The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

Punta de Mita
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The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Punta de Mita, Mexico
Escape, Explore, Recharge in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Swim, surf, snorkel, fish, spa, golf, play.....in the beautiful setting of Punta Mita. Sip your favorite mango margarita by the pool as you watch the sun set slowly over the sea. Be as active as you wish, or rest and rejuvenate. Special package through AFAR for 3 nights, Oct 14 - 17, or Oct 21 - 24 includes 3 nights deluxe ocean view accommodations at the beautiful St Regis Punta Mita Resort, tax and service, airport transfers for two, daily full breakfast for two, marine safari to the Marietas Islands, full use of the Remede Spa and a $100 credit for a Remede Spa treatment, total $1855.
Escape, Explore, Recharge in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Coimbra

Coimbra
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Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Best full vista of Coimbra
Coimbra seems to be one of my favorite cities in Portugal and in Europe thanks to its academic character. The University of Coimbra is built on a hill, overlooking the city and the students' fraternities, called 'Republicas' which are all situated around and down the hill of the university. Walking around the university streets, passing from one colorful republica house to another and watching the students, wearing the typical black robe, made me feel as I was walking on the set of Harry Potter. When I've heard that JK Rowling was married to a Portuguese man before and used to live in Porto and visit Coimbra very often, all the pieces of the puzzle came together. The city is also known for its Fado music. 'Coimbra Fado' was adopted by the university students performed with the traditional Guitarra de Coimbra (a kind of Portuguese guitar originating in Coimbra). The old city of Coimbra is not that big and it can be done on foot. To have the best vista of the city, better cross the Cecil Belmond Bridge to see the city in its glory
Best full vista of Coimbra

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen
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Playa del Carmen, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
From Sleepy Fishing Village to Charming Tourist Mecca
Known as Xaman-Há in ancient times, Playa del Carmen has come a long way since its start as a sleeping fishing village. Once the embarkation point for the sacred island of Cozumel, today it is one of the fastest growing communities in Mexico and is considered to be the heart of the Riviera Maya. While small fishing boats still bob lazily in the bay, the once narrow dusty streets lined with a handful of shops and an occasional café have given way to posh pedestrian malls dotted with busy cafes, trendy bistros, scintillating bars and upscale shops bursting with brilliant booty. Spend a few hours browsing Quinta Avenida (Fifth Ave), a lengthy pedestrian-only path where a slew of bistros, restaurants and cafes vie with boutiques overflowing with designer duds, upscale jewelry, Maya carvings, shiny silver and colorful Mexican handicrafts for your attention. The southern end of town boasts the newly created Paseo del Carmen, an open-air mall with yet more designer stores and tony restaurants. Plaza Pelicanos is the place for some of the trendier shops. Adjacent streets showcase Playa’s older charm in smaller, more typical locales lining the still cobblestone streets. Some of the area's best all-inclusive resorts and condo hotels are located here.
From Sleepy Fishing Village to Charming Tourist Mecca

Ashton Lane

Glasgow
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Ashton Lane, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Making Merry on Glasgow’s Ashton Lane
This charming cobblestoned back street, lined with restaurants and bars, is the place for lively nightlife in Glasgow’s West End. When darkness falls, festive strings of lights twinkle overhead, and the sounds of live music and laughter drift from pubs and cafes—some of which have been here for decades. The legendary Ubiquitous Chip has served up the finest Scottish produce in a magical courtyard dining room for over 40 years. There’s also the historic Grosvenor Cinema, which has screened films on the lane since 1921—and just underwent a multi-million-pound renovation. When was the last time you visited a movie theater with quirky double sofas for seats, and ordered a beer or glass of wine? For more information about the places and people who make Glasgow special, visit peoplemakeglasgow.us
Making Merry on Glasgow’s Ashton Lane

Homestead Apothecary

Oakland
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Homestead Apothecary, Oakland, CaliforniaAfar-thumbnail
Holistic Medicine Cabinet in Oakland
Soak in the holistic health vibe in this narrow slip of a store, where the medicine cabinet is filled with calming tinctures and the walls are lined with jars of herbs, teas, and other remedies. This appeared in the March/April 2014 Issue. Photo by Dani Vernon.
Holistic Medicine Cabinet in Oakland

Wan Chai

Hong Kong
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Wan Chai, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Contemporary Artisan Shops
There are a handful of fashionable boutique shops on Moon, Star, and Sun streets in Wan Chai. Kapok is full of artisanal chocolates and funky art for sale. Try art in a glass via the craft cocktails at the urban-chic bar, Ted’s Lookout. Or, visit Monocle. Inside, they offer tailored clothing for men and women, contemporary jewelry, artisan canvas bags, and a line of branded fragrances and candles. However, Monocle is much more than a unique place for gift items. Monocle is also a global brand that produces a 10-issue annual magazine discussing business, travel, culture, and design. You can pick up a copy inside this Hong Kong shop, or head to monocle.com to stream their 24-hour radio program, with interviews on culture, food, drinks, and trending news topics.
Contemporary Artisan Shops

Country Samurai Coffee Co

Kailua-Kona
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Country Samurai Coffee Co, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Distinctly Kona Coffee
Kona Coffee is known around the world as one of Hawaii's best known products. The relatively small coffee growing area on the Big Island of Hawaii produces only a fraction of the world's coffee beans. The limited production makes Hawaii Island's caffeinated product like liquid gold for Kona Coffee lovers. Among the hundreds of coffee farms on the Big Island, Country Samurai Coffee Company operates a lush and green farm on the Kona slopes that still grows their coffee trees in a natural and traditional method that enables the trees to grow tall—up to 18 feet. Harvesting requires ladders and can be time-consuming, but the trees are able to develop a larger root system, pull in more nutrients from the volcanic soil, and produce more coffee berries. To try these distinctly grown beans, visit the family owned Country Samurai Coffee shop in Kailua-Kona. The shop sells several other items including chocolate covered coffee beans and macadamia nuts and Hawaiian teas. Image courtesy of Country Samurai Coffee.
Distinctly Kona Coffee

Esqueleto

Oakland
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Esqueleto, Oakland, CaliforniaAfar-thumbnail
Handcrafted Jewelry at Esqueleto
The interior of designer Lauren Wolf’s art and jewelry boutique blends seamlessly with Wolf’s own collection of handcrafted sterling silver and gold rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces inspired by nature. (510) 629-6216 for more information. This appeared in the March/April 2014 Issue. Photo courtesy of Esqueleto.
Handcrafted Jewelry at Esqueleto

old town Javea

Xàbia
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old town Javea, Xàbia, Spain
Xabia, Spain
Javea (also spelled Xabia) is a town on the Costa Blanca in Spain. You can spend your time enjoying the beautiful beaches or eating delicious food or exploring streets like these.
Xabia, Spain

Hilo Farmers Market

Hilo
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Hilo Farmers Market, Hilo, Hawaii
The Best of the US: Hilo Farmers Market
The Huffington Post named the Hilo Farmers Market the best in the United States. For fresh local flavors, the market is open every day except Sunday. The big market days are on Wednesdays and Saturdays where more than 200 vendors including farmers and crafts people gather to sell their goods. If you're looking for local souvenirs to take home or just a place to grab a quick fresh and tasty lunch, the Hilo Farmers Market will provide a beautiful morning or afternoon of shopping and eating. Photo by andresmh/Flickr.
The Best of the US: Hilo Farmers Market

Ivorypress

Madrid
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Ivorypress, Madrid, SpainAfar-thumbnail
Ivory Press: Madrid's Artsy Publishing House
“Elena Ochoa, the wife of Norman Foster, founded this publishing house for art, photography, and design books. It’s also a gallery for photography and architecture exhibitions.” - Alberto Fernández Comandante Zorita 46-48, 34/(0) 91-449-0961. Photo by Ana Nance. This appeared in the May 2014 issue. Read more about Alberto Fernández's Madrid.
Ivory Press: Madrid's Artsy Publishing House

Familienkelterei Possmann

Frankfurt
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Familienkelterei Possmann, Frankfurt, Germany
A lesson in apples
The friendly folks at family-owned Possmann Kelterei in Rodisheim are happy to show visitors around the world of apple wine. I took the tour, sampled the wine, and enjoyed a meal in the on-site restaurant, housed in a former stable. If you're new to apple wine, this is a good place to learn about Frankfurt's traditional drink and its go-withs. The family-owned winery has been going since 1881, and is one of the largest and most established in the region. The variety of juices and wines it produces are all blends. A cuvée process ensures predictable flavor and clarity, from classically sour (Kellermeister) to unfiltered (Frau Rauscher) to clear and slightly sweet (classic). Apple wine is generally ordered for a group in a 1.3-liter ceramic pitcher called a Bembel, and consumed in a specially ribbed glass. Ask for ''gespritzed' (with carbonated mineral water) or 'suss' (with lemonade), to suit personal tastes. Consumed more like a beer or cider than wine, apple wine is a popular local accompaniment to pork dishes. Perhaps the lower calorie count can help offset that Schnitzel or Rippchen?
A lesson in apples

Chungking Mansions

Hong Kong
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Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Cultural Phenomenon
Just a stone's throw away from luxury hotels and branded shopping is one of Hong Kong's most well-known cultural hubs with a most distinct atmosphere. Located on Nathan Road, this complex consists of residential space, guesthouses, restaurants, shops and other services. This maze of buildings is also known for offering Hong Kong's cheapest accommodations, but bear in mind that you will get what you pay for... Chungking Mansions is a cultural phenomenon; with its harried pace and tight quarters catering to multinational visitors and market-like businesses, the building has also been featured in popular movie "Chungking Express", by famed Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai. There is an estimated 5,000 residents living in the Mansions, and it is a hub for a mosaic of ethnic minorities living in Hong Kong. But the bustle of the buildings, and perhaps the many curry restaurants it houses, is an experience to be sought during your visit to Hong Kong.
Cultural Phenomenon

Mercado de Maravillas

Madrid
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Mercado de Maravillas, Madrid, SpainAfar-thumbnail
Mercado de Maravillas: Madrid's Largest Market
“There’s an old saying: ‘If you’re looking for something, go to Maravillas. If you don’t find it, it doesn’t exist.’ This is Madrid’s biggest covered market, one of the biggest in Europe.” - Alberto Fernández Bravo Murillo 122, 34/(0) 91-533-4030. Photo by Ana Nance. This appeared in the May 2014 issue. Read more about Alberto Fernández's Madrid.
Mercado de Maravillas: Madrid's Largest Market

Bare Jazz

Oslo
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Bare Jazz, Oslo, Norway
A Break from Everything at Bare Jazz Café
The secluded entrance from busy Grensen Street leads you into an almost Parisian courtyard where jazz cafe Bare Jazz is located. Friendly atmosphere that welcomes all kinds of people, with a record shop on the ground floor and a coffee shop on the first floor. The best carrot cake in town, delicious coffee, and some of the best tunes around. Gigs are held frequently, showcasing local talent, but bigger stars on the Norwegian jazz sky also play there. Have a listen and enjoy a glass of red.
A Break from Everything at Bare Jazz Café

Váci St

Budapest
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Váci St, Budapest, Hungary
Budapest Comes Alive on Váci utca
Locals and tourists alike converge on busy Váci utca, a boulevard full of shops, restaurants, and some bigger name retail stores. The street also leads to Vörösmarty Square. Day or night, Váci utca is definitely a street worth exploring.
Budapest Comes Alive on Váci utca

Miami Beach

Miami Beach
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Miami Beach , Miami Beach, Florida
a patchwork of sun and shadow on the facade of Sunset Harbor Garage
Architect Bernardo Fort-Bresica avoided the obvious Miami cliche of pastel colors and engaged the garage's facade with sun and shadow.
a patchwork of sun and shadow on the facade of Sunset Harbor Garage

Tahtakale Ticaret Merkezi

Istanbul
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Tahtakale Ticaret Merkezi, Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul Spice Market
Dried fruits and nuts, teas, and every spice imaginable are yours for the taking.
Istanbul Spice Market

Servi

Madrid
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Servi, Madrid, SpainAfar-thumbnail
Servi: Best for Spanish Delicacies
“Servi is at least 40 years old, and for me, it’s number one for preserved foods in Madrid. It stocks anchovies, tins of white asparagus, all the delicacies Spaniards love.” - Alberto Fernández Fernández de los Ríos 53, 34/(0) 91-544-1475. Photo by Ana Nance. This appeared in the May 2014 issue. Read more about Alberto Fernández's Madrid.
Servi: Best for Spanish Delicacies

Via Carlo de Cristoforis, 5

Milan
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Via Carlo de Cristoforis, 5, Milan, Italy
Zaini chocolates
It's worth a peek inside Zaini, Milan's historic chocolate maker, whose began creating delicious chocolate confectionaries since the 1910s. Celebrating a 100 year anniversary, Zaini opened the via Carlo de Cristoforis location in honor of a century passed and has included the cocktail magic of Mag's Flavio Angiollilo.
Zaini chocolates

Gerçek Casmere

Istanbul
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Gerçek Casmere, Istanbul, Turkey
The ultimate shopping experience
If they don't sell it at the Grand Bazaar, you don't need it.
The ultimate shopping experience

Wingtip

San Francisco
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Wingtip, San Francisco, California
Modern Members Only
A friend of mine asked me when I was visiting, if I wanted to check out Wingtip, a members only club in the heart of San Francisco's financial area. I agreed. What originally started out as a retail space and expanded into an exclusive membership only space, it isn't the old stuffy mens clubs of yore. It's like Soho house but less scene-y. It's a beautiful space that is constantly expanding and it's part bar and part social club. It's a great place to conduct meetings and meet interesting people. There was wifi, kindles and iPads to use, newspapers, magazines, loads of great wine, scotch, bourbon and more. We also had and incredible view of the TransAmerica building. When I was there their rooftop deck had not been built yet. I'm hoping I can go back to check it out. While the club is members only, they have an incredible retail space below. Photo above: A horn magnifying glass found in one of the reading rooms
Modern Members Only

Illum Department Store

Copenhagen
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Illum Department Store, Copenhagen, Denmark
Not Your Typical Big-Box Department Store
Illum is one of two major Danish department store chains. The store is famous for its excellent selection and taste and features fashion, interior and design options as well as a large beauty section. It even features a delightful bakery with excellent breads and sweets. A shopping trip to Copenhagen isn't complete without a visit to Illum.
Not Your Typical Big-Box Department Store

Paro

Paro
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Paro, Paro, Bhutan
Beautiful Paro River flowing along the velley
Bhutan has got plenty of Rivers flowing through steep slopes to foothills of India. One of them is Paro river, that passes through Paro town later merging with Thimphu river. Quite a peaceful holiday is waiting for you in Bhutan. Book your holiday with Chimorya Bhutan Travels and explore the himalayan kingdom.. Email us at info@cbhutantravels.com or visit us at www.cbhutantravels.com
Beautiful Paro River flowing along the velley

Ballard Sunday Farmers Market

Seattle
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Ballard Sunday Farmers Market, Seattle, WashingtonAfar-thumbnail
Shopping at the Neighborhood Market
“You can get anything—fruit, vegetables, cheese, honey—at the market. It feels like everybody in the neighborhood comes.” -Bill Frisell 5345 Ballard Ave. NW, (206) 781-6776. Photo by Ian Allen. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Read more about Bill Frisell's Ballard neighborhood.
Shopping at the Neighborhood Market

Librería Liberespacio

Madrid
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Librería Liberespacio, Madrid, SpainAfar-thumbnail
Liber Espacio: Literary Fun for the Family
“Liber Espacio is a bookstore with something for everyone. There’s storytelling for kids, and Latin American realist fiction for me. I love literature and Liber Espacio is like a dealer catering to my vices.” - Alberto Fernández Joaquín María López 25, 34/(0) 91-544-7843. Photo by Ana Nance. This appeared in the May 2014 issue. Read more about Alberto Fernández's Madrid.
Liber Espacio: Literary Fun for the Family

Kazerij on the Twijnstraat

Utrecht
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Kazerij on the Twijnstraat, Utrecht, The Netherlands
It's Gouda Enough to Eat: The Best Cheese in Utrecht
De Twijnstraat is my favorite street in Utrecht, full of small boutiques and Dutch specialty shops. A visit to Holland is not complete without Dutch cheese, and the best cheese of Utrecht is found at the Kazerij. If you thought all there was to Dutch cheese is Gouda, you are mistaken. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you choose (and sample!) from their wide variety of Dutch and international cheeses, along with gourmet spreads and wines.
It's Gouda Enough to Eat: The Best Cheese in Utrecht
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