Posts Tagged ‘walk’

Newport, a yachting capital and a coastal crown

Newport, a yachting capital and a coastal crown

Once the quintessential playground of American aristocracy, Newport remains as the coastal crown of New England, famous for its opulent mansions, elegant shops, great restaurants and for being the yachting capital of the world by hosting the America’s Cup for decades.

These are the best places and my recommendations for a two day visit:

  • Newport Mansions: The leading architects of the 19th and early 20th centuries built exhuberant mansions for families such as Vanderbilt and Astor. Many of these properties have been preserved by The Preservation Society of Newport County and are open to the public. This is a perfect occasion to explore 250 years of American history and to enjoy amazing cottages that in the rest of the world are absolutely inaccesible behind big walls. Unless you want to visit all the properties, my recommendation is to buy “The Breakers Plus” ticket that gives you access to the property of your choice (the most populars are The Elms, Marble House, Rough Point and Rosecliff), aswell as The Breakers, the magnificent 70 room Italian Renaissance- style palazzo that is definitely worth a visit. Besides this, I would just suggest you to (better) walk, ride (rent a bike for 35$/day here) or drive down Bellevue Avenue were you will enjoy not only the mansions open to the public but also many more private properties whith beautiful gardens that can be seen directly from the street.
  • Scenic Ocean Drive: starting at the end of Bellevue Av. and finishing in Newport harbor waterfront, this 10 miles roadway offer spectacular wide-open views of the Atlantic Ocean and astonishing million dollar mansions. Along the way, you can park and walk along its rocky shoreline. I recommend stopping for a drink at the peaceful and quiet Relais Chateaux Castle Inn Hill to enjoy magnificent views of the bay. Once you are there, take a walk to Castle Hill Lighthouse to enjoy the best sunset in Newport. Further down the Ocean Drive, make a stop at Breton Point (also a good place to watch the sunset) or walk down the different public beaches (Reject Beach, Gooseberry Beach…).
  • Cliff walk: A scenic 3.5 mile public access walkway that borders the shore line and back lawn that allow you to enjoy the gardens and facades of marvellous cottages, among which you will find the famous “The Breakers”. Definitely a top attraction in Newport. You can easily park along Narragansett St. by the entrance to the 40 Steps that take you to the walk.
  • The wharfs: the two more popular wharfs are Bannister or Bowens Wharf, were you’ll find nice shops and good restaurants. I recommend the entertaining Clarke Cooke (with live bands and good night live), the familiar The Mooring (great lobster) and the unpretencious and creative Tallulah on Thames. Ten minute walk north you will find, depending on the season, the best yachts and sailing boats at Newport Shipyard. If you like to sail, take a tour along the bay in the 80 feet Adirondack II Schooner. I’ve been told that it offers a comfortable, safe and high-performance sailing experience.


View Best places in Newport – Rhode Island in a bigger map

If you plan to visit Newport, I’d suggest to read my article about Boston, placed just an hour drive from Newport.

Finally, I want to thank my friend, and amazing traveller, Jorge M.C. for all of the great tips that he gave me. Thanks Jorge!!! ­čÖé
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To learn more about the best places in New England, please read Best Places in Boston and Cape Cod, wild beaches and charming lighthouses.

Best places to visit in Sydney

Sydney Zoo. Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tjt195/105783812/

Best places to visit in Sydney

This is my third and last article about Sydney. Previously I wrote about the best bars in Sydney and the best restaurants in Sydney.

Sydney impressed me when I first saw it. Somehow, I had the feeling I was in many cities at the same time. Barcelona, San Francisco, Los Angeles, … It is the perfect city: amazing beaches, great sightseeings, good weather, healthy and cosmopolitan lifestyle, intense nightlife, … what else can you ask for!! I have been to many great places but, again, my good friends Luc├şa, Gonzalo and Sue helped me to complete this list of the best things to do when you visit Sydney:

  • Sydney Opera House: A top class opera house that offer multiple options such as “The Playhouse“, a cheaper ($30 a show) and more intimate option to enjoy great music.
  • Spit Bridge to Manly walk: long walk but worth it, with many secluded beaches along the way.
  • Bondi to Coogee Walk: walk along the cliffs with a view to the Pacific. You can spot the migrating whales in October/November.
  • Farmers’ Markets at the Carriageworks: Amazing selection of fresh food, cheeses, etc. A traditional weekly undercover farmers’ market in the renovated market space at Eveleigh Railyards.
  • Balmain: great neighborhood to walk around. 10 min from the city. Old docks still there, loads of cafes and restaurants and pubs. A “real” experience of a Sydney neighborhood.
  • For booklovers: the best second-hand bookshops are in Glebe, along Glebe Point Road.
  • The Rocks: the oldest part of Sydney, just in the City center, near Circular Quay. Many boutique shops, bars and restaurants, design hotels and art and photography galleries. Every weekend there are artisanal markets, gastronomy fairs, street concertsÔÇŽ
  • Swimming pool at Victoria’s Park: it is possible to enjoy a bath a sunbathing just in the city center. In Victoria’s park, there is a big public outdoor pool with fitness centre, to which you can have access for only $2.
  • Surry Hills: in the south-east of Sydney. A bohemian suburb in which you can find small coffee shops and organic restaurants, new designers retail shops, and curious book shops or furniture stores.
  • Picnic at Botanical Gardens: an habitual plan among Aussie people. A huge park surrounding Circular Quay and the Opera House, where you can enjoy a picnic with the typical ÔÇťsushi rollsÔÇŁ, imported from the many Asian inhabitants living in Sydney.
  • Captain Cook Harbour Cruise: see some of the harbourÔÇÖs most spectacular sights
  • Taronga Zoo: perfect plan for kids. One of the major tourist attractions in Sydney. Great place to see Australian wildlife and enjoy great views of the city.
  • Visit to Watsons Bay: taking the ferry from Circular quay, you will arrive to Watsons bay where you can find the most beautiful bays and coves from which you will admire awesome views of the Opera House and Sydney. One of the best beaches is the nudist Lady beach.

Your opinion about this list of the best places in Sydney

Is there a place that should definitely be listed in this post? Have you got any suggestion to improve this blog? If so, please place a comment

Update:
Nathan posted an interesting comment were he suggests visiting “The Rocks“. Thank you Nathan!

Ksar Massa, a paradise of peace and serenity

Ksar Massa's beach. Photo: Pedro Sag├╝├ęs

Ksar Massa, a paradise of peace and serenity

In 2006 I was invited to a wedding in Morocco. We stayed for four nights in a paradise called “Ksar Massa“, in the heart of the National Park Souss Massa, forty kilometers south of Agadir (Morocco). The hotel has a sandy beach of nearly 7 km that is a paradise for walkers, bird watchers and surfers.

My experience at the hotel was great: the service, the food, the rooms (they all look different to each other)… but before organizing your trip, take a look a Trip Advisor’s reviews. Many people say it offers a low value for money and a disappointing experience. Some of my friends repeat year after year. They simply love the place. The hotel has an average price of 180$/night. Don’t expect it to be as luxurious as a “Four Seasons”. It has nothing to do with that. Ksar Massa is an attractive place full of peace and serenity, in the middle of the nature and with an amazing beach just for yourself.

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Photo credits:┬áPedro Sag├╝├ęs. I am not very proud of these pictures. I think they were taken with a mobile phone… ­čÖé