Best Cities to Visit in Europe Part Two


Dublin, Ireland: The capital of the Republic of Ireland, Dublin is an ancient city with a modern flair. Here, you can find structures dating back to the 12th century as well as some of the most modern hotels and innovative restaurants anywhere on the continent. If you’re interested in history, a visit to Dublin Castle is first on the agenda. It was erected in the early 13th century on top of what was once the site of a Viking settlement. After Ireland gained independence in 1922, Dublin Castle ceased its royal function and became a tastefully appointed tourist destination.

If you’re looking for something else to occupy your afternoon, be sure to take a tour of the infamous Guinness Storehouse, or stop for a drink at the iconic Temple Bar, which has been serving patrons since the 1300’s!

Budapest, Hungary: The capital city of Hungary, Budapest is split in two by the River Danube, yet connected by Best cities in Europethe 19th century Chain Bridge. There is a funicular that transports people from the newer Castle Hill to the old town of Budha, where multiple museums await exploration. Here, you can visit a 13th century church along with visiting the city’s history museum, which displays artifacts dating back to the Roman times. For an interesting experience, be sure to spend time at one of the city’s many traditional Turkish bathhouses, such as the luxurious Gellert Bath and Spa Centre, which features a wave pool along with multiple saunas.

Lisbon, Portugal: This coastal capital city has everything from unbelievable architecture to fabulous museums, and even a suspension bridge! Take a visit to Saint George’s castle and soak up the incredible views of the pastel colored houses in the old town, or hop upon one of the many trams for an easy way to get to the majority of the most popular spots in Lisbon. You cannot visit Lisbon without visiting some of the city’s many landmarks, including the Torre de Belem, a tower situated on the Tagus River dating back to the 16th century, as well as the Alfalma District, which dates back to the Moorish era.

London, United Kingdom: You simply can’t talk about must visit European cities without giving London a huge nod. This is the homeland of Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court and Kensington Palace, where you can get a glimpse into history as well as education about the day to day life of the British monarchy. There is literally no end to the must-visit sites you can visit here. Spend an afternoon taking in the fresh air at Hyde Park, or visit the Tower of London, an impressive castle dating back to the Middle Ages which serves as the official resident of Her Royal Majesty, the Queen.  There is also a wonderful aquarium located next to one of the city’s most famous modern landmarks, the London Eye. This enormous Ferris wheel stands over 440 feet tall, and provides absolutely breathtaking views the entire trip!

Prague, Czech Republic: With a nickname like the City of a Hundred Spires, you can expect Prague to be absolutely gorgeous in its baroque architecture. Full of gorgeous cathedrals and picturesque views, this historical city has many different cultural attractions coupled with famous sites. While the Prague Castle is impressive and well worth a visit, one of the very first things you must do when visiting Prague is visit the Charles Bridge. Dating back to the 14th century, this bridge crosses the Vltava River and has statues of thirty different saints to keep you company as you travel from one end to the other. Prague is also home to the third-oldest astronomical clock in the entire world, dating back to the early 1400’s.

Best Restaurants in Chicago, Illinois

Au Cheval: (800 W Randolph Street) This may not be the place to go if you are in a hurry, as the lines can

sometimes mean up to an hour or more wait for food. Rest assured, however, that ever moment you spend waiting in line at Au Cheval is well-worth it for the classy take on diner food you receive at the end. Just a simple cheeseburger paired with a bowl of matzo ball soup is sure to satisfy any appetite, as is the selection of strong yet tasty cocktails.

Entente: (3056 N Lincoln Avenue) With a wine menu designed by award-winning sommelier Christopher Harris and a Michelin Star worthy food menu designed by executive chef Brian Fisher, this is an excellent spot to participate in casual fine dining away from the chaos of downtown. The perfectly cooked scallop dish combined with salted caramel, country ham and Brussel sprouts is one of the best things you will taste in the entire city, as is the long island duck paired with bitter melon.

The Green Door Tavern: (678 N Orleans St) Dating back since 1871, this place is one of the most historic places to eat and drink in Chicago. Built immediately after the great fire which almost devastated the city, it originally served as a store and living quarters before being converted into a tavern and restaurant. The place got its name from the observance that bars containing speakeasys during prohibition had their doors painted green! Today, they have some of the best brunch you could ever imagine, complete with a Bloody Mary bar or oversized mimosas. Pair these morning eye-openers with their signature corned beef hash skillet, or go all out and order the fried Nutella sandwich paired with strawberries.

Parachute: (3500 N Elston Avenue) This place is at once an unassuming establishment mixed with an enormous amount of popularity. Open only for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, begin your meal with a glass of wine from their extensive list or a signature whiskey sour. Be sure to take your time perusing the Korean inspired menu, which offers a number of delicious creations from former Top Chef competitor Beverly Kim and her partner John Clarke. Start the evening with the unbelievably tasty baked potato bing bread before moving onto one of the creative main courses. Seafood lovers will delight in the green curry Manila clams, while those who prefer a meatless style can indulge in the smoked shitake yuba. Have a sweet tooth? Be sure to sample the avocado coconut sorbet! Keep in mind that this place very popular, thus it is highly unlikely you will be able to walk in without a reservation.

The Purple Pig: (500 N. Michigan Ave) Located in the heart of the North Bridge shopping complex, this is unlike any mall food you have ever had before. The Mediterranean theme offers a number of fresh and healthy dishes sure to satisfy any palate, such as the perfectly seasoned hummus paired with a soft-boiled egg or the feta cheese and honey cornbread. This is an excellent option for vegetarians exploring the culinary aspects of Chicago, as they do many dishes flawlessly without any animal ingredients.  The butternut squash and shaved black truffle soup is a delicacy unto itself, as is lentil salad topped with fried cauliflower.

Smoque: (3800 N. Pulaski Road) This is a relatively informal, down to earth place that just happens to serve some absolutely incredible barbecue. Offering everything from perfectly seasoned, tender brisket and ribs along with sausage and turkey, you can design your own platter here by picking your meat and pairing it with a number of tasty sides, such as coleslaw, macaroni and cheese or BBQ beans. If you can, save room for the homemade peach cobbler coupled with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Best Cities in Europe

Best Cities to Visit in Europe Part One


The capitol city of the Netherlands is well known for its gorgeous architecture and picturesque canals. Make like the locals and explore the city streets by bike, being sure to visit the 400-year-old Canal Belt, which is lined by some of the most beautiful homes in the country! In terms of culture and history, Amsterdam is home to a museum dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh, as well as the Anne Frank house, which was the actual structure in which the Frank family lived in secrecy during World War Two. Visitors with a sweet tooth should make a point of sampling the city’s unique take on a cookie, the stroopwafel. Made from dual, thin waffle layers sandwiching a deliciously stick syrup, the Landskroon Bakery (385 Singel) is widely reputed to have the best version you will find anywhere!


Not only is Athens the capitol city of Greece, it is also one of the oldest cities in the entire world! As it was once the most influential and powerful city in Ancient Greece, one of the major attractions of this city is that it literally transports you back in time. Here, you can tour the ruins of the infamous Acropolis, which contains a number of temples, the most famous of which is the Parthenon, dedicated to the city’s patron goddess Athena. The magnificent street art here is nothing short of mesmerizing, as is the vibrant nightlife to be had on the rooftop bars! Greek culture is associated with a hearty spirit and love of good food and drink. If you are only able to eat at one restaurant while visiting Athens, be sure to make it Orizontes. Not only is the view absolutely unparalleled, you can dine on traditional dishes such as croaker cheeks in lemon sauce or a creamy risotto with truffles.


The second most populated city in all of Spain, Barcelona is located in the northeastern Catalonia region. It is the ultimate vacation spot for beach bums, as the weather is nearly perfect for most of the year, making the ample and beautiful shoreline widely accessible. The Gothic Quarter in particular boast amazing architecture along with two must-visit cathedrals, the Placa de la Cathedral and the Placa Sant Felip Neri. While you are in the city, you must make a point of sampling some of the regional dishes, such as paella, a thick stew concocted from seafood and rice or esqueixada, a light, flavorful salad consisting of raw salted cod paired with fresh tomatoes and flavorful olives.


Located on the Rhine River in western Germany, this two-thousand-year-old city is famous for its multiple Romanesque cathedrals as well as its gorgeously maintained historical streets. Boasting one of the oldest universities in the country, Cologne is easy to lose yourself in for the sheer beauty and historical value. Make a point of setting a day aside to explore the historical Old Town, or get a once in a lifetime view of the city by riding a cable car that lifts you above the city and its majestic river! No visit to Germany would be complete without indulging in some of the finest European chocolate, and Cologne plays host to the Chocolate Museum, which showcases the history of the product as well as giving visitors the opportunity to design their very own chocolate treat to bring home!

The Best Places to Eat in Maryland

Cantler’s Riverside Inn: (458 Forest Beach Rd, Annapolis) Open every day from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm,  this place is the embodiment of the infamous crab houses located along Chesapeake Bay. This place has some of the freshest, most delicious seafood available in the entire state! Be sure to sample the Maryland Crab Soup accompanied by blackened rockfish bites served bruschetta style as a perfect beginning. As you move onto the main course, keep in mind that seafood is king here! You have a plethora of delicious, fresh marine options to indulge in, so plan on coming with an appetite! Complete with deep fried rockfish and soft shelled crab coupled with a tasty crab cake, Captain Lou’s Fish Fry is a classic, while Jimmy’s Steamed Combo packs plenty of flavor with delicate snow crab, shrimp, clams and mussels! There is also an extensive fresh fish list to choose from, offered blackened, fried, grilled, broiled or even stuffed with crab!

Chap’s Pit Beef: (5801 Pulaski Highway, Baltimore) Pit beef is the Maryland version of barbecue, with a totally different approach. The beef is grilled directly above a bed of red hot coals until medium rare, then sliced thin. Chap’s Pit Beef’s namesake sandwich has been acclaimed as the singular best sandwich in the entire state! Not only is Chap’s pit beef tender, flavorful and perfectly cooked, it comes on a soft, warm roll topped with grilled onions and spicy tiger sauce! Pair this classic with a number of delicious sides to choose from, including freshly cut French fries, homemade baked beans or green beans stewed with tomatoes.

Floyd’s Crossroads Pub: (4809 Ten Oaks Road, Dayton) This small establishment is locally owned and operated, priding itself on authentic, home cooked meals. While this place can get very busy, particularly in the summer, there is a laid-back yet extremely professional vibe to the restaurant and staff alike. While it may not be the best place to go if you are in a hurry, the relaxed atmosphere helps you remember that all good things come to those who wait. Floyd’s is certainly not the exception to this rule, as just about everything you will find on the menu is absolutely delicious! The steamed crab here is out of this world, but the true star of the show is Floyd’s crab cakes. Offering a choice of fried or broiled, these crab cakes are considered the best in all of Maryland, boasting a perfect balance of flavor and loads of tasty lump crab meat!

The Maryland Blue Crab House: (7100 Sollers Point Road, Dundalk) Blue crab is perhaps one of the Chesapeake Bay’s most iconic dishes. These crustaceans are in season from early spring to late fall, and while many different restaurants around Maryland serve them up, there is arguably no better place to go for the true blue crab experience other than the Maryland Crab House. Open for dinner Monday – Friday and serving lunch and dinner on the weekends, be sure to start with the cream of crab soup before indulging in the soft shell crab platter, which is served deep fried and accompanied with French fries and hush puppies. Looking for something a little less formal? The blue crab po’boy is out of this world, especially when paired with a side of twisted fries!

Old Salty’s Restaurant: (2560 Hoopers Island Road, Fishing Creek) While Old Salty’s may be a little off the beaten path, the trip here is well worth the reward for some of the most tasty, fresh seafood you will find anywhere along the eastern coast! Located in a building that once served as a schoolhouse, this place offers gorgeous waterfront views along with very reasonable prices. You can get a crab cake or soft shell crab sandwich for under $12, or for heartier fare, the steamed crab platter and jumbo lump imperial dinners all go for less than $20!

Woodberry Kitchen: (2010 Clipper Park Road, Baltimore) Voted one of the best restaurants in the world by Conde Nast Traveler, this building was once home to a factory, but is now putting out inventive, wood-fired food items in a gorgeously unassuming environment. There is something here for everyone, no matter what your individual tastes may be.

Those looking for fresh seafood can feast upon blue catfish or lake trout, while the strictly carnivorous have everything from a cast iron cooked duck breast to a fourteen-ounce New York strip steak to choose from. Vegetarians will no be disappointed either, as there are many tasty meatless options available as well, including squash and kale flatbread as well as a popcorn grit cake featuring eggplant, tomato and a farm fresh egg. Those with a gluten free diet will delight in the separate menu, which ranges from a summer lettuce salad and crab pot soup to broiled trout served with scallions and chimichurri.

Denver, Colorado's Best Attractions

Denver, Colorado’s Best Attractions

Exploring Denver Colorado

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science: You will want to devote an entire day to exploring this museum, which boasts something for everyone. Regardless of age, there are fascinating exhibits to be explored here, ranging from dinosaur bones and real Egyptian mummies as well as an impressive wildlife collection that provides information on animals from all over the world. If you manage to see all the exhibits, be sure to take in one of their impressive 3-D IMAX movies or a planetarium show. The gift shop is a favorite spot for stopping, as is the T-Rex café, where you can refuel with everything from coffee and salads as well as hot entrees and daily specials. The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm everyday except for Christmas.

Elitch Gardens: If you’re looking for a fun-filled day that is sure to please the entire family, look no farther than this amusement park. There is a large waterpark for beating the summer heat, boasting everything from high speed waterslides to a giant wave pool and kid friendly splash zones, as well as a 75-foot tall family raft ride! In the main park, there are plenty of rollercoasters and an interactive haunted house for the thrill seekers, while those preferring a tamer ride can enjoy the giant Ferris wheel or soak up the views from the observation tower. Of course, there are plenty of rides geared towards small children, along with multiple refreshment stands and plentiful sit-down restaurants that offer everything from pizza to the classic burger and a beer combination.

Lower Downtown: Locally known as LoDo, this is the oldest neighborhood in the city of Denver. Through historical rejuvenation, it has become a favorite place amongst locals and tourists alike to eat, drink and play. Here you will find Larimer Square, which was once the site of the original pioneering camp of Rocky Mountain gold prospectors, as well as multiple art galleries and museums. This is an excellent spot for people watching and shopping, as well as being home to some of the city’s most famous restaurants and nightclubs. Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar offers a phenomenal selection of tasty seafood and inventive cocktails, while the Chophouse and Brewery is ideal for sampling some local craft beers paired with excellent steaks and/or burgers.

The Molly Brown House: Margaret Tobin was born on July 18th, 1867 in the town of Hannibal, Missouri. When she was eighteen, her family moved to Leadville, Colorado, and soon afterwards, she married James Joseph (J.J.) Brown. The couple amassed tremendous wealth due to J.J.’s success in the mining business, and they relocated to the city of Denver, where Brown built this gorgeous mansion for his wife. Brown never quite fit into high society, as she was very outspoken. In 1912, after traveling through Egypt, she booked passage on the RMS Titanic, which met its demise after hitting an iceberg. Brown established herself as a hero as the ship sank, as she was instrumental in helping the crew load the lifeboats. Once out at sea, she argued vehemently that the lifeboat she was in should turn back to look for survivors. The crew-members protested, yet Brown was insistent, taking up an oar herself and threatening to throw the cowardly crew-members overboard. Because of her heroism, she was given an award as well as the nickname “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” Today, her former mansion stands as a museum. Though the place was slated for demolition in 1970, it was saved through the efforts of local historical preservation groups. The home is open for exploration via guided tour year-round, with tours embarking every half an hour. While you will not only hear the full story of Molly Brown’s remarkable life and see some of her personal possessions, there is also a unique gift shop for exploring at the end as well!

Red Rocks Amphitheater: An absolute must-visit attraction, the Red Rocks park offers over 730 acres of spectacular wilderness for walking, biking or simply enjoying the scenery. Unique in its location, this is where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains. The Red Rocks Amphitheater is not only gorgeous, it is the only naturally occurring amphitheater with perfect acoustics in the entire world! Framed by two large crimson-colored sandstone monoliths known as Ship Rock and Creation Rock, this is a geological wonder that was formed by Mother Earth herself. Everyone from the Beatles to John Denver and many other musical greats have played concerts here, captivated by the unique scenery. Even if you are not able to see a concert here, the amphitheater is well worth a visit simply to take in its unique beauty.

Union Station: Opened in 1881, this place is at once a major transportation center as well as a mecca of shopping and dining. Locally known as “Denver’s living room,” this Amtrak and bus station are a prime spot to sit back and people watch. The bathrooms are impeccably clean, and you can even take a tour through the Crawford Hotel which ends at the Terminal Bar, where you can partake in a complimentary cocktail! For the best deals, be sure to hit the restaurants and bars during happy hour, where you can enjoy the Union Station experience without emptying your wallet.

The Most Haunted Hotels in America

The Battery Carriage House Inn: (Charleston, South Carolina) Built in 1843, this place is simultaneously touted as Charleston’s most romantic inn, and also the city’s most haunted hotel! Boasting a promenade that showcases amazing views of the Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumter, this place is just as famous for its resident spirts as it is for its beauty. Room 3 has a reputation for unexplained electrical activity, such as cell phones suddenly coming to life when they have been turned off, as well as faucets in the bathroom that turn themselves off and on at will. Some guests have even witnessed a kind of supernatural party taking place, with spectral figures congregating in the common area. Room 8 has a headless ghost that watches guests as they sleep at night, while room 10 is home to a the courteous spirt of a gentleman who is fond of attractive female visitors.

Concord’s Colonial Inn: (Concord, Massachusetts) Dating back to 1716, this place served as a hospital during the Revolutionary War-era. A popular site for weddings with an excellent restaurant on premises, if you are seeking an encounter with the paranormal, ask for room 24, where the operating room was once located. Guests here report everything from a pervasive feeling of being observed to glimpses of misty forms moving about at night.

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: (Los Angeles, California) Established in 1927, this hotel is as well-known in Hollywood as some of the celebrities who have stayed there. Located on the iconic Walk of Fame, Marilyn Monroe called the Hollywood Roosevelt her home for two years. It is none other than her ghost along with other silver-screen specters that make this place a haunted hotspot! While her apparition has been spotted elsewhere on the grounds, many report seeing her in mirrors, particularly in her former suite, number 1200. Montgomery Cliff is another actor who is rumored to have never truly left the hotel. It is said he is seen in or around suite 928, where he once stayed. His lively spirit does everything from roam the halls to occasionally letting loose with a phantom trumpet!

The Omni Parker House: (Boston, Massachusetts) This is one of the most beautiful hotels in the entire east coast. The décor is a classic combination of dark wood and gold, complete with a ballroom and a kitchen that is credited with being the birthplace of Boston Cream Pie. Established by Harvey Parker in the 1855, this is also the oldest continually operating hotel in the United States, having been the stopping point from everyone from John F. Kennedy and Ulysses S. Grant to Babe Ruth and Judy Garland. Is it any wonder this place has a reputation for being haunted? Mr. Parker himself is said to be a ghostly presence in the building, yet his spirit is far more concerned with ensuring guests are satisfied than causing any disturbance. While he has been spotted in many locations, the 9th and 10th floors are the most active. There was once a room on the 3rd floor that was rumored to be so haunted that it was eventually converted into a storage closet. Interestingly, the elevator makes occasional stops to the 3rd floor when no button has been pushed to summon it.

The Stanley Hotel: (Estes Park, Colorado) Back in 1974, legendary horror author Stephen King and his wife Tabitha checked into room 217 at the Stanley Hotel. As it was close to the end of the season, they were the only guests there, and his experiences there served as the catalyst to creating the Overlook Hotel as the setting for The Shining. While you must take the tour to access the underground tunnel, there is enough paranormal activity in the main areas of the hotel to satisfy any ghost hunter. The main staircase is where the original owners, Freelan Oscar Stanley and his wife tend to appear before stunned viewers, while the elevators are said to move up and down on their own accord, as if responding to the whims of invisible guests. Mrs. Stanley’s piano can frequently be heard playing music, even though there is no one sitting in the seat. If you are looking to stay in room 217, 401 or 407, be sure to make your reservation well ahead of time, as these “spirited” rooms are also the most in demand!

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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