2: Three Perfect Days Maui, Hawaii Bill Britt
3: Stand above a sea of clouds high atop Haleakala. Watch a 45-foot whale breach as you snorkel off the coast of Lahaina. Absorb the breathtaking views from the luscious fairways of The Plantation golf course at Kapalua. Lose count of the waterfalls along the road as you maneuver the hairpin turns of the Hana highway. One visit and it’s easy to see why Maui is called “The Magic Isle.” The second largest Hawaiian island has a smaller population than you would expect, making Maui popular among visitors looking for sophisticated diversions and amenities throughout the small towns and airy resorts of the island. From the scenic slopes of fertile Upcountry Maui to beaches that have repeatedly been voted among the best in the world, a visit to the Magic Isle recharges the senses. But like every good magic trick, you will have to see it for yourself to believe it!
4: Day One Breakfast – The Gazebo Start your first day off right with the “Best Breakfast on Maui." The Gazebo restaurant is as beautiful and laid back as Maui itself, but don’t let the decor fool you. It's serious food! Try the delectable Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes and the savory fried rice. I know it’s a crazy combination, but it works and will fill you up for the hard work to come for the rest of the morning. There’s usually a substantial line, so get there early and expect to wait. But rest assured, it's well worth it! Morning – Snorkeling and Body Surfing at Napili Bay Just around the corner from The Gazebo, you will find some of the best snorkeling and body surfing Maui has to offer. Parking can be a challenge, so it’s best to park by Napili Bay first thing in the morning. Drop off your gear to reserve the prime spot at the beach or on the lawns, and then walk to The Gazebo for breakfast. Once you return from the scrumptious feast, you can enjoy a relaxing, yet spectacular time snorkeling in the exotic fish-infested waters inside Napili Bay. Be on the lookout for sea turtles that inhabit the bay as well. Once you’re finished floating around the bay, you can ratchet up the excitement by catching some waves on your Boogie Board or just body surf the old-fashioned way. Either method will provide some thrills as you finish up your morning at the Bay. Afternoon – Play Golf at Kapalua – The Plantation Course Built around the natural wonders of the West Maui Mountains, the Plantation Course at Kapalua ranks among the world’s greatest courses. It’s so special, the PGA Tour only allows winners from the previous year to tee it up at its season opening event, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Witness awe-inspiring views, dramatic elevation changes, and nature’s challenges as you test your ability and experience golf at its finest.
5: Lunch – Kapalua Golf Course Located in the clubhouse of the Plantation Course, the Plantation House Restaurant molds award-winning Hawaiian-Mediterranean cuisine with gracious Hawaiian hospitality. From its unique vantage point on Kapalua's Plantation Golf Course, the elegant dining room offers panoramic ocean views and breathtaking sunsets. The Crispy Crab Stuffed Ahi Rolls are perfect as a pre-tee time delight. Dinner – Traditional Hawaiian Luau The Old Lahaina Luau takes great pride in presenting an authentic Hawaiian luau – an evening of traditional Hawaiian cuisine, music, cultural dances, and island crafts. Guests will appreciate a genuine reflection of Hawaii's rich history, while enjoying an ocean view and sunset.
6: Day Two Breakfast – Sunrise Café in Lahaina To start your exciting second day, which will be spent in tourist haven, Lahaina, you should fuel yourself at the Sunrise Café. It’s an excellent location, and the food is outstanding. Try their specialty, the huge breakfast burrito, as it will give you the energy you need for the full day ahead. You can also go for the bagel and lox combination plate. It is fresh and delicious, a New York original done well on the Magic Isle. The service can be described as “leisurely,” so leave plenty of time. Morning – Snorkeling and Whale Watching Tour to Molokini The Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) has an excellent tour of Molokini Island, home to more than 250 specifies of exotic water life. You can watch the whales frolic in the ocean on your boat ride over to the island. Once there, you can enjoy the absolute pinnacle of Maui snorkeling, where the water is warm and calm and the sights under the sea are spectacular! Lunch is included as part of the tour, and wet suits are available to those who desire them. The PWF has marine biologists running each trip, and a portion of each person’s tour fees go toward the preservation of Pacific whales. A win-win all around! | Afternoon – Surfing Lessons with Maui Surfer Girls Once you return from Molokini, it’s up the road a bit to Lahaina beach for surf lessons from the Maui Surfer Girls (MSG). MSG offers outstanding surfing lessons that are guaranteed to provide a great time for each member of the family. The lessons are provided in a fun and safe environment. Their instructors are knowledgeable yet not intimidating in the least. They have long boards and wet suits included as part of the cost of the lesson (and they’re extremely reasonably priced). If you would like to experience long-board surfing in a great atmosphere, the Maui Surfer Girls are the way to go! Dinner – Penne Pasta After all the exercise of the day, you can use some carbohydrates to refuel your body and Penne Pasta is the perfect place for it. Located on Dickinson Street in Lahaina, Penne Pasta is a great way to finish off your exciting day in this fabulous tourist town (though you might want to save some time to hit the wonderfully quaint shops in town, but we would understand if you’re too tired). We tried Penne Pasta on a complete lark and were extremely happy we did. The food is all freshly prepared and is of excellent quality, yet very reasonably priced. We found the linguine with clam sauce to be outstanding, though the red sauce is fabulous as well. While it’s certainly not “white glove service," you should definitely be pleased with the value of the menu items at Penne Pasta (plus you’ll need that extra dough for tomorrow night’s dinner). Try to sit outside for the best experience.
7: Day Three Breakfast – On the Road to Hana For the final day of this itinerary, we usually pack a breakfast of bagels and muffins the night before for consumption on the road as you will be heading out early in the morning for your trip up the amazing Road to Hana. Morning & Afternoon - Hana Highway Top down, sunscreen on, radio tuned to a little Hawaiian music on a Maui morning: It's time to head out to Hana along the Hana Highway (Hwy 36), a wiggle of a road that runs along Maui's northeastern shore. The drive takes at least 3 hours from Lahaina, but plan to take all day. Going to Hana is about the journey, not the destination. There are wilder, steeper, and more dangerous roads, but in all of Hawaii, no road is more celebrated than this one. It winds 50 miles past taro patches, magnificent seascapes, waterfall pools, botanical gardens, and verdant rain forests, and ends at one of Hawaii's most beautiful tropical places. The outside world discovered the little village of Hana in 1926, when the narrow coastal road, carved by pickax-wielding convicts, opened. The mud and gravel road, often subject to landslides and washouts, was paved in 1962, when tourist traffic began to increase; now more than 1,000 cars traverse the road each day, according to storekeeper Harry Hasegawa. That equals about 500,000 people a year, which is way too many. Go at the wrong time, and you'll be stuck in a bumper-to-bumper rental-car parade. Peak traffic hours are midmorning and midafternoon year-round, particularly on weekends. In the rush to "do" Hana in a day, most visitors spin around town in 10 minutes flat and wonder what all the fuss is about. It takes time to absorb Hana, play in the waterfalls, sniff the tropical flowers, hike to bamboo forests, and marvel at the spectacular scenery; stay overnight if you can. However, if you really must do the Hana Highway in a day, go just before sunrise and return after sunset: On a full-moon night, the sea and the waterfalls glow in soft white light, with mysterious shadows appearing in the jungle. And you'll have the road almost to yourself on the way back. Dinner – Mama’s Fish House Simply put, Mama’s Fish House is the best restaurant on the island! Although it’s pricey and you must make reservations beforehand, Mama’s is the ultimate five-star experience in Maui. Located in Paia, near the Kahului Airport, Mama’s is a great way to finish your stay in Maui in style. (Usually we go there on our last day before our red-eye flight home.) Nestled in a beautiful coconut grove on the secluded white sand beach of Kuau Cove, this converted beach house/restaurant is a memory of old Polynesia on Maui’s North Shore. An award-winning menu teamed with unpretentious service and aloha spirit make Mama’s Fish House the unforgettable restaurant experience in Hawaii. Though there is no way to go wrong with anything on the menu, any fresh fish of the day would be an excellent choice. We’ve also enjoyed the Mahi Mahi, an outstanding specialty of the house. Mama’s is always quite busy, so plan on being there awhile to fully savor a meal that is second to none. After all, it’s always best to make your last few hours on the amazing island of Maui as enjoyable as possible!
8: Three Perfect Days Ouray, Colorado Kent McCorkle
9: Nestled in the northern end of the Uncompahgre Gorge, at the base of Red Mountain Pass in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, lies the seemingly sleepy, yet wild and historic town of Ouray (yoo-RAY), Colorado. Named for the esteemed Chief Ouray of the Uncompahgre Band of the Mountain Utes, Ouray has been home to miners, millionaires, and movie stars since its incorporation in 1876. Ouray is set at the head of a narrow valley enclosed by mountain peaks and is often referred to as “The Switzerland of North America.” At an elevation of 7,792 feet, Ouray is dwarfed by the surrounding San Juan Range, its 14,000-ft. peaks and spectacular vistas. Having spent numerous weekends, holidays, and family outings in Ouray, I have always had a fascination with the quaint mountain town. Since boyhood, I have relished clambering about the rugged hillsides, exploring abandoned mining sites, and bouncing along jeep trails barely wide enough for a healthy goat. I vividly remember one of these boyhood excursions with my father. He had business in the area and was friends with the local coroner, Leo “Tuffy” Flor. Tuffy was as colorful an individual as I had ever met. He was a renaissance man and continues to live on through his stories as the local coroner, ambulance owner/operator, mortician, miner, part-time historian, and tour guide. One of my favorite Tuffy stories dealt with transporting one of Ouray’s recently deceased residents in his ambulance/hearse to the town of Montrose, which is 40 miles north. Just outside of the Ouray city limits, the road narrows and snakes along the canyon next to the beautiful Uncompahgre River. Sliding through one especially icy corner, the hearse spun out and jettisoned both corpse and coffin directly into the swift running river. To this day, many long-time residents still refer to this turn in the road as “Tuffy’s Corner.” The following, then, are my suggestions for Three Perfect Days touring the mining-town-gone-tourist town known as Ouray, Colorado.
10: Day One There are two major routes into Ouray. The first is to drive north from Durango, Colorado, along Hwy 550 and the Las Animas River. You will pass Engineer Mountain, climb up and over Molas Pass, through historic Silverton, and then over the slightly intimidating 11,000-ft. Red Mountain Pass. The second, less mountainous route, is equally scenic when driving south from Montrose, Colorado, on Hwy 550. This route offers expansive views of the San Juan Mountains and the most photographed peak in North America, the 14,150-ft. Mount Sneffels (named for an Icelandic volcano). Once you reach Ouray, you will have earned a good night's rest. I recommend the quaint, intimate, and comfortable Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa and Lodgings. Ouray boasts many comfy hotels and spas; we have always enjoyed The Historic Wiesbaden. You will awake refreshed in the crisp mountain air, slip on a robe, and walk across the well-manicured lawn to the office for a great mug of coffee. Morning options include a dip in the naturally fed outdoor hot springs, or perhaps a short soak in the spa’s natural steam vapor caves and mineral pool under the main building. (Chief Ouray used to enjoy these same waters at a site just across the street from the hotel.) Whatever the choice, it is sure to be a pleasant and invigorating change from anyone’s normal morning routine! After a stimulating session in the natural mineral waters, you will head off to a robust breakfast at one of several local cafés; I like the Backstreet Bistro. With a breakfast to match the mountains, you are now ready to tackle the day. It’s always good while in the Colorado High Country to remember a few things: (1) Start slowly as the altitude takes getting used to; (2) Drink plenty of water. Even if you think you have had plenty, have more. The altitude coupled with the dry air robs you of moisture quickly; and (3) Be prepared! The weather can change quickly. Whether in a jeep, hiking, fishing, or whatever activity you choose, it’s always a good idea to pack a sweater, wind breaker, cap, and even gloves, as weather changes can be rapid and sometimes extreme. Start by heading south on Hwy 550, also known as “The Million Dollar Highway.” The name purportedly originates from the exorbitant cost of its construction, over one million dollars a mile 150 years ago! While climbing toward the Red Mountain Summit, take time to stop and snap a few pictures of Bear Creek Falls from the newly constructed viewing stand. This is also one of the area’s top spots for ice climbing during the winter months. The bridge over Bear Creek Falls is the site of the toll booth created by early mining entrepreneur Otto Mears. There is a nearby monument to this influential pioneer and San Juan pathfinder. Continue south on this segment of the San Juan Skyway, and you will pass the intermittently closed/operating Yankee Girl Mine. Glorious views of the obvious twin summits belonging to Red Mountain dominate the scenery to the east.
11: Just short of the summit of Red Mountain, look for a left turn onto County Rd 31, which will lead you to Red Mountain Town. You drive a short ways down the rutted dirt road to the ruins of a once thriving and vibrant mining town of more than 10,000 people. There are remnants of a head frame over a capped mine shaft and a jail house to explore. The road is rutted but can be navigated slowly without 4WD; however, I would not attempt it if it’s slick or rainy. After exploring Red Mountain Town, return to Hwy 550 and head north back down the mountain for an enjoyable lunch on the roof of the Ouray Brewery. After lunch and a good Ouray home brew or two, it’s time to continue your exploration. Head south again on Main Street (Hwy 550) and turn right onto 3rd Avenue to access Box Canyon Falls Park and Cascade Falls. This short walk is especially welcoming on a hot summer afternoon and a great spot for pictures. You can now conclude the afternoon with a stroll down Main Street and its many shops. You may decide to meander through the Ouray County Museum, extraordinarily interesting if you have a penchant for mechanics or engineering. If you want an alternative to lunch in Ouray, drive the short 10 miles north to neighboring Ridgway, the site of the True Grit Café and the Ridgway Railway Museum. For those John Wayne lovers, many scenes of the original True Grit, including the Duke's opening appearance and the movie’s hanging scene, were filmed here in Ridgway. Back in Ouray, the late afternoon is a perfect time for a dip in the public hot springs on the north side of town. There may even still be time for a nap before dinner. There are two very good restaurants in town for dinner, so it’s best to alternate, choosing the Bon Ton one evening and The Outlaw on the other. Both are within three short blocks of each other on Main Street.
12: Day Two Once again, you awake rested at 8,000 feet in a silence you forgot could exist. After breakfast, it’s time for some real exploring! Ouray is famous for its jeep tours, either guided (which you can book in advance) or those where you rent a jeep locally and drive yourself. For our excursion on Day Two, we will rent a jeep and head south again on Hwy 550 to the southern outskirts of town. Before you start to climb, watch for the right-hand turn onto a dirt road marked Box Canyon Falls and Yankee Boy Basin. This trip will take the better part of a day and is just one of myriad trails and tracks that are open for 4WD exploration. Consulting any of the local tour operators, jeep rental agencies, or hotel staff will yield different routes or other favorite local, off-road destinations. When driving yourself, bring lunch and plenty of water. The climb to Yankee Boy Basin starts off slowly and then the road gets steeper and rocks appear. At one point, you will pass under a rock overhang, with a rather sheer drop-off on the left side. There is ample room, but this will be one place where you will want to stop to take pictures. About half way up, you will pass the remnants of outbuildings adjacent to what was the Camp Bird Mine. One of the larger mines in the area, the Camp Bird produced considerable wealth for its owner, the wildly successful Irish immigrant and prospector, Thomas Walsh. The Camp Bird was one of the largest gold mines in North America, producing more than 1.5 million troy ounces of gold and 4 million troy ounces of silver from 1896 to 1990. With gold prices historically high, it’s possible the Camp Bird along with other mines in the region may be reopened. Such wealth was generated by the Camp Bird, that Thomas Walsh was able to buy the famous 45-ct. Hope Diamond for his only daughter, Evelyn, when she was married to Edward Beale McLean, owner of the Washington Post. The remainder of that combined wealth continues to favor the family’s descendants today. Notables such as Brownie McLean are seen on social pages and the “A” lists of many charity balls in some of the nation's most affluent communities. After stopping to take a few more pictures, continue up the road toward Yankee Boy Basin. The basin is beautiful alpine tundra renowned for its display of wildflowers in early to mid summer. The trailhead leading to the Mount Sneffels summit starts here. For those not aspiring to ascend a 14,000-ft. peak (a day in itself), there is no better spot in the state to enjoy a picnic than next to the creek above the waterfall at the top of Yankee Boy Basin! Yankee Boy Basin After taking time to explore the basin, and possibly some time for a side trip up the Imogene Pass Road (4WD road and marked before you get to Yankee Boy Basin), it’s time to return to town for a swim, followed by dinner in the second of the remaining two best restaurant choices.
13: Day Three By now, you find you are sleeping later, drinking two or more relaxing cups of coffee on the porch of the Wiesbaden, and patiently waiting for the sun to get high enough in the sky to light up the valley. Plus you’re okay with not going to breakfast until 9:00 a.m. Isn’t this what a getaway is all about? Day three will take you north this time on Hwy 550, out toward Ridgway, with several choices for the day. One thing I will mention is that the roads in this part of the state, ESPECIALLY this part of Hwy 550, have numerous wild Rocky Mountain Sheep, Mule Deer, and the formidable Rocky Mountain Elk hanging about in the ditches and fields. These animals may appear at anytime on the road. Dusk and early mornings are typical times for encounters, but after dark, and when you least expect them, is when wild game can show up and ruin both your day, and theirs. Please watch for wildlife while driving! Don’t forget, breakfast and/or lunch are a possibility at the True Grit Café in Ridgway. If you wish, continue north past Ridgway for a day of lounging on the beach at the Ridgway Reservoir and Ridgway State Park. You may decide to rent a boat or fish. We, however, will turn to the west (left), at the intersection of Hwy 550 and Hwy 62, and head toward Telluride on our last day of exploration. Hwy 62 will take you right below the watchful gaze of Mount Sneffels. The scenery here is so splendid that it inspired Ralph Lauren to buy a ranch on the south side of the highway at the base of the mountain. Watch for the Double RL sign on the left just past CR 7. The Double RL was the site of the wedding of George W. Bush’s daughter, Lauren, to Ralph Lauren’s son, David Lauren, in the fall of 2011. The wedding party went to Ridgway that evening for the rodeo! Besides the steep and challenging ski area adjacent to the town of Telluride, this little off-the-track mining town has gained great popularity among the jet set and Hollywood notables in recent years. Many consider it to be a smaller and somewhat less tony version of Aspen. Tom Cruise, Jerry Seinfeld, and the like have all built or purchased their own little corner of God’s country in and around the hamlet. There are many high-end shops and eateries with something for everyone’s taste, maybe just not for everyone’s pocketbook. Look to the end of the valley, visible on the side of the mountain, next to The Power House and Bridal Veil Falls, for the famous Black Bear 4WD road as it descends the cliffs and hillsides to the valley floor. This is an especially challenging road, so steep, narrow, and demanding that you are only allowed to drive ONE way, from top to bottom. The top is reached from an access at the top of Red Mountain Pass. It was not by accident that I failed to mention it during Day One! Enjoy the day of leisure, the sights in Telluride, and finish it off with a great dinner at any of the numerous excellent restaurants. Keep a sharp eye open for a glimpse of a large Bull Elk or other assorted wildlife on the road back to the last night of your Three Perfect Days in Ouray, Colorado.
14: I hope the spirit of the Great Chief of the Mountain Utes touches your soul, keeps you safe, and beckons you to return as I have year after year to Ouray, the San Juan Range and the Winter Camps of the Uncompahgre! -Kent
15: Three Perfect Days North Georgia Ted Hall
16: The call of nature, beautiful mountain views, an early fall chill, and a rainbow full of colors on the leaves all beckon one to escape the harried grind of the 9 to 5 routine. The North Georgia Mountains provide all of these plus unique activities, including visiting family owned wineries and orchards, fishing in trout streams, attending apple festivals, and playing golf. Come join me for a more detailed look at my adventure.
17: Day One — Wineries and Orchards You begin the day between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in downtown Ellijay, Georgia, and browse the unique antique gift shops. After having lunch, we take a short drive to the wineries just outside Ellijay. What could be better than the cool chill of fall air combined with a chilled Chardonnay or a Rocking Chair Red? The North Georgia Mountain region is ideal for growing grapes, and the area has plenty of unique wineries to visit. Our tour begins at the Cartecay Vineyards (www.cartecayvineyards.com) where a converted farmhouse provides a rustic setting for a tasting room. Next, we head to Sharp Mountain Vineyards (www.sharpmountainvineyards.com) in Jasper. Another family owned vineyard, Sharp Mountain focuses solely on wine making and maintains a lower output to focus on its craft. Between wineries and en route to our final stop, we take in Hillcrest Orchards (www.hillcrestorchards.net) in Ellijay. Hillcrest is family owned and known for its annual “Apple Pickin Jubilee” in the fall. And finally, we reach BlackStock Vineyards (www.bsvw.com) in Dahlonega. BlackStock received a #1 rating in two major wine categories from Wine Report Magazine. Once the visit is complete, our plans are to enjoy the unique atmosphere of downtown Dahlonega and dinner at The Smith House.
18: Day Two — Falls and Festivals Pack a picnic basket, load up your bike, bring binoculars, and make a trail to Amicalola Falls State Park (706-265-4703). The park offers 12 miles of hiking trails for all skill levels, ropes courses, and trout fishing. As well, there are breathtaking views of the waterfalls, which offer wonderful photo opportunities. After lunch, we take a short drive back to Ellijay for the Annual Georgia Apple Festival, which is held in mid-October. Whether your taste runs from apple fritters to fried apples, you will enjoy a fun-filled afternoon that includes hundreds of booths from craftsmen across the south, rock climbing, cloggers, and country music. The day will conclude with a taste of Tuscany at Charlie’s Italian Restaurant (706-635-2205).
19: Day Three — Golf and Fishing Your final day offers a choice of challenging mountain golf or the thrill of reeling in a mountain trout. If the links are your preference, consider Whitepath Golf Club (www.whitepathgolfclub.com). Located in Buckhorn Estates, the course provides a backdrop of scenic mountains, peaceful rivers, and the challenges of tight fairways and sloping greens. Reel’em In Guide Service (www.reeleminguideservice.com) was the area's first fly-fishing guide service and specializes in small stream tactics for wild trout. Another option is Southern Sweetwater Anglers (www.southernsweetwateranglers.com). The area has many local creeks (Soque River, Mountaintown Creek, Tickanetley Creek, Toccoa River) that provide access to trout. The day concludes with an afternoon walk. The walk allows you to take in the breathtaking fall foliage and completely unwind from the previous day’s activities. You can cap it off with a roaring campfire and s'mores.
20: Three Perfect Days San Diego, California Amy Bozic
21: It is universally known that the best weather in the country can be found in San Diego. With an average high of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and an abundance of sunshine, it’s a vacation destination that makes permanent residents out of visitors. In addition to beautiful beaches, great restaurants, and Balboa Park, which includes the wonderful San Diego Zoo, San Diego is the place to kick back and relax. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.
22: Day One Where to stay – The US Grant Hotel has been a San Diego icon since 1910. Built by Ulysses Grant, Jr. in honor of his father, the hotel ranks on the National Register of Historic Places. Its location in downtown San Diego provides perfect access to shopping, nightlife opportunities, theatre, museums, Petco Park where the Padres play, and more than 150 fantastic restaurants. The Grant is also adjacent to the Gaslamp Quarter. While at the Grant, be sure to take advantage of spa services that are available in the comfort of your guest room. You’ve checked in, now it’s time to head out to the Cove. Even the most jaded of beachgoers has to admit that La Jolla Cove offers stunning views and the whimsy of seals sunning themselves on the rocks. The Cove draws serious swimmers from the area who brave the cold water for a hard workout, many sans wet suit. There are also walking/running paths with stunning vistas. Parking is free but hard to find, so come early. When you finish your workout, stop for brunch at The Cottage (7702 Fay Avenue). Try the Stuffed French Toast or Eggs Benedict and top it off with some fresh-squeezed tangerine juice. Now it’s time to walk off some of those calories, and I can think of no better way than SHOPPING! Head back to your home base where you’ll find that the Gaslamp Quarter has been transformed into a shopping, dining, and entertainment district extraordinaire. With more than 200 restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and lounges plus countless boutiques, art galleries, and shops to peruse, the Gaslamp has established itself as the destination for all San Diegans. If you can’t find what you need at some of the eclectic shops, stop by Horton Plaza Mall, which houses more than 120 familiar retail stores and restaurants. End your day with a late dinner at Cucina Urbana (505 Laurel Street, 619-239-2222). Cucina Urbana is a California-inspired Italian Kitchen and Wine Shop. Owner Tracy Borkum has combined award-winning cuisine, fantastic service, and the kind of ambience that allows you to unwind. Chef Joe Magnanelli’s menu offers affordable selections of vasi, antipasti, insalate, pizza, and pasta as well as the freshest local produce. Wines of "The Americas and the Mediterranean" from among the major wine-producing regions are offered. Guests may bring their own bottle but a $20 corkage fee applies.
23: Day Two Jump into your rental on Day Two and head to Point Loma. Wind your way up the hills to the Cabrillo National Monument, honoring Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the Portuguese explorer who anchored at this spot in 1542 while on a mission for Spain. At this spot, you will have a magnificent view of the Pacific and the hills of Baja California, Mexico to the south. Your best view will be from the lighthouse. When you’re done taking it all in, take a walk along the winding Bayside Trail. While you’re in the area, have lunch at Taco Surf Taco Shop on Mission Boulevard, where you’ll not only have some delicious Mexican food, but also view the shop’s extensive surfboard collection. Try the Tortilla Soup, with either chicken or shrimp, and, of course, tacos. (www.tacosurftacoshop.com) Spend your afternoon enjoying Balboa Park and visit the famed San Diego Zoo. Be sure to take a trip on the vintage Skyfari, an aerial tram that provides fabulous views of Balboa Park. Dinner at the Prado at Balboa Park will not disappoint. The setting is the gardens of Balboa Park, and Executive Chef Jonathan Hale offers a menu that is vegetarian friendly yet carnivores are not neglected. The Kobe Beef Sushi Roll is to die for. Reward yourself for all that walking with a post-dinner drink at the Ivy and its popular rooftop bar. It’s a great spot to watch the sun go down while sipping your favorite cocktail.
24: Day Three Make a stop at the USS Midway Museum, where you will experience sea life aboard one of America’s longest-serving aircraft carriers. You can see life just as the 225,000 Midway sailors did. You’ll have a chance to explore more than 60 exhibits and 25 restored aircraft. You can also “take to the sky” aboard one of two flight simulators. (www.midway.org) After your visit to the Midway, cross the bridge for a visit to Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego’s most famous beachfront property. Take a stroll along the beach and stop by the hotel’s Sheerwater (619-522-8490) for lunch. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you will enjoy the food and a wonderful view at one of the city’s swankiest establishments. For your final dinner in San Diego, try George’s on Fifth (619-702-0444). George’s offers fine dining with the backdrop of a colorful mural of acclaimed San Diegans. They also offer the best steak in the city. On weekends, you will be serenaded by Grammy-nominated pianist Tom Barabas. With so much more to explore, it's too bad there’s not more time. You’ll just have to come back.
25: Three Perfect Days Boston, Massachusetts Steve Papa
26: If you have never spent any significant time in Boston, what are you waiting for? Boston is a city filled with history, museums, great food, and so many other activities that will keep you busy over a three-day excursion.
27: Day One There are so many great hotels in the city; your hotel of choice really depends on how much time you’re actually looking to spend indoors. My family enjoys the Long Wharf Marriott because of its location to many of the hot spots in the city. After you’ve checked into your hotel, take a walk over to the Union Oyster House for lunch. Opened in 1826, it’s the oldest continuously operated restaurant in the United States. Legend has it that Daniel Webster used to sit at the bar and order three dozen oysters and six tumblers of brandy for dinner. John F. Kennedy also had his favorite booth, but take a seat at the circular counter to watch the oyster-shucking spectacle and savor a bowl of "chowdah." After lunch, get out a map of the Freedom Trail and pick your starting point. Be advised that the trail is not a loop so it's best to start at one end or the other. Most people start at Boston Common and make their way along the 2.5-mile red path to visit some of Boston's most important sites. Allow a minimum of three hours to walk the trail and stop in at some of the attractions like the Paul Revere House and the U.S.S. Constitution. For dinner, venture out to the historic North End of Boston. The North End is within walking distance of the Marriott Long Wharf and offers up some of the best Italian food our family has ever experienced. L’Osteria is a great choice to enjoy authentic Italian in a family friendly environment. The Shrimp Parmigiana will not disappoint!
28: Day Two Begin your day by hopping in a cab and heading to Mike’s City Diner in the South End for breakfast. Their pancakes and French toast are to die for. After breakfast, head back to the hotel and walk over to the New England Aquarium. The aquarium houses more than 15,000 fish and water mammals. The aquarium's crowning jewel is the 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank that contains coral reefs, sharks, and other sea creatures. There is a delightful performing sea lions show and, in a separate building, an IMAX theater showing educational 3-D films. If you’re feeling adventurous, sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour and hop in with the harbor seals. After the aquarium, take a short stroll over to Faneuil Hall. Grab lunch at the food court at Quincy Market, with more than 50 food stalls serving everything from pizza to clam chowder in a bread bowl to hot dogs and lobster rolls. Everyone is sure to find something to enjoy. Take a seat at one of the communal tables or head outside and find a bench to dine on. The warm months often find the steps of Quincy Market packed with street performers such as magicians, jugglers, and clowns. After lunch, it’s time to head back to the hotel for a short siesta as you prepare for the evening's activities at Fenway Park. Fenway Park celebrated its 100th birthday in 2012 and is the oldest Major League stadium currently in use today. What makes Fenway such a terrific venue are the activities, food, and music inside and outside of the park. Night games traditionally start at 7:10 p.m., but plan to arrive a good 90 minutes prior, which will allow you to take it all in and enjoy some great food served up by the vendors outside the park. Don’t miss out on the grilled sausages served with sautéed onions and peppers. If grilled sausage isn’t for you, then head over to RemDawg’s for some great BBQ. Once the game has started, feel free to explore different parts of the park. There are plenty of standing-room only areas that will afford you the luxury of taking in the game from different vantage points. Don’t be surprised if one of the ushers pulls you aside and shares his experiences from Fenway.
29: Day Three Start your day by grabbing breakfast at the North Street Grill in Boston’s North End. We’ve experienced the Nutella French Toast and Eggs Benedict, and both were delicious! Plus don’t miss out on a phenomenal Bloody Mary. After breakfast, hop in a cab and head over to the Prudential Center to buy your tickets for a Boston Duck Tour. You've never toured Boston in anything that comes close to Boston Duck Tours. The fun begins as soon as you board your "DUCK," a WW II-style amphibious landing vehicle. First, you'll be greeted by one of their legendary ConDUCKtors, who'll be narrating your tour. Then you're off on a journey like you've never had before. You'll cruise by all the places that make Boston the birthplace of freedom and a city of firsts: the golden-domed State House to Bunker Hill; TD Banknorth Garden, Boston Common, and Copley Square to the Big Dig; Government Center to fashionable Newbury Street; Quincy Market to the Prudential Tower; and more. And, as the best of Boston unfolds before your eyes, your ConDUCKtor will be giving you lots of little-known facts and interesting insights about our unique and wonderful city. And just when you think you've seen it all, there's more. It's time for "Splashdown" as your ConDUCKtor splashes your DUCK right into the Charles River for a breathtaking view of the Boston and Cambridge skylines, the kind of view you just won't get anywhere else. No trip to Boston would be complete without grabbing a slice from Pizzeria Regina in the North End. While in the North End, take time to taste some cannoli and other Italian sweets. Wash them down with an espresso or cappuccino from one of the many sidewalk cafés. After lunch, head over to the Boston Common and Public Gardens for a nice, relaxing stroll. The "Common" has been used for many different purposes throughout its long history. Until 1830, cattle grazed the Common, and until 1817, public hangings took place here. British troops camped on Boston Common prior to the Revolution and left from here to face colonial resistance at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. For dinner, plan a trip into Chinatown for some out-of-this-world dim sum at Winsor Dim Sum Café. They offer a variety of dumplings, and you won’t go wrong with any of them. Be adventurous and let your waitstaff bring out the dishes the employees love to eat. After dinner, if you feel your children are old enough, take a tour of Boston's darker side on a Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour. Visit the final resting place of many of the most famous heroes of the American Revolution, including John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Samuel Adams. Hear the tales of the Boston Strangler and visit some of the city's most famous cemeteries and burial grounds. The tour is fun, but it is also scary so don't be surprised if you find the whole family in your hotel bed tonight!
30: Three Perfect Days Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Bob Dwyer
31: Welcome to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the fifth most populous city in the United States. As of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 1,526,006. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural center of the Delaware Valley, home to 6 million people, and the country's fifth-largest metropolitan area. In 1682, William Penn founded the city to serve as the capital of Pennsylvania Colony. By the 1750s, it was the largest city and busiest port in British America. During the American Revolution, Philadelphia played an instrumental role as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the Revolutionary War, and the city served as the temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C. was under construction. Philadelphia is full of history and culture, and these are my three perfect days in the city of brotherly love!
32: Day One – A Different Kind of Mall Philadelphia is a food-loving town, so you’ll start your historical weekend with a historical lunch. City Tavern, an alehouse built circa 1773 (the existing tavern is a reconstruction, built for the 1976 Bicentennial), features authentic colonial dishes served by staff in period costumes. Among the tap selections is a beer brewed from Thomas Jefferson’s original recipe! (138 S. 2nd Street, City Tavern) And now, to the sites! Start at the Independence Visitor Center, located at the center of historic Independence Mall, and pick up a walking map and free timed tickets for Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Independence National Historic Park, a square mile packed with more history and culture than any other, is just across the street. You can tour the area on your own or look for the park rangers who will walk and talk you through the historic 45-acre district. You can even take a horse and carriage ride and travel the cobblestone streets as our forefathers did. Pick up a carriage along 5th Street near Independence Hall. (Independence Visitors Center, 6th & Market) The guided Independence Hall tour, offered throughout the day, leads visitors through this elegant brick building, whose walls witnessed the signing of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, as well as the ratification of the Articles of Confederation uniting the 13 colonies. Clearly visible is George Washington’s famous “rising sun” chair, where he sat for nearly three months in the summer of 1776. From Independence Hall, cross Chestnut Street to the Liberty Bell Center. As groups of visitors gather, park rangers retell the history of the bell, which cracked at its first ringing in early 1753. | Take the picturesque walk to Elfreth’s Alley and enjoy a look at the charming brick homes that line the nation’s oldest continuously inhabited street. Those who are curious about the residences can head inside the Elfreth’s Alley Museum for some history. Just down the street is the Betsy Ross House, home of the seamstress who created the first American flag. In addition to a self-guided tour of the cozy, restored colonial and courtyard, children’s activities and entertainment are featured daily. After the busy day you’ve put in, you’re surely ready to relax over a nice dinner. Old City’s streets are filled with great restaurant options. In the mood for Italian? Try Pizzicato, a family-friendly, casual Italian restaurant with lots of outdoor tables. For the foodies in your party, try the nationally recognized Amada, a Spanish-style tapas place.
33: Day Two – Time to Get Cultured Reading Terminal Market is one of the country’s oldest continually operating public farmers markets. Not only does the market offer an eye-popping assortment of produce, meats, and cheeses, it’s also home to a number of tasty prepared food vendors. Have breakfast at the counter of the Dutch Eating Place or settle into one of the cozy booths at the Down Home Diner. (12th & Arch Streets) Heading west of the historic area on Market Street, you’ll arrive at Center Square, Broad and Market Streets—site of Philadelphia’s City Hall. On weekdays, you can take a 90-minute guided tour of the majestic building, the world’s tallest masonry structure (510 feet) without steel reinforcements—as well as its tower, which is topped by a 37-ft.-high bronze statue of William Penn. On weekends, it’s still a marvel to be seen, even if you can’t ride to the top. Once you cross Broad Street, go two blocks south to Walnut Street. Take a break from yesterday’s action-packed history lesson with some shopping in the fine stores that line Walnut, or by relaxing on one of the many wooden benches along beautiful Rittenhouse Square, located at 18th and Walnut Streets. You'll find many options for lunch in the Rittenhouse Square area. If you are in the mood for an al fresco sandwich, Di Bruno Bros. at 18th and Chestnut serves up a number of delicious panini. For table service, try Parc, which is a brasserie from restaurateur Stephen Starr. Now you’re going to stroll up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the historic and imposing Philadelphia Museum of Art. (You can take a cab if the weather is too muggy or chilly.) Run up its front steps like Rocky did in the 1976 film, then explore the museum’s collections or a special exhibit. (Tickets will be required for the special exhibits.) (2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway) It’s been a long day of shopping, eating, and museum-wandering, so you might just be ready for a drink. Wander up into the Art Museum neighborhood to a cozy little bar called Bridgid’s. Grab a seat at the curved bar and order one of their specialty Belgium beers. You can stay here for dinner if you’d like or walk a few more blocks to Jack’s Firehouse for upscale pub food. Be sure to finish dinner by 7:00 p.m. if you want to catch a show! The Arden Theatre Company, The Wilma Theater, and the Walnut Street Theatre are only three of many venues offering live performances to the Philadelphia community. Consult the Calendar of Events for theater listings and show times.
34: Day Three – Heading Outside the City Limits After breakfast at or near your hotel, leave the city behind and explore some famous historical sites beyond its boundaries. Your first destination is Valley Forge National Historical Park, commemorating the resolve and endurance of Washington’s Continental Army, which emerged from a brutal winter at Valley Forge (1777-78) and overcame several defeats (Battles of Brandywine, White Horse, and Germantown) to secure a victory over the British. After a short (approx. 35 minutes) drive from Philadelphia to Valley Forge, begin at the Visitors Center and ask for a park map. You can choose a self-guided or scheduled driving tour—or opt to walk. (Valley Forge National Historical Park, 1400 N. Outerline Drive, King of Prussia, PA 19406) You’re probably hungry after the morning’s tour, so stop into nearby Hank’s Place, a diamond-in-the-rough luncheonette boasting “Home Cooking at Its Best”—and at fantastic prices! (Remember, it’s never too late to order pancakes; locals say breakfast at Hank’s is the best around!) (US Rt 1 and Route 100, Chadds Ford, PA 19317) After your tour of the battlefields, head back into the city to freshen up as it’s time for a cocktail. One of the city’s coolest places to sit and sip is the top deck of the Moshulu, a docked ship at Penn’s Landing that’s been converted to a four-diamond restaurant. The top level is perfect for a late afternoon respite with a gorgeous view of the Philadelphia skyline and a delightfully refreshing river breeze.
35: Three Perfect Days The Netherlands Geo Kraag
36: The Netherlands is a small country in Western Europe, primarily known for its cheeses (Gouda, for example), wooden shoes, tulips, and infamous for its liberal views on prostitution and recreational drug use. While the country is not entirely without charm off-season, you really want to visit it in late spring (May) or the summer, as the weather for most of the year is drizzly, dreary, and depressing. The Netherlands isn't very large (twice the size of Rhode Island), so we will confine our three-day trip to the major cities.
37: Day One - A Walk in Amsterdam Coming in through the nation's only international airport, Schiphol, the capital Amsterdam is the logical first stop. As the country's primary tourist attraction, it offers a wide variety of lodging for all budgets, from expensive hotels like the Amstel to backpacker lairs like the Flying Pig hostel. A substantial number of Amsterdam's inhabitants choose to live in a so-called woonboot, a small rectangular hut on a barge, so if you really want to immerse yourself in local customs, another attractive option may be one of the many boat hotels floating around in the city's maze of canals and waterways. In the old harbor areas, you can find decommissioned freighters converted to luxury hotels, which will give you all the amenities and comforts you expect from a proper hotel in a quaint and picturesque setting. Once settled in, your first destination ought to be Amsterdam Central Station, which is most easily reached by the very comprehensive public transport network. It is recommended that you do not bother with a car, as the old town is a labyrinth of narrow one-way streets and pedestrian-only zones, with parking spaces requiring a king's ransom. From Central Station, head south over the Damrak toward Dam Square where you will find the National Monument, the Royal Palace, and Madame Tussauds wax puppet museum. Take a few moments to appreciate the sights and make your way to the Kalverstraat, at the southwestern edge of Dam Square. This is a pedestrian-only shopping street, and it happens to be the Dutch equivalent of Monopoly's Boardwalk. At the other end of the Kalverstraat, you will find the Munttoren (Mint Tower) at a fairly busy intersection (Muntplein). Cross the main street (Vijzelstraat) eastward onto the Reguliersbreestraat, which will bring you to the Rembrandtplein. There are several cafés with outdoor seating around this square, and since you have walked 1.2 miles by now, this would be a good time to enjoy a cup of coffee or lunch.
38: After refreshments, walk back to the Muntplein and take tram 16 or 24 southbound. Trams are a fun way to get around town and you will pass several of Amsterdam's famed canals. Alight at the Museumplein (museum square), where you will find the world-famous Concertgebouw (Concert hall) and the US Consulate. This square is actually more like a park, and it is surrounded by the Stedelijk Museum (municipal museum), the Van Gogh museum, and the Rijksmuseum (National museum). If art and paintings are your thing, you will most likely spend the rest of your day here, but if not, walk across the park toward the Rijksmuseum, follow the passage through the museum, and turn left on the Stadhouderskade. Continue your walk along the canal until you get to the bridge (the one with the Holland Casino on the westside), and cross it to the Max Euweplein. Follow the passage through the surrounding buildings, turn left on the Weteringschans, and continue until you get to the Leidseplein, the city's heart of nightlife. Here you will find the Stadsschouwburg (municipal theater), many street artists, and plenty of coffee shops, a local euphemism for marihuana bars. By now, it will probably be mid to late afternoon, and you could either take one of the trams (1, 2, 5) back to Central Station from the square, or walk up the Leidsestraat, back toward the Kalverstraat Dam and Central Station. Either way, on the Leidsestraat, there are tram stops about every 100 yards, so you could just go and see how far you get. It is a pleasant walk, and you cross many of the picturesque canals. Dinner can be had just about everywhere in the old town, and prices and quality vary wildly. There isn't much in the way of traditional Dutch cuisine, other than pannekoeken (pancakes or crepes) and poffertjes (tinier and fluffier pancakes). One of Amsterdam's hidden treasures is the plethora of cheap, yet excellent Chinese restaurants in the Red Light District, just to the southeast of Central Station. Contrary to popular belief, the Red Light District is fairly tame and absolutely safe. After sunset, you will find hordes of tourists strolling around, and it all adds up to a cozy and lighthearted ambiance. Only the truly prudish will experience discomfort at the sight of the lingerie-clad ladies behind the windows.
39: Day Two – Den Haag (The Hague) Get to Amsterdam Central Station and take the train to Den Haag Central Station. This trip will take just under an hour, and once you get out of the tunnel under the airport, you will see the typical Dutch landscape known as the "polder." These polders are land reclaimed from the sea, and the oldest ones date back to the 16th century, when the Dutch first started pumping out water with windmills. You will see a few of them along the way, none of them operational. For most of the journey you will be below sea level. At Den Haag Central Station, exit at the southwestern entrance and follow the pedestrian-only passage through the Ministry of VROM, onto the Turfmarkt. Carry on until you get to the Spuiplein, which is flanked by the Stadhuis (City Hall), Lucent Danstheater (concert hall/ballet theater), and the Nieuwe Kerk (new church) across the street. Turn right onto Spui (the main street with the trams), pass the library, cross the intersection, and follow the road until you get to the Hofvijver (court pond), where you will find the Binnenhof, the old parliament building. Enter the courtyard through the passage, and it is photo-op time. The inner courtyard is a cobblestone-paved affair, with a gilded fountain and turreted Ridderzaal (Knight's hall), providing perfect backdrops for saying cheese. Exit the courtyard through the eastern passage, where you will find the renowned Mauritshuis (museum) to your left, and the Plein (square) to your right. You could visit the Mauritshuis, or enjoy a refreshment or lunch at one of the Plein's many outdoor cafés while gazing at the statue of Dutch founding father Willem van Oranje (William of Orange). When finished, get to Lange Poten, south of Plein, which will take you back to the Spui. Here you can either take tram 1 to Scheveningen, the seaside, or continue to explore the downtown shopping area, most notably the Passage, Spuistraat, Grote Marktstraat, and the Grote Markt. It is also worth taking a look at the Grote Kerk (grand church). If you opt for the seaside, alight at the Kurhaus and take the (indoor) palace promenade to the beach boulevard. The pier is an imposing structure and the view from its tower is worth the climb. You can probably spend around an hour or so on the boulevard and take tram 1 back to town or tram 9 back to Central Station. On your way back to the station, you could alight at Madurodam, a unique miniature world where many of the Netherlands' landmarks are built to scale with an interesting model-railway network running through. One last place of interest is the Vredespaleis (Peace Palace), the ceremonial seat of the International Court of Justice. The 60-minute tour is definitely worth the price of admission. Den Haag does not offer much in the way of nightlife, so it is probably best to take the train back to Amsterdam after dinner.
40: Day Three – Amsterdam Landmarks and Canal Tours Viewing Amsterdam from the water is not to be missed. There are many canal boat tour companies with most of them concentrated around Central Station. Typical tours will take you through the grachten (canals) and last between 60 and 90 minutes, although longer tours are available. They are in constant operation, so you do not need to book ahead. No matter what time you arrive, you're likely to catch one within 30 minutes, except after dark. Another good way to explore the city is by bicycle. The Netherlands' infrastructure has been designed around the Dutch preferred method of transportation, and in the city, it is often the fastest way to go places. Be aware that you will need a good map, as Amsterdam is basically laid out in concentric circles and confusing to get around for a novice. Bike rentals can be found everywhere; the first place to look is Central Station. If you want to get a whiff of culture before you leave, there are plenty of other museums besides the ones already mentioned in Day One. The Tropenmuseum (museum of the tropics) displays artifacts from all over the world, with the emphasis on Dutch colonial past, and the Scheepsvaartmuseum (maritime museum) is a great way to get acquainted with the nation's seafaring history. If you are traveling with children, the NEMO science museum (just east of Central Station) will prove to be a popular choice, as is Artis, Amsterdam's excellent zoo. For authentic couleur locale, a trip to the Albert Cuyp market and immediate surroundings (an area called De Pijp) is a must. And, since the Heineken brewery is right there, it will be worth it to pay that a visit as well. If love, peace, and hippieness appeal to you, don't forget to take a stroll in the Vondelpark, Europe's original flower power headquarters in the 1960s. Gift shops are found on practically every street corner, but for your more sophisticated shopping needs, there is the P.C. Hooftstraat, near the Museumplein (see Day One). You could easily spend another three days in Amsterdam and not see everything, nor be bored. But if three days is all you have, this would be a good way to experience one of Europe's most iconic cities!
41: Three Perfect Days New Bern, North Carolina Jay Rishel
42: New Bern, the birthplace of Pepsi Cola, is a beautiful 300-year-old town set at the confluence of two rivers along the central coast of North Carolina. This quaint little town offers great dining, lively entertainment, recreational activities, and a plethora of historic sites. A weekend in this city will give you a true taste of the history and culture that is unique to eastern North Carolina. New Bern was founded in 1710 by Swiss and German settlers and was named after Bern, Switzerland. As you stroll through town, you’ll notice lots of colorfully decorated bears. The Germanic word for bear is “bern.” Therefore, New Bern adopted the bear as the symbol of the city. New Bern is full of firsts: home to the state’s first printing press, where the state’s first book and newspaper were published, the state’s first public school opened here, the first official celebration of George Washington’s birthday, and, lastly, home to the world’s first practical torpedo. I hope that after reading about the many wonderful things in New Bern, you’ll make your first trip to eastern North Carolina.
43: Day One — History Wake up in one of the seven beautiful rooms at the Aerie Bed & Breakfast on Pollock St. Take brunch in your room looking out over the river or head a few blocks away to the Pollock Street Deli for a Southern cooked brunch. The Crab Cake Eggs Benedict is excellent! Make sure to have comfortable walking shoes when you visit New Bern. After brunch, take a 30-minute stroll back through town and head over to the Tryon Palace, home of the NC History Center, Governor’s Palace, and 16 acres of Palace gardens. Tryon Palace served as the first permanent capitol of North Carolina and home to Royal Governor William Tryon and his family. Across the street from Tryon Palace is New Bern’s brand new North Carolina History Center. If for no other reason, stop by to see the center’s “permeable surface parking areas." The History Center is full of interactive historical activities and rotating exhibitions that will keep everyone from kids to adults entertained during their visits. You’ll learn about the coastline as well as the people who shaped this amazing region of North Carolina. To fully enjoy your visit to Tryon Palace and the NC History Center, plan on spending half a day here. After you’ve had your dose of history, it’s time to head back into town to quench your thirst. For a quick and casual lunch, I recommend that you head to Captain Ratty’s. Captain Ratty’s offers a wide selection of wines and has plenty of beer on tap. For beer lovers, try a beer from an eastern North Carolina microbrewery, Mother Earth Brewing. And for a snack, you ask? I recommend that you get some fresh oysters on the half shell. Finish your first day at the gazebo on Union Point and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Neuse and Trent Rivers.
44: Day Two — Adventure After breakfast, head over to Stand Up Outfitters (SUP) on Craven Street to pick up your ride for the day. At SUP, you can rent paddleboards and sign up for a paddleboarding class on New Bern’s scenic rivers. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, sign up for the Cool Springs tour. The 2-hour tour will take you through four miles of Swift Creek and the Neuse River and provide plenty of exercise. Paddleboarding is sure to work up an appetite so, afterward, grab a taxi and head over to Moore’s Olde Tyme Barbeque. Moore’s is home to true eastern Carolina BBQ. This says it all: "We like to use the words ‘Olde Tyme’ with our name because we still like to roast and smoke our pigs in a real pit over live oak coals.” Enough said. After you’ve stuffed yourself full of delicious, eastern North Carolina BBQ, head back into town to visit the birthplace of Pepsi Cola. The Pepsi Store is located at the original site of the pharmacy where Caleb Bradham concocted his famous drink. The store is full of history and cool collectibles. It goes without saying that you have to order an ole time fountain soda at the store as well. The best way to end your second day is to dine at the picturesque Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant. The restaurant is set on the Neuse River and almost all dining areas of the restaurant afford the diners a beautiful view. Many of the ingredients here come from local farms, which allow the menu to evolve throughout the year. There is no doubt that Persimmons’ Pepsi-Brined NC Berkshire Pork Tenderloin is mouthwatering. Thoughtfully consider this choice if it’s available during your visit.
45: Day Three — Relaxation Sleeping in and having breakfast in bed is probably the best way to finish your visit to New Bern. The Aerie Bed & Breakfast offers spa services, which will definitely be needed after your paddleboard adventure the day before. After enjoying a lazy morning, head into town to visit the many unique gift shops, and arts & crafts stores. One of our favorites is Carolina Creations. You’ll be sure to find plenty of unique gifts for less than $50 here. Next, we suggest that you head to the Bank of Arts where you’ll find paintings, sculpture, photography, pottery, and fiber art from artists all over the southeastern United States. If you still have the energy, stay downtown and head out on the Ghosts of New Bern tour. The tour starts next to Morgan’s Tavern & Grill so we recommend that you grab a bite to eat and drink beforehand. New Bern offers so much in such a little town. Next time you’re watching Jeopardy and Alex states, “the birthplace of Pepsi Cola,” you’ll know to ask, “What is New Bern?”
46: Three Perfect Days Dubrovnik, Croatia Jennifer Meyer
47: Just across the Adriatic from Italy lies Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. Along its coast, the jewel of the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik, is one of Croatia’s most beautiful and popular tourist destinations. With a gorgeous Mediterranean climate, George Bernard Shaw proclaimed "those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik and find it."
48: Day One – Hotel Bellevue After a long flight the day prior, you’ll want to wake up slowly to the smell of the Adriatic sea breeze wafting through your room and the sound of local kids splashing in the ocean just steps outside your door. Venture down the steps of your room at the Hotel Bellevue to the restaurant Vapor to enjoy a cup of coffee and a light Mediterranean breakfast of fruit, bread, and yogurt. Spend your first day recovering from jet lag in the tranquil bliss of your hotel. Located on a spectacular clifftop, 30 meters above Miramare Bay, each of the Bellevue’s 91 boutique rooms has mesmerizing sea views. Begin your day of relaxation in the hotel’s Comfort Zone Space. The renowned spa offers an extensive list of the finest massages and treatments. It’s the perfect place to restore balance, slow down, relax, and escape. After a casual beachside lunch at the hotel’s café Nevera, reinvigorate with a swim in the bay while local kids use the opportunity to perfect their high-dive skills off the cliffs surrounding you. If you’d like to swim but prefer to admire the sea from ashore, the majestic indoor swimming pool has beautiful views of the crystal blue sea. After just enough activity to remind you this vacation is for relaxing, trip back up to your room for a hot shower and a long afternoon nap. Once rested, begin and end your evening with a cocktail at the hotel’s Spice Lounge. Spice Lounge is the main bar of the Bellevue hotel and famous for its magnificent panoramic views of the sea as well as stunning interior design, featuring a magnificent Nepalese stone wall and a palm tree centerpiece. Designed to compete with world-class bars, this Dubrovnik lounge bar offers Viennese coffee and pastries, fine wines, draft beers, cocktails, and French Champagnes by the glass. Of course, don’t miss your dinner reservation on the terrace of the Vapor restaurant.
49: Day Two – Old Town Dubrovnik Undoubtedly rested and restored, after a light breakfast, today is the perfect day for the short walk to old town Dubrovnik. To see why Shaw was so captivated, you can enjoy an incredible vista from the two kilometers of city walls. Dubrovnik is a remarkably well-preserved example of a late-medieval walled city. It became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onward. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces, and fountains. Damaged again in the 1990s by armed conflict, it is now the focus of a major restoration program. Within Dubrovnik’s Old Town, you’ll find a plethora of tourist attractions, from Roland's Column and the Bell Tower to Sponza Palace and famous Big Onofrios Fountain. After all that sightseeing, cool down with a dip at one of Lapad’s fabulous beaches, or take a boat to the millionaires’ playground that is Cavtat. If all that sea air has worked up an appetite, head to Stradun and feast on the freshest of local seafood.
50: Day Three – Sailing Make your way to the marina and set sail on your very own catamaran charter. Choose to employ a captain or pilot the boat yourself, depending, of course, on your own sailing skills. It makes little difference to which of Dalmatia’s islands you set sail. Perhaps taking in the beautiful island of Lokrum, or the Elafiti Islands with their numerous shallow lunch stops, which are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and good, simple food. Explore the historic towns and sleepy fishing villages of Sipan, the national park of Mljet, or Korcula, a hub of cultural activity, with great shops, bars, and restaurants. In most pretty bays where you drop anchor, you'll find a "konoba" (restaurant) on the water’s edge. They are invariably family run. The patron is often an eccentric character bent over a sizzling grill with a cigarette clamped between his teeth. You’ll be presented the day’s catch to select from. Freshness and simplicity are the watchwords that most aptly characterize Dalmatian cuisine. Main meals typically start with prsut and Paski sir, both often scattered with olives that have different flavors, depending on the Dalmatian village that grows and processes them. Oysters from Ston on the Peljesac Peninsula are also prized, as is anything from the sea. Riba na leso (fish grilled with olive oil) and served with blitva (boiled Swiss chard and potatoes) is a common main course, as is skoljke i skampi na buzaru (shellfish and shrimp stew). Don’t miss the freshly grilled anchovies. The local house wine is better than you’d expect–Plavac, a red wine, and Vugava, a white wine. It’s cash only on the islands. Steer clear of the after-dinner grappa (natural brandy), as it's known to put hair on your chest. Enjoy your last glass of Plavac on the deck of your catamaran as you sail back into the harbor to drop anchor and snuggle into your cabin for your last night in Dubrovnik.
51: Three Perfect Days Nashville, Tennessee Mat Yellott
52: Music City can be a great place to spend a weekend any time of the year! The downtown area of Nashville features a diverse assortment of entertainment, dining, cultural, and architectural attractions. The Broadway and 2nd Avenue areas feature entertainment venues, night clubs, and an assortment of restaurants. North of Broadway lies Nashville's central business district, Legislative Plaza, Capitol Hill, and the Tennessee Bicentennial Mall. Cultural and architectural attractions can be found throughout the city. Join me for a perfect weekend in Nashville, Tennessee.
53: Day One As soon as you step off the airplane into the Nashville airport, you feel the vibe. Music echoes throughout the terminal as there is always live music in three different locations in the concourses. Downtown is a short ride away. The Hutton Hotel is Nashville’s trendy choice. The rooms are very clean and modern, and it’s not uncommon to find a celebrity or two sipping on a cocktail in the bar. If you can splurge a little, I would recommend the T.J. Martell Foundation Suite on the 11th floor, which is filled with rare musical memorabilia. The room features handwritten lyrics to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia," a fiddle bow played on stage by Charlie Daniels, a framed Little Big Town album signed by the entire group, a signed photo of Brooks and Dunn, a Hatch print of Montgomery Gentry, and specially commissioned artwork by artist Rob Hendon. A great way to start the weekend would be by having a drink at the Hutton bar after checking in. Next, jump in a cab and within five minutes, you will be in the heart of Music City. Dinner at Merchants Restaurant will give you a flavor of the early 1900s in Nashville. The food is incredible, and they have quite a unique cocktail menu. I highly recommend the deep-fried Duck Fat Tater Tots and Fried Green Tomatoes! Walk across the street, and you are honky tonking! I always start at Legends Corner. Legend's is a great place, and Robert's Western World features “old-school” country. You can always get a PBR, fried bologna sandwich, chips, and a Moon Pie at Robert's for only $5. Tootsie's is a fun, but very busy place, so get there early. The Stage is one of Nashville’s beloved honky tonks. It has a huge stage at the entrance of the venue where you can listen to live music every day until 3 a.m. The Stage is known to have random celebrity artists surprise the audience with a performance. Surprise artists have included Bret Michaels, Gretchen Wilson, Ricky Skaggs, Miranda Lambert, and John Mellencamp. It’s a great place for good music and fun dancing, and admission is free.
54: Day Two On Saturday morning, it’s a must to hit Monell's for breakfast, which is served until 1 p.m. (so if you do enjoy the music on Broadway until 3 a.m., no need to worry). And, be sure to bring your appetite! Breakfast is family style and includes cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, corn pudding, and (last but not least) fried chicken. My only word of advice is to pace yourself because the food keeps coming. (Monell's - 1235 6th Avenue North) During the day, one fun thing to do is to visit the Yazoo brewery. Go fill your growler with one of the many handcrafted brews for the weekend or take a tour of the brewery (only on Saturdays). Check the hours before you go as they are limited. The Patterson House will set the tone for a nice Saturday evening. Walk in and it feels like you're in someone's personal library. Long velvet curtains conceal the bar. The host asked, "2?" and then left us. He returned promptly and escorted us to the bar where two menus were propped up on the bar. It's like waiting to get into an exclusive little club. The best thing about this place, though, are the bartenders. That's right, the bartenders. Go here if you want to be adventurous and just tell them what kind of flavors/alcohol you want and they will make drinks that are fantastic and off-the-beaten-path, so to speak. The drinks cost around $10 a piece, but you get what you pay for; all of the mixers are handmade and they have unique ice (huge cylinders of ice in a glass). (The Patterson House - 1711 Division Street) Dinner on Saturday can be really fun at Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant (500 Church Street). Puckett's was founded by the Puckett family in the 1950s when it served as a country store to several communities in Williamson County. There is always live music, and the food is great!
55: Day Three Start your day with a visit to the the Pancake Pantry. It's no secret that when you come to Nashville, visiting the Pancake Pantry is a must! Even Adam Richman, host of the Travel Channel's Man vs. Food, knows this. Adam indulged in the Pancake Pantry's award-winning Sweet Potato Pancakes and their Village Smithy Pancakes. From breakfast, head to The Hermitage. The Hermitage is a historical plantation and museum located in Davidson County, Tennessee, 10 miles east of downtown Nashville. The plantation was owned by Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, from 1804 until his death at The Hermitage in 1845. Jackson only lived at the property occasionally until he retired from public life in 1837, when The Hermitage became his full-time residence. This historic landmark is our nation's most authentically preserved early presidential home site. The museum includes original artwork, furniture, textiles, personal items, and wallpaper. The Hermitage includes 1,120 acres, 32 historic buildings, dozens of archaeological sites, two springs, a formal garden, a vegetable garden, and a cotton patch. You will enjoy the experience of visiting many of these sites on your visit. Following your tour of The Hermitage, head to the Noshville deli. The food and cocktails are great no matter what time of the day you visit. Nosh means "to eat," and you will not leave this deli hungry. The staff is always friendly, and the food usually comes out quickly. There are so many options for lunch that you will wish you could eat your way through the entire menu. The nosh dip is roasted turkey or beef with onions and cheese served on a French roll with au jus. The Monte Cristo sandwich is battered ham, turkey, and American cheese. Both are great choices and come with fries. And, of course, there is the legendary massive Reuben.
56: Three Perfect Days South Beach, Florida Greg Cicotte
57: South Beach (SoBe) Miami is truly one of the hottest places in the modern world, and I don't mean temperature-wise. It is an area that offers something for everyone, and it does so brilliantly and endlessly. Whether you're looking for a calm, quiet, relaxing time basking on a tranquil beach in endless sunshine, or a beach that offers a more Latin American setting, surrounded by trim and fit bodies wearing little to hide their physique, South Beach is the place for you. Or, perhaps you'd prefer a romantic bed and breakfast, world-class shopping, or a first-class spa. Whatever your pleasure, South Beach Miami is sure to accommodate. Follow your daily activities with a delightful dinner at some of the world's most exquisite restaurants, whose beautiful settings and ambiance are surpassed only by their extensive menus and signature dishes. Take a romantic, moonlit stroll down the beach, or simply sit at a sidewalk cafe before you head back to your quiet, romantic retreat at one of their many, many designer boutique hotels. Come join me for my three perfect days in South Beach Miami, Florida.
58: Day One Check in at the Delano Hotel, 17th and Collins. South Beach has many hotels, but the Delano epitomizes SoBe like none other. The decor of this grand hotel is inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, and as you make your way from the busy, spacious lobby past cascading white curtains and through rooms dotted with strange, whimsical furniture, you will feel like you are, indeed, falling down a rabbit hole. You may brush by celebrities and athletes as you make your way to the vast oceanfront gardens and enormous pool outside. Spend your afternoon at the Delano pool in a reserved cabana or pool bed (order the Kobe burger and fries!) Shop on Collins Ave. between 6th and 12th (be sure to visit The Webster). You can have lunch at the News Café located at 8th and Ocean Drive. No trip to Miami is complete without a stop at this Ocean Drive landmark. The 24-hour café attracts a crowd with snacks, light meals, drinks, periodicals, and the people-parade on the sidewalk in front. Most prefer sitting outside, where they can feel the salt breeze and gawk at the human scenery. Sea-grape trees shade a patio where you can watch from a quiet distance. Offering a little of this and a little of that—bagels, patés, chocolate fondue, sandwiches—and a terrific wine list. Have dinner at Prime One Twelve on Ocean Drive. This wildly busy steak house is known particularly for its highly marbleized prime beef, creamed corn, truffle macaroni and cheese, and buzzing scene. Get the filet, sweet potato mash, and fried Oreos for dessert.
59: Day Two Start Day Two with a run on the beach from the Delano south to the pier and head inland to an outdoor workout area along the bay. Enjoy breakfast at The Front Porch Cafe on Ocean Drive. Due to the Front Porch's popularity, the wait is sometimes excessive, but the food is definitely worth it. You can also indulge on the conversations you might overhear in the ritzy cafe setting. Get the granola pancakes and grande breakfast burrito. Spend your day at the beach on a reserved Delano beach bed. Find Portofino Deli Cafe along the beach and have chicken tacos for lunch (a portable lunch trailer that parks at the beach each day, somewhere between 10th and 20th Avenues). This food truck is just steps from the Setai beach and serves up fresh tacos, salads, smoothies, and fruit plates. Shop at Lincoln Road Mall. Lincoln Road Mall is a pedestrian-only promenade and the epicenter of what’s happening in South Beach. Located between Alton Road and Washington Avenue, Lincoln Road offers unique shopping, sidewalk cafes, bars, galleries, and fine dining (people watching here is the best!). Continue your shopping adventure and head north on Collins at 19th for Scoop NYC and Atrium boutiques. Collins Avenue is home to a unique variety of luxury resorts, boutique hotels, and some of the best shopping in town. Have a pre-dinner snack at Sultan Kabob on Collins Avenue. Sultan's offers delicious Greek and Turkish fare. Open for lunch and dinner, Sultan's caters to walk-ins and those looking for takeout. It's not the type of place that takes reservations for their indoor and outdoor tables. Be sure to try the classic Gyro, a favorite for everyone looking for some tasty Middle Eastern cuisine. Plan for dinner at Mr. Chow inside the W hotel on Collins Avenue. From the moment you walk in the door, you immediately feel the sense of elegance upon you. The beautiful décor, smiling servers, and the smell of fresh hydrangeas and lilies is a treat for all your senses. Once you sit down, you have an army of attentive waiters who eagerly wait to make a flawless dining experience. A beautiful champagne cart is then brought by your table so you may order a glass of champagne to start. The menu offers family-style items, none of which you can go wrong with, but the fiery beef is the best. Schedule a late dinner and dress to impress, as the restaurant really gets going after 10 p.m.
60: Day Three Release toxins from the night before doing yoga at Green Monkey in South Beach. Green Monkey is truly a great yoga studio. The layout remains spacious and clean, creating a very Zen-like ambiance. The teachers here are masters of their craft. If you can schedule a class with Paul Toliuszis, I highly recommend you do so. Paul is skillful and knowledgeable as a one-on-one yoga therapist and a proven master at teaching group classes. Paul is currently director and one of the founders of Green Monkey. After yoga, refuel with breakfast/brunch at The Cafe at Books & Books on Lincoln Road. Several rooms of books surround an open-air courtyard that offers seating for the café. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. The Cafe features bistro-style sandwiches (grilled portobello, avocado and cheddar, roast beef, French ham, and others) and a large selection of fresh salads, which are a perfect complement to patio seating. If you have a larger group, they also offer an elegant assortment of lunch trays that include Middle Eastern favorites and specialty salads. For your sweet tooth, you can try some of the homemade desserts: Chocolate Mousse Cake, Lemon Meringue, Fresh-Fruit Tart, or Chocolate Cupcakes. Eat and people watch as usual. Once you are well fed, head to shopping at Bal Harbour Shops, 40 minutes north of Miami. One of the most prestigious fashion meccas in the country, Bal Harbour offers the best-quality goods from the finest names. Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, Fendi, Joan & David, Harry Winston, Pucci, Krizia, Rodier, Gucci, Agent Provocateur, Carolina Herrera, Celine, Chanel, Chloe, and many others are sandwiched between Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Well-dressed shoppers stroll in a pleasant open-air emporium featuring several cafes, covered walkways, and lush greenery. Parking costs $1 an hour with a validated ticket. Tip: You can stamp your own at the entrance to Saks Fifth Avenue, even if you don't make a purchase. End the day with dinner at Casa Tua on 17th and James (2 blocks from the Delano). Casa Tua provides a charming restaurant with both indoor and outdoor dining. The food is Italian; some favorites include truffle risotto and seared diver scallops with an artichoke puree. My suggestion is to get get the grilled wagyu skirt steak. The service is seamless and relaxed. And the elegant experience at this restaurant, with a Mediterranean beach house feel, is a peaceful respite for your last day in South Beach. Take a late-night stroll down Lincoln Road to work off dinner, and have a restful last night in South Beach.
61: Three Perfect Days Block Island, Rhode Island Dave Stebenne
62: So beautiful and relaxed, you won’t want to leave! So you’ve decided to take your Rhode Island friend’s advice and visit Block Island next summer. Here is a fun-filled itinerary that will keep you on the move, yet still be relaxing, as you are inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds you. My first suggestion is to pack lightly. This place has been called the “Bermuda of the North,” but there are no Bermuda shorts here. The Block is all about casual – shorts, tee shirts, and flip flops are ideal, but bring some good walking shoes. You’re going to want them to experience the island up close and personal.
63: Day One Arrive early by high-speed ferry from Point Judith. The thrill of 6,000 ponies pushing you across the ocean at 32 knots won’t easily be forgotten. The added bonus, of course, is more time to enjoy the island. You arrive right in the heart of the town. Take the short stroll across the street to drop off your stuff at the National Hotel. This historic landmark right on Water Street just buzzes with energy all summer long. You’ll be back, but first, walk behind the hotel to Aldo’s and rent bicycles for a morning’s visit to several of the island’s landmarks. Keep an eye out, as BI has many rare species of birds, including the bald eagle, piping plover, and snowy egrets, among others. Head North on Corn Neck Road and visit the North Light, built of granite in 1867. Walk out to the ‘rip’ where the ocean meets from both the east and west side, but be careful, the currents are strong. Notice Fresh Pond to the right as you return toward town, with its incredible wildlife and peaceful scenery. When you reach State Beach, turn three rights, first on Beach Road, then Ocean Avenue, and finally on Grace’s Cove Road for incredible views of the Great Salt Pond, and the ocean and Grace’s Cove at the end of the street. Continue circling the island and you’ll be amazed at Rodman’s Hollow, a deep valley on the southeast side of the island with a nature trail running through it that ends at the ocean. Ride a little farther, and you’ll come upon Mohegan Bluffs and the Southeast Lighthouse. Here’s where your good shoes will come in handy because there are 144 steps (I counted them) down to the ocean from this towering bluff. Southeast Lighthouse was moved inland nearly 250 feet in 1993 in order to protect the beacon from the rapidly eroding bluffs. All of this riding has built up an appetite, I’m sure, so continue on Mohegan Trail and Spring Street right into town again. A favorite spot to grab lunch and a local brew is at Mohegan Café. Better yet, order a sampler of all of their freshly brewed beers and ales. Meander around town and do a little shopping at the great mix of locally owned stores – no chains of any kind out here – and perhaps pick up some freshly made fudge at Blocks of Fudge. Check in at the hotel, freshen up, and have a late afternoon cocktail on the veranda where you can watch the ferries come and go. For dinner, you’ll want to walk up the Beach Road to the Beach Head Restaurant, with its sounds of the surf and views of the ocean and beautiful beach shrubs just steps from the outdoor seating. Select from amazingly fresh seafood, deliciously prepared and accompanied by locally grown veggies. Walk off that great meal by taking a moonlit stroll on State Beach before heading back for a sound sleep in your cozy cottage room. Or change your mind and party like it’s 1999 at nearby Captain Nicks or the Yellow Kittens Tavern. It’s your vacation!
64: Day Two Wake up early and walk to Rebecca’s Café for an early coffee and watch the first ferry arrive. There’s nothing like watching the quiet town wake up under the sunrise. For the hearty appetite, enjoy a fresh breakfast at the Hotel Manisses Dining Room, just a very short walk on Spring Street. The owners feature an animal farm out back where you can see all kinds of exotic animals, such as ostrich and llamas, as well as a huge herb and vegetable garden that supplies many of the better island restaurants. The sun is up! Suit up and hit the beach – just a short walk to State Beach, or to avoid the crowds and do some treasure hunting, make the two-mile trek (okay, cab it if you want) to Mansion Beach, farther north. Sand dollars, miniature shells, and starfish can be found on the northern stretches of beach as you approach the cliffs and rocky shoreline. By 1 p.m., head to Three Sisters on Old Town Road for fresh gourmet sandwiches – but don’t be late as they close at 2 p.m. for the day! This afternoon, you have a choice to make: Head to Old Harbor by the ferry for a charter fishing afternoon, or continue at a more relaxed pace and head directly to your next hotel – the Narragansett Inn, situated on the quieter and pristine Great Salt Pond, also known as New Harbor. Get settled in, and relax on the sweeping lawn or on the porch and people watch. It’s an even slower pace on this side of the island, where hundreds of boaters with all sorts of watercraft come from RI, CT, and NY to anchor or tie up at one of the three marinas in this well-protected basin. This was originally a freshwater pond, but winter storms caused a breach in the narrow, protective strip of land, which caused early settlers to realize that if they could keep a channel open, they would have a wonderful port for their fishing boats. As such, the early government required all men on the island over the age of 15 to contribute 30 days a year of manual labor to dredge the channel, as it would often shoal up with shifting sands. Ultimately, years later, the government committed funds to make a permanent opening with a rock breakwater that prevents the shoaling. New Harbor is now one of the most popular stopovers for boats and yachts in all of New England. Walk next door and put your name in early for dinner at The Oar. Great pub food with the most spectacular views of the harbor can be enjoyed here. Try not to go dizzy looking at and reading all of the oars hanging from the ceilings and walls. While you’re waiting, take a walk on the docks and marvel at the beautiful variety of boats from 20-ft to over 80-ft. long. Be sure to get seating in the outer dining room as the sun goes down. It’s truly a spectacular sight. Finish off the night with traditional Irish music and a night cap at Mahogany Shoals at Payne’s Dock, directly in front of your hotel.
65: Day Three Wake up early and enjoy a cup of fresh coffee on the patio. If you listen closely, around 7 a.m., you will hear Bob Leone yell “andiamo” from his skiff as he delivers fresh baked goods to the boats in the harbor. It’s a classic sound of New Harbor! Enjoy paddling kayaks just up the street in Trim's Pond before venturing a little farther into the Great Salt Pond. If you’re up for it, paddle to the recreation area in the north corner of the salt pond and dig for a few littlenecks. No rake needed, just your feet. Delicious! Next up is Coast Guard Beach. To save time, take a short cab ride out here. This beach is normally visited by boaters who arrive by dingy, so don’t expect huge crowds. Sit on the warm sand just a few yards from the channel and watch the yachts move in and out of the harbor. Take a refreshing dip in the water, but be careful – it’s cool ocean water on a flood tide, a little warmer on the ebb. And it drops off quickly! If you’ve got energy to spare, take a taxi to the yellow and red house on Corn Neck Road and hike on the Clay Head Trail for some fantastic views of the north and east from the high bluffs. Pick fresh blackberries all along the trail to keep up your energy. If you find the only house (which is vacant) on the bluff, you’re a pro! Take a picture of yourself while there and send it to me. Too bad the time has flown by. Time to board the ferry and skedaddle out of here! Truly one of the last great places on earth! Bye-bye BI! -Dave Stebenne has been a frequent visitor to Block Island, RI since 1965.
66: Thank You for Enjoying Our Adventures! -Jackson's National Accounts Team