On a global scale, America has had a relatively short history. Our nation's 1776 origin makes the U.S. far younger than most European and Asian countries. But while our history only spans a couple of centuries, our oldest cities are steeped in rich culture, heritage and tradition. The biggest moments of our country are contained in stone buildings on the East Coast and iconic monuments scattering our nation's capital. And while we continue to celebrate classic institutions and our storied histories in top cities across the country, some places have evolved into flourishing hot spots in recent years. Here are five vibrant American destinations in the midst of a renaissance.
A perennial favorite among New England residents, Portland offers visitors the chance to take park in quintessential pastimes such as exploring rocky coastlines, digging into lobster rolls and, brushing up on the area's fascinating role in our nation's history. While the area's beaches are one allure, Portland's impressive skyline is another top selling point. The chance to follow the Portland Freedom Trail or visit the famous Tate House appeals to history buffs, but Portland's main draw is its series of classically chic, nearby coastal towns that keep trendsetters on their feet. The newly reopened Cliff House Maine in Cape Neddick, just 45 minutes outside Portland, is just one example of a historical landmark that continues to evolve. The property opened its doors after the Civil War, but it continues to lure new visitors today with its trendy raw bar and magnificent ocean views.