Tag Archives: cities that surprise

Cities That Surprise: Astoria, Oregon

Cities That Surprise: Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon, sits at the mouth of the Columbia River, smack dab between Oregon and Washington, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean. Judging by location alone, you’d think Astoria would fit the mold of a classic beach town, but if you go there expecting a plethora of pastel ice cream shops and “Life Is Good” t-shirts, well, you’re going to be surprised. Astoria is much different than the other tourist traps that dot the coast. So different, in fact, that it’s often referred to as “Little San Francisco.”

Astoria is home to many of the things people love about Portland (great coffee, microbreweries, artsy culture), combined with a few coastal town perks you can’t get in the city (salty sea air, clam chowder, shockingly aggressive seagulls). And if that wasn’t enough of a reason to visit, “The Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop” were filmed there. Packed your bags yet? It’s about an hour’s drive from Portland, and here’s what to do once you get there (besides the truffle shuffle, which is a given): Keep reading »

Cities That Surprise: Sedona, Arizona

Travel Guide: Sedona, Arizona

Disclaimer: if you’re averse to anything considered “New Age,” Sedona may not be the right vacation spot for you. Strike that, everyone should go there.

I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is about a 2 hour drive to Sedona. Scottsdale is about as artificial as you can get when it comes to cities, which is why Sedona, one of the country’s spiritual hotspots, seems like an escape to another universe. If you’re New Age phobic, you should still go there; just avoid the crystal shops, the vortex solstice prayer circles and vegan, raw food eateries, and focus on hiking the too-good-to-be-true red rock trails instead. Whether you’re a believer in the mysterious or not, I’m confident you’ll leave Sedona with a feeling of peace and well-being. Here are some of the things I did on my most recent pilgrimage to this spiritual city… Keep reading »

Cities That Surprise: Rochester, New York

Surprising Cities: Hilo, HI
Hilo Hawaii Travel Guide
This isn't the Hawaii you're used to (and that's a good thing!) Read More »
Visit Chattanooga!
Chattanooga Tennessee Travel
Winona was blown away by this Tennessee gem. Read More »
Visit Columbus!
Columbus Ohio Travel Tips
There's way more to this city than meets the eye! Read More »
Cities That Surprise: Rochester, NY

“Cities That Surprise” highlights places across America that defied or exceeded our expectations, for whatever reason. Today, Allison Sass tells us why under all that snow, Rochester, New York is a hidden gem!

After graduating college, I spent two years living and working in Rochester, NY, a city best known for its now-bankrupt Kodak national headquarters, horrible winters, and being one of the three cities in the U.S. that’s actually cloudier than Seattle. Want to visit yet?? Keep reading »

Cities That Surprise: Hilo, Hawaii

Visit Chattanooga!
Chattanooga Tennessee Travel
Winona was blown away by this Tennessee gem. Read More »
Travel Diary: Maui
Winona gives you the scoop on this island paradise. Read More »
Visit Columbus!
Columbus Ohio Travel Tips
There's way more to this city than meets the eye! Read More »
Hilo Hawaii Travel Guide

Here’s the thing about Hilo. If you’re looking for a Waikiki-postcard-style Hawaiian vacation, don’t go to Hilo. I know this firsthand because I moved to Hilo in 2006 to spend a semester at the University of Hawaii campus there, and I did no research beforehand. I was just like, “Woohooo Hawaii! Surfing and sunbathing on white sand beaches every day after class!” (I was kind of an idiot, what can I say?) When I arrived, I was surprised to find rocky beaches and a calm bay instead. I think I swam a total of three times during my stay there, and one of those times was just because I fell out of a canoe in the ocean. But you know what else surprised me? How uniquely awesome Hilo is. It’s a historic city that’s been destroyed by a tsunami and rebuilt; it’s a true mixing pot of different cultures; it’s quirky and friendly and beautiful. Hilo is a great destination for people who want to experience a different side of Hawaiian culture, or travelers looking to spend a day or two away from tourist-packed Kona. Here are some of my top picks for what to do once you get there… Keep reading »

Cities That Surprise: Columbus, Ohio

Columbus Ohio Travel Tips

Welcome to a semi-regular new travel feature on The Frisky! “Cities That Surprise” highlights places across America (and maybe around the globe?!) that defied or exceeded our expectations, for whatever reason. For our second installment, Ohio native Ashley Knierim returns to her hometown and gives us the lowdown on why Columbus is seriously underrated.

If you asked me what I thought about Ohio when I was a boy-band-loving, glitter-coated 13-year-old, I would have proclaimed my hatred for my hometown, gloating that I had bigger things in store.

Now, seven years after I left, I feel the need to apologize. I recently returned to the Midwest with my boyfriend, Mack, and I realized that Columbus is actually really cool. I lived in Ohio’s capital for 18 years without appreciating all that it has to offer… Keep reading »

Visit Chattanooga!
Chattanooga Tennessee Travel
Winona was blown away by this Tennessee gem. Read More »
Vacation Envy
8 Signs You're Suffering From Vacation Envy
8 signs you're suffering from this tragic ailment! Read More »

Cities That Surprise: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga Tennessee Travel

Welcome to a semi-regular new travel feature on The Frisky! “Cities That Surprise” will highlight places across America (and maybe around the globe?!) that defied or exceeded our expectations, for whatever reason. Have you ever been somewhere that was unexpectedly awesome, or completely different than what you thought it was going to be? Do you live in a city that is constantly misunderstood or unappreciated? Shoot me an email at winona@thefrisky.com with your nominations and I’ll help you spread the word about these hidden gem destinations that deserve way more credit.

And now, let’s discuss the city I visited a couple weeks ago that inspired this whole idea: Chattanooga, Tennessee. Keep reading »

Travel Diary: Nashville
Grab your banjo and head to Music City with Winona! Read More »
Travel Tips!
26 travel tips to make any journey better. Read More »
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