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Been There, Do This: Basilica del Voto Nacional in Quito

Been There, Do This: Basilica del Voto Nacional in Quito

It’s not unusual to visit an ancient basilica when traveling to a destination rich in Roman Catholic tradition, but Basilica del Voto Nacional in Quito, Ecuador, is not just another historical attraction. It’s the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the Americas and promises a tantalizing view of the surrounding city, including El Panacillo and its statue of Virgin Mary.

Been There, Do This: Oliviera Resort on Turkey's Kalem Island

Been There, Do This: Oliviera Resort on Turkey's Kalem Island

On the fourth day sailing onboard Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2, I stepped off the ship for a shore excursion that promised a leisurely morning — and boy, did it deliver. About a 30-minute drive from our port in Dikili, Turkey, and a brief boat ride along the town’s coast is Kalem Island, a privately owned islet that boasts just one property: Oliviera Resort.

Been There, Do This: Marina Fun in Lake City, Minnesota

Been There, Do This: Marina Fun in Lake City, Minnesota

This may come as a surprise to some, but there quite a few worthwhile things to do in the Midwest — especially on scenic Highway 61, a designated Great River Road for much of its 1,400-mile stretch. For a spot with a view and a dip in the Mississippi River, stop at Lake City, Minn.

Been There, Do This: Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson, New York

Been There, Do This: Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson, New York

A New York trip doesn’t feel quite right without a visit to its mecca. But when I’m visiting my family out on Long Island, I’m not always afforded time for a solo train ride out to Manhattan, or I can’t convince my mostly elderly relatives to tag along. What’s more, it can be difficult to interest my grandma — who is still considerably spritely at 87 years old — in anything too adventurous.

American Queen: Loafing on the Front Porch

American Queen: Loafing on the Front Porch

A few days into an American Queen cruise, I realize that the social hub of the ship isn’t the ship’s stunning Mark Twain Gallery. It’s actually the Front Porch of America, a front porch for the entire ship that’s filled with people from very early morning and well into the night.

Been There, Do This: Off the Beaten Path in Highland Park

Been There, Do This: Off the Beaten Path in Highland Park

There’s a reason why Highland Park has become an increasingly popular neighborhood for LA locals and visitors in the know: Stroll down York Boulevard in Highland Park, Calif., and you’ll find everything from horchata coffee at Cafe de Leche to shiny comic books at Thank You.