Live Local, Enjoy a Tourist Life

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Provided you are well dressed, well mannered and not drunk or obnoxious, you don’t have to be booked into luxury hotels to be able to enjoy their amenities

If there are no major events on in town and it’s not peak holiday season, you can enjoy all the things local luxury hotels have to offer just about year round

 

  1. Enjoy Hotel Amenities

You can quite often drink at the bar, dine at their restaurants, listen to live music and even book a day at the spa, even if you are not staying at the hotel

It’s a great way to pamper yourself without the accommodation costs of travelling and you are supporting the local economy

2. Buffets

Big chain hotels often have breakfast brunches and buffets that offer great value for money

Making a reservation is recommended

On Mothers Day, Easter and Christmas, they offer upgraded buffets for lunch, book early as these tend to fill up fast

Casino buffets are also great value

3. Shows & Concerts

You can often get discounts to shows and concerts by buying at the box office or ticket booth on the day of the event

4. After Dinner

You can get dessert and a coffee at ‘hard to get into’ high end hotel restaurants if you go after the dinner rush

5. Late Lunch / Early Dinner

If you eat after the lunch rush and before dinner, around 3pm you will get lunch time prices and get in and out before the 4pm dinner rush

6. Happy Hour

Most Hotel Bars have Happy-Hour prices on drinks &/or  appetizers

7. Valet Parking

Valet parking (for a fee) is often available if you are dining at the restaurant or attending a show – save yourself the hassle of finding parking on the weekends

If there is an event on in town or the hotel is booked out, they may not accommodate your request

You should be fine during less busy times of the year

8. Discount Websites

Discount websites like Groupon.comRestaurant.com can save you money on Hotel Restaurants

9. Living Social

As well as discounts of up to 80% off local services and attractions, LivingSocial.com have a restaurant program at (https://www.livingsocial.com/restaurants-plus-rewards/)  if you link your credit card and use it at one of their participating restaurants you will receive up to 30% cash back on your next credit card statement

Try to buy any restaurant e-cards a few days before you are planning to go to the Restaurant as some may take up to 48 hours to be sent to your email inbox, most arrive within an hour of purchasing them

10. Free Entertainment

Some hotel chains offer free live music in the bar or bistro, great for a night out

*Affiliate links used to help save you money on Restaurants & Attractions

Travel Guide: Sydney,Australia

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Sydney is a bucket list destination for many international travelers.  Aussies who live there do not fully appreciate it’s beauty until they have been away from it for an extended time.  The beaches, the shopping, the restaurants, the beautiful Harbour & architecture truly are amazing

There is so much to do and see in Sydney, it’s hard to know where to begin.  Many of the travel agencies miss a big chunk of it and send travelers to the usual spots

Attractions:

Take your camera!

The Sydney Harbour Bridge – Not only is it an amazing landmark, and probably the best view of Sydney from the top, but you can also walk/climb/tredge your way up to the top of it as well as drive right through it

Trivia: 

Did you know Paul Hogan (Actor of Crocodile Dundee fame) 
was a painter by trade, before his comedy & acting debut 
and helped to paint the Harbour Bridge back in 1973...
true story!

 

The Sydney Opera House –

Another historic landmark is host to not only Opera, but is a multi-venue performing arts center hosting Music, Theatre, Ballet, Comedy, Talks and Tours an is usually the first stop for Royal Dignitaries and International Visitors

There are restaurants and bars inside with some amazing views of the Harbour

Often there are musicians and street performers outside as well

The Sydney Aquarium

Chinese Garden of Friendship – Definitely somewhere you should see, it’s beautiful, peaceful, tranquil

Paddy’s markets – Oldest markets in the heart of Sydney

China Town – Best Chinese food, try YUM CHA if you haven’t before

Darling Harbour- Restaurants & Shopping

Sydney Harbour Cruise – Tickets available at Circular Quay – The best way to see Sydney! i think they are run by Captain Cook Cruises, you will see their terminal at Circular Quay, can’t miss it, you want the See Sydney Cruise that is narrated showing you all around the harbour places of interest

Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise

Sydney Tower – 360 Degree Views of Sydney, you have to do this, it’s amazing!!!

Do the Buffet or dining at night with all the city lights and 360 view

Trivia: It used to be called The Summit then Telecom Tower

Taronga Zoo – You can get there by car or Ferry, Ferries leave Circular Quay daily

Travel Tip: Don't go in summer!
WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES !....lots of walking

Luna Park – Best Amusement Rides, Roller Coasters

Take a trip to Manly on the Ferry, tickets at Circular Quay, whether you stop for a while to dine at the Restaurants or get  Fish & Chips to eat on the beach, it’s worth the trip there and back

The Rocks – Beautiful Cobblestone streets & alleys full of Art galleries, boutique shops, pastries, restaurants, cafes, pubs not to mention amazing Sandstone Architecture & outdoor open  street markets on the weekends featuring artisian arts & crafts, fashion, food, music, Australian art, photography and authentic Indigenous artefacts, jewellry and so much more

140 George Street,
The Rocks, NSW, 2000

The Rocks Markets
10am – 5pm, Saturdays & Sundays
Playfair Street, George Street, Jack Mundey Place

The Rocks Friday Foodie Market
9am – 3pm, Fridays
Jack Mundey Place

While you are down that end of town, visit

The Museum of Contemporary Art

140 George Street,
The Rocks, NSW, 2000

Waterfront Dining:

Who wouldn’t want sweeping views of the Harbour, Opera House, Harbour Bridge ?

I could think of worse things to look at while I’m dining…lol, pretty hard to take…

I’m Angus Steakhouse Sit by the water, truly amazing food, worth every cent!

The Promenade
Cockle Bay Wharf
Darling Harbour, NSW, 2000

Waterfront Restaurant 17-27 Circular Quay West, The Rocks, NSW 2000.

Wolfies – 27 Circular Quay W The Rocks NSW 2000

Altitude Restaurant – Level 36, Shangri-La Hotel, 176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, NSW, 2000

Imperial Peking Harbourside – Campbell’s Storehouse, 15 Circular Quay West, The Rocks, NSW, 2000

Pubs & Clubs:

Jackson on George – Great for Lunch or Drinks & Cocktails – 176 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney

(thank God the walls can’t speak, hehe, we used to go there for ‘lunch’ some 20+ years ago…though it may have been a tad more liquid than lunch back then)

I am told it’s since been re-furbished and has a great whisky bar

Phillip’s Foote – 101 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney

Another one that’s been there 40 years + – It had a great open courtyard and the most amazing bbq baby octopus when I was there, but the menu has most likely changed since then

Insider Tip:

10  Hidden Underground Bars 

Beaches:

Bondi – Catch the train

Cronulla – Illawarra train, well worth the trip, my favorite place to be

Day Trips:

Blue Mountains

Hunter Valley Wineries – Some of Best Wines in the World , seriously

Kiama Blowhole & Lighthouse, Wollongong Beaches – Love it here!

Accommodation:

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!

There are lots of options for accommodation in Sydney, but a lot are out of most people’s budget

I book all of my travel accommodation through

they have some of the best deals on the internet, better than travel agency rates, better than booking directly through a hotel chain website, orbitz or expedia

i am recommending them because you can save up to 50-60% off hotels with them and they are reliable and trustworthy

Travel Tip:

If you want ideas on how to Save money and even earn cash back on Travel, see our post here

*Affiliate link used in this post to help save you money on accommodation if you need it

Travel Guide: Orange Beach, AL

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Orange Beach, Alabama lies on the Gulf Coast.  It is a relatively untouched, charming beach town, though in recent years, high-rise condos seem to have overtaken the cute beach houses that once were there

Attractions:

Beaches:

Orange Beach

Gulf Shores

 

Shopping & Restaurants:

The Wharf – Beautiful Marina with Boutique Shopping & Restaurants, Ferris Wheel, Putt Putt Golf, Ampi-theatre with big name Concerts like

  • Keith Urban
  • Luke Bryan
  • Green Day
  • Jimmy Buffet
  • Alabama
  • Journey

 

Restaurants:

Wintzel’s – Fresh Raw Oysters, Seafood

Voyagers – Fine Dining

The Hangout – fresh Seafood right on the beach – Gulf Shores

Fishers Fine Dining

 

 

 

Things to Do:

Art Festival – Artists, musicians, culinary arts

Adventure Island – Go carts, bumper boats, adventure golf, paddle boat rides

Dolphin Cruises

Orange Beach Sailing Charters and Sunset Cruises

Parasailing

 

Nearby:

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

The Hangout –  Music Festival – Gulf Shores – Held in May every year

Day Trip:

Orange Beach is close enough that you could do a day trip to Fairhope/Mobile

See our Travel Guide: Mobile,AL

Travel Tip:

 

Travel Tip:

If you want ideas on how to Save money and even earn cash back on Travel, see our post here

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!

*Affiliate link used in this post to help save you money on accommodation if you need it

Travel Guide: Daytona, FL

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Daytona Florida is known for its world-class Speedway and beautiful beaches

 

Attractions:

Daytona International Speedway

The Boardwalk – The only beachside roller coaster in Florida

Daytona Lagoon Water Park

Marine Science Center

Daytona Beach – You can Drive / Park your car right on the beach

 

 

SHOPPING:

Riverfront Shops – 60 Shops along the riverfront including art, antiques, jewelry, books, music, fashion boutiques, shoes, hats, home décor, wine

TRAVEL TIP:

Make sure you get the discount shopping card

 

 

DAY TRIPS:

Daytona is close enough to other Florida Attractions, that you could do a day trip

  • Kennedy Space Center, 64 miles from Daytona Beach

See our Orlando Travel Guide for more information on these attractions

 

  • Sea World, Orlando, 70 miles from Daytona Beach
  • Walt Disney World, Orlando, 73 miles from Daytona Beach
  • Universal Studios, Orlando, 64 miles from Daytona Beach

 

 

Other Tings to See:

 

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

Southeast Museum of Photography

 

 

Other Things To Do:

Skyzone Trampoline Park

Daytona Beach Parasail

Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory

 

 

Restaurants:

Casual:

The Oyster Pub – raw oyster bar- They also have burgers, steaks, shrimp, and seafood

Been here, oysters were awesome, friendly staff

 

Fine Dining:

Chart House – Signature Caesar salad, filet mignon au poivre, and a plethora of seafood dishes

The Cellar – Fine Dining

Hyde Park – Hilton Hotel – Prime Steakhouse

Azure – Beachfront Restaurant

Top of Daytona Restaurant and Lounge – Birds eye view of Daytona Beach, Fine Dining Menu

 

Other:

Inside Hilton Hotel:

  • Clocktower Lounge
  • Doc Bales’ Grill
  • Legends Sports Bar

 

Oceanfront “RIO” Bar & Grille – Residence Inn by Marriott

 

ACCOMMODATION:

Hilton Hotel – 100 N Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118

Residence Inn by Marriott – 3209 South Atlantic Avenue  Daytona Beach  Florida  32118

 

 

Travel Tip:

If you want ideas on how to Save money and even earn cash back on Travel, see our post here

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!

*Affiliate link used in this post to help save you money on accommodation if you need it

Travel Guide: Orlando, FL

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Orlando Florida is a World Famous Tourist Destination, thanks to the vison of a cartoonist Walt Disney who created the most amazing, magical theme park, Walt Disney World® Resort

Orlando is host to millions of visitors every year which is why it just makes sense to plan ahead.  Pre-purchasing theme park tickets saves time waiting in admission lines

Walt Disney World® Resort

Get the best deal on theme park tickets by purchasing them ahead of time.  You can buy them all in one place from Visit Orlando official ticket store.

  • Want to dine with Mickey, Minnie or one of Disney’s other famous characters? Make reservations as soon as possible. Character dining experiences at Walt Disney World® Resort and other theme parks are popular and tend to book up months in advance.

ACCOMODATION TIP:
If you don’t want to blow your holiday budget on accommodation, there are budget options available that are only a few minutes away from major theme parks, most offer shuttle services so you can leave your car at the hotel if you wish

Hampton Inn Orlando

Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando

Comfort Suites

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!

 

 

Tourist Attractions:

Universal Orlando® Resort – 6000 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL32819

SeaWorld® Orlando – 7007 SeaWorld Drive, Orlando, FL32821

LEGOLAND® Florida -One LEGOLAND Way, Winter Haven, FL33884

Gatorland – 14501 South Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837

Pirates Cove Adventure Golf – 8501 International Drive,  Orlando FL 32819

 

 

Other Places to See:

Lake Eola Park – 512 East Washington Street,  Orlando, FL 32801

Disney’s Boardwalk

Grand Bohemian Gallery

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Cornell Fine Arts Museum

 

Water Parks:

Beaches

  • The closest beaches to Orlando are Cocoa Beach, Canaveral National Seashore and Daytona Beach, all about an hour and half drive away

Things To Do:

Theatre Dinner:

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows

Medieval Times

 

 

Restaurants:

Citricos

Kabooki Sushi

Chatham’s Place

Chef’s Table at the Edgewater

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood

Jiko

The Capital Grille

Norman’s

 

 

Travel Tip:

If you want ideas on how to Save money and even earn cash back on Travel, see our post here

*Affiliate link used in this post to help save you money on accommodation if you need it

Travel Guide: Montgomery, AL

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Montgomery is the Capital of Alabama, home of the Biscuits Baseball Team located at Riverwalk Stadium and lies along the Alabama River

It has a strong Civil Rights History including the famous Bus Boycott by Rosa Parks.  The church where Martin Luther King preached is located in Dexter Avenue (Downtown)

Tourist Attractions:

  • Civil Rights Memorial – 400 Washington Avenue in downtown Montgomery, Alabama
  • Civil Rights Memorial Center hours of operation:
    Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Adult admission $2
    Children are admitted free of charge
  • Freedom Rides Museum 210 S. Court Street Montgomery, AL 36104 is open Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 4pm and weekdays by appointment for groups of 10 or more.

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-4pm

Admission Fee: $5 Adults; $4 College, Senior, Military; $3 Children 6-18

Things To See:

  • Montgomery Capitol Building – 600 Dexter Avenue
    Montgomery, AL 36104

Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March ended here 1965

  • Riverwalk

 

Things to Do:

Harriott II Paddle-Steamer Riverboat Cruises

Horse & Carriage Rides – Downtown

Alabama Shakespeare Festival 1 Festival Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

Montgomery Performing Arts Centre 201 Tallapoosa Street Montgomery, AL 36104 – Concert Tickets at Box Office

Montgomery Zoo

Old Alabama Town 301 Columbus Street Montgomery, AL 36104

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts One Museum Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

For HER:

Full Service SPA – Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center201 Tallapoosa Street Montgomery, AL 36104

For HIM:

GOLF – Robert Trent Jones Prattville

In Season:

Biscuits Baseball – Tickets at Box Office

Riverwalk Ampitheatre – Summer Series Open Air Concerts

 

Shopping:

Eastdale Mall 1000 Eastdale Mall Montgomery, AL 36117

Shoppes at EastChase 7274 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117

 

 

Restaurants:

Downtown:

Wasabi Japanese Cuisine 117 Coosa Street Montgomery, AL 36104  -Sushi & Japanese

Lek’s Railroad Thai at Union Station 300 Water Street, Suite 115 Montgomery, AL 36104

Wintzell’s Oyster House 105 Commerce Street Montgomery, AL 36104 Casual – Oysters

Central 129 Coosa Street Montgomery AL 36104 – Upscale/Fine Dining  American Cuisine

Baumhower’s Restaurant Downtown 201 S. Union Street Montgomery, AL 36104

Exchange Bar 201 Tallapoosa Street Montgomery, AL 36104 – Live Music, Happy Hour, Bistro Menu

The House: Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center – 201 Tallapoosa Street Montgomery, AL 36104 (Sunday Brunch)

Eastchase:

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill 7078 Eastchase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117`- Upscale Steakhouse

Bonefish Grill7020 Eastchase Pkwy, Montgomery, AL 36117-6871 – Upscale Seafood

Taziki’s Mediterranean Café 2560 Berryhill Road Montgomery, AL 36117 – Greek – Casual

Blackfinn Ameripub 6854 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, Alabama 36117 – Casual American Pub Food

Panera Bread7224 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 (bagels, pastries)

Old Cloverdale:

Sinclair’s 1051 E. Fairview Avenue Montgomery, AL 36106-2144 – Casual Bistro / Cafe

Tomatinos 1036 E. Fairview Avenue Montgomery, AL 36106 -Casual – Pizza

Vintage Year – 405 Cloverdale Rd, Montgomery, AL – Fine Dining

 

 

Accommodation:

Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center201 Tallapoosa Street Montgomery, AL 36104

Embassy Suites Montgomery Hotel & Conference Center300 Tallapoosa Street Montgomery, AL 36104-2552

 

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!

 

 

Travel Tip:

If you want ideas on how to Save money and even earn cash back on Travel, see our post here

*Affiliate link used in this post to help save you money on accommodation if you need it

Travel Guide: Washington DC

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Washington DC: The Nation’s Capital encompasses the White House – home of the President, is globally known for its Politics, Social Status & Bureaucracy

The tourism capital, foodie destination, home of the Smithsonnian & the Capitol Building, Pennsylvania Avenue, multiple Museums & Monuments remains skyscraper-free due to building height regulations

Travel Tip:

The best times to visit are Fall & Spring (Cherry Blossoms) if you wish to avoid the Snowy Winter & heat of Summer

Must See Attractions:

White House

Smithsonian Museums

National Air and Space Museum (Smithsonian)

National Gallery of Art.

National Museum of American History (Smithsonian)

Also if you have time

Arlington National Cemetery

Other Attractions:

National Mall

Jefferson Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

The Washington Monument

Newseum

For the Kids:

Make sure they get to the Smithsonnian

 

International Spy Museum

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

National Zoo

GETTING AROUND:

Private Car – good luck finding Parking

DC Streetcar

Metro – An interactive map of the Metro system is available here

Old Town Trolley or Gray Line – Hop on, Hop off bus tours

Upscale Restaurants:

Range – Celebrity Chef Bryan Voltaggio

  • TASTING OF CHARCUTERIE AND HAMS
    bressola, sopressata, capicola
  • TASTING OF LOCAL CHEESES
    multigrain sourdough, pear mostarda, local honey
  • BAKERS BASKET
    spreads, pepper jelly, sea salt butter
  • CRISPY BRUSSELS SPROUTS
    fish sauce vinaigrette, lime

All I can say is, YUM !! (check menu online for prices)

Plume – Michelin Star

RPM Italian Bill & Guilliana Rancic co-owners

The Source by Wolfgang Puck

Blue Duck Tavern

 

Wine/Cheese/Charcuterie:

Cork

 

Popular:

Union Market

 

Family Friendly:

Bucca de Beppo Italian – Family Style Entrees to share

Bolt Burger

The District Line Restaurant – inside Washington Hilton – Breakfast Buffet

 

Travel Tip:

If you want ideas on how to Save money and even earn cash back on Travel, see our post here

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!

*Affiliate link used in this post to help save you money on accommodation if you need it
 

Travel Guide: Atlanta, GA

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Must See Attractions:

World of Coca-Cola– It’s Amazing, you can even make your own bottle of coke!

CNN – Whether you are a fan or not, it’s worth a look at the studio

Aquarium

Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site

Botanical Gardens

Stone Mountain Park

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Turner Field Tours & Ivan Allen Jr Braves Museum and Hall of Fame

High Museum of Art

Chastain Park Amphitheatre – Summer Concert Series is awesome

 

TRAVEL TIP:

Purchase an Atlanta CityPass in advance – This pass includes free entry into prime sites such as the Georgia Aquarium, the Inside CNN Studio Tour, and the World of Coca Cola. You can visit the attractions in any order, and the pass is valid for nine days from first use

You can skip to the front of the lines with these passes

Restaurants:

Flip – Burger Boutique – Celebrity Chef Richard Blais

True Food Kitchen – Lunch

Buckhead has a lot of restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory etc

Shopping:

Lennox Square

Accommodation:

Grand Hyatt

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!


TRAVEL TIP:

Like most parts of the South, Atlanta Summer’s are brutually HOT, go in the cooler month’s of the year

Travel Tip:

If you want ideas on how to Save money and even earn cash back on Travel, see our post here

*Affiliate link used in this post to help save you money on accommodation if you need it

Travel Guide: New Orleans, LA

NEW ORLEANS

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New Orleans, LA

We really wanted to see New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and decided to take our vacation there to support the rebuild instead of wasting our vacation dollars elsewhere

It was December a couple of years later, we went for a long weekend.  It was supposed to be winter, but it was still warm & humid

We knew there was lots to see & do, so we had to make a short list of things and places we really wanted to see

The French Quarter is a MUST SEE – this is where all the little boutique shops, cafes and restaurants are located

TRAVEL TIP: Wear flat comfortable shoes, you are going to be walking a LOT!

If you get tired of walking, or just want to see the layout of the land first to acclimate yourself with where everything is, there are horse & carriage rides, though these are very popular on weekends and we didn’t want to wait that long, so we decided to take the tram / trolley car instead, it was a good way to see the city and find out where things were, you can get on & off where you need to

You can also take a paddle-steamer riverboat cruise for something fun to do

JACKSON SQUARE is also a Must See – there are shops and it’s on the waterfront, there are street entertainers and artists selling paintings in a flea market type of atmosphere

It was right before Christmas so there were lots of holiday shoppers and street parades going on the weekend we were there

TRAVEL TIP:  If you have kids and aren’t that interested in being there for Mardi Gras earlier in the year (when it’s sweltering hot) take the kids in December/January when it’s cooler.  Hotels are cheaper and you don’t have to book 12 months in advance like you do for Mardi Gras

Also

TRAVEL TIP: If you are travelling with kids, it’s better to have an early dinner at 5-6pm if you are going to restaurants, so the kids aren’t being jostled around so much.  There was a lot of people congestion when we went and pushing & shoving, and the drinking starts around 7pm-7:30pm, so you can get in and out and get done before all that starts and have the kids in bed at a sensible hour

While we are on the subject of kids, there is a Children’s Museum, an Art Museum, as well as a World War II Museum

There is also the Garden District nearby where you can do walking tours

Bourbon Street comes alive at night and is famous for it’s Bars & Adult (Stripper) Nightclubs and goes into the wee hours of the morning

 

PHOTOGRAPHY TIP:

If you want to get shots of the city and French Quarter, get up early in the morning before breakfast, the streets are virtually empty because all the revelers are sleeping in late after their late night out on the town

There is amazing Architecture in this city and it is the best time to capture it

Make sure you stop in for breakfast at cafe du monde and try a beignet if you haven’t already

 

RESTAURANTS:

There are lots of them.  It can be a little overwhelming when you first arrive, so research them before you go, online

There’s everything from casual to fine dining

TIP: If you are going to celebrity Restaurants like Emeril Lagasse etc, they are extremely popular and you need a reservation well in advance for weekends, also leave the car and take a taxi,  there’s nowhere to park anywhere near them

New Orleans’ is famous for its Gumbo, Po’Boys, Craw Fish etc so if you want local authentic, that’s the way to go, I prefer the Raw on the half shell Oysters, they are huge and super fresh and so yummy

Look out for happy hour specials too, they have them all over the French Quarter

 

 

Travel Tip:

If you want ideas on how to Save money and even earn cash back on Travel, see our post here

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!

*Affiliate link used in this post to help save you money on accommodation if you need it

Travel Guide: Myrtle Beach, SC

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Myrtle Beach, SC

We had never been to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina before, but heard a lot about it and seen lots of photo’s online and on TV.  We really wanted to see it and decided to spend 5 days there (Mon-Fri) in June after spending a weekend in Savannah, Georgia

Wrong time of the year to visit, it was HOT!!!…Unbearably so

We wished we had thought it out better, but it was a pretty last minute trip.  We were used to 100F+ temps, but not prepared for the  humidity, Savannah more so than Myrtle Beach, it was way too hot to enjoy

If we had gone there a few weeks earlier in May or at the end of Summer, late Aug/Sept it would have been much better

You live and Learn, Rookie mistake

On the plus side, it wasn’t very crowded and we found travelling & sightseeing was best done early morning right after an early breakfast, than midday in the heat of the day

We stayed at Barefoot Landing, it was central to everything and right on a waterway

Barefoot Landing was built for tourists.  It is a cluster of touristy shops & restaurants built right on the marina

My favorite shops were:

PURPLEology -a store dedicated to everything purple, my favorite color, it was awesome and the lady who ran the store was really nice

Black Market Minerals – everything holistic, minerals, windchimes, native American Wind Catchers etc, staff were friendly

The Beef Jerky Outlet Storethey have hundreds of different flavors and you can try most of them before you buy them, but some of the ones we got weren’t available for tasting.  It was a fun little thing to do, being the foodies that we were….we took them home and had a jerky tasting party, that was fun

The Olive Store

The Praline Store

Crabby Jack’s – T-Shirts & Souvenir’s

 

TIP:

Download the online map before you go there, it’s a real hassle trying to get one there

 

HANDY TO KNOW:

A lot of the stores take Visa/Mastercard and not American Express

 

RESTAURANTS:

The Flying Fish had the best food and was very affordable, we sat upstairs overlooking the water, the oysters were so fresh and big and awesome, the waitress we had was super friendly

Greg Norman’s  Australian Grille on the marina-the food is more American than Australian

Italian Steakhouse Castano’s  – They do take walk ins, but those with reservations were in a nicer dining area

 Aaron Sanchez (Food Network) House of Blues Restaurant 

The Sea Captain’s House is not in Barefoot Landing, but is a short drive away right on the beach – an awesome location, great service, but the food was bland  – The clam chowder was good, but the rest was not

All the places that say Calabash Seafood are deep fried seafood, they are expensive, way overpriced, tourist traps 

There are much better places to eat

BEACHES:

 Pier14 is a bistro/pub on the Boardwalk right on Myrtle Beach near the big Ferris Wheel, it is AWESOME, I thoroughly recommend going there for drinks, appetizers, the fried calamari is addictively delicious- Make sure you sit outside after dark.  Our waitress gave us local travel tips of where to get good sunrise photography etc, I wish I was there now, I loved it.  You pay $1 to go on the boardwalk that you have to pay at the gift shop, but if you dine at Pier14 you get the $1 refunded

After Sunset, walk on the Boardwalk & Promenade, there are a heap of beach shops and there is Broadway at the Beach too, which is a little further down which is another long stretch of shops, public parking is the biggest issue, so get there early, it’s all paid parking meters

We did a day trip to Pawley’s Island, a beautiful quiet secluded beach, it was worth every second of it, we liked it so much, we went back a second afternoon.   It is featured on the Beach House listings show on tv

 There is a Hollywood Wax Museum near there for the kids & Ripley’s Aquarium, but I am not sure of it’s location

North Carolina:

We took a drive because the tourist book in the hotel suggested tourists visit Little River, well we did, it was a waste of time, there is a private yacht club there with no public access and not much else.  We kept driving and went on to North Carolina and discovered Holden Beach, it was awesome, we were the only one’s there in the middle of the week, there was mostly vacation beach rentals

Then we went for another short drive and we found Southport, a little beach village that was a nice place we stumbled on, the locals were very friendly, it’s basically just a beach jetty, but was a nice break to walk around and get out of the car for a bit.  Thank God for OnStar, we would have literally been lost without it

There were your usual chain restaurants in Myrtle Beach itself  

Overall the beaches are nice, better early morning before the crowds get there, great for sunrise, sunset shots if you are into photography, the food on the other hand was a little disappointing. 

We thought that being so close to the water we were going to get really fresh seafood and it was all deep fried and just not very good

If there was fresh seafood, we couldn’t find it, the Flying Fish was really the only place we found

 5 Days was more than enough time to see everything. We could have spent 3-4 days and been happy, but with all the travelling, it was a nice break.  If my memory serves me correctly, it rained 3 of the 5 days we were there

Anyone who loves the Beach is going to love it here, but I would go off season if you can

 

 

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