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Mercedes′s Wishlist
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Calle Ferraz, 1, 28008 Madrid, Spain
Stone by stone, second-century BC Debod Temple was reconstructed in Spain in an effort, called to action by UNESCO, to save its demise when the site was threatened by the construction of the Great Dam of Aswan. As a sign of gratitude for the help...
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Calle de Santa Isabel, 52, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Life reflects art? The Reina Sofia museum in Madrid is home to Picasso's famous Guernica, and many works by other Spanish artists, including Miro and Dali. A fabulous place to discover the art, artists, and ideas of the 20th century.
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Sol, Madrid, Spain
La Descubierta was the perfect people watching place in Central Madrid. The surrounding streets where full of tourists but this carless alley seemed to be mostly locals. We stayed for hours; eating, drinking and watching people. It was perfect....
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Calle Duque de Medinaceli, 12, 28014 Madrid, Spain
I once heard that eating tapas while standing builds character. Going into a tiny dark tapas bar in Madrid and ordering parts of a pig that aren't normally consumed does too. Toni, owner and cook at Casa Toni in Madrid, sautées this...
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Calle Conde de Miranda, 1, 28005 Madrid, Spain
If you're in Madrid and in the mood for tapas, you might not know exactly where to go or what to taste. The Mercado San Miguel (metro Sol) takes away all that decision-making by providing you with a taste experience all under one roof. The old,...
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Pasadizo San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Founded in 1894 and set in the center of Madrid, not far from Puerta del Sol, San Ginés is a local favorite and a don’t-miss stop during any visit to the capital. No excuses; it never closes. Pasadizo de San Ginés 5, Madrid, 34/91-365- 6546 This...
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200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
FREE
The Santa Monica Pier embodies what Southern California is all about: fun in the sun. Popular with tourists and locals alike, this iconic boardwalk adjacent to the Pacific Ocean—filled with all the amusement rides, midway games, fried food, ice...
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Venice Canals, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Before L.A. became a concrete network of high-speed freeways, gondoliers used to glide through a series of manmade canals that were built in 1905 to recreate Venice, Italy in Southern California. The remaining two miles of waterways are a peaceful...
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225 26th St #51, Santa Monica, CA 90402, USA
$$$$
A small storefront in the charming Brentwood Country Mart is lit up late after the rest of the village has gone to sleep. Here at Sweet Rose Creamery, organic milk, eggs, cream, and sugar are transformed daily into the purest-tasting ice cream,...
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1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049, USA
Perched atop a stunning hill in the Santa Monica Mountains, this outpost of the J. Paul Getty Museum overlooks the vast cityscape of the greater Los Angeles area. Its exceptional contemporary architecture, wide array of pre-20th-century art,...
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8366 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
Juice Served Here serves locally-sourced, cold-pressed, raw, organic cups of healthful deliciousness. Their 22-item liquid menu is divided into seven categories: Greens, Roots, Apples, Milks, Coconut Waters, Coffee Beverages, and Specials. They...
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3626 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, USA
$$$$
Cliff's Edge is a trendy, tucked-away restaurant and bar that focuses on simplicity and fresh, seasonal ingredients. The foliage-covered patio and deck feel like a treehouse and are perfect for a romantic rendezvous or a date with friends. The...
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Venice Fishing Pier, Venice, CA 90292, USA
The Pacific Ocean is a force that calls to some to jump in and join the dolphins that frequent its waters. Temperatures are warmest in August and September, but wet suits are available to rent year-round. Go surfing or take a stand-up...
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17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, USA
$$$$
What a perfect LA excursion for the history and nature buffs alike. Take a drive part of the way up PcH and enjoy the sun, breeze, and exhibits.
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W 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA
Los Angeles is a creative center and nothing illustrates it better than the graffiti, murals and outdoor art around the city.
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Blvd. Kukulcan, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Located off the coast of Cancun, the Cancun Underwater Museum features more than 500 sculptures scattered across the ocean floor, allowing art lovers a unique perspective personal while snorkeling or scuba diving. Since 2010, sculptures have been...
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Carretera Federal 307 Cancún-Puerto Morelos, Mza. 01 Lote 1-02, 77580 Puerto Morelos, Benito Juárez, Q.R., Mexico
One of the newest - and most popular - attractions to hit these shores, "Xoximilco Cancun," is a floating fiesta, offering entertainment, colorful anecdotes, history, good food and drink - and three hours of sheer delight. Thanks to the...
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Boulevard Kukulcan km 15.3, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Under the waters of Cancun's coast, hundreds of statues are on display. Part unique art display and part artificial reef habitat, it's an environmentally friendly addition to the beach city. The Cancun Underwater Museum is best enjoyed on a...
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Km.12.5, Blvd. Kukulcan, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
For hundreds of years, Mexico’s ancient cultures have employed the temazcál, a purifying steam bath intended to heal the body and cleanse the mind and soul. Unlike steam baths or sweat lodges of other indigenous cultures, the temazcál was used...
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Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Wonderful catamarans that you can rent right off the beach.
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Calz. de Los Frailes 218A, Sisal, 97784 Valladolid, Yuc., Mexico
There are at least two kinds of luxury when it comes to hotels. The first is overtly lavish: suited staff, hardwood floors, heavy furniture, and spare-no-expense design details and amenities. The second is understated, even simple, with effort and...
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Calle 38 norte Mz 4 Lote 3, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
“We hope you adapt to our bohemian philosophy,” say the staff at Hotel La Semilla, by way of explanation when guests ask why rooms have no televisions (there is, however, Wi-Fi and AC). With distressed walls and furniture, the hotel...
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Km 4.5 Carretera Tulum Boca Paila, 77780 Q.R., Mexico
Papaya Playa Project, in keeping with its natural surroundings, is low-key and laid-back. Opened in 2011, the hotel's founders conceived of the property as a place where “like-minded creatives” could slow down and connect with one...
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Boulevard Kukulcan Km 10.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
$$$$
At this longtime Cancún favorite, seafood - especially lobster - leads the list of specialties. Set on the lagoon, the vistas as well as service are excellent. The menu is varied, albeit pricey, but locals and tourists return regularly.
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Av 38 Norte Mz. 4 Lote 3, Zazil-ha, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
$$$$
When visiting Playa del Carmen, La Cueva del Chango (Monkey's Cave) is an especially good choice for breakfast. Nestled in a jungle setting with Maya gods peeking through the patio décor, breakfast favorites include fresh papaya, huevos a la...
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Cobá, Q.R., Mexico
Cobá holds the ruins of a large pre-Colombian Maya civilization located on the Riviera Maya. Lesser known than Tulum, the name Cobá means turbid (cloudy) waters - probably having to do with the five cenotes (underground rivers) in the region,...
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Calle Quinta Avenida, Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
A branch of a popular restaurant in Cuba which was founded in 1942, La Bodeguita del Medio is small, simple and a hit with anyone who visits. The bar is a special draw with lively waiters pushing signature mojitos along free salsa lessons on...
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A longtime favorite with Barcelona vintage and bargain shoppers, Encants Vells is one of Europe's oldest flea markets, dating from the 14th century. Recently it moved a few blocks away from its historic location to a shiny new modern market packed...
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Baixada del Monestir, 9, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
This Gothic monastery houses collections from Barcelona's City History Museum, but if you've got only an hour or so, skip the exhibits in favor of a walk around. Founded by King James II of Aragon in 1326, the monastery (or monestir in...
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Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
It’s one of the most recognizable facades on Passeig de Gràcia: a modernist fantasy of undulating stone, brightly colored mosaics, and stained glass—one that could only come from the mind of famed Catalan architect Antoni...
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17255 Fornells, Girona, Spain
The dramatic geography of 'Costa Brava' favors the natural occurrence of many fantastic beaches, some of them more suited for swimming than others. Having arrived to Fornells for a short stopover, I asked locals how to find the closest beach....
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158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10600, Thailand
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok's Yai district. It is situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The temple is one of the best known Thai landmarks. The mosaics which cover the temple create a pearly sheen during...
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Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, USA
Balboa park is a landscape of arts and culture in San Diego, including museums, such as The Natural History Museum, and the Museum of Photographic Arts. The photo above is of the large koi pond outside the botanical garden house. It makes for a...
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Esperanza, Vieques 00765, Puerto Rico
Esperanza is located on the southern side of Vieques island with a laid-back vibe reminiscent of Key West. This small town has an main street that runs parallel to the ocean called "El Malecón" that is dotted with friendly guest houses, funky bars...
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142 Calle Flamboyan, Vieques, PR 00765
Just sayin'... As far as beach bars go, this town's one-street scene is all bananas. After my trip, I called one of my awesome friends from college (go Providence!) who has frequented Vieques for work (lucky her), and when I told her how shocked I...
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Bahía Bioluminiscente, Puerto Rico
This was the experience of a lifetime. We were fortunate to be there on the required dark night with no moon. We used see-through canoes to paddle to the middle of this inlet off the Caribbean at midnight. All wildlife in the very clear water was...
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Fraile, Culebra, Puerto Rico
We went for a day trip to Culebrita and found a pirate-style getaway. There are wild goats, birds, and thousands of different crabs. We followed a dirt trail till its end (10-15 minutes), and there we found a wonderful beach. For hours we were...
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Flamenco, Culebra, Puerto Rico
Suppose I told you there was a small, remarkably idyllic and fairly unpopulated island in the Caribbean just a short distance from the mainland United States, an island so immaculate, plans were in the works to make it a National Wildlife Refuge,...
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109 Calle Jesus Cortez Torres, Arecibo, 00612, Puerto Rico
La Poza del Obispo (Bishop's Pool) is a hidden treasure near the Arecibo Lighthouse in Puerto Rico. This beach is loved for its contrast. You will find a calm spot (though it can get rough in bad weather) where you may float, swim, or simply stand...
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55 Cll Aguadilla, San Juan, 00907, Puerto Rico
O:live Boutique Hotel opened in 2012 in Condado, the stylish quarter of San Juan, and has already been touted as one of the world's best small boutique hotels. The owners dreamt up the idea for the 15-room hotel while honeymooning on Italy’s...
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Norzagaray 204, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico
Old San Juan is known for its atmospheric and historic hotels, but none quite match the Gallery Inn for personality and creativity. Composed of six intertwined town houses, this endlessly fascinating hotel beckons guests to wander through its nine...
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6 Rue de la Grange Batelière, 75009 Paris, France
Passages were designed in the 19th century to give Parisians protection from muddy streets and horse-drawn vehicles. Some 20 of these covered walkways remain today, including the Passage Verdeau; they are an excellent way to journey back into...
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8 Rue de Montpensier, 75001 Paris, France
This beautiful courtyard, modern art installations, hundreds of Corinthian columned walkways and perfectly placed fountains and gardens, make the Palais Royal a photographer's playground. Personally, I can never get enough of the reflection...
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113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Before the French Revolution, this park used to be the site of the Royal Palace. Today, the garden, which separates the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, is a place where Parisians and tourists stroll amid Rodin and Maillol statues or relax...
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Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Nothing is a more powerful symbol of the City of Light than the Eiffel Tower. Designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Paris Exposition, it's one of the world's most-visited monuments, with nearly 7 million people ascending the 1,062-foot...
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Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
This former royal palace is one of the largest museums in the world, and its art collection is considered one of the most comprehensive. It contains around 400,000 works, although—mercifully, perhaps—not all are on display at any one...
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13 Rue de la Butte aux Cailles, 75013 Paris, France
A tiny resto nestled in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. A short walk from the metro station Place d'Italie, this 18-seater offers pages of delicious crêpes and scrumptious bowls of cider to wash it all down with. One of those places that leaves...
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44 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris, France
$$$$
We had only a few nights in Paris, and on the last, we followed Jim Mayer's lead, which he culled from a guidebook that called Restaurant Chez Astier's cheese plate the best in the city. Dinner was great; very traditional. And I remember the wines...
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35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
Even though Paris is one of the most visited cities in Europe, it is still possible to feel like you have the place to yourself...that is if you don't mind setting an alarm. Want beautiful tourist free photos of Paris sites like Sacre Coeur - then...
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6 Rue de Montpensier, 75001 Paris, France
There's the picture-perfect Luxembourg Gardens, the vast Tuileries, the intimate Place des Vosges and the Buttes Chaumont, a local hangout. But for a majestic stroll through history, head to the Palais Royal gardens, a quick walk from the Louvre...
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Viale Mojon, 1 R, 16122 Genova GE, Italy
A few times a year, Pietro Romanengo Fu Stefano (in the confectionary business in Genoa since 1780!) opens up its "factory" doors to small tours. If you happen to be in town during one of these days, you must go. After a brief explanation of the...
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Vico di Campopisano, 15R, 16128 Genova GE, Italy
An oasis from the bustle of the highly trafficked alleys of ancient Genoa, Campopisano rests near the ocean's edge of town. Towering 15th-century homes (originally built as outposts to watch for potential invaders approaching by sea) shade a small...
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The Bosphorus, separating Europe and Asia, was and still is one of the most important maritime routes in the world. Straddled by the city of Constantinople—or Istanbul, as it is known today—the Bosphorus Straits lies between the Sea of Marmara and...