Tips For Planning the Ultimate Road Trip

Pick a Destination: While some may argue that you do not need to know where you are going, the first step in any successful road trip is to decide where you are going. This does not necessarily mean that you need to pick a concrete destination, but it helps to at least have a general idea in mind as to where you are driving to and what you are going to do when you get there.

Find a Friend: Yes, you can certainly decide to venture out onto the open road by yourself. In some cases, a solo road trip can be

quite cathartic, as you have the chance to clear your mind while experiencing new sights and encountering new people. However, unless you are in need of some serious soul searching, every road trip is greatly improved by a companion that can keep you company and share your experience. Whether you are simply venturing across town or driving cross country, having someone you enjoy with you is not only more fun, it helps to prevent against fatigue and is markedly safer, particularly in areas you are unfamiliar with.

Budget: While it would be wonderful is traveling was free, the unfortunate reality is that you will need to make your money last until you get back home. There are a few things to take into consideration when establishing a road trip budget. First, you have to know where you are going. This is necessary not only to plot out the estimated amount of gas needed to get you there and home, you will also need to decide where you will sleep along the way and what you will eat. While sleeping in the car may seem like a cheap alternative to renting a hotel room each night, keep in mind that it is not always legal to stop in parking lots or park and rides overnight, nor is it necessarily the safest choice.

Map Your Route: Yes, you can simply plug your destination into your phone’s GPS and follow that the entire way. However, it is well worth the time to take an actual map and plot out your route. Why? For the most part, a GPS will take you the shortest, most popular route. By looking on a map, you can find roads that are off the beaten path that may actually take less time, as there will not be as much traffic and/or construction. Even if you are planning on following the GPS route, a map is valuable to have in the instance of unexpected road closures, accidents which gridlock the main highway, etc.

Be Safe: The open road is certainly exciting, yet you need to be sure that you are taking necessary safety precautions, as some routes may lead you through less than ideal neighborhoods. As mentioned before, it is always preferable to travel in groups rather than by yourself, as safety in numbers is truly a real phenomenon. If you stop at a park and ride, rest area, gas station or other spot to refuel and relax, be sure to take a moment to observe your surroundings, especially at night. Park in an area that is well-lit, and do not linger around outside. If you are approached by anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable, immediately retreat back to your car and lock it, or if there is a brightly lit area inside with people, go in there and report your concerns to the authorities. Be sure not to display large amounts of cash in public, and keep your purse, wallet and other belongings close at all times. Finally, being prepared is important. If you are going to venture off the beaten path and explore, be sure to have a full tank of gas, a few bottles of water and some snacks, as some rural areas have a large distance between one town and the next!

Must Visit Restaurants in Vermont

 

Black Sheep Bistro: (253 Main Street, Vergennes) Reservations are highly recommended at this intimate gem that serves local ingredients with a French-inspired flair. The menu revolves around what is fresh and seasonal, so menu options may change, yet one of the most famous side-dishes here is the buttery, sinfully delicious garlic mashed potatoes! For an appetizer, you can do no wrong with selecting the crab salad stack, which is paired with avocado, tomato and pickled asparagus before moving onto the main course! This menu offers something for everyone, from Thai poached haddock or a whole roasted trout for the seafood lovers, a bistro steak with mustard cream for the carnivores or the delicious roasted vegetable and chickpea cakes for those who adhere to a meat-free diet!

Cajun’s Snack Bar: (1594 VT-100, Lowell) A seasonal operation that is open only during the summertime, this place serves Cajun inspired, delicious fare in the midst of the rural Vermont mountains! Operated by Jason and Amanda Boutin, locals and tourists alike line up here each season to get their hands on a taste of truly authentic Acadian food coupled with excellent customer service and a commitment to quality. There is literally nowhere else in the entire state that you can get food like this, so be sure to eat as much as you can while you have the opportunity! Appetizers range from fried alligator bites and crawfish tails to frog legs which are served with a spicy dip, while some of the favorite heartier meals include a catfish, oyster or shrimp po’boy! They also have an amazing lobster roll, as well as a well-loved swamp dog, which consists of a natural casing hot dog smothered with cheese and their signature “swamp sauce!”

Hen of the Wood: (92 Stowe Street, Waterbury) Although there is a sister location in Burlington, this Waterbury restaurant is the original, offering excellent food and an impressive wine selection coupled with absolutely impeccable service. Start your meal with one of the several small plates, ranging from fresh oysters to crispy rabbit loin and mushroom toast. You can certainly make a meal out of two or three small plates, as portions are very generous, yet the entrees here are nothing short of spectacular. A roasted duck breast paired with roasted vegetables, polenta and maple drizzle is sure to satisfy any palate, while the wood-fire roasted broccoli accompanied by toasted hazelnuts and farro provides a tasty and substantial vegetarian option!

The Jay Village Inn: (1078 VT-242, Jay) This five-star rated Inn also houses one of the best restaurants and pubs in the entire northeast kingdom! Serving the best of breakfast, lunch and dinner, you literally cannot go wrong with anything you select here, and as the portion sizes are more than generous, you will certainly not go away unsatisfied! Breakfast not only offers some of the most delicious mimosas and Bloody Mary’s you will taste anywhere, it is also the perfect time to order one of their signature omelets accompanied by a side of the house made corned beef hash. Lunch options range from fresh curd poutine to an applewood smoked BLT, with many options for salads or burgers available as well. In the evening, you can either cozy up to the bar, sit beside the giant fireplace or stake your claim outside by the pool depending upon the weather. Dinner here is no joke, boasting a perfectly cooked barbeque platter or herb encrusted rack of lamb! The rooms are clean and beautifully maintained, and offer a cheaper alternative to booking a room at the nearby Jay Peak Resort.

The Mad Taco: (5101 Main Street, Waitsfield) This is a no-frills stop that offers its menu selections on a board located just above the register. Pick what you want, pair it with one of the many beer selections, and prepare to be absolutely amazed. While the laid- back atmosphere may cause you to underestimate the mastery of the cooking behind the scenes, this is hands down the best tacos you will eat in Vermont, period. The smoked pork belly taco coupled with fresh jalapenos, pico de gallo and cilantro is one of their most popular dishes, while others prefer the fresh fish taco, which is accompanied with avocado and cilantro. There are also a number of amazing burrito and fajita combinations to choose from as well, complete with a selection of house made hot sauces which range from flavorful and smoky to absolutely blistering!

Prohibition Pig: (23 South Main Street, Waterbury) This place is infamous for serving up some of the best barbeque in the entire state. Serving both lunch and dinner, you can indulge in everything from a hand-sliced beef brisket sandwich to a pit smoked half-chicken or chopped pork barbeque platter! While the meat choices here are absolutely mind-blowing, what makes this place truly spectacular is its variety of authentic southern side dishes! Here, you can order hush puppies, cheddar grits, collard greens and/or maple baked beans, as well as the blackened green beans, which might be the best vegetable you have ever experienced! Be sure to come early, as this place fills up fast!

Simon Pearce: (1760 Main Street, Quechee) The atmosphere at Simon Pearce is absolutely breathtaking. Situated in an old mill, you will dine alongside a waterfall and have the opportunity to explore the lower layer, where you can watch glassblowers hard at work creating the name brand’s famous creations! The food here is certainly noteworthy as well, as are the spectacular and imaginative cocktails. The emphasis here is on presentation as well as taste, so everything from your basic but delicious Simon Pearce burger to the fancier options, such as local cheese or charcuterie board are sure to please your taste buds as well as your eyes!

Things to do in New Orleans

Eat Crawfish: No trip to New Orleans is complete without participating in at least one authentic crawfish boil. These small, lobster-like crustaceans are affectionately nicknamed mudbugs, and they are a staple of Creole cuisine. Typically boiled in a spicy broth and paired with boiled corn and potatoes, be sure to stop by Redd’s Uptilly Tavern on Maple Street for some of the best crawfish in the entire city!

Indulge in a Frozen Daquiri: You will see many different shops peddling these delicious, boozy concoctions as you explore the city. New Orleans is one of the few cities where you are allowed to consume alcohol on the streets, so pick your flavor and enjoy every sip and you continue on your journey!

Listen to Some Jazz:  New Orleans is nearly synonymous with jazz music, and one of the best places to experience it live is at the Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro on Frenchmen Street. This place is composed of three different rooms – a dining room that offers classic creole fare such as gumbo, fried oysters and shrimp remoulade, a bar room that makes for a cozy spot to enjoy a cocktail, and of course, a music room! This room has two stories and limited seating that ensures a personalized experience for every show you attend. Offering two performances nightly, be sure to check the calendar and arrive early to get a seat!

Go Ghost Hunting: Infamous as one of the most haunted cities in America, there are a plethora of ghost tours available that you can participate in, or, if you prefer, you can visit many of the city’s most haunted hotspots on your own. While there are many different places in the city that are alleged to be home to some pronounced paranormal activity, the French Quarter is one of the most popular spots for ghost hunters. Here you will find LaLaurie Mansion, which was once the former home of the sadistic Madame LaLaurie who tortured several slaves in the upstairs area, as well as the Sultan’s Palace, which was reputed to be the site of a grisly massacre that left the Sultan himself buried alive in the courtyard!

Stroll Down Bourbon Street: Yes, this is one of the most touristy spots in the entire city, yet it is certainly worth a visit, if only just to soak in the atmosphere. Famous for its party scene, there is a wealth of bars and strip clubs here to indulge your sinful side, along with plentiful places to eat and souvenir shops.  Keep in mind that this is not the most family-friendly location, so don’t plan on going here if you have children with you. Likewise, while there is very little violent crime here, it bears mentioning that you should keep your eyes open and be weary of pickpockets and/or purse snatchers.

Visit the French Quarter: Also known as Vieux Carre, this is the oldest section of the city of New Orleans, dating back to 1781! Today, it is the center of activity, valued not only for its historical significance but also for the number of restaurants, bars and other wonderful spots that line the streets. Jackson Park is an absolute must see, with its infamous statue of Andrew Jackson as the centerpiece. The French Market is an excellent spot to find everything you are looking for as well as treasures you never knew you needed, while Royal Street has a plethora of art galleries and antique shops to explore! While you are here, be sure to make time to stop by Café du Monde, which is believed to be the best place in town to get a beignet (French doughnut).

Experience the Garden District: Even though this place is just as popular amongst tourists as the French Quarter, there is a different vibe here entirely. Instead of the busy, energetic atmosphere, the pace here is far more relaxed and refined. This is a wonderful spot to appreciate New Orleans architecture, as you gaze at the many mansions lining the neighborhood. For the ultimate experience, take a streetcar down Charles Street or visit the oldest known residence called Toby’s Corner. For braver souls, be sure to pay a visit to Layfayette Cemetery, largely considered to be one of the most beautiful final resting areas in the entire United States!

Best Places to Eat in Las Vegas

Delmonico Steakhouse: Located in the Venetian, celebrity chef Emeril Legasse set the highest standard for steakhouses with this fairly unassuming but still mind-blowingly delicious restaurant. If you are in the mood for a perfectly cooked hunk of red meat, look no farther, as the staff here prides themselves on achieving the perfect temperature each and every time. There are also a number of delicious side dishes to sample, along with an extensive whiskey menu.

Joe Robuchon: Located at the MGM Grand, this is the number one go to place on the strip if you are looking for elegance coupled with absolutely outstanding food. While it definitely comes at a cost, this Three Michelin Star restaurant strives to serve its guest the absolute best examples of authentic French food available anywhere. With its intimate and private setting, this is the ideal spot to go to make an impression on those you love! The menu is incredible, boasting traditional French cuisine such as frog legs coupled with red miso along with truffle langoustine and sea urchin paired with a coffee foam!

 

 

Lago: Located at the Bellagio, nearly every seat in this gorgeous restaurant offers a spectacular view of the Bellagio Fountains. Offering Italian inspired cuisine under the watchful eye of Chef Julian Serrano, the Sunday brunch is absolutely amazing, with such choices as quail egg and smoked salmon followed by eggplant parmesan benedict, yet lunch and dinner are spectacular as well, boasting a variety of delicious soups, salads and tasty entrées such as shrimp stuffed squid.

 

 

 

Mesa Grill: Located at Caeser’s Palace, celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s take on Southwestern cuisine is well worth a visit! Serving delectable options for brunch, lunch and dinner, this is the perfect spot to stop for a killer margarita coupled with some awesome food choices! Be sure to try the tiger shrimp and roasted corn tamale, or if you are looking for something heavier, you can’t go wrong with the mango and spice crusted tuna steak!

Nine Fine Irishmen: Located in New York, New York, it is certainly not the most sophisticated or hip restaurant on the strip, yet it is absolutely unparalleled if you are seeking the Irish pub vibe in the city of lights! Open for lunch and dinner, this is the place to go if you are looking for excellent, hearty food paired with an admirable beer selection without breaking the bank! If you’re just after a snack, the Irish nachos are to die for, but for heartier fare, be sure to sample the famous fish and chips complete with all the traditional fixings!

Nobu: Located at Caesar’s Palace, this is a popular spot to dine on the creative selections of Chef Nobu. While it is certainly not cheap, the best way to experience this place is to not even look at the menu and simply tell your server your budget. From here, you will be treated to a wonderful selection of some of the freshest, most inventive dishes you can possibly imagine! While everything here is wonderful, some particular stand outs include the yellowtail jalapeno sashimi, miso black cod and tempura rock shrimp.

Tacos and Tequila: Located at the Luxor, indulging in Mexican food in the middle of an Egyptian pyramid may seem somewhat contradictive, yet this is one of the best places to grab lunch on the entire strip! With its low-key, hip vibe and extensive margarita menu, you can get anything from the classics like nachos and tamales as well as some of the best ceviche you will ever have anywhere!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Switzerland: Reasons why you should visit this country

There are many reasons why you should visit Switzerland at least once. This is because this is one of the most popular winter and snow destination in the world. But, there are many people that are wondering why you should really want to visit Switzerland and not one of the other winter destinations. For these reasons, you will know for sure, Switzerland is such a popular tourist destination that you should visit at least once.

The most famous mountain is in Switzerland

The first reason why so many people are going to Switzerland is that of the most popular mountain. There is only one mountain in Switzerland that people want to see. And, this is the Alps. This mountain is photographed more than any other mountain in the world.

The mountain is beautiful, especially during the snowing season. This is the one place that you need to be when you are looking for a destination that is full of surprises.

A large variety of skiing locations

There are ski locations for beginners and for experts. There are even some ski locations for children. If you are looking for a ski holiday, but you never ski before, then Switzerland is the place to go.  There are really a large variety of ski instructors that are going to make sure that beginners can end up as experts after a holiday.

There are many resorts that have their own ski slopes that you can use whenever you feel like it. This is one of the reasons why people prefer the resorts in Switzerland. You don’t need to pay for entering a ski slope.

Their cheese and chocolate are to die for

Two more reasons to visit Switzerland.  Their chocolate and their cheese. Yes, cheese as well. Most people know that chocolate is tasting a lot better in Switzerland than in any other country. But, buying it in your country can be expensive. This is why people are eating as many chocolate and cheese as possible when they are visiting Switzerland.

Yes, chocolate and cheese can be bought anywhere else in the world. But, it is just tasting better and more unique when you are enjoying it in Switzerland.

A large variety of activities to do in the snow

Skiing isn’t the only thing that you can do in Switzerland. There are a large variety of activities that you can do in the snow. This means that you will not have a boring day, ever, when you are going to Switzerland.

Switzerland. A winter destination that everyone is dreaming about. And, the best part is that you will not need to worry about anything while you are there. This is one of the most popular ski locations that you can find in the world. The mountains, the food, and the activities are just some of the reasons why traveling to Switzerland is something that you should consider.