Local guide: Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Local guide: Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A. by A4A guest writer, Katie Lopez.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Overview of Nashville

Nashville is the second largest city in Tennessee and the fifth largest in the southeastern United States.

Nashville is nicknamed “Music City U.S.A.” but it has much more going on than just the music scene. Nashville offers a variety of attractions, restaurants, public parks, and of course music that makes its culture diverse. Anyone can find something to enjoy when visiting Nashville.

guitars-nashville-tennessee-u-s-a-pixabay

Planning a trip to the states? Check out other posts about destinations in the U.S.A.

Top 5 places to visit

5. 12South Neighborhood

The 12South Neighborhood is just a few miles from downtown Nashville and has a great restaurant scene that includes barbeque, burgers, Mexican food, Italian, ice cream, popsicles, specialty doughnuts, and more! The neighborhood also includes Sevier Park and locally owned boutiques for great shopping.

4. Radnor Lake

The park surrounding Radnor Lake has a variety of trails that anyone can walk with great views at every step. A 3 mile loop surrounds the lake and includes both paved and dirt paths. This path is mostly flat and is an easy hike. For the more active, there are also steep trails throughout the park.

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3. Arrington Vineyards

From April to November, Arrington Vineyards puts on “Music in the Vines” where guests can listen to bluegrass music while sipping their wine on the lawn. This place is great for wine connoisseurs and family’s alike. They offer lawn space to enjoy a picnic and relax! Food can be brought in at no charge. Also, they offer a “picnic tasting” which includes four small pours of whatever wines you choose.

2. Cheekwood Botanical Garden

Cheekwood is a great place to walk around and enjoy nature. In addition to flowers, the garden also features various sculptural exhibits throughout the year. The flora change with the season and there is always something new to see.

Cheekwood Botanical Garden. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Katie Lopez

Photo credit: A4A guest writer – Katie Lopez

1. Broadway Avenue

This iconic Nashville street is bustling with music and people. You will find live music in just about every bar you walk into. Several bars have open rooftops which offer a great view of the city and the Cumberland River. There are also some great attractions off of Broadway Street, including Ryman Auditorium, Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

Eating and drinking

Aside from the 12South neighborhood, there are also great places to eat and drink in The Gulch, Hillsboro Village, Midtown, and East Nashville neighborhoods.

Hot (spicy) chicken is a Nashville specialty and Hattie B’s offers a variety of heat levels for any taster. Edley’s Barbeque is one of the best barbeque joints and has locations in the 12South and East Nashville neighborhoods.

Patterson House in Midtown is a former speakeasy and has an impressive drink menu that it always changing and always unique. Mas Tacos in East Nashville is one of the best (and cheap!) places to get Mexican food in town.

Transport

The easiest way for visitors to get around in Nashville is through ride-share apps like Lyft or Uber. The city is not very walkable from neighborhood to neighborhood, but ride-share prices are reasonable, especially when split with multiple people. Downtown parking can get expensive, but most other neighborhoods offer street parking or free parking for the first hour. There are public buses, but they tend to be focused more on commuters than out of town visitors.

transport-in-nashville-tennessee-u-s-a-pixabay

Accommodation

There are a LOT of hotels in Nashville, especially downtown and on West End Ave. These are very convenient locations to get to anywhere else in the city. If staying with a large group, AirBnB is a great option. Many bustling areas of Nashville are also residential, so you are likely to find convenient locations with AirBnb.

Although there are a lot of hotels near the airport, it is better to stay closer than downtown than the airport. The airport is only 20 minutes from downtown, but it is not centrally located and Ubers and Lyfts more frequently traffic the downtown area.


Katie Lopez. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Katie LopezA4A guest writer – Katie Lopez

Katie Lopez is a 20-something who strives to live a balanced life in terms of travel, exercise, healthy eating, and fun while navigating the adult world and responsibilities that come with it.

Follow Katie at http://adultingdaily.com/, on Instagram and Twitter.

If you would like to work with Adoration 4 Adventure, contact A4A.

All photos in this article are the property of A4A guest writer Katie Lopez or have been sourced from Pixabay Public Domain and are for free commercial use.


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Adoration 4 adventure's local guide for visitor's to Nashville. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

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How much does it cost to backpack Central America?

How much does it cost to backpack Central America?

Adoration 4 Adventure’s budget breakdown of costs to backpack Central America.

If you are contemplating a backpacking trip in Central America, then this is a great place to start! After spending 9 weeks traveling to each of the 7 countries, I am sharing what I know. This is the total trip costs broken down to help you budget for your own Central American adventure.

How much does it cost to backpack Central America?

The countries in Central America will vary in price difference, as will some cities – the more touristic locations attracting higher costs. As a general rule of thumb, the cheapest countries to travel within are Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Nicaragua is slightly more expensive, and gets more pricey the further south you travel. The more expensive countries to travel in are Belize, Costa Rica and Panama.

Each country has its own charms and uniqueness so it is a shame to skip any based on budget restrictions alone. For example, I cooked more in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama but in the other countries enjoyed the street food instead (USD $1-2.50 each for a meal). By using this article as a guide, you will be able to set your budget and expectations for whichever Central American destination you are heading to.

I traveled on a backpacking budget, e.g. hostels, budget hotels, street food and local transportation. I also traveled during the rainy season which meant off peak prices, particularly for accommodation. Although I wasn’t as strict as I could have been – splurging on ice creams, beers and the occasion shuttle bus. So feel free to take that into consideration and adjust your budget estimates accordingly.

My average daily spend: $27 USD per person ($35 AUD as of 11 August 2016).

To help you plan for your trip, I have included below:

  • The locations I stayed in
  • The daily cost for each country
  • Resource links for more information
  • Tips on how you can save even more
  • Screen shots of my budget breakdown for Entertainment, Food, Travel (Transport), Vacation (Accommodation), Health Care (I caught a bad cold!) and Automobile (Car Hire).

How much does it cost to backpack Belize?

Places I stayed: Caye Caulker, Ambergris Caye and San Ignacio (10 days in total).

Average daily spend: $40 USD per person* ($51.90 AUD as at 11 August 2016) excluding the ATM Caves tour and cost of accommodation on Caye Caulker.

*This daily amount could be reduced by sticking strictly to street food or cooking your own meals. Budget rooms on Caye Caulker start at around USD $50 per night.

Resources to help you plan:

How much does it cost to backpack Guatemala?

Places I stayed: Flores, Lanquin (Semuc Champey), Antigua and Lake Atitlan (12 days in total).

Average daily spend: 244.25 Quetzales per person* ($31.71 USD /  $41.15 AUD as at 11 August 2016).

*This daily amount could be reduced by taking local transport (see itinerary post for alternative methods), sticking strictly to street food or cooking your own meals. 

Resources to help you plan:

How much we spent backpacking Guatemala

How much does it cost to backpack Honduras?

Places I stayed: Copan Ruinas.

Average daily spend: 728.75 Lempiras per person* ($31.46 USD / $40.82 AUD as at 11 August 2016) excluding accommodation costs.

*This daily amount could be reduced by skipping certain activities or spreading them out over a longer period of time to reduce the daily cost. Budget double rooms in Copan Ruinas start around USD $15 per night.

Resources to help you plan:

How much does it cost to backpack El Salvador?

Places I stayed: Juayua, El Tunco and El Cuco.

Average daily spend: $11.30 USD per person* ($14.66 AUD as at 11 August 2016) excluding the cost of accommodation.

*Budget double rooms start around USD $29 per night. There were problems with bed bugs in Juayua, which is why I received the full refund – make sure to check your mattress carefully before taking a room.

Resources to help you plan:

How much we spent backpacking El Salvador

How much does it cost to backpack Nicaragua?

Places I stayed: Leon, Granada, Omtepe and Playa Marsella (16 days in total).

Average daily spend: $17.90 USD per person* ($23.23 AUD as at 11 August 2016) excluding the cost of accommodation in Playa Marsella and two nights’ accommodation in Granada.

*This daily amount could be reduced by sticking more strictly to street food or cooking your own meals. Budget rooms start around USD $18 in Granada and USD $20 in San Juan Del Sur.

Resources to help you plan:

How much we spent backpacking Nicaragua in USD

How much we spent backpacking Nicaragua in Cordobas

How much does it cost to backpack Costa Rica?

Places I stayed: San Jose and La Fortuna (4 days in total).

Average daily spend: $38.24 USD per person* ($49.62 AUD as at 11 August 2016) excluding the cost of accommodation in La Fortuna.

*I decided to rent a car from San Jose to La Fortuna. You could opt to travel by bus which would save you money upfront but could end up costing more if you have to catch taxis to get around the town. Budget rooms in La Fortuna start around USD $25.

Resources to help you plan:

How much we spent backpacking Costa Rica in USD

How much we spent backpacking Costa Rica in Colones

How much does it cost to backpack Panama?

Places I stayed: Bocas del Toro and Panama City (8 days in total).

Average daily spend: $20.50 USD* ($26.60 AUD as at 11 August 2016) excluding the cost of accommodation in Panama City and two nights’ accommodation in Bocas del Toro.

*The daily cost could be reduced further by sticking strictly to street food or cooking your own meals. I cooked a lot in Bocas del Toro but not in Panama City. Budget rooms start around USD $15 in Bocas del Toro and USD $30 in Panama City.

Resources to help you plan:

How much we spent backpacking Panama

All photos in this article are the were sourced from Pixabay and are free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.


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Adoration 4 Adventure's budget breakdown for our costs to backpack Central America. My 9 week backpacking trip broken down so you can plan yours.

Have you been to Central America before? Share your stories and budget tips below!

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Local guide: RVing the National Parks in the United States of America

Local guide: RVing the National Parks in the United States of America

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for RVing the National Parks in the United States of America by A4A guest writer, Gaby Cuda.

Local guide posts provide recommended destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

America the Beautiful: A Guide to RVing the National Parks

RVing across the United States can make for an amazing vacation. Whether you stay in luxury campgrounds or boondock in national parks, you’ll get to see the country (and what it’s like to live in an RV). If you’re the more adventurous sort, you’re probably more drawn to the idea of camping overnight in a national park. There are hundreds of beautiful places where you can camp overnight, from the pine forests of Maine to the Badlands of South Dakota. We’ve put together a guide to some of the most notable parks, along with some tips on getting ready for national park camping.

5 National Parks You Can’t Miss

Acadia National Park, Maine

They don’t call Maine vacationland for nothing; with towering pine forests and thousands of miles of rivers, lakes, and streams, Maine is the perfect to explore the wilderness. Acadia National Park is a three-hour drive from Portland, located along the coastline of beautiful Bar Harbor. There are several places to park your RV overnight, some of which have hookups. If you want electricity and water, head to Schoodic Woods Campground, where overnight sites for RVs are $40 with hookups. If you’re into roughing it, Seawall Campground has $30 sites with no water, electricity, or showers. Either way, you’ll want to make a reservation ahead of time since the spots fill up quickly.

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Redwood National Park, California

Taking our trip to the other side of the country, Redwood National Park in California is truly a sight to behold. Camp among the tallest trees on earth in one of the Park’s four developed campgrounds. We’ll give you fair warning – there are no hookups at any of them, so prepare to dry camp. The parks accept RVs between 24 and 36 feet in length, depending on available sites. Jedidiah Smith Campground will take RVs up to 36-feet, and has showers, a dumping facility, and fire pits. The standard camping fee for all four parks is $36 per night.

redwood-national-park-california

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

You can’t make a list of National Parks without including Yellowstone. Home to the infamous Old Faithful, Yellowstone was the first National Park in America. There are 12 campgrounds throughout the park, seven of which are operated by the National Park Service. Mammoth is the only campground that’s open all year, and they enforce a 30-foot limit on RVs during the winter. Fishing Bridge RV Campground is the only one with hookups, and the overnight fee is $47.50. Other campgrounds range from $15 to $29 for overnight stays.

grand-prismatic-spring-yellowstone-national-park-wyoming

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Staying overnight in the Badlands of South Dakota is like taking a trip back in time. Once home to saber-toothed cats and other prehistoric mammals, the Badlands are quite literally packed with natural history. In fact, the Badlands have one of the richest fossil beds on the planet! There are two options for camping: overnighting with electrical hookups at Cedar Pass Campground ($37) or going primitive at Sage Creek Campground for free. If you’re camping in the winter, you’ll find a select few spots at Cedar Pass, which stays open throughout the year.

badland-national-park-south-dakota

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Probably one of the most intriguing National Parks in the U.S., Mammoth Cave Park in Kentucky is home to the longest known cave system in the world. Channel your inner explorer as you meander through the cave’s winding tunnels and expansive chambers. There’s only one campground in the park, which is just a few minutes’ walk to the visitor’s center, where your descent into the cave begins. Keep in mind, you won’t have hookups here, but you’ll have access to clean drinking water, bathrooms, and a dump station. Overnight fees range from $20 to $25, depending on the season.

National Park Camping – What to Know Before You Go

Camping in an RV is convenient and comfortable, but it requires a bit of planning. Whether you own an RV or are renting one from a peer-to-peer site like RVshare, you’ll need to get your ducks in a row before you head out on your adventure. The following tips will make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible:

  • As with any RV trip, always plan your route ahead of time. This isn’t just for your wallet’s sake; it’s for safety’s sake, too. Many of the country’s national parks are in areas you can only reach by steep, winding, or unpaved roads. There are several options for RV-specific GPS devices, which help you avoid tight turns and other tricky driving conditions.
  • Call the campground ahead of time when making a reservation. Each campground has their own limitations and restrictions. For example, many campgrounds don’t accept RV’s over 30 feet. Some of them aren’t accessible to RVs that are too high or too wide. Take measurements of your RV and call the campground for advice.
  • Since most national park campgrounds are primitive, meaning they don’t have hookups for electric and water, you’ll need to know how to dry camp. Camping without hookups is cheap, but it can be tricky. You’ll need to watch every drop of water you use and every minute you run your generator. In fact, you should avoid using your generator as much as possible. This blog has a great list of boondocking tips.
  • Lastly, do your research on the particular park in which you’ll be staying. You may need to make additional preparations for some parks. For example, Yellowstone is known to have a lot of bears, so they suggest you purchase a can of bear spray and keep it on you at all times. Make sure you research any safety hazards and other pertinent information before you arrive.

The Wrap Up

America has some of the most diverse landscapes in the world. From ancient trees to labyrinthian cave systems, there’s no end to the places you can explore in the U.S. National Parks offer RVers a way to experience the natural beauty of the country for a fraction of the price of staying in hotels. No matter what park you decide to call your temporary home, you’re sure to have an adventure you’ll never forget.


A4A guest writer – Gaby Cuda

Gaby is a Full-time RVer that has been traveling the U.S. with her husband and her Maltipoo. She has been to over 20 states and plans on tackling the east coast next year. During her down time, she enjoys hiking, making music with her husband, and sipping on flat whites.

Follow Gaby on Facebook and Instagram.

If you would like to work with Adoration 4 Adventure, contact A4A.

All photos in this article are the were sourced from Pixabay  and are free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. This is a guest post written by Gaby Cuda for which I received a small payment to go towards the costs of running this website.


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Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for RVing the National Parks in the United States of America by A4A guest writer, Gaby Cuda.

Have you gone RVing in the U.S.A. or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

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Local guide: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Local guide: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. by A4A guest writer, Jojo.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Overview of Philadelphia

Philadelphia is known for its history as well as Philly Cheesesteaks. But besides that, it is also a friendly city that is easy to get around by walking. There are a verity of food options, shops, arts, and actives for all ages. It is a nice balance with lots of touristy things to see as well as local things to experience.

Top 5 places to visit

5. Fishtown

This section of Philadelphia is also known as the hipster part of Philadelphia. There are many fusion eateries as well as boutique shops. The best thing to do around this area is take a walk and bring a camera. Fishtown has a lot of fun physical and wall arts all around, as well as interesting house designs.

The Fishtown section of Philadelphia, located immediately northeast of Center City, was named for its former role as the center of the shad fishing industry on the Delaware River. While historically it has been a working-class neighborhood, in recent years it has experienced a regentrification, with housing redevelopment and the opening of upscale art, entertainment and dining establishments. The SEPTA #15 trolley, which hearkens back to the older days, still runs through Fishtown.

Credit: Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia.

4. Pennslanding /Delaware Waterfront

There is no best time to visit this location because there is always something going on. With weekly (almost daily) events in the summer at the Great Plaza like cultural festivals, free concerts and movie screenings at night. Most events are free and very kid friendly.

In the summer there is also Spruce Street Harbor Park. The area is lit up by changing colored lights hanging from the trees. Every night, the park is filled with people hanging out in the hammocks, playing games, visiting food vendors and getting drinks. There is no admission fee so you only pay for what you buy to eat or drink.

While you are down Pennslanding, don’t forget Race Street Pier. A great view from under the Ben Franklin Bridge, right on the river. In the summer, you can enjoy free outdoor yoga classes or lay in the grass and enjoy the weather. You cannot fish here but there are many other piers along the Delaware River you can fish at.

3. Ben Franklin Bridge

Did you know you can walk from Philadelphia to Camden on the Ben Franklin Bridge? It is a bit of a workout if you are jogging or biking but it is great for a leisurely walk. You can enjoy the view of the Philadelphia skyline as well as the Delaware Waterfront and Camden’s Waterfront.

Named after Philadelphia’s arguably favorite Founding Father, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge has become an iconic landmark. The 9,573-foot span connects Philadelphia and New Jersey and hosts 100,000 cars per day, plus the elevated PATCO train and walkers and runners, who traverse the Delaware River via pedestrian walkways.

Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

2. Surrounding Art Museum area

The Art Museum is nice inside but if art is not your thing, you should still visit the surrounding area. From the front of the museum steps, you have a stunning view down the Ben Franklin Parkway with City Hall at the end and some of the Philadelphia skyline to your right.

Behind the art museum you can go either way to Kelly Drive or the Schuylkill River Trail and still be by the water. Enjoy a nice jog, bike ride or walk along the river.

The art of horticulture is on display in the gardens framing the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Hundreds of plant species bloom throughout the year to create stunning visual displays that welcome visitors to the iconic museum.

Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

1. River Rink

For something to do in summer or winter, visit the River Rink. In the summer, you can rent roller-skates and enjoy the summer breeze. In the winter, rent ice skates and enjoy some hot chocolate by the bonfires. There is an admission fee for skate rentals but none to just stop by and enjoy the scenery.

At the open-air Blue Cross RiverRink on PennÕs Landing, skaters take in a spectacular view of the city while gliding alongside the Delaware River. Outside the rink, a pop-up holiday winter garden and village called Waterfront Winterfest features craft vendors, music, food and drinks, and a holiday-themed light show dazzles every hour from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m. Plus, under a massive 400-person warming tent created from recycled shipping containers, folks enjoy comfort food, holiday cocktails and local beers.

Credit: Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

Eating and drinking

For a good Philadelphia Cheesesteak skip Pat’s and Geno’s and head to a corner store. The Oregon Cheesesteaks is also a good choice. For the best cheese fries, stop by Ishkabibbles on South Street.

Philadelphia also has plenty of food trucks around school campuses. Temple University, Penn and Community College of Philadelphia are a couple campuses to check out.

For good Mexican food, try a couple of places in South Philadelphia near the Italian market. Many of the places seem to be family owned and all providing great service and delicious food.

There are two plazas on Washington Ave providing good Vietnamese options: 6th & Washington and 11th & Washington.

Old City would be the best places for drinks. However, Philadelphia has been running a lot of outdoor happy-hours throughout the city called Sips. There are many locations with different vibes and crowds.

The skyline of Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood, with only a few tall buildings, stands in sharp contrast to the skyscraper-heavy Center City. At 17 stories and 287 feet, the U.S. Custom House (1934) at 2nd and Chestnut Streets dwarfs many of the surrounding historic buildings in the area. The building’s base is clad in limestone with decorative aluminum details, and the art deco tower is made of red brick and limestone and culminates in an octagonal lantern. The Society Hill Towers, built in 1963 as part of a Society Hill restoration effort, include three 32-story high-rises on five acres of landscaped grounds at 2nd and Locust Streets.

Credit: Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Transport

Philadelphia is a pretty easy city to get around by foot and public transportation. There are two subway lines that runs along Broad Street and Market Street. You can purchase a daily pass which will allow you to take the subway, trolley or bus.

A new bike share program called Indigo has recently been implemented. Available near all major attractions and near most other areas, you can rent a bike and return it to any other Indigo locations throughout the city. You can also download the Indigo app to help you find these locations.

After getting to a major location like Center City or the Art Museum, it is easy to get around by foot. You would actually save a lot more time and stress by avoiding traffic and taking a walk.

With the launch of Indego, PhiladelphiaÕs bike share program, riders can hop on one of 600 bright blue bicycles stationed at 70 kiosks and easily pedal around the city. The bikes, which are equipped with two baskets for carrying small items, are offered for rent by the trip with monthly and annual memberships available.

Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Accommodation

For accommodations, there are big hotels on Pennslanding and a couple around Center City. However, they are pretty pricey since you will be paying for the view and location. I would recommend using Airbnb or another host rental website to find cheaper accommodation. I even once saw a little boat for rent on Airbnb.


A4A guest writer – Jojo

Hello! I am a local from Philadelphia and has been all my life. Although Philadelphia is my home, I am actively working towards seeing other cities and experience new places every year. I love the water and my life goal right now is to try to do one pull-up.

Follow Jojo at http://www.expeditionjojo.com/, on Facebook and Instagram.

All photos in this article are the were provided by Visit Philadelphia and the photo credit has been included.


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Adoration 4 adventure's local guide for visitor's to Philadelphia. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

Have you visited Philadelphia or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

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Local guide: Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Local guide: Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Washington, DC, U.S.A. by A4A guest writer, Hannah Bauman.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Overview of  Washington, DC

Besides being the capital of the US, Washington DC is a quaint city with an eclectic mix of history, monuments, museums, and a great local food scene. DC has something for everyone, whether you’re a history buff, an art fiend, or a foodie. Most of DC’s big attractions are free and great for families with young children.

Planning a trip to the states? Check out our other posts about destinations in the U.S.A.

Key Bridge that connects Georgetown and Washington, DC. Photo credit: A4A Guest writer, Hannah Bauman

Top 5 places to visit

5. Smithsonian’s National Zoo

The Smithsonian National Zoo is a great attraction for visitors of all ages. Now famous for the panda babies, the National Zoo is small enough to be seen in half a day and is home to plenty of species. My favorite attraction is the big cat area; the lions and tigers are always hanging out for visitors to watch. Entry is free year round.

4. The National Portrait Gallery

Though this is probably the least family-friendly of the attractions on this list, it’s a great museum for art enthusiasts and those looking to break away from throngs of tourists. This museum houses paintings and art spanning centuries and Western cultures. Entry is free year round.

3. The National Archives

Ever wanted to see the Declaration of Independence? Then you need to visit the National Archives! Though the wait to get in can be long, it’s worth it. Seeing America’s founding documents is an awe-inspiring experience. Entry is free year round.

National Archives. Photo credit: A4A Guest Writer - Hannah Bauman

2. The Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum

These are two of the most popular museums for families. Interactive exhibits and IMAX movies make it ideal for visitors with young children, though the information is great for everyone. These museums gets crowded quickly, so your best bet is to go early in the day. Entry is free year round, but I highly suggest paying for a planetarium show at the Air and Space Museum! They’re only $8 per person.

National Air and Space Museum. Photo credit: A4A Guest Writer - Hannah Bauman

1. The National Mall

Take a walking or biking tour of the National Mall to see all of the major sites in DC, including the White House, Congress, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the various war memorials. The mall is free year round but ideal for spring or fall when the weather is nice. It’s a long walk, so wear good shoes!

Lincoln Memorial. Photo credit: A4A Guest Writer - Hannah Bauman

Eating and drinking

If you’re near the National Mall, you’ll probably get stuck eating at a museum or food truck. But, if you’re willing to head out into the District more, head over to the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Close to Congress, Capitol Hill has great, cheap eats for the whole family, including burger joints and donut shops.

US Capitol. Photo credit: A4A Guest Writer - Hannah Bauman

Transport

The DC Metro has switched to metro cards only now, but that’s the cheapest way to get around anyway. If you’re using the Metro on the weekends, be prepared to wait as the trains only run every 20 minutes on the weekends. If you can’t figure out where you’re going, just ask someone on the platform or a Metro employee. People are friendly here!

Accommodation

The cheapest hotels will be found outside the center of DC. Some neighborhoods to consider are Arlington and Crystal City, as they’re still Metro accessible.

Georgetown Row Houses. Photo credit: A4A Guest Writer - Hannah Bauman


A4A guest writer – Hannah BaumanA4A guest writer – Hannah Bauman

I’m a blogger, editor, and writer at Cats & Coffee. I live in DC with my boyfriend and our cat, Iggy. When I’m not blogging, I like to explore DC, play tennis, and visit local wineries.

Follow Hannah at www.thecatsandcoffee.com, on Facebook and Twitter.

If you would like to work with Adoration 4 Adventure, contact A4A.

All photos in this article are the property of A4A guest writer, Hannah Bauman (except for the photo used in the vertical Pinterest image and feature photo which was provided by Destination DC).


Pin it for the next adventure!

Adoration 4 adventure's local guide for visitor's to Washington, DC. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

Have you visited Washington DC or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.

Local guide: Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.

Local guide: Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. by A4A guest writer, Cameron Cobb.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Overview of Phoenix

To locals, Phoenix is known as the Valley of the Sun. It gets HOT in the summer so be aware when planning a vacation here. Reaching temperatures of 120 F (50 C) already in June this year, Phoenicians can be found escaping the heat in our air conditioned homes and offices for much of June through August.

Fortunately, there are a lot of swimming pools and barbecues to ease the pain when we do head outdoors in the warmer months. There are also a number of hotels with shaded areas for relaxing for summer visitors or those who want to take a stay-cation.

Planning a trip to the states? Check out our other posts about destinations in the U.S.A.

Top 5 things to do

5. Seasonal activities

If it’s the middle of summer, head to Scottsdale Fashion Square to stay cool. Check out the huge number of shops, grab happy hour at one of the many great restaurants and people watch. If it’s in the spring months, check out the Renaissance Festival about 40 southeast of downtown Phoenix where you can be transported back in time. Also, during non-summer months check out the Phoenix Zoo to see local wildlife. During the winter months Zoo Lights is on display.

4. Sports and games

Sports teams include the Suns, Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Coyotes. Tickets are all available during their respective seasons. If watching sports isn’t your thing, Phoenix has a large variety of public golf courses, tennis courts, indoor swimming pools and other ways of staying active.

3. Art

The First Fridays Art Walk is held downtown every month and showcases a vast number of local artists. It’s one of the busiest evenings downtown each month. Mix with locals and check out the downtown hipster scene. Try to take a taxi if you can as parking may be tough. The art walk is free.

The Phoenix Art Museum is also free to enter on the first Friday of each month and has free admission Wednesday nights. The Herd Museum focuses on Arizona’s Native peoples. The new Musical Instrument Museum is also supposed to be very good.

2. Watch a sunrise and sunset

Ask any local and they’ll tell you that the sunrise and sunset Arizona provides are some of the most beautiful you’ll find. Any of the hiking spots below will provide a great view. Another one of my favorite spots is from the top of the Clarendon hotel’s rooftop bar.

1. See the desert

The outdoors are beautiful for hiking during the cooler months or early mornings in summer. Camelback Mountain is in a protected area that will allow hikers to see the local wildlife and cacti as well as provide a great view of the valley from the top. Other great hikes include Piestewa Peak and the short hike to Hole in the Rock in Papago Park. The trails are free. Avoid longer hikes during the day in summer months and make sure to bring lots of water.

The Arizona Desert. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Cameron Cobb

Another great way to get outdoors is to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s former Arizona residence, Taliesin West, in Scottsdale.

Eating and drinking

Phoenix is known for its Mexican food. It’s one of the best cuisines on a budget that you’ll find. Taco shops such as Atoyac Estilo Oaxaca has some of the best fish tacos around ($2.30 each), as well as delicious quesadillas and the massive tlayuda con carne ($10). Another new local favorite is Tacos Chiwas with namesake tacos of carne asada, ham, peppers and cheese ($2.50 each). The gordita with hatch chilis is also incredible for $3.
Local family-owned restaurant Los Dos Molinos is an absolute must. They’re known for traditional Mexican food with a bit of spice. Order the carne adovada ($9) and try both the red and green sauces. You won’t be disappointed.

Tacos Chiwas and a Gordita at Tacos Chiwas. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Cameron Cobb

For pizza, head to nationally recognized Pizzeria Bianco or check out nearby Cibo, a quaint spot inside an historic home. If you like Chicago style, head to Spinato’s and try their thin crust. Each is around $15-25 per person.
To splurge on food, check out Durant’s Steakhouse for a Goodfellas-style steak and fine wine or scotch. Or, enjoy the city’s best sushi at James Beard Award winning chef Nobuo at Teeter House.

Spinato's Pizza to go. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Cameron Cobb

For drinks, stop by Hanny’s for classic cocktails and local DJs with mini martinis for $5 all night, or catch a live act at Crescent Ballroom. If it’s Monday or Tuesday night, check out Postino’s plate of bruschetta and any bottle of wine for $20 after 8pm. It’s one of the best deals in town, and a great place to people watch.

Transportation

Phoenix is spread out and doesn’t have the greatest public transportation. The Phoenix Light Rail is good for the downtown area or linking to Tempe to the east, but it only has one line. For this reason, it’s usually best to rent a car or take an Uber wherever you plan to travel the area.

Accommodation

My favorite place to stay is a locally owned boutique hotel, the Clarendon. Their pool, décor, restaurant and rooftop bar will make it hard to leave and see the rest of what the city has to offer. Book them directly for the best rate. Ben Bethel, the owner, may even be the one who answers the phone. Hotel Palomar is also beautiful and has great views and is in close proximity to a number of bars and restaurants.

Day Trips

4. Sedona

Phoenix has a lot to offer but anyone who has time during their visit should consider a day trip to Sedona to see the beautiful red rock mountains. Sedona is only about 2 hours north of Phoenix by car and offers a number of jeep tours, hiking, restaurants and hotels.

Sedona Red Rocks. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Cameron Cobb

3. Slide Rock

Natural formations make Slide Rock a fun place to enjoy natural water-slides and a chance to cool off in warmer months. Slide Rock is very close to Sedona.

2. Flagstaff

Further north is Flagstaff for skiing during winter months. This city is very laid back and is much cooler than Phoenix during the summer.

1. Grand Canyon

A 4-hour drive north of Phoenix lies the Grand Canyon, a must-do for every traveler’s bucket list.

Grand Canyon National Park (North Rim), AZ

 


A4A guest writer – Cameron CobbA4A guest writer – Cameron Cobb

I’m an Arizona native who has lived in Phoenix for most of my life. I recently traveled around the world for a year documenting my favorite street food, budget restaurants and travel tips. Now I’m back home continuing to write locally about great food and travel.

Follow Cam at www.CamEscapes.com, on Facebook and Twitter.

If you would like to work with Adoration 4 Adventure, contact A4A.

All photos in this article (except of the Grand Canyon) are the property of A4A guest writer, Cameron Cobb.


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Adoration 4 adventure's local guide for visitor's to Phoenix. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

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