All posts tagged: Weekend Unexplored

Weekend Unexplored: Boca Raton, Florida

When the temperature drops, northeast snowbirds flock to southern Florida to take in the warm temperature and sun. Boca Raton is a small city located in southern Florida filled with famed architecture of nouveau-riche architect Addison Mizne from the 1920’s. The city has a history as a playground for the affluent, but we found the city to be cozy on our recent workcation. In this post, we will showcase a few places that surprised us in a good way. Stay and Play: Resort: We had an opportunity to stay at the historic Waldorf Astoria’s Boca Resort and Beach Club. The hotel started in 1926 as the Ritz-Carlton Cloister Inn designed by Addison Mizne in orange and pink with Mediterranean and Spanish influences. The resort is situated on 356 gorgeously landscaped acres and includes the Cloister, Beach Club, Tower, Yacht Club, Boca Bungalows and Golf Club. We had the Cloister Estate 2 Doubles that has updated classic luxury interiors. The rooms range from small to spacious at the resort. We had a small double room on …

Weekend Unexplored: Catskill, NY

Catskill Mountains are located in the southeastern part of New York State. This area includes the ski area at Hunter Mountain and Bellayre Mountain. There are many outdoor activities in the region for any season. I had the opportunity to join some friends for a weekend getaway to see the fall foliage in the middle of October. This is my weekend unexplored in the Catskills. There are plenty of options for lodging in the Catskills as it is a popular weekend getaway for NYC dwellers. I decided to book an AirBnB for this trip and was able to find one near Phoenicia, NY.  As with most house rentals, the actual rental can be a hit or miss. Luckily our rental was more of a hit than a miss with only the stove giving us a lot of trouble. My friend and I headed out on a beautiful Friday morning and arrived at the Phoenicia Diner just in time for lunch. There are few good food options in this particular area. The Phoenicia Diner is a “farm …

Weekend Unexplored: Ometepe, Nicaragua

“Mono! Mono!” We rolled down our windows, peering up at the trees to see a whole family of howler monkeys climbing from branch to branch.  They are found all over Ometepe, the majestic twin-peaked, volcanic island, and we could hear them early in the mornings, awaking us from sleep.  My friend J.G, her sister, her mother, and I were on our way to see the land that they had purchased years ago near San Ramon, on the southeast side of the island.  That morning we took a ferry from San Jorge, loading our car on the bottom level and then situating ourselves at the top to catch the cool breezes coming off Lake Cocibolca, one of the great fresh water lakes of Nicaragua.  Straight ahead, we could see Volcan Concepcion and Volcan Maderas.  Photographing these volcanoes would only increase as we drove between and around them on the island. Long after passing through the port town of Moyogalpa, the paved road soon turned to dirt as we traveled further southeast of the island, closer to …

Weekend Unexplored: Portland, Maine and surrounding area

Portland, Maine, is a quick 2 hour drive north of Boston, making it a perfect weekend trip.  My husband and I fell in love with Maine few years ago, especially Portland and its surrounding areas.  You can find beautiful scenic sights, plenty of outdoor activities, antiquing, great food scene and, of course, lobster rolls.  After so many years, we have perfected our weekend trip itinerary and where to take our “out of town” guests.  Here are some of our favorites and make sure to also scroll all the way to the end for our sample weekend itinerary. HOTELS The Press Hotel (119 Exchange St, Portland, ME 04101) Website Source: Instyle *If you are a history buff, then Press Hotel is a must stay.  The hotel used to be the Gannett Building that housed the offices and printing plant of the Portland Press Herald.  The building was converted to a hotel after the newspaper shut down in 2010.  The hotel has vintage-styled furniture juxtaposed against contemporary interiors and playful newsroom references making it my favorite hotel in Portland. …

Weekend Unexplored: 4 Days in Southern France (Marseilles, Aix-en-Provence, Lourmarin, Bonnieux and Cassis)

Provence has always been on my list of places to visit in Europe. I had an opportunity to visit Europe again this year and made it a priority to visit this charming region. My sister and I choose to visit the region in early May before the tourist crowds descend onto the area. Luckily my good friend grew up in the region and planned my trip for me. There is nothing better than having a local show you the best of their home region! Friday-Saturday: Provence/ Marseilles Sunday: Aix-en-Provence, Lourmarin and Bonnieux Monday: Cassis Arrived Friday My sister and I flew into the Marseilles International Airport Friday morning to uncharacteristically rainy and windy weather. Marseilles Airport is very small and the car rental lot is right next to the airport. We rented a small automatic car from Hertz prior to arriving in Provence and the whole process to pick up the car took over an hour and a half. Things move very slowly in southern France. We were advised to book our car months in …

Weekend Unexplored: Sintra, Portugal

During our stay in Lisbon, locals insisted that we must visit Sintra before we left Portugal. Since we were staying in Cascai, we added Sintra to our itinerary. Both locations are within one hour drive from Lisbon and have a completely different taste of Portugal from what we’ve experienced in Lisbon. In this post, we will recount our experience  and the recommendations that we received from the locals. Sintra is a small town on the Estoril Coast of Portugal and located only 28km away from Lisbon. Sintra is a 25 minute drive from the airport and 45 minutes train ride from Lisbon. This small town could easily fit into a fantasy land with its palaces dotting along the hills and peeping out under the thick forest. There are many fantastic castles and estates located within this small town that are listed below: Pena Palace – This palace is a cross between Gaudi’s creation in Barcelona and Disneyland. It was built in the mid-19th century on the site of the former monastery by the king consort, Dom …

Weekend Unexplored: Lisbon, Portugal

I recently had an opportunity to visit Portugal for a long weekend this past May. Portugal, over the years, has steadily become a travel destination for those that have visited other major parts of Europe and are open to explore smaller capitals. Lisbon is an easy destination to get to, especially with the increase in low cost carriers that service it. I had the weekend planned for good weather; unfortunately, I arrived into Lisbon on Saturday morning to torrential rain. I rearranged my schedule accordingly and had a good first visit to Lisbon despite the weather. These are the highlights of my 1.5 days in Lisbon. Day 1 (Saturday): Arrived in Lisbon to pouring rain Lisbon International Airport is a small international airport so it was not difficult to get out of the arrival terminal. My sister met me there and found a Starbucks right at Arrivals  (outside of customs) with free Wi-Fi to wait for me. This is also a great spot if you need to meet up with other folks flying in from other …