A Weekend in Louisville, KY

As much as I love good ol’ STL, it’s nice to pack up a few things and get away for the weekend. Whether you’re wanting to drive to another city for a different kind of nightlife or escape to the countryside for stargazing and quiet, there are many places to travel for a great weekend outside the ‘Lou. This month I bring you Louisville, Kentucky.

Where To Stay

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21c Museum Hotel
This gorgeous and modern hotel is high on the list of places to stay in Louisville, KY. The award-winning hotel is smack dab in the center of everything you’d want to see and do in the city. Walking distance from the Muhammad Ali Center and Louisville Slugger Museum–yes, these are places you’ll want to see–and a delicious breakfast spread that will make you question eating outside the hotel. And if you feel like missing local art museums, explore the hotel because it’s an art museum! The pieces displayed in both rooms and around the hotel lobby are drool-worthy.

The Brown Hotel
Not the best name, but you’ll feel like royalty as soon as you step into this hotel. The lobby alone is enough to have you awestruck with their dramatic archways and chandeliers. The Brown Hotel is right in the heart of downtown and less than a mile away from the KFC Yum Center–you read that right, the Yum Center.

Where To Eat

Wild Eggs
There is a reason this restaurant has been named “Best Breakfast” spot by Louisville Magazine, they have the best breakfast and be prepared to wait for it as there is always a line out the door. Need some recommendations? Try the Breakfast Nachos, the Kelsey “KY” Brown or the Sweet Home Apple Bourbon pancakes. Actually, try them all. You can’t possibly go wrong.

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Havana Rumba
If you love Cuban food, Havana Rumba is calling your name. Even if you don’t like Cuban food, this place is still calling your name. Try one of the three locations in downtown Louisville and get your stomach prepared for all the delicious food. Whether you want to stop in for lunch or dinner, there will be a slight wait as Havana Rumba is always busy. Vegetarian? They have many options for you, including my personal favorite Coca Vegetariana–Spanish style flat bread with caramelized onions, peppers, tomatoes, Monterrey Jack and goat cheese. Can you say, “yum?” YUM.

Toast On Market
The atmosphere plus the food make Toast on Market the perfect place for you to stop by for breakfast or lunch. Open only until 2pm, the sandwiches are spectacular as is their grilled cheese–I’m still dreaming of the Garlic Cheddar Grilled Cheese. Stop in for a quick bite to eat before roaming around the rest of Louisville.

What To Do

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Copper & Kings American Brandy Distillery
Sample smooth and warm Brandy that will turn a Brandy enthusiast into an obsessive and a Brandy hater into a lover. Discover the architecture and the philosophy of why the distillery and the grounds were built the way they were. Travel through their stills, rickets, event spaces, and my favorite part, the rooftop.

Old Louisville
Take a walk along Old Louisville where a unique collection of houses and streets built in the 1800’s that will make you stop and wonder, “who in the world lives in these beauties?” Wander around Central Park which was once the sight of a world’s fair when Thomas Edison introduced the electric light as the main exhibit. I recommend taking the Haunted Ghost Tour of Old Louisville. It’s one of the best ways to experience the city.

This post was originally published on my weekend guide on ALIVEMag.com. Check them out.

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A Mini Guide to Nice, France

Nice is one of those places that doesn’t quite feel real. Walking through it’s crowded streets, it feels as if you’re in a movie set waiting for someone to call out “action!” and Brad Pitt will walk in front of you chasing after another beautiful woman. With its beautiful beaches, Southern French charm and many gelato stands, Nice is one that I can’t wait to go back to over and over again.

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Where to stay

Couchsurf (free)–This is what I did while in Nice. I stayed at Antoine’s little flat in Vieux Ville, where we watched Hitchcock films and ate our weight in pasta.

Hostel Meyerbeer Beach ($)–Great location, lovely staff and you will meet amazing people from all over the world.

Hyatt Regency ($$)–I love this hotel. It’s beautiful and if you ask nicely (and if they’re not fully booked!), you can upgrade to a room with a spectacular view of the sea.

What to do

Musée Matisse (free)–It’s a gorgeous house that is chock-full of paintings by Henri Matisse. If you’re staying in the old city, I recommend taking the bus to the museum and exploring the area for the afternoon. It’s quite beautiful.

Parc du Château (free)–Hands down the best views in Nice. Get your climbing shoes on because you’re going to be walking a lot to get to the top. I mean, there’s an elevator but what’s the fun in that? I don’t recommend wearing a backpack that weighs 15 pounds though. You’ll regret it. Trust me.

Explore Vieux Ville (free)–Walk around the small streets and explore the markets, the waterfalls, statues, architecture, and all the in-between bits. The Old City is so incredibly breathtaking. Grab a raspberry gelato and get lost.

Promenade des Anglais (free)–With the beach to your right and the Old City to your left, the Promenade des Anglais is the perfect end to your night in Nice. Skateboarders, tourists, and regulars fill the strip with their conversations, laughs, and genuine intrigue. To me, this is the best place for people watching.

Where to eat

Olive et Artichaut ($$)–You’ll need a reservation because this place is busy…always. The food is good, the desserts are delicious, and the drinks are even better.

Fenocchio ($)–Okay, want delicious gelato? You have to go here. Fenocchio has been in business since 1966 and there is a reason for it. My recommendation? Chocolat avec lavande. YUM.

21 Free Things To Do In London

Although London may be my favorite city, it’s rather expensive for someone who loved eating and shopping, but is living on a rather limited budget. However, if you’re like me, there are a numerous amount of free things to do in London. Yes, free. To help you get started planning your trip across the pond, here are 21 free things for you to do in London.

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1. Stare in awe at the bones of a T-Rex at the Natural History Museum.
2. See the Rosetta Stone for yourself at the British Museum.
3. See the Peter Pan statue at Kensington Gardens.
4. In the Winter, head to Hyde Park for the Winter Wonderland or walk through the gorgeous park on any given day.
5. Walk to the top of Primrose Hill in Regents Park.
6. Try to push the trolley through Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross.
7. Aimlessly wander around Southbank.

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8. Be entertained by the street performers in Covent Garden.
9. See the amazing exhibits at the Science Museum.
10. Watch the Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace.
11. Strike a pose on the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing.
12. Meet the stone lions at Trafalgar Square.
13. Take an up-the-nostril selfie with Big Ben.
14. Go see the Shakespeare Globe. Trust me.
15. Take a walk through the 35,000 monuments of Brompton Cemetery.
16. Get up early on a Sunday and stroll through Columbia Flower Market.

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17. Visit God’s Own Junkyard to see vintage neon signs and movie props.
18. Walk through Shoreditch and look at all the street art–you might spot a Banksy.
19. Discover the original Beatles lyrics and the diary of Jane Austen at the British Library.
20. Try not to pee your pants when walking through the Tate Modern at pieces including Matisse, Picasso, Rothko, Pollock, Warhol and so many others.
21. Head to Angel Comedy Club for their free comedy every night of the week.