Recent Travel Highlights

Pinewood Social

Nashville
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Pinewood Social, Nashville, Tennessee
Time to Play – All Day
I vowed to explore Nashville beyond country music, and thanks to a friend's suggestion, I found myself at the 13,000 square feet Pinewood Social, located in one of the former trolley barns in Rolling Mill Hill. Back in 2013, founding brothers Ben and Max Goldberg came up with the idea of creating a multi-activity space, open early to late night for food and drinks. Patrons could work, or play, start impromptu bocce tournaments, or bowl on the beautifully restored vintage lanes. The concept took off, by the time I checked it out, the Nashvillians had fully embraced it. I only had time for a quick lunch, but was served the BEST fried chicken of my entire ten day trip through the South there. Needless to say I strongly encourage you to try their food! >>>Nina Dietzel traveled on Trafalgar’s “Tastes and Sounds of the South” itinerary as part of AFAR’s partnership with the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), whose members provide travelers with unparalleled access, insider knowledge, and peace-of-mind to destinations across the globe. For more on Nina’s journey, visit the USTOA blog.
Time to Play – All Day
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Salkantay Trek

Cusco
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Salkantay Trek, Cusco, Peru
Salkantay Trekking
My girldfriend and I booked the 4 day / 3 night Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. We had a great time from the beginning, we have been the only ones in the group, which was very cool! The trek itself was quite challenging, but not as hard as we anticipated.”
Salkantay Trekking
1 experience

Aprazível

Rio De Janeiro
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Aprazível, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Aprazível Restaurant
This semi-fine dining restaurant overlooks the city and is beautiful at night. We ordered the fish of the day and it was amazing. Their grilled banana dessert with ice cream was also divine. You can sit and enjoy the view here. Take your time before you explore the rest of Santa Teresa and Lapa District and its nightlife
Aprazível Restaurant
1 experience

Favela Phoenix

Rio De Janeiro
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Favela Phoenix, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Rio's Favela
If you really want to see how the locals live, do a walking Favela Tour. It's really interesting to see how the people of the slums in Rio de Janeiro live- there are no addresses here. They also didn't use to have clean running water, but the conditions have now vastly improved. While walking around, we even saw some houses with flat screen TV's, not what we expected or imagined from a slum. Though, there are also small alleyways that have human excrements, so be careful what you step on. It was also interesting to learn that most of the neighborhoods are controlled by drug dealers as opposed to the police- the police don't have much power here. Hence, the locals would look to the drug dealers and form an alliance in order to resolve any issues. We found out that rent can cost anywhere from $120 for a small space per month, up to $1,300 USD for a large dwelling, you can see that there's a big discrepancy. Overall, it was a very enlightening experience and I highly recommend it
Rio's Favela
1 experience

Frogmore Cotton Plantation & Gins

Ferriday
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Frogmore Cotton Plantation & Gins, Ferriday, Louisiana
Cotton Plantation Visit - the Real Deal
Visiting Frogmore, an 1800 acre working cotton plantation with over 200 years of history, turned out to be one of the most memorable highlights on my recent travels through the South. Frogmore is located in Louisiana, a short distance across the Mississippi River from quaint and well preserved Natchez. Frogmore's owners George (Buddy) and Lynette Tanner are the real deal. Passionate about cotton and its history, they have painstakingly restored a number of antebellum (pre Civil War) structures on the plantation grounds, some of which date back as far as the early 1800s. Many of buildings are now open to visit through guided tours. Buddy guided us through today's computerized, mechanical farming and ginning, and Lynette, in a period hoop skirt, explained the story of early cotton farming, lives of slaves, and sharecropping. The amount of detailed, and well researched information both shared with us really opened doors to a much greater understanding of South. If you're visiting the area, even if it's a bit of a detour, don't miss out on this experience. At time of publishing, they had a number of different tours available, Cotton Then & Now, and another one that focused more on the Civil War. Visit their website, or call ahead to find out details. >>>Nina Dietzel traveled on Trafalgar’s “Tastes and Sounds of the South” itinerary as part of AFAR’s partnership with the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), whose members provide travelers with unparalleled access, insider knowledge, and peace-of-mind to destinations across the globe. For more on Nina’s journey, visit the USTOA blog.
Cotton Plantation Visit - the Real Deal
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KE'CH Collective - swap2016

Marrakesh
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KE'CH Collective - swap2016, Marrakesh, Morocco
Art Collective in the Medina
I stumbled upon the KE'CH Collective without knowing anything about it. I was walking in the medina and to my left saw a door with the appearance of a webbed entrance. I made my way through the webbed hallway and entered an interior courtyard with art installations of all mediums in all the surrounding rooms. This is a place to take your time and enjoy the art and then visit the courtyard in the back with a menu of mint tea, coffees and other small bites. Their is a lot of creative energy surrounding you with plenty of young people and friends meeting and working together. This looks like it's a temporary space until September 30th, 2016 so be sure to add it to your travel plans if visiting Marrakesh soon.
Art Collective in the Medina
1 experience

Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Orlando
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Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida
Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Have you been here? Tell us about it below!
Disney’s Magic Kingdom
1 experience

Riad Jardin Secret

Marrakesh
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Riad Jardin Secret, Marrakesh, Morocco
Sleep, Eat and Shop at Riad Jardin Secret
Tucked away in an alley within the medina walls is Riad Jardin Secret. Upon entering, you are greeted by a lush interior garden courtyard with towering palm trees, banana tree and a serene fountain at the center of it all. The rooms and surrounding sitting areas are all exquisitely designed with ornate ceilings, beautiful tile work, cozy Moroccan style furnishings and personal touches of the owners black and white photography. The Pink Rooftop is just as impeccably designed with perfectly placed cacti, authentic pottery and beautiful distressed decor. Their menu is vegan friendly and a day wouldn't be complete without trying one of their fresh juices. Riad Jardin Secret's newest addition is a concept store offering shoes, kaftans, rugs, blankets and pottery.
Sleep, Eat and Shop at Riad Jardin Secret
1 experience

Sea Ranch

Stewarts Point
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Sea Ranch, Stewarts Point, California
The original condos of Sea Ranch
Sea Ranch, California on the western Sonoma Coast is a special community. It was planned and designed by four architects in the 1960s. They had the motto of "live lightly on the land." This shows through in the architecture and landscape throughout the 10 miles of the property to this day.
The original condos of Sea Ranch
1 experience

Riad Safa

Marrakesh
Stay
Riad Safa, Marrakesh, Morocco
Riad Safa: An Oasis within the Medina
As soon as the solid wood doors open and you enter Riad Safa every sense is engaged; the scent of orange blossom fills the air, the sound of soft music and the melody of the white rose laden water fountain trickles nearby, an offering of Moroccan mint tea soothes and comforts your mind and body all while taking in the beautiful surroundings. Every space is a retreat: the courtyard with a orange tree growing in the middle, to the rooftop patio with a plunge pool and a sitting area to enjoy the lantern casting shadows in the evening while listening to the Call to Prayer vibrate through the city. Riad Safa is a must stay while visiting the Red City.
Riad Safa: An Oasis within the Medina
1 experience

Centro Comercial Arrecife

Gaira
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Centro Comercial Arrecife, Gaira, Colombia
Centro Comercial Arrecife
While a mall may not be the first choice of many travelers, this new shopping center in the upscale El Rodadero neighborhood offers a nice air-conditioned break from the sun. A popular place to get ice cream and coffee, the mall is also a favorite for locals thanks to its movie theater and upscale clothing stores.
Centro Comercial Arrecife
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El Amanuense Libros y Café

Santa Marta
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El Amanuense Libros y Café, Santa Marta, Colombia
El Amanuense Libros y Café
Even if you aren't fluent in Spanish, this bookstore and café is an ideal place to while away some time, especially when the midday sun is shining down on Santa Marta. It's located in the city's historic district, and has plenty of old-time charm of its own, with its black-and-white tiled floors and industrial lamps. If you do read Spanish, you'll be able to peruse both classics and the latest releases. Otherwise order a chilled coffee drink, a slice of cake and soak up the bookish atmosphere.
El Amanuense Libros y Café
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Santa Marta Market

Santa Marta
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Santa Marta Market, Santa Marta, Colombia
Santa Marta Market
Including more than 500 different vendors, the Santa Marta Market (Mercado Público) is a lively and colorful experience. You can wander among the exotic fruits and vegetables on one row of stores, see meat and poultry vendors on another and find gifts and clothing in a third section of the market. Even if you don't find the perfect souvenir, exploring the market provides a glimpse into daily life in Santa Marta.
Santa Marta Market
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Cathedral Square

Santa Marta
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Cathedral Square, Santa Marta, Colombia
Cathedral Square
On the square in front of Santa Marta's cathedral and the streets surrounding it, sidewalk vendors sell handicrafts and traditional clothing, leather products, jewelery and other souvenirs. If you’re looking for a more substantial keepsake of your time in Santa Marta, there are also a number of antique shops in the neighborhood.
Cathedral Square
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Donde Chucho

Santa Marta
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Donde Chucho, Santa Marta, Colombia
Donde Chucho
Located on a corner facing the Parque de los Novios and with a large shaded section of sidewalk dining, Donde Chucho manages to be rustic and sophisticated at once. The kitchen is known for its generous portions of expertly cooked seafood and excellent pasta dishes while the friendly waiters make you feel like a beloved regular even on your first visit.
Donde Chucho
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Tierra Negra

Santa Marta
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Tierra Negra, Santa Marta, Colombia
Tierra Negra
Frequently cited as the best restaurant in Santa Marta, Tierra Negra manages to be a hidden gem even though it is located right on the Parque Simón Bolívar. After climbing an unremarkable staircase to the second floor, you’re greeted by a beautiful, understated restaurant that puts as much attention to preparing as presenting its exquisite dishes. Though its focus is on seafood, Tierra Negra’s creative menu also includes lamb and vegetarian creations.
Tierra Negra
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Burukuka

Santa Marta
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Burukuka, Santa Marta, Colombia
Burukuka
The views of the skyline of Gaira (once a separate town, near Playa Blanca, but now part of greater Santa Marta), the ocean, and the surrounding hills are part of the magical experience of dining at Burukuka, located right on the water. But it is the restaurant's commitment to excellent fusion, Caribbean and local cuisine that is the real reason for its success. One must-try is the callelle, a local specialty of mashed green bananas with cheese, sour cream and homemade sausage. The al fresco seating on a large deck is a plus even on warm days as it's cooled by ocean breezes.
Burukuka
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Tratto

San Francisco
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Tratto, San Francisco, California
Tratto
An Italian restaurant and cocktail bar near San Francisco's iconic Union Square.
Tratto
1 experience

Restaurante Lamart

Santa Marta
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Restaurante Lamart, Santa Marta, Colombia
Restaurante Lamart
Situated on a quiet alley just a few blocks south of the Parque Simón Bolívar, Restaurante Lamart is known for its excellent ceviche, sea bass and steaks. Beyond the excellent dishes prepared by its kitchen, however, Lamart is a favorite among locals for its fun atmosphere, outdoor sidewalk seating and tasty mojitos. Note: Lamart is open Tuesday to Friday for lunch, but only dinner on Saturdays and Sundays and closed completely on Mondays.
Restaurante Lamart
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Uptown Nightclub

Oakland
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Uptown Nightclub, Oakland, California
Uptown Nightclub
A beloved nightclub in Oakland that reopened in 2015 to much fanfare.
Uptown Nightclub
1 experience

Ouzo

Santa Marta
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Ouzo, Santa Marta, Colombia
Ouzo
Centrally located on the Parque de los Novios, Ouzo serves the city's best Mediterranean dishes, including brick oven pizzas, seared octopus and roasted lamb with orzo. The chef and owner, Michael McMurdo, began his culinary career in New York City at the Michelin-starred Greek restaurant, Anthos. On a visit to Colombia, however, he was charmed by Santa Marta and decided to make his home in the city, opening Ouzo in 2011. The result is a celebrated Greek restaurant in an unexpected corner of the Caribbean.
Ouzo
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Chicago BBQ Company

Burr Ridge
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Chicago BBQ Company, Burr Ridge, Illinois
Chicago BBQ Company
An Illinois favorite serving up award-winning ribs.
Chicago BBQ Company
1 experience

Aussom Aussie

Pittsburgh
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Aussom Aussie, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Aussom Aussie
The U.S. outpost of a Sydney-based BBQ company.
Aussom Aussie
1 experience

Paseo el Camellón

Santa Marta
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Paseo el Camellón, Santa Marta, Colombia
Paseo el Camellón
One of the best ways to see Santa Marta is on the waterfront promenade, the Paseo El Camellón (also known as the Paseo de Bastidas) which runs between the city's old port and its new marina. The palm tree lined walk has several plazas where you can stop and take in the view, which is especially stunning at sunset. The walk is also a popular location for vendors selling crafts and sweets made from coconut and tropical fruits. Sculptures along the promenade depict the indigenous people of the region, providing a link to the area's history.
Paseo el Camellón
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Playa Cristal

Santa Marta
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Playa Cristal, Santa Marta, Colombia
Playa Cristal
Situated on a beautiful bay surrounded by hills, Playa Cristal is one of the gems of Tayrona National Natural Park. Many visitors simply relax on this secluded strip of sand, enjoying the beach chairs, drinks and grilled fish served by several simple seaside restaurants. The clear water and abundant aquatic life, however, also make this one of the best places near Santa Marta to go snorkeling. Although it’s close to the city, the beach is farther into the park than some other options and therefore less crowded. There is a fee to enter the park, and the amenities like beach chairs are an additional cost.
Playa Cristal
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Playa Blanca

Santa Marta
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Playa Blanca, Santa Marta, Colombia
Playa Blanca
A short trip from Santa Marta, Playa Blanca is a favorite of local families wanting to enjoy the white sand beach and clear blue water. Despite its relatively remote location, which requires a taxi and a short boat trip, the bay here is often busy with jet skiers, boaters and vendors selling their wares. For a more sedate experience, try to get an early start so you can enjoy a less crowded beach in the morning.
Playa Blanca
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Mundo Marino

Santa Marta
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Mundo Marino, Santa Marta, Colombia
Mundo Marino
This aquarium’s small size belies its big intentions. Intimate enough to provide guided tours, the aquarium not only has several species of marine life, they also play a key role in rescuing endangered species and rehabilitating animals. They have 25 smaller tanks, as well as two "mega" aquariums, where visitors can watch staff hand feed sharks, manta rays and turtles. On some days, the aquarium also hosts special shark interactions, when visitors can pet sharks as they sleep.
Mundo Marino
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