Showing posts from 2007

Kiawah Island is a perfect getaway

Check this Kiawah story out on my site's Family page: Kiawah Island

Kauai is a dream

Nicknamed the Garden Isle, Kauai is home to some of the island chain of Hawaii’s most unique scenery. Spectacular flora and fauna fill Kauai’s vistas like no other place on Earth. Where else can you see Nene geese or iiwi birds flying among the Kiawe trees and Taro plants? To top off all that, Kauai has more than 50 miles of pure white sand beaches that beckon visitors to enjoy hours of swimming, snorkeling, surfing, sailing or fishing. It’s no wonder this island mecca has received so many accolades over the years. Resort areas showcase island’s diversity Island fathers have divided up Kauai into five distinct resort areas. Its North Shore, East Side, South Shore, West Side and Lihue and Kalapaki offer recreation, sprawling first-class resorts, shopping and, of course, a variety of dining. If you have limited time on the island, then you might want to spend the majority of it on the North Shore. Here, you’ll find mountains, beaches, waterfalls and an amazing amount of vegetation that

New York's dining options

New York has long been known for its all-American fare, such as Nathan's Famous hot dogs or the Carnegie Deli. These staples of the Big Apple have beckoned folks from all walks of life. But beyond these culinary hallmarks are restaurants that highlight the city's melting pot characteristics. Many neighborhoods showcase Italian, Latin, Asian or healthy fare. Whether you're on vacation or just breezing through on business, you can't go wrong by sampling the variety of foods in New York. Where Rome meets New York Greenwich Village: This is where food trends are created. Restaurateurs aren't afraid to take chances here, and the result is creative, eclectic cuisine that is emulated nationwide. Nowhere is that more evident than on the village's corner of Minetta Lane and Sixth Avenue, where Bellavitae resides. What makes this Italian eatery different from so many others is its effort to import its ingredients, such as olive oils, vinegars and pastas. The restauran

Roswell's little hideaway

When I was recently invited for an evening of tapas, I wasn't exactly thrilled. Even a somewhat svelte guy like me finds tapas to be -- well -- not exactly filling. I think a lot of steak lovers in Atlanta's suburbs agree with me. That explains why great tapas restaurants haven't quite made it here in the "lily white 'burbs." Little Alley in Roswell, Georgia proved me wrong. This cute tapas bar and restaurant tucked away in a shopping center off of Holcomb Bridge Road is easy to miss. "We're working on that with the city. They don't want huge ugly signs all over the road," said Chef Richard Wilt. "We have the faithful locals in the area who support us, but I know we can get more people who pass by." While I agree with Roswell's politicians that ugly neon signs are the last additions that Holcomb Bridge Road needs, too many motorists, including myself, don't realize that Little Alley is something that shouldn't be pass

The ability to make it happen

Cycling, canoeing, horseback riding, rock climbing, swimming and skiing. For years, the disabled, injured and impaired were told that it was impossible to participate in these activities. That way of thinking changed about 11 years ago in Park City, Utah. This was when an anonymous donor provided the funds to help create the National Ability Center. Set on 26 acres of land outside of Park City, the National Ability Center provides sports and recreational opportunities for those with disabilities. Whether it’s a brain injury, ADD, Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida, participants are given the chance to reach their physical potential through the use of adaptive saddles, hand cycles and customized ski equipment. “Society used to cast those with disabilities aside,” says J. Ryan Jensen, the Marketing-Outreach Manager for the National Ability Center. “Here, we make it possible for them to be a part of society.” The National Ability Center -- known as the NAC -- includes a 17,000-square-foot indo

Baton Rouge makes for a classic college football weekend

Top Stories In a news service poll once named Louisiana State University’s Tiger Stadium the most dreaded stadium for visiting teams to play. But a visit to Louisiana State on any weekend the Tiger football team is playing should be anything but feared. The stadium and campus make for a great fall weekend jaunt, and can give some insight into the Southeast’s strong college football culture. Check out this story on Men's Traveler online .

Mississippi Juke Joints

Check out this article on Men's Traveler It contains information on the juke joints in places like Clarksdale, Mississippi where folks like actor Morgan Freeman operate some of these clubs.

South Carolina Barbeque Joints

These days, people call anything cooked on a grill barbecue. But if you want the real deal, plan a trip to South Carolina. From the cities of Charleston and Columbia to the hamlets of Orangeburg and Cheraw, South Carolina’s barbecue joints serve up their own takes on the traditional, smoky meal.... READ THE ENTIRE STORY AT MEN'S TRAVELER IN THE GOOD EATING SECTION

Johns Creek, Georgia

Ever since Johns Creek, Georgia has incorporated, things have been booming in its city limits and nearby areas. This new city located in extreme north Fulton county about 30 minutes north of Atlanta, decided to strike out on its own and the results are spectacular. The Johns Creek area was once a barren outpost that acted as the gateway to the once-controversial county of Forsyth. Check your stereotypes at the door! Johns Creek is a thriving community that is chock full of diversity and growth which was unheard of over 20 years ago. Today, it seems that new shopping plazas, bistros, offices, drugstores and big box stores have been popping up all along Medlock Bridge Road almost every second. The busy corridor plays host to some of northern suburban Atlanta's most notable restaurants including Merlot which is considered to be in the Johns Creek area of Duluth. I recently dropped in on this fine dining establishment after being lured in with a coupon. The atmosphere is elegant and

Kennesaw/Town Center area

We were famished as we headed off to Chattanooga. It was late and we were beyond starved when we hit Kennesaw, Georgia off of I-75. Looking for a decent yet quick meal is a tough task to handle on a Friday night in this area. Your typical Olive Gardens,Chili's and Outbacks are packed -- not that I'm thrilled to go to those places, but desperate times call for desperate measures. After negotiating our way through the crowds, we worked our way to the back of a shopping center on Barrett Parkway. We stumbled upon Kuroshio Sushi Bar and Grille which is open on Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. The challenge came with our child who is not exactly a fan of Japanese fare. The helpful waitress and manager help her find a scrumptious noodle dish. I had the chicken teriyaki. My wife loved the sushi. For the throngs of you out there who go down I-75, get off at Barrett Parkway to find this sushi institution. Kuroshio saved us from the wrath of chain restaurant food for one evening

Marietta Square

I recently visited Marietta, Georgia's Square. It's been years since I visited. After all, I moved away from that side of metropolitan Atlanta in the early 1990s. When I returned I was surprised to see the historic district festooned with shops and restaurants. After strolling through a recent art show, I settled on eating at Blu Greek Taverna . This is Greek cuisine at its best. After dining on a scrumptious grilled veggie kebab or "souvlakia" with mouth-watering rice and an olive-topped yogurt, I ventured to a cute wine shop, the Marietta Wine Market . The owners were smart to keep this place open during the art show because wine lovers like me look for places like this. As I was sipping an affordable glass of red, I was greeted by the shop's dog, Bentley. The cheese isn't too shabby either. After strolling through antique shops and the excellent clothing store, Pendleton, I was impressed.

Golf in the Southeast

It was a pleasure to feature Maggie Valley in my annual Golf in the Southeast feature . The golfing opportunities in the Southeast are plentiful. I highly recommend Maggie Valley. The entire area is affordable, beautiful and easy to navigate.

Cleveland Rocks

My Cleveland feature is available at Cleveland Rocks . The trip was tremendous. Nothing beats getting away from the hot Georgia sun. The weather was perfect as well as the many restaurants that we visited including Solon's Imperial Wok and University Heights' Jack's Deli.

Beaches of South Walton, Florida

I haven't been to the Beaches of South Walton in months, and what a difference a couple of months makes. The staggering growth that communities such as Seaside in Florida experienced 20 years ago is now happening in places like the Watersound community, Seacrest Beach, Inlet Beach and Rosemary Beach. Even though they have been around for some time, it seems that these beach communities have been dropped onto the Florida Panhandle map overnight. On most of my visits to the beaches, I would stay in Santa Rosa or the still-growing Watercolor development. Most of my time was spent strolling through nearby cute shops and the fine grocery store in Seaside, which was the picturesque setting for the Jim Carrey film "The Truman Show." This time, I devoted the bulk of my visit to Rosemary Beach, which I believe is the brand-spanking-new sibling to Seaside. About 10 miles to the east of its older "sister," Rosemary Beach is, at the moment, peaceful and attractive. Built

Two Carolina golf resorts are worth the trip

While you might not match Tiger Woods' prowess with the golf clubs, you can certainly dream. Two Southeast golfing spots may help you reach that elusive goal of becoming a golf pro. The Kiawah Island Golf Resort on the coast of South Carolina and the Maggie Valley Club in the mountains of North Carolina are premier courses that are worth a road trip. An island golf getaway Perhaps the next big star in the golf course world will be the Ocean Course at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort on Kiawah Island in South Carolina. Both the 2007 Senior PGA Championship and the 2012 PGA Championship will be held there. This course, which opened in 1991, was designed by famed golf architect Pete Dye. The course offers excellent golfing accompanied by a panoramic view of the Atlantic. Kiawah Island is located just 45 minutes outside of Charleston. In addition to the Ocean Course, the Kiawah Island Golf Resort is home to four other notable golf courses. The Turtle Point, Osprey Point, Oak Point and

Just outside the city, Westchester County offers history, arts

Visiting the Big Apple is exciting. Sometimes, a bit too exciting. If you get stressed out just planning a New York City trip, pencil in a little time for a visit to nearby Westchester County to get away from the crowds. Located about 30 minutes outside the city, Westchester offers a lesson in history, art and culture, all without feeling too remote. Whether you’re driving in from New York City or flying directly to the area, Westchester County is easily accessible. A tour of the county’s historical sites is the perfect introduction to this bucolic area, dubbed the “gateway to the Hudson River Valley.” Not your run-of-the-mill manors The best place to start is in the Village of Sleepy Hollow. That’s where Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate, stands. Home to four generations of this legendary family, Kykuit is a six-story stone house that has been maintained for more than 100 years by the National Trust. Tours — which include rooms, art galleries and even the family’s automobile collectio

Welcome to the Valley

The steep road leading into the mountains was packed with leather-clad Harley Davidson bikers, retirees in their Lincoln Town Cars, 30-somethings in their family SUVs and me in my economy-sized car. Our common mission was to climb this terrain into Maggie Valley, N.C. I'm not certain what my fellow roadsters' agendas were, but mine was clear: I needed to get away from suburbia's rat race. Aside from the escape factor, I also came here for budgetary reasons. High gas prices had put a dent in my travel plans. As the Budget Director in the house, I came up with the idea of a trip to the Smoky Mountains-area town, an easy, three-hour drive. My wife and daughter were skeptical at first. After some convincing, both admitted that they are fans of places like Maggie Valley, with magnificent scenery, great restaurants, unlimited shopping and a wide selection of lodging options. Golf club lodgingOne of the places that stands out among the pack of hotels and motels in the area is

Electric Youth-article about Florida museums

Instead of hitting the beach, take the kids to some great museums while visiting Florida. Check out this Florida article at Men's Traveler

Chicago has magnificent neighborhoods

There’s more to Chicago than the Sears Tower and Navy Pier. Next time you pay a visit to this Midwestern metropolis, check out some of the city’s diverse neighborhoods. Whether you decide to explore on your own or with a tour guide, the city’s historic districts, parks, zoos and museums are a great way to experience the Windy City’s sense of community. Check it out on Men's Traveler online .

Western N.C. inns range from posh to rustic

As my family and I began our trip to the mountains of North Carolina, I found myself haunted by flashbacks of sixth-grade summer camp. I’ll admit it: Even though I’ve been on several fun camping trips over the years, the prospect of the whole “rustic thing” left me less thrilled. “I think I should turn this car around,” I joked, as we headed toward the High Hampton Inn in Cashiers, N.C. My friend Bruce Hensley, who handles public relations for the inn, had been urging me to check out the place for a while. When I finally took him up on his offer, everyone in my family assured me the trip would give me a chance to “find myself.” And I did. My family’s time in Cashiers offered me and my family an escape from electronic gadgets, from malls, from traffic. It gave us time to bond. The beauty of the region and the peace it affords its visitors really is good for the soul. A summer retreat for everyone The three-hour drive from here to Cashiers (pronounced: Cash-ers) is an easy one, but the h

The outdoors is callling in Arkansas

This Arkansas article is up and running at Men's Traveler I had a blast in Little Rock during my visit in June 2008.

Island Fun

The ferry churned its way through the calm waters off the South Carolina coast. Bright warmth from the sun beamed down upon me as the breeze and mist kicked up from the vessel's sides. To my right, I noticed an osprey's nest in an unusual place - a high -powered utility grid. This is the experience of the ferry that carries you to Daufuskie Island, a tiny hamlet off Hilton Head. This once -secluded island that felt cut off from the world is now at a crossroads. As the splendid Daufuskie Island Resort expands physically and financially under the palmettos, residents hold on to its unique past even in the midst of all this growth. No one feels this more than Sylvia Wampler, who has been running Southern Shirtique for years in the backwoods of Daufuskie. Her T -shirt and gift shop is accessible only by a golf cart equipped with rugged tires, which the island's resort loaned me. "It is definitely changing around here," she said. "Just looking around here, you

Take time out for Virginia’s Shenandoah region

About 30 years ago my family made a classic 1970s trek to Washington, D.C. Even though the sights and sounds of D.C. left an impression on me, it was the trip through Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley that introduced me to the region’s natural beauty. Dressed in our blue “Virginia Is For Lovers” T-shirts (which I kept for several years after), we rolled down the windows of our spacious Oldsmobile to take in the scenery. Click here for the full story.

A whole new world

Disney World and Orlando go hand-in-hand - not that there's anything wrong with that. Those in Orlando are proud to be associated with the trademark mouse ears. After all, it's what put this Central Florida town on the map. As Disney catapulted Orlando onto the world stage, business and government pooled their resources to build up the community. As a result, Orlando offers unique attractions outside Disney's borders. Colors are on display at the Leu Gardens Outdoor beauty and grace: that's what describes the Harry P. Leu Gardens. Lush landscaping set in a tranquil atmosphere literally takes you away from the dizzying pace of Orlando's beloved theme park. Easily accessible from Interstate 4, Leu Gardens is Orlando's embassy in a sea of city madness. "If you are looking to get away from the crowds, catch your breath and see the real Orlando, then come to the gardens," said Robert Bowden, executive director of the gardens. "We have the largest rose

Visit to Asheville, N.C., an enriching experience

I was about to order a latte at a bookstore when the clerk informed me: "I'm sorry, but the coffee bar will be down. We can't run the machines while the program is on." Turns out, a lecture was about to begin at the bookstore, so the clerk silenced the whirring espresso machine out of courtesy. I noticed a collection of patrons sitting in fold-out chairs at tables with their fresh coffee and desserts. The lights in the cafe section of the bookstore went down, and the crowd was greeted by an English literature professor who was there to talk about his latest book of poetry. This is not your ordinary Borders. This is Malaprop's bookstore in downtown Asheville, N.C. Upon learning that I was to have a latte-less evening, one of the professor's assistants came over and handed me a glass of merlot. I have to say, nothing compares to an evening filled with intellectual stimulation and fine wine. "Only in Asheville," I told my wife. After that evening at Mal

Florida's lighthouses

Take a trip on any part of Florida's 1,800 miles of coastline, and you're bound to find a lighthouse. See the full article on Men's Traveler

Kentucky offers balance

The northwest corner of Kentucky is a true gem. Composed of Covington, Newport and several communities in between, this cozy, revitalized section of the state gives Cincinnati, its sister city across the Ohio River, a run for its money. It's no wonder this part of Northern Kentucky has been dubbed "The Southern Cincinnati." Like so many cities across America, Covington and Newport have spruced up their core downtowns. Museums, restaurants, lodging and green space mixed with a plethora of recreation and entertainment options pumped life back into these once-lackluster towns. Longtime residents love Northern Kentucky because it provides a balance between modern civilization and Southern tranquility. "It's right across the river from Cincinnati," said Anna Langlinais, a TV producer and Northern Kentucky native. "So you still have access to a big city, but you have a small-town feel and the beauty of Kentucky."If you plan on visiting the area, it shoul

Mexico Beach, Florida

Several times a year, I make the trek to visit family at the Beaches of South Walton in Florida’s northwest corner. Every time, I’m amazed by how many shops, restaurants, golf courses and resorts have sprung from every crevice in this valuable, sun-drenched area. Check out my Mexico Beach article at Men's Traveler: Mexico Beach

Gatlinburg offers a balance of attractions, nature

In the Smoky Mountains, the Gatlinburg area proves that culture and nature are able to coexist. Gatlinburg, a city carved into this gorgeous yet rugged terrain, attracts a range of tourists, vacationers and honeymooners. Here, you really can have the best of both worlds. An array of shopping, dining and lodging combined with outdoor activities makes Gatlinburg a top-notch summer destination for virtually anyone. Getting there, getting around Driving to Gatlinburg takes about four hours, but the awesome views along the way make up for the drive. "Scenic Highway 73 through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the way to Gatlinburg is a pretty drive at any time of the year," said veteran Gatlinburg visitor and photographer L.A. Jackson. Once you've taken in the beauty of the Smokies, be prepared for the hustle and bustle of downtown Gatlinburg. "The first thing you notice on 73 coming out of the pristine beauty of the national park is the crowds of people walking

Whirlwind trip hits Rome, Florence, Venice in a week

As a kid growing up in the Midwest, I loved to go to Italian markets to sample their offerings. The various salamis and pastas soon became my comfort food.I yearned to experience this food again, but I wanted to go to the source: Italy. Aside from the food, I wanted experience the country’s art and architecture.For someone who hasn’t been to Europe in years and is content with traveling the Southeast, the trip was a big undertaking. Months of planning, budgeting and learning the language became the scene in our house.We made our decision: We were to visit Rome, Florence and Venice in a one-week period. I dubbed this whirlwind tour The Italian Sampler. Romantic Rome After a nine-hour flight, we were greeted by Rome’s golden sun peeking at us through the darkness. It was a sight for sore eyes. Even though we didn’t sleep a wink, we were ready to tour Rome when we arrived at Fiumicino Airport.There is no need to rent a car in here. Simply find your way to the local train, which whisks y