Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

A New Minneapolis Hotel + A Giveaway

I love saving money on travel, but what I don’t love is scouring the internet for hours to find the best deals. I just became a member of a rewards program that offers Members Only Rate Exclusive (MORE) – 10% off the best available price on hotel rooms within the brand. Which means saving more without scouring, thank goodness. Make sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win 30,000 rewards points of your own!

Club Carlson Perks

This program was ranked one of the top three hotel rewards programs by by U.S. News and World Reports for 2015-2016. One of the reasons is the program’s flexibility. You can use points not only for free hotel stays, but for other travel costs like TSA Pre-Check application fees, airline miles and more.

Radisson Red Opening in Downtown Minneapolis

I’m also excited to share that one of the Carlson hotel brands is opening a new hotel in downtown Minneapolis December 2016. It’s kiddie corner to the Old Spaghetti Factory which was a total staple of my college life, but I’m way more excited to check out the Radisson’s onsite kitchen + bar serving fresh, locally sourced, sustainable food inspired by global street fare. I like the trend of more hotels sourcing food from local farmers.

minneapolis travel itineraryI have some other suggestions for a Minneapolis travel itinerary. This hotel is steps away from the Guthrie Theater, Mill City Museum, and Gold Medal Park which are all right along the river and within walking distance to my favorite destination, the Stone Arch bridge (pictured above). So it’s going to be ideal for Twin Cities vacationers, but it’s also just a short cab ride or from the convention center and the University of Minnesota (pictured below). And if you’re wondering, yes, the hotel is pet friendly!university-of-minnesota-the-pink-paperdoll-blogGiveaway!

Congratulations giveaway winner Tracie Cooper, I hope you enjoy your 30,000 rewards points on a getaway somewhere you’ll love!

What to Wear & Do in San Francisco

What to wear in San FranciscoI was inspired to share this look today for a couple of reasons. First is that it’s the time of year I need to remember how to dress for fall. Like, I’ve actually forgotten. Please send help and something pumpkin spice flavored to jog my memory. Second is that today is Felt Hat day! I’ve been getting a lot of cross-seasonal use out of this felt hat that I first featured as part of a snowy winter ensemble.

Whenever I travel somewhere new, I always make note of what the locals are wearing and what I’m comfortable wearing in that city. If I make a return trip, I feel way more prepared with what to pack. Here is what I personally recommend for what to wear in San Francisco.

What to wear in San FranciscoWhat to Wear in San Francisco

Downtown is almost always windy and chilly, so I like a lightweight scarf and a hat.

A leather jacket is pretty perfect because it provides the right amount of wind protection and style.

Flat shoes or short boots are a must have. Promise me you won’t even try to wear heels, unless you bring a backup pair in your bag.

The perfect accessory for this outfit was a gold bar necklace courtesy of A-List Greek. The company specializes in sorority lettered jewelry. They can also custom stamp your initials, roman numerals of your anniversary, or map coordinates. Mine has my initials on it. The modern and minimal design just felt right with the black outfit. I’ve since experimented by layering it with other necklaces too which also works really well!

What to wear in San FranciscoCompared to other cities, I describe San Francisco as fashionable yet casual. Wear what you want and make being comfortable a priority, because you won’t enjoy the pretty views of the Bay if you’re cold!

 

My two favorite places to visit in San Francisco

The places to see in San Francisco are endless, but there are two favorites of mine that I have to share. The Palace of Fine Arts is a must see — read the post here. 

My other favorite is Alamo Square, best known for the iconic Victorians known as the painted ladies. It’s probably one of the most Instagrammable views in the city too. My most popular Instagram photo ever was taken in Alamo Square.

There’s a big park on the hill with amazing views of the city. It’s a peaceful oasis in the midst of the business. Dog lovers will enjoy Alamo Square, because it’s a popular spot to bring dogs — there’s even an unfenced section of the park where they’re allowed to run off leash. So if you’re looking for a downtown San Francisco dog park, this is one dog friendly spot I recommend!

What are your tips for things to do and what to wear in San Francisco?

For more travel explorations, check out where to shop in San Francisco and where to find the best desserts in San Francisco.

Twin Cities Vacation Tips & a Giveaway

Twin CitiesSo you’re going to plan a Twin Cities vacation. As a local, I’m divulging my best tips for your stay. And there’s even a really exciting giveaway involved with Country Inn & Suites. Are you in?

Where to Stay

twin cities vacationThe post sponsor’s Minneapolis West location in Plymouth which is nicely situated just west of Minneapolis. It’s a quick drive downtown, but it’s also even closer to the beautiful Lake Minnetonka, which picturesque in any season but especially summer. You might end up spending some quality time in the hotel though since it has an outdoor fireplace patio, indoor pool and other amenities.

Things to Do

The Lake Minnetonka area has been a premiere tourist destination since the 1800s. See downtown Wayzata’s Lake Street for shopping, ice cream, boat tours and stand up paddle board rentals.

In Minneapolis, you have to check out the Stonearch Bridge, St. Anthony Main and Boom Island Park–three of my absolute favorite places.

Where to Eat

twin cities vacationMy favorite hotel amenity? Free breakfast! It’s such a time saver while traveling, leaving more precious time for sightseeing. Keep reading to see a photo of the Country Inn & Suites breakfast room, it’ll make you hungry for waffles.

If you eat breakfast at the hotel, you’ll only need to find lunch and dinner. My out of town guests have enjoyed Brasa in Minneapolis and St. Paul and Hell’s Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis. For a sweet treat during your Twin Cities vacation, check out Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe in Hopkins.

Hotel Stay Giveaway

This might be my biggest giveaway yet! In partnership with Country Inn & Suites, I’m giving away a 2-night hotel stay at any Country Inn & Suites location. To enter, just follow these steps:

      1. Visit Country Inn & Suites to find a location you’d love to visit.
      2. Comment below which location you might choose to stay at if you win!

Ends 8/1/2016

twin cities vacationIf you love to travel, check out my guides for San Francisco and the Oregon coast.

Where to Shop in San Francisco

Where to Shop San FranciscoOne of my favorite things to do when I’m visiting another city is stroll down streets looking for little places that can’t be found anywhere else. I’ll share my favorite hidden gems with you in my Where to Shop guides, so you can save some time searching for them. My Where to Shop San Francisco guide features a men’s haberdashery, an eclectic vintage shop, and more.

Best Un-Touristy Souvenirs

Jackson Polk

Head to a very touristy place, Ghiradelli Square, to get some delightfully un-touristy souvenirs. First let me clarify that I actually enjoy kitschy tourist shops. I collected spoons for a good decade of my childhood, so that should tell you how comfortable I am with cliche souvenirs. However, once you’ve seen one cable car pencil sharpener and Alcatraz handcuff key chain you’ve seen them all. At Ghiradelli Square’s Jackson & Polk you’ll find a modern, design-conscious take on Golden State souvenirs made by local artists. Pick up a Golden Gate Bridge embroidery kit, a San Francisco art print, or a dainty California state pendant.

Best Vintage Shop

Best Vintage Shop in San Francisco

Open by appointment only, Torso has unique items that have been carefully curated and displayed. The prices range up to $5000, so be sure to share your budget with the staff upon arrival. Most things are on the high end of pricing, since the store specializes in well-preserved designer items. Vintage hats, purses, beaded gowns and jewelry adorn the top floor. The lower level is home to day wear and more affordable pieces. Prices are unmarked, which is a practice I disagree with. There are easier-to-shop and more affordable places in the city, but the range of merchandise here is definitely worth a look if you’re nearby.

Best Men’s Apparel

Where to shop San Francisco

If you’re a fan of men’s fine clothing, stop in Cable Car Clothiers just to check out the way they merchandise their rainbow of silk ties, cuff links, and pocket squares. A barber shop is nestled into the front of the high end men’s clothing store. The rest of the place is practically a museum dedicated to the golden age of San Francisco men’s fashion. With the vintage decorations and attention to detail, you almost expect a 1950s businessman to walk in the front door. He’d certainly be right at home here.

Do you have a favorite shopping destination in the Bay Area? I’d love to hear from you!

Where to shop in san francisco

Traveling the Oregon Coast

The Oregon CoastWhen my parents and I go to Oregon to visit my niece, we always try to make it to the coast! Highway 101 runs all the way down the Oregon coastline, and practically anywhere along that route is full of scenic stops.

Traveling the Oregon Coast What I’m wearing in this photo is totally misleading. It gets so cold! When the sun is out and isn’t windy, it’s really nice and you can wear an outfit like this. But when the fog rolls in and the breeze kicks up, you’ll be pulling on every piece of clothing you brought with you (and that is no exaggeration!). It’s a wet, windy cold, so pack your fleece and long pants!

Pacific Northwest CoastSo you may be wondering, why would anyone vacation in this miserable cold? Well, It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. It has a wild, rugged beauty that can’t be described adequately–you have to see it for yourself.

Oregon Coastal townsGet ready for some shopping, or at least window shopping! Little tourist towns along the coast are full of quaint charm, sandy boardwalks and plenty of places to shop. The windy beaches are perfect for flying kites, and you’ll find entire stores dedicated to selling kites in some popular coastal towns. Food is plentiful, and if you’re a chowder fan you won’t go hungry!

If you go, keep a watchful eye for wildlife. I saw my first whales and sea lions at Yaquina Head.

Shop this look: Blouse (similar), Skirt (grab this one on end-of-season super clearance!)

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