SELECCIONES: Land of the Free

Much has changed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but the sights and sounds of the French Quarter remain eclectic. As you people-watch your way down Bourbon Street, listen for the mix of zydeco, rhythm and blues, and jazz that makes this city famous. Amid the revelers, you'll see groups of people who haven't forgotten that this is still a place very much in need: volunteers, taking a night off from building houses in the city or along the Gulf Coast.

25. Historical Hike - Mountain Park, Georgia

Your last stop could be the first stop on a very long hike: the Appalachian Trail. Even if you aren't up for the entire 2,100-mile trek, just setting foot on the famous footpath gives you bragging rights. Start at the beginning, 30 miles north of Atlanta, at Springer Mountain. Follow the well-trod trail into pristine areas of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Walk for a few hours and turn around-or plan ahead and take six months to hike all the way to Maine, a state you didn't get to visit on this trip. Maybe next year.

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