A few favorite cities

What are your favorite cities to visit? Through business and pleasure, I have had the opportunity to visit some wonderful places. There is so much more I would like to see, so I would love to hear from you. Here are my list of top ten places, with a few others noted at the bottom. By omission, you will likely guess where I have not been, as some choices would be obvious inclusions.

  • San Francisco – a city worth the travel and cost. It is so scenic and quaint, plus it offers access to wine country, Muir Woods and the Monterey coast.
  • Montreal – a city which offers a blend of French and English cultures and beautiful scenery. It is a great walking city and has wonderfully designed churches. Check it out during the Jazz Festival in the summer.
  • New Orleans – a vibrant, eclectic place with great music and food. Avoid the hot summer if you can, but do go. Also, indulge a tour to the Bayou to get a sense of the geography and fragility of the place.
  • London – a favorite city because of the cosmopolitan culture. It is a great walking city with numerous parks, pubs and historical places. Take in the theater while there, as well. Plus, it is a great launching pad for a journeys to France, Ireland, Scandinavia, etc.
  • Dublin – another great walking city, but ladies beware of heels on some of the cobblestone streets in Old Dublin. Much to see there in terms of history, pubs, etc., plus it is great place to view the rest of Ireland from.
  • New York – a must see for all, but you have to expect crowds. Also, a great walking city and there is so much to offer in theater, restaurants, shopping and sports.
  • Washington – I think this city is highly underrated as a place to visit, as there is so much to see and do. I always feel worn out from walking, but there is so much more to see and appreciate from the memorials to the museums to the zoo and restaurants.
  • Chicago – I have only been on business, but I love Chicago. It has a vibrance to it and is not as crowded as New York. Plus, the vistas of the lake are wonderful. It is a great place to fly into for a few days. Check out Lawry’s and Second City.
  • Toronto – Is a lot like Chicago with its lake venue. I wish I could have spent more time there, but it is not inexpensive. There are many things to do in close proximity be it the aquarium, Skydome, Second City, restaurants, sports, etc.
  • Cannes – I was able to go to a business conference here and what a trip. It is beautiful and has so much to offer in food (the right way over lengthy meals), shopping and casinos, if that is your cup of tea. My best memory is our group having dinner up in the hills overlooking the city and the meal lasting over three hours, leading to wonderful conversations.

Other cities I would give high marks to are Boston, Savannah, Charleston, Ottawa, Miami and Seattle. I would love to tour the northwest and check out Vancouver and set off for Paris, Florence, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Sydney, Hong Kong, etc.

Let me know some of your favorites. Or, please reinforce or share concerns of some of those above.

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37 thoughts on “A few favorite cities

  1. Keith, I have not been to many places unfortunately but I totally agree with you about San Fransico. I love that place. Two years ago we took an Alaskan cruise and I fell in love with the area. My favorite stop was Skagway, a little town at the end of the road (literally) on the US/ Canadian highway. The place shuts down 6 months of the year because of the weather. Our tour guide was one of the few permanent residents. Here in Canada I love Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Regina (I lived there for four years for grade 12 and university). Regina is a small “big city” and I loved it.

    You will love Vancouver. There is so much to offer there in the way of sites, scenery, food, culture and more. I live across the river and don’t venture into the city all that often, but when I do go it is well worth it.

    • Thanks Lydia. That cruise sounds fun. Alaska would be a neat adventure. My son and I went to Ottawa and had fun. It has beautiful architecture. Thanks for the tips.

      • London is my favorite of the three. If you go to Boston, do a couple of days in Maine as well. New York is a must see, especially if you love theater.

      • I do love theatre – my main draw to New York. Also my Dad went there after WWII and I remember every word of the stories he told. His Canadian uniform got him into all the venues for free or a quarter and he saw all the big bands, a couple of Broadway shows and Radio City Music Hall. Boston is a priority because I am tracing my family roots and Quincy, a neighbour to Boston, is at the heart of it. Yes, I do want to see Maine as well. The UK itself is on my list because my mother’s family is from Leeds. However, London would be the focal point.

      • Lydia, do make those trips. With your history and connection, it will make them worthwhile. I posted about six days ago about our trip to Boston, Maine and Connecticut.

  2. oh my gosh, there are too many cities that I love! I was just in San Francisco and wine country (posts coming soon I hope!). I agree, definitely worth visiting. I love Los Angeles, lived there for way too long. I prefer to just visit now, it’s just too darn busy for my taste. But it’s still one of my faves. In Spain: Madrid, Malaga, Cordoba, Granada, Sevilla, Toledo, Barcelona….While a student in Madrid I visited a bunch of cities in Europe. Vienna tops that list with Edinburgh and London following close behind. Florence, another beautiful city. Never made it to Rome. Perhaps when I retire to Spain 🙂

    • Toby, I knew I could count on you. When I go to Spain, I will use your guide and may seek you out. Vienna would be grand. I have been to LA and loved it, but I would take SF due to its charm. My kids want to go to Edinburgh, so that may be in the future. Thanks so much. I look forward to your SF post. Keith

      • ah well….we spent just under 2 hours in San Francisco itself. we were in the area (Santa Rosa) for my brother’s wedding. the post will be more about the winery that we visited with a couple of photos of SF. but I think you will enjoy it nonetheless 🙂

  3. Note to Readers: My funniest story in Cannes is when I tried to buy two dresses for my wife and I spoke no French and the sales clerk spoke no English. It became comical has we tried to pantomime my wife’s shape versus that of the clerk. Unfortunately, we erred low and they were too tight.

  4. I prefer villages to cities. I dearly love Oxford which is a bit of both. But I do love to visit St. Paul, which has the feel of a small town in many ways while still having the advantages of a large city — and Minneapolis is nearby.

  5. I haven’t been to many places, but I loved Washington, DC with so many free and wonderful things to do and see. I also love Tokyo and my home city of Asheville! My parents in Las Palmas, Spain, so it would be neat to go there one day.

    • Asheville is a treasure. You are right about DC with so many things to do. Tokyo would be exciting. If you follow Toby’s blog (see comments), she goes to Spain quite frequently.

  6. Dear Keith and friends,

    I love Rome and the Amalfi coast. Rome has everything. It is a walking city but the metro is very convenient. There is the architecture, museums, sites galore like the Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill, the Vatican. the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain etc. Then there is the shopping, food and flee markets and the cafes for people watching. Just the vibrant atmosphere is fun.. Next summer, I am taking my grandson to Rome and we will do taste tests for the best pizza and gelato in Rome.

    I also love the Amalfi coast. I stay at my namesake, Hotel Onda in Praiano which is in between Positano and Amalfi. The hotel is built in a mountain with a gorgeous view of the sea, There are local buses right in front of the hotel or one can travel by boat, located at the bottom of the hotel steps. One can easily reach Positano, Amalfi, Capri and Ravello. From here, I have taken a tour trip to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius.

    P.S. My first name is Onda but my grandchildren call me Gronda.

    Ciao, Gronda

    • Gronda (or Onda), many, many thanks for the tour tips. Between Toby with Spain and you with Italy, I have two wonderful guides to follow. This is terrific input. Have fun with your Grandson. That will be a meaningful trip. Keith

      • Keith,

        Thanks for your good wishes. My grandson is 14. He has been interested about the history of Rome, independent of myself.The negative is that I have to go in summer because that is when he is out of school. It does get hot but I just have to figure out ways around this.Still, I am looking forward to this adventure.

        Because, I retired from the airlines, my travel is free or it costs me just a little.

        Ciao, Onda..Gronda

      • Onda, it will be memorable and I am envious of your travel costs. Stay hydrated. We love to walk cities, but have water with us or take water breaks often. Keith

    • Thanks so much for stopping by. It is worth the trip to Dublin, but as I shared with Hugh, Ireland is blessed with its wonderful towns spotted around the country. The stores have these wonderfully painted facades that give character. Do come again. Keith

  7. Yup! San Francisco ranks high. Seattle, too. I also enjoyed New York City, Paris, Weimar & Dresden Germany, Vancouver & Victoria BC, Amsterdam, Bruges Belgium, Durango Colorado, Taos NM, San Diego, Cal, Colonial Williamsberg Va, Kennebunkport Maine. There are so many places to go, so little time! I’ve never explored the American south or mid to eastern Canada.

  8. I’ve (so far) missed three of the cities on your top ten and high marks lists: London, Dublin and Cannes, and also haven’t been to Sydney and Hong Kong on your love to tour list. That being said, I feel like there are so, so many places that I haven’t been to and hope to see in the not-so-distant future. My husband and I were just talking about where we should plan to go next and for how long… do we visit lots of places for a shorter period of time, or fewer, but for long enough to really experience them.

    • Janis, thanks. The travel dilemma of long and few or short and many days and places. When we went to Ireland, we did our first guided tour and stayed an extra day in Dublin at the end. I tell folks if you like history and don’t mind getting up early, a tour is a great first visit. Plus, we did all of the side excursions that were extra which were fun. Keith

  9. You have traveled outside the U.S. far more than I! My one big treat was Paris about 25 years ago (my profile pic was taken there) and I fell in love with it … did not want to leave. I, too, love San Francisco … spent half my childhood there, the other half in New York.

  10. Note to Readers: All of your comments are wonderful and offer great suggestions. We like to walk cities as you get the feel of them and you might pop into a place that you otherwise would not. I was alone in London on business and had a free day. I think I walked twelve miles and had to catch a taxi back to the hotel. But, I stumbled onto Churchill’s Underground WWII headquarters, Harrods, a Discovery museum and the many parks and pubs.

  11. Good list of cities. When it comes to Seattle it’s worth it to take a trip up the Space Needle. The other great place to see a view of the city is from Kerry Park on Queen Annes Hill. San Francisco is great as is Chicago.

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