48 Hours in D.C.

48 Hours in D.C.

I love to travel domestically in the fall. The weather is perfect in so many parts of the country, and air travel is often cheaper and easier.

I was lucky to find a cheap ticket to D.C. on Southwest last weekend and enjoyed a girl’s trip with lovely sunshine to keep us warm as we shopped, ate, and toured. Flights to D.C. can be expensive, but you have to be persistent in your search. Once you find a cheap one, don’t hesitate – snag it immediately!

I’ve planned a weekend trip to D.C. for you that focuses on local gems and easy outings:

The Kimpton Glover Park Hotel & The Graham Georgetown

Friday – Arrive late morning

Rideshare to one of my two boutique hotel picks, The Kimpton Glover Park Hotel or The Graham Georgetown.

The Kimpton Glover Park Hotel is close to Georgetown, but sets you in the charming Glover Park neighborhood for a quieter stay. It hosts the popular dining spot Casolare Ristorante + Bar, where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There’s also a outdoor garden bar next door! This is where I stayed, and the rooms are clean, spacious, and comfortable.

The Graham is nestled in the heart of Georgetown and provides a pricier, luxury stay. The rooftop lounge at this hotel is a must, but you can go whether or not you’re staying at the hotel.

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SUNdeVICH

After you get checked in, head straight to lunch at SUNdeVICH, a plant- and light-filled sandwich shop with a darling patio. Highly recommend the Capri, a fresh choice with pesto, mozzarella, basil, tomato, and balsamic reduction. One of the best I’ve ever had, anywhere.

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After, walk up Wisconsin Ave. and pop in any shops that catch your eye! Don’t miss Bluemercury, a luxury beauty retailer that we don’t have in Nashville. I loved their products: La Mer, Kiehl’s, Molton Brown, Bumble and Bumble, NARS, and MoroccanOil, just to name a few.

After, walk back to the Kimpton or the Graham to refresh before dinner.

That night, feel French at Le Diplomate for an exquisite dinner. Try the fresh farmer’s cheese to start, followed by the salade verte. Consider splitting an entree, and finishing off with the creme brulee.

Sleep well.

Saturday

In the morning, stroll the gorgeous streets of Georgetown and admire the architecture and bright colors.

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The Lincoln Memorial

After, walk or rideshare to the National Mall. Walk from The Lincoln Memorial to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. See the Washington Monument and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

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The Newseum

That afternoon, don’t miss the Newseum, a museum all about news. This place is too cool. I loved the Kennedy photography exhibit on the top floor. The first floor features Pulitzer Prize winning photography, which was moving and powerful.

It’s impossible to do everything in D.C. over a long weekend, so we didn’t get to see the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, but it’s supposed to be amazing – I would add it to your list if you have time!

Then, head back to your hotel for a rest before getting dressed up for drinks and dinner that night.

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Start your evening at the Graham Georgetown Rooftop Bar for sweeping views of Georgetown, cozy couches on which to lounge, and tasty rosé. Don’t miss it!

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Lupo Verde is a must for dinner for an authentic, cozy Italian dining experience. Sit upstairs by the windows if you can. Start by sharing the prosciutto e mozzarella plate. Next, get the lupo verde salad. For an entree, try the cappellacci with butternut squash and fresh ricotta.

After, walk next door for ice cream at Ice Cream Jubilee. Try the Honey Lemon Lavender.

Sleep like a rock after a busy day!

Sunday Morning

Start with breakfast at Casolare if you’re staying at the Kimpton. Next, wander back into Georgetown and hit any shops you might have missed. Also consider walking up the road to the Washington National Cathedral – it is quite a sight.

Late morning, grab your bags and head to the airport.

Fini!

Your trip is planned! All you need to do is pick a date, make your reservations, and pack your bags.

What are some of your favorite things to do in D.C.? Tell me about it in the comments!

Love, Bee

Fall Chicago Weekend Guide

Fall Chicago Weekend Guide

Chicago is a quick and easy flight away from Nashville, especially on Southwest. And October is the perfect month to visit (and to travel in general!) as it’s not as touristy, and the weather is comfortable. Time to pull out your favorite boots and scarves, and take a weekend getaway! I’ve got the whole weekend planned for you:

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   RL Restaurant  & Driehaus Museum

Friday – Arrive late morning

Get checked in at the Talbott Hotel, a newly renovated and charming boutique hotel. They have a darling outdoor restaurant and even offer a special autumn package so that you can experience all that Chicago has to offer during the season.

Start your weekend off right at the sophisticated RL Restaurant, a 5-minute walk from the Talbott. You won’t regret this upscale experience and tasty lunch.

After lunch, walk another short 5 minutes to the gorgeous Driehaus Museum, a home from the Gilded Age with elegant period pieces. Stepping into the museum is like stepping back in time – it fully immerses you in the late 19th century.

Walk and shop the Magnificent Mile, or take a rest back at the Talbott.

Either way, that night, walk just 5 minutes (truly, the Talbott is close to everything) and end up at Lou Malnati’s for a festive dinner and some of the best pizza you’ll ever have.

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Art Institute of Chicago  & Architecture Boat Tour

Saturday

Wake up and head to the famous Art Institute of Chicago. It is gorgeous and well-worth the visit. Grab lunch at the Institute.

After lunch, head to Millennium Park to see art, architecture, landscaping, and of course, Cloud Gate (the “bean”).

Later that afternoon, do not miss an architecture boat tour. You don’t need to know anything about architecture – just go, and you’ll be enthralled. There’s simply no other way to see Chicago inside and out.

That night, after a nap at the Talbott, walk 5 minutes to Carmine’s for a fun, lively Italian dinner. Sit outside on the Italian-style patio and people watch under string lights. Dine on bread, pasta, and wine. Enjoy.

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Sunday Morning

Wake up for a little more shopping on the Magnificent Mile.

Enjoy the city sites as you walk to Eataly, a bright Italian marketplace with everything Italian you could ever dream of. Eat at the restaurant if you have time, or snag a treat for the road! The walk back to the Talbott will take you 10 minutes.

Depart midday.

 

Enjoy!

Would love to hear about some of your favorite things to do in Chicago in the comments!

Love, Bee

Tips for Your First Trip to Italy

Tips for Your First Trip to Italy

Venezia, 2012 – My first trip to Italy

If you have decided to travel to Italy, hooray for you – you’re in for a real treat! Italy is all about dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing.

According to me, you don’t need to stress when you’re in Italy. You don’t need to plan much. You need to let go, relax, and let yourself get lost.

This post is less about the specifics of where to go and what to do in Italy, and more about preparing to go to this beautiful, magical country.

Say goodbye to the map.

Sometimes, you do need a map, for sure. But other times, let it go. Let go of planning everything. In Italy, you will stumble on the most spectacular views for which you weren’t prepared. You will find yourself hungry, and wander into an intriguing restaurant that you’ve never heard of – and it will be delightful. The food is just that good.

You will eat an entire pizza by yourself – more than once – and it’s fine.

The ingredients often taste more natural – and there are more local ingredients used – in Italy, and you walk so much that you’re hungry all the time. So, just do it. Eat the whole pizza. It tastes too good not to. Drink the extra glass of vino. You’re in Italy.

Try the local cuisine.

Gelato counts – I often ate two cones of gelato a day in Italy. But also, eat the pasta al nero di seppia in Venice. It’s local, and it’s great. If you can believe it, I didn’t know I liked artichokes before Italy. Travel expands your taste buds if you let it!

Dress appropriately.

Most churches in Italy won’t let you in unless your shoulders and knees are covered. Bring conservative options.

Visit the local bottegas. 

Especially if you’re on a budget. Many times in Italy, my meals consisted of bread, cheese, meat, and wine from local shops. All fresh, all amazing.

Take spontaneous trips via train.

Train travel is so easy in Italy! I bought day-of tickets to travel around Tuscany as well as to Rome and Venice. It’s easy and cheap – take advantage of it.

Communicate effectively.

I have a hand gestures cheat sheet that I was given by a local in the tiny hidden gem of Arezzo. And now I’m sharing it with you. You’re welcome.

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Have the best time in Italy! Let me know what else you’ve learned about Italy in the comments!

Love, Bee

5 Quick Tips for a Weekend in NYC

5 Quick Tips for a Weekend in NYC

The Upper East Side, Manhattan

I love New York. I try to go every year (this year I’ve made it twice!) because it is one of my favorite places to visit. Whether you’ve traveled to the city a lot or have never been, here are a few of my personal picks. I’ve tried to include a few different activities to give you variety and new ideas. Here are my tips for a full weekend spent in NYC:

1. Find the perfect vista.

There are so many options in the city. Try the Top of the Rock, the High Line, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

2. Consume.

The best sandwich I’ve ever had was at Alidoro (the one in SoHo is the original – it is cash only so make sure you have some). For a delightful plant-filled experience, hit up Olea in Brooklyn.

3. See a show. 

Head to Times Square the day you want to go for half-priced tickets. Still too much? Just head to Marie’s Crisis.

4. Find a smaller museum. 

My personal favorite is the Frick, but the Guggenheim has an amazing interior (a tall, white spiraling staircase hosts the main collection) and the Brooklyn Museum is worth a stop if you’re in the area.

5. Walk your heart out.

No matter where you’re staying, explore the area. I completely stumbled upon Prospect Park one day when I was strolling Brooklyn and admiring the brownstones.

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The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

What’s your favorite thing to do in the city? Tell me what I’m missing in the comments!

Love, Bee