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Seville may be romanticized as the vibrant jewel of southern Spain, but for me it’ll forever be remembered as a dusty, hot and overcrowded tourist trap. My only vivid memory is of being drenched in sweat walking up the never-ending ramps of the Giralda bell tower.

Ditto for Florence, Italy, which was overrun with American tour groups and so lacking in lodging when I visited that I had to sleep in a shabby hostel where the roaches congregated at night by the drain in the shower.

There are cities that you’re supposed to fall in love with, that you’re supposed to dream of visiting over and over again. Seville and Florence weren’t among them for me, and I don’t ever think I’ll go back. (To see more staff picks for cities not worth a second trip, see 12 Places You Only Need to See Once.)

Where will I return? Most certainly these five places:

lima peru

Lima, Peru: I must admit, I wasn’t impressed during my first visit to Lima nearly a decade ago. But the city has improved — traffic seems less frenetic and neighborhoods less run down. Lima is worth the trip for its foodie scene alone; some of the world’s most noteworthy restaurants are there.

10 Best Peru Experiences

golden gate bridge san francisco

San Francisco, California: I don’t think of the City by the Bay merely as a U.S. city. San Francisco belongs to the world. Of all the cities I’ve visited, San Francisco is, hands down, the most beautiful. I never tire of the view, especially if the Golden Gate Bridge is within sight.

vigeland park oslo norway

Oslo, Norway: The two days I spent after a cruise to Arctic Norway weren’t nearly enough time in the pristine and pretty Norwegian capital. Oslo is expensive ($12 for a cup of coffee? Seriously?), but worth another visit merely for an extra day strolling through the incredible sculpture garden in Vigeland Park.

The Best Cities to See Cool Public Art

toronto skyline

Toronto, Canada: This is where I first got hooked on traditional afternoon tea (at the Fairmont Royal York) and on ice hockey (at the Hockey Hall of Fame).

segovia spain

Segovia, Spain: I’ve visited several times, always visiting the cathedral and walking along the aqueduct walls. Segovia is the Spain you imagine. Sorry, Seville.

Which places could you visit over and over again?

— written by Elissa Leibowitz Poma

Today is National Lighthouse Day and in honor of these lifesaving and oftentimes scenic attractions, we’ve combed through our IndependentTraveler.com boards to find out which lighthouses our readers have been most impressed with.

In no particular order here are five lighthouses you may never have heard of, but our readers recommend you visit.

lighthouse Point Reyes Lighthouse, San Francisco Bay area
The light house on Point Reyes has been a lifesaver for mariners trying to some of the windiest and foggiest waters on their way into the San Francisco Bay since 1870. Now retired from service, the lighthouse is a museum in which the era of the lightkeeper is preserved.

lighthouse Tybee Island Light Station, Georgia
Though the current building only dates back to 1916, the original lighthouse was built in 1732. Sitting on a five-acre piece of land the light station guides ships into the Savannah River. Visitors can go inside and climb the 178 stops to the top for stunning views.

lighthouse Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Bermuda
Not only is Gibbs Hill Lighthouse the tallest lighthouse on Bermuda, the hill on which its located is one of the highest points as well. So whether you brave the 185 steps to the top or not, you’ll still get a wonderful vista of the island on your visit there.

lighthouse Celarain Lighthouse, Cozumel
Located in the Punta Sur Park, a 247-acre ecological park, the lighthouse is part of a nautical museum that can be visited via park-run tours. Inside the structure you can climb some 130 steps to the observation deck.

lighthouse Blockhouse Point Lighthouse, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
While you can’t actually go inside this lighthouse, built in 1851, its location offers a wonderful view of the harbor. But if you peek in the ground floor windows you should be able to see parts of the kitchen, parlor and two bedrooms.

Eight Unique Ways to Experience Fall

— written by Dori Saltzman

paris catacombs skullsToday is Valentine’s Day, and travel sites will be filling your inbox with lists of romantic hotels and destinations. All will feature wonderful things for couples to do together, and dreamy suites with large bathtubs — including some shaped like hearts and filled with Champagne and chocolates.

But isn’t all of that a little … cliche? Wouldn’t it be more interesting to get an e-mail for Valentine’s Day recommending that you and your loved one visit the Parisian catacombs or tour a historic prison? We think so. We’ve put together a list of four destinations to visit that wouldn’t normally be associated with Valentine’s Day.

Feel free to add your own to the list!

The Parisian Catacombs: A romantic hangout for the “Twilight”-loving crowd it might be, but for most of us the 18th-century catacombs located beneath the streets of Paris are a bit creepy. Still, what better place to be if you want an excuse to cuddle really close to your loved one?

Best Places to Stay in Paris

Alcatraz: Also referred to as “The Rock” (hmm, that seems appropriate for Valentine’s Day, actually), Alcatraz is a small island in San Francisco that housed an infamous federal prison from 1934 to 1963. Couples looking for an illicit thrill can give each other a peck on the lips in the (reportedly haunted) cell in which Al Capone once lived.

Verona, Italy: Actually not an unromantic destination at all, Verona is a city located in northeast Italy with an artistic heritage and Roman ruins. Alas, Verona also is known as the place Romeo and Juliet met their doomed end.

Intercourse, Pennsylvania: A rather appropriately named town for Valentine’s Day, don’t you think? This quaint tourist town in Amish Country was used during the filming of the Harrison Ford movie “Witness.” Visitors can check out the local crafts, take a buggy ride or visit the Quilt Museum.

12 Places Every Chocolate Lover Should Visit

— written by Dori Saltzman