Dana Damato

Correspondent

  • Los Angeles, CA, USA

Dana Damato is a correspondent who lives in Orlando and Los Angeles. Damato covers the cities of Dallas and Los Angeles for Forbes Travel Guide. She is a freelance travel writer and host for various publications and the editorial director for the travel blog DrivetheNation.com. She is addicted to adventure and indulges in new cultures. She loves to taste new food, drink different wines, visit new destinations and bring those experiences to life through words.

  • On February 19, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best museums in Dallas?

    Dallas is a city rich of culture and history. Most visitors that pass through Dallas often make it a priority to visit at least one museum. If you’re one of those people and can’t decide which museum is right for you, try one of these to get your fill.
     
    The Sixth Floor Museum is by far one of Dallas’ most well known and famous museums. The Sixth Floor Museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating information on John F. Kennedy's life, career, assassination and death. Another great museum to visit is the  Amon Carter Museum.  The Amon Carter Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting American art. The Dallas Museum of Art offers one of the most extensive art exhibits to be found in the Lone Star State. One of my personal favorites is the West Texas Music Hall of Fame. The West Texas Music Hall of Fame preserves the history of Texas music and tells the story of Texas' influence on music.
  • On February 17, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best museums in Orlando?

    Orlando is full of culture, art and entertainment – you just have to know where to find it. There are several places to get a taste of Orlando’s style and when you’re looking in the right places, you’ll be amazed at the talent this beautiful city holds.
     
    The first most important museum to visit is the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA). This museum hold showcases of talented artists that are both recognized nationally and locally. Guests can find displays of sculptures, paintings and much more. Another great museum is the Orlando Science Center. Inspiring curiosity and exploration, the Orlando Science Center offers fun, engaging exhibits for visitors of all ages. Finally, tucked away on a scenic shore of Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Park is where you’ll find the Mennello Museum of American Art. This museum captures a folk era and features American art of all genres and time periods, including originally curated and traveling shows.
  • On February 14, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best beaches in Orlando?

    The best thing about Orlando is that you are right in the middle of the east coast and the west coast. If you’re looking for a beach to go to you, you’re just about 1hr – 1hr ½ away from the best beaches in the country. Let’s say you want to check out the Gulf of Mexico. The West Coast of Florida is gorgeous with powdery white sands and clear blue water. Clearwater Beach is the best beach to go to on the West Coast that is closest to Orlando. Clearwater is a great place to take your family or spend the day with friends.
     
    Heading over to the east coast, Cocoa Beach is Florida’s surf capital and famous for it’s Ron Jon Surf Shop (also home to professional surfer, Kelly Slater). Cocoa Beach is about 45min-1hr away from Orlando and is a great beach for the younger crowd. You’ll see a lot of college students here on Spring Break and a lot of surf competitions. 
  • On February 14, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    Should visitors rent a car in Orlando?

    Orlando is a very spread out and large city and most things are not within walking distance. Unlike New York City, Washington DC or Chicago – Orlando doesn’t have a metro system that is used daily by residents. You’re always welcome to using a cab service, however if you’re here for longer then 2 days, the price of that will get pretty expensive.

    My advice to visitors is to definitely rent a car. If you’re flying in, there are more then enough rental car services right near Orlando International Airport and the airport even provides free shuttle services to get there.
  • On February 14, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What is the weather like right now in Orlando?

    February is always a great time to be in Orlando. It’s the month that make Floridians thankful they live in the south, and the month that makes the Northerners wish they lived in Florida. While most states are getting freezing weather and snow, Orlando is getting sunshine and warm weather.
     
    February is one of the best months to come to Orlando because the average temperature is 70s in the day and 50s at night with a lot of sun and low humidity. This is the perfect time to be in Orlando – especially if you are going to the theme parks!
  • On February 13, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best restaurants in Orlando?

    Orlando is a very spread out city – so narrowing down a few of the best restaurants maybe difficult to do, but it’s sure not impossible. Depending on your taste and if you want to go out for an upscale dining experience or more casual, these restaurant are a perfect medium – upscale casual.
     
    Since Orlando is a tourist town, the culinary geniuses realize that they need to satisfy many different palates and therefore, there is a wide variety. It’s always easiest to find an authentic and popular restaurant on Orlando’s “Restaurant Row” in the town of Dr. Phillips. Some of the best restaurants on Restaurant Row are Roy’s – a Hawaiian Fusion restaurant by chef, Roy Yamaguchi, J. Alexanders, Ocean Prime, and/or Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. If you’re no where near restaurant row, there are several in the Winter Park area that will be just as suitable such as – Ravenous Pig, Bosphorous, Luma on Park and/or Ruth’s Chris Steak House. 
  • On February 13, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best activities in Orlando?

    Let’s face it – Orlando is scorching hot most of the year! If you’re over walking around the theme parks, there’s not much you’ll want to do in the middle of the day when it’s 100 degrees outside. A popular activity to consider is heading over to a waterpark. Wet n’ Wild, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon and Aquatica are some of Orlando’s best water parks that is fun for families and people of all ages.
     
    If you’ve ruled out any theme parks, check out Orlando’s famous International Drive. There you will find great activities such as Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Wonder Works and Pointe Orlando. If you’re looking for a great museum, the Orlando Science Center is a great attraction full of exciting activities for kids and adults or head over to the Orlando Museum of Art where you’ll see beautiful displays of award-winning art work from artists around the Central Florida area. 
  • On February 12, 2013
    Kim Atkinson is now following Dana Damato
  • On February 7, 2013
    Charyn Pfeuffer is now following Dana Damato
  • On February 5, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    Should visitors rent a car in Dallas?

    When they say “everything is bigger is Texas,” they sure do mean it! Dallas isn’t just big in population, but also big in how spread out and wide it is. Don’t think of Dallas like New York City – where you can really just walk everywhere, take a taxi or the Subway. Nothing is within walking distance since everything is so spread out, so therefore, yes, you do need to rent a car!

    Depending on which Dallas airport you fly into, each one has car rental services right there at the airport. If you don’t want to rent a car at the airport, you can be sure to find a shuttle service that makes routine trips to different rental car locations around, but mostly in the downtown area. Driving in Dallas is fairly easy and not too difficult to get around. Don’t panic if you get lost though – the locals will be more than willing to help you find you way. 
  • On February 4, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What is nightlife like in Dallas?

    Dallas, TX is known as a more laidback city, but don’t let that fool you from thinking there isn’t any great nightlife spots. You may find yourself having a honkytonk great time at one of there party locations. Dallas’ nightlife is spread into three different “party” areas with their own vibe: Greenville, Uptown and Main Street. Each location has a different atmosphere and different crowd, however you may find yourself being more adapt to one particular spot more than others.
     
    Greenville: Greenville is mainly a young, dive bar scene. There you will find a lot of college students that tend to get a bit rowdy from time to time. Main St/Downtown: Downtown is where the most expensive clubs are at. There's about 5-6 high-end, "ultra-lounge" type clubs. Uptown: If you put Greenville and Main St together, you would get Uptown. Everyone still really dresses up at these "upscale casual bars”. 
  • On February 4, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What is the one must-do activity in Dallas?

    If you haven’t been to Dallas and thinking about what the one must-do activity is that you absolutely cannot leave without doing is – allow me to inform you.  Dallas has a lot of great places to go, things to do and people to see. However, the most important aspect about why Dallas in on the map is for one of the greatest tragedies in American history – the assassination of President Kennedy.  Most people who are Dallas natives can easily tell you that this is the place to go – especially is you’re a history buff.
     
    The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is the place to go to step back in time and learn about one of the most known events of our nation’s past. Say “Dallas,” and lots of people’s first thought is still “President Kennedy.” The Sixth Floor offers a measured, beautifully curated look at the assassination. The permanent exhibit features films, photographs and artifacts that chronicle President Kennedy's life, death and legacy. 
  • On February 4, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best luxury hotels in Dallas?

    Dallas is an upbeat city and thriving with business, sports and entertainment. Whether you’re traveling to Dallas on business or pleasure and looking to stay in the crème de la crème hotel, look no further to the best places to rest your head.
     
    The Ritz Carlton Dallas is located along the historic McKinney Avenue Trolley Line in the exquisite Uptown area. There are plenty of places to eat, drink and shop in uptown and there is no doubt that the Ritz will add that extra bit of luxury to your stay. The Four Seasons Dallas is nestled on 400 acres of rolling hills. This property is convenient to every attraction from museums, shopping and theatre. The Omni Mandalay Hotel is patterned after the exotic charm of a Burmese city. Guests can enjoy a home away from home in this unique, upscale and luxury oasis. A personal favorite of mine is the W Hotel Dallas. Located right in the heart of downtown and directly across from the American Airlines Arena, the W is posh, luxurious and welcoming to all guests. 
  • On January 31, 2013
    Michelle Doucette is now following Dana Damato
  • On January 31, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    Where is the best nightlife in Los Angeles?

    Los Angeles’ famous Sunset Strip, in West Hollywood to be exact, is a legend known worldwide for being the top destination to go for the best music and entertainment, the best fashion and a very stylish lifestyle. For 1.6 miles, Sunset Blvd is a stretch of famous music venues such as The Viper Room, The Roxy, Whiskey a Go Go, House of Blues and many more.  The Sunset Strip is a great place to go for celebrity spotting as well as seeking new and unique trends.
     
    This glamorous location as an impressive variety of upscale boutiques, al-fresco dining and luxe hotel bars including Sunset Plaza, Katana and Tower Bar at Sunset Tower Hotel. This is place to go to really see what Hollywood is all about and where a good majority of stars came from. It’s lavish, exciting and a great way to see Hollywood for what it really is.