Shermanstravel Blog

Weekend Getaways

Pacific Islander Festival in San Diego -

Pacific Islander Festival/

San Diego is part of the mainland, but in places, it can feel outright tropical thanks to the sailors and soldiers who brought a love of Polynesia back with them after World War II. While there’s no shortage of attractions in the kitschy, Americanized “tiki” style, there are plenty of places where you can delve into a more authentic sense of Hawaiian and Polynesian culture, too. Here’s a guide.

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Downtown Greenwood Missisippi

Crystal Cafe/Melanie Warner Spencer

Home cooks and savvy food-lovers are hip to a tiny town nestled at the eastern edge of the Mississippi Delta — Greenwood, Mississippi. About two hours from Memphis, Tennessee, this quiet escape is home to the headquarters of Viking Range, the high-end appliance company, and foodies flock there for the Viking Cooking School and retail shop, as well as dining at some of the local restaurants, one of which is a culinary destination in its own right, the Delta Bistropub. Here, your guide to Greenwood, Mississippi. Read more

Billy Goat Trail in Washington DC

Billy Goat Trail/Elena Sonnino

When most people plan a trip to Washington, D.C., they focus on the major attractions like the National Mall, the White House, and Smithsonian Museums. But scattered around the city (and, in some cases, just a few steps outside its boundaries) lie under-radar locales that exist far away from the museum and tourist crowds. Here are five places to explore the outdoors for a different side of the nation’s capital.

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Novelty Hill/Januik

Benjamin Benschneider Photograph

Napa Valley might first come to mind when you’re dreaming about a West Coast wine weekend escape, but Washington State has its own share of first-class wineries that shouldn’t be discounted either. The estates are incredibly convenient and fun to tour — and they’re perfect for a relaxing girls’ getaway. It’s just a half-hour’s drive from Seattle.

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Hershey, Pennsylvania

Hershey Entertainment & Resorts

Hershey Chocolate’s sprawling empire in Hershey, Pennsylvania is much more than a chocolate lover’s paradise. Positioned just two hours from Philadelphia and Baltimore and three hours from New York City, Hershey lends itself to a perfect fall weekend of affordable fun, relaxation, and — of course — endless chocolate.

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Tank Garage winery tasting room in Calistoga, California

Katie Hammel

Calistoga, located on the north end of Napa Valley, was once an upscale resort town. Founded by California’s first millionaire, Sam Brannan, it was home to a hot springs resort popular with well-heeled San Franciscans escaping the city. Eventually its popularity declined — as did the properties that made it famous. Later, as Napa Valley grew as a tourist destination, Calistoga remained a slightly out-of-the-way outpost with a frontier feel. With fewer options for dining, accommodations, and wine tasting, it couldn’t compare with its southern counterparts like Yountville and downtown Napa.

However, in the last few years, new restaurants have joined new tasting rooms and renovated hotels to revitalize the homely hot spring town and return it to the list of Napa Valley’s more chic destinations. Here are four reasons why you should make your base in Calistoga on your next NorCal trip.

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Visit Milwaukee

There’s more to Milwaukee than beer and Harley-Davidson. In just 48 hours, you can also see world-class art, sample German food, and even kayak in the Milwaukee River (weather permitting).

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Frankfurt Müller-Walter

Frankfurt’s often more known for business over pleasure, but we don’t think it should be. What most travelers don’t realize is that this city houses a collection of internationally prestigious museums, an eclectic Hessian foodie culture, and an insanely trendy red-light district (how often do you hear that?). Here’s your non-business guide to Frankfurt, Germany.

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Holgate Beach, an actually nice beach on the Jershey Shore

Dana Rebmann

For most, the phrase “Jersey Shore” comes loaded with pop culture-inspired preconceived notions, often followed by eye-rolling jokes. But those in the know, well, know better. Insiders cherish the shore’s wide beaches that sport soft sand, along with the warm summer waves that offer swimmers and surfers the chance to make a splash. And while casinos may have brought Atlantic City fame, there’s fortune to be found at lesser known spots along the shoreline. Here are four beaches that will change the way you think about the Jersey Shore.

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Mission Espada, San Antonio, Texas

Mission Espada/Cynthia J. Drake

Earlier this month, five Spanish missions in San Antonio were collectively designated a new UNESCO World Heritage Site. The great news isn’t altogether surprising; after all, it’s in this Texan city that millions flock to to see the 18th century Alamo. But there are a multitude of ways to experience the city’s heritage, from the other missions to historic hotels.

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Flickr / Kyle Mahan

San Diego has several go-to neighborhoods for food, drink, and fun: Little Italy, Old Town, Del Mar, and La Jolla, to name a few. But, if you want to experience San Diego like a local, add these five neighborhoods to your itinerary. Read more


Kristine Hansen

Last year’s psychological thriller “Gone Girl,” based on the 2012 book by Gillian Flynn, thrust the town of Cape Girardeau, Missouri into the spotlight. Dubbed “the Cape” by locals (and named North Carthage in Flynn’s book), the town of 77,000 lies along the banks of the Mississippi River. Here are the must-do experiences in this small town, including sites from the film.

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Boston Suite1

The Charles Hotel

If you’re craving a weekend escape that’s as cultured as it is cozy, Cambridge, Massachusetts just might be the New England getaway for you. Home to Harvard University and known as Boston’s Left Bank (sitting on the Charles River), the city holds a premium on all things intellectual, cobblestoned, and quaint. And, more likely than not, any visit to this part of town will get you in Harvard Square, the hub of the neighborhood. Here’s your cultural sampler to this little but very rich slice of Cambridge.

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Chicago on the Cheap


Despite the city’s hard-working Midwestern roots, Chi-town’s world class restaurants, museums, and theaters don’t come cheap. But native Chicagoans know where to go to snag a deal and score free stuff. Follow these insider tips on Chicago bargains, and you’ll rarely have to get spendy in the Windy City again.

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steamboat springs pro rodeo series - Visit Colorado

Visit Colorado/Steamboat Pro Rodeo

You may not see cowboys and gunslingers walking the streets of these small American towns, but they embody the true spirit of the Old West. And they’re not all in Texas, either. In no particular order:

1. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
The Yampa Valley, including Steamboat Springs, has a long history of rodeo and working ranches that you can still experience today. For an extended ranch stay, try Elk River Guest Ranch or Vista Verde Guest Ranch. Or, if you only have a few hours, move those “little doggies” along on a morning cattle drive at Saddleback Ranch.

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