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The Food Trucks You Can’t Miss at Wynwood Art Walk

The Food Trucks You Can’t Miss at Wynwood Art Walk


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Every second Saturday of the month, Miamians flock to Wynwood for Art Walk, where dozens of art galleries open their doors after hours, offering views of exhibitions and complimentary refreshments. But the art and free booze are not the only perks that make Art Walk so enticing.

The lot of more than 25 food trucks, offering everything from Latin-inspired burgers to Asian street food, is serving up their own works of art worth raving about. And like a Picasso, these trucks are legends. Here are a few not-to-miss food trucks setting up shop at Wynwood.

Driven by husband-and-wife team Brian and Fatima Mullins, Ms. Cheezious serves up indulgent cheesy takes on the classic American grilled cheese sandwich. Create your own masterpiece, with a choice of eight cheeses and ingredients like spiced apple and prosciutto, or feast your eyes on their Grilled Blue & Bacon, layered with bacon, creamy blue cheese and green onion. Finish off with theSweet Meltdown, a sandwich oozing with ricotta cheese and orange marmalade between slices of Texas toast and chocolate dipping sauce.

What’s not to love about Latin and comfort food? Former Food Network host Ingrid Hoffman’s Latin Burger and Taco truck drives it home with their portfolio of American classics with a Latin twist. The latin macho, a burger made with chorizo, chuck and sirloin, is served with Oaxaca cheese, caramelized onions, jalapenos and their “avocadolicious sauce.” There’s also the 3 amigos tacos, with choices of chicken tomatillo, pulled pork, or chicken mole.

Launched by chef and owner Richard Hales of Sakaya Kitchen, the Dim Ssäm à Gogo truck is taking his favorites from the kitchen to the streets of Miami. The mobile menu features creative takes on Asian street food eats, using natural meats, organic dairy and ingredients sourced from local farmers. Popular dishes include sweet chili pork belly buns, ginger brussel sprouts, and their “KFC” Korean Fried Chicken Wings.

The food trucks at Wynwood Art Walk are located on the corner of NW 23rd Street & NW 2nd Avenue, and start serving around 6 p.m.


Dukunoo Jamaican Kitchen In Wynwood, Miami

Mister B. suggested that we visit Dukunoo Jamaican Kitchen in Wynwood. It’s unlike any other Caribbean restaurant I have been to in Miami – so very pretty, elegant in a whimsical kind of way, eclectic and full of flamboyant art on the walls. Color and comfort are two things that strike you when you first walk through the door. The smell of jerk chicken cooking in the patio, and the warm welcome from the staff, force you to stay and try some of the tasty items on the menu .

We had a mini-feast – wanted to taste as many things as we could.

Cooked in the jerk stand outside on the terrace, this chicken marinated in jerk spice (chilies, thyme, cinnamon, garlic, and nutmeg) was fantastic. It was a little cold by the time it got to the table, but the perfect amount of smokiness and intense flavor made up for it.

Jerk Chicken Sandwich

The sandwich was made with lettuce, tomato, cheddar, jerk mayo, and grilled onions. Miss Y. ordered this, and she is usually very picky with her food, but this time, she devoured the dish.

Lick You Finga Oxtail

This oxtail dish was supposed to come with broad beans, spinners (dumplings), and crispy onions, but I only got the onions. If I had read the menu properly, I would have asked for the spinners and beans. The oxtail itself was delicious and coming to think of it, I did lick my fingers after eating it – did not want to waste a drop of the sauce!

The fish came in a blue dish which shocked my eyes for some reason. This whole snapper was fried and then drenched with escovitch sauce, made from vinegar, onions, bell pepper, carrots, and scotch bonnet pepper. This was Mister B.’s dish, and he said that it was the best escovitch fish he had eaten in a long time. I got a bite, and the flavor was outstanding.

This traditional Jamaican Rice and Peas was excellent and hearty. The ‘peas’ are not garden peas, but red beans, as beans are referred to as ‘peas’ in the Caribbean.

Fried Sweet plantains

This classic Caribbean side dish was a winner, and it is made by simply frying very ripe plantain slices in oil. These plantains were not that ripe, though, so the little one had some issues with that. I thought they were terrific as I prefer them that way.

Jamaican Festival is a crispy fried dumpling that’s lightly sweet and goes well with jerk and escovitch fish. This festival was so good and big and chunky. I could have taken some to go, but I did not think that the texture would be the same if I warmed them up later. I can’t wait to try them again.

Festival in the front, Oxtail in the back

The Caribbean dessert is made from sweet potato, coconut , spices , and brown sugar , all tied up in a banana leaf . It is then cooked in boiling water. This particular one was made with jimbilin (a type of gooseberry), crispy sweet potato, and cinnamon cream. I have to say, with absolute certainty, that this was the best dessert I have tasted all year! I have never had Dukunoo before, and now it is on my list of favorites.

Dukunoo Jamaican Kitchen is a place that will rock you gently with comfort, both because of the food and the ambiance. It’s trendy, offers indoor and outdoor seating, a full bar, and an authentic jerk stand outside in the back. The service is truly exceptional, and the art scattered on every wall, adds a touch of Caribbean sophistication that is rare to see anywhere else in Miami.

Executive Chef Dennis Kerr Executive Sous Chef Warren Rhoden in the middle, surrounded by his brigade Lillian was the best!

They ordered a whole bowl of fries! Our gracious host

Dukunoo Jamaican Kitchen

Vibrant art on every wall Jerk stand


Where To Find Miami Food Trucks Near Me

On weekends, both the Wynwood Yard and Tropical Park host hordes of food trucks, drawing in a wide diversity of cuisines to suit any and all tastes. If you happen to be in Hollywood, the Arts Park draws in dozens of trucks every Monday night, while the Shops at Sunset Place attract South Miami's best collection every third Thursday. Of course, every night trucks are driving through town til the wee hours of the morning, with South Beach and downtown Miami providing especially fertile havens for every truck listed above.


Top Asheville Things To Do For Boozy Folks

Where can you get the best cocktails, beer, and red wine in Asheville? Keep reading!

While the best things to do in Asheville, NC &mdash to me &mdash are all outdoors, my next go-to are those breweries. Asheville has no shortage of beer. In fact, I think &ldquoAsheville&rdquo even translates to beer&hellip

However, we get that beer isn&rsquot for everyone. Below, find the best Asheville things to do that involve all of the booze: wineries, distillers, cideries, and rooftop bars. This section is for the boozy folks.

A quick link guide for you:

14. Drinking all of the beer at the famous Asheville breweries

If you love street art, don&rsquot miss Wedge at Foundation in the River Arts District.

You cannot come to Asheville without trying as much of the local craft beer as possible. As locals, what are our favorite breweries in AVL? We love Asheville Brewing, Zillicoah, Wedge at Foundation, Green Man, and Twin Leaf.

Downtown, Thirsty Monk has a Belgian beer bar in the basement, and if basements are your jam, One World is another lesser-frequented AVL brewery.

Don&rsquot forget to say hello to Sloth and Tom Selleck at Burial Brewing Co. in the South Slope area of downtown Asheville.

South Slope guards our favorite breweries like Hi-Wire and Catawba, and don&rsquot miss the infamous places like Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, Wicked Weed, and Burial.

For ginger beer (gf and Keto), you have to try Ginger&rsquos Revenge. For something different, Bhramari and Funkatorium (sours) are sure to impress or weird you out.

Explore our Ultimate Asheville Beer Guide.

15. Tasting wine at the hipster wineries

If you are looking for wino things to do in Asheville, NC, don&rsquot miss pleb urban winery in the River Arts District. Be sure to check out the vibrant street art, Wedge Brewing, and take a walk along the French Broad River.

If beer isn&rsquot your thing, there are plenty of wineries in and around Asheville, too. Directly in Asheville, check out pleb urban winery in the River Arts District.

Of course, Biltmore has a famous winery and wine tasing is included in your home tour ticket. Biltmore also offers a Behind-The-Scenes winery tour and a Chocolate And Red Wine Tasting Tour.

If you head out of Asheville, Flat Rock and Hendersonville host our gorgeous wineries like Burntshirt Vineyards, St. Paul Mountain Vineyards, Marked Tree Vineyards, and Point Lookout. Burntshirt is perfect if you want to order GrubHub and get grinders delivered from Joey&rsquos NY Bagels.

Don&rsquot miss all of these delicious Western North Carolina Wineries.

16. Grabbing a cocktail at one of Asheville&rsquos distilleries

We love this Shades and the Giant Peach cocktail from Cultivated Cocktails. Photo by Sarah Resta Photography.

If one of your favorite things to do in Asheville is drinking, you don&rsquot want to miss the distilleries &mdash our favorite being Cultivated Cocktails, Adam Dalton Distillery, and Chemist. At all three, you can try their local spirits and order a cocktail &mdash although for Chemist, you&rsquoll need to visit their bar, Antidote, for the extra libations.

P.S. If you know me from The Uncorked Librarian, you also know that we partner with Cultivated Cocktails for some of our literary-inspired drinks. They sell the best cocktail schwag, too.

Tour all of Asheville&rsquos Distilleries.

17. Nursing a cider at one of Asheville&rsquos cideries

Looking for something different? Grab a cider at Urban Orchard.

Of course, if you are gluten-free or looking for apple-related booze, Asheville and Hendersonville also have cideries. Many ciders are sold at the local breweries and wineries.

Urban Orchard and Noble are the most well-known cideries in Asheville. Also in and around Asheville, find Mills River Cidery and Little Switzerland Orchard and Winery.

18. Spying sweeping AVL views from of the rooftop bars

Don&rsquot miss these gorgeous rooftop views with a cocktail at The Montford.

Rooftop bar hopping always makes the top of the list for the best things to do in Asheville, NC. We always recommend Top Of The Monk located above Thirsty Monk Pub & Brewery, W XYZ Bar at the Aloft (and newly renovated), and The Montford Rooftop Bar in Hyatt Place.

There is also Antidote (part of the Chemist Distillery), Hemmingway&rsquos Cuba, and Pillar Bar at the Hilton Garden Inn &mdash just to get you started. You can take Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours, too.

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19. Relaxing in one of the cozy AVL wine bars

5 Walnut Wine Bar is a great stop for a taste of the grape.

Unfortunately, Asheville has seen quite a few wine bars go under with the pandemic, including Sante and Rustic Grape. However, if you want to relax with a bottle or glass of wine, head to:

5 Walnut Wine Bar &ndash Located in downtown Asheville, find an eclectic list of wines in a cute rustic and pastel bar.

Bottle Riot &ndash Situated in the River Arts District, enter a cozy wine bar with food.

Leo&rsquos House Of Thirst &ndash Brand new to AVL, our friends headed here for a fancy dinner and sizable wine list.

Battery Park Book Exchange &ndash This champagne and wine bar in a used bookstore is iconic.

20. Dipping into a local or dive bar for live music and drinks

Adam Dalton Distillery houses a fantastic little bar with their local spirits.

With bars taking a major hit during the different pandemic phases, I am going to keep this one short because of the devastating turnover &mdash and want to keep you up-to-date.

Asheville Club, Pack Tavern (also great for lunch), Dalton Distillery Bar, and Angry Jacks are some of our favorite bars in downtown Asheville.


March

Ponies in the Smokies 2021 (March 24-27)

Each spring, a stampede of Mustangs storms Pigeon Forge. But it's not wild horses it's classic Ford Mustangs at the Ponies In The Smokies car show. This year's show will be held at the Sevierville Event Center March 24 -27.

Visit poniesinthesmokies.com to buy tickets and learn more.

Pigeon Forge Chuck Wagon Cookoff (March 26-28)

Before fancy food trucks served hungry hipsters, chuck wagons fed cowboys on the open prairies during cattle drives. The Pigeon Forge Chuck Wagon Cookoff celebrates the original kitchen on wheels the weekend of March 26.

The cookoff starts Saturday at Clabough’s Campground & RV Park. Learn more and buy tickets at mypigeonforge.com/event/cookoff.


Adventure: Outdoor Activities in Miami

16. Biscayne National Park – experience the incredible ecosystem of South Florida, including a coral reef, mangrove forests, and white sand beaches. Visitors are invited to snorkel, kayak, or fish to enjoy this unique environment

17. Jet ski across Biscayne Bay If you are looking for a short yet thrilling experience, then jet skiing across Biscayne Bay is one of the best things to do in Miami for adrenaline junkies. Hop on a high-speed jet-skiand feel the blood pump through your veins as you’re treated to magnificent views of the Miami skyline. Don’t forget to pack these for your Miami trip!

18. Oleta River State Park Full-Moon Kayak Tour – One of the most memorable things to do in Miami at night. With glow sticks in hand and the full moon lighting the sky, you will never forget this unique experience in Miami. Stand up paddleboards and canoes are also welcome

19. Parasailing in Miami Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get a birds-eye-view? Well, wonder no more, as you can experience the magic and thrill of flying 400 ft above Miami’s blue waters by arranging your Miami parasailing adventure here!

Find your perfect Miami outdoor adventure


Final destination on this Florida road trip: Key West

Key West is such a good time, I simply haaaave to include a few things to do in Key West during an epic road trip like this one. Here are a few of my favorites!

Rent a bike and drive down Duval Street

Driving Duval Street. Photo credit: Knycx Journeying

In Key West, rent a bike and explore this tiny island but filled with rich historical and cultural impacts. You could rent motorcycles or bycicles, depending on your style!

The streets on the island of Key West are in grids and it’s very easy to navigate. Seek out some of the most popular “southernmost” locations, from the southernmost point, the southernmost café, the southernmost hotel to the southernmost shop.

Duval Street is the main street with lots of restaurants, souvenir stores, and historic Art Deco buildings. Go for a movie at the historic movie theatre, and take pictures of the Goods Store, Joe’s bar, and many others. Stay alert as you are biking on the road as you will see a lot of chickens roaming on the sides!

After a good exercise, chill out in a roadside cade and you just have to taste the island’s signature dessert – the key lime pie. Only those authentic pies are white in color.

There are a couple of shops or hostels around Mallory Square with bike rentals. To finish your day, head to the waterfront and view one of the most beautiful sunsets in the Caribbean.

Recommended by Kenny of Knycx Journeying

Tour and taste Papa’s Pilar Rum Distillery

Hemingway Rum Distillery. Photo credit: Traveling Party of 4

The 10 traffic lanes leaving Miami turned into 2 lanes. The highrise buildings replaced by one-story nautical boutiques, key lime pie selling restaurants and mangroves. And the noise of the city turned into a soft breeze and the birds singing – the color changes to green.

On my drive to Key West from Miami, I only had 2 things on my list (well 3 if you count the Champagne) relax and tour Papa’s Pilar Rum Distillery in Key West.

Ernest Hemingway has been a lifetime love for me. From running with the bulls in Pamplona to sipping wine in Venice, eating fresh-caught seafood in Key West, drinking rum, and reading his words, I have tried to be his top fan. I was over the moon to be able to tour the distillery during our visit to the Florida Keys.

Papa’s Pilar Rum Distillery, housed in an old tobacco warehouse, costs $10 per person. The behind-the-scenes tour takes about 30 minutes. Then you get to taste not 1, not 2, but 3 shots of goodness.

And Papa’s Pilar Rum tasting did not disappoint. Try them all, the blonde, the dark, and then mix them – delicious, smooth as butter, sippable, fresh, and sweet like a birthday cake.

Beyond teaching the creation of this lovely rum, Captain Kirk, our tour guide, told entertaining Hemingway stories and secrets. Fun fact: Papa’s Pilar Rum Distillery is the only business in Key West that the Hemingway family is still involved in.

Location: 201 Simonton St, Key West, FL 33040


Business Licenses and Permits: An Introduction

We love the Small Business Administration (SBA) here at FoodTruckr, and we’ve recommended checking out their resources a number of times before—but the particular page we’re sharing today is especially awesome!

On this page from the SBA , you can find information on business licenses and permits in your area. Once you click that link, type in your city and state or the zip code where you’ll be doing business and select “restaurant” as the business type. After you hit “search,” the magic happens! You’ll get a long list of the items you’ll need to run your food truck—and, most importantly, the links to your area’s government pages and the specific departments you’ll need to contact.

Now, this won’t be a complete checklist of everything you need to operate a food truck in your city, but it should offer a pretty thorough overview of the categories you’ll need to consider. Let’s take a look at some of the categories you’ll find:

1. Tax Registration

Most food truck owners will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), a number used by the IRS to collect taxes from business owners and their employees. You can apply for an EIN online at the IRS website or by fax or mail.

During the application process, you will need information such as the name of your business, the county and state where you’re located, and your Taxpayer Identification Number. When applying online, you have to complete the application in a single session, so be sure to have the necessary information handy and review online guides before jumping into the process.

You will also need to register for additional licenses and tax-specific identification numbers in your state. You can find state-specific information by clicking on the links from the SBA page .

2. Business Licenses

Before you can begin operating your food truck, you’ll need some general business licenses from your state as well as a Food Service Establishment Permit.

Each state has their own requirements, so you’ll need to visit your state or county’s website for the specifics. You can also find more information on these licenses and the Food Service Establishment Permit from the SBA , and we’ll cover some information on additional food truck-specific permits you may need later in this post (under the “Food Truck Laws” heading).

3. Local Permits

In addition to the state licenses, you will also most likely need several local licenses from your city, county, or both. Much like state business licenses, each city has different requirements. It’s important to find out what’s required in your area by visiting the links provided by the SBA or your city or county’s government website.

These are a few of the most common permits you’ll encounter:

  • Alarm Permit
  • Business License and Tax Permit
  • Health Permit
  • Signage Permit
  • Zoning Permit

Some permits recommended by the SBA for restaurants (such as a building permit) won’t be relevant to you as a food truck operator—but you will need to keep them in mind if you ever decide to expand to a brick and mortar location.

4. Incorporation Filing

Unless you’re operating a sole proprietorship (which can be risky for a food truck owner, as all of your personal assets will be on the line if you’re sued for something like a work-related injury, food poisoning, or a collision), you’ll need to formally register your business as a legal entity. We covered this topic in-depth in this post and you can find the specific forms you need to make it happen from the SBA page .

5. Doing Business As (DBA)

In some cases, you may also need to register a “doing business as (DBA)” name to legally identify the name your truck is operating under. Again, we covered this practice here and you’ll find the specific place to register your business name from the SBA page .

6. Employer Requirements

There are also a number of requirements you’ll need to meet as an employer if you’re planning to hire one or more people to work in your food truck. This is one of the more complicated parts of getting your food truck business off the ground, so we recommend starting out by reading this overview from the SBA , as well as the IRS Employer’s Tax Guide (PDF) .

Here are a few of the other employer requirement categories you’ll need to consider:

Documentation

Before you can hire any employees, you need to make sure that each individual is legally allowed to work in the U.S. All new employees will need to fill out:

  • An I-9, which collects documentation to prove the individual can legally work in the U.S.
  • A W-4, which determines income tax withholding.

You can find the most up-to-date versions of these forms from the IRS and you can use the government’s E-Verify website to help you process the I-9 form.

After you’ve officially hired an employee, you must also report him or her to your state’s directory. Most states require this to be done within 20 days. You can find the link for your state’s reporting service from the SBA .

Insurance

You need two key types of insurance to cover your employees: unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation insurance .

Unemployment insurance covers your employees if you terminate them or lay them off from their jobs. You will pay the state for this type of coverage, and you can find the link for your area from the SBA’s licenses and permits page .

We discussed workers’ compensation insurance in Lesson 16 —but in general, you should know that it covers your employees if they are injured on the job.

Each state has different requirements for the type of coverage you need, and your insurance agent or broker can help you find the best insurance for your business. You can also find the link to your state’s requirements from the SBA’s licenses and permits page .

Posters

As a business owner with employees, you’ll also be required to display certain posters in an area where all of your employees may see them. These posters will contain information on their rights in regard to workers’ compensation and minimum wage. Find out what you need to display from the Department of Labor .


Top 10 Things to Do on Oahu

Known as the “gathering place,” the island of Oahu is the third largest island of the Hawaiian chain. It certainly lives up to its nickname since majority of Hawaii’s population resides here and the island is visited by travelers from around the world. Hawaii is also a melting pot of diverse ethnicities evident in the island's culinary traditions, entertainment, art and even languages. Enjoying fun in the sun on Oahu can mean admiring Mother Nature, hanging 10 in the Pacific Ocean or hiking old train tracks on top of a mountain. In no specific order, here are 10 things that travelers should do while on Oahu.

1. Kapiolani Community College's Farmers Market

Oahu's KCC Farmer's Market

On Oahu, Kapiolani Community College is known for its culinary school but it is also home to a weekly farmers market. Thanks to Hawaii’s warm weather, farmers around the island easily grow fresh crops for businesses, residents and even visitors. With dozens of vendors selling their wares each week, the KCC Famers' Market is a place to smell fresh flowers from Big Island's Green Point Nursery, buy freshly-picked red rambutan fruit (cousin of the lychee) and taste foods such as Otsuji Farm’s sweet potato and banana fritters covered in maple syrup. Enjoy your stroll around the market with beautiful Diamond Head or Mount Leah in the background.

What’s cool: You can buy locally made food products such as jams, coffees, and more to take home with you as souvenirs.

2. Go to a Luau

Luau in Oahu

Photo by: Photographer’s Choice / Getty Images

Photographer’s Choice / Getty Images

The Hawaiian culture is a big part of Oahu’s identity and the luau at Paradise Cove takes people back in time by creating an authentic experience that shows how the Hawaiian people ate, lived and celebrated. Participate in activities such as stringing a lei, weaving a headband and throwing a spear while learning about Hawaiian history. In Hawaiian, "luau" means to feast and you’ll be able to eat food such as lomi salmon (cold tomato and salmon salad), taro bread rolls, cold haupia (coconut jello dessert), and juicy kalua pork. After eating, sit back and relax as entertainers showcase Hawaiian music and hula's progression throughout the decades.

What’s cool: There is a real imu, or Hawaiian underground oven, on the premises. The staff demonstrates how they use the imu to prepare meals.

3. Eat the Street

Eat the Street Oahu

Photo by: Getty Images News

Hawaii being a melting pot of cultures means there is a melting pot of cuisines on the island. Food trucks play a big part in Hawaiian culture and while some children grow up chasing the ice cream truck after school, Hawaii children chase after the “manapua man” or neighborhood food truck for a chance to grab something small to eat that range from snacks to plate lunches. Eat the Street is a monthly themed event that happens in the hipster neighborhood of Kakaako on the last Friday of every month. Over 40 food trucks show up serving portions made for sharing -- which means you'll have room in your tummy to try more food. From waffle dogs with cheese, li-hing lemonade, malasada burgers and more, let your tastes run wild and enjoy the assorted flavors of Hawaii.

What’s cool: There is a live DJ and interactive activities such as a life-size jenga for the whole family.

4. Iolani Palace

Diamond Head Beach

Photo by: Moment / Getty Images

During the late 1890’s, Hawaii was ruled by a monarchy and Iolani Palace was the official residence of their Majesties, King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani. Walk through the corridors of the only royal palace on United States soil and imagine royal balls with dancing and music in the throne room, feasts in the state dining room. Visitors will see the private chambers of the royal family, as well as a room where the king used to play cards.

What’s cool: See the Imprisonment Room where Queen Liliuokalani was held under house arrest for 5 months and the quilt that she sewed during that time.

5. Watch the Sunrise and the Sunset

Catch a sunrise in Oahu

The warm sea kisses the soft sand surrounding the island's coasts, and while it’s always great to take a dip in the ocean and bask in the sun, the beauty of the beaches also lies beyond the horizon. When the sun rises to greet the Windward side of the island, the best place to watch it ascend is toward the end of Kailua Beach. From there you will be able to have a panoramic view with the Moku Iki island in the foreground. To see the sunset, view it on the west or south shores of the island. Kahanamoku Beach lies right before Waikiki Beach and is a great place to bid the sun farewell. Take pictures near the boat docks or walk on the rock barrier near the beach’s showers.

What’s cool: If want to see the sunrise on the island's Windward side but would like an aerial view of the event, you could hike Lanikai Pillboxes.

6. Learn to Surf

Surfing in Oahu

Surfing was once a sport reserved only for Hawaiian royalty but eventually the boys of Waikiki Beach and Olympic gold-medal swimmer, Duke Kahanamoku were among the many who helped spread the joy of surfing. Hawaii’s pristine beaches and excellent wave breaks make it a great place to surf. Gone Surfing Hawaii is a fully-licensed and insured surf school with a team of qualified instructors. Everyone has a different way of learning and Gone Surfing offers private group classes. Whether you are learning to hang-loose on a surfboard for the first time or want to learn new tricks to be a better surfer, Hawaii’s waters and Gone Surfing Hawaii will be able to teach techniques that will have you standing up in no time. If you’re lucky, dolphins, turtles, whales and maybe a monkseal will greet you at sea.

What’s cool: Gone Surfing Hawaii believes in giving back to the community and donates 1% of its gross profit to organizations that help the environment.

7. Go to the North Shore

Rock jumping in Waimea

Photo by: Perspectives / Getty Images

Perspectives / Getty Images

Get away from the bustling streets of Honolulu and seek solitude in a more peaceful environment – the North Shore. The great thing about Oahu is that it takes only a 25-minute drive to reach the countryside of secluded beaches and mom-and-pops shops. When you are on the North Shore, you can’t miss sampling the area’s best cuisine -- garlic shrimp. The best-known shrimp trucks are Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, one of the island's original shrimp trucks, and Romy’s Kahuku Prawns, which allows diners to see shrimp and prawn farm pools right near the dinning tables. To satisfy your sweet tooth, pay a visit to Mastumoto’s Shave Ice for ice-cold flavored goodness or visit Ted’s Bakery and have a slice of their famous chocolate and haupia (coconut) pie. You also can’t leave without facing your fear of heights and jumping off the famous Waimea Bay Beach rock.

What’s cool: Take a picture next to the famous surfing Haliewa sign on the Kamehameha Highway. There are 2 signs, 1 going in each direction so you won’t miss it.


Your Guide to Napa Valley on a Budget

Situated along the Napa River, downtown Napa is an extremely walkable destination filled with plenty of things to do on the cheap. We suggest heading to First Street Napa to peruse the many boutiques (yes, window shopping is allowed), then taking a leisurely stroll around town. Be sure to check out the sculptures along the Napa Art Walk as you wander the streets. This (free) urban exhibition of public artworks highlights the work of various artists throughout the West Coast. Grab a map at the Napa Valley Welcome Center, where you can also get more information on deals in the area, such as two-for-one tastings.

When hunger strikes, Napa has plenty of options where one can eat well while minding the budget. Don’t miss the Oxbow Public Market, a collection of artisan restaurants and shops in Napa, which offers something for every taste. For the budget-conscious, we love the breakfast items at Model Bakery, most of which are under $10, and you simply can’t beat a $12 lunch of a hamburger and fries from Gott’s. You can also find a variety of tasty tacos under $10 at C Casa, or even pick up a few cheeses from the Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant to pack for an afternoon picnic in the vineyards.

Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant, Courtesy of Oxbow Public Market

If you’ve indulged in some wine tasting at any of Napa’s urban tasting rooms (such as JaM Cellars or Mayacamas), we wouldn’t blame you if a grilled cheese is calling your name. In such a circumstance, check out Melted, a downtown sandwich shop specializing in ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwiches — most of which are priced under $12. Nearby, Bounty Hunter offers happy hour specials Monday through Friday, featuring such deals as a $14 BBQ sampler plate and $7 wines by the glass.

If you’re hungry for more budget-conscious food ideas, check out one of Napa’s food trucks. Offering everything from burgers and sandwiches to tacos and hot dogs, if you spot one while cruising around town, your taste buds (and your wallet) will surely thank you.

Go Wine Tasting

Though it will cost you a little bit upfront, Bay Area locals and those who visit Napa Valley often may want to consider purchasing a Covet Pass wine tasting pass. You’ll get complimentary tastings at a handful of Napa wineries (plus tastings in Sonoma County and Lake County!), which, at $150 per pass, is a great deal considering the regular wine tasting fees at these wineries will run you $30 – $50+ per person. It’s a fantastic way to save while you sip.

Not surprisingly, free wine tastings aren’t really a thing in Napa Valley (without some sort of wine pass, that is). There are, however, a few affordable wine tasting deals to be enjoyed in Wine Country, if you know where to look. For tastings of quality wine priced at $25 or less per person, check out Bennett Lane, a Calistoga winery known for their friendly service and highly rated blends, as well as Dutch Henry, a family-owned winery located along the picturesque Silverado Trail. In downtown Yountville, head to the charming tasting room and art gallery of Jessup Cellars, where a tasting of three wines will only set you back $20. Also worth trying is the family-owned Trefethen. Though a tasting will cost you $30 per person, the quality of the experience and their estate-grown wines make it feel like you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.

Courtesy of Beringer Vineyards

At the historic Beringer Vineyards in St. Helena, wine tastings start at $35 per person, but those simply looking for a glass of wine can take advantage of the weekend-only “stroll and sip” experience. Though not seated, this $15 offering allows you to walk around the beautiful gardens of this iconic 144-year-old estate, glass of wine in hand. By the glass offerings are also available at Clos Pegase winery in Calistoga, where glasses of wine start at $10 and can be sipped al fresco with views of the expansive estate and vineyards.

Budget-Friendly Insider Tip: For those flying out of the Sonoma County Airport (STS), San Francisco Int’l Airport (SFO), or Sacramento Int’l Airport (SMF) on Alaska Airlines, be sure to take advantage of their “Wine Flies Free” program. It’s an easy way to transport your wine purchases back home — all you need to do is pack your wine in a case box before heading to the airport.

Get Outdoors

With scenic vistas, lush forests, and rolling hills of vineyards, not to mention mild weather year-round, Napa Valley is a great place to spend some time outdoors. And luckily for those on a budget, many outdoor activities can be enjoyed at little to no cost.
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, Courtesy of Visit Calistoga

Napa Valley is home to a variety of parks with picnic facilities and hiking trails, most of which are free to use. Located just outside of St. Helena, Bothe-Napa Valley State Park offers hiking trails that wind through coastal redwoods and madrones, as well as picnic facilities under towering Douglas Firs. On the other side of the valley, near Rutherford, Moore Creek Park offers multi-use trails worth exploring — great for hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian use. It’s also a good place to spot some wildlife, as large mammals in the park are plentiful.

Close to downtown Napa, Alston Park is a popular park for dog owners to roam, thanks to an off-leash dog area, but there’s also an easy 2.7-mile trail loop that beckons with beautiful wildflowers along the way.

Also worth exploring is Calistoga’s Petrified Forest, a preserved ancient forest of fossilized redwood trees. Walk along the trails to explore this unique outdoor exhibition as you learn more about the excavation of the trees and the petrification process. Admission is $12 per adult, $6 per child (though kids under 6 are free).

For a leisurely outdoor experience on two wheels, take advantage of hourly hybrid bike rentals (which will run you about $15 per hour or $40 – $45 per day) from places like St. Helena Cyclery or Enjoy Napa Valley. Spend the day biking along the 12.5-mile car-free bike path known as the Vine Trail or plan to venture along the scenic Silverado Trail, home to many of Napa’s most famous wineries.

Where to Stay

Luxury resorts and well-appointed boutique hotels abound in Napa Valley, but they often come with a hefty price tag. Luckily, when you need a comfortable place to stay that won’t eat up the bulk of your vacation budget, regardless of whether you’re visiting in summer or in the off-season, there are a few good options to consider.

The historic Calistoga Inn, Restaurant and Brewery in Calistoga features 17 clean and comfortable second-floor rooms, each outfitted with a queen bed and private sink. Guest rooms share common restrooms and shower facilities down the hall, which contributes to the Inn’s affordability, but the convenient location in the heart of town more than makes up for it. Plus, you’ll be steps from the Inn’s own restaurant and brewery, complete with expansive patio and regular live music.

Calistoga Inn, Restaurant & Brewery, Courtesy of Calistoga Inn

Nearby in Calistoga, UpValley Inn & Hot Springs is an easy place to escape to without breaking the bank. Offering rustic, yet modern decor, a sauna and steam room, plus its own natural mineral hot springs pool and hot tub, you’ll be feeling the R&R vibes for a lot less than other Calistoga hot springs resorts.

In Napa, the Best Western PLUS Inn at the Vines offers great value in a convenient location just a five-minute drive south of downtown Napa. The furnishings are classic and comfortable, while amenities such as an outdoor pool, on-site restaurant, and gym add to its appeal. For something a bit more deluxe in Napa, check out the Silverado Resort and Spa. Though not technically a “budget” accommodation, the resort’s numerous amenities, including golf, tennis, a spa, and on-site dining, make a stay feel like a true vacation, while reasonably priced rooms make it a more accessible destination than other resorts in Wine Country.

Budget-Friendly Insider Tip: Want to stay at the Silverado Resort for less? Use our special promo link and you’ll get 25% off the best available room rate and a $50 resort credit. And be sure to check out all of our Napa Valley lodging deals for discounted rates and special perks like complimentary bottles of wine and spa credits.

Other Tips For the Budget-Conscious

It may sound obvious, but planning your trip to Napa in the off-season months or even mid-week during high season can usually help you cut costs. Not only do hotels tend to offer better rates, but restaurants will generally be less crowded, so you’ll up your chances of snagging a spot during the coveted happy hour.

It’d be a shame to come to Napa Valley and not enjoy a great bottle of wine with a good meal. While many restaurants pride themselves on their fantastic wine lists (and for good reason), we realize that not everyone can afford to splurge on wine and food in one sitting. Good news for those on a budget: many Napa restaurants will allow you to bring your own bottle and pay a corkage fee. Of course, corkage fees and regulations vary by restaurant, so be sure to check with each restaurant in advance.

Lastly, many Napa Valley wineries offer picnic facilities on-site to enjoy during a tasting or with the purchase of a bottle of wine. While some wineries have picnic provisions available for purchase, others will actually allow you to bring your own food. Due to COVID-19, bringing your own picnic may be restricted, but it’s definitely worth looking into as a picnic among the vineyards is a great way to experience Wine Country.


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Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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The Denver Bazaar is back in full force this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, the first Sloan's Lake Bazaar of the season will highlight seventy makers as well as ten fashion vendors, along with food trucks and live entertainment. Admission is free to any and all (unlimited drink options are available), and dogs are welcome. Find out more here.

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Saturday, May 15, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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La Alma Lincoln Park Historic Cultural District Community Meeting
Saturday, May 15, 11 a.m., online

La Alma Lincoln Park is one of Denver's oldest residential neighborhoods, and now it could become the city's second historic cultural district. Join a city-sponsored Zoom that will discuss the proposed designation and share the importance of this part of the city. Find out more here.

Boulder Creek Fest Summer Sundays Marketplace
Sundays, May 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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This free block party with live music and complimentary caricature art was postponed last week because of rain, but it's back on for Sunday, with live performances by A Girl Named Sethe at 12:30 p.m. and Dotsero at 1:30 p.m. Grab a seat (and a meal) on a restaurant patio or bring a lawn chair. Find out more here.

Adrian Miller, Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue
Sunday, May 16, 2 p.m., online

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EXPAND

The Rise of the Aurora Suburb During the Cold War
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Know of a great free event around town? We'll be updating this list through the week send information to [email protected]

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