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New routes and cheap flights invite visitors to five great cities - Page 2

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on June 21, 2007. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, Boise, Columbus, destination, Jessica Labrencis, Oakland, Portsmouth.

Highlights include Prescott Park, a picture-perfect waterfront spot for walks and picnics, and home to a popular summertime arts festival. Across from the park, the Strawbery Banke Museum depicts four centuries of New England history. Other museums in the area are the Children's Museum of Portsmouth, the USS Albacore Submarine Park, and the Seacoast Science Center in Odiorne Point State Park, located in nearby Rye. Odiorne State Park itself offers fishing, boating, and hiking and biking trails, and in winter, cross-country skiing.

Close to Portsmouth are the Kittery Outlets across the border in Maine, and boat cruises around the Isles of Shoals, rocky islands six miles off the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire.

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Read our Portsmouth travel guide for more information on sights, restaurants, and accommodations, or visit the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce website.

St. Augustine

Though Skybus' route map says it flies to Jacksonville/Daytona Beach, the airline really serves St. Augustine, a worthwhile destination of its own. Though not as popular as Jacksonville and Daytona nearby, St. Augustine has much to offer tourists: history, shopping, and, of course, beaches.

St. Augustine is home to the country's oldest wooden schoolhouse, and nine historic buildings that make up the Old St. Augustine Village. Other historical spots of interest include the Colonial Spanish Quarter, an outdoor living-history museum complete with costumed blacksmiths and carpenters; the Lightner Museum, featuring myriad artifacts from the Gilded Era; and the Castillo de San Marcos, a 16th-century Spanish fort.

Tourists can also enjoy strolling St. George Street in the heart of St. Augustine's historical district, taking in restaurants, boutiques, and antiques shops. The St. Augustine Premium Outlets are a good option for discounted name-brand items.

The St. Augustine area has several beaches, including St. Augustine Beach, Vilano Beach, Ponte Vedra, and Anastasia Island. St. Augustine Beach is a small community with its own recreation, nightlife, and dining options.

The St. Augustine Visitor's Guide is a comprehensive online resource with lots of information about beaches, accommodations, dining, and activities.

Boise

Idaho's capital city has lots of outdoor activities, great restaurants, and several noteworthy museums. ExpressJet serves Boise from several airports in Southern California.

The Boise River Greenbelt is a 25-mile path connecting city parks perfect for running, biking, or rollerblading, and it is handicap accessible. Many people take advantage of fishing, rafting, and swimming in the Boise River itself.

The Ridge to Rivers network of roads and trails rises above the city in the Boise Foothills. Ninety-seven miles of trails offer something for everyone, including walking, hiking, and mountain biking, as well as dog-friendly trails and trails specifically for motorcycles and ATVs. During the winter months, skiing is popular at Bogus Basin, about 16 miles from Boise.

Julia Davis Park is the artistic, historical, and cultural hub of Boise. Inside the park, visitors will find museums such as the Boise Art Museum and the Idaho State Historical Museum, as well as the Zoo Boise, the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, and the Julia Davis Rose Garden. Fall brings Art in the Park, an event featuring artists from all over the Western U.S, plus live music and performances.

Boise hosts the Idaho Shakespeare Festival each year from June to September.

To plan a trip to Boise, visit the Convention and Visitors Bureau website.

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