Archive of ‘City Guides’ category

City Guide: Cabo, Cabo, Cabo

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With an easy direct flight from Chicago, Cabo tends to be my go-to warm weather spot when fleeing our brutal winters. Whether you just want to lay on the beach and do absolutely nothing or have an adventure-filled vacation, Cabo seems to have it all.

STAY: The Cape, A Thompson Hotel
The newly opened Thompson hotel in Cabo is the perfect place to stay. The design is impeccable and every room in the hotel is facing the water, so you definitely won’t be disappointed with a bad view.

EAT: Toro Latin Kitchen & Bar
The chef behind Toro Latin Kitchen & Bar, Richard Sandoval, has restaurants all over the world, including a few right here in Chicago. The setting of the restaurant is beautiful and the tomato watermelon salad with burrata, along with the grilled avocado are must-haves.

EXPLORE: Flora Farms
Every time I’ve plan a trip to Cabo, I call at least a month in advance to try to get into Flora Farms, and every time I hear the news that it’s booked, so be sure to make reservations way before your trip. With farm tours, restaurants and a farmers market, it seems like the perfect place to spend the day!

Where is your favorite seaside getaway?

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City Guide: Honeymoon Hot Spot

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Deciding on where to go on your honeymoon? Skip the ocean and head to Adelboden! My husband and I just returned from our (delayed) honeymoon, and it was definitely one for the books. We visited four cities in three different countries. We booked all of our hotels through Mr. and Mrs. Smith and could not have asked for better accommodations. If you are indecisive as I am, they have outstanding suggestions! One of our favorite destinations was a quaint Swiss town called Adelboden.

The Cambrian Adelboden made us feel right at home from the moment we arrived. The concierge was amazing and very accommodating. Not to mention their spa, restaurant, décor and especially their outdoor pool were all perfection!

Snow Skiing: To fulfill our yearly snow ski itch, we figured we would cross over the pond and see what it’s like to ski in the Swiss Alps. If you haven’t skied in Switzerland yet, I highly suggest adding it to your bucket list. Their skiing is unlike any other and the views are incredible!

After a long day of hitting the slopes, we stopped for a Hot Toddy at Adler Adelboden. A perfect way to soak up a little sun and mingle with the locals. This was the warmest day we had the whole time we were in Europe. Go figure!

Fondue-Iglu. If only I could eat the way I did on my honeymoon every day…pastries, cheese, bread, chocolate… Our favorite and most unique meal was having fondue in an igloo, Swiss style. The igloo could seat up to 200 people! Our gondola up to the igloo was beautiful but definitely high. Those who fear heights, beware.

Where is your dream honeymoon?

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City Guide: Paris, je t’aime

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I have had an affinity for all things French since the first time I saw the Olsen twins’ “Passport to Paris,” and while I never quite picked up the language despite many years of French class, I was thrilled to finally visit the City of Light a couple of years ago. As we did in Amsterdam, my family and I explored all that this iconic metropolis has to offer. In addition to the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe (I promise, it’s worth climbing the stairs to the top!) and of course, wandering the Champs-Elysées, here are a few of the many gems we visited.

Hotel Empereur
The cutest little hotel ever! The elevator is about this [] big but the decor is so Marie Antoinette. The biggest surprise was the bathroom – it was amazing! It’s right near Rue Cler which is a super cute little street where you can get crepes, sit outside and drink wine, and feel Parisian. The location was also great because I was able to stick to my promise of never going to bed in Paris without getting a final look at the Eiffel Tower.

L’Ilot Vache
Probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had. It’s on the island behind Notre-Dame and even on a cold, rainy night it was a beautiful walk. I tried escargot here for the first time so it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Palace Versailles
Because of its distance from the heart of the city, we had a few people try to talk us out of going to Versailles. Luckily we didn’t listen! Since it was December, we were only allowed to tour the inside (the Hall of Mirrors is unreal), and it was still one of the most amazing parts of the trip. I definitely want to make it back in the spring to experience the gardens.

Montmartre
We spent Christmas morning browsing the outdoor market surrounding Sacré-Cœur while sipping on mimosas and hot cocoa. The view from this point in Paris was enough to leave me speechless! That said, I was able to find the words to purchase a charming painting of the Eiffel Tower and macarons from one of the many artists at work in this bustling neighborhood.

Have you ever visited Paris?

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City Guide: Welcome to Miami

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For the third year in a row, I’m heading to Miami over Presidents Day for a long weekend getaway. In the heart of Chicago’s winter, it’s the perfect time to escape for a few days for some much-needed vitamin D. Here are my must-dos while in the 305:

Traditional Dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab
Even though we have our own Joe’s Stone Crab here in Chicago, it’s just not the same as the original one in Miami. The restaurant has been around for over 100 years and still has the same old-school vibe with veteran waiters dressed in jackets and white button-downs who know the restaurant like the back of their hand.

Casual Lunch at Huahua’s Taqueria
Huahua’s is ideal for a quick lunch when you don’t want to waste too much time away from the sun. It’s a cute little taco joint with delicious elote and fried avocado tacos.

A Day at Bal Harbour
If there’s ever a cloudy day or I’ve gotten too much sun, you’ll always find me at Bal Harbour. There’s amazing store after amazing store, and lunch at Carpaccio is always a treat.

Relaxing Stay at the Setai
Amongst all the trendy hotels in South Beach, the Setai feels like a tranquil oasis. It’s the perfect place to stay when your main goal of getting away is to come back feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

High-End Shopping at The Webster
This store tends to be a little bit on the pricier side, with high-end designers upstairs and more affordable items downstairs. The clothing and accessories they carry are one-of-a-kind so it’s worth walking through even if you’re just there to look.

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City Guide: Must-Dos in Music City

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I recently visited Nashville for the third time in as many years and it’s quickly becoming my favorite weekend getaway destination. It’s a quick 45 minute flight from Chicago and in addition to an incredible music scene, there is delicious food, great shopping and so much history. Here are a few of my favorite things to do in Music City:

Shopping along 12 South
A newly bustling area of Nashville, 12 South is home to a slew of independent shops (and great restaurants). Be sure to check out the brand-new Draper James flagship boutique for preppy, pretty frocks and accessories (Reese Witherspoon is behind the brand) and block off a good hour to get lost in the amazing array of goods at White’s Mercantile.

Dinner at Adele’s
Located in the trendy Gulch neighborhood, Adele’s is bright, airy and bustling – the perfect spot to see and be seen (without taking itself too seriously). The famous JW Chicken is not to be missed, and the ricotta bruschetta is melt-in-your-mouth yummy. There’s a great outdoor patio for sipping wine and nibbling on bites if you come when the weather is right!

Take in a concert at The Historic Ryman Auditorium
Hands down, the best place in the city (maybe the country?) to take in live music. Originally built in the 1880s as a church, it has the most incredible acoustics and the intimate setting means there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Those lucky enough to grace the same stage as greats like Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline don’t take the opportunity for granted and sing their hearts out. Not to be missed!

Sunday brunch at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
After a late night out bar hopping on Broadway, nothing will taste better than the incredibly juicy and perfectly crispy hot fried chicken at Hattie B’s. There’s usually a line, so arrive with patience and an appetite in tow. I promise, it will be worth the wait. On Sundays, they offer up waffles as a side and they’re not to be missed!

What’s your favorite weekend getaway destination?

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