‘Merica Wednesday 03: Chicago, IL

Hey my lovelies! TheΒ third installment ofΒ ‘Merica Wednesdays is all about Chicago! Yes Chi-Town, Chiraq, Chicagoland… One of the best places in the world. So without any more interruption here is Chicago. No passport, no visa.

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Officialy known as the City of Chicago, this windy city is the third most populated in the USA and the most populated in the Midwestern United States. Chicago is known around the world as an authority on telecommunications, industry, finance, and transportation: with O’Hare International Airport taking the title as the second busiest in the world in regards to air traffic. Chicago also holds the title of having one of the world’s most diversified economy and workforce. Last year Chi-Town claimed it’s title as one of the most visited US cities with over 54 million domestic and international visitors. The Windy Cities culture has strong ties in performance with theater, film, visual arts, comedy, and music. In addition to an abundance of professional sporting teams Chicago is also home to a number of prestigious colleges and universities.

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When visiting Chicago the first thing you will probably notice is its simple layout. The city is divided into three large divisions: TheΒ Loop, The North Side, South Side, and West SideΒ each with their own subdivisions. A few of the Windy Cities famous public artwork include Chagall’s Four Seasons, Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, Burham and Bennett’s Buckingham Fountain, the Chicago Picasso, and Plensa’s Crown Fountain.

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The waterfront nightlife has attracted millions to the wonders of Chicago. From Roger’s Park in Northside Chicago to South Shore Chicago a third of it’s residents have convened for waterfront residence. Hugging the waterfront numerous culturally diverse neighborhoods can be found including Little Seoul, Paseo Boricua, Greek Town, Little Italy, Little Vietnam, Polish Patches,Β Pilsen, a Desi area, and Chinatown. In addition to the booming nightlife highlighted by Chicago’s cultural diversity some other interesting things in Chicago can be found in the many neighborhoods and boroughs of Chicago. In Lincoln Park a popular zoo and Lincoln Park Conservatory can be found.

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Chicago has something for everybody. If classic architecture, stunning cityscapes, cutting edge universities, and an expansive nightlife isn’t for you then you’re sure to find your dream getaway in Chicago’s music and theatre as well as their popular sporting teams and clubs. Known internationally as a great place for the performing arts theatres such as the Bank of America Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre as well as many others. The Chicago Symphony also takes it’s place annually as one of the best orchestras and orchestral performances in the world. If you are drawn to music outside of the performing arts then Chicago’s famous live music scene and legendary jazz and blues venues will definitely sate your appetite. Finally, whenever talking about Chicago the elephant in the room is always their sporting teams. With some of the most famous and well know sporting teams in the world Chicago is a great place to appreciate athletics. Take a trip to Wrigley Field to appreciate the Chicago Cubs or to the Guaranteed Rate Field in South Side Chicago for the White Sox.

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The appeal of Chicago can be appreciated by anyone. From the architecture, to the cuisine, to live entertainment Chicago is a perfect weekend getaway or drawn out vacation for anyone. With median priced expenses and four star hotels starting at $99 a night Chicago is also a cost effective trip for even the most frugal spenders. If you are the least bit intrigued by the enchanting wonders of Chicago don’t wait to find the answers to your questions. Book a flight or fuel up your tank and journey to the windy city, Chi-Town won’t disappoint you.

 

‘Merica Wednesday: 02 Miami, FL

Finally it’s time for another installment of ‘Merica Wednesday. Dream American Vacation for today? Miami, Florida. ‘Nuff said.

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Seated on the coastline of Southeast Florida Miami is one of the most populous areas in the U.S. and is ranked as the fourth most populous urban area in the country. With it’s easy access to the Atlantic coast Miami is also known as the “Cruise Capitol of the World” and is known for it’s busy waves. The combined culture rich with the influences of several Latin cultures including that of the Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Nicaraguans, and that of many other nations. In addition to the heavy Latino and Hispanic influence on Miami culture the all important aspects of American culture including that of Blacks, Asians, and Caucasians have a heavy influence on this seaport city. Popular tourist areas such as Little Havana, Coconut Grove, Midtown, Coral Gables, and the historic Downtown Miami area are landmarks in Florida tourism and in the display of Miami’s culture.

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There is plenty going on in the proclaimed “Capitol of Latin America” to entertain you whether you are a career traveler or a weekend warrior seeking fun. For a journey to realize all of the natural, historic, and artistic wonders Miami offers visits to locations such as Zoo Miami, Miami Seaquarium, Coral Castle, St Bernard deΒ Clairvaux Church, the Fairchild Botanical Gardens, and Jungle Island will be sure to seize your attention. To witness the legendary art of Miami try journeying to Downtown Miami to see popular attractions such as the Miami Art Museum, Vicaya Museums and Gardens, and the “Olympics of art” in Art Basel Miami.Β For a taste ofΒ the beach scene try exhausting your energies in snorkeling, scuba diving, and sailing in one of the many Miami beaches, marinas, canals, and bays. In addition to these past times Miami is home to plenty of sporting teams from various high schools, colleges, and professional leagues so spending your time spectating is a great option as well.

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The cuisine of Miami is every bit as rich as it’s culture. As a reflection of Miami’s varied and diverse population it comes together so well to form a unique experience for any food lover. The Floribbean cuisine, a mix of Latin America and American cuisine is all but worshiped inΒ Miami. Restaurants available in South Florida and Miami such as Pollo Tropical, a popular restaurant chain, are dedicated to showcasing the unique taste of Miami. The medianoche, croqueta, Cuban sandwich, and cortadito are evidence of the uniquely Cuban cuisine of Miami. Areas such as Miami River and Biscane Bay are popular seaport areas and so are the restaurants offering seafood with a Floribbean twist.

South Beach Miami, Florida

Miami’sΒ mixed Latin and West Indie culture shows in more ways than art and athletics. The nightlife in Miami is one of the best and most expansive in the world. With an abundance of restaurants, bars, and clubs Miami is a fantastic destination for a excursion of fun. On anyΒ night out you can witness the dances and sounds of the rumba, bachata, conga, cumbia, vallenato, samba, and reggae to name a few. The sounds of Miami, like its dance, are varied and all wonderful in their own right. Miami has gave birth to artists from Contemporary and PopΒ to Latin and Reggaeton to Hip Pop and Rap, and one can definitely see that in the night scenes of Miami.

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In all, Miami can be any travelers dream. From the rich, heterogeneous culture to the one of a kind dialect and history. With all Miami has to offer; some of the best music and art in the world, exciting sporting teams, the famous music scene, and scenic views it still maintains it’s heart thriving in the sharedΒ melting pot of culture. Miami also holds the title as one of the most sought after American destinations and has the reputation of being one of the best and cleanest cities in the world. So if you do not live in America and own a passport pick it up and discover Miami, and if you live in the USA and still have not considered this trip or made your plans, evaluate your SANITY, and then pick up your suitcase and discover your getaway. Farewell to you on this beautiful Monday. See you in Miami.

Travspiration: 10

Travspiration today is a picture because I’m tired of the cold… It’s so damn cold it doesn’t make sense so enjoy these pictures of a beach in Hawai’i to inspire you to get your ass out the cold. No for real though. It’s too cold. I fell in love looking at these beaches today.

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Look at how hot this beach looks!
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I can feel the Sun on my back!

The 10 Best Beaches in the World

Here is a unbiased perspective of fantastic beaches brought to you by the Lonely Wanderer!

Let’s jump right into it, shall we?

  1. 7 Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica.
    • Perched in the Grand Cayman west shore 7 mile beach is famous for it’s crystal clear blue water and decadent white sands.
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  2. Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
    • Ipanema beach is situated on the coast of the beautiful Rio de Janiero and with Brazilian women, known to be among the most beautiful in the world, and all of the swimsuit clad Olympic photos from this summer Ipanema is definitely worth mention.
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  3. El Castillo Beach in Tulum, Mexico.
    • Nestled under Mayan ruins El Castillo Beach is definitely worth listing. You will have a great time in Tulum examining the castle and the turquoise waters it protects.
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  4. Mosquito Bay in Vieques, Puerto Rico.
    • The once in a lifetime opportunity to frolic in the World’s Largest and Brightest Bio-luminescent bay cannot miss the countdown. Due to natural phenomena dinosΒ (dinoflagellates) burst bright blue lights when shaken or in contact with other organisms.
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  5. Glass Beach in Hanapepe, Hawai’i.
    • After forming for years with a unique combination of discarded glass and basalt rock Glass Beach is a unique destination for otherworldly fun.
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  6. Lake McKenzie in Fraser Island.
    • Hailing from Queensland, Australia Lake McKenzie lives up to it’s expectation as an amazing beach. The pearl white sand, iridescent blue waters, and reputation for being one of the cleanest in the world make it a must see for any beach lover.
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  7. Rabbit Beach in Lampedusa, Italy.
    • With no rabbits in sight, Rabbit Beach is known as one of the best in the world. Maybe it’s the soft sand or the clear water but it looks like a winner to us!
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  8. East Beach in Santa Barbara, California.
    • The first beach you see in Santa Barbara loitered with California skylines is a hard act to follow. With the stunning view it deserves to be listed!
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  9. Trunk Bay in St John, US Virgin Islands.
    • In the picturesque Virgin Islands and offering underwater snorkeling as well as Β stunning views with earthy green flora and fauna and the cascading blue waters Trunk Bay is a top pick for all beach enthusiasts.
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  10. Anse Forbans in Mahe, Seychelles.
    • The idyllic beach with pastel tones and world famous chalets is a clear pleaser and is also rumored to be among the best beaches in the world.

Which beach is your favorite? Did you have one that didn’t make the countdown?

 

‘Merica Wednesday: 01 New Orleans, LA

Most people think travel has to be international. When we think of vacations we’re automatically drawn to the long trips to Paris, Rome, Tokyo, and all the other destinations we endlessly seek out. Most of the time, one hour into planning for our big adventure we realize 1.) we don’t have anyone to go with and 2.) we’re not willing to pay the cost (you should, it’s worth every penny). So you lock your travel dreams away to only going for your honeymoon and stay in Nobody Town, Montana. (No offense!) Advetureless. Little do you know, travel doesn’t always have to be an epic trek to another country. You don’t always need a passport. This section of the Lonely Wanderer will be dedicated to all of the fantastic trips you can take inside the U.S. The first installment of ‘Merica Wednesday will catalog the popular destination of New Orleans, Louisiana. So buckle up. No passport needed.

The “Big Easy” New Orleans, Louisiana is a popular city and cultural hub located just on the Mississippi River in southeast Louisiana. The huge melting pot city draws influences from the French, Native American, African, and Spanish cultures creating a unique breed aptly named Creole or Cajun. Β New Orleans is known and revered for its rich history, cuisine, never ending nightlife, vibrant music, and show stopping festivals and celebrations. New Orleans is the perfect destination for some Gulf Coast fun!

Yearly, New Orleans ranks as one of the top ten most visited cities in the U.S. Visitors can find many attractions in the Big Easy like Magazine Street, the world-renowned French Quarter, Pontchartrain Hotel, and St. Charles Ave. The Big Easy also ranks as one of the best Spring Break locations boasting with stylish hotels, singles and bar scenes, antique and vintage shops, neighborhood restaurants, live music, and the worlds most interesting people watching. Not only is New Orleans considered a destination for “wild weekends” it is also ranked second in both friendly cites and gay friendly cities in the U.S.

The French Quarter, locally known as the Quarter (Vieux CarrΓ¨), houses popular bars, hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs. Bourbon Street, St Louis Cathedral, Perservation Hall, Jackson Square, and the popular French Market are all noteworthy tourist attractions. For a historic and natural visit one can also expect the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Audubon Institute, and City Park (with one of the world’s largest standing Oak trees) as a sure pleaser.

New Orleans is a pinnacle for many celebrations bringing in thousands of travelers every year. Mardi Gras (the Carnival), New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the VoodooΒ Eexperience, and the Essence Music Festival are the cities highest grossing. It’s unique music scene is sure to have you happy while bar hopping on Bourbon Street. It’s famous Creole and Cajun food is sure to spice your taste buds. Popular cuisine like po boy sandwiches, oysters, gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, crawfish, and the world famous pastry beignets will keep you full for your entire trip.

Flaunting cheap airfare and four star hotels as low as $70 dollars a night New Orleans is the perfect destination for an onslaught of fun or a weekend getaway. Go and walk the cobblestone streets marred with history. Dance to the once in a lifetime music of joy. Eat the cuisines of freedom and speak to the New Orleanians famous for their strength in the face of defeat. I dare you not to fall in love.

Have any of you ever visited New Orleans?

Let me know about your trip in the comments below!