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101 Things to See & Do for $10 & Under in the Kenosha, WI Area – Part 4 of 4

I’d rather pay for experiences than hoard a “rich deposit” of materialistic goods that will sit around most of the time collecting dust.  Yes, I need and want basic items to satisfy my likes, values, desires, habits and hobbies, but after a while a lot of possessions will start to control ones mind.  I’m wealthy but not rich.  Being wealthy is more rewarding and satisfying.

When Meridith Jumisko compiled the list of 101 Things to See & Do for $10 & Under in the Kenosha, WI Area for the Kenosha Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website, I had to share.  There is a wealth of knowledge one will gain by experiencing these attractions and events that will not break the bank.  Shed the rich man mindset to become truly wealthy.

76. Create art in the Clay Studio at Lemon Street Gallery! Clay costs $3 per pound

77. Also see incredible art at Re:Vision Gallery, Pollard Gallery, Anderson Arts Center,Kenosha Art Association,Carthage College, and UW-Parkside! FREE

78. Enjoy a scenic bike ride on the Pike Bike Trail or the Kenosha County Bike Trail.FREE

Even the dogs enjoy the Kenosha Harbor Market. Photo by The Walking Traveler

79. Mikey’s features a new menu with gourmet Hot Dogs, create-your-own pizza, and more! Prices vary

80. Find your favorite childhood video game and try it out at Inner Child Comics & Collectibles. Many under $10 /FREE to try

81. Exhibitors bring samples, brochures, giveaways, and smiles to the I-94 Visitor Information Center for First Fridays.FREE

82. Pick up a homemade Bloody Mary mix or lemonade mix at Elsie Mae’s Canning & Pies, who offer more than pies and jams! $6.50/$8.50

83. Hike 4.2 miles of trails at KD Park. FREE

84. Checkmate! Play chess or checkers at the chess tables in Fox River Park; bring your own pieces. FREE

85. Take time to enjoy the distinctive wall murals, unique hand-painted storefront signs, and amazing historic architecture in Downtown Kenosha! FREE

86. Visit Abe! Library Park is home to an Abraham Lincoln statue, as well as the Kenosha County Soldiers’ Monument “Winged Victory”. FREE

87. Take a selfie by the red 1906 Pierhead Lighthouse.FREE

88. A slice of Kenosha nightlife can be found at Fusion, a Downtown performing arts venue. Some events FREE

89. At Scoops Ice Cream, ask for the Badger Brownie: two scoops of ice cream on a warm chocolate chunk brownie, with many toppings! $5.75

90. Aspiring young paleontologists will dig this: Dino Digs are held most Saturday andSunday afternoons at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum. FREE

91. Bring the kids to the Field Station inside the Kenosha Public Museum, where they can explore the arts and sciences in this popular hands-on activity area. FREE

92. Labor Day weekend includes Cheese-A-Palooza (Sept 3-4), the Downtown Kenosha Classic Cruise-In Car Show (Sept 3), and the 14th Annual Car Show To Benefit Our Wounded Warriors (Sept 4). FREE for spectators

93. All ages enjoy getting artsy at Alpaca Art Pottery Painting. $7 studio fee plus the cost of your pottery ($3+)

Street Festivals are better when live music hits the air. Photo by The Walking Traveler

94. At NovelTea Bookstore, you can purchase 2 oz. packaged loose leaf tea in a variety of flavors. Most under $10; average price $7

95. Meet internationally-known cartoonists during the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning,Sept 15-17. FREE

96. Enjoy a picnic at Wolfenbuttel Park, next to Lake Michigan. FREE

97. Electric Streetcars are celebrated during Kenosha Streetcar Day on Sept 17!  $1 & under fare

98. You can’t go to Brat Stop without having the Famous Charcoal Grill Original Bratwurst served with chips! $6.99

99. You’ll find the Lilli Soapworks product line at A Summer’s Garden Florist. These soaps are handmade in Kenosha with shea butter. $5.50

100. Enjoy a delicious made-from-scratch soup in the outdoor Garden of Eatin’ at The Coffee Pot. $2-4

101. The famous “backroom” offers amazing savings at the Jockey Factory Store in Downtown Kenosha. Get a $10 off coupon in the FREE 2016 Kenosha Area Visitors Guide

Thank you again Meridith for your help over the past couple of years.

101 Things to See & Do for $10 & Under in the Kenosha, WI Area – Part 3 of 4

There are four historic districts for travelers and locals to tour in Kenosha, WI.  On these tours everyone will see landmarks, famous buildings and historic homes that provide insight into Kenosha’s rich history and culture.  More information about these four historic districts is found on the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website. These Kenosha Historic District Tours are #29 on 101 Things to See & Do for $10 & Under in the Kenosha, WI Area.

51. Try one of 16 different varieties of Panini sandwiches at the iconic Tenuta’s Delicatessen, grilled in-house and served up at the outdoor grill. $5.99

52. Swim in Lake Andrea, or build a sand castle on the beach. $4-7 daily pass

53. The Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade is July 3, with the Celebrate America festival featuring Independence Day Fireworks, July 3-4. FREE

Kenosha Lakefront. Photo by The Walking Traveler
Kenosha Lakefront. Photo by The Walking Traveler

54.  Add to your fun at Bristol Woods Park! At the on-site Pringle Nature Center, rent a GPS unit to locate Geocaches – or rent a family-friendly Explorer Backpack. $5 each rental, park admission FREE

55. 90 years ago, six horses pulled Franks Diner to Kenosha. Celebrate with the renowned Garbage Plate! $9.95+

56. Relax and watch the sun rise over Lake Michigan. FREE

57. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Simmons Library – built in 1900 – every Second Saturday at 2:30 p.m. FREE

58. Come hungry! Taste of Wisconsin™ is July 29-31. FREE admission

59. The Colonial through Western Fur Trade era of the 1650s through 1850s will come alive at Pike River Rendezvous, Aug 6-7. FREE

60. Jerry Smith Produce & Pumpkin Farm’s popular Sweet Corn Festival has expanded to two days: Aug 13-14.FREE admission

61. Uncover local shipwreck facts and more at the Southport Light Station Museum. FREE

62. Load up the car with skateboards, scooters, roller blades, and bikes and head to Anderson Park’s 11,000 square foot concrete skatepark. FREE

63. Sit back and enjoy the scenery as you take the METRA train from Chicago to Kenosha. Unlimited ride $8 weekend pass

64. More than a popcorn and ice cream shop, Sandy’s Popper also offers cotton candy, nostalgic candies, and more! Nostalgic candies start around 10¢

65. Each month, enjoy Second Saturdays with sales, live entertainment and family activities in Downtown Kenosha. Many FREE activities

66. Enjoy the beach and great swimming at Old Settlers Park. $5 per vehicle Memorial Day – Labor Day on weekends only, otherwise FREE

Kenosha Harbor Market. Photo by The Walking Traveler
Kenosha Harbor Market. Photo by The Walking Traveler

67. Go “Back To The 20s” at the Kenosha History Center’sautomobile exhibit. FREE

68. Cool down with a treat at Culver’s Pleasant Prairie, while playing the large outdoor chess game (ask for the pieces at the counter). Treat prices vary; FREE to play chess

69. Make your own customized bracelet or necklace at Peacetree Originals. $5 & up

70. Cool off at the indoor RecPlex Ice Arena. Temperature on the ice is 40 to 45 degrees. $6.50 & under to skate / $3 skate rental

71. Modern Apothecary is a locally owned pharmacy that offers natural products and gifts, including a variety of essential oils. $8.44+ for essential oils

72. As you sip a cool beverage on the deck of Harborside Common Grounds, watch Kenosha Community Sailing Center lessons taking place in the harbor. Prices vary

73. You’ll find entertainment for all ages at the Kenosha County Fair, Aug 17-21! $9 & under

74. The Kansas City Barbecue Society BBQ Competition and more take place at Grill Games, Aug 26-27. FREE for spectators

75. Let the kids cool off with a visit to HarborPark’s splash pad area. FREE

There are differences between being a tourist and being a traveler.  Read my article “Oh Those Unhappy Tourists” before heading to Kenosha or anywhere else in the world.  Don’t be a tourist, be a traveler.

101 Things to See & Do for $10 & Under in the Kenosha, WI Area – Part 2 of 4

The sun is shining on this early Sunday morning here in Kenosha.  The air is chilly but the temperature is going to rise into the low 60’s…we’ll see.  A walk will be in order this afternoon.  Yesterday we had on and off snow and sun with temps in the 30’s.  Typical Midwest weather in April.  With the sun shining down upon this town, I’m going to jump right in and share part 2 of 101 Things To See And Do for $10 & Under in Kenosha, WI.  Thank you to the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for your continued cooperation.

Fountain outside the Kenosha Public Museum.
Fountain outside the Kenosha Public Museum.

26. At Mike’s Donuts & Chicken, enjoy oversized donuts with wild and unique toppings and fillings! $1-3

27. The get bEHIND the aRTS Studio Tour takes place April 24 in Kenosha. $5 suggested donation

28. Travel back to yesteryear aboard one of Kenosha’s seven authentic Electric Streetcars! $1 & under

29. Walk, bike, or drive through Kenosha’s four historic districts. FREE

30. Stroll through the Kenosha Sculpture Walk, which runs along the harbor and features nearly a dozen inspiring works of art. FREE

31. Gather your friends and enjoy Kenosha Craft Beer Week at PUBLIC Craft Brewing Co. and more businesses, May 16-22. Prices vary

32. Golf nine holes for a deal after 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday and after 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday atPetrifying Springs Golf Course and Brighton Dale Links. $10

33. Between May and September, Bristol 45 Diner hosts a car show on the first, third, and fifth Monday evenings of the month. FREE

34. Hold on to your kite! It’s the Outta Sight Kite Flight, June 4-5. FREE

35. Admission is free to Richard Bong State Recreation Area on June 5 for the Family Nature Faire. FREE

36. Enjoy free cheese samples, along with free photo ops (i.e. giant outdoor sign, Isabella the 60-year-old cow, the giant mouse) at Mars’ Cheese Castle. FREE

37. Go Fish! For Free! No fishing licenses are needed June 4-5 in Wisconsin during Summer Free Fishing Weekend!FREE 

The Kenosha Electric Streetcar takes visitors on a tour through dwontown Kenosha.
The Kenosha Electric Streetcar takes visitors on a tour through downtown Kenosha.

38. Splish! Splash! Fly down the 200-foot long water slide at Washington Park Pool or Anderson Park Pool. $5 & under

39. Pretend it’s the 1950s as car hops serve you at Big Star Drive-In and The Spot Drive-In! Prices vary

40. Outdoor Music At The Lake I: Enjoy the Kenosha Pops on Wednesday evenings at the Sesquicentennial Bandshell, mid-June to early August. FREE

41. Outdoor Music At The Lake II: Experience the Twilight Jazz Concert Series on the lawn of Anderson Arts Center – June 28; July 5, 19, 26; and Aug 30. FREE

42. Outdoor Music At The Lake III: Peanut Butter & Jam concerts happen twice every Thursday, July 7 – Aug 25.FREE

43. Outdoor Music At The Lake IV: Enjoy a variety of music during Tuesdays At The Shell, July 12 – Aug 30. FREE

44. Uke’s Harley-Davidson is Wisconsin’s oldest H-D dealership. Explore its roots at their on-site museum! FREE

45. Celebrate some of the finest Civil War soldiers of the Midwest – the famous Iron Brigade. June 11-12 isSalute to Freedom. FREE

46. Take the family out to breakfast on the farm! TheKenosha County Dairy Breakfast is June 18. $6 & under

47.See the largest suspension staircase in the state – inside Kemper Center’s Durkee Mansion (open for tours, April – October). FREE

48. Visit Linnea Bakery in Downtown Kenosha or at its new second location inside Southwest Library for Scandinavian treats! Prices Vary

49. Pause and reflect at the Veteran’s Memorial Fountain and Lone Soldier Memorial at Veterans Memorial Park.FREE

50. On Saturday mornings, you can join the Bike Shop at Southport Rigging on its 26-mile Weekly Common Grounds Coffee Ride. FREE

Don’t forget to visit Kenosha, WI if you are driving along the Chi-Waukee corridor along I-94.


101 Things to See & Do for $10 & Under in the Kenosha, WI Area – Part 1 of 4

If it keeps on rainin’, the levee’s going to break.  If keeps on rainin’, the levee’s going to…sing to me Robert Plant as I type these words.  Bonzo, pound those drums.  I look out my window to see yet another overcast day here in Kenosha, WI.  Ah yes, Kenosha, WI.  Halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Kenosha’s culture, music, literature, construction and architecture influences date back to the start of the 20th century through the 1930’s when Irish, German, Italian and Polish immigrants settled in the area.  With most cities, people come and go but roots run deep and generations of families stay in areas for a lifetime.  This is true of Kenosha.

There is plenty to see and do in and around the Kenosha area that is nominally priced or free .  Working in cooperation with Meridith Jumisko – my contact, friend and Public Relations Manager at the Kenosha Convention and Visitors Bureau, I’m sharing 101 things to do and see for $10 and under.  Many of these are free.  If you are driving through the Chi-Waukee corridor, take a detour and visit Kenosha.  Here are the first 25 of 101 things to do and see in this four-part series.

Kenosha Harbor - Photo taken by Tony Toto - The Walking Traveler
Kenosha Harbor – Photo taken by Tony Toto – The Walking Traveler
  1. See the 2015 Northwoods League Summer Collegiate World Series champions – the Kenosha Kingfish – play baseball at Simmons Field! $8+
  2. Watch racing at the newly renovated Washington Park Velodrome, the oldest operating bike track of its kind in the U.S. FREE
  3. Climb the Southport Lighthouse during its 150th anniversary season! $10 & under
  4. Play at Kenosha’s first fully accessible playground, the Dream Playground at Petzke Park. It’s a one-of-a-kind 15,000 square foot space for all abilities. FREE(Temporarily closed for repairs.)
  5. Bring your pooch to play at one of five off-leash dog parks throughout Kenosha County! FREE to $5 depending on park
  6. Try your hand at one of four disc golf locations: Lincoln Park, Fox River Park, Silver Lake Park, and UW-Parkside. FREE
  7. Meet you at the lake! Bring the sunscreen and a beach towel … we have FIVEbeaches along Lake Michigan! FREE
  8. Visit Wilmot Flea Market at its new location: the Kenosha County Fairgrounds. The market is open most Sundays, starting May 1. $1
  9. Get in touch with nature at Chiwaukee Prairie, which has been designated a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention. FREE
  10. Watch model trains deliver classic American food at Choo Choo Charlie’s – and enjoy a Charlie’s Delight (salted caramel sundae). $5.99
  11. Silver Lake Park is home to over 9 miles of mountain bike trails. FREE
  12. Enjoy an indoor train tour at Jelly Belly Visitor Center, and sample the crazy BeanBoozled® flavors! FREE tour and samples
  13. Take a fun pedal boat ride on Lake Andrea! $8-10
  14. Enjoy an old-fashioned cherry soda at a historic soda fountain, Jack’s Café inside Andrea’s! $3.95
  15. Hike over the river and through the woods at the 360-acre Petrifying Springs Park – the oldest park in the Kenosha County park system. FREE
  16. Have a delicious Gouda Mornin’ Breakfast Panini (gluten free bread available) atThe Buzz Café. $5.99
  17. Seniors (ages 60 & over) can enjoy the Kenosha YMCA free of charge on the third Tuesday of every month! FREE
  18. The Transparent Watercolor Society of America returns to the Kenosha Public Museum for its 40th Annual National Juried Exhibition, May 7 – Aug 7. FREE
  19. From Farm To Table I: Kenosha HarborMarket returns outdoors May 14. You’ll find live music and 150+ vendors at this Saturday market during the summer.FREE admission
  20. From Farm To Table II: Reserve your crop box full of produce at Jerry Smith Produce & Pumpkin Farm! $10
  21. From Farm To Table III: Shop for produce at the weekly WestoshaMarket and five city farmers’ markets. Prices vary
  22. Be amazed by the 2015 National Show Ski Champions! The Aquanut Water Shows take place most Wednesdays and Saturdays, May 28 – Sept 3. FREE
  23. Check out the impressive 360° film “Seeing the Elephant” inside the Civil War Museum’s main exhibit The Fiery Trial. Main exhibit $9 & under
  24. Shop and save at Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets. Save even more when you pick up a coupon book. $5 coupon book
  25. Lakeside Players Family Theatre Series Presents: Disney’s Aladdin Jr., April 8-17. $10
Kenosha Market Days. Photo taken by Tony Toto - The Walking Traveler
Kenosha Harobr Market – Photo taken by Tony Toto – The Walking Traveler

Visit Kenosha to experience fine Midwestern hospitality, take a stroll along Lake Michigan and stuff your face with bratwurst while having the skin on your face melt away from the live music acts at the world-famous Brat Stop.  Visit the Brat Stop last because a food coma will ensue.




Hipmunk City Love: 12 Fun Activities in Houston for Those on a Budget

Blog Post Type: Planning a Trip to a City

If you’re visiting Houston and you need to stick to a tight budget, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a wonderful time. A number of destinations in Houston are free or low-cost.

1. Spend an evening under the stars watching classical music, ballet, dance, film, and more at Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park. The events are free of charge, and BYOB is welcome.

2. Art enthusiasts can check out the Menil Collection. This art collection by philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil is a local treasure and one of the top free destinations in Houston. If eclectic, eccentric and surrealism captures your interest, the Menil Collection will satisfy your cravings.


Photo by Scott Roth Events via Trover.com

3. Go on a walk and talk while shopping for fresh produce at the Green Market in Discovery Green Park. If you are visiting in the spring or fall, come back in the evening to listen to live music in the amphitheater.

4. Enjoy a history lesson of the Port of Houston with a 90-minute boat tour. Visitors will see freighters and barges leave and arrive along the 50-mile channel. Reservations are required, but the tour is free.

5. Tour Houston using Houston Greeters. This unique tour offers insights from local residents as they take travelers to local attractions and cultural destinations. Do you need someone to jog with or play a round of golf? You may join a Houston Greeter to take part in various activities.

6. Do you love museums and the great outdoors? The Heritage Society is an outdoor interactive museum and park in Sam Houston Park. The Heritage Society educates and preserves Houston’s rich history through collections and exhibits.


Photo by Albert Nurick via Trover.com

7. If the summer heat is getting to you while you explore Houston, make your way over to Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park and cool off with the park’s architectural fountain, which pumps 78,500 gallons of water every three hours. This 3-acre park, surrounded by 186 oak trees, is perfect for an afternoon break.

8. If you’re hungry and don’t want to wait in lines for a meal, go to Doozo Dumplings and Noodles. The line moves quickly, so have your cash ready. Doozo’s is takeout only, so you’ll be in and out in no time to enjoy a classic Japanese meal.

9. Enjoy a $1 afternoon espresso Monday through Friday (4 to 7 p.m.) at Antidote Coffee House. Exposed brick walls, motley groupings of furniture and artwork, and rubberized concrete floors gives this coffee-house a homey feel for those seeking an eclectic getaway and a caffeine rush.

10. Houston will fulfill your sweet tooth with a variety of gourmet bakeries including The Chocolate Bar, Dessert Gallery, Pondicheri Bake Lab + Shop, and more. Don’t deny yourself a tasty sweet treat, especially when you know you’ll burn it off as you continue your city tour.


Photo by Julia Anuras via Trover.com

11. To save money on Houston’s popular attractions, buy a CityPASS. This booklet of tickets costs $51 for adults or $41 for children. Each booklet has tickets for five attractions. Overall, the CityPASS will save you about half the regular prices you would normally spend.

12. Start your budget savings by staying in cheap hotels in Houston. Hotels are more expensive during the week, but rates go down over the weekend. Plan your travels right, and you’ll save a lot of money in America’s fourth-largest city.

Feature photo by Alonzo Williams Jr via Trover.com

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He’s based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

Hipmunk City Love: Explore Local London

Blog Post Type: Expert Opinion Piece

London is one of the world’s greatest cities. With ubiquitous coverage in the media, photos of its famous landmarks published and shared everywhere, it is instantly recognized by tens of millions. It is Europe’s most visited city, attracting 14 million visitors annually. The Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the London Eye are top attractions for tourists to see and photograph. The metropolitan area is home to more than 13 million inhabitants who speak more than 300 languages. With such diversity, you can learn a lot from the culture and people. Take a walk off the beaten path and experience some of the lesser known activities and attractions the locals engage in.

Trafalgar Square

Photo by I’m Out of the Office via Trover.com

What To Do

London has a world-class music scene. Huge concert events occur throughout the year. If you are unable to experience a larger-scale show, you have plenty of alternative opportunities to see live music. Hundreds of venues and small pubs around the city organize and host live music throughout the week. For those on a tight budget, many of the live shows in smaller places are free. The music scene is diverse and covers many genres, so you won’t miss your favorites. To find a place for the type of music you like, visit LONDONEARS.

If you’re a fan of Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, and T.S. Eliot, join the Literary London Walking Tour. The Literary Tour is a guided walk that takes you down the streets and past some of the buildings featured in these writer’s famous literary masterpieces. You’ll see some of the lesser known areas of London that was a backdrop for the author’s stories and characters. Another guided tour is the Discover Walk tour of London. Join locals on this informative tour of major landmarks. You’ll also learn about local festivals, where to shop, and good places to eat.

London Beatles

Photo by Graciela Arena via Trover.com

Fans of trivia can quiz their fellow gamers with the London Pub Quiz. This British pub quiz is a popular event that occurs Sunday through Thursday in hundreds of pubs throughout London. Do you have what it takes to beat locals at their own game? Grab a pint and give it a try.

What To See

Unless you are moving to London, you’ll not have enough time to see everything this historic city has to offer. Outside of major landmarks and buildings that are on everyone’s must-see list, visitors can see the lighter side of London by visiting area parks including Bushy Park, Richmond Park (an excellent place for biking), and Holland Park (a nice spot for peace and quiet). If you’re in town with your partner, take a romantic stroll through the gardens of St. James Park.

St. James Park

Photo by Katya G. via Trover.com

London is home to world-class museums. If your budget is getting tighter by the day but you still want to check out the art scene, you can find more than half a dozen museums that are partly free, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, and Victoria and Albert Museum.

London is huge, so plan accordingly. Find hotels in London that will fit your budget, thus allowing for more time and money on experiences that will last a lifetime. Think “less is more,” and you’ll have an amazing time on the River Thames.

Feature Photo by Andy Yee via Trover.com

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He’s based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

Hipmunk City Love: 10 Spa Hotels in Barcelona to Soothe the Weary Traveler

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia in Spain. It’s the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean and the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. Barcelona is one of the world’s largest tourist centers, with dozens of landmark buildings, monuments, and museums to see. Many parks dot the area and the city has 3 miles of beaches on its coastline, including the world-famous Barcelona Beach. As the 10th most visited city in the world, travelers will experience a day full of crowds and by evening, they’ll want to relax. What better way than to relax than in a spa or sauna back at your hotel. Here are 10 spa and sauna hotels to soothe the weary traveler.


Photo by Molly Wolfson via Trover.com

1. The Fit and Spa Lounge inside the Pullman Barcelona Skipper applies Payot to restore harmony to your body. The Lounge includes two treatment cabinets, spa bath, steam bath, sauna, and other luxuries guaranteed to melt your tension away.

2. The Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa amenities include a health club, indoor and outdoor pool, and a steam room. Whether you are ending a day of sightseeing or working out, the Urban Spa will relax and rejuvenate your body from head to toe.

3. Pamper yourself with a swim in the pool followed by the services of hairdressers and massage. End the evening listening to live music in the piano bar with a cocktail and good conversation. This is the Eurostars Grand Marina.

4. The Gran Hotel Torre Catalunya has guests in a state of bliss with its sauna, spa tub, fitness club, steam room, full-service spa including treatment rooms, and a Turkish bath. Play hard during the day and let the hotel’s spa take care of you at night.

Barcelona fruit

Photo by Gulnaz Hardin via Trover.com

5. Guests’ well-being is priority at Grand Hotel Central. Their Wellness Suite is a private massage room with qualified therapists ready to give a treatment that fits your needs. Check out the Thermal Suite for a 45-minute private steam and sauna experience.

6. The spa amenities at Grums Hotel includes a water circuit with jacuzzi, waterfall, swan-necks, a Finnish sauna, steam bath, and hammocks. Facial and body treatments are available upon request.

7. If you haven’t had enough of the Spanish sun, sit or lay out in the sun terrace at the Catalonia Barcelona Plaza. Other spa services include massage treatments, sauna, and solarium.

Barcelona Cathedral

Photo by Tom Page via Trover.com

8. On the 5th floor of the Silken Concordia Hotel you’ll find sunbeds, an outdoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, and sauna. The 5th floor also has a cocktail bar and mini-golf. If you have kids, take them to see the pirate’s treasure on the swimming pool terrace.

9. The spa at the Sallés Hotel Pere IV is a 120-square-metre oasis that includes a pool with cascades, jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath, and mist and sequential showers.

10. Relax your mind, body, and soul at the spa inside the Catalonia Ramblas. Spa amenities include a sauna, Turkish bath, and jacuzzi. Make an appointment for a cyclonic and aromatherapy showers or a massage cabin. With plenty of choices, guests will drift off to sleep in a state of bliss.

Feature photo by I’m Out of the Office via Trover.com

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He’s based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

Chi-Town: A Few of the Lesser Known Places

“Blog Post Type: Cities Less Traveled”

Chicago has many nicknames known throughout the world, all being embraced by the locals. “Second City” (the locals will say no way to being second except for the comedy troupe), “Chi-Town,” “Chicagoland” (inclusion of the suburbs), “Hog Butcher to the World,” and “The Windy City” (because of the weather, the World’s Fair of 1890, the rivalry with Cincinnati in the 1860’s and ’70’s, or the long-winded politicians? It’s up to you, the reader, to decide).

Downtown Chicago

Photo by travelbug via Trover.com

No matter the nickname, Chicagoans are hard-working, extremely passionate about their city, and very welcoming to everyone. Imagine a heartwarming welcome of relatives into your home – this is Chicago to the rest of the world. Many outsiders are familiar with Chicago’s sports teams, its skyscrapers, and geography along Lake Michigan. Deep dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and Italian beef sandwiches are masterpieces of the city’s food scene. Made up of 77 different neighborhoods, Chicago offers so much more than just these well-known foods and attractions. Here are some experiences locals would encourage travelers to engage in while in Chi-Town.

Street Scenes and Markets

Chicago is host to year-round cultural events, festivals, street markets, and street fairs. Famous among them are Taste of Chicago, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade with the annual green dying of the Chicago River, and the Chicago Blues Festival. These special events last no longer than a few days up to a week in any given year. For a year round festival celebration look no further than the Randolph Street Market.

West Loop

Photo by Erin… via Trover.com

This European style indoor-outdoor market is an umbrella host to the Indie Designer Market, Modern Vintage Chicago, Chicago Antique Market, and the Holiday Market. Dubbed “the mecca of cool,” “the best hot spot for antiquing,” and “the best Chicago venue for people watching,” the Randolph Street Market is the place to see and be seen in Chicago. If you want to shop, eat, drink, and browse on the last Saturday and Sunday of every month, you’ve come to the right place. Dozens of vendors, thousands of collectibles, live music, and some of Chicago’s finest food served all within a few blocks is a party worthy of attending.

Chicago is Picnic Friendly

The Osaka Garden (a short walk south of the Museum of Science and Industry), Lincoln Park Conservatory, Grant Park, and Chicago Lake Front Path are just a few places to enjoy a summer picnic. But if you are traveling to Chicago and will be spending time in the Loop, head over to Millennium Park. Pack a picnic basket full of your favorite goodies (don’t forget a bottle of wine and glasses), spread out a blanket, and enjoy free music at Pritzker Pavilion. After the sun goes down, music lovers are surrounded by lights from some of Chicago’s famous skyscrapers with the stars shining from above. There is no better place for a picnic in Chicago than here.

Pritzker Pavilion

Photo by Eagrick via Trover.com

Staying at the La Quinta Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown offers easy access to all of Chicago’s attractions, both big and small. Whether bar hopping, museum trekking or restaurant crawling, staying in the heart of the financial district will put you in the center of one of the most diverse cities in the world.

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He’s based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.


Hipmunk City Love-ing Everything About Munich

“Blog Post Type: Expert Opinion Piece”

Beer for breakfast. Wait?!? A cup of coffee? Cappuccino or espresso instead? Which drink pairs best with a Munchner Weisswurst? Munchner Weisswurst is a traditional Bavarian breakfast consisting of a veal-based sausage served with sweet mustard, a Brezn prezel, and accompanied by a Weissbier (‘white beer’). When in Rome do as the…wait…this is Munich, where beer flows like water and Bavarian cuisine is prominent in everyday meals. A Weissbier is usually served with this traditional breakfast so…when in Munich, do as the Germans do.

Munich beer

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Munich is the capital city of Bavaria in Germany. It’s rich beer culture is second to none and celebrated year round in beer halls and beer gardens throughout the State with the Oktoberfest as the main event. With nearly 7 million people attending a festival this large in 2011 and replicated throughout the world, there is no doubt beer is the national beverage. Drink a Weissbier with the munchner weisswurst? When in Munich, do as the locals do.

For those who are not beer drinkers, you’re in luck. Munich has a strong coffee culture with cafés spread throughout the city. Locals love sitting outside in the sun drinking coffee and watching the crowds go by. Drink coffee and people watch with the locals or take the high-powered drink and go wandering. Tough choice, but easily solvable. Do both. Start the morning at a local café. Sip your espresso and watch how Germans greet and interact with each other. With many English-speaking Bavarians in Munich, a traveler may find a new friend, guide, or travel companion for company while walking the city.

Munich cafe

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Whether one finds a local for a guide or tramping solo, there are plenty of places to see that represent Munich’s art culture, architecture, and history. In the 1800’s, Bavarian Kings made Munich the art capital of Germany and today, Bavaria’s capital city is home to 6 museums, 40 galleries, and 7 art schools. World-class collections are found throughout these buildings showcasing a rich history so deep and expansive, it will take several trips to see everything. I recommend a specific itinerary.

Briennerstraße, Ludwigstraße, Maximilianstraße, and Prinzregentenstraße are the four Royal Avenues and Squares that run through the inner city. Briennerstraße, lined with neo-classical buildings has shops, restaurants, and galleries on its eastern end. Named after King Ludwig I of Bavaria, Ludwigstraße avenue displays Italian romanesque buildings and is the grandest avenue of the four Royal Avenues showing a very uniform look. Maximilianstraße is in the center of town with upscale shops and boutiques. The Haus der Kunst, Schachgalerie, and the Bavarian National Museum are several museums seen along Prinzregentenstraße Avenue. Prinzregentenstraße is rich in history including alterations made along this avenue by the Nazi’s during WWII.


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Palaces, castles, museums, churches, historic buildings, and landmarks are in abundance. I recommend researching Munich and writing specific itineraries before arrival. I also recommend staying as close to the center of the city as possible as it is a good hub for exploring. Hotels in Munich are close to public transportation when you are ready to venture further from the heart of Munichen – “by the monks.”

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He’s based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

Feature Photo by Travel Notes & Beyond via Trover.com

Four Roman Neighborhoods to Experience Authentic Italian Life

“Blog Post Type: Cities Less Traveled”

The Eternal City of Rome is internationally recognized by millions. Known for tourist attractions such as Vatican City, The Colosseum, The Spanish Steps, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Trevi Fountain, Rome always ranks high on travelers’ must-see destinations. What about the lesser-known attractions and local hot spots in the districts that make up Rome? Here are four districts/neighborhoods that answer the question: Where do the locals go?


Photo by Irene Wamala via Trover.com


Nomentano has many local businesses. This may not sound exciting, but it’s a wonderful opportunity for visitors to practice their Italian with the locals. Walk the well-known shopping streets of Via Nomentano, Via Salaria, and Via Regina Margherita and engage a local with a buongiorno (good morning/afternoon). This well-received gesture may lead to a local showing you the Villa Torlonia complex that was once home to Benito Mussolini. If turn-of-the-century nouveau architecture entices you, Quartiere Coppede is a small district nearby, home to eccentric buildings worthy of storytelling.


Once a working-class neighborhood populated by immigrants, Trastevere’s central part is now a hub for socializing and entertainment. Bars, wine houses, pubs, trattorias, and restaurants dominate the narrow streets. The northern part of the neighborhood has a lot of parkland and monuments depicting 19th-century Rome. The south section, rich with art, is quiet with old-style allure around every corner. The highlight for many visitors to Trastevere is touring the churches to see mosaics, with the Villa Farnesina and the Santa Cecilia being the most compelling.

Esquilino-San Giovanni

Named after Esquline Hill (Esquilino) and the Basilica (San Giovanni), these adjacent neighborhoods have an eclectic mix of native Italians and a sizeable Chinese and Indian immigrant community. Although there are many Chinese and Indian restaurants in the area, traditional trattorias serve authentic Italian seafood, pasta, and antipasto. These healthy dishes give plenty of fuel for touring the Museo della Liberazione — a museum dedicated to telling the story of liberating Rome from German occupying forces in WWII. The area also boasts a vast number of churches to explore that are rich in history.

Rome Sweet Rome

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Testaccio is the southernmost neighborhood in the heart of Rome. A 20-minute walk from Trastevere along the Tiber River, Testaccio doesn’t have many high-traffic tourist attractions making it a traveler’s delight. Visitors will experience authentic Italian living, and it’s home to an impressive food scene. Testaccio Market is one of Rome’s oldest markets housing food stalls offering fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and bread. Generations of families have owned many stalls, and they take tremendous pride in their high-quality food. Immerse yourself in Testaccio and you won’t regret it.

Staying in the center of Rome allows for easy access to the Modern Center and surrounding neighborhoods by foot or public transportation. There are many hotels in Rome to choose from but The De La Ville Roma atop the Spanish Steps will start your historic visit in true Italian style. Like many monuments and buildings around Rome, The De La Ville Roma has a beautiful history and it’s a great place to start your Roman adventure.

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He is based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

Feature Photo by Tom Cregan via Trover.com