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.
For an authentic Victorian shopping experience head to the city's Old Town—comprised of Market Square, Johnson Street, Chinatown, and Bastion Square. Amidst the quaint brick and mortar buildings of Market Square, established in the late 1800's, you'll stumble upon a variety of modern shops situated around a charming plaza. Boutiques like Suasion sell high-quality clothing, while other retailers provide specialty goods. Still a hub of local entertainment, the square often plays host to a number of events as well. Start your shopping trip here and make your way throughout Old Town! Photo by Jérôme Decq/Flickr.
Xel-Há is one of the most popular attractions. The name identifies both the archaeological site and the ecotourism marine park, and it attracts hundreds of visitors from around the world, throughout the year. Ceremonial centers and religious sites extending alongside the sea are classified by groups: The Temple of the Birds showcases frescoes representing local fowl; Temple of the Jaguar highlights the descending figure of a jaguar and the Dock Group is thought to relate to the zone’s maritime activity. The remains of the principal archaeological site are located in the jungle across the highway from the park. Known as the “greatest natural aquarium in the world,” by savvy travelers and locals alike, Xel-Há’s chain of inlets, lagoons, cenotes and underground rivers provide a refreshing playground from which to cavort with the friendly denizens of the deep. You can swim, snorkel, go tubing or play with the dolphins. Other options include a visit to a sea turtle camp or delving into caves, cenotes and archaeological sites. Park services include restaurants, shops, changing rooms and snorkel rentals.
Isola is Milan's sleeper neighborhood because of its great location, hip shops and local vibe. It is also a great area to hang out in because, well, it feels like a neighborhood. Weekend street markets, clever graffiti, cute boutiques, artisanal shops and great bars. Add in there a strong sense of AC Milan fans and lots of people to meet, you've got your weekend.
“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.
We took a little walk on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Alot of shops and sightseeing. The beach is amazing, a gigantic strech of yellow sand. There is the famous gym where Arnold Terminator was once spotted (won't even try to spell his name properly). There is a nice skatepark. Just be careful : there is alot of people trying to sell you indie CDs and stuff. They are not bad or anything but they can be irritating.
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
Joining a 5D4N trip to Shanghai, includes visiting Wuxi, Hangzhou, Suzhou. Enjoyed sights of Shanghai , Bund and Pudong skylines, but the eye opener is the sales tactics of Chinese shops. Read more of my travel experience here.
Bitter & Zart, near the Frankfurt cathedral, is worth a meander off the Römerplatz, either to shop for chocolate treasures or to linger over a cake and coffee. In the shop, milk, white, and dark chocolates are individually wrapped for the season (when I was there it was foil-wrapped Easter eggs, rabbits and ducklings). Any time of year, choose from delectable truffles and other beautifully crafted chocolate bites from a behind-the-counter selection. At the checkout counter, give in to impulse and add a few marshmallow crocodiles or ribbon candies to your stash. Next door, the tea salon's atmosphere is soothing, ideal after a chilly morning of shopping or sight-seeing in Frankfurt's Old Town. Sit at a tiny table under art deco lights, and enjoy a slice of freshly baked cake--fruit tarts, a slice of creamy lemon cake, or tiny Frankfurter Kränzen (butter cream cakes)--with a cup of tea or coffee from celebrated roasting house A. Joerges. There are savory selections, as well, and juices or champagne to suit the occasion and your mood. The shop is open Monday-Saturday, the tea room, every day of the week.
Custom bag and clothing designer Ali Golden is renowned for her expert tailoring and utilitarian yet feminine collections. She favors designs that play with both draping and a structured silhouette simultaneously. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Photo by Dani Vernon.
Via Pastrengo, Via Guglielmo Pepe and the surrounding streets are a tiny world of amazing shops-- local boutiques, bicycle stores, music shops, restaurants and artisanal food shops. Its quiet and very hip, definitely an up-and-coming niche shopping area. Photo by Stefano Bortolotti/Flickr.
Browse hammered bronze and brass pieces and leather jewelry in this studio and storefront that suggests Native American and Mexican art influences with a modern, beachy-by-way-of-rock-and-roll aesthetic. For bohos or their loved ones looking for some luxe glamour, look no further. (510) 325-0019. Photo courtesy of Marisa Haskell.
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.
The pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel is awesome. There is nice chairs and great tents to relax and take it easy. The location is great, just a little ride away from the shopping streets of LA (Bedford, Rodeo, etc.) great hotel, great reputation, and it is also open for tourists and curious people who wants to see what it's all about, in case you don't want to stay there.
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.
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
Puro Corazón is the perfect name for this company, maker of handbags and accessories that are a labor of love. All the pieces are handmade and if you take a closer look, you’ll see the amazing attention to detail that went into each piece, proudly created by Peruvian seamstresses. Every time I see something made by Puro Corazón, I’m reassured that you can use the traditional Peruvian crafts without the feeling that you are wearing a touristy souvenir. The handbags and wallets have beautiful embroideries, done by such skilled hands that I’ve only seen their equal in the Peruvian mountains, in the skirts and blankets created by the local women there. The colors used are a perfect connection with the Peruvian people’s lives. You can get modern pieces to bring a touch of color to everyday life, while paying homage to their Peruvian heritage.
What a wonderful time wandering in Old Quebec City ! My home town is such a nice place, and I highly recommend tourists to visit Old Quebec. You can start at Place D'Youville (Ice rink outside in Winter) and then head over to rue St-Jean. You will be able to admire the St-Jean Doors at the entrance, and then shop in many littles boutiques on the street. Then you can continue on Côte de la Fabrique, and you'll be really close to Château Frontenac and Terrasse Dufferin, where you can admire the St-Lawrence River! Have a wonderful time!
Galeria Delbarrio is an extraordinary place to see Peruvian pop art. The gallery mixes the old and new, modern and traditional, in a very fun way. They have paintings, comics and an extensive collection of rustic-pop furniture spread throughout a 1840’s house. Just the house itself would be worth the visit. It has the traditional architecture from the time Chorillos was a beach resort town where the rich families from Lima spent their summers. The restoration preserved the domes, glasswork and original ceilings, adding a splash of color that brought the place to life. After the visit, take a walk around the neighborhood and enjoy its tranquil old town atmosphere. Make sure you finish by the boardwalk, where you’ll be wowed by one of the best views of Lima.
Riviera Maya's popular archaeological park, Xcaret is where Mexican culture, history, and the ecological diversity for which the area is known are highlighted in one entertaining package. You’ll find a vast slate of eco-adventures such as snorkeling in cenotes, swimming with dolphins, horseback riding, scuba diving, bird watching and basic beach pleasures. Or if you prefer, transport yourself to the secret world of the ancient Maya, visiting jungle-studded archaeological sites, and a replica of a Maya village, which showcases daily life, including a demonstration of the legendary, 2,000-year-old Maya ball game called pok-ta-pok. When night falls, dancers in the Gran Tlachco amphitheater stage a magical tour of Mexico from mythical Maya ceremonies through the Spanish conquest to modern Mexico. Book seats in the dining area and indulge in a three-course meal while viewing the brilliant musical spectacle.
Yves St. Laurent owned a garden in Marrakech. It is a busy tourist stop that at first seems overrated, but if you go early in the morning and let your senses get lost in the rich colors and marvelous trees, flowers, and plants, you'll see what all the fuss is about. After your walk through the estate, stop into the tiny museum dedicated to St. Laurent's "Love" letters to his friends and then have a refreshing class of ginger juice in the outdoor cafe. If you time your visit right, you'll be walking out of this lovely retreat just as the tour buses unload their mid-day crowds.
Esperanza is located on the southern side of Vieques island with a laid-back vibe reminiscent of Key West. This small town has an main street that runs parallel to the ocean called "El Malecón" that is dotted with friendly guest houses, funky bars and even gourmet restaurants. It makes a great base for exploring the island's treasures: it's walking distance to Playa Esperanza and Sun Bay and only a 10-20 minute drive to the secluded beaches in the wildlife refuge.
If shopping’s your bag, make a bee-line for Glasgow’s “Style Mile,” where the concentration of shops here (some 200) makes it the UK’s largest retail center outside London. The choices include everything from massive department-store emporiums like Debenham’s and House of Fraser (which has been in Glasgow for over 160 years), to boutique kiltmaker’s shops to swanky bath-and-beauty outlets like Space NK. If you’re homesick for American brands, you’ll find plenty of those here, too—including Gap, Nike, and Urban Outfitters. For more information about the places and people who make Glasgow special, visit peoplemakeglasgow.us
Set on the banks of the Elbe, the Old City of Dresden is dotted with baroque and Renaissance buildings so intricate that a simple walk through the streets is enough to occupy an afternoon. Meticulously restored after World War II, the Old City is now a hub of history and culture – the Royal Palace and the Academy of Arts are found here, among others – although the environment is calm. Explore museums, or climb to the top of the dome of the Frauenkirche for sweeping sights of the city. Then, take a seat at a café in Neumarkt for an afternoon coffee. When the sun begins to set, the light will cast a golden hue on the buildings and make for a romantic stroll.
Took this photo from atop the Empire State Building. Although the view is spectacular if the weather is right, going up top has become ridiculous with the long lines and the half-assed security checks, as well as the high price of the ticket. If you have time and money, by all means get on up there.
© 2013 AFAR Media