Charlotte vs. Tampa Bay: Presidential Conventions

With election year in full swing, Republicans are heading to Tampa Bay, and Democrats to Charlotte. Which city has the most to offer travelers of all stripes? You decide with our City vs. City guide.

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Diniwid Beach
Diniwid Beach

Diniwid Beach

Visit the upscale Diniwid Beach on Boracay Island, Philippines. Of the 13 beaches on Boracay, Diniwid Beach is perfect for travelers looking for an upscale stretch of sand that’s private, quiet and less populated with beachgoers. 960 1280

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Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills

Located in the Philippines’ Bohol Province, the Chocolate Hills are 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 20 square miles. This geological site and popular tourist attraction -- normally covered in green grass -- turns chocolate brown during the dry season. 960 1280

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Boracay Island

Boracay Island

Boracay is a small island located almost 200 miles south of Manila. This island paradise is emerging among the top destinations for a relaxing vacation and exciting nightlife scene. In 2012, Travel + Leisure picked Boracay as the best island in the world. The island is also a great spot for travelers who enjoy water sports, including scuba diving, snorkeling, helmet diving and cliff diving. Visit during Amihan season (usually from September to June) to get the best trade winds for windsurfing, kiteboarding and kitesurfing. 960 1280

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Manila

Manila

Manila is the second largest city in the Philippines with a total population of more than 1.6 million people. Recommended sights to visit include Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Rizal Park, Fort Santiago, Star City, Manila Ocean Park, Café Juanita and the Marikina Shoe Museum, for those fascinated by the footwear of the Philippines’ controversial former First Lady, Imelda Marcos. 960 1280

Mark Holloway / iStock / Getty Images  

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

Arrive at Shangri-La’s secluded Boracay Resort & Spa on a speed boat. Guests can choose to stay in one of the resort’s 219 rooms, suites or villas -- all with a spacious balcony and some with a stunning oceanfront view. Don’t pass up being pampered at Chi, The Spa, or using the resort’s health club, tennis court, dive center or swimming pool, one of the largest free-form swimming pools in the country. 960 1280

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa  

Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces

Commonly referred to by Filipinos as the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the Banaue Rice Terraces are 2,000-year-old terraces carved into the mountains in the Ifugao Province of the Philippines. Locals still plant rice and vegetables on the terraces despite the steady decrease in number of young farmers. We also recommend take a fun road trip to the Batad Rice Terraces. 960 1280

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Cebu

Cebu

Cebu is an island province in the Philippines, consisting of the island itself and 167 surrounding islands. It is one of the most developed provinces, with Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry. In 2007, Conde Nast Traveler named Cebu the 7th best island destination in the Indian Ocean-Asia region. Cebu is also a great spot for shopping. We recommend shopping at local markets like the Carbon Market or Tabo-an Market. 960 1280

Tom Cockrem / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Snorkeling in Cebu

Snorkeling in Cebu

Spend hours snorkeling and exploring the marine life along the coast of Cebu. Mactan Island and Moalboal Cebu are some of the best spots for an underwater adventure to explore the 4-armed chocolate, blue linckia starfish, black sea urchin, manta rays, barracuda, whalesharks and beautiful coral gardens. 960 1280

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Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano

Located on the island of Luzon (31 miles south of Manila), Taal Volcano is the 2nd most active volcano in the Philippines. The volcano -- part of what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire -- and Taal Lake is one of most picturesque views in the country. 960 1280

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Rizal Park

Rizal Park

Take a stroll through Rizal Park, a historical urban park located along Roxas Boulevard in Manila. This iconic park consists of open lawns, lush gardens, paved walks and wooded areas with monuments that recognize national Filipino heroes like Jose Rizal. On Sundays, locals and visitors can sit back and listen to live entertainment, for free, in the open-air auditorium as part of the Concert at the Park series. 960 1280

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Sensual Spa Treatment

Sensual Spa Treatment

There’s no better way to unwind and relax than to hit the spa for a therapeutic massage to help release the stress sitting in those tight muscles and joints. From a hot stone massage to foot reflex therapy, the Philippines have a several resorts that have their in-house spas and services that cater to its guests’ needs. 960 1280

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SM Mall of Asia

SM Mall of Asia

Go shopping at the SM Mall of Asia! Located in Bay City, Pasay, this mega-sized mall attracts about 200,000 people every day, and it is one of the largest malls in the world. If you still have satisfied your shopping fix after visiting the SM Mall of Asia (pictured); then you can’t miss out on shopping at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong, Philippines. It’s the 3rd largest shopping mall in the world. 960 1280

Roberto Verzo, flickr  

White Beach

White Beach

Welcome to one of the finest, stretches of white-sand beachfront in the world. Lined with coconut palms, White Beach -- located on Boracay Island -- is 3 miles long and has a strip of bars, restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops that cater to millions of tourists. The beach is divided into 3 sections from north to south: stations 1, 2 and 3. Station 1 has the widest stretch of sand with pricey hotels. Station 2 is the place to be for eating and shopping, and the Station 3 is the place to go if you’re looking for a quiet place to relax. 960 1280

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Miami Beach

Miami Beach

Heat things up with an amazing trip! Lay out on Miami Beach to relax and to soak in some Vitamin D. 960 1280

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Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road

Go shopping on Lincoln Road. This pedestrian walkway is lined with dozens of stores, including designer boutiques like Astoria Couture, Guess by Marciano, Scotch & Soda, U-Rock Couture and Vogue Italia. And while on your shopping spree, grab a bite to eat from one of the many restaurants along the way. 960 1280

Vanessa Mack  

Yardbird Southern Table and Bar

Yardbird Southern Table and Bar

Eat local at this farm-to-table restaurant located on Lenox Avenue in Miami. Yardbird Southern Table and Bar offers patrons classic Southern cooking with farm-fresh ingredients. We recommend guests try their brunch on Saturdays and Sundays with tasty food like the macaroni & cheese, fried green tomato BLT, fresh fruit with homemade granola, shrimp n’ grits and the big ol’ waffle with fresh Florida strawberries, whipped cream and Bourbon maple syrup. 960 1280

Tracey-Ann Jarrett  

Jet Skiing

Jet Skiing

Enjoy the great outdoors and go jet skiing along Miami’s beautiful white-sand coastline. Hop on a wave runner to catch a glimpse of dolphins playing or go bayside sightseeing to gaze at Star Island, home to Miami’s rich and famous. 960 1280

Peter Bischoff / PB Archive / Getty Images  

Deep Sea Fishing

Deep Sea Fishing

Go fish! Serious anglers know that Miami fishing is some of the best in the world. Go deep-sea fishing off the coast of this warm weather destination where anglers have been known to catch a variety of fish, including grouper, red snapper and amberjacks, weighing more than 50 pounds. 960 1280

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South Beach

South Beach

South Beach in known for its vibrant nightlife. And after the sun sets, dozens of people flock to Ocean Drive to grab a drink and socialize at popular bars and enjoy the nightlife along this vibrant street. Some hot spots include the bars at the Clevelander Hotel, Mango’s Tropical Café, Nikki Beach Club and the GLBT-favorite, Palace Bar. 960 1280

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Four Seasons Miami

Four Seasons Miami

Relax and rejuvenate at the Four Seasons Miami, equipped with 2 outdoor pools and a 50,000-square-foot workout space. Get a massage or relaxing spa treatment poolside in a luxe cabana or in the sanctuary of your room or suite. Guests will definitely enjoy the amazing hotel views of beautiful Biscayne Bay. 960 1280

Four Season Hotel Miami  

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

At Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, the menu changes daily based on the food and ingredients that arrive from local farmers, fishermen, ranchers and artisans. Head here for dinner; we recommend the beet & heirloom tomato salad (pictured), wood oven pizza, roasted zucchini or wood oven roasted whole snapper. 960 1280

Muy Yum, Flickr  

Windsurfing

Windsurfing

It’s not surprising that windsurfing is a popular watersport in Miami. Throw caution to the wind and let a professional instructor teach you a few windsurfing techniques in an hour lesson. 960 1280

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Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant

Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Joe’s Stone Crab has served Miami natives and tourists alongside celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, Dan Marino and Jennifer Lopez. Although a variety of seafood is available, we recommend ordering Joe’s tasty Stone Crab Claws. 960 1280

Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant  

Jungle Island

Jungle Island

Explore Miami’s tropical landscape and visit Jungle Island to see animals from around the globe. Thousands of people visit this 75-year-old, contemporary theme park each year, which features rare twin orangutans, the liger (the world’s largest cat), and more than 300 birds. 960 1280

Richard, Flickr  

Parasailing

Parasailing

Get a bird’s-eye view of Miami. Go parasailing and soar high above the Atlantic Ocean to get a unique perspective of the city. 960 1280

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