If you are looking for a weekend getaway that is not only beautiful but has it ALL, Michigan is such a hidden gem. Traverse City is a short 5 hour drive from Chicago, IL. We spent Labor Day weekend up there but are already want to plan a trip back in the Fall. Here is our 4 day itinerary with almost everything being dog friendly including our amazing Airbnb.
Beach – There are beaches everywhere but drive to Good Harbor beach believe me it’s worth the drive. It’s dog friendly but dogs must be on a leash. Plenty of room to spread out as it’s not a crowded beach!
For as many times as I’ve been to Nashville (heck and almost moved there in 2019!) this post is LONG overdue. Nashville is hands down one of my favorite places. I always have an absolute blast every time that I go so I have no doubt you will have the trip of a lifetime. Good food, great partying and a hell of a lot of fun dancing make for the best memories.
WHERE TO EXPLORE
Broadway– where ALL of the bars (and people) are. Many of the bars are owned by famous country singers. Expect live music, big crowds and drunk shenanigans here. I like staying walking distance from Broadway. Music Row– bars and restaurants. Come here if you want to get away from Broadway but still have several fun bars within walking distance! Also walk over to The Graduate hotel for a coffee or drink- you won’t regret it. The Gulch– come for the biscuits (Biscuit Love), stay for the shopping and pictures with the giant angel wings. Also another good area to stay if you don’t want to be so close to Broadway. 12 South– fun area with a good mix of restaurants, shopping and wall murals. Want a cute Instagram photo? Come here.
WHERE TO STAY
Noelle- I’ve never actually stayed here but everyone RAVES about it. I’ve stopped into the hotel lobby bar as well as the coffee shop multiple times and always love the vibe! The rooftop bar, Rare Bird, is also supposed to have a great view plus it’s walkable to Broadway! Thompson Nashville- Located in the Gulch it’s an absolutely beautiful, hotel with modern music touches. My only complaint- no bath tubs 😛 Other than that it’s a great location. Westin Nashville- Great location (downtown near Broadway) and very upscale for a Westin! If you are looking for a more budget friendly option than some of the others, this is a great choice and the rooftop bar is AMAZING. Bobby Hotel- I stayed here on my most recent trip to Nashville and the rooms are definitely a little funky when it comes to decor but overall it’s so much fun and all of their food and dining is top notch.
WHERE TO EAT
@libertycommon- Located near Broadway. We went for a late brunch (HH starts at 2) and thought it was so darn cute. Made for the perfect start to day drink on Broadway! @thehamptonsocial-Located near Broadway. Although this is a chain it’s still a fun spot especially if you’ve never been! It features the iconic “Rosé all Day” neon sign. Suggest going for a boozy brunch but honestly you can’t go wrong with lunch or dinner either! @bartacolife- Located in 12S. I go here every single time I hit the ground in Nashville it’s that good! First things first- amazing spicy margs! Also all of the menu and ordering process is virtual so you order everything through an app and it’s delivered to your table in a matter of minutes. Excellent food, decor, and service! @henrietta_red- Located in Germantown. I keep wanting to try this cute stop but still haven’t made it. I had to include it because it comes highly recommended for their simplistic, chic decor and fresh ingredient dishes! The Southern- Located in South Broadway. If you are looking for a nice dinner spot, look no further! Amazing steak and oyster options plus it’s a short walk to Broadway if you want to go two step the night away after! And if you go for brunch don’t pass up the ribs. *chef’s kiss* @pinewoodsocialist-Located in South Broadway. This is a popular instagrammable spot featuring delicious menu items as well as bowling in an industrial-chic atmosphere. Great for large crowds! @urbangrubtherestaurant12south- Located in the 12S area. The BEST brunch in Nashville by far. You will die when you see the buffet spread is insane (oysters, crab legs, shrimp and grits, plus the regular breakfast fare). Heads up- don’t order the “all you can eat” buffet option (it will set you back $50!)- just get the “one time” buffet option and pile that plate as high as it can go! Scott and I didn’t realize how expensive the unlimited option was and both of us ended up eating only one plate! @biscuitlovebrunch- Located in the Gulch. You absolutely can’t come to Nashville and not indulge in some biscuits. Lots of places have them but Biscuit Love is arguably the best. They also have good drink specials.
WHERE TO DRINK
@lajacksonbar – rooftop bar in The Gulch. Great vibes and always a good crowd not to mention the view is INSANE. @fglhouse – Florida Georgia Line’s Bar on Broadway that NEVER disappoints. Love day drinking here. @acmenashville – located on Broadway. We usually stop and get food here but it’s also a fun bar! @whiskeyrownashville– one of my favorite bars on Broadway. We always end up here especially later in the evening! The third floor (rooftop) always has a DJ making it a fun spot to dance. Tootsies– you can’t come to Broadway and not go here. One of the oldest honkey tonk bars! @zeppelin.nashville – rooftop bar off the beaten path. I forget what the shot is called but you must get the edible flower shot- it makes your whole mouth numb (in a good way lol).
Losers– total dive bar but SO much fun. Seriously I saved the best one for last. They have a bar next door called winners but it’s way more fun to be a Loser;) @whitelimozeennash – cute rooftop bar. Located at the top of The Graduate hotel. If you can make a reservation for brunch- do it!
Let me start this post off with saying that if you have never visited Park City in the Summer, you are missing out! It was my first time visiting in the warmer weather as the only few times I’ve gone have been to ski! I was a little nervous about all of the outdoor activities but the weather could not have been more PERFECT and the views were just breathtaking. We were there for three days and packed our schedule with fun activities and good food.
WHERE TO STAY
I have stayed a few places in Park City but I can hands down say that Washington School House has been my favorite. It is small but what it lacks in size it gains in charm and hospitality! It only has 14 rooms so it reminds me of more of a bed and breakfast feel than a hotel. Speaking of breakfast, it is completely customizable and complimentary! As are the cocktails all day long. Not to mention this gem is smack dab in the middle of town so restaurants and shopping are all within walking distance! I could go on and on about this place but let the pictures talk for themselves.
WHERE TO EAT
Chimayo- My personal favorite meal of the trip! There wasn’t a single item on the menu that I didn’t want to try. Mainly Mexican but with a twist and lot’s of variety! Everything from scallops to elk!
Handle-If you are looking for a nice restaurant for a special occasion or just because it’s vacation and you want a good meal, look no further! From the buffalo cauliflower to the fried chicken to the caramel brulee bread pudding- chef’s kiss.
High West Distillery & Saloon- If you know and love High West then you obviously have to go here! I would suggest coming for a pre-dinner cocktail and then finding food elsewhere as I wasn’t overly impressed with the food.
Salt Box- Great casual and super yummy lunch spot. We stopped here on our way to hike. You can either pick up or dine in. The acai bowl, burger and peach salad were all AMAZING.
Deer Valley Grocery Café- Another great lunch spot that’s grab and go or you can stay and hangout on the back porch that has the most amazing view of the mountains (a local beer or glass wine makes it even better). They have gourmet sandwiches and salads so definitely more on the casual side. We paddle boarded next door after.
WHERE TO ADVENTURE
Utah Olympic Park- You cannot come to Park City and not do this especially if you have kids/teenagers. If you are an adventure seeker yourself there is plenty of extreme activities to do for adults too. We did the high ropes course, extreme tubing and airbag jump! We stayed for 3 hours and honestly would have loved to stay longer to plan to stay at least 4-5 hours here!
Park City SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board)– Located at Pebble Beach. Great group outing. The company is very chill. We rented our boards and immediately headed out on the water to paddle around as we pleased.
Horseback Riding Tour with Red Pine Adventures– My favorite thing we did the entire trip. I don’t care how many times you’ve been horse back riding, it hits different in the mountains. The scenery was breathtaking and this Texas girl can’t pass up riding a horse whenever she can!
Guided Hike and Yoga Experience with Park City Yoga Adventures-Again, you’ve probably been to a yoga class before but man there’s something about doing a warrior pose on the top of a mountain with nothing but picturesque scenery around you that is so dang freeing. Highly recommend!
If I missed any must do places, please leave them in the comments below for others to enjoy! If you are headed on your own Park City adventure- have fun and safe travels!
Have that one person who is always jumping on a plane and jetting off to a new adventure? A lot of times I feel like these people are minimalists because well seasoned travelers don’t seem to travel with much but anything to make their travel adventures easier, they are all for! Some items that I can never travel without are my headphones, neck pillow and packing cubes! I’ve linked all of those and many more below.
*I have been compensated by QVC for this blog post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*
After the airline (thou shall not be named) lost my bag last year, your girl has a small case of travel anxiety which has led me to pack a lot more strategically and efficiently. I devoted last year to traveling as much as I could and definitely picked up some travel tips, tricks and hacks along the way that I wish someone would have told me! Before we get started I figured I would share the crazy, semi-comical lost baggage story for your reading pleasure. If you are just here for the tips and tricks, keep scrolling to the bottom of the post!
Last July I flew to Miami for Miami Swim Week. Hands down one of the best weeks ever… until this situation happened. Silver lining: it was on the way home instead of on the way there which would have been an absolute disaster. Anywho, long story short, the last night we decided it would be a good idea to party all night long and go straight to the airport because YOLO. When we got to the airport (early I might add), we decided to check our baggage outside which I’ve never done in my life but alcohol told us this was a fantastic idea. Fast forward to landing in Houston, my bag never showed up.
At this point I was delirious from lack of sleep but was assured by the airline that my bag would show up on the next flight and they would bring it to me. FALSE. It never showed up. I was on the phone with customer service every day for the next week trying to get any sort of update on my bag. I even went up to the airport multiple times to try to get some kind of answers to no avail. I had thousands of dollars worth of product in that bag including ALL of my make up, ALL of my hair products/tools, and ALL of the designer swim suits and clothes I had taken and then been gifted in Miami. The airline couldn’t tell me anything. Supposedly it had been scanned in at check in and then never scanned again. Side note: They scan your bag at every check point (check in, TSA, on the plane, arrival, etc) and mine was just apparently MIA.
At one point they told me my bag might be in the Bahamas which made me LOL. I was all like “my clothes get a tropical vacation and I don’t?!”. I say LOL lightly because I wasn’t laughing. Funny enough though, my friend Kylee was traveling back to Miami the following weekend and offered to look for my bag at the Miami airport. I was sure that she would find it somewhere since I was so sure it had to still be at the Miami airport. Nope. She searched that whole dang airport with the help of a baggage claim assistant and it wasn’t anywhere to be found. I officially gave up hope after this.
I ‘m sure you are not surprised to find out that I had documented this entire process on my Instagram stories. Documented…ranted… same thing. So one of my sweet followers happened to be flying into a completely different Houston airport than I had flown into and messaged me that she thought she saw my bag. There was hope. I drove straight to the other airport and went straight to the baggage claim office. There were only 4 bags and none of them were mine. At that point I decided it was time to come to terms that I would never see any of my stuff again. I went and purchased new make up that day.
Then a miracle happened. Kylee happened to be flying into the Houston airport that my follower had said she had seen my bag. Kylee, who had flown into this airport many times, versus me who had never flown into that airport and didn’t know about the several cages that they store lost bags in, FOUND MY BAG. I woke up to several missed calls and FaceTime videos. It was possibly one of the best mornings of my life. The bag had been exactly where my follower had said it was but I just hadn’t looked in the right spot.
When Kylee found the bag they released it to her no questions asked. All 4 of my baggage tags had been ripped off which meant there was no identifier anywhere on the entire bag that could have tied it to me. No personal baggage tags. No airline baggage tags. No airline barcode stickers. Nothing. Sadly this happens more often than you think where baggage tags get ripped off somewhere during transportation from being on the conveyer belts. Now how my bag even made it on a plane, let alone to the correct city, just wrong airport, we will never know.
Something I learned during the process, if unidentifiable bags are “lost” for more than 30 days they are sold to a huge warehouse in Alabama where your beloved belongings are sold off piece by piece. 90’s kids: I immediately thought of Halloweentown and Gort’s cottage where all of the missing items go. Thankfully after a series of extremely lucky events, I got my bag back in tact, with everything still in it a little over a week later.
NEVER check your bags outside.
The staff outside is employed by the airport, not each individual airline, so if your bag goes missing, the airline isn’t held responsible.
Always put some form of identification IN your bag
On the off chance that your bag somehow does have all of it’s bag tags or identifiers ripped off, you should always have an identifier inside of your bag that can link your bag back to you. This could be a business card, a copy of your driver’s license or passport, or even a print out of your flight itinerary. I was told by the airline it is best to have your phone number and email in case anything ever happens.
Invest in a luggage tracker
I suggest doing your research on which option is best for you but luggage trackers are 100% worth the money. It’s basically like buying insurance on your belongings when you travel and while it might not solve all of your problems should your bag actually get lost, it will at least help figure out the bags location which is more than the airline can do sometimes. The Tile is a popular tracking device that you can stick to just about anything (keys, phone, luggage, etc) and tracks the item via an app on your phone.
Always pack your “can’t live withouts” in your carry on
Obviously this might be a little different for everyone but for me this means jewelry, especially sentimental jewelry, make up, hair tools, designer items, a change of clothes, a couple pairs of underwear, passport, and laptop. To keep these things organized in your carry on I suggest purchasing a couple different bags or pouches. I’m linking mine for you below.
If you are always that girl at the airport unloading one suitcase to another to get below the 50 pound mark, save yourself the trouble and get one of these luggage scales! If I’m going on a trip where I know i’ll be coming home with more than I’m going with, I make sure to toss this in my bag!
Packing cubes are a game changer for your checked bags and even mid size carry ons to keep your clothes organized, wrinkle free and room for more. If you are one of those people that can never find anything in your suitcase, these are for you!
While you should definitely pack your normal chargers too, never leave for a trip without a portable charger. I can’t tell you how many times these have saved me when I didn’t have time to charge my phone or didn’t have the ability to charge my phone on the go.
Travel Size Makeup/Toiletries
Maybe not a gadget, but if you plan to bring your toiletries and makeup on the plane with you, you are going to need to invest in some travel size products. QVC has a great selection of name brand, travel size makeup and toiletries. You can also use TAKE10 for $10 off of your purchase for new customers!