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Fall means sweaters, crisp mornings, crunching leaves and hot apple cider. But it’s also one of the best seasons for arts and culture. From the serious stuff like modern dance and museum retrospectives to wacky, only-in-SF offerings (we’re looking at you, adult bouncy house), there’s something for everyone. So we’ve whittled this fall’s happenings down to a list of the 25 things you shouldn’t miss.

Agave Uptown

Food & Drink

1. Starting this month, Agave Uptown is selling its insanely delicious mole in a bottled formula. Chef Octavio Diaz’s secret recipe features more than 20 ingredients and is inspired by his family’s tradition—and now you can enjoy it at home.

2. Sip spirits galore at the California Rum Fest on September 8. We’ve got our eyes on the Rum Bazaar, where tropical cocktails mixed up by some of SF’s best bartenders will be flowing.

3. Enjoy dinner and a book at Duna, which is hosting a family-style meal on September 9 inspired by food writer and photographer Michael Harlan Turkell’s new book, Acid Trip: Travels in the World of Vinegar. Courses will showcase a variety of house-made vinegars, including an intriguing blood-orange version.

4. Calling all dairy fans: The SF Cheese Fest touches down on September 16, and this year’s theme is all about ooey-gooey fromage. Beer, cider and wine are on the lineup, too—because you’ll need something to wash down all the melty goodness.

Miss Cheesemonger/SF Cheese Fest

5. Get ready to elbow your way through the crowds at this year’s San Francisco Street Food Festival (October 15), where you’ll sample Nepalese dumplings (say what?), Mexican huaraches and Southern fried chicken, of course.

6. La Cocina’s twice-annual storytelling series, F&B Voices from the Kitchen, is back on October 19, and the theme this time is refuge. You’ll hear from folks who usually hang out behind the scenes (sorry, Alice Waters), all while enjoying drinks and bites from well-known chefs and cooks just starting out.

Museum of Ice Cream/Facebook

Fun

7. All right, so it’s no surprise that the Museum of Ice Cream (September 17 to October 30) sold out in about 30 seconds, but sign up for their newsletter and you’ll be the first to hear about new ticket information. Sprinkle pool, we simply can’t wait to meet you.

8. Be one of the first to attend a workshop at the newly relocated Butterfly Joint. Sign the kiddos up for fall camp or book an adult class once they’re back on the schedule in October.

9. Take an e-bike from The New Wheel for a test ride and work your way up SF’s biggest hills sweat-free.

Aubrie Pick/Calistoga Motor Lodge

Travel

10. It’s time to book a weekend getaway to Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa. The classic 1940s roadside motel just underwent a stylish upgrade but still pays tribute to the great American road trip with rooms that take cues from vintage camper vans and a geothermal spa modeled after a traditional bathhouse.

11. Sleepy Bolinas wakes up with the introduction of Eleven Wine Bar Bistro. It’s only open for dinner Thursday to Saturday. We’d say it’s the perfect excuse to skip out of work early on Friday.

12. The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Copia just announced its schedule of fall classes. Learn how to taste wine in 90 seconds or prep holiday pies and tarts in time for the holiday season.

13. Big Sur’s beloved Henry Miller Library is back in business this fall, just in time for the annual Days and Nights Festival (September 29 to October 8), this year with the Philip Glass Ensemble, Laurie Anderson, Ira Glass and more. Road trip definitely in order.

di Rosa

14. The di Rosa art center in Napa joins the conversation with “Be Not Still: Living in Uncertain Times,” a group show of artist-driven, socially engaged art taking on today’s political climate.

15. Goodbye, Heirloom Tomato Festival. Hello, Harvest Celebration. After 20 years, Kendall-Jackson decided to switch things up. Not to worry, though. KJ’s famous tomatoes will still be front and center on October 1, along with other farm-fresh produce straight from the estate’s garden, plus all the food and wine pairings you can imagine.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass/Facebook

Music & Performance

16. It’s time for our fill of folk and bluegrass and everything in between at the free annual Hardly Strictly festival (October 6 to 8). Dust off the cowboy boots and pull out the fringe now.

17. Classic Gershwin meets choreography by Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon in An American in Paris (September 12 to October 8) at the Orpheum Theatre.

18. South of Market: The Musical V2 (October 12 to 22) is a critique of the tech industry by the tech industry in a playful musical revue. Meta. And it’s even been updated for the Trump era.

Rhiannon Giddens/Facebook

19. We heart Rhiannon Giddens. The cofounder of the Grammy-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops and star of Nashville brings her brand of jazz, R&B and gospel to the Herbst Theatre on October 28.

Arts & Culture

20. Another timely exhibit is the latest by the For-Site Foundation, which brought us Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. “Sanctuary” will showcase 36 specially commissioned prayer rugs at Fort Mason’s historic chapel.

21. Put on your reading glasses and geek out over the staged reading of Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem at this year’s Litquake Festival (October 6 to 14). Or wax poetic about surfing with author and philosopher Jaimal Yogis.

22. To mark the centenary of Rodin’s death, the Legion of Honor is running a series of shows juxtaposing the works of the French sculpture against pieces by a diverse array of artists. Go now to catch the tail end of “Sarah Lucas: Good Muse” (through September 17), a series of disconcerting sculptures confronting gender stereotypes. Then go again later this fall for the rare opportunity to see 36 works by Gustav Klimt in “Klimt & Rodin: An Artistic Encounter” (starting October 14).

Oakland Museum of California

23. If Color Factory and the Museum of Ice Cream didn’t satisfy your sensory itch, be sure to check out “Nature’s Gift: Humans, Friends, & the Unknown” (starting October 7) at the Oakland Museum of California. The colorful and immersive exhibit includes a large-scale soft sculpture by L.A.-based art collective FriendsWithYou that’s kind of like an adult-sized bouncy house. Permission to jump around granted.

24. Here are two big reasons to go to SFMOMA this fall: a sweeping retrospective of photographer Walker Evans (starting September 30) and a not-to-be-missed survey of Robert Rauschenberg’s career (starting November 18).

25. Misty Copeland, the American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American principal dancer, has defied odds. And now she gives us a piece of her mind in this inspiring City Arts & Lectures conversation (December 18).

This article was from PureWow and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Tagged: California, Destinations

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As if we don’t already have enough reasons to love Miami, we present four stellar Miami hotels (Kimpton Epic, Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, the Biltmore and COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach) in four sizzling hot neighborhoods worth your time and dough. Heading to South Florida soon? Book your airfare at CheapTickets.com.

Miami is known for Latin American influences, a vibrant nightlife, energetic, diverse neighborhoods, and of course, white sand beaches. Although travelers will want to get out and about to experience the best of it, the South Florida city is also home to some incredible resorts. Many of the best places to stay have shopping, dining, and the ocean at their doorsteps. Here are a few of our favorite resorts in Miami, in some of its most popular neighborhoods.

Downtown Miami

If you’ve come to Miami to be in the thick of it, stay at the Kimpton EPIC. With over 400 rooms, this hotel isn’t the place to go for peace and quiet, but with the bustle of downtown right outside, it is the perfect place to experience Miami’s signature buzz.

Guests are in an ideal spot to head into the center of town, but there’s also plenty of reason to stay in. One of the highlights of this property is the range of on-site dining options. Enjoy fresh, sustainably caught seafood on the 16th floor balcony at Area 31, named after the portion of the ocean where the restaurant sources its fish, then stick around to sip a cocktail or glass of champagne on the upper story of stylish Lilt Lounge.

In addition to excellent restaurants, the guest rooms are well appointed, with private balconies that give way to sweeping views of Biscayne Bay, Brickell Key, and the Miami skyline.

Coconut Grove

From downtown, head south along the coast to Coconut Grove, the Miami locale preferred by creative types. The Grove, as it’s known, is close enough to enjoy the pulse of Miami, but with its mix of boutiques, galleries, and quaint eateries, you’ll have plenty to do without leaving the neighborhood.

Stay at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove: Like the rest of the global brand, the Coconut Grove location offers an idyllic hotel for guests seeking an upscale experience. With its rich, jewel-toned décor and setting on acres of lush gardens, the draw of the Ritz-Carlton is its glamor.

The rooms and suites all have balconies and views of the town or the bay, but you’ll want to take advantage of the amenities to appreciate the full experience. Book a cabana, then enjoy a mojito from the poolside café on the edge of the turquoise water. When you’ve had enough sun, head to the spa for a couples’ massage or body wrap, or — if you can never have enough sun — enjoy your treatment on a lounge chair by the pool.

Coral Gables

The area that wraps around Coconut Grove to the west and south along the coast is Coral Gables, which certainly has earned its nickname, “The City Beautiful.” Coral Gables is known for Mediterranean-style architecture, avenues shaded by drooping trees, the historic Venetian Pool, and the University of Miami.

It’s also known for The Biltmore, a hotel recognized as a National Historic Landmark, and the best place to stay in the neighborhood. The land developer responsible for Coral Gables was inspired by Spanish, Italian, and Moorish design when he envisioned the sprawling property as the crown jewel and centerpiece of the city back in 1926, and its grandeur means it still serves that purpose today.

The Biltmore sits on the edge of an expansive country club section, complete with a golf course, and holds 275 guest rooms, including 130 suites. With a piazza, a tower, and vaulted ceilings throughout, this hotel is all about opulence. Take advantage by enjoying private dining: Poolside cabanas can fit up to eight guests, and there are also private and semi-private rooms in Palm D’Or and Fontana, the Biltmore’s two fine dining restaurants.

Miami Beach

While your options in hotel-packed Miami Beach are plentiful, the COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach’s art deco design feels extravagant without being over-the-top. The rooms have seafoam green walls, white bedding, and gilded accents, exuding a vibe that’s the antithesis of beach kitsch. Book a room with ocean views for a striking juxtaposition of greens and blues. The highlight of this hotel is that it perfects a blend of modern style and luxury, and part of their success in that comes from the chain’s focus on wellness.

In addition to a handful of restaurants and a poolside bar, the chain’s COMO Shambala concept means fresh, local produce is on hand when you want a healthy juice or meal. Along the same lines, COMO Shambala Urban Escape is an on-site spa and wellness center with a full range of treatments and exercise options. Book with their expert yogi for an invigorating class overlooking the Atlantic Ocean before spending the afternoon at the sparkling rooftop pool. End your day with the spa’s Sun Soother treatment, which includes a full body compress and a scalp massage, both designed to replenish skin dried by sun and sea.

This article was written by G. S. McClure from Travel & Leisure and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Tagged: Destinations, Florida

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We love, love, love Key West! The undisputed capital of cool of the Florida Keys forever dances to the beat of its own drum. Whether you’re day drinking on Duval, following in the footsteps of Hemingway or exploring the city’s many maritime activities (as detailed here), Key West rules. See the city for less by seeking out hot hotel and airfare deals at CheapTickets.com. Oh, and we agree that the new Perry Hotel (see below) makes for an excellent base for exploration. Happy travels!

Love to be out on the water? Here are 10 things to do in Key West, Florida.

The Conch Republic is a dream playground for any waterman, thanks to the endless blue waters thick with marine life. Sure, Duval Street deserves an evening happy hour stroll, but to truly connect with the heart of this multi-sport Florida-island outpost, grab a paddle, a pair of fins, a rod or a board and prepare to cut loose. Here are 10 things to do in Key West for those who love to be out on the water.

1. Splash around on a sandbar

In Key West, happy hour happens as often on sandbars as it does at the line-up of booze joints on Duval Street. Sunset Sail Key West can take a maximum of six guests out of the Stock Island channel straight into blue water. From there, they anchor and set up an inflatable lily pad, ideal for cocktails and lounging. Or they can take you to a sandbar and shallow water for a different kind of rest and relaxation.

Things to do in Key West: The Perry Hotel

The pool at The Perry Hotel

Brooke Morton

2. Work on your tan poolside

Every weekend or weeklong getaway needs a little downtime, best spent poolside. At The Perry Hotel, taking a dip means overlooking the ocean and dozens of boats at harbor. Wait staff at the Salty Oyster Dockside Bar and Grill keep you hydrated, whether you’re drinking water or an adult beverage, such as the specialty Hemingway Daiquiri: freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juice with Pilar Blonde Rum, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur and simple syrup.

Things to do in Key West: Paddleboard Yoga

Paddleboard yoga

Brooke Morton

3. Practice upward-facing dog on a paddleboard

Yes, yoga alone works your core, but add water and a paddleboard, and that six-pack will appear much faster! Lazy Dog Paddle Yoga, based on A1A on the western edge of Stocking Island, offers ocean-bound om sessions three times a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 a.m., and Sundays at 8:30 a.m.

Things to do in Key West: Snorkel the Saddlebunch Cays

Spot barracuda on a snorkeling excursion

Shutterstock

4. Snorkel the Saddlebunch Cays

There’s a reason Namaste Eco Excursions named their 32-foot vessel the Reef Geek: guide Jeff Bowman is fanatical about pointing out queen angelfish, barracuda and schools of blue tang to snorkeling guests. Not only is this local-born guide amped about identification, he’ll also share info about coral restoration, the importance of mangroves to juvenile fish, or any other ecology topic in question.

Things to do in Key West:

Spend the day fishing and Chef Ryan Fredstorm will prepare your catch

Courtesy The Perry Hotel

5. Reel in dinner

Dinner doesn’t get any fresher than when you reel in your own mahi-mahi, mackerel or snook during a four-hour excursion with Andy Griffiths Charters. If you’re staying at The Perry Hotel, Chef Ryan Fredstorm, formerly of the Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Miami, will cook your bounty to your specifications. However you order it, we recommend a side of the not-to-miss cornbread mash.

Things to do in Key West: Day trip to Cuba

Harmony Yacht Vacations offers day trips to Cuba

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6. Yacht to Cuba

Spend a week in Havana, Cuba, setting sail from the Stocking Island Marina; Harmony Yacht Vacations launches bareboating charters to Cuba, typically mooring in the Marina Hemingway in Havana. It takes a full day to cross the Gulf Stream and reach the Caribbean’s largest isle — giving you five days on the ground to get your fill of noshing on ropa vieja, scooping up cigars and hats, exploring local beaches and sipping daiquiris. Harmony provides a captain, a three-, four- or five-cabin yacht, and handles all the paperwork to keep the trip legal.

Things to do in Key West: Kayak mangroves

Kayak through mangrove tunnels with Namaste Eco Excursions

Shutterstock

7. Kayak through mangrove tunnels

Snowy egrets, green herons and schools of needlefish are all likely sightings during a half-day kayaking session with Namaste Eco Excursions. Their mother ship ferries guests from Stocking Island Marina to the red mangrove forests of The Great White Heron Wildlife Heron Refuge. Paddle through mangrove tunnels to spot birds nest and sea grass beds where juvenile nurse sharks seek sanctuary.

Things to do in Key West: Paddleboard with your dog

Paddleboard with your dog

Courtesy Lazy Dog Adventures

8. Paddleboard with your dog

It’s rare that you can bring Max along on holiday, but in Key West, a flip-flops kind of town, dogs are more than welcome. Hotels such as The Perry allow four-legged guests in rooms on the first level. And for fun, try paddleboarding: Lazy Dog Adventures lets pooches ride along on guided tours and DIY board rentals. Guided tours are two hours of exploring Cow Key Channel and beyond.

Things to do in Key West: Vandenberg wreck

Explore the Vandenberg wreck with Lost Reef Adventures

Courtesy Lost Reef Adventures

9. Scuba dive a wreck

It’s hard not to be impressed when dropping down on the U.S.N.S. General Hoyt S. Vandenberg — a former Air Force missile tracking ship that has become the world’s second largest artificial reef at 522 feet long. Three buoys mark the start of different dives, allowing certified scuba divers (and snorkelers) to explore clean passageways, elevator shafts, cargo holds and among the radar dishes. From the Stocking Island Marina, Lost Reef Adventures visits the wreck every week.

Things to do in Key West: sunset sail

Sunset Sail Key West hosts daily sunset trips

Shutterstock

10. Sail into the sunset

Key West is famous the world over for sunset celebrations at Mallory Square, formerly nothing more than an after-work hangout for locals. Now, it’s a melting pot of street acts, from tightrope walkers to fire jugglers where throngs of tourists convene to be entertained. Wander the action by foot, or let Sunset Sail Key West show you another sunset experience: Their fleet of three schooners takes guests out to the blue water of the Strait of Florida for uninterrupted views of sea and a sky exploding with color — a gorgeous finale to any trip.

This article was written by Brooke Morton from Islands and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Tagged: Destinations, Florida

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You don’t have to be young to love both saving a few bucks and mingling with other travelers. Enter a new set of hostels that appeal to those on the upside of 35. These modern hostels no longer exclusively target students and backpackers, nor do they only feature spartan accommodations (i.e. creaky bunk beds, thin mattresses and thinner walls). We’re now in the age of the boutique hostel, offering affordable accommodations—shared rooms, bathrooms and common areas—but also upgraded amenities: buzzing cafes, award-winning cocktail bars, trendy decor and even rooftop swimming pools in some instances.

Additionally, hot new hotels are also debuting hostel-like options that include both bunk-style and private rooms, either en suite or with a shared bath. With the attention to quality and greater chance for privacy, hostels aren’t just for kids anymore. We rounded up some of the best hostels and hostel-ish hotels for the 35+ set.

RELATED: gorgeous hostels in Europe starting at $4

Society Hotel, Portland, PDX, hotel, hostel

Society Hotel

Society Hotel: Portland, OR

Move over, Ace Hotel. Tucked away in Old Town/Chinatown
in a former boarding house for sailors, the Society Hotel mixes hotel accommodations with old-world lodging. While this upscale hostel offers a communal room with triple-tall bunks made of reclaimed wood ($35/nightly), our 35-year-old-selves can opt
for a private room, featuring a full or queen bed, sink and vanity and shared bathroom ($79/nightly). Ten-foot windows, comfy beds and free Wi-Fi up the ante, as does the lobby cafe and convenient location. But what really floats our boat (sailor joke!) is
the rooftop deck, affording sweeping views of downtown Portland, the Lan Su Chinese Garden, Willamette River and snow-capped Cascades.

Hollander Chicago, hotel, hostel

Hollander Chicago

The Hollander: Chicago, IL

Located in a converted warehouse on the edge of
Wicker Park and Bucktown, the Hollander markets itself as “high-design hotel meets sharing economy.” This is about as far away from the seedy hostel stereotype (made famous in B-list American
horror films) as you can get. Sleek but sparse shared rooms with en suite bathrooms and free Wi-Fi offer multiple bedding configurations (bunk beds and twin beds) and start at $45 per night. Meanwhile, if you choose a private loft room (starting at $165/night), you’ll enjoy extra perks like a TV and minibar, a seating area and access to the rooftop pool at the Robey, the Hollander’s sister property. There’s no shortage of things to do nearby, from exploring great bars and restaurants to wandering down the 606, an elevated greenway built on a former railroad.

NYAH, Key West, hostel, hotel

NYAH

NYAH: Key West, FL

Bike rentals, complimentary breakfast, happy hour, three pools, two
jacuzzis, free Wi-Fi and more make NYAH  in Key West anything but a hostile hostel experience. At the heart of it all is the “Build Your Own Room” concept, offering an array of customizable bedding options for groups of two to six. (Each bed comes with a memory
foam mattress and personal charging station and can be rented for as low as $45 a person, depending on group size.) This arrangement takes away the awkwardness of deciding who’s going to sleep on the roll-away bed or—gasp!—the floor. An adults-only lodging (you
must be 21 to check in and 18+ to stay), NYAH is truly Not Your Average Hotel.

Paul NYC, hotels, hostels

The Paul

The Paul, New York, NY

It can be difficult to find affordable accommodations in Manhattan, but this Art Deco hotel includes cozy but comfortable bunk-style rooms (starting at $134) with en suite bath, flat-screen TVs, a mini fridge and large windows providing views of the Empire State Building. Added amenities include free WiFi, rainfall shower heads, a rooftop terrace and garden, and complimentary use of a nearby fitness facility. Bonus: The hotel is within close proximity to both Times Square and Union Square.

Wayfarer Hotel, Santa Barbara, hostel, hotel

Wayfarer Hotel

The Wayfarer: Santa Barbara, CA

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and Highway 101, Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone (a neighborhood that sounds like a ’90s Nickelodeon show) is home to vibrant galleries, cafes and boutiques. Here, you’ll find the community-focused, centrally located Wayfarer, featuring both dorm rooms (starting at $79/night) and private
guest rooms (averaging $231), as well as a shared kitchen and dining area for guests to use at their leisure. Other amenities at this chilled-out, grown-up hostel/hotel include a heated pool, bike rentals, continental breakfast and free Wi-Fi.

Freehand Hostel, Miami

Freehand Hostel Miami

Freehand: Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles

The Freehand brand is a leader in the hybrid hostel-hotel
industry. Not only does it offer super stylish yet not-super-expensive accommodations—shared bunk rooms (starting at $55) and private rooms with a bohemian modern sensibility—but it also features reputable bars and restaurants where locals actually come and hang out. The Broken Shaker at the Freehand Miami, serving up handcrafted cocktails in an idyllic outdoor garden, was nominated for a James Beard Award. The common room at the Freehand Chicago looks like your grandma’s mid-century-modern living room—if your grandma had really good taste. Meanwhile, the Freehand L.A. is the newest of the bunch and offers an affordable night’s sleep in downtown Los Angeles, plus upgraded amenities, including room service, valet and nicer bedding.

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Tagged: California, Chicago, Destinations, Florida, L.A., New York City

Laura Pearson

Laura Pearson

Laura Pearson

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Northern California is beautiful—and pricey, but there are bargains to be had. Want to stay in in coastal Cal for less? Visit CheapTickets.com for discounted hotels and airfare!

Those scenes from Big Little Lies are no joke—the rugged NorCal coast really is that beautiful. From the hippie town of Mendocino to the posh retreats of Big Sur, there’s no shortage of great places to stay. So the next time the urge for a road trip strikes, pack your weekend duffel and head to one of these seven coastal getaways. We promise they’re all well worth the windy drive.

 

Dave Matthews

The Inn at Newport Ranch, Fort Bragg (3 hours, 40 minutes)

As soon as you walk through the door of this remote coastal lodge, your hosts will probably offer you a glass of wine. And once you’re settled in, there’s no reason to step foot off the 2,000-acre property the entire weekend. Hiking trails, a full-service spa, chef-made food, acommunal hot tub and fireplace reading nooks offer plenty of options for whiling away the afternoon. Do not miss the two-hour ATV tour of the property, which brings you from the cliff’s edge, deep into the redwood forest and high onto the ridge. Bring binoculars and you might even spot migrating whales. 

Emily Nathan

Timber Cover, Jenner (2 hours, 15 minutes)

Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s design style, this contemporary-chic lodge pays homage to the natural forms of its 1960s A-frame architecture. Play a game of pool or Ping-Pong in the outdoor Great Room—which hosts live music on weekends—and take advantage of two miles of hiking trails right on the property. Pro tip: The Sonoma Coast setting was a favorite of photographer Ansel Adams, so be sure to snap at least a few dramatic black-and-white shots while you’re there.

Lisse Lundin/Hipcamp

Steep Ravine Cabins, Mill Valley (50 minutes) 

You’ll have to rough it for the weekend—these rustic, unfurnished cabins with no electricity or running water date back to the 1940s—but trust us, the payoff is well worth it. You’ll have your own secluded retreat perched on a cliff above the Pacific, plus a wood-burning stove and outdoor barbecue. Pack your softest, fluffiest bedding (heck, even throw in an air mattress) to cozy up the stiff wooden sleeping platforms and bring some vintage lanterns for light and decor. Because these cabins are so insanely popular, you’ll have to make your reservation about six months out. But again, it’s worth it for the privacy and expansive ocean views.

California Beaches

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay (45 minutes)

This iconic property sits high above the water on its own private bluff with verdant green lawns (and two championship golf courses) as far as the eye can see. Take in the stunning views with a morning jog along the property’s winding oceanfront path, and curl up by an outdoor fire pit with a glass of wine at dusk. If a swank Ritz-Carlton stay isn’t in the cards, try the equally beautiful but more budget-friendly option nearby: eco-adventure resort Costanoa in Pescadero. 

Paul Dyer

Dream Inn, Santa Cruz (1 hour, 45 minutes)

This historic property inspired by surf legend Jack O’Neill—as in custom surfboards hanging in the lobby—has its own private beach. And while it’s only about a mile from the touristy Santa Cruz boardwalk, you’ll feel miles away from the crowds. Take a stroll along the bluff for an unforgettable sunset and then take a dip in the heated pool and hot tub. Request an oceanfront room with a balcony so you can crack the patio door and let the sound of ocean waves lull you to sleep at night.

Monterey Tides Hotel

Monterey Tides Hotel, Monterey (2 hours)

With Monterey Bay right in its backyard, this oceanfront hotel is the perfect jumping-off point for kayaking alongside playful seals, otters and sea lions. Expect golden sand beaches and sweeping bay views, plus beach bonfires with s’mores and a heated pool for warming up after a chilly day on the water. 

Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur (2 hours, 25 minutes) 

A trip down the coast wouldn’t be complete without a stay in Big Sur. And while this winter’s weather has made the seaside town difficult to reach, Post Ranch Inn is open and offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience: Escape Through the Skies. From Monterey, you’ll take off on a 20-minute private helicopter ride to the secluded estate and have Big Sur practically to yourself for the weekend. If an airlift isn’t in your budget, try glamping at Treebones Resort instead—it’s open and accessible via Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. (The swanky cocoon-like Autonomous Tent gets our vote.) Ventana Inn is currently closed but accepting reservations for stays starting October 1.

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This article was from PureWow and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Tagged: California, Destinations

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From its warm weather and beautiful people-watching, to its party-all-night mantra, beautiful ocean views and A-list parties, there are a million reasons to visit Miami. But for most, the main draw is the beach. And while most travelers want to stay right on it, $300+ room rates make it easier said than done. If you’re one of those suffering from sticker shock, calm yourself: There are some great deals to be had but you’ll need to book your room, like now. Summer is low season in Miami and you’ll find that prices at many properties are slashed by as much as 50%. Be sure to check out these top oceanfront haunts below and book soon to keep your wallet happy, while keeping your toes in the sand.

RELATED: 7 secret ways to live in Katy Perry’s California

Besty, Miami, South Beach, Florida

Photo courtesy of The Betsy

The Betsy South Beach
This boutique Florida-Georgian hotel, which sits right on Ocean Drive, stands out from its Art Deco neighbors in a big way. The Betsy has a rooftop spa, a separate rooftop pool with 360-degree views of Miami Beach, and award-winning Chef Laurent Tourondel’s newest restaurant, LT Steak & Seafood. While $200+ per night is standard at this primo hotel, this summer you’re sure to find the best deals of the year.

Hilton Bentley, South Beach, Miami

Photo courtesy of Hilton Bentley

Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach
This oceanfront gem sits in Miami Beach’s dazzling South of Fifth neighborhood. While most weekend rates at this AAA Four-Diamond hotel run at $300+ per night, it will never be more affordable than June through September.

Shelborne South Beach, South Beach, Miami

Photo courtesy of Shelborne South Beach

Shelborne South Beach
Stretched between Collins Avenue and the beach, this Art Deco spot invites you to lounge by its sparkling pool, get pampered at the luxe GUYandGIRL Spa, or dine at The Sarsaparilla Club, an American dim-sum concept by Top Chef alumni Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth. Intrigued? Weekday rates this summer can drop as low as $179.

ALSO: Watch those hotel rates drop even lower when you join CheapCash! Here’s how.

RIU Plaza Miami Beach, South Beach, Florida

Photo courtesy of RIU Plaza Miami Beach

Hotel RIU Plaza Miami Beach
With 250 rooms, Atlantic Ocean views and the RIU standard of luxury, this beachfront locale is the perfect respite for any type of traveler—business, family, group or otherwise. But book your Hotel RIU stay soon: We’ve recently spotted summer rates well below $200 per night.

National, South Beach, Miami, Florida

Photo courtesy of The National South Beach

The National South Beach
On the prestigious list of “Historic Hotels of America,” this Art Deco stunner has artful rooms, its own private beach, a poolside cocktail lounge and the longest infinity pool (at 203 feet!) on Miami Beach. Book a room at The National during the summer months and you can often find rates hovering around the $200 mark.

Miami Beach Resort, Florida, South Beach

Photo courtesy of Miami Beach Resort

Miami Beach Resort & Spa
Towering over mid-beach Miami, and surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, this Collins Avenue haunt is hard to miss. And even better than the views (which includes both the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean), are this hotel’s amazing summer rates. Rooms start at $119 per night. If that’s not vacation, we don’t know what is!

Freehand Miami

Photo courtesy of Freehand Miami

Freehand Miami
If you don’t mind the lively poolside bar scene, this Mid-Beach option just a block from the beach offers style, value and one of the best cocktail bars in Miami, the Broken Shaker. Check out the Freehand‘s summer rates, which are often below $150. For even more savings, opt for one the Freehand’s shared rooms for as little as $27.

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Tagged: Cheap Tips, Florida, Off-season, Seasonal, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

Jennifer Agress

Jennifer Agress

Jennifer is a Miami-based writer and editor who loves good food, a better martini and traveling every chance she gets. She writes about luxury travel, dining and lifestyle for Travel Weekly, Private Air Luxury Homes, Preferred Travel, Modern Luxury Weddings, INDULGE Miami, Thrillist, NUVO Magazine and more. When she’s not on a plane, she’s likely plotting her next adventure—follow @JenniferAgress on Instagram to see where she lands.
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As summer temperatures soar, hotel prices in New York drop. We’ve found lodgings across the city offering rates for less than $200 nightly. That’s often 50 percent off what these properties typically command, leaving visitors well positioned to enjoy the playground that is New York in summer (think rooftop bars, Coney Island beaches and the Governor’s Ball).

We found the best prices for multi-night stays for the diverse favorites highlighted below. Hint: Sunday nights typically yield the lowest nightly price, so think about including it when checking dates.

RELATED: New York’s best cheap date-night restaurants

6 Columbus, NYC, hotels

Photo courtesy of 6 Columbus, A SIXTY Hotel

6 Columbus – a SIXTY Hotel

With summer rates as low as $189 nightly, this hip boutique hotel boasts prime location, location, location. It sits near Central Park, where Midtown meets the Upper West Side, with the Columbus Circle subway stop directly across the street. The hotel exudes a Euro jet-set vibe, with compact rooms featuring mod-inspired décor. When you get hungry, order room service from one of NYC’s top sushi restaurants, Blue Ribbon Sushi, which is located off the hotel lobby, or pop down the street to the swanky see-and-be-seen rooftop bar, Sky Terrace, for views of the Hudson River all the way to the Statue of Liberty.

Hotel 50 Bowery, NYC, hotels, Chinatown

Photo courtesy of Hotel 50 Bowery

Hotel 50 Bowery NYC

Kick it at this brand-new boutique hotel in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood (it opened in May 2017), where we found most summer weekends going for $179 nightly. Located on New York’s oldest street, it’s an address steeped in history. The hotel honors that by pairing modern décor by local artists with a special nod to the past, which includes lobby artifacts on loan from the Museum of Chinese in America residing alongside relics from former occupants of the address: gaming dens, vaudeville halls and a German beer hall. Be sure to enjoy your complimentary breakfast on the roof deck, which boasts mind-blowing views.

Pod 51, hotels, NYC

Photo courtesy of Pod 51

POD 51

Enjoy rates as low as $135 nightly at this innovative hotel that packs big design punch into a small amount of space. You’ll get a compact room that is private, efficient and fun. (Some have shared bathrooms, so be mindful of that when booking.) If you’re just looking for a place to shower, sleep and stash your stuff, then this is a worthy option to consider. You’ll be a short walk to Rockefeller Center and the shopping along 5th Avenue.

ALSO: If you’re in a budget state of mind, sign up for CheapCash and earn travel rewards today!

NU Hotel Brooklyn, hotels, Brooklyn

Photo courtesy of NU Hotel Brooklyn

NU Hotel Brooklyn

Cool kid alert! With summer rates as low as $195 nightly, this is a trendy launching pad to the best of Brooklyn, especially since guests can rent the hotel’s custom-designed bikes for free. (Hey, beats the $12 per day cost of a public Citi Bike.) Situated downtown, a short walk from the Barclays Center, the hotel evokes the urban progressiveness of the neighborhood with minimalist design, pops of street art, plush leather chairs and hardwood floors. Some rooms even feature hemp hammocks. Tip: If B&Bs are more your style, there are a number of $100 nightly options, all bookable on CheapTickets.

Paper Factory Hotel, NYC

Photo courtesy of Paper Factory Hotel

Paper Factory Hotel

This quirky hotel in Queens was, yes, once a paper factory. Before then, it was a radio factory. Elements of its industrial legacy are woven into the ambience of the place, where a polished mosaic of wood, concrete, high ceilings and huge windows makes you feel more like you’re on a movie set. We found rates as low as $149 nightly in summer, making it a great (and unique!) value compared to some of the cookie-cutter properties in Manhattan. Not to mention, the subway is at this hotel’s doorstep, and you’re just three stops from Midtown.

Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel, hotels, NYC

Photo courtesy of Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel

Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel

Staying at a Sheraton is like ordering a frappuccino at Starbucks: You know what you’re going to get and you can appreciate the consistency. But it might come as a surprise that this upscale chain hotel with a groovy Tribeca location has secretly released rates as low as $185 nightly in summer. You’ll be in comfortable walking distance to the One World Observatory, SoHo, Greenwich Village and other notable downtown spots.

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Tagged: New York City

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Tinsel Town loves NYC and so do we. Check out these spots that have been immortalized on the big screen and book your next Gotham getaway at CheapTickets.com.

The longer you live in this city, the less and less exciting those “Film Shoot” permits get — who cares if George Clooney’s trailer’s up there? You were planning on parking here. But hey, can you blame screenwriters for wanting to capture this gorgeous skyline? And actually, some of those classic cinematic sites are actually worth checking out. (Yes, even if you’ve lived here forever.)

 

Go: New York Public Library (Ghostbusters)

With the recent re-opening of the gorgeous Rose Main Reading Room, the New York Public Library is a (free!) must-see. Take a moment to peek around the many research rooms, grab a snack at Amy’s Bread Café and marvel at the beaux arts architecture.

476 Fifth Ave. (between 40th and 42nd sts.); 917-275-6975 or nypl.org

Skip: Katz’s Deli (When Harry Met Sally)

While this scene in the film does suggest how pleasurable the deli is, the extremely long lines can deter your excitement. The legendary pastrami sandwich is worth the hype, but if two-hour waits aren’t your thing, head to Sarge’s Deli in Murray Hill: You’ll find excellent old-school eats…without the tourists reenacting Meg Ryan’s wails. (Or you can even try Katz’s late-night, when the lines are wayyyy shorter.) 

205 E. Houston St. (at Ludlow St.); 212-254-2246 or katzsdelicatessen.com

Go: Mulberry Street Bar (State of Grace, The Sopranos, Law and Order)

This old-school bar and eatery in Little Italy has been the backdrop of quite a few movies and television shows. It’s also the home to the hands-down best karaoke in New York City. Every Friday and Saturday, come sing and watch the locals impressively belt out some Sinatra and Italian opera. You’re in for a night of entertainment.

176 Mulberry St. (at Broome St.); 212-226-9345

Go: Coney Island’s Luna Park (Uptown Girls)

Quite honestly, you can’t blame Dakota Fanning’s character in Uptown Girls for running off to Coney Island. It’s a whimsical and wacky blast from the past that makes for the perfect day trip. Ride the Cyclone at Luna Park and then catch a Cyclones game at the MCU Park, right off the boardwalk (the season kicks off in June). You’ll get all your people-watching, hot-dog-eating and sunbathing in all in one day. 

1000 Surf Ave., Brooklyn; lunaparknyc.com

Skip: Times Square (Vanilla Sky)

Cold hard fact: You’re never going to see Times Square this empty in your life. The mass number of people shuttling through at any given hour is enough to drive anyone mad. If you’re looking to get shopping done, Fifth Avenue or the Westfield World Trade Center mall has a more unique selection and a lot fewer off-brand Mickey Mouses begging to take selfies with you.

Broadway between 42nd-47th sts.

Go: The Plaza Hotel (Home Alone 2: Lost In New York)

You don’t have to be lost in the city or even staying at The Plaza to enjoy the glitz and glam of the iconic hotel. Grab a drink at The Rose Club and window-shop (or hell, actual shop if you want) at the array of fantastic boutiques. At least snag a selfie in the lobby worthy of getting you on Rich Kids of Instagram.

768 Fifth Ave. (at 59th St.); 212-759-3000 or fairmont.com

Skip: Empire State Building (Sleepless In Seattle)

Spoiler alert: You probably won’t meet the love of your life on top the Empire State Building. The long lines and pricey elevator ticket aren’t exactly conducive to romance, in our humble opinion. If you really want a great glimpse of the skyline, we suggest walking the Williamsburg Bridge (free!) or grabbing a drink on the rooftop of The Wythe Hotel, where they don’t charge you to take the elevator.

350 Fifth Ave. (at 33rd St.); 212-736-3100 or esbnyc.com 

This article was from PureWow and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Tagged: New York City

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The Disney experience is not a cheap one, but doing the theme parks the smart way both saves money and maximizes time which makes the overall experience a richer one for everybody involved. Follow the advice below for a smoother ride (no pun intended) and save even more money by booking hotels and flights through CheapTickets.com.

Congratulations! You’re going to Disney World (or Land)! But if you think you can just fly by the seat of your princess or pirate pants without a rock solid itinerary, it’s time to wake up, Sleeping Beauty. Modern day Disney has a high-tech, complex operating system that can overwhelm even the most chillaxed of parents. Here are 11 ways to ensure everybody lives happily ever after.

Twenty20

Do Not Lose Your Magic Bands

The biggest change at new-school Disney is the mandatory use of Magic Bands. These hip digital bracelets (in customizable colors) function as your room key, your FastPass (or tickets to ride) and your meal vouchers. You can use them to pay for any and everything at the parks, which—word to the wise — makes spending money on stuff like silver sequin mouse-ear headbands ridiculously easy (and yes, we really did need three pairs). Of course, if the bands get lost, they can be deactivated and replaced, but the time that takes would obviously be better spent waiting on line for the Frozen Ever After ride.

Twenty20

Download the MyDisneyExperience App on your phone

You can modify your FastPass selections (see below), purchase photos of your kids with characters (or mid-scream on Splash Mountain) and adjust dining reservations from your phone as you go. Oh, and there’s also a handy map, so you can actually find your way to Splash Mountain in the first place.

 

Twenty20

Understand the FastPass

First: Breathe. Next: Read. Finally, a primer: FastPasses, which are included with each park ticket, enable you to book (online, up to 60 days in advance) three attractions at a single park per day — and, most importantly, skip their long lines. However, there are built-in limitations: Not every attraction will be available for FastPass reservations. Ideal times for popular rides also fill up quickly. The good news? Once you’ve “spent” your daily allotment of three FastPasses, you can then (via your phone app or at an in-park kiosk) book your next FastPass, and repeat. Our advice: Book FastPass tickets for three early morning rides or character meet-and-greets (even if they’re not your dream attractions). Get them out of the way so you can continue to book new FastPasses as the day goes on. Then relax: You have a one-hour time window to arrive at your reserved attraction. So if you’re booked for Pirates of the Caribbean (featuring multiple Johnny Depps) at 11:25 a.m., feel free to get there anytime before 12:25.

BYOP (Bring Your Own Presents)

Throwing a grab bag of trinkets (stickers, temporary tattoos, Matchbox cars, Shopkins — anything that will get through TSA) in your backpack makes a lot more financial sense than shelling out $40 for Mickey-shaped bubble wands at the unavoidable concession stands that pop up every 20 feet.

Twenty20

Rent a Stroller

If you made it to Orlando or Anaheim with one less piece of luggage, you rule. But you will need a stroller at some point when your little Ariel refuses to flip her fins down one more street. Magic Strollers, one of Disney’s approved rental outlets, will deliver a double City Mini (or a handful of other wheeled options) to your hotel room door.

 

WaltDisneyWorld/Facebook

Make Restaurant Reservations Yesterday

Cinderella’s Royal Table — the eatery inside Magic Kingdom’s castle that includes a princess photo op and encourages guests to dress up in their bedazzled best — notoriously books up 180 days in advance. And that’s not all: Meals there must be paid for 45 days ahead. (Disney = Hard. Core.) But there are plenty of easier opportunities to dine with the cartoon-costume crowd. Magic Kingdom’s Crystal Palace and Epcot’s Garden Grill also include meet-and-greets with Mickey et al. And if you’re lukewarm about characters, reconsider: Even stoic kids lose their minds at these magic moments. 

Twenty20

Spring for Park Hopper Tickets

Here’s a common dilemma: One kid is desperate to ride Soarin’ at Epcot while the other is obsessed with the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom. By investing in Park Hopper tickets, you can visit multiple parks in one day. Slightly less expensive day passes limit you to a single park per day.  

@Disney World/Instagram

Arrive Early

If you have a high-priority attraction, like Jedi Training at Hollywood Studios, get in line as early as possible — ideally right before the park opens at 9 a.m. You will then be presented with options for when to actually do the activity. The same early bird advantage applies to attractions that cannot be booked with FastPasses, like meeting Elsa and Anna at Epcot.

Twenty20

Just Buy the Memory Maker Photo Package Already

You may think your husband will be a qualified enough smartphone photographer to capture every unforgettable moment, and that you won’t need to pay an additional $149 for professional photos of your kids with actors, or looking traumatized on a roller coaster. You will be wrong.

WaltDisneyWorld/Facebook

Think Hard About Hotel Location

It may sound amazing to stay in a safari-themed, savannah-view suite at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, where live giraffes and zebras amble outside your window. But if you’re planning to spend most of your time at Magic Kingdom, know that it will take 20 minutes to get there by bus. On the other hand, Magic Kingdom is a five-minute walk from the Contemporary Resort, and the Monorail — which you can ride to various other parks — actually goes through the hotel.    

 

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Stick to the Nap Schedule

Ain’t no shame in heading back to the hotel for a little afternoon siesta (and a dip at the pool for Mama). If it keeps your kids from turning into maniacs, it’s well worth one less go-round on Tower of Terror.

This article was from PureWow and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Tagged: California, Florida

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There may be cheaper cities in Europe, but dollar for dollar it’s tough to top Budapest. This Central European gem is jam packed with great sights, vibrant nightlife, and amazing food—all at budget-friendly prices. Here are our top 7 reasons Budapest is the best value in Europe.
Reasons Budapest is the best value in Europe-GettingStamped

Beautiful Budapest split in two by the Danube River | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Lots of free things to do
Like the old saying goes, some of the best things in life are free and that’s true in Budapest. Many of the top sights around the city don’t cost a single cent. Without opening your wallet you can visit Heroes Square, climb castle hill, walk the Chain Bridge, and even join a free walking tour.

Reasons Budapest is the best value in Europe-GettingStamped

One of the best views in the city is free | Photo by GettingStamped.com

It will smash expectations
Budapest is bigger and more impressive than most first time visitors expect and it’s full of amazing architecture and history. With a history dating back more than a thousand years, there’s plenty of great sites to explore. The city is so large it’s actually two cities in one. On one side of the Danube River is a medieval city of Buda, and on the other is the more modern city of Pest. Together they form the modern day capital and make for an amazing European destination. Be prepare to be blown away by Budapest.

Reasons Budapest is the best value in Europe-GettingStamped

Getting around Budapest is a breeze, and budget friendly | Photo by GettingStamped.com

The public transportation is excellent
A solid network of above and below ground trains and buses connect the city making an easy and affordable way to get around. A three-day metro pass will set you back less than $10. Those in a hurry can download the Uber app; you’ll be amazed how cheap you can catch a ride in Budapest.

Reasons Budapest is the best value in Europe-GettingStamped

Central Market Hall is a must visit while in Budapest | Photo by GettingStamped.com

The culture is easy to experience
Most visitors find Budapestians very friendly and eager to have a conversation. Even though the country was under communist rule until 1989, English is surprisingly widely spoken, making communication easy. Between the many museums and fascinating historical sites, it’s easy to get a sense of the culture in Budapest. Don’t miss the Great Market Hall where you can get the true sense of the city.

Reasons Budapest is the best value in Europe-GettingStamped

Finding a cheap hotel in Budapest isn’t too difficult a task | Photo by GettingStamped.com

The hotels are budget friendly
Compared to other European cities, Budapest has no shortage of affordable places to lay your head. Save even more money if you stay just outside the main district (District 5). Good transport options make staying just outside the action an easy way to save some cash so you can have even more fun.

Reasons Budapest is the best value in Europe-GettingStamped

You won’t leave Budapest hungry | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Food is cheap and tasty
Delicious traditional Hungarian fare will fill you up without emptying your wallet. Hungarians love hearty meals consisting of plates piled high with meats and sausage. A hefty portion will only set you back a few dollars.

Reasons Budapest is the best value in Europe-GettingStamped

Nightlife in Budapest is hard to beat | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Booze and nightlife are dirt cheap
Budapest knows how to party, however, a big night out won’t break the bank. Swing by some of Budapest’s famous ruin bars, or taprooms that have sprung up out of defunct warehouses. Budapst is famous for these quirky bars that have kept the decaying industrial vibe and brightened things up with completely random decoration. Be sure to grab a pint of local beer or a shot of Hungary’s favorite Pálinka liquor for one of the tastiest things to do in Budapest.

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Tagged: City, International, Tips & advice