EQ3: Home lover’s haven boasts original style

Home furnishings with an original flair is what EQ3 is all about. That, and offering a concept to help people create a cozy and comfortable environment. They’ve got their CORE program where pieces are made for mixing and matching with an urban feel and made of red oak veneer and available in earth and onyx finishes.

In the bedroom their Sleep by Natura collection is meant to provide a perfect night’s sleep with mattresses and pillows in a range of comfort levels and made of several natural materials.

Rounding out their collection are a wide array of chairs, sofas, ottomans, lamps, mirrors, office furniture, dining and entertainment pieces as well as accessories.

EQ3 is located at 3466 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL


Plus+Gallery: New Art in an Old Paint Factory

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Named the Art Space of 2009 by the Denver Post, the decade-old Plus+Gallery, located in an old paint factory north of downtown, revels in the shock of the new. Local work is the focus, be it Tsehai Johnson’s strange arranged squiggles of porcelain and silicone, Devon Moore’s elegant metalwork, or Riva Sweetrocket’s Magritte-like canvases in soft pastel; owner Ivan Zeile also curates an Experimental and New Media Series for film projects and performance pieces. Of course, exhibitions aren’t all Plus hosts (hence the name); salons, wine tastings, and concerts make it a prime gathering spot for the Denver arts community as well.

La Rumba: A Taste of Lipgloss

The owners of Rockbar have earned a loyal following over the years with La Rumba, one of the city’s friendlier nightclubs. It’s best known for the long-running Lipgloss, a Friday night free-for-all where the tunes range from ’80s rock to techno, the cover charge is nil before 10pm (after that, it’s a measly $5), and PBRs go for $2.  On Saturdays, live salsa is the draw, complete with free lessons, but the genre is a focus on other nights as well: from 1opm to 11pm, also known as Salsa Hour, DJs spin merengue, cumbia, and more. Easygoing as La Rumba is, it does enforce a dress code: leave your shorts, sports gear, and flip-flops in your closet.


Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls & Toys: A Vintage Wonderland

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Housed in a turn-of-the-century Dutch Colonial two-story, the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls & Toys looks a lot like a dollhouse itself. Of course, it’s filled with them, fully furnished, as well as train sets and teddy bears; geisha replicas, kachinas, and other figurines from around the world; vintage board games; and all manner of special exhibits featuring puppets and marionettes, role-playing game pieces, and holiday decorations. In such a magical setting, you might even be inspired to attend a hands-on workshop on topics ranging from masks to gingerbread houses—and you’ll definitely want to make reservations for teatime in the Oak and Berries Tea Room. While the first Sunday of every month is Family Free Day, rest assured parenthood is totally optional at this wonder for all ages.

Falling Rock Tap House: The Opus One of Beer

If Denver is the so-called Napa Valley of beer, Falling Rock Tap House is its Opus One—a legend. Though it’s not itself a brewery, beer geeks come from far and wide to sample the constantly changing selection of about 80 drafts and more than 130 bottles—which itself comes from far and wide as well as near, Coloradan and Belgian craft pours, many of them vintage, being the taphouse’s specialties. Shelves lined with 2000-plus beer bottles from the owner’s personal collection make the sprawling, ever-bustling (if not downright raucous) two-story feel like home—as does the cheeky sense of humor reflected in various words to the wise about customer etiquette that appear on the menus.


The Phillips Collection: Have Cocktails with Renoir


For a more cultured look at the city, take a trip to popular Dupont Circle to America’s first museum of modern art, the Phillips Collection. Opened in 1921 and housed in the former home of the collection’s founder, Duncan Phillips, the Phillips Collection combines the charm of an intimate, private art institution with awe-inspiring works found typically at larger, government-run galleries (think stumbling upon Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party” while having tea with a friend). 

With priceless modern and impressionist works from both American and European artists, the Phillips Collection houses an impressive permanent collection with several works from Mark Rothko, Georgia O’Keefe, Renoir and van Gogh. The museum also includes works from contemporary, living artists to add to its diverse exhibits. Despite its size, the Phillips Collection seems to always be rotating new special exhibits to accentuate their impressive permanent collection.

Insider Tip: Visit the gallery on the first Thursday of every month for their entertaining, “Phillips After 5” event from 5:00 PM – 8:30 PM. With live jazz, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, as well as gallery lectures and films, this artisanal party attracts young, cultured patrons from around the city looking to enjoy the gallery in a more social atmosphere!

*Note: The Phillips Collection is closed on Mondays and holidays.

The St. Regis, DC: Royal Accommodations in the Heart of the District


Formerly the well-known Carlton Hotel, the St. Regis remains one of the finest hotels in Washington, hosting every President since President Coolidge, as well as royalty, prime ministers and iconic celebrities. A favorite haunt of Ronald Regan, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn, the hotel exudes the same level of glamour and refinement as its dignified guests.

With opulent, yet classically elegant accommodations, exceptional butler service and some of the finest dining in the District, the St. Regis raises the bar in terms of luxury stays. Book a suite and take advantage of the hotel’s amazing location, nestled right in the heart of downtown along K Street. Only two blocks from the White House, the hotel’s convenient address is perfect for sightseeing as well as great views of the city’s landmarks.

Insider Tip: Although known for its over-the-top amenities (and appropriately, rates), the St. Regis does offer great Exclusive Offers online. Visit their website for family tour packages and specials to add to your perfect stay (a complimentary night’s stay should definitely allow for a relaxed visit!).

Calamari Restaurant: Where Italian Mediterranean’s alive

aMoMqUZNir3Pd6aby-v9yy-calamari-soho-restaurant-640x480Arrive at Calamari Restaurant in Coconut Grove and prepare to be tantalized by Italian dishes bursting with rich yet delicate flavors by Chef Alex Lopez, a technique he has spent years perfecting and continues evolving. With his training mostly in Italian kitchens around Miami, with some Asian and Cuban, his menu is a fusion of this trio.

The spacious restaurant is located on the quieter side of Coconut Grove, further down Main Highway. Lopez’ menu is a combination of original creations alongside classic Italian dishes. The molded tuna tartare topped with layers of fresh avocado and homemade crème fraiche, dollops of red and black caviar over chive and truffle oil and soy sauce is a must try. Grouper aqua pazza on a delicate tomato sauce surrounded by clams and mussels and chicken paillard are also great entree choices and coconut flan or panacotta with mixed berry sauce are awesome desserts.

Calamari Restaurant is located at 3540 Main Highway, Coconut Grove

Heart of History at Penn’s View Hotel

The Penn’s View Hotel, named after William Penn, is a boutique hotel nestled among the history of Old City. The intimate getaway is also home of the authentic trattoria Ristorante Panorama and Il Bar, which serves over 800 different wines a year and boasts an extensive Proprietor’s Reserve List of impressive wines by the bottle.Picture 9

The staff is well known for its generosity and kindness, and the continental breakfast is overflowing with pastries, Belgian waffles and fresh-squeezed juices. The hotel is historic, but certainly not archaic – amenities like free WiFi throughout the hotel, convenient gas fireplaces and enormous jacuzzi tubs are available in all of the rooms. You can also enjoy a view of the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Delaware waterfront.

The Penn’s View Hotel provides all the amenities you could want, but if you do decide to venture out you are blocks from Independence Mall, The Liberty Bell, and an extensive amount of art galleries and boutiques.

Perry St: Inventive French Fare From Jean Georges

diners_perry_streetFrom the chef that brought us the acclaimed Spice Market, Jean Georges delivers yet another inventive menu and beautiful restaurant to go with it, Perry St. Here you will find Asian-inspired modern French fare and a minimalist dining room full of white leather sofas. As is the present crowd, patrons of haute cuisine have come to expect culinary extras like the amuse bouche, and on this order Perry St delivers (with a strawberry and basil gazpacho no less!). Entree items range from the predictable but proven – slowly baked arctic char with white asparagus and basil vinaigrette – to the surprising – you can have fried chicken with spicy pea puree and pickled onions for dinner if you like. And as is the case with many concept restaurants, the creativity really shines through in the selection of appetizers. For starters you might enjoy a crispy poached egg with caviar and vodka cream. Because, why not?

Mandolin Aegean Bistro: Charming with authentic fare

mandolin1It’s charm right off the bat at Mandolin Aegean Bistro, especially given that the restaurant is inside a historic 1940s house and is awash in white with traditional Mediterranean blue trim throughout. Quietly nestled between the hip Design District and Buena Vista neighborhoods, entering this place and then tasting their delicious offerings, diners are immediately transported to the Greek isles.

The food here is fresh, authentic and prepared with loving care. The Greek sampler is a great starter. Served up in a fancy trio of small containers it features tzatziki, smoked eggplant puree and tarama (a salmon puree). Gyros, pulled lamb and a lamb cheeseburger are part of the sandwich choices and for entrees there’s the village pasta of greek noodles with ground beef and bechamel sauce or a seafood stew with shrimp, mussels and calamari. Orzo pilaf, Aegean olives and wild greens round out some tasty sides.

Mandolin offers an experience to heighten the senses of tasting, seeing and  smelling to a whole other level.

Mandolin Aegean Bistro is located at 4312 NE 2 Avenue, Miami, FL

Encore B&B Receives a Standing Ovation

encore Encore Bed & Breakfast, which has been open since 2001, offers just four contemporary accommodations in the South End neighborhood. The alternative to typical hotel lodging, Encore offers 21st-century comfort in a 19th century Victorian town house. Each room features modern amenities, including a private bathroom with shower, queen-size bed, cable TV with DVD player. In keeping with the theatrical theme of the Inn, the rooms are named after choreographer Jerome Robbins, conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, playwright Edward Albee and composer Stephen Sondheim. A continental breakfast is served each morning featuring European-strength coffee, pastries, granola, and fresh fruit.

Fresh market, delectable menu at Perricone’s

The marketplace at perricones is just as enticing as the menu and the venue. Housed in a renovated New England barn, this charmer has been ranked tops by the likes of Zagat, Fodor’s and Forbes Magazine and it’s because of their fresh take on the best in Italian cuisine.

Although it’s located in the busy, bustling Brickell area near Downtown Miami, the garden seating and cozy interior make it unique from the other flashy competitors in the area. Worth trying are their delectable fresh sandwiches, especially their chicken salad, it’s homemade and out of this world. The selection of gourmet cheeses and fine wines are the perfect compliment.

In the restaurant, their oozy baked brie en croute is a cheese lover’s delight and the goat cheese salad is fresh and tasty. Pastas dominate the menu with classics like penne pomodoro, spinach-stuffed ravioli in a pink sauce and eggplant parmigiana. Rack of lamb, skirt steak and salmon join those on the menu and are spectacular choices as well. Atmosphere and great food, what else could a diner ask for?

Perricone’s Marketplace & Cafe is located at 15 SE 10 Street, Miami, FL

Fuel Café: Revving To Go

fuel_cafe_barHidden away as it is in a mixed-use complex of lofts in the emerging RiNo district, no one saw Fuel coming two years ago. But come it has. Bob Blair’s quirky café is an oasis of inventive contemporary cooking that displays a myriad of Mediterranean influences at lunch—when the sandwiches range from pan bagnats to banh mi—and dinner, where scallop gazpacho beckons alongide peach barbecued pork. It’s the housemade pasta, though, that really puts this place on the map, paired with a wine list that emphasizes boutique finds. Speaking of finds, kicking back on the patio on a sunny summer’s eve, you’ll feel as though you just made a major discovery.

Starz Film Center: A Cinephile’s Sanctuary

starz film centerFor more than 30 years, the Denver Film Society has been hosting the Starz Denver Film Festival, acclaimed as the region’s best. Its cinematheque in the historic Tivoli—a onetime brewery turned student union on the UC–Denver campus—gives locals a year-round glimpse of the bold programming the organization is known for, especially when it comes to documentaries and cult discoveries: take series like DocNight, The Watching Hour—which Westword named the city’s best this year—and Mile-High Sci Fi, a live version of Mystery Science Theater 3000. All that and a full bar at the concession stand make the Starz Film Center a haunt for the city’s hippest cinephiles.

EVOO Marketplace: A Gourmet Gallery

evoo marketplaceIn its airy, almost starkly modern elegance, EVOO Marketplace could almost be mistaken for an art gallery. Or maybe that’s no mistake: given the stunning array of olive oils from all over the world—Greece, Chile, Australia—stored on tap in silver kegs, it’s a condiment connoisseur’s studio. Infusions come in eye-opening flavors: blood orange, cilantro and roasted onion, even wild mushroom and sage. The same goes for the balsamic vinegars from Modena: think cinnamon-pear, dark chocolate, and honey-ginger. You’ll get excellent pairing advice from the friendly owner, who also stocks a small selection of  imported pastas and sauces as well as accessories for proper storage of your new purchases (and there will be many).

Circle Art at Home: Posh furnishings and accessories

The furnishings and accessories available at Miami Beach’s Circle Art at Home are lovingly created by designer Jesse Brody with quality, style and affordability in mind. Although most of the styles are contemporary, there are also touches of African art and Oriental rugs.

There are two store locations on South Beach. The Lincoln Road store is where most of the public goes to check out their unique mirrors, modern lighting, sofas and ottomans, rugs and other accessories. Over on Lenox Avenue is where custom pieces can be ordered and there’s a bit less inventory. However, the massive expanse of Oriental rugs available at the Lenox location are a don’t miss.

One common factor between the two stores though, design and decorating enthusiasts will certainly walk out with an original piece that will add flair and style to any room in the house.

Circle Art at Home is located at 714 Lincoln Road and 1560 Lenox Avenue, Miami Beach

Get a taste of Paris at Bistro Niko

bistro nikoBuckhead needed a casual, French-inspired café and Atlanta’s legendary Buckhead Life Group answered the call with Bistro Niko.

Housed in the luxurious Sovereign, home to both residential and commercial tenants, Bistro Niko is an elegant and easygoing affair. The swanky bar is located on the Peachtree Street side of things but there’s plenty of room for dining on the other side of the clock which centers the beautifully tiled restaurant. The bold splashes of red throughout, not to mention the fancy ceiling, are definitely eye-catching but a restaurant cannot thrive on style alone.

A tin of Icelandic caviar over brioche is totally recommended and surprisingly affordable. For lunch, the Croque “Monsieur,” grilled ham with gruyere cheese, is a popular selection while the Tartare De Boeuf (classic steak tartare) plays well at any meal. The ample selection of more than 50 beers, many from Belgium, is surprisingly refreshing. For more delicate palates, there is the signature Specialite Le St. Germain (St. Germain with champagne) as well as an extensive wine list.

For those who can’t rendezvous in Paris, Bistro Niko is a Southern interpretation fully worthy of the “ooh la la(s)” and “oui, oui(s)” it has received.

Rock Out Live at the 9:30 Club

Looking for some of the best live music in the District? Head to the 9:30 Club, DC’s premiere live music venue featuring a variety of acts throughout the year.  With a bit of a divey vibe, and appropriately situated near trendy U Street, the 9:30 Club brings a punk edge to traditionally conservative DC.

Featuring all genres, from Lady Gaga and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones to electronica DJ’s and Bloc Party, 9:30 is sure to please. Buy tickets in advance and stake a spot in this standing room only venue (all areas of the club provide great views of the stage, so don’t worry if you’re running a little late!). With four bars and a pretty extensive menu, there’s no reason not to make an evening out of a trip to this rock hub.

Insider Tip: To purchase tickets in advance, visit www.ticketfly.com or call 1.877.4.FLY.TIX.ATL930_1

Stay on the Water at the Seaport Hotel

The Seaport Hotel has an unbeatable location right on the water and just minutes away from major Boston attractions, like The Children’s Museum, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, The Freedom Trail and the North End. The oceanfront hotel is situated in the booming Seaport District, where you can easily take a tour of the neighboring Harpoon Brewery or even check out a concert at the Bank of America Pavilion, and then easily head back to your room after a fun night out on the town.

Despite its incredible location, there arePicture 50 plenty of reasons to stay inside the Seaport Hotel. The rooms here are open and spacious with a good selection of suites that include a variety of pet-friendly ones for your four-legged friend. And those oceanfront views make any evening romantic while watching the sunset and the gorgeous city skyline light up.

Be sure to make a reservation in advance at Aura where you can sample some of Chef Rachel Klein’s famed dishes, including her signature not-your-typical Steak and Eggs: a tender cut of filet mignon is served with a truffle-fried egg and served with asparagus, potato puree and bordelaise sauce. For a more casual bite, head over to Tamo Bar and sip on a green monkey martini while noshing on some spring rolls. There is also the Seaport Café if you are looking to just grab some bakery treats and sandwiches and head back to your room.

Country Feel with Downtown Amenities at The Morris House

Picture 39The Morris House has the luxury of a downtown boutique hotel with the quaintness of a bed and breakfast. Located on Society Hill, this hotel has fifteen exclusive rooms, each decorated in its own individual fashion. With its outdoor garden and cozy charm, this place could easily be mistaken for a countryside B&B, however, most farm ladies wouldn’t offer Godiva Chocolates or Norwegian Voss water upon your arrival.

Guests can enjoy not only a continental breakfast, but also afternoon tea, which are both included in the room rate. If the hotel’s pleasant, historic charm keeps you in for the night, try the Morris House’s M Restaurant, which offers a delicious extensive lunch and dinner menu and a reasonable prix fixe. Between the beautiful atmosphere and accommodations, this is an amazing place for any wedding or party, which you can easily book online.

Victorian Splendor at Castle Marne

Picture 38At nearly 125 years old, the huge stone mansion housing Castle Marne is listed on the National Register of Historic Places—and it’s as beautiful inside as it is outside. Each of this bed and breakfast’s nine rooms is a wonder, filled with antique furnishings of brass and iron and variously graced by cathedral ceilings, balconies, fireplaces, and even hot tubs. The piano parlor and frescoed dining room are equally sumptuous, and while breakfast and tea service are a given, guests can also arrange for private luncheons and six-course BYO dinners. Of course, a setting as grand as this is a natural for garden weddings—the proprietor is even licensed to officiate.

Regattabar: Boston’s Best Jazz Club


If you are in the mood for some great jazz then look no further than the Regattabar in Cambridge. Located in Harvard Square, the jazz club has been named one of the “Best of Boston.” Regattabar offers concerts to people all ages in its 225-seat venue located on the third floor of The Charles Hotel. Be sure to check the website for more information on the kids’ summer music series, the Monday night courtyard series and annual jazz festival, which features Grammy-recognized artists and Lifetime Achievement Award winners. Visit the website at regattabarjazz.com.

Haru: Best Sushi in Town

haru Haru has taken center stage with its first modern Japanese location to open in Boston. The sushi restaurant is located below the Shops at Prudential Center, and is beautifully decorated with a Japanese garden, bamboo floors and wooden footbridge, along with alfresco dining. The menu here ranges from sushi, sashimi and creative salads to signature dishes like carpaccios, ceviches, tartares, filet mignon, grilled spicy shrimp and specialty rolls. Don’t miss the sake and cocktail bar for an after-work drink or late night people-watching. Haru also provides delivery and catering services, private rooms and lounges, and a vibrant bar scene. Click here for more information.

Colony Nightclub: Hamptons meets Los Angeles

Located in Hollywood, the Colony Nightclub looks like it belongs in the Hamptons rather than Los Angeles. From those that brought you Hyde and the SLS Hotel, the Colony is unlike any nightclub Hollywood has yet to see.

Similar to the exclusivity that the Hamptons are famous for, the Colony is a new Hollywood hotspot for celebrities and those who know someone on a list. The club, which looks more like a beach hangout, is filled with “beach chair” pillows and tree branches coming up from the floor.

Even though the club might look like it belongs on the beach, those responsible for the Colony believe that building a nightclub that could be found in the Hamptons would be just what Los Angeles nightlife needed. As they began recreating a Hamptons-esque nightclub on Cahuenga Blvd, those who actively partake in Los Angeles nightlife seemed drawn into the newness and uniqueness the club was going to offer.
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For celebrities like Rihanna and playmate twins Karissa and Kristina, the Colony is the perfect Hollywood getaway when you can’t always escape to the Hamptons.

The Hollywood Bowl: An Outdoor Oasis

When you think of listening to live music in Los Angeles, you automatically think of the Hollywood Bowl. Filled with killer performances, great seating and dining options that force you to leave the picnic basket behind, the Hollywood Bowl should be on everyone’s “to-do” list, whether you are a tourist or local.

The brilliant performers and performances that fill the stage make the Bowl’s schedule impossible to beat. With weekends devoted to “A Beatles Celebration” along with other famous faces, music enthusiasts will agree that the only way to enjoy a show is at the Bowl.

Though you may expect an outdoor music venue to be filled with cheap drinks and crummy food, the Hollywood Bowl allows foodies to go wild thanks to the Patina Restaurant Group and their endless dining options for those in box seats to those looking to grab a quick bite before the show.

With great food to accompany a great show, you may think your experience at the Hollywood Bowl will be perfect. The only downside to visiting the Bowl is parking. Though the website will give you a few options on how to park, most people will tell you to find alternate ways, like the park & ride or shuttle.
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Miami Beach Botanical Garden: Zen among the buzz of South Beach

Buzzing, bustling and busy Washington and Collins Avenues, Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road, some of South Beach’s busiest streets, are just a stone’s throw away from the Miami Beach Botanical Garden and that’s hard to imagine with the the zen that overcomes anyone who visits this place.

Located across from the always busy Miami Beach Convention Center, the Garden is a place to come and get away from it all. The folks who run this place describe themselves perfectly as “Urban Greenspace in the heart of South Beach.” During the annual Art Basel mega month of December the place is abuzz, hosting events and year-round, they’re known for their own innovative revolving exhibitions held in the gardens.

The shows are far from traditional though, actually pushing the envelope of outdoor installations with unique contemporary pieces like the Giants in the City show which features 22 inflatable pieces fabricated from nylon. There are also regularly scheduled classes and lectures held here.

Miami Beach Botanical Garden is located at 2000 Convention Center DriveBotanical Garden

Art Deco Society of Los Angeles: In Awe of Architecture

Focused on the act of preserving architecture, the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles is preserving many buildings, hotels and fine pieces of art that we have come to love and know so well. Buildings such as The Sunset Tower and The Egyptian Theatre are coined as “local Art Deco treasures” found in Los Angeles that have become LA staples and places frequently visited.

This non-profit, supported by members varying from students to households, is always holding events for those looking to embrace LA Art Deco. Events such as walking tours and festivals are always being held in honor of LA art and architecture and members of the non-profit make the events calendar easy and accessible on their website.

Though we pass some of these buildings each and every day, the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles encourages people to take in their surroundings by attending events held by the organization and to visit the buildings they try so hard to preserve.

In the land of the fake, this society encourages you to embrace something real.

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Limonaia: Handmade Goods for the Home

After founder Jessica Goldfarb discovered her love for traveling and Italian décor, she decided to bring a store to Los Angeles that would allow people to marvel and purchase products that were both unique and from across the globe.

Though the name Limonaia comes from the room where lemon trees are stored during cold seasons, the store is less about her love for these rooms and more about her love for unique gifts and goods for the home.

From decorative magnets to children’s toys, most of the products found at this hideaway are handmade and one-of-a kind. If you are looking to redecorate your home or are just looking for that added touch, a trip to Limonaia is essential for the perfect tablecloth or scented candle.

Though her store could easily be found on the roads of Capri, her store is located in one of L.A.’s best and most affluent shopping areas in Santa Monica. If you are interested in visiting the store for a massive shopping spree, visit her website beforehand to sign up for sales events so you can make the most out of your shopping experience.

Finally, someone who really turned lemons into Limonaia.
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Blush at Crimson Lounge

crimson interior1When Hotel Sax came on the Chi-town radar it was quite big news. Replacing the House of Blues Hotel was major pressure and they were up for the challenge. Instead of following in the colorful Moroccan footsteps of their predecessors, Hotel Sax stepped up a classy vibe with all white.

With the hotel of course, the need for an amazing lounge slash club was definitely needed and again, Hotel Sax delivered. Crimson Lounge pulls lines for entrance, lines of beautiful people waiting for beautiful cocktails.

Come on a night when DJ resident Samantha Ronson, ex of crazy Lindsay Lohan and expect to wait your pretty time to get in if you don’t arrive early.

Diggin’ Deep Dish at Gino’s

ginos_pizza_chicago-0953There are two types of pizza in this world. New York thin slice and Chicago deep dish. Sorry, Italy – your pizza doesn’t really even register anymore. If you ask the DJs Deep Dish, their answer is simple – Chicago pizza takes the cake (or pie). When they moved to the USA, they fell so in love with it, that they named themselves after it.

When looking for that classic Chicago deep dish, the place to go is Gino’s East . Don’t expect the most glamorous ambiance or the best service, no, no. This is all about the checkered table cloth, simple service but amazing pizza. There’s just something about that cornbread crust.

Beginner’s beware: You don’t need a lot of pie here. One piece will likely fill you up in a beautiful way. Also, if you think you’re in a hurry – forget it! A deep dish pizza at Gino’s will run you a minimum of 30 minutes – but hey, heavenly taste don’t come easy baby, so chill.

Whales, Seahorses & Dolphins Oh Shedd!


Not only does the Shedd Aquarium play home to some of the most beautiful and exotic sea creatures humans could ever lay their eyes on, but it also is home to one of the best views you’ll find in the entire city of Chicago.

Located on a peninsula jutting out in Lake Michigan, from outside and within its dome-like windowed walls, the entire city of Chicago is laid out like a panoramic postcard from within the museum. The view aside however, kids and adults alike ooh and ahh over the amazing array of sea life. From teeny tiny seahorses of all colors and shapes majestically fanning around their world, to dolphins jumping and baby beluga whales being born, the Shedd Aquarium provides top notch entertainment day and night, all year round.

Visitors learn about sea creatures from every crevice of the world and can catch specially scheduled shows to see the dolphins and whales in action. After hours, the Shedd hosts plenty of parties and mixers so be sure to check their schedule to see if a cocktail hour at the Shedd is happening (always a blast!). Jazzin’ it at the Shedd happens Wednesday nights and serves as the perfect place to catch the nightly fireworks shooting from Navy Pier.

Bin 36 is Oenophilian Heaven

Bin 36, it’s as simple as that, hell their very own Brian Duncan was voted “Wine Director of the Year” by Gourmet Magazine. Here’s a place where flights of wine take up table tops, their wide array of flirty flights making it near impossible not to opt for one (because one equals four). Cheese specialties fatten up the acidic wine selections making this happy hour heaven, the perfect place for a date and a top joint for scouting for peeps who still have class.

Yes, Bin 36 does have food and yes it is delicious – it’s just an after thought when the wine menu is taking the spotlight. But it’s worth the spotlight as well, Chef Caputo’s wonderful selections are attributed to his rich culinary past working in Michelin rated restaurants in France and studying wine in Sonoma.

Breakfast, lunch (perfect business lunch in 40 minutes!) and dinner, Bin 36 is now somewhat of a Chi-town icon with is wine shop and wine classes. Each month they offer classes on food and wine pairings (whilst promoting tasting as the best means to learn!), themed movie, culture and game nights. They’ve also spread to Wicker Park with Bin Wine Cafe.

Third Street Promenade: How to Walk & Shop

With 30 blocks of restaurants, shopping and live entertainment, one trip to Third Street Promenade is all it takes to get you hooked. From fire throwers to live street performances, there is always something new and exciting happening on the streets of Santa Monica.

Minutes away from the Santa Monica Pier as well as the ocean, Third Street Promenade is always happening, from early in the morning to late at night. Though the Promenade is filled with original boutiques and restaurants, it definitely has its fair share of name brand stores and well known restaurants.

Though the restaurants, live entertainment and shopping could drive anyone in, Third Street Promenade seems to gain popularity during the Summer time when shoppers can walk up and down the promenade. At night, the Promenade turns into a row of bars and breweries for those looking to party by the beach.

If you plan on visiting during a particular time, make sure to check the list of events located on Downtown Santa Monica’s website. You can find dining events, music shows and art exhibits that will occur on the streets of Santa Monica.

Even though it’s Third, it definitely finishes first.
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Whiskey Blue Is the Place To Feel Like A Rock Star

whiskey blueThere’s no better place to feel like a rock star than Whiskey Blue. Of course the weekends are maddening but the weekdays aren’t too shabby either. Wednesday typically attracts the business crowd but there’s nothing boring about making dollars.

As a hotel guest, it’s easy to access the rooftop party from within the hotel but it might be worth entering it from the street just to ride up in elevator with the couch and cross the bridge to excitement.

The bar is a stylish slither so it’s only natural to meet people. Small bites like the yummy tuna spring rolls and lamb sausage pizza from Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Market downstairs are available until 10pm. Move past the bar and the space opens up slightly. Wood-paneled walls and yacht-club inspired furnishings create a warm and intimate vibe and then, the DJ is barely noticeable all the way in the back. There’s also seating parallel to the bar, hence the slithering gap.

Now if a city view and fresh air is a must, take the right just past the bar, through a glass door and behold a clear view of the city. To really soak in the al fresco vibe, though, go to the other side and stay awhile. Cabanas divided by a mini-garden of sorts, well shrubbery and other trappings of nature, work for all seasons thanks to heat lamps.

Drinks are seasonal and pretty standard for most bars in the Gerber Group stable. The Bubblicious, made with bubblegum vodka, is super fun. Mojitos come in multiple flavors, including strawberry, blueberry, mangomint and ginger. And, there’s lots of whiskey too.

It’s a nonstop party at Whiskey Blue. No wonder the beautiful people can’t leave it alone.

The W Buckhead Pops for Atlanta

Sexy, fun, and vibrant but definitely respectable enough to get some business done, the W Buckhead stands out from Atlanta’s other Ws while still retaining its local charm. Simultaneously retro and modern chic, the lobby has many floral details that recall the 1950s/1960swithout any hint of stuffiness though.

Rooms are typically cozy but there are eleven suites for larger ambitions. Of them, the Extreme Wow Suite is all that and more. Spacious beyond imagination, with an eclectically, stylish pop that would make Andy Warhol proud, there’s a half bath as well as a full bath designed for two. Dreamy beds are a W standard and so are the ever nice plasma screens and the uber-fab bliss products.

Staying in the room is so boring so get fit at Sweat (where cable goes well with treadmills), cool off at Wet (the adorable pool overlooking Peachtree) and dance it off at Whiskey Blue (their elevated, rooftop club). Hungry? Just dine at Market, a delicious part of the Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s culinary empire, or lounge at Living Room.

Actually, if clothes were not required, the Living Room might rival the rooms. It has plasma TVs plus comfortably oversized chairs and nice couches which help getting neighborly a breeze. Music by a jazz trio or DJ isn’t uncommon either. And, then, there are nibbles like the truffle pizza and lamb chops from Market plus great drinks like the truly fantastic ginger margarita.

It’s pop life for sure at the W Buckhead.w buckhead 1083904

Corkbar: Uncork & Unwind

corkbarIf you are looking to do a little wine tasting, you no longer have to trek to Temecula or plan a visit to Napa. Thanks to the creators of Corkbar, those looking to wine taste simply have to head Downtown to uncork and unwind.

Whether you decide to drink by the bottle or glass, Corkbar is filled with the finest reds and whites California has ever seen. Tasting menus are perfectly concocted for those looking to experience wine tasting at its finest. If you are looking to pair your vino with a little bit of grub, Corkbar also offers a full menu filled with dishes such as Shrimp & Grits and their signature Corkbar Burger. And after you wine and dine, indulging in dessert is an absolute must. With offerings such as a Chocolate Board filled with chocolates and dried fruits as well as “breakfast” consisting of cinnamon brioche with caramel sauce, the motto at Corkbar is truly to eat, drink and be merry.

Corkbar not only offers great wine tastings and food preparations, but they are always looking for new ways to please their customers. With Jazz Wednesdays and Test Kitchen Tuesdays featuring new bite-size appetizers for guests to enjoy, diners are definitely raising their glasses for Corkbar.

Fox Bros BBQ: A Taste of Texas in Atlanta

fox bbq bros.When Jonathan Fox couldn’t find Texas Style bbq in Atlanta, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He started cooking bbq on his own and it became the stuff of legends. When he was laid off from his corporate job, he knew exactly what he was gonna do next.  He and his brother serve food with ‘Texas roots and a Southern influence.’ If you are a meat eater come hungry. The brisket, ribs, smoked chicken and an obvious fave, pulled pork sandwich, are all well worth a trip. They’ve also won a ‘Best Wings in Atlanta’ award.  But the great news is, you’ll love Fox Bros. if you are a vegetarian!  Fried okra is served whole, not sliced in pieces and is delicious.  Bravo to their mac and cheese too, and don’t miss the fried pickle chips.  It will be tough, but save room for dessert. You won’t regret it.

Tamo Terrace: New waterfront location at Seaport Hotel

Named after Japanese ash wood, Tamo offers a beautifully designed patio with comfortable seating for a relaxed experience overlooking the pier. Located at the Seaport Hotel, the newly opened Tamo Terrace has quickly become a top place for waterfront dining. Don’t miss award winning Chef Rachel Klein’s bento box served with spicy calamari and peppers, beef skewers, spring rolls and pork dumpings. The chickpea fries made with chickpea flour and served with tamarind and yogurt were an interesting offering. The tender steak frites with parmesan fries should not be missed and be sure to end the visit with the trio of desserts – crème brulee, chocolate mousse and strawberry cheesecake.

Visit tamobar.com for more information.


Izakaya Den: Sushi, Sake and Sexy Small Plates

izakaya_denTalk about the Midas Touch. Over two decades ago, Yasu and Toshi Kizaki struck gold with one of Denver’s first sushi bars, Sushi Den; in 2007, they did it again with Izakaya Den just down the street. (And in 2009, they did it yet again with Den Deli…but that’s another story.) More spacious than its sibling, with high ceilings and a rustic, woody interior, it too serves sushi—including sashimi with fresh wasabi, a revelation if you’ve only had the paste—but specializes in Asian-Mediterranean fusion small plates like crab panzanella in plum wine vinaigrette and grilled shiitake salad with avocado and tomatillo-jalapeño sauce. A high-end selection of sake—many served in the traditional wooden box—adds to the allure. So does weekend lunch service, featuring homestyle fare like “sobaghetti” with pork and fried shrimp with chili sauce.

Mon Ami Gabi: Fun to Say & Great to Eat

ATwinetasteIf you aren’t familiar with Lettuce Entertain You, the big wigs and ingenious company behind so many staple Chicago bistros and top notch eateries, than either you’re not in the biz or not from the Windy City. It doesn’t really matter, what does, is that you sample some of their top joints, one of those being the most fun to roll off the tongue: Mon Ami Gabi.

If your high school French is failing you, N’inquiétez pas, it simply means, My friend Gabi. Just as fun as the bistro’s name, is the executive chef and owner of six of the top Lettuce Entertain You restaurants, Gabino Sotelino (hence the name). Sotelino is touted as one of Chicago’s best and a few samplings of his French delicacies will tell you why.

Classic French fare is done just right and the ambiance is cozily reminiscent of that corner bistro in Paris, yet the gluten free menu and option to buy their steaks online make it all-American too.

Morels Steakhouse: Drink Up

In a city full of bleach blonde hair and fast food, Morel’s Steakhouse brings an element of Parisian flare that Los Angeles has desperately been craving.

Located at The Grove, Morel’s is the dream steakhouse and bistro combination for those who love a good steak with a hearty onion soup. Perfectly situated next to The Grove’s famous fountain with hourly shows, Morel’s is the perfect first date, anniversary or just because restaurant to enjoy a great meal and free show.

Though the red awnings are home to delicious dishes such as dessert fondue and filet mignon, Morel’s gained a reputation for being THE place to get your drink on. From crazy mojito concoctions to never ending wine lists, Morel’s is the perfect dinner and a drink location.

And in true Paris form, Morel’s offers diners patio seating to enjoy live jazz music and the ambiance of those passing by.

Thanks to its perfect location, wine list and food, Morel’s definitely brings a bit of Paris to a whole other city.
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Nick & Stef’s: A Steakhouse with a Twist

Though any Los Angeles Foodie will tell you that they adore any restaurant that is apart of the Patina Group, Nick & Stef’s may hold a special place for steak lovers and happy hour goers in L.A. Located Downtown, this steakhouse is the epitome of elegant dining with a splash of trendy followers and those who simply love a good drink deal.

The menu is stocked with amazing items but everyone is always raving about the dry-aged steaks that vary in cut and size. Though anything on the menu is order worthy, Nick & Stef’s offers diners programs and specials that other restaurants seem to forget. Weekdays at Nick & Stef’s means happy hours filled with $5 mixed drinks and mini bar bites. Along with their proclaimed happy hour, Nick & Stef’s offers lunch steals such as their $12 burger and other lunch favorites.

In a restaurant filled with dark wood tables and chairs with bright white ceilings, you might not expect such exciting things to happen at a steakhouse. With changing happy hours, lunch specials and other daily events, you might want to be on a first name basis with your good ole pals, Nick & Stef.
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Piers Park Center: Set Sail on Boston Harbor

Piers Park

Piers Park Sailing, a non-profit sailing center, serves more than 700 at-risk inner-city kids every year. The adult sailing club – with its fleet of twenty 23 foot Sonars, learn to sail courses, summer racing series and coastal sailing program – supports the youth outreach work of the sailing center for people of all ages with physical and cognitive disabilities. Piers Park is led by champion and Olympic sailors, who offer individual and corporate club memberships as well as private and group instruction for those interested in sailing for the first time as well as seasoned experts looking to hone their racing or cruising skills. Visit piersparksailing.org for more information.

Foley + Corinna: City Chic Bags with Design in Mind

shanae_grimes Foley Corinna bagEvery city girl needs a Foley + Corinna City Tote. It’s the it-bag year after year thanks to fresh colors, sizes, and materials that make it new every season. It’s convertible yet uncomplicated and oh-so-refined looking. And that’s just one of more than a dozen hip bags from Foley + Corinna. The slouchy shape of the Moto Hobo is cool and casual and it has just enough hardware to make it nighttime chic too. The pint-sized Deco packs a lot of glamour into a sophisticated little pouch – it’s made of silver metal mesh and soft black leather. And then there’s the Cargo that doubles as a shoulder bag and messenger bag for perhaps the stylish cyclist. The bottom line is, Foley + Corinna handbags are beautifully constructed, stylishly designed, and well thought out with city living in mind. Oh, and they do clothing too that’s just as head-turning.

Real Food Daily: RFD for Real Friggin’ Delicious?

Whatever you think RFD really stands for, this restaurant devoted to Vegan cuisine is one of L.A’s only restaurants that keep vegan and non-vegans coming back for more.

Thanks to Ann Gentry and her devotion to organic produce and homegrown essentials, Real Food Daily has become a popular lunch and dinner hangout for those looking for healthy meals and dishes to satisfy any appetite. With vegan signatures such as Fettuccini Alfredo and “the TV Dinner”, comprised of vegetable meatloaf with mashed potatoes and veggies, dinner goers and lunch loungers all agree that they look forward to any dish that RFD is serving.

If you think going vegan means skipping dessert, you won’t believe your eyes when you take a look at the dessert menu. Filled with heavenly treats such as Dream Chocolate Pudding and Coconut White Cake, you really can have your cake and eat it too.

Though the food at RFD is consistent and exceptional, they are always trying new ways to spruce up the menu and keep newcomers and regulars on their toes. Summer months at RFD mean changing dessert menus that alternate weekly and picnic baskets packed with fresh produce and summer dishes made ready to order.

With locations in Santa Monica and West Hollywood open seven days a week, every Angelino can indulge in some real food, daily.
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Kathy Sidell Trustman Loves Boston Harbor

Kathy Sidell Trustman Kathy Sidell Trustman, owner of the Metropolitan Club in Chestnut Hill, the MET Bar and Grille in Dedham and Natick and the soon to be opened new MET concept on Newbury Street, recently shared with us her favorite city haunts.

She can often be seen at Neptune Oyster because they feature “excellent, spanking fresh briny oysters and quintessential New England seafood.” Some of her favorite dishes include the lobster roll with butter, “perfectly fried clams with house made tartar and the best oyster cracker ever. Simply heaven.”

When it comes to nightlife, Kathy enjoys lounging at Trina's Starlight Lounge where they have “passionate bartenders making pristine cocktails. I like the lounge vibe without the nightclub noise.”

As a restaurateur, Kathy knows the keys to her success lie in fresh ingredients. Where are her favorite places to shop around town? “Formaggio for cheese, High Rise for bread, Sofra for hummus bar and Flour for ginger cookies,” she said. “Simply the best food shops in the city for an amazing picnic!!”

Some of her most favorite days are spent on Boston Harbor on a boat. “Looking back at the city during magic hour,” she said. “The vantage point of the city as you move further away and the skyline starts to take shape and capture the majesty of the city and its icons like Rowes Wharf and the Clock Tower. Being on the water leaving the bustling city behind puts one's own life in perspective again. A welcomed pause. A deep breath. The sanctity and quiet of the relationship between ocean and land. These moments, this view reminds me of my dad.”

Sons of Hermann Hall: An Old Texas Tradition Lives On

Light years from the pretentious vibe of Dallas, Sons of Hermann Hall is a historical, casual, and authentic must-see for lovers of a cold beer and great live acts. The volunteer staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the bar is stocked with a pleasing selection of bargain-priced cocktails, beer and wine.

One of the rare, genuine dance hallsPicture 34 left in the city, Sons of Hermann Hall was built in 1911 and is known for supporting local acts. You can promenade across the dance floor, play pool and shuffle board, or listen to your favorite old tunes on the jukebox. The small upstairs stage has housed acts from the Dixie Chicks to newcomers like Sarah Jaffe. Open mic nights give aspiring musicians a chance to get their feet wet, and the younger crowd has really taken a shine to the swing dance lessons that are offered on Wednesday nights from 8pm until midnight.

Another major draw is that Sons of Hermann Hall is family friendly, with no smoking allowed within 15 feet of the premises. So, strap on your dancing shoes, bring a few bucks for a beer, and even bring the kiddies….this is one dance hall that welcomes everyone to enjoy true Texas music.

Puck Packs Modern Asian Punch at The Source

Add a little Asian influence to your evening with a trip to celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck’s exclusive Asian eatery, The Source, situated right along politically-infused Pennsylvania Avenue.  As the Newseum’s signature restaurant, The Source combines the museum’s sleek, modern design with flawless fusion cuisine to create a dining experience worthy of a top spot on The Washingtonian’s “Top 100 Restaurants” list.

With three contemporary levels donning floor to ceiling windows, source3diners overlook America’s most famous address while ogling a selection of over 300 wine labels and two distinct mouth-watering menus.  Opt for a relaxed meal out and grab a seat at The Source’s ground level lounge, complete with a Izakaya-inspired menu full of sushi, sashimi, noodle and traditional Japanese “Robata” grilled options.  Try the Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops with seaweed butter and braised bamboo or the signature Kobe Sliders with cheddar and smoked onion marmalade.

For a true Wolfgang Puck dining experience, head to the upstairs dining room – connected to the lounge by an impressive (think 2,000 bottles) two-story, temperature-controlled glass wine wall.  Try the Pork Belly Dumplings with Chinese black vinegar dipping sauce or the Szechuan Filet “Au Poivre” with wild mushrooms and finished with a caramelized shallot sauce.  One trip to The Source, and you’ll be vying for a little more Asian minimalism.

3. 10 Premieres at Lincoln Center Festival July 7-25

Picture 11The goal of the Lincoln Center Festival is to bring to audiences something they could not see anywhere else in the world. In a city as culturally crazy as New York, this is a lofty task, but this festival always delivers- and this year is no exception. In 18 days there will be 10 premieres and debuts, and 45 performances from 12 countries in over seven venues across New York City.

The Lincoln Center Festival kicks off with the U.S. premiere of Musashi, a lavish production based on a legendary samurai story. Another highlight includes the works of Edgard Varese by Maestro Alan Gilbert and The New York Philharmonic. This festival is heralded by nearly every New York critic as one of summer’s highlights.

Stir it Up

A bar is definitely cool when the only way you can find it is because of the popping music and large crowd gathered outside. Stir, Picture 48located in a tiny alley off of Rittenhouse Square, may be small and unassuming from the outside, but inside it’s a swank and super hip lounge made for partying.

With arguably the cheapest, strongest drinks you can get in Philly, Stir offers your favorite classic cocktails along with ever changing specialty cocktails for the more adventurous palettes (How does “Sticky Fingers” or “The Angry Beaver” sound to you??). And make sure to come from 5-7 daily to get $2 off that interesting drink of yours. Keep in mind that just because this is a gay bar, it doesn’t mean that everyone isn’t welcome; Stir packs in an awesome crowd every night of all the people Philadelphia has to offer.

The Wonderous Wiltern Theatre

Ever since it opened in the 1930’s, the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles has been a popular entertainment venue for music lovers and band followers to gain an up close and personal performance from their favorite singers and celebs.Wiltern Pic

The beautiful theatre is best known for small acoustic performances where fans can buy tickets through LiveNation for prices cheaper than those at larger venues. Even though the theatre is on the smaller side, the Wiltern is never short on amazing performers, from Lily Allen to Taking Back Sunday. As the big name bands prepare to take the stage, prepare for at least a few cool opening bands to perform.

As venues such as Staples Center get overrun by people, parking and cheap popcorn, those are choosing to head to the Wiltern where it feels like home and is just as noisy as if the band was playing in your own living room.

Insider’s Tip: Though the ticket prices and small venue are definite perks of visiting the Wiltern, the theatre is infamously known for outrageous drink prices such as $16.00 beers and expensive parking in their accompanying structure. Those selling tickets at the box office will advise you to park on the street to avoid long exiting lines and expensive fees.

Five-Star Dining at Mandarin’s Azul Restaurant

Preparing a delectable menu that fuses Asian, Mediterranean and even some New Picture 65England influences, Chef Clay Conley makes dining at Azul in the five-star Mandarin Oriental an unforgettable experience. The bayviews alone from the restaurant could be considered inspiration enough, but the dishes are certainly prepared with a loving touch and passion for food that Conley’s been honing for years now.

Perfecting his culinary skills at famed chef Todd English’s restaurant, the food here is innovative, creative and of the highest quality, with many ingredients flown in fresh daily from around the globe. The variety is immense with offerings, like Nantucket Bay Scallops, Moroccan-inspired Lamb, Peruvian Style Ceviche and a catchy appetizer simply called A Study in Tuna that’s Asian-inspired.

In keeping with the classiness of the place, Azul is one of the few Miami restaurants offering diners a finishing cheese course in a variety of sizes.

Drive and Stay (In Style) at The Madison Hotel

For your next trip to the nation’s capital, plan a simple yet elegant stay at The Madison Hotel known for its exceptional service and welcoming accommodations.  With over 350 cozy rooms, as well as 15 luxury suites, madisonhotelThe Madison is a great option for those looking to enjoy DC in comfort.

Take a load off and relax in the hotel’s 24 hour sauna and steam room after a stress releasing workout in the hotel’s fitness facility.  Finish off with a trip to the spa for a massage treatment to relax even the most stressed traveler.

Dine in or out at the Madison, with 24 hour in-room dining services and the modern, reputable Palette Restaurant & Bar, the hotel accommodates all tastes whether you’re up for a cozy night in or an elegant evening out.

Insider Tip: Take advantage of The Madison’s Drive and Stay Package – a year-round special that provides complimentary hotel parking (a $35+ value) to those road-trippers looking to sleep in style.

Boutique Betsy Hotel’s a Classic and Eco-Friendly Charmer

Sitting on the breezy porch of the Betsy Hotel on Miami Beach’s most famous stretch of road- Ocean Drive-this hotel is a standout structure with a colonial non-Art Deco look and an environmentally conscious green program throughout the property, something they’re proud to flaunt.

It was added to the National Register of Historic Picture 19Places in 1970 and this beauty deserves the recognition. While its traditional look is intact, it still has its South Beach touches. An inviting secluded courtyard pool beckons with an enclosed pool deck and plenty of amenities or there’s the rooftop retreat deck for unbeatable ocean views. Plantation style shutters, black walnut hardwood floors, walk-in showers, comfy custom built poster beds, and sunny colors make the suites and classic rooms an inviting place to relax and take in the views; staring at the swaying palm trees across the street and seeing endless ocean views is why they call this place paradise.

And when it’s time to eat, BLT Steak is where it’s at, with delectable items prepared by award-winning Chef Laurent Tourondel, whose skills have been praised by both Bon Appetit and Food and Wine Magazines.

Ocean Prime Sumptious Sophistication

To say that Dallas has enjoyed having Ocean Prime in its line-up of seafood offerings is an understatement. Since bursting on the scene, this sophisticated fine Picture 76dining establishment has created impeccable service, gigantic and delicious shrimp and decadent desserts – Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, anyone?

Besides offering an array of tasty morsels for lunch and dinner, the specialty menus are a standout. Blueberry French Toast is an interesting twist on an old favorite, and the Lobster and Eggs is a to-die-for combo. If you’re feeling particularly hungry, order the Chilean Sea Bass with Glazed Carrots and Champagne Truffle Sauce, which tastes especially lovely with Candied Yams with Marshmallow Brulee. With such an outstanding menu and frequent live entertainment, the only thing standing between you and total satisfaction is the valet parking your vehicle outside Ocean Prime’s front doors.

Fresh Entertainment at Historical DAR Constitution Hall

Only in town for a bit?  Get a double dose of Picture 32history and quality entertainment at DAR Constitution Hall – DC’s largest concert hall.  Host to a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, operas, high-profile lecturers and comedians, Constitution Hall is no stuffy federal building.  As a Registered National Historical Landmark and owned by the elite Daughter’s of the American Revolution organization, this gorgeous venue has hosted every US President since Calvin Coolidge with performers from across the map – from Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and Duke Ellington to Billy Joel, U2, Aerosmith and Jimmy Buffet.  Needless to say, for such a prestigious structure, the entertainment factor is definitely not lacking.

Insider’s Tip: Purchase all DAR tickets through ticketmaster.com, as the DAR does not handle ticket sales.

Hancock – No, Not Will Smith

Usually people think about the Sears Tower when talking about the Chicago skyline (and that’s now passe since it has changed its name to the Willis Tower), but the John Hancock Tower & Observatory is probably the second most recognizable within the incredibly tall array of Windy City skyscrapers.

Like a black dagger, the John Hancock is recognizable as the tallest building from the east end of Michigan Avenue, signifying the beginning of the Gold Coast neighborhood. If waiting in a long line to get to the Skydeck doesn’t seem worth it to you, the Hancock is definitely the way to go. Plus, all the fun lies in having a cocktail or dinner at The Signature Room at the 95th. You may recognize the restaurant as its been the star in plenty of movies. Rene Zelweger once awaited her proposal here in The Bachelor with Chris O’Donnell. This building is also the last place to host Chris Farley, who died within in his apartment on a lower level.

Celebs aside, take in the view, it’s worth the wait. The line, the elevator and the service atop move quickly in order to get the most people in to see the sights. At the first level, shop away like any other ol’ block on Michigan Ave.

Billy Dec – Let this nightlife Guru enlighten your night

Let Billy Dec, the nightlife Guru himself, tell you what you need to know about Chicago. Billy Dec is the CEO and Founder of Rockit Ranch Productions, Chicago’s premier restaurant and entertainment development company. The company owns the new hotspot Sunda, The Underground club, and the award-winning Rockit Bar & Grill.

A New Twist on Tryst: Dive on Fifteenth

Picture 35The name’s a bit cheeky—real dives rarely refer to themselves as such. And sure enough, Dive on Fifteenth doesn’t look all that different from its previous incarnation as Tryst Lounge. But its slogan, “LoDo in a Blender,” says it all: from rotating DJs and a Wii system to a shot wheel and the famous strawberry vodka (a Tryst holdover), it’s clear Dive’s ultimate goal is to be all things to all downtown bar-hoppers: a dance club, a rec room—and, of course, a watering hole.

Insider’s Tip: Speaking of shots, come Monday and you’ll score a free one on the house; “Cheap Ass Sundays,” meanwhile, are true to their billing with $5 martini and $1 PBRs all night long.

1. Magnolia Films at the Modern July 2-25

Most people take it for granted that movies are art, but thankfully the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth doesn’t. Magnolia at the Modern is an ongoing series featuring critically acclaimed films from one of the most prominent independent film studios, Magnolia. Picture 1

In July, enjoy screenings of Micmacs, a David-and-Goliath tale where a man tries to destroy weapons manufacturers; Women Without Men, which is an adaptation of a novel chronicling the lives of four Iranian women during the summer of 1953; the newly released Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky that shows that passionate affair of two of the twentieth century’s icons; and City of your Final Destination, starring Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney, of a young Iranian-American academic who seeks permission to write a biography of a Uruguayan novelist. The screenings are at various time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

1. Avatar Among Screenings Under the Stars July 1-31

Picture 8In most cities, the outdoor summer movie series generally consist of a Blockbuster or two hidden among classics or obscure films. This is not the case at the Screenings Under the Stars at Penn’s Landing. The month of July starts off with a bang with the #1 movie of all time, Avatar, and continues with The Blind Side, The Secret Life of Bees and last year’s summer blockbuster Star Trek. In a beautiful setting right on the Delaware River, the experience is surreal as the large screen projects incredible movies, and the darkness of the theater is emulated by the darkness of the night sky. The screenings start every Thursday night at 8:30pm; make sure to check the website’s calendar for the schedule.

1. Calder to Warhol at SFMOMA’s 75th Anniversary July 1-31

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is celebrating its 75th sfmoma 75 anniversaryanniversary with an enormous exhibit of over 1,000 iconic works by artists like Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Chuck Close, and easily the most recognizable, pop-artist Andy Warhol. There will also be plenty of sculptures on the beautiful rooftop garden, which has been described as a gallery with no ceiling.  The SFMOMA’s massive permanent collection is still impressive, and for those who are a little baffled as to why a line of Campbell’s soup cans counts as art, there’s the “Making Sense of Modern Art” mobile tour, which can help viewers read between the lines of those Marilyn Monroe prints.

1. Jazz Journeys at Georgia Aquarium July 2-31

The Picture 17Georgia Aquarium combines the sounds of jazz and awesome sea creatures for the coolest event this summer. Every Friday night, kick back after your long week as some of Atlanta’s best jazz musicians play smooth tunes all night long. You can take in the sights or enjoy up-front VIP seating with Wolfgang Puck’s specially prepared meals. The event is free with aquarium admission, and with drink specials during the entire event, your wallet won’t take a hit.

1. King Tut Debuts at Denver Art Museum July 1-31

Picture 19After making stops in London, New York, and LA, the riches found in King Tut’s tomb are finally coming to the Denver Art Museum. Featuring over 100 artifacts, like the gold sandals his mummy wore and the jars that held his internal organs, the exhibit has received rave reviews from audiences everywhere. Don’t forget to take the audio tour narrated by Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford, and catch the 3D film revealing the secrets of the mummies for the full archaeological experience. This is the first time King Tut has made an appearance in Denver, so there’s no doubt that getting tickets in advance might be a good idea.

1. Independence Day in the Capital July 4

Picture 37The capital city is the place to be on the 4th of July. Celebrations run all day throughout the city, beginning with activities at the White House Visitor Center early in the morning. Following that, don’t miss the parade of the military and marching bands down Constitution Ave or the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival that features dance performances as well as a large selection of international foods. You won’t want to miss the live concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and several pop artists on the West Lawn of the Capitol building. The performance is followed by a spectacular fireworks show against the city’s skyline that will certainly warm your hearts and inspire patriotic feelings. A busy day of celebrations to commemorate the birth of our nation!

1. Celebrate the Late Dennis Hopper at MoCA July 11-31

Picture 28Perhaps the best way to mourn the recent loss of acclaimed actor Dennis Hopper is to celebrate and acquaint ourselves with his encompassing oeuvre of work as an artist. Double Standard is the first museum show to highlight his achievements in art; his inter-disciplinary work will certainly have something for everybody. Ranging from sculpture to photography, his pieces are highly influenced by pop art, even featuring some early photos of his friend Andy Warhol.

As if there weren’t enough star power involved, renowned filmmaker/artist Julian Schnabel curates the show and it has already drawn much controversy. Whether you like it or not, this is sure to be the talk of the town.

1. Summer Nights at the ICA July 8-29

Picture 4This summer, instead of going out to a club, Bostonians in the know head over to the coolest museum in Boston: the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). Heralded by the New York Times as one of the summer hotspots in Boston, every Thursday (and sometimes Wednesday) night there will be live music and performances.

In the ICA’s beautiful waterfront location- with floor to ceiling glass windows adding to the gorgeous ambiance- hear catchy Latin pop and folk music from Tais Alvarenga, old-school urban blues from the Pinchback Blues, and ancient Greece’s Sappho’s poetry meets interpretative dance at the Co Lab: Anne Carson and Rashaun Mitchell. Most performances are free, so Summer Nights at the ICA is a great way to cap off a beautiful summer night.

1. King Tut Debuts in Times Square July 1-31

It hasking tut been 30 years since the famous boy king has made his presence felt in New York City, and King Tut NYC is quite a debut. Located in the Discovery Times Square Exposition- NYC’s first large-scale exhibition center, King Tut NYC will feature 10 galleries and more than 130 artifacts from the world of pharaohs.

Highlights include King Tutanhkhamun’s iconic golden canopic coffinette and crown as well as an entire gallery that will for the first time showcase the latest DNA studies and forensic findings, like exactly how he died.

1. Culinary Fireworks at Taste of Chicago July 1-4

taste of chicagoIt’s hands down the biggest event of the summer in Chicago. The Taste of Chicago takes over Grant Park year after year featuring samples from hundreds of restaurants in what many deem as a culinary capital in America. Specials guests like culinary rock stars Giada De Laurentiis and Mario Batali will be there as well as an entire rock pavilion, the Patrillo Music Shell, who will have the likes of Rob Thomas, Gavin Rossdale, Broadway in Chicago and the Steve Miller Band on its stage. This festival goes through the July 4th long weekend, where it ends with a bang- literally. A magnificent fireworks display from Navy Pier, North and South sides converge on Grant Park making this event the kick-off to a fantastic Chicago summer.

1. Indulge During Miami Spa Month July 1-31

Picture 25Everybody knows that Miami is the place to go for the best spa treatments, and in celebration, several spas are offering special deals for the entire month of July. After a long day of fun in the sun or a long night partying, enjoy some of the exclusive manicures, pedicures and massages at discount prices. Even spas like the ones in the Standard Hotel and the Doral Resort, which have been ranked as one of the “Best Spas in America” by Travel + Leisure magazine, are taking part in the offers. So lay back, close your eyes, and indulge your body.

2. Screen on the Green on the National Mall July 12-26

Picture 36Real life is rarely like life on the big screen, but the return of Washington DC’s outdoor film series may be one of those times. Saved by the donations of local residents, this year’s program is especially sweet. It all starts on July 12th with the charm of 007 in Goldfinger followed by Oscar winner The Goodbye Girl, and concludes at the end of the month with an examination of justice in 12 Angry Men. The films screen every Monday night in July and begin around dusk. So grab a blanket and some snacks, and take part in your own Hollywood ending with a loved one.

2. Free Concerts Galore in Central Park July 1-31

Anyone who lives in NYC knows that Central Park is the place to go for amazing free concerts in the summer.  From SummerStage to GMA’s Summer Concert Series, there’s a plethora of options both day and night in Central Park.central park summer concerts

In July, the SummerStage will feature the highly anticipated performances The Metropolitan Opera: Summer Recital Series as well as the critically acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Company. The SummerStage also plays host to Comedy Central’s The Daily Show in July as world music like Istanbulive II.

GMA’s star-studded stage lives up to its reputation this month with performances from Mary J. Blige, The GO-GO’s, Sheryl Crow and the Black Eyed Peas. All these concerts are free and open to the public, but there is always a long, long wait, so plan to get there early… very early.

2. Downtown Sound is Back! July 5-26

Picture 6This popular free series, Downtown Sound: New Music Mondays, is back for its second summer. Situated in the must-see Millennium Park, every Monday at 6:30pm discover new, up and coming bands from cutting-edge indie rock stars to pop veterans. The concerts are all free, and in July the mainstage will be host to The Thermals with Disappears, Caribou with The Budos Band, Kid Sister with Konono No. 1, and Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens with Bomba Estereo. The ten-concert series ends in July, so make sure to check it out before it’s too late!

2. Cinespia Cemetery Screenings July 3-31

Picture 30In the land of Hollywood, anything is possible, like viewing the films of past directors and actors… with them. Every Saturday night and some Sundays through July, flicks will be shown at the Forever Hollywood Cemetery, where the likes of director Cecil B. Demille, actress Marion Davies, and producer, actor, director Douglas Fairbanks Sr. are buried. Live DJs spinning before and after the screenings makes this all-night affair even more irresistible. The one-of-a-kind setting has made it a popular tradition amongst Angelenos, and the space does fill up. So get there early with food and drinks before settling back with the stars.

2. Mercedes-Benz Swimwear Fashion Week July 15-19

Picture 26As if Miami wasn’t hot enough, the sexiest models and swimwear will be in town for the skin-revealing sister of the Berlin and New York fashion weeks. Featuring over 20 of the best swimwear designers from Parke and Ronen to Trina Turk, you can bet that fashion royalty will be there in the front rows, and journalists right outside.

While you must be invited to see the shows inside the hotel Raleigh, you will most likely catch glimpses of the gorgeous supermodels right outside on the beach. At night, you can celebrate with them at parties all over town, where you won’t need a pass.

2. Blockbusters for Free at Flicks on 5th July 7-21

Picture 18Summer is known for major Hollywood blockbusters, and in Atlanta you can see the past year’s biggest movies outside for free at Flicks on 5th Street. In July, you’ll be able to see the Best Picture Oscar Winner The Hurt Locker, the family friendly Fantastic Mr. Fox, and the hilarious Hot Tub Time Machine. The movies are every Wednesday and start around nightfall, which is approximately 9pm. So bring your family or loved ones, grab some free popcorn at the event, and head over for a free summer movie.

2. Renoir Pays a Visit to the Philly Museum of Art July 1-31

renoir exhibitThe Musée d’Orsay is collaborating with the Philadelphia Museum of Art to bring the work of painting superstar Pierre Renoir to Philly for a limited time.  While he’s best known for his works, Le Moulin de la Galette and Luncheon of the Boating Party, the consensus of the art world is that his most innovative time was near the end of his life. Pretty impressive, considering he was one of the originators of the impressionist movement.  This exhibit features these later works and the way Renoir used color in a way that influenced artists for generations to come, and the exhibit will feature several artists, such as Picasso, who were notably influenced by Renoir’s later years.

2. Denver Hosts World at Biennial of the Americas July 1-31

Denver is playing host to the world all this month Picture 20for the Biennial of the Americas. Artists and leaders from North, Central, and South America will be here to show off their ideas and works, as they take part in this celebration of the diversity of the region. From a rock and roll musical, a workshop on playing Caribbean drums,  a breakdance competition in Skyline Park, to The Cell (pictured), the first state-of-the-art exhibit on global terrorism, nearly every major museum, cultural center and public area will have something dedicated specifically to this event. The best part is that many of these programs are free! Check the website for information on all the various events and their locations.

2. Summer Series at the Ritzy Boston Harbor Hotel July 1-31

No one puts on seasonal festivals like theboston harbor summer series landmark Boston Harbor Hotel. Nearly every single night in the summer offers a different performance and theme for travelers and Bostonians alike to enjoy. On Tuesday nights enjoy the Summer Soul, where various R&B bands and artists sing classics from Marvin Gay to Gladys Knight live under the stars. On Wednesday it’s Timeless Tunes, featuring classic music entertainment from the 60’s all the way to the 90’s. On Thursday it’s Blue Barge, where you guessed it, local and national blues artists sing their souls out on stage. And on Friday, it’s Movies by Moonlight, where guests can enjoy movies from classics like The Maltese Falcon, All About Eve, to Raiders of the Lost Ark, while enjoying the award-winning cuisine from BHH’s Chef Daniel Bruce.

3. Cocktails in the Garden July 1-31

cocktails in the gardenEvery Thursday night enjoy a refreshing mojito while surrounded by even more delicious leaves at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Even with the added liquid enjoyment, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is breathtaking in the evening. Enjoy a beautiful nighttime skyline on the Canopy Walk, sample delicious dishes and live chef demos at the Edible Garden Outdoor Kitchen, or relax with the sound of the falling water at the Cascades Garden. Oh, and not to mention, every month there’s a new theme at the Garden and live DJs spin tunes to create the mood of that theme.  This is the perfect way to get in the Atlanta sightseeing, while having a night out on the town.

3. Shakespeare by the Sea July 2-31

Picture 31Two of the best aspects of LA- the warm weather and theater scene- combine in Shakespeare by the Sea’s summer program. Throughout the whole summer, the comedy Twelfth Night and the tragedy Julius Caesar will be put on in number of parks close to the ocean for free. In July, coming from audiences and critics’ rave reviews in New York, Chicago, and Austin, Impro Theater will be putting on Shakespeare Unscripted. Using your suggestions and Shakespearean characters, every performance is unique and makes for a fun and creative night out. Located a few blocks from the beach, it’s the perfect end to day out in the sun and surf.

3. Join Artists at Here/Not There at MCA July 6-31

Picture 7Here/Not There is not your average art exhibit. For the past three years during the month of July, the Museum of Contemporary Art has been host to a unique art exhibit where the viewers and guests are encouraged to break that “don’t touch” rule and get involved in the making of a piece of art. Every Tuesday at 7pm, a different artist presents a piece and guests and viewers participate in performing and creating works of art.

If you can’t make it to the Tuesday creation, remnants and documentation generated by the performance are on exhibit in the gallery throughout the rest of the week. One part performance, one part visual art, this popular series creates a whole new experience in enjoying art at a renowned museum.

3. Celebrate Independence Day in Miami July 2-4

Picture 27If you’ve never celebrated the 4th of July on the beach, then Miami is the place to do it. It’s an all weekend celebration all over town, with parades, live music, fireworks, and of course, the best after-parties in the country.

During the day, Key Biscayne will be holding their annual parade, while the Homestead Sports Complex will be hosting a car show, rides, and live music all day. Once it gets dark, don’t miss the amazing fireworks show from Bayfront Park that can be seen from all over downtown.

After that, the parties continue with internationally renowned DJs, who will be playing all over town, like Erick Morillo at Liv Nightclub.

3. Summer Art Studio at ICA July 1-31

Picture 9Sure, most children get the summer off and go to various art and crafts camps, so the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia made its own adult version. Summer Studio with Anthony Campuzano transforms the museum’s second floor gallery into a freeform art school and studio, which is also free and open to the public! Not only will this studio provide nouveau students with instruction in many art disciplines, there will be various professors, mentors and peers as special guests to the classes.  Make sure to check the website for all times and class details, including what classes have special guests.

3. Theatre Reigns at Capital Fringe Festival July 8-25

Picture 35The international festival for independent and experimental theatre artists is arriving in Washington DC for its fifth year. Enjoy some of the best theatre – outside the mainstream – from around the world for cheap prices. Featuring a variety of venues like abandoned warehouses and stores, you won’t want to miss out on these controversial, unconventional and interactive performances. You can even meet the artists in workshops that range from basic theatre to an intro to beatboxing. Whatever your interest is, you are bound to find something you like, with over 140 performances in two weeks. Local restaurants and bars are also taking part in this celebration with discounts on meals and drinks before and after shows. Check the website for participating locations.

Bistro One LR does American to Perfection

Swanky Bistro One LR at the Ritz Carlton on South Beach is doing contemporary American fare right and the food’s as beautiful as the oceanfront setting. Chef Bernardo Espinel brings his flair and passion to the creative dishes on the menu making for a delectable dining experiencePicture 57.

Chef Espinel’s been perfecting his culinary skills, working at several restaurants around Miami and New York, whose reputation and success earned him the present chef de cuisine status. It’s obvious he’s someone who loves to keep evolving in the kitchen as the menu is chock full of unique dishes, like Lamb Chop and Merguez Meatballs with Pear, Cardamom and Pearl Onions; Pan Seared King Crab with Green Papaya, Chilies and Lime; and Wild Scottish Salmon with Tomato Chutney, Basmati Rice and Brown Mustard. They even go the extra mile at Bistro One, suggesting wine pairings with each dish.

Insider’s Tip: On Sundays, make sure to wash away that wild Miami weekend of partying with Bistro One’s brunch, that includes a flowing champagne and Bloody Mary Bar.

3. Berklee Summer Concert Series Takes Over Boston July 1-31

Picture 5Berklee is one of the most prestigious music schools in the country, with famous alumni like John Mayer. This summer, at basically every major juncture in Boston there is a Berklee musician scheduled to perform. From downtown’s Prudential Center to Cambridge’s Kendall Square to the ICA and even Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor, you can hear up-and-coming artists and bands performing everything from Latin to blues to jazz to acoustic guitar. Most performances are free, so make sure to look at the website for times and locations.

3. Mile High Movies in Skyline Park July 1-31

Picture 21Summer is the season of warm weather and great movies, and Denver’s terrific outdoor screenings combine them both. After a long day walking around downtown, settle back under the stars with hits like the classic Field of Dreams or the hilarious Kung-Fu Panda. The films are shown on a large screen in Skyline Park every Saturday at dusk in July and continue through August. The Denver Theater District provides live entertainment before and after every screening, so you can even make a whole night of it. So grab a blanket and a loved one, some great treats from the local businesses around the park, and soak in the great views and films.

3. Young Frankenstein Comes to Life July 1-25

Picture 34After a successful run in New York, the Young Frankenstein musical re-imagining of Mel Brooks’ classic spoof film has been on a non-stop US tour and is being reanimated in San Francisco. The beloved characters Igor, Dr. Frankenstein, Inga, and of course, the monster are all here, alive and singing. The catchy songs, amazing sets, and the entertaining dancing will make for a fun and unforgettable night. To top it all off, it is at the beautiful, art deco Golden Gate Theatre, whose prime location offers several pre-theatre dinner choices.

3. Modern Dance Festival at the Modern July 10-25

Picture 2For the seventh year in a row, Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth teams up with the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for the Modern Dance Festival at the Modern. With dance performances to lectures to site-specific events and even screenings of films from the Dance On Camera Festival, dance is taken to the next level with so many artistic venues for expression. The festival kicks off with the CD/FW Dance Exchange: A Choreographer’s Showcase, featuring special guest Dan Halquiet who will perform choreography from Bill Evans (who has his own workshop and lecture a few days later). It’s 15 days of free events, making this festival repeatedly one of the most popular.