Posts in Top Three
Auckland, New Zealand
  • We had a wonderful dinner at Apero Food & Wine. This small hidden gem serves NZ cuisine and wine in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Reservations are required.

  • If you are in Auckland then you MUST take the ferry to Waiheke Island for wine tasting. The Fullers Ferry runs several times a day and takes about 45 minutes from Auckland. A full blog post on the best way to get there and my favorite wineries will be coming soon.

  • The Auckland waterfront is the place to see and be seen. Lined with restaurants, shops, and bars, you will not have a moment to be bored. Our favorite spot was Dr. Rudi’s Rooftop Brewing that features an onsite brewery, games, and outside rooftop tables with a beautiful view of the harbor and bustling sidewalks below.

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Stockholm, Sweden
  • Put the Vasa Museum at the top of your list. The Vasa is warship built in 1628 that sank in the Stockholm harbor on her maiden voyage. After 333 years under the sea, Vasa was salvaged and is now on display. This museum boasts that it is the most visited museum in Scandinavia and it’s for a good reason.

  • Call me biased as this is a blog for travel photography, but The Museum of Photography or Fotografiska is fantastic! You can walk from Gamla Stan (the old city) to the museum in about 20 minutes, and there are signs all along the walk to guide you. In addition to incredible photography exhibits, there is also an award-winning restaurant on the top floor with beautiful views of Stockholm. *The restaurant was closed during our visit but we found the cafe on the top floor to be delicious, and offered the same stunning views.

  • You’ll need to rest your tired feet at some point and why not enjoy a craft cocktail at the same time? Pharmarium is in the heart of the old city and offers imaginative drinks and delectable treats. The menu changes seasonally, but if Croquette & Onion is on the list during your visit, do your taste buds a favor and order them! A reservation is highly encouraged as we saw many people turned away at the door.

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Copenhagen, Denmark

This was our second visit to Copenhagen so we will call this the “ 2018 winter edition” of the Top Three.

  • If you are a foodie looking for a transcendent gastronomic experience, book a table at Geranium. This is the only three-star Michelin restaurant in Denmark, and it does not disappoint. The experience will tantalize your taste buds but also lighten your wallet. Be prepared to pay around $1,000 if you do the wine pairing and full tasting menu.

  • For the ultimate Christmas experience, look no further than Tivoli Gardens. This amusement park opened in 1843 and is the second oldest in the world. In November, Tivoli is transformed into a winter wonderland with Christmas decorations and lights cover every square inch of the park as well as seasonally themed shops and restaurants. The best time to arrive is around 3:30 p.m. (dusk). You can purchase advanced tickets online to beat the crowds. The ticket only includes entry — you will have to buy alternative tickets inside the park to go on the rides.

  • If you are a lover of Christmas beer, make a stop at Taphouse. There are 61 beers on tap with a constantly rotating menu. Since we happened to be in the city during Christmas, there were 19 different types of Christmas beer! They serve sample sizes so that you can taste test your heart out.

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Singapore, Singapore
  • Gardens By the Bay is a must see in Singapore. This award-winning garden and horticulture attraction presents the world of plants in a series of experiences. You may want to plan a two-day visit to the garden as there is a lot to see both by day and night. Walking the gardens are free; however, some of the major attractions will require a ticket purchase. Tickets are available online for advance purchase. We bought tickets on-site for Cloud Forest, a tropical plant experience that offers a walk above the clouds. Wait time for tickets was about 15 minutes.

  • Make at stop at the Manhattan Bar, which was recently named the #3 best bar in the world. While the bar is located outside of the downtown area, it is worth the cab fare. The bar crafts their own whiskey in an on-site rickhouse (storage space for ageing barrels) and serves up gourmet snacks. There is a dress code, so don’t wear tank tops and flip-flops.

  • Eat at the mall food courts or any street vendor. Singapore has street food with Michelin stars, and there are chefs in the middle of the mall. Any dining experience in Singapore will be unforgettable.

*We stayed at the JW Marriott Hotel Singapore which I would highly recommend. Great location, within walking distance of the major downtown attractions, and has an infinity pool overlooking the city.

*Travel Tip: Singapore is the most expensive city in the world. There are ways to save depending on where you eat and stay.

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Prague, Czech Republic
  • On your way to Prague Castle take a hidden shortcut through the Furstenberg Garden. This beautiful garden with a zigzag stairway path that provides sweeping views of the city with restrooms and a coffee shop before you reach a sea of tourists who took the crowded way up. There is a small entrance fee of $2.50 (50 KC) that you must pay in cash.

  • Enjoy Czech culinary delights at Mlynec, nestled in the shadow of the Charles Bridge. We loved this place so much that we went back later in the evening to sit at the bar for drinks. If you plan to do the tasting menu set aside 3-3.5 hours. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

  • We are book nerds and had the most incredible experience touring the Klementinum, regarded as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. The tour also includes a visit to the Astronomical tower with 360 views of Prague.

*We stayed at the Carlo IV (part of the Marriott family) located near the heart of the Old City and within walking distance of all the major sights in Prague. Would highly recommend if you want a five-star experience.

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Hong Kong, China
  • Make a reservation at Bibo. The restaurant is an art gallery that leaves you wondering where to look with the concept of celebrating art “on the wall, on the plate, and in the cocktail glass.” They offer tasting menus and à la carte. I’ll let you in on a secret that the entrance is a sliding gold door that opens when you push the top of the door handle. (See my Instagram highlight under “Asia Adventure” for a video on how to open the door.)

  • Visit Goods of Desire on Hollywood Street (near Bibo). This is a great place to find eclectic gifts or a little something for yourself. Hollywood Street is full of boutiques, restaurants, and craft coffee shops. Don’t forget to look down the alleyways for hidden street markets!

  • Every night the skyscrapers of Hong Kong light up the Victoria Harbor with “A Symphony of Lights.” There are several ways to enjoy the lights, but the best view will be by boat. Tickets can be booked in advance on the Star Harbor Ferry for $27.50 per person.

*Several fellow jet-setters recommended hiking Dragon’s Back. We did not have time on our trip to do a full-day hike, but if you have more time in Hong Kong, you should take advantage of an outdoor adventure.

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Asia, Top ThreeAlyssa AalmoChina
Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Eat brunch at Cafe Pasqual’s. There will be a wait on the weekends so plan time into your schedule.

  • Santa Fe is full of fun galleries and shops that fill an entire day. We stayed at La Posada and could easily access the downtown area on foot.

  • Have dinner at Radish & Rye. A farm to table inspired restaurant with a cozy, intimate vibe not to mention the cocktails and food are superb.

*If you love Bloody Mary’s with a heavy garnish, head over to Thunderbird Bar & Grill. They also have a fantastic patio overlooking the main square if you need to rest your tired feet.

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Venice, Italy
  • Take a gondola ride. Some hotels can book them for you in advance, but you will see waiting areas all over the Grand Canal. They will only take cash so stop off at an ATM first (the ride will be about 80-100 euro). You can BYOB on the ride so don’t forget the champagne.

  • Dinner at Bistrot de Venise is a MUST. They have a fantastic tasting menu with historic or modern Venetian options or a la cart. If you want to impress book the “romantic special” which includes starter Prosecco, tasting menu, and a red rose for your date.

  • Escape the tourist filled streets and get lost in Italian Renaissance art at the Gallerie Dell’Accademia.

*Travel Tip - Do not take the private water taxi’s as they are very expensive (around 60-80 euro). Venice has a water bus that stops at all the major sights for 7.5 euro.

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Portland Oregon
  • If you are looking for a swanky dinner night during your Oregon stay book a table at Beast. The six-course tasting menu changes every two weeks, so you are sure to have a curated experience.

  • We went to Oregon in search of the perfect pinot noir – and we found it! If you are planning a wine tour book your driver through Black Tie Tours. We had a driver for four hours who took us to five wineries in the Doro Valley.

  • Speaking of wine, we fell in love with the ambiance and wines at Domaine Serene. They have two different options for tasting and chef prepared snacks. Plan on spending a bulk of your wine day at this beautiful Mediterranean-style winery.

To read more about Oregon Wine tasting, check out this blog post.

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Geiranger, Norway
  • If you are an outdoor enthusiast look no further than Geiranger. This sleepy village at the mouth of Geirangerfjord offers kayaking, hiking, biking, camping, climbing, and a host of other outdoor adventures.

  • Book the Sky to Fjord biking adventure. You are taken by motor coach 1,500 meters above sea level and get to descend the side of the mountain on a bicycle stopping at scenic waterfalls, cliffs, and overlooks along the way.  

  • Visit CafeOle when you need a short reprieve from your outdoor adventures. Great coffee and free wifi.  

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