Bountiful beaches, ancient architecture, rich histories, blended cultures and vibrant city centers—the world’s most inviting harbor cities allow travelers to have it all. For this collection of iconic ports of call, we’re highlighting cities that have leveraged their more industrial past to flourish into world-renowned, waterfront destinations.



First established as Gastown in 1867, Vancouver became a bona fide city in 1886—and was quickly destroyed by fire and rebuilt. Since then, the city has grown into a culturally diverse metropolis with many different ethnic communities creating one of the world’s largest melting pots. And this has resulted in some of the world’s best and most diverse cuisine. Vancouver’s Pacific waterfront and myriad attractions bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, making tourism the city’s second largest industry.



Granville Island: Peruse the city’s best farmer’s market and see what local artisans have to offer.

Grouse Mountain: Take a tram to the top for the best city views, some skiing and a nice meal.

Capilano Suspension Bridge: Travelers looking for something both fun and daring will thrill at the opportunity to cross this 450-foot bridge, which hangs 230 feet high above the Capilano River.

Historic Gastown: Vancouver’s original neighborhood, Gastown’s cobbled streets now lead visitors to some of the city’s best new restaurants, shops and pubs.

Stanley Park: This 988-acre rainforest is one of North America’s largest urban green spaces and is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium.



Considered the gateway to Latin and Central America, Miami is a vibrant and colorful city known for bikinis, beaches and beautiful people. Once a favorite destination of pirates—Blackbeard is rumored to have been a regular visitor—Miami is the go-to destination for travelers preferring beach vacations with a side of over-the-top indulgence. Sandy beaches aside, it’s the thriving art scene, the vibrant nightlife, and being the yachting capital of the Americas that really make the city



South Beach: South Beach offers visitors an eclectic mix of high-end boutiques, galleries, beachside eateries and, of course, a glittering nightlife.

Seafood: After filling up on Florida stone crab, try the ceviche at La Mer by Gaston Acurio.

Florida Keys: A coral cay archipelago stretching over 120 miles and just a mere hour from Miami, visiting the Keys should be added to any Miami itinerary.



A city crafted by man, fire and water, Chicago is known for its sky-scraping architecture, eclectic neighborhoods, Midwestern hospitality and formidable winters. But what may surprise some travelers is how much Lake Michigan influences the city and its inhabitants. A protected lakefront gives Chicago 15 miles of bathing beaches and 19 miles of lakefront bicycle paths, and the lake’s oceanic waters provide ample opportunities for boating and other water sports.



River Cruise: Chicago is a city given a second chance in many ways, but the most apparent is its architecture. A river cruise right through the middle of the city is simply the best way to appreciate it.

Deep Dish Pizza: Locals are sure to have their favorites, but try this Chicago staple at Giordano’s, Pizano’s or Pequod’s.

The Art Institute of Chicago: Home to one of the largest and most extensive collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world.



Known as the fairest cape in the world, Cape Town is flanked by the currents of two oceans and is nestled below the breathtaking Table Mountain and Twelve Apostles. What started as a supply station in 1652 has grown into a city whose metropolitan appeal is matched only by its dramatic natural landscape. Cape Town is a small city with cultural influences from all over, creating one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Here you will find a mix of cultures, landscapes, architecture, lifestyles, customs and scenery and myriad things to do whatever your tastes, inclinations or budget.



Table Mountain: Enjoy sweeping views of the city, Robben Island, the peninsula and beyond from this wonder of nature.

The Old Biscuit Mill: A market village home to markets, workshops, designer stores and restaurants. Book reservations well in advance for a meal at The Test Kitchen, voted South Africa’s best restaurant in 2014.

Winelands: Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, the picturesque Franschhoek and Stellenbosch regions produce some of the world’s finest wines.

Kirstenbosh Gardens: No visit to Cape Town is complete without a stroll through one of the most beautiful gardens in Africa.