Ramsgate is a wonderful blend of maritime heritage, architectural finery and cosmopolitan pizzazz, and there's no better place to begin a visit than waterside in the thick of the café culture. Pick a pavement table and watch comings and goings in the country's only Royal Harbour, or admire lovingly polished yachts in the marina.
Boat trips will take you seal watching or fishing, and also to get a close-up of the awesome new Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, the largest of its kind in the world. Or you can even hop over to Ostend in Belgium with Transeuropa Ferries.
If the weather calls for an indoor activity you'll find a rather more eccentric treasure at the Pinball Parlour, home to an array of nostalgia-inducing vintage machines. Flex your index fingers and have a go! For more conventional entertainment, hunt a bargain at Ramsgate's bustling market on Fridays and Saturdays. Or enjoy a show or film at the Granville Theatre and Cinema.
But really there's only one place to be as night falls and that's dreaming (glass in hand) on Ramsgate's glittering waterfront.
Canterbury Cathedral's epic history stretches back to the sixth century. Soak up the atmosphere of this iconic World Heritage Site by exploring the eerie depths of the crypt, or admire the play of light through the bright stained-glass windows.
Breathe in the salty sea air and treat yourself to fish and chips at the traditional English seaside towns of Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs. You can be on the beach with your bucket and spade after just 10 minutes' drive from the hotel.
Practise your putting skills at St George's Golf Club in nearby Sandwich, home of the 2011 Open Championship. Serious golfers can test their handicaps on 4 other attractive Kent courses close to the Holiday Inn Express Ramsgate hotel.
Don't Go Home Without
Sampling world-famous native Whitstable oysters. These succulent shellfish are best eaten fresh with a squeeze of lemon. In July the charming coastal town of Whitstable fills up with fishermen and seafood connoisseurs attending the annual Oyster Festival.
Mix shopping and fun in the vast entertainment complex of Westwood, 5 miles from Holiday Inn Express Ramsgate. After stocking up on forgotten sun cream or flip flops, you can eat dinner, catch a blockbuster, or even try your luck at the casino.