Ask A Local
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From beaches to bike trails to breweries, the United States has something for everyone to explore. Hear from the locals themselves and discover the best attractions, places to eat, shopping and much more.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Ask a Local: U.S. Virgin Islands Transcript
Then there's the beaches. Magens Bay is my favorite. You know what it's actually everybody's favorite because it's a mile long. And while you're in St. Thomas, make sure you stop by Room with a View. It's one of my favorite restaurants and it really does have the best view. You make sure you tell them to have you out on the balconies so that you can see the harbor. It's one of my favorite places. That's where I usually take girls that I really like.
And then you can take the ferry over to St. John. They have a lot of bars and restaurants right in that area. It's called Cruz Bay. You can walk around and do a lot right in a small area. And that's exactly where you're gonna find my second favorite restaurant, Rhumb Lines. This is an Asian fusion restaurant that you access by going through a Mini-Mart. It may not seem like it, but once you get through you're gonna find an amazing bar and an amazing restaurant. We also have dollar taxis. Basically they go in a loop around the island and when you're ready to get off you just get off and pay a dollar. St. John is mostly National Park and that means that they have a lot of wilderness. There is a lot of stuff to see.
And one of my favorite beaches in St. John is Trunk Bay. When you're on the way to Trunk Bay make sure you stop at the overlook so you can take the best picture of your life. Once we get to Trunk Bay, it's a long beach. And there's a rock formation right off the beach. It has the best snorkeling, make sure you check that out too. Down here we have great music. You're gonna hear some stuff that's gonna make you want to dance. We have Calypso, Reggaeton, Reggae, You are gonna love it! While you're here you can take a gondola ride. Basically it's like a ski lift up to the top of the island, at a place called Paradise Point. From there you can see the entire island.
St. Croix is a very special place. Historically we have had seven flags flying over the Virgin Islands. And the name of St. Croix literally means Holy Cross and we are a crossroads culture. I think it's more the spiritual center of the Virgin Islands and to me the real treasure of St. Croix is in people, we are just sweet people. We're very welcoming, we're very warm, it's a beautiful people. One of the places that you have to see if you come to St. Croix is the Whim Great House Museum. It was a working plantation. It was our stories, our antiquities, it is a very unique place. Our food is influenced from Europe, Africa and the other Caribbean Islands. And it is beautiful, tasty, delicious. And I think it represents just a dynamic nature of our culture. This is a pate, fried love. Rosa makes the best pates on the island but local tip, she is open weekdays from around 1:30 to 2:00 o'clock or whatever she feels like. Then there's the Chicken Shack, where the famous folks and dignitaries go to enjoy some great rotisserie chicken.
Then there is Punchy's. I'm Punchy. You have to go at 2:00 a.m. People will wake up, get out their bed to have his conch soup because it is that good. And of course we are an island so there are also fun things to do in the water. Rainbow Beach is a great spot to go where you can do a lot of water activities, paddle boarding. There's even a levitation thing. Where it takes you out of the water, just some great fun. And then there is Sandy Point, another must see. A beautifully protected beach where the giant leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs.
And walk down the street, people will talk to you. They'll say good morning, good afternoon, good night, not hello. Everyone talks here, everyone is pleasant. And you can always find out on our island what's happening through what is known as the CIA. The Croixian Intelligence Agency, they know everything. So you can meet the locals and hear what's going on just by walking around and chatting. It's what we do, come along with us.
Ask a Local: Texas Transcript
Check out this place called Corkscrew Barbecue. It's in a quaint neighborhood called Old Town Spring, and it looks like it's been frozen in time. The food is delicious. Another thing we're really, really known for is our Tex-Mex, which is like cowboy food with a little bit of a Mexican influence. You've get to check out El Real, which is the best Tex-Mex in town. While you're there, be sure you get the cheese enchilada. Then there's Tony's, which is an upscale, local favorite. The food is incredible. Where else are you get eat in front of a Rauschenberg? It's really interesting to see how different cultures come together. For example, folks from New Orleans brought over their love of crawfish. We really didn't have much crawfish in Houston before that, and now it's even making its way into some Asian dishes.
We actually have the largest Chinatown outside of California, and it's a lot of fun. Just walk around and try any dish from any culture in Asia. And the art. Houston is full of art. You can find art anywhere, in our museums, in our parks, on murals, in people's yards. I mean, it's everywhere. My favorite place to see art is a little bit off the beaten path, but you can get there, like everywhere, on METRORail. It's the Rothko Chapel. Houston is just a really neat place to visit, and it's really exciting to see how people from all over the world have come together to inspire each other, right in the heart of cowboy country. Y'all come see us.
Ask a Local: Colorado Transcript
That's one of the places that I recommend the most, it's awesome. Everyone does have their own distinct beer culture, but Denver is definitely on the forefront, mostly inspired by everywhere else in the world. So, you get kind of a world tour of beer right here in Denver. Denver has one of the greatest art scenes that you can find in the country for sure. They have First Friday art walks, the Santa Fe Art District, and Rhino. Rhino. Art, culture, beer. Murals. So there's a really cool place in Rhino called The Source, and it's a big warehouse that they've converted into individual stalls, and there's restaurants in there, there's a brewery, florists, meat market, it's just kind of a collaborative effort under one roof. It's really cool.
The food scene here in Denver is fantastic. This is a great place to start, but you can go all the way to the farther end of the spectrum and get completely vegetarian, vegan. City O' City, it's one of my favorites. There's that other ... El Taco De Mexico, it's a little hole in the wall but it is so authentic and so delicious, it's my favorite place. You definitely have to try a breakfast burrito covered in green chili, it is to die for. And we have an eatuary. Ooh yes, Linger. It's actually in an old mortuary. You go right outside and there's Little Man Ice Cream for dessert. You definitely want to check out Colfax, it's literally the longest street in the United States. It has everything that you could want. Colfax is crazy, I love it. It's pure Denver.
This is one of the greatest places in the world to find music, and whatever your flavor is you can find it here, every single genre. Old jazz clubs from back in the day. Cool club venues like the Fillmore. The Fillmore and the Ogden, Bluebird, and The Gothic. Ooh the Gothic. Then of course the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater, which is where everyone wants to go, whether you're a band or a fan. And there's sports. Well you've got our pro sports teams. Yeah. You've got skiing, you've got snowboarding that's really close. You can actually rent kayaks and kayak in the Platte River called Confluence Park in the middle of the city, it's fantastic. We're very friendly here in Denver, so if you just grab a beer and strike up a conversation with anybody, as long as you have a good story to tell you are bound to find a good conversation with a Denverite.
Ask a Local: Ohio Transcript
Speaker 2: (laughs)
Speaker 1: We moved to Columbus in 2002, and we knew, like, this is going to be the place for us. We like all the people here. We like all the things to do.
Speaker 2: There was an energy here that it felt like it was really happening all around us, and that people were ready to really connect with other people.
Speaker 1: It was a big city, but it was a big city that was still kind of discovering itself. And that’s it… the secret to our success.
As we were getting to know Columbus, I found that we would discover all these cool places. I wanted to write down: Where was this little diner that we went to? Where’s this cool little place in this neighborhood? So, in 2007, I started a blog called “Breakfast with Nick.” I had enough of a following that people started emailing and asking for suggestions or they would recommend different places.
Speaker 3: Head down the street to the Book Loft, which is a bookstore.
Speaker 4: Scioto Mile is awesome to walk or jog down.
Speaker 3: Get ice cream at Jeni’s Splendid.
Speaker 2: When we first moved to Columbus, we really wanted to get to know the city organically, and so, we would walk around. And the way that Columbus is set up, it is welcoming and hospitable to people. It really makes it easy to walk almost every neighborhood in Columbus.
Speaker 1: One of our favorite phrases that a lot of people use is, they call it, “the biggest small town in America.” There’s a lot of layers to the city for a wide variety of interests. So, I mean, Columbus is very heavy on sports with the Ohio State football team here. We have professional hockey, we have professional baseball and soccer.
In terms of the arts scene, I feel like there’s this growing number of galleries and artists’ collectives.
If you’re really into international eats, you can find just about any world cuisine somewhere in Columbus.
It’s super family-friendly, so if you want things to do as a family, we have all these great attractions and cool little neighborhood parks to the science museum and stuff like that.
Speaker 2: I think a classic day that we would have with the boys is…
Speaker 1: Oh right, three kids. I mean, lights of our lives.
Speaker 2: We would potentially go down and walk along the river, the Scioto Mile, or go and play in the fountains downtown. And then, we maybe head over to the Columbus Art Museum and check out their kids area.
Speaker 1: One of our favorite things about the art scene in Columbus is how it is very accessible. There’s a variety of mediums that we can engage with, whether it’s visual art or live music. There’s all these great festivals and activities.
Food in Columbus mirrors the way the city works in general in that I think we are this really good balance of tradition and innovation and that we love traditional stuff, but at the same time, we’re also experimental. We’re also innovative. And so it’s really wonderful that when you go out to eat and when you experience Columbus, that you can choose from one of those two things.
Speaker 5: We use some really awesome short rib that we slice across the bone, which we cook for two days.
Speaker 4: We do a house-made pastrami and house-made gravlax. They are fantastic.
Speaker 3: I recommend the morning bun to everybody. It’s very good.
Speaker 6: Oh man. My personal favorite donuts? I love the apple fritters.
Speaker 2: Columbus food doesn’t take itself too seriously. You want to have fun when you’re eating. You want to experience something new. And I feel like Columbus chefs are really great at that. Avishar is the chef at Service Bar. He is obsessed with chalupas and the gorditas.
Speaker 5: This is our cheesy brisket crunch. This has been our most popular menu item.
Speaker 2: Oh man, it’s delicious.
Speaker 1: Yeah, so I think on the more innovative and experimental side of things, one of our favorites is The Table, which is in Short North. They’re a great example of modern restaurants. They talk about how they are sourced locally but inspired globally.
Speaker 2: And then there’s Veritas, which is in an old bank building, and is just an amazing place that really works a lot with molecular gastronomy. So, you can go in and have different takes on things that you might have had before.
Speaker 1: Another spot is called Katalina’s. It’s this delightfully quirky place. Their signature dish is pancake balls. They put dulce de leche or Nutella in them. It’s a really colorful place too.
Speaker 2: And we also love Fox in the Snow. They make an egg sandwich that anyone in Columbus will tell you is the absolute best egg sandwich that they’ve ever had.
Speaker 1: In terms of traditional places, one of our favorites is Buckeye Donuts, which is right across the street from the university. It’s run by the third generation of the family, and they still make all their donuts by hand. And the other crazy thing is that they’re open 24/7, 365 days a year. The owner has said he doesn’t know where the key is.
Another great traditional place is Tommy’s Diner. It’s like one of the quintessential examples of it. I love how it looks very much like an old-school American diner. It has this big wall of photos just inside the door of like all the famous people who have stopped by. That’s one of my goals, is to get my picture on his wall ‘cuz that’s when like you know that you’ve made it. Tommy, if you’re listening, please.
Speaker 2: I think one of the big jokes in Columbus is that it feels like every week there is a new brewery, which we think is the best problem in the world to have. These breweries are doing things like family days, or they have a patio with board games.
Speaker 1: They just want to be the place that is loved by the neighborhood, where they do cool events, produce really excellent food, excellent beer – where it’s just like the neighborhood hangout.
Speaker 2: I love how connected Columbus feels. There is a friendliness to it that makes you feel really included, and everyone seems to be very hospitable. To have a city like that is really special.
Ask a Local: Nebraska Transcript
What I love about Nebraska, it’s a really inspiring place to explore. As a photographer, I can tell you, there are some awesome stories around here. For me, it’s been so much fun to get to capture some of them and I’m always looking for more.
A really special thing about Omaha is the creative community. There’s this amazing energy that everyone just wants to collaborate, help one another and just create something new all the time. And if you want to explore Omaha through the lens, we have an awesome Facebook group that can give you anything from locations to shoot, best spots to eat in between or even ask for someone to go on the shoot with you. People are really interested in meeting up and exploring together here.
With that said, one of my favorite places to shoot is the Little Bohemia neighborhood. It’s full of history but also lots of new things popping up all the time. I love to shoot inside the coffee shop, which has amazing light, but specifically here in the Tiny House Bar. I love the eclectic-ness of the spot, the beautiful furniture, the window light, the unique – kind of hilarious – wallpaper, the drinks after a shoot – it’s awesome.
We have a local artist, Watie White, who has beautiful murals all over town that are really fun to find and really fun to shoot in front of. And the cool thing about Watie’s murals is he loves to pinpoint locals and tell their stories through his art.
Everyone’s heard of Silicon Valley, right? But around here, we like to call ourselves the “Silicon Prairie” because of all the startups, not only starting up but growing up, all over the Great Plains. And there are a ton of local makers – like, a ton. And they pop up everywhere including makers’ markets like Bench, Love the Locals, Hutch Fest and a bunch of others.
But I also think you can get a great sense of Omaha through our food. There’s incredible restaurants like Yoshitomo, which was just voted the number one restaurant in Omaha. Another favorite of mine is this fun little French restaurant with a great patio outside with wine, bread, cheese, everything that’s amazing. There are a lot of awesome restaurants in Old Market too. It’s a ton of fun just to walk around. And you obviously have to try out Crescent Moon where the original Reuben sandwich was created. And if you didn’t know, a Rueben is corned beef topped with some sauerkraut, a little bit of Swiss cheese, thousand island dressing – all on rye bread.
Wait, is it really only on one type of bread?
So now, let’s talk about the arts scene. If you go nowhere else, I suggest checking out Kaneko. It’s a smaller local gallery with changing exhibits, oftentimes experimental or interactive. And then I’d check out the Joslyn, which is the bigger art institution in the city, and they have tons of exhibits that flow through all the time and they’re incredible. And we also have live performances happening all year, all over the city. One of my favorite places to see a show is the Waiting Room. It’s an awesome space and they have incredible acts that come through all the time. Oh! And Mr. Toad’s Sunday jazz nights. They’re the best. And while we’re talking about music, if you collect vinyl, you have to stop by Homer’s Record Store. They have an amazing selection that’s constantly being updated. And whenever my dad’s in town, he’s sure to stop by.
So, if and when you come to Omaha, I’m excited for you to see the Omaha that I see. And as you go through our neighborhoods, you’ll not only see the history – and it’s rich and thriving, and we’re super proud of it – but what you’ll also see is the newness, the collaboration, the new art going up on the walls, the new storefronts opening their doors, chefs feeling like they can put up a restaurant and have it thrive. It’s awesome as not only a creator and artist to see other people doing that, but for me to believe I can do it too.
One of the things I find really beautiful about Nebraska and building my business here is that I’m not constricted by trends. I feel a lot more freedom here to be creative on my own terms. Lincoln does have a smaller town vibe than, say, Omaha, but I love having my bakery here in Lincoln. I can’t imagine having it anywhere else. We’re really connected to nature, and when I’m not actually here in the bakery, I love to go to our local parks and visit the local farms to see what they’re up to and what’s growing. Like the people who supply our eggs here at the bakery, they started one of the first biodynamic farms in the country. They actually farm by the moon cycle, seriously, and have one of the top-rated eggs in the entire country, which I didn’t even know was a thing.
Our downtown area is super cute, really quaint. It is iconic Americana. You’ll see breweries, Indian restaurants, Mexican restaurants. So, when I have friends coming in from the coast, I always take them to my favorite pupuseria and they actually rival places that they’ll eat out in New York City, and that’s really cool.
And there’s this really amazing punk rock ice cream parlor called Ivanna Cone that people love. It’s so popular. And recently they actually took our vegan cinnamon rolls and made it into a vegan ice cream flavor. So, you should definitely try that.
And for kids, we have a nationally ranked children’s museum. My nephew and niece love it. And there’s also the Bay. So, the Bay is actually this really interesting place. It was founded and is run by this guy named Mike Smith who I think is a really positive and incredibly inspiring person.
I would say the Bay is Nebraska’s creative haven for skateboarders, musicians and artists. And we created the bougiest skate park, coffee shop, concert venue, community art space – I don’t believe in just the state of Nebraska, but I believe anywhere across the country. Best cup of coffee you’re going to get in Lincoln, Nebraska, is right here served up by my man. Let me show you guys the skate park.
And they’ll also, at the Bay, teach kids as young as like 2 or 3 how to skateboard, which, I wish I would have learned that young.
So, we really exist to give kids a place to build what they’re passionate about. And I honestly think a place like this can only happen in Lincoln, Nebraska, which is why we call it the good life. Because that’s why it can happen here.
Another really cool thing that’s happening in Lincoln is gravel cycling. Gravel cycling is really unique to this part of the country because we have a lot of gravel roads right outside of the city, and people travel from all over the world for things called “gravel grinders,” which are self-supported endurance gravel cycling events. My husband actually just finished one that was almost 400 miles.
What’s different about gravel cycling is there’s a lot less traffic; there’s no cars buzzing by you constantly. It’s just a lot more beautiful. The highways are flat, and the gravel roads are hilly and fun.
There you have it. But even if you aren’t into gravel grinders, we have an amazing ride share program and a really, really extensive bike trail system.
Actually, there’s this local restaurant called Hub Café that’s run by a local farmer. I love it. It’s right on Antelope Valley, which is a great bike trail. And so, you can hop on your bike and get there super easily.
Whenever people come to visit me, they say, “This feels like a spa trip. It’s just so easy. I’m breathing clean air. I can get everywhere so easily.” And it always makes me so happy to hear because I think that what we have here is so special and I just love sharing it.
Ask a Local: Pennsylvania Transcript
OK, we have the cheesesteaks, we have the soft pretzels. I mean, you already know that we have the Liberty Bell, but Mural Arts Philadelphia is so unique. It has made this city the Mural Capital of the World. That is amazing. In a city of neighborhoods, each mural tells a story of the people that live there and the history that surrounds them. And of course, murals like this is something you want to see.
My favorite thing about this city is that I can park one place and then walk to my destination. It is insanely cool how I can find my favorite coffee shops, little gems that I’ve never even seen before. And of course, you can see all these different places that are quite “Instagrammable.”
If you go a little bit, not too far, from Center City, you can see Wissahickon Valley Park. Stone brick bridges, magical forests, the creek, barn – there’s so many different things you can do there. Take a walk, take a hike, bring your dog, bring a friend. It is the most beautiful place in Philadelphia.
Welcome to my Philadelphia.
Growing up here I always felt like I was in a playground. There was always something to do outside. You know, you could go play at one of the ski resorts, skiing or snowboarding; go outside and ride your bike somewhere; enjoy one of the lakes; go rafting on the river.
Going out on Lake Wallenpaupack, water skiing or Jet-Skiing – just getting out really and enjoying all the things that nature has to offer. But it’s really something when you’re walking on some of our hiking trails or in our state parks and you come across a waterfall that you weren’t expecting.
One of the craziest things you can do in the Pocono Mountains is drive a racecar, and from experience, I can tell you it’s an awesome experience. Here, you get to drive it on a three-turn track called the Tricky Triangle. It’s something you’re never gonna forget. It’s awesome. You’re behind a racecar, you’re doing top speeds, and when you’re done, you’re just like, “Holy Cow, I just drove a racecar.”
Zip lining in the Pocono Mountains is a breathtaking experience, and I really recommend it, zipping down the line from the top of Camelback Mountain all the way to the bottom. And it’s something that you’re going to enjoy and remember for the rest of your life.
One of the great things that’s new to the Pocono Mountains the last few years is indoor water parks, so you can come to the Poconos and never worry about the weather because you have those great amenities as well.
Jim Thorpe is known as Little Switzerland. It’s crafted after that era of time when the town was pristine, and you feel like you’re stepping back in time.
Another great place is Honesdale. When you walk down the Main Street of that town and you can see that it’s still the same picturesque town that it was way back then and it’s just this great small-town feel, that you really get a piece of Americana.
And we are only a few hours from New York City and Philadelphia, so we recommend renting a car and coming here and really enjoying the outdoors. We have some great roadways and you’re going to see breathtaking scenery throughout the year, as well as just getting out and seeing the different things we have to offer.
Ask a Local: New Jersey Transcript
Cape May is an architect’s dream and a vacationer’s paradise. The first thing you should do when you get here: Go down to the beach, put your feet in the water, feel that soft sand and just enjoy the peace and quiet of being in Cape May.
To take a walk down the streets of Cape May is like walking into a Charles Dickens novel. It’s a really romantic, historic experience.
In 1878, there was a great fire. When they rebuilt, it was during the Victorian era, so that’s why you see a lot of the Victorian-style homes throughout the city. Places like the Physick Estate or the Southern Mansion provide guided tours for anyone who’s interested in seeing what the inside of these beautiful homes look like.
If you’re only here for a day or two, I definitely recommend getting on a boat, get out in that back bay, get out in the ocean and see the Cape May area from a different perspective.
The fishing industry in Cape May has sustained this area for a very long period of time and still does. What we catch in those back bays and in the ocean, you can find right in those local restaurants fresh and served daily.
The Washington Street Mall is the heart of Cape May. What I like to do is get a coffee, walk down that brick walkway of the mall, window shop, just take a deep breath, take it all in and really just enjoy that downtown area.
Because Cape May is a peninsula you have various opportunities to get out and see the wildlife. During your stay in Cape May, you can also pop up to Stone Harbor. Stone Harbor Point gives you an opportunity to see Stone Harbor the way that it used to be from a beach perspective. It’s a conservation area that helps preserve the land for the animals. You can go right up to the Wetlands Institute and have an opportunity to feel some of these animals to learn more about them. They have a great educational program there at the Wetlands.
If you’re into architecture, if you’re into great food, if you’re in for fun and a good time, come see us in Cape May.
Jersey City is definitely urban with a small-town feel. We have some of the best views of the New York City skyline, so the best way to experience them is to take a stroll along the waterfront.
There’s always something happening downtown. Coming out of the Grove Street PATH Station, you walk out into this pedestrian plaza and you’re gonna hear live music, a farmer’s market going on.
If you’re hungry, we have amazing food. One of my favorites downtown is Razza. You’re gonna get incredible pizza, but get there early because a line forms when they open.
In the heart of Journal Square, you’re gonna find a little pocket we call “Little India.” You’ll find a ton of Indian grocery stores, Indian places to eat; you can just kinda feel like you’re in India when you’re there.
One of the highlights of Jersey City has got be the Liberty Science Center. It’s an interactive science museum. It’s great for kids and adults. It’s a ton of fun to spend half a day there with the whole family.
Corgi Spirits is Jersey City’s only distillery and the first one to open since prohibition. It kinda has this library feel inside where you can taste their gin, their vodka, their whiskey – and they make some really fantastic cocktails as well.
Our neighbor to the north is Hoboken, where Frank Sinatra is from. It’s definitely gonna have a more of a cute, quaint feel. You’re gonna walk down Washington and just see a ton of bars, restaurants, cafes. One of the places people really like to stop in is Carlo’s Bakery, which is featured on Cake Boss.
Jersey City has one of the best mural programs in the country. We have local and international artists who are showcasing their gorgeous artwork. When you’re seeing this art, you’re getting a sense of the community, and that is something that makes Jersey City really special.
We really embrace diversity here. I like making other people feel welcome and I hope that people get the same experience when they come and visit Jersey City.
Ask a Local: Delaware Transcript
Rehoboth Beach is great for families. The boardwalk in Rehoboth is a mile long. It’s a great place to take a walk. You can shop; there’s plenty of things for the kids to do.
A perfect day on the beach for me would be to get there early before the crowds arrive, get a little swimming in, get a little sun, and then go to one of the amazing restaurants there for lunch.
Dogfish Head brewery got started here in Rehoboth in the early ’90s. They have a restaurant, store and a small brewery there still.
Lewes, Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach are all very close in proximity. Rehoboth is more of a family-oriented restaurant scene. Dewey is more of the party, the bar scene. And Lewes is more of a historical town. Lewes has a lot of historical sights. There is a museum from the origination of Lewes called the Zwaanendael Museum. There’s a historic lightship that’s docked in the canal.
Cape Henlopen State Park is almost a 1-mile-square area between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. It is one of three kind of rare dune habitats that are in the United States. The trails at Cape Henlopen are the best way to really experience the park. We have elevated platforms so that you can actually walk through the dunes and the wetlands. My favorite activity at Cape Henlopen is to fish. We have a surf-fishing beach so you can get a permit to drive out on the beach and actively engage in fishing.
The Fort Miles Museum & Historical Area is what is left of the original Fort Miles that was built during World War II. We have fire control towers at Fort Miles and Cape Henlopen. One of the fire control towers is open and you can actually climb up it and get an amazing view of the park and the town of Lewes.
If you’re here just for a day or two, I would recommend walking on the boardwalk, walking on the beach, watching the sunrise first thing in the morning and eating out.
Well, the unique thing about Bethany Beach is that it’s family. My grandfather vacationed here; my father vacationed here as a boy. And there’s just such a timeless tradition that you have in Bethany Beach.
One of the coolest things that you can do here is take a wildlife paddle. We have a really unique ecosystem that is host to birds from all over the world. The inland bays ecological system is unreal. So, we have the horseshoe crab, which is the symbol of Delaware. We have the largest population outside of Japan of horseshoe crabs.
The beach culture here is a fun mix of vacationers and year-round people that love the beach. When you love a sunrise or the smell of the ocean and the breeze and the sand, it’s just something that everyone gets excited for.
The boardwalk in Bethany Beach is really unique. There’s no real loud neon signs coming at you. It’s just a real fun family feel. I think nobody leaves without a box of fudge or a box of taffies to take home and show off that you were down at the shore.
Fenwick Island State Park is on the narrows in between Bethany and the town of Fenwick Island, and you have oceanfront and bayside, so you can go and have a beautiful day on the beach, or you can cross the street and have a day in a stand-up paddle or a kayak, and get the best of both worlds: the ocean and the bay.
The Shipwreck Museum, which is in Fenwick Island, has been there since Dale Clifton found his first coin. He decided that he wanted to create a museum to tell a little bit of the story about the unique history and shipwrecks all up and down the coast of the Atlantic and some of the treasures heading up into the Delaware Bay.
The Assawoman preservation area used to be farmland that has been given over for a wildlife refuge. It’s a really beautiful area. They have observation towers, so you can get a view of the marshes and the birding nurseries.
Bethany Beach is beautiful. It is quaint, it is small, it is friendly – all the things that people come to the beach for in the summer.
Ask a Local: Kentucky Transcript
There’s a lot of different ways to say Louisville. You could say Lou-ee-ville, you could say Louis-ville, Lou-i-ville. It’s Lou-uh-vul, Louisville.
Only in a city like Louisville, Kentucky, can you turn a two-minute horse race into a two-week party – and that is the Kentucky Derby. Mint Julep is like the classic Derby cocktail. We’re really gonna bring out our bowties; our big, giant hats; and then, ultimately, the Run for the Roses, the fastest two minutes in sports.
You want to check out Churchill Downs, and if they don’t have a race going on, you always have an opportunity to tour the track or check out the Kentucky Derby Museum, a testament to all the great horses that won the Derby previously.
I really recommend you that you visit one of our Kentucky bourbon distilleries. We have an entire Main Street here in Louisville that we call Whiskey Row. One of my favorite distilleries to check out is the Evan Williams distillery. They do a really cool tour and tasting, and they talk about their history. The Old Forester Distillery, they’re really dedicated to making all their Old Forester product and distilling it here on Whiskey Row.
Louisville has a really exciting culinary scene. One of my favorite restaurants is Proof on Main at the 21c Hotel. Chef Jonathan Searle gets ingredients coming in fresh from farmers and puts them on a menu in a very seasonal way. Red Hog’s a really cool restaurant. They’ve combined kind of the best things of a local artisanal butcher shop with a restaurant and bar. Royals Hot Chicken focuses on great fried chicken paired with classic southern sides as well.
Over the past 30 years, Louisville has done a really exciting job of turning our riverfront into a really great, usable space. It also connects Louisville to our Louisville Wharf, where you can find the Belle of Louisville, as well as the Mary M. Miller steamboat. You can take out on a dinner cruise or just a daytime cruise.
The Louisville Mega Cavern is actually not a cave; it’s a former limestone mine, and it’s a really cool place to go and explore and visit. They’ve got an underground zip line; it might be the only underground zipline in the world.
Louisville, let it roll through your mouth – Louisville.
I love Lexington because it is absolutely gorgeous. We are surrounded by the most amazing natural beauty, and it has a lot of the amenities still with the kind of southern small-town charm.
The sights and sounds of horse country are gorgeous rolling hills, green grass; the smells are heavenly. A typical horse country tour is never really typical because every day on a farm is a little bit different. So, you get to choose what kind of experience you want.
Lexington is unique because it is the epicenter of thoroughbred world. Keeneland is the premier thoroughbred racecourse in the United States, maybe the world. It really is one of the most amazing locations for anyone who is interested in thoroughbred racing, or even if you’re not, because you just hear the pounding of the hooves and the screaming of the crowd – and it is so exciting.
The neighborhoods of Lexington are so fun to walk around. Thursday Night Live is the party where everyone goes after work. Grab a cocktail, listen to music, experience downtown and also be on our historic Courthouse Square.
Smithtown Seafood is your quintessential pub, fish and chips, location, and you can walk right into the West Sixth Brewery, put an order in for your beer, get your fish and chips, and then you’ve got a West Sixth pint waiting on you. I love it.
Windy Corner Market is an absolute gem, right out in the middle of horse country, and you get to experience true Kentucky southern cooking.
Whether you were born here or you’re a transplant, you learn to love the bourbon and appreciate it. There are lots of great bars around and different ways to introduce you to it if you’ve never had it before.
At the Pepper Campus, you will find a hodgepodge of really fun and unique things to do. It is actually an old bourbon distilling operation that for many years sat vacant and has been completely revitalized, and it is now a center for fun attractions. So, if you want ice cream, you’ve got it; local pizza, same thing. If you want to elevate your experience a little bit, Middle Fork is a great spot. So, it’s just a really fun thing to see it come back together because it once was a really vibrant part of Lexington, and now it is again and still incorporating that bourbon heritage that we have.
Welcome to Lexington!
Ask a Local: American Samoa Transcript
I love Pago Pago because it’s my home. American Samoa is located in the South Pacific below the equator. It’s the farthest and southernmost U.S. territory. As you drive along the coast, all the way through to the Pago Pago Bay, the water is everything. It’s just really, really beautiful; you see it.
Tutuila and the harbor is, like, something you can’t find anywhere else – the most beautiful, natural harbor in the world.
You’ve gotta enjoy the ocean. Go snorkeling. See the island from the harbor. And you can see the majestic beauty of being in this beautiful bay. You’ve gotta enjoy the World War II artifacts that we have. It’s a short hike up at Blunts Point.
Umu is how we traditionally cook our food. It’s like our outside oven. It’s right on the ground and then it’s covered with hot rocks. The rocks are heated up and then you put food in, and it bakes in there. We bake breadfruit, we bake taro, we bake chicken.
If you want to experience the umu here in American Samoa, the best place to start is Tisa’s Barefoot Bar. They do an excellent job.
Sadie’s by the Sea is a good café. It’s probably the most ideal place for a beautiful view of the bay.
Going to the national park in American Samoa is a great experience. One of the most unique things about our national park are the indigenous plants and species that live there.
Rainmaker Mountain, as legend tells it, is actually a person. When I grew up, I knew the Rainmaker Mountain as Pioa because that’s his name. If you look at the top of the mountain, it looks like a man that’s laying down facing up. If a cloud touches Rainmaker Mountain, you can guarantee it will rain.
I like the views, the landscapes; it’s just so, so beautiful. I think it’s breathtaking. I think it’s mesmerizing. It just makes me proud to be part of American Samoa.
Ask a Local: Utah Transcript
I think that the first thing that people notice about Salt Lake City is how wide the streets are. It’s funny because that actually comes from the urban planning from the first pioneers. It has a nice kind of refreshing quality.
Downtown Salt Lake City is always buzzing. And so, whether it’s people bar hopping or going to great restaurants, it’s always fun to just kind of walk around.
At the center of Salt Lake City is the LDS temple and around that is Temple Square. Temple Square is actually the most visited attraction in Utah. It’s the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it’s where you can see the iconic Salt Lake Temple. It covers 35 acres with museums, attractions and beautiful gardens. For a really special treat though, go during Christmas time. You can see their gardens are strung up with Christmas lights. It really is an amazing site to behold.
9th and 9th is a hip neighborhood with all kinds of unique shops, restaurants and cafes. Catch a show at the Tower Theater. It’s a historic theater that is also a Sundance Film Festival venue every winter. If you’re looking for high-quality, fashion-forward clothing, I would definitely recommend going to the Stockist at 9th and 9th.
UMOCA is the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. And so, you can find local and national and international artists whose work pushes the boundaries of what art can be and offers a lot of conceptual underpinning for visual artwork, performance art and more.
You’ve got to visit the Utah Museum of Natural History. Utah is one of the world’s richest areas for dinosaur fossils and the museum has tons of amazing dinosaur skeletal displays. They’re really cool, interactive exhibits, and they show everything from like minerals and metals to flora and fauna. It’s really just a great place to explore.
The Great Salt Lake is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. It’s an amazing place for nature and wildlife viewing. And if you really want to see some stunning sights, head to Antelope Island. It’s a wildlife preserve on the Great Salt Lake where you can see bison, raptors, coyotes and antelope.
To me what’s unique about Salt Lake City is its offering of art and culture with a community that really cares about each other.
Kanab is a small Southern Utah town surrounded by gigantic landscapes. The town is only about 4,500 people. It’s much more laid-back, and a lot of people like that when they come to visit – that it is such a chill, chill area. And then they get out in nature and they’re just overwhelmed.
My favorite thing to do in Kanab is just to get out and hike and explore, whether it’s a national park or just gorgeous natural features. You have Zion National Park to our west, Bryce Canyon National Park to our north.
Zion National Park truly is a one-of-a-kind experience. It is breathtaking. Some of the highest sandstone cliffs in the world, and when you’re in it, you really kind of feel small in the universe.
The word that best describes Bryce Canyon National Park would be “hoodoos.” And hoodoos are pillars of rock that stick up from the canyon floor and it is so spectacular and so unique.
Hog Canyon is one of my most fun places to go. Riding ATVs is just exciting. You have just trails that are flat and are more scenic. You have trails that are very rocky and really challenge your skills as a driver. And you have everything in between.
The Mansard Petroglyph site is really a wonderful feature located just basically here in Kanab. And riding your ATV to it enables you to see thousand-year-old petroglyphs.
It’s really an incredible sight to see Coral Pink Sand Dunes when the sun’s out. You have the blue sky and that pinkish-red sand. It’s almost like the camera can’t process the color. But it’s a sweeping and endless landscape of just gorgeous, smooth lines. And then when the wind blows, it creates these little funnels. It’s truly, truly amazing.
Moqui Cave is a fun and different place for all visitors to go. It’s a real cave, and in the back, they have various gems and things like that that are lit under black light and it really is fun. You don’t want to miss the dinosaur tracks when you go to Moqui Cave. These are from three-toed dinosaurs that lived millions and millions of years ago.
After a long day of hiking or riding ATVs, it’s nice to come into Kanab and have a great meal at one of our great restaurants. The Rocking V is the perfect place to have a meal. Fabulous food, casual atmosphere, great service.
One thing I think a lot of our guests really like about coming to Kanab is kind of a slower pace. Nature kind of imposes its will on you and everything. People who are used to running around at a fast pace tend to, I think, slow down and want to look at things and take the time to see things more carefully when you’re here.
Ask a Local: Hawaii Transcript
Honolulu is so unique because it’s a cosmopolitan city; you have the beautiful buildings and city skyline. But you also have some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, parks, hikes. It kind of has a combination of everything. It’s green and lush. It’s just a bustling city with so much great energy.
If you only had a couple of days here, I would definitely say, “Head straight to Waikiki.” Waikiki Beach is an iconic surfing spot. The waves are amazing, especially for beginners. You can actually rent a surfboard, you can rent a paddleboard, or you can even canoe-surf, which is a really cool experience.
One of the most amazing places to visit is the Iolani Palace. One of my favorite rooms to visit is the Throne Room, which has two thrones that were made for King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani.
Foster Botanical Garden is located right near downtown Honolulu, and it’s a really nice escape. The garden itself is 14 acres, and you can see an amazing collection of mature trees and tropical plants.
Right next to Foster Botanical Garden is the Kuan Yin Temple, which is actually Honolulu’s oldest temple. It’s a really ornate Chinese Buddhist temple.
I love to go and stroll down Nuuanu Avenue, see a lot of the different art galleries, eat lunch and maybe shop some of the boutiques as well.
I love Honolulu because it is a melting pot of so many different cultures. The food is unreal, the art is incredible, and I just think you’re never going to find another place quite like it.
My very favorite thing about Hilo is the accessibility to nature. You can step out of your door, and in five minutes, you’re in the middle of a remote rainforest.
I love Rainbow Falls because it’s the icon of Hilo. During a certain time of the year, a rainbow appears. When you’re at ‘Akaka Falls, you’re under this beautiful forest and in front of you, these falls that pretty much fall almost forever, and at the end, you just see this mixture of mist and water and air. It’s just a really timeless moment.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is about 45 minutes away from Hilo. What you can expect to see there is a very large caldera, which was formed thousands of years before us. You have different areas of volcanic landscape that go down to the ocean. It’s just amazing.
Lili’uokalani Gardens is one of the largest Japanese gardens in the nation. It’s got these beautiful archways. The front lawn is Hilo Bay and exquisite.
When you go into downtown Hilo, you’ll notice all these multi-colored buildings. A lot of these buildings have been around for about 100 years or so. I think downtown Hilo feels untouched.
Café 100 is a cool spot. My grandfather founded it 73 years ago. One of the best things you can get at Café 100 is the Loco Moco: a bed of rice, a hamburger patty, a little bit of gravy, and you got an egg any way that you want it.
Two Ladies Kitchen is a mochi confectionary shop. It’s one of the most popular mochi places in the nation. People come here from all around the world to try this delicious, chewy, beautiful, handmade mochi. It’s just so good.
There is a feeling of authenticity that Hilo is not trying to be anything it’s not supposed to be. It is just Hilo, and there’s a pride in that. It’s beautiful.
Ask a Local: Northern Mariana Islands Transcript
Hafa Adai and Tirow. It’s like saying, “Aloha!”
We use that as our way to say, “This is who we are, and we’re excited that you’re here.”
We’re about three hours away from Japan, and we’re on the North Pacific right above the equator.
You’ll see the Chamorro culture, and then you’ll see also the Carolinian culture.
When you get to Saipan, pretty much, it is the main capital of the Commonwealth of Northern Islands.
The Grotto was considered one of the best places for diving. It opens up to outside where you’re looking at all these cliffs.
I always recommend that you got to go see our Managaha because it’s the conservation area. So when you’re swimming there in Managaha, you think you’d be in an aquarium.
If you want to visit historical, then you got to go visit the World War II sites. These are the invasion beaches. There is the World War II snorkeling tour. You’ll see, sticking out of the water, three Sherman tanks.
We also have beautiful coral gardens to just swim over all these corals.
Ina’s Kitchen – young Chamorro chef that’s fusioning our own local cuisine. One of my favorites there is the Titiyas with fish. It looks like a taco.
When you want really quiet, then you got to go to Rota. Very serene.
The features of each island – Rota, Tinian and Saipan – have a different flavor and tastes and sights of it. We want our guests to learn about our culture and also our language, so we can share the Hafa Adai spirit when we are together.
Ask a Local: New Mexico Transcript
Oh yeah, it’s a quirky little city.
So, Albuquerque, if you’ve never seen it, it’s a great southwest city. In downtown Albuquerque, you have the only intersection of Route 66 and Route 66. It’s right at 4th Street and Central Avenue. So, on every traffic light, you have the Route 66 road sign in all four directions, the only one of its kind in the country.
Old Town Plaza, it’s the heartbeat of the city. It’s where our city began back 1706. In order to get the true Old Town Albuquerque experience, you need to get out and wherever you see a sidewalk or an alley that looks like it leads to nowhere, you need to go down that sidewalk or alley because it’s back there where you will find some of the great patios in Old Town, or you will find hidden chapels in Old Town or you will find great little restaurants or cafes.
Nob Hill was our first suburb. Today, Nob Hill is where the locals hang out. There’s great restaurants, tremendous nightlife in the area, there’s breweries in the area, it’s open later and it’s nestled right along the mother road of Route 66.
What is New Mexican food? It is a combination of Native American, Spanish food, Mexican food, but the one thing that separates New Mexican food from anything else is red and green chile. And we put that chile on just about everything.
To our east, we have the amazing Sandia Mountains. At the base of the mountains at the Sandias, you have the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway. It goes from roughly 6,500 feet above sea level all the way to the very top, and you have these amazing views. You see the city, you see the Bosque and the forest and the river. To the west, you’ll find the Petroglyph National Monument, and out there, you will see pictographs that were carved into the volcanic rock by some of the earliest people in Albuquerque.
The Native American history and culture in New Mexico is amazing. There are 19 pueblos in our state, and the Indian Public Cultural Center will give you the breakdown on all 19 pueblos. And on the weekends, they have live Native American dances, something that you may have seen on TV, but to see in person is a whole ’nother thing.
So, Albuquerque is home to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. So, imagine as the sun comes up with the Sandia Mountains to the east, you’re at the Balloon Fiesta Park on the launch field, with a couple hundred thousand people, and then these amazing hot air balloons are all lifting off in waves – 500, 600 at a time. And then in the evenings, we have something called the balloon glow.
Yeah, the balloon glows are fantastic, and they’ll do a countdown and then shout out “all burn” or “all glow,” and all the balloons light up, and it’s just, it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before, honestly.
Be-pu-wa-ve. Welcome from Santa Fe, New Mexico. The most unique thing about Santa Fe is its Native American population. The culture is such a big part of what Santa Fe is today.
There’s quite a few museums that focus in on Native American culture and art. The Institute of American Indian Arts Museum is downtown off the plaza. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture is on Museum Hill. Both of those focus on the local Native American culture, as well as the nationwide Native American culture.
Canyon Road is one of the unique art districts in town. From the moment you get on it surrounded by galleries all the way up the street, I recommend walking it. On Canyon Road, you’ll find a lot of modern art. You’ll also find some very traditional Native American art.
The Santa Fe Plaza goes back to the early 1600s. Today, it’s an international attraction for bands, arts and crafts events, plays, lots of shopping.
Turquoise has been mined here for hundreds of years by the Pueblo Indians. The best jewelers in the world are gathered around here.
My favorite thing to do in Santa Fe is either ride my bike in the hills and in the city or go for a run in the trails that are surrounding Santa Fe. You smell this very unique smell of the pinyon trees and the pines, and you’re brushing up against the yuccas on the trail.
Santa Fe also has the Nambe Falls really close, where’s there’s great fishing in the lake and hiking up to the waterfalls, just a very nice spot to be.
The Dale Ball Trails are on the east side of Santa Fe, and you’re in the foothill of the Rocky Mountains. So, it’s a really gorgeous place and it’s not too difficult.
Santa Fe is one of the best-known restaurant cities. Coyote Café is one of the iconic restaurants in Santa Fe.
Pueblo architecture is fascinating. Many of the early architectural houses that are still found in the surrounding mesas around the pueblos are caves that were carved out the soft volcanic stone that’s there.
So, the region adapted that look and made a very conscious effort in keeping it and many people that do landscape paintings come, and they can read the landscape with their eyes with such clarity and so that’s what ends up showing up in their paintings.
I’ve been an artist most of my life and traveled around the world, and this is where I like to live and where I like to be. This is one of the great art cities in the country.
Ask a Local: Iowa Transcript
We are located right on the river, and so when you’re coming in, you’re surrounded by a lot of prairie land and it’s super flat, so as you approach Dubuque, you’re not sure what you’re gonna get. And when you enter and see the beautiful river and the bluffs and all the different hills that we have, it’s very breathtaking. The Mississippi Riverwalk offers the perfect daytime setting to take your family and see all the sites and views that we have to offer while you’re walking along the Mississippi.
We have a lot of amazing things that we’ve preserved. You can check out the Shot Tower. There’s the Julien Dubuque Monument. One of the first things that you’re definitely gonna want to check out when you get in to Dubuque is the Fourth Street Elevator. It is steepest and shortest elevator in the world. It’s gonna give you your first real overlook of how special Dubuque is and how special the Mississippi is to us.
The Millwork District is very, very old, and it was the producer of windows and different wood working. To know 10 years ago, the Millwork District was just this abandoned area is crazy. To know where we are today is something really special and something that I think Dubuque should be very proud of.
My restaurant is located right in the heart of the Millwork District. Brazen is a modern American restaurant that doesn’t focus on cuisine, more so technique. It’s kinda fun because it’s almost theatrical. You don’t expect what you’re going to get on your plate.
7 Hills is definitely another must-try when you’re in the Millwork District. It’s a local brewery that offers incredible food, great beer and a food hall setting. And what’s better than just being able to go enjoy yourself with good friends?
If you come in the summer, you’re gonna catch us right in the heart of our Farmers Market. There’s nothing better than taking a stroll down Iowa Street and seeing so many unique booths, but what’s more rad is how many farmers we actually have in this community that come together to show their product and how proud they are.
Dubuque is just incredible with its sightseeing, with everything it has to offer. I couldn’t be happier anywhere else.
I think the hike to the top of Mount Trashmore is very unique. From 150 years ago, it’s this old dump that’s been turned into kind of like a hiking and trail destination. You know, It’s kind of a silly thing to some people, but I think it’s a great asset to the city. You wouldn’t even know – it’s just a big grassy, green hill at this point.
Ana Escalante McClain:
It kind of holds a special place of heart of Cedar Rapidians.
But it’s beautiful. The view from the top is pretty, pretty amazing. You see the river going past. You see all the bridges. You get a really a beautiful scope of the areas that we’re talking about.
It’s kind of fun just to walk up and down especially when there’s festivals; the street is closed. It’s really fun to cross from Czech Village over the bridge and go to the Newbo neighborhood – sitting on the bridge for a minute just kind of like looking around at the beautiful scenery
I would say the most unique thing would be our connection to the Czech and Slovak heritage here. You should visit the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library because the immigrant home they have there that they preserved is a really wonderful glimpse into the past of what the people immigrating here would have lived in, the housewares they would have had, how a family would have lived in, you know like, a 400- or 500-square-foot house.
Ana Escalante McClain:
It really celebrates a culture of immigration that we’ve had here in this area.
That history has kind of developed the way the neighborhoods look, the way the housing looks, to some extent the food.
Ana Escalante McClain:
I think it’s a beacon of something that Cedar Rapids should feel very proud that we’re the host of a National Museum.
So, the Indian Creek Nature Center is a place that is near and dear to our hearts. To get a little glimpse of what Iowa looked like a few hundred years ago is pretty fascinating. It’s a wonderful space. You kinda commune with nature but also like enjoy nature with other people.
Ana Escalante McClain:
I think the pace of life is a little bit slower than in big cities, which is nice. Like you get to have a little bit of a breather, but you can also enjoy the things a big city has to offer. The energy that you feel in this community, it’s something that I haven’t felt elsewhere.
Ask a Local: Guam Transcript
There’s definitely a lot here to do on Guam. Half of the island is volcanic, and the other half is limestone. We have a lot of rolling hills, waterfalls, beaches.
Tumon Bay – that’s like the city on Guam. You wanna shop. You wanna eat. You wanna drink. You wanna dance. You wanna party. You wanna swim, snorkel. It’s all there.
I like to surf. Also, I love hiking. There’s a lot of ancestral sites here.
You can come to this place, called Hila’an. It’s one of the last pristine, undeveloped beaches.
There’s a place called the Shark’s Pit. It’s a blue hole within the reef that’s really great for snorkeling.
This place also features one of Guam’s very last jungle ponds. It’s called the Lost Pond. It’s really great.
I strongly suggest you check out Gadao's Cave. It’s a really easy hike, and at the end, there’s this awesome cave with these thousands-of-years-old cave paintings that were supposedly done by a legendary chief whose name was Gadao.
Valley of the Latte is easily one of my favorite attractions. It’s this reconstructed ancient village on the bank of a river. They greet you in the native language, and they do some chants, and they do a blessing for you. They also do traditional canoe making, and you get to ride them.
Another great outing is Chamorro Village, which is Guam’s night market. They’ve got some fire dancing; they’ve got some chanting. You can get some necklaces, much like what I’m wearing here.
Naturally, me being Chamorro, I’m going to recommend a Chamorro restaurant, Meskla Chamorro Fusion Bistro. One thing I think you should definitely try is the deep-fried parrotfish. Also, finadene and dinanche – a sauce to give it a little extra kick.
You can get caught up with the history here. Throughout Guam’s history, different people came and left bits and pieces of their culture here. Eventually, we adapted it all and it became part of life on Guam. It’s definitely a cultural mixture that is very unique and can only be found in one place in the world.
Ask a Local: Connecticut Transcript
Well, my favorite thing to do in town is to basically go out and to explore a lot of the beautiful scenes such as the parks, Yale University and just kind of take it all in.
Yale University takes over the downtown. It’s like an entire medieval city here. A city within a city.
New Haven has some of the best modern architecture within walking distance. So, the Beinecke
Rare Book Library is one of the largest rare book libraries in the world. It is a cube. It is sitting on four piers. It is literally held up by the walls, which are a truss. Beinecke’s windows are actually one-inch thick marble slabs that allow just enough opaque light so that they don’t damage the books inside and they end up creating this amazing effect of very dim light.
The Yale University Art Gallery is one of the world’s best art galleries with a mixture of so many different styles. They have sculpture galleries, they have ancient, they have modern. And all the while, you’re walking through masterpieces itself.
There’s a phenomenon in New Haven: People come from around the country and around the world to eat pizza. People will have pizza in the morning at Frank Pepe’s and then wait for the afternoon to have dinner at Sally’s Apizza.
People sometimes ask me: “How do you pronounce this New Haven style pizza (Apizza) spelled with an ‘A’ in the beginning.” It’s an old word and we say: “A-beats”.
One of my favorite things to do in New Haven is to also get out of the center city and see some of the amazing outdoor spots that are here.
I would recommend going to Lighthouse Point Park with an amazing connection to the water and a view of New Haven from that vantage point.
East Rock Park has some of the best views of New Haven. You get on top of the city and you’re able to see over and across the skyline.
I love New Haven because it’s full of passionate people, great places to see, amazing food and probably some of the best outdoor excursions that you can get in a small city like this.
If you’ve never come to Mystic before, what you’ll see when you get here is kind of a romantic-looking 1800s town, a seafaring town where there would have been whaling ships back in the day.
There’s also a very quaint downtown and a very iconic bascule bridge. It connects the Stonington part of Mystic with the Groton part of Mystic. You see big boats and little boats and people wave as they’re going by. And it’s just a really great experience to sit in the park and watch all this happen.
Mystic Seaport Museum is the largest nautical museum in the country. It has all kinds of historic boats. You can experience what it was like to be in a whaling town back in the 1800s. There is the last wooden whaling ship in existence; it’s the Charles W. Morgan. You can board it; you can experience what it was like to be in one of those little bunks and how it must have been to be on those ships for years at a time.
At the aquarium, you can see all kinds of animals. The beluga whales are really the favorite, biggest draw for the aquarium. They’re right inside the front door and there are three of them right now, and the one that seems to get the most attention is Juno. He’s a young adult male who comes right up to the window. One thing you don’t want to miss if you go to the aquarium is having an encounter with some of the animals there. It’s well worth the time.
One of the few things that would not be in a guide is the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. It’s got hiking trails that connect some of the bigger attractions like the aquarium and the seaport. And you can walk around back there and see all of the nature that we have here in Mystic. There’s even owls. It’s all really cool.
One of my favorite places to have dinner or a drink is Red 36, which is located right on the river in Mystic. And it’s kind of a hidden gem because it’s behind a marina but it is phenomenal. The food is great there and the location can’t be beat.
If you take a walk down the main street of Mystic on any given day, you’re going to step back in time. It’s kind of a little romantic feeling because the buildings are older; they’re very well restored.
On the must-see list is Olde Mistick Village. It’s a small town that’s made in the image of the 1700s. It has all kinds of shops, gift shops, places to eat. I love grabbing a drink on Sunday Funday at the Jealous Monk in their beer garden.
We also have some craft food artisans. One of them is Sticky Situations, where you can get local honey, bee pollen and you can taste it.
Mystic Knotwork is a retail store where you can go and buy different crafts made with nautical knots.
Mystic has long been – in addition to being a nautical community – it was also an artist’s colony. So that’s why the craftsmen like Mystic Knotwork are so important to this community.
You don’t want to miss the really quaint charm of a New England village. It’s a great place.
Ask a Local: Indiana Transcript
I think Indiana is one of those places that people forget about. They forget it’s on the map and they’re like, “Where is it? Oh, below Michigan. Is that where it is?”
Bloomington Speaker 2:
Well, and not being from Indiana, I definitely didn’t ever consider Indiana part of the Midwest, and it tuns out that Indiana is pretty much the heartland of the Midwest.
Bloomington Speaker 1:
We love it here.
Bloomington Speaker 2:
Yeah, Bloomington is full of creative energy. There’s tons of young entrepreneurs. A lot of our friends have started businesses around the same time that we did.
Bloomington Speaker 1:
I think there’s like, Bloomington has this great mix of – it’s very productive but it’s also really fun. It’s a great place to go waterskiing, fishing.
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Any direction you go, 10 minutes out of town and you’re in either the water or the woods. There’s a great motorcycle community. Like, everybody’s on their motorcycles.
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There’s a moped club. They’re adorable. Here in Bloomington, the bike culture is really special. Every spring, we have the Little 500 and it’s a highly competitive, really cool race. And there’s a party all around campus and all around the actual race itself. And then in the fall, we have the Hilly Hundred, which is more of like a road bike in the country type of thing.
Indiana University brings in a really diverse group of international students. And, we actually have a really large population of Tibetan monks, the largest outside of Tibet. So that’s cool.
And then back in downtown Bloomington, there are so many things to do. There’s cute shops, there’s great restaurants. Specifically, there’s Hopscotch Coffee that’s two blocks from the square. And then there’s the Uptown that’s just right there. They have great cocktails as well.
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There’s Fourth Street, which has all the international restaurants.
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I would say one really classic institution of Bloomington is Nick’s English Hut. It just has a certain charm. People who went to college here 60 years ago, they come back, they go to Nick’s.
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And then there’s the music scene. There’s several venues in town and there’s live music all year.
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And then in addition to that, there’s the Jacobs School of Music, which, you know, is just down the street on campus. Oh, if you hit karaoke on a night when music students are there, it’s like the best show you can get in Bloomington.
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And there’s several festivals that happen throughout the year.
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The Granfalloon is a celebration of Kurt Vonnegut, who is from Indianapolis. And every year, we have a celebration and there’s a concert that happens and it happens to be this evening.
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And then there’s the record label in town.
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They’re truly like this international gift and they’re whole reason why we’re getting live music all year-round.
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Secretly is not only involved in the music side but works really hard to make art really accessible for people. I mean, I feel like Bloomington, my stress level is less here. And in such a beautiful place that’s unexpected and it seems like a little secret.
When you think about Indianapolis, then you think about vibrancy, you think about art, you think about people, you think about our downtown, you think about sports. We’ve got a rich sports history. Sports are our thing. But what you might not know is that Indianapolis has an artistic legacy, which is why I’m here.
For a while, it seemed like we were giving much of our attention to fine visual artists. So, think painting and sculpting. There’s this whole other scene that hadn’t been given that much attention to, and I thought, “Molly, you’re in Indianapolis. If there’s a place where you can start that or do that, it’s here.”
That’s Anne Dancing by Julene Opie. I got to help put her there.
Here in Indianapolis, we have this very rich and deep music history and jazz history where Duke Ellington got his start, Wes Montgomery got his start, Madam Walker built her theater. She was the first female self-made millionaire in our country. Had her theater built in Indianapolis and was kind of the Rockefeller and the support system for many of our jazz musicians, many artists and many businesses on Indiana Avenue. So, it’s kind of like we’ve circled back and said: “Oh my gosh, duh, why are we not celebrating performing artists? Why are we not engaging hip-hop artists and dancers and elevating them to the place that we’ve done for our visual artists?”
We have our big institutions here in Indianapolis. We have the ISO, our symphonic orchestra; the Children's Museum, which is the biggest in the world. We also have these kind of collective and art incubation spaces and then gallery spaces as well.
We have Deckademic’s here, which is Indianapolis' first and only DJ school. I was actually in a DJ battle and I won one of the rounds. I was really proud – one round. I got kicked out after that.
We are second in the country in our number of public art memorials. You have to go by Monument Circle. There's this massive 280-foot soldiers and sailors monument. It’s kind of the epicenter of our city – best place to have lunch in the summer, right on the steps of the monument. And then we have our murals like the Mari Evans mural, the Kurt Vonnegut mural, the jazz musicians’ mural that points to Indiana Avenue.
So, music-wise, you can kind of find anything that you’d like here. We’ve got the old-school jazz clubs like AJ's and the Chatterbox. But then there's kind of this new music scene happening in Fountain Square that Hi-Fi's really leading the charge on. Hi-Fi is this really nice but also somehow gritty space and always consistently amazing bands.
I love our spoken word scene here. We have some of the most amazing and prolific spoken word artists. And you also have your coffee shops, like there's always writers and artists around, and there might even be a poetry pop-up in one of those.
Then there’s the foodie scene. Restaurant-wise, we are blowing up right now. Beholder is killing it. Milktooth is amazing. Turchetti’s just opened and I'm really excited to try it; it’s a sandwich shop. So, we've got the food scene on lock.
Indianapolis feels very eager. It feels like we want ideas, it feels like we're very welcoming of all types of people and all types of perspectives. You can have a conversation with anybody you'd like to here. We stay true to our core and tell that story in a very surprising and artistic way. Art kind of sparks emotion between humans. It’s the universal language, right? It's like love, whether it's through song or whether it's through a painting. And what would life be like without that? We've got this kind of sports thing covered and it's amazing, but if people could think about Indiana and think about Indianapolis and know it is one that's rich in history and arts and storytelling, then there's just much more to discover.
Ask a Local: Rhode Island Transcript
Newport, Rhode Island, is one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. Not only because I’m born and raised here, but Newport is this gorgeous walking town. It’s right on the water. You can’t go anywhere without having a spectacular view of something.
Cliff Walk is one of the most popular destinations in Newport. It’s a gorgeous walk that takes you along the water with all the gorgeous mansions on one side and a dramatic view of the ocean on the other.
The beautiful mansions that you’re going to see here in Newport originally weren’t considered mansions. These were the summer cottages of the Gilded Age if you can imagine. Back then, these were really only meant to be lived in for a couple months out of the year. They were all modeled after European architecture. Rosecliff mansion is one of the most beautiful. The inside of the mansion is equally as breathtaking. It really gives you a glimpse into how people lived back at the turn of the century.
When you visit this place, you have to get out on the water, and the best way to do that is to jump on one of the many tour boats here in Newport. The best boat you can go out on is this really neat classic motor yacht called the Rum Runner II. This boat was built in 1929 specifically for the purpose of running alcohol during Prohibition. Now you can go out on this boat and enjoy a cocktail and look at all of these gorgeous mansions from the waterfront.
Easton’s Beach is a really great place to check out because it’s actually walking distance from sort of the heart of Newport. You can really just walk from Bannister’s and Bowen’s Wharf up and down Memorial Boulevard and you’re there. So, whenever I got to Easton’s Beach, the reason for it is because, not only do I want to go put my toes in the water, but also because they have twin lobster rolls. So, it’s two lobster rolls for a very economic price. This is definitely the place to grab them.
Newport does seafood in every way you can imagine, but we’re best known for our lobster rolls, for clam chowder and for stuffies, but what’s also really neat and sort of surprising is that we have a vineyard here in Newport. It’s called Newport Vineyards. The restaurant is gorgeous. Everything over there is incredible.
Newport, Rhode Island – definitely a place to check out if you want to go to the beaches, if you want to relax, if you want to go grab a cocktail on the water. The reason Newport was so popular is because of its location. So, it’s smack dab in between New York and Boston, so it’s always been a popular destination for that reason.
I love Providence because Providence provides that big city feel with a small, intimate camaraderie.
So, RISD, which is the Rhode Island School of Design, is located here right in Providence, and they have a RISD Museum, which is open to the public. And anyone can come and view wonderful, curated masterpieces from students to alumni to some pretty historical artists. I think it’s one of the best kept secrets in the New England area, specifically Rhode Island.
One of my favorite places in this city is Benefit Street. Now I have a little bit of a love with supernatural tales and Benefit Street is known to be one of the most haunted streets in America. Outside of the whole ghost culture of Benefit Street, it is a beautiful street to take a very long walk. There are a ton of historic houses, beautiful colonial houses on Benefit Street.
I have to say one of the cooler things to do here in this city is definitely WaterFire. There’s not very many places that you can visit where you can go and walk around with a ton of people viewing a huge basin and river that is lit on fire. And you can walk through all of these wonderful vignettes and installations.
Even when WaterFire is not happening in the city, you can take a gondola ride during the spring and summer months and early fall through Waterplace Park, which is gorgeous during the day because you go through our big Waterplace towers and you can look up and you get all the scenery, and you see a lot of the city of Providence when you take a gondola ride.
My most favorite thing to do in this city is really taking advantage of our amazing restaurant scene. We have a great Italian community here in Providence, Rhode Island. I’m sure you’ve heard of Federal Hill – huge Italian community with amazing Italian restaurants.
Sarto has great Italian fusion food and their menu changes with every season. Sarto is located in the G building, which is right downtown in Providence, and after you eat at Sarto, you can actually go up to the G rooftop and enjoy a beautiful view of the iconic Superman building and have an after-dinner cocktail.
Knead Doughnuts is probably the best donut shop in Providence and Rhode Island. They definitely have a donut for everyone’s palate.
I love the different communities that we have here, and especially for a visitor who’s visiting our town, I can guarantee you that if you come and sit at a bar, you will meet a local who is full of knowledge about this great city.
Ask a Local: North Dakota Transcript
The most unique thing about Bismarck-Mandan is the river. The Missouri River has been part of the communities for centuries, and it’s such a diverse community built around the river.
Both Bismarck and Mandan on either side of the river, we’ve got our flat farmlands on the east part of the city to our luscious hills overlooking the Missouri Valley area.
My favorite thing to do is get out on our trails. I do a lot of trail running here in the park, and it’s great to get out there and enjoy a great morning on the trails – biking, running, hiking.
If you’re looking for a unique place to sample one of North Dakota’s best brews, you can check out downtown Mandan’s Dialectic Brewing. It’s a great hole-in-the-wall place where you can meet friends, have a great evening and really taste some of the down-to-earth, home brews that are coming about.
The Bismarck Art Alley is something new that has come to downtown Bismarck. You’re gonna find art that’s featured from some of the local Native American artists as well as some of our more modern artists found right here in Bismarck.
One of the great things about Bismarck and Mandan is Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. You can learn about the history and culture from the Mandan Indians that lived at the On-A-Slant Village to Custer and his men that lived at Fort Abraham Lincoln. But most importantly, you can get out on out our trails and really see the landscape that North Dakota has to offer. Climb the infantry post blockhouses and look out over the Missouri River from north to south and see one of the last free-flowing stretches of the Missouri River that splits the wonderful communities of Bismarck and Mandan.
If you’re visiting in September, check out the United Tribes International Powwow. It’s a great showcase of the diverse Native American culture that we have right here in North Dakota and throughout the region – some of the best dancers, drum groups and local Native American crafts that you can find.
Visit Downtown Bismarck. We have wonderful eateries, shops to check out. You can spend a whole day down there for excellent cuisine, as well as a really good cup of coffee.
If you want a place to relax and enjoy some of the great cultural aspects of a community, Bismarck-Mandan is where you want to do that.
Ask a Local: Washington D.C. Transcript
D.C. is so beautiful – it’s marble buildings and it’s neighborhood sidewalks and, of course, we’re surrounded by water.
D.C. is an incredible place to visit if you love history. The National Mall is actually a national park, and it’s home to Smithsonian museums, monuments and memorials. Air and Space Museum has spacecraft and airplanes, and it’s just such a fun place to spend a day. I remember growing up and getting space ice cream when we would go there from the gift shop.
The Hirshhorn has an incredible sculpture garden that’s just so wonderful to walk through, and they have rotating exhibitions from contemporary artists from around the world.
You, of course, have to spend time on the National Mall, but it’s so important to get out into the neighborhoods as well. 18th Street is the main artery through Adams Morgan: lots of little shops, lots of restaurants. It’s a great place to have brunch or grab coffee.
The Line Hotel is located in the heart of Adams Morgan. The hotel is built inside a 110-year-old neoclassical church. So, there are touches from the church throughout. The hotel is definitely a hub for artists and creatives and locals and travelers alike.
A Rake's Progress is such a special place to eat, especially if you’re visiting. They source only from Mid-Atlantic farms and farmers, so really, the menu has such a true sense of place.
Meeps is a little vintage shop on 18th Street. It’s a costume shop. You can get kind of every day, kind of, 80s and 90s vintage wear. It’s so much fun. It’s a must-stop when you’re in the neighborhood.
Lots of movies have been filmed in D.C. from Broadcast News in the Dupont neighborhood to, of course, the Exorcist and Exorcist steps in Georgetown.
Georgetown is visually quintessential D.C. So, beautiful architecture, lots of gorgeous homes and it’s just such a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.
H Street Northeast is such an incredible, vibrant neighborhood. Maketto and Turning Natural are both my go-to spots on 8th Street.
One of the things that makes D.C. so beautiful is that it is surrounded by water. We have the Anacostia River, we have the Potomac River, and there are waterfronts in all different neighborhoods throughout the city.
The Wharf has really beautiful waterfront views. It’s a great place to walk around, to catch a show at the Anthem. It’s just a great place to spend an evening.
Kith and Kin is absolutely delicious. It is an Afro-Caribbean restaurant by hometown Chef Kwame Onwuachi.
I love D.C. so much. The same reason that it’s great to live here is the same reason that it’s incredible to travel and visit. D.C. is a global and international city that actually has the charm of a small town.
Ask a Local: Oklahoma Transcript
Route 66 is the American Highway. When you come through Tulsa on Route 66, you’re gonna find Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios. You’re gonna find T-shirts, keychains, souvenirs of all sorts and the 21-foot-tall roadside attraction, a Buck Atom Space Cowboy Muffler Man.
Some of the Route 66 roadside attractions near Buck Atom’s includes the Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma, and you can actually walk inside the blue whale’s mouth and look out the little holes up from the top of the blue whale.
The Golden Driller is a gigantic 75-foot-tall Oil Man. He was built for an oil exposition, but thank goodness, he still is here in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Right down the street from Buck Atom’s, you’ve got the Mother Road Market, a really cool modern food hall. There’s so many places to choose from to eat and we’ve got Route 66-themed miniature golf out back.
One of my favorites is definitely Chicken and the Wolf for their fried chicken. They’ve got hot, hot chicken, or you can get it without the heat. Either way, it’s the most amazing chicken.
Another place you’re gonna find in the Mother Road Market is the Big Dipper Creamery, the ooey gooey butter cake cream cheese ice cream…mmm…the best.
The Philbrook Museum is a really incredible place. You’re gonna see classical art from the past, current pieces, sculptures; there’s an incredible, beautifully maintained garden that you can walk out back.
The Gathering Place is a must-stop while you’re in Tulsa. It’s a magical place. You can canoe while you’re there. You can go see art while you’re there. You can appreciate the incredible architecture. I love to go with no agenda and just explore. It is a true adventure.
I love Tulsa because of so many things that I can choose from to do. It’s just an incredible place. Welcome to Tulsa, Oklahoma. You’re gonna have the best time.
When we talk about Chickasaw Country, it’s actually the home of the Chickasaw people. We have many different creeks and lakes and many different places you can hike and you can see all different animals. It’s just a wonderful place to be.
The Chickasaw Cultural Center is known as the heartbeat of the nation. At the Cultural Center, you can learn where the Chickasaw people started, all the way up until current times.
You can visit the traditional village, try Indian tacos, see a live stomp dance demonstration. Stomp dancing is a big part of my life because you know it’s what our ancestors would have done. It’s the dances that were passed down to me. You know, it’s who I am, it’s a part of me and it’s something I really enjoy.
To me, some of the most important art to the Chickasaw people are the traditional arts and crafts that were passed down from generation to generation: the beaded collars, just beading in general. Any type of art or craft that was passed down from generation to generation, I believe is the most important.
The Chickasaw National Recreation Area is very relaxing and it’s a just a great place to unwind and just go for a walk. You can go to the Buffalo Trail, here in Sulphur, and see buffalo as you’re walking, as you’re taking your hike. You know, the lake is beautiful; kayaking on the lake is beautiful. It’s just very relaxing, meditating, calming.
The WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, the world’s largest casino. You know, you can spend the day at the golf course or you can go to the spa.
Bedré Chocolate is a Chickasaw-owned chocolate factory in Sulfur. I like to go by and pick up their Caramel Macchiatos. It’s one of my favorites. And then you could drive, you know, just down the road and go to the Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies and get you a wonderful fried pie. My favorite is the peach, but they have many different types you can try and choose from.
Being Chickasaw, it’s a special feeling, it’s something that I’m very proud of, coming from the ancestors that I did, I’m taught to be proud that I’m Chickasaw and I am proud.
A couple of Chickasaw phrases is: “Chiholloli” which is my favorite; it’s “I love you.” “Chokma'shki” (“thank you”) and “Chipisalacho,” which is “see you later.”
Ask a Local: Tennessee Transcript
Chattanooga is just beautiful. When I first moved to Chattanooga, I didn’t understand what people meant by the “Scenic City.” And then I moved here and I’m like, “oh, now, now I get it!”
So, one of my favorite things to do to relax is simply just to go on a walk. The Riverwalk is one of the most beautiful and scenic places in Chattanooga. From Veterans Bridge to the walking bridge to the mountains, it’s picturesque – it really looks like a postcard.
Eat, drink, frolic – that’s exactly what I like to do here in Chattanooga. I love when new restaurants open; I love finding new cocktail bars to go to. Main Street Meats is one of my favorite bars. It’s also a restaurant. Stir has a really good cocktail list as well and it’s one of my favorites. You can get really fancy ice at Stir, which is something I’d never heard of but I’m into it.
One of my favorite attractions at the aquarium, it’s the butterflies, which I know sounds really unique for an aquarium. But you can walk through this amazing butterfly exhibit and some of them, they get on your finger and try to make friends with you. I think if you’re going to go to the aquarium, you start in the butterfly exhibit and work your way through.
Chattanooga has a really growing art scene. The Hunter Museum has become one of my favorite places to go.
Ruby Falls is one of the biggest tourist attractions here. The Incline at Lookout Mountain is so much fun, it’s a must-do. If I have out-of-town guests, I’m definitely taking them.
I love Chattanooga because it’s such a beautiful community and the people of the city also share the same love for the city.
The Great Smoky Mountains is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. You get to see a great deal of wildlife.
Every time you go out to Cades Cove, you’re sure to see dear and more than likely you get to see the – kind of the mascot of the Great Smoky Mountains – the black bear. That’s always a treat to get to see bears. And of course, the history too. You get to see cabins, old farmsteads that were around, you know, in the 1800s, and just kind of see the way life was way back when.
What I love about Sevierville’s great outdoors is you have tons of hiking trails, rivers to fish, to swim. It’s just a place that, if you love the outdoors, it’s easy to get to. It’s a friendly-type place just to go explore.
Probably my favorite thing to do is get an inner tube on a hot summer day and go up to Greenbrier, float down the river. It’s a great way to interact with nature. The water’s cold and it’s just a lot of fun.
If you get a chance, stop by downtown Sevierville. You can see the iconic Dolly statue. A really great tribute to Sevierville’s first lady, Dolly Parton. ’Course, everybody knows Dollywood, which is a fabulous park and it keeps true to its mountain heritage. It’s great roller coasters, food and fabulous shows.
Another really neat attraction to go see is the Titanic Museum. You get to be an actual character who was actually on the ship. And so, it’s very historical. It’s really interesting.
Sevierville’s near and dear to my heart, and I’ve seen a great deal of change and a great deal of growth. But you know the one thing about Sevierville, it’s always maintained its small-town atmosphere, its small-town appeal. And, you know, that says a lot about a place.
Ask a Local: Maryland Transcript
Baltimore is an incredibly creative town. It’s unafraid to, like, reinvent itself over and over and over again.
The most unique thing about Baltimore is the art. It’s just everywhere. The Walters Art Museum is a staple. It is a phenomenal space with a consistent showing of art. The American Visionary Art Museum is one of those places where you can find some of the most creative, unique and different art pieces you’ve ever seen.
So, the Peabody Library is filled with books. It’s just intoxicating to be around that many. It’s a really great place to go and kind of check some stuff out.
The National Aquarium is a really great place to come and check out. It is filled with over 20,000 animals. It is consistently labeled as one of the top three aquariums in the country.
What makes Baltimore’s waterfront so special is that it’s filled with life. You can stroll along the harbor and check out all the different shops, check out all the huge ships.
Taking a water taxi is another great way to see the city. Fell’s Point is like walking through time. It’s really quite beautiful and you’re right along the water. You can take the water taxi right over. You can kinda sit along the water there too. That’s a really nice place to come and just mellow out.
Now if you want to eat in Baltimore, you gotta get crab cakes. Captain James is one of those places that is extremely unique and people always want to go to it when they come. It’s actually shaped like a ship.
The city is filled with all different types of breweries and just outside of the city, we have the Guinness Brewery. It’s the first Guinness Brewery in the US since the 1950s.
I love Baltimore because of its resilience, its artistry, its originality, and it’s so funky.
Mayor William (Bill) Martin:
Havre de Grace is a quintessential, all-American city located right on the Chesapeake Bay. We’re a historic town with lots to offer.
One great, cool fact about the city is that we missed being the nation’s capital by one vote. It ended up being Washington, D.C.
One of the most unique influences in our city is the French influence. Legend has it that Marquis de Lafayette visited our city in the 1780s and was so impressed by its beauty that it reminded him of his home in Le Havre, France.
Now, the most iconic symbol in the city of Havre de Grace is what’s right behind me, Concord Point Lighthouse. Built in 1827, it’s the oldest continuous lighthouse used in the state of Maryland. Any visitors can come up and walk up to the top and actually witness a Fresnel lens that was replaced in 1983, one of the few that are still operating in the state of Maryand.
If you’re interested in sailing, there’s no shortage here in Havre de Grace. If you want to learn how to sail, many of our marinas offer classes and lessons to learn how to be a sailor. If you just want to hop on board a sailboat, there’s plenty of charters, endless amount of times on the water.
The best thing to do here is to take a walk on the promenade. The promenade is a beautiful boardwalk that goes along the shoreline. It captures the natural beauty of the Chesapeake Bay. The best part about walking the promenade is to walk it early in the morning to see the beautiful sunrise, the bald eagles; it’s nature at its best.
The Maritime Museum is home to a lot of old-style Chesapeake Bay skiffs and boats that used to work these waters for many, many years a long time ago.
Living on the Chesapeake Bay is an amazing experience. There’s never a day where you don’t have a cool breeze coming off the water and the beauty of the wildlife and the scenery in the city of Havre de Grace.
Ask a Local: Arkansas Transcript
Little Rock, Arkansas, is just big enough to where you have a really cool food scene and enough to do on the weekends or during the weekday, but it’s small town enough to where you actually get to really know the people in your community.
One of the most unique things that I like about Little Rock is the outdoors. We’ve got the bridges, we’ve got the cool Riverwalk area, the River Market area. But then just within a few-minute drive, you’re in the middle of the woods. You can climb Pinnacle Mountain, you can ride the River Trails, you can go kayaking, whatever you want.
If someone was traveling in from out of the country and landed right in Little Rock, Arkansas, there’s a couple things you have to do. You have to definitely go down to the River Market area, see the street vendors, some really great outdoor art exhibits and of course all the pedestrian bridges here.
You have to realize you’re in an old Southern city and there’s a lot of history here. There’s a lot of museums, there’s a lot of art galleries. But then you know, you’ve got the Clinton Library, which is wonderful to walk through.
Everything is within walking distance. If you spent two hours just walking around, you could almost see all of downtown. It’s small but it’s just big enough to where it makes you feel like you can have a whole day of exploring.
Here at Cathead’s Diner, home cooking and Delta comfort food is our specialty. I love just paying homage to old Arkansas Delta cuisine and doing some of the originals back like grandma used to. Since I’ve lived here, I’ve seen the food scape change completely. All the chefs in general have really stepped up their game.
I love Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Strap on a backpack and climb Pinnacle Mountain. One of the most beautiful views you’ll ever see in this city is from the top of Pinnacle Mountain right at sunset. You can see the lakes around; you can see the city. It’s a very tranquil view.
Little Rock, Arkansas, is my new home. I love it here. Every time I travel, I always can’t wait to come back to Arkansas.
Hot Springs is a quintessential Southern town, nestled in valley surrounded by lakes and national forests. It’s just the most beautiful place in Arkansas.
Hot Springs National Park is so unique because it’s one of our country’s only urban national parks. It features 9 former bathhouses that were built in the early 1900s, which are just a spectacular example of architecture. Bathhouse Row is perfect for families. It’s a great place to walk, take a nice stroll.
When I first learned about Hot Springs, I was amazed that there was hot spring water you could drink and also that there were these historic bathhouses that were available for use. The Superior Bathhouse Brewery is the only brewery in a U.S. national park, and we’re the only brewery in the world that makes our product with thermal spring water.
The Hot Springs area is becoming one the premier destinations in Arkansas for hiking and mountain biking. We have 27 miles of hiking trails right here in the national park. The Northwoods Trail has trails that are appropriate from the very beginner to a professional mountain biker.
Arkansas, and especially Hot Springs, is one of the hidden gems in America, full of beautiful outdoor spaces, national parks, hiking, mountain biking. We have a lot of culture, a little bit of everything.
Ask a Local: Alaska Transcript
The first thing that really strikes you about Anchorage – it’s the mountains, it’s the greenery. You realize that you’re in Alaska, that you’re in a very wild place. I’ve never lived in a place that was so perfectly balanced between the natural world and the built human environment.
My favorite introduction to Anchorage is a walk down the Coastal Trail from downtown Anchorage along the coast of Cook Inlet down to a place called Kincaid Park.
You have to get out into the Chugach Mountains – if you hike, if you bike, if you kayak, if you just want to get out and see something from a high elevation. You have to go down to Turnagain Arm and see the bore tide. We actually get a wave that runs on the tides that’s so big you can surf it.
Well, I think Alaska always inspires tall tales, and there’s some reason to it. You can run with the reindeer during Anchorage Fur Rendezvous, Jet Ski to a glacier in Prince William Sound.
If you’re here in the summer, you’ve got to come during Summer Solstice. From sunrise to sunset, it’s about 22 hours of daylight. If summer shines, then winter sparkles. We have the Iditarod Trail sled dog race.
Trips by car or by rail are a really great way to get around. The Denali Star Train runs almost every day of the summer, going north from Anchorage to Fairbanks with stops at Denali National Park and Talkeetna on the way.
For places that are beyond the reach of road and rail, we have more pilots and more planes per capita than any place else in the country. So, getting around using small aircraft, float planes and helicopters is a very special way to see how amazing the landscapes can be.
Alaska Native Culture isn’t a single culture. There are many different traditions. It’s worth stopping at the Anchorage Museum and the Alaska Native Heritage Center. These two institutions do an exceptional job explaining the history and the cultures that make Alaska special.
There are black and brown bears and eagles and moose and beluga whales. They all live in Anchorage, where our residents aren’t just people.
Sometimes you can step outside and just see a little white wisp. Other times, the whole sky just lights up. The great thing about Fairbanks is you can see the northern lights as soon as mid-August all the way until mid- to late April.
Fairbanks is a wonderful town that has large town amenities but also a small-town feel. And just minutes away, you can drive out and explore Alaska’s wilderness.
One of my favorite things to do is float down the Chena River on a canoe, and if you don’t feel very comfortable in a canoe, you can always take one of our sternwheelers up the river on either a dinner cruise or a summer cruise.
Angel Rocks is a really special place. It’s a short drive away from downtown Fairbanks. It’s a beautiful hiking trail that’s about a 3-mile loop, but you get some great elevations and good scenery.
Just outside of Fairbanks, there’s a place called Chena Hot Springs. There’s an outdoor hot spring; it can be 0 degrees outside, and you can be in 100-degree water.
In the interior of Alaska, we have a lot of wildlife. We have moose, caribou, bears. Denali National Park is a great place to go and see all of them.
In Fairbanks, there’s a lot of good places to try out gold panning. You’re going to try to pan for gold where gold was first found in the interior.
In our community, we have a lot of different influences from around the world. I really like and enjoy the Alaskan Native culture that we have. On the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, they have the Museum of the North. It touches on Native culture, art, climate, animals.
Dog-mushing is where you take a sled, and you harness up a few dogs. It’s amazing to see or try in person, and it’s really impressive how much the dogs love to run.
Seeing ice art in Fairbanks is a really easy thing to do. You can go right downtown to the Ice Museum. Even if it’s 75, 80 degrees out, they have ice carvings inside.
Just a short, 20-minute drive out of the city center and it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere. No mailboxes. No electrical lines. “Off-the-grid” really means something in Fairbanks.
Ask a Local: Alabama Transcript
Birmingham has this really cool name called “The Magic City,” and there’s a very interesting story about that: It was discovered that all the ingredients to make pig iron could be dug out of the dirt. And, all of a sudden, everyone was here, working, building and trading steel. And they call it “The Magic City” because it really appeared in the middle of nowhere overnight.
The Vulcan Park & Museum is a really cool place to check out the statue of our Vulcan built in 1904. They carted this huge statue to the St. Louis World’s Fair so they could show off and let everyone know what they were capable of. It was quite an awesome feat at the time. We have this amazing view of the city from that point.
Another gem would have to be Gip’s. It’s the oldest roadhouse in the country, and it’s one of those spots where you can hear blues all night long. You have to hit it on a Saturday night, and it’s a really fine night.
The Alabama Peanut Company is quite the cool place on Morris Avenue. You can get a pound – or 5 pounds if you like – of peanuts. Every day, they change the flavors. They take great pride in putting together a concoction for these boiled peanuts, and they’re very popular.
The craziest thing you can do in this city – I haven’t done it because I’m chicken – but we have the Barber Motorsports here. They have a little over 2-mile track with all kinds of elevations, lots of intricate curves, where you can take a Porsche and you can put that Porsche on a track and ride up to 200-plus miles per hour.
My very favorite thing to do in Birmingham is eat. All caps. Bottega is one of the best restaurants. They have great food, the menu changes seasonally, and they’re always coming up with something new.
We have Avondale Brewery. Not only do they have some of the best beers in town, they have great events like their crawfish boil. You don’t want to miss it.
Welcome to Birmingham, Alabama! Come and see us!
Muscle Shoals means everything. The music here is part of what makes us magical, and it’s definitely what makes us a global entity. A friend of mine says, “If Nashville and Memphis had a baby, it would be Muscle Shoals,” because our music – it’s a soulful sound, it’s a funky sound.
There were hundreds of hit records that just came out of this studio. There’s Aretha Franklin, there’s Rod Stewart, there’s the Rolling Stones, there’s Paul Simon – and the list just goes on and on and on. FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound – they’re just two iconic studios. One of the craziest things you can do is come stand in the room where Mick Jagger recorded “Brown Sugar.”
Our rivers and lakes here are just beautiful. On any given day, you’re going to see people out bass fishing, you’re going to see pleasure boats out, you’re going to see some families out enjoying some time on a pontoon boat. It’s a magnificent place for people to get to experience the joy of being on the water. It defines who we are in so many ways.
Exploring the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Florence is just a pleasure. It’s the only one in the state of Alabama. And I think what strikes me the most is how simplistic yet sophisticated his architecture was.
Odette is one of the best restaurants I’ve even eaten in. Everything has such an amazing twist. The things they can do, the flavors they can produce, are just mouthwatering. Their hospitality is as delicious as their cuisine, really.
People are always very surprised and thrilled about the diversity of our music in Alabama. Well, let’s face it: Music is the universal language. That’s one thing that can bring us together all over the world, and it’s something that we all agree on.
Ask a Local: Vermont Transcript
We’ve got the tallest mountain in the state of Vermont, a state that’s known for its mountains, the “Green Mountain State.” It was a farming town going back over 250 years. But it also had the first ski chair lift in the East Coast of the United States.
Stowe has always been known for its skiing. Because of the history of skiing in Stowe, it’s drawn a lot of Europeans here. Swiss and Austrian, German, Norwegian and Swedish – and they really have added to the overall international flair of Stowe.
I’m Sam von Trapp. I was born here in Stowe, Vermont. My family came over from Austria in 1938, and when they found Stowe in 1942, it reminded them of Austria. After the musical “The Sound of Music” was made, our family story has become a big part of the Vermont culture and the draw to this area. We do have history tours here at Trapp Family Lodge that help to bridge the gap for people between the story of “The Sound of Music” and the real story. And my family, we actually finish the tours ourselves. So, it’s a chance for people to ask questions directly of a von Trapp.
Vermont is absolutely known for its fall foliage. From the last week of September through the middle of October, you look out across the valley, it’s just absolutely magnificent.
Moss Glen Falls is a very easy hike. Nice narrow falls cascading down through moss along the sides, many different overlooks that you can stop at and you can wade into the water at the bottom and cool off on a nice hot day.
Smugglers’ Notch State Park – you can imagine from the name – is where the smugglers used to come in from Canada bringing the booze down during prohibition. It’s a road that is gorgeous to drive through in the spring, summer and fall. You’ve got huge cliffs on either side, gorgeous views over to the other side. And it’s a nice spot to go on a hot day, getting into the shade of the mountains and getting up a little bit in elevation.
Mount Mansfield is the tallest mountain in Vermont, 4,390 feet. The top of it is open so you’ve got a full view in every direction.
One of the great things about having big mountains is the ziplining. You’ve got a lot of vertical drop. You’re descending about 2,000 vertical feet through three different pitches. And if you choose to, you can go about as fast as a car going down the freeway.
Vermont has the most breweries per capita of any state in the United States. And Stowe happens to be one of the concentration areas. We’ve got Von Trapp Brewing with our focus on traditional Austrian, Bavarian-style lagers. Idletyme is a real institution here in Stowe. It’s also located right on the recreation path, so people can pop in in the summer off of their bikes and have a nice meal right there on the patio listening to music outdoors.
The reason I love Stowe so much is the combination of nature and the culture and culinary options that come with being in a top-level resort town.
The most unique part about Burlington is its setting. We have the beautiful shores of Lake Champlain, so many wonderful mountains in our backyard, there’s a ton of outdoor activities for every season. In the summer, tons of biking. In the winter, there’s local ski mountains. Sugarbush, Stowe and Jay Peak are among my favorites.
Lake Champlain expands from Southern Vermont all the way to Canada. It’s known for its fantastic bass fishing. I personally love the bike path, which runs along the coast of the lake all the way to the Colchester Causeway, which is this shoot of land totally surrounded by lake. I love to go out on the boat, what the sunset right over the lake.
Vermont, and Burlington in particular, has become known as an artisan location. And the craft producers dedicate themselves to putting out wonderful, unique products. Mad River Distillers makes a ton of different spirits. I think they make one of everything. Smugglers’ Notch is another wonderful distillery. Their vodka is among one of my favorite Vermont-made vodkas.
Vermont is very well-known for its handmade cheeses. There are so many dairy farms and they’re making beautiful, unique cheeses. At Shelburne Farms, you can walk right up to the cheese making window, watch them in all stages of the cheddar process. You can also sample all of the cheddars they make, as many samples as you can eat.
Pizzeria Verità is a Neapolitan restaurant in downtown Burlington. They make woodfired pizzas. They use a blend of Italian products as well as Vermont-made products.
One of my number one recommendations is to hop on a bike and do a little brew tour. In Burlington, we’re fortunate to have all the breweries in a relatively close proximity. And they’re so fun to bike to, grab a quick beer on a sunny day and tour around.
On Church Street, you’ll find a plethora of eclectic coffee shops, great restaurants, fun bars. Common Deer is a cute gift shop right downtown in Burlington. They have a bunch of Vermont-made products. Beautiful jewelry from Vermont artists, as well as artists from around the county.
The people of Vermont are wonderful. We see all walks of life. The general vibe I find is very laid-back, yet everyone in Vermont is motivated, everyone is very active. The people of Vermont just really make the most of the great setting we have. It’s a fantastic place.
Ask a Local: Massachusetts Transcript
Boston is like a small town tucked inside a big city. It’s got cute little streets but its huge skyscrapers too. I love living here from the amazing history, the beautiful waterfront and the great food.
If you’re only coming to Boston for day, you have to visit Quincy Market. From all the amazing food to the gorgeous old buildings, you have to check it out. Don’t wear heels, though, because the cobblestones are brutal.
You have the oldest public park in America right here. You can follow the Freedom Trail throughout Boston and see all the amazing historical landmarks from the abolition movement to the American Revolution. Walking through the public gardens, you can see the influence the American Revolution had on this city.
Beacon Hill is my home, and it’s one of the most charming neighborhoods here in Boston. From the Acorn Street to the gorgeous, breathtaking Louisburg Square, you have to check out Beacon Hill.
You should definitely check out the State House and take a tour. You have the gorgeous gold dome and the beautiful architecture.
Fenway Park is one of the oldest ballparks in America. Go take in a game from the Green Monster. It’s home to the World Series-winning Red Sox, our home team.
Relive the Boston Tea Party at the Boston Tea Party Museum. Tour a replica of one of the British tea ships, and you can even pretend to throw some tea into the harbor.
I love going to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and checking out the beautiful courtyard. You’ll think you were transported to an exotic jungle when you’re right in downtown Boston.
The Museum of Fine Arts is a great place to visit in Boston. You have changing exhibits constantly and you get to see some amazing works of art.
Legal Harborside is one of my favorite places to go in the summer. They have award-winning clam chowder, served with potatoes in a cream broth. It is my favorite thing to get here New England.
I was born and raised right here in Boston. I love this city. From its amazing history, winning sports teams and the beautiful waterfront, you have to come and visit.
When you’re walking around the streets of Marblehead, it almost kind of feels like you’re in an open-air museum that you’re seeing all these beautiful homes, all this beautiful architecture surrounded by the water. You just kind of feel like you’re stepping back in time and visiting a totally different place.
Marblehead is this beautiful, quaint, cozy, charming little New England town. It’s filled with history, dates all the way back to the Revolutionary-era colonial times. There’s just so much beauty in Marblehead.
The houses here are pre-Revolutionary. So, when you’re walking downtown, there are actually plaques on the front of a lot of the houses, and it tells you the date when the house was built, who lived there and what their profession was, and it really gives you a sense of what the history was like back then.
Washington Street is the main street in Old Town, which is the historic part of Marblehead, and it’s filled with charming little shops, places to eat – and you definitely have to check it out when you come visit.
Jeremiah Lee was one of the wealthiest merchants in colonial Massachusetts. Marblehead has done a great job of preserving the mansion. The 18th century wallpaper is actually still the original wallpaper. There’s a beautiful garden out back. You get a tour of the mansion and really get a sense of all the beautiful furniture inside.
When you’re walking around, you’re gonna see a lot of golden cods on the homes. The golden cod is really an ode to our history as a great fishing port of the area.
One thing you’ll notice is that you’re surrounded by the ocean and by the sea. That’s one of my favorite parts about this town.
You could go to any of our beaches and really just take in the beauty of the water. I love kayaking around the Marblehead Harbor. You get to check out all the boats, see all the different names on the boats. You get to see the beautiful homes on the water, the beautiful views, and then I love paddling out to Brown’s Island, picnic and really just docking there for the day and just enjoying.
Fort Sewall is one my favorite spots in town. It’s tucked way at the end of Old Town. It has beautiful views of the harbor, of the ocean and just is Marblehead at its finest.
The lighthouse at Chandler Hovey Park is actually the only cast iron lighthouse in all of New England. The park at the lighthouse has picturesque views, is a great spot to bring your family and just really enjoy.
And when you come here, you’ve got to check out Maddie’s. It was actually named one of the top 10 sailing bars to go to. Make sure to order their signature drink, a Thunderdome. You can thank me later.
Shubie’s is my family’s specialty food and marketplace. We’ve been around since 1948. Come see me at Shubie’s, grab a seat at the food bar, grab a sandwich and hang out with the locals.
I love Marblehead for the beauty, the history and just the overall sense of magic of Marblehead, and once you get here, I really think you’ll feel it right away.
Ask a Local: Maine Transcript
I think the best way to describe Bar Harbor would be to call it thin space where heaven and earth almost meet. It’s so beautiful here, and we are so lucky to live where the mountains meet the sea.
One of the most beautiful spots on the island that a lot of people haven’t heard of is called Hunters Beach. It’s not a traditional beach with sand that you would go and lay on to get a tan. You hike through this beautiful trail through the woods and then you come out at the most beautiful stone beach you’ve ever seen.
One of the craziest things you that can do in Bar Harbor is that you could literally eat lobster breakfast, lunch and dinner. You could even have it for dessert in the form of lobster ice cream.
Acadia National Park is so unique because it’s here on an island off the coast of Maine. Taking a ride on Oli’s Trolley is great fun because you’ll get to experience some the best places in the park. You’ll go to the top of Cadillac Mountain, you’ll get to see Sand Beach and Thunder Hole and the entire Park Loop Road. Plus, you get all the history about how this park was formed.
In the summertime, the top of Cadillac Mountain is the first place to see the sunrise in the United States and it is an unbelievable experience. It happens very early in the morning, so you have to be ready, but it is worth is.
One of my favorite places is Thunder Hole. If you plan it right, you will capture the crashing waves as they come crashing into a cave in the rock and it is just spectacular to see especially after a big storm.
The best activities in Bar Harbor are the outdoor activities. In the spring, watching everything bloom. In the summer, my favorite thing is to swim in the beautiful lakes on this island. And then, of course, in the fall, the leaves turning, the colors on the trees; it’s all just beautiful. In the winter, I love walking in Acadia National Park after a fresh snowstorm. It is so perfect and so quiet and so beautiful. And it’s such a rare landscape here, you just can’t get enough of it.
Portland is a walkable, compact, historic city with beautiful architecture. And yet it has an unbuttoned vibe, partially to do with our historic working waterfront, where you get shipping and the arts all coming together. It’s a really beautiful part of the city. But there’s also historic architecture, great museums and piers to explore. The working waterfront is just so much fun to check out. You can see fishermen pulling in their daily catch and bringing them right up to the restaurants.
Portland truly has an outsized amount of talent for the size of the city. We have incredible people working in this scene. The museums, the galleries, the college here – they all feed together to create a real community.
My wife and I live on the East End of Portland, and we just love it there. Between the local beaches, quick walk to the Old Port and the amazing restaurants opening up on our block every day, there’s just so much to do.
One of our favorite things to do in Portland is to take a walk on the East End Trail. You can start in the Old Port and walk around the peninsula to the park and East End Beach. Then head up the hill and get some coffee or food at local shops and restaurants.
We love beer here. Portland, Maine, has more breweries per capita than any city in America.
Here in Maine, the outdoors is in our DNA and there are lots of ways to get around outside in Portland, Maine. We love going to beaches, lighthouses and parks all around the state, sometimes heading right outside the city to Cape Elizabeth. Or we’ll go to Two Lights State Park, where we can spend the day at the beach and then grab a lobster roll at my favorite spot.
One of the great things about Portland is the access to nature just outside the city. One of our favorite things is to take the ferry to Peaks Island and rent a bike and ride around all day. People in Maine love sailing, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding.
Welcome to Portland, Maine.
Ask a Local: Idaho Transcript
For someone who has never seen McCall, it’s a picturesque location with several large lakes dotted around the city itself. You know, I really like the lakefront area in McCall. There’s several beaches that you can go to. Some are well known and easy to find like Legacy Beach or North Beach. You can hop on the water whether it’s on a paddleboard, or a canoe, or a powerboat that you can rent at one of the local outfitters in town. You can take a lake cruise on McCall Lake Cruises. The operators will take you around and give you some history about houses on the lake and some of the people that live there. And there’s also a really popular ice cream store called Ice Cream Alley, and it’s right across from Legacy Park. It’s not uncommon for people to stand in line, ohh, maybe 20 or 30 minutes to get their two scoops of ice cream and then walk across the street to the park, sit on the bench and watch the clouds blow across the lake or just talk with one another.
So one of the unique features of our area is access to Hells Canyon, which is on the border of Oregon and Idaho. A unique fact about Hells Canyon is it’s the deepest gorge in the United States, in fact, deeper than the Grand Canyon.
The only way to explore Hells Canyon is either by jet boat or by whitewater rafting. You can arrange with an outfitter to get on either of those trips. They have wonderful guides who know a lot about the local area. They’re usually pretty keen to point out wildlife that is unique to the area. So, Hells Canyon really is the hallmark of our area in terms of seeing something that not a lot of people have seen.
One of the unique opportunities in McCall is to take a guided horseback ride with Ya-Hoo Corrals. They have professional guides that will show you some pretty unique places.
I’ve lived here a long time, but there’s still so many unique things to discover and find that every time I go out, whether it’s on a mountain bike or just walking around one of the local trail systems, I see something that I haven’t noticed before.
Boise is the city of trees. That might nod to how beautiful it is here, but what that does not say is what a welcoming place we are, what award-winning chefs and restaurants we have, and what a vibrant live music and culture scene we have.
The craziest thing you can do here in Boise, I would say, is whitewater rafting. We’ve got all kinds of world-class, 4 and 5 whitewater rapids in a park just outside of downtown.
Downtown Boise is extremely vibrant. We’ve got live music, great patios, a couple different Saturday markets that even happen during the week. The Capital City Public Market and Boise Farmers Market, both in downtown Boise, have so much going on. On a Saturday, you’ll find people bustling around, buying plants, buying vegetables, sampling wine, craft beer and all kinds of local arts and crafts.
Boise has a very dynamic restaurant scene. Funky Taco is a local restaurant in downtown with an awesome patio and an even better live music scene. But the best thing you’ll find there is their funky tacos. Juniper restaurant in downtown is known for their great cocktails and their awesome seasonal changing menu featuring local products from all over the state.
Our Sunnyslope wine region is close and a short drive to experience wine country in the fall. The most unique thing about Boise is the short access to anything outdoors you might be looking for. From the center of the city and about a 30-minute drive, you can get to just about anything. We’ve got skiing and snowboarding. During the summer months, make sure you check out the new mountain coaster at Bogus Basin.
The scenery at Camel’s Back Park can’t be beat. It’s right outside the downtown and one of our most famous parks. You can actually take a little trail to the top of the mountain and get a great view of the city.
My favorite trail in Boise is actually our Boise River Greenbelt. It’s 30 miles of riverside pathways that you can take with several access points from every neighborhood and all throughout downtown. You can really see quite a bit of Boise by taking that.
Ask a Local: New York Transcript
I would describe Buffalo to someone that’s never seen it as a surprising city with beautiful architecture, art, excitement, amazing food at every turn.
The old Buffalo can be found in our historic architecture, especially our iconic City Hall, which is an art deco building set right downtown. You can also experience one of the first skyscrapers here in America, The Guaranty Building, and tour the Hotel Lafayette, designed by one of the first female architects. Now, they have renovated it and brought it back to its glory with a modern twist.
Frank Lloyd Wright built his Darwin Martin House here, which is one of his crown jewels, over 30,000 square feet combined with all five buildings. You can tour it and really see what a full complex designed by Frank Lloyd Wright would look like.
If you’re only here for a day in Buffalo, you absolutely have to go to Canalside. It is our waterfront jewel. We have a boardwalk full of food and things to explore. The waterfront is my absolute favorite part about Buffalo, especially catching a beautiful summer sunset right over Lake Erie.
Buffalo is only a 20-minute drive from Niagara Falls, which everyone should see once in their lifetime. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. If you want to have an insider peek, be sure to hop on the Maid of the Mist. You can actually ride a boat right near the falls and get a super up close and personal view of it.
Buffalo is so vibrant and creative. The art and music scene is electric here. Wherever you go, you’ll find live music. We love music in this city. You can catch shows all over Buffalo, and it’s huge part of our culture.
A really fun way to spend a day here is to hang out in the Elmwood Village and go shopping. There’s a lot of beautiful shops, especially Everything Elmwood. It’s a great place to just walk around and enjoy what Buffalo is really like and to feel like a local.
One of the most unique things happening in Buffalo right now is Silo City. There’s a bar right on site, there’s a cantina there, you can tour it via the Buffalo River or go right inside and get to walk into these historic beautiful grain elevators.
And while we have an explosive food scene, we are definitely known and very proud of our chicken wings here. Every local has their favorite spot. Mine personally is Gene McCarthy's in the Old First Ward, where you can have beer made right on site and their special McCarthy wings.
Buffalonians love to talk, they love to share beers, they love to connect with people and they really love when people visit.
Poughkeepsie is one of the focal points on the Hudson River Valley. The first things you’ll want to do when you arrive in Poughkeepsie is to go to the Walkway Over the Hudson. The Walkway Over the Hudson used to be a railroad bridge where now visitors, the community, we run across, exercise, come and visit. It has incredible views, it’s very serene, it’s very calm, it’s very quiet. That’s really one of the highlights of this city.
If you really love history and you love architecture and interiors, you should really visit the Vanderbilt Mansion. The Vanderbilts were a prominent family in the Gilded Age. The mansion, the way it is, is how they left it – a really, really great site for you to see.
The FDR property is the home of Franklin Roosevelt’s Museum. You can go and check out a lot of history about him and his family. It’s located in Hyde Park, New York, which is literally 10 minutes from Poughkeepsie.
The culinary scene in Poughkeepsie is very lively. We work with local farmers and use the ingredients to create menus. We cook and we brew and we distill with the seasons.
Rossi’s Deli is one of my favorite places to go to in the community because it’s an old-school, classic Italian deli, family-run. They make the bread there fresh. My favorite thing to get there is the chicken cutlet panini. You can eat half of it today and have the other half tomorrow.
There’s so much variety in food that if you’re really a foodie, you can come to our city and enjoy many different layers of flavor.
Poughkeepsie is, literally, one and half hours from New York City along the Hudson River. Poughkeepsie is also known as the Queen City, so if you ever want to visit the Queen City, all you have to do is take a one-and-a-half-hour train ride on the Metro North at Grand Central in New York City and you’ll be here in Poughkeepsie.
Ask a Local: South Carolina Transcript
I’m the island’s number one fan. Hilton Head Island is so incredibly unique because it is, of course, an island: 12 miles long, 55 square miles. We have so much natural foliage, so many trees, so much natural beauty that is here. So, if you come here and you expect to just see a long road down a couple palm trees, you’re going to be very pleasantly surprised.
There are lots of ways to enjoy a day on the water here. You can rent a paddleboard or a kayak out of any one of our marinas. You can parasail. You can rent a boat and just hang out on the Calibogue Sound for the day.
Hilton Head Island has more than 50 miles of bike paths that traverse the island, and you can get pretty much so anywhere: restaurants, the beach, to your condo.
There are so many things to do. As an adult, you maybe wanna have great dinners, go out dancing, relax on the beach. But even for children, there’s a pirate’s island cruise that you can take, where you actually out in the middle of the Calibogue Sound, searching for treasure. That’s mostly for the kids and those of us who are kids at heart.
Maybe you like kind of a more fun beach scene? I would recommend going to Coligny, grabbing a cocktail at the tiki hut, live music all day long, meet some new friends.
You want a quiet, relaxing day, and there’s a lot of that to be had. Just sit under an umbrella, pull out a great book and enjoy.
We have 24 golf courses here on little Hilton Head Island. We have it for you to be able to grab the clubs and come play.
You’re gonna want to bring your appetite because we have a big plate of anything fried or grilled that comes from the water. Or maybe you want a plate of barbecue.
At Honey Horn Coastal Discovery Museum, it’s just a beautiful place to take in Hilton Head history. It has tours and nature walks. It just makes for a great day.
Harbour Town is a must-visit. It has shops and restaurants. It’s just a unique place to take great photos with your family, sit in a rocking chair, have a scoop of ice cream – all in the shadow of multimillion dollar yachts. The lighthouse here at Harbour Town is iconic. It is not a functioning lighthouse; although, it does have a walking museum as you go up the steps. You can go to the very top and take lots of great pictures of the surrounding areas.
One thing every visitor does when they come here is come to the 18th green, find the lighthouse behind you, and then take the iconic picture of you holding up the lighthouse with your hands.
Greenville, South Carolina, has a natural feature that’s a very rare thing among American cities. What city has a splendid waterfall 10 or 12 yards from Main Street in downtown? Without a doubt, they need to visit Falls Park. The Liberty Bridge that’s suspended over the waterfall – it is beautiful and memorable experience to stand out on that swinging bridge, which is arched away from the waterfall, and get that grand view.
And there is no better example of Southern hospitality than Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville greets its visitors with open arms and goes out of its way to try to make sure that your visit to Greenville is a memorable experience.
It is very laid-back, particularly in the evenings. There are sidewalk cafes with folks out having dinner right adjacent to the street on the sidewalk. You’ll see other folks just strolling along the sidewalk. And by the way, here in the South, we don’t walk down the sidewalk, we stroll down the avenue.
One of my favorite retail stores in downtown Greenville is Mast General Store. It’s a nostalgic trip back in time to when every town in North America had a general merchandise store.
If you could stay here for a week, you could go to a different restaurant every night and never go to the same place. My recommendation would be Soby’s. It was one of the first restaurants to introduce Greenville to this New Southern Cuisine, and it’s one of the community’s favorite restaurants. To make a menu recommendation, I really like the crab cakes. They’re made with Atlantic, hand-picked blue crab lump meat, seared in a pan just to the point where they are golden-crust on both sides.
We have quite a number of state parks that are within a 30- or 40-minute drive of downtown Greenville. Table Rock State Park, for example, where we are today, has cabins that are available for rental, a swimming lake and an entire network of hiking trails.
Sassafras Mountain is the highest peak in South Carolina. Our new observation tower gets you up to an elevation where you get these really sweeping, 360-degree, panoramic views. You can see four states from there.
At Caesars Head State Park, one of our higher elevations up above 3,000 feet, their hiking trail up there goes to Raven Cliff Falls, one of the most dramatic waterfalls along the southern Blue Ridge Mountains.
If you’re going to be visiting anywhere in the South, there’s one word you need to learn: y’all. It’s the mark of a true Southerner. If you need directions or you need help with something, you listen for somebody saying, “Y’all come on over here.” That’s a local, and they’d be glad to help you.
Nora Hembree Battle:
The Myrtle Beach area is often called the Grand Strand by locals, and that’s because it makes up 60 miles of picture-perfect coastline right here along the South Carolina coast. So, in theory, you could get out on the beach and walk for 60 miles without having to get off.
But we also have lakes, we have rivers, we have saltwater estuaries and marshes that are really interesting and fun to explore. We have kid-friendly attractions and events throughout the year. The feeling that we want you to be with family and creating those memories here on the beach is something that’s really special.
I would absolutely recommend they spend time along the downtown Myrtle Beach Boardwalk area. It is over 1.2 miles long now and there are a ton of attractions to see, restaurants to eat in, shops to buy a souvenir in. It offers a glimpse of sort of your classic American family beach vacation.
So, another hub of busy activity is Broadway at the Beach. They have mini golf courses, a WonderWorks, another Ferris wheel, amusement parks rides. There’s a lot do to there and explore. It’s fun to do with kids. It’s wide, it’s open. It’s very family-friendly.
Check out Brookgreen Gardens. It has the largest collection of outdoor American figurative sculpture in the world, and beyond that, has a low country zoo, a ton of flora and fauna to see, and it’s set on the grounds of nine former rice plantations.
Something you definitely won’t find in a travel guide is a recommendation to wake up early before sunrise at least one day on your stay. Our sunrises are beautiful here in the Myrtle Beach area, and that time of day also offers you the chance to find the seashells you might not otherwise find and see some dolphins swimming in the ocean.
There are lots of crazy things to do here: Myrtle Beach Speedway, where you can ride in a NASCAR, or the SkyWheel, where you can take a ride on a glass-enclosed gondola over the ocean. The SkyWheel here is very iconic to our shoreline. You can see it right back there, and it is an exhilarating ride. To see that from above with a bird’s-eye view is very memorable.
So, Murrells Inlet is definitely one of our area’s hidden gems. It’s often called the seafood capital of South Carolina. There are great restaurants and bars. It’s nice to be able to have the scenic view of the marsh while you’re dancing to live music or having some oysters with friends.
Welcome to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. You’re going to love it here.
It’s always perfect; it’s always sunny in Charleston. If not, just wait 10 minutes.
It’s so easy to get around Charleston. I prefer the best way, to walk or rent a bicycle. I love the cobblestone roads of Charleston. I love the old churches. I love walking through the small streets.
The ultimate selfie in Charleston has got to be on Lower King Street in the shopping district. How the streets are a little smaller, a little tighter, and you can see everything.
King Street is the spine of Charleston. It’s so vibrant, from our great shopping to our restaurant and bar scene. From the great quality of chefs to the great hospitality, to actually walk around the city to the great bars and restaurants and try an appetizer here, an appetizer there. You just meet the people and experience it all that our food and beverage industry provides here.
Palmetto Brewing Company is Charleston. You know, it’s one of the original microbreweries here in Charleston, and it’s got all the great flavors that we all love.
You have to go see Charleston on a carriage tour. Everything slows down, and the tour guides show a different side of Charleston in each tour they give you.
Charleston is called the “Holy City” because of over 100 church steeples lining the skyline. Did you know that a building can’t be as tall as the largest church steeple in town? So, it makes it a small village.
The Charleston City Market is the quintessential tourist destination in town. And when guests come to town, it’s a first stop. When visiting the market, you have to go down and see our sweetgrass baskets that they handmake right in front of you. It’s a great souvenir to take back with you.
Battery Park is just historic to me. It’s one of the most breathtaking spots in Charleston, right on where the Ashley and Cooper River meet.
Shem Creek is a dining restaurant destination, but it’s also a great place to grab a kayak, grab a paddleboard, and explore Charleston.
Charleston is so unique because the history and the culture, and it all comes together in this beautiful setting.
Ask a Local: Georgia Transcript
This is Atlanta.
One of the places that I love to hang out is the BeltLine. It is actually now a walkable path connecting Old Fourth Ward all the way to Midtown, which has Piedmont Park, and it’s about a 2.2-mile stretch, which is perfect for a jog, a walk. Connecting from one neighborhood to another, there’s so much visual beauty along this path.
The Old Fourth Ward is one of our historic districts in Atlanta. It was established in the 1800s. It is the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King. The vibe there is historic, vibrant, colorful; it is culturally beautiful.
In one full day, you can start your morning at Piedmont Park. You can walk from there to Ponce City Market, and you can play a round of miniature golf. From there, you can hop on a bicycle, ride the BeltLine all the way down to Krog Street Market.
If you come to Atlanta, you must eat; you must come with an appetite, an empty belly, because we are going to feed you – because that’s what we do. We’re a big city, a lovely community, and we love to feed.
Welcome to Atlanta.
The first time you explore Savannah, it feels like you’ve stepped into a storybook. It is overwhelmingly beautiful.
To describe Savannah is really to be rooted in the beautiful squares that make up the city because it’s so unique to the United States. We have 22 majestic, beautiful squares with the gardens and homes.
River Street is walking back in time. Walking down the ramps with the cobblestone and coming around Factors Walk, you are in a time capsule mixed in with today’s Savannah. And it is a place to stroll, to take your time, notice the iron, notice the details of River Street.
One of the most beautiful places to walk around in Savannah is the quintessential Jones Street, lined on both sides by big, beautiful, huge Savannah mansions.
I highly recommend if y’all are going to be visiting our City Market is to dine at Belford’s because they have beautiful outdoor seeing. You can do some wonderful people watching, and at the same time, enjoy delicious seafood as well at Belford’s.
Broughton Street is the oldest running shopping district in the United States, and it has lots of locally owned boutiques lining both sides of the street. Paris Market is one of our favorite stores in Savannah to visit. You can find something there that you will treasure for the rest of your life and want to take home with you. And they carry a lot of local artisans there.
Another place is the Savannah Bee Company. I will say one thing that we always do have in our house is Savannah Bee honey.
And they have honey mead! So you can do mead tastings there and then take some home with you.
We take pride is being hospitable and welcoming to those who visit our city. When you visit this city, you’re going to connect with it immediately. The city really is: Come as you are, and we’re going to welcome you with full arms and we will embrace you for who you are. And that’s really what the city is.
Ask a Local: Puerto Rico Transcript
Old San Juan is probably the first stop you'll make when you get to Puerto Rico. It's got this gorgeous architecture, and it's this colorful place where all of our different cultures meet. And you've got so many places to eat. You can dance. You can listen to some lively music. It's really fun. In the old city, we have the Spanish fortress, El Morro. You really have to check it out. You have kite flyers outside of it. After you see El Morro, go to La Factoria. It's one of the top bars in the world, and it brought cocktail culture back to the island. Check out the Lavender Mule when you go there, it's super-refreshing. And then you should head to the beaches.
If you want to see a more hip, artsy part, you should go to Ocean Park in Santurce. Ocean Park is a really chill place to hang out. You can do some yoga. You can dip your toes in the warm sand and the water. You can just lay there on the beach, or you can play around, too. We have some great vegetarian food options, and if you're lucky, a local can take you to the Farmer's Market where they can teach you a local recipe. Santurce is a very hip, vibrant, artistic place with murals from local artists. And the coffee's really great there, too. You should definitely check out Café Con Ce for the creamiest coffee ever. And then you should walk around and look at the art. Go to Lote 23. It's so much fun.
There's a bunch of food stands and people really go there to socialize, so it's a great place to meet locals. And if you want to get out of the city and do something a little more adventurous, definitely head to the rainforest. It's only an hour away from San Juan, so you can have lunch and be zip lining the next hour. If you go to the center of the island, it's mountainous. It's filled with hills and our lush rainforest. If you want to try something new and different, definitely come during a new moon and check out one of our bioluminescent bays. We have three out of the five in the entire world.
After a long day of exploring, you should head over to La Placita. All of the locals go there to party in the streets because they close it to car traffic. And all of the bars are right next to each other, and each one is very different, so there's something for everyone. And you should definitely check out Santaela if you want something more upscale. But if not, if you want something more traditional and local, order the mofongo. Highly recommend it. You can also check out Asere, which means, Hey You, for really great Cuban food. And if you're there, definitely get a rum drink. I suggest the mojito. You'll never get a better one. Then, you should head out into the street, grab a partner and dance the night away to some live salsa.
Ask a Local: Wisconsin Transcript
We have a couple of special Wisconsin only cocktails that you should try. A brandy old fashioned is a unique cocktail. I love brandy old fashioneds so much that it actually inspired my roller derby persona, Brandy Ol' Smashioned. See what I did there, so yes. My love for that cocktail goes real deep. I really feel like Milwaukee's crown jewel is the fact that we're the home to Harley Davidson Motorcycles. Not only do Wisconsinites love to drive their Harleys, we love to come to Milwaukee to celebrate them even more at the Harley Davidson Museum. Every weekend we have a different festival going on to celebrate all of the cultures and the diversity that we have here in Milwaukee. You name it, we've got it, and it's all happening down on the beautiful lakefront of Lake Michigan. I think it's the place in Milwaukee to both see and be seen. Madison, Wisconsin is a great city. The hub of everything is happening right here downtown on State Street.
One of the oldest theaters in Madison is the Orpheum. That's seen some of the world's best singer-songwriters come through. We also have the Overture Center, which is brand new, absolutely gorgeous. It's massive, and that has Broadway shows and musicals coming through. Wisconsin is America's dairy land, so of course we have a bunch of good dairy here. I recommend you head to Babcock Ice Cream. Blue Moon is my favorite flavor there, Mickies's Dairy Bar for things like milkshakes and of course, of course, you have to try cheese curds. You can get the fresh, squeaky ones at the farmer's markets and head over to the Old Fashioned for the fried variety as well. Madisonians love being in nature, so we often bring our art outdoors. We have concerts on the square, the capital square up there. We have opera in the park. We have jazz in the park. There's people dancing, and singing, and playing music.
If you have time, you have to check out American Players Theater, which is my absolute favorite thing. I usually start the night off with a picnic, a bottle of wine. Then you head up the hill to this beautiful outdoor amphitheater, and you watch a fantastic play. You can hear the owls hooting while you're watching. At the end of the night, you walk back down the hill with little twinkling lights to guide your way. It's absolutely magical. Wisconsin, in general, is a really beautiful place. It sits between two great lakes.
Then here in Door County we're surrounded by water on three sides. Our peninsula has 300 miles of shoreline. On the Western Coast, we've got tall bluffs. On the Eastern Coast, we've got some sandy beaches. Some are huge and very popular. Others will feel like you have the beach just to yourself. All of our lighthouses offer really majestic views, especially the ones that you can tour. The view from some of the catwalks that you can see up in the lantern rooms, absolutely breathtaking. How could we not talk about hiking? We've got some amazing hiking opportunities up here from smooth, flat terrain, to scaling a bluff.
The Eagle Trail is one of my personal favorites. It's in Peninsula State Park. It's just a gorgeous trail. You've got to give it a try. If you're visiting Door County, you have to get out to one of our orchards and pick something, tart cherries, apples, and also some of our grapes to experience the bounty of the county. Tart cherries in Door County, very popular, all sorts of great products, cherry wine, cherry pie, cherry desserts, and also, one of my favorites, the cherry pit spit competition. Lots of fun, and it gets people an opportunity to get rid of some of that hot air.
The Door County Fish Bowl is a meal that uses locally caught white fish, potatoes and onions, traditionally. It's cooked outdoors over a roaring wood fire, and the finish is one of my favorite parts. It's a huge boil over. They'll throw kerosene on the fire underneath the pot. It causes a huge ball of flames to shoot up in the air, boils all the soot and stuff off the top of the pot, so when they pull the food out, you've got a nice clean meal. It's really a neat local, traditional meal, and it's a tasty one to boot.
Ask a Local: Missouri Transcript
If you ask about barbecue, you're going to get a different opinion from probably about each person in Kansas City. One of the things about Kansas City barbecue, is we take it very seriously. Arthur Bryant's, Q39, Gates Bar-B-Q, which I highly recommend. There's a lot more energy here in Kansas City because our downtown has developed so much more. Our crossroads is most important here in downtown. Great music venues, tons of wonderful restaurants, tons of art galleries, boutique shops, YJ's Snack bar is a very unique place run by a local artist, a very big supporter of musicians.
Columbia is a college town. The energy here is out of this world. It's vibrant. You have children, parents, grandparents, everybody is out trying to have a good time. It's a very creative space. So, we're in downtown Columbia, trying to have a good time, there's an endless amount of possibilities. Like this place, The Broadway Diner. That's just my favorite. But there's also coffee shops, book stores, Butch's Billiards and if you're with me, I'm taking you to open mic night because slam poetry has always been my thing. So when you're in town, it's automatic that I'm going to that you to Shakespeare's Pizza. Personally, I get the Masterpiece. Over a pound of meat, half a pound of cheese. You know what? I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
If you're into music, especially vinyl, I would recommend Hitt Records. They have a huge selection. You can find just about everything. And when you do come to Columbia, it's always great to travel outside but I will warn you, it gets rural, fast. There's acres upon acres of land, farms upon farms. And my favorite farm has packs of alpacas. Another great place to visit is the quaint little German town called Washington on the banks of the Missouri River. It has over 400 buildings on the state registry. It's also home of the corn cob pipe.
What I love to do in Missouri is come out and enjoy nature. The Meramec area is really lovely. It's green and the hills just sort of roll gently along. You have to go to Meramec Caverns. It's this beautiful network of caves and they say that is where the outlaw Jesse James had his hideout. And I've heard that they've never found his treasure, so you never know, maybe while you're in the caverns, you'll find Jesse James' treasure. Take a canoe or kayak on the Meramac River. You'll want to start early in the morning. Pull it down into the water, it goes splash. We'll go camping with a bunch of people, everyone will be there and with all the little kids running around, sitting around the camp fire and sing songs. When it starts getting dark, you'll hear all the bugs are singing their evening song. And look up and there's just stars everywhere. It's just like a billion stars.
Ask a Local: Mississippi Transcript
There's midtown where a lot of our local artists and artisans live and work. There's my favorite store Off Beat. He sells comics, and he provides really a venue for visual artists and performing artists. Then there's Lucky Town, our brewery that is selfie heaven. They have all the beers that they brew there. Then you can check out downtown. It used to be really quiet but since the King Edward Hotel, which is our historic hotel, got renovated everybody just hangs out there. Just lively. Then there's Fondren, my favorite place in Jackson. Fondren's where art, food, culture kind of meet. Then head over to Babalu. They have great tacos and burgers. Then there's Barrelhouse, which is really modern and edgy and very sleek. Then we have a bakery all in one corner of the neighborhood. Then after five, all the vendors and businesses in Fondren come out. It's like a huge street festival. It's also when our musicians get out on the front porch of the coffeehouse and perform. Like a ball of electricity, that's how you'll feel when you go there.
What I really like about our Mississippi Gulf Coast is you have 26 miles of beach that's dotted by a bunch of small towns that each have their unique flair. As a nature photographer, this place is a dream. You would love to shoot here. One of the things that I love the most about our coast is our sunrises. They're unmatched. My favorite spot is Pass Christian's harbor. You have the shrimp boats and a beautiful sunrise. The other things are the wildlife. When I have people come from out of town, the first place I want to take them is our Seafood Museum. It's a beautiful structure that really shows who our Gulf Coast is. Ocean Springs is a must for local art. The town is dotted with little shops that have just a variety of pottery and paintings and just a lot of stuff that explains our coast through art. You have to go to one of our festivals. There's a festival for just about every interest that you would have and if you like the outdoors, you need to see one of our 12 amazing golf courses. We also have a 26 mile boardwalk that you can bike or run and of course we have the Gulf of Mexico, so if you love water sports, it's here. If you're the wild at heart, you can go on an alligator tour. When you visit, you have to get our seafood, from shrimp and grits to the best grilled oysters. You have to have one romantic meal when you're here.
Chimney's by far, absolutely amazing. You have to order the crab cakes, shrimp au gratin and some mating seagulls. For lunch, you must go to the Fillin' Station and yes, it's a reclaimed gas station. You want to come during crawfish season. If you've never eaten a crawfish, you pinch the tail and suck the head. Our restaurants have a lot of Creole influence because of our proximity to New Orleans. In Fishbone Alley, you will have a little jazz, a little blues, grab a drink, you can walk around. We have the beaches. We have the golf courses, but if you really want to know our coast, come here, visit our people, eat at our restaurants and go to our shops. You will see something you haven't seen anywhere in the country.
Ask a Local: Minnesota Transcript
The people here are very unique. A lot of them were immigrants that came to the area and did the mining right around the turn of the century. There're small communities all over the place, and they have little festivals. It gives the area a really Scandinavian feel. Some of the music in the area is a little different. Polka's really a lot of fun. You have this kinda upbeat music, kinda boom, boom, boom. Some of the must-try foods in this area are sauerkraut, polishes and then porchetta. You can only find porchetta here, it's nowhere else in the entire world. While you're here, you really gotta try a pasty. It's kinda like a meat pie. And what they would do, is they'd actually take these things and they'd cook them. They'd put them in the miner's boots, and he would carry them to work in that pair of boots. They're not served in boots anymore. So you don't have to worry about that.
You can get pastys at Betty's Pies. And while you're there, you really should try out that milkshake that's made out of an entire pie. They take it and they blend it up and put it in this milkshake. It's amazing. Minneapolis is a very creative place. We've got a lot of differents arts districts. Uptown art district, where the Minneapolis Institute of Art is, the Walker Arts Center is there, which is where the sculpture garden is. Towards northeast, there's a lot of little smaller galleries that have more local artists and musicians and all sorts of murals. We've got a lot of microbreweries around northeast. There's Pryes Brewery, which is one of the only places in America that you can actually go feather bowling. You should definitely check it out. There's also a ton of really interesting small businesses here in Minneapolis that I guarantee you won't find anywhere else. There's Memory Lanes, which is a bowling alley that actually has concerts right above the lane. There's galactic pizza that you have to order. Have them deliver it to you, because they deliver in superhero costumes. And then of course, there's Betty Dangers, where they have a rotating patio and all sorts of things to see. There's a ton of food and drink around Minneapolis. The Bachelor Farmer, it's this really cool restaurant that sources everything locally, but they like to create more modern dishes with old Scandinavian influences. There's actually this really cool little speakeasy bar called Volsteads Emporium. You actually have to go through an alleyway and find the light to get to the speakeasy.
Walking down Duluth, you're gonna see a lot of friendly faces. There's always something going on. Live music, performing arts, we have a lot of special dinners with restaurants and farmer collaborations. We love seeing new people and welcoming 'em to our city and showing off how awesome it is to be here. We love to collaborate in Duluth. My favorite one right now is Duluth Coffee Company and Bent Paddle Brewing collaborated with local ingredients, and they made a cold press beer, and it is really good. The reason we have so many distilleries and breweries in town is because we're on the western point of Lake Superior, which is the biggest and best of all the Great Lakes. So we have the best freshwater, and that makes the best beer and spirits. The lake's good for basically anything you wanna do. Anything you can do on land, we try to do on water.
A quirky Minnesota thing is our hot dish. My favorite version of a hot dish is actually totchos from the food truck The Rambler. It's nachos and tater tots mixed together to make this really delicious, cheesy dish. It's amazing, you should try it. We like to get outdoors in the winter at Duluth winter village. It's a weekend full of beer and bonfires, barnyard animals and shopping locally. We love live music in Duluth. You'll hear everything from folk to rock. Bob Dylan was born here, after all. There are a lot of cool venues in town. Red Herring has a show every night. The Clyde and then Bayfront is an outdoor music festival that's right on the water. If you could only pick one spot, my personal favorite is Sir Ben's, they have a piano, so there's always somebody willing to play a song with you or for you. Jam sessions usually break out before then. And it's definitely the most chill place in town to listen to music and have a beer.
Ask a Local: Michigan Transcript
Furniture City is basically becoming Beer City. I have actually heard that there's more than 60 breweries here. There's Founders, there's Harmony, Elk Brewing and Grand Rapids Brewing. There's also New Holland Brewing. You can visit them on what they call the Ale Trail. There's also an excellent restaurant scene here, there are a lot of foodies who are interested in having really good meals with their beers. So Michigan, I'll be honest with you it's cold ,like it's a really cold. But that's why we have excellent beer, because it keeps us warm. And then in the summertime we have the beaches. Which is then why we have excellent beer, because it keeps us cold.
The difference between Detroit and Michigan, is that we're like the pretty cool cousin. We are the Motor City, but we're also this place that is always inventing something new. We are the comeback kids and we have so much to show. The glory of driving around Detroit, is that you see the old merged with the new. Detroit has such a spirit of experimentation. Our art projects reflect our life. Chef's started coming here for the same reason. So we have all this great experimental food. So first you have Takoi, Thai Street food, spicy, tasty, delicious. Lady of the House, you have to get the Parisian ham. It's the best ham I've ever had. The best ham I've ever had, okay? And I don't even like ham. But we also have our traditional Detroit standbys. So you have to go to Lafayette Coney Island. Vicki's Barb B Q, where you're gonna get your down-home barbecue. Try the barbecue shrimp.
Of course the Motor City is also the Music City. We invented Motown and Techno. You have to listen to music while you're here. Ravens lounge, live music, usually the Blues. Motor City Wine usually has a Jazz band inside and the DJ outside. Old Miami. Old Miami is another staple. You're always gonna see the locals there. They're always gonna have great techno. You're always gonna want to dance. These aren't the kind of places where there's coat-check and you wear your heels, you're there to boogie. If you're a real big fan of techno you have to go to Detroit Electronic Music Festival also known as Movement. Three days of dancing, around Memorial Day weekend. One of my favorite things about Detroit, is that in an hour drive maybe two I can be in the middle of nowhere. I can be next to water, I can be next to woods. There's all these places to explore and it's very outdoorsy. So we're located along the lake shore of Lake Michigan on the Leelanau Peninsula. Michigan is known for its four seasons. In the springtime we have mushroom hunting.
Also the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes is a great place to visit. It was voted the most beautiful place in America. Summertime people are here camping. For those more adventurous, you can take a ferry from Leland to North Manitou Island where you can remote camp. During the summer, the various tribal communities host Pow Wows. Which are social and cultural gatherings. There's also artists with crafts and you can try the local native foods. In October when the leaves are changing the color tour is a big event people come from all over. To come and see the colors change and against the water, it's really a beautiful sight. In the wintertime we have a lot of great things you can do. In fact we are known for a cross-country ski race called The Vasa and where people come from all over the world to participate. So here on the Leelanau peninsula there's famous state road called m22. It's really a great time and a beautiful drive.
Taking in everything you see, whether it is the lake a hiking trail or visiting the shops or restaurants . The Village Cheese Shanty, otherwise known as the Cheese shop in a fish town is a great place to get sandwiches, but you need to get there early because the pretzel bread goes quick. This part of Michigan is becoming known for the vineyards and the micro breweries. You have got to stop in and have a glass of local wine. You know when you talk to someone that isn't from here and then they just say to you "do you know how lucky you are?." At some point you kind of take a look at it and go "yeah we really are!." It's a really beautiful place.
Ask a Local: Illinois Transcript
Places that you can actually do some rock climbing would include Jackson Falls and Giant City. Giant City is a state park, and it has a number of really unique rock formations. The rock separated from the bluff, so it makes all these avenues or streets where you've got rock formations on both sides. Cashe River is really a slow moving river where you really just have a lot of Cyprus, swampy areas and you just kind of glide through it. It's like being back in almost prehistoric times. So, if you're visiting and you suddenly get hungry or feel like a snack, there's a couple of opportunities there for you to have championship BBQ. Try 17th Street Bar and grill, the BBQ there, whether it's the ribs or the pulled pork or brisket, is all sweetened with apples from nearby orchards, just absolutely excellent. Head down to Jacob, Illinois where the Bottoms Up Bar and Grill is located, and it's called Bottoms Up because it serves copious amounts of beer, as well as large amounts of fried chicken. You gotta go there too.
If you've never been to be Springfield, Illinois, we're right in the middle of the state, but at one time the Route 66 route went right by the Cozy Dog place we're sitting at right now. Springfield is known as the hometown of Abraham Lincoln here. You've got to hit the Abraham Lincoln home, you definitely got to visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, that's the place where the Lincoln story comes full circle. We have quite a number of festivals that take place during the summer, but probably one of our biggest and most well attended events is our Route 66 Mother Road Car Show. It is one of the biggest car shows in America. The real famous thing about it is the Friday night car cruise, and that's when the near 2,000 cars line up, and they literally cruise right up 6th Street. The crowd will start yelling at the cars going by, "Light em' up, light em' up!" Every once in a while, they'll light 'em up alright, and I'll tell you, that is something to see.
So, after you've been around to the sites all day, no doubt you need a bit of a break and really the best place to go is gonna be our micro brewery here, called Obed and Isaac's, and they've got the beer garden with yard games and a bocce ball court. Another popular stop is the Maid-Rite sandwich shop, and they actually have the very first drive thru window in America, and you can pull up there and get yourself a loose steam burger. And the other thing you need to try while you're here in Springfield, you can get one at pretty much any restaurant in town, and that is the horse shoe, it was invented here in the early 1930s. It's a piece of Texas toast, you chose a protein like a chicken breast or a hamburger patty, and then the whole plate is covered in a plate full of french fries and then it is lovingly soaked in cheese sauce. If you've got a good cheese sauce, you've got yourself a good horse shoe. I kinda wanna go get one now.
Chicago's a huge city. Each neighborhood you go into, you will have a completely different experience. It's really easy to get around pretty much everywhere in Chicago. There are a ton of places around here. You can check out our local performing artists, we have everything from burlesque over at Kiss Kiss Cabaret, slam poetry we have over at the Green Mill Lounge, live music pretty much on every corner. The one thing I recommend is dancing. Head to one of our clubs like Subterranean, check out all the hiphop, house, we get some footwork music in there. So, footwork is the super fast moving of your feet. We made our own music to it. One place you should checkout: Fine Arts Building. It is a wanderer's dream, it's ten floors of just artist studios, dance studios, visual artists, beautiful old school elevator throws you all the way up to the 10th floor, and you just kind of wander and wind yourself back down ad you stop at whatever interests you.
Then obviously, you have to get some food and drinks while you're here starting with Portillo's, hotdogs, pick up a Maxwell Street polish with a chocolate cake shake on the side. Also, Cheesies is one of our grilled cheese bars, probably one of the more intense grilled cheeses you'll have in your life. Our arts community is very tight knit and we get our inspiration from each other, we like to work with each other and we like to show it to anyone who's willing to watch.
Ask a Local: Florida Transcript
A dish I would recommend to you that you'd try is the fish, the curry chicken and plantains. After we eat, I want to take you to Wynwood. Wynwood is an open area gallery. There is murals. Got some of the best restaurants. Artists from all over the world come here. If there's one museum you have to check out here, Frost Science. There's tons of cool stuff there. There's a feathered dinosaur. There's a interactive dance floor for children. And, the Design District is right down the road. There's a big bike community, so you really don't need a car to explore the neighborhoods. You can't go to Miami without going to the beach. South Beach is amazing for people watching. Get some skates and just cruise down the boardwalk. I prefer to go to the nude beaches. I'm not trying to have any tan lines. For your art fix, you can check out the graffiti art or contemporary art. There's visual arts, and this is an amazing record scene.
Right now, my favorites are Spark Records and Lucky records located in 8100 Lucky and ... Oh. 1-800 Lucky's. It has several Asian Fusion restaurants. A bar. There's DJ booths. There's a bodega. There's a ice cream shop located there and I highly recommend the unicorn float. And, you're in the nightlife capital. There's a million dance halls you can go to from North Miami, down. You got salsa, hip hop, small vinyl sets. If you want to meet locals, head to the clubs and bars. On a mellow day, people just usually go to the local markets down on South Beach. You can walk around. You can do some shopping. Grab a bite to eat, and meet some new friends.
There's no place like this. It's been happening down in Key West since the 1600s. Bringing in imports and pirates, and it's a very rich history. It's spring break here all year round. People come here to party, relax and just enjoy themselves in general. You get to meet people from all over the world. It's really fun seeing people and getting to know them and where they're from. Key West is a tiny island, but there is always something exciting going on. To explore Key West, the main things right of the bat, are going to be Duval Street and Mallory Square. That's where you catch the fantastic sunset and that's where you find all of our guests here on the island. Mallory Square is not just for sunset, you're going to find a wild assortment of vendors selling fresh coconuts, selling mixed drinks like palm fritters. They're going to a museum. Taking a walking history tour or a trolley tour is your best bet to really dive into our culture down here.
Our main street here in town is Duval Street. That's where everything goes on. We've got more bars than anywhere else in the world per capita and more bartenders than anywhere else right here. There are a million ways to get out on the water in Key West. But, what I love to do when people come to visit me in Key West is take them on a kayak tour through the Mangroves because it's like another world out there. It's like an incredible experience. We're an island, so that means 360 beaches. We have the longest barrier reef in the whole world right here off of Key West. Third largest but number one longest. But, to me diving into Key West culture absolutely means eating some great food. As far as Caribbean goes, Blue Heaven is a must. They're known for their nationally awarded key lime pie with big meringue. In terms of Cuban, hands down, El Sibonet. Pretty much any restaurant in Key West, you can get fresh seafood, caught right here in our shores. Sunset anywhere in Key West is going to be stunning, but my recommendation is to see it out on the water. Preferably on the Old Schooner where you can bring your own refreshments and you get to fire a cannon at another ship! If you're lucky, during sunset you'll get to see something that we call the flash. The moment the sun goes down, there's a splash of green across the sky, and that's the signal that the true Key West party is just about to get started.
Ask a Local: Arizona Transcript
My name is Brian Jump. I’m a guide for Arizona Outback Adventures, and the Sonoran Desert is my playground.
I went to college in Colorado and moved down to Arizona to guide tours, and when I got here, I really felt like I was home. Anywhere you live in the city of Phoenix, there’s a mountain park with thousands of acres within 10 minutes. And I can get up in the morning before sunrise on my mountain bike and be surrounded by desert without a view of the city.
When you meet a group that is from all different places around the country or around the world and they don’t know each other, it doesn’t take long on the trail to create a group of friends. I love sharing my favorite places with people and getting to see to see it for the first time through their eyes.
We had a group out on the Salt River. We were floating in kayaks. We came around a bend in the river, and there was 10 wild horses watering in the river. And just as we saw them, we also saw a bald eagle come out of a cottonwood tree and fly by. And to see those two things together is pretty special.
It’s not what’s changed; it’s what stays the same that really is special to me. We’ve preserved the desert, and we’ve not only preserved it, but we made it better with great trails, great access, so that you can get out there and enjoy it.
The soul of Phoenix is the dirt under the tires of my mountain bike. It’s a place that you can be yourself and find yourself at the same time.
Welcome to Tucson!
In just an hour drive, there’s this amazing mountain called Mount Lemmon, and sometimes in December or January, you’ll see it sprinkled with snow. You can actually even snowboard or ski up there – in the desert! How crazy is that!
But another really cool place if you just have one day is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which is where we are right now. The desert museum is an immersive experience if you’ve never explored the desert before. There’s more than 200 species of animal out here.
One of the craziest things about Tucson is the amount of the environment that you can actually eat. No one goes hungry in this town.
Bottom line: When you come to Tucson, you’re gonna see cool stuff, eat cool stuff; you’re gonna love it.
Welcome to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. No photo or video can capture how breathtaking it is. Watching the sunset from the canyon rim is the most amazing sight you’ll ever see. I love bringing people here and showing it off.
Skydiving for me has brought some really awesome experiences. When you’re in free fall, that is the best view possible. People are just blown away by the feeling of ultimate freedom, the views, the experience.
Ask a Local: Louisiana Transcript
What makes us so unique is that we have a wonderful blend of the culture, of our cuisine and our outstanding community festivities. I’m from the Shreveport-Bossier area.
There’s always something to do. Sometimes, it’s a big giant festival or a parade, or you’re taking these intimate moments to go to one of my favorite places to eat downtown, which is Abby Singer’s Bistro. And you get a slice of the delicious taste and sights and sounds all in one place.
There’s some things that you can do at the boardwalk and enjoy all of the different shops and stores and restaurants.
You know one of the craziest experiences that we can have: zip lining, right there at Gators and Friends. That’s one of the craziest and the coolest things to do.
What makes us so very special is our culture, our diversity, the people and the various ethnicities that we celebrate often here in our area. And one of the places I enjoy going is right here at the Southern University Museum of Art here in Shreveport, where we celebrate the African and African American experiences through art and artifacts.
One last thing I want you to remember: No matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, no matter what you look like, no matter what you sound like, we here in Shreveport-Bossier, we want to give you one big welcome.
New Orleans Speaker:
What makes New Orleans so special to me is the fact that we have the greatest people here. You will meet people on the street that will change your life. We’re friendly, we’re fun and we have great food, we have great music.
There’s a few places you can go to hear local music, and one the places is Royal Street. During the daytime, there’s a lot of street musicians that play, little 3-, 4-piece bands and it’s just really beautiful. Royal Street has antique shops and little restaurants and it’s adorable.
And then another place that I love is Frenchmen Street, and that’s more of a nighttime scene. You’ve got the Spotted Cat, you’ve got d.b.a., you’ve got Snug Harbor. There’s no shortage of hearing great music in New Orleans. Just pick your night, pick your location and you will find it.
One of the best things you can eat in New Orleans is a po-boy, and the best place to get one, in my opinion, is Parkway Tavern, which is located right here on Bayou St. John. Parkway has been around since 1911, so they know what they’re doing when it comes to po-boys.
You should definitely ride the streetcar. One of the best places you can stop along the route is at Washington Avenue, and that’s where Commander’s Palace is, which is a 100-year-old restaurant in the middle of the Garden District. It’s beautiful and it’s actually where Emeril Lagasse started his whole culinary career under the matron Ella Brennan. And if you continue to ride the streetcar toward the downtown area and you get off at Girod Street, you can visit Meril, which is actually named after his daughter, and it’s his first restaurant that he’s opened in 20 years.
Another great way to meet people and make friends in New Orleans is to sit at the oyster bar. There’s tons of great oyster bars with awesome shuckers that have been doing it for decades.
Another thing that’s really fun about New Orleans is crawfish boils. It’s just a great way to make friends and experience a true New Orleans piece of tradition and culture.
It’s just such a fun city with such an amazing group of people. It will inspire you and change your life forever.
Ask a Local: California Transcript
I think the most unique thing, and the thing that I love the most, is the real strong sense of community here.
Well, San Luis Obispo is pretty much smack dab between Los Angeles and San Francisco, right on the Central Coast. One of my favorite things to do, especially in the summertime, is Friday music in the Mission Plaza, where you can come out and join with your community and listen to a great band and have a glass of wine and just have the best time ever.
So, one of the highlights of the town that everyone goes to visit is Bubblegum Alley. It’s an alley just full of bubblegum. It sounds disgusting, and it is, but it’s also pretty fun.
San Luis Obispo is a very welcoming city, and we have lots of events to celebrate all the different aspects of our community. Also, just really being yourself here – I think it’s a place that you can come and not just relax, but really relax into yourself. And so, we invite you to come to San Luis Obispo and do just that.
I love Ventura because we just have such a beautiful coastline. It’s so different than anywhere here in California, and here in Ventura, we have a gorgeous beach for everybody. You can go down and take a walk by yourself on this beautiful beach were no one’s at, or you can go surf with some of your best friends out on a perfect point break.
I think we have something really unique here. There’s just a beautiful stretch of coastline, and it’s pristine, it’s quiet. And then there’s areas where it’s busy and it’s fun, and it’s just a really great community.
I love being able to walk into a restaurant and say hi to the owner, seeing families that are here in town, and really having that supportive community where I have people from all over flying in and wanting to come to Ventura and wanting to see what it is about our community that’s so unique and what it is about this coastline that I always tell people how fun it is. It’s really exciting to bring people here and share these beautiful waves with them and teach them about this ocean lifestyle that we live here in Ventura.
We have clean water, gorgeous community, a beautiful coastline and a wave pretty much for everybody, which is why I love it here so much.
Anaheim Speaker 1:
I think Anaheim is a really unique community because it’s so diverse and so energetic. It’s in our DNA to be creative and enthusiastic about new things.
My favorite thing to do on my day off is to go to Disneyland. When you go to Disneyland, you can tell with 100% certainty who’s there for their first time, and that energy and excitement and happiness is just so contagious.
Anaheim Speaker 2:
On West Street, just north of Lincoln, is the original Morton Bay fig tree that Walt Disney used when he was creating the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. You can just drive up, stand underneath it and be in awe.
One of the great things Anaheim has a lot of is breweries. Of course, we’re very partial to our own, Anaheim Brewery. So, if you love beer, come to Anaheim.
I love going to the Packing House. It’s such an exciting place to go out to eat, to go out for a beer. There is so much wonderful food and drink, just waiting for you to taste it.
Anaheim Speaker 1:
There are so many things to do that are unique to southern California. Gosh, within a couple of hours of Anaheim, we’ve got mountains, we’ve got beaches, we’ve got amusement parks, we’ve got other attractions, we’ve got an amazing collection of food – and beer.
Anaheim Speaker 2:
And it’s just always exciting; there’s always something fun happening.
San Diego Speaker:
The best thing about landing at the San Diego airport is you see the palm trees and you get the amazing weather, and you know you’ve landed in California.
San Diegans are a really casual, relaxed, fun-loving crowd. Our city really comes alive during the day, and that’s because we take advantage of our beaches and hiking trails; we’re out at happy hour.
One of my favorite things to do in San Diego is head down to Imperial Beach on Friday nights to watch the sunset. That’s also when they have a super-fun farmers market that feels like a block party.
The top 3 must-see experiences are: definitely hiking Torrey Pines; you get amazing ocean views. You can also get views at Cabrillo National Monument; there’s a hiking trail around the bay. And, definitely go to Balboa Park; there’s gardens, hiking trails, museums, gastropubs. There’s so much you can do there.
The best way to really get a feel for San Diego is to not just stick to downtown. Go to the cool indie shops in North Park, stroll the streets of South Park, try the super-cool restaurants in Little Italy, and definitely make time to head up north to Encinitas to check out a cool beach town.
One of my favorite can’t-miss experiences in San Diego is heading down to Barrio Logan near downtown. It’s marked by Chicano Park, which is a nationally designated historic site. It’s a beautiful park with great outdoor murals under the Coronado Bridge. And there’s amazing galleries, there’s a strong arts and culture community, and there’s great authentic Mexican food, which is a must.
I wanted nice weather; I wanted sunshine, a relaxed city – and San Diego is all of those things. San Diego feels like a perpetual vacation.
Palm Springs Speaker:
We are a beautiful resort destination where you can come and unwind and get away from it all. You can relax, rejuvenate, hang poolside, take in the breathtaking scenery and look at those incredible San Jacinto Mountains.
Once you’re completely relaxed and rejuvenated, there are so many amazing events in Greater Palm Springs year-round that truly offer unique experiences for everyone. Of course, we have the world-renowned music festivals, Coachella and Stagecoach, but my favorite, of course, is Modernism Week.
I think you can’t come to Greater Palm Springs without going on a modernism tour and seeing these spectacular and historic homes and buildings. The clean lines, the walls of glass, the brightly colored doors – they are just plain fun.
Welcome to Greater Palm Springs!
San Jose Speaker:
Well, for people who are coming to San Jose for the first time, get out. Don’t sit in your hotel. There’s amazing food, wine, culture everywhere you look. We have these beautiful mountains behind us, the Santa Cruz Mountains. We’re just minutes from Monterey Bay. All you have to do is open your eyes and look.
So many people just think that we’re just technology and that’s all we are, but San Jose has a very, very rich history and culture and agriculture and wine. The winery that we’re in here dates back to 1888 and has this really true natural history – right here, just minutes from downtown San Jose.
People ask what’s special and unique about your area. You know, I say: Talk to the people. Get to know the various cultures that we have here in Silicon Valley. It is a very amazing mix of all the world’s best people, all right here.
Ask a Local: Virginia Transcript
One thing about Richmond is there’s something to do every weekend. Welcome to Richmond.
We’re going to get up and we’re definitely going to have coffee at Brewer’s Café in the Manchester area. The cultural diversity here in Richmond, again, encompasses all of the things that we have to offer. We will probably hit the nightlife anywhere in Shockoe Bottom or in The Fan. We’ll probably hit a lot of the different bars there because they’re so loyal to local, we know we can get local wine and our local craft beers at any of the bars in Richmond.
Virginia is for music lovers. If you know any of the artists that are from Virginia, but just so many different artists that are coming from right here out of Richmond and getting that exposure nationally.
Being in Central Virginia, one of the good things is that it takes two hours to get to the beach, two hours to get to D.C., two hours to get to the mountains. So, you can come to Richmond and then explore these other areas on other days and then still come back and see what else the city has to offer.
This is Richmond.
Loudoun Speaker 1:
If I were to make an official Loudoun County-inspired cocktail, it would be called Middleburg Classic. I would use fortified wine from Mount Defiance, a little bit of their absinth, gin and orange bitters.
One of the great things about Loudoun County is you can discover a great drink at Sense of Thai St. and then head down the road to the brewery, winery or distillery where it was made, and even a further trip down the road to the farms where the products are sourced.
Loudoun Speaker 2:
Fabbioli Wine – it’s all Loudoun. It’s grown here, we produce it here, we bottle it here. It’s authentic. The flavors in the land, the flavors in the air, the flavors in the people. And as we come together, that’s what makes something special.
Loudoun Speaker 1:
Middleburg is one of Loudoun County’s hidden gems. It’s the horse country capital of Virginia with roots dating back to the 1700s. Mount Defiance Cidery and Distillery, here they make amazing ciders. I fell in love with their vermouth and absinth. You’ll have fun here. Everything’s amazing, tasty.
The hidden gems are more so the nightlife. Getting a great late-night cocktail or even a DJ on a Friday or Saturday night is a cool way to experience Loudoun County.
I’ll go out on my days off, visit a winery, visit a brewery – even a distillery – and will learn more and find a way to bring it into the menu. You really feel the love when you’re here. You are a part of something that’s fun, it’s unique. I can’t compare it to any other place I’ve lived and I’ve traveled. Loudoun County has a feel of love and a sense of community.
And that’s why I love Loudoun.
Ask a Local: Kansas Transcript
If you’ve never been to Dodge City, this is the iconic western town. “Wickedest City in the West” is one of our nicknames. You know, there’s Wyatt Earp; he was a marshal here for many, many years. There’s Doc Holiday, who was a great gambler. These are people who were a big part of the lore of the West, but in Dodge City, they were king.
When you’re here at Boot Hill, you’re gonna get a tremendous flavor of what it was like to be in the West in the 1800s. Everything you need to know about Dodge City is right here, and it’s right in the middle of town. They have real saloons. They have a doctor’s office and what that looked like. They have a jail. You feel like you’re in the old town.
The biggest event for Dodge City is what we call Dodge City Days. There’s kid things, there’s concerts and, of course, the big Dodge City Round Up Rodeo. You need to be here during Dodge City Days to really experience Dodge City.
You know, we’ve had a couple of additions to our area and one of them is the Boot Hill Distillery. I really like their gin. And they create signature drinks frequently, and so it’s kind of fun to go in because you’ll get something different many times that you’re there. They’ll also give you a tour of the distillery so you can see how it’s done.
In terms of what kind of cuisine you’re gonna get in Dodge – of course, you’re gonna get steak. We’ve got the iconic Casey’s Cowtown. It’s been there since the ’70s. Great food, great atmosphere, great people – and you’ll see the salt of the earth there.
My favorite thing to do is to go out to Santa Fe Trail Tracks out on the west side of town. So many wagons came through here going to Santa Fe that there are ruts in the prairie out there that are still there today. It’s being outside of town and enjoying the beauty of the West the way it was in the beginning. So, if you want to experience the West and all that it was and all that it still is, you need to come to Dodge City.
Wichita is located in the heart of the country right along the Arkansas River, and we have so much to do here. I want to welcome you to Wichita, Kansas.
One of the most unique places Wichita has to offer is Old Cowtown Museum. You can travel back in time to see what Wichita looked like in the 1800s.
Another must-see is the Keeper of the Plains. It’s the most iconic landmark in Wichita. Every night at 9 p.m., they light the firepots, and it is one of the most remarkable experiences.
Our restaurant scene is pretty great too. I bet we have more hummus per capita than any other city in the Midwest. If you wanted to try every hummus dish in town, you’d have to stay for at least a month.
I’m proud to be from Wichita because of all the incredible things happening in our city. I can’t wait to see you in Wichita.
Ask a Local: Nevada Transcript
There’s a lot to see about Reno. We’re part desert, part Truckee Meadows, and we’re right on the foothills of the eastern Sierra Nevada.
My favorite thing to do here is to go up to Lake Tahoe. It’s this beautiful, pristine, clear body of water in the middle of the forest. So, it’s a great place to go hiking and rock climbing. One of the most beautiful things is being out on the lake, whether you take out a paddleboard or kayak, and getting that vantage point of looking back at the beach, looking back up to see how massive those mountains are. It’s something that makes Lake Tahoe truly special.
Reno’s got to be the best place in the world for skiers. There’s about nine major downhill ski resorts within an hour of downtown Reno. To have the city life right here, so close to so many great ski resorts, it’s just something that you’re not gonna find someplace else.
People don’t expect to see this great canopy of trees in the Reno area and in the actual city of Reno. It’s very easy to get on a kayak and go through downtown. It’s purpose built for kayaking right through downtown. BaseCamp is pretty cool, you know; it’s right by the Reno Arch. Great climbing wall, it brings the outdoors right into downtown.
The scenery here is crazy. Facing west, it’s all mountains and you can see the trees on the top of the mountains heading up into Lake Tahoe. Facing east, you can see the rolling hills heading into the desert.
Virginia City is western heritage. The whole town is built upon the American dream: heading out west to find your fortune. It’s an old-time, old west town. You can do mine tours, take an old train ride, and they also keep the city up like it was in the 1800s.
Carson City is cool, kind of a smaller city to be a state capital. We have a Basque population here. The Basque came over here because they like the geography. It’s really great for sheep herding, which is what they did. We have two Basque food restaurants.
The events in Reno are insane. There’s a great big balloon festival, which is free to go to, motorcycles, classic cars. The Nugget Rib Cook Off is huge. They go through like a hundred tons of ribs.
I think the way I would really describe Reno is it’s easy. No matter what time of year you’re here, you’re gonna have something nearby that you can do. I really love this area because it’s different every single day.
Las Vegas Speaker 1:
My favorite thing about Las Vegas is that you can be yourself. You’re free to do whatever you want, anytime you want.
Las Vegas Speaker 2:
All the best foods and all the best shows and all the best entertainment options, and they put it all in one, like, four-mile strip.
Las Vegas Speaker 3:
The best thing about Las Vegas is that it’s the entertainment capital of the world. Here’s it’s a one-stop-shop.
Las Vegas Speaker 4:
A lot of these casinos down Fremont Street have outdoor bars. You can bar hop going from bar to bar without really even travelling 50 feet. It’s hard to beat going down a quarter mile of zip line over people’s heads. Here you actually get a little more of the old Las Vegas feel.
Las Vegas Speaker 5:
It has nostalgia; it has all the old-time casinos that you can actually go in and explore. Vegas just has everything for everyone.
Las Vegas Speaker 6:
Shopping is one of my favorite things to do. There is great shopping here. You can do whatever it is you want to do. You can stay up from sundown to sunup.
Las Vegas Speaker 2:
Vegas is everything. Vegas is this like perfect, weird construction of humanity. I mean, it’s a little bit of everything anybody would ever want.
Ask a Local: Wyoming Transcript
Wyoming is one of the best places in the world to be, and I honestly can’t imagine living anywhere else.
The one thing really unique to me about Wyoming is just the beautiful landscapes we have here – whether it be in the northwest part with Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone, or whether it’s, you know, the High Plains grasslands in the eastern part of the state.
What you really can do is travel Wyoming and not see very many people but experience the beautiful landscapes and the way that people experienced them hundreds of years ago, and you can’t do that in a lot of places anymore. Wyoming is really one of the last places on the earth where you can see things that explorers, like Lewis and Clark, saw for the first time and have that same reaction, and it’s not impeded by skyscrapers or big buildings or tons of crowds. It’s just raw, natural, untapped beauty.
One of my favorite places in Wyoming is the Sierra Madre Range in the southern portion of the state. It’s teeming with just wonderful wildlife and mountains, and yet nobody goes there. Whenever I’m there, I’m usually one of the only people. Beautiful waterfalls and rivers, and I use it as my personal playground. I camp, fish, hike – all in this one area.
When you visit Wyoming, you’re definitely going to get a flavor of the Old West. What not a lot of people realize is you’ll see a really vibrant arts culture. We’ve really tried to bring a sense of history and artistic culture and to the state of Wyoming and really to the visitors.
We have great restaurants. What you’re gonna experience here is a little flavor of the Old West and a lot of flavor of that new stuff.
Taking an hour or two to go hike into the Wind River Range of Wyoming is gonna be one of the most incredible experiences you’ve ever had. The mountains there are untapped, unexplored, wild and just beautiful. You will see something that very few people ever get to see. You’re gonna notice just how rugged and raw and beautiful Wyoming is.
Welcome to Wyoming.
Ask a Local: Washington Transcript
I’m a wine grower and vintner from Washington State. I live out here on the ranch right next to the Columbia River. We’re east of Seattle.
The vastness of Washington is something that people really appreciate when they’re over here. They can look and see 150 miles and see mountains and still look the other direction and see miles of vineyards. The openness of this place surprises a lot of people.
So, my favorite thing to do on the farm is to ride my mountain bike. So, I’ve got a trail system that goes through a bunch of vineyards here, and I spend lunch breaks or evening breaks enjoying the vineyards we have.
The one thing I think I would do is make the drive down from Seattle through the Columbia Gorge. I would visit wineries. I would visit these beautiful vineyards in Walla Walla and spend a spectacular evening visiting wineries and great restaurants.
Craziest thing you can do here is hop in this machine and ride from vineyard to vineyard. We’ve got about 30 miles of trails that connect the vineyards on the farm and we can go from place to place at 70 miles an hour over really rough roads. It’s a lot of fun.
Ask a Local: Montana Transcript
I’ve lived in Montana for 58 years. We have the cleanest, sweetest-smelling air, crystal-clear water, beautiful skies during the day and massive stars at night.
We have adventure for everyone from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone National Park and everything in between.
We’ve got a wonderful winter season with powdery white snow for those who want to downhill ski, cross-country ski, snowshoe, snow mobile.
We have beautiful springs where fishing is abundant in our wonderful rivers with crystal-clear water in our lakes.
What makes Montana’s craft beers the best is the best wheat, the best water, the best malt and the best entrepreneurs you’ll find anywhere making the best craft brews.
Montana’s small towns are authentic. They each have their own historic nature. They’ve done wonderful jobs in preserving their culture. There’s no crowds, it’s safe. Great lodging facilities and lots of fun things to do.
My family loves the authentic Montana experience from the mountains in the west to the rivers and lakes that you see in the southwest. It’s different everywhere you go, but the people are all the same – friendly, warm and welcoming. For me, that’s what we are. Welcome to Montana.
Ask a Local: Oregon Transcript
I came to Portland from Thailand, and I was drawn to the friendly people and mega culture. You can do anything in Portland.
Portland is known for its food culture. We have every type of food, from high-end dining to street food. While you are here in Portland, you have to try the food from the food carts. There are 600 to choose from. This one is actually mine, and I make Thai chicken and rice.
If you are downtown, make sure to stop by the Forest Park for a hike and a great view of the city. Forest Park is a hidden oasis right in the heart of downtown.
It’s so much fun to explore the shops here, and there’s no sales tax. Any style is in style in Portland, as long as you make it your own.
Welcome to Portland! You’re gonna love it here.
When you’re walking along the banks of the Deschutes River in the middle of town, you’ll often smell the wafting aroma of our breweries: the hops and the malt and barley, things like that in the air. When it does rain, you’ll smell fresh juniper. There’s a lot of senses going on when you’re outside here. It’s truly a magical place.
I live in Beer Town USA, otherwise known as Bend, Oregon. Because we have the backdrop of the Cascade Mountains, we’re on the dry side of the state, so we have 300 days of sun. It’s always beautiful here.
One of the craziest things that you can do in Central Oregon in the early spring is go skiing or snowboarding up on Mount Bachelor in the morning, drive down the mountain and be able to play golf, go mountain biking or fishing in the afternoon, and still have plenty of time to go grab a beer and watch the sunset. To be able to do all those things in one day, every year I’m still marveled that that’s an opportunity that we have.
If I was visiting Central Oregon for the first time from outside the country, one of the first things I would do is visit Smith Rock State Park in Terrebonne. It’s hard to explain just how beautiful this rock formation is, and once you’re there, you can hike along the river, you can hike up to the top of it for incredible views of the whole Central Oregon region. You can ride your bike there, and there’s also horseback riding nearby. It’s just one of the must-see, iconic features in Central Oregon.
It’s a real active community filled with people who have come from all over and have embraced this lifestyle that caters to folks who love being outside, love being with other people, love beer and just enjoy an active lifestyle.
Ask a Local: South Dakota Transcript
You know, drive 15, 20 minutes in any direction and you can seemingly be in the middle of nowhere. It’s absolutely beautiful – from the sunsets to the clear night skies. It’s one of my favorite things about living here.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota – it’s such a growing and vibrant and friendly community. You have great food, drink, breweries, coffee, restaurants, entertainment, arts, culture, history. We have a waterfall running through our downtown.
One of my absolute favorite things to do is to go out into the country on a summer night and just let my eyes adjust and soak in the sky and the stars and you can literally see the Milky Way overhead. It’s absolutely unique to this area and it’s amazing every time I do it.
Absolutely check out Badlands National Park on the west side of the state. It is like another planet out there. The landscape is like no other place in the country. The views, the wildlife – you know you can pull up next to a buffalo, and you quickly realize that you’re standing next to an animal that’s the size of your car. It’s mind-blowing every time.
Black Hills Speaker:
It’s such a great area just full of outdoor opportunities and a really great outdoor culture that I just love. I’m in the beautiful Black Hills.
The Black Hills are home to Black Elk Peak, which is the tallest point in the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains. So, it’s an awesome opportunity to get in a hike and see for miles.
Little Devil’s Tower is such a fun hike in Custer State Park. And it starts out easy but then there’s a climb and at the end, there’s a little scramble over rocks to get to the peak. And from there, I think it’s the most incredible views of the Black Hills. You can see Black Elk Peak in the distance and then the needles of Custer State Park and the Cathedral Spires right behind you. And then in front of you, a lot of people don’t notice it, but it’s the back of Mount Rushmore.
Get in your car and drive through the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park to see the 1,300 bison just roaming around and doing their thing. Sometimes they cause some pretty bad traffic jams.
There’s so much to see, so much to do. So, I love coming out here to visit as much as possible.
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