We Were Here: 12 Places Where Tourists Can Leave Their Mark

As 2 American tourists recently learned, you can get in trouble for carving your initials into the wall of the Colosseum in Rome. There are places, however, where you are allowed to leave your mark as you travel. So get a pen, some spray paint and even your chewed gum ready when you visit these tourist spots.

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Tampa Bay: Nightlife

Tampa Bay: Nightlife

A designated National Historic Landmark District, Ybor City is a lively neighborhood: It developed into a nightclub and entertainment district after its days as home to Florida’s Spanish, Cuban and Italian immigrants, as well as to its many cigar factories. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Charlotte: Nightlife

Charlotte: Nightlife

Easily accessible with its own stop on Charlotte’s light rail, EpiCentre is a hub for upscale dining, entertainment and nightlife. Along with restaurants, nightclubs and even bowling surrounding an open-air pavilion, EpiCentre offers amazing views of the Charlotte skyline. 960 1280

Bill Russ - visitnc.com   

Tampa Bay: Outdoors

Tampa Bay: Outdoors

Hop across the bay for the broad swaths of white sand at Clearwater Beach, which offers plenty of outdoor activities including jet skiing, parasailing and water biking. Don’t worry -- we’d never heard of water biking either, but it’s worth a Google. 960 1280

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Charlotte: Outdoors

Charlotte: Outdoors

The US National Whitewater Center just happens to be home to the world’s largest man-made recirculating river, providing rafting enthusiasts the chance to try their hand at Class II, III or IV white-water rapids. 960 1280

Thinkstock   

Tampa Bay: Museum

Tampa Bay: Museum

Located in downtown Tampa’s River Arts District on the Riverwalk, the Tampa Museum of Art showcases 20th-century art, as well as Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities. Grab a table at the museum’s SONO Café overlooking the Hillsborough River for Italian cuisine that embraces the “Slow Food” movement. 960 1280

inazakira, flickr   

Charlotte: Museum

Charlotte: Museum

Located in uptown Charlotte, Discovery Place isn’t just for kids. A science and technology museum, Discovery Place offers visitors interactive exhibits, activities, experiments and an IMAX Dome Theatre that provides an immersive movie experience. The museum recently underwent a $31.6 million renovation, enhancing its status as a state-of-the-art, must-see attraction in Charlotte. 960 1280

Matt Fletcher, flickr   

Tampa Bay: Neighborhood

Tampa Bay: Neighborhood

An upscale, open-air shopping district, Hyde Park Village is a trendy stop for anyone looking for the best of Tampa’s arts and entertainment. Among Tampa’s best restaurants and shops, a CineBistro recently opened, combining a movie theater with fine dining. 960 1280

Madison Marquette, flickr   

Charlotte: Neighborhood

Charlotte: Neighborhood

North Davidson, or NoDa for short, is the hub of Charlotte’s arts scene. Formerly made up of textile factories and mill workers’ homes, it is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood is currently home to Charlotte’s trendy residents, as well as art galleries, music venues and hip restaurants. 960 1280

Willamore Media   

Tampa Bay: Park

Tampa Bay: Park

A neighborhood oasis, Ballast Point Park offers stunning views of downtown Tampa. Perfect for picnics under the shady trees, jogging and even rollerblading, this park dates back to 1894. 960 1280

Judy Malley, flickr   

Charlotte: Park

Charlotte: Park

Known as the “Central Park” of Charlotte, the 98-acre Freedom Park has trails, tennis and volleyball courts, athletic fields and an indoor shelter (complete with a fireplace) that is available to rent for parties and even weddings. Visit in September for the 5-day Festival in the Park, overlooking the park’s center attraction: a 7-acre lake. 960 1280

cheriejoyful, flickr  

Tampa Bay: Sports

Tampa Bay: Sports

Tampa Bay loves its baseball, with the Tampa Bay Rays being their pride and joy. A state famous for being the home of Major League Baseball’s spring training, Florida named its team the Rays to represent the idea of the team being “a beacon that radiates throughout Tampa Bay and across the entire state of Florida.” Catch a game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, a half-hour jaunt from Tampa. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Charlotte: Sports

Charlotte: Sports

As home to the recently opened NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte is proud of its racing culture. The Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts prestigious NASCAR events, including Memorial Day weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 and the Sprint All-Star Race. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Tampa Bay: Transportation

Tampa Bay: Transportation

Tampa first had electric streetcars in 1892, but the line was shut down in 1946. The streetcars returned in 2002, making it easy to get around Tampa, like back in the good ol’ days. The TECO Line Streetcar System connects downtown and Channelside to the historic Ybor City district. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Charlotte: Transportation

Charlotte: Transportation

Public transportation is relatively new to Charlotte, with the LYNX light rail line opening in 2007. The light rail comprises 15 stations over 9.6 miles. The city hopes to expand its public transportations services completely by the year 2034. 960 1280

Lynx - Willamor Media, flickr   

Tampa Bay: Landmark

Tampa Bay: Landmark

At 214 feet tall, the Sulphur Springs Water Tower is visible from Interstate 275 as well as much of the rest of the Sulphur Springs Historic District. The water tower was built in 1927 where a lighthouse once existed that, according to local lore, guided European ships from the bay up through Hillsborough River to replenish their fresh water tanks from the local springs. 960 1280

Jason, flickr   

Charlotte: Landmark

Charlotte: Landmark

A water fountain designed by Czech sculptor David Černý, Metalmorphosis stands at the Whitehall Technology Park in Charlotte. At 14 tons, the massive sculpture is split into layers that rotate 360 degrees, occasionally aligning to form a face. It’s so mesmerizing that it has its own webcam. 960 1280

Michael Kuhn, flickr   

Tampa Bay: Food

Tampa Bay: Food

When in a state surrounded on nearly all sides by miles and miles of water, it would be a shame to miss out on some of the freshest seafood around. From Apalachicola oysters to spiny lobster, you can’t go wrong when it comes to Tampa’s seafood. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Charlotte: Food

Charlotte: Food

From ribs to pulled pork, there’s nothing quite like North Carolina’s barbecue. While in Charlotte, pile your barbecue sandwiches high with coleslaw just like the locals do. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Tampa Bay: Shopping

Tampa Bay: Shopping

Conveniently located near Tampa International Airport, International Plaza and Bay Street makes it simple for visitors to do some major shopping. This mall in Tampa’s Westshore business district opened in 2001, and happens to have a hotel on its campus -- one of only a handful of US malls to have such an amenity. 960 1280

International Plaza  

Charlotte: Shopping

Charlotte: Shopping

The 1,621,000 square feet of SouthPark Mall make it the largest mall in the Carolinas, not to mention the 10th largest on the East Coast and the 28th largest in the US. Located approximately 5 miles from uptown Charlotte, the mall is a central part of the upscale SouthPark neighborhood. 960 1280

Simon Property Group  

Anthony Bourdain visits Sardinia, his wife's homeland, and enjoys a meal after a long day of shooting. 960 1280

  

The Ghost Adventures team braved daylight to shoot each other on a water taxi in Venice. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

After a day of cycling up the Monte Grappa in Italy's Veneto region, Dhani Jones learns how to cut homemade pasta. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

Sam Brown finds herself on a quiet street in Tuscany. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

Maybe yoga aids in digesting bizarre foods. Andrew Zimmern gives it a try at the Calengute Ayurveda Center in Goa, India. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

After feasting on vegetarian cuisine, Anthony Bourdain rests on a houseboat in Kerala, India. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

An Indian woman walks in the stunning Red Fort in Delhi. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

Andrew wears traditional dress at the cremation of a high priestess in Ubud, Bali. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

Sam Brown falls in love with Bali's lush landscapes and gracious people. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

The most popular tourist destination in Indonesia, Bali is often referred to as "The Island of the Gods." 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

9 Photos
Maragaritas, Chips and Salsa!

Maragaritas, Chips and Salsa!

Cinco de Mayo is mostly celebrated in the US and Puebla, Mexico, where the Battle of Puebla took place, a Mexican victory over the French. Food is a big part of the celebration, including salsa and chips and, of course, an icy cold margarita. 960 1280

iStock  

Frozen Strawberry Margarita

Frozen Strawberry Margarita

Margaritas come in all different flavors and styles. This one is a frozen strawberry margarita with a lime garnish. 960 1280

iStock  

Chiapas, Mexico, Celebration

Chiapas, Mexico, Celebration

Once your margarita is in hand, step outside to the wonderful sounds of a traditional mariachi band. The musicians pictured here are playing music in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. 960 1280

iStock  

Dancers Perform in LA

Dancers Perform in LA

Dancers perform during Cinco de Mayo celebrations along Plaza Olvera in Los Angeles, CA. The event was held to promote and celebrate Mexican and Latin American communities through art, dance and music. 960 1280

Reuters/Robert Galbraith  

LA's Cinco de Mayo Festival

LA's Cinco de Mayo Festival

A Chihuahua/Doberman mix attends a Cinco de Mayo festival at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Site on Olvera Street in California 960 1280

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images  

Aztec Dancer in Atlanta

Aztec Dancer in Atlanta

Aztec dancer Martin Mendoza performs in celebration of Cinco de Mayo during the second Fiesta Atlanta event at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, GA. Crowds were estimated to be at 30,000 for the event. 960 1280

Reuters/Tami Chappell/Fiesta  

Mariachi Band in Mexico City

Mariachi Band in Mexico City

A mariachi band performs at Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City. Plaza Garibaldi, an outdoor nightspot in the heart of the city, is famed for raucous open-air drinking and folk music. 960 1280

Reuters/Daniel Aguilar  

Plaza Garibaldi, Mexico City, Mexico

Plaza Garibaldi, Mexico City, Mexico

Mexican Mariachis perform at Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City. Plaza Garibaldi, an outdoor nightspot in the heart of Mexico City, is famed for raucous open-air drinking and folk music but city officials want to clean it up and add a dose of sophistication. 960 1280

Reuters/Daniel Aguilar  

Cinco de Mayo Reveler

Cinco de Mayo Reveler

Seven-month-old Alexander Mendoza attends Cinco de Mayo festivities at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Site on Olvera Street. 960 1280

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images  

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