On September 18, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:You’ll need a car to see all that Puerto Rico has to offer in one day. While you won’t be able to see the entire island — it’s 3,515 square miles — you will be able to get a good sense of the various areas. Begin your day in San Juan, where you can wander over to Old San Juan and get a dose of history. San Juan is the oldest city in America and one of the oldest European colonies. Make sure to explore El Morro, San Juan’s fort from the 16th century.
Once you’ve taken your history lesson, hop in the car and drive along the coast to Mayagüez, which is on the western side of Puerto Rico. Plaza Colón pays tribute to Christopher Columbus with a statue of the explorer that’s surrounded by 16 bronze statues in the middle of the square. The city is known for its sweet mangos, so be sure to grab a few for the drive around the island.
Now it’s time to head to Ponce, an hour’s drive from Mayagüez. Located on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, Ponce’s easy going spirit will give you the gist of what island living is all about. Be sure to visit the historic district to get a taste of Puerto Rico’s past.
From Ponce, you’ll head to Fajardo, which is where ferries shuttle people to and from the small islands of Culebra and Vieques. It’s also where you’ll find El Yunque, Puerto Rico’s rain forest. Fajardo is the place to go for trying the island’s water sports. We suggest hopping on a boat tour and exploring the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay come nightfall.
On September 18, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:Depending on what you are looking for, there are a few areas you’ll want to hit when it comes to shopping in Puerto Rico. Ashland Avenue in the exclusive Condado neighborhood is the place to go for designer shops. The street is lined with names like Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Ferragamo, making it San Juan’s ritziest quarter.
If you’re looking for a deal, head to one of the outlet malls. East of San Juan, Canovanas’ Belz Outlets has names like Polo, Ralph Lauren and Nike. On the other side of San Juan in Barceloneta, you’ll find Puerto Rico Premium Outlets, which have many of the same stores as Belz.
Plaza Las Americas in San Juan is the largest mall in the Caribbean, boasting just about every store you need. But we suggest going to Old San Juan for some authentic local souvenirs.
On September 18, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:Whether Puerto Rico is your final destination or just a short stop before heading south to island hop, you’ll want to do something to entertain the little ones. With everything from water parks to rain forests, your kids won’t be bored. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s tips for the best things to do with children in Puerto Rico.
1. Fly kites in El Morro. For a dose of history and fun, make your way to the famous fort in Old San Juan. On a nice day, there are plenty of families flying kites in the open area in front of El Morro.
2. Flamenco Beach. Hop on the ferry to Culebra and settle in on Flamenco Beach. The horseshoe-shaped beach has calm water, making it the perfect spot for your little one to swim and snorkel worry-free.
3. Explore Rio Camuy Caves. The world’s third largest underground river makes these caves and canyons one of the most exciting things on the island — and not just for kids. The tour takes you through the million-year-old caves while you ride in an open-air trolley. You should plan on exploring them for about two hours.
4. Splash around at Coqui Water Park. Located within El Conquistador Resort, this waterpark is always a hit with the kids. With several slides, a lazy river and a 9,000-square-foot infinity edged pool, Coqui Water Park will have your kids entertained for several hours.
5. Discover El Yunque. Puerto Rico’s rain forest is fun for the whole family. With waterfall pools (nature’s answer to a waterpark) and plenty of awesome scenery, you’ll definitely want to put El Yunque on your family itinerary.
On September 18, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:Many people who aren’t familiar with Puerto Rico think solely of San Juan when they think about this destination. But the rest of the Caribbean island is quite exciting and has plenty to offer. Here, according to Forbes Travel Guide’s editors, are the best things to see and do in Puerto Rico:
1. Experience Mosquito Bay. Catch the ferry to the tiny island of Vieques for dinner and then take a boat ride on Mosquito Bay. This is the brightest of the three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico. The organisms that fill this body of water glow when they are disturbed, so you’ll see the water light up with a beautiful blue hue in the boat’s wake.
2. Explore Old San Juan. As the oldest American city — founded by Spanish colonists in 1521 — San Juan has plenty of history to explore and the most intriguing is in the forts of Old San Juan. Visit El Morro, where you can walk among the ramparts and through the dungeons.
3. Soak up the sun at Flamenco Beach. On the island of Culebra, Flamenco Beach is one of the most beautiful we’ve seen. The horseshoe-shape beach makes for great snorkeling, and the water is crystal clear. Vendors selling everything from clothing to food line the beach, and there are also lifeguard towers.
4. Take a catamaran tour. Hop on a boat in Fajardo and head out to the smaller islands like Palominito and Icacos for some unrivaled snorkeling. Carve out a half-day trip and plan to see some top-notch underwater scenes. Many of the boats have food and drinks included in the package.
5. Discover Gilligan’s Island. Whether you’re snorkeling through the mangroves or simply rafting and drinking the day away in the calm waters, this natural wonder is a must-do. You can rent snorkeling equipment in the nearby town of Guanica.
On September 18, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:As with many beach towns, summer is the prime season in Atlantic City. Forbes Travel Guide editors have seen locals and longtime summer visitors spill onto the beach as soon as the weather warms up. Conventions take place at the massive casino hotels year-round — much like they do in Las Vegas — but Memorial Day through Labor Day is when you’ll find vacationers descending on the shore. The water is a manageable 70 degrees, and the boardwalk is filled with families. During the summer, Steel Pier — the nation’s first ocean side amusement park — is humming and open for business.
On September 18, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:You shouldn’t visit Atlantic City without bringing home some salt-water taffy, crowned the first “Atlantic City souvenir” in the 1880s. Though you can get salt-water taffy just about anywhere along the boardwalk, Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend visiting Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy to get your stash. (The candy shop has two locations on the boardwalk at Bally’s Park Place and at Tennessee Avenue.) Joseph Fralinger perfected his recipe in the 1880s and it remains almost identical today. James’ Candy, a sister brand of Fralinger’s, is also known for its taffy — find it on the boardwalk at New York Avenue or at The Pier at Caesars.
On September 18, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:Spurred by its proximity to New York and Philadelphia, Atlantic City offers plenty to eat, from pizza and hoagies to upscale seafood. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the five best Atlantic City food experiences:
1. Hoagies. Make your way to White House Sub Shop on Arctic Avenue for a delicious Italian hoagie — after all, nothing says New Jersey like a hoagie. The joint’s offshoot location is at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel on the boardwalk.
2. Pizza on the boardwalk. Grab a slice of thin-crust, New York-style pizza and meander down the boardwalk. You’ll get a huge, flat slice — fold it in half and eat it on the go.
3. Dock’s Oyster House. A seafood mainstay and the oldest restaurant in Atlantic City, Dock’s is a must-visit. The family-owned eatery is a favorite among both locals and longtime visitors.
4. Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival. Each July, Food Network hits Atlantic City with top-notch chefs whipping up mouthwatering food served with great wine. Past participants include Andrew Zimmern, Robert Irvine and Guy Fieri.
5. Chef Vola’s. It may be off the radar for some, but this comfort-style Italian restaurant is a must. This family-owned spot in the basement of a former boarding house located on a residential street. It’s reservations only, so start calling now.
On September 18, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:When the sun goes down, Atlantic City’s casinos come alive. Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend joining the revelers at the casino hotels that line the boardwalk and beyond. From comedy clubs to nightclubs, there’s more than just gambling at these resorts, though table-hopping at the casinos is still the area’s gold standard. Tropicana offers an array of entertainment options in addition to its legendary casino, such as The Comedy Stop and The Quarter’s IMAX Theatre. For gamblers, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel offers more than 3,500 slot machines and 200 table games. The newest kid on the block, Revel Atlantic City, has a casino and the trendy HG Nightclub.
On September 18, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:This town is brimming with things to do and see, but our Forbes Travel Guide editors narrowed down the essential Atlantic City experiences to be had in one day.
Start off the morning with a leisurely bike ride on the historic Atlantic City Boardwalk. Bikes are only allowed on the wooden walkway until 10 a.m., so do this first. (Rent bikes from B & K Bike Rental, located on the boardwalk at North Carolina Avenue.) Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head down the shore for a pancake breakfast at Country Kitchen before making your way to the beach.
Go to Crystal Beach if you want to surf — it’s one of the city’s three designated surfing spots. When your stomach starts rumbling, it’s time for a real New Jersey experience: a hoagie. While plenty of places serve subs, you’ll want to go to White House Sub Shop for an Italian hoagie. There’s one inside Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel on the boardwalk; for the original experience head to the sub hop on Arctic Avenue.
Walk along the boardwalk after lunch and stop into a few of the souvenir shops before a quick trip to the amusement park Steel Pier — located just off the boardwalk — where you’ll find games and rides galore.
Next, make your way back to your hotel to freshen up for dinner. Reservations at Amada are a must — it’s located inside the new Revel resort and serves up authentic Spanish tapas under the direction of celebrity chef Jose Garces.
After dinner, hit the gambling floor at Revel. Atlantic City is known for its casinos and you simply can’t visit without experiencing at least a few pulls on a slot machine lever.
On September 18, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:If you’re looking for high-end shopping, Atlantic City is full of it — many of the casino hotels offer upscale shops. The Pier Shops at Caesars has 75 shops and restaurants. Luxury stores ranging from Gucci to Louis Vuitton will appeal to big winners, while mainstream shops like the Apple Store and The Levi’s Store, will suit nearly everyone.
Head to Tanger Outlets — located near the convention center — for deals on well-known labels like Polo Ralph Lauren, Under Armour, J.Crew, Nike and Lacoste. Of course, head to the boardwalk for beach-bum souvenirs, as it’s lined with entertaining souvenir shops that sell everything from Jersey Shore t-shirts to seashell key chains.
On September 18, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:While the glitzy nightlife scene is geared toward adults, kids can have a blast during the day in Atlantic City. From games and rides at Steel Pier to the long stretch of beaches, your little ones won’t be short on things to do. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend these five things to do with kids in Atlantic City:
1. Hit the beach. The beaches are wide but they can get crowded with plenty of playmates for your kids. The thick sand makes for primo sandcastle building, and summertime water temperatures reach up to 70 degrees.
2. Explore the boardwalk. Lined with restaurants, shops and hotels, the Atlantic City Boardwalk is known as the grandfather of American boardwalks (it is said to be the first). Kids can play games at arcades, indulge in candy and fuel up at one of many kid-friendly restaurants on the seaside strip.
3. Play on Steel Pier. This is where kids can be kids, no matter how old they are. Steel Pier is home to dozens of amusement park games and thrill rides. Take a spin on the double-decker carousel or a heart pumping turn on the Sea Dragon.
4. Tee off. Break from the beach and challenge your kids to a round of mini-golf. Atlantic City Miniature Golf has realistic contours, great views and is located right on the boardwalk.
5. Rent bikes. You’ll have to get up early if you want to ride on the boardwalk, as bikes aren’t allowed on the wooden walkway after 10 a.m. Rent a surrey (a multi-person, four-wheeled bike) for whole-family fun.
On September 18, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:Whether you are hitting the casinos or lounging on the beach, you’ll find plenty to do in Atlantic City. With a slew of daytime activities and even more nighttime diversions, there’s something for nearly everyone. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for five best things to see and do in Atlantic City:
1. Soak up the sun. Unlike many beaches on the Jersey Shore, those in Atlantic City are free and don’t require badges to lounge in the sun. The wide beaches get crowded come summertime, when the warm weather draws beachgoers to the sand. If you’re looking to surf, head to one of the three designated surfing beaches — Crystal Beach, Delaware Avenue Beach and Downtown Beach.
2. Hit the slots. Atlantic City is known for its casinos. From Tropicana to Trump Taj Mahal, you can play slots and table games in a variety of themed venues late into the night.
3. Stroll the boardwalk. A boardwalk is a staple for any beach town — and Atlantic City’s wooden walk stretches for five miles. Lined with restaurants, shops and hotels, this main drag is a must-see. It’s also a prime historical attraction, as it has been around since the late 1800s.
4. Visit Absecon Lighthouse. Designed by Civil War general George Gordon Meade, the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey was completed in 1857. Climb the 228 stairs to the top of this 171-foot tower for a great view of the scenic Jersey Shore.
5. Cast your reel. Hop on a boat and head out to sea to catch dinner. Atlantic City offers some great fishing, both seaside and in deep water. Well offshore you’ll find everything from mahi mahi and tuna to marlin and sea bass; striped bass and bluefish are found closer to land.
On September 11, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:While Fossett’s Restaurant accepts walk-ins, our Forbes Travel Guide editors highly suggest making a reservation; the Virginia restaurant inside Keswick Hall at Monticello is a popular spot for breakfast, dinner and Sunday brunch in the Charlottesville area. Breakfast during the week is not as busy as Sunday brunch or any dinner service, but we’d still rather be safe than sorry. You can easily make a reservation by calling the restaurant directly or visiting OpenTable.com to snag a table online. The nice thing about reservations at Fossett’s is that you can cancel at any time without penalty. Of course, if you plan on ditching dinner, it’s always appropriate to let the restaurant know as soon as you can.
On September 11, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:If you need to cancel dinner or brunch at Fossett’s Restaurant, you’re in luck — the Virginia restaurant doesn’t have a cancellation policy in place. That being said, even though you won’t get charged for bailing on your reservation last-minute, it’s always a good idea to notify the restaurant ahead of time. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors wouldn’t want you to miss out on the culinary experience of dining at Fossett’s, so we highly suggest you stick to your reservation. If you book your table through the reservation site OpenTable.com, you can easily cancel or modify your table through that website. You can also call the restaurant directly to amend your plans or ask any questions regarding your reservation.
On September 11, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:When you’re heading to Fossett’s Restaurant for dinner, be sure to follow the business-casual dress code. The Virginia restaurant doesn’t allow shorts or jeans, and sport coats are preferred. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest slacks and a dress shirt for men and a dress or skirt for ladies. While brunch is a bit more casual, you can be sure you’ll spot a few enthusiastic diners dressed to the nines.
Set on 600 acres in Virginia’s wine country, Fossett’s Restaurant is Keswick Hall at Monticello’s fine-dining option; expect a perfect balance of upscale and comfortable. Fossett’s is open for breakfast, dinner and Sunday brunch.