The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: The Truth About Hiring a Guide in Fès, Morocco

I’ve taken hundreds of tours in my lifetime. From half-hour guided tours in museums to day-long city tours, it’s been one of my favorite avenues to discover someplace new. (I’ve taken a few at home, too.) But anyone who’s been on their fair share of tours will know that’s it’s pretty hit or miss. Even if you do the research, locate a reputable company and pick someone with stellar reviews, you could still have a bad experience. I know many travelers who opt for the thrill of self-discovery instead. But if you’re exploring a medina with almost 10,000 unmapped streets in a country where you don’t speak the language, it might be a good time to consider hiring a guide. I did, and here’s what I can tell you about hiring a guide in Fès.

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The Intoxicating Medina of Fès, Morocco: 10 Things I Loved (And A Few I Didn’t)

If you have limited annual vacation time like we do, then there’s a trip planning exercise you’re probably familiar with: The Deadly Edit. It’s the point where you recognize you’re probably not going to be able to see an entire country in 9 days, and you’re going to have to make some tough choices. But even as I painfully sliced away at my itinerary, I knew Fès had to remain a part of it. This historical city is the heart and soul of Morocco.

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How to Make the Most of Your Layover in Casablanca, Morocco

One of my brother’s first encounters in Morocco was with a Maroc man who had moved from Casablanca to Marrakech, and he gushed endlessly about what a good decision he’d made. A fellow traveler I chatted with in Marrakech said he had just come from Casablanca and didn’t like it at all. Even the front desk clerk at my hotel in Casablanca, mistakenly thinking I was just beginning my Moroccan adventure, said “You’ll love Marrakech!” It didn’t inspire confidence. But Casablanca surprised me in the very best way, and it ended up being the perfect place to end my Moroccan adventure. Casablanca is the point of entry for most North American flights, and its large port also makes it a popular cruise destination. If you have a layover in Casablanca, here’s how to make the most of it–even if you only have a few hours to spare.

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Battle of the Bagel: The Ultimate Guide to New York and Montreal Bagels

One of the first things we research before we take a trip is where we’re going to eat. As we geared up for a visit to Montreal, we couldn’t ignore the serious grudge match between The City of Saints and The City That Never Sleeps. The debate was simple: which city has better bagels?

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A Graffiti Lover’s Guide to the Best Street Art and Murals in Baltimore

Did you know that Baltimore is a city with a legacy of firsts? It was the birthplace of the National Anthem. It lays claim to the first Washington monument (not Washington DC!), the first telegraph line, the first regular railroad passenger service, the first cathedral, and the first United States post office system. Its maverick, innovative spirit has been making waves since its humble beginnings as one of the original thirteen colonies. During the era of slavery, Baltimore was one of the few states home to more free blacks than slaves. That same independent streak and irrepressible spirit can be seen to this very day in its institutions, its communities, and, yes, even in its prolific street art.

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Hotel Caravana at Four Brothers Drive-In: Retro Heaven in the Hudson Valley

We love New York City. But we also love a good getaway. Especially when the weather warms up and tourists descend on the city en masse. Unfortunately, circumstances–often a lack of time, money, or transportation–prevent a holiday to the exotic destination of our dreams. Luckily, there are innumerable locales to explore in the tri-state area. Even better, there are tremendous options in the state of New York itself. And it just so happens we recently stumbled upon a new destination for the perfect getaway that is less than two hours from Manhattan: Hotel Caravana at the Four Brothers Drive-in Theatre in Amenia, New York.

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Inner Harbor And Beyond: Cool Non-Touristy Things To Do in Baltimore

What pops into your head when you think of Baltimore? For us, it’s John Waters and The Wire. (We’re pretty big film and television fans.) Also crab cakes. (Okay, so we’re pretty big foodies too.) But there’s really so much more to Baltimore. It’s rarely given the appreciation it deserves as a travel destination. In this age of rampant overtourism, it seems ridiculous to call any locale “undiscovered” or “underrated”. But Baltimore, Maryland is truly both those things.

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London’s Best Hidden Gems: Fun Things To Do Off the Beaten Path

There are certain cities you can visit over and over, and London is definitely one of them. We have many friends and family who call it home, so we’ve been fortunate to make several return visits over time. While there are some classic London sights we’ll never tire of, our local guides have introduced us to unique, off-the-beaten-path sights and activities that tourists may not get to. If you’re looking for something new to do on a second, third or fourth visit, then check out some of London’s best hidden gems.

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5 Things to Do in Bilbao Besides Visit the Guggenheim

Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is so recognizable it’s almost synonymous with the Basque city. It’s difficult to imagine today, but in the late 1980s and early 1990s Bilbao was suffering from severe decline due to dwindling industry, rising unemployment and ongoing Basque separatist conflict. The Guggenheim Museum was a last-ditch effort to save the city, and it paid off in spades. Gehry’s building was so successful in drawing in tourism dollars, that the “Bilbao Effect” is now used as a term for urban renewal and reinvention. The Guggenheim Museum is still a great reason to visit Bilbao, but the bustling Basque city has a lot more to offer. Here are some fun things to do in Bilbao:

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5 Things You Must Do On Your First Visit to Dublin

I have a pretty stupid confession to make. I don’t drink, and that’s why it took me so long to make my way to Dublin. From the seven-floor Guinness Storehouse to the number of pubs per capita, this is a place that knows how to put the “happy” in happy hour. So I couldn’t help but wonder if Dublin would be fun for someone who wasn’t going to imbibe. Well, it turns out Dublin has plenty to offer. If you’re planning your first trip to Dublin, here’s what you should add to your to-do list.

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