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The Best Beaches Of The Biggest Cities

Big cities are home to some of the best beaches in the world. You just have to know the right city…

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     There is nothing quite like hitting the beach. Some of our big cities are home to some of the best beaches in the world… you really just need to be in the know. Without further ado, put on that sunscreen (we recommend Doc Block), grab your largest sun hat, comfiest beach towel, and plenty of water to enjoy a day (or night) at these big-city beaches.

Miami Beach, Miami
     This is an obvious first choice for the list. Miami is one of the few cities where you consider the beach before you think about the rest of the place. No matter what you’re looking for you can find it at the beautiful Miami Beach. You can party amongst your peers or enjoy a beach that is buzzing with energy. Or you can head up to the north side where you can really stretch your legs out and have some more space to yourself. Miami Beach is iconic – once you see it you’ll understand why. Miami is definitely a special city.

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu
     Honolulu is a big city… but this beach happens to be in Hawaii. The beach here is known as Waikiki and it brings in tourists from all around the world. You can surf, paddleboard, or just relax on the sand all up and down this marvelous coast. Hanging out can tend to get a bit crowded since this beach is so popular but it is so magnificent. You will hardly notice all the people. Honolulu is a super fun city as well, but again, don’t forget to stop by Waikiki.

Santa Monica State Beach, Los Angeles
     Everyone knows this beach because of the remarkable Santa Monica Pier. The Ferris Wheel is iconic… there’s no question about it. Nothing compares. Tourists and locals alike flock to Santa Monica State Beach to enjoy the waves and all the fun family games located on the pier. If you get bored on the beach then you’re only a short walk away from awesome shopping at the 3rd Street Promenade.

Revere Beach, Boston
     Named after Paul Revere, the Revere Beach has a history to match the great American icon. This sandy spot is the oldest public beach in the country, so maybe this is where Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, and friends would hang-ten. This beach is not usually over-crowded so you can really enjoy the Atlantic here as well as exploring the history. Bring a metal detector and who knows, you might find one of Benjamin Franklin’s beer steins. 


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Destinations

This Is How to Find the Best Chinese Restaurant

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Did you know that there are more Chinese restaurants in America than there are McDonald’s franchises? That’s a testament to the popularity of this cuisine in the states.

Chinese food made its first appearance stateside way back in the mid-1800s. Both Americans and the Chinese rushed to the state’s west coast to capitalize on rumors of lucrative gold mining.

Nowadays, there’s plenty of Chinese places to choose from, but how can you find the most authentic flavor? Read our guide to finding the best Chinese restaurant and you’ll always have a great meal.

Location Matters

Just like in real estate, finding a great place to eat Chinese food comes down to location, location, location. Check out where the restaurant is located to get a good feel for what to expect.

If the restaurant is surrounded by big chains, it might be just another place serving American-style Chinese food. Look for areas near places with a local Chinese population.

Regional Specialties

Our next tip is still location-based but focusing on where the food is from. China is a diverse place and each region has their own local specialty.

Does your chosen restaurant have dishes from a specific area of China? If so, you’ve found a restaurant that cares about the quality of its food.

Family Style

In many Western restaurants, it’s typical for each person to have their own dish. You have to ask your dining companion if you can have a bite from their plate.

That isn’t the case with authentic Chinese cuisine. With Chinese food, family style is the usual way dishes are served, with everyone taking a bit from each plate.

Tea Tips

Take a look at how tea is served in the restaurant. That will give you a big hint as to how authentic the meal is.

Tea is usually served for free at authentic Chinese restaurants. It’s also poured out of metal pots instead of ceramic because they last longer and are easier to clean.

Other Tips and Tricks

There are other little hints, tips, and tricks to make sure you’ve found the best downtown restaurant for Chinese food. Here are a few more things to look out for:

  • They serve the entire fish, including the head
  • They advertise in local Chinese language publications
  • They have a Chinese-only menu
  • They have dim sum available
  • Their staff speaks Chinese

Don’t be afraid to look at what others are ordering and order it for yourself. Peek at other Chinese patrons’ plates or ask the staff what they would recommend.

Find the Best Chinese Restaurant

Don’t settle for less-than-authentic Chinese food any more. Use our guide to find the best Chinese restaurant in your town.

One of the best ways to learn about cultures different from your own is by trying their food. China has a rich and interesting history and each region has their own special dish so you’ll never run out of things to eat.

Once you’ve sampled the best regional fare from China, why not pay this amazing country a visit? Check out our travel guides and start planning your trip today!

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Destinations

Bed and Breakfast vs. Hotels

When choosing where to stay on vacation, you’ll notice bed and breakfasts popping up everywhere, so, what’s the deal? Bed and breakfasts are a great option in the increasingly overcrowded accommodations markets of tourist areas.   With the advent of popular shared economy websites like AirBnB and VRBO (Vacation rentals By Owner) bed and breakfasts are steadily increasing in popularity.

Personal preference comes into play when deciding which is the best selection for you. I’ll break down the differences into 6 main talking points and let you decide, where you stay: Bed & breakfasts (B&Bs) Versus Hotels.

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When choosing where to stay on vacation, you’ll notice bed and breakfasts popping up everywhere, so, what’s the deal? Bed and breakfasts are a great option in the increasingly overcrowded accommodations markets of tourist areas.   With the advent of popular shared economy websites like AirBnB and VRBO (Vacation rentals By Owner) bed and breakfasts are steadily increasing in popularity.

Personal preference comes into play when deciding which is the best selection for you. I’ll break down the differences into 6 main talking points and let you decide, where you stay: Bed & breakfasts (B&Bs) Versus Hotels.

 

Breakfast

Well, it’s in their name so bed and breakfasts should dominate this category. It’s often that B&Bs will provide delicious breakfast options that seem more personal. Many times hotels will just offer a continental breakfast, which you should never experience at a B&B. I can get my own stale muffin and cheap juice thank you, I’ll take the B&B breakfast any day. The advantage of a B&B is that they are often home cooked meals that are prepared with love and attention. These meals are included in your room rate and are great ways to start your day of site-seeing or adventure.

Advantage B&Bs

 

Options

Hotels usually offer more options than B&Bs because they are such larger entities overall. Hotel buffets can be massive and feed many more guests than the average B&B can even accommodate. Most B&Bs will usually just provide one or two choices for your meal because they deal in such low numbers.

Advantage Hotels

 

Privacy

Bed and breakfasts feel like you are literally staying in someone’s house, because often you are. People open up B&Bs to make an income or they just enjoy having guests, so many times your privacy is sacrificed for the intimate abodes. Hotels on the other hand offer tons of privacy and you can feel alone at times. If you are searching for privacy, than hotels are your choice.

Advantage Hotels

 

Local Feel

B&Bs give you a local experience and you get a better sense of the place you are visiting. The host usually lives on site so you can pick their brain about attractions and things to do. These are things you can get from a hotel’s concierge but that is such a formal interaction that you rarely feel anything but corporate from them.

Advantage B&Bs

 

Amenities

Hotels kill it when talking about amenities. B&Bs usually don’t offer too much other than a bed and breakfast, since they are pretty minimal. If you are looking for a pool, gym and other cool amenities, your best bet is a hotel.

Advantage Hotel

 

Socialization

Often times at a B&B you will eat with the other guests at a shared table type of experience. The decision on whether this is a pro or con is up to you. I enjoy meeting other travelers but I can totally understand if this kind of situation would make you uncomfortable. Hotels obviously don’t make you dine with other guests so if you like privacy, hotels are better. However, if you want a more personal experience and have the opportunity to make new friends, B&Bs are best.

You have to decide what is best for you so I can’t give an advantage to either.

 

Hopefully this little guide helps you decide which is best for you: Hotel or Bed and Breakfast.

 

Photos courtesy of B&Bs, breakfast, fredAdventures, W

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Food

Airlines With Food You Will Actually Want To Eat

The food on airplanes have always been less than appetizing, how good can a meal be made in the tiny kitchen area 36,000 feet in the sky. Tasteless, texture free foods served in plastic trays is what you expect to receive when your flight attendant…

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The food on airplanes have always been less than appetizing, how good can a meal be made in the tiny kitchen area 36,000 feet in the sky. Tasteless, texture free foods served in plastic trays is what you expect to receive when your flight attendant serves you. Well lower your tray tables and prepare to feast! If you book your next flight with one of these airlines you will be pleasantly surprised at the repast offered. While free food on flights are a thing of the past, many airlines are attempting to earn their customer’s loyalty with meals that are not only edible, but delicious. 

In 2014 Delta started offering regional craft brews on the in-flight beverage menu. Take a Delta One flight out of JKF airport and you will be served meals by culinary superstar Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, the food service behind NYC restaurants like Gramercy Tavern. Or fly Delta One from South America and you will enjoy a menu created by Michelle Bernstein, acclaimed for her Latin style fare. If you fly Delta in the economy class you will be served unlimited Starbucks coffee, and the only GMO-free snack box served on an American airline. 

JetBlue has partnered with chef Brad Farmerie to create a menu for their first class passengers, pursuing advanced technologies that deliver better moisture in aircraft ovens and a better understanding of taste and texture at higher altitudes. On domestic and international flights, JetBlue economy passengers are treated to an endless pantry of complimentary name brand snacks. 

Investing to become the airline of choice for international flyers, Emirates is working with chefs such as Jamie Bissonnette from Boston restaurant’s Toro and Coppa. Meals on Emirates flights will vary regionally, a flight to Japan will have meals served with authentic Japanese crockery, and on a flight to Italy meals served will include Italian favorites like ravioli and gnocchi. Economy passengers won’t enjoy the same meals as the more expensive seats, but the same attention is given to the meals designed for the menu served to the passengers in these seats. Between meals passengers can get slices of pizza, ice cream, chocolates and fruit. 

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