En español | Casinos and theme parks might draw Hispanics to their top five destinations — Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Laughlin, and Atlantic City, according to Scarborough Research. But it turns out these vacation spots offer much more than blackjack and Mickey Mouse.
1. Las Vegas: Assorted Escapes
Some people never see beyond the glitz of Las Vegas, says Heidi Knapp Rinella, 51, author of Quick Escapes: Las Vegas. So she recommends Mount Charleston in Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, 40 miles from Vegas. In the summer, it's a delightful 20 to 30 degrees cooler, she says, and in the winter, you can ski the snow-covered peaks. Go from nature to engineering marvel Hoover Dam. Take the Discovery Tour to view the dam's inner workings and learn how the waters were tamed.
2. Los Angeles: Tour and Learn
"Many travelers want to learn and expand their horizons," says Olga Garay, 54, executive director of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. The way to do that is to venture beyond the beaches and Disneyland.
Consider touring the Hollyhock House, designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The Los Angeles Conservancy offers city lovers a number of downtown walking tours, including free, self-guided podcast tours.
3. Orlando: Off the Mickey Track
Kelly Monaghan, 63, author of The Other Orlando: What to Do When You've Done Disney and Universal, recommends visiting Wekiwa Springs State Park, just 20 minutes north of Orlando. "You can canoe through rivers that have changed little since the Spanish settled the peninsula," he says. Or visit NASA's Kennedy Space Center, where you can strap in for a simulated launch that feels like the real deal-up to and including when the payload bay doors open to reveal a breathtaking view of Earth as seen from space. But you're still on the ground, just 45 minutes east of Orlando.
Next: Laughlin, Nevada and Cape May, New Jersey. >>