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Vacations: Where to go, What to see, Where to eat

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Thought we could give each other advise of places to go while on vacation.  For example I am going to Tampa in a week & would love some nice places to visit.

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Thought we could give each other advise of places to go while on vacation.  For example I am going to Tampa in a week & would love some nice places to visit.

 

Three restaurants to visit - The Refinery, Sideberns, and Berns Steakhouse.  Ybor City is kinda of cute.  The Tampa Theatre is wonderful.  And, of course, there's Spring Training!!  Which is the only reason I know anything about Tampa at all.

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I am heading to Nashville in April for a cheer competition with my 17 year old. We will only have 1 day to actually site-see- the rest of the time will be all cheer all the time.  Any suggestions or must-sees?  We HATE country music- so keep that in mind with your recommendations.  ;)

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I am heading to Nashville in April for a cheer competition with my 17 year old. We will only have 1 day to actually site-see- the rest of the time will be all cheer all the time. Any suggestions or must-sees? We HATE country music- so keep that in mind with your recommendations. ;)

I'm a Nashville native, and I HATE country music as well, so welcome to my otherwise lovely city!

I will say that even if you don't like the music, just going "honkeytonking" on lower Broadway is a fun experience that every Nashville tourist should try. Give Acme Feed & Seed a try---great food and music, three floors of fun, complete with a gorgeous view of the river on the top floor. Pub5 is also my personal fave eatery downtown. Just hopping from bar to bar getting moonshine shots, even doing karaoke or riding the electric bull at Tequila Cowboy or Wild Beaver is a hoot.

Or go down the street to hit "Printers Alley" for British grit at Fleet Street Pub, live blues at Bourbon Street Boogie Bar, karaoke, or sleazy strippers at The Brass Stables.

If you're into the hipster beat, head to the Five Points area of East Nashville---very hip bars and restaurants down there. Or at least stop by Bolton's for some of Nashville's famous hot chicken or hot fish. Prince's is the best in town, but it's in a gross area that requires a longer drive.

If you're into glitzier, glam bars and shops and restaurants, go to the Gulch area and have a blast.

My personal fave restaurants there are Virago(stylish sushi joint), St. Anejo(douchey vibe but chic Mexican food) Watermark and Adele's(Jonathan Waxman's eatery). And if you want good BBQ, go to a new local down n'dirty fave down the street from there, Peg Leg Porker, right behind the always awesome Yazoo Brewery(and have a few brews there if craft beer is your thing). Also, Party Fowl down there has decent hot chicken too.

Brewery district is down the street from the Gulch in the SoBro area---two or three breweries with excellent craft beers and fun tours if that's your thing.

The excellent and beautiful Southern restaurant Husk is down there too(it originates in Charleston, NC and was a regular hangout for the "Southern Charm" cast), along with the great live music/wine venue City Winery(yes it's a chain, but we just got it here so we're excited), and my personal fave hangout in Nashville, Pinewood Social! Stylish joint with excellent food that serves all three meals, and you can go there to swim, sing karaoke OR go bowling in their gorgeous vintage bowling alley. Just call ahead for reservations if you wanna bowl/sing.

Wanna see some great art? The Frist Center downtown has got you covered. Go there and then walk over to the gorgeous Union Station Hotel afterwards for a drink.

Wanna go see a plantation? Don't bother with the longgg drive to The Hermitage. Check out Belle Meade Plantation and their cute winery instead. Then drive nearby to Cheekwood Mansion for a tour of their own lovely grounds and Art gallery.

Wanna eat biscuits? You'll be waiting hours at the far away Loveless Motel---instead, go right by downtown to the Germantown area to Monell's for a truly Southern-style food experience. This is my neighborhood and I adore it; very charming little area with a few fun little eateries and shops.

Wanna visit our best winery? Arrington Vineyards is gorgeous, but it's a long drive, by the Franklin area. I would recommend a downtown Franklin visit if you're into upscale Southern shopping/living. It's a fun field trip, especially if you're willing to drive a little further into the lovely Lieper's Fork area---Miley Cyrus was raised there, Keith Urban/Nicole Kidman and other local celebs own farms there...it's a stunning pastoral paradise.

If you want decent/upscale shopping, Green Hills Mall and the nearby Hill Center is your best bet, although the traffic around there gets scary sometimes.

Wanna nice hike? Radnor Lake; I used to see Keith/Nicole hiking there all the time.

Hope that helps and have fun!!

I'm also an expert on Savannah, GA since my family owns a home down there. Such a charming, beautiful little city---like a more civilized and smaller New Orleans. But that's a whole extra post I don't feel like writing just yet!

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Tribeca - not all that familiar with the Tampa area, but since Florida is pretty narrow thereabouts, if there is something you want to see on the East coast I would think it is reasonable - 3 hours to drive (unless going into the Orlando area and then traffic is a bit sketchy). Growing up in South Florida my friends and I loved waking up early to see the sunrise on the east coast, driving across the state and watching the sunset on the west.

 

I've consistently heard good things about Sideberns and Ybor as ebk57 recommended.  I'd check out if there were any good Cuban places there - Cuban food is wonderful and Cuban bread the best.

 

GenL - watch out for the regional accent - it is easy to pick up!  Went there in high school for a trip and most of us had very mild Southern accents to begin with, but we came back from that trip with a much more obvious one.

Edited by DeLurker
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Sarasota sunsets are amazing!!!! I go there for a week most every year, and I can't miss a sunset. I usually go with a friend who used to live right on the beach there in his 20s. Sarasota may be small-ish and no Caribbean or wherever, but to me, it's magical.

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Anyone familiar with Scottsdale/Phoenix area?   I've never been there, am visiting my son who moved there recently.   What are the must-sees in that area?  any recommendations for a Grand canyon tour sidetrip?  restaurants in the area?  We don't golf, and I'm not doing any helicopter/hot air balloon rides.  

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Wow! Thanks!! I am going to copy and paste your post and print it out! So much helpful, insider information!!

You're so very welcome! I know I forgot a few things...

Like the 12 South area---close to Music Row, it's a nice strip of lovely restaurants, boutiques and bars. I basically enjoy every place on that entire strip, so I have no specific recommendations. Except perhaps Jeni's Ice Cream, because that's the shit.

Speaking of Music Row, it's on Demonbreaun and is just a long and cheesy strip of bars/restaurants/boutiques for college kids.

Belle Meade neighborhood is like our version of Bel Air---it's the poshest area in town, perfect for mansion-gazing.

If you need kid-friendly fun, Adventure Science Center is a worthwhile stop, and then down the street a few miles is our 8th avenue/Melrose antiques district.

Our zoo is beautiful, although it's a lot of walking and in a fugly area of town(we refer to this area as "Little Mexico").

And if you decide to do one guided tour in town, do the NashTrash pink bus tour, because those gals are hilarious!!

Okay, I'm done now, promise!!

Edited by Sun-Bun
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Anyone familiar with Scottsdale/Phoenix area?   I've never been there, am visiting my son who moved there recently.   What are the must-sees in that area?  any recommendations for a Grand canyon tour sidetrip?  restaurants in the area?

 

 

Been a while since I last visited Scottsdale/Phoenix.  I remember in Scottsdale, the highlight was "old town" which is the old downtown area.  Plenty of shops there - touristy ones but you might find something you like.  There's also the "Sugar Bowl" which was the ice cream parlor.  I was told Bill Keane (who wrote the Family Circus comic strip for decades) used to frequent the place and wrote many strips there while having a bowl of ice cream.

 

While I was in Sedona, Arizona, we had a "Pink Jeep Tour" which was a lot of fun, and I found the cactus tour (different from the Pink Jeep) very informative!

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What I'd like is some suggestions of areas to go on vacation within about a day's drive of where I live (western Connecticut).   I don't want the hastle of flying, but wouldn't mind a train trip.   My husband and I have been to Montreal several times, also the coast of Maine, and Cape Cod.  Last year we went to the Thousand Islands area.   I'd prefer some place where you don't have to spend most of the day driving from attraction to attraction.  We like both "city" attractions like museums, and natural attractions like forests, and waterfront areas, (though I'm not really interested in lying sunning myself on the beach.) 

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ALenore, I suggest my home state of RI (though I live in SE CT now - hi!).  

 

You could train it to downtown Providence and explore the Thayer Street/Brown University area,   Lots of  fun shops and interesting places to eat and some small museums you could walk to, as well as the RI School of Design.  If you like bookstores and are feeling braver about venturing a little further downtown, check out Cellar Stories, one of the best used bookstores I've been to.

 

If you're feeling ritzier, you can head to Newport RI - my favorite restaurant there is the Brick Alley Pub - also some interesting historical places (and NE architecture, which I personally love), shops and the waterfront. Great walkable area. No shortage of things to do if you Google; check the scheduling for Gallery Night, when you visit several art galleries for free;  Newport mansions are interesting to tour as well. 

 

Personally I like Narragansett RI - much smaller area of shops and restaurants, but you can walk the ocean, have something to eat at Crazy Burger Cafe and maybe drive to Newport (pack $$ for tolls and parking).  Offseason is best, nothing like these spots (especially seaside) in the winter, plan accordingly for a crowd if you're going in spring/summer.  

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Thanks, raven, Rhode Island is a good idea.  I've been to Rhode Island before, but it's been several years since I went, and most of the previous times it was for conventions, so I didn't have much time to explore.  We do have friends there, in Providence and Warren, so maybe we could give them a visit.  

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What I'd like is some suggestions of areas to go on vacation within about a day's drive of where I live (western Connecticut).   I don't want the hastle of flying, but wouldn't mind a train trip.   My husband and I have been to Montreal several times, also the coast of Maine, and Cape Cod.  Last year we went to the Thousand Islands area.   I'd prefer some place where you don't have to spend most of the day driving from attraction to attraction.  We like both "city" attractions like museums, and natural attractions like forests, and waterfront areas, (though I'm not really interested in lying sunning myself on the beach.) 

Well, there's always NYC. 

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tribeca, we usually go to Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City for Cuban food.  It's probably not the best food, but it's quite good and the place is an institution.  And I mean that in a good way!  It's an experience.

 

GenL, I feel funny about chiming in after the extensive list given by Sun-Bun, but I'll throw in Etch as a place to have a fine dining meal.  I swear I think it's in the top 5 places we've ever eaten.  Start with the butter tasting - yes, really!  Also, I'm not a huge country music fan, but I absolutely loved the Hall of Fame and the Ryman tours.  Also, the Hermitage Hotel is lovely (and the Capitol Grill in the hotel, which is not the chain, is quite good!).  If you like old, ornate architecture, take a walk through it.  Across the street from there is the Tennessee State Museum.  It's free and good for an afternoon.  I was lucky when I was there - they had an exhibit of Elvis photos that was great.

 

ALenore, if you don't mind a train trip (I loooove the train!), there's always Philadelphia, or you could come on down here to DC.  Lots to do and you don't need a car.

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ALenore, another favorite place of mine is New Hampshire.  You'd probably need a weekend though and would have to drive there, but depending on where you stay you could then walk most places.  In the White Mountains, North Conway has restaurants, shopping, etc and of course you can hike in the mountains or trails near where you might stay.  I've been to Portsmouth New Hampshire which is on the seacoast, just was just there for a few days but there's a lot to see, it's on my list for a real weekend vacation soon.  Also very walkable.

 

 

or you could come on down here to DC.  Lots to do and you don't need a car.

Oh very true!  I was in DC years ago for a week and still didn't see everything.  Didn't need to drive anywhere.  

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tribeca, we usually go to Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City for Cuban food. It's probably not the best food, but it's quite good and the place is an institution. And I mean that in a good way! It's an experience.

GenL, I feel funny about chiming in after the extensive list given by Sun-Bun, but I'll throw in Etch as a place to have a fine dining meal. I swear I think it's in the top 5 places we've ever eaten. Start with the butter tasting - yes, really! Also, I'm not a huge country music fan, but I absolutely loved the Hall of Fame and the Ryman tours. Also, the Hermitage Hotel is lovely (and the Capitol Grill in the hotel, which is not the chain, is quite good!). If you like old, ornate architecture, take a walk through it. Across the street from there is the Tennessee State Museum. It's free and good for an afternoon. I was lucky when I was there - they had an exhibit of Elvis photos that was great.

ALenore, if you don't mind a train trip (I loooove the train!), there's always Philadelphia, or you could come on down here to DC. Lots to do and you don't need a car.

D'OH---beyond embarrassed that I failed to mention the impressive eatery Etch---it's such an awesome downtown restaurant too---and ditto the sentiment on their amazing butter tasting, ebk57!!

And Hermitage Hotel is a definite must-see as well, if only for their gorgeous main lobby, the elegant Oak Bar downstairs, and their infamous Art Deco men's restroom:

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/hermitage-hotel-men-s-bathroom

Edited by Sun-Bun
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Hi everyone. Trying to plan a vacation to Rocky Point, Mexico, and I am wondering if anyone has ever driven there from Tucson, AZ. I am concerned that this could be a potentially risky thing to do perhaps (or maybe I watch too much of the Crime & Investigation channel?). It seems that I can't get a flight directly into Rocky Point/Puerto Peñasco, and the drive is only about three hours, but is it worth it? Thanks...

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Been a while since I last visited Scottsdale/Phoenix.  I remember in Scottsdale, the highlight was "old town" which is the old downtown area.  Plenty of shops there - touristy ones but you might find something you like.  There's also the "Sugar Bowl" which was the ice cream parlor.  I was told Bill Keane (who wrote the Family Circus comic strip for decades) used to frequent the place and wrote many strips there while having a bowl of ice cream.

 

While I was in Sedona, Arizona, we had a "Pink Jeep Tour" which was a lot of fun, and I found the cactus tour (different from the Pink Jeep) very informative!

THANK YOU!    I did book a Pink van tour, an all day trip that hits a bunch of spots, then goes to the Grand Canyon.  We plan to spend our first day walking around the Old Town area, and found the Oldtown Tortilla Factory, as a dinner place.  

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I'm going to Columbia, Mo., at the end of April for a conference. We may have a few meals to get on our own, and I'm wondering where are some good places to eat. Last time we were there (at least 6-7 years ago, I think), we ate at some little Mexican restaurant in a strip mall that I thought was very good. The only person who didn't like her meal was the woman who ordered tacos and wanted hard tacos, not soft. The hard taco shells were store-bought and not very good. (In their defense, they warned her about that. The tortillas for the soft tacos were made on-site.) The windows were lined with posters advertising calling cards to Mexico and Central America (one of my usual cues that a Mexican restaurant might be good). I don't know where or what it was, though, or if it's still there or still good.

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I'm going to Columbia, Mo., at the end of April for a conference. We may have a few meals to get on our own, and I'm wondering where are some good places to eat. Last time we were there (at least 6-7 years ago, I think), we ate at some little Mexican restaurant in a strip mall that I thought was very good. The only person who didn't like her meal was the woman who ordered tacos and wanted hard tacos, not soft. The hard taco shells were store-bought and not very good. (In their defense, they warned her about that. The tortillas for the soft tacos were made on-site.) The windows were lined with posters advertising calling cards to Mexico and Central America (one of my usual cues that a Mexican restaurant might be good). I don't know where or what it was, though, or if it's still there or still good.

 

Hey auntlada, I visit my family in Columbia twice a year and these are the places we usually go:

 

Shakespeare's Pizza is a local institution, just good thin-crust pizza either right next to campus (the original location) or out in the 'burbs.  Bonuses: slices at lunch if you're flying solo, open late if you're out on the town or otherwise postponed

 

Broadway Brewery, Flat Branch Pub & Brewery, and 44 Stone are all solid brewpubs, and though 44 Stone does not brew their own, they have a great local selection and probably the best food among the bunch.

 

Okii Mama has delicious fast casual Asian fusion; the bulgogi beef haunts my dreams with its deliciousness.

 

We go to Sparky's for ice cream even when it's snowing.  Harold's Doughnuts are supposed to be amazing.  More boozing: Tropical Liquors for frozen drinks, Logboat Brewing for lawn games and their ginger wheat beer, Gunter Hans for a free fresh bretzel and Boursin with your liter

 

I'm no help with the Mexican place; my dad has a strange aversion to Mexican food that mystifies us all.

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What I'd like is some suggestions of areas to go on vacation within about a day's drive of where I live (western Connecticut).   I don't want the hastle of flying, but wouldn't mind a train trip.   My husband and I have been to Montreal several times, also the coast of Maine, and Cape Cod.  Last year we went to the Thousand Islands area.   I'd prefer some place where you don't have to spend most of the day driving from attraction to attraction.  We like both "city" attractions like museums, and natural attractions like forests, and waterfront areas, (though I'm not really interested in lying sunning myself on the beach.) 

Have you ever been to Mohonk Mountain House near New Paltz, NY?  It's an ancient resort on top of a mountain in the Shawangunk Range (not far from the beginning of the Catskills). Lots of hiking trails with rustic resting sites at strategic overviews.  On some weekends they have those murder mystery parties.  It's still owned and run by the same family that created it back in the early 1900's.

 

http://www.mohonk.com/

Edited by annzeepark914
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there's always Philadelphia, or you could come on down here to DC.  Lots to do and you don't need a car.

 

Philly in the summer, aside from the soul sucking humidity, is awesome!

 

I think the pop up park opens the weekend before the 4th.

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Let's see if anyone sees this since this thread has been dead since May, lol.  We are heading to Atlantic City this weekend for a cheerleading competition.  I'll be with my 18 year old daughter so I won't be able to really gamble (nor do I want to, actually).  We also won't have a lot of time to sightsee, but if we have a couple of hours of down time- any suggestions?

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AC((or Atlantic Shitty, as a friend of mine refers to it)) has been wasting away into gross ruins for a bit in the past 20 years...not much fun new stuff going on, and I'm not even sure if the giant Mr. Peanut statue is still there.

However, definitely stop by The Borgata, because that hotel/casino is beautiful and I believe one of the most recent places built there. I had the pleasure of seeing a concert there about 10 years ago and shared a suite with some friends and it was just pure luxury all the way, with excellent bars and restaurants around there to boot.

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I was in Atlantic City in April 2012 and I really enjoyed walking up and down the Boardwalk. We stayed in the Taj for one night -- it was a very pretty place.

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Haven't been to Atlantic City since I was 15 - pre-casinos.  Sorry...  

 

However, since you've resurrected this thread (thanks!), I'm in Hollywood (FL) this week.  I've found nothing to do, and no interesting places to eat.  If anyone has any hidden gems, please let me know.  I do have a car and will drive to Miami for an Art Deco walking tour.  I'm also going to a couple of breweries in Ft Lauderdale.  Past that, I'm stumped...

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Don't have any knowledge on Hollywood, but have enjoyed walking along the beach (ok, not in January) and eating along that main strip in Miami. Also been to Ft. Launder dale but it was for one night, so still no real insights. Sorry.

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I'm going to Toronto to see the Bruce Springsteen concert on Feb 2. We'll be there 4 nights. What would people recommend, seeing it's the dead of winter? I want to find an authentic Korean kalbi restaurant, but other than that I'm open to ideas!

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I'm in Hollywood (FL) this week.  I've found nothing to do, and no interesting places to eat.  If anyone has any hidden gems, please let me know.  I do have a car and will drive to Miami for an Art Deco walking tour.

I actually grew up (for the most part in Hollywood), but haven't lived there for years...but, for a good casual place I would consider South Port Raw Bar in Ft Lauderdale.  It's waterfront but not pricey...in fact, I've been there a zillion times and never saw the water (we were a hard drinking crew back in the day).  I met friends there 2 summers ago and it was pretty much exactly as it was 2 decades ago.

 

I'd check out with some locals a place for Cuban food - it is delicious, but consider it an indulgence meal and throw all the diet rules out the window.  Historically, the best Cuban places may not look like much, but the food makes up for it.

 

Having drinks at Pier 66 in Ft Lauderdale was always fun.  Don't know if it still does, but the restaurant was on the top floor and it spun giving you a panoramic view of the area.

 

LeTub and The Flicker Lite are in Hollywood on the intracoastal side and are/were institutions.  Again, low key and casual.

 

The beach at night in Florida is fine temperature wise.  I spent the majority of my New Year's Days at the beach (in a bikini) from 15 - 25 and they were typically legitimate beach weather days.  Hollywood Beach was "my" beach (Franklin Street to be exact), but they've changed it all up so no advice on that front.

John Llyod State Park, just north of Hollywood in Dania, is a pretty great beach.

 

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens are awesome - a bit of a drive in Delray Beach, but one of the few "cultural" things in South Florida that I always thought was well done.

 

There's always the Hard Rock Casino if you like gambling.

 

You'll need to report back about what you did and what you thought.

Edited by DeLurker
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Thanks DeLurker!  We dined at Le Tub last night and the burgers are everything they're promised to be!  And they have probably the best fried I've ever had.  Yummmmmm

 

I'm heading up to Ft Lauderdale today to visit some local breweries - Funky Buddha in particular, but maybe one more.  It's damp and cloudy today, so I'm not sure how much outside time I want.  Tomorrow I'm planning to head down to Miami to take an Art Deco walking tour and maybe tour Marlins Park.  So that leaves Thursday.  Thanks for the suggestions.  I'll report back!

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Miss Dee, I love Toronto but haven't been there in a few years. Here are 3 things I enjoyed: finding locations used in TV and films, eating in the Greek neighborhood (you might also have a look at Chinatown); visiting Sleuth of Baker Street, an independent mystery bookstore. If you like hockey, you have to go to the Hall of Fame. If you have kids, the Science Center is fun--it was one of the first to have interactive displays. 

 

If you have a car, drive down to Niagara. If it's a sunny day, the trees will sparkle with ice.There are also several wineries along the road between the falls and Niagara on the Lake, which is a cute place to have lunch or dinner.

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Oooh, I hadn't heard of Sleuth! Thanks for the tip!

We won't have a car, unfortunately. But that sounds lovely.

Edited by Miss Dee

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This is their website. They're closed on Wednesdays. I remember parking was a bitch but since you won't be driving, that won't be a problem. 8-) I was sorry to read that they no longer have a cat in the store because every book store should have at least one cat.

Edited by ABay
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I'm going to Toronto to see the Bruce Springsteen concert on Feb 2. We'll be there 4 nights. What would people recommend, seeing it's the dead of winter? I want to find an authentic Korean kalbi restaurant, but other than that I'm open to ideas!

Definitely the Bata Shoe Museum! Fascinating, and you can get there by subway. I also love Toronto's cosmopolitanism - hearing many different accents on the street and sampling restaurants - Greek, Indian (North and South), Thai, Afghani - you name it!

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I'm going to be living in Chicago for three months between September and November this year (exchange program through my college, I'll be studying at DePaul). I would like some recommendations for things to do in around Chicago but also for day/weekend trips that can be done out of Chicago, particularly by train. I like city things, particularly museums and art galleries and just looking around new places, I like quirky shops and interesting architecture. I also like nature and some moderate intensity sporting activities, especially things that involve water. I would also like to see the leaves turn, if there is anywhere that is good for that in the US, Australia doesn't really have deciduous trees.

Also, how cold does it get in Chicago by early December? Melbourne is cold by Australian standards but daytime temps in late Autumn/early winter are still 45-60 on average.

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Jac -   Chicago is huge.   thinks to definitely check out  - the Art Institute of Chicago.  Absolutely my favorite. 

On a sunny day - walking along the lakefront (avoid if it's cold and windy) walking around downtown.   

There are a lot of museums - Science & industry, Field Museum, planetarium. 

Check this out :   http://www.choosechicago.com/articles/view/FREE-THINGS-TO-DO-IN-CHICAGO/122/ it's all about free stuff to do.  

 

weather in the fall  can vary.  there might be days where it's in the 70's, some days the 40's.   We don't get really cold weather until late December/ early january. 

It's always colder close to the lake though.  

chicago botanic gardens is cool, and the Morton Arboretum, outside of chicago, is a good place to enjoy fall colors. 

sporting activities -  there's still baseball Cubs/White Sox in the fall.   I dond't know much about water activites, but I know there is boating on Lake Michigan.   There are also tours that go from the Chicago River to the Lake, and showcase some of the architecture and history .  

 

people you meet at Depaul will be able to help you find things to do, they will be familiar with the neighborhoods.  

If you have a chance, visit Loyola (lake shore campus)  and Northwestern University - nice campuses to walk around. 

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I'm remiss in reporting back about Hollywood FL.  Didn't really spend much time there, but I can heartily recommend Funky Buddha brewery in Ft Lauderdale.  If you can't get there, but see the beer in your store, buy it.  It's good.  We also drove up to Ft Lauderdale for dinner at Eduardo de San Angel, an absolutely fabulous upscale Mexican restaurant.  We used to go there every year while there for Spring Training, but hadn't been back in about 6 years.  It's still outstanding!

 

 

Now we're in St Pete for Spring Training.  Tonight it's Z Grille.  Love that place.  Tomorrow is Bern's, which is the best.  Saturday we're going to Sarasota for a night game.  Does anyone have any suggestions for an early dinner in the area?  I've read up, but personal recommendations are better.

 

Thanks!

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Hi everyone. Trying to plan a vacation to Rocky Point, Mexico, and I am wondering if anyone has ever driven there from Tucson, AZ. I am concerned that this could be a potentially risky thing to do perhaps (or maybe I watch too much of the Crime & Investigation channel?). It seems that I can't get a flight directly into Rocky Point/Puerto Peñasco, and the drive is only about three hours, but is it worth it? Thanks...

 

Okay, I realize this was posted over a year ago, but I'm dying to know if you drove and if so how was it.

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Okay, I realize this was posted over a year ago, but I'm dying to know if you drove and if so how was it.

 

 

Ahhhhhhhh, nooooooo! I just could not get the logistics to work out: a flight that gets in at the right time to rent a car and pass the through the border in daylight hours, and still get to the resort to check in and have some time to unwind a bit, and then do it again in the reverse...

See, the band I wanted to go see (Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers) has a four-day resort show event thing, and it's like the "I'm too old for this" version of some crazy campout fest I'd go to back in the '90s--I mean, it's a resort on a beach! Whoo! But they're one of my favorite bands, not my BF's (and he was taking his damn sweet time getting a passport too), and I just couldn't get it together so that he wouldn't be, at best, cursing my sense adventure/lack of sense of direction and, at worst, getting us carjacked (just kidding--sort of; I hear it can be iffy). 

Now I'm wondering if the easier (if more convoluted, maybe...though maybe it's less so) way to do it is fly farther into Mexico, and then drive to the resort. I also wonder if I'm being too cautious? 

Edited by TattleTeeny
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Now I'm wondering if the easier (if more convoluted, maybe...though maybe it's less so) way to do it is fly farther into Mexico, and then drive to the resort. I also wonder if I'm being too cautious?

 

 

Personally, I wouldn't go to Mexico at all - period!  Too darn dangerous!

 

Second, I wouldn't drive in Mexico - again - too dangerous.  Touristas make great victims of the drug gangs and assorted banditos.  If you insist on vacationing there stay in the most guarded and safest resorts and set up transportation through them.

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Personally, I wouldn't go to Mexico at all - period! Too darn dangerous!

Second, I wouldn't drive in Mexico - again - too dangerous. Touristas make great victims of the drug gangs and assorted banditos. If you insist on vacationing there stay in the most guarded and safest resorts and set up transportation through them.

Agreed---it's a known fact that most of the lower-class/gang residents prey on unsuspecting tourists, especially gringos driving around on their own. I've read stories all the time of car-jackings and/or hold-ups outside of the main city centers.

And ladies, do NOT ever wander around Mexico alone. Even the taxis can be unsafe for women on their own and there have been rapes reported from cab drivers preying on lone female riders.

Either drive/stay with a tour group or travel in teams of 3 or more.

The last time I went to Mexico, my husband and I stayed at a beautiful all-inclusive resort in Cabo San Lucas. It was safe and beautifully isolated there, but once we went downtown and left our tour group for a bit, we were constantly chased and/or bombarded by street performers, child beggars and panhandlers.

It was not remotely pleasant and really drove home just how third world Mexico truly is---and we didn't even set out to *look* wealthy, but our blonde selves obviously made us instant targets. My husband even chased away a potential pick-pocket child. It's just a tough vibe in certain areas there...hard to even enjoy the idea of a vacation there period when you're seeing toddlers and preschoolers stumbling around at midnight begging for change.

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Personally, I wouldn't go to Mexico at all - period!  Too darn dangerous!

Second, I wouldn't drive in Mexico - again - too dangerous.  Touristas make great victims of the drug gangs and assorted banditos.  If you insist on vacationing there stay in the most guarded and safest resorts and set up transportation through them.

 

 

 

It was not remotely pleasant and really drove home just how third world Mexico truly is---and we didn't even set out to *look* wealthy, but our blonde selves obviously made us instant targets.

 

 

Well, people do this trip all the time; this band does two events like this per year (the link, if anyone is interested in seeing what I'm talking about: http://www.circusmexicus.net/travel/ -- and whoo-hoo! Looks like an airport in that area is underway so all of this will eventually be moot!). The resort I want to go is about 4 hours over the border from Phoenix or Tucson. I have a few friends who live in the area (in the US, not in Mexico), and make this drive fairly often with their kids. The thing is, there's are good times to do this and not-as-good times. And part of all that has nothing to do with bad guys, and everything to do with time and logistics: for one thing, you can only pass over the border at certain times so arranging everything to line up right so that we weren't sitting in an airport waiting for the perfect time to leave in order to get to the border in the desired timeframe was a nightmare to arrange. Plus, insuring a rental car from the US into Mexico is sometimes complicated. And, yes, crime issues are a concern, but not my main one. My previously mentioned friends in the area are pretty up on the safety-related climate.  That's why I wondered if, logistics-wise, it might be simpler to fly farther into Mexico and drive back toward the US, as opposed to doing the whole border thing (though I have always wanted to drive through it!).

I love a nice resort...but I also really love Mexico--but those are two separate things; a resort in Mexico is so not the same as vacationing in Mexico. Meaning, if I want to see Mexico, I don't want to do it from inside the walls of a place that could just as well be in Key West. I've done (and loved) both, but again, the resort--which was lovely--could have been anywhere for as "real Mexico" as it was...which was nothing like getting on a bus alone from Guadalajara airport, with only one other passenger, and traveling three hours through the desert in the middle of the night with limited Spanish skills and an out-of-order cell phone to visit a friend in an inland non-tourist town. Ha, ironically, my dad wanted to kill me (also blond) for doing something he thought might get me killed. That trip, though, was so much better in every way than the resort I went to.

We were actually looking into a trip to Cabo recently. But then a water-heater mishap, followed closely by a furnace repair, kind of put a dent in that idea. Stupid homeownership! But, again, if I want a resort setting as opposed to local culture, I may as well save some dough and keep it in the US. Plus, there really is a lot to be said for all-inclusive stuff that does not require juggling the various puzzle pieces of travel plans (and that's all me; my BF would not be helpful on that front!).

Edited by TattleTeeny
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Never been to Munich but I hear that the English Garden is quite stunning.

 

 As for Vienna? Quite a bit to see and do there- from the Roman ruins in the basement of a Chinese restaurant [!] to the many cafes where one can indulge in thick coffee with heaping helpings of schlag [extra thick cream] and pastries there's something for everyone in this cosmopolitan city. Be sure to check out the City Museum where one can follow how this Neolithic settlement in a swamp became the bustling capital of a  multicultural empire before being ruined by the World Wars then rebuilding its vitality in the last few decades of the 20th century. The Cathedral is an excellent example of this having been badly bombed in WWII but now restored with a brand new tiled roof celebrating Austria's renewed independence after Four Powers occupation.  Also, there's a museum where one can find what was purported to be a unicorn's horn [actually a narwhal' s ] among other curios. The old part ringed in by the Ringstrasse [literally the 'ring street' which was built where the old city walls were] is all within easy walking distance and there's also an underground Metro but it's somewhat sketchy so I'd recommend sticking with walking or the trams above ground. I hope this helps.

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Munich was a lot of fun, but absolutely JAMMED on Saturday. There were several big events going on that weekend. If anyone is planning on going, be sure to visit the Viktualienmarkt behind Marienplatz. It's asparagus season and the Germans love white asparagus so it was evrywhere. They're so huge we thought they were parsnips at first. Why aren't there biergartens all over the US?! Also, the Asamkirche is gorgeous if you're at all interested in Baroque. We didn't get into the English Garten so I'll have to take another trip.

This was my second trip to Vienna so I went a couple of places I didn't have time for last time, like the upper Belvedere. Considering the ubiquity of Klimt's The Kiss, I thought it would be much larger. The best bit was probably having bratwurst at the Steffl Kirtag, the little market right next to St. Stephen's. It might be seasonal; it wasn't there last time, as far as I recall.

Edited by ABay
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