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Taking an urban vacation is often a nice change of pace from the typical beach or resort backdrop of tourism.  An inner-city setting allows for countless activities, and gives you a chance to live like the locals.  From your urban vacation home, you’ll find a wide range of restaurants within walking distance, and live theaters, bars, and parks that can all be easily accessed and enjoyed.  The question remains, however, which big cities have the best vacation rentals?  Here’s a list of the top world’s 10 urban rental areas to help you decide where to visit!

10.) San Francisco Bay

San Francisco is a great place not only to enjoy some valued vacation time, but also to take part in the local culture.  Head to the famous Golden Gate Bridge, check out the local entertainment, or sample the freshest catch from the fish market at the pier.  You’re sure to have an urban retreat to remember in this lively corner of California.

9.) Berlin

The center of Germany’s culture since the fall of the Berlin Wall, this former Soviet stronghold offers no shortage of historical landmarks, activities, and tourist attractions.  For those who aren’t history buffs, there is plenty of German culture to take in as well.  Try a local bakery’s fresh baked breads, cakes, and other unique concoctions and confections for a taste you won’t soon forget.

8.) Rio de Janerio

As Brazil’s country’s second-largest city, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the country’s culture, with a skyline that offers countless picturesque photo opportunities.  The city is composed of five separate districts, all of which can be explored on your exciting urban getaway.

7.) Los Angeles

Only in the city of stars can you experience the glitz and glam that Hollywood has to offer. Whether you’re stolling down the Walk of Fame, taking a guided tour, or snapping photos of the notable landmarks (and celebrities), L.A. will provide a destination experience like no other urban spot can.

6.) Las Vegas

When it comes to urban cityscapes, Sin City has virtually every skyline beat.  Casinos, hotels, and all types of businesses spread out as far as your camera lens can see.  And with activities from gambling and shopping to hanging out by the pool and relaxing, every visitor is sure to find their pastime of choice in America’s playground.

5.) Washington, D.C.

Who says the nation’s capital is just for politics?  Washington, D.C. has plenty of museums, monuments, and educational stops that all add up to create a distinctly unique urban vacation experience.  Not to mention, many of these historical monuments and activities are offered free of charge.

4.) Rome

Take a tour of the Coliseum and other Roman ruins in this historic ancient city, or visit the Vatican City and the famous Sistine Chapel to see historical landmarks in action. Once you’ve finished touring the sites, take in the flavors of Roma.  No matter your cup of tea (or plate of pasta), the Italian Capital provides its guests with an incredible selections of food and wine, not to mention seemingly endless gelato flavors.

3.) Barcelona

Expand your urban horizons by traveling to Barcelona, Spain’s center of art and culture. The locals speak Catalan, a romance language that is a mixture between Spanish and French.  Decipher a local map and visit Gaudi’s famous “Sagrada Familia” cathedral and take a stroll by the Nou Camp – the largest soccer stadium in the world.

2.) Paris

No urban vacation list would be complete without one of the world’s most beloved cities: Paris.  This heavily-populated town is home to some of the most famous markets in the world, ranging from high-end couture to mom-and-pop shops.  Take advantage of the city of lights by living like a local and enjoying more off-the-beaten-path parts of town. You may find a hidden gem among the city’s many jewels.

1.) New York City

Finally, we reach our number one urban rental destination: NYC.  Not only is New York the biggest city in the U.S., but the Big Apple is also home to five separate boroughs … meaning five distinct downtown cultures.  Catch an acclaimed Broadway play and walk to Central Park when you visit Manhattan, or explore the city’s subway to head out to Queens or Brooklyn. You can spend a lifetime of vacations in New York without seeing it all. Next time, try renting a vacation home in a new boroughs and exploring your surroundings. You’ll be surprised at how much there is to discover!

PhotobucketDespite the necktie being a smash hit for the past 15 years, you probably shouldn’t assume that your Dad wants one more this Father’s Day. Not that he didn’t absolutely appreciate the one shaped like a fish you gave him when you were 7, but he’s a hard working guy who deserves a little something extra this year. Then again, maybe what he really deserves is something extra special. He’s been going big for you your whole life, and Father’s Day is the perfect chance to return the favor by sending him on an adventure in one of these larger than life destinations!

For the Fisherman – Key West, FL

Key West offers some of the most pristine and well-stocked deep sea sport fishing grounds in the world. Serious anglers come here to land the big ones – tuna, grouper, barracuda, and of course, marlin. The wide variety of fishing tour companies in Key West is not only great due to the competitive pricing it creates, but because it also means even the weekend angler can find a tour that can easily be tailored to suit varying levels of experience.

For the Golfer – Pebble Beach, CA

If your Dad is a PGA Tour pipe-dreamer, there’s no place he’d rather hit the links than in Pebble Beach. Located on the beautiful and temperate California coast, it’s home to some of the most famous golf courses in the world. Dad will feel connected to golf history playing Del Monte, the oldest course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi, or battling through the championship tees at Spyglass Hill, from which Robert Louis Stevenson found inspiration for his classic novel, Treasure Island.

For the Baseball Nut – Cooperstown, NY

In Cooperstown (approximately 3 hours north of NYC) Dads can live out their ultimate baseball fantasy during Father’s Day weekend, which by no small coincidence is also the annual Hall of Fame Classic Weekend. Among the activities are the Hall of Fame Classic, an exhibition game featuring numerous Hall of Famers; Family Catch at Doubleday Field; a parade and the Cooperstown Golf Classic. And just like the other 51 weekends of the year, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will be open for Dad to stroll in awe through baseball history.

For the Player – Las Vegas, NV

Gambling, music, nightlife, extreme sports, and entertainment galore… doesn’t sound like your Dad? Think again. While it’s true that the siren song of Vegas beckons all men, it doesn’t do so for the sole purpose of leaving a trail of debauchery in his wake, like most movies would suggest. Vegas has plenty of class left, and is still more The Rat Pack than it is The Hangover. Sending Dad to Vegas is perfect because it gives him a chance to pack a lot of fun in a short amount of time, be it golf, cards, fine dining, or a critically-acclaimed show.

For the Romantic – Honolulu, HI

What better place for Dad to abscond with Mom on a romantic getaway than the tropical island paradise of Hawaii? Even if they somehow manage to tire of blissfully lounging on the sand and playing in the piercing blue water, Honolulu has a multitude of affordable relaxing spas, forests to explore, and has become a veritable foodie heaven of inexpensive noodle joints and artful Pacific Rim cuisine.

For the Wine Lover – Napa Valley, CA

The Napa and Sonoma Valley regions of Northern California make up the heart of what is simply known as “wine country” throughout the state, as well as across most of the U.S. While the entire area is predominantly agricultural, it’s rather easy to stumble into (or meticulously book) countless opportunities to explore the picturesque countryside and sample the delicately-crafted wares of the vintners who cultivate it. Given the area’s close proximity to San Francisco’s high-end culinary scene, you won’t run short of delectable pairing options for your favorite bottle any time soon.

For the Sightseer – New York, NY

This is a really great idea for the Dad who has never been to New York City, or wasn’t able to stop and appreciate it while there on business. The perfect addition to this trip is the New York CityPASS, which gives the holder (line-free) admission into six of New York’s most famous attractions:

  • Empire State Building
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty
  • Guggenheim Museum

For the Speed Demon – Los Angeles, CA

Have Dad put his driving chops to the ultimate test at one of the stunt driving clinics offered through the Extreme Stunt and Driving Team. If your Dad doesn’t limit his adrenaline intake to things on four wheels, you might want consider adding another day or two onto the trip to give him the chance to check out their many stunt clinics, including the high fall and fire gag (read: you could “safely” set your dad on fire).

For the Brewmaster Hopeful – Portland, OR

Portland leads the nation in concentration of microbreweries per capita, an asset that can be wonderfully advantageous to the beer aficionado hoping to tour as many different breweries and sample as many different styles as possible in a short period of time. With a little bit of advanced planning, or even via prepackaged “BrewBus” tours, Dad can learn about the brewing process and get a hands-on understanding of the inner workings of some of highest rated breweries in the country.

For the Outdoorsman – Big Sky, MT

The rugged, explorer side of your Dad will come alive in the heart of Big Sky Country. The expansive beauty on the banks of the Gallatin River, along with the surrounding Gallatin and Paradise Valleys, could keep a man occupied for years. The lower region is perfect for camping, fly fishing, viewing wildlife, or simply slipping into the sweet silence that comes from being the only person for miles around.

Jay Ferris is a Seattle-based writer, husband, and father of three, whose penchant for outdoors-based travel is rivaled only by his dependence on a steady internet connection and spider-free existence. Follow him on Twitter at @jayferris.