travel guide

Farmer’s Markets + Family Style Eats at Monell’s

BY CAILIN BURKE

While in Nashville, we wanted to make sure we got a meal at Monell’s, because their whole dining experience is so unique and nothing like a restaurant we had ever been to!
Their concept is family style dining with the slogan, “Enter as strangers, leave as friends.” But unlike typical family style, your group doesn’t get its own table with just larger portioned shared foods — you actually share a table with several other groups of people! I think there were about 13 people at our table and after saying hello to your new tablemates, food just starts coming around the table.

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East Nashville’s Best Eats

BY CAILIN BURKE

After our morning of traveling, shopping and checking out some of the city’s coolest street art, we headed to Barista Parlour for much needed coffee and snacks! If you’ve checked out our blog at all, you know we love discovering and hanging out in new cafes. Most Nashvilians raved about Barista Parlour and we liked that it had such a cool cafe space and motorcycles just chilling out front. And of course, the coffee!

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Exploring East Nashville

BY CAILIN BURKE

Even though we all had traveled and just arrived to Nashville that morning, we wanted to make the most of our day and check out our new stomping grounds! We got an Airbnb in East Nashville and it was an adorable house near a huge park and conveniently 5-15 minutes from everything. A lot of the other houses in the area, like the one below, were super colorful and almost every one seemed to have an adorable porch swing! We personally love staying in Airbnbs because it’s cool to be in a more residential area and get a glimpse of how a Nashvillian lives! We picked one in East Nashville because we had heard the area was growing and had a lot of cool spots, but was outside of the toursity areas.

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Well what we heard was true — because East Nashville quickly became one of our favorite pats of the city! After stopping into our house to get the Greyhound off of us, we headed to Five Points to walk around, see some street art, and shop! Five Points is the center of East Nashville in terms of food and businesses! Right away we stumbled upon a huge few walls that had a bunch of murals and grabbed some photos.

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Arriving in Nashville & Heading Straight to CREMA

BY CAILIN BURKE

A few months back we went on a six day visit to Nashville, Tennessee for a girl’s trip! We had always wanted to go to Nashville to eat amazing food, try out their cool coffee shops, and of course… hear some live music! When we discovered that we had a Greyhound Road Reward to take a free bus ANYWHERE, we wanted to get the best value and chose Music City! With all the public transportation and crazy long commutes we’ve done in the past, we knew we could handle the 24 hour bus ride. After several transfers, sitting in bus terminals, and long naps — we arrived!

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We started our Nashville visit with caffeine and food of course! Straight from the bus terminal we walked to CREMA, a really cool cafe and artisanal coffee roaster that we heard amazing reviews of! We each got an iced chai latte, and they were amazing! They were pretty spicy which I really enjoyed, and unlike the normal chais I’ve had in the past. Since being home, I’ve found myself craving one of these again but can’t find a place that makes them the same!

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Feature Friday: Hostelgeeks

Happy Feature Friday!

Today we’re doing something a little different and are featuring HostelGeeks, a travel blog dedicated to letting you know about the amazing hostels you can book during your travels. We almost always stay in hostels when we travel, but oftentimes we want an upgrade from the typical dorm experience that comes to mind when you think of hostels. A lot of our favorite hostels actually contributed to how great our trip was whether it was the excellent staff, peaceful ambiance, cool decor or opportunities for social interactions with the other guests. This makes HostelGeeks an excellent resource for us and for anyone looking for hostels that are a step above the rest. Read on to learn more about what you’ll find on the HostelGeeks page!

Castle Logo: Tell us about Hostelgeeks?

Screenshot (5): Hostelgeeks is the niche travel blog of Anna & Matt. At Hostelgeeks we collect 5 Star Hostels from all over the world, based on transparent criteria. Every 5 Star Hostel fits the 5 Star Hostel criteria of

1) ecofriendly

2) superb design

3) uniqueness

4) social character, and

5) great staff

By ticking these boxes and by meeting the transparent criteria, we make sure our fellow-travelers stay only at great Hostels. Simply put: We are the shortcut to awesome Hostels! As for booking, we recommend to check out the official website of the hostel, as we do not offer any booking service on our website. Also, we just launched an eBook based around the Greatest Hostels in Europe. Within this eBook we included up to 10% discount for all these fantastic Hostels in Europe. Additionally, we share our secret tips about the destinations we visit. We have friends in Paris and New York and we have befriended fellow-bloggers in Tokyo, Sydney and Dublin. This way we have access to some really secret tips for these destinations. We share them through our so-called Geeky Guides, which you can download for free on hostelgeeks.com. Take Dublin for instance. Here we share with you 5 hidden gems of Dublin, such as where to take a dip in the sea at 7am in the morning, and where to score a great, personal recommended restaurant. Travel recommendations by friends for friends.

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Horse Back Riding to Epic Waterfalls

BY TARA BURKE

Another thing that we really wanted to do in Costa Rica was go horse back riding. A lot of my friends tease me for being a horse girl even though before this trip I had never ridden a horse. I watched one series where I learned more about horses and whenever any topic about horses came up I’d always have something to say about it, so from then on I was horse girl, haha! So as many can attest, I was excited to actually ride a horse and to a beautiful waterfall nonetheless!

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Rainforest Hiking – Corcovado National Park

BY TARA BURKE

One of our main missions while visiting Costa Rica was to truly experience its rich biodiversity. Corcovado National Park spans just over 103,000 acres of tropical rainforest and holds a very diverse population of wildlife – 10% of all mammals that inhabit the Americas can be found within Corcovado National Park. In turn, we thought Costa Rica’s largest park fit the bill perfectly for exploring the rainforest.

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Manuel Antonio –> Drake Bay

BY CAILIN BURKE

For our next leg of the trip we headed to the small (like really small) town of Sierpe to catch a boat to Drake Bay. Drake Bay is a part of the Osa Peninsula, one of Costa Rica’s most biodiverse sections, which made it more difficult to get to – but totally worth it. After arriving in Sierpe and leaving our rental car in a grassy knoll for $3 a day, we hopped on a boat and off we went!

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Manuel Antonio National Park

BY TARA BURKE

On day two of our time in Manuel Antonio we went to the national park! We decided to forgo a guide since we were going to another rainforest later in our trip, but because this park is so popular you can see where big groups of people are looking and chances are they’ll be looking at an animal. Right when we got in the park that is exactly what happened to us.

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Manuel Antonio- El día número uno

BY TARA BURKE

After our day on the road we stayed in Manuel Antonio for a few days! On our first full day there, we had plans to go ziplining at El Santuario Canopy Adventure Tour. Our tour van picked us up bright and early at 7:30am and we headed to the tour site. We drove through acres of palm oil trees to get to the tour’s campsite where we were greeted with fresh cut watermelon. The guides suited us up with all our ziplining gear, gave us a quick rundown of all the safety procedures and we were off! As we were hiking up to our first tree platform we actually got to see a about five toucans sitting in the canopy. It ended up being the only time we saw toucans, so we were extremely happy we saw them on our tour as they’re one of Cailin and I’s favorite bird.

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