March 2010

Harvard Square, Cambridge, Boston

I’m often asked, “Is it worth it to visit Harvard Square?” After all, you have to get on the subway and take it all the way to Cambridge, which takes all of 15 minutes.  Well, the short answer is, “Definitely, YES!”

First, Harvard Square itself is such an interesting place.  You can watch the chess masters in action at Au Bon Pain while enjoying a cup of cappuccino. You can listen to the street musicians.  Or you can just watch as, literally, the world goes by.  If you stay at the Charles Hotel, you’ll be right there. Read More »

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Jungle Island hosts a 3 day long Easter egg hunt

Easter Sunday in Miami Beach is always a party. If you’re traveling with your family for the holiday, here’s what to do:

Brunch: The traditional Sunday brunch gets a gourmet update at South Florida restaurants, including Hakkasan’s tender steamed dumplings at the Fontainebleau Resort, Nemo’s whole roast suckling pig, and Sakaya Kitchen’s kimchee scrambled eggs. Just be sure to make reservations well in advance. Read More »

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Kabuki Hot Springs in Japantown

You don’t have to go to Japan to experience a Japanese bath. Head over to Japantown, near the Kabuki Hotel and the Best Western Tomo. The Kabuki Hot Springs (1750 Geary Boulevard) is different than any spa you’ll find in San Francisco. Read More »

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Paddle Boating in the Tidal Basin

Paddle Boating in the Tidal Basin

Although the cherry blossom excitement has already kicked off in Washington, D.C., the forecast for this year’s peak bloom is April 1 through 4, which means it’s not too late to head to the capital for a glimpse of the stunning pink ladies. If you’re planning a trip, both the Mandarin Oriental and L’Enfant Plaza Hotel are within walking distance of the trees.

Because Spring Break for many schools overlaps with the blooming of the cherry blossoms, Oyster Locals blogger Amy Querido (The Q Family Adventures; Atlanta With Kid) provided us with some family-friendly activities happening at the National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 27-April 11) — perfect for parents traveling to D.C. with kids in tow. Here’s Amy’s list:

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The Getty Center in Brentwood, Los Angeles

When it comes to ‘must-see’ attractions in Los Angeles, The Getty Center in Brentwood is easily in the top three. First, admission is free (though parking costs $15). It’s known as much for its art and photography collection as it is for its landscaping, stunning architecture by Richard Meier, and sweeping views. (Note: There are two Getty Museums, the other being the Getty Villa in Malibu.)

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The Hatch Shell in Botson hosts free live music throughout the summer months

Boston is great live music town all year round, but in the summertime, special outside venues provide concert-goers with sea breezes to go along with the lovely sounds – many of them free!

From the last week in June through the end of August (from 6 to 10 p.m.), Rowes Wharf is home to The Blues Barge, compliments of the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Intrigue Cafe. You can enjoy a bite to eat at the cafe’s outside seating or get a free seat on the steps (with complimentary pads) as you listen to soul on Tuesdays, classic tunes on Wednesdays, and blues on Thursdays. Read More »

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Why not bring the pets along for the ride?

South Beach bodies just seem to be more tan and toned than anywhere else in South Florida. To help you discover how these beach bunnies stay so fit, tag along on the Community Bike Ride and the First Friday Skate and tour the city like a  native. Participation is free, equipment rental is reasonably-priced, and the chance to make new friends on Miami Beach is priceless! Read More »

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An assortment of bruschette from Barbacco in San Francisco

Who doesn’t feel fiercely proud when a younger sibling shines? Such is the case with Barbacco in San Francisco, the new sibling to the ever-popular Perbacco in San Francisco, both just a short hop from the Mandarin Oriental. The chef is Sarah Burchard, who was a protege of Perbacco Executive Chef Staffan Terje for three years. In this day and age of macho men butchering their own animals for major bragging rights, Burchard is right in there with them — the petite chef regularly broke down whole pigs just like the guys. Read More »

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The Blue Bottle Coffee Company

While cities like Seattle have long dominated the gourmet coffee scene, specialty cafes throughout the U.S. and abroad have being steadily raising the bar. In-house roasting; sustainable, organic,  fairly-traded beans; elaborate brewing processes –  another Starbucks they are not. With the help of Oyster Locals Brendan Spiegal of Endless Simmer and Joanne Greenberg (who wrote our East and West Coast listings, respectively), our highly-caffeinated reporters picked their favorite places to get a coffee.

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Plenty of wardrobe options in South Beach

Some people spend the weeks before they travel putting together all the best looks for their vacation destination. Others wait until they arrive to collect local treasures that make their holiday wardrobes just right. Whether you fly with full suitcases or stuff them when you get here, great resort shopping is definitely part of a perfect South Beach adventure. Read More »

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