World's Best

25 Cozy Places to Visit in the USA in November

I may be partial because November is my birthday month and fall is my favorite season, but I think November is a magical time of year. In fact, I think it might be the most magical time of year, even more so than Christmastime. After all, Thanksgiving is hands down the best food holiday and that’s a hill I’m willing to die on.

November is a lovely time to travel as well. As long as you avoid traveling during Thanksgiving, flights are relatively inexpensive if you plan ahead. Road trips are also great in November because in the northern states the vibrant fall colors are still in tact. In some places, it has already started to lightly snow, while down south it’s still warm yet mild.

Here are 25 great places to travel in the USA in November:

25. Kauai, Hawai’i

Who doesn’t need a heavy dose of tropical weather before winter sets in? Treat yourself to a trip to paradise during one of the most affordable times of year to visit Hawai’i. Flights and accommodation are cheapest in early November and after Thanksgiving and the weather is perfect in Kauai during this time of year. Temperatures are slightly lower than average and it’s the end of hurricane season, with less rain than October and September.

Kauai is home to some of Hawai’i’s most impressive scenery, like the Na Pali Coast and the Waimea Canyon. For the ultimate Kauai guide, check out our magical things to do in Kauai post.

24. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

Multnomah Falls

November kicks off the chilliest months in the Columbia River Gorge, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting during this time of year. Fall colors pop and waterfalls are flowing in the incredible scenery of this National Scenic Area. Not only are there some of America’s best waterfalls here, but you’ll also enjoy jaw-dropping vistas throughout the Cascade Mountains.

If you are thinking about visiting the Columbia River Gorge while staying in Portland, this small group tour is a great option for a quick trip. Hike to Multnomah Falls, mountain bike through the trails, or explore the other car-free options there are for getting around the park.

23. San Francisco, California

The Perfect 10-Stop Northern California Road Trip

Although a visit to San Fran is wonderful any time of year, November is surprisingly one of the warmest months, making it an ideal time to visit. The sunny and warm climate is perfect for strolling through the city, hanging out at the bay, and visiting local parks. Plus, it’s low season for tourism so you can avoid the crowds at most popular attractions!

One of the best ways to take advantage of the awesome November weather in San Francisco is by renting a bike and crossing the Golden Gate bridge. Talk about an epic cycling adventure! Try a guided bike tour to get the most out of the trip.

22. Death Valley National Park, California

badwater basin stars

Been dying to visit Death Valley (see what I did there) but worried about the scorching temperatures? You’re in luck with a November trip to this jaw-dropping natural wonder. November temperatures typically peak around 77 degrees, making it an ideal time to visit.

The landscapes of Death Valley are unlike any other place in the world, featuring sand dunes, colorful volcanic rock formations, salt flats, and more. There are plenty of places to see and things to do in Death Valley and it’s also a neat place to camp! Clear skies will give you the stargazing show of your life, too. More on camping in Death Valley here.

21. Havasupai Falls, Arizona

arizona itinerary

Havasupai Falls is one of those places that is sure to take your breath away as soon as you set your eyes on the bright blue water. Although it’s about a 10 mile hike to get to the falls, the trip is totally worth it. While temperatures might be too cold to enjoy swimming in the water in November, you might still be able to take a dip if you’re feeling brave.

The main reason why November is ideal to visit Havasupai Falls is that the usual Arizona heat is much milder. Considering the length of the hike, you’ll be glad to enjoy cooler temps. The area is closed during the winter starting in December and both October and November see much fewer visitors. Less visitors = more opportunities for moments of solitude like the one in the photo!

20. Zion National Park, Utah

best national parks to visit solo zion

If you want to experience the wonders of Zion National Park without the crowds, November is the perfect time to do it. Not only can you have parts of this incredible place to yourself, but you’ll also enjoy mild temperatures and clear skies. Nights are chilly in November, but camping in the park is totally doable with the right preparation. Even if you’re not a fan of camping, the dazzling night skies of Southern Utah in November will make it worth it.

Admire the still-colorful late autumn leaves while you embark on one of many awesome hikes in Zion National Park. Want to take your fall colors tour to the next level? See the changing scenery from the air on this helicopter tour! Traveling to Zion solo this November? Don’t miss out on our solo travel in national parks guide.

19. Sedona, Arizona

Have you been dying to visit Sedona but a little weary about the Arizona heat? Try visiting in November! Late fall is a mesmerizing time to visit this gem of a city and the weather is perfect for a daytime hike or even a full-on backpacking adventure.

Temperatures are mild during the day, hovering around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and cool at night. With fewer people out on the hiking trails around Sedona, you’ll enjoy some peace and solitude among the red rocks. Besides hiking, there are plenty of awesome things to do there. Since this vibrant city is known for its energy vortexes, it’s also a cool place to learn about and try energy healing.

18. Santa Fe, New Mexico

This quirky southwestern city is sure to capture your heart. Known for its artistic vibe, Santa Fe has a unique character that makes it stand out from other places in this region of the USA. It’s also home to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, who is one of my all-time favorite artists.

November is a great time to visit Santa Fe as temperatures are only mildly chilly and the days are sunny. Consider heading out on an epic New Mexico road trip and stopping at loads of other sweet spots along the way!

17. Boulder, Colorado

If you don’t mind a bit of chilly weather without having to tolerate heavy snow, November is a great time to visit Boulder. Temperatures typically range between 47 and 58 degrees, so cold but not unbearable. Holiday festivals and markets start up in November, so you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday cheer early in Boulder!

Boulder has an artsy, eclectic atmosphere which is especially colorful in November. NoBo Art District hosts a First Friday self guided tour of local art studios and galleries, which is a fun way to get a taste for Boulder’s art scene. November is also a great time to get outdoors in and around this mountain town for a hike.

16. San Antonio, Texas

With sunny days and temperatures in the mid-60s during the day, November weather in San Antonio is absolutely perfect. Not only does San Antonio have a wealth of history to learn about, it’s also bursting with Mexican culture. If you can get there by the 1st or 2nd of November, you’ll be able to catch the epic Dia de los Muertos celebrations which are spectacular.

If you can’t make it for Dia de los Muertos, you can still get in on a spooky adventure with this Haunted Walking Ghost Tour. You also won’t want to skip out on seeing the city’s Mexican market, El Mercado.

15. The North Shore, Minnesota

This might be a super specific destination per se, but it’s definitely worth a mention. Minnesota’s North Shore is a stretch of about 110 miles between Duluth and Grand Marais and makes an excellent road trip in the fall. While you won’t be able to swim in the frigid waters of Lake Superior during November (unless that’s your thing), this road trip is totally worth it.

You’ll catch the end of the autumn colors, plus the down dip in tourism means cheaper accommodation if you choose to stay overnight along the route. This road trip can be as short or as long as you’d like and there are plenty of incredible places to stop along the way. You’ll see gushing waterfalls, quaint lighthouses, pebbly beaches, and more!

14. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

The Dells is a theme park-filled city in Wisconsin just north of Madison. You’ll find some of America’s best water parks here, plus some wonderful outdoor adventures and neat museums as well. November is a spectacular time to go not only because of the down dip in tourism, but also for the crisp fall air and colorful trees.

If you’re headed to the Wisconsin Dells this November, be ready to unleash your inner child. With so many fun things to do for kids and adults, you’ll be entertained for days. Choose from go cart tracks, boat tours on the river, and the quintessential “duck” rides. The “ducks” are motor vehicles that can put away their wheels and become boats. Yep, real Transformer vibes.

13. Chicago, Illinois

With fall winding down in the Windy City, get a head start on the holiday festivities and enjoy much lower prices on accommodation during this quiet time. Chicago tends to get its Christmas decorations out by mid-November, transforming the city into an even sparklier and dazzling wonderland. Visit towards the end of the month to catch the beginning of the glorious Christkindlmarket.

Since it’s pretty chilly by November, you’ll want to take advantage of the selection of indoor activities like museums, theaters, and galleries. Get a lay of the land on this hop-on-hop-off tour.

You can also take advantage of a bunch of free things to do in Chicago while you visit! Free activities means more room in your wallet to take advantage of Chicago’s incredible food scene. Don’t skip the deep dish pizza, either. Take it from me, a Chicago native: Lou Malnati’s is the best.

12. Traverse City, Michigan

There are few places in the USA that are almost equally fantastic to visit during all four seasons. Traverse City is one of those few and has awesome things to do during any time of year. You might think that a lakeside city is only worth visiting in the summer, but late fall is just as picturesque!

The fall foliage in and around Traverse City is still mostly intact by November, so a road trip around the area to take in the scenery is a dreamy daytime activity in itself. Plus, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a quick drive away and is gorgeous in the fall.

11. Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville sort of feels like an underdog city to me. It’s often overlooked and I think it’s time we change that! Louisville is full of captivating history, quirky art, and cultural gems. It’s also a severely underrated food city and has a delightful selection of cafés, diners, distilleries, and more.

November yields mild temperatures in Louisville, ranging between 51 and 63 degrees, rarely dipping below the 40s. You’ll get the best sweater weather without the chill of more northern states. It’s perfect for enjoying all the amazing things there are to do in Louisville!

10. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

While October attracts crowds to check out the fall colors at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, November brings much fewer visitors while still having great fall foliage to admire. Hiking trails are plentiful in the park and the best ones to check out during this time of year are Alum Cave Bluffs and Rainbow Falls for their stellar views.

A fun way to see the park is to take a 3-hour guided Jeep tour. The tour starts in Pigeon Forge, climbs up to Newfound Gap, and finishes off with an adrenaline-pumping offroad adventure. This is an awesome way to get the lowdown on the park’s history, geology, and more while having a blast!

9. Savannah, Georgia

You might associate Savannah with insane humidity and if that’s a turn off for you, I have great news. November in Savannah yields the lowest humidity of the year, making it your best opportunity to visit. Take advantage of the lovely weather to stroll through the Historic District, or take a hop-on-hop-off trolley tour.

While you take on Savannah by foot, trolley, bike or car, check out Factors Walk, River Street, and Jones Street. Want more ideas? We have you covered with a complete Savannah travel guide.

8. Naples, Florida

This one is for those of us who have a tough time letting go of summer (guilty!). A trip down to sunny Naples, Florida is sure to give you that dose of Vitamin D that you’ll be missing once winter sets in. Summer and winter are both peak seasons for tourism, so taking a trip in November is ideal for avoiding the snowbird crowds.

Take a stroll on the Naples Pier, check out the Bird Gardens of Naples, or simply spend your entire trip soaking up the sun on the beach. A wonderful lesser-known beach is at Clam Pass Park where you’ll find peace and quiet among the local wildlife with fewer beachgoers than other beaches.

7. Everglades National Park, Florida

everglades national park winter

If you’re an avid BMTM reader, you might be thinking “Girl, you tell us to go to the Everglades on every post like this” and you’re not wrong. The reason that Everglades National Park makes it onto so many of our lists is because it’s truly a national treasure.

November marks the end of hurricane season in southern Florida. It’s also less hot and humid as it is in the summer months, plus the added bonus of being less crowded: a win-win! The Everglades has a whole host of neat hiking trails which show off the park’s epic scenery and wildlife. It’s also an Everglades essential to take at least one airboat ride through the wetlands.

6. Washington, D.C.

Maybe last time you visited DC you spent WAY too much time waiting in lines to enter your favorite museums. We’ve all been there! This time, try visiting our nation’s capital during the month of November when there are far fewer tourists. Plus, if you visit at the end of the month you’ll be able to catch the beginning of the Downtown Holiday Market.

A fabulous way to get acquainted with the sights in Washington DC is to take a tour when you arrive. This Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour not only will take you to some of the city’s most important landmarks, but gives you a sense of how DC comes alive in a totally different way at night.

5. New Hope, Pennsylvania

I love small towns with bit personalities and New Hope is one of the most memorable that I’ve ever been to. My aunt took me to this magical place years ago and I still remember how great of a first impression it left me with. The town is known for its quirky shops, art galleries, and overall bohemian vibe.

Stroll down Main Street to get a feel for New Hope’s unique flair, making sure to stop in at one of the many restaurants with a riverfront view. This time of year has beautiful fall colors and there’s even a wildflower preserve nearby where you can see which blooms are in season in November.

Add New Hope to your East Coast road trip or make it a quick weekend getaway if you’re based nearby.

4. New York City, New York

Similar to Chicago, NYC is gearing up for the holidays as early as the first week of November. Enjoy the holiday charm of NYC before the madness begins in December by getting a head start. You’ll also be able to enjoy the fall colors in Central Park where you’ll find the dark orange and yellow leaves still hanging on to the trees.

The crisp late fall weather gives the whole city a cozy atmosphere. Take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset to see the fall foliage complimented by golden rays of sun. Talk about a When Harry Met Sally… moment! This kind of stroll is one of the many free things to do in NYC so take advantage of the freebies while you visit.

3. Newport, Rhode Island

Although Newport is America’s yachting capital, the chilly November air isn’t ideal for getting out on the water. However, this charming seaport city is just as lovely in late fall as it is during high season in the summer. Newport is home to extravagant mansions from the Gilded Age and a bustling downtown full of artsy shops, boutiques, and restaurants.

Late November marks the beginning of holiday festivities in Newport. The Preservation Society of Newport County puts up remarkable decorations inside and outside of the city’s most notable mansions, taking holiday cheer to a whole new level. The holiday decorations are fun to see from a trolley tour through town as well!

2. Salem, Massachusetts

If you want to experience one of the world’s most popular Halloween destinations without the crowds, head to Salem in November. By the first week of November, you’ll still be able to appreciate the spooky essence of the city without the hoards of Halloween tourists.

Don’t miss out on a stop at the Salem Witch Museum to learn about the town’s notorious history. Can’t get enough of the paranormal? Go on a guided ghost tour which features a haunted cemetery and the Witch House!

1. Plymouth, Massachusetts

I know that you have a hometown, but did you know that America does, too? Yep! It’s Plymouth, Massachusetts. This quaint town is the site of the first settlement of the first English pilgrims to arrive in what we now know as the United States. It’s also the site of the first ever Thanksgiving, so visiting in November is fitting.

Although the first Thanksgiving didn’t exactly go down the way we learned about it in history class, Plymouth is still a historical site worth paying a visit. Each November the town hosts a Hometown Celebration complete with an enormous parade that ranks second only to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in size.

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5 Poisonous Ocean Animals to Stay Away From

Swimming beneath the waves is a sea of creatures even more unique and wild than you could ever imagine—fish that look like horses, whales that are 100 feet long and sharks living to more than 400 years old.  But, what about those ocean animals that have adapted to use poison to defend themselves against predators?

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Before we begin today’s exploration, let’s lay some ground work. Venom is injected, but poison is ingested. Venomous animals are ones that produce specific toxic substances that can be injected into their foes. Poisonous animals, on the other hand, coat part or all of their body in a toxic substance, so they’re harmful to touch or eat.

Today, we are going to explore these five poisonous ocean animals. Dive in with us …


One pufferfish carries enough poison to kill 30 adult humans! Almost all pufferfish contain tetrodotoxin, a substance that makes them bad-tasting and often deadly to fish. Tetrodotoxin is also deadly to humans and is up to 1,200 times more toxic than cyanide.

Puffer fishPuffer fish
© Jon Churchill


Commonly known as sea slugs, nudibranchs are a group of shell-less marine mollusks. They live in shallow tropical ocean waters. There are more than 3,000 species of nudibranch. Nudibranchs absorb and store toxins from their food, making themselves toxic to potential predators. Scientists aren’t certain how nudibranchs survive after ingesting so many toxins, but one thing is sure: they have a great defense mechanism.

Nudibranch in the oceanNudibranch in the ocean
© Peetj Vaneeden


The boxfish is related to the pufferfish—although not as poisonous. The boxfish uses its poison to help defend itself against predators—it would rather not become the predator’s next meal. The boxfish excretes a toxin into the water, poisoning the water and any marine life in the area.

Boxfish among coralsBoxfish among corals
© Stacy Groff

Flamboyant Cuttlefish

The flamboyant cuttlefish is a member of the class Cephalopoda (which also includes octopuses). These flamboyant cuttlefish are native to sandy habitats in the Indo-Pacific Ocean and are relatively small in size, reaching only three inches in length. These colorful, captivating cephalopods will steal your heart, but beware, they are also poisonous. Their colorful and bold exteriors may be a warning sign to predators. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, research by Mark Norman with the Museum Victoria in Queensland, Australia, has shown the flamboyant cuttlefish’s toxin to be as lethal as that of the  blue-ringed octopus. That’s quite impressive, considering the blue-ringed octopus is one of the most toxic animals in the ocean.

Cuttlefish in the oceanCuttlefish in the ocean
© Fenkieandreas/Fotolia

Blue Ringed Octopus

Speaking of… the blue ringed octopus is an absolute overachiever—it is both poisonous and venomous! If an animal somehow avoids being injected with venom when it attacks and tries to eat the blue ringed octopus, the animal will learn the hard way that the meat is poisonous. Just another reason to leave the blue-ringed octopus alone!

Blue Ringed Octopus in the oceanBlue Ringed Octopus in the ocean
© David Evison/Fotolia

Poisonous versus Venomous

Now that you know the difference between poisonous and venomous, here is a fun game you can play. Can you spot inaccuracies as you are doing research, web surfing or reading news articles? It happens more than you know. Many, many times the terms are used interchangeably, but they are not the same. A lionfish isn’t poisonous, and a pufferfish isn’t venomous.

The post 5 Poisonous Ocean Animals to Stay Away From appeared first on Ocean Conservancy.

World's Best

The Ultimate Guide to Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington is a small city that packs a big punch. It’s full of history, and the horse racing and breeding culture is its most notable feature. Who knows, maybe Lexington was the original #horsegirl?

Small cities like this one make awesome travel destinations because they’re almost never too crowded and you have plenty of options for getting out into nature, sometimes without having to leave town.

If you’ve never thought about visiting Lexington, you’re not alone. I hadn’t really thought about it either, but this place surprised me! Check out these cool things to do, restaurants to try, and sweet accommodations to consider:

Things to Do in Lexington

Horse Farm Tour & Keeneland Race Track Visit

Dive into Kentucky’s unique equine history with this Horse Farm Tour, which will take you to local horse farms as well as the historic Keeneland Race Track. There’s no better way to discover why Lexington is “the Horse Capital of the World” than on this unforgettable three-hour tour.

You’ll learn about the lush lifestyle of thoroughbred horses, see the beauties up close, and even visit the filming locations of some of Hollywood’s most well-known horse movies, like Seabiscuit. Even if you’re not a horse aficionado, anyone who is curious about the area’s history and culture will thoroughly enjoy this tour.

Big Blue Pedaler

Photo credit: Big Blue Pedaler

Hop on the Big Blue Pedaler for a tour on one of the most unique vehicles you’ll see driving down the street in Lexington. This tour company takes visitors along on its “party bike” for an unforgettable experience, no matter the tour. Choose between distillery tours, history tours, and mural tours, among others.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour

By now you’ve probably already read all about Kentucky bourbon in our Louisville guide, but I’ve got great news: the fun doesn’t stop there. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail operates tours of bourbon country; itineraries are divided among four regions of the state, with many distilleries located in Lexington.

This is the ultimate experience for bourbon lovers. You can start planning your trip here.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

This landmark destination includes 3,000 acres of incredibly well-preserved Shaker history. The Shakers are a religious community that was active in Pleasant Hill from 1805 to 1910. Nowadays, thanks to the efforts of nonprofit organization Shaker Village, visitors can enjoy taking a step back into history by checking out the 34 historic structures, nature preserve, and conserved farmland on the site.

As one of the Lexington area’s largest tourist attractions, Shaker Village has plenty of amenities for any length of stay. You can even rent a room, suite, or private cottage on-site if you want to get fully immersed.

The largest Abe Lincoln mural in the world

Downtown Lexington is home to the largest mural of Kentucky-born President Abraham Lincoln in the world. At a whopping 60 feet tall, the massive work of art is hard to miss. You’ll find it on the backside of the Kentucky Theater. Of all the cool spots in Lexington to snap a photo, this one is probably the most Insta-worthy.

Ashland: Henry Clay Estate

This 18-room mansion was once the home of one of Kentucky’s most famous statesmen, Henry Clay. The mansion features an Italianate style and is immaculately preserved with artifacts from Clay’s life. Beyond telling his story, the mansion-turned-museum serves up a close look into American history during the early-to-mid-1800s.

The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation has an interesting way of telling the stories of people who lived, worked, and were enslaved at the Ashland estate. This guided tour is a great way to visit the estate, as it offers various options depending on what you’d like to learn more about.

Boone Creek Gorge zip-lining

Just a quick drive outside Lexington is beautiful and historic Boone Creek Gorge, a favorite hiking spot for locals featuring fresh forests and streams, with neat rock formations and canyons to explore. One of the most exciting ways to visit the gorge is to do a fully guided zip-line canopy tour, which is an adrenaline-filled route for experiencing the area and learning about its history.

The Aviation Museum of Kentucky

Housed at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, the Aviation Museum of Kentucky is a must-stop for history buffs and aviation enthusiasts alike. The museum features displays ranging from the Wright brothers’ first flight to present-day aircraft. You’ll see a T-38 Talon from the US Air Force’s Thunderbirds, an A-4 Skyhawk from the US Navy’s Blue Angels, and much more. Besides the aircraft, the museum also displays artifacts, such as memorabilia and training equipment.

Get your tickets to the Aviation Museum of Kentucky here.

Kentucky Horse Park

Another precious equine treasure in Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is the place for horse enthusiasts. It’s home to the Smithsonian International Museum of the Horse, which takes guests on a journey through horse rearing in society and how the animals have coexisted with humans since the beginning of history.

Beyond the museum, the Kentucky Horse Park is a fully operational horse farm that exists to educate visitors and locals alike about the rich horse-related history of Kentucky and beyond.

Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

With over 10 miles of hiking trails across 734 acres of pristinely preserved land, Raven Run Nature Sanctuary is the perfect place to spend a sunny day. You’ll find quiet woods, trickling streams, and soft meadows, all bustling with local wildlife. There are over 600 species of plants and 200 species of birds throughout the year, a stunning display of Kentucky’s biodiversity.

Start your visit by signing in at the Raven Run Nature Center and embark on your hike, following one of the park’s trails.

Jacobson Park

Located in east Lexington, Jacobson Park is more than a typical city park: it spans 216 acres along a reservoir, which you can explore via paddle boat or kayak. You’ll find rolling green hills, trails, volleyball courts, a disc golf course, and more.

This is a great place to hang out during the day. Bring a picnic, your favorite sports equipment, or even your furry friend for a sweet day at the park.

Headley-Whitney Museum

This museum is truly the pinnacle of the Lexington art scene and a must-see for creative minds. Lexington locals Barbara Whitney and George Headley created it in 1968 to showcase their crafts: Barbara was a crafter who specialized dollhouses, bibelots, and miniatures, and George was a jewelry designer.

Nowadays, the museum features work from not only this artistic power couple but also other designers, artists, and craftspeople. It’s truly one of a kind and worth a visit while you’re in Lexington.

The world’s largest ceiling clock

Have you ever wondered where the world’s largest ceiling clock is? Well, I hadn’t either until now. Apparently it’s at the Lexington’s Central Library! The clock was the brainchild of Lucille Caudill Little, a Lexington philanthropist. She dreamt of the massive clock, and local artist Adalin Wichman designed it.

It is truly a work of art. In true Lexington fashion, the clock features a series of 60 horses, which light up in succession to give the illusion of movement. Pretty neat!

Institute 193

This place will make you question everything you thought you knew about the South. Institute 193 is a contemporary art gallery that showcases the work of modern artists, writers, and musicians. As a relatively new establishment that opened in 2009, it serves as Lexington’s only contemporary art space and dedicates itself to supporting local artists.

Visit Institute 193 and immerse yourself in the unique perspective of artists whose work will surely give you a fresh look at culture and artistry in the South.

Restaurants & More in Lexington

County Club

Being a vegetarian is a pretty foreign concept for meat-loving Lexington locals, who are accustomed to the world-class BBQ of their hometown. If you’re all about the barbecue life, County Club is the place to go. This beloved smokehouse is one of the best place to get it and uses only responsibly raised “Kentucky cows, hogs, sheep, goats, and chickens.”

Not only do customers flock there for the meat selection, but the sides are also bursting with flavor and tradition. You won’t want to miss a meal at County Club while visiting Lexington.

Blue Door Smokehouse

That’s right, there are not one but two barbecue joints on the list. Why? Well, I couldn’t choose only one — and Lexington locals also have a hard time doing so. Eating at Blue Door Smokehouse is a rite of passage when visiting the city. This uber-popular smokehouse is only open four hours a day (and closed on Sundays), sometimes less because they often sell out completely.

Because of its popularity, plan ahead, and try to get there right when it opens at 11am if you can!

James E. Pepper Distilling Co.

If you want to get a taste of bourbon from a brand that started producing liquor during the American Revolution, James E. Pepper Distilling Co. is the place to do so. This distillery is full of history and definitely worth taking a look around even if you don’t drink. James E. Pepper even has a “Henry Clay” whiskey… remember that guy?! Everything eventually comes around full circle.

Third Street Stuff & Coffee

This wacky coffee shop is proof that Lexington is more than just bourbon, bluegrass, and horses. Overflowing with hippie and psychedelic art on nearly every inch of the walls, Third Street Stuff & Coffee captures the essence of an era that visitors will be delighted to step into for a moment.

The coffee shop prides itself for its commitment to serving locally roasted fair-trade certified-organic coffee along with locally baked goods. That’s a purchase you can feel good about, for sure!

Best Places to Stay in & around Lexington

Paris Livery Historic Home & Tour

Housed inside a circa 1863 brick building that has been fully renovated, the Paris Livery Home is one of the most unique lodgings that you’ll find in all of Lexington. Not only will you be able to stay in the historic building, but the Airbnb offers a three-day tour of the state’s last 12 remaining covered bridges.

This one-bedroom place starts at $195 per night, with a two-night minimum.

Game of Thrones House

Ready to take your GoT fandom to the next level? This Airbnb describes itself as a “palatial chamber” and is completely decked out with Game of Thrones decor, complete with dungeon trappings and an iron throne. Oh yes, it’s the real deal, folks.

A night at this medieval kingdom costs around $206. The place comes with two complimentary bikes and is located right in the heart of downtown Lexington.

Cabin with a private waterfall

Come again? Was that “a private waterfall” you read? Yes, sis! This beautifully remodeled cabin in the Kentucky wilderness sits on two acres of forest with a private waterfall. It’s about an hour from Lexington, but the distance is totally worth it to stay in this quiet escape.

There are three bedrooms in this remote paradise, making it an awesome place to share with friends. There’s a hot tub, too! A night here is about $450; there’s a two-night minimum.

The Pete Treehouse

If you’ve been dying to stay in a treehouse after watching Kristin’s treehouse adventure, this will get you even more excited. This treehouse is completely off the grid and was part of Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters. The mastermind behind this incredible place is treehouse master Pete Nelson.

The house is surrounded by nature and features a fire pit and balcony perfect for watching the sunset. It’s full of thoughtful touches and has an overall homey feel. It’s about a 1.5-hour drive from Lexington but definitely worth the drive for the peace and quiet.

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The Best Sports Bars for Football Season

With school back in session and the resurgence of pumpkin spice everything, it can only mean one thing: fall is officially here! And for sports fans, this season ushers in a feeling of excitement as the NFL season kicks off. But before you throw on your jersey and spend all Sunday on the couch, we’ve rallied 10 of the best sports bars in Newport Beach where you can catch all the action. From cozy dive bars to Irish pubs, these local hotspots are as close as it gets to sideline seats. Here’s to big punts and even bigger pints!

Helmsman Ale House

Helmsman Ale House, Newport Beach’s only craft beer brewery, is a stellar spot for craft beer and tasty bites! Snag a seat inside or on the patio (both have TVs), and enjoy your favorite game-day grub like Helmsman’s Bavarian Pretzel with fried thyme, IPA cheese sauce, and spicy mustard—a crowd favorite. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 2-6 p.m., but Helmsman also serves up a mean brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m

Stag Bar + Kitchen

This time-honored establishment on the Balboa Peninsula is a staple when it comes to game day. With a selection of locally brewed craft beer, small-batch spirits, and seasonal cocktails, Stag Bar + Kitchen is the ideal watering hole for football season. Be sure to take advantage of weekly specials, which include $25 Miller Light buckets and 75-cent wings on Mondays and Thursdays!

The Village Inn

Take the ferry across to Balboa Island and enjoy a Sunday afternoon at The Village Inn! This hyperlocal hotspot is not only a hoppin’ spot for sports viewing, but it also features live entertainment Tuesday through Sunday. Wine and dine alfresco on the sidewalk patio or belly up to the bar for optimal viewing. Be sure to try one of their signature bloody marys!

Cruisers Pizza Bar Grill

For those craving that classic pizza-and-beer experience, Cruisers is a happening spot in Balboa Village that fires up traditional Chicago stuffed pizzas in a casual setting. Whether you’re with friends or family, you’ll love the selection of pies, beers, and craft cocktails served in huge schooners! Plus, Cruisers is home to 30 big-screen HDTVs, including the largest 4K projector in Orange County.

The Place

Located in the heart of Corona del Mar, this long-standing sports bar dishes out juicy burgers and craft cocktails in an unpretentious setting. Dig into one of their Famous Flame Burgers and watch your favorite teams play live in the beer garden! The Place is dedicated to helping you avoid the Sunday scaries with live sports, beer, and good grub.

Cabo Cantina

Get your game face on this Sunday at Newport’s Cabo Cantina! This casual Mexican eatery serves up classic Mexican cuisine and has an interior lined with 65-inch TVs. This fall, you and your crew can score big with game-day specials like their 2-for-1 drink prices. This bargain runs every day from 4-8 p.m.—don’t miss out!

Mutt Lynch’s

Known for its hefty schooners and bustling beachfront location, Mutt Lynch’s is easily one of the most popular spots for some day drinking. Take in views of the pier as you sip the day away with friends. When it comes to that festive “sports” atmosphere, Mutt’s is the place! Order a schooner of your favorite beer and snack on bar bites like chicken tenders, garlic knots, nachos, and fried dill pickles.

Malarky’s Irish Pub

For the past four decades, Malarky’s has remained a local staple with its Irish spirit and upbeat atmosphere. This popular pub serves all your Irish favorites, including prime rib, corned beef, and drinks like Irish coffee and Guinness on tap. Whether you’re popping in for brunch on Sunday or dinner during sunset, Malarky’s is sure to cure your football, food, and beer cravings.

Muldoon’s Irish Pub

Another festive Irish pub in Newport Beach, Muldoon’s, recently underwent a full refresh that now features a newly remodeled courtyard, fresh craft cocktails, a seasonal menu, and a lineup of DJs and bands. Football fans will also be happy to know that this Dublin-style pub has plenty of TVs too, so you won’t miss a single tackle.

Tavern House Kitchen + Bar

Comfort food comes to life at Tavern House on the bay. This chic yet cozy restaurant sits on the water’s edge, offering guests an enjoyable spot to sip back, relax and catch a game. Stop in for brunch and dig into delicious plates like their signature Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles. Pair your meal with one of their a.m. cocktails like the Tavern Mary or Tequila Sunrise Mimosa, and don’t look back!

Written By: Kaylin Waizinger

Culture Trips

Jimmy Kimmel: Shatner space trip was ‘like a North Korean news broadcast’ | Late-night TV roundup

Jimmy Kimmel

Former Star Trek actor William Shatner, 90, became the oldest man to ever go to space on Wednesday aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepherd rocket – a phallic-shaped spacecraft Jimmy Kimmel labeled a “wienermobile”.

“Can you imagine if Jeff Bezos killed Captain Kirk,” the late-night host said Wednesday evening, “then turned to camera and started speaking Klingon to everyone? I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked.”

Shatner, who for four decades played the leader of the USS Enterprise on the beloved sci-fi series, was handpicked by Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos to make the 11-minute trip into the atmosphere from the west Texas desert. The crew reached a maximum altitude of 66.5 miles, beyond the 100km (62-mile) Kármán Line recognized internationally as the boundary of space.

Given that the mission resulted in just four minutes of weightlessness, “calling them astronauts is like claiming you lost your virginity because you found a Playboy in the woods”, said Kimmel. “It doesn’t count.”

Back on earth, Shatner struggled to put the profundity of his experience into words, while Bezos, 57, interrupted him to beckon to his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, “Give me a champagne bottle!”

“I think this is what you act like when you have $200bn,” said Kimmel. “Poor William Shatner – first no green women in bikinis tried to have sex with him in space, then he gets iced, blown off by Jeff Bezos.

“The whole thing was very over-the-top,” Kimmel continued, adding the launch and narration of it by Amazon employees “felt less like a rocket launch and more like a North Korean news broadcast”.

Trevor Noah

On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah also recapped Shatner’s trip to space with Blue Origin. “If you ask me, 90 is actually the best age to go to space, because what’s the worst that could happen?” he said. “You die? So what? At 90, dying in a rocket is basically best-case scenario.

“I know from down here, it’s starting to seem like going into space is becoming routine. But it’s obviously moving for the people who get to do, because Shatner tried to explain the trip when he got back, and it clearly cut him deep,” Noah said of the actor’s tearful interview upon return, with Bezos by his side.

“I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened,” Shatner said. “It’s extraordinary, extraordinary. It’s so much larger than me and life. It hasn’t got anything to do with the little green men and the blue orb. It has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death.”

“I will say, it’s pretty cool that he gave an Amazon review about his trip to an actual Amazon guy,” Noah said.

Seth Meyers

And on Late Night, Seth Meyers dug into the hypocrisy of Fox News blaming a host of flight cancellations by Southwest Airlines on labor strikes over vaccine mandates. The company, the pilots’ union and the Federal Aviation Administration attributed the chaos – thousands of cancelled flights over the weekend, stranding travelers for days – to numerous factors including weather, air traffic control and antiquated scheduling technology.

“But that hasn’t stopped some on the right from spreading the baseless claim anyway,” Meyers said. Senator Ted Cruz, for example, blamed the cancellations on Biden’s “illegal vaccine mandate” on Twitter, while Tucker Carlson called it a “direct consequence” of Biden’s vaccine mandate on Fox News, even as the Southwest Airlines Pilots Union president, Casey Murray, appeared on the same network and said a “sickout” had nothing to do with the cancellations.

“Do you guys even watch your own network?” Meyers wondered. “That would be like if I came out here and said, ‘Chicago doesn’t have fires.’ Or if I said, ‘In the criminal justice system, the people aren’t represented by two separate but equally important groups,’” he added before the trademark “dun-dun” sound of Law & Order.

“It’s especially rich for Fox hosts to applaud employees for standing up against vaccine or testing requirements when their own company has much stricter requirements,” he continued. In fact, Fox’s vaccine policy goes further than Biden’s, requiring daily Covid testing for employees who refuse to get vaccinated (the Biden administration requires weekly testing), and compelling workers to disclose their vaccination status.

“The hypocrisy here is brazen,” said Meyers.

Top Beaches

Fun Out of the Sun in PCB

The climate in Panama City Beach makes it a perfect destination year-round, from sunny and hot summers to sunny and mild winters. But no matter how great the weather, everybody likes to take the vacation indoors every now and again. No worries. Panama City Beach boasts abundant indoor recreation

Top Beaches

The Best Dish You’ve Ever Had: Chicken Bog

More than 35,000 people turn out each year to honor a dish few outside of Horry County – home to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – have ever heard of. It’s called Chicken Bog and its origins date back hundreds of years.

Easy to make, hearty enough to stand alone and able to feed a large crowd, it’s no wonder chicken bog has remained a staple dish in the South! 

There are many different ways to make Chicken Bog, from adding fresh vegetables like onions and green peppers to dressing with a unique selection of spices. But everyone agrees on the three staples: chicken, rice and sausage.

At the Loris Bog-Off Festival, experts and home cooks work to earn the title of Bog-Off Champion by serving up their own version of the tasty dish. Though most say they stick to the traditional dish for the Bog-Off, in the end many claim it’s the love they add that makes theirs unique.

The event is now in its 42nd year and will be held on October 16, 2021. The festival will also have a children’s area, more than 200 different vendors, a car and tractor show, and two stages with live entertainment. The event is free to the public so don’t be a chicken, and come on down! 

Want to try your hand at Bog? Here’s a traditional recipe from the Loris Chamber of Commerce:

Chicken Bog

6 cups water

1 T salt

1 onion, chopped

1 (3-pound) whole chicken

1 cup long-grain white rice

1/2 pound smoked sausage, sliced

2 T Italian-style seasonings

2 cubes chicken bouillon

Place water, salt and onion in a large pot. Add chicken and bring to a boil; cook until chicken is tender, about 1 hour. Remove chicken from pot and let cool. Remove skin and bones and chop remaining meat into bite-size pieces. Skim off fat from cooking liquid and measure 3 1/2 cups of this chicken broth into a 6-quart saucepan. Add rice, chicken pieces, sausage, herb seasoning and bouillon. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes. If mixture is too watery or juicy, cook over medium-low heat, uncovered, until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir often while cooking.

Did you know the Grand Strand offers more than 1,000 restaurants? We are famous for our fresh, coastal cuisine along with American classics and high-end restaurants. To find your next meal at The Beach, browse our EAT page. 

Top Beaches

5 Fall Dishes to Devour This Season

September 22 marked the first day of fall, which means it’s time to bundle up and indulge in some comfort food! Whether it’s a warm bowl of butternut squash soup or a crumbly pumpkin spice scone from your favorite bakery, there’s something so delightful about those classic fall flavors. So as we gear up for the season’s crisp mornings and cooler nights, we’ve gathered our favorite seasonal dishes and drinks in Newport Beach that’ll keep you cozy this fall.

Malibu Farm

Known for its farm-to-table dishes and fresh cocktails, Malibu Farm at Lido Marina Village is always adding new things to the menu. This season, you can sip on a Pumpkin Chai Martini, featuring a smooth blend of Indian chai-infused Mulholland vodka, spiced maple pumpkin agave and oat milk garnished with star anise and a dash of cinnamon. Enjoy this sweet seasonal beverage with a side of harbor views at Malibu Farm Lido!

Basilic Restaurant

The intimate and romantic 24-seat restaurant on Balboa Island is no novice when it comes to seasonal fare. This fall, you and your significant other can enjoy a dreamy date night and dig into fall dishes like Basilic’s all-new appetizers plate featuring smoked prosciutto, homegrown figs, cantaloupe and crème fraîche all topped with fresh mint. Other menu highlights include the Seasonal Salad, Seasonal Vegetarian Special and Zurich Veal—each crafted with the freshest and most in-season ingredients.

True Food Kitchen

For those looking to keep it healthy before the holidays, True Food Kitchen at Fashion Island is a health-driven seasonal restaurant with an eclectic menu anybody will love. The new autumn menu is chock-full of items featuring butternut squash like the Butternut Squash Soup, Butternut Squash Farro Risotto, Butternut Squash Pizza and more. Fall-inspired cocktails include the Common Bond made with bourbon, pressed apple, chai spice and lemon and the South for Winter—a tasty blend of organic spiced rum, pineapple, banana and lime.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

With its warm ambiance and selection of over 650 wines from around the world, it’s no wonder The Winery is a go-to spot for a cozy meal. Dig into delectable dishes like The Winery Cioppino, Slow Braised Beef Shortrib or Herb de Provence Organic New Zealand Rack of Lamb. Chef Yvon Goetz brings sophisticated flavor to each dish by utilizing the season’s freshest ingredients. No matter what you decide on, your palate will be pleased!

Bayside Restaurant

Prost! Oktoberfest has returned to Bayside Restaurant, and you won’t want to miss out on their delicious German special featuring sausage, spicy mustard, sauerkraut and herbed potatoes. Reserve a seat on the restaurant’s wrap-around patio for breathtaking views of the bustling harbor. Bayside has also started a new Jazz On The Bay series featuring a slew of talented artists. To view the lineup and purchase tickets, go to

Written By: Kaylin Waizinger

World's Best

30 Daily Affirmations for Self-love + Free Wallpapers

Do you believe that our thoughts become words and then become actions? After practicing writing, speaking and meditating on affirmations for years, I am now a firm believer. The ability to choose my thoughts have freed me from self-doubt, eased my anxiety and boosted my confidence in myself and the world.

The past 2 years have not been easy for most people. Being in isolation gave me a chance to look inward and identify opportunities to continue on my own healing journey. The peace and quiet I have not experienced in years made me realize the importance of self-love and self-care, and I’ve been utilizing the following affirmations to strengthen both.

If you are looking for inspiration to grow more self-love, here are 30 self-love themed affirmations that you can practice daily to heal, nourish and celebrate yourself:

Affirmations to Boost Your Self-forgiveness:

The hardest person to forgive is often ourselves, and yet, it is the first step to embracing self-love. You deserve to be gentle and kind with yourself and make space for love and light to come in. To practice self-forgiveness, start or end the day with the following affirmations:

  1. My struggles are opportunities.
  2. My past does not determine my future.
  3. I release myself from the weight of my regrets.
  4. I am gentle with myself and my mistakes. I understand they are a great way to learn.
  5. I let go of my past beliefs that no longer serve me.

Save these affirmations themed wallpaper for your daily reminder:

Top Beaches

It’s a Pirates Life in PCB!

Grab your pirate hat and sword, the Pirates of the High Seas Treasure Hunt kicks off on Monday, October 4! Kids of all ages are invited to find their sea legs and join one of the most popular celebrations of the year with in-person and virtual activities. Pirate fans can enjoy activities including storytelling videos, downloadable themed crafts, a digital pirate costume contest, an in-person treasure hunt, fireworks and more. Participate in these swashbuckling adventures to win pirate swag and for a chance to win a free Panama City Beach getaway!

We hope you can join us, matey!

Monday, October 4:

Friday, October 8:

  • “Mayor’s Proclamation” Video on Facebook @2pm
  • Fireworks at the Russell-Fields City Pier @ 8pm

Saturday, October 9:

  • “The Invasion and the Battle for Panama City Beach” Video on Facebook
  • Fireworks at the Russell-Fields City Pier @8pm

Sunday, October 10:

  • “The Celebration of the Defeat of the Pirates” featuring live music from Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers Video on Facebook
  • Fireworks at Grand Lagoon @7:45pm

Click here for the full schedule of events.