Month: October 2017


This article was originally published on September 27, 2017 on Boston NAVEA

Minneapolis, Minnesota, offers a wealth of exciting experiences for travelers of all tastes. As Minnesota’s largest city, you’ll find plenty to see, and everything is available to you for less than the costs of many other large urban areas. Keep in mind the following tips to make the most of your Minneapolis vacation.

Use the Light Rail to Get Around

Forget about taxis when you’re in Minneapolis; taking the light rail is easier. The METRO Blue Line starts its journey at Target Field and travels to the Mall of America, making stops downtown, midtown, and at Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport terminals along the way. If you want to explore further afield, take the Green Line to St. Paul or the Red Line to Apple Valley.

Light rail tickets cost only a few dollars, which is roughly what you’ll pay on the city’s buses, but the light rail system is a little easier to understand. You don’t need to worry about missing your stop either. Once the METRO gets to the end of the line, it will go back the opposite way, so sit back and enjoy the ride. Hop off at your destination, explore, and board again to see something new.

Consider Your Accommodations Needs Carefully

Your Minneapolis hotel will become your home away from home, so choosing the right one is important. Think carefully about what you want from your accommodations and make your choice based on that criteria.

If you’re not taking your car, a convenient place to stay may be important. Look for hotels near Guthrie Theater if you love culture or places near Minneapolis City Hall if want to be in the middle of the action. Moms and dads want to keep their little ones entertained so they may choose Minneapolis accommodations with pools and on-site restaurants with children’s menus. If you have a four-legged family member, pet-friendly places to stay in Minneapolis may suit you best.

Leave Your Cigarettes at Home

Minneapolis has banned smoking in all public indoor areas and Hennepin County property. That ban extends to cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes. Residents can smoke in their homes, but as a visitor, you’re unlikely to find a place to light up or vape. Leave your cigarettes at home and enjoy breathing in the clean Minnesota air.

Eat Exotically

Minneapolis has all the chain restaurants you’d expect of any big city, but you’ll get a better taste of its culture if you broaden your horizons and try some of the ethnic restaurants downtown.

Vietnamese and Thai restaurants such as Sawatdee and The Lotus Restaurant complement the usual Chinese and Japanese establishments. If you’re not a fan of Asian cuisine, perhaps a Middle Eastern or Greek eatery such as Naf Naf Grill or Gardens of Salonica may be what you fancy. If you’re not sure what to order, trust your waiter to steer your taste buds in the right direction.

Armed with the right knowledge, all that’s left is to book your accommodations, sort out your travel plans, and go. Minneapolis is waiting for you.


This article was originally published by Jason Reynolds on September 27, 2017 on West Port BB

After a big day sightseeing in Baltimore, Maryland, a cheeky cocktail, a glass of wine, or a thirst-quenching ale is what the doctor ordered. For superb beverages served in a vibrant atmosphere, the following four Baltimore bars can’t be beat.

Bookmakers: Elegant Cocktail Bar

Cocktail lovers will be in heaven at Bookmakers. Most of the names will be foreign to you, but put your trust in the bar’s beverage director Ryan Sparks. His signature concoctions such as Lush Livin’, Death Eater, and Hunka Hunka Love are like nothing you’ve tasted before.

Sipping on a cocktail while watching a live band is a wonderful way to spend an evening, but for a real night out, arrive early enough for dinner. Choose from among several small plates to share. Bookmakers is in historic Federal Hill, so if you don’t want to worry about driving, you’re best staying at one of the hotels in South Baltimore.

Alewife: Beer Galore at Gastropub

If you love beer, you’ll love Alewife. This charming gastropub proudly serves 40 tap craft beers and plenty more bottled varieties. The ales are the perfect partner for Alewife’s hearty dishes which include bitterballen and duck fat wings. Alewife is a few blocks from Lexington Market, so any of the hotels near the popular Baltimore marketplace will put you within walking distance of this lively bar.

Gameday Firehouse: Friendly Sports Bar for a Good Cause

As you may expect by its name, Gameday Firehouse is a short walk from the Baltimore Ravens home stadium. Stay at comfortable accommodations near M&T Bank Stadium for easy access to the venue and a few drinks after the big game. You can find places to stay near the B&O Railroad Museum that are a little farther away, but the distance is still easily walkable.

As a sports bar, Gameday Firehouse has a rowdy atmosphere the locals love. The bar opens four hours before every Ravens home game for a massive tailgating party. Enjoy Orange Crush stands, the Bloody Mary Bar, and Bud for only $2. The bar also opens at 5 p.m. every Friday when the Orioles are in town. Proceeds from drinks here benefit the Baltimore Firefighters Widows & Orphans Fund.

Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen + Bar: Celeb Chef’s Casino Bar

After a big win at the tables, there’s no better choice than Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen + Bar, conveniently located inside the Horseshoe Casino. The brainchild of celebrity chef Guy Fieri, this restaurant and bar marries classic American cuisine with diverse beverage options.

The wine list celebrates the best of California. You’ll also find satisfying craft beers, signature cocktails, and nitrogen frozen shots. Enjoy half-off drinks during happy hours between 5 and 7 p.m. every weekday and on Thursday nights from 10 p.m. until midnight. Guest accommodations near Horseshoe Casino are the perfect choice for travelers keen on visiting this lively bar.

When you’re on vacation, while away the hours with a cold alcoholic beverage and some new friends. You’ll find these experiences and more at the above Baltimore bars.