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The Best Bars in Downtown Portland

The drink options in downtown Portland are as diverse and unique as the city itself. Whether you’re looking for a low-cost happy hour or carefully crafted cocktail, you can find it here –- if you know where to look. I’m lucky enough to have downtown Portlandia as my backyard, and I’ve spent the last few years exploring (almost) every bar, lounge and tavern in the neighborhood (no, I’m not an alcoholic). Below are my top suggestions for where to drink in downtown Portland:

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The Best Hikes in Santa Barbara

Situated between the mountains and the ocean, Santa Barbara is a natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Beautiful hikes boasting stunning views are readily available for anyone looking to get in touch with their adventurous side. On a recent trip to Santa Barbara, I followed local photographer Blake Bronstad to a hidden hiking trail leading to the most breathtaking view of Santa Barbara I’ve ever seen. After sharing a photo on Instagram, several people asked me where the image was taken. The place is hidden and the trail unmarked, so identifying the name of the rock area required quite a bit of research. However, while this hike is currently one of Santa Barbara’s best kept secrets, it’s too beautiful not to share. READ MORE

Touring Lotusland, Santa Barbara’s Secret Garden

Ganna Walska Lotusland is a globally renowned 37-acre estate and botanic garden hidden away in the foothills of Montecito. This botanic wonder features 13 themed gardens and 3,000+ plants from around the world (including rare cycads, cacti & euphorbias). Touring Ganna Walska Lotusland is a must when visiting Santa Barbara.

During the 2-hour tour, passionate Docents take you through the garden and blend a nice combination of botanical facts with biographical details. It was fascinating learning about the unique collections of plants, and the unique woman who created them. READ MORE

Chicago Travel Guide: Blown Away By The Windy City

Chicago: definitely my kind of town.

Welcome to the land of deep-dish pizza and architectural awesomeness. Where towering skyscrapers meet beautiful beaches, and big city lights energize Midwestern landscapes. Chicago Illinois, a city rich in history and culinary diversity, offers travelers a variety of dining, drink and destination options that are sure to satisfy any appetite.

When faced with so many options in such a large city, knowing where to go (and what you’re expected to find) is half the battle. Fortunately local insight coupled with lots of research led us to some amazing cocktail and culinary discoveries. Here are my top places to check out in Chicago: READ MORE

Durant Vineyards | Oregon Wine Guide

If you’re like me and embark on a day of wine tasting without the forethought to pack a picnic lunch, I highly recommend paying a visit to Durant Vineyards. In addition to being one of the only vineyards in Dundee Hills that serves food (priorities), Durant Vineyards offers guests spectacular views of the Willamette Valley from the large patio, as well as a friendly staff and a spacious tasting room. READ MORE

Coeur de Terre | Oregon Wine Guide

Located in McMinnville AVA, Coeur de Terre is a fairly new vineyard with a lot of passion behind it. French for “Heart of the Earth,” the name Coeur de Terre was inspired by a large heart-shaped rock found while excavating the grounds for the vineyard. The owners, Scott and Lisa Neal, planted the vineyard themselves and have lived on the property, farmed the land (using organic farming techniques), and made the wine since its inception. READ MORE

Youngberg Hill | Oregon Wine Guide

Located about an hour and fifteen minutes west of Portland, Youngberg Hill is definitely a gem worth exploring. I discovered the beautiful estate while driving from Portland to Lincoln City, and am so glad I decided to make the stop. The beautiful tasting room is located in a picturesque bed and breakfast nestled on a 50-acre hillside boasting spectacular views of the surrounding organic vineyard. The winery has practiced organic methods sine 2003, and is certified both LIVE sustainable and Salmon Safe. READ MORE

White Rose Estate | Oregon Wine Guide

When I first entered the White Rose tasting room, it took my eyes a few minutes to adjust to the small (very) dimly lit interior. The cozy rustic wood and leather décor present the feeling of stepping into an attic or log cabin. While the grounds are beautiful, the tasting room offers no windows for guests to enjoy the view. Despite this, the intimate experience and A+ hospitality make the tasting room worth a visit. I was somewhat surprised to discover they only serve Pinot Noir READ MORE

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