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.Continue reading The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: The Truth About Hiring a Guide in Fès, Morocco
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.Continue reading The Intoxicating Medina of Fès, Morocco: 10 Things I Loved (And A Few I Didn’t)
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.Continue reading A Graffiti Lover’s Guide to the Best Street Art and Murals 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.Continue reading Inner Harbor And Beyond: Cool Non-Touristy Things To Do in Baltimore
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.Continue reading London’s Best Hidden Gems: Fun Things To Do Off the Beaten Path
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:Continue reading 5 Things to Do in Bilbao Besides Visit the Guggenheim
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.Continue reading 5 Things You Must Do On Your First Visit to Dublin
We’re constantly asked for recommendations when friends and family are planning a visit to New York City. And let’s face it, bloggers have this particularly awful habit of simply shooting off a bunch of links. The truth is, we know that even if you’ve popped in from time to time (thank you!), you may not want to go on a deep dive through our blog before a trip. There are also some obvious and amazing things to do in New York City that we’ve never featured on the blog. So we thought we’d put together a guide of some of our favorite things. These are the very same suggestions we provide our friends and family. (Usually in a long-form email, with about 4-6 addenda over the following days. Sorry, guys!)
Newsflash: We love to eat. And we have a lot of friends who love to eat. Each and every one of them has sung the praises of San Sebastián as a foodie destination. And why not? It has a significant number of Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as countless pintxos bars serving some truly incredible food. When we set our sights on San Sebastián, we figured all we would do there is eat. But this little resort town ended up surprising us. Even though we spent a considerable amount of time stuffing our faces, we found so many other things to love during our visit there too.
We’ve lived in the Midwest, and we know that major cities like Chicago, Cleveland and Indianapolis get all the attention. But the thing we discovered on our recent visit to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area is that it’s the underrated, sleeper Midwest hit that’s waiting to be discovered. Minneapolis and Saint Paul are referred to as the Twin Cities, but locals know they’re less like Mary Kate and Ashley and more like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. The cities offer distinctly different vibes — Minneapolis is the ultra-hip, cosmopolitan twin, while Saint Paul is the charmingly historic, elegant twin. But don’t let the sibling rivalry fool you. As the saying goes: “The best thing about Minneapolis is Saint Paul, and the best thing about Saint Paul is Minneapolis.” In short, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds.