First page peeks for the curious

Hello fellow travelers! 

      Here are our first page excerpts, posted for those of you who like to get the feel of things before making a purchase.

        Before you scroll down, just know that these are not travel manuals– they are guides with personal advice that you can really use. We let readers know what to see and what not to see.  We’ll tell you the best ways to get between the airport and the city center, give tips on tipping, suggestions on safety, and reveal some secret spots those other books don’t know about. It’s like having a local along on your visit!

 

Edinburgh, Scotland  edinburgh cover

Ah, Edinburgh, how stunning you are! And how mysterious. You’re a city with two personalities, and two different sections of town that reflect them. Your medieval Old Town and Georgian-styled New Town could not be more different, and yet somehow strike a balance between the dark and the light of your long history.

       The past is evident everywhere here; stone buildings from the 13th century still line the streets and alleyways of the medieval area… never mind that there’s a Starbucks tucked inside some of them. This is what Edinburgh is and has been for awhile now: a place that has embraced the new without giving up the very foundations of its historic structure. Visitors will find this is especially true along the bustling “Royal Mile,” as it is now called. Formerly the city’s High Street, it runs from Edinburgh Castle straight over to the Queen’s Palace of Holyroodhouse.

      Edinburgh is an incredibly friendly place and its local folk are ready to engage in conversation anywhere, anytime. Travelers won’t take long to realize that even a quick chat with a Scot can easily turn into an in-depth conversation about soccer, politics, or local sights that they heartily recommend. These are a people who love life, who want to share it, and who are never in a hurry to pass up the chance to make a new friend.

        This is an affordable city for dining and readily offers up everything from fast food to pub food to well-priced haute cuisine. The food scene here continues to become more and more international, and our suggestions in the upcoming chapter on Feasting will reflect this. Even the locals probably don’t eat haggis and blood sausage all the time. If you choose only traditional Scottish cuisine for every meal you’ll be missing out. Edinburgh is a proud but welcoming place to the rest of the world and that is precisely what is reflected in its modern cuisine.

         Visitors to the Scottish capital should note that it’s a wee bit too large and too hilly to be completely walkable, though it can be done if you have a good amount of time. City buses, taxi cabs, a modern tramway, and Uber cars are all ready to assist you. Transportation services are relatively inexpensive here and help speed you to wherever you’re going. The top sights are either right in the center of town or only a fifteen minute ride away.  From the ancient fortress on the hill to the sheep pastures that reach down to the harbor known as the Firth of Forth, Edinburgh simply could not be more charming to today’s explorer. It’s well-cared for too, and clean to a fault when compared to centuries ago when a holler of Gardyloo! meant that the contents of a chamber pot were about to be tossed out a window.

With its famous International Festival, real haunted pubs, royal palace, kitschy ghost tours, and an abundance of free national galleries, Edinburgh definitely offers something for everyone. It boasts exquisite art, nearby castles to survey, steep hiking trails, quaint village streams, designer fashion stores, and plaid scarf shops galore. It’s a place where the semi-annual pagan bonfire ceremonies are just as important as its quaint Christmas markets. And for those willing to take a bus or taxi to the next village, a visit to the mystifying Rosslyn Chapel should certainly be in order.

           Choose a neighborhood from this guide that appeals to you, either by its quirky personality or by its proximity to the particular sights you plan on exploring, and then reserve your accommodations early. Hotel prices are quite fair here especially when booked in advance.

           Can a visitor skip the main sights altogether and still enjoy themselves? Absolutely. As one of the most haunted cities in Europe, let’s just say there’s never a dull moment, especially on our exclusive haunted pubs crawl. And there are enough street entertainers, bars, bakeries, markets, concerts, soccer matches, and festivals to keep even the biggest history-hater happy. These people can have a terrific time in Edinburgh, but they will never truly understand her.

      As for Clued In Edinburgh, let’s just say this complicated city truly needs an opinionated guide book. Without candid suggestions, how can a visitor know which sights to wait in line for and which to skip entirely? There are several places that are definite “tourist attractions” and so we have either left those out entirely or put them in our more cautionary chapter. That’s why this guide is perfect for the traveler on the move who does not have a month to spend here. Our main chapters are literally titled Not to be missed, Try to fit it in, and Skip it unless it’s your thing –so that you can hit the ground running. Have a wee dram of Scotch whisky and then go find your inner Outlander, suited to your own interests, for this is a city that holds a different experience for each person.  And as we clue you in, we hope you’ll find wisdom, and even some humor, in our pages.

Grab Clued In Edinburgh here now.

 

 

Barcelona, Spain   Barcelona Cover Art 2019 edition - small

Ah, Barcelona, how fantastic you are! You’re a lively place, with distinctively different neighborhoods that collectively define you. You’re proud, pristine, and boasting gorgeous architecture everywhere we turn.  Huge plazas like Plaça Catalunya and Plaça d’Espanya put this city on the same scale as any European capital, yet its narrow alleyways and medieval corners create an intimacy that’s hard to resist. And when combined with a local cuisine of fresh seafood and unusual appetizers, it’s a formidable foodie town too.

           But there’s more to Barcelona than just tapas and Gaudí, though both of these are readily found across the city. Even the main parks have touches of the great modernist designer; a fountain here, a wall there, or a tiled stairway. It has other distinctions too… it’s a top city for both modern art and chic fashion, and goes out of its way to be friendly to its visitors. All of this right on the edge of the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. What more could anyone ask for?

         From the unfinished Sagrada Família basilica to the glowing white yacht harbor, Barcelona is impressive. Lovingly cared for by its locals, it’s difficult to find even one candy wrapper on the ground. Pedestrian zones, both large and small, have sprung up in every neighborhood thanks to the city’s new underground garages that help keep cars off the street. And while Barcelona is too large to be completely walkable, it’s easy to explore by taxi or Metro train –if you have the right clues.

          This is an affordable city for eating; it’s overflowing with restaurants and wine bars that serve up reasonably priced fare. The tapas and pintxos appetizer bites may not be complimentary like in other parts of Spain, but they are quite inexpensive. You’ll be surprised how full of flavor everything is, and we can’t wait for you to see this city’s incredible pastry shops; they outshine even those in Paris.

        From the quaint bars and unique shops of the El Born district to the expensive designer boutiques and hotels of the famed Passeig de Gràcia (think Rodeo Drive) this town shines. Choose an area that appeals to you and your loved ones, either by its quirky personality or by its proximity to the particular sights you plan on exploring. Choose the Gothic Quarter with its winding stone passageways, or stay in a tree-lined residential area. There’s even a gay village with thematic bars. Definitely something for everyone.

        Unique in comparison to other famous cities, Barcelona has pushed itself to stay relevant in the 21st century while also turning inward to its Catalan roots. This place has so many festivals, seasonal events, fireworks, and religious traditions that it would take an entire book just to explain them all. The entire region has given up bullfighting however, and lessened its admiration for other Spanish things like paella and flamenco.  Instead, Barcelona is a city that grows more cosmopolitan and more proudly Catalan. While it’s not a “historically preserved city” relying on only tourist dollars to thrive, the sights here are important and that can mean long queues. Favorite sons from the region include Picasso and Dalí as well as Gaudí. If you’re going to spend your precious time in line, make sure it’s for something that truly interests you. Do some real planning, book ahead, and then stick to it.

            But can a visitor skip visiting Barcelona’s artistic sights and still enjoy themselves? Absolutely. There are enough boutiques, restaurants, bakeries, markets, concerts, soccer matches, and festivals to keep even the biggest art-hater happy.  These people can have a terrific time in Barcelona, but they will never truly understand her.  We recommend that these folks choose a sight outside of their comfort zone and then bravely go to experience it. They won’t be sorry.

         As for Clued In Barcelona, this city literally begs for an opinionated guide book. Without candid suggestions, how can a visitor know which sights to wait in line for, or which to skip entirely?  For the traveler on the move who does not have a month to spend here, this guide will be invaluable. Our main chapters are literally titled Not to be missed, Try to fit it in, and Skip it unless it’s your thing –so that you can hit the ground running. Go and find your own Barcelona, one tailored to your particular likes and interests, for this is a city that holds a different experience for each person.  And as we clue you in, we hope you’ll find wisdom, and even some humor, in our pages.

Grab Clued In Barcelona here.

 

 

                    Florence, Italy   FLORENCE cover medium

Ah Florence, you’re an artistic marvel! Home of Michelangelo, Leonardo daVinci, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, and Donatello. Was there ever a city that thrived with a more artistic pulse? There’s simply no other place on Earth like you, a time capsule of the Renaissance period that also embraces today’s modern comforts, fashion, and culinary charms.

     From its muddy Arno River, old pedestrian bridge, scenic squares, and gigantic cathedral, Florence is a place where it’s fun just being there. This is an affordable city, no matter what the spending budget. Many of its best sights are free, and the ones that do charge are reasonably affordable.  For all its fancy designer shops and five star hotels, one can still get a very fresh, very gourmet sandwich for €4 and a glass of house wine in a restaurant for €5.  We love how walkable this city is, and adore its narrow streets, crumbling sidewalks, and historic churches. From Santa Croce to Santa Spirito, one is more beautiful than the next. We revel in the clanging bells of its campanile bell tower and gawk endlessly at the great Duomo…it’s as if one cannot look at it hard enough, or long enough.

     Unique in comparison to other Tuscan cities, this one glories in its past as a powerful city-state yet still welcomes in the present. Even with all its past achievements and powerful Medici family commissions, the art in Florence is not thrust in the face of the visitor (other than an occasional outdoor statue or two.)  Rather, its art is tucked inside this or that building and one must seek it out in order to view it.  For today’s visitors that can mean long queues. If you’re going to spend your precious time in line, make sure it’s for sights that truly interest you. Do some real planning, then stick to it.

     But can a visitor skip the art entirely and still enjoy themselves? Absolutely. There are enough boutiques, restaurants, bakeries, markets, concerts, festivals and special events to keep even the biggest art-hater happy.  These folks can have a terrific time in Florence, but they will never understand her. To know her art is to understand her soul. We recommend choosing a couple of sights that peak your curiosity and then bravely go to see them. You won’t be sorry.

     For the reasons mentioned, Florence literally begs for a concise guide book.  Without candid suggestions, how can a visitor know which sight to wait in line for or which to skip entirely?  We are sorry to say it but if you arrive without a plan you’ll see almost nothing here. For the traveler on the move who does not have a month to spend in Florence, this guide will be invaluable. Our main chapters are literally titled Not to be missed, Try to fit it in, and Skip it unless it’s your thing -so that you can hit the ground running. Go and find your own Florence, one tailored to your particular likes and interests, for this is a city that holds a different experience for each person.  And as we clue you in, we hope you will find wisdom, and even some humor, in our pages.

Grab Clued In Florence here.

 

 

              Rome, Italy  Roma Grey Border -med size

Ah Roma.  Is there any other city like you? We think not. You’re a vibrant city, beautiful too, and when people visit you they suddenly become interested in things they never thought they would be. A few might ignore the ancient sites that swirl around them but it doesn’t matter a bit because all can a wonderful time here. Rome quite simply has something for everybody and this highly concise and opinionated guide will allow even a first-time visitor to hit the ground running. No longer will your precious hours be wasted on sights and restaurants that are not up to par…

    Rome’s city center, the area in which we shall clue you in to, has an unusual appearance which adds to its charm…medieval buildings next to Renaissance ones, and streets with both an 18th-century palace and a stone mausoleum from the year 10 BC. It goes to show how long Rome has been around –and how long it has thrived.

     We love you, Rome. We love your delicate pastas, your sumptuous pizzas overflowing with toppings, your creamy gelato, and your aromatic coffee bars that seemingly have not raised their prices in decades. We love shoe shopping after dinner in stores that stay open later than anyone would guess. We love your churches, big and small, on every street and around each corner, all different in their own way except for that musky smell of frankincense and myrrh. Many of them, sometimes the smallest, have artistic masterpieces or Holy relics tucked inside.

     Even the light seems different in the eternal city, golden and sparkling until sunset when it turns a deep amber that streaks across the many domes and monuments. But mostly it’s the people you notice, men with big smiles and hearty greetings, local women dressed more chic than any you would see in Paris. Such warmth everywhere, and such a hip style in the teens as they meet up with their friends at evening time during their family’s passeggiata down Via del Corso.

     As fabulous as Rome is, its immense offerings can pose a problem if you arrive without a plan and have no clue about which sights are worth the money or not. For the traveler on the move who does not have a month to spend there, this guide will be invaluable. Our main chapters are literally titled Not To Be Missed, Maybe Save For Next Time, and Skip It Unless You Have Seen Everything Else so that you can hit the ground running. Go and find your own Rome, one tailored to your particular likes and interests, for this is a city that holds a different experience for each person.  And as we clue you in, we hope you will find wisdom, and even some humor, in our pages.

Grab Clued In Rome here.

 

 

          Venice, Italy  Venice Grey Border - small

Ah Venice, you are almost impossible to describe. A city built on water, a past which boasts one of the wealthiest societies on Earth, your merchant ideology, your colors and textures all so beautiful to the eye and doubled in the reflection of the water beneath you. You are a city of boats, where even the police, fire, and sanitation are all done by watercraft. No cars, no bicycles, no wheels of any kind that we can discern. The four-hundred-and-nine little stepped bridges that connect this place together have determined that feet, not wheels, shall rule the land here.

       Before various occupations beginning in 1797, Venice was its own country and had its own thousand year-old government. Only in 1866 did it become part of the unified Italy, and today still remains very different from the rest of the region. Unlike other cities, Venice is less about sightseeing and more about unforgettable moments you can experience, like seeing the most beautiful mouth-blown glass you could ever imagine in countless shop windows as if it were commonplace; hearing the citywide alarm and walking along the wooden risers as the acqua alta flood waters rise; feeling lost in the dark maze of alleyways after dinner, a sense of foreboding all around you as the black water laps against the buildings; or experiencing the immensity of Piazza San Marco just after sunrise when the only other person present is the lone man who sweeps the stones with a handmade twig broom.

       There’s a multitude of shopping in Venice. You can embrace it or ignore it. We think a little of both is best. There are world class museums, renaissance palaces to explore, musical concerts, and priceless art still hung in the exact spot for which it was commissioned (a rare treat these days.)  There are the Austrian-style pastries, inherited from that country’s rule; creamy, elegant, and decadent. And with its Bellini cocktails, bubbly prosecco, thick hot chocolate, and intense coffee, this is a place that excels at beverages.

      We love its sleek black gondolas, silently sliding through the watery alleyways. We love the occasional holler of gondoliers as they approach a blind corner…this is what Venice was, and still is.  Even from the simplest hotel room you awaken to a symphony of ringing bells as hundreds of Venetian churches sound the arrival of morning. It’s positively dreamlike.

      As for these so-called merchants of Venice, do not be surprised when they separate you from your money. This is what they do, and have done, for over a thousand years and you have to respect it; it’s the root of their culture. The trick is to get something truly wonderful for your dollar and this book will help you do just that.  If you are wise in your choices you will have a marvelous time.

      As fabulous as Venice is, its confusing layout and unusual transportation offerings can pose a problem if you arrive without a plan and have no clue about which areas are worth the money or not. For the traveler on the move who does not have a month to spend there, this guide will be invaluable. Our main chapters are literally titled Not To Be Missed and Try To Fit It In so that you can hit the ground running. Go and find your own Venice, one tailored to your particular likes and interests, for this is a city that holds a different experience for each person.  And as we clue you in, we hope you will find wisdom, and even some humor, in our pages.

Grab Clued In Venice here.

 

 

            Paris, France  Paris with Grey Border - small

Ah Paris, decadent city of love, how can we best describe you?  You are a city with a pulse, so alive, and glowing with white stone buildings and a flowing blue river. You have pastry shops around every corner and restaurants galore, many featuring exotic cuisines…no wonder your residents are in love with life.

       From the historical and geographical center of Île de la Cité (City Island) this ancient capital of the Parisii Gauls has survived and flourished for well over 2000 years. It’s a proud city, and that pride is well deserved. Every aspect of fine living is represented, from its wines and chocolate, to its fashion houses, and everything in between.  Shopping is almost obligatory. How can a visitor not be tempted by such an array of finery?

    Fortunately, a great deal of the past has endured making Paris one of the most interesting cities in Europe.  Its museums and monuments, all steeped in history, are like a treasure trove for the curious to discover.  If such things hold no interest for you, no problem; one can easily ignore the old and embrace the modern side of Paris and spend the days exploring the avant-garde patisseries and specialty shops, the edgy Canal Saint-Martin district, or a just relaxing on boat cruise along the River Seine. At night, the theatres and concert halls vie with the sexy nightclubs for your attention. There is truly something for everyone.

    The twenty numbered neighborhoods of today’s Paris each have their own personality. While Saint-Germain is quaint and quiet, the area around the Opéra-Paris is grand and frenetic. A lively gay scene can be found in the Marais, and people-watching is de rigueur in the Latin Quarter.

    We love the Louvre Museum, with its vast collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative art. There, one can see Marie-Antoinette’s personal traveling case complete with hand mirror and teacup, and an enormous solid gold jewelry box belonging to King Louis XIV. We love Paris’ churches, large and small, many of which offer live concerts at night. The palaces at Fontainebleau and Versailles beckon us as well; one can almost feel the ghosts of those who have lived there. The latter housed a court as large as 10,000 people in its heyday.

      As fabulous as Paris is, its sprawling size can pose a problem if you arrive without a plan and have no clue about which sights are worth the money or not. For the traveler on the move who does not have a month to spend there, this guide will be invaluable. Our main chapters are literally titled Not To Be Missed, Try To Fit It In, and Skip It Unless It’s Your Thing so that you can hit the ground running. Go and find your own Paris, one tailored to your particular likes and interests for this is a city that holds a different experience for each person.  And as we clue you in, we hope you will find wisdom, and even some humor, in our pages.

Grab Clued In Paris here.

 

 

              London, England  London new color COVER small

Ah London, how can we best describe you? You’re a metropolis with a past, and what a past it was…royal, regal, literary, powerful, and extremely proper. Your manners somehow set the standard for the rest of the civilized world. But you have been bloody too, ruthless to a fault in order to stand by your beliefs. Your river still flows mightily through the heart of your present day city but only God knows how many skulls lurk there, moving gently in the undercurrents.  Most beheadings concluded with the traitor’s head being tossed into the Thames from the riverbank near the bloody Tower.

    Can today’s visitors enjoy such a place? Absolutely! You might even lose your mind over it, which is much better than loosing your head. London relishes its past, but has made amazing (heh hem) headway into today’s modern world. It’s suddenly a great food capital – something it was not able to boast twenty years ago. Make certain you arrive with an appetite. Wonderful new restaurants have popped up everywhere, and the Food Halls at Harrods, as well as the ever-expanding Borough Market, will make you dizzy with delight.

     London is a sprawling city and is separated into distinct neighborhoods, each with its own vibe and style. Its most important, historical spots have been somewhat encroached upon and will have to be sought out. The original old London area is now called The City, and along with Westminster hold the most historical sights. But there’s much more to London than this. Much more.

     Enjoy an evening at the Royal Opera House, or take in some musical theatre or an offbeat play in the West End. Explore Chinatown, or see the official state rooms at Buckingham Palace if the Queen is not in residence. There are parks and squares galore, and so many cool galleries and museums that choosing which to visit can be difficult. To visit the wax museum or not to visit the wax museum? And then there’s the shopping and the dining…one could stay in London for a year and not tire of any of it.

       We love the National Portrait Gallery with its iconic Tudor paintings, and the Victoria & Albert Museum with its vast collection of decorative art and memorabilia. We love the Tower of London with its breathtaking display of the actual Crown Jewels, and never hesitate to take City Cruises’ relaxing and informative river tour. At night we recommend taking a London cab to Nightjar, a lounge with decidedly unique cocktails. Dare we say they have the most unique cocktails in the world? Indeed.  Then there are the side trips out of the city, each in there own way distinct and unforgettable.

     But as fabulous as London is, its immense size can pose a problem if you arrive without a plan and have no clue as to what is worth spending money on or not. Our chapters are literally broken down as Not To Be Missed, Try To Fit It In, and Skip It Unless It’s Your Thing for this very reason. For the traveler on the move who does not have a month to spend there, this guide will be invaluable.  Go and find your own London, tailored to your likes and interests, for this is a city that holds a different experience for each person.  As we clue you in on London we hope you’ll find wisdom, and even some humor, in our pages.

Grab Clued In London here.

 

 

                      New York, New York  New York Cover smaller

Ah Manhattan, how we adore you! You have a frenetic and eclectic pace, where pedestrians walk as fast as the cars, and where deli men almost throw your sandwich at you. It’s fun, once you get used to it.

   New York City is a fascinating and ever-changing scene. Just when we think a particular neighborhood is worthless, it revitalizes and becomes the new hot spot. This phenomenon keeps you on your toes. But there are also many things that stay true, decade after decade. Both will be explored and recommended in Clued In New York.  We are thrilled to bring you this edition, where we live and laugh and eat everyday. Welcome to our home and know that when you’re (hopefully) trying out one of our recommended restaurants, we eat there too. Give a little wave; we’re probably seated right at the next table.

    What do we love the most, you may ask? We love the museums, we love the performing arts, we love the architecture around Central Park…and those special New York sights which always give a lasting memory.  One can never see it all here, or try every restaurant, so we have focused our recommendations on those things which will get you the best value and quality for your money.

        The worst thing a visitor can do is spend all of their time in or near Times Square (or near the neighborhood of their hotel, wherever it may be.)  The key to a really fulfilling visit here is to experience as many of the neighborhoods as possible. They couldn’t be more different from each other. And in Clued In New York we have even included a few excursions out of Manhattan (like a visit to the New York Botanical Gardens or Yankee Stadium.) But most of the sights which made our “don’t miss it” list are right in Manhattan and all can be easily reached by taxi or subway train.

      As fabulous as New York is, its sprawling size can pose a problem if you arrive without a plan and have no clue about which sights are worth the money or not. For the traveler on the move who does not have a month to spend there, this guide will be invaluable. Our main chapters are literally titled Not To Be Missed, Try To Fit It In, and Skip It Unless It’s Your Thing so that you can hit the ground running. Go and find your own New York, one tailored to your particular likes and interests, for this is a city that holds a different experience for each person.  And as we clue you in, we hope you will find wisdom, and even some humor, in our pages.

Get Clued In New York here

 

 

                    San Francisco, California  San Francisco Cover small

Ah San Francisco, our favorite city west of the Rockies! So gleaming white, like a sandcastle covered in multicolored seashells on the shore of a choppy blue bay. The thick fog rolls over it like a fluffy white blanket, hiding its secrets even deeper within…   But perhaps our poetry is getting ahead of us a bit.

       Pretty as she is, San Francisco is also as real as it gets. By real we mean its people. But there’s no pretentiousness or attitude like in New York or Miami; it’s a friendly place, home of have a nice day and an energy that’s downright contagious. So how do we describe its residents, you might ask? Well, let’s see…they’re quirky, colorful, gutsy, eclectic, and very free-thinking…and GLAD TO BE SO. It’s these locals that give this city its soul.  The difficulty in describing them is that they’re so distinctly different, even from neighborhood to neighborhood. Each little section of town has a different name, unique vibe, inherent culture, and formal or informal society. This place literally thrives on diversity.

     We were surprised when someone on our team said, “Why are you doing a travel book on San Francisco? There’s nothing to do there.”  It made us wonder how many others might think that. The fact is there’s so much to do in San Francisco that it’s almost overwhelming. The most challenging thing is figuring out what to do first…where to start, how to get up and down those world-famous steep hills, and how to get from one end of its sprawling peninsula to the other. But you’ve come to the right place and we’ll solve these things for you here, in our pages, along with the invaluable disclosure of what to see and what not to waste your precious time on.

       Something that can be said about all of San Francisco is that it’s a very historic place especially for as young as it is. From the gold miners and the Shanghai trade of the 1800’s to the bordellos, saloons and onslaught of Chinese immigrants. Then there was the nightmarish earthquake and fire of 1906 that could have ended it as a city forever. It’s a place where the hills are so steep that its citizens had to literally invent cable cars (streetcars that are pulled by metal cables in the road) because the carts carrying goods and supplies downhill were tumbling forward and killing the horses attached to it. It’s a place where the son of a wealthy sugar tycoon and his young wife helped transform the city’s high society at the turn of the last century.

    The city’s natural beauty is almost beyond description, its spectacular bay and gorgeous bridges truly mesmerizing. There’s a lively art and music scene, making it a definite cultural destination. It offers something for everyone in your group no matter their ages.  It’s a plethora of free sights, wonderful museums, thrills and chills, fabulous views, cool shopping, incredible day-trips, and people-watching extraordinaire. There are interesting cocktail lounges, boat tours, and some truly great dining. Unlike our hometown of New York City, many restaurants in San Francisco have closing times as early as 9:30 or 10pm, something we find very amusing.

     Some of it is pricey to be sure; San Francisco is an expensive city. But our most memorable meals were actually the ones on-the-cheap and we can’t wait to share them with you. San Francisco doesn’t cater to the famous California Cuisine one hears about further south in the state. You can find a bit of it in the nearby wine country of Sonoma or Napa, but in the city the food follows a more ethnic beat. It’s about what you’re eating rather than how it was prepared. Will you dine well there? Absolutely. In fact, after reviewing so many restaurants in cities around the world, San Francisco now holds the distinction of being the first place where we actually high-fived each other over the table while we were eating. Yes it was that good. (See Brenda’s French Soul Food.)

       Our chapters are broken down into three sections titled Not To Be Missed, Try To Fit It In, and Skip It Unless It’s Your Thing.  If you arrive without a plan and have no clue as to what is actually worth doing, your fun will quickly go south. For the traveler on the move, this very concise and opinionated guide will be invaluable and will allow you to hit the ground running. Go and find your own San Francisco, one tailored to your particular likes and interests, for this is a city that holds a different experience for each person.  And as we clue you in, we hope you’ll find wisdom, and even some humor, in our pages.

Grab Clued In San Francisco here.

 

 

South Beach – Miami Beach, Florida  pink miami smaller

Ah Miami, how we adore your South Beach with its wide expanse of pristine white sand and salty shore of warm ocean waves. This lovely section of island, just a shining bay away from downtown Miami, is known as SoBe to its residents and regular visitors and is a definite synonym for “fun in the sun.”

     Most beach communities have one vibe, but not South Beach. It has many vibes at once such as sun-drenched, calming, indulgent, and eclectic. At night it all changes again, and the quaint Art Deco style of the place almost disappears as the place lights up and turns sexy and Latin. There is an unmistakable beat here, in the music and in the people, which you can easily get caught up in. For this is its heritage, and its appeal.

     While one can certainly laze on the beach eating Cuban sandwiches and do absolutely nothing, one can also make the most out of a visit here. There is much to do and see if desired. Beach and water activities beckon of course, but there are first rate music and dance performances as well. We point you to some cool museums if you are so inclined, and offer up a few wonderful (and sometimes adventurous) excursions off the island as well. As for you shopping fanatics, we have a special suggestion that will definitely impress.

     Some visitors come to South Beach especially for its decadent spas or its vibrant Gay scene and so we will touch upon those as well and give you insights you can’t find anywhere else. It should be noted that this particular Clued In travel book differs from our other ones in that it has a stronger emphasis on restaurants, hotels, and nightlife because that’s what SoBe is really about.

       As fabulous as Miami Beach is, its unique offerings can pose a problem if you arrive without a plan and have no clue about which areas are worth the money or not. For the traveler on the move who does not have a month to spend there, this guide will be invaluable. Our main chapters are literally titled Not To Be Missed, Try To Fit It In, and Skip It Unless You Have Seen Everything Else so that you can hit the ground running. Go and find your own Miami Beach, one tailored to your particular likes and interests, for this is an island that holds a different experience for each person.  And as we clue you in, we hope you will find wisdom, and even some humor, in our pages. 

Grab Clued In Miami here.

 

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