Search Results for: travel

5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

COMMENTS: 12

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

In “5 Things,” I’ll ask some of my favorite bloggers in cities all over the country to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete). This week, Lauren Knight of CrumbBums shows us the sights in lovely St. Louis.

5 Things: St. Louis
Lauren Knight of CrumbBums

My name is Lauren Knight and I’m a freelance writer, blogger, vegetable gardener, and style enthusiast. I’ve lived in St. Louis with my husband and three little boys for just over four years. We were a bit apprehensive about moving back to the midwest after eight years of big-city life on the East Coast; luckily, we were pleasantly surprised! St. Louis has a lot going on—there’s a great music and performing arts scene as well as countless family-friendly activities.

There’s a little bit of something for everyone in St. Louis. For me, the appeal of a slower-paced lifestyle and affordable housing is a huge draw. Having space for a house full of rambunctious boys and the space to garden in our backyard is a luxury we would have struggled to afford on the coast—but not having to compromise on the arts scene is an added benefit! We often enjoy going to music venues all over the city on our date nights. Below, some recommendations for your next trip out.

EAT:

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

Winslow’s Home, 7213 Delmar Boulevard, (314) 725-7559

Winslow’s Home is very near and dear to our hearts. It’s within walking distance of our house and has quickly become our go-to breakfast place. I even met the person would become my very best friend there four years ago! But the proximity to our home (and to Washington University) is not the reason we keep going back. It’s the food and the community. Winslow’s Home is run by a lovely couple who also owns an organic farm just outside of St. Louis where they raise much of the produce (and eggs, and chickens) used in their restaurant. Try the brisket sandwich, which boasts slow-cooked grass-fed beef oozing with melted brie and horseradish mayo on a rye bun. Also, enjoy browsing the eclectic collection of home goods, toys, books, and gifts while you wait for your food—the atmosphere is polished general store: the perfect mix of vintage and modern.

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

SHOP:

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

K Hall Designs, 8416 Manchester Road, (314) 963-3293

Walking into K Hall Designs is like taking a breath of fresh (and fragrant) air. Here, you’ll find candles, soaps, lotions, and cleaning products. But beyond that, you’ll find beautiful home products—wool blankets, serving pieces, pottery, soft knits, even jewelry. I always find the best holiday gifts here.

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

STAY:

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

AirBNB — St. Louis

Try areas that are highly walkable, such as the Central West End, which is known for its great restaurants, bars, and shops. Other good neighborhoods to explore are Soulard, (where you should check out the famous Soulard Farmer’s Market), or the Shaw neighborhood close to the Botanical Garden.

PLAY:

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

City Museum, 750 North 16th Street, (314) 231-2489

If you do one thing in St. Louis, you must visit the City Museum. Every year for their birthdays, our boys request a trip here, and we are happy to oblige! Fit for both children and adults, this place is a work of art: full of beautiful architecture, tile work, and amazing 4-foot-wide slinkies leading from one level to the next. And the best part? Visitors are encouraged to touch, climb, and play on everything. Plan on staying all day — every nook and cranny of the multi-level museum begs to be explored. Check out the ferris wheel on the roof, and if you dare, climb aboard the bus that leans off the top of the building. I also recommend taking a break to watch Circus Harmony perform on the third floor. Just be sure to dress comfortably — pants and flat shoes are the way to go here.

Other wonderful child-friendly places to play around the city include the St. Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, and Citygarden, where you can play (and cool off during the summer months in the sprayground and waterfall) within view of the Arch. You can also walk to the Arch from Citygarden for a picnic on a beautiful day.

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

PACK:

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to St. Louis

Comfortable walking shoes or boots, $370, and a backpack, $38, to stash your things so you can explore hands-free.

To really enjoy this city, you need to move those feet!

Thank you so much, Lauren! And thank you to Shoko Wanger for her help with this series all year. It will be back after the holidays.

In the meantime, see the complete selection of cities featured in the 5 Things series.

P.S. You might recall, Lauren’s article for The Washington Post led the round-up of links in this Friday post a while back.

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Hither & Thither Gift Guide: For the (Traveling) Kiddo

COMMENTS: 91

family  Hither & Thither Gift Guide: For the (Traveling) Kiddo

We’ve already seen lists of the Best Books, Best Toys, and Best Creative Gifts for preschoolers, so this one will be thematic: Gifts for the kids—and the parents of kids—who like to travel a lot… and a giveaway. (Keep reading.)

  1. Books are always the right thing. Any of these would be worthy choices: Maps (the most beautiful book of illustrated maps), Walk This World (peek under flaps on a stroll around the globe), one of the Larry Gets Lost titles (we love our San Francisco edition) or a classic This is… city book (This is the World is a compendium). For a board book, consider How Hippo says Hello.
  2. Lightweight, easily packable, and ideal for independent play. In other words, perfect for little travelers: Classic Paddle Ball Gamefamily  Hither & Thither Gift Guide: For the (Traveling) Kiddo
  3. Who wouldn’t love a Skootcasefamily  Hither & Thither Gift Guide: For the (Traveling) Kiddo ? For mini Gregory Pecks and Audrey Hepburns the world over. Freaking adorable. (Do they already have a suitcase of their own? These would make great stocking stuffers.)
  4. We keep a small globe in Hudson’s room. He likes to see how far away a place is before we go. This one’s also pretty enough for the parents of a new baby: “Best wishes on all your adventures as a family!”
  5. A vehicle and a power drill: Take-A-Part Airplanefamily  Hither & Thither Gift Guide: For the (Traveling) Kiddo
  6. A charming and cheerful floor puzzle, fit for a globetrotter.
  7. These Planes slippers are sure to offend your aesthetic sensibility but kids love sliding around wearing their favorite characters. If you are looking for a less-familiar (i.e. branded) plane, try these.
  8. Little Passports subscription. (Be sure to check the shipping schedule if you want one to arrive before Hanukkah or Christmas.)
  9. This one’s more for the parents: OK to wake clockfamily  Hither & Thither Gift Guide: For the (Traveling) Kiddo . Invaluable at home and in a new time-zone. Sure they’re awake but no one gets out of bed until the green light comes on. Throw in a Water Wow coloring book and everyone’s happy.
  10. I think I’ve snapped iPhone photos of this in stores at least three time. This VW Camper Van Tentfamily  Hither & Thither Gift Guide: For the (Traveling) Kiddo  is so cool!
  11. Whether they go by air, land, or sea, help them keep cuddly and comfy. This changes from a teddy bear to a neck pillow and back again. (Or we have one like this.)
  12. We love our Wanderlust City Playmat! Both Skyler and Hudson (who zooms around the roads) are fans.

And there’s good news! Ella Lou has offered to gift one of those beautiful playmats to a reader! And for everyone else they’re offering 15% off playmate with the code HITHER15OFF through December 12th. 

family  Hither & Thither Gift Guide: For the (Traveling) Kiddo

Each one is designed and printed in San Francisco, CA, using non-toxic, water-based inks and a blend of heavy-weight organic cotton & hemp canvas. Choose your preferred city (SF, LA, or NY) and leave it in a comment before Friday, December 5, 11:59pm PST, to be entered in the giveaway. Sorry, US residents only. Note that the last day orders can ship to arrive in time for Christmas is December 20th. (Express orders will ship as late as the 22nd.) See them here. Good luck!

P.S. Last year’s Gift Guide for Kids. And the year’s before that. See all gift guides here.

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5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Los Angeles

COMMENTS: 5

 travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Los Angeles

In “5 Things,” I’ll ask some of my favorite bloggers in cities all over the country to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete). This week, Kate Miss of For Me, For You takes us on a tour of her LA.

5 Things: Los Angeles (East edition)
Kate Miss of For Me, For You

My name is Kate Miss and I’m a graphic designer and jewelry designer. I live with my husband and our dog and cat in a little neighborhood in Los Angeles called Hermon—a tiny pocket surrounded by Highland Park, South Pasadena, and Montecito Heights. We’ve lived in Los Angeles almost four years now and so far, this side of town is my favorite. What I love most about it is how close we are to nature—hikes, the beach, and short drives is all it takes to get us away from it all.

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5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Detroit

COMMENTS: 20

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Detroit
travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Detroit

In “5 Things,” I ask some of my favorite bloggers in cities all over the country to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete). This week, Nicole Dula of Dula Notes shares insider tips on Detroit, Michigan.

5 Things: Detroit
Nicole Dula of Dula Notes

It’s hard to put into words what exactly makes Detroit so special, but when you’re there, you just feel it. The sense of community, entrepreneurship, grittiness, hard work, and overall positivity has me visiting as often as I can. Its checkered past has inspired its citizens to take action and start to develop a different story for the city—urban farms, great restaurants, charming shops and creative businesses are popping up seemingly everywhere these days. If you’ve never been or have been away longer than a year or two, it’s time for a visit!

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5 Things: A Travel Guide to Oakland

COMMENTS: 13

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Oakland travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Oakland

In “5 Things,” I’ll ask some of my favorite bloggers in cities all over the country to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete). This week, designer Emma Robertson offers us a glimpse into the best of Oakland.

5 Things: Oakland
Emma Robertson

My name is Emma Robertson and I’m a Bay Area graphic designer and art director. I’ve lived in the East Bay for about two-and-a-half years now—I started out in Berkeley, and have now landed in Oakland. My fiancé is currently getting his PhD from Berkeley, with about a year left, and we aren’t sure if we’ll stay in the area or move away once he’s done— so I’m currently in a state of trying to do anything and everything I can while I’m here!

This place is truly one-of-a-kind. The weather is magical—constantly providing a fresh, cool environment to run around in. I’m also incredibly inspired by the vegetation—not just in the bay, but in California, in general. Between the natural beauty, the hustle and bustle of being in a big city, and all the cool cats that reside here, I’m incredibly satisfied!

EAT:

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Oakland

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Oakland

Cholita Linda, 4923 Telegraph Avenue, (510) 594-7610
Souley Vegan, 301 Broadway, (510) 922-1615

Cholita Linda is my absolute favorite spot for lunch or dinner. It’s within walking distance of my apartment and is surrounded by lots of fun shops. No matter what time of day, this area is always high energy and lots of fun. (Also, if you’re a fan of fish tacos, go right now!) Another spot that really stands out to me is Souley Vegan, a small spot in Jack London Square that serves a vegan take on Louisiana-style soul food. Mmmmm! It’s close to the water, so you can get it to go and enjoy a great view of the bay.

SHOP:

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Oakland

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Oakland

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Oakland

Temescal Alley, 49th Street between Telegraph Avenue and Clarke Street

If you’ve read any articles about Oakland this year, you’ve most likely heard about Temescal Alley. It’s a one-stop shop for basically anything you could want during an afternoon of shopping—ice cream, coffee, vintage clothing, a hair cut, plants, jewelry, herbs, anything! A few other great spots that are outside of the Alley are: Oakland Surf Club, Issues, Hawthorn Boutique, Umami Mart, and Lost & Found.

STAY:

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Oakland

Airbnb—Oakland

Since our apartment is tiny (and our guest room is now my office) we aren’t able to easily host friends and family when they come to visit—so usually, I recommend renting an Airbnb space up in the hills. Everything is quieter and more lush up there, and the roads are small and windy and create this amazing viewing experience as you make your way up to the top. Each turn provides a new and different view of the bay—it’s magical. There are lots more animals and vegetation up there, too—it’s got a woodsy peaceful vibe.

PLAY:

Lake Merritt, 568 Bellevue Avenue

My fiancé and I are big bike riders, so we love exploring the bay on two wheels. We recently rode the bike route on the new Bay Bridge, which has a designated path where you can walk or ride. There are benches and look-out spots that allow you take breaks and enjoy the view. I’ve lived in a lot of cities over the past few years, and none of them are as bike-friendly as Oakland or Berkeley! Also, Lake Merritt is a wonderful spot for a picnic, a walk, or a public nap if you need a break. There’s a walking path around it that draws people to the area so it’s always very busy and full of energy—plus, there are lights strung around the entire lake, so it gets very moody and romantic around sun-down.

PACK:

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Oakland

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Oakland

Big Baggu, $12

Definitely bring layers! BUT. I’m happy to share that the East Bay is always 5-10 degrees warmer and sunnier than San Francisco. Also, I never go anywhere without my Big Baggu—a lot of spots in Berkeley and Oakland require you to pay for bags when you’re shopping, so it’s nice to have one packed down in my purse. It comes in handy when I run quick errands or make an unexpected shopping stop!

Also, if you want to invest in a great resource, check out This is Oakland: A Guide to the City’s Most Interesting Places. It mentions everything above and MORE.

Thank you so much, Emma! Best wishes for your upcoming wedding—which I believe is right around the corner! (Thank you to Shoko Wanger for her help with this series.) Photos by Ashley Batz for Emmadime.

P.S. More 5 Things Travel guides. And one weekend in Oakland.

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5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to San Diego

COMMENTS: 11

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to San Diego
In “5 Things,” I’ll ask some of my favorite bloggers in cities all over the country to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete). This week, photographer Jamie Street shows us around sunny San Diego.

5 Things: San Diego
Jamie Street

I moved to San Diego when I was fresh out of high school. I only stayed for six months, but I knew I’d be back—and since returning, something about the temperature, the people, and pace of life in San Diego has kept me planted for over a decade.

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5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Paris

COMMENTS: 19

  travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Paris     
In “5 Things,” I’ll ask some of my favorite bloggers in cities all over the country to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete). This week, Nichole Robertson of Obvious State Studio—and author of the beautiful books, Paris in Color and Paris in Love, and The Paris Journal series—guides us through her favorite city, one outside of the country.

5 Things: Paris
Nichole Robertson of Obvious State Studio

Though I live and work in the New York metro area, my husband and I have a studio apartment in Paris. We spend about eight weeks per year there depending on the projects we’re working on.

Paris is my zen. I don’t go to shop, sightsee, or hit the current hot spots—I go to slow down, wander, and think. (I also go for the butter—a large slab of salted French butter and a hot, crispy baguette would be my last meal!)

EAT:
travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Paris

Fromagerie Laurent Dubois, 47 Ter Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris, France, +33 1 43 54 50 93

Laurent Dubois is where I pick up my beloved salted Bordier butter and favorite young goat cheese. I can get wonderful aged cheese in the states, so I focus on the freshest varieties when I’m in Paris. The shop is stunning, and the cheese is presented in a way that reminds me of a museum.

SHOP:
travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Paris

Citypharma Du Four Bonaparte, 26 Rue du Four, 75006 Paris, France, +33 1 46 33 20 81

This place has a cult following for a reason, and pharmacies are the exception to my no-shopping modus operandi. A few of my staples:

Avibon. Avibone is an inexpensive Vitamin A cream similar to Retin A, but doesn’t require a prescription (read: cheap). It’s currently off the market for reformulation, so I’ve switched to A313 cream, which is similar.

Biafine. Though this is formulated for burn and chemical peel recovery, I use this as a regenerative night cream (the secret is out!). It’s extremely healing, and I’ve been shocked by how fast a blemish scar recovers with just a dot of Biafine.

Bioderma. The best makeup and debris remover ever. Though it’s colorless and odorless like water, it clears pores like magic. It’s very easy to spot as there are large displays of this and other micellaire waters at the front of most pharmacies.

Embryolisse CC Cream. I am obsessed with this and make sure I never run out. It’s light coverage, and leaves your skin perfected and dewy. (It’s worth noting here that I worked as a copywriter in the beauty industry for 15 years, and I am dubious when it comes to claims of “perfect skin” and “flawless finish.” But this stuff delivers.) The closest thing I’ve found in the states is Clinique’s Moisture Surge CC cream.

STAY:
travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Paris
travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Paris

We’ve always rented apartments and I recommend rentals over hotels. I love being able to stock the refrigerator with essentials like butter, eggs and yogurt, and do laundry so I can pack light. Erica Berman’s Haven in Paris and Gail Boisclair’s Perfectly Paris are my go-to rental agencies.

PLAY:
travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Paris

Luxembourg Gardens, 6e Arrondissement, 75006 Paris, France, +33 1 42 34 23 62

When we travel with our boys, the Luxembourg Gardens are always at the top of their list (boats and ice cream!). And though it’s incredibly kid-friendly, it’s still a peaceful spot to rest, dream, or in my case, scheme—many of our studio’s projects are a result of wine-fueled conversations in this park.

PACK:
travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Paris

Next to nothing! For a week in Paris, I pack one pair of boots, two pairs of jeans, two or three sweaters, and some basic tees. I do laundry every other night. I walk so much and rarely need to be dressed up for dinner, so I let comfort dictate my wardrobe—besides, I need plenty of room in my carry-on for butter and French pharmacy finds!

Thank you so much, Nichole! One of your photographs of Paris hangs in my office. I fear I’m going to crave a hot baguette with salted French butter every time I sit down to work. (Thank you to Shoko Wanger for her help with this series!)

P.S. Our Paris travelogues and the apartment we rented from Haven in Paris (one of Nichole’s recommendations). 

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Travelogue: Positano & the Amalfi Coast, Italy

COMMENTS: 45

travel  Travelogue: Positano & the Amalfi Coast, Italy
travel  Travelogue: Positano & the Amalfi Coast, Italy
travel  Travelogue: Positano & the Amalfi Coast, Italy

This is the last leg of our trip to Italy

Positano is built almost entirely on the side of mountains—dramatically and precariously so. It practically drips into the sea, defying all expectations of gravity and foundations. One wonders how it came about. I suppose it stands as a testament to the value of the sea that anyone would dare consider building such a place.

We’d visited Positano on our first trip to Italy together and I always hoped we might return. Swimming in the sea is actually my favorite kind of swimming. Warm ocean waters with soft sand are the ideal for most people, but I actually love a pebbly beach that leaves you salty… and your sandwiches free of sand. And the Mediterranean is just so beautiful.

Everyone warned us that we would regret visiting the Amalfi Coast in August, so we were happy that our dates left us arriving in the first week of September. We booked our stay in Positano for six nights almost as soon as we purchased the tickets.

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Travelogue: Tuscany & Umbria, Italy

COMMENTS: 36

travel  Travelogue: Tuscany & Umbria, Italy
travel  Travelogue: Tuscany & Umbria, Italy

The drive from Rome north to Siena took only a few hours and passed quickly. Once we actually left with the rental car (a process that took far longer than expected), the kids fell promptly asleep in the back seat and Aron and I looked out the window as clumped stone villages perched precariously on hilltops started to rise out of nowhere.

The trick was to navigate up into one!

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5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Seattle

COMMENTS: 7

travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Seattle
travel  5 THINGS: A Travel Guide to Seattle

In “5 Things,” I’ll ask some of my favorite bloggers in cities all over the country to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete). This week, designer, illustrator, and photographer Julia Manchik shares Seattle’s spoils.

5 Things: Seattle
Julia Manchik of Yuriy + Julia

Although I grew up in a small town, I adore Seattle. It may be a big city, but it’s surprisingly easy to escape to the outdoors — we have great food, music, and shopping within walking distance of our apartment in Capitol Hill, but we’re also just a short drive from areas where we can bike, kayak, ski, and hike. I love that the city is built around water and mountains — even downtown, it’s incredibly green. I love it. I could see myself living here for a long time.

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5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston

COMMENTS: 8

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston

In “5 Things,” I’ll ask some of my favorite bloggers in cities all over the country to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete). This week, Olivia Rae James shows us around charming Charleston, South Carolina.

5 Things: Charleston
Olivia Rae James

I first visited Charleston when I was in middle school, and immediately knew I would live here one day—it’s such an easy place to fall in love with. The peninsula on the South Carolina coast is small and walkable, but chock-full of amazing gems. To experience all the incredible food and drink here you’d have to stay weeks (or eat twelve meals a day), and there are constantly new alleys or secret gardens to be discovered. It’s a charming little city that’s perfect for getting lost in, but just in case you’re more of a planner, here are a few favorite must-see spots.

EAT:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston
Chez Nous, 6 Payne Court, (843) 579-3060

Located in a tiny house tucked away in an alley, Chez Nous‘s small daily menu (two appetizers, two entrees, two desserts) never fails to amaze. Exquisite French food, intimate setting, charming people—I’m sold.

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston

SHOP:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston
The Commons, 54 1/2 Broad Street, (646) 408-3447

The Commons is a little shop filled with the most amazing collection of American-made treasures. Hidden away on Broad Street, it shares a space with Heirloom Book Company, where you can find unique cookbooks, both new and old.

STAY:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston
Zero George Street, 0 George Street, (843) 817-7900

Zero George Street is a bed-and-breakfast made up of five restored historic houses. With its contemporary decor, delicious breakfasts, gorgeous courtyard, and ideal location for walking anywhere in the historic district, it’s my favorite hotel downtown.

PLAY:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston
My favorite thing to do in Charleston is to walk around the southernmost part of the peninsula, also known as South of Broad. It’s home to the most gorgeous houses, gardens, oak-shaded streets, narrow alleys, and endless water views. Battery Park is a perfect destination for running around with kids or dogs, and enjoying the stunning surroundings.

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston
If you feel like getting off the peninsula and heading to the coast, the drive to Sullivan’s Island is short and scenic (and the beach is beautiful).

PACK:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Charleston
A sun hat, $98, and a light-and-easy dress, $80

Charleston gets very hot and very humid. Unless you’re visiting in the short winter season, prepare to bring cool clothes and sun protection. I love this straw hat from Accompany and this breezy white dress from Proud Mary.

Thank you so much, Olivia! And thank you to Shoko Wanger for her help with this series. I’ve only spent a couple of days in Charleston, for a wedding—but I just loved it! I hope to return soon and put these tips to use.

P.S. Olivia wrote a lovely guest post here while I was enjoying my first days home with baby Hudson. Seems like ages ago!

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5 Things: A Travel Guide to Brooklyn Heights

COMMENTS: 12

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Brooklyn Heights
In “5 Things,” I’ll ask some of my favorite bloggers in cities all over the country to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete). This week, Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves shows us the sights in beautiful Brooklyn Heights.

5 Things: Brooklyn Heights
Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves

My husband, James, and I have lived in Brooklyn Heights for just over three years and the quiet tree-lined streets that first attracted us to the neighborhood have equal appeal for visitors hoping to experience a respite from the crowds of Manhattan. In the summertime, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade fills with tourists hoping for a glimpse of the iconic downtown Manhattan skyline from across the river. We encourage visitors to pack a picnic blanket and lounge in nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park for a while. This may be New York, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a little break from the hustle.

EAT:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Brooklyn Heights
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Brooklyn Heights

The River Deli, 32 Joralemon Street, (718) 254-9200

The River Deli is one of our favorite spots in the neighborhood for a dinner out. It’s not fancy, or particularly trendy, but it’s affordable for young families, always yummy, and it’s tucked into a quiet corner that gives you a real taste of the neighborhood. Maybe best of all, it’s just a stone’s throw from one of the neighborhood’s greatest assets: Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Bonus: a window seat affords you some pretty nice neighborhood people watching).

If you’re planning a picnic, pick up supplies at Willowtown Store #7 on Columbia Place. And if you’re in the mood for something a little more refined, try dinner at Iris Café #9.

SHOP:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Brooklyn Heights
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Brooklyn Heights

Holler & Squall, 119 Atlantic Avenue, (347) 223-4685

Holler & Squall on Atlantic Avenue is one of my favorite neighborhood shops to browse in on a lazy weekend. Filled with an eclectic mix of antiques, the shop always has a patinaed lamp or cozy Chesterfield sofa worth ogling (or splurging on). For something a little more family-friendly, BookCourt is just a few blocks away in nearby Cobble Hill and is a fantastic spot to pick up some vacation reading for adults and kiddos.

STAY:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Brooklyn Heights
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Brooklyn Heights
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Brooklyn Heights

AirBNB — Brooklyn Heights

Largely a residential neighborhood, I think visitors to Brooklyn Heights get the best sense of the neighborhood by finding an Airbnb rental in their budget that they can call home for a few nights. To consider: proximity to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade! (The French doors on this rental look dreamy.) For folks hoping for a more traditional hotel experience, the Marriott in downtown Brooklyn is also close by.

PLAY:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Brooklyn Heights
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Bridge Park, 334 Furman Street, (718) 222-9939

Brooklyn Heights gives visitors a chance to experience the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and its stunning views of lower Manhattan and New York Harbor, and the constantly expanding Brooklyn Bridge Park. James and I practically live in the park on the weekends, but it’s a place that’s as thrilling for out-of-towners as it is for neighborhood folks. For visitors, I’d recommend a morning walk over the Brooklyn Bridge (if you need to keep your reserves, just walk to the first tower and loop back around) and a lunchtime picnic at Pier 1. If you have kiddos, cool off at the splash pad at Pier 6 (and make things even easier on yourself by grabbing a pizza at the nearby Fornino outpost at Pier 6 or an ice cream from Ample Hills at Pier 5). If you’re visiting on a Sunday, the Brooklyn food fest extravaganza Smorgasburg at Pier 5 also provides plenty of lunch options. If you’re hankering for more of an adventure, catch a ride on the ferry to Governors Island (only $2.00) from Pier 6, and take a stroll around the leafy island before heading back to home base.

PACK:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Brooklyn Heights

A favorite picnic blanket, $99

One of the best parts about the neighborhood is its newly developed waterfront and the chance the park gives you to relax and soak in the energy of the city, from a distance. Pack a blanket and a few snacks and let the salty harbor air wash over you as you give your feet a rest. This buffalo check blanket from the Brooklyn-based Kaufmann Mercantile is a classic option for picnicking families.

Thank you so much, Erin! We loved Brooklyn Heights when we lived in New York (Holler & Squall as well!) but I wish we’d been around long enough to make use of these suggestions and to see the new waterfront park. I’m so looking forward to returning one day!

And thank you to Shoko Wanger for her help with this series! 

P.S. More of the “5 Things” series. And you may recall Erin from this post, too.

And we're off...
Guest Post: Jennifer...
Travelogue: Montreal...
Travelogue: Chatham,...
Road Trip: Wenatchee...

5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo

COMMENTS: 15

travel california  5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo

In “5 Things,” I’ll ask some of my favorite bloggers in cities all over the country to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete). This week, Jennifer Young introduces us to the town of San Luis Obispo.

5 Things: San Luis Obispo
Jennifer Young of I Art U and Jennifer Young Studio.

Welcome to the happiest city in America (or so Oprah says!). San Luis Obispo, aka SLO, is a charming coastal town located right between Los Angeles and San Francisco. I’ve been lucky enough to call this place home for the past five years. It’s the perfect place to visit for a weekend getaway, whether you’re in need of a trip to the great outdoors or just want a beautiful pit stop when traveling between LA and SF. There’s so much to do in the area, but here are some of my top picks.

EAT:
travel california  5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo

travel california  5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo

Novo, 726 Higeura Street, (805) 543-3986

Novo is a local and tourist favorite in the heart of downtown SLO. Their outdoor patio dining in the evening is an SLO experience not to be missed. They serve a global cuisine with a plethora of wine choices (and great cocktails, too!).

SHOP:
travel california  5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo
travel california  5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo

Ruby Rose, 1235 Monterey Street, (805) 545-7964

Ruby Rose is the best place to shop, hands down. I don’t consider SLO to be a place for great shopping, but Ruby Rose will sweep you off your feet. From the gals at Ruby Rose themselves: “Combined with our love of junking, paired with the spirit of the road trip, we travel around the West Coast in our Airstream trailer. We scour flea markets, thrift stores, estate & yard sales to bring back lovelies to our vintage shop located in the quaint town of San Luis Obispo, California.”

Ruby Rose is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11 AM — 5 PM, and Sunday 12 PM — 4 PM. Make time in your schedule to visit this gem of a place!

travel california  5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo
travel california  5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo
travel california  5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo

STAY:
travel california  5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo
travel california  5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo

Granada Hotel and Bistro, 1126 Morro Street, (805) 544-9100

Another gem in the heart of downtown, Granada Hotel and Bistro is an ideal place to stay if you want to be in the center of everything — but with only 17 guest rooms and suites, make sure to book early. They have everything you will need for your stay in downtown SLO — access to complimentary Linus bikes; an indoor lounge with a fireplace; a rooftop patio for drinks and people watching; a downstairs bistro that serves brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert; and a spa. What more could you need? (Oh, and a major bonus if you’re staying there on a Thursday evening — you’ll be steps away from SLO’s weekly farmers’ market. It’s the best!)

PLAY:
travel california  5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo
travel california  5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo

When I think of San Luis Obispo, the first thing that comes to mind is the abundance of beaches and hiking/running trails available. It’s a really great city to be in if you want to unplug and spend some time to soak in the beauty of the outdoors. I have so many favorite trails and beaches, but hiking Bishop’s Peak is high on the list. Make it to the top and you’ll get the best view of this charming city!

PACK:

travel california  5 Things: A Travel Guide to San Luis Obispo

A great weekender bag like this one from Cuyana* would suffice for a trip here to SLO. Oh and don’t forget to pack your sunnies and sunblock if you plan to spend a lot of time outside! Enjoy!

Thanks so much, Jennifer! For more, find Jen’s blog, I Art U, and her Instagram feed, here.

P.S. One of our favorite California coastal drives, that will take you right around San Luis Obispo (where, by the way, so many of my friends were lucky to go to college)! And last week’s “5 Things.” 

(Thank you to Shoko Wanger for her help with this series. *Note that the bag is sold out. Here’s a similar one.)

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5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg

COMMENTS: 13

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg
I’m so excited to bring you this new travel series! I’ve found that when asking people advice about visiting their city, it’s best to ask them where they’d take a friend.

So, in “5 Things,” I’ll ask some of my favorite bloggers in cities all over the country to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete)—the things they’d do. In the series’ inaugural post, Shoko Wanger of Sho & Tell introduces us to Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY. 

5 Things: Williamsburg
Shoko Wanger of Sho & Tell

I’ve lived in Williamsburg for four years now and have become gleefully accustomed to the steady influx of visitors that stream through in the spring and summer months. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of things to do in the area—we’ve got some of the best restaurants and shopping in the city (though I admit, as an adoring resident, I’m biased). It would be impossible to fit everything I love about Williamsburg into a weekend—but, happily, that’s just another reason to return.

EAT:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg

Bakeri, 150 Wythe Avenue, (718) 388-8037

The backyard at Bakeri is a true gem—a tiny, tucked-away oasis just minutes from the bustle of Bedford Avenue. It’s a great stop for coffee or tea, sandwiches on housemade breads, or assorted pastries (my favorite is skolebrød, a custardy Norwegian treat showered in grated coconut). Everything’s exceptional—and served up by a smiling staff in powder-blue jumpsuits, no less.

SHOP:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg

Beautiful Dreamers, 326 Wythe Avenue, (718) 388-4884

Located on an unassuming block on the south side of Williamsburg, Beautiful Dreamers is a bohemian wonderland packed with ethereal treasures: clothing and clay incense burners, handmade pottery and patchwork quilts, plants in every nook and cranny. There’s a wooden swing near the front window; behind the cashier, white doves rest, cooing quietly in a sea-green cage.

STAY:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg

Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Avenue, (718) 460-8000

The rooftop view at the Wythe Hotel is reason enough to book a stay. Further incentives: it’s beautifully built and a paragon of Brooklyn design (it’s co-owned by the same team behind neighborhood mainstays Marlow & Sons, Marlow & Daughters,and Diner). Its rooms feature pine ceilings, furnishings made by local artisans, and custom Williamsburg-themed wallpaper. It’s also home to an acclaimed restaurant, Reynard, and a gorgeous bar, The Ides, where said rooftop views are best enjoyed.

PLAY:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg

travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg

Williamsburg waterfront and East River State Park, Kent Avenue at N. 8th Street

I love the Williamsburg waterfront, with the bridge to the left and the Manhattan skyline straight ahead. Have a picnic in the grass, take a walk on the pier, or hitch a ride to Greenpoint or DUMBO on the East River Ferry. During warm weather months, Smorgasburg—a food-focused flea market with over 75 vendors—makes its home here every Saturday, in East River State Park.

PACK:
travel  5 Things: A Travel Guide to Williamsburg

Backpack, $42.

I learned quickly that a big bag is key to mastering a day out in New York. Without a car to stow things in, I often find myself carrying ridiculous amounts of stuff around with me every day: makeup, an umbrella, an iPhone charger, a camera, and all the various odds and ends I pick up over the course of a day. A roomy bag makes it easier—and more comfortable—to be out and about with everything a multi-hour excursion requires. I like these backpacks from Baggu, which, as it happens, is a Williamsburg-based company. (You can visit their shop at 242 Wythe Avenue.)

Thank you so much, Shoko—for this and for your tremendous help with the entire series!
P.S. More Williamsburg: Our favorite restaurant (ever), Renegade on the waterfront, and Brooklyn Brewery.

Photos by Jacquelyne Pierson.

A city of Moules Fri...
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Le(a)d Zeppole
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Travelogue: Seattle in 48 hours (Round 3, with kids)

COMMENTS: 32

travelogue travel  Travelogue: Seattle in 48 hours (Round 3, with kids)
travelogue travel  Travelogue: Seattle in 48 hours (Round 3, with kids)

This was my third visit to Seattle, and on each visit my impression has been consistent: wow. I’m sure it hasn’t hurt that every visit has been free of the notorious drizzle, but even grey skies couldn’t obscure how beautiful this city is.

We were lucky to get to spend two nights in Seattle a little while back as part of Coast Hotel’s “Great Coast Road Trip.” Essentially, I was asked if I’d like to do a three-city leg of a multi-blogger road trip, write about for their website, and bring my family along. I’ve been invited for some press travel before, but rarely with Aron and the kids, so I usually decline. This was such a treat! You can of course read my posts about the trip on their site—and I’m under no obligation to say more—but we had such a great time (even as we were so daunted by the prospect of a road trip with an infant) that I still wanted to share a travelogue here, too.

Anyway, the plan was this: fly to Seattle and spend two nights there before picking up a Zipcar and driving part of the Cascades loop to Wenatchee, and then on to Portland, before passing along the car to someone else and flying home. We had never been to Portland or Wenatchee (and I’ll talk about those stops next week), and it had been 8 years since our last visit to Seattle… when we almost moved there! We were excited to go back.

travelogue travel  Travelogue: Seattle in 48 hours (Round 3, with kids)
travelogue travel  Travelogue: Seattle in 48 hours (Round 3, with kids)
travelogue travel  Travelogue: Seattle in 48 hours (Round 3, with kids)

The flight from Sacramento to Seattle passed so quickly! Aron and I started hatching plans for return trips before we even left the airport. For his part, Hudson would have been happy to never leave the airport tram.

On that note, public transportation into the city center is supposed to be simple and efficient, but we opted for a taxi as neither Hudson nor Skyler are carrying their own things yet—and they seem to require so much!

travelogue travel  Travelogue: Seattle in 48 hours (Round 3, with kids)
travelogue travel  Travelogue: Seattle in 48 hours (Round 3, with kids)
travelogue travel  Travelogue: Seattle in 48 hours (Round 3, with kids)

We arrived in Seattle right around nap time, so after checking in at the Roosevelt (our first Coast hotel), we took a little break before heading back out. We were downtown and, I noted, just off of the main shopping strip and blocks from the original Nordstrom. I briefly considered bidding the weary crew adieu for some afternoon shopping, but we had a fairly full itinerary.

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Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

COMMENTS: 14

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

With so many babies on the horizon, I’d thought I’d revisit a topic from my first pregnancy. (A handful of you may have seen a version of this on my old site, Baby Mine.)

Being fortunate enough to take a sort of “last-hurrah” vacation as an expectant couple should be enough, right? You should already count yourself lucky (especially if somebody else is nice enough to watch your older child or children while you’re gone).

So let me preface this by saying that I realize this is not a real problem and that I fear that this will sound ridiculous. But some of you might be realizing that choosing a good destination when you’re expecting is a challenge!

And it occurred to me that I’m probably not the only one out there who has Googled “traveling while pregnant” for destination ideas to find that the only links returned are articles on getting up and walking during long plane flights. In the end, I can only offer that (1) these are some of the factors you might consider, (2) you will get to travel again once the baby arrives (and the real challenges begin), and (3) you’ll have a great time regardless. Think of it less as a last hurrah and more of a chance to celebrate what’s to come.

In our case, the first getaway during my first pregnancy was to Montreal, to celebrate an anniversary. Aron worried about the long car ride, and I feared that a romantic getaway to the “Paris of the North” (in the winter) wouldn’t be the same without foie gras; stinky, unpasteurized cheeses; dips in a steamy, hot jacuzzi; or copious glasses of wine.

Obviously, we got over it.

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

The next vacation we got to plan was for a February escape to warmer climes (and hopefully a sun-drenched beach). We’d taken a trip to India the previous April (with the push being that we should seize the opportunity to see a place I’d always dreamed of visiting before having a baby might keep us away for a while), and we actually considered a repeat trip while our visas were still valid. But it seemed unnecessarily risky: Aron had gotten sick briefly on our last visit, and the fear of food-borne illness–potentially devastating to a fetus–loomed large. We also thought about all of the bug repellent we had applied (instead of taking anti-malarials), and knowing that I would now neither feel comfortable using Deet nor taking anti-malarials placed the destination firmly in the no-go category. We had really hoped to go somewhere that could prove challenging with a baby or small child (as opposed to a kid-friendly, domestic spot like Florida), but found that most places that are warm in February are in the tropics and posed similar problems.

I think it was around the time that I reminded my husband that I also couldn’t scuba dive that he was ready to give up on warm weather altogether, suggesting instead that we head for snowy mountains and embrace the winter. But I quickly vetoed the thought of a non-skiing, non-hot-tubbing, non-hot-toddy drinking week in the snow. Picky, picky.

In the end, we got very lucky: my parents (probably tired of my indecision) came to the rescue with a gift of a Caribbean cruise and we had an amazing time! We also snuck off to Napa for a few days of couple-time and laughed at ourselves for booking a trip to the wine region at five months pregnant.

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

Since then, over two pregnancies, I’ve traveled a lot in the expectant state and my conclusion? (Hint: It’s the same with all questions of travel.) Go!

Yes, there will be heartburn. No, you can’t toss back margaritas. Yes, you will probably spend far too much time agonizing over a maternity bathing suit. But not as much time as you’ll spend agonizing over the first postpartum one.

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

I’d vote the best time is late in the second trimester or early in the third, when you’re unlikely to be sick, likely to look pregnant, likely able to stay up past 9pm, and unlikely to be in early labor or any sort of stressed-out nesting mode.

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

P.S. More encouragement: Trips we took while I was pregnant with Hudson or Skyler to Cape CodCalistogaHawaiiGrand CaymanYosemite and Lake Tahoe.

Introducing Hudson
Date night
A few family photos ...
Holiday highlights
Happy half-birthday

Updated: Ireland Travelogue

COMMENTS: 6

travel  Updated: Ireland Travelogue

Every now and then, this photo of the Trinity College Library’s Long room from our travelogue to Ireland pops up in my Pinterest feed. I’d follow the link back to the Travelogue and it would just drive me crazy to see the old post with its few, miniature images–and a whole lot of text. It was due for an update.

That trip we took to Ireland, one spring a few years back, was such a fantastic one. We chose it as a destination on a funny whim—it just happened to be the cheapest international destination to fly to from New York City in June (presumably because it’s usually rainy there then, though it wasn’t for us)—and so I hadn’t built up that sense of eager anticipation about Ireland the way one might. It completely wowed me.

If you haven’t had a look, check out our Ireland travelogue—newly updated! (Aron and I look like such babies—before having our own.)

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