East Coast

If you travel to cities with great museums, enjoying them like a local refines the experience. On a tip from another Womantraveler, I joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City with a reasonably priced "National Associate" membership. Then, after more research, I discovered that certain museums closer to home provide reciprocal memberships with those across the country, so, for example, my membership to San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art admits me to the new Whitney in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, the Guggenheim and more than 30 others in the US and Canada. Read more →


Southern Vermont is sturdy in every season, its winding roads passing both quaint and gourmet country stores, year-round Christmas shops, challenging ski slopes and mountain hiking trails, local playhouses where famous actors guest-star in "the season" and brook-powered grist mills displaying the fundamental engineering of modern technology. Like these snapshots from the 18th century, Southern Vermont reminds us that timeless is good, but updating for modern tastes where pragmatic is OK too. Read more →


Everyone wants to be close to clients for quick travel across downtown DC, but I've been trending toward a few hotels - both downtown and on the edges - that stand out for personalized service, often offer more spacious rooms, are usually quieter and still afford easy access to anywhere in the nation's capital. Here's why I recommend The River Inn, Sofitel at Lafayette Square and Ritz Carlton Pentagon City... Read more →


Always on the search for the best barbecue when in East Tennessee, I’m directed to Sweet P’s on the water in Maryville outside Knoxville. Owner Chris Ford has made a big reputation here (and beyond) in the last decade with his Southern-style smoke foods, a fresh take on soul food classics prepared daily. There's also a new location in downtown Knoxville. Read more →


Waking up Christmas morning with a view of Saint Patrick's Cathedral and Rockefeller Center and a block away from enchanting Fifth Avenue was a worthwhile tradeoff - at least this once - for the stockings hung by the chimney (at home) with care. If you are thinking about changing up your holiday traditions for Christmas in New York, here are a few tips and lessons learned. Read more →


Add these restaurants to my running list of recommendations in Manhattan. You can view more choices in these other blog entries - Food Faves in Manhattan Updated Fall 2013 and Autumn in New York 2013. Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street (Greenwich Village): A culinary landmark since 1977, yet still delicious and unassuming, Cornelia Street suggests a neighborhood French bistro but amplifies with dishes evoked from Americana to Asia as well. Not only that but there are more than 700 cultural performances here a year. It's the type of place you'd love to have just down the street for frequent visits. Read Chef Dan's blog for more of the flavor. Shake Shack, Madison Square Park - Danny Meyer's global enterprise, which began as a hot dog stand in neighborhoody Madison Square Park across from the Flatiron Building, is probably worth the 30-plus wait in line, even if to tell the... Read more →


The River Inn is a longtime stalwart in the Foggy Bottom part of DC, now renovated as a European-style all-suite "luxury boutique hotel." Having been a habitue over the years of the hotel, for all these reasons, along with the comparable price and the quiet townhouse-filled neighborhood, I'd consider it a competitive choice to better-known properties like The Ritz Carlton locations. Read more →


Seeing is believing in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains - particularly in autumn - and these past two years have been some of the most gorgeous fall colors ever. But what was even more surprising, after a long absence, is how Asheville, NC, has become a rich brew of regional art, food and culture - on par with Charleston, Tucson or Seattle as most "flavorful" destinations for their parts of the U.S. Read more →


For women business travelers, it's often a "party of one" - so why not make the best of it? Full and busy day with clients, then off to an enjoyable dinner - a mid-week date night with yourself. Firebox Restaurant in Hartford was the perfect fit. Located south of downtown in Frog Hollow, in the Billings Forge Community Works founded by the Melville Charitable Trust to revitalize the neighborhood, Firebox is an unlikely location for a high-end dining experience. And if you're not a local, you may not think to venture into an urban renewal zone to do just that. It's housed in the repurposed red-brick complex of a former manufacturing company and provides job training in the culinary arts, a community garden and artists' studios as well as operating a farmer's market, catering business, bakery cafe and the noted Firebox Restaurant. Before taking on the Billings Forge venture, Executive... Read more →


We had a blast both nights at Ana Sortun's Turkish and eastern Mediterrean influenced restaurants in the Boston area - Oleana, in Cambridge, for which she won a James Beard Award as Best Chef in the Northeast, and the newer Sarma, her partnership with former Oleana chef Cassie Piuma, nearby in Somerville. Check out the sights here in Sarma's image gallery. Before you go either venue, spend a few minutes with these fascinating interviews and videos featuring Sortun - on cooking, Turkey, female entrepreneurship and more. She's an inspiring and thoughtful pathfinder in the culinary space. For example, Siena Farms, 25 miles west of Boston, where the produce for her restaurant ventures is sustainably produced, is yet another partnership in her well-integrated food chain - this one with her spouse Chris Kortun. All these connections are genuinely "farm to table," unlike those poor imitators increasingly clamoring to occupy the same... Read more →