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May 21, 2008
For most Americans, going "across the pond" to Europe for a vacation is a once in a lifetime trip. However, due to recent economic concerns U.S. citizens are rethinking what they are spending their money on and are especially reluctant about where they book their summer trip.
Thankfully Americans can still get the European experience closer to home without breaking the bank. Hostelworld.com recommends taking a trip to the following cities to get the European charm without having to pay the price to get there.
French Quarter - New Orleans
Known as the oldest and most famous neighborhood in all of New Orleans, the French Quarter was founded in 1718 and stretches about 12 city blocks. This delightful French escape provides courtyards of magnolia and wrought-iron balconies, the perfect backdrop for an afternoon stroll. Spice up your night with a trip to Bourbon Street. Here, music lovers flock to catch the live jazz music that spills into the streets. Finish your French evening with cocktails at one of the many restaurants and clubs and you'll be singing "c'est la vie" before you know it.
Beds from $16.00 per night
Little Italy - San Francisco
You don't need to travel to Italy to get a great Italian meal. Let your nose lead you to San Francisco's very own Little Italy where the tomato sauce, basil, and garlic will make you crave the authentic Italian cuisine that awaits you. Travelers visiting Little Italy during mid June will find the streets flooded with people eating, drinking, and singing along with the live music to celebrate the traditional North Beach Festival. After you've tasted all that Little Italy has to offer, pay a visit to the Italian inspired Venice Canals that stretch over 16 miles of manmade waterways.
Beds from $20.00 per night
Irish influences - Boston
Starting in the 1820s Irish immigrants were the majority of newcomers to Boston and they brought with them many influences that can still be seen today. Kick off your day with the Boston Irish Heritage Trail, a brisk three mile walking tour throughout downtown. While journeying through the trails you will learn about the famous politicians, artists, war heroes and other famous personalities that make up the deep Irish roots of Boston. Then mosey down to one of the many Irish inspired taverns to chat with the locals over a glass of Guinness while listening to an Irish jig or get decked out in green and head over to Banknorth Garden to cheer on the Boston Celtics with other Irish sports fans.
Beds from $24.00 per night
French Cuisine - Montreal
Depending on where you live, making a trip to Canada may be a wise economical choice. The city of Montreal is heavily influenced by the French; in fact it is among the largest French speaking cities in the world. Montreal is known for its abundant variety of delicious and authentic French cuisine and wine that will satisfy anyone's taste buds. If you're looking for more of a low key environment visitors can enjoy a frothy cappuccino and delicious crepes from any of the magnificent French bistros that line the cobbled streets of this beautiful city. Finish your day at Notre-Dame Basilica which is known for its Gothic Revival architecture, colorful interior and stained glasses windows.
Beds from $19.00 per night
Latin Nights - Miami
Spice up your vacation with a trip down south to Miami, Florida where the sun is as hot as the food. Visitors flock to Little Havana where they can stroll the streets listening to Latino music, and purchase homemade merchandise from its unique stores. In July individuals looking to experience a true Latino fiesta should check out the Colombian Festival. Packed with music, dancing, food and exhibitions, the Colombian Festival will be having you "livin the vida loca" by the end of the night. Beds from $15.00 per night