Best Mediterranean Restaurants in the United States

Athena: (212 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois) This beautiful restaurant located in the middle of downtown Chicago offers a delicious selection of authentic Greek cuisine. Bring a friend or two and indulge in a number of cold and hot plates that are meant to be shared. The stuffed grape leaves and a cold combo plate are an ideal way to begin the evening before moving onto heartier entrees, like moussaka or spanakopita. Be sure to save room for desert, as this is the home of the absolute best baklava in the entire country!

Aviva by Kameel: (225 Peachtree Center, Atlanta, Georgia) Located in the center of a popular shopping area, this friendly, laid back eatery offers a number of delicious dishes counter style that will keep you coming back for more! If you sample nothing else here, be sure to order the classic falafel, a delicious vegan-friendly option consisting of mashed chickpea fritters that are deep fried and served with pita bread and all the classic fixings, like humus and baba ghanoush! Rated the number one lunch spot in the city, this place provides unmatched flavors with an unpretentious environment and excellent staff.  It is understandably popular, so be prepared to wait your turn during the lunch rush.

I Dream of Fafafel: (555 W. Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois): While there are several different IDOF restaurants sprinkled throughout the Chicago area, this location on Monroe St is one of the most popular. Food here is effortlessly customizable and the service is excellent. Simply step up to the counter, place your order and take a seat. An ideal selection for lunch, you can grab a pita filled with your choice of protein, such as falafel, chicken schwarma or fire roasted gyro meat coupled with an array of toppings. For a classic Greek influence, put some feta cheese and olives on your pita along with a fresh cucumber and tomato salad for a healthy, filling meal that can be eaten on the go.

Iron Gate: (1734 N St NW, Washington DC) This elegant restaurant is housed inside what was once the stables and carriage house of a historical home on Dupont Circle. The focus here is on eating mezze style, meaning you get to sample a little bit of multiple smaller dishes rather than selecting one large entrée.  For the ultimate culinary experience, choose Chef Chittum’s tasting menu complete with wine pairing. Featuring an ever-evolving selection of several decadent courses, it is the perfect choice for anniversaries or other special occasions. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis, so making a reservation is definitely recommended!

Shaya: (4213 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana) New Orleans is a foodie’s paradise, but it is much better known for its Cajun staples than for Middle Eastern cuisine. This funky restaurant located on one of the city’s more eclectic streets offers a selection of delicious Israeli dishes unlike anything you will find elsewhere in America. Particularly bountiful for those who prefer a meatless diet, you can choose from various hummus platters as well as classic sides like tabbouleh, falafel and baba ghanoush. There are plenty of delicious dinner entrees available as well, including a whole fish roasted with ginger and tzatziki or an eggplant stuffed with tahini. If you’re craving something sweet to end the meal, be sure to order the chocolate babka coupled with an after-dinner cocktail for the perfect combination.

Zahav: (237 St. James Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) This iconic spot is headed by executive chef Michael Solomonov, who brings his Israeli heritage to each delicious dish on the menu. Start your meal with a glass of the tasty yet potent wedding punch to set the stage for a remarkable culinary excursion. Order a number of small plates for sampling, such as the fried cauliflower and roasted Brussel sprouts before moving onto one of their delectable main dishes. Of course, the kabobs roasted over an open flame are exceptional, as is the grilled eggplant paired with pistachios and smoked chickpeas.

Visiting Blue Ridge Parkway

Exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway

Commonly heralded as one of America’s most spectacular road trips, the Blue Ridge Parkway, spanning over 450 miles from the Cherokee Reservation in Cherokee, Virginia to the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. This is a trip you will not want to rush though, as the curving roads and spectacular scenery demand that you take your time exploring the area. Below is a short list of just some of the highlights you will find along the way!

What to See and Do in Blue Ridge Parkway

The Natural Bridge: Located on the South Lee Highway in Natural Bridge, this is where the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains meet. It is also the location of a natural phenomenon that has captured the minds of artists, tourists and countless others alike, the picture perfect natural arch spanning Cedar Creek. Aptly named the Natural Bridge, this place draws many visitors each year. You can reach this awe-inspiring spot by descending approximately 130 steps to access the Cedar Creek Nature Trail. There is plenty of other things to see and do at this spot as well, including a walk through the Natural Bridge Caverns or visiting the Monacan Indian Living History Village, which strives to spread awareness of the original inhabitants of the area.

The Mill Mountain Zoo: Located just outside of Roanoke, the Mill Mountain Zoo is less of a zoo in a traditional sense and more of an animal sanctuary. This place emphasizes conservation and education above simply making a profit, and all of their animals are provided with as close to possible of a natural environment and the best care possible. This is a non-profit organization, which elevates the animals’ needs to the absolute highest standards. A refreshing variation on zoos where animals are visually stressed in their location, the animals here instead go about their business as if no one was watching, and develop very close bonds with their human colleges. Not surprisingly, there are many different endangered species to view here, including snow leopards, red wolves and cougars.

The Blowing Rock: Located at milepost 291.9, this area is well known for its strong northwestern winds. These wind currents are particularly strong near Blowing Rock, a cliff which is situated thousands of feet above the John’s River. In fact, these wind currents are so strong that lighter objects which as tossed over the side are said to return to their sender! North Carolina’s oldest tourist attraction is an absolute must see for everyone who ventures into the area!

The Biltmore Estate: (1 Lodge Street, Asheville) Built by George Washington Vanderbilt II from 1889 – 1895, this 250-room mansion sits atop nearly 8,000 acres, making it the largest home in all of the Unites States! Open to the public year-round, the sights range far beyond the home itself, including an onsite lagoon, working winery and meticulously maintained gardens.


Where to Eat in Blue Ridge

Mabry Mill: (Meadows of Dan, Virginia) Located outside of Roanoke, this is an absolute must stop for some of the most delicious breakfast you will sample anywhere! Well known for their homemade pancake selection, you can choose from everything from buckwheat, cornmeal, sweet potato or buttermilk pancakes, all of which can be combined into an individual sampler. If a savory morning meal is more your style, opt for the sampler, which includes eggs, freshly baked biscuits and a choice of meat paired with home fries or grits.

Rockfish: (1402 Grandin Road, Roanoke) Open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday and for brunch and dinner on Sundays, this is one of the most popular spots to sit and relax while enjoying some extraordinary food and drink! Known for friendly, prompt service and a relaxed setting, you can also enjoy live music here during select times. For dinner, you can start the night off with freshly shucked oysters paired with a delicious mignonette or classic gumbo before satisfying your hunger with main courses that range from crab cakes paired with grits and collard greens to a succulent duck breast served with arugula and red wine au jus.

Tupelo Honey: (12 College Street, Asheville) This place in the heart of downtown Roanoke prides itself on serving classic, delicious southern cuisine in an environment that warm and down to earth but still held to impeccable standards regarding service and food quality. The avocado toast drizzled with red chili honey is the perfect thing for brunch, but if you come here for lunch or dinner, go for the blackberry habanero ribs, blackened catfish or the restaurants star dish, shrimp and grits. Those who prefer a meatless diet will not be disappointed here either, as they have the option of choosing between a grilled cauliflower steak paired with rainbow chard and mushrooms as well as a salt-roasted beet salad!

Best Things to Do In Portland, Maine

What to do when Exploring Portland, Maine

Explore Casco Bay: This inlet is home to a number of iconic lighthouses as well as various boat tours. The Casco Bay Islands are affectionately known amongst locals as the Calendar Islands, meaning that they are so numerous you could explore a different one each day of the year! A short ferry ride will take you to Peaks Island, complete with a thriving restaurant, or book one of the lobster fishing tours for the opportunity to catch your own dinner!

Go to the Museums: Portland is home to the world’s only non-profit Cryptozoology Museum, complete with a giant likeness of Bigfoot to greet you as you enter! Here, you can find everything from models of sea monsters to hair sample that are said to have been obtained from an actual Yeti! For those whose tastes are a little more traditional, Portland also houses an excellent children’s museum, as well as the Tate House, the only pre-Revolutionary War home still standing in the city! This place gives visitors a glimpse of pre-colonial Maine day to day life, complete with guided tours. Portland is also home to an impressive art museum, with works from such artists as Winslow Homer, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and David Driskell.

See the Lighthouse: The Portland Head Lighthouse is located in Fort Williams Park near Cape Elizabeth. Open from sunrise to sunset year-round, there is a museum in the former keeper’s quarters that displays different lenses, as well as a seasonal gift shop for perusing. The lighthouse itself dates back to 1791, and makes an awesome spot for exploring and taking pictures!

Visit Old Port: Complete with cobblestone streets and some of the best shops and restaurants in the entire city, you simply can’t visit Portland without paying a visit to Old Port! The waterfront offers plentiful opportunities for catching ferries or partaking in one of many cruise options, or you can simply stake out your spot and watch the boats come rolling in with the catch of the day!


Best Places to Eat in Portland, Maine

Duckfat: (43 Middle Street) This is a small establishment that does not accept reservations, so be sure to get here early or be willing to wait for a seat. Duckfat offers an excellent selection of salads, soups, and paninis, yet the ultimate star here is the Belgian fries. These fries are unlike anything you have ever had before, fried in duckfat and served with a number of delicious dipping sauces, such as truffle ketchup, Thai chili mayo or a simple yet satisfying horseradish mayo. For the ultimate experience, order the poutine, which comes with fresh cheese curds, duck gravy and a sunny side up egg to top it all off!

Eventide Oyster Company: (86 Middle Street) Portland is full of restaurants offering fresh, delicious seafood options, but this location is absolutely hands-down the best spot in town for raw oysters, lobster rolls and many other dishes! The raw bar here is out of this world, complete with local oysters on the half shell, little neck clams and crab claws served with a number of delicious accompaniments, such as horseradish ice, classic cocktail sauce or a red wine mignonette. There is much more to experience here beside the raw bar, however. For a hearty, warming appetizer, order a cup of the New England clam chowder or lobster stew before tucking into one of their many amazing main courses, including a classic New England clam bake, complete with steamers, mussels, salt pork, potatoes and lobster tail!

The Green Elephant: (608 Congress Street) Who says vegetarian food is boring? This place devotes itself to delivering its patrons the most flavorful, meat-free dishes you will find anywhere on the east coast! There is a definite Asian flair to the food selections here, from the steamed edamame and spiced soy sticks as appetizers to the delicious main courses, such as Thai ginger noodles and tofu tikka masala. Each dish here is so fresh and carefully prepared, you will never miss the meat!

Ten Foods You Must Try While Visiting New Orleans

Beignets: This is a French take on the English fritter, an airy, flaky pillow of sugar-coated goodness! A Beignet is simply a bite-sized piece of dough that is deep fried and then sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. The result is a simple yet delicious snack that is perfect to start off your morning or end your night! The best spot in the city to grab a beignet is Café du Monde, which is a staple for locals and tourists alike. Open twenty-four hours a day, many people make this their token first stop when they arrive in New Orleans, pairing the sweet staple with another Big Easy classic, café au lait.

Crawfish: You simply cannot visit New Orleans without eating boiled crawfish at least once! These affectionately-named “mudbugs” are harvested, cleaned and boiled in spiced water before being served family style amongst classic side dishes, such as boiled corn and potatoes. While there are countless restaurants and pubs serving crawfish, Bevi Seafood on North Carrollton Avenue and the Bayou Beer and Wine Garden on the North Jefferson Parkway are consistently voted two of the most delicious places in town!

Chargrilled Oysters: Most people eat their oysters either deep fried or raw on the half-shell, accompanied by a healthy squirt of lemon and/or dollop of horseradish. Chargrilled oysters are a quintessential Creole dish popular in New Orleans, and once you have a taste, you will understand why! The bivalves are cooked to perfection while still in their shells over an open flame. While they are cooking, the oysters are bathed in melted butter, garlic and other seasonings to produce a smoky, savory flavor that is out of this world! To sample chargrilled oysters, you should visit Drago’s on Poydras Street, as they are the ones that made the dish famous! Proclaimed the best bite of food in town, pair your meal with one of their many beer choices for a simple yet elegant culinary experience.

Fried Chicken: Yes, fried chicken is a staple food all over the South, not just in New Orleans. The fried chicken you will find at the following two spots, however, is nothing short of amazing; a true testament to how Creole cuisine can place its influence on even the most classic dishes. First is Willie Mae’s Scotch House, located on St. Anne Street. This place is not fancy, with its family-style seating plan and humble decoration, yet it still serves up what is often heralded as the best fried chicken in America! With a choice of white or dark meat and a plethora of sides to choose from, top the whole thing off with the gooey-delicious bread pudding for desert. The second fried chicken mecca in New Orleans is Dooky Chase, which is still managed by the original master, 94-year-old Leah Chase. Located on Orleans Avenue, this place was once a hotspot for civil rights meetings, yet today, it is a favored lunch spot by everyone in the know! While the fried chicken here is perfectly seasoned, crisp on the outside and moist on the inside, there are some other spectacular things to try here as well. Be sure to take advantage of the lunch buffet which is served from Tuesday – Friday, where you can pile your plate high with chicken, hot sausage, gumbo and stuffed shrimp.

Gumbo: Louisiana’s official dish is gumbo, a thick stew consisting of roux stock and protein (seafood, andouille sausage, chicken, etc) combined with the Cajun holy-trinity of vegetables; onions, bell peppers and celery. Gumbo is usually made with some sort of thickener, such as okra, as well as a number of classic Creole spices. Galatoire’s on Bourbon Street is a popular lunch spot, where you can indulge in two different gumbo dishes. The classic seafood okra concoction is rich with oysters, shrimp and other shellfish, while the duck and andouille gumbo is perfect for those seeking a richer, meatier flavor!

Jambalaya: Another dish that is synonymous with New Orleans, Jambalaya consists of spices, rice, protein and vegetables to form what is often thought of as the Creole version of paella. Sausage is the most popular protein option for the dish, particularly andouille sausage, yet it is also not at all uncommon to throw in some shrimp, shredded chicken, pork and/or shellfish. This is a meal that is commonly cooked in a large cast iron skillet, with the intention to serve a large volume of people with one community pan. Mothers on Poydras Street serves one of the best examples of jambalaya you will find anywhere in the city, so be sure to get there early and have the patience to wait your turn in line.

Muffaletta: The term muffaletta actually refers to the Sicilian sesame bread that forms the basis of this iconic New Orleans sandwich. First introduced by Italian immigrants, this is a delicious combination of the aforementioned bread stuffed with Italian meats and cheeses coupled with a distinctive, delicious olive spread. Central Grocery in the French Quarter is the golden nugget of the muffaletta, praising itself as the sandwich’s original home. Well worth the wait in line, order one of these classics cold and enjoy one of the most flavorful dishes in the city.

Po’Boys: The most iconic sandwich in the city, a po’boy consists of cooked meat or fried seafood served on crusty, fresh-baked French bread. Po’boys come garnished with a number of toppings, with the most popular combination being lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup and/or mayonnaise. The theory is that the term po’boy was coined after the particular kind of sandwich served to workers on strike, as they were delicious, filling, yet easy to consume. Today, the classic combination is something you do not want to miss! Domilise’s Po-Boy and Bar is in a class unto itself when it comes to seeking out the perfect po’boy. Located on Annunciation St, this no-frills eatery has occupied the same space since 1924. Quite popular as a lunch option, you can expect to wait in line, yet the results are sure to be well worth it! If you are craving seafood, go with the shrimp or catfish option, but if you are looking for something meatier, you can’t go wrong with the hot smoked sausage.

Praline Bacon: This sweet and savory indulgence is so deliciously sinful it could only have its origins in New Orleans. It is exactly what it sounds like, a thick cut piece of perfectly cooked bacon dusted with finely ground pralines. The resulting taste and satisfying crunch are enough to make this a city staple! Elizabeth’s is one of the finest breakfast restaurants you will find anywhere. Nestled on Gallier St, you can order praline bacon for breakfast every day of the year if you choose to, or make a reservation to partake in one of their classic weekend brunches! Praline bacon is also a popular topping for one of the city’s signature adult beverages, the Bloody Mary. Ruby Slippers, with its multiple locations throughout NOLA, is the champion of this combination, offering a morning libation consisting of fresh mix and vodka topped with a rasher of praline bacon, olives, and spicy asparagus!

Soft Shell Crab: Soft shelled crabs are harvested shortly after molting, when their previous exoskeleton is replaced by a pliable, soft shell. In the United States, the most common species is the blue crab, which is in season from April to September. A popular ingredient in po’boys, soft-shell crabs are a popular dish amongst many tasty restaurants in New Orleans. If you find yourself here in soft shell season, be sure to pay a visit to Irene’s, located in the French Quarter on Bienville Street. Classified as Italian fare, this place fries their crabs to a perfect crispiness before serving them sprinkled with lemon juice, parsley and paprika.

Best Places to Eat Seafood in New England

Connecticut Best Seafood

Abbott’s Lobster: (Rough Noank, Connecticut) Not only do you get a beautiful waterfront view while dining here, you will be treated some of New England’s finest examples of its most common staple seafood, lobster! While you can certainly partake in other briny favorites, such as steamed clams, thick clam chowder and tasty mussels, the perfectly cooked lobster is without a doubt the star of the show here! For the ultimate experience, you will want to order the New England Seafood Feast, where you will begin your evening with a cup of chowder and a delicious shrimp cocktail followed by a hearty helping of steamers and mussels served with drawn butter. All of this leads up to the main course of lobster that is cooked to absolute perfection, paired with kettle cooked potato chips and fresh coleslaw. While this establishment does not serve alcohol, you are welcome to bring your own six pack of beer or bottle of wine if you choose to do so.

Drifter’s Wife: (Portland, Maine) A trendy bistro with an impressive wine menu, this is an excellent option if you are looking for a more sophisticated dinner yet do not want to participate in the hoity-toity atmosphere that is so common to upscale eateries. Here, you are encouraged to partake in good food and good wine, and there is nothing else expected. Even if you are somewhat of a wine novice, the staff will make it easy for you by suggesting pairings depending upon what you order. As you are in Maine, seafood is in order, and you can do no better than starting your meal with some pickled mussels before moving on to a simple yet delectable filet of cod perfectly paired with lentils and a yogurt sauce. Keep in mind that the menu changes here regularly, so even if you experience this place once, it is well worth returning for a second try!

Eventide Oyster Company: (Portland, Maine) This is the absolute epitome of everything an oyster bar should be. Offering a huge array of the freshest, cleanest raw oysters you will find anywhere in the world, this is the place sample new options while enjoying your standby favorites. There is a ridiculous amount of variety to choose from, whether you want to stay local with Maine oysters or are wishing to venture into more far away territory. Each raw oyster plate is served as it should be, with spicy cocktail sauce, lemon and all kinds of options for add-ons, including horseradish or kimchi ice! For those with tamer tastes, there is also an excellent lobster stew here, as well as a clam chowder that will have you coming back for more the next day!

Neptune Oyster: (Boston, Massachusetts) One of the most iconic staples of New England seafood is the classic lobster roll, and nowhere does it better than Neptune Oyster. Located on Salem Street, this establishment is of course famous for its extensive and delicious raw oyster bar, but if you are looking for a hearty, home-cooked taste of New England, be sure to indulge in their classic roll which can be done either warm with drawn butter or cold with mayonnaise. Either way, this is sure to be the best lobster roll you will have anywhere, period!

Sea Swirl: (Mystic, Connecticut) Located just off the Mystic River, you can find everything from hot dogs to ice cream here, yet the true star of the show is the wonderfully simple yet incredibly delicious fried clams. Simply presented, you will receive a plate heaping with fresh, fully-cleaned whole belly clams that are perfectly cooked and paired with a side of French fries, coleslaw and all the tartar sauce and lemon you could want. Not ready to tackle the whole bellies? This place also serves up a mean seafood salad roll! A truly family friendly place, this is not where you want to stop if you are craving a beer or cocktail, but they serve a wide variety of non-alcoholic beverages, ranging from soft drinks to iced tea and even their famous icebergs!


Best Towns and Cities to Visit in Vermont

Burlington: The largest city in the entire state, Burlington is fairly young town, as it is home to a number of colleges and universities, including the University of Vermont and Champlain College. The town has an absolutely gorgeous waterfront which is chock-full of pristinely maintained public parks and scenic restaurants, as well as a thriving downtown area that caters to any preference. Vermont is largely thought of as being a state that doesn’t offer its young people anything to do, and Burlington is certainly an exception to that rule. Here, you can wander down Church Street, a three block long open-aired pedestrian mall that serves as a social meeting spot for many different groups. There are buskers on the sidewalk preforming, live music at times and so many people to watch that you can sit at an outside table enjoying a coffee or cocktail as you watch the vibrant people that make up this city go about their day. The ECHO Center is an awesome place to visit to learn all about the ecology and history of nearby Lake Champlain, which is said to boast its very own lake monster, affectionately named Champ! For a true treat, book a dinner cruise of the Spirit of Ethan Allen, which will take you around the lake to witness a glorious sunset while indulging in some delicious food and live music!

Montpelier: This is the smallest capital city in the United States, as well as the only capital city that does not have a McDonalds within its boundaries! Instead, the emphasis here is more on farm-to-table restaurants, local shops and a political environment that is largely tolerant of every belief. Yes, you may see small protests on the capital lawn every once in a while, yet you can also be sure that once these protests disband, the members travel to one of the local bars to grab a drink with those on the opposing side! This place has a vibe that is totally its own. Be sure to visit the capital building with its gleaming gold dome, as well as the Vermont History Museum, both of which offer tours. The streets have a number of wonderful shops to visit, boasting everything from expensive jewelry to vintage clothing that can be had for a few dollars! Of course, you will need to end your Montpelier experience with something to eat, and there is no shortage of selections here! For a light snack, you can indulge in an ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s, but there are multiple wonderful spots to catch a delicious lunch or dinner. Julio’s offers some of the best Mexican food in the entire state, while J.P. Morgan’s is ideal for those looking for something fancier! For the ultimate ending, stop by Charlie O’s, a famous dive-bar that dates back to the Civil War era!

Shelburne: Located just outside of Burlington, this town is well worth the visit for two primary attractions. The first is the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, which is a simply delightful experience for children and adults alike! Its entrance is marked by (what else?) a giant teddy bear, and you can book a tour to learn exactly how these world-famous toys are made! Be sure to stop by the gift shop afterwards for a selection of huggable friends that will quickly become a family heirloom! No visit to Shelburne is complete without spending at least a few hours at the amazing Shelburne Museum. Made up of thirty-nine buildings scattered over forty-five acres, this amazing place was first founded in 1947 by Electra Havemeyer Webb. Her mission was to create a collection that celebrated America, and she has certainly succeeded here. You can visit everything from a former lighthouse to a jail and covered bridge, yet perhaps the true star of Shelburne Farms is the steam boat Ticonderoga! This 220 foot long ship was transported to its current location in 1955, and serves as the last walking beam side-wheel steamer left in the entire world!

Stowe: An absolutely gorgeous town overlooked by the highest mountain in Vermont, Mount Mansfield, there is something for everyone here. Those who enjoy winter sports and skiing can do no better than to visit Smuggler’s Notch Ski Resort, yet even in the summer and fall months, the narrow, windy drive through the notch is nothing short of absolutely spectacular! Other favorite spots to visit include the Trapp Family Lodge, a current day hotel that was once owned by none other than the Trapp Family from The Sound of Music, as well as the Gold Brook Covered Bridge, locally known as Emily’s Bridge, which is widely reputed to be one of the most haunted places in the entire state! There are multiple places for hiking and horseback riding as well, yet if you are looking for the ultimate experience, be sure to book at room at the Topnotch resort. Here, you will have access to an amazing pool and indoor jacuzzi that has a spectacular waterfall, as well as an outdoor hot tub that overlooks the beautiful mountains in the warmer months. There are two different restaurants on the premises as well, Flannel and the Roost. Both of these places serve a huge assortment of beer, wine and cocktails coupled with a delicious menu that revolves around what ingredients are in season!

Best Foods to Eat in Miami

Chicken, Waffles and Watermelon: Yes, this sounds like an odd combination, but you simply must give it a try. The savory, salty flavor of the freshly fried chicken coupled with the sweet tartness from the watermelon all coupled with the delicious waffle creates a flavor profile that works even though you think it will not! This is a classic dish around the Miami area, yet for true perfection, be sure to visit Yardbird Southern Table and Bar at 1600 Lennox Avenue.


Ceviche: A delicate mixture of shellfish, such as shrimp mixed with lime juice, tomato and fresh seasonings, this is a particularly refreshing and light dish that is ideal for hot summer days! Some people couple their ceviche with toasted bread or crackers, while others eat it all by itself! Regardless, you will want to take time to stop by Le Mar on Brickell Drive for ceviche that will leave those who are weary of raw shellfish begging for another serving!

Cuban Sandwich: This is perhaps the dish that is most heavily associated with Miami and Cuban cooking in general. A delicious combination of ham, cheese, pickles and other vegetables and sauces piled high onto Cuban bread, this is the ultimate comfort food, sure to satisfy your lunch-time hunger or soothe even the fiercest of hangovers! There are many places in Miami that offer Cuban sandwiches, but for the ultimate in the category, stop by El Rey De Las Fritas on SW 8th Street.

Stone Crabs: These little gems of heaven are only available when the stone crabs themselves are in season. This means that from October to May, you can dine on some of the most succulent, sweetest shellfish available anywhere! Typically served steamed with a few accompaniments, such as coleslaw, the best place to sample stone crab is at the aptly named Joe’s Stone Crabs located at 11 Washington Avenue.




Things to do at Miami International Airport


Miami journey

For those who live in Miami, traveling to visit friends and family almost always involved a trip to the Miami International Airport. Conveniently located near downtown Miami on over 3,200 acres of land, it carries the reputation of being the second busiest airport in the United States for international travel! Boasting flights to almost every major US city as well as Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia, this is the number one American airport for transporting international freight!


As you would expect, the Airport (MIA) is quite busy. There are a number of things to see and do here while you wait for your flight to be called, yet with all kinds of traveling, you want to be able to make the best use of your time. Not only is time important, you also want to be sure that you are properly prepared for all the various nuances that air travel requires. Below, you will find a list of some basic travel hacks that will make your visit to Miami International Airport safe, pleasant and convenient!

  1. Parking the Car

Before you even enter the airport, there is the question of what to do with your vehicle while you are on vacation. Some airports offer less than stellar parking accommodations; however, Miami International Airport parking is convenient, secure and fast! You have the option of utilizing short or long- term parking, depending on how long you will be away. There are shuttles available to bring you right to your terminal, or if you prefer, there are valet parking options available as well.  The rates are reasonable, and you can enjoy your vacation knowing that your vehicle is parked in a safe, secure area!

  1. Getting Through Security Quickly

As we mentioned above, MIA is a very large, very busy airport.  Thus, you will want to be sure that you arrive a full two hours before your flight time to ensure you have enough time to get through security and make it to your gate. There are a few tips that can make this process easier

  • Check into your flight the night before and print your boarding passes. This saves you an enormous amount of time, as all you will need to do is check your bags before proceeding to security.
  • Take anything that could cause a problem out of your carry- on bag for screening. This means not only obvious things like your laptop or other electronic devices, but things such as loose change, portable speakers and even candy can look suspicious under an X-ray and may require additional security measures, which will take more time.
  • Avoid wearing shirts with glitter on the front. These tend to trigger red flags during the body scan process, and again, it can slow you down.
  • Also avoid excessive jewelry and be sure to remove your belt, as these things can also trigger the metal detectors and cost you more time.


  1. Finding your Gate

Once you’ve made it through security, it’s time to relax, right? Yes, but there is one more step that you must take care of before setting out to enjoy what MIA has to offer its passengers. Even if you have plenty of time left before your departure, the first thing you want to do after getting through security is find your gate. This is usually printed on your boarding pass, but always compare it with the arrival/departure screen, as things can change at the last minute. Once you have determined which gate you are flying out of, and whether or not there are any delays, it is well worth the time to actually walk to that gate first before doing anything else. This not only orientates you with the location you will be trying to find later, it also gives you the chance to determine how far away you are from the gate while enjoying a meal, sipping on a cocktail or shopping. As always, be sure to pay close attention to the overhead announcements, and always arrive back at your gate at least ten minutes before the pre-set boarding time.


Once you have done all of these things, it is time to make the most of your visit to the Miami International Airport! Concourse D is nearly a mile long from one end to the other, so if this is where you are departing from, please be aware that there is a Skytrain available every three minutes to save your legs and feet! Every terminal at MIA is equipped with nursing suites for new mothers, as well as plentiful bathrooms, shops and a huge variety of places to eat and drink. While many people cringe at the thought of airport food, there are some absolutely spectacular restaurants to catch a more than satisfying meal before boarding your flight. You can certainly elect to indulge in some of the favorite fast food stand-by options, such as Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, Subway and/or Quizznos, yet there are other places here to eat and drink that are absolutely mind blowing. Below is a list of some of the best restaurants and bars located in the Miami International Airport.

  1. Beaudevin: Located in Terminal D East. This is a bistro-style restaurant with an absolutely fabulous wine selection. The food here is gourmet level, yet the price is still reasonable.
  2. Budweiser Brewhouse: Located in Terminal H. This place is infamous for its Bloody Mary’s as well as its beer selection, though there is also a wide selection of sandwiches, burgers and other comfort food sure to please the palate!
  3. Bongos: Located in Terminal J. This is a spot to hit for some of the absolute best Cuban style food coupled with a refreshing mojito for the true Miami experience!
  4. Café Versailles: Located in Terminal F. This is another spot for enjoying some classic Cuban dishes, such as hot-pressed sandwiches and unbelievably delicious coffee!
  5. The Clover Irish Pub: Located in Terminal D West. Serving a delicious selection of traditional Irish pub fare and a wonderful option for breakfast as well!
  6. Heineken Bar: Located in Terminal H. This pub is named after the infamous brew of the same name, and not surprisingly, it is a favored spot to enjoy an ice cold beer and some delicious snacks before beginning your adventure!
  7. Samuel Adams: Located in Terminal E. This is a great spot to indulge in a classic brew before boarding your flight, complete with some delicious pub fare selections, such as burgers, hand cut French fries and innovative sandwiches.

Why should you visit New Mexico

Southwestern state of New Mexico. A country that you might not even know about. But, there are really a couple of reasons why this is a place that you should visit. You might not have much information about the place, but you will realize that there are a couple of reasons why this is a country that you should consider visiting. These are some of the reasons why you should consider visiting New Mexico on your next tour.

Great museums available

The first reason why New Mexico is such a great place to visit for tourists is the fact that there are some great museums available. Museums that are great to visit and that you will enjoy.

We all know that there are some museums that you can visit all over the world. However, the thing about the museums in New Mexico is the fact that these museums are unique and really interesting. You will enjoy museums that you will not find anywhere else in the world. Making this an experience that you won’t forget.

High-quality resorts and spas

In New Mexico, you will find high-quality resorts and spas that you will enjoy. It is relaxing there, and with all the number of resorts and spas that you can find there, you will be surprised at how relaxed you will feel.

The only thing that you should consider, is that with the resorts and spas it is important to make sure that you are going to do as much research as possible. You want to make sure that you are going to make a booking at a spa that is a high-quality spa with all the luxury that you want.

A large number of outdoor activities

There are some great outdoor activities that you can choose from when you are going to New Mexico. Activities that you will be enjoying.

This is one of the surprises about New Mexico. The number of activities that they have to offer. You will be able to find the one outdoor activity that you are enjoying. Making your holiday even more special.

This country is affordable

We want to make sure that the country that we are going to visit is affordable. Able to do a lot of things, without worrying that we are going to run out of money. This is what New Mexico is offering. Great affordable food, activities, and accommodation.

New Mexico. This is a great place to visit. Especially, if you were never in this country before. There are a couple of things that you should consider before going, but it will be worth the effort. You will be surprised at what New Mexico is offering you.