A city atop the Highlands, Inverness, serves as a contemporary gateway to Scotland but is still well rooted in Gaelic heritage. Pubs, where whisky is the main drink, are energetic hubs where an unexpected song and dance by locals can happen at any time. Old world charm and trendy flair is available to those savvy shoppers in the Eastgate complex or retail parks. Boutique hotels in Inverness are fantastic. As for the historical landmarks in Scotland's most northern hill city, the 18th century fort, Fort George, is Europe's best preserved dated fort of its kind. The rolling hills are to south and west, while Loch Ness, home to the mythical sea beast, is a few minutes drive away. You may or may not see the monster, but you will definitely be able to observe several jovial dolphins in Moray Firth. Get more local, and visit the heartlands and riverscapes in Beauly and Strathglass; you'll surely have many photo ops and have some great genuine local tastes. We suggest the Rocpool Boutique Hotel and Restaurant in Inverness.