Tag Archives: United States

Best Bars To Hit On A Manhattan Pub Crawl

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image by CC user endymion120 on flickr

With the school year well underway in New York City, the student bars on the island of Manhattan are brimming with young patrons from Columbia, NYU, and other institutions of higher learning. If you are among those in this large student body, you are likely getting stressed out these days, as finals creep closer with each passing week.

There is no better time than now to blow off some steam, so get some of your friends together and plan a Manhattan pub crawl. However, there’s no denying it: alcohol prices in NYC are a little cray cray, so you’ll need to pick your spots carefully to avoid blowing the remainder of your loan money in one night.

With that in mind, here are three selections for your Manhattan pub crawl that will maximize your fun, while keeping the total bill to a reasonable level.

1) Lion’s Head Tavern

Named in part for the mascot of nearby Columbia University, those looking to meet with and potentially hook up with local college students will do well to come here. Sport lovers will enjoy catching action of any of New York’s eight pro sports teams while getting their night off to a rollicking start.

With pitchers of draft being priced at $7 on Sundays and pints of it going for a paltry $1 on Wednesdays, you’ll be able to get a buzz going without cleaning out half your bank account, which is a task that is easier said than done in New York City.

2) McSorley’s Old Ale House

A pub crawl isn’t a pub crawl if you don’t spend at least part of it inside an authentic Irish drinking establishment. In New York City, no place exudes it quite like McSorley’s Old Ale House. Being in business for over 150 years, it is one of the oldest bars in the entire city, so it is obvious that they know that they are doing when it comes to serving the thirsty young patrons of NYC.

If you are hungry at this point in your alcoholic voyage, slay it with a cheese and onion plate. While it won’t make your breath any more appealing to potential mates, it doesn’t matter: you’re on a mission to get messed up!

3) Mehanata Bulgarian Bar

When it comes to a successful end point for a pub crawl, no place does better than one where you can let loose on the dance floor with nary an inhibition. Mehanata Bulgarian Bar fits this description to a T, as its downstairs dance floor plays host to DJ’s from around the world that spin a wide variety of eclectic music that will get your body moving in no time flat.

Those looking for a more chill way to wind up their night can take to the balcony, where one can sit with a hookah and puff away until their spirit settles down.

Top Leaf Peeping Destinations in North America

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While summer may be drawing to a close, the fall has plenty of attractions that make it a well-loved season in its own right. The oppressive heat and humidity that plagues us all will be departing, leaving behind cool and crisp mornings and pleasantly warm afternoons, the chill of the night will begin to kill off those pesky mosquitoes, and soon, farmer’s markets will be overflowing with healthy produce as the time to harvest the crops rapidly approaches.

The best part of all though, comes when the leaves on the trees begin to transform into a kaleidoscope of hot colors, breaking out in various shades of yellow, orange and red. With each succeeding weekend getting chillier than the next, high season for leaf-peeping in North America will soon be upon us.

Why not take to the roads and take in the splendor of this breathtaking time of year before the season’s first big storm blows this natural masterpiece away? The following three routes represent the top leaf peeping destinations in North America, so whether you decide to book an overnight or do it all in one big day trip, you’ll be taking in one of the aspects that make fall the great season that it is!

1) Agawa Canyon, Ontario, Canada

Our pick for Central Canada’s top leaf peeping destination of 2014 isn’t actually a highway like our other two selections, but a railway that runs within a river canyon that has carved out a spectacular route through the study bedrock of the Canadian Shield near Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.

This train trundles alongside the Agawa River, and boasts incredible views of maple tree studded bluffs on either side, causing these steep slopes to catch fire with shades of crimson red.

2) Route 100, Vermont, USA

As a whole, New England has a world famous reputation for fall colors, but the best mix of leaves and rugged topography can be found in the charming rural state of Vermont. Route 100 takes you across this small but beautiful state, combining brilliant oranges and reds with bucolic farmland and the subtle but gorgeous Green Mountains (which by October, it will be anything but!).

3) Florence-Eugene Highway, Oregon, USA

Many people write off the western part of North America as a whole, due to the fact that maple trees aren’t native to this portion of the continent. However, the flora that can be found central portions of Oregon challenge the notion that leaf peeping can’t be done in the west.

Dogwoods take up the slack on the red portion of the color scale along the Florence – Eugene highway, which is a route that takes you from the farmland of the interior, to the misty and moody environs of the Oregon Pacific Coast.

Experiencing San Diego In Style

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California has long been a favored destination by many travelers craving the abundant Californian sun, its ever-present surf creating a pleasant din in the background, and its many soul rejuvenating vistas. Of all the cities in the state, San Diego best exemplifies all three of these qualities, and as a result of this, its stock has been rising among travelers.

The time for you to experience this stylish city has arrived, as it offers a wide variety of inspired activities for the culturally attuned. In the following article, we have picked out what we feel are the best aspects of San Diego that you should experience if it is a peak experience that you seek.

It may be not a be all, end all list of things to do here, but it will ensure that your time here will be filled with highlights.

DO: Balboa Park

If your time here is restricted to a quick weekend or business trip, do take the time to experience Balboa Park, if only for a few hours. It is San Diego’s most celebrated greenspace, as it is beset with many well-tended gardens and shady palms, but there is so much more to this place than that. It is also home to art galleries, the San Diego Zoo, and structures like Casa de Balboa that date back to the founding of this relatively young city.

EAT: Addison

Critically acclaimed as one of the best restaurants in San Diego, this fine dining establishment elevates French cuisine to a place where you be begging for extra courses, despite their six to eight plate offerings. Traditional continental offerings such as Risotto Balls meet fusion dishes like Kobe Beef Short Ribs to create an evening that your tastebuds won’t soon forget!

STAY: Hotel del Coronado

Your stay in San Diego won’t be complete unless you at least visit the Hotel del Coronado, a Victorian style beach resort that has been welcoming guests for well over one hundred years. Its massive wooden frame has harbored presidents, royalty and the top flight ranks of the wealthy over the years, and continues to do so to this day.

Even if you aren’t willing to shell out the $611 it takes to stay in its most basic rooms, a stroll through its gorgeous lobby with its massive chandelier and a long walk along its inspired waterfront will make you feel like you’ve been magically transported back to the gilded ages when this hotel was in its prime.

The Hippest Hotels In Manhattan

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Containing nationalities from just about every significant country on Earth, New York City is often considered to be the crossroads of the world. It seems like every nook and cranny of this intensely urbane metropolis has something going on, but the locus of all attention seems to be undeniably focused on the island of Manhattan.

Resembling a massive forest of concrete, steel and glass, this heavily populated and capitalized borough where where locals and visitors come to see and be seen, and while many commute in from other corners of NYC or the suburbs, it is the desire of many of stay in the heart of action.

Not content to cut corners to sleep in a roach hotel for a price that would get you a 3 and a half star room back home, you’re ready to step to the plate financially to ensure that your New York city break is one that is done in style, as a center of this caliber deserves nothing less.

In that spirit, the following three hotels are thought of by many as the hippest places to stay in the heart of the Big Apple.

We’ll start by virtually checking into the…

1) Gansevoort Park Avenue

This lively spot is situated within one of New York’s most famed luxury shopping districts. When you’re aren’t busy trolling Prada or Louis Vuitton for the latest styles, this boutique pad offers avant garde Italian fare at its house restaurant, Ristorante Asellina, cutting edge artwork in all of the rooms, and the piece de resistance, a rooftop pool and bar that will keep you celebrating well into the sultry summer evenings that New York is famous for.

2) Ace Hotel

Situated on Manhattan’s West Side, Ace Hotel has many outstanding features that will make it tough to leave after your New York vacation has concluded. The spacious and uniquely designed lobby makes for an inspired place to get caught up on e-mails or work, or to finish off the latest chapter in the book you haven’t been able to put down lately.

Whether you wish to grab a quick snack or sit down for a luxurious meal, Ace has you covered, as there are no less than four spots to chow down (coffee, sub, and seafood spots await you in the lobby area, and the well-appointed Breslin Restaurant has a variety of dining experiences on its menu that are just awaiting your indulgences!)

3) The Marcel at Gramercy

If you’re looking for a place with loud and bold colours/designs, then get on over to the East Side, where The Marcel at Gramercy doesn’t do subtlety when it comes to interior décor. From the hotel bar that does its best impersonation of a European cellar pub, to the rooms with their love me or leave me zebra print pillowcases, reinforced by a banana yellow vinyl headboard, the look of this boutique spot is almost worth the price you pay all by itself. The clincher is the rooftop terrace, as it grants an unparalleled view of Midtown after dark.

The High Life On A Shoestring: Cape Town vs. New York City

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Nobody doubts the cultural and fine living credentials of New York City, one of the major crossroads of the world.  With world-class theatre, superb dining options that span every global cuisine imaginable, and hotels that grant incredible vistas from just about any room, the Big Apple seemingly has it all.

As long as you bring cash.

And lots of it.

Despite your tastes for the best that the world has to offer, a recent trip to Gotham was causing you some palpable pain in the pocketbook, and you’re actually doing rather well for yourself in your career!  This realization has given way to a fair bit of soul searching, where the question being meditated upon is: Can there be a place in the world that can deliver on a grand scale without leaving a smoking hole in one’s purse/wallet?

The answer to this question can be found on a continent that is typically forgotten by most when one seeks a city that offers up the accoutrements of the good life.  That continent is Africa, and the location that we are focusing on today is none other than the spectacular seaside city of Cape Town, South Africa.

Ever since the ethical roadblock of apartheid was lifted 20 years ago this year, this place has slowly begun to be noticed by jetsetters from around the world as a place where one can live richly on a shoe string.  Let’s contrast Cape Town with NYC, so we can make a compelling place for this stunning metropolis! If you’re considering relocating, Budget Direct has put together a great cost of living index which we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

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Food

Fine dining comes so cheap in the flagship city of South Africa that you may end up indulging in it too much for your own good.  A multi-course meal here will run you $30 per person, while the same splurge in New York will cost you at least $75! For those looking for international cuisine with a South African interpretation, be sure to try Ashton’s Restaurant at Greenways before heading back to your home base.

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Accommodations

The deals keep right on coming when it comes to the luxurious dens where you will make your temporary home in Cape Town.  4-star accommodations start as low as $65 per person, while 5-star luxury is also attainable at a sub $100 per night rate, with the boutique lodging known as the Jambo Guesthouse posting a rate of $86 per night.

Back in NYC, those looking for at least four stars will have to shell out a minimum of $190 for a bed, with average four star prices in the mid to upper $200’s. Tip for New York bound travelers: watch for flash deals on popular online booking sites prior to your trip.

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Entertainment

While Cape Town may not be the cultural nexus that New York or London is with regards to the theatre industry, it still has a vibrant performing arts scene that is definitely worth experiencing on its own merits. Tickets to individual shows can be had for as little as $7-8, while prime seats for big theatre shows cost about $40 or so. Your average ticket price to get into a Broadway musical in New York costs at least $94 for the worst seat in the house, while season tickets to the opera in Cape Town will run you no more than $120 if you snag the early-bird deal!

While many of the pleasures of New York City are expensive, one gets a lot for what they pay in many cases.  However, NYC does not have a monopoly on being able to live the high life, and a quick journey to Cape Town in South Africa will prove that point handily.

The Ultimate Guide To Orlando’s Disney Theme Parks

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After working hard all last year to save up enough money, you and your thrilled kids are ready for the ultimate family vacation.  This spring, you plan on visiting what is said to be the happiest place on Earth, the Disney theme parks located just outside of Orlando, Florida in the United States.  However, this place just isn’t Walt Disney World, as they have built four other parks in addition to that classic concept that has proven very successful over the years. Read the rest of this entry