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How to decide where to go in Europe

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This post will probably make me seem like a travel newbie and maybe even an idiot, but this forum has been very helpful in the past, so I figured it was worth potential mockery if I get some useful advice along with the jokes. :-)

In a nutshell: We want to travel to Europe in 2015, but are having a hard time narrowing down our options and deciding where to go. There aren't many places in Europe we wouldn't like to visit, and we haven't been anywhere besides London, Paris and parts of Italy, so it's like being hungry at a smorgasbord: how do you decide what to eat first?

When contemplating European travel, what are some of the ways you decide where to go? (Besides the obvious self-limiting things like time, budget, etc.)

A little about us:
- We are adventurous, and prefer exploring on our own vs. guided tours.
- We also have a 3-year-old daughter which, although she's a great, well-behaved traveler, will limit us to some degree (at least as far as not staying out late).
- We'll likely have a week to 10 days for traveling, which means we'll probably focus on one or two countries at the most.
- We like to travel inexpensively, and are not into luxury travel; but staying on a shoestring budget is not a requirement.
- While dependent on the country, we'd probably prefer to explore smaller towns vs. big cities (for example, if we go to Spain, Madrid and Barcelona don't necessarily appeal to me—not to say they're not worth visiting, but we feel we might get more authenticity outside of big cities).

We like history (ruins, historical sites), culture (museums, festivals, art) food & beverage (e.g., Scotch tasting in Scotland, beer in Belgium, great food wherever we can find it), activities (hiking, boating, etc.) and many other things. Which again makes it hard to narrow down options.

Even time of year is flexible; we'd prefer to avoid the height of high season (crowds) in summer, but otherwise can go just about anytime (kid is not in school yet). And even bringing the kid along is optional; "Grammy" has volunteered to watch her for a week if we want to go alone.

I know this is an almost obnoxiously fortunate "problem" to have. But please keep the mockery to a minimum; just looking for any advice on ways to narrow down where to go, your thoughts on how you go about choosing, etc. Our main limitation is time, so because we'll only have about a week, we want to choose somewhere special. Here are a few options we're considering, but again, we are open to just about anywhere, so feel free to suggest ideas of places you have enjoyed.

- Scotch-themed tour of Scotland (sans kid)
- Beer-themed tour of Belgium (sans kid)
- Iceland (perhaps in spring; OK time to go?)
- Spain (where in Spain? would have to narrow this down further too)
- Switzerland/Austria (Vienna/Salzburg)

Thank you for your help, and sorry for the long posting!

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