Festival season in the South skips summer and opts for spring and fall instead. With temperatures easily surpassing 100 ºF in summer, that is in festivalgoers’ best interest. Whether you put on boots or beads, these five festivals should not be missed in the American South.
With a family across the Atlantic, Thanksgiving equals a travel weekend for me. After last year’s adventure to Big Bend, I met my travel buddy Carmen in Las Vegas this year. We quickly left Nevada behind to embark on a road trip through Arizona and Utah. What follows is an adventurous and packed 4-day itinerary through America’s Wild West.
In just a four-hour drive, the Louisiana swamps make way for Alabama’s white beaches. That’s why I spent my last weekend in Baton Rouge driving to the Alabama coast. The neighboring towns of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores promise a weekend full of cocktails on the beach, delicious seafood and brunch by the bay.
Louisiana is nested deep in the American Deep South, where hurricanes are part of life and food is life. While living in Baton Rouge for eight months, I discovered everything that the swamp state has to offer. This weekend trip embraces Louisiana’s cultural diversity, from a New Orleans cocktail crawl to alligator spotting and a history lesson on antebellum America.
I never pictured myself digging into a mountain of crawfish with my hands, having alligator as an appetizer or considering deep-fried pickles as normal (and delicious). Any food lover should savor Louisiana’s unique culinary history, which few – if any – US states can live up to. These ten signature dishes and drinks will get you started.
No skyline in the world can top the New York City one. Rooftop bars, skyscrapers, bridges and boats; there’s no lack of places in NYC that offer spectacular skyline views. Some are widely known, other best kept secrets. These are my ten favorite spots to catch a stunning view of the New York City skyline.
Any inhabitant of Manhattan should be jumping for joy, but Upper Manhattan residents are the most fortunate ones. Imagine an ever-friendly doorman welcoming you to a beautiful brownstone, Central Park as your backyard and world-class museums within walking distance. Take a sneak peak into this enviable life with below neighborhood guide to Upper Manhattan.
Midtown is the bustling heart of Manhattan. No time to relax let alone promenade here; the endless stream of professionals and tourists will chase you under a cab in no time. With the tourist attractions come the tourist traps, which make a guide indispensable. I picked my favorite activity per neighborhood, paired with a memorable option for food or drinks.
Picking one activity per neighborhood is not easy in the most vibrant city in the world. The part of Manhattan below 14th Street is considered Lower Manhattan; a cultural melting pot, open-minded and creative. As city tripping tends to be exhausting, every activity is paired with an option to fuel up on food or drinks.
During my unpaid internship in the city, I became an expert in finding the best happy hour deals. All the money I saved on happy hour drinks, I could spend in pricey speakeasy and rooftop bars. Ingenious scheme, isn’t it? These 10 New York City bars offer secret entrances, splendid views, sweet deals or a combination of all three.
The contrast between Rocky Mountain National Park and its neighbors Arches and Canyonlands is striking. Snow-covered peaks and alpine lakes make way for desert vistas and colorful rock formations on the stunning 300-mile drive between Colorado and Utah. Discover all three National Park’s unique landscapes with this 4-day itinerary.
The part of US 61 between Memphis and Vicksburg is known as The Blues Highway. Along this road, American music history was made. We drove from Memphis to Baton Rouge searching for the heart of blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll, fueled by the best Southern comfort food.
We ended our Florida trip with three fabulous days in Miami. Perfect weather, great food, tropical bars and beautiful beaches assured it was my first but definitely not my last trip to Miami. These are my ten favorites for a first stay.
No need to deviate from the epic Overseas Highway on the way from Key Largo to Key West. The road cuts right through the island towns, offering many great pit stops along the way. We spent three days driving the Florida Keys, gaining one pound per mile.
In between driving the Florida Keys and touring Miami, we reserved two days to discover Florida’s natural beauty. Florida counts three national parks, which share one common good: water. The best way to explore Dry Tortugas’ marine life, Biscayne’s mangroves and the Everglades wetlands is out on the water.
We voluntarily swapped Texas temperatures for a snowstorm in Chicago. At the intersection of Chicago Restaurant Week and Theatre Week, we were lucky to have plenty of excuses to stay inside. When we did manage to stay outside for longer than five minutes, we found a beautiful Winter Wonderland. Snow or sun, these activities should not be missed in Chi-Town.
In between Daytona Beach on the East Coast and St. Pete Beach on the West Coast, we found a piece of authentic Florida far away from Minnie Mouse and Miami Beach. The Sunshine State didn’t live up to its name in this weekend getaway, but proved to be a great destination nonetheless.
Thanksgiving weekend was the perfect occasion to cross Texas with destination Big Bend National Park. When covering 2500 km in four days, you might as well enjoy the journey. That’s why we turned our trip into a road trip, with stops in Austin, Marfa, San Antonio, and some ghost towns along the way.
A weekend was not nearly enough to discover everything New Orleans has on offer. It did give me a good taste of the Big Easy (you can take that literally) and I loved it!