The EZA Travel Thread
tokeeffe9 last edited by
So I've actually got a better idea of where I'll be over the next month.
Heading to Alpine/Big Bend National Park for the next few days.
Austin/San Antonio around the 14th-17th.
New Orleans - 18th -21st
And then New York, Chicago and Boston from the 21st-3rd.
Chicago is the only one where I might not have time to do much as my mother is visiting me but still, if anyone has any tips on any of those places, it'd be appreciated.
Faaip last edited by
@tokeeffe9 I always recommend Regina Pizzeria to anyone going to Boston.. Its really good, though you can't really go wrong eating anywhere in the North End (if you like Italian). You can compare it to NY and Chicago pizza haha
If you like history or Assassin's Creed 3, you can eat at the Green Dragon tavern. The food there is actually pretty good.. don't be fooled by the place that claims to be the oldest, I didn't think it was as good.
I personally love seeing the history stuff.. walking the freedom trail is always really fun if you have a nice day, as is the Faneuil Hall market area. The USS Constitution is pretty cool as well. Depending on how much time you have, I'd also recommend exploring Cambridge, checking out the MIT Museum or the Museum of Science.
alexwhiteplays last edited by
What kinds of things are you looking to experience in Chicago (museums, music, food, theater, etc.)? For things like food and music, what are your preferences in terms of cuisine/genre? I have a lot of recommendations, but being able to tailor them to things you'll enjoy would probably be more effective.
AedardGaming last edited by
@alexwhiteplays Pretty much anything really. I think I have been to the Museum of Science and Industry, but I'd like to go to another museum. Theater not so much; I am looking for stuff that can be done during the day. Maybe if you're into comics you could give me a good recommendation for comic book stores.
And food wise probably fast food since I am on a low budget.
alexwhiteplays last edited by
Food: If you do a little bit of digging and are willing to get away from downtown into some of the cool, culturally rich neighborhoods, you can find amazing food at prices that compete with fast food. Wok Cuisine on Kedzie is really great Chinese food, and you can get a quart of pork, chicken, or vegetable fried rice (about two meals' worth, depending on how big your appetite is) for less than $6.50 including tax. At Ann Sather on Belmont, you can get two massive cinnamon rolls (more than enough for a morning meal) for about $4.10 after tax, and they're the best cinnamon rolls I've had in my life. I'd also check out the Pilsen neighborhood, no one place stands out but it's a great place to get inexpensive snacks, drinks, and more substantial food. Thanks to strict laws, street food isn't really a thing in Chicago, but there are still some great hole-in-the-wall places where you can get good food at a low cost.
Entertainment: I'm going to be honest, it's hard for me to recommend much to you. You've already seen a lot of tourist stuff but you're also looking for things that you can do mostly during the day. The problem is that most of the things that locals do start anywhere between 7 and 10 PM and are a few hours long. The things that are open outside of those times are usually geared towards tourists because they assume that the people that live in Chicago are probably working during the day and won't be available to go to entertainment stuff until 7 or later.For the same reason, events are usually clustered towards weekends. Some of the best free entertainment you'll get, especially in the early afternoon on a weekday, are open mic nights. Chicago Bagel Authority is on the pricey side in terms of food (but it's worth splurging a little if you can manage it), but they have open mic nights Thursdays at 7 and Saturdays at 5. I used to make the rounds at almost every open mic night in the city, but I honestly can't remember what they all were. Chances are that if you just look up where you happen to be, there'll be something nearby.
Museums: The National Museum of Mexican Art is in the Pilsen neighborhood I mentioned earlier, and it's definitely worth checking out. Depending on whether you like old historical stuff or new weird stuff, the other two best art museums in the city are The Art Institute of Chicago and The Museum of Contemporary Art. I personally have a soft spot for the MCA because it has one of my favorite pieces of all time, but AIC has some of the more well-known works. Keeping in mind your budget restraints, there are some great smaller art studios across the city that are either free or inexpensive but show some really cool stuff. FLATstudio near Lawrence is a great example, as is the Slate Arts and Performance venue. The only other museums I would be remiss to not mention are the Museum Campus, which consists of the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium. They're all fairly pricey and some of them are geared towards a younger audience, but they're there and they're cool. Since they're all right next to each other, they have a deal where you can buy combined admission to all three museums and split up your time however you'd like.
Comic book stores/General nerd things: The best one I can think of is Alley Cat Comics. It's not the biggest and doesn't have the best selection ever, but the sense of community there is unreal. I'd ask if they still do this, but it used to be that every Saturday after closing some people would come around and do a movie night and the last Sunday of each month after closing would be a karaoke session. Neither of those are openly advertised and both are BYOB. Seriously, Alley Cat is the embodiment of jolly. Over by the Belmont location of Ann Sather is also MTGCardMarket if you play Magic at all, as well as The eXchange which is a place where older games ranging from the Sega Genesis to the DS and Wii can find a happy home. I'd also recommend checking out The Dice Dojo, which has free board game nights on Wednesdays at 6. It's really easy to find people to play with, and the event becomes BYOB after 7:30.
Hope some of those sound enticing, and enjoy your time in my hometown!
FlintPaper577 last edited by
Nice one! Vienna is rad, I was there in February. The coffeehouses are great, if you go prepared. Bone up about all the weird and wonderful coffee varieties, and be prepared to take a seat and wait for service. You can get decent food and wine in them, as well - a good place to go for classic Viennese staples like schnitzel and goulash. I recommend Cafe Hawelka - go after 7pm, it shouldn't be too busy, order a plate of Buchteln and a boozed-up coffee (eg. a 'Maria Theresia'). It's a little bit grungier than some of the big name places like Cafe Central, and it has a very charming story. If you're there for a few days, a Vienna Pass is a good thing - it gets you into just about all the museums etc., and often lets you skip the lines. Be prepared to learn ALL about the Emperor Franz Joseph II and the Empress Sisi. You will find yourself feeling strangely sympathetic towards a bunch of old Hapsburgs. Apart from that, have a great time! Public transport's really easy, you can walk around the city centre pretty comfortably, people are really pleasant in a formal sort of way.
AedardGaming last edited by
@alexwhiteplays Dude thank you so much for this long response. I really appreciate it. I will make sure to check some of those things out! I am most excited about the cinnamon rolls lol. Thanks for your time!
tokeeffe9 last edited by
@alexwhiteplays To be honest, I'm more so going to Chicago because my mom wants to visit me. So I really don't have anything in particular planned for there at all. I imagine it'll just be the standard touristy things and shopping.
I believe a cousin is showing us around one of the days.
naltmank last edited by
@gaarathedancingpanda Somehow I never got the notification for this, sorry! Have you been to Ellis Island yet? Also, if you want an amazing (albeit extremely overpriced) sandwich, make sure to hit up Katz's deli; it combines your love of food and your love of history!
@tokeeffe9 Super behind on this, but I have a few suggestions for New Orleans, a fair amount of it is food.
Dat Dog - Great and fairly inexpensive hot dog place with a variety of different sausages from different countries, and unlimited free toppings.
Barcadia - Depends on the night, but a pretty cool barcade in the Central Business/Warehouse district. Got a fair amount of decent games, but enjoyment really depends on what the crowd looks like. Pretty cool when you go on a weeknight and it's empty.
District Donuts - Really good donut place. They make different, strange flavors of donuts every day. Also, good coffee.
Angelo Brocato's - Good Cannoli and Gelato (Italian Ice Cream)
Liuzza's Restaurant & Bar - Cool little Italian place. They do a strange mix of Italian food and American Southern food (like, their Veal Parmesan can be deep fried). Really good if you want Italian food, but are sick of the same thing over and over again. Also, they serve drinks in goblets.
As far as activities, the World War II museum is really cool. Local Theatre is pretty dope, but I don't remember exactly who is doing what.
For music, go to Frenchmen Street. Lots of clubs on that street, each with their own feeling, but all playing good music with legit musicians. The places on Bourbon Street are usually tourist trash bars with cover bands. Frenchmen Street has tons of great jazz. Basically any place on that street is good, but if you want a specific place, I like Maison.
Audubon Zoo and Audubon Aquarium are both pretty cool, but can be pricey. City Park and Audubon Park are both beautiful when the weather's nice, and are totally free. The Lakefront on Lakeshore Drive is also really beautiful, and has great waterside parks. There's a fair amount of parks along the Mississippi too, and some places you can walk along the levee.
I am in town (just got back in this morning), so if you need help, or just want a buddy to explore the city with, feel free to hit me up. I can give you my email and stuff if you'd like.
I'm flying out for my first stop on my trip (Rome) on Wednesday! Wish me luck!
(Also, still taking recommendations and hang-out invites for any of the places mentioned in the original post)
Axel last edited by
michemagius last edited by
I'm going to Los Angeles for E3 in June, and to Seattle in July. For LA I want to go see both Koreatown and Little Tokyo. For Seattle I have less of an idea of what to do.
If you guys have any suggestions for either Los Angeles or Seattle, I'd appreciate it.
TokyoSlim last edited by TokyoSlim
I have a lot of really opinionated ideas on Seattle.
The Seattle City Pass is a decent value if you want to do a bunch of touristy stuff. Otherwise though, skip the Space Needle. It's like 26 bucks to go up an elevator, walk around for ten min and then leave.
Savor Seattle walking food tour is great.
Pike Place Mkt. Eats: Get a bag of fresh mini doughnuts from Daily Dozen and your coffee from Local Color. (Yes the "first" starbucks is here, but it's a tourist trap and the coffee is still the same starbucks as everywhere else.) Steelhead Diner, Chan, Sushi Kashiba, Biscuit Bitch.
Waterfront: Wings over Washington is right next to the Seattle Great Wheel. Skip the wheel, do WOW. I like our Aquarium, but it's on the smaller side. If you got the city pass, your Argosy harbor cruise leaves from near here. The Fisherman's restaurant has better fish, but worse chips than Ivars, but I go to Ivars for the chowder. Crab Pot is fun if you want a bunch of seafood boil dumped in front of you.
Seattle Underground Tour in Pioneer Square is also nice.
If you like baseball at all, go see a Mariners Game.
Public transportation is mediocre but not too hard to find downtown. Prob easiest to get a lyft or Uber if you're heading anywhere outside of downtown though. Parking downtown is stupid. Hills, limited parking spots, expensive meters, zoned parking, etc.
There's a lot of interesting stuff to see, Museum of Flight, Ballard Locks, Seattle Pub Library, Gas Works Park, MoPOP (previously known as Experience Music Project). Lots of hiking and boating opportunities and etc. Come look upon all our street construction and forest of cranes building new Amazon buildings. Play pinball at Shorty's. take the water taxi from downtown to West Seattle, have brunch buffet at Saltys, or lunch at Marination Ma Kai, Walk along Alki beach.
Rent a kayak and go out on lake union or rent a canoe at the University of Washington and canoe around in the arboretum.
michemagius last edited by
@TokyoSlim Lay 'em on me.
Added a few more to the list:
- Glasgow, Scotland
- Stockholm, Sweden
Again, suggestions welcome
@gaarathedancingpanda I would personally visit Gothenburg over Stockholm! (But then I am grown up there and us Gothenburgers dont like Stockholm people haha!)
In Stockholm though I would recommend getting the Stockholm pass. It just makes traveling much smoother as you can use it on all public transportation and dont have to worry about buying tickets and what not. If not just to see the subway with its arty stations.
I also STRONGLY recommend the Video Game Museum in Vasastan. walk around and read about the video game history as well as play some classics there. You could also take the subway to the army museum which is quite nice if you are interested in that kind of stuff.
Gamla Stan got some really nice restaurants. Just a heads up that Sweden (and Stockholm) are quite expensive compared to other countries!
If its a nice day also try and get to the Ericsson globe and take the lift to the top of it for a nice view over the city. Funfact: Ericsson Globe represents the sun in the worlds biggest map of our galaxy in scale.
Lastly I would have to say (as a Swede) to go to the Abba Museum. Its kinda small though and not as grand as one might of wished, but still kinda fun to be able to say "Ive been there".
jipostus last edited by
I also STRONGLY recommend the Video Game Museum in Vasastan. walk around and read about the video game history as well as play some classics there.
This. If you're a gamer and anywhere near Stockholm, you're doing yourself a disservice to yourself if you don't visit this place.
bard91 last edited by
well I was not aware of this thread when I made the other thread a couple of days ago, but if anyone else has recommendations for Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Hiroshima) I'm all ears
TokyoSlim last edited by
@bard91 Having been to Japan six or seven times - Really the most important thing is getting a handle on the rail system, and realizing that you're just going to be lost occasionally/frequently and just go with it. :)
Castle cities like Tokyo are laid out so that invaders could not march straight to the castle - so the roads are not grid based. Don't expect addresses to make sense. Tokyo's address system is 99% nonsense and literally only your postman can find anything in the area by address. You either find things by GPS or by turn by turn directions from a specific subway station and specific subway station exit. "Take the A-4 exit from Shibuya stn and turn left at the street, walk 200 meters and then make a right at Lawson (a convenience store) then walk a further 70 meters and the Mori building is on the left. Restaurant is on 4F" Is a typical set of directions.
Take lots of pics!
Generally when I'm there, breakfast is either a pastry and coffee from the local bakery, or occasionally I'll have miso and tamago gohan at the corner cafe. This is generally going to run between 300-600 yen depending on where you're at.
Lunch I generally like to have as my "main meal" of the day simply because even fancier restaurants many times have reasonably priced (compared to their dinner pricing) lunch sets. Last time I was in Tokyo for a week, I was splurging and lunched at Michelin Star rated restaurants for lunch almost exclusively. I basically budgeted like 2000-4000 yen for this meal and at the end of the week I had only spent about half my budget. Places like Nakajima and Tsuta are more about getting there early and being in a reasonable location in line more than about the money. Worth it though.
Dinner was mostly stopping by the local Bento shop/supermarket for discount Bento after 8pm (Bento is usually made twice a day, for the lunch rush (12-2pmish) and dinner (5-8pmish) so if you show up between 3-5 or after 8pm, Bento is usually half off and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. Or I'd hit up a local Izakaya, ramen, curry, or donburi place. Generally speaking, this is gonna be like 800-1200 yen, max.
So... other tips: Get a change pouch of some sort. for practicality sake - one you can open one-handed is a bonus. You may be carrying items in your other hand. You're going to have a crap-ton of coins. I generally use something like THIS. It's also a handy spot to put your subway ticket and etc. if you have one of those.