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View of an ornate building in Port Puerto Rico

Ponce, Puerto Rico

The first thing to come to mind when most people think about the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is its capital, San Juan. The city, however, is not the only destination in the U.S. territory that's rich in history and culture. On the southern coast, Ponce, the island's second-largest city, has so much stunning architecture and scenery that it's amassed a number of evocative nicknames: the Pearl of the South, the City of Lions or simply the Majestic City. Founded in 1692 by the great-grandson of famed Fountain of Youth seeker Juan Ponce de León, the city has long been an important port for the island.Visit one of the finest collections of art in the Caribbean at the world-class Ponce Museum of Art, with works by Europeans, including Rodin, as well as Puerto Rican artists. Sample the multicultural mix of music that gives the island its unique rhythm at the Museum of Puerto Rican Music. And explore one of the most important indigenous archaeological sites in the West Indies at the Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center. Or you can simply stroll around Ponce and take in the charm of its Plaza las Delicias, overseen by a colonial-era city hall, and the iconic and unusual Parque de Bombas firehouse.