Roman Holiday – How to Spend 3 Days in Rome

If I could spend forever in Italy, I would.

The food, the architecture, the history…it really is my ideal country to travel to, which is why I’m forever grateful that I did on my Costsaver Jewels of Italy trip last year.

roman ruins

But Italy can be just as overwhelming as it is magical. There’s so much to see that you may not even know where to start–especially in such an intimidating city like Rome.

Have no fear! Since Rome is so walkable and condensed, you can easily spend three days in Rome without ever feeling rushed. I’ve put together a very doable, very action-packed three day itinerary of Rome, just for you!

Read More »

Advertisements

Adventures in Italy – a Photo Diary

Last year, I achieved a wonderful dream of mine by traveling through Italy with CostSaver, visiting many of the Italian cities that I’d only seen on TV. With its wonderful food, architecture and countryside, I fell in love with Italy in a way that I’d never felt before, and it awakened a love for travel.

san gimignano piazza

Read More »

How to Spend a Long Weekend in Denver

Memorial Day is coming up soon, and there’s no better way to spend it than a long weekend in Denver!

larimer square lights

I’ve lived around Denver my whole life, so I feel like I have a fairly good understanding about everything you can do around the Mile High City.

There’s plenty to do around the city for anyone: nature lovers, party people, art fanatics…whoever you are, you’ll have a great time!

How to spend a long weekend in Denver

Getting around

Light rail – Denver’s main form of public transportation is the Light Rail, which is like an above ground metro. Tickets are one-way or “day passes,” and can be purchased as either local or regional, depending on distance. You can take it to and from Downtown Denver and Denver International Airport (this costs $9). Otherwise, the stops it has are fairly limited and acts more as a commuter train than anything else.

Make sure to download the RTD app so you’ll never lose your ticket!

Taxi/Lyft/Uber – These are very popular around Denver. While Denver is a fairly walkable city, if you want to go some farther distances, you’re probably better off with a fairly cheap rideshare (you can use my Lyft code MONA364 for a $10 ride credit in Denver).

Rent a car – If you’re staying around downtown, this isn’t necessary. However, if you want to go on any day trips to Boulder or to go hiking, you’ll definitely need a car to get there. Just know that parking downtown can be very high!

Rent a bike – One of the cool things about Denver is B-Cycle, a bike rental system all over the city that you can use from $9 for 24 hours. This is a great alternative to walking and rideshares, for distances that are a little too far but a car isn’t necessary. You can pick up and drop these off wherever you find a B-Cycle station.

south platte river

Where to stay

Ideal Neighborhoods – RiNo (River North), LoDo (lower Denver) and Uptown/Capitol Hill are the trendiest neighborhoods at the moment for food, art and being right in the middle of the action.

Budget hostel: Hostel Fish. This is one of very few hostels in Denver, and is definitely the best of them. It’s fun, it’s close to everything downtown, it’s nearby neighborhoods like RiNo, and it’s great for any partier. Rooms are about $40 a night.

Mid-range hotel: Maven Hotel. This is a new, very trendy hotel with not one, but two amazing restaurants. Rooms start around $145 a night.

Luxury hotel: Crawford Hotel – Crawford isn’t the most luxurious, but it’s beautiful, convenient, and well reviewed. While you stay here, check out the Cooper Lounge, a secret bar on the second floor. Rooms are $200+.

Other options: AirBnB (use my code for $40 off) and Couchsurfer are both popular choices around the Mile High City!

What to eat

Avanti – This is a “collective eatery” with tons of different types of foods, lots of room and is a blast to be at. You’ll find tacos, sushi, arepas and more while relaxing on a rooftop bar!

Coperta – This Italian restaurant is fairly new and very good! You can get tons of Roman food at a reasonable price and tons of wine options.

D Bar – This restaurant is owned by Food Network’s Keegan Gerhard, and it’s one of my favorite restaurants. From delicious food to phenomenal desserts, this place has it all for a casual or a nice meal.

d bar brunch

Patxi’s – Authentic Chicago-style pizza in Denver? Yes! Patxi’s serves some of the best food in Denver, and I try to go here all the time. They have vegan pizzas as well for anyone who needs that!

Zoe Ma Ma – A great spot for authentic Chinese street food! You’ll get tons of delicious food for reasonable prices, from noodles to dumplings. Some fun facts: they include a tip in your bill to give their workers are living wage, and you can get a scallion pancake off the menu!

What to do

Breweries – One of the most popular things to do in Denver is brewery hopping! Denver’s less of a bar town, and more of a…bar-at-a-brewery town. There are so many all around Colorado, and several in Denver, so people love to try all kinds of beers all in one day! I don’t like beer at all, but people love Great Divide, Crooked Stave and the new Cerveceria Colorado.

cerveceria colorado

Go on a hike – This is definitely something that people love to partake in, visitors and locals alike. You have so many options for a hike around Denver, you’ll easily find a beautiful trail that fits your level of difficulty.

Relax in Union Station – The lobby of Union Station is bustling, beautiful, and full of things to do! You can grab some food, a drink or even just sit and relax for a while. No matter how often I go, I always love being inside, even if it’s just to charge my phone.

Explore street art – A great, affordable way to explore the city is just walking around and admiring all the street art! There’s something for everyone around town, and you can find some phenomenal pieces!

great divide mural

Go to a museum – There are several to choose from in Denver, and they’re all very fun! From the US Mint to the Museum of Nature and Science, you’ll find a museum that caters to your interests.

Visit a dispensary – If you’re into that, of course. Colorado was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, and there are tons of stores all over the city. Even if you’re not interested in smoking, you can always just go to experience something new!

Visit Red Rocks – It’s the most beautiful amphitheater in the world! So many legends have come and performed here, and it’s just as awe-inspiring as the pictures seem. Whether you come here for a hike or for a concert, you won’t be disappointed.

red rocks amphitheater

There’s so much you can do in Denver, you’ll never be bored. Denver is a relaxing, fun place to visit any time of year.

PIN IT:

long weekend in denverweekend in denver larimer square

32 of the Best Free Things to do in Denver

When people think of Denver, I think they’re mostly thinking of skiing/snowboarding, which isn’t the cheapest thing in the world to do.

denver mural

But that’s not all Denver has to offer! As a Colorado local, I can guarantee that Denver is a fantastic budget travel destination. There’s plenty to do in the city for free, and that includes some of the very best things the Mile High City has to offer.

Spoiler alert: it involves a lot of walking.

Read More »

8 Reasons Why The National Gallery of Art is the Best Museum in Washington, DC

Washington, DC is by no means lacking in museums to visit. There are so many to choose from, it’s almost impossible to see them all!

east wing national gallery of art

Even when I studied in DC for a semester, I wasn’t able to visit every museum the city had to offer. Of the ones I did, however, the National Gallery of Art easily became one of my favorite museums of all time.

Read More »

7 Reasons Why You Can’t Miss San Gimignano

It’s no secret that Tuscany is one of the most wanderlust-inducing regions in the world. From its wine to its gelato to it’s beautiful medieval architecture, Tuscany has everything you want for the perfect trip.

san gimignano

On my recent trip to Italy, I was fortunate enough to find myself in Tuscany for a few days. While most of this time was spent around Florence, we were also able to make our way to a little town called San Gimignano.

Read More »

I Took a CostSaver Tour of Italy – Here’s What Happened

Ever since I watched The Lizzie McGuire Movie, I’ve dreamed about visiting Italy. The beautiful views, the delicious food and museums full of culture always beckoned me—and who knows, maybe I would be mistaken for a huge Italian pop sensation.

rome pantheon

In August 2017, I finally went on a tour of Italy, fulfilling my Italian dreams and checking a few items off my bucket list. I went on the Jewels of Italy tour with my family, a Trafalgar trip that included three major Italian cities over the course of six full days.

Read More »

The Ultimate Washington, DC Food Guide

Everyone knows that Washington, DC is full of history. But something you might not know is that DC is full of cultural diversity, which means it’s full of delicious foods as well!

Washington Nationals pretzel

Living in Washington, DC for a semester was a privilege that I will never forget. I not only got to live in one of the busiest, most historic cities in the country, but I got to eat some of the best food at the same time! I may not be a local, but I’m determined to give you a guide to the best food in DC.

Read More »

The Perfect 1, 2 or 3 Day Washington, DC Itinerary

Washington, DC is more than just the US capital. It is 61 square miles of food, history and a ton of fun. There are so many things to do in DC, and I was lucky enough to live in DC for a semester in college.

capitol
Doing the Fonz at the Capitol

Because of my extended stay, I was able to learn about the ins and outs of the city, and created an itinerary for anyone’s interests in 1, 2 or 3 days. So here it is, the best things to do in DC!

Read More »

The Overdone, Overzealous Travel Bucket List – and Why You Should Make One

burano italy

What’s a travel blogger without a bucket list?

I think the internet may be tired of bucket lists, especially related to travel. You want to see Machu Picchu! Go to Paris! Swim with dolphins! We get it already.

But there’s something cathartic to writing a travel bucket list—the more overzealous, the better. It gives you something to dream about, to save up for, to keep going through the daily grind for. There’s a difference between saying you’ll go to the Great Wall of China someday and making the plan by writing it down.

Read More »