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48 Hours in Toronto

Things to do in Toronto

Travel Tip #1 - When traveling to Toronto - unless you live within a 4 hour driving radius of the city I do NOT suggest driving. I know it's cheaper but travel within the city can take 45min - 1 hour just to get there - the prices to park are astronomical - and even traveling by public transportation can be expensive. 

I would suggest flying into Toronto airport - taking an Uber to your destination in the city - and then walking/using public transit the rest of the way. It will save you so much time. 

Being an American I was super excited to try a Tim Horton's (especially considering a majority of my Canadian knowledge comes from How I Met Your Mother.) 

For you Donut connoisseur I highly recommend Tim Hortons - The doughnuts have a Krispy Kreme consistency with a Dunkin sweetness. Even being a coffee snob - I found their fast food coffee tasty and drinkable.  

Things to do in Toronto

Don't forget - to buy anything in Canada you have to convert your money. Canada has switched over from paper money to plastic. This silky consistency makes it really look and feel like "play money" but it's quite durable. While most places take cards - it's good to have for travel fare & to see in person. 

Things to do in Toronto

After bus rides, insane traffic, & trains - I finally made it into the city and began my walking journey. The first thing I notice is the abundance of art throughout the city. Almost ever wall is covered in street art & there are advertisements for where it is legal to use graffiti. 

Things to do in Toronto

The first 24 hours in Toronto was all about discovering my surroundings, taking photos of amazing murals - and general people watching. Although Canada is our neighbor to the North and everyone talks about how it's almost exactly like America I'd have to disagree. While Toronto is a large city with a design much like New York it feels safer, cleaner, and friendlier. Definitely a place I'd like to spend an extended period of time. As you walk & walk you realize you could probably live here your whole life and never experience everything it had to offer. 

Things to do in Toronto
Things to do in Toronto

While street art makes the city's landscape unique and interesting, the architectural design of the city is also quite revolutionary. All the buildings have intricate design elements such as odd angles, light displays, and window decals. This makes walking around the city more interesting as well as gives you great landmarks to find your way back around. 

Things to do in Toronto
Things to do in Toronto

One of the things I was most excited about was thrift store shopping. Toronto has a HUGE thrift store scene and almost everything in the stores are $10. Black Market was probably the coolest store we saw, with a combination of old vintage/new remasters this store is a clothing establishment, record store, barber shop, and a collection of all things weird. I could have spent an entire day rummaging through this shop. 

Things to do in Toronto

On the surrounding streets are other shops that cater to vintage lovers. With a combination of old and new you're sure to find something one of a kind to bring back to the states with you. I enjoyed the shops so much I think I'm going to hit it up once a year just to get some shopping done. And don't forget with the exchange rate you should have a few extra dollars to spend. 

Things to do in Toronto

DAY 2

Things to do in Toronto

No matter how trendy you want to be make sure you wear comfortable shoes! Toronto streets seem endless and everywhere you turn there is a new subcity to be explored. We took a stroll through Chinatown to make it to my favorite place - Kensington Market

Things to do in Toronto

Kensington Market is a small neighborhood that is a collection of shopping, dining, and medical dispensaries. It reminded me of a much larger Woodstock. This is another place where you could kill an entire day - searching through each vintage or handmade market. 

Things to do in Toronto
Things to do in Toronto

Make sure when you're here you walk down each side of the street both ways. If not you'll miss murals and little shops. Even though it's a few extra steps I promise it's worth it. You'll never imagine what you have missed. 

Things to do in Toronto
Things to do in Toronto

Right outside of Kensignton more towards Black Market on the left side of the street you will look down alleyways - see amazing artwork and think "This is Graffiti Alley" I promise you it's not -

I probably took photos at so many walls until I actually walked through a creepy alley way and into the light and saw almost a mile worth of covered buildings. You'll also know you've arrived because it will be littered with photographers all trying to capture the beauty. 

This is another reason I want to head back into the city once a year because the art work changes so frequently. 

Things to do in Toronto
Things to do in Toronto
Things to do in Toronto
Things to do in Toronto

I didn't make it to the CN Tower in time to go up before the baseball game - but if you have tickets or want to make it up I suggest highly buying tickets in advance. I'm a sucker for tall buildings even though I know it's the same - but just having that experience is worthwhile. 

If you're a real daredevil they do have an experience where you can propel off the side of the tower, called Edge Walk. It's quite pricey at around $200 but it's definitely a memory you'd never forget. 

Things to do in Toronto

Last on the agenda was catching a Toronto Blue Jays game - I thought baseball was popular in America - whoa boy - everyone in the city was donning bright blue & the stadium was sold out. While I was catching the game from the second to last row from the top - I get to see 3 home run hits in the first inning. 

Things to do in Toronto

Even though I'm a HUGE foodie, I didn't actually get to eat much on this trip - However I highly suggest picking up the "unofficial dish of Canada" - poutine. This brown gravy, cheese curd, fry combo is so popular it's served at McDonalds and baseball games. Make sure you give it a try. 

Things to do in Toronto
Things to do in Toronto

Although my trip was cut short I hope this small guide can help you if you ever find yourself in the Great White North, exploring all Toronto has to offer. Let me know all the best food recommendation because I'll be back soon 

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How to Pack for A Vacation

How to Pack for a Vacation

You've been counting down the days & you're ready to jet set off on your next vacation. But you're stuck with the dilemma of 

"What to Pack?" - "What if I forget Something?" - "How Many Shoes are Too Many?" 

These are all GREAT questions that I ask myself every time I plan a vacation. First I start a week ahead - I constantly check the weather and plan to pack for 5 degrees below and above the forecast. 

This week I'm heading to Canada - The average temperature for this week is around 82 degrees - Which is going to feel AMAZING since it's been 100 degrees in NC this week. 

CLOTHES

How to Pack for A Vacation

When I'm packing clothes I believe "A Little Too Much isn't That Bad" - I'm the queen of changing when I can - especially when I'm on vacation. To me the more outfits I wear the more interesting my photos will come out. I have a loving relationship with clothes and photography. 

You should AT Least have 1-3 pairs of pants - 2-3 dresses - 5-7 shirts - 1-2 sweaters/jackets & a bathing suit. 

I try to pack neutral colors and a few florals. This allows me to mix and match outfits to create casual & going out outfits. (Usually I pack a blazer but this time I knew I wasn't going to use it.) But blazers are a great way to dress up any outfit. 

SHOES

Puppy not included

Puppy not included

I tend to only pack a couple pairs of shoes. Tennis shoes for long walks - casual sandals for everyday hangouts - and a pair of dressy shoes which can range from flats, dressy sandals, or heels. 

TOILETRIES

How to Pack for a Vacation

I go on so many weekend trips for work that I already have a bag filled with all the travel essentials so I can grab and go. 

Shower Essentials - Shampoo, Conditioner, Bumble & Bumble Hair Dry Styling Gel. 
Health Care - Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, aspirin, deodorant, razor, aspirin, bandaids. 
Extras: Nail Clippers, Hair bow, Make-up Remover

 

MAKEUP

How to Pack for a Vacation

I love Makeup - I worked at Sephora for a brief period of time and become obsessed with quality makeup. I don't go anywhere without a full makeup bag for any occasion. Here's a quick list. 

Foundation, foundation brushes, eyeshadow, highlighter, bronzer, eyebrow kit, eyeliner, 3 lipsticks in different shades, mascara, perfume, nail polish. 

Travel Accessories

How to Pack for a Vacation

This over the shoulder bag and oversized wallet from Target are two of my favorite travel essentials. It always kills me to downsize because I'm so afraid I'm going to forget something.

This is just a basic list of packing essentials. If you have any questions about a certain product feel free to leave a comment & I'd be happy to answer it. 

What are some of your favorite packing essentials ?  

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A Stroll Through Fort Fisher

Last weekend I was lucky enough to have a little time to kill before shooting a Rehearsal Dinner in Southport for Zach and Leslie (see their wedding blog here

My friend Amanda (who you may recognize from this post) lives in Kure beach when she's not off traveling the world or working for humanitarian groups. I knew I wanted to spend some time at Fort Fisher since I had seen wonderful photos taken there and had never explored it (even though I lived in Wilmington for a year) 

It was just beginning to rain as we explored some of the more unbeaten pathways of Fort Fisher while Mark snapped some photos! 

I highly suggest checking out this place if you're ever in the area as it's right on the beach and creates an other worldly experience with the twisted oak trees and the overgrown swamplands. 

Fort Fisher NC - Raleigh Lifestyle Bloggers
Fort Fisher NC - Raleigh Lifestyle Bloggers
Fort Fisher, NC - Travel Blog - NC Lifestyle Bloggers
Fort Fisher, NC - Travel Blog - NC Lifestyle Bloggers
Fort Fisher, NC - Travel Blog - NC Lifestyle Bloggers
Fort Fisher, NC - Travel Blog - NC Lifestyle Bloggers
Fort Fisher, NC - Travel Blog - NC Lifestyle Bloggers
Fort Fisher, NC - Travel Blog - NC Lifestyle Bloggers
Fort Fisher, NC - Travel Blog - NC Lifestyle Bloggers
Fort Fisher, NC - Travel Blog - NC Lifestyle Bloggers
Fort Fisher, NC - Travel Blog - NC Lifestyle Bloggers
Fort Fisher, NC - Travel Blog - NC Lifestyle Bloggers
Fort Fisher, NC - Travel Blog - NC Lifestyle Bloggers
Fort Fisher, NC - Travel Blog - NC Lifestyle Bloggers

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Boston, Ma - Day 2

Our last day in Boston and the final day of our long weekend approached and we decided to take it easy. After two days of walking at least 15 miles we tried to pack in a few low key activities (however all of them involved walking long distances) 

South boston Travel Guide - Things to do in Boston - Lifestyle Blog

We took the blue line into the city and connected to the red line to take us out to South Boston. Typically a business center it was pretty deserted on a Saturday. Unknowingly we ended up walking past the Boston Harbor and the site of the Boston Tea Party.

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

 

While I didn't have much interest in going into the museum, viewing the ships from afar and imaging colonists pouring tea into the harbor was an important site in history I was happy I could see. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

 

As we continued to walk towards the edge of the city, we started to see our destination, Harpoon Brewery.  Even at noon it was already packed and our tour ticket wasn't scheduled until 1:40. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

 

Having heard great reviews of the Yankee Lobster, a lobster restaurant right outside of Harpoon, we decided to catch a quick bite before sampling a bunch of beers. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

 

Another tiny eatery, there was limited seating but we were able to find a place outside. This menu is nothing but authentic seafood that is caught right outside of it's walls. I choose the lobster roll, while my husband decided to go for the 1 1/4lb lobster. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

Once we were done with lunch we headed back to Harpoon for our tour.

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

 

The oldest brewery in Massachusetts they brew a wide variety of beer and rely on word of mouth and social media for advertising. They also use their spent grain from their brewing process to make the pretzels they sell in their tasting room and the rest they donate to local farms for cows to eat. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

 

After learning about the process of Harpoon - the guides took us into their tasting room to try various samples of their beers. I fell in love with their UFO Big Squeeze Shandy which tasted like an orange wine spritzer, and their UFO Razz, a raspberry beer. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

 

After all those tasters I was a bit tipsy and needed a quick pick me up before we traveled to JFK Presidential Library and stopped at Barrington Coffee. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

From there we took the Red Line to the bus - and headed towards JFK Presidential Library and UMass. I highly recommend taking the free bus instead of walking like we did - especially when the wind is coming off the harbor. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

To celebrate JFK's birthday - they were planning a special celebration and closing early so we only had a few moments to really explore the exhibits that displayed JFK's campaign and presidency. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

I've always been fascinated with Kennedy - especially since my mother was born on 11.22.63 - I've seen the Stephen King special that just aired on Hulu - I watched a documentary on Netflix, and have been reading about his presidency and the assassination for years. So to really take a look inside the artifacts that made up the election was truly magical. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

Outside of the center is also full of historical artifacts including JFK's sailboat. Inside the exhibit you can watch home videos of him at sea with his son. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

Although this photo doesn't do it justice, standing outside the library is a breathtaking view of Boston. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

Another exciting element of the vacation was the fact that the special exhibit on hand was the Ernest Hemingway exhibit "Between Two Wars" - We were able to take a look into Hemingway's life, his love, and his works of art. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

By the time we were done traveling South Boston and the edge of Boston - it was time to head back into the city and make it back to the Air BnB since we had an early flight - but that wasn't before grabbing a slice of pizza in the Italian district and a few pastries for the road. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Boston

I hope that this guide can help you through your trip to Boston. And if you have any questions don't hesitate to contact us or comment! We'd love to hear from you and let us know some of your favorite places. We can't wait to take you through our next trip and thank you for coming along for the journey. 

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A Day in Salem, MA

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

When we planned a long weekend trip to Massachusetts - I knew I had to see one of my favorite places in history, Salem. I actually sewed a dress from witch silhouette fabric before my trip to wear for the occasion, (which I received several compliments on.) 

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

 

Salem is only a 45 minute train ride from Boston, perfect for a day trip. The train station drops in the heart of the city, right outside of the Visitor's Center if you don't like to do research beforehand on where to go. This will give you plenty of information about Salem. 

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem
Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

I directly headed to the Salem Witch Museum. This museum gives you a 45 minute history of the Salem Witch Trials and a 20 minute presentation on the term "witch" in it's historical and present day meaning. The entry sticker also gets you discounts on various stores and restaurants from around the town. 

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

Around the corner of the Peabody Essex Museum of art was an amazing sculpture from artist Patrick Dougherty, called Stickworks. This stick design reminded me of the houses around Salem and gave off a spooky feel as one walked past and through the sculpture. 

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

We found lunch at Scratch Kitchen, a sandwich place that had NC style BBQ on the menu. While we didn't try the sandwich we did notice that they used vinegar based BBQ instead of tomato so we know it was definitely Eastern inspired. 

On my way towards town - we walked by Samantha from Bewitched! 

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

After lunch we made our way through the square and to the only shop I was excited about, HausWitch.

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

 

This is a new store in Salem but it embodies everything that actual witchy stores should be. Instead of cheesy, over the top items, this store had unique. handmade products from local artisans, spell kits, and adorable gifts. I ended up spending over $75 and earned myself a free tote. (Did I mention I stopped here twice)

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

With a charming store front and enticing smells, I'd almost guarantee the owner puts a spell on passerbys to come inside. (Expect a post on this store and the goodies I picked up coming soon)

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

After getting some recommendations of places to visit we headed down to the "Witch House." Although no witches actually lived here, it's a representation of life during the period of the trials. This colonial "mansion" as it was considered in its day was owned by trials judge Jonathan Corwan. Preserved to maintain it's historical accuracies this house is an unique blast from the past and a great picture opportunity. 

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

One of the elements of history I was super excited about was the discovery of the actual spot of the witch hangings. Thought to have been held on Gallows Hill, the actual location wasn't confirmed until January of this year. These locations are quite far from the town of Salem if you're walking and can be quite a trek, especially when you consider that it's just an area of rocks. However for me, it was a very interesting cultural spot, and although I didn't take a photo, I did get to see the grassy and wooded spot behind the Walgreens where they say the actual hangings took place as we made our way back into town. 

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

The last stop in Salem was all the way to the waterfront. We took a stroll past the Salem Maritime National Historic Site but was saddened to find that the ship was being repaired, thus all it's sails were removed. With strong winds coming from the sea, we needed to take a stop in another coffeeshop.

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

Jaho was probably our favorite shop that we found all weekend. With a wide variety of lattes and alternative milk it was the perfect place to relax before dinner. 

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

I highly recommend not traveling in witch boots as I choose to do on cobblestone streets and instead choose comfortable walking shoes. I also couldn't resist one last stop in HausWitch to pick up a new tarot card deck from The Wild Unknown and say my goodbyes. 

Salem Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Salem

 

 This serene waterfront gives passerby's great views and is minutes from Salem Brew Works where we caught a quick bite to eat before heading back to the train and into Boston. 

Salem Travel Guide - lifestyle Blog - Things to do in Salem

 

 

 

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Boston, MA - Day 1

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

On early Thursday morning I woke up early and headed to RDU International Airport to hit the friendly skies towards Boston. I'm not a big flier and have only been on an airplane once before yet thankfully this was only an hour and a half flight. Packing my bags and carrying my favorite magazine MC1R (which you can find me in the latest issue). 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blogger - Things to do in Boston

 

We took a Lyft from the airport and headed straight to the AirBnB we booked to get our barrings and head out. Our hosts were awesome and I would highly recommend them if you're in the Boston area within the next few months but after the summer they are relocating to Denver. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

The first big obstacle was understanding the public transportation system. Everything in the city is reachable by the underground train system. We first headed to Boston's Historic North End of the city. This is where the Freedom Trail is located, a 1.5 mile trail that hits the most historical parts of the city. Although 1.5 miles doesn't seem very long, it took us almost 4 hours to complete the while trail. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

We walked through the Granary Burial Ground one of the oldest cemeteries in Boston, which displayed some hand drawn grave markers.

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

From there we walked by the Paul Reverie monument and home, right outside of the Old North Church that signaled the "Midnight Ride." 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston
Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

Located around the corner was Old State House which was the site of the Boston Massacre. My favorite part about this place was the large unicorn on the top of the house. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

Already in the North End of Boston we found ourselves at lunchtime in the heart of Little Italy. We found a table at the tiniest restaurant called The Daily Catch.

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

This Italian seafood restaurant was basically a small kitchen with a few tables that allows patrons to eat side by side. This cash only restaurant was delicious. I choose the shrimp scampi which came out in the dish they cooked it in. This family owned restaurant is a MUST TRY - but be warned there may be a wait. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

Directly across the street is Mike's Pastry - another MUST TRY spot!

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

The cannolis are as big as your hands and come in a variety of flavors. This Italian style bakery has a variety of pastries including cannoli, cream puff, lobster tails, gelato, and more. I choose a variety of cookies. We knew this place was going to be great even before reading about it due to the line that is constantly out the door. Even as we walked through the city we noticed everywhere we went someone was holding a Mike's Pastry box. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

After lunch we continued on the Freedom trail and made our way to the New England Holocaust Memorial and a small greenway park - the perfect place to see the Boston skyline. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

We said hello to the Samuel Adams statue outside of the Faneuil Hall before making our way to the Benjamin Franklin statue outside of Boston's old Latin school.

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

Finally we found our way to Boston Common's - the central park of Boston. This large, open area is outside of the State House. This park was home to college students sun bathing, children playing, and quite a few tour groups. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

 

We needed a caffeine boost and being big coffee buffs we were having a difficult time finding a satisfying cup of joe - especially that serves almond milk. We stumbled upon Thinking Cup near Emerson believing that college students have to good coffee. I'd give it a 3 star out of 5 but in the Boston cold anything warm was satisfying. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

 

Making our way back through the city we traveled through the Theater District and into Chinatown. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

Finally feeling a bit peckish we stumbled into a old style bar and eatery named Stoddard's. While I think I choose the wrong dish, Andrew's meal was delicious. They also served vintage cocktails - which was a perfect way to end the evening. 

Boston Travel Guide - Lifestyle Bloggers - Things to do in Boston

 

 

 

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A Weekend in Nashville

Nashville Travel Blog

I love traveling, experience new places, eating new foods, and visiting all those cheesy tourist traps that everyone hates! When an opportunity for a girls weekend arose we all decided Nashville would be the funniest, closest, and cheapest option for a semi-spur of the moment trip. 

When I sat down to plan my itinerary (which I LOVE doing) I realized I still hadn't found a vacation app I truly love. TripIt and other travel apps organize plane tickets, hotels, and actual TRAVEL times, but I wanted something that would coordinate all the places I wanted to go, with maps! And viola I found it ! 

I'm officially obsessed with RoadTrippers. While it doesn't have EVERYTHING I want in a travel app it does organize all my places and show me how long it takes to get there. 

Here's my Nashville Itinerary for 48 hours in Music City USA 

Wednesday -

Leave Raleigh & head to Asheville to meet with the other 1/3 of Three Region - Asheville is a half way distance from Raleigh to Nashville. So we made a pitstop to pick up Brittany and spend the night before heading on our way. 

Coming into town we needed to grab dinner, so Amanda and I stopped at Westville Pub - a very chill joint in Asheville - we then met up with Brittany at Tiger Mountain to watch a local show her friend was playing and couldn't resist stepping into the Photo Booth they have there. 

Amanda, Brittany and I

Amanda, Brittany and I

 

Thursday -

  • Wake up early and head to Nashville
Nashville Travel Blog

 

  • Head to The Local Taco for Lunch (try the East Nashville location) - Happy hour is from 2-6 which equals $5.00 Margaritas 
Half Price Margaritas at The Local Taco 

Half Price Margaritas at The Local Taco 

 

  • I had been dying to visit Third Man Records  - Jack White's recording studio and store. This super cool and unique store features a slew of records, trinkets, and vintage music recording listening devices. You can totally spend a few hours getting lost in this tiny store, listening to records, and becoming fascinated with Jack White's obsession with quality music and recordings.  
Nashville Travel Blog

I finally got to play with my new Instax Camera and took this Amazing photo in front of Third Man - and picked up a few goodies along the way including the new TMR lighter. 

Nashville Travel Blog

 

  • Check into our Air B&B - which were Cory and Davie's Dog Friendly House  - Even though they were out of town they left plenty of instructions on how to get around and manage the house. They have two cats and a dog (who the dog was on vacation with them) and some friends who use their shed for music (which are a great resource for best local things to do if they are around). 

    They left out plenty of leaflets out with information for travel into Nashville. The house was a straight shot into Nashville on 70 which was great because we could use the Air BnB as a home base. 
Nashville Travel Blog
Nashville Travel Blog

I had heard wonderful things about this place ! And I had also heard there was usually a wait. We ended up here about an hour before closing time - right before the St Patrick's day fun. The place was completely empty - and even though they no longer sell Counter Culture coffee - they have started roasting their own beans. 

They also have a great selection of Olive and Sinclair Tennessee Artisan Chocolate - I grabbed the Cocoa Nibs one with a cortado - which kept me going for the night.  

Nashville Travel Blog
  • Walk Down Broadway - I actually didn't snap any photos of Broadway at night - I didn't even bring my camera out and about - I've been waiting to get a really good portable point and shoot for vacations that is hopefully coming soon!
     
  • Dinner at Pub 5
Nashville Travel Blog

We were starving and needed dinner - because it was St Patrick's day Broadway was crazy and we found Pub 5, a great little spot right on a side street of Broadway. With a variety of upscale food and rooftop dining it was a great place to grab a quick bite to eat. The waiter also gave us a great tip of a new, local only bar about a 20 minute walk outside of downtown. 

  • Drinks at Bar Sovereign    - Don't be fooled by the website which says "Coming Soon" - this cocktail lounge is open and amazing.         
Nashville Travel Blog

Bar Sovereign has the best atmosphere of any bar we went to that weekend. It's small, lounge feel made us feel like locals, and their craft cocktails made us feel like we had stepped into a Hipster Speakeasy. If you're looking for a drink away from the madness I highly recommend. Also the bartender made them quite strong which was a plus! 

Friday

Nashville Travel Blog
Nashville Travel Blog

I have so many things to say about Biscuit Love. First off - get there early - we arrived around 10 and still had an hour wait - but the line moves pretty fast. There is open patio seating out back, and no order is complete without these Bonuts! A combination of biscuit and doughnut that is delectable and delicious. They are lightly fried, with a dollap of lemon cream and blueberries at the bottom. They didn't last long at the table. 

This place is all about ham - even the sausage tastes like ham, so if you're not a big fan of ham - I suggest grabbing a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice and maybe (2) orders of Bonuts and heading out. 

This resturant is also the home of this lovely Nashville marquee sign! I a great photo opportunity. 

 

Nashville Travel Blog
  • Head towards Broadway and visit the Johnny Cash Museum - if you're interested in visiting all the historical hotspots such as The Ryman and Grand Ole Opry they have a package ticket that I highly recommend getting to save you some cash. You can check it out here. 
Nashville Travel Blog

We all really enjoyed this museum and taking a look into the original Man in Black. It really had a lot of interesting artifacts, tons of photo opportunities and a lot to look at for such a small space. 

Nashville Travel Blog
Nashville Travel Blog

This hip coffee joint in downtown Nashville is always bustling. But it does have it's own parking lot - which is great if you need a pick me up after you leave the city of before you head in. Try to grab a table on their patio if you can! 

  • Check out East Nashville 
Nashville Travel Blog

At some point in your trip head to East Nashville. This is where some of the most unique and interesting shops are. You can find unique clothing, jewelry, and other items such as spices, soaps, and chocolate in this area. The Fatherland District. Check out a few other places to shop here. 

 

Nashville Travel Blog

This is another HOT SPOT in Nashville that's on everyone's list. So make sure you arrive at least an hour before you want to eat. They do have a nice outdoor beer garden where you can drink while you wait for your table - and the food was Phenomenal. I highly recommend the Curry Ketchup and Garlic Aioli to order on the side for your fries. 

 

Saturday

Nashville Travel Blog

Our last day in Nashville we knew we wanted to get a good breakfast so what better place than the famous Loveless Cafe

Nashville Travel Blog

 

From what we heard there's a wait no matter what time you arrive! So make sure you anticipate that. They also have a few small shops you can walk around in, grab a souvenir, or taste some homemade sauce. 

Nashville Travel Blog
Nashville Travel Blog

 

The biscuits are famous for a good reason! They are delicious. Between the three of us we killed our plate in a few minutes. This classic, southern style cooking will keep you full for almost the whole day! Definitely a place to grab a bite before heading out on the town. 

  • Walk Around The Farmers Market 
Nashville Travel Blog

The Nashville Farmers Market is a great place to hang out - grab lunch - shop - and take in all local aspects of Nashville. Full of handmade shops, authentic cuisine, and bustling people from all walks of life - this was a great way to get an authentic feel for Nashville. 

Nashville Travel Blog

I was super excited about buying this North Carolina print from Nashville designers - Born in the Nash - they have a lot of cute things in their shop which is on wheels, and you can find their whereabouts on Instagram at @borninthenash 

Nashville Travel Blog

And while I had an amazing trip - I wish I would have stumbled upon this Nashville secret instead of at the last minute - Native Magazine

 

Nashville Travel Blog

Walking around the Farmers Market this publication screamed at me. It was also a FREE publication that tells you all the great things about Nashville, new restaurants, and all the fun places local appreciate. I know that all my next trips I'm going to read the city publications to find all the best new and trendy places that don't show up on the travel blogs! 

So if you're headed to Nashville check out this magazine. 

For more exciting things to do in Asheville - Check our Air BnB's guide to Nashville here

That's my trip - I hope I've helped you plan your own Nashville vacation! And if you decide to go there I'd love to know your favorite places and see all the photos! 

Happy Travels! 

 

 

 

 




                
             

 

 

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24 Hours in New York City

Recently Three Region has been traveling. We've visited towns and cities near and far to North Carolina and decided that we needed a place to showcase these trips. While we love North Carolina and will continue to represent the culture this great state has to offer we also want to give you the opportunity to see and learn about things that are a little farther away. 

Thus, Three Region On The Road was born. 

For our first installment I took a day trip to NYC! I had been to the city once before when I was 13 and remember walking around aimlessly, ending up in Chinatown, taking a taxi back to Grand Central, standing in a three hour line to go to the top of the Empire State building. So when I went up again this year I had a plan, or so I thought. 

We decided to stay at an Air BnB in Point Pleasant NJ, a decision that was based on a friend staying in the area. While it was my first time using Air BnB I know it won't be my last. The great thing about it is the ability to find accommodations almost anywhere for much cheaper than a hotel (for the most part). It was much nicer than a hotel and I actually felt comfortable sleeping in the bedrooms. Our host was very nice, and although I only saw her for about 2 seconds when we arrived, that was mostly due to us never being in the room. If you're planning a trip to the shore, or want to take a train to NYC - check out her place here. 

 

From there we headed to Point Pleasant Beach Train Station, taking the 2-hr train into New York Penn Station (which is not to be confused with Newark Penn Station) and arrived in the heart of the city. Even if you don't want to look touristy I encourage purchasing a map or a NYC travel book. Your phones will die quickly and your data will drain, also being stuck between the buildings you may not get the greatest reception and end up going back and forth like we did. 

Our first stop of course was coffee. And although we choose Culture Espresso, a shop highly recommended on both the Zagat guide and Pinterest we were mildly disappointed. The whole coffee experience was much different than we were used to and the fast paced means quality and presentation suffer. While we were really hoping to be close to a Durham-native Counter Culture shop - we are very curious if the standards are different due to the volume of customers. 

 

After our mild caffeine fix we headed to 30 Rock! Rockefeller Center offers a very similar experience as to that of the Empire State building with much shorter lines. They also have a combination ticket called Rock the MoMA which combines admission to the Museum of Modern Art and Top of the Rock. This will save you a few dollars and add items to your itinerary. 

 

My favorite part about MoMA that we got to see (one and a half floors were closed due to exhibit installments) was the Warhol exhibit and the art from 1980-now. Here are a few of my favorites from the trip. 

 

And although Van Gogh's Starry Night was on display, the crowd around it was so thick it was hard to get a good image. 

There was also interactive exhibits, including this one that allowed participants to play a coded game on a large screen. 

With the combination ticket you have to visit MoMA first, then head to Rockefeller down the road. From here you enter a waiting room at your designated ticket time, take an obligatory "Top of the Rock" photo (which costs $50 to download) and head into an elevator to the top. 

 

 

One of the best parts about the Top of the Rock is the ability to see The Empire State Building, The Brooklyn Bridge, and The Statue of Liberty. Although some of them are small, it's still a very humbling and fun experience to see them all from one rooftop. 

Although we ran out of time, I highly suggest taking the FREE ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island to get your up close and personal experience of Lady Liberty! 

From there we were starved and found the closest and best rated Chinese Restaurant in the city, Hunan Manor.  The main dishes during the lunch special were delicious, although the side dishes and appetizers were cold.  Here was my General Tso. 

 

Next on our agenda were attractions close by - The New York Public Library and St. Patrick's Cathedral. It seemed that almost everything in NY was either under construction, going through renovations, or closed off, so I will have to admit that our experiences were not 100% due to these factors. 

Here are a few images I snagged throughout. 

After meeting up with a friend at Bryant Park and heading to a Korean Coffeeshop our last stop of the day was Times Square. Again there was construction and renovation in the middle of the square and on the side walks, making walking difficult. 

If I ever return to NY I will most likely visit Brooklyn or similar cities within NY. My overall recommendation is wear comfy shoes, bring a map (touristy or not), and take some time to find a place to be still. The hustle and bustle can really get to you in the city and one of my favorite moments was people watching in Bryant Park. 

Although I can say I'm happy to be back in North Carolina - I'll definitely be out and about soon enough for another installment of Three Region on the Road. 

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Vortex Doughnuts - Asheville, NC

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Vortex Doughnuts - Asheville, NC

Through following several Asheville natives on Instagram and having a sweet-tooth unlike any other I stumbled upon several pictures of mouthwatering doughnuts via a company called Vortex doughnuts

While spending the weekend visiting my friends in Asheville the first stop on our agenda was Vortex. We arrived around 10 am on a Saturday and they were already fairly busy, constantly refilling the empty doughnut trays. The atmosphere is very chill and casual, and all walks of people come in to relax with a cup of coffee or buy a dozen to go. The baristas are educated on their products and welcoming to out of towners. 

On our first go around (yes we happened to stop by again later that day) we choose an Apple Fritter, a Chai Spice yeast doughnut, and an Espresso doughnut. After sampling them all, they were delicious and warm, fresh out of the oven, and the amount of sweet on top was not overpowering but the right amount. 

If you're ever in the Asheville area I highly suggest stopping by and checking them out.

Vortex Doughnuts Asheville
Vortex Doughnuts Asheville
Vortex Doughnuts Asheville
Vortex Doughnuts Asheville
Vortex Doughnuts Asheville

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