Everyone loves New York, right? To the point where even saying it sounds like an opportunity to roll your eyes at the obviousness of it all. Well, here’s my travel confession: I only recently fell in love with New York after visiting it for the first time a few years ago. Always the cynic, I expected it to be overrated and not to get it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Now I read everything about NYC, I devour lifestyle blogs by uber-fashionable types about their glam lives downtown and I double-tap every single pic of New York on Instagram, even if it’s just a garbage can. You get it, I’m obsessed.
So, here’s my guide to things to do in New York that are guaranteed to make you LOVE it and dream of living there too:
Continue reading A Wannabe New Yorker’s Guide to Manhattan
Like an embarrassing Time Out-wielding tourist I asked the doorman of the Metro how much I should tip him for hailing me a cab. “You just need to smile”, he replied. Really cheesy I know but this encounter probably summed up my experience at this underrated West 35th Street hotel.
Continue reading Checking In: Hotel Metro, New York City
With Capitol Hill moonlighting on the news most nights and DC starring in a plethora of TV shows and movies from Veep and House of Cards to Forrest Gump, it can feel a bit like you’ve already been to Washington when you haven’t. What your boxset of The West Wing doesn’t tell you though is that DC isn’t just a city of monuments and memorials, oh and the seat of power in the US, it’s a museum haven too.
Continue reading 5 museums not to miss in Washington DC
I know, I know, I’ve already gushed about the Art Institute of Chicago in my post here but Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was on TV again at the weekend and it made me pine for the Windy City (and the life of a John Hughes movie teen). Most of all, it made me lust for an afternoon at the Art Institute. Continue reading Airfare to Chicago is worth it for the Art Institute alone
“And to your right we have The White House…but you’ll have to take my word for that”. We’re on a vintage Old Town Trolley tour, driving past Washington DC’s most famous landmark in the middle of one of those freaky spring snow storms. Our driver David is ploughing valiantly through this tour of the city’s monuments despite the now totally steamed up windows. Steamy windows aside, the Monuments by Moonlight tour could actually be the best sightseeing bus tour I’ve been on and if it’s not top of your DC checklist, you need to rewrite that list.
With all the major monuments illuminated and oozing a historic glow, Washington DC at night is a different city. Continue reading Monuments by Moonlight is the only DC sightseeing tour you need
From the outside you’d be forgiven for not noticing The Jade. Unlike most new hotels which stick out like a slickly shiny soulless sore thumb, this newly opened Greenwich Village boutique hotel blends in effortlessly with the brownstones of tree-lined West 13th Street. But appearances can be deceiving and behind the darkened doorway lies a 113 room property with a fashionable Prohibition-era speakeasy feel. If you’re looking for somewhere cool and artsy to call home on your next NYC getaway, look no further.
Continue reading Checking In: The Jade, Greenwich Village
After a whirlwind trip to New York, I boarded an American Airlines flight to Chicago and, I’m not gonna lie, I almost cried and threw a strop. I wasn’t lifted up by the AA crew and physically buckled into my seat but…pretty close. I’m ashamed to admit this but after the bright lights of New York, I was ready for Chicago to be a thundering anti-climax. I knew I’d like it but I moronically didn’t expect to love it.
This feeling started to change when we started our descent across Lake Michigan (which looks more like an ocean expanse than a lake), met our driver called Paddy Murphy (“I’m Irish too!”) and, as the city started to unfold through the car windows, Chicago slowly but surely won me over. Walking the streets on our first night in the city, we passed stylish sets of friends drinking and dining outside under glittering skyscrapers with the slow lilt of music in the background. Chicago dances to its own beat and let me tell you, it’s infectious.
Without mentioning the cheaper-than-NYC shopping or the drool-worthy food, here’s my 5 things to do in Chicago that’ll guarantee this city gets right under your skin and becomes your go-to US destination:
Continue reading Chicago Checklist: 5 Windy City must-dos