Happy New Year!
If you are like us, you have already started brainstorming and researching cities to visit for 2019. Last year we traveled to San Diego, Houston, Spokane, Orlando, Chicago, Durant, San Francisco, Sonoma, and Napa. Whew!! Quite a few destinations!
To help you get away and explore new places, we compiled a comprehensive 1-Day Guide to our favorite vacation spots of 2018. From happy hours and nice dinners to activities and beaches, we got you covered.
Trust us! We know how to have fun on any budget. Let us know which city you want to explore in the comments
San Diego, California
San Diego and it has got to be one of our favorite cities in California. If you’re an adventurer and a fun-seeking traveler like us you will love this city as well. From hiking and surfing to city tours and exploring the Gaslamp district, San Diego has it all. Believe us; this city is more than just beaches and bars.
Check out the full, weekend guide here.
Day 1 Guide:
Coffee: Get the day started with a jolt! Head to Communal Coffee for a quick drink and pastry. Be sure to check out the black and white mural ($5).
Brunch: If you want the best brunch of your life, then you must go to Kindred. This contemporary space serves a vegan menu that you don’t what to miss! The décor is whimsical and eccentric. For drinks, we recommend the Punch Bowl! It has Tequila, Mezcal, grapefruit, Sparkling Rose and more in it. It took three hours for two of us to finish it!!! For food, we recommend the Drop Biscuits with Gravy, The Benedict, and Hashes for the Mashes ($30)
Activity 2: One of La Jolla’s coolest attraction is Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave. This dark cave is actually inside a gift shop! All you have to do is pay $3-5 to see the only sea cave in California accessible by land. Pro Tip: There is parking in front of the shop or on Coast Blvd. Get there early to claim a spot! After you see the cave you can walk 5 minutes to La Jolla Cove for a picnic or swimming ($3-5)
Activity 3: You have to check out this rooftop patio and bar! Fairweather offers craft cocktails with a tropical twist, plus views of Petco Park! ($10)
Dinner: To satisfy your craving for Italian food, Civico 1845 in Little Italy is a “must.” We stumbled upon this gem and man…we are so glad that we did. This restaurant offers contemporary Italian cooking with vegan options! No, seriously. They have a whole vegan menu. The Mushroom “Calamari,” Lasagna Romagnola, and Gnocchi Alla Caponata were FAN- FREAKING-TASTIC ($25)
Total Per Person: $70 plus tax and tip
Everyone should visit Houston at least once! Whatever your budget, there is something for everyone to do. From experiencing a diverse street culture to shopping at antique stores, there are plenty of things for visitors to uncover.
Check out our itinerary for $50 a Day Budget here.
Day 1 Guide:
Coffee: Get the day started with a jolt! Head to The Honeymoon Cafe & Bar. This New Orleans themed cafe is perfect for a quick drink and beignets. If you are feeling good, try the Cafe Corretto (it is spiked with booze!) ($10)
Activity 1: The Art Car Museum is an awesome exhibition. The museum features contemporary and unique cars that have been remodeled artistically. For example, motorcycles and low riders were turned into creative displays for everyone to see (FREE)
Brunch: For southern food cooking, Kitchen 713’s brunch menu will hit the spot. We recommend trying the Avocado Toast, Arugula Salad, or a BLT. Veggie friends, you can make anything vegan. Just ask for potato hash and omit any animal products used in the entrees ($15)
Activity 2: Port Houston Boat Tours offers a free 90-minute cruise on the Houston Ship Channel. You can see cargo vessels and more. The tour is free (oh yeah!), but reservations are required (FREE)
Activity 3: Pack a light picnic and head to Miller Outdoor Theatre. Open from March - November, the theatre hosts performances like ballet, film, plays and more. You can even BYOB too. All performances are free. For some events, assigned seating is offered. Be sure to get there early! It is on a first-come-first-serve basis (FREE)
Dinner: If you are into the Lord of the Rings then you want to go to the Hobbit Cafe! The black bean nachos is a favorite dish along with the eggplant enchiladas. The drinks are great as well ($20)
Total Per Person: $45 plus tax and tip
Spokane offers local festivals, wine tastings, art shows, fine dining, hiking, and more for CHEAP. No really, it will not cost you much!
The city is the perfect place for travelers.
Spokane is surrounded by many lakes and rivers, hosts a massive running event called Bloomsday Run and the historic Davenport Hotel. There is a raging waterfall too. Get ready to have the best time of your life. There is a lot to do in this small city.
Check out our best, cheap travel guide for Spokane here. We list the best, cheap things to eat and do.
Day 1 Guide:
Breakfast: We usually skip breakfast, but if breakfast is your favorite meal of the day check out Cafe Ephata. The Tropical Beets smoothie and Avocado Toast - be sure to veganize the dish ($8)
Activity 1: The best way to see Spokane is on a walking tour. The Downtown Spokane Heritage Walk is a great self-guided tour of Spokane. You will be able to view historical places and the diversity of the city. We did the Central Downtown walking tour because the downtown area is the heart of downtown Spokane! Check out the summary and download the free guide here (FREE)
Lunch: Allie’s Vegan Pizzeria & Cafe is a vegan heaven! Whether you follow a vegan or non-vegan diet, you will love this place. The lunch entrees are fabulous. We recommend the Hot Mess Pizza, and Cheese Sticks ($15)
Activity 3: You can’t visit Spokane without seeing Spokane Falls! It is in the heart of Riverfront Park and is located in the core of the city (FREE)
Dinner: Ever craved excellent pub food? Casacdia Public House provides the best locally sourced drinks and dishes! Their patio is the perfect place to hang out during the summer with friends. We recommend the Vegan Nachos, Vegan Pretzels w/ Vegan House Queso, Buffalo Tofu Sticks, and The Impossible Burger ($15)
Total Per Person: $38 plus tax and tip
If you follow our travels and guides, you know that we went to Orlando mutiple times. We filled our trip with tons of activities that didn't have anything to do with theme parks. Yes, we didn't visit Epcot or Magic Kingdom!
Surprisingly, Central Florida is one of the world's greatest travel destinations. If you only visit the area to see theme parks, then you are missing out. Learning how to surf is an exciting activity you can do to create a vacation you'll remember.
Daytona Beach is one of the top and most famous places in Florida to surf. Checking out our surfing review and guide
Day 1 Guide:
Breakfast: Interested in an old-school eatery serving up American & Greek classics? Head to Townhouse Restaurant for great food and fair prices. They have biscuits and gravy, omelets and more. Vegan options are available ($10)
Activity 1: Drive to Daytona Beach to soak up the sun and swim. Schedule a surfing/paddle board session at Vast Oceans Surf and Sup School. Vast Oceans is the #1 beach location in Daytona. If you book a session, ask for Ryan Ragan to teach you. He was an Olympic Surfer and the best teacher! ($90)
Activity 2: After your lesson drive 11 miles south on Peninsula Dr. to visit a quieter beach in Ponce Inlet. It is a local spot! You will see many surfers riding the waves.
Lunch: Head to Hidden Treasure and have lunch right on the beach in Ponce Inlet. Enjoy this tiki bar on the inlet for steaks, seafood & pasta. Vegan options are available ($15)
Activity 3: Next to Hidden Treasure, you’ll find The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse. This lighthouse is also a museum! The structure is 175 feet in height and is the tallest lighthouse in the state…one of the tallest in the United States! (Museum Admission $7)
Dinner: Enjoy Spanish inspired entrees at Café Tu Tu Tango in Orlando. We love this place because it has live entertainment and the artists paint as you eat. The white sangria is delicious. Vegan options are available ($15-20)
Total: $140- 145 tax and gas not included
This city is so unique and diverse. Each neighborhood has its own vibe and personality. Young or old, you will never be bored. There are some many things to see and do. If you find yourself in Chicago, use our Ultimate Itinerary to guide!! It will blow your mind.
Day 1 Guide:
Activity 1: Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest and most stunning botanical conservatories in the nation. It has a swimming pool, fishing lagoon, athletic field and more! (FREE)
Lunch: Eat at The Hampton Social location in River North. The iconic “Rose all day” sign will have you taking tons of pictures! We recommend getting the Butternut Squash Toast. ($14) Activity 2: Hit the beach! Head to Oak Street Beach to soak up the sun. It is located on North Lake Shore Drive. (FREE)
Happy Hour: Apogee is a rooftop bar that sits on the 26th-floor of the Dana Hotel. The terrace sports a colorful bar that is modern and elegant. The views of Chicago from the lounge are breathtaking. We tried the Frose (frozen Rose) and immediately felt the effects, if you know what we mean. ($10)
Happy Hour 2: Lost Lake is a tiki bar in Logan Square that packs a major punch. Try the Twilight Gloom or Saturn in the House of Saturday Forever cocktail. All drinks come in a tiki cup or funky shaped glass. ($16)
Dinner: Handlebar serves made-from-scratch vegetarian and vegan comfort food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We tried the Chili Cheese Fries, Fried Avocado Grilled Cheese, and Gyro. ($15)
Total Per Person: $55 plus tax and tip
Choctaw Casino & Resort is known for slots, table games, dining, and entertainment. We took a trip to the Choctaw-Durant and found out that you can have fun and relax under one roof. Yes, you can play your favorite games and go to the spa at Choctaw.
Don't overlook this spa. It has so much to offer. Get ready to get pampered and treat yourself to some R&R. Check out the blog post for 4 reasons to visit the spa at Choctaw Casinos & Resort.
San Fransisco, California
San Francisco is the best place for a weekend getaway with the girls. We love the city so much. We nearly cried tears of joy when we learned about the bachelorette trip. The Bay Area has a lot to offer. From seeing the sights to exploring nightlife, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Day 1 Guide:
Breakfast: OYO (On Your Own)
Activity 1: Go on a Wine Country Tour because “wine” not! We loved our experience with Napa Valley Wine County Tours. You can read our review of the Napa & Sonoma Tour Company, view itinerary and more. Click to read Napa Valley Travel Guide: Best Winery Tour. ($89-99, Wine tasting not included)
Dinner: OYO (On Your own) or try Katana Ya for some enchanting Ramen in a laid back atmosphere. They play throwback and current R&B/Pop music too! Vegan options are available. ($10)
Activity 2: Have a lingerie party! Buy cheeky bodysuits and thongs for the bride and throw on some good music. You can even get male strippers! Read a How to Throw a Lingerie Shower guide here. ($40)
Total Per Person: $139-179 plus tax and tip
Thanks for reading our 2018 Travel Roundup - Favorite Vacation Spots! Which city is your favorite?
Until Next Time,
“Your life is happening now. Make it amazing!”