers a beautiful mix of palm trees and evergreens. At Tulane you will get an unwavering New Orleans vibe which makes it a college worth considering.

6. College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts
This university is in one of the smallest states in the United States but it is one of the most vied for. Massachusetts is home to some of the most beautiful colleges around like Harvard and Williams. But it’s the College of Holy Cross that stands out above the rest. This breathtaking campus is suspended on a hill overlooking Worcester and is known as one of the best landscaped schools in the country.

5. St. John’s Santa Fe in New Mexico
This Southwestern campus is a satellite campus of Maryland’s St John’s College. It resides near the base of Monte Luna and serves up students a mountain view that is unmatched.

4. Kenyon College in Ohio
Ohio is known for it’s small liberal arts schools. But Kenyon is known for being beautiful. Regal masonry populates the dorms and administration buildings next to a sprawling rural setting at this university.

3. Lewis & Clark in Oregon
This university is named for the famous explores that cross the country on foot, Lewis and Clark. It resides in a quaint Portland neighborhood that encases it with plunging hills and Douglas Firs.

2. Southern Methodist University in Texas
The splendid entrance of Southern Methodist University is lined with greenery and trees. It offers visitors a hint of what’s inside without giving away what lies ahead–fresh cut lawns, stone buildings, and Wes Anderson-like symmetry.

1. Colgate University in New York
There are so many universities in New York that it’s hard to decide which exemplifies the state the most. From the buzzing and urban Columbia University to the sprawling landscapes of Cornell, it offers a bit of everything. But Colgate offers a bit more than all the rest with it’s rustic look. The campus rests in the middle of untouched forests, hill, and lakes.

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Top Travel Apps for Your Next Trip

Forget the fold-up maps that refuse to re-fold, and the printed currency “cheat sheets” for your pocket. There’s an app for almost everything when it comes to travel. Here’s a sampler of the best to download for your next trip.

Hipmunk
Not to be confused with the small, furry critters that dig in your yard, Hipmunk searches thousands of travel sites to locate the best prices on hotels and other rental properties, including Airbnb and Homeaway. It also finds the best deals on airline flights, Amtrak trains and charter flights. Want to hit the beach for the weekend, or spend a few days shopping in the Big Apple? Don’t go “nuts,” as Hipmunk likes to say, searching for a great rate. Hipmunk can find it for you, starting from your home city or other location.
Airbnb

When you want to really experience a destination, use Airbnb to rent a home from someone who lives there. This app connects you with hosts in over 191 countries and 34,000 cities, whether you’re traveling on business or for pleasure. Accommodations can range from an apartment to a villa, and there are even more than 1400 castles that will open their gates – er, doors – to guests. Want to make some extra money? You can list your own home on Airbnb and rent your space to visitors.
BringFido

Some travelers don’t leave home without a certain credit card. Others won’t budge without Spot. BringFido lets you “spot” pet-friendly destinations around the world, along with accomodations, attractions and restaurants that won’t make your pup sit and stay….outside. It also locates services like veterinary clinics, boarding kennels and training classes. A handy events calendar tracks dog shows, costume parades, festivals, agility competitions, “yappy” hours, dog washes and more. And “paws” to consider this: about 70% of the listed events benefit humane societies.

Hopper
Hopper, which is an accredited travel agency, was named the best travel app of 2015 by Apple, and it’s easy to see why. When you search for a trip, Hopper taps into historical data to see when flight prices are typically at their lowest. Then it will either recommend that you go ahead and book, or wait to see if the fare goes down. If you opt to wait, just tap the binoculars icon in the app, and Hopper will alert you as soon as the ticket price drops. Then you can “hop” right on it.

Hotel Tonight
Not sure where to stay when you’re traveling on the spur of the moment? Or are you worried that you’ll blow your budget on a hotel because you couldn’t book in advance? Hotel Tonight can help. This app partners with properties in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Central and South America and the Asia Pacific region to locate deals on rooms that hotels haven’t been able to book ahead of time. You can reserve a room for the current night, the next day or beyond. Look for room descriptions like “hip,” “basic,” “charming,” “luxe” or “solid” to get a feel for what to expect.

XE Currency
Whether you’re bargaining for a silk scarf at a market stall in Thailand or shopping for luxury teas in a London department store, you’ll have to convert your money to whatever the locals are using. XE Currency is a free app that tracks live exchange rates as well as historical data. For just $1.99, an ad-free “pro” version offers almost all the same features as the freebie, and lets you follow up to 20 currencies at once (the free version is capped at 10). XE Currency is available for Windows, BlackBerry, Firefox OS, Apple and Android devices.

CityMaps2Go

You don’t need an Internet connection to use the free, offline maps on CityMaps2Go, which relies on GPS to find street addresses and attractions. (If you’re an iPhone user, you’ll need to turn off your data roaming setting, or your phone will keep trying to connect to the Internet.) You can search for a restaurant, shop, hotel or other place by name, or simply browse by categories. This app, from Ulmon, also lets you book hotels, customize maps, and save and share your information with others. Need ideas on what to do and where to go? Explore destinations in-depth with the app’s curated or partner-provided content.

Periscope
Periscope, from Twitter, invites you to “see the world through someone else’s eyes” as you watch videos created by other users around the globe. You might see surfers catching the waves in California, observe a political protest unfolding in Cairo, or opt to make your own video of the sun setting at the Eiffel Tower. Followers can see videos in the app or on the Web and write comments or post hearts to show their approval. Show your video live or save it to replay up to 24 hours later; you can also choose whether to make it public or private.

Postagram
Send postcards from the road with Postagram, by Sincerely, Inc. This app lets your turn images from your iPhone, Instagram or Facebook accounts into printed cards. Mail them anywhere in the U.S. for $.99 or outside the U.S. for $1.99; if the card gets lost or damaged in the mail, or you’re just not happy with it, the developers say they’ll re-send it or refund your money. Personalize your cards with a message, if you like; they have space for up to 140 characters. Even if you don’t send the postcards to friends and family back home, they’re fun additions to a photo album or scrapbook of your travels.

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Must-Visit Vineyards in Shenandoah Valley

Everyone knows about California’s wine, but have you heard of Virginia’s? The Shenandoah Valley is ripe—pun intended—with incredible wine, thanks to hilly fields in the Blue Ridge Mountains ideal for growing a wide variety of grapes.

 

Purple WOLF Vineyard

Bluestone Vineyard

The Winery at Kindred Pointe

Cross Key Vineyards

Cave Ridge Vineyards

Muse Vineyards

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The Top 10 Safari Outfitters

When it comes to planning an African safari, the stakes can seem pretty high. It’s not a trip one does every day — in fact, this type of vacation may well fall into “trip of a lifetime” territory. Expectations tend to be lofty, as do budgets. There might be multiple generations traveling, or perhaps it’s a honeymoon; either way, the experience needs to be seamless.

Faultless planning and organization were at the top of a long list of things our readers loved about Rothschild Safaris, the World’s Best winner in the Safari Outfitter category in 2017. Respondents also raved about their expert, on-the-ground knowledge of Africa (all of their staffers either live or have lived on the continent) and their dedicated personal service.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, we ask readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated safari outfitters on their staff and guides, itineraries and destinations, activities, accommodations, food, and overall value.

For respondent Rachel Lindvall, it was Rothschild’s skill in crafting her itinerary that really set the outfitter apart. “Leora Rothschild and her staff worked very hard to personalize our safari, giving input while listening closely to what we were interested in,” she wrote. “We ended up with a trip that worked so well for us. We were constantly amazed how each aspect of it was just exactly what we wanted.”

It’s not the first time Rothschild has appeared on our list of top safari outfitters — in fact, it also won top honors in 2014. Micato Safaris, which came in second, is a Hall of Fame honoree, having been on the list every year since World’s Best began in 1996. Deeper Africa and Extraordinary Journeys also placed for the second year in a row. “Their tours are truly once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said one reader of Deeper Africa. “They’ve taken the time to form relationships in the Kenyan and Tanzanian communities, and it shows. It’s so important to get to know the context of where you’re going — that’s what makes them truly stand out from the pack.”

10. Travel Beyond

9. Mango African Safaris

8. Africa Adventure Consultants

7. Lion World Travel

6. Thomson Safaris

5. Deeper Africa

4. Extraordinary Journeys

3. Alluring Africa

2. Micato Safaris

1. Rothschild Safaris

Native South African Leora Rothschild channeled a lifelong love of the continent’s wildlife when she founded Rothschild Safaris back in 1998. Since then, the tour operator has become one of the most trusted names in the safari industry — and a firm favorite of our readers, who named it Safari Outfitter of the year in 2017.

Rothschild puts her company’s success down to in-depth knowledge of the countries and communities she sends her guests to, whether it’s a popular destination such as Botswana, Tanzania, or South Africa, or a more off-the-beaten-track country such as Namibia, Rwanda, or Mozambique.

“You need to know the right people, because when you need something to happen quickly, you better know who to call.”

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Top 5 Places in Mexico to Visit *DONE*

Mexico is a big place, and it’s sometimes challenging to figure out where to go and what to see. If you’re having trouble deciding, it’s sometimes a good call to assess each major location based on its best features. Some towns may be more appealing to others based on your personality.

5. Guadalajara

If you’re interested in witnessing some of the physical beauty of Mexico, we recommend that you check out Guadalajara. This amazing, historic city is colorful and charming. You’ll find plenty of amazing architecture and lots of incredible places to eat.

The Travesi Cuatro is a stunning art museum that you should check out if you’re in the area. It displays Latin American and European works of art.

If you’re looking for modern art, check out the Paramo Galeria. This establishment exhibits the works of newer artists.

Ceramica Suro is another excellent art museum to stop by. Here, you can find amazing ceramic arts made by some of the best artists in the world.

4. San Miguel de Allende

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in San Miguel, check out the Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada or Rosewood San Miguel de Allende. They have excellent, comfortable rooms.

You can go on a thrilling wine tour, starting in Cuna de Tierra. You can ride a wagon through the various vineyards on this amazing tour.

If you’re still not satisfied, you can take a horseback ride through the area. You’ll see ruined villages and castles along the way.

3. Gourmand, Mexico City

Mexico City is one of the best places to visit if you’re all about experiencing the tastes that Mexico has to offer. Check out the Four Seasons Hotel for unparalleled luxury.

Wander downtown, and it shouldn’t be too hard to find a rooftop bar.

Searching for food isn’t difficult either, and some of the best street vendors in the world sell everything from corn on the cob to tacos.

If you’re looking for dessert, check out Temporal. This dessert place’s specialty is chocolate and mezcal.

2. Beach Bum, Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox is basically a quieter, more subdued version of Cancun. The beaches are just as nice, and you can relax without feeling too crowded.

If you want to check out the local wildlife, head to Yum Balam. You’ll find plenty of flamingos and pelicans in this ecological reserve. You can also snorkel with the fish.

If you’re getting hungry, head to Casa Sandra. This restaurant serves fresh fruit, hibiscus-lemon tea, and banana bread.

1. Historian, Merida

Merida is one of the best places to visit if you’re interested in history. It was built on the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Tho.

For a full run-down on the city’s origins, head to the Museo Regional Antropologia. This museum has stunning exhibits that help you learn all about Mayan culture and history.

If you’re more interested in the history of music, head to the Museo de la Cancion Yucateca.

El Gran Museo del Mundo Maya is where you’ll find tons of interesting relics and treasures from the ancient Mayan times.

The Palacio de Gobierno is home to various works of art, including murals that depict what happened when the Spanish arrived in the Yucutan.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, consider the Casa Lecanda. There are only seven rooms in this cozy little hotel, and it’s perfect for any traveler.

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France’s Sexiest Beaches

France’s beach towns spoil visitors with endless days of sunshine, welcoming stretches of beach and stunning women in teeny bikinis along the Côte D’Azur.

 

 

St. Tropez

St. Tropez was always on the radar of France’s creative class, but it was Brigitte Bardot who put it on the map as the sexiest spot on the French Riviera. Wearing little more than bikinis — and sometimes even less — the rich, famous and exceptionally good-looking come to St. Trop to flaunt their stuff.

Cannes

The luxurious Côte D’Azur continues at Cannes, the site of the annual film festival that beckons the Hollywood crowd. During the summer months, the same beautiful crowd comes to enjoy the town’s picture-perfect beaches and chic resorts.

Nice

Nice helps make the Côte d’Azur accessible to the rest of the travelers who aren’t carrying an American Express Black Card or traveling with an entourage.

Porquerolles

The 3 islands of Provence’s Iles d’Hyeres, aka the Golden Isles, are a natural escape that’s a far cry from the busy beach scene of the nearby French Riviera.

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10 Most Popular Road Trip Routes in the US

From “On the Road” to “Thelma and Louise” to “Easy Rider,” is there any endeavor more American than the road trip? On these popular drives, getting there is more than half the fun.

Black Hills of South Dakota
For history, scenery and a distinctly American taste of culture, begin your road trip on I-90 and take exit 131 for the Badlands Scenic Byway. As you travel through the Black Hills, make sure to stop at Wall Drug, Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore. And keep your eyes peeled for bison – they’re notoriously bad at following traffic rules, as seen here on the road to Wind Cave National Park.

Blue Ridge Parkway
The 469-mile drive that connects two national parks – Shenandoah in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina – is the most visited road controlled by the U.S. National Parks System. Starting at Front Royal in Virginia, travel along Skyline Drive to Luray Caverns and on south to the Natural Bridge and into North Carolina, where you can stop in Asheville before seeing the attractions of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Downeast Maine
You won’t be traveling north – at least not according to Mainers – if you head out on Coastal Route 1, also known as the Lobster Trail. Starting in Kittery –where you might drop by Bob’s Clam Hut for a bit of sustenance — the road hugs the rocky coastline “down east” through quaint New England fishing villages like Belfast and Rockland.

Pacific Coast Highway
You can opt to drive California’s longest highway north to south or south to north along the often -dramatic Pacific coastline. Either way, it’s 653 miles from Dana Point in Orange County to Leggett in Mendocino County. Key attractions as you wind your way along the coast include Malibu, San Simeon, San Luis Obisbo, Big Sur, Monterey, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Mendocino Headlands. Hardcore road trippers will extend the coastal drive beyond the PCH from San Diego all the way to the Redwood Forest on Route 101 past Mendocino.

Jackson, Wyoming to Glacier, Montana
You could make the drive from Jackson, Wyoming to Glacier National Park inMontana in a single day, but why would you? Take a week and make as many stops as possible in Big Sky Country where you’ll enjoy some of the most stunning and diverse landscape features anywhere in America – from the steep cliffs and racing rivers of the Grand Tetons to the geysers and wildlife of Yellowstone and the dramatic falls and glacial formations of Glacier.

Outer Banks
Take this drive while you still can. North Carolina’s Route 12, also known as the Outer Banks Scenic Highway, has suffered a beating during the past decade of extreme weather, with hurricanes washing away swaths of roadway. The route starts at Bodie Lighthouse in the north and passes the narrow spits of land that make up the barrier islands protecting North Carolina’s mainland from the Atlantic Ocean. Sights along the way include the Oregon Inlet, Pea Island Wildlife Refuge and the historic Hatteras Lighthouse, where the highway continues as a boat -the Hatteras Ferry is part of Route 12 and crosses Pamlico Sound to join up with the road again on Ocracoke Island.

Hana Coastline
The 59-mile highway around the eastern side of Maui between Kahului crosses black sand beaches, waterfalls and 59 bridges. Some stops you may want to make include ‘Ohe’o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools), the Pipiwai Trail, and Waimoku Falls at Haleakala National Park, Hana Lava Tube, and the Ho’okipa lookout where you can view Maui’s famed surfers taking the waves.

Olympic Peninsula
Set out from Seattle for a 300-plus-mile road trip west across the Olympic Peninsula. You’ll enjoy gorgeous scenery and many stopping points for hikes. Within the Olympic National Park itself, you can drive through the lush Hoh Rainforest, one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S.

Route 66
At over 2,500 miles, Route 66 is the quintessential cross-country road trip. Though travel on the Mother Road peaked in the 1940s and 1950s before the Interstate Highway system was established, you can still follow the tire treads of so many who came before. While there are countless sights as you journey between Chicago and Los Angeles, ending on the Santa Monica Pier, Route 66 may be most famous for its quirky roadside attractions like the Cadillac Ranch in Texas, the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle in Oklahoma, and this giant sculpture of Abe Lincoln on a wagon in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois.

Overseas Highway
This 150-mile drive from Miami through the Florida Keys on an the iconic Route 1 is famous from countless car commercials and movie chases. The Overseas Highway, as it’s often called, crosses 42 bridges, including the Seven-Mile bridge over Pigeon Key, shown here. Though you could complete the entire ride in under four hours, the fun of this trip is taking in the life of the Keys themselves – from the Pennekamp Coral Reef Park to Key Largo’s Dolphin Research Center to the many delicious foods the area has made famous, like fried conch and Key lime pie.

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Best Vacations With Kids

Any parent knows that traveling with kids will is an ultimate test in logistics and patience. The great news is several all-inclusive vacation spots currently try to make accommodations depending on what families want. Some of the highest-ranking things on most wish lists are activities to keep Junior occupied. It may be a kid-friendly buffet or playpen, or even an extra set of hands to make sure the parents get a break, as well.
The following is a selection of the best reports and which offer kid-friendly facilities.

Beaches

Caribbean beaches provide a couple of family-focused properties with all-inclusive Beaches resorts cater to everyone in the family. They also provide parks, swimming pools, camps, and luxury family suites with a capacity of up to five people.

Club Med


As an all inclusive resort, Club Med all-inclusive resort company caters to families and gives all the comforts of home such as crib changing, baby bath, and bottle warming. There are options for older children as well, including soccer practice, sailing, skating, and trapeze lessons.

Franklyn D. Resort & Spa

Franklyn D. Resort & Spa carries the appeal of sun, sand, sea, and spa in an all-inclusive set up with a unique twist. Every family is assigned their personal vacation nanny upon arrival, who helps take them to the kids club and handles their activities during the trip.

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Ways to Explore Holland by Water

The Netherlands is partly below sea level, so it should be underwater, but it’s not. The Dutch have used a sophisticated system of dikes to team the sea for more than a thousand years. Here are some of the top ways to explore North and South Holland for incredible views and adventures.

 

Sail Through Kinderdijk

Kinderdjik is a village in South Holland that is known for its epic windmills. It is possible to go to Kinderdjik by Water Bus, which is the fastest option, and it is integrated as the city transportation.

 

Tour Fairytale Geithoorn

Giethoorn is one of the most charming locations in the world with a picturesque setting worthy of a postcard. One of the best ways to experience Giethoorn is through a two-hour private tour of an idyllic village.

Take the Tulip Cruise

You can experience the wonderful colors of one of the best river cruises in the world. The expansive tulip fields of the Keukenhof Gardens are home to millions of tulips, and they consist of the most visited attractions in Holland.

Kayak Weerribben-Wieden National Park

It is the largest fen in North-West Europe, with lakes, ponds, and canals among peat-lands and woodland. The best means of experiencing the area would be to do it via canoe, whisper boat, or bicycle so you can see the Weeribben’s typical bridges and peat houses.

Shop Amsterdam’s Floating Market

The Amsterdam Flower Market happens to be the only floating flower market in the world and one of the most fragrant areas in Amsterdam. The market first was established in 1862 and stood on the houseboats to represent the times when the market was supplied regularly via boat.

Rent a Houseboat

The houseboats rentals are available because of their heating systems and coziness. Boating is an excellent way of life in Holland, so we invite you to come on board and discover the best way to see this beautiful country.

Take a Canal Tour

The canal tour is one of the most memorable ways of exploring the sights and sounds of the city. Most of the tours take around an hour, during which time, you may observe the protected canal ring and find out many historical facts about the city.

But Take Another Tour at Night

You can board the same cruise at night and settle into an all-glass cabin and soak in the sights while cruising the World Heritage Site Canals. You can also pass by the floodlit landmarks, including the Westerkerk and Anne Frank House.

Go Boating at Biesbosch National Park

It is one of the biggest national parks in Holland and endangered as it was one of the last remaining freshwater tide wetlands. It consists of a web of creeks and rivers that run through reed fields and moist grasslands.

Race Around Rotterdam

It is a fun place to visit with multiple events, and the prices are not too bad. The South Holland hub is walk-able and provides some of the best sea views.