Tag Archives: downtown

Swim with Sharks at the Georgia Aquarium

Only one place can boast as the world’s largest aquarium and have a months-long waiting list for one of its exhibits- and that’s the Georgia Aquarium. Safe to say it’s one of Atlanta’s most popular destinations, pulling in millions of sightseers from around the world, and drawing even the likes of celebrities to its 550,000 square feet facility. It boasts a whopping eight million gallons of aquatic life, including over 100,000 exotic mammals from 500 different species.

Local visitors and tourists alike are overcome with wonder and excitement when exploring the scenic paths of more than 60 exhibits – with the main attraction being the Ocean Voyager. The Ocean Voyager exhibit houses thousands of fish including whale sharks, zebra sharks, sawfish, bowmouth guitarfish and humphead wrasses. Offering a swim and dive program, novice guests can take a dip with these gentle giants as their voyage with the largest fish in the world comes complete with mask, fins, booties and wet suit to round out your scuba gear. Skilled water enthusiasts can take an even bigger plunge as certified divers can journey underwater.  If being hands-on isn’t your thing, watch all the action through a picturesque window.

Such an adventure is bound to work up an appetite for Café Aquaria – the resident eatery – which serves up traditional classics like burgers and fries, pizza and ice cream, or onsite catering from Wolfgang Puck, where you can gaze into an eye-popping backdrop of fish.  It also hosts special events from weddings to Mother’s Day brunches. What other restaurant allows you to swim or just eat Wolfgang Puck in the company of sharks?

Decisions, decisions…not at L’Entrecote de Paris

Sometimes all you want is a little simplicity in life and that includes not taking an eternity to decide what you’re ordering at your favorite eatery.

L'Entrecôte de ParisThat’s easily done at L’Entrecote de Paris, opening in the Brickell area Sept. 5, where they’ve perfected one dish, France’s legendary and signature Steak Frites. In fact, it’s the only entree on the menu but that’s alright because it’s done to perfection. A specialty select cut of meat is delectably prepared rare, medium rare or well done and the 7-ounce portion for lunch and 9-ounce dinner portion is elegantly fanned out on the plate and topped with the chef’s 21-ingredient secret sauce. The expertly prepared crunchy shoestring fries are the ideal topping.

_MG_4926All guests start off their meal with fresh mixed green salad featuring frisee and romaine with cherry tomatoes, walnuts drizzled ever-so gently with mustard dressing. And to finish things off choose from a light as air circular tri-color mousse of mint, white chocolate and chocolate drizzled with chocolate sauce. The traditional creme brulee, profiteroles and a selection of five macarons are among other dessert choices.

Aperitifs like house made quiches, cheese platter and pates are perfect starters and Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and a Left Bank Bordeaux are highlights of an extensive, carefully-chosen wine list.

Try this fantastic French Bistro for lunch, dinner or for an after-work cocktail at the polished wood and brass-accented bar.

L’Entrecote de Paris is at Brickell Plaza, 1053 SE 1 Ave., 305-759-9995 or click here to visit their website.

Head Out To The Dead Rabbit For An Old New York Evening

Dead Rabbits

The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog embodies the conviviality of Old New York and the Irish-American tradition.

Our ground-floor Taproom offers an informal setting for the enjoyment of craft beer, bottled punch, and whiskeys of the world, with lunch served daily.

Upstairs, our sumptuous Parlor focuses on small plates, communal punch, and 72 historically-accurate cocktails dreamed up by the nineteenth century’s most celebrated bartenders.

The Dead Rabbit is dedicated to advancing the art and practice of hospitality, as it was understood then and as it is understood now, for all residents of and visitors to this great metropolis. Visit deadrabbitnyc.com for more information.

Duane Park For Hot Live Burlesque And Jazz


Duane Park is the city’s spot for hot live jazz and even hotter live burlesque. Duane Park has opened in a beautiful, new location downtown at 308 Bowery. The club is open from Tuesday through Saturday. The food is delicious and the shows are amazing.

Check out the schedule of shows on the website at duaneparknyc.com .

First Thursdays Downtown Arts Walk


This is the perfect opportunity to experience Atlanta’s art scene inside and out! Take a self-guided tour of the galleries — with no beginning or ending point — and move at your own pace as you soak up some fabulous contemporary Southern art. With its growth, First Thursdays has become more than just an arts walk. It’s an event where singles can meet, business people can unwind, and couples can enjoy the beauty of downtown Atlanta’s landscape.

Each month you’re invited to stroll through magnificent buildings and streets to enjoy the beauty of Downtown and the gallery experience. Come take a walk with us the First Thursday of each month, from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

First Thursdays ArtsWalk has grown with new programs and additional venues so that art lovers can view the arts, tour the historic districts of Downtown and enjoy various discounts at Downtown restaurants. Click here for more information.

CVI. CHE 105: Peruvian classic with a hip twist


The small, mom and pop eatery in Downtown Miami is slowly disappearing, replaced by modern, hip restaurants and leading the trend is Cvi.che 105.

Chef/owner Juan Chipoco and sous chef and co-owner Luis Hoyos have created an incredible ambiance and menu that is indicative of their passion for traditional, delicious Peruvian cooking. The space is deceivingly large and inviting,  with a bright interior, open kitchen and ultra-contemporary furnishings and accents.

Chipoco blends sexy dishes like seafood orgy ceviche, a blend of marinated raw seafood including fish, calamari and shrimp served in typical Peruvian tiger milk with more traditional ones like Mama Ele Corvina Fish – his grandmother’s recipe of pan roasted fresh corvine fish served with a crab cake in a rocoto sauce and a homemade potato cake

 They also take great care in developing specific flavors for each ceviche depending which region of Peru it represents.

Cviche 105 is located at 105 NE 3 Ave., Miami, FL 305-577-3454, www.ceviche105.com

Villa 221: Party in a Downtown house

There’s no shortage of creative thinking in Miami when it comes to the nightclub scene after all, they’ve been doing it on South Beach since the 1990’s when they turned the Versace Mansion into a nightclub and now into a boutique hotel and restaurant.

Now Downtown Miami is getting in on that scene with Villa 221. On their website it’s billed as a special event venue but it’s definitely a club space also. Sizzling Salsa Wednesdays, College Night Thursdays, 80s Night on Fridays and music by DJ Mark Leventhal on Saturdays. 

Villa 221 is located at 221 NE 17 St., Miami, FL 305-416-5280 www.villa221.com

Fifty Ultra Lounge: Viceroy Hotel’s hot spot

One of Downtown Miami’s hottest hotels is surprisingly enough, a fabulous nightclub spot. The Fifty Ultra Lounge at Viceroy Miami is stiff competition for those clubs on the other side of the Causeway (meaning South Beach).

Appropriately named for its location, the view alone is unmatched by any other club because it sits on the building’s rooftop meaning unobstructed water and skyline views as far as the eye can see. The pool, which serves as the centerpiece here, is no slouch either, adding that perfect Miami touch.

FIFTY promises to bring you a “One-of-a-kind rooftop lounge with a fresh new look on Miami’s Nightlife scene.” There’s always something happening on this rooftop with Happy Hour, guest DJ’s, special Ladies’ Night events and Sunday afternoon pool parties. Celebrities are frequently spotted here so keep your eyes peeled.

Viceroy Miami is located at 485 Brickell Avenue, 305-503-4417 www.viceroymiami.com

City Hall: No government here, it’s all about the food

City Hall's Steve Haas and Tom Azar. Photo courtesy of Mishael Fernandez.

The name could throw anyone off — City Hall. Government, clerks, parking tickets, etc… but at this City Hall, it’s all about the food. Owner Steve Haas, an icon in the Miami community, especially restaurants and his chef Tom Azar wouldn’t have it any other way.

They’ve created a masterpiece of Art Deco cool here and Haas has experience with that after all, he’s run restaurants on South Beach where that architecture style rules. Azar, a protege of famed celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, has put together a stellar menu of brasserie style favorites. Using a play on words throughout the menu (appetizers are called “Opening Statements” and entrees “Primary Decisions”) the food is serious here.

Seafood and andouille gumbo with steamed rice and butter fried croutons or Latin-inspired seared scallops with jalapeno emulsion, pico de gallo, a black bean and sweet corn salsa and fried plantains make great choices.

City Hall is located at 2004 Biscayne Blvd. 305-764-3130, www.cityhallrestaurant.com

Grand Central’s Downtown Miami’s newest nightspot

Grand Central is hitting the Downtown Miami scene with a bang, becoming the newest venue in the area to provide live music and a rollicking good time. Providing a place where music lovers can enjoy original bands and performers is first and foremost to the folks running Grand Central.

The line-up is non-stop and features DJ’s playing a blend of hip hop, Latin, and dance tunes. Amber Rose, model and ex girlfriend of hip hop artist Kanye West hosts a party here for her new beau Wiz Khalifa and bands like The Battles and Caramelos de Cianuro join other newcomers on the scene.

It’s a great deal too with minimal cover charges drink specials almost every night.

Grand Central is located at 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami, FL 305-377-2277 www.grandcentralmiami.com

Dolores but you can call me Lolita: Good eats, hip scene

It’s about more than just the food at Dolores but you can call me Lolita in the heart of Miami’s thriving Brickell area. This is a compound that encompasses the restaurant, lounge, private room and even the Japanese favorite Sushi Maki next door. They go for the warm glow of candlelight in the restaurant where the wall border close to the ceiling brims with quirky and inspiring sayings.

Then there’s the menu which is brimming with delicious selections like the appetizer called Maybe, the Best Serrano Ham Croquettes you ever tasted or the Caesar salad was created in Tijuana Parmesan cheese and croutons. Those wacky names doesn’t mean they don’t take food seriously here, entrees include pappardelle with a Kobe beef bolognese or baja fish tacos of tempura fish filets served with a chipotle-guava cabbage slaw.

Eat or party or do both at the restaurant or lounge, the atmosphere’s great at both.

HistoryMiami CityTour: A lesson on the Magic City

Miami may be a young city but there’s still a rich history to be learned and that’s what the HistoryMiami CityTour provides for out-of-towners who want to learn about the place called “The Magic City.”

Tours are done by boat, coach, bike or on foot and feature some of the city’s most historic and iconic spots. Dr. Paul George, a professor at Miami leads tours of The City of Miami Cemetery, where Julia Tuttle, one of Miami’s most legendary pioneers, is buried as well as historic Little Havana homes , among several others. While long-time Miami resident Frank W. Schena leads the eco-history tours of  The Redland Farm, Cape Florida Lighthouse and Miami Beach Boardwalk.

The boat tours go to Elliot Key and Boca Chita while another goes to Stiltsville where seven homes are built on stilts in the middle of Biscayne Bay. This one’s a sight to behold.

Departure spot depends on which tour. HistoryMiami is located at 101 W. Flagler St. and it’s best to call or visit their site to find the departure location.

Finnegan’s on the River: Downtown Miami hot spot

Downtown Miami’s got a river running through it and bars are now lining the area making it a place to see and be seen with a killer view to boot. Finnegan’s on the River packs them in on any given night after all, it’s great for a mid-week happy hour, Friday night end-of-the-week outing and Saturday night hot spot.

In typical Miami fashion, Sunday is a huge day at Finnegan’s when boaters are invited to park and join in on the pool party. The drink specials alone (c’mon, $3 and $5 cocktails are unheard of around here) are incentive enough to party at Finnegan’s.

Happy Hour is Monday to Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays it’s the perfect spot to watch a late afternoon college game and stay to party the night away.

Finnegan’s on the River is located at 401 SW 3 Avenue, Miami, FL


Paragon Theater: Movie-going taken to new heights

concessionBlue Interior low res

The Paragon Theater located in Coconut Grove’s CocoWalk outdoor mall and it takes the movie-going experience to another level. It’s more than just typical candy, popcorn, soda and hot dogs, the concession offerings as well as the theater itself are much more upscale.

The 13-screen theater features high definition digital projection in 3-D, a 1,500 seat all reserved VIP stadium seating and coming soon a bowling alley. Paragon takes dinner and a movie to another level, offering moviegoers expanded food offerings, like wraps, pizza and chicken fingers and more. In the “Back Lot” private screening rooms they show sporting events, concerts and classic films. It’s all here. Of course, because it’s located in CocoWalk there’s plenty of shopping to do as well.

Paragon Theater is located in CocoWalk at 3015 Grand Avenue, Coconut Grove


Freedom Tower: Historic building houses provocative exhibitions

The Freedom Tower is Miami’s Ellis Island, a historic building that symbolizes the city’s melting pot of immigrants. The national historic landmark has seen many ups and downs and was on the verge of disappearing when it was donated to Miami Dade College. It has now become a space for provocative art exhibitions, most recently Instruments of Torture.

The connection began last Fall with the unveiling of the world map mural located in the Freedom Tower’s Mezzanine floor. Other major art exhibitions featured here included the works of masters Goya, Dali, DaVinci as well as presentations by authors and other dignitaries.

There’s always an interesting cultural artistic or literary presentation happening at the Tower and with a central location in Downtown Miami it’s easy to make a day of it visiting here.

The Freedom Tower is located at 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL


Walk the Walk: Downtown LA Art Walk

Downtown Art Walk pic

Ever since the first event in 2004, the Downtown LA Art Walk has become an event bringing food, fashion and of course art, together for Angelinos to enjoy. The second Thursday of every month brings locals as well as visitors to the Art Walk where from the hours of 12pm – 9pm, anything goes.

Though one of the first to help launch the event, Bert Green, may have had a vision for the Art Walk, each month brings something different, such as spur of the moment fashion shows and live music events. Set up outside of galleries, people can roam the streets admiring artwork, listening to music, and enjoying food from one of the many food trucks that have begun taking over the Walk.

Since every month is different, everyone who visits once seems to come back again. For immediate news, events and anything else you could be interested in finding, the Downtown LA Art Walk has redesigned their website for viewers and Art Walk aficionados to enjoy.

Waxy O’Connors: Limericks and ales are genuine here

The dark and heavy wood bar that commands Waxy O’Connor’s and is its centerpiece was placed at the heart of the bar and eatery to remind patrons they’re in an Irish pub and the 7,000-square-foot unit is authentic, it was built entirely in Ireland and shipped over to the United States.

The 20 brews and ales on tap and plenty more by the bottle are another dead giveaway that this is a place for drinking, eating, hanging with friends and especially catching just about any sporting event. They’ve got seventeen 50″ flat screen televisions so everyone can be watching their favorite sport or team at any given time.

Offering live music is another plus here. When the deejay’s not mixing up tunes, there’s someone playing it live at Waxy’s. The amazing view of Miami’s Downtown skyline and historic Miami River make for great waterfront drinking and gazing.

Waxy O’Connor’s is located at 690 SW 1st Court, Miami, FL

Red Bar: At center of Downtown’s red hot nightlife

Miami’s Brickell Avenue area was once known as a residential area with not much nightlife but things have certainly changed. The thriving nightspots have been popping up everywhere over the last few years and Red Bar is one that attracts plenty of attention for its eye-grabbing wall art, local beautiful people and great mingling and dancing.

Located in the heart of the district, this place has everything a great night out on the town requires. Dance the night away to the sounds of either a live band or a smokin’ hot deejay, different ones are featured each month. They’ve also got Ladies Night where ladies get to drink for free every Wednesday from 8-12. And to add a little culture to the mix, there’s also a gallery with new artworks featured monthly, along with a meet the artist opening reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

Red Bar is located at 52 SW 10 Street, Miami, FLRed bar 2

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!).

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

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.

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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Porterhouse Fit for a Prez at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse

With its start as a reputable New York institution, it’s no wonder that Bobby Van’s had to spread the love.  This long-loved classic steakhouse has made its mark on the high-end American dining circuit, serving some serious power diners throughout the years, and now with two locations in DC, there’s no reason to miss out on this cbobbyvanselebrity favorite.  Let’s just say the steaks are so good, President Obama even celebrated his first day in office with a meal at this exclusive downtown favorite.

Outfitted in rich wood paneling with appropriately masculine accents, Bobby Van’s simple design and crisp white tablecloths allow the food to steal the spotlight.  Start off with a refreshing Raw Bar Selection or a decadent taste or two of the traditional Escargot, prepared with butter, lemon, pernod, garlic and fresh herbs .

Select from a variety of hearty cuts of prime beef, from which Bobby Van’s gets its claim to fame.  Pair your luscious cut with a few family-style sides like the Creamed Spinach, Cottage Fries or Prosciutto Mac & Cheese. For those looking for a beef alternative, indulge in the Colorado Lamb Chops or the Sesame Crusted Tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes, pickled ginger and Miso vinaigrette.  Whatever you choose, be prepared to spend –after all, there’s a reason why the President himself decided to celebrate with a Bobby Van’s meal.

Any Season’s a Good Season at The Four Seasons

Four Seasons poolThe name Four Seasons immediately conjures up images of a luxurious hotel filled with beautiful, well-to-do people, and the five-star Brickell Avenue Four Seasons does not disappoint. If anything, it exceeds those expectations with a fabulous location in the heart of everything that is pulsating in Miami, but offers the best of quiet serenity, too, making it the perfect place to stay for relaxing AND living it up.

Of course, in a subtropical climate like sunny South Florida, the pools (yes, there are two) are one of the main attractions. They are surrounded by gorgeous private cabanas for stylish and comfortable relaxation, and the hotel’s spa offers treatments in those cabanas as well as in-room service.

The guestrooms are luxuriously designed and feature city and bayviews, so the balconies are the perfect spot to begin or end the day. If splurging is an option, take it to the top and stay in the Presidential Suite, complete with dining and living rooms, impressive bayviews, a large soaking tub and oversized separate shower in the master bedrooms, and comfy lounging chairs throughout.

If you find the urge to get out of the hotel (although we don’t blame you if you don’t!), it’s easy to hit up one of Brickell’s many nearby hotspots for some dancing and cocktails to top off the night.

Nothing Standard About This Rooftop

Picture 7The rooftop bar at the Standard Hotel is the ultimate place to be seen in Los Angeles. The “who’s who” of L.A. gather to this swanky bar as often as possible during the summer time to enjoy their time around the pool. The rooftop bar is a place where the drinks are refreshing and the amount of beautiful people is overwhelming.

Those who choose to gather Downtown usually engage in a dip in the pool or lunch by the water. But if you choose to venture out at night, don’t be surprised to witness a “famous” L.A. DJ spinning or a celebrity or two walking by.

Though some may ask why the Rooftop bar is consistently so popular, the reason is a perfect combination between beautiful people and beautiful views. Overlooking Downtown LA, filled with high rises and skyscrapers, views during the days and nights are anything but standard.

Party Central at Thrive Dallas

Thrive Dallas takes the standard nightclub atmosphere and turns it into an event. This establishment claims the Playboy Intimates Model Search, DJ’s Tek-Neek and Joe Vega, and a line of impressive twenty-something outside each week clamoringPicture 23 to get inside. Thrive is an ideal location to throw a raging private party or have a fun girl/guy’s night out.

Connected to the Crown Plaza Hotel downtown, this club makes it easy to commit to a fun, safe weekend when adding a hotel room into your plans. The restaurant section serves up fine dining and provides the perfect opportunity to eat well before a long night of partying.

Though a nightclub connected to a hotel might not sound as rocking as a stand alone club, Thrive continues to draw large crowds week after week with its good tunes and array of drinks. Be prepared to wait in line from time to time and adhere to the strict dress code-it is always enforced. Thrive is doing just that, and adding to the nightlife that keeps Dallas dancing until dawn.

John Varvatos: Rock ‘n Roll Never Looked Finer

One of the most popular and innovative male fashion designers of our time, John Varvatos, is rock ‘n roll meets high fashion. Taking over the infamous CBGB’s music club- that launched the careers of Blondie and The Ramones- John Varvatos is one of very few that could do the legendary music venue justice.

Most may know John Varvatos for his killer take on Converses, with the madly popular Jack Purcell and One Star styles, but his clothing makes men look effortlessly stylish. Every man can’t help but look two notches cooler in one of the distressed blazers, edgy leather jackets or skull cufflinks. All these cool clothes are hanging next to vintage album covers in a store where punk-rock music is always playing.

Known to throw concerts there from time to time- with free admission and free drinks- it’s no wonder John Varvatos is known as the rock star of fashion.

Miami Art Museum Draws In Art Lovers

Picture 7Innovative and thought-provoking art is what the Miami Art Museum strives to present to art lovers. With contemporary greats, like photographer Chuck Close, icon Robert Rauschenberg, and artists Wilfredo Lam and Jose Bedia featured, there’s no doubt the envelope is being pushed to the max.

The rule of admiring works of art from afar does not apply here, the installations, paintings, and sculptures beg for the viewer to become engrossed in the work, examine it and in essence become affected by it.

Besides the permanent collection and traveling exhibits that are presented, the MAM offers the monthly happy hour, Jam at MAM, featuring varying jazz performers, nibbles, and cocktails, as well as regular lectures to coincide with the show schedule.

Spice Market Spices Up the Meatpacking

Few places command the same opening buzz and packed seats six years down the road, but Spice Market has become a mainstay destination in the ever-evolving Meatpacking district. A mega-restaurant – two floors of carved wood canopies and Southeast Asian inspired decor with a perfect people-watching patio- delivers food that’s as delicious and consistent as one would expect from celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.Picture 19

Spice Market is technically inspired from the street food of Southeast Asia, but the cuisine, which taps the flavors of Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and India, is delivered with luxurious style. For a perfect meal, start off with the Chicken Samosas- a perfect blend of crispy outer shell and moist meat inside; favorite entrees include Steamed Red Snapper with Shitake Mushrooms, Ginger, Scallions and Tarragon or the Red Curried Duck, where a side of the sweet Coconut Sticky Rice Steamed in Banana Leaf takes the spicy curry to another level; finish off the meal with the Thai Jewels and Fruits with Crushed Coconut Ice for a cool dessert. Meals are meant to be shared, so don’t be afraid to order plenty for the table.

Reservations are highly recommended as Spice Market is one of the hottest dining options in its trendy downtown neighborhood, but if all else fails, make sure to grab a seat at the bar where mixologists whip up unique spins on cocktail favorites like the Saigon Cosmo, Ginger Margarita and Pineapple Mojito.

Dance Party Downtown at K Street Lounge

Late night partiers and Washingtonians looking to dance revel at one of downtown’s most notorious nightclubs, K Street Lounge.  Regarded by Market Watch Magazinkstreet4e as one of the top lounges in DC, K Street’s ultra mod interior with sky-high ceilings and futuristic furnishings is definitely a stray from the typical DC nightspot.

Featuring guest DJ’s from around the world, K Street is known for its exclusive events with guest celebrities and serious beats (think House and Top 40).  Sign up for the guest list online and dress to the nines for a dance party like no other.

Insider Tip: Although K Street Lounge usually has a hefty cover for males or those not on the guest list, ladies on the list usually receive Open Bar from 10-11 PM on Saturday nights.  Go online and take advantage of a few drinks on the house!

This Martini’s Not Dirty, it’s Blue!

A little tamer than say South Beach and the Design District, but making a name for itself regardless, is the new party spot: Brickell Avenue. When the lawyers, blue martiniaccountants and bankers put their briefcases away and leave what’s known as Miami’s Financial District the area comes alive, and leading the nightlife pack is Blue Martini.

Blue Martini is a cool place to see and be seen after the 9-5, whether it’s for happy hour or late-night. Located inside Mary Brickell Village, it’s easy to start or end the night at Martini thanks to the surrounding restaurants and shops. It’s a seven-day affair when it comes to specials here, with a daily happy hour 4-8 p.m. featuring 1/2 off drinks, live jazz Tuesdays, Latin live entertainment on Thursdays and Three Olives Ladies Night on Wednesdays. Check it out to find out what that means!

PBR Debauchery at The Barbary

l_fbfdcbe368bd87ee8d8e75d05b2717d9If you need to forget about your work week and that creep ex-boy/girlfriend that won’t stop calling you, The Barbary is your place for all night dancing, drinking and debauchery. The Barbary has some of the cheapest drinks in town ($2 PBRs are the Philly Special) and 6-nights a week it hosts some of the craziest dance parties you have ever experienced.

Monthly calendars are released on its MySpace page with events happening every night of the week. Sundays are Karaoke nights, Wednesdays are the Bouffant Bangouts featuring 50s and 60s music, and Mondays are the Indie Dance parties. The rest of the month is filled in with a satisfying variety of top-notch dance music. If you’re lucky to be in town, the DJ DeeJay “Madonna Michael Price” shows are a must.

And if you just can’t get in the mood without the disco ball, they have that covered, too.

Rest Like A President at the Willard Intercontinental

For traditionalists looking for true Washingtonian elegance, reserve a stunning room at the celebrated Willard Intercontinental Hotel.  Known as the “Crown Jewel of Pennsylvania Avenue,” it’s no wonder this hotel has nabbed such a compliment. With its distinctive grandeur and record of hosting nearly every U.S. President since Franklin Pierce in 1853, the Willard is much more than just another historic hotel.

The stunning landmark hotel exudes traditional American charm with its warm, Picture 7inviting guest rooms, and a hint of European opulence with its ornate dining facilities.  For those looking for a home away from home, indulge in one of the Willard’s stylish suites, each echoing the comforts of a true private residence (along with two bathrooms, luxurious sitting rooms, and gorgeous custom upholstery).  Grab the 3,000 square foot Thomas Jefferson suite for a no holds barred stay at one of the finest hotels in Washington.

Aside from around-the-clock laundry, valet and room services, the Willard Intercontinental boasts incredible eco-chic hospitality as the only hotel in DC completely supported by wind power.  Aside from eco-friendly power travelers, Conde Nast Traveler took notice by awarding the Willard a 2008 World Savers Award (the Willard is the only Urban Historic hotel yet to receive this distinction).

With an ideal downtown location, a seriously VIP guest book and a touch of Washingtonian charm, this Intercontinental is more than just a pretty façade.

NOKIA Live & It Will Thrive

From Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball to Mo’nique’s Spread the Love Comedy Tour, NOKIA Live in Downtown Los Angeles is the premier venue for every concert, performance or comedic throw down the City of Angels has to offer.

Breaking all the rules in 2007, NOKIA LivePicture 18 opened its doors to fans so they would get to experience an intimate performance from their favorite performers without paying the price. The indoor theater, which can seat close to 7,000, is conveniently located near Staples Center where an extreme portion of L.A. action is generally taking place on any given night.

Though the NOKIA Theater is worth visiting, those craving an even more intimate experience should pay close attention to Club NOKIA, a state-of-the-art theater that can seat a little over 2,000 people. This “club” is home to emerging and new artists, bands and shows that are looking to launch their careers but may already have a decent following.

Thanks to Club NOKIA and NOKIA live, Angelinos don’t have to venture far to witness their favorite up and coming band or sold out superstar. They can enjoy the benefits of being in the heart of downtown with an experience that feels too personal to put a price tag on.

Fratelli Lyon Takes Fresh to Another Level

Stroll along the heart of Miami’s Design District and discover a place where the decor is modern and the food is prepared with a heart. At Fratelli Lyon, the dishes are not only great tasting but made in the freshest way possible, with ingredients like grass-fed beef, sustainable seafood and organically grown produce. Even the water filtration system is special here, producing triple filtered still and sparkling waters that are used in the homemade sodas, beverages and bottled waters.

Picture 20Now that the standard’s been set, don’t think for one minute it’s all boring food here. The menus – both lunch and dinner – are full of Italian favorites. The extensive list of antipastos is impressive all on its own with three categories: cheese, meats, or greens and fish. Even the wide range of pastas have two categories: handmade fresh or artisanal imported dry. The wine list is beyond extensive with something for any taste and price range.

Pizzas, paninis, salads, house specials, and specialty Italian coffees round out the menu and for lunch there’s an irresistible $24 fixed price that includes a choice of an appetizer, entree, and dessert or house wine.

Major Landmarks Along Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail

It has been said that Boston has more Irish people than Ireland, so what better way to celebrate its historic roots than a walk along the Irish Heritage Trail throughout downtown Boston and Back Bay.

Along the way, you’ll find the Boston Irish Famine Memorial that include eight narrative plaques that recount the 150th anniversary of Picture 16the country’s historic famine. Stop by the Boston Public Library’s Irish collection, which houses over 13,000 items, including materials on the formation of the Irish Free State, the Abby Theatre and Seamus Heaney. The Colonel Shaw Memorial is the city’s most prized public art, which took 14 years to complete, depicting the state’s 54th Black Infantry Regiment which fought valiantly in the Civil War.  End the day with a stop by Fenway Park, which was built by Irish immigrant Charles E. Logue.

The Trail is divided into three sections with 20 sites located in downtown Boston and Back Bay, covering more than three miles and over 50 other landmarks in Boston neighborhoods. Other highlights on the walking tour include the Rose Kennedy Garden, Kevin White statue, James Michael Curley statues and the Boston Massacre Memorial.

Tuxedo Wearin’, Soprano’s Stylin’ at Acappella

Picture 11Ever wonder where those classic Italian restaurants that are always in gangster films exist? Look no further than Acappella. Featured in the first-ever Soprano’s episode, the food, service and ambiance make you feel like you are in a scene from The Godfather.

The menu is filled with authentic and traditional Northern Italian cuisine, from veal to lobster to pasta. Be sure to try the Bandiera Italiana, consisting of fettuccine with wild mushrooms, cavatelli with pesto, and green and white “hay and straw” pasta with fresh plum tomatoes and herbs. Everything is fresh, and the pastas and desserts are homemade. There are also seasonal specialties, such as wild rabbit, wild boar and buffalo meat in the fall or winter. The wine list is impressive as well, with plenty of domestic and imported wines, including specialty Italian wines.

With sixteen foot high beamed ceilings, oversized columns, brick walls, Italian tapestries, and tuxedo wearing waiters, the experience is unique and very Italian. Like the motto says, “We will make you a dish you can’t refuse!”

The Joule Hotel Speed Dials Martinis & Neiman Marcus

Picture 14Historic doesn’t always conjure up images of sleekness and sophistication, but in the case of the Joule Hotel in downtown Dallas, it does that and much more. With 129 masterful rooms and amenities like a full martini station and direct dial to Neiman Marcus from your guestroom, it’s easy to see why The Joule has quickly become popular.

Revamped from a 1920’s Neo-gothic building structure, the hotel now houses the PM Lounge, award winning-Charlie Palmer’s restaurant, wine bar, poolside café, and a sumptuous wine shop. The heated rooftop pool and high-tech fitness center are guest favorites, as well as the Joule Art Collection that can be seen throughout the property. This hotel may have historical roots, but modern charm and delicious dining rounds out an already spectacular landmark.

The Walnut: America’s Oldest & Most Popular Theatre

The Walnut Street Theatre is the oldest theater in America, having just celebrated its 200th birthday last year, and is one of the most subscribed to and most successful theater companies in the nation.

With performances ranging from the classics like Oliver and Fiddler on the Roof, to the intimate shows put on in the 80-seat Independence Studio, Walnut Street serves up an eclectic and exciting mix of productions throughout the year.

Soup to nuts (or nuts to nuts since we’re talking about the Walnut) the Theatre has its hand in all aspects of the performance. The Walnut’s fabrication and wardrobe department is located above the main stage, and creates all of the looks for actors on stage, including hair and make-up. They also have auditions in New York and Philadelphia for the main stage performances that have launched the careers of Kathryn Hepburn, Jane Fonda, and Marlon Brando, to name a few.

It’s All About The Fung Shui Views at Mandarin Oriental

Occupying the top eleven floors of a 48 story building in the Financial District, and bumping windows with the famous Transamerica Pyramid, The Mandarin Oriental hotel is the third tallest building in San Francisco.  The unobstructed views are so awesome they give you binoculars at check-in.

Arriving by taxi but traveling by Picture 18cable car, this hotel’s location is perfect for the business traveler looking for some tourism in the agenda.  The financial district is the hub of the city’s enterprise, but surrounded by the most popular destinations: Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Coit Tower, and North Beach are all within several blocks.

Your time within the luxurious Mandarin Oriental will not be wasted, with Silks Restaurant offering Pacific Rim fine dining, and the Mobar Lounge serving appetizers and Asian-inspired cocktails.  Of course, if the stay is strictly business, there’s a 24-hour staffed business center and event space for your stay-connected needs.

Guest rooms nestled in the top ten floors are colored with clay and chile red hues, dressed with fresh orchids, and a perfectly fung shui’d window and raised bed design that allows you to enjoy the city skyline without even getting up for your binoculars.

Rooftop Romance at the Gramercy Park Hotel Roof Club

Rooftop real estate is the hottest commodity in New York during the summer, but few places keep the same prestige and popularity in the winter. The Gramercy Park Hotel’s Private Roof Club is the exception to the rule. By closing the retractable rooftop and turning the air conditioners to heaters, the ivy laced and dimly lit trendy summer hotspot becomes a cozy winter, well, hotspot.

Picture 20The Sophia Room epitomizes the warm romance that makes this rooftop so unique from other penthouse locations. The ceiling is actually an art piece, with 17,000 lightbulbs hanging on the wall, and the rest of the room includes two real (and very pricey) Damien Hirsts, two large, chocolate leather couches and one crackling fireplace. The “outdoor” terrace is lit with candles and beautifully placed hanging lights with overgrown trees and flowers separating each couch, making it feel private and quiet for each party. And the view, no matter what the season, is always exceptional with Empire, Chrysler and Union Square skyline views.

A favorite for the A-list guests who stay at the hotel, and New York elite, famous clientele include Eva Mendes, Sienna Miller, Ashely Olsen, Helena Christensen and socialite Olivia Palermo- before she was on The City. The signature martinis are made with the freshest ingredients and are seriously tasty. The rooftop also has a perfect lounge menu, prepared by the chefs from Danny Meyer’s prestigious Union Square Hospitality Group.

The Private Roof Club lives up to its name, because technically it is private to all non-hotel guests. But, by calling ahead, the key-only entrance can be opened to you.

Chic France Meets Exotic Vietnam Nights at Le Colonial

For San Francisco’s diverse crowd, there’s nothing better than a nightclub that fuses culture as well as it mixes drinks.  At Le Colonial in Union Square, romantic France meets Picture 12exotic Vietnam.  As evenings go in this city, rarely sticking to the conventional, you’ll fall in love even as you enter from an alley that sparkles with fairy lights and soft neon signs.  Relax in the palm and glass-canopied veranda while you wait for your party, or head inside to the downstairs lounge and order yourself an Emerald Buddha: Ciroc Vodka, House Lemongrass sour, and Barritt’s ginger beer on the rocks.

Le Colonial presents local DJ’s on Friday nights and the very popular Lotus Party on Saturdays.  Spinning remixes from every generation until 2am with a “for the classy and chic only” dress code, there are no excuse to be a wallflower.

Not Your Average Movie Night at E Street Cinema

Picture 5In the mood to a catch a flick without the dreaded lines and overpriced popcorn?  Take a trip to the Landmark E Street Cinema and get ready for a killer movie night.  Although the prices are comparable to most blockbuster theatres, E Street will definitely give you more bang for your buck.  As one of the few independent theatres still up and running in the city, E Street Cinema showcases a great line-up of indie films with a passionate and knowledgeable staff that adds to the eclectic atmosphere.

For a little nostalgia, make the trip downtown and be sure to grab a ticket to a Midnight Madness showing.  The theatre shows classic 80s cult films every Friday and Saturday nights at midnight like The Rocky Horror Pictured Show, The Neverending Story, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and Back to the Future.  The fun doesn’t stop at the film though, E Street serves beer, wine and champagne – so grab a glass of bubbly and get ready for a not-so-average movie night.

Insider Tip: The theatre validates parking for those drivers looking to avoid hefty downtown garage fees.  E Street is also easily accessible by the Metro Center and Gallery Place metro stations if you’re one to take advantage of the bonus beverages!

Tobacco Road’s Act is a Century Strong

Nearly a century Tobacco Road has been open, in the same location, making it a Miami institution for live music. It first opened its doors during the prohibition Tobacco Road interiordays and obviously things have changed a bit since then with the addition of legalized alcohol and some of the best live music in Miami.

They’ve been playin’ the blues at this place for years now, featuring an undisputed line-up of local musicians as well as established blues and rock acts that grace two tiny indoor stages (ground floor and second floor) and out on the patio. There’s always a reason for a party at Tobacco Road, whether it’s a blues festival or to celebrate yet another birthday- whether it be Gloria Estefan’s or another notch toward the century marker!

Business or Pleasure – Loews is a Treat

The Loews Hotel in Philadelphia is in the heart of Center City located in the historic PSFS (Philadelphia Savings Fund Society) Building, a silhouette that has dominated the Philly skyline in its modern form since 1932.

loews2The hotel has terrific amenities, some of them utterly unique. If you love toting along your furry friend, pets are welcome at the hotel with open arms complete with a cat or dog bed in your room. Kids also get all-star treatment by receiving Fisher-Price welcome gifts and special “Kidbanas” by the pool. A full-service health spa, two-lane heated lap pool and twenty-four hour room service amenities round out the ways you can be pampered while staying with the acclaimed, four diamond Loews Hotel.

The art deco style combined with original bank vault doors and granite floors makes for a chic and elegant space to stay. Conveniently situated by the Reading Terminal Market and Philadelphia’s Convention Center, the 38 floor hotel is in a prime location for business or pleasure.

Avenue of the Arts: A Stretch of Culture Across Philly

The Avenue of the Arts runs through the heart of Philadelphia on Broad Street, the city’s widest and busiest street. To say that this area is saturated with culture is an understatement- museums, theaters, restaurants, perfPicture 7orming arts venues, universities, you name it, it’s there. The Avenue is a great place to visit because it’s easy to get to (lots of parking garages on the Avenue as well as accessible public transportation) and is always bustling with foot traffic.

The busiest and most affluent area of the Avenue is on South Broad, starting from Philly’s beautiful City Hall to Lombard Street, where you will find many of the city’s major theaters like the Academy of Music, Merriam Theatre, and Wilma Theater. When meandering down the Avenue, you can stop along the way and catch the building tours at many of the venues. Be sure to look on the Avenue of the Arts website for a listing of all the shows happening at all venues!

Take advantage of all that there is to do- and see- on this beautiful Avenue in the heart of Philadelphia.

Forget Postcards, Cantina Returns With Liquor

To any downtown intoxicologist, Cantina is the preference for ‘cocktails de culinaire.’ In fact, the bar grows its own citrus and infuses its own liquors. Bringing decades of knowledge to the bar, each Cantina mixologist is a self-proclaimed ‘savant of spirits’ who’s traveled the far corners of the world in pursuit of the finest cocktail ingredients. Cantina bartenders have a genuine love for the art and invent every dCantina Goodrink on the menu, making your experience at Cantina completely unique. It’s no wonder Cantina’s recipes have graced the pages of The New York Times, Food & Wine, Esquire, London’s Daily Telegraph, and even Vogue.

You’d assume such famous cocktails would have equally notorious prices, but Cantina offers drinks from $9-$11.  Their most prized potion is on the market for $14: The Coca Leaf Sour- Pisco infused with coca leaves, egg white, yellow chartreuse, fresh-squeezed citrus, and sugar.  Of course, their $9 cocktails are just as impressive.  Try the St. Barth’s Daiquiri- rhum de batiste, fresh lime & key lime bitters, luxardo maraschino & fresh-grated nutmeg.

Just remember, quality takes time so no impatient tapping on the bar at Cantina, relax and enjoy the world through its spirits.

Gilley’s: Rhinestones & a Mechanical Bull

If there is such a thing as upscale honky-tonk, look no further than Gilley’s Dallas. Does the name “Gilley’s” ring a bell? Think John Travolta and a mechanical bull. While this isn’t the original bar or bull from Urban Cowboy (same owner Mickey Gilley), it’s a mighty fine second and a first place win for country-lovin’ good times. Even if yoDALgilleysu’re not a fan of skintight Levi’s and red snakeskin boots, the crowd is so fun you can’t help but join in on the line dance with 200 other cowboys and cowgirls.

A good mix of authentic wranglers, weekend hicks, and fashionable Dallas “bumpkins,” Gilley’s has something for everyone- including an actual mechanical bull. And don’t be afraid of two-stepping, there are free dance lessons every Saturday from 6pm – 8pm with awesome drink specials and free admission for the rest of the night.

With national music acts and local fave The Chris Rivers Band and a decent cover charge, it’s time to break out your rhinestones and boots -or rhinestoned boots-for guaranteed fun at Gilley’s Dallas.

Contemporary and Cool at Parc 55 Hotel

Sometimes all you want is a convenient and comfortable place to stay.  At the Parc 55 Hotel off Union Square, you’ll get all you need: central location, friendly service, modern style, and an uncluttered room with a view.

With its downtown location, Parc 55 is perfect for business and vacation travelers. You don’t have to walk far to experience the best of San Francisco: take a stroll to the Museum of Modern Art oParc55lounhrr Yerba Buena Gardens, enjoy downtown’s fashionable night scene, attend a function at the Moscone Convention Center or ride a cable car– just a block away.

Within the hotel, there is plenty of business space with 15 board-style meeting rooms.  You can also invite your friends up to the 31st floor club lounge for your birthday soiree or plan your wedding reception in the 5,610 square-foot grand ballroom.

At the end of the day, you’ll be pleased to enter a room that doesn’t overload your senses with stale air conditioning and dated floral prints.  Each of the hotel’s 1,010 rooms are the model of contemporary sophistication, having recently celebrated a $30 million renovation.

Parc 55 is so confident with their new look, they’ve hosted a 55-hour party in Union Square and even outfitted every room with a 36” plasma TV – show offs!

The Bellevue: The Grande Dame of Broad St.

Nicknamed “The Grande Dame of Broad Street,” this historically-rich building has kept the same charm since her opening in 1904. Famous guests, including every U.S. President since Roosevelt (!), PHIbellevuehave stayed in the hotel segment of the building.

Besides the hotel, the Bellevue holds dozens of luxury shops (Nicole Miller, Tiffany & Co.), a food court with cuisine ranging from sushi to gyros, and a top-notch health club.

XIX (Nineteen) is one of the finest restaurants at the Bellevue and often has jam-packed happy hours after work. The restaurant is on the 19th floor, hence the name, and has some of the best views of Philadelphia.

Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland is in the main lobby as you enter off of Broad Street; the champagne truffles are bursts of decadent goodness. The shop is adorable and their chocolates are packaged beautifully, making great gifts for your return to home or the office.

Start The Weekend Early at First Thurdays Art Stroll

artNestled between Friday’s Happy Hour and Wednesday Hump Day is Atlanta’s First Thursdays Art Stroll. Atlanta was once a city that was pedestrian friendly, however with new outdoor attractions like Atlantic Station and the revamped Underground Atlanta, its giving Atlantans an excuse to park the car and walk. The First Thursdays Art Stroll allows you to not only enjoy the artwork created by local artists, both student and professional, but also appreciate the art of the city.

Started by the Central Atlanta Progress Organization, this is part of the city’s initiative to bring the public & private sectors together for better downtown living. From 5-8PM on the first Thursday of each month, art lovers from all walks-of-life can tour historic buildings including the Fairlie-Popular District. Create your own path throughout the downtown scene, but be sure to visit a few hotspots along the way: Rialto Center for the Arts, Paige Harvey Art Studio, and the Museum of Design Atlanta (the only museum in the Southeast dedicated to design).

Grab your friends, park your car, and talk a stroll under the lights of Atlanta’s skyline for the First Thursdays Art Stroll.

Throwback Fun at Lucky Strike

PHIluckystrikeLucky Strike is the perfect blend between lane and lounge…and yes, we’re talking bowling lanes here. It’s easy to let your hair down and visit your inner-child at this swanky alley. Whether you’re a serious bowler or a seriously bad one, you are bound to have a blast.

Cocktail waitresses channel a retro roller-girl look while you hang with friends, dance, bowl, and pig out like you’re 13 again (loaded potato chips are a must). Make sure you remember to reserve your lane, because it gets busy as the music turns up after 10pm. And don’t be shy, no one will think twice about you shakin’ your booty while you bowl! Even if you do not go for the lanes, there’s great seating for a late-night dinner with friends or to catch the game on the big screens behind the bar.

Dress to impress, as recommended in the dress code, but make sure your outfit will match those sweet bowling shoes.

Start The Weekend Right At Friday LIVE

Food and drink specials? Check. Gorgeous venue? Check. Fantastic free live music? Check! The Kimmel Center’s Friday LIVE series has all that and more Friday evenings on its Commonwealth Plaza sPHIfridaylivetage (that’s in the spectacular main lobby, which is worth the visit in itself).

The Philadelphia music scene is huge, and the Kimmel Center showcases these local talents from 5:30-7:15pm every Friday throughout its season. Rock, funk, classical, straight-away jazz – you name it- they’ve got it. Friday LIVE is a great way to see this beautiful venue, built in 2001 on the Avenue of the Arts, without committing to purchasing a ticket.

The bar serves drink specials and appetizers, ideal for a happy hour visit before going out to eat at one of the many restaurants in walking distance. Supporting local arts is always a good thing, so you may as well do it in this fabulous performing arts center. If you want to check out the performances before you go, they’re all listed on the website.

The Miami Book Fair International

The Miami Book Fair International is a massive literary event bringing top-selling authors, booksellers, and book lovers to Downtown Miami. To give an example of the scope of this event, there will be more than 200 nationally and internationally renowned, award-winning authors appearing at the fair. Come check out the literary event that has become the blueprint for similar ones across the country.

Funky, Trendy & a Museum? Only at New Museum

Not many buildings sport a rainbow “Hell Yes” on their facade, let alone an art museum. “New Art, New Ideas;” that’s the motto for the aptly named New Museum in the hip Lower East Side. Unlike most contemporary art galleries, the art here is so new that it includes YouTube videos(!) and art that’s a social commentary on current political hot topics like the Iraq War.

Not only is the art inside super hip and new, so is the building, that is like a modern Goliath among the aging downtown buildings. It’s actually the first art museum ever to be constructed from the ground up in downtown Manhattan.

Fitting to its artsy Bowery locale, the crowd here is more likely to be sporting Converses and Aviators than suits and ties. Before leaving, check out the seventh floor Skyroom that has a spectacular panoramic view of Manhattan from the Financial District to the Midtown skyscrapers.

Embassy Suites Chicago – Downtown/Lakefront

Picture 15You’ll have plenty of room to stretch out and relax at this hotel where each expertly decorated suite includes a bedroom, an expansive living room, and not one but two televisions for your viewing pleasure. When your stomach starts to grumble, rely on room service or dine out at P.J. Clarkes. If you’re on the market for a to-die-for drink, check out the hotel’s bar, 511 North. So many options, so little time.

Best Western River North Hotel

Picture 36Guaranteed the Best service in the Windy City, this hotel is truly first rate. Marvel at the stunning view of downtown Chicago from one of the 150 guestrooms equipped with free high-speed internet access and a beautiful contemporary bath design. Bored? Swim a lap at the full-size indoor pool or pump some iron at the Nautilus Weight station at the fitness center. You’ll instantly feel right at home.

Stellar Service at Andre Chreky Salon

With luxuries like grand piano music, cappuccino, espresso and fine Picture 6pastries, you may want to book a vacation at the Andre Chreky Salon instead of just a massage. This salon and day spa indulges everything from hair and nails to face and body.

Andre Chreky’s philosophy of stellar service for star clients can be seen any day of the week, with Mr. Chreky himself making an almost constant personal presence in the salon. The  Andre Chreky Salon offers express services, extended hours, fuss-free maitenance, discretion, and luxury so that each client leaves feeling like a VIP.

Try an herbal body wrap, complete with a highly concentrated aromatherapeutic serum to ensure hydration. Spoil yourself or someone you love with a package to relax, renew and rejuvenate the mind and body.

Grotta Azzurra

Complete with a wine cellar and private dining room, this Little Italy café stays true to traditional cuisine. With a menu spanning from Caprese salad to pan-seared lobster to chicken scarpiello, it has something for everyone. The wooden moldings and granite floors give the restaurant a feel of Rome and reasonable prices round out its appeal.

Culturally Clad at Club Mayan

Club Mayan, located in Downtown Los Angeles, is one of L.A.’s only historical and cultural remnants left in the area. Featuring live music and a dance club, Club Mayan encourages all visitors to let loose in their three leveled escape.

The multi-level club seems like it belongs in a Hawaiian paradise rather than on the streets of Downtown. Reopened in the 90s, Club Mayan not only reinvented their décor but also their vibe. Encouraging L.A. hipsters to dance the night away on Friday Sound Machine nights and bring their own leis on Tropical Saturdays, the club seems to be the only place left in this city where each level feels like a different getaway.

The perks of having such a historical hangout in Los Angeles are invitations to new musical acts and themed nights for the dress up fanatics anxiously waiting for Halloween. With varying cover charges and a relatively strict dress code, Club Mayan is a great birthday celebratory spot allowing you to create your own guest list as they treat you like a King or Queen.

If you are looking to come on a particular night, make sure to consistently check the events calendar on the club’s website. But if none of the names look recognizable on the calendar, just make sure to come on either a Friday or Saturday when the music is loud and the energy is on.

Patio Perfection at Cafe Pinot

As a member of L.A.’s infamous Patina Restaurant Group, Café Pinot is the perfect culmination of dining outdoors with American and French Californian cuisine.

Centrally located downtown, Café Pinot is that restaurant that your parents are probably going to before they see Elton John play in concert or where your roommate is taking his girlfriend for their anniversary before he drags her to the Lakers game. But if you choose to embark on downtown activities such as a nice little visit to the Staples Center, some patrons swear that the only thing that should truly never be missed at Patina is the desserts. With classic favorites such as chocolate lava cake and apple crumble, those can enjoy everything Patina has to offer either before or after the first basket.

And in true Los Angeles fashion, Patina encourages patrons to enjoy the outdoor patio seating where it is most important to be seen. Though other restaurants may offer dining outdoors, no one truly does it like this restaurant.

Though you might have to dress up and keep the kids at home, Café Pinot is the perfect addition to everything downtown L.A. has to offer and added that little extra that it was missing.

No Mas! Cantina

In the heart of the newly revitalized Castleberry Hill area of downtown Atlanta you’ll find YUP’s on the patio sipping margaritas and enjoying the sounds of flowing fountains amidst lush greenery, while munching on muchas Mexican. An offshoot of the popular No Mas Productions home décor shop, it’s South of the Border all the way.

Embassy Suites Chicago – Downtown

Experience the essence of the legendary metropolis that is Chicago at the Embassy Suites. Just steps from the world-famous shopping of the Magnificent Mile and moments from the glittering restaurants and nightlife of downtown, the all-suite hotel is as vibrant and cosmopolitan as the Windy City itself. If you’re a business traveler, you’ll appreciate the hotel’s proximity to the financial district and the Fortune 500 corporations lining the city’s renowned Loop. This sleek downtown Chicago hotel offers upscale accommodations, distinctive amenities, and attentive service, all in a pulsing urban setting.

Ritz-Carlton Battery Park

Picture 13Look out across the waterfront as Lady Liberty stands proudly over symbolic Ellis Island. Sweeping views command your attention at every turn. American history surrounds you as the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian and other impressive tributes are just steps away. The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park immerses guests in luxury and the cultural heritage that is lower Manhattan.

Tribeca Grand

Picture 37A luxury hotel in New York City, the Tribeca Grand Hotel is a lower Manhattan hotspot. And, it’s pet-friendly! Tribeca New York is an exclusive neighborhood and the hotel is one of the best in the city. With its open atrium, screening room, Apple Store products and Church Lounge—a downtown hotspot—staying at Tribeca Grand during your travels ensures a great stay in a boutique hotel.