If you want to learn more about photography, then you want to get a DSLR. It's hard to get a bad one, frankly, but if you're a beginner, it doesn't make sense to get the most expensive one
My favorite DSLR is the Canon SL1 (buy it from Amazon). It's the smallest and lightest one in the world, and it's the camera I use most often.
A DSLR lets you change lenses (more fun things to buy!), and it gives you total control over all aspects of taking pictures. There's much to learn, but I find the learning quite fun.
A DSLR can take any kind of pictures - sports, family, travel, etc. - and some kinds of pictures really require a DSLR for the best results. For example, if you want to take portraits, the worst DSLR (but still with a good lens) is going to get much better results than any other kind of camera on this site.
Nikon makes great DSLR cameras as well, so if for some reason you prefer Nikon over Canon, feel good about your preference.
Don't get a "full-frame" DSLR. If you're reading this site, then full-frame isn't for you - the cheapest ones cost more than $1,500, and you'll get worse results with them, because they're heavier and more complicated. They're for professionals - leave them to the pros for now.
I'd also recommend ignoring "mirrorless" cameras for now ... there's nothing actually wrong with them - manufacturers are doing amazing things with these cameras in fact - but you're going to spend more to get (usually) a less powerful camera. The SL1 is almost as small and light as the best mirrorless cameras, and there are way more lenses available for way better prices. Don't worry - your DSLR won't be the last camera you buy ... but if you don't have one, it should be the next camera you buy.