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Travel Tips Around The World

Aug 7 2017

A Day in Austin, Texas

Category: Best Of | Favorites | General | Itineraries | Sightseeingkmaxwell @ 09:34

As the fastest-growing large city in the United States and the second most populous capital city (after Phoenix, Arizona), Austin has much to offer – from finger-lickin’-good barbecue to honky-tonk dance bars to large cultural events, such as the annual South by Southwest festival.

A day is not nearly enough time to experience all of Austin’s gems, but if it’s all you have, check out these highlights to get a feel for the city. And along the way, don’t forget to join the locals in “Keeping Austin Weird.”

Texas State Capitol

Start the day with a visit to the Texas State Capitol. Completed in 1888, this pink-granite structure, designed in Italian Renaissance Revival-style, features wood wainscoting and an impressive rotunda, along with nearly 400 rooms. Its surrounding grounds, decorated with various statues and monuments, provide plenty of photo ops.

Guided tours are free and available throughout the week. They generally depart every 30 to 45 minutes and last approximately 30 minutes.

Texas State Capitol building

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Jun 12 2017

Portland's Finest Roasters

Category: Best Of | Cafes | Favorites | Listskmaxwell @ 04:19

In a city known for its specialty coffee, it can be hard to choose among the dozens of micro-roasteries and cafes that dot the downtown streets. But choose, you must. This coffee mecca takes its java-sipping seriously, and it’s one of the best ways to get a true taste of Portland. Skip the Starbucks for now (especially if your time in the Pacific Northwest includes a stop in Seattle, where you can visit the original Starbucks), and check out these local standouts instead:  

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Although this roaster and retailer has been recently acquired by powerhouse Peet's Coffee, it began as a grassroots operation that popularized a new type of cafe experience—one that elevated coffee from commodity to craft. There are now multiple locations throughout the city, as well as sites in Seattle, New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans.

Head to the headquarters on Salmon Street for free public tastings, where you can sip samples and learn from one of their knowledgeable baristas.

Stumptown Coffee cafe in Portland, Oregon; photo via Wikimedia Commons

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Sep 22 2016

The Goddess and the Baker: Fuel for your trip to Chicago's Art Institute

Category: Destinations | Dining | Favorites | GeneralChristine Norris @ 04:09

The Art Institute of Chicago is consistently ranked as one of the best museums in the world, and with a slew of the world's most famous pieces of art, visiting there is an overwhelming but incredible experience. As a resident of Chicago and a member of the Art Institute, I've been lucky to be able to get an insider's perspective, to learn where everything is in relation to everything else, and finally, to have the luxury of a quick trip of only an hour or two if I'm low on time or just want to check out that one new exhibit. Even though I visit with frequency, and though my visits are rarely exhausting, I still find myself at The Goddess and the Baker before or after every single trip to the museum.

                       g&b-eatnowcaffeinate

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Jun 30 2015

Inspiring Dining Experiences in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Category: Destinations | Dining | GeneralChristine Norris @ 05:10

Zanzibar, Tanzania, an island off the east coast of Africa, has a wealth of dining experiences worthy of a city with so much history and beauty, not to mention its infamous wealth of spices. Wandering the winding streets of Stone Town, you can easily find cafes and restaurants, and any hotel restaurant is certainly a safe bet, but here are a few stand-out eats that we think you should try when in Zanzibar.

The Rock Restaurant is more a dream than a dining experience. Located on a coral island just off the coast, it serves a variety of cocktails and a menu of mainly seafood and house-made pasta. It's pricey for African cuisine, and the food can be hit-or-miss, but the open-air balcony supplies surreal, gorgeous views. Go to The Rock for the experience and the good wine list, and try to catch the sunset. There are only twelve tables, so reservations are a must.

            

      The Rock Restaurant, situated on a tiny coral island in the Indian Ocean. Photo courtesy of Travelettes.

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Jan 19 2012

Five things to love about Vienna

Category: Destinations | RecreationMegan Leader @ 10:01

Vienna, Austria, is a gorgeous city full of history, culture and charm. Its architecture is stunning, its people friendly and its attractions varied. There are dozens of things to love about this fabulous city, and it was pretty difficult for me to narrow it down to five—so you might find a sequel to this post in the near future!

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