Travel Inspiration & Tips

Wine Bar Bachelorette in Washington DC

The DC area boasts a surprising number of wineries and wine bars -- for an East Coast wine-filled bachelorette, here are some of the best places to try.

Top 5: Wine Bars in Washington, D.C.
By Allie Moore of Trazee Travel

The nation´s capital slowly transformed into the capital of cuisine over the past few years. Along with stepping up its culinary game, D.C. is also stepping into the spotlight of desirable wine cities. Just a few hours down the road in Virginia are some of the country´s best vineyards, which provide delicious local libations for the elite of D.C. Sip on some of these delightful glasses at one of the five wine bars below.
Vinoteca
Vinoteca´s cozy interior and welcoming patio make for a wonderful setting in which to enjoy some of the region´s best grape varieties. After a few tastes, try your hand at bocce ball on the back patio where Vinoteca has their own court.
Proof
Located a few steps from the Verizon Center in Chinatown, Proof serves more than 40 wines by the glass and stores more than 1,000 bottles of wine. The world-renowned wines complement the make-your-own cheese plates and succulent entrees such as beef terrine, duck cassoulet and wagyu steak.
Cork
This 14th Street staple inhabited the strip long before the trendy restaurants and condos followed suit. The wine bar features a hefty menu of the world´s finest wines as well as small plates to whet your appetite. A few blocks up the street is the market and tasting room where you can sample wines and then bottle your favorite to take home.
Flight Wine Bar
Some of the world´s lesser-known wine-producing countries like Lebanon and Hungary are featured on this extensive list of global goblets. Stop by on Monday for lunch or dinner as happy hour specials last all day.
Eno Wine Bar
This cozy brownstone in Georgetown pairs wine with some of its best partners: cheese, charcuterie and chocolate. Fifty varieties are available by the glass, and a weekday happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. features select wines on tap for $5.

Guest Post: What to do in Annapolis

Annapolis is a favorite destination for a bachelorette on the water that you can make as crazy or tame as you'd like. (See what we did for one bachelorette here.) And then check out these ideas for a relaxing trip from Trazee Travel.

The capital of Maryland quaintly sits on the cusp of the Chesapeake Bay where seafood reigns supreme, naval history abounds and charming old-town accents line the streets. Start your day with a coffee and pastry for less than $4 at City Dock Café in the heart of downtown. Chat with friendly locals and plan your day within the cozy café walls or outside on the patio overlooking the docks.

After a caffeine boost, head into the streets of downtown Annapolis and window shop among colonial architecture, cobblestone streets and smiling faces. A leisurely stroll along Ego Alley provides ample opportunities for window shopping, people watching and boat gawking along the water. Pop into St. Anne’s Church for a step back in history, and inquire about the seasonal free concerts held within the church. A few steps away from the church is the Maryland State House where Maryland’s government operates. There is no cost to enter and wander the halls of history and diplomacy.

Lunchtime warrants a visit to Chick and Ruth’s Delly. Although sometimes crowded thanks to its well-earned reputation, a visit is worth it for diner favorites (burgers from $5.99 to giant sandwiches, starting at $5.99) and all-day breakfast. After lunch, visit the Pennsylvania Dutch Farmer’s Market to browse both Amish and non-Amish crafts and fresh food.
To round out the day of walking history, feed your soul at the Iron Rooster, another establishment that serves all-day breakfast as well as breakfast-inspired entrees such as Cakes on Cakes: a crab cake and a cornmeal pancake topped with fried green tomatoes and chipotle hollandaise ($24.95).

Guest Post: Savannah under $100

Savannah is one of our favorite places to visit for a bachelorette or just because, and so we are thrilled to share a day in Savannah for under $100 from Trazee Travel.

Savannah, Ga., may be the perfect blend of old-world southern style and fun, young appeal. The rising music scene, trendy bars, restaurants and eclectic shopping are well matched with cobblestone streets, timeless hotels and architecture.

Start with brunch at B. Matthew’s Eatery where there may be a line, but the food and ambiance will be well worth it. The most “basic” breakfast is anything but and with a la carte options ranging from biscuits, sausage gravy, maple cakes and cheese grits, it will be difficult to choose. The shrimp and grits may not sound like brunch food, but it is easily a top contender on the menu for $9.25 and could most likely feed the entire table.

 Historic District © Sean Pavone | Dreamstime

Historic District © Sean Pavone | Dreamstime

Downtown Savannah is filled with amazing shops from vintage, homemade, high-end apparel, novelty gift stores and antiques. While browsing, stop by Forsyth Park for some Georgia culture and see the Confederate monument and famous fountain.

The Savannah District Mansion is another great stop to take in the interest of Southern history or just to take some glamorous pictures. Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia so any street corner, cathedral and river-front shop will showcase the city’s heritage.

 River Street © Natalia Bratslavsky | Dreamstime

River Street © Natalia Bratslavsky | Dreamstime

The nightlife speaks for itself in Savannah, with every street lit up with bars, live music and things to do. For something a little unique to Savannah, try a hearse tour of the city. For $17, a ghoulish tour guide picks guests up from their hotel and takes them around town educating them on haunted mansions, hotels and ghost stories buried deep in the city history.

At a low cost, anyone can get to know the unique, old city of Savannah, Ga.. The dollar can stretch pretty far when the city is so accessible by foot and each street has something fun to see, do and experience.

Adventurous Bride? Give these Wild Bachelorette Activities a Try

We're branching out today with some recos from all around the world today courtesy of South Africa-based guest blogger, Nazir Adams. (All photos courtesy of Nazir.) And, without further ado...

If you’re an adventurous bride looking for the perfect activity to get both yours and your bridesmaids' adrenaline pumping at your bachelorette before you walk down the aisle, we have amazing activities that will no doubt blow your hair back. Take a look: 

Aquaventure Water Park in Dubai, UAE

The perfect place to spend your bachelorette to cool off during a hot day, Dubai Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark offers the perfect balance of relaxation and thrill rides you won’t find anywhere else. You and your bridesmaids can get your adrenaline pumping with their record breaking rides and slides, get close to a sharks and rays, and take a moment to get your breath back by relaxing along their 700-metres of pristine private beach. Here, you can really feed your wild side at The Tower of Poseidon where you can ride the monstrous Aquaconda – the world’s largest water slide, experience weightlessness on the Zoomerango and test your nerves on Poseidon’s revenge. Lastly, to test how wild you really are, you can take the plunge on the Leap of faith at The Tower of Neptune, a nine story high mega-slide with a near-vertical drop.

Zip-Lining in Cape Town, Africa

If you want to take to the skies, zip-lining will give you a whole new perspective as you fly over a canyon on one of the longest aerial cable course in Africa. Located on the private Silvermist Wine Estate, it’s only 20 minutes away from Cape Town’s CBD, means that you and your bridesmaids won’t have to venture far from the city to enjoy this thrill. The whole course only takes two hours – meaning there is plenty of time to recover from this heart-stopping experience on the beach with a cocktail or two – but those who take part will need to be relatively fit as there is some climbing involved to get to the highest and longest cable.

Go Carting at The Track, Missouri

 

“The Track” in Missouri is home to 14 different track, each a different difficulty, and includes three unique, high-rise go-cart tracks – yes, you read that right! You will experience elevation, spiralling, twisting and turning on the 4-story track “Heavy Metal High-Rise” made out of steel and concrete, and on their two wooden race tracks, “Wild Woody” and “The Lumber Jack”. Nothing will quite blow your hair back like strapping on your seat belt and racing your girlfriends round their many, exciting tracks.

 

Disneyland Park, Paris

With amazing attractions, entertainment, dining options and shows to indulge in, Disneyland Park is the ideal place to spend your bachelorette. Get lost on Space Mountain: Mission 2, take a ride on Big Thunder Mountain (the runaway train), and visit Sleeping Beauty’s castle, before grabbing something delicious to eat at one of the many restaurants scattered across the theme park, and ending your day off by watching an entertaining show. There are five incredible lands to explore, and you can watch the firework and light displays over Sleeping Beauty Castle – truly magical!

How to Irish Pub Hop Your Way Through New York City!

In celebration of St. Patrick's Day (coming soon!), this post from our friends at Trazee Travel breaks down the Irish pubs to hit in New York City.

With one of the most popular St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world, New York City is a great place to celebrate all things Irish. The city is also home to many authentic Irish pubs. Visit one of these spots for a pint of Guinness, live music and an Irish meal.

 © Jazz Guy | Flickr

© Jazz Guy | Flickr

McSorley’s Old Ale House

The oldest bar in New York City, McSorley’s sticks to its authentic tavern roots —you’ll find sawdust on the bar floor to soak up spilled beer. Only two types of beer are on tap, dark and light ale, poured by the Irish bartenders. A bit of history: Women weren’t allowed into McSorley’s until 1970.

 © Pixonomy | Flickr

© Pixonomy | Flickr

Molly’s Shebeen

Molly’s is a traditional Irish pub and restaurant on Manhattan’s East Side. Opened in 1895, the space served as a grocery store during Prohibition. Today, Molly’s offers guests bar grub alongside classic Irish dishes, including Shepherd’s Pie.

 Paddy Reilly’s, New York © Jazz Guy | Flickr

Paddy Reilly’s, New York © Jazz Guy | Flickr

Paddy Reilly’s Music Bar

 

This Irish pub is best known as a great spot for live music. Check out weekly performances by Irish rock groups and Celtic crooners. Paddy Reilly’s has a generous daily happy hour from 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

 

 The Dead Rabbit © Edsel Little | Flickr

The Dead Rabbit © Edsel Little | Flickr

The Dead Rabbit

 

The newest bar on this list, The Dead Rabbit holds the prestigious title of World’s Best Bar in 2015 at the Spirited Awards, the industry’s highest accolade. Don’t let the 2013 opening deter you — The Dead Rabbit is authentic. The co-owners previously worked together at The Merchant Hotel in Belfast. Enjoy cocktails and small plates and everything in between. You can even order Irish groceries from behind the counter.

 

 Donovan’s, New York © Krista | Flickr

Donovan’s, New York © Krista | Flickr

Donovan’s

 

A subway ride away in Queens, Donovan’s Pub features a full food and drink menu with Irish-American favorites. The burgers often make “best of” lists in New York City.

Travel Inspiration: Top 5 Beaches in Mexico

 Photo credit:  Mindaugas Danys

Photo credit: Mindaugas Danys

Cabo or Cancun? Mexico has even more to offer -- here's Trazee Travel's top 5 beaches:

There are more beaches in Mexico than you can possibly experience in one lifetime, but we suggest visiting one of these five playas.

Bahia Balandra

If you want a quiet escapae from civilization, Bahia Balandra is located in the remote Baja California Sur, a semi-desert landscape filled with wildlife and flora and semi-virgin beaches. There’s almost no tourism here, so you can enjoy the white sand and turquoise waters all by yourself.

Stone Island

Mazatlan has a lot of beaches, but Stone Island is a great daytrip for people who want to get out of the city. A small panga will take 10 minutes to get you to the island, where you can enjoy some great seafood and beach activities like jet skiing, ATVs and parasailing. There are also plenty of less intense excursions like snorkeling and horseback riding.

Playa del Amor

Most people go to Mexico for the resort life, but tourists can take a break from the commercialism and hitch a boat to la Playa del Amor, a crescent-shaped beach home to the famous El Arco. Strong waves come in from the Pacific Ocean, so swimming should be done on the Sea of Cortez side.

Zipolite

A holdover from the 60s, Zipolite was famous as a counterculture destination for hippies. This is a great surf spot for people on a budget, but a number of upscale establishments are starting to pop up, drawing an international crowd.

Sayulita Beach

Sayulita is another “discovery” from the 60s, when American surfers traversing Mexican Highway 200 stumbled upon the small fishing village. Today, it is a thriving beach destination that retains its small-town feel, filled with cafes, guesthouses and musicians, in addition to indigenous Huichol Indians selling their bead painting in the town square.

Guest Post: Top 5 Austin Breweries

Austin beer photo.jpg

Austin is one of our favorite bachelorette destinations, and a stop at one of the city's breweries is a fantastic way to spend a hot spring afternoon out on the town. Here are five of the best options from Trazee Travel.

Hops & Grain

Hop-forward beer is the focus at Hops & Grain, located downtown at the eastern end of Sixth Street. Hop heads flock to the friendly taproom seven days a week to get their fill of the brewery's latest can release of its renowned Greenhouse IPA series; each month it changes the hop varieties used in order to give drinks a different aroma and flavor experience. In addition to beers, Hops & Grain offers coffee and kombucha on tap as well as a bunch of board games and brew biscuits made from leftover grains for dogs to enjoy on the patio.

Austin Beerworks

The brewers at Austin Beerworks brew what they like to drink, and a lot of beer enthusiasts like what this microbrewery in North Austin creates, especially for its "Core Four" consisting of its Fire Eagle American IPA, Black Thunder German-style Schwarz, Peacemaker Anytime Ale and Pearl-Snap German-Style Pils. The brewery was put on the Texas beer map when it sold out of their 99-packs of Peacemaker Anytime Ale the same day they were released in 2014. Share Austin Beerworks' passion for a strong core as well as seasonal creations and exclusive beers on a visit to the friendly taproom, open at select times Thursday-Sunday.

Jester King Brewery

Nestled on a 200-acre ranch in breathtaking Texas Hill Country, Jester King Brewery is an authentic farmhouse brewery set a 30-minute drive from downtown Austin that boasts postcard-perfect views and delicious brews. Jester King is unique in that it harvests naturally occurring wild yeast from the flora at the brewery to blend and ferment its beer. The results from the process are wild ales and spontaneously fermented beers with both a sense of place reflecting the character of the location and delicious taste.

The brewery recently purchased an additional 58 acres of land to plant and harvest grains, herbs and vegetables for brewing this spring and to start both a vineyard and orchard. Take a tour to learn more and visit the tasting room for an on-site beer Friday-Sunday. Pair a beer with handcrafted, artisan pizza from neighboring Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza, set on the same ranch.

Live Oak Brewery

The city's oldest craft brewery has been producing well-liked lagers and ales since 1997. Live Oak is committed to crafting old-world style beers that are rarely commercially available, like a hefeweizen modeled after the classic wheat beers of Bavaria, a pilsner styled after the Bohemian classic and an amber lager inspired by the clean, dry lagers of Vienna. The brewery is in the middle of constructing a new space on a patch of prime Texas landscape along the Colorado River minutes from downtown Austin. Here, visitors will find the same great beers Live Oak has always offered, as well as seasonal and exclusive beers and a new taproom and beer garden.

Blue Owl Brewing

Blue Owl is a relatively new addition to the Austin craft beer scene, but boasts an impressive lineup of brews. The urban brewery is the first in the United States to exclusively make, distribute, and sell sour-mash beers, featuring delicious concoctions with unique names like Spirit Animal, a sour pale ale; Little Boss, a sour session wheat; Professor Black, a sour cherry stout; and Van Dayum!, a sour red ale. A visit to the brewery promises not to sour anyone's mood as tours guide guests through the sour-mash process and Blue Owl's different beer styles and the tasting room provides thirsty visitors the chance to enjoy the tart versions of beer styles we all know and love.

Bachelorette Destinations to Add to Your List

It's that time of year. The holidays are officially over, your favorite SoulCycle class is madly oversubscribed with New Year's resolution makers, and you just realized you still haven't landed on a location for your bestie's spring bachelorette (let alone have started planning it!)

It's time for some destination inspiration. Here are the five places we're most excited about this spring:

  • Bourbon Trail. Even better if you can plan a trip around Kentucky Derby weekend – we’re always game to wear huge hats and/or seersucker – but at any time of year, the area around Lexington has an amazing bourbon and the distillery and tasting tours are both fascinating and fun. Some favorites include Willet, Four Roses, Bulleit, and Woodford Reserve (get lunch there!). Take some time to drive down scenic Route 62 and also to swing by Paris (Kentucky) for a French twist to your adventure (Bour-Bon for French farm-to-table food and entertainment)
  • .Aspen. This spring bachelorette can go two ways – for an early spring bachelorette, see if you can get in on the last part of ski season – otherwise try to push it until the snows have melted and spring has properly arrived in the Rockies so you can enjoy outdoor activities (rock climbing lessons, anyone?) For a group that loves to ski, bike, or hike, Aspen has it all. The apres-ski scene is also perfect for a bachelorette, as you have a mix of everything from more casual ski bars to loungey cocktail bars to clubs imported from LA.
  • Key West. Key West is a perfect destination for a bachelorette who wouldn’t be caught dead in heels (she’s wearing her Havaianas under her Vera Wang). Go a ghost tour, check out a drag show, spend a day on the water exploring the beautiful Florida Keys, and do a bar crawl of all the places on Duval Street since it’s probably five o’clock somewhere. Return home a little blurry-eyed but truly relaxed.
  • Santa Fe. Neighboring Arizona's Scottsdale may get more bachelorette attention, but we think Santa Fe is an underrated gem, perfect for a laidback weekend. Besides glorious weather during the spring, it boasts outdoor hot springs, beautiful spas, a range of outdoor activities, tequila tastings, and even a little bit of culture.
  • Cartagena, Colombia. Spend time enjoying both the beaches (make sure to take a boat out for a day!) and the nightlife and restaurants in Old Town. Café del Mar for sunset drinks, Cevicheria for (you guessed it) ceviche and Babar and La Movida for going out are some stand-outs.. If you need a break from both Old City and the beach, try visiting El Totumo for a volcanic mud bath. (Touristy, quite possibly. But there’s no bonding experience quite like it.)

Guest Post: Venice Beach for Under $100

Under $100: Venice Beach

By Trazee Travel

This beach town on the outskirts of Los Angeles is known for its character and colorful culture. With street art covering almost every wall and storefront, creativity is flourishing. Just walking the entire beachfront boardwalk is enough to keep a tourist entertained entirely free for at least half a day.

Start on Washington Boulevard grabbing coffee or breakfast at Cows End Café. The local shop has wide-open windows and an upstairs tree house feel perfect for a little people watching. Breakfast and coffee usually ranges about $10 total, depending on how hungry you’re feeling.

Walk down the boardwalk past the sand volleyball courts toward the heart of Venice on Windward Avenue. On any given weekend you can stop and watch the local break-dance crew perform a both comedic and entirely impressive show. They bust their moves every Saturday.

From there, you can walk just steps to the famous Venice Beach skate park and see a mass of talented skaters take on the pipes. Next to that is the constantly changing art wall where new artists come in regularly to literally paint the town with something new and fresh.

Stop in at the bike shop on the same street and rent a couple of beach cruisers for $10 an hour and take the path down to the Santa Monica Pier. Just before you get to the pier you can stop and watch an array of acrobatic gymnasts play around on the rings and walk the tight ropes.

Sunset is the perfect time to take the $4 Ferris wheel ride to get prime views of the ocean and Los Angeles city lights. In an entertainment driven city, you don’t have to spend much to get amazing experiences.

Guest Post: Get Started on a Houston Bachelorette

With ties to Dallas and Houston -- and ever-abiding love of Austin -- we're always happy to have a reason to explore Texas. If you want to spend a day in Houston -- without breaking the bank -- these suggestions will get you on your way!

By Katie Skrzek of Trazee Travel

The most populous city in Texas, Houston is continually growing. With an expanding restaurant scene, beautiful public parks and a bustling downtown, Houston is the place to be in the Lone Star State.

Start your morning with breakfast tacos at Tacos A Go Go. Combine eggs with your favorite toppings — chorizo is a go-to for locals — all made from scratch. Breakfast costs $5. With locations throughout the city, rent a Houston bicycle for $5 for the entire day. Ride to Hermann Park with a two-mile hiking and biking trail.

Satisfy a Texas-sized appetite at Bernie’s Burger Bus. Boasting homemade ingredients, Bernie’s offers a burger for every taste, including their behemoth Detention burger with two patties sandwiches between two bacon grilled cheeses serving as buns. Lunch costs $20. Walk off your hefty lunch at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston. The free museum displays work from the best international, national and regional artists of the past 40 years. Tours are available at a fee.

Sample true Texas whiskey on a tour and tasting at the Yellow Rose Distillery. Tours cost $7 and include tastings of four Yellow Rose whiskeys and the Howdy Stranger vodka. A visit to Houston isn’t complete without a Tex-Mex meal. Go to Ninfa’s on Navigation for menu staples like enchiladas, tamales and —their most popular dish — fajitas. Dinner costs $20–25.

End your night under the stars at The Showboat Drive-in Theater. Located a short drive from downtown, the $7 price of admission includes a double feature.