London

Founded by the Romans, the capital of the United Kingdom is over 2000 years old. Today’s city rests upon ancient layers of civilization, a network of rivers and the rubble of The Blitz. While there is much to love about London, its prevailing medieval structures, winding streets, village-esque neighborhoods and diverse population are especially charming. #LondonIsOpen

If arriving into Heathrow, there are a few options for getting to the city. The first is via the Heathrow Express, which is a 20 minute ride into Paddington Station. Purchase round trip tickets in advance to get the best price. If you are traveling in a twosome, the DuoSaver is a great deal at £55 for return tickets. Another option is to take the Piccadilly Tube line (purple), which will get you to central London in about an hour. You can also take an Uber or taxi, which may make sense if you are a group. However, unless you are staying in West London this may take the longest and be the most expensive.

If arriving into Gatwick, take the Gatwick Express train (30 minutes) into Victoria Station.

Traffic is notorious. London is far reaching and while it can take time to get across the city, the Tube is efficient, clean and extensive. Purchase a £5 blue Oyster card for easy tapping into London’s Tube and bus network.

CENTRAL

EAT

Dishoom Delicious Indian in trendy locales. Hot tip: the Kensington and Kingly Court locations are often less crowded.

Ergon Deli Greek deli and cafe in Mayfair. Get the sesame bagel with eggs.

Fabrique Bakery Scandinavian bakery with locations in Shoreditch, Notting Hill and Covent Garden. Try the cardamom buns.

The Good Egg Healthy Jewish and Middle Eastern food in Kingly Court.

Gymkhana Michelin-stared Indian in Mayfair. One for special celebrations.

Leong’s Legend Unassuming Taiwanese dim sum in Chinatown.

Mildred’s Tasty vegetarian restaurant in Soho.

The Palomar Modern Israeli fare from the same group behind Machneyuda in Jerusalem. Book two months in advance for dinner.

DRINK

68 Wine Bar Soho wine bar with an NYC vibe. Long list of bottles for £20 each.

The French House Small pub in Covent Garden that used to be a gathering place for the literary crowd.

Gordon’s Wine Bar London’t oldest wine bar. This Embankment spot is located within subterranean vaults, and has a lovely outdoor patio for sunny days.

Milk and Honey Fancy cocktails at a Soho speakeasy.

New Evaristo Club Tiny dive bar in Soho that was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover. Try to go before 11pm.

The Wolseley Old World European bistro near St. James. Go for tea and book ahead.

PLAY

Big Ben and Parliament

The British Museum. Free and open every day.

Buckingham Palace Changing of the guards is at 11am every day.

The Churchill War Rooms An excellent way for history buffs to spend a few hours.

Marylebone High Street A cute spot for shopping with trendy boutiques, quaint cafes and dreamy book stores.

The National Gallery A national treasure with works by Vermeer, Titian, Cézanne, Monet, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and many more.

St. Paul’s Cathedral This Anglican cathedral has been a worship site for over 1000 years.

Tower of London A medieval castle, founded in the 11th century, that sits in the center of the city. Visit the crown jewels and notorious Tower of Terror.

West End Catch one of London’s many Broadway shows in this part of town.

Westminster Abbey Get tickets online if you fancy viewing Poets Corner and the Tomb of the Tudor sisters inside.

STAY

If work is paying and proximity to the sites, restaurants and nightlife is important, we recommend choosing a hotel in Soho, Covent Garden or Westminster. The Courthouse Hotel in Soho is lovely and close to everything.

For a more authentic experience, consider an AirBnb in one of London’s many “village-esque” neighborhoods. See more below.

EAST + SOUTH

EAT

Borough Market A foodie haven near Tower Hill with fresh produce, craft drinks and gourmet food stalls. A market has operated on this site since the 12th century.

Cay Tre Authentic (and cheap!) Vietnamese in a BYOB setting in Shoreditch.

DRINK

10 Bells Traditional pub near Spitalfields that is rumored to be the lcoation of a Jack the Ripper murder.

The Bermondsey Beer Mile Craft beer breweries on a mile long strip.

Callooh Callay Speakeasy style cocktail bar in Shoreditch. Make a booking.

Martello Hall Industrial style pub in South Hackney that is open late on the weekends.

Netil360 Relaxed roof-top bar in South Hackney.

NT’s A hip loft bar with a deck in South Hackney.

PLAY

Brick Lane Historically home to a South Asian immigrant community, this neighborhood is sadly gentrifying. The immigrant community has left their mark behind in the mosque, Indian restaurants and sweet shops that dot Brick Lane. There is a street market every Sunday.

Columbia Road Flower Market East London flower market held every Sunday, rain or shine, before 2pm.

Greenwich Home to the Prime Meridian longitudinal line, this historical borough on the Thames River is known for its rich naval history, the 19th century Cutty Sark ship (now a museum), Royal Naval College and Royal Observatory. Catch a ferry from Westminster to Greenwich and enjoy the view.

STAY

East London is younger, hipper and a bit more of a party scene. Check out Shoreditch, Hoxton or Hackney.

On the south bank of the Thames, look in Bermondsey.

NORTH

EAT

Camden Market Food stalls and stuffs, this outdoor food market features Yorkshire pudding burritos, katsu chicken burgers, halloumi fries and many more nifty concoctions.

La Creperie de Hampstead Tiny crepe cart on the Hampstead high street. Try the mushroom, cheese and tarragon.

The Spaniard’s Inn This 16th century former inn is great place for a pub lunch.

DRINK

The Flask Historic and cozy Hampstead pub.

PLAY

Camden Town The old rock and roll neighborhood, Camden is still gritty and its Camden Market is great for eating and shopping.

Hampstead Heath Wilderness in the city. This large park has great views of the city, hiking trails and natural swimming pools.

Primrose Hill This hill in Regent’s Park has an excellent view of the city.

STAY

In the north, we love Islington, Angel and Kings Cross. There will be lots of Airbnb options in all of these neighborhoods.

WEST

EAT

Bluebelles Delicious and adorable brunch spot on north Portobello Road in Notting Hill.

Lisboa Patisserie Perhaps the best Portuguese bakery in all of London, this Notting Hill institution usually has a line outside on the weekend.

Pizza East Quality pizza. Locations in Shoreditch, Kentish Town and Portobello Road.

DRINK

Bluebird Posh cocktail bar in Chelsea.

Candella Tea Room This tiny, Alice in Wonderland-type tea shop is an adorable spot for tea in Kensington.

The Churchill Arms The most Instagram-able pub in London.

Electric Diner Hip bar open late on Portobello Road.

The Orangery Take tea at Kensington Palace!

Union Tavern Canal-side pub north of Notting Hill with outdoor seating.

PLAY

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

Chelsea Trendy part of town with cute shops, restaurants and beautiful, old Victorian pubs. Take a walk down King Street.

Little Venice Three canals meet in this lovely neighborhood just west of Paddington Station. From Little Venice take a 45 minute canal boat through Regent’s Park up to Camden Town.

Portobello Road Market A Notting Hill street market held every Friday and Saturday. Great for antiques, artisanal gifts, food stalls and eclectic bric a brac.

V&A Design Museum One of the world’s leading museums on decorative arts and design.

STAY

In the West, both Notting Hill and Kensington are close to the park and have easy access to the city. Check out AirBnbs in both neighborhoods.

Nashville

Music CIty is famous for its whisky, honky tonk, live music, southern cooking and hipsters. It’s also a college town, with Vanderbilt and Belmont just a few of the universities that have campuses in the city. Be sure to pack your cowboy boots, or at least your dancing shoes!


EAT

Cabana Upscale dining with big, dreamy windows and a lovely patio near Belmont University.

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken You’ve not had fried chicken until you’ve had Hattie B’s.

The Southern Steak & Oyster Southern food in the SoBro district. Excellent for brunch.


DRINK

Bluebird Cafe Famous for turning out talent, many Nashville stars got there start here. Recommended by friends.

Honky Tonk Central Fun, three-story bar on Broadway Street with pub grub and live music.

Printer’s Alley A cute alley off of Broadway Street with karaoke bars and pubs.

Tootsies Orchid Lounge A Nashville institution. Turn up for honky tonk!


PLAY

Broadway Street The lower end of this street, close to the river, is referred to as Nashville’s Honky Tonk Highway.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Grand Ole Opry The most famous country music hall in the world.

Riverfront Park Nice spot for a walk along the Cumberland River.


STAY

If you are in town purely to enjoy the music scene and nightlife, stay downtown. Consider the Courtyard by Marriott Nashville Downtown, it’s affordable and just two blocks from Honky Tonk Highway.

 

LOCATIONS NEARBY

Brooklyn

While Brooklyn and Manhattan are separated only by the East River, Brooklyn’s vibe is a world away from the big City. It’s immigrant enclaves have inspired vibrancy and diversity, while millennials and families who call it home have found solace in its open green spaces, farmer’s markets and welcoming spirit. Come play with the cool kids.

EAT

Celestine Mediterranean restaurant on the water in Dumbo.

Doughnut Plant Tasty donuts in Prospect Heights.

Emily Beloved restaurant serving amazing wood-fired pizzas and burgers in Clinton Hill.

Grimaldi’s This landmark serves some of the best pizza in the Five Boroughs. Stand in line at the Brooklyn Bridge location for a slice or two.

Smorgasburg One of the largest, open-air food markets in the country.

Vinegar Hill House Rustic, cozy restaurant in Dumbo with a back garden. Great for weekend brunch.

Westville Locally sourced ingredients. Locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but we like the Dumbo spot.

DRINK

Brooklyn Brewery Book a Saturday or Sunday tour the morning of.

Brooklyn Roasting Company This roastery has a few locations with great ambiance.

Donna Chic cocktail bar in Williamsburg with romantic candle-lit tables and DJs.

Insa Korean barbecue and karaoke bar with private rooms in Gowanus.

Radegast Hall & Biergarten Large, indoor beer hall in Williamsburg with live music and an Oktoberfest vibe.

Spritzenhaus33 Relaxed beer hall in Greenpoint with communal tables, outdoor seating and good food.

PLAY

Brighton Beach Nicknamed Little Odessa and Little Russia for its enclave of Russian speaking immigrants. Eastern Europe Jews began immigrating here in the 1930’s, followed by a wave of Soviet Union immigrants in the 1970’s. Today Brighton is one of our favorite areas in Brooklyn and much less crowded in the summer than its northern cousin Rockaway Beach, and southern sister Coney Island. Head here for a relaxing day at the beach followed by Russian beers, perogies and borscht soup.

Brooklyn Flea A sprawling market known for its myriad of treasures. Open on Saturdays and Sundays in varying indoor and outdoor locations.

Brooklyn Bridge While touristy, the walk across this 19th century landmark should not to be missed.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Excellent views of Manhattan’s FiDi. In the summer movies are shown against the city backdrop on the lawn. Book in advance.

Norbu Contemporary jewellery boutique on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg,

Prospect Park Peaceful haven with a zoo, botanical garden, and winding paths.

STAY

Our favorite neighborhoods to stay in are Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope. If you want to be close to the City with nightlife and restaurants, choose Williamsburg, though you will pay a pretty penny. If money isn’t an issue, check out The Hoxton, which was recommended by a friend.

Otherwise, Brooklyn Heights and Prospect Park might give you more bang for your AirBnb buck.

LOCATIONS NEARBY

New York City

The City That Never Sleeps evokes all the senses: bright lights, metallic smells from the subway tracks, blaring horns, people jostling along the sidewalk and a diverse food scene thanks to the thousands immigrants calling NYC home. While there are tens of thousands incredible restaurants, bars and places in NYC, those below are just a few favorites.

From JFK airport take the AirTram to Howard Beach or Jamaica to then take the subway to Manhattan. From Howard Beach, take the A train toward Brooklyn and Downtown. From Jamaica, the E will take you to Midtown. From Newark airport, take a direct New Jersey transit train from the airport to Pennsylvania Station.

If you plan to spend at least a weekend in NYC, visit the 911 Tribute Museum and Memorial. While an emotional experience, this Museum is incredibly well done.

We’ve broken out our suggestions below by Downtown (anything below 14th Street) and Uptown (anything at 14th Street and above). In our humble opinion, Downtown has a better nightlife scene overall.

DOWNTOWN

EAT

Adrienne’s Pizza Bar Delicious square-shaped pizzas on Stone Street in the Financial District (FiDi).

Bleeker Street Pizza The best pizza in the city (we think). Pop into their tiny West Village location to grab a slice and takeaway or order delivery.

BondSt. High-end Japanese restaurant in Noho.

Cuba  Restaurant and rum bar in Greenwich ViIlage. 

Jeepney Filipino food in the East Village.

Jing Fong Enormous Cantonese dim sum restaurant in Chinatown with plates served from push-carts.

Kiki’s Amazing and affordable Greek food in Chinatown. No bookings.

Louie and Chan Italian restaurant in the Lower East Side (LES) with an Asian-inspired cocktail bar in the basement.

The Meatball Shop An NYC institution with locations across the city.

The Odeon French-American bistro in Tribeca. Great for brunch and celeb-spotting.

Pig and Khao Trendy Southeast Asian restaurant in LES.

Red Farm Trendy dim sum in the West Village. The pastrami egg-rolls are a must.

Sauce Cozy, family-style Italian in LES.

Tacqueria St. Marks Place Cheap and good by NYC standards. It gets noisy on the weekends and is on a fun street in the East Village.

Two Hands Australian restaurant in Tribeca with a great wine list and attractive serving staff!

Yuerba Buena Pricey but delicious Latin Food and cocktails.

DRINK

Antler Beer & Wine Dispensary Chill bar in LES. Good for groups.

Blind Tiger Alehouse Craft beer pub in the West Village.

Bonnie Vee Hip cocktail bar and garden in Nolita.

The Dead Rabbit Funky cocktail bar in FiDi.

Decibel Sake speakeasy in East Village.

Hill & Dale Trendy gastropub with a DJ and dancing in the back.

The Flower Shop 70’s style basement bar in LES.

Fools Gold Craft beers on tap in LES.

Happy Bones Sweet, tiny cafe in LES run by Kiwi friends.

Jeremy’s Ale House Dive bar in Seaport popular with locals and firefighters.

McSorley’s Old Ale House 1854 beer saloon in the East Village.

Meow Parlour Cat cafe in the LES that makes great coffee. All of the cats are available for adoption.

The Spotted Pig Posh pub in the West Village.

PLAY

Battery Park Walk around the oldest and southern-most tip of the island of Manhattan.

Comedy Cellar A West Village institution where many of the greats started out and still swing by for late-night gigs.

Staten Island Ferry This is a free way to take a cruise with views of the Statue of Liberty.

Tenement Museum Step back into the 19th and 20th centuries to experience life as an immigrant in New York’s LES.

Wall Street Check out the New York Stock Exchange and statues of the Charging Bull and Fearless Girl.

STAY

For those on a budget, the West Village’s historic Jane Hotel offers rooms that maximize space and shared, communal bathrooms. The Holiday Inn Financial District is another option.

UPTOWN

EAT

Chelsea Market Urban food market next to The High Line. Our favorite stalls are Los Tacos No. 1, Num Pang, the Lobster Place and Doughnuttery. There are often sample sales happening here too.

Eataly It’s touristy but a fun way to spend an hour. Locations in Flatiron and the World Trade Center.

Jacob’s Pickles Southern American in the Upper West Side (UWS). Great for brunch.

Levain Bakery The BEST chocolate cookies in the entire world. This UWS shop sells cookies the size of fists.

Red Rooster Famous Harlem restaurant revered for its Southern-inspiring cooking and jazz brunches.

DRINK

Boat Basin Cafe Great spot in UWS to sit outside as the sun falls across the Hudson.

PLAY

Broadway shows Grab same-day discounted tickets from the TKTS South Street Seaport location.

Central Park Pack a picnic and relax in Sheep’s Field.

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum Design museum on the Upper East Side.

Dizzy’s Jazz Club World renowned jazz music at Lincoln Center.

The High Line Former raised railway that is now a west side park spanning from 14th Street to Hudson Yard.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Museum of Natural History Stately gem on the UWS.

STAY

If you are on business and based in Midtown, or budget is not an issue, we recommend the Iberostar 70 Park Avenue or The Redbury Hotel.

For a more local, relaxed experience, stay in an Airbnb in a fun neighborhood. Lindsay’s brother and sister-in-law host this brownstone penthouse apartment in Harlem, just two blocks from the 125th Street station.

LOCATIONS NEARBY

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas is the jewel of Baja California. Come for the sunshine and clear Pacific waters, and stay for the fantastic Mexican food!

The airport is a 45 minute drive from Cabos San Lucas. Take a taxi on arrival or arrange pick-up through your hotel or resort.

While many places will accept USD, keep small bills handy for tipping, souvenirs and boat tours. Alternatively, take out pesos from an ATM on arrival.

EAT

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina Celebrate something special here. The views of the beach, water and sunset are stunning and the food is excellent.

Koi This hole in the wall serves amazingly fresh sushi. Recommended by a friend.

Los Claros Tasty and cheap tacos!

Los Tres Gallos Romantic, old world Mexican restaurant.

DRINK

Bar Esquina Attached to Bahia Hotel, this place comes alive at night and is a hip hang.

Mango Deck Restaurant & Beach Bar Chill spot for sunset and happy hour drinks on Medano Beach.

PLAY

Medano Beach

Pelican's Rock and Lover's Beach Accessible only by water taxi, a round trip to this iconic spot will set you back $5 a person.

Snorkel and catamaran cruise We had a great afternoon cruise with SunRider Tours, and have heard excellent things about Cabo San Lucas Tours.

STAY

Avoid the spring break crowds and stay at a boutique hotel or classy resort near Medano Beach. Check out the Bahia Hotel and Beach House or its neighbor, the slightly more upscale Casa Dorada.