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 »
I’ve always been drawn to Central American countries, thanks to the warm weather, delicious food, and picturesque beaches. Following a trip to Costa Rica for surf camp a couple years ago, and subsequent trips to Mexico after that, I put Nicaragua on my list of dream travel destinations after hearing from fellow travelers about the largely undeveloped land and gorgeous beaches. So when an invitation to spend a long weekend at Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Eco Lodge in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, fell into my lap, I jumped at the chance to go, and invited my mom, Cheryl, to join me. Here’s a rundown of what we experienced. Keep reading »
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 »
Greetings from Nashville, Tennessee! We got into town last week after a 4-day, 2300-mile road trip with everything we own crammed in the trunk of my Volkswagen Jetta. This was, by far, the longest road trip I’ve ever taken, and the drive itself is something I will never forget. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to sum up the experience, and I think a best/worst list is in order. Read on to get the scoop on Utah sushi, Kansas City kindness, public bathrooms, broken radios, and a quesadilla I will regret for the rest of my life… Keep reading »
Approximately 10 years ago, my mom and I decided were going to become scrapbookers, so we went to the scrapbooking store and bought all the special paper and scissors and decorative stickers that you have to buy in order to join the scrapbooking lifestyle. I spent a week creating two painfully detailed scrapbook pages documenting a family trip to Disneyland, complete with rickrack borders and trip artifacts like ticket stubs and soiled napkins. It was exhausting. I gave up my scrapbooking hobby, but I’m always looking for new, simple ways to document travels and experiences. For example, this cute travel stub diary lets you collect pictures and bits of travel ephemera, and just slide them into the clear plastic pages. Now that’s my kind of scrapbook. [$15, Uncommon Goods]
I’ve been meaning to write about my trip to Maui for over a month now, but every time I think about it I’m overwhelmed by memories of tropical relaxation and I have to immediately lie down on the floor and pretend I’m on the beach instead. But now I’m really going to do it, even if I have to put on a swimsuit and sit next to my space heater while I write. So here goes… Keep reading »
Nashville is quite possibly the most buzzworthy town in America right now, with a new primetime drama named after it and a spate of famous residents like Taylor Swift and Nicole Kidman singing its praises. At the beginning of this month, my boyfriend Nick and I took a long-awaited trip to this awesome city with three goals: eat good barbecue, hear some live bluegrass music, and hang out with Jack White. We accomplished two out of three. Read on to find out which ones… Keep reading »
I’m spending this month traveling around Europe and documenting my adventures for The Frisky. So far I’ve said awkward things in cheese shops in Paris and braved the terrifying highways of Italy … today we’re talking London!
When I first arrived in London I went straight to a coffee shop and ordered an earl grey tea and a scone, because it seemed like the British thing to do. When my scone arrived it was accompanied by a little glass pot of preserves and a tub of something called clotted cream. I squealed with glee at my tiny corner table, smearing the strange and delicious condiments onto the warm scone and taking a bite. And let me tell you: that cool, sweet, clotted cream, whatever it was, brought me as close to true happiness as a dairy product can.
My first UK google search was “What the f**k is clotted cream and where has it been all my life?”
Keep reading »
Last week, I told you about my trip to Paris, in all its gorgeous, historic, delicious glory. This week I explored Italy with my mom and my brother Devin. My family is Italian but we’d never been to Italy, and from the people to the scenery to the food, it didn’t disappoint. We went to my friend Milena’s beautiful wedding on Lake Garda and then drove down to Rome, stopping in a couple seaside towns on the way but mostly trying not to die on the highways. I’ve compiled a list of Dos and Don’ts based on my experience — read on to check ‘em out, and please share your own Italian travel tips in the comments! Keep reading »
As I mentioned last week, I’m spending the month exploring Europe and I’ll be chronicling my journey for The Frisky. My boyfriend Nick and I began our trip in Paris. We spent a few days there on our own and then my mom and my brother Devin joined us. Well, they tried. Unfortunately, their first experience with the Paris Metro system played out like a formulaic sequel to “Home Alone:” Devin boarded a train and the doors closed before my mom could get on. Neither of them had a cellphone or directions, so they spent the next two and a half hours riding trains back and forth through the city trying to find each other while Nick and I waited for them at the Metro station — terrified that they’d been abducted — and chain-eating croissants to cope with the stress. Luckily Devin found a kindly Scottish farmer to guide him home and my mom found a payphone under the Eiffel Tower, but wow, what a crazy day (apparently my family has bad luck with trains). More thoughts on Paris after the jump… Keep reading »