Cape of Good Hope Road Trip

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If you’ve been following along on my honeymoon recaps, you know that we spent a week in Cape Town eating and drinking, we climbed a lot, we enjoyed both Stellenbosch & Franschhoek wine countries and took in all the sights that South Africa has to offer.

One “must do” that people kept recommending was the road trip to the Cape of Good Hope. Now, we considered hiring a driver but at $200+ for the day, we decided to be adventurous and drive ourselves. HA! Let me just remind y’all – in South Africa, the cars were small, old, stick shifts and they drive on the left side, like the British. And this place is hilly! We came thisclose to returning the car about 30 minutes in and calling it quits but we persevered on and have some funny stalling out driving videos to remember it by.

Though the drive says it’s only about 3 hours on paper, you should expect about 3x as much due to traffic, two lane highways, frequent stops, etc. In fact, the entire trip took us about 9 hours from start to finish and we tried to be efficient, therefore foregoing a few places we would have enjoyed staying longer. Here is the route we took:

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Stop 1: Muizenberg

It takes about an hour to get to Muizenberg, a popular beach town in the False Bay (most cities in Cape Town are identified by which bay it’s in). In fact, it’s considered the “birthplace of surfing” so naturally Terry wanted to try. I was trying to ignore the “caution – great white shark” signs everywhere. And I mean everywhere. I think I held my breath the entire hour he was in the water. But he had a blast and I enjoyed laying on the beach, photographing the ever-so-famous colored huts and enjoying the views. We had lunch at Tiger’s Milk, which has a stunning view of the water. We could have stayed here much longer if time allowed!

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colorful huts line the beach

Stop 2: Simon’s Town

While surfing was high on my husband’s list, the penguins were at the top of mine! There is absolutely nothing cuter than a penguin colony at the beach, y’all! They even have these little huts for them to sleep in, like a little apartment complex. We just ooh’d and awe’d our way through this adorable place. There are hundreds of penguins and some are sunbathing, others riding in waves, a few sleeping or mating, just living their best life. It’s an absolute “must do” if you are ever in S.A. to come here. Also, we picked up some great souvenirs by local villages here (maybe a tourist trap but who knows, I love my wooden zebra salad tongs!)

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the residents of Boulder Beach

Stop 3: Cape of Good Hope

Many people turn around at Simon’s Town, but we opted to drive the full Cape of Good Hope route and head down to the Southern Tip at the Cape Peninsula. There’s a beautiful nature reserve with incredible wildlife, rocky coast view & some seriously blue-green water. I wish we had taken a picture at the Cape Point (that sign you see everyone with) but we were running short on time and wanted to make sure to allocate enough time back. Side note: when driving this route you must keep your doors and windows locked. Why? Baboons! I kid you not, there are aggressive, mean gangs of baboons that break into cars and steal your stuff. Don’t believe me? Google image search “baboons cape of good hope“. Picture #1 is my favorite.

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so aggressive…looking for food

Stop 4: Kommetjie

There are a ton of routes to go back and many beach towns to stop at. Kommetjie is a super famous surfing spot so we just made a quick stop here at the local beach shop for some tshirts (for him) and some snacks (for me). The break was huge but we didn’t have time to surf, though I know Terry would have loved to. Another beautiful beach town.

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how beautiful is this drive along the Western Cape beach side?!

Stop 5: Llandundo Beach

The drive from Kommetjie to Llandundo Beach reminded us so much of the Big Sur drive in California – stunning cliffs, rocky coastal highway, little to no guardrails. It was scary but beautiful. I couldn’t stop taking pictures. Llandundo is one of the most expensive beach towns in Cape Town because it’s probably the most beautiful. We were told that a few years back it got voted “most beautiful beach in the world” by T+L or one of the big travel magazines. I couldn’t agree more!

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Llandundo’s water is breathtaking

Stop 6: Cape Town

Back home we went! The drive was very uphill but with only a few stalled situations, we made it out alive. All in all, we spent a full day driving up and down the Cape Town coasts and explored so much that this beautiful city has to offer. Whether you take a tour, hire a driver or drive yourself, I can’t recommend this day trip enough. There are so many hidden gems around Cape Town and this really allows you to explore a lot at once.

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back in time to watch the SA sunset from the V&A waterfront

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The Cape Winelands

If you’ve been following along on my recap of our South African honeymoon, you’ve already seen my post about the Devon Valley Hotel and the stunning Le Petite Ferme Hotel that we stayed at while in wine country. The Cape Winelands is a huge portion of the Western Cape, but the only two towns we visited were Franschhoek & Stellenbosch. The region has a Mediterranean style climate and a lot of Dutch influence. Stellenbosch is home to one of South Africa’s leading universities and has more of a “city” like feel, which Franschhoek has a quaint, more European small town feel. They both are home to many, many wineries and let me tell you – they are fantastic!

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Wineries to Visit

Kanankop (Stellenbosch): This winery, known for their reds (mainly pinotage & cab) was on a huge plot of land. The staff was super knowledgeable and bonus, they sell this wine in a store in Boston. We loved their Pinotage so much that we brought home a special reserve bottle to be opened on our five year anniversary!

Glenelly (Stellenbosch): The property was really beautiful as it feels like you’re walking into a secret garden! They’ve got a huge patio with hanging mason jar lights and a tasting room upstairs with a large deck overlooking the vineyards. This winery is owned by a badass 93 year old French woman (she is even on the label). They were also known for their reds (we came home with 2 bottles)

Waterford (Stellenbosch): Perhaps the best known winery, it has a more estate/corporate feel. The property is huge but the tasting room is surprisingly warm & cozy. The tastings are done at tables or sofas in front of their huge wood burning fireplace. It was pretty crowded, but in a good way. We did a private cellar tour which was fascinating. We also did the wine & chocolate pairing, which I highly recommend!

Delaire Graff (Stellenbosch): This estate is truly that…an estate. The property has lodging, a spa, multiple restaurants & of course, many acres of vineyards. If you stay here you really don’t need to leave the property. The service is outstanding and one of the most grand places we visited.

Mont Rochelle (Franschhoek): Owned by Sir Richard Branson, I must admit that this was one of my least favorite spots. While the place itself is very modern & cute inside, we didn’t love the wine. It was okay.

La Bourgogne (Franschhoek): What a cute, charming winery this was. You’re greeted by four adorable little dogs who live on the property, creating an immediately welcome vibe. We sat outside on the picnic tables to sample our chardonnays (we bought 2 bottles) & dine on some avocado toast. It’s a great place to catch a mid-morning snack.

Holden Manz (Franschhoek): By far the most beautiful property we visited on day two, this winery has their tastings downstairs in the wine cellar and a stunning dining room upstairs. I imagine that many people get married here or hold private parties – the upstairs is that incredible! HM is known for their red wines.

Rickety Bridge (Franschhoek): The last stop on our tour, we enjoyed a cheese plate and a variety of wines. While it was nothing to write home about, the place was warm (it was rainy & cold this day) and the staff was friendly. A nice place to end!

Babylonstoren: We did not make it here but I’ve heard great things about this working Dutch farm. It’s recommended that you stay on the property to fully enjoy the wine, restaurants & all that the farm has to offer. On our list for next time, for sure!

Where to Dine

Indichine (Stellenbosch): One of the restaurants within the Delaire Graff Estate, this has been voted one of the best restaurants in South Africa by many. The vibe is modern meets funky with oversized copper tables and navy leather chairs. There are fresh orchids on every table and a huge wood burning fireplace. The art and flowers alone are worth seeing. The food was, as expected, spectacular. It is a very fancy restaurant and while they have a 7-course tasting menu, we opted for our own. The menu is small (4 each of starters, mains & desserts) but delicious. For example, we ate scotch egg, chicken larg, tiki grilled prawns and matchi pineapple. All unique and well worth it.

Tokara (Stellenbosch): The restaurant has a breathtaking view over the valley below
and Table Mountain. The menu is South-African with a hint of Europe. A stone’s throw
from the Delaire Graff Estate. Closed Mondays.

The Bird Cage: (Stellenbosch):  Quirky café thatdoes lovely breakfast dishes. Their main business is wedding cakes. This is one restaurant that will look great on Instagram, FYI.

Makaron (Stellenbosch): Located at the Majeka House winery. Arrive 30 minutes early to have drinks by the pool.

Tiger’s Milk (Stellenbosch): Delicious casual chain with great pizzas, salads & burgers.

Sacred Ground (Franschhoek): On the way in/out of town – a cute coffee shop with take away breakfast.

The French Connection (Franschhoek): French style cuisine; cute outside area.

Foliage (Franschhoek): Highly ranked on trip advisor. Beautiful, creative dishes using foraged ingredients.

Tuk Tuk Microbrewery (Franschhoek): Downtown by where the wine tram dropoff is. Great for a beer and a light snack or casual dinner.

A Few Tips

  • In Stellenbosch, opt for a private driver, as it’s much more personalized and they tend to know the best places. We paid 1440ZAR + tip and was well worth it.
  • In Franschhoek, opt for either a private driver or the wine tram. We chose the wine tram as it was less expensive and something new. You pick from 4 pre-selected routes and they organize the entire trip- so easy!
  • An average wine tasting is only about 40ZAR (~$3) and there are plenty of amazing bottles under $15USD. I highly recommend shipping back or taking home what you can. We only found 1 winery that exported their wine.
  • These aren’t tiny Napa pours…these wineries give you like a quarter of a glass per tasting so take your time & be sure to eat something.
  • Most wineries will have the option for a lunch or picnic to be organized ahead of time. Had the weather been warmer, we certainly would have opted for a picnic.

 

 

Cape Town Travel Guide, Part 1

Let me start by saying if Cape Town isn’t on your travel bucket list, it absolutely needs to be. This city is one of the most diverse, multicultural foodie hot spots I’ve ever been to. Given the cultural melting pot that this city has become, the culinary scene is blowing up and only getting better by the minute. Whether you want fresh caught seafood, authentic Italian, burgers & fries, or creative Asian fusion, Cape Town won’t disappoint.

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We had a dining out “wish list” of about 50+ restaurants and tried our best to pick and choose a wide variety so we could taste a bit of everything. Here are some of our favorite places we ate and drank, broken down by neighborhood:

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Beluga: Asian inspired, we dined on a variety of sushi, dim sum & noodles. They’ve got a large local wine list – we dined in the wine cellar which was a fun experience.

Kloof Street House: This unique hot spot feels like an outdoor garden party. The place has a whimsical, bohemian feel with a lot of lanterns, chandeliers and plants everywhere. We sat on the glass porch and had a great view of both the interior & exterior. The food was outstanding – I had a delicious local fish (Kingklip, anyone heard of it?) and Terry has Mediterranean style lamb shoulder. We licked our plates clean.

Dear Me: The perfect lunch spot, this organic eco-friendly restaurant is in a cute area surrounded by shopping boutiques and coffee shops. Known for their fresh ingredients, we enjoyed two fresh pressed juices and a couple of bowls – bim bim bap for me and poke for him. We loved it so much that we wanted to come back for lunch the following day.

Savoy Cabbage: We didn’t make it here but heard outstanding reviews and it came highly recommended. This is definitely on my list for the next trip.

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The Codfather: We went to Camps Bay for this place alone. It came recommended by multiple people and I can absolutely see why. Perfect for sunset drinks, this restaurants is located across the street from the beach. The concept here is so cool: they don’t have a set menu; rather, you walk up and view the fresh caught seafood at the counter and you’re charged by the weight. It’s perfect for sharing because they grill all of the fresh seafood and then finish it in a huge pan with rice, veggies, potatoes and served with 4 homemade sauces. It was so fun to try a little bit of everything, including tuna, calamari, butter fish & shrimp. This is probably my top recommended restaurant here. A trip to Cape Town would not be complete without eating dinner at The Codfather!

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The Test Kitchen: I wish. TTK is reservation only and they open up their monthly calendar one month in advance. I tried for about 3 months to get a table and it was booked solid…Every. Single. Day. If you’re lucky enough to get in, report back to me and let me know how fabulous it is!

Pot Luck Club: Another uber popular restaurants from the same people as The Test Kitchen, we were lucky enough to get in here (also book way ahead!). The whole Woodstock area is really awesome and these restaurants are built in a n old biscuit mil. The Pot Luck Club is located ion the top floor of the silo with a killer skyline view. It feels very NYC – sultry, hip, dark…and incredible food! It’s small plates with options from every flavor pallet. This restaurant was outstanding and I would highly recommend that you come here!

Burrata: Another option if you can’t get into TTK or PLC…Burrata is an Italian restaurant with classic but tasty staples, including pizza, pasta and a big wine list. It wasn’t my favorite restaurant we went to, but it’s a good back up plan.

Woodstock Brewery: A fun microbrewery down the road, we stopped here for a pre-dinner beer flight. They’ve only got about five main brews but they were great. During the day they do brewery tours so it would be a fun spot to go on a nice day.

Devils Peak Brewery: Another brewery that came recommended, but we didn’t make it here. The bartender at the Woodstock brewery also recommended it so it’s likely worth checking out.

As you can see, Cape Town is full of bars, restaurants, coffee shops & bakeries to keep your tummy happy all day long. It’s one of the better “foodie” cities I’ve been to and I’d say it’s well on par with San Francisco and New York.

12 Hours in Zurich

Given that we had a 20+ hour flight from Boston to Johannesburg, we wanted to plan our layover strategically. In my opinion, it’s best to either have a 2-3 hour layover (enough to grab a bite to eat, stretch your legs, and get back on the plane) or a 9+ hour layover (plenty of time to explore the local town). Given that Zurich is one of our favorite cities, we opted for a long (12 hour) layover so that we could have enough time to enjoy the city. Last time we were in Zurich, it was May and a little bit chilly outside. This time we majorly lucked out as it was 87 degrees and sunny the day we were there!

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We deplaned around 11:30am and headed straight to the train station to take the metro into town. The train system in Zurich is very simple & intuitive. We took the 6 train to Tiefenbrunnen. Once we arrived at our stop (around 1:00pm), we went to an awesome spot that my husband found – it was essentially an outdoor beach/grass area for us to lay out & go swim in the lake. We paid 25CHF to enter, which included entry for two and towels. The area is a large grassy space with multiple picnic tables, wooden decks & floating docks. It is equipped with bath houses that have lockers, bathrooms & showers. It felt like a community pool, except the pool was Lake Zurich.

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We weren’t sure how crowded it would be, given that it was a Wednesday mid-afternoon, but the place was jam packed with families, kids & friends of all ages. Apparently this was an unusually warm day for them, so I guess everyone was taking advantage of the weather! We swam in the lake (cold & refreshing), ate ice cream, drank a beer and basked in the warm sun. After a few hours, we decided to hit the showers and change.

We spent the next hour or so re-discovering Zurich – the old town is so charming and quaint, filled with hilly, winding streets, various local stores, coffee shops and colorful pastel homes with very distinct old-world architecture. The window boxes were in full bloom and stunning!

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We walked about 4 miles in & out of various streets, getting lost in the best way. Finally we decided it was time to grab some dinner at one of our favorites, Zeughauskeller. It’s a touristy spot, but we love it. The building was built in 1487 and is an old armory turned restaurant. Pre-Christopher Columbus, y’all!  The restaurant is classic Swiss – the menu has over 5 pages of sausage options (no joke). T got the classic bratwurst (#50), served with their delicious warm potato salad and I got the crumbed chicken (#95) served with salad. Two aperol spritz’s to toast. It felt good to be back at this spot, at the same table we ate at less than 18 months ago for our first big trip abroad together. Ahh, memories.

And let’s be honest, no trip to Switzerland is finished without a visit to the chocolate shop!

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And just like that, it was time to head back to the airport. With another international flight (ZRH > JNB) ahead of us, we arrived with about two hours to spare. All in all, during our 12 hour layover we spent about 8 hours in Zurich (1 hour travel, 3 hours in/out of airport) and walked over five miles. It was a fun, relaxing day and well worth the layover.

How would you spend 12 hours in Zurich?

Travel Guides: Santa Monica + Malibu + Santa Barbara

Last winter we took a road trip up the PCH from LA to SF…and yes, I’m just now finishing the recap. What can I say, sometimes I’m scatterbrained! You may remember our road trip plan here. Well, let me just say…all we did wrong was not make enough time. This drive is STUNNING and I am dying to do it again and spend more time in some of the places we zipped through.

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We stayed night 1 in Santa Monica at a friends condo. We hung by the rooftop pool, went for a jog on the beach, explored the area & grabbed some sushi at SugarFish. Okay, okay – I know this place has alllll of the hype (maybe because Ryan Seacrest talks about it all the time on his radio show?) but I gotta be honest- we didn’t love it. In fact, we left after our glass of wine and edamame. From the moment we walked in, the staff were a-holes quite rude, the service was horrible and we just weren’t feeling the vibe. At all. Maybe I’ll give it another try in the future, but for me this place was a miss.

Lucky for us, we found passed Blue Plate Taco on the way home and popped right in. They had a killer patio, fun music playing & a chill, friendly vibe. We had a blast drinking margs and eating tacos. Win for sure!

Our time in Santa Monica was pretty short – less than 24 hours. Given that we were coming off of a 6 hour flight, we relaxed a bit more than usual and enjoyed our time lounging. We were hoping to make it for happy hour at Shutters on the Beach but weren’t ready. Next time!

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The next morning we got up and drove a quick 30 minutes to Malibu, where we hiked the Corral Canyon Trail. It was an 2.5 miles up & down the mountain. We walked up, ran down and thoroughly enjoyed the warm sun! I swear, getting a morning workout not at the gym while on vacation is the best thing ever. We spent a couple of hours soaking in the sun while burning off last night’s margaritas – win/win! Plus, the best part of this trail is that the trail ends at Malibu Seafood- my new favorite place. It’s a seafood shop & cafe where you can sit right outside on the picnic tables and enjoy the fresh catch of the day. Highly recommend this combination of activity + food!

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Headed up the coast to Malibu

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If you’re near Malibu, check it out!

After lunch, we drove about an hour or two, stopping off here & there for photo ops- and made our way to the Four Seasons, Santa Barbara which is hands down one of the most beautiful properties I have ever seen. This is where we got engaged and where I never, ever wanted to leave. Aside from the fact that it was the best day of my life, the service was unbelievable & the property just flawless. The sprawling, lush grounds felt like a rainforest inside, with a beach outside. We spent time at the pool, the bar, the lobby & of course, on Butteryfly Beach where Terry proposed (having flashbacks & loving every moment!)

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The stunning property

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Truly felt like we were in the Mediterranean

We had our engagement dinner at Lucky’s in Montecito, a charming steakhouse with an oversized fireplace. It’s just perfect for winter. The food was delicious, service amazing & truth be told, I hardly remember any of it because I was still in shock! (Needless to say, I didn’t snap a single photo)

One other place I must mention is Jeannine’s, also in Montecito. This adorable cafe with the best outdoor patio surrounded by trees. The owner heard that we were recently engaged and sent over a celebratory dessert on the house. So thoughtful! You order at the counter and they serve your coffee & bites on a very eclectic-vintage blue & white china. It’s fabulous and you should go there.

The yummy food & darling plates at Jeannine's

The yummy food & darling plates at Jeannine’s

Lastly, no trip to Santa Barbara would be complete without a stop at McConnells ice cream. They’re world famous for a reason – the ice cream is to die for and you’ve gotta get some. Don’t leave SB without a scoop!

Next stop on our road trip was through Big Sur to Carmel-by-the-Sea. AKA Heaven – I cannot wait to share more!

ICYMI: Our weekend in Sonoma and review of the Cottage Inn & Spa

 

 

Travel Guide: Reykjavik

I think it’s fair to say that most people go to Iceland to experience the outdoor adventures, the incredible excursions and the scenic views. While Reykjavik isn’t a major destination, it is where you’ll likely stay so I think it’s important to know what to expect and how to properly navigate the city.

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Where to Stay

There are countless hotels here, most on or around Lavagulaur Street. After much consideration, we opted to stay at the CenterHotel Midguardar which is one of the many hotels by the CenterHotel group. The hotel was affordable, centrally located & came recommended. It was the perfect choice for us, as it has 24-hour service, easy check-in and breakfast included (which was actually good – it was a typical American meets European spread with eggs, bacon & sausage, Skyr yogurt with fruit, breads with jam and various meats & cheeses).

We also had some friends stay at the Raddison Blue 1919, which was conveniently located in the downtown area (on the other side of Lavagulaur Street). The lobby was beautiful & it is near a lot of the top notch restaurants, so this is another solid choice.

There are also an abundance of “guest houses” where all of the tours will pick up from, so really the options are endless. You can find these on AirBnB or via many third party website (ex. Priceline, Expedia).

As you can see, there are a plethora of choices for accommodations in Reykjavik. It just depends how much you want to spend and what location you want to be in!

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The hotel lobby of the CenterHotel Midguardar

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Typical Icelandic breakfast, served in our hotel’s restaurant

Where to Eat:

The Fish Market: We tried to walk in but that was obviously a rooky mistake. Apparently, Fish Market books up weeks ahead of time due to their fresh food and popular tasting menu. We heard rave reviews all week so be sure to make a reservation if you’re planning a trip to Reykjavik anytime soon.

Grill Market: Another highly recommended gourmet spot in town. Our friend ate here and raved about the food, drink & ambiance. They didn’t have room to squeeze us in either, but it’s on our list for next time.

Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur: Now I know y’all have heard of this place. It’s the world famou hot dog stand in downtown Reykjavik and hands down the cheapest meal you can find in Iceland. I don’t eat hot dogs but everyone who had them said they’re the best. Terry loved his so much that he went back for a second. A must try!

Nonnabiti: If you’re headed on a full day excursion (like Southern Iceland or The Golden Circle) this is an ideal spot for you to stop before you board. They’ve got great sandwiches to go. It’s basically a sub shop but the bread is soft & its all very fresh. I had a turkey sandwich with all of the veggie toppings and it hit the spot.

Noodle Station: This place was located practically next door to our hotel and full all the time, all day long. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to try it but I’ve heard rave reviews. Given that it’s cold & dreary in Iceland, I can see why noodle bowls are popular!

Glo: Another restaurant that was one my list but we didn’t make it to. Known for their organic, vegetarian style food, it’s one of the healthier spots in town. And their presentation is practically made for Instagram.

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World Famous Hot Dog Stand!

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Pizza was all that was open when we landed at 1am

What To Do:

I’m guessing you’ve likely seen a picture similar to this before:

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Well, it’s taken at the Hallgrímskirkja church in downtown Reykjavik where you u take elevator to top of church tower. It’s a beautiful 360-degree view of the city, the mountains & the sea. A must-see if you’re in the city.

Truth be told, we spent most of our time outside Reykjavik, apart from dinner & drinks at night. The town itself if very cute, charming & walkable. The buildings are colorful and there is art everywhere. It’s definitely worth wandering around.

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Some other activities that we didn’t have time to do, but were on our list were horseback riding, whale watching, and exploring the local markets.

 

Free Summer Fun in Boston

I’m changing things up a bit today and making this more of a local post. After a very long winter and a barely there spring, we are officially in summer here in Boston! The city really comes alive this time of year and being outside is just fabulous. Whether you prefer outdoor concerts, patio drinking, Esplanade running or just strolling through the Boston Commons, this list covers it all. I’ve put together a HUGE roundup of free summer things that you can enjoy here in Boston. If you live in the city, be sure to take advantage of all Boston has to offer! And if you’re not from here, I’d recommend adding our beautiful city to your travel list and spend a weekend here!

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Without further ado…

FITNESS CLASSES

From spin to boot camps to yoga, the Greenway Fitness Program Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts annually offers FREE fitness classes in the Greenway. See the schedule here.

The Esplanade is one of my favorite places to work out. You get the killer river views and the cool breeze that comes with it. With Zumba, running, sunset yoga & boot camps (I’ve done them, they’re great!), the opportunities are endless. Read details here.

A few other free fitness classes that I learned about via Secret Boston are:

Mondays: Salsa dancing at the South End’s Blackstone Square (6 p.m.)

Tuesdays: Yoga at the South End’s Franklin Square (6 p.m.)

Wednesdays: HIIT in Brighton Square (6:30 p.m.)

Thursdays: Yoga at the Boston Common’s Frog Pond (6 p.m.)

Fridays: Bootcamp at Christopher Columbus Park (6:30 a.m.)

WINE TASTINGS

The Urban Grape (303 Columbus Ave in South End) is offering free sine tastings on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 5-8pm. View their offerings here.

Wine Bottega (341 Hanover St in North End) has free wine tasting every Friday from 5:00-8:00. This is the perfect thing to do before grabbing a fresh oysters & raw bar at one of my favorite restaurants, Mare.

BRIX (1284 Washington St in South End) also has free wine tastings on Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm-8pm. You can get more details here.

MUSIC

The Boston Public Library has their annual Concerts in the Courtyard, which are free on Wednesdays and Fridays. Concerts are held at the Central Library on Boylston Street which is too cute – grab lunch and head here for some mid-week relaxation.

With too many to list, The Berklee Summer in the City Concert Series presents more than 400 free performances throughout Greater Boston from May through September.

There are seven concerts by Boston Landmarks Orchestra at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. Grab a friend (or date), a picnic basket & a blanket. Perfect evening!

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Shakespeare on the Common is a free show by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company at Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common. The 2017 show is Romeo & Juliet. I’ve done this in the past and can’t wait to do it again. Such a fun weeknight event!

Head to the beach and check out some giant sand art at the Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival, which includes live music, food trucks, and Saturday fireworks.

For a totally different kind of Friday evening, head to the  Museum of Science and check out their free Astronomy After Hours program, where you can view stars, planets, the Moon, and other astronomical phenomena.

MOVIES

Boston Harbor Hotel screens free movies every Friday night. Schedule here.

The MFA is offering a more adult-friendly outdoor movie screenings, with wine & beer available for purchase. View their movie list here.

For the 32nd year in a row (amazing, right?!) the Hatch Shell is offering free Friday night movies.  I heard it gets really crowded, so get there early. Schedule here.

 

EVENTS, MARKETS & FESTIVALS

One of my favorite summer activities is the SoWa market in South End! The SoWa Open Market is open every Saturday and Sunday, April 29-October 29, from 10am-4pm.

While you’re there, check out the SoWa vintage market which is open every Saturday between April 29-October 29, from 11am-4pm, rain or shine. Read more here.

Greenway Open Market: Held on Saturdays and every 1st and 3rd Sunday, May through October along the Wharf District Parks of the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Details here.

 

As you can see, Boston has SO much to offer. I need to start checking these off my list!

Whats your favorite free summer activity!?