United States of America
- Hike Camelback Mountain. Parking is located at 6131 E Cholla Ln, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253. It is best to arrive early in the morning due to the heat. This hike is classified as difficult (including a rock scramble at the end), but the views of the Phoenix Valley are worth it.
- Dinner at any Fox Concept restaurant will not disappoint. My personal favorite is Steak 44
- The best martini's in the city can be found at MercBar
Washington, District of Columbia
- Off the Record Bar at the Hay Adams hotel is where power plays are made and the martini glasses are the size of a fishbowl. Please drink responsibly.
- Monuments by Moonlight is one of my favorite "tourist" activities. This narrated tour takes you to all the major monuments and since it is done at night there is less of a crowd.
- Eastern Market on Capitol Hill is a favorite among D.C. residence. Grab a bite at Belga Cafe and then spend the morning shopping local D.C. vendors. Note: The outside market is not open in the winter.
- Go to Larios on the Beach for dinner for an Old Havana themed meal, ambiance, and live music.
- One of the hottest bars in the city can be found at The Delano. Be sure to dress to impress as many of the hotel bars and restaurants have a dress code.
- Miami has one of the best beaches to lay back and soak up the sun. We bought a cooler and filled it with beer and snacks for the day. Many of the hotels will rent out beach chairs or you can stop in one of the many beach supply stores that litter the main strip to pick up your own.
- Chicago natives may disagree (or agree) but for an amazing Chicago deep dish pizza experience go to Lou Malnati's. I also appreciate that while it is a chain, you will only find it in IL. You're welcome.
- Visit the Signature Lounge on the 95th floor of the Willis Tower. You will be able to see all the way to Iowa (not really), but the views are amazing and the drinks are even better.
- Baseball fan or not, anyone and everyone can appreciate Wrigley Field. This iconic field was built in 1914 and has an addictive atmosphere that will turn you into a cubs fan, if only for 24 hours. The field is also surrounded by great bars and restaurants. If it is baseball season get tickets in the cheap seats and enjoy. Wrigley hosts concerts and other events throughout the year. Check out the website for more information.
- Walking the The Freedom Trail is a must when visiting Boston and there is an app for that. Download "Freedom Trail Walking Tour" for free and walk the trail at your own pace. Maps can be picked up at the State House.
- Samuel Adams Oktoberfest happens to be one of my favorite beers, so when in Massachusetts a visit to the Samuel Adams Brewery should be on your list. I strongly encourage reserving a spot online as these tours are popular. Take the T-train Orange line to the Stony Brook stop and the brewery is two blocks away. Like all good brewery tours there is a tasting at the end but one of my favorite features of this tasting is they test flavors at this location so some of the beer you will find is not sold in stores. Cheers.
- Take a stroll through the Beacon Hill neighborhood to see beautiful old colonial homes, cobblestone streets, and do a little boutique shopping.
- Lobster, lobster, lobster. Sorry if you have an allergy.
- You MUST visit the Holy Donut. There will be a line and they do close for the day when they sell out. These donuts are made from scratch and include Maine potatoes. They have vegan and gluten free too!
- Hubs and I were looking for a little seclusion, and what is better than a private island? The Inn at Diamond Cove. This island was once the site of Fort McKinley and provides a peaceful escape. Leave your car in Portland (they don't allow cars on the island) and take the Casco Bay ferry to Diamond Cove.
*Traveler Tip: Make a reservation at The Diamond's Edge Restaurant. It is the only restaurant on the island outside of the hotel offerings and it is very popular with island residence. The food is delicious!
Hoboken, New Jersey
Full disclosure, we are former Hoboken residence and think it is quite possibly the best place in the world.
- Whether you are there for an hour or a week, visit Carpe Diem. This is your neighborhood Irish Pub with the best wings in the world. Seriously, they have won awards.
- There is a great waterfront walkway with stunning views of Manhattan and if you get thirsty along the way stop by Pier 13 which features a beer garden and local food trucks.
- Washington Street is the heart of Hoboken and lined with boutiques, bars, and restaurants. It is also home to the original Cake Boss location, if you are into that sort of thing.
New York, New York
Manhattan, bar none, is one of my favorite cities in the world. I dreamed about it as a little girl and when I finally visited for the first time in 2006, it felt like coming home. While I still have never called NYC home, it has and will remain to be one of my favorite spots to visit.
- The bar at Novotel has amazing views of Times Square and the perfect spot to head before a Broadway show.
- Pasta is my favorite food group and finding the perfect perfect pasta carbonara is a sport. Crispo NYC located in the Meatpacking District ranks #1 on my list. Handmade pastas coupled with a warm Italian wine cellar motif makes for a perfect night out. Don't make plans after, you will be in a food coma.
- The NYC Highline, also located in Meatpacking is a park created on top of an old elevated railway lined with areas to lounge and relax along with water and art installations. I recommend visiting at sunset.
Las Vegas, Nevada
There are a million nightclubs in Vegas but my personal favorite is Tryst nightclub at the Wynn. They play great music and have an open dance floor that leads to an outside waterfall/terrace area.
Have you ever wanted to be sipping a martini surrounded by faux diamonds? Visit The Chandelier Bar inside the Cosmopolitan hotel.
Vegas is the land of many shows but one of the BEST is Cirque de Soleil, Beatles LOVE. You will be mesmerized from start to finish by the movement, music, set, and costumes. There is not a bad seat in the house so don't worry about getting cheap seats.
Ashville, North Carolina
- Ashville is the land of craft beer. My personal favorite was Wicked Weed Brewery. Be prepared for a wait. If you only want to drink, there is an outdoor bar on the bottom floor of the restaurant.
- If you love historic houses (or a Downton Abbey fan) visit the Biltmore Estate. This former Vanderbilt Estate is lavish and has all the trappings of the great houses of Europe. Carve out time for this gem, the house is the main event but there are gardens, walking trails, a restaurant and a winery. The price to visit is a little steep, but if you love architecture and history it is worth it.
- Ashville offers beautiful walks and hikes. Bring your walking shoes and make sure to get outdoors.
- Philadelphia has an amazing food scene. One of our favorite spots is Indeblue an upscale Indian restaurant in the heart of downtown that has a great tasting menu with wine pairings.
- Since Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. it is filled with historic charm. McGillin's Old Ale House is one of the oldest bars in the city with taps that have been serving ale since 1860.
- Yes, be touristy and visit the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. If the line for the Liberty Bell is too long, you can see if from the lawn if reading all the history and getting up close is not on your wish list.
Charleston, South Carolina
We ATE our way through Charleston. The food, people, and hospitality will make you never want to leave this Southern haven.
- HUSK. If you can only eat in one place in Charleston, make sure it is Husk. We went here for brunch and everything from the coffee to the entree was melt in your mouth Southern perfection. The menu changes daily and is driven by locally sourced ingredients.
- You will find Prohibition on top of every must visit bar list in Charleston. This low light craft cocktail bar has delicious southern fare and top shelf drinks.
- End your night at Cocktail Club. This speakeasy bar is a favorite with locals and has bacon fat popcorn that I still dream about.
- Pike's Place Market is world famous for a reason. You can grab a coffee from the original Starbucks (or walk around the corner to one of the many Starbucks locations and beat the line). Stop by Uli's Sausage for lunch and don't forget to stop by the Pike's Place Fish Market to watch the flying fishmongers.
- Every picture you have ever seen of the Seattle skyline is taken from Kerry Park. Nestled in the beautiful Queen Anne neighborhood. Parking can be a bit of a problem but it is a fun place to walk around and look at the million plus dollar homes in the area. While you are in the neighborhood stop by The Five Spot, one of the best breakfast paces in the city.
- Outside of the downtown area is the Fremont neighborhood known as the more artsy side of the city which is filled with funky shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and home to the famous Troll Under the Bridge. The Fremont Troll is an art installation under the Aurora Bridge made from steel, wires, two tons of concrete and complete with a full size VW bug.