Santo Domingo's Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo
Concierge.com's insider take:
Some of the oldest and most beautiful historic sites in the DR—and in the Americas—are packed into 11 square blocks of the capital city. Here, cobblestone streets wind between buildings that date back to the days when Nicolás de Ovando first explored and settled Hispaniola. Among them are the Catedral Primada de América, built between 1514 and 1546; the ruins of the Monastery of San Francisco, built during the same period; the Alcázar de Colón, a 22-room palace built by Diego Columbus (Christopher's son) in 1510; and the 1503 Ozama Fortress, said to be the oldest military outpost still standing in the Americas. The Zona Colonial is also a great place to museum-hop: There's the DR's Museum of Modern Art, the Museo del Hombre Dominicano (Museum of Dominican Man—full of pre-Columbian artifacts and history), and the Museo de las Casas Reales (The Museum of the Royal Houses—an impressive collection of colonial-era furnishings and weapons).