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Don’t Leave Myrtle Beach Without Visiting These Places

Fun things to in Myrtle Beach

Let’s take a look at some of the places that you definitely do not want to leave Myrtle Beach without first visiting!

Myrtle Beach Family Golf

When you want to go beyond the beach and engage in an activity that can be enjoyed by everyone, head over to Myrtle Beach Family Golf for a few hours of great fun. Here, you will find five miniature golf courses in themes that include Jungle Safari, Jurassic Golf, Dragon’s Lair, Shipwreck Island, and Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf. Fun characters add the special effects that are needed for a round of golf like you’ve never experienced before. You can head over to the driving range to fine-tune your golf skills or enjoy some time on any one of the courses.

Myrtle Beach Safari

The Myrtle Beach Safari is something that you won’t find just anywhere. Take the tour and see animals like Ramses the Cheetah, who moved to Myrtle Beach all the way from South Africa, Ahren the African Fish Eagle, who was rescued from Tanzania, Gibbons the Ape, who spent the first years of her life exploring the rainforest of Southeast Asia, and many more. You can even see tigers on your choice of a guided tour or safari. With over 130 animals to see, you can interact with many of them on this interactive experience. Come and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Myrtle Beach Water Sports

If you are feeling a little adventurous during your trip, consider checking out Myrtle Beach Water Sports. Family owned and operated for over 25 years, the owners go above and beyond to give everyone a personalized, memorable experience. You can try out jet skis, pontoon boats, a pirate cruise boat and more. Have some fun on the water while learning an activity that you’ve only dreamed of trying.

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

Have the time of your life as you stroll along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Here, you will find so many things to do that you may not know where to start. Ride the Myrtle Beach Sky Wheel for a view that you must see to believe. Visit I Love Sugar, a truly unique candy store where you can find things like giant gummy bears and candy sushi. You’ll see fireworks shows, carnivals, and much more. Enjoy year-round festivals, or just sit, relax, and take everything in for a while as you immerse yourself in everything the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk has to offer.

The Asher Theater

Catch a show while you are in town at The Asher Theater in Myrtle Beach. With fun events held all year-round, there is always something spectacular going on there. This quaint theater is inviting for everyone and is truly a warm, one-of-a-kind experience.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach

At Ripley’s Aquarium, you can enjoy amazing experiences such as sleeping with sharks, and getting up close and personal with stingrays. There are several can’t miss exhibits including the Rainbow Rock Experience, the Living Gallery, and the Pearl Harbor Experience. You can take a Glass Bottom Boat Adventure and even catch a live show while you are there. Make sure to bring your camera, because photographs are certainly encouraged. You will have the time of your life as you see two levels of aquatic life like frogs and lizards, spotted eagle rays, horseshoe crabs, and many more.

Blueberry’s Grill

When you are on vacation, it is worthwhile to make sure mealtimes are just as fun as the rest of the trip. That is exactly what you will find at Blueberry’s Grill, as you enjoy unique, made to order menu items in a casual, modern environment. Find food that you cannot find anywhere else. The menu has offerings such as Chicken and Waffles with Sugar Pears, Bananas Foster French Toast, the Hey Blueberry Omelet, and much more.

Simply Southern Smokehouse

Eat like a true Southerner when you visit Simply Southern Smokehouse. Make sure you arrive good and hungry because this establishment offers an all you can eat food experience that you don’t want to miss out on. This no-fuss restaurant is known for excellent home cooking, with items that include Southern favorites like Chicken and Dumplings, Sausage and Onions, Pork Chops, and more. Or, you can choose from the Specials Menu, with meals like Baked Spaghetti and Meatloaf and Smoked Ham and Fried Gizards. Save room for dessert, because you’ll find plenty of that as well.

Pier House Restaurant

You’ll definitely want to enjoy some fresh and local seafood while you are in Myrtle Beach, and Pier House Restaurant is the perfect place to do just that. As the name suggests, you will have your meal overlooking the 2nd Avenue Pier and the amazing views. Have a cocktail at the open-air bar, or sit on the patio and take it all in. Choose from a selection of delicious offerings that include Seaside Spinach Dip, a Georgetown Grouper Reuben, a Fried Seafood Platter, and much more.

Daddio’s Ice Cream

When you want to cool off with a sweet treat after a busy day sunbathing or on the go, Daddio’s Ice Cream has just what you need. You’ll find some of the freshest homemade ice cream in town. Have desserts such as sundaes, banana splits, and milkshakes. With over 20 flavors to choose from, you’ll want to come back time and time again so you can sample everything that Daddio’s has to offer.
Be sure to keep in mind that you can go beyond the sand and water when you plan a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. There are many activities for everyone, so explore the town and have the vacation of a lifetime!

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An Insider’s Guide to Summertime In Boulder, Colorado

Hiking in Boulder Colorado

From the first significant snowfall, folks begin arriving, from far and near, to enjoy the world-class ski slopes high in the Rocky Mountains. The stunning beauty of the snowy mountains along with the variety of winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice climbing, compels several people to choose Colorado their winter vacation destination.
Colorado can be gorgeous in the summertime also. The little city of Boulder, Colorado—nestled along the eastern “front range” of the Rocky Mountains, at a modest altitude of 5,300 feet—is an absolutely glorious place to be from late-May through September.

Iconic Boulder Summertime Destinations

Walk the Pearl Street Mall

This four-block brick pedestrian mall will delight you with its fountains, street performers, and abundance of gorgeous flowers (tulips of every imaginable color; and other varieties later in the summer). Not to mention all the charming restaurants and small businesses that line it: a discerning shopper’s heaven! But really, simply strolling down the mall on a sunny summer afternoon has persuaded more than a few visitors to become permanent Boulder residents.

Take in a Bands On The Bricks performance

Every Wednesday evening from 7:00-9:00 pm, June through August, you can enjoy a couple hours of free music and dancing, beneath the Colorado sky. Bring a blanket to spread on the courthouse lawn, purchase a microbrew or margarita in the beer garden, and put on your dancing shoes. If you’re not in the mood to dance yourself, you can watch local street dancers do their thing.

Walk or bike the Boulder Creek path

This sweet 5.5-mile paved path is peacefully shared by walkers, bikers, joggers, and skaters. As its name implies, it runs parallel to the Boulder Creek. You can get onto it right downtown (e.g. near the Dushanbe Teahouse) and then travel west toward the mountains (and a bit beyond the Boulder city limit), or to the eastern parts of town. Both directions are beautiful. Additionally, you can raft the river itself—a great option, in particular, for super-hot days.

Enjoy Boulder Open-Space hiking

Much of the western edge of Boulder, Colorado is designated “Open-Space” that are intentionally kept free from commercial development. There are many great hiking trails around these designated areas, just a stone’s throw from central Boulder. Some of the best ones are:

  1. The trails emanating from centrally-located Chautauqua Park (onto Green Mountain or the Flatirons)
  2.  The more northern Mount Sanitas
  3.  The magical Shanahan Ridge trailhead—at the far southern end of the city—which links up with the spectacular Fern Gulch trail, which will take you to the summit of Bear Peak.

Visit the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

This might be the most beautiful teahouse you’ll ever see and it has a fun and inspiring history as well. It came in the mail, piece by piece, as a gift from Boulder’s sister city, Dushanbe (the capital and largest city of Tajikistan). The hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling, tables, stools, columns, and exterior ceramic panels were all lovingly crafted by Tajikistan artisans. There’s a fountain in the middle of the teahouse, tables inside and out (with the Boulder Creek running nearby), and a bar counter from which you can order a cup of award-winning homemade chai. Whether you come just for tea, or to share a lunch or dinner with friends, the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is a place you cannot miss!

Boulder Restaurants & Colorado Cuisine

Sherpa’s Restaurant

With authentic Nepalese, Indian, and Tibetan cuisine, Great momos (Tibetan stuffed dumplings) among other things, and delightful decor, Sherpa’s Restaurant is a must see. It is located just west and a block south of the Pearl Street Mall.

Sushi Zanmai

Visitors can find excellent Japanese food at Sushi Zanmai, with great happy hour prices for lunch (11:30 am – 2:00 pm) and dinner (5:00 pm – 6:30 pm). Right downtown, a block north of the Pearl Street Mall.

Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant

This is the place in Boulder for awesome, elegant vegan and vegetarian fare, just a half-mile or so east of the Pearl Street Mall.

Boulder Farmer’s Market

For a sampling of authentic Colorado cuisine, check out the farmer’s market on Saturday morning or Wednesday afternoon. It sits in front of the Dushanbe Teahouse and some of the native favorites that you’ll find there include:

  • Palisade peaches, and a variety of melons– The climate is perfect for producing luscious peaches and melons—not to be missed!
  • Trout or striped bass–caught fresh from one of Colorado’s many rivers
  • Roasted green chilis, and various hot sauces–The scent of roasting chilies is something you’ll encounter frequently in summertime Boulder. Elk, venison, bison or wild boar, in the form of steaks, sausage, or burgers. Wild game roam freely in the mountains and plains, and their meat is a Colorado delicacy.
  • Rack of lamb–Colorado is one of the nation’s leading producers of lamb, and it is known to be especially delicious.
  • High-end granola–Boulder is a mecca for endurance athletes as well as outdoor enthusiasts (campers, climbers, hikers, etc.). The high demand for high-quality granola means we have a vast variety to choose from. Yum!

Charming Boulder Bookstores

The Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe

The Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe is great for poetry-lovers and literature buffs. This sweet bookstore is “on the hill” in the middle of the University of Colorado campus. It is a great place to have a cup of tea or coffee while reading some new or old favorite poems.

Lighthouse Bookstore

A staircase takes you from the busy Pearl Street Mall down into this basement hideaway, that features a great array of metaphysical and spiritual titles, along with an in-house psychic and tarot readings. Classic Boulder.

What To Do On A Rainy Day In Boulder

Take in a show at the Sommers-Bausch Observatory
If there happens to be a special multimedia show–in the observatory’s circular auditorium–you’re in for a real treat.
Enjoy a performance or art show at The Dairy Arts Center
The movie theater, array of galleries, and performance spaces provide inspiring options for art, dance, and theater lovers.
Music compliments of the Chautauqua Concert Series
Get tickets for a concert at the Chautauqua Auditorium or Community House: beautiful venues nestled at the base of the Flatirons.

Awesome Day Trips From Boulder

Brainard Lake Recreation Area
A 30-40 minute drive from Boulder, this recreation area features jaw-dropping gorgeous alpine lakes and high-mountain forested trails. The Brainard Lake Recreation Area is open to hikers only during the summer months and is well worth the drive.
Nederland’s Carousel of Happiness
A half an hour drive through the stunningly-beautiful Boulder Canyon will place you in the quirky yet charming Nederland, which can easily be explored on foot. The Carousel of Happiness–with its beautiful hand-carved animals–is definitely worth a ride, or two.
Whether you’re just passing through, or enjoying a more extended visit, Boulder, Colorado in the summertime is sure to delight you!

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Experiencing Cairo’s Amazing Sites Beyond the Giza Pyramids

Girl with camel near pyramids

The Many Wonders of Salah El-Din Citadel

Dripping with history and beauty, the Salah El-Din Citadel (or Cairo Citadel) is not only a critical component of Cairo’s history but one with as much visual splendor as anywhere else in the city. A 12th-century fortress built by Saladin (also sometimes called Salah El-Din), the series of buildings take visitors back to a crucial period of Cairo’s development, simultaneously offering some of the best views in the city thanks to their high pitch on the Mokattam Hill. One of the most popular things to do is to scale to the top for a panoramic glimpse of the region, with clear days offering views all the way to the Giza Pyramids just beyond Cairo’s modern cityscape.
Inside the Citadel is also a treasure trove of different landmarks, including the very famous Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Built in the first half of the 19th century, the Ottoman-styled mosque dazzles both inside and out, complete with its iconic dome, skyscraping Turkish minarets, and vintage clock tower that hovers over an alabaster-covered courtyard. With its apparent beauty and historical importance, the Muhammad Ali Mosque is one of the most popular spots in Cairo for a reason.
Outside of the mosque, there is no shortage of other features worth your time either, like the Al-Gawhara Palace that Ali built for his wife. There are also a series of other smaller mosques, museums, and sites of intrigue bundled within the medieval complex, and it’s large enough to spend an entire day absorbing the many features that have made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the 1970s.

The ancient roots of Coptic Cairo

You don’t have to be particularly religious to feel a connection to Coptic Cairo, where longstanding traditions, ancient architecture, and ancient folklore blend into a magnificent gathering spot for visitors. At Amr Ibn al-Aas, you can inspect the oldest mosque in Africa while down the street, within the ancient Babylon Fortress, sites like the Hanging Church and the Church of St. George are emblems of Christianity’s ancient roots. The Babylonian Fortress area of Coptic Cairo has also been a spot of strategic importance for millennia, dating back to its days as a crucial dividing point (and tolling station) between Lower and Middle Egypt. The Ben Ezra Synagogue, meanwhile, is whispered to be built on the spot where the pharaoh’s daughter brought Moses after scooping him out of the Nile, bringing an aura of ancient mystery to one of the newer constructions of Coptic Cairo.
Though knowing the context of Coptic Cairo will help you fully grasp the area’s appeal, it’s also a bustling and interesting experience in itself. The alleys in between the ancient stone buildings are loaded with vendors showcasing unique artwork and artefacts, giving visitors a glimpse of modern Cairo seamlessly blended into the oldest part of the city. You can easily spend a morning – or an entire day – wandering through the eternal network of religious sites and fascinating buildings, which collectively provide a blueprint to how the city itself developed out of the ancient world.

Start or end your journey at the Egyptian Museum

Chances are you’re at least moderately interested in the annals of history if you picked Cairo as a destination, which is why skipping the Egyptian Museum can be an epic mistake. Centrally located near the Sadat metro station, the museum is an ideal companion piece to a journey into the region’s past, complete with a King Tut exhibit that showcases the boy king’s iconic gold mask – one of the most famous artifacts of history. The ancient jewelry exhibit is also one of the most spectacular in the world and the sprawling museum is absolutely loaded with fascinating objects both small and large, transporting visitors to the mysterious world of the ancient Egyptians.
Though the King Tut exhibit is clearly the mainstay, there are some other popular main exhibits as well, including a mummy room that will provide detailed insight into a lost world that is equal measures enchanting and eerie. Although you have to pay a little bit extra to check out the mummy room, it’s a small price to pay for ancient Egypt enthusiasts. While a trip to the museum before heading to the pyramids will set the tone and help you appreciate the land’s most famous sites, the museum is also is an ideal swan song to wrap up an unforgettable journey.
Although the museum is a must-see for pyramid-gazers, a little planning is required to have the best experience. Because there is no air conditioning, it’s highly recommended to arrive close to its 9:00 a.m. opening and visitors should be ready to pay a few extra bucks to be able to take photos inside (it’s completely worth it). The museum is also in its final stages of prominence, as the massive and long-awaited opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in late-2018 at the edge of the Giza plateau will take over the main exhibits. Whether you make it to the old Egyptian Museum or the new one, however, taking a day to wander through time at one of the region’s state-of-the-art museums is one of the best ways to get in tune with the area’s famous ancestors.

Other archeological sites to consider

A city like Cairo and its neighboring regions have more than enough sightseeing to justify an extended holiday. For those with a little extra time, a trip south of the city to the pyramids of Dahshur can be a terrific day trip, taking visitors to a world often forgotten due to their infinitely more famous cousins in Giza. Although not as visually striking as the Giza pyramids, the Dahshur monuments (e.g. the Black Pyramid, Red Pyramid, and Bent Pyramid) all have a fascinating story of their own and the crowds are dramatically lighter.
Also just south of Cairo, Saqqara is worthy of an excursion as well, as the famous necropolis is where you can find the Step Pyramid of Djoser, ancient healing temples, and a wide range of different Egyptian statues and artifacts. Both Saqqara and Dahshur are very easily accessed from central Cairo via either bus, taxi, or a guided tour.
When traveling to Cairo, however, it’s also critical to take into consideration both the weather and the city’s regular schedule. Between June and September, you can expect intense sun and heat, making it crucially important to get going as early as possible to maximize your comfort at Cairo’s most popular sites. Being a Muslim-dominant city, many of the city’s greatest features (e.g. the Muhammad Ali Mosque) are closed on Fridays and have limited hours during high holidays like Ramadan. But with a little research and a plan, Cairo remains one of the world’s most fascinating cities and a must-see for anyone awed and inspired by the forever-evolving pages of history.

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3 Unconventional U.S. Cities to Spend the Holidays

Christmas Tree

For anyone looking to travel for an unforgettable holiday trip, consider these three options that offer an incredible spread of possibilities catering to a variety of interests.

1. Colorado Springs, CO

Jingle Bell Run 5K and Kids’ Reindeer Romp

From romance to family-friendly events, Colorado Springs is always a magical place to visit when fall finally gives way to winter. At a sprawling costume party and holiday celebration rolled into one, the Jingle Bell Run 5K and Kids’ Reindeer Romp is one of the main events that kicks the season into high gear. Participants toss on their ugliest ugly-Christmas sweaters, Santa suits, and reindeer antlers for an energetic run (or stroll) through scenic Fountain Creek Regional Park, which lies at the base of the snowcapped Rocky Mountains. The fun run also is for a great cause that will help you get into the holiday giving spirit, as the proceeds go to a variety of programs that help local teens.
While the Jingle Bell Run 5K is perfect for families, couples, or individuals, the same goes for the popular Skate in the Park, a growing tradition at Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs. Featuring demos by Olympic skaters and programs for skaters of all ages and skill levels, Skate in the Park is circled by holiday lights and dwarfed by the surrounding mountains. Families also tend to go all-in for the Santa Express Train, where patrons toss on their favorite holiday pjs and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies with Santa on the way to the North Pole.

Spend the Day at a Castle

On top of the robust list of family options in Colorado Springs during the holidays, there are also some great opportunities for small groups or couples looking to drum up a little romance. At Glen Eyrie, you can not only have a cozy night in a real castle, but you can also participate in a range of holiday activities, from the very popular Yule Tea to the immaculately decorated Madrigal Banquet, which will whisk you back to the 16th century for a jolly night of great food and activities. Also in the area, Miramont Castle offers a Victorian-era Christmas atmosphere from mid-November onward, creating another beautiful backdrop to get the season rolling in the right direction.
Also consider: For more than three decades, the Festival of the Lights Parade has taken over downtown Colorado Springs with a wondrous spread of lights and holiday spirit. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Electric Safari also pivots to the holiday season with all kinds of impressive decorations and offers outstanding views of city holiday lights from its mountain perch.

2. San Diego, CA

You may not instantly think of Southern California when you conjure up images of the holidays, but one trip to San Diego at the right time of year can change that in an instant – particularly for anyone hoping to escape the more wintery aspects of the holiday season. Over at the renowned Hotel Del on Coronado Island, you can actually walk right along the ocean all the way up to the Del’s famous outdoor ice-skating rink, where holiday enthusiasm runs rampant throughout December and early-January. Staged between the wide Coronado beaches and the famous red rooftops of Hotel Del, the rink offers California-style ice skating that typically comes with mild weather (think low to mid-60s) and the patented San Diego sunshine. Hotel Del also gets very decked out for the holidays as well, including an enormous evergreen tree in the lobby decorated to the hilt.

Balboa Park

Meanwhile, Balboa Park in downtown San Diego puts on the steadily growing December Nights, an astounding holiday festival that draws on cultural traditions from all over the world. For four decades, December Nights has taken over the sprawling, 1,200-acre park that showcases the world-famous San Diego Zoo along with an assortment of renowned museums and gardens. But for one weekend in early December, the park is enlivened by countless holiday lights and a staggering spread of food vendors, making for an international holiday celebration and enormous food festival rolled into one. Add in some live holiday-themed performances at the Old Globe and other activities embedded in December Nights and it’s easy to see why visitors (and locals) turn up at Balboa Park in December.

Parade of Lights

As a prominent port of call, San Diego is also not exactly lacking in beautiful harbor views, which create the background for the explosion of holiday colors that come with the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. For nearly a half-century, participants have shown off their inner creativity by decorating their boats based on the annual theme, which have ranged from “Aargh! A Pirate’s Christmas” to “A Tropical Island Christmas” (2018) in recent years. To get the best views of the roughly 80-boat parade, viewers show up early and spread out around the two embarcaderos that jut out into the harbor overlooking Coronado Island.
Anyone up for a short drive from central San Diego also has even more terrific options for the holidays. Though all the beach towns north of downtown (e.g. Pacific Beach, La Jolla, Encinitas, Del Mar) have their own holiday festivals worth checking out as well, driving a little east to Julian, California will give you a completely different experience. Sitting at the base of the Cuyamaca Mountains, Julian is known for its snow-capped mountain scenery, crisp air, and wonderful little historic area that springs to life for the holidays. Regionally famous for the pies and various homemade delicacies, Julian has a fun tree-lighting ceremony and looks like a postcard once Main Street is fully lit with holiday excitement. From major festivals celebrating diverse holiday traditions to events that take full advantage of local geographic advantages, San Diego is simply a great place to spend the holidays.

3. Williamsburg, VA

Christmas Wonderland

There’s an irrefutable holiday cheer in the air in Williamsburg, Virginia once the calendar moves past Halloween. At the heart of the action, Busch Gardens Christmas Town is a vintage winter wonderland complete with more than 10 million lights. It constantly smells of fresh Christmas trees, and has an impressive spread of boutiques lining the cozy village within Williamsburg. Unique holiday-based dining experiences, Santa sightings, and a North Pole workshop help create an electrifying atmosphere sure to get the holiday fun started in Williamsburg. Nearby, at Yankee Candle Village, Christmas is actually celebrated all year. However, it really pops to life in November and December to offer another memorable stroll through lights, decorations, and holiday activities.

Christmas Tree Lighting

Because Williamsburg is often credited with being the site of the first community Christmas tree, the tree-lighting ceremony has become a seminal way to usher in the good vibes of the season. The first tree was decorated here all the way back in the 1840s, and by 1915. Williamsburg celebrated with its first community tree complete with electric lights, making the annual ceremony a timeless tradition that continues to draw both locals and visitors. Not only do participants gather to see the lighting of the enormous evergreen tree in Market Square but everyone crowds around for a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” followed by caroling.
Though Colonial Williamsburg and the surrounding region is always great for delving into the magic of the region’s rich history, history lovers have even more options during the holiday season. A short 15-minute drive from central Williamsburg to Jamestown will let you time-travel to the Christmas traditions of the first English settlement on the continent. Whether you come for planned events and activities or simply want a great location to wander and take in a traditional holiday experience, Williamsburg is tough to beat.

Final considerations

Part of the fun of holiday travel is looking for the under-the-radar possibilities that will really tie your vacation together, making the holiday season an amazing opportunity to dive headlong into new experiences and traditions. Even in places that don’t immediately come to mind when you think of the holidays, there’s a good chance there are plenty of exciting sites and local events that will put you in the holiday spirit. With an eye on local social media pages and willingness to consider contrarian options, you’ll be well on your way to finding the right balance of cozy traditions and newfound adventures no matter where you choose to travel.

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Insider’s Guide to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

South Carolina Beach

North Myrtle Beach is a town of 16,000 at the northern tip of the Grand Strand. It lacks the spring break vibe and lively boardwalk of Myrtle Beach and hovers beneath the vacation radar. But once discovered, it is seldom forgotten. The slower pace and fewer crowds of North Myrtle Beach make it a great vacation destination for families and for people who want to take it easy. It is also an upscale retirement haven: senior friendly and plenty of golf courses.
Like most small towns, their local gems are not splashed on billboards, but people familiar with North Myrtle Beach have shared with us their favorite places:

Discover Platt’s Seafood

1108 Sea Mountain Highway, North Myrtle Beach, open all day every day

Fishing tackle and bait are just the beginning for Platt’s customers. They sell all you need for coastal cooking including mixes for cheesy grits and hush puppies. With daily deliveries from local boats, they offer the freshest fish and shellfish around. Their crab cakes are nearly all crab with just enough filler to hold them together. Their housemade soups, chowders, and seafood salads are culinary delights, and their key lime pie has won awards. You can order your seafood prepared for the table or purchase it raw. The knowledgeable staff will tell you how to prepare it. Order their low country boil of shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob–and don’t forget a key lime pie for dessert.

710 Bowling and More

1105 Highway 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, opens 3 p.m. daily

You’ve waited all year for this beach vacation, and now it’s pouring. You are grumpy, the kids are fighting, and not everyone loves bowling. 710 is so much more than a clean, family-friendly bowling alley with a good restaurant and bar. Bocce, darts, table tennis, corn hole, and board games are free. Billiards and shuffleboard are $5 an hour. 710 has many coin-operated games The food is reasonable and tasty with a children’s menu and an entire page of Southern comfort food in addition to typical pub fare. Trivia Thursdays are popular, particularly when the weather is not cooperating.

Learn To do the Shag

North Myrtle Beach is the home of the shag, a partner dance often described as the jitterbug on quaaludes. Main Street bars such as Fat Harold’s offer free lessons, and live D.J.’s play the music to dance to. For the best shag shoes, the Shoe Center, 710 Highway 17 South, has fashionable shoes with soles that grip the dance floor so you won’t go spinning into the street — unless you are innovating a dance move that involves golf carts and pedestrians.

Enjoy a Festival

North Myrtle Beach’s main festivals are the fall Irish-Italian Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Festival and parade, and Mayfest, a kickoff to summer fun. These festivals rock with live music, local crafts, great food, and family-friendly fun. Instead of the parking nightmare of festivals in larger cities, North Myrtle Beach organizes free parking venues and shuttles to the festivals. Golf cart rides, some as short as three blocks from car to Main Street, add to the fun as friendly locals give warm Southern welcomes and free rides.
The Great Christmas Light Show features more than 2 million lights festively displayed along a 1.5 mile drive through North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex. Over 500 magical light displays, some up to 55 feet tall, are custom made for the show. Visitors experience 20 enchanting animated figures and holiday scenes where the lights come to life accompanied by music. After the light show, families enjoy hot chocolate and s’mores in Santa’s Village, tube down Santa’s 40-foot inflatable slide, and, of course, meet Santa.

Taste the Real Italy

The Grand Strand including North Myrtle Beach has a large selection of Italian restaurants that range from ho-hum chains to family owned and operated pizzerias. The best and most authentic is Rapone, 3303 Highway 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, an unassuming trattoria next to an ice cream shop. As in Italy, this is a neighborhood gathering place for pizza and Southern Italian cuisine made from family recipes brought by immigrants from the old country. Many ingredients are from Italy such as 00 flour, Marzano tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella. Pizzas are cooked in a traditional brick oven, and the limoncello is house-made.

Visit Little River

This little fishing village neighboring North Myrtle Beach has a quaint, little downtown, but its biggest attractions are two restaurants favored by residents of North Myrtle Beach. The Parson’s Table, 4305 McCorsley Avenue, Little River, dates back to 1865 when it was a church. Restoration work used wood from old barns and stained glass from old churches to form an intimate restaurant of several rooms. Staff will point out their one Tiffany glass. The catch of the day is always excellent, and their She Crab Soup is highly praised. Surf, turf, or Weiner Schnitzel, your meal is guaranteed delicious and the ambiance is enchanting.
Across the street from the Parson’s Table, The Brentwood Restaurant and Wine Bistro, 4269 Luck Avenue, Little River, is a renovated 1910 house with several dining rooms and a patio. In summer, you can enjoy a lobster boil and live music on the patio. Year round, the cuisine is Low Country French. The restaurant is haunted, and guests can sign up for a ghost tour after dinner.

Bring the dog

North Myrtle Beach is one of the most dog-friendly places in the U.S. Most restaurants with outdoor seating welcome Fido and most will supply a bowl of water even before you ask. Grocery and other large stores have no problem with shoppers putting dogs in their carts. Smaller stores are concerned only that the pet is leashed and well mannered. Dogs are welcomed on beaches; but during the summer season, they must be off the beach between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
North Myrtle Beach is an all-season getaway depending on your vacation aspirations. Beach walking, music, low country cuisine, golfing, and laid back activities are popular year-round. If swimming and tanning are your goals, May through October are the best months to visit.

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How to Spend 24 Hours in Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland

You’ll want to see as much as you can while you explore this interesting city, so read on to discover the must-see destinations and attractions you can experience with only 24 hours in Baltimore.

Rise and Shine for a Great Breakfast, Baltimore-Style

You’ll need a great breakfast to fuel up for the day, and there are some great places around Baltimore for breakfast. You’ll find fantastic menu items that will give you the energy you need to keep you going.

Pete’s Grill

Feeding the locals and visitors for over 50 years, Pete’s Grill is a landmark of the city. This straightforward, no-fuss restaurant is known for excellent service and a strong history. They even are a favorite of some Olympic Athletes. Come in for some delicious French toast, pancakes, waffles, egg dishes, and much more, and you are all set to begin your Baltimore adventure.

Inner Harbor

The Inner Harbor is the premier place in Baltimore for things to do and see. Here, you will find museums, cultural events, and many other experiences that you can enjoy. You can immerse yourself in science, history, and take in the amazing views as well. There is shopping, entertainment, and more fun than anyone can imagine. Let’s take a look at some of the best things to do, places to eat, and attractions to see here.

National Baltimore Aquarium

You certainly do not want to leave Baltimore without a trip to the famous aquarium. With exhibits that you must see to believe, the aquarium is home to a tropical rainforest, a coral reef, and even an open shark tank. While here, you’ll be able to see an electric eel, a blacktip reef shark, and hundreds of other fish and animals. Bring the camera, because you will be in awe of everything that surrounds you at the Baltimore Aquarium.

Maryland Science Center

Enjoy learning about science and technology at the Maryland Science Center. With exhibitions that you must see to believe, the Maryland Science Center is one of the oldest institutions of its type in the country. Enjoy the five-story IMAX theater, and learn all about stars and constellations at the planetarium. The center underwent a complete renovation in 2004, bringing guests even more exciting things to see and enjoy, with concepts that focus on the past, present, and future.

Let’s Break for Lunch

Now that a few hours have passed, you are surely ready for a great lunch to fill you up and get you ready for more adventure. Let’s take a look at some great places to have lunch while in Baltimore.

Rusty Scupper

Enjoy picturesque views of the Inner Harbor while you enjoy some of the best food in the city. At Rusty Scupper, you’ll be three stories above the water level as you take in the atmosphere. Choose from Shrimp Scampi, a Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Sandwich, Blackened Chicken Pasta and much more.

SoBo Cafe

Enjoy classic food in a space filled with local art when you have lunch at the SoBo Cafe. Casual and relaxed, with fresh food that can’t compare, this restaurant offers everything from Chicken Pot Pie to a French Dip Sandwich.

Historic Ships

Baltimore is one of the few places where you can climb aboard a historic ship. You’ll see four ships that are permanently docked at the harbor, where you can learn about the history of each one. See live cannon firings, enjoy the exhibits and take a tour as you participate in this unique and amazing activity. There is a U.S. Navy tall ship, U.S. Coast Guard lightship, a submarine from World War II, and a ship from the attack on Pearl Harbor. What a piece of history to experience.

Top of the World Observation Deck

There is no better place to get a view of the entire Inner Harbor and take advantage of a few photo opportunities as well. At Top of the World, you can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the city from the 27th floor of Baltimore’s World Trade Center. Peer out all the way to the Chesapeake Bay in the tallest pentagonal building in the entire world.

Time for a Delicious Dinner

After the day you’ve just enjoyed, you are sure to have worked up an appetite for dinner. There are more than a few places located right at the Inner Harbor where you can enjoy a relaxing meal.

Pratt Street Ale House

This fun restaurant has a rich history that dates back many years when the city was beginning to grow. At Pratt Street Ale House, you are always welcome, and the environment is constantly warm and friendly. Choose your meal from a menu that includes a steak sandwich, Chesapeake Fish and Chips, flatbreads, signature burgers, and much more.

The Yard

This wonderful eatery is known for fresh, classic American foods. At The Yard, you’ll always find friendly service and food prepared from the best available ingredients. The loft setting has a lively, hip feel allowing guests to relax, talk or simply enjoy the scenery. Menu offerings include cauliflower ravioli, an old-fashioned fried chicken sandwich, a House Roasted All-Natural Turkey BLT, and much more.
Additionally, there is an impressive wine list as well as beer and signature cocktails. Be sure to save room for dessert, because here at The Yard, you’ll find selections that include cream with a Biscotti cookie, a chocolate chip brownie sundae, warm “mini” sugar spice donuts, and more. What a great way to end the day.
Now, you have the perfect itinerary for a wonderful day exploring the city of Baltimore. This is sure to be a trip that you won’t soon forget.

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Don’t Leave San Diego Without Visiting These 6 Locations

San Diego Mission Beach

The city is one of the most desirable destinations in the United States due to its pristine beaches, famous attractions, and near perfect year-round weather. Regardless if you’re visiting San Diego for the very first time or it’s your favorite spot to vacation, here are some places you must see!

Balboa Park

Balboa Park

When was the last time you were able to visit the zoo, museums, theatre and dine at fine restaurants all at once? Balboa Park is one of the most popular attractions in San Diego because visitors can enjoy culture, science, and nature in one convenient location. Named after the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the iconic park just celebrated its 150th anniversary. The 1,200-acre park has 16 world-class museums, lush gardens, walking trails, live performing arts venues and more for you to explore.
When you first enter the park, you can’t help but notice its beautiful, grandiose architecture. Balboa Park has a mixture of different architectural styles, ranging from Spanish-Renaissance to mid-century modern and Italian-Renaissance. The stunning buildings alone and gardens alone are awe-inspiring and make a great photo op!
Balboa Park has something for everyone. Nature lover? Check out the Botanical Building, Memorial Rose Garden and the Japanese Friendship Garden. Only care about history and science? Go to the San Diego Natural History Museum and Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Meanwhile, if you love the arts, you should visit the Timken Museum of Art, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego Art Institute and the San Diego Museum of Art. You may also be able to catch a live theatrical performance at the historic Old Globe Theatre or the San Diego Junior Theatre.

San Diego Zoo

After you explore Balboa Park, head to the legendary San Diego Zoo next door. Widely considered one of the best zoos in the world, the San Diego Zoo is one of the top tourist destinations in Southern California.
According to a local newspaper, the San Diego Zoo started from very humble beginnings when it opened in 1916. Pelicans, rattlesnakes, and bears were just some of the first animals donated to the zoo. Navy sailors raised the young bears as pets on the ship and later donated them to the zoo when the animal grew up and was too large to control.

Animals in the San Diego Zoo

Now the San Diego Zoo has over 4,000 rare and endangered animals and 800 different species. The zoo is about 100 acres and is considered one of the best places to see polar bears, tigers, gorillas and other wild animals in naturalistic habitats. They also have an extensive botanical collection with more than 700,000 plants.
The San Diego Zoo has many unique and notable animal habitats. Some of them include the Monkey Trails, Elephant Odyssey and Australia Outback exhibit. You can also check out the Africa Rocks exhibit and see polar bears swim in the Polar Bear Plunge. Get up close and personal with animals in the Children’s Zoo or you can book a special tour like Animals in Action if you really want a unique experience.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

If you are craving adventure, you should go to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It’s one of the few places where you can go on a safari and watch in wonderment as giraffes, rhinos and other animals roam the landscape. All you have to do is decide if you want to observe the animals from the sky with a secure zip line, traveling through the park by vehicle or walking.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is located in the city of Escondido, which is a short distance from the zoo. Around 2,600 animals live inside the 1,800-acre park. One must see exhibit is the Lion Camp and the bird show. You can also check out Lorikeet Landing and personally feed lorikeets up close and in person. Meanwhile, make sure to check out the bats, meerkats, and lemurs in Nairobi Village before you leave the park.

Giant Dipper at Mission Beach

Mission Beach

Of course, you can’t visit San Diego without exploring the city’s world-famous beaches. One of the most popular beaches is Mission Beach. Thousands of people flock to it every year to enjoy its beautiful ocean view. Mission Beach is perfect if you want to take a leisurely stroll or ride a bike along its boardwalk, sunbathe or simply enjoy the water. There are lots of charming local shops and restaurants you can visit in the area. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can visit Belmont Park. The boardwalk amusement park has a wooden roller coaster called the Giant Dipper that was originally built in 1925. You can also practice surfing at the Wave House, play miniature golf, ride bumper cars and many other fun activities.

Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach

Known as the “Crown City,” the charming city of Coronado has some of the best views of downtown San Diego. Coronado Beach is the perfect destination if you’re looking for a nice beach vacation. The serene beach is nestled between a United States navy base and the iconic Hotel del Coronado, which was featured in many old Hollywood movies. Coronado Beach is consistently rated as one of the best beaches due to its sparkling sandy beach and pristine environment. When you’re done enjoying the beach, you can also explore the shops and restaurants in downtown Coronado.

Torrey Pines Beach

Torrey Pines Beach

Located just north of La Jolla, Torrey Pines Beach is an amazing natural wonder that features towering rocky cliffs, canyons, and sandy beaches. The area is popular with daring hang gliders who jump off its cliffs to soar above the ocean and nature lovers who want to walk the hiking trails of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Park and marvel at the native pine trees. It’s also close by the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course.

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Sarasota’s Best Kept Secrets: Things To Do in Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota Bay
Sarasota Bay

You can spend a day enjoying the water and views, or have lunch at one of the many seafood shacks in the neighborhood, all of which are serving the freshest fishes possible. Known for its culture and much more, Sarasota is one of the ultimate places in which to find many hidden gems.

Rosemary District

The Rosemary District in downtown Sarasota is one of the premier romantic spots in town. Bordered by the Tamiami Trail, Orange Avenue, and also by 3rd and 10th Streets, it is adjacent to other downtown neighborhoods, including Burns Court, Towles Court, and Laurel Park. Enjoy the enchanting waterfront views that are offered here, as well as several locally-owned small businesses. With a historical heritage dating back to 1886, the Rosemary District is home to cafes, boutiques, galleries, and art studios. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at a restaurant of the same name, The Rosemary, or do some shopping at Canned Ham Vintage, Home Resource, or the Rosemary District Indie Market. With its unbeatable location and wonderful walkability, the Rosemary District is one of the most entertaining places in the city.

Siesta Key

Siesta Key

A barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, Siesta Key is a quaint, 8-mile long island offering shopping, resorts, dining, and nightlife. The beaches consist of lovely, fine sand that is 99% pure quartz and always cool to the touch, as well as turquoise water, making Siesta Key a true piece of paradise. The sub-tropical climate is perfect for many species of exotic flowers, tropical trees and flowering shrubs and plants. Entertainment includes music, theater, and ballet for those who enjoy the performing arts. Have a great meal at The Coolinary, or browse jewelry at Created Gems. Whether you choose to explore the entire island or spend the day in a single a spot on the beach, there is no wrong way to enjoy Siesta Key. 

Downtown Sarasota

The cultural center of the City, Downtown Sarasota is like a world in itself. As the home to wonderful shops, restaurants, and galleries, the downtown is situated on Sarasota Bay where everyone can enjoy a walk past docked yachts and charter boats or stop by a lively tiki bar. As for things to do, there is something for everyone. Take a tour of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, where you’ll find more than 20,000 plants and some of the rarest orchids in the world. Or, let loose at The Gator Club, where you can enjoy live rhythm and blues, top 40 and reggae. Art Center Sarasota has three separate galleries with plenty to do and see. When the time comes for a bite to eat, the possibilities are endless! Owen’s Fish Camp offers Southern-style cuisine in a historic cottage. For a more romantic choice, choose Bijou Cafe, for European and French cuisine like you’ve never tasted. Or visit Marina Jack’s, where you can take in breathtaking views of the Sarasota Bay while indulging in some of the finest creations in the city. When you want to go beyond the beach, Downtown Sarasota is the place to be. Fun named streets such as Pineapple, Orange, Lemon, and Palm truly capture the Florida vibe. Events are held throughout the year, so no two days in the downtown area are alike! Come and enjoy everything that the area has to offer.

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Ringling Art Museum

This is a museum that is enjoyed by people from all walks of life! Works of art include pieces from different times and cultures, such as Medieval, Renaissance, Greek, and Roman. Also, enjoy pieces from Ringling Bros., which cannot be seen anywhere else! You can enjoy performances, special events, and numerous exhibitions. Open daily, this museum is certainly a must-see attraction whenever you are in Sarasota!

Lido Key Beach

Quite possibly one of the most beautiful and serene beaches in the entire state of Florida, Lido Key Beach is the perfect place to sit back and enjoy the sand, water, and sunshine! With pure white sand, recreation areas, picnic tables, and even a pool, this beach is definitely something special. Lido Key Beach has calm water and a relaxing atmosphere. Spend a few hours here, and it feels like a lifetime. Visitors love indulging in the amazing sights and sounds of this amazing beach.

Father_and_children_paddleboarding_WorldviaSarasota Paddleboard Company

Paddleboarding is a great activity, and Sarasota is the ideal place in which to do it. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and let the fun speak for itself. You can have it delivered straight to your hotel or rental property, or, schedule time with an instructor. Whether you choose to kayak through the Lido Key Mangroves or paddleboard on Long Boat Key, the Sarasota Paddleboard Company offers an experience that you will remember forever. Make the most of your trip to Sarasota by truly indulging in the Florida lifestyle.

Sarasota Classic Car Museum

Sarasota Classic Car Museum

Don’t worry, there are plenty of indoor activities that make Sarasota a wonderful place to visit! The Sarasota Classic Car Museum is conveniently located in the heart of the city. As the second oldest operating antique car museum in the country, you’ll experience the evolution of automobiles over a period of many years. Featuring over 70 cars for you to see, you’ll enjoy names including Bentley, DeLorean, and Ferrari. You can also see cars that are just as famous as their owners, such as John Lennon’s Mini Cooper as well as his Mercedes Benz. The changing exhibits ensure that there is always something new and exciting for everyone to see. Come and learn about the history of the Sarasota Classic Car Museum, which was starting many years ago by brothers Herbert and Bob Horn.
As one of the premier places in South Florida, Sarasota has endless offerings of amazing things for all visitors to enjoy. You’ll be in awe of the beautiful sights that the town has to offer, as you enjoy all of the wonderful activities.

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Don’t Leave Rome without Visiting its Peaceful Places


The glories of the Colosseum, Piazza Navona, and Vatican City are worth a few selfie-stick puncture wounds, but wandering off the tourist trail can bring you to quiet, fascinating, historic places where you have room to experience them. Get a good map, a bus/tram/Metro pass at tourist kiosks or shops with a large black T, and discover the essence of the Eternal City in peace.

Millenniums of Music

St Cecilia’s Basilica in the Trastevere section is rooted in the Third Century and tourist-deprived today. The courtyard with its fountain topped by an ancient Roman urn is surrounded by fragrant roses and a few benches. This is a serene place to enjoy a gelato or a few slices of carry-out pizza. Once rested and refreshed, venture inside. The interior of the church is a yawn of baroque, but the 9th Century mosaic in the apse depicting the Second Coming gleams and glitters. The altar, with its Guido Reni 1630 paintings, Saints Valerian and Cecilia and Decapitation of Saint Cecilia, and its 1282 Baldacchino by Arnolfo di Cambio are among Rome’s finest treasures. Stefano Maderno’s hauntingly beautiful 17th-century marble statue of St. Cecilia tells the story of this Third Century martyr. She lies on her side with her hands making the early Christian sign of “one God, three persons” and a slit across her neck showing her fatal wound.
Cecilia was a Roman patrician who converted to the forbidden faith and encouraged others to convert. She was martyred in AD 230, but the executioners did not find it an easy task. First, they locked her in her steam room for three days. She came out alive and singing, which earned her the title of the Patron Saint of Music. Next, they tried to decapitate her. As she was a Roman citizen, only three strokes of the ax were allowed. She was mortally wounded, but it took her three days to bleed to death. When her body was exhumed in 1599, it was incorrupt under a gold funeral shroud. Maderno did a detailed sketch of her body before it was reburied and then created a statue that is faithful to his sketches.
The church is built on the remains of the saint’s house, and visitors can pay a small fee to take a wooden flight of stairs down to the original Roman roads where the walls of her house still stand. There is little signage, but many marble and concrete slabs have Latin inscriptions. When you come back upstairs ask the nun on duty to see the “affreschi di Cavallini,” If no nun is in sight, ring the bell beside the door on the left side of the church. Pay a few Euro to see the top half of Cavallini’s 1293 fresco Last Judgment now in a dusty upper room. The 18th-century renovators plastered the bottom half but had to leave room for a balcony used by cloistered nuns thus saving this portion of his work that shows Christ, the apostles, and angels. If you visit in time for Vespers, you can sit in the church and enjoy the nuns singing. The church is a popular venue for concerts of classical and ecclesiastical music.

Christianity’s Ground Zero

Plan ahead to see one of Rome’s most hidden and guarded sites. The Scavi beneath St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican, offers guided 90-minute tours of excavations that are at Ground Zero of the Christian faith. The highlight of the tour is what are believed to be the bones of St. Peter, located right beneath the altar in the church above them.
Also known as the Vatican Necropolis, The Tomb of the Dead, the area was discovered in the 1940s when the Vatican commissioned excavations to prepare a burial place for the tomb of Pope Pius IX. Legend had it that St. Peter was buried beneath the altar, but few believed that to be true. The archaeologists found a burial ground (necropolis) dating back to the 4th century. They found the temple of Emperor Constantine who had ruled at that time and ancient graffiti that translates as Peter is here. The remains were forensically examined in the 1960s, and experts concluded the bones were from a man in his early sixties who lived in the first century AD. In 1968, Pope Paul VI declared them to be the bones of St. Peter. In 2013, Pope Francis exhibited the nine pieces of bone that are encased in a box inside a bronze display case for the first time to the public.
The tour includes the necropolis with its funeral monuments and Constantine’s temple as well as the boxed bones of St. Peter placed exactly where scripture reports Peter says they would be found: upon this rock, I will build my church.
This is one of Rome’s most exclusive tours. Only 250 people a day, in groups of 12, are permitted. Pre-booking a tour is the only way to see this historic site, so plan ahead, months ahead. Some visitors have had luck with just showing up and asking if there are any cancellations. Even if an available tour is in a foreign language, it will be worth it. Tickets in hand, you must pass the colorful, serious Swiss guards and will walk along part of the Vatican that is off-limits to unticketed visitors.

Travel through Time

Crypta Balbi is one of the most overlooked museums in Rome, right off Largo Argentina. This is a frantically busy transportation hub around an excavated square block of Roman ruins, one of the three sites proclaiming to be the place of Julius Caesar’s murder. The museum is rarely crowded, but it is one of the few places that display the layers of Rome in one location. It stands on the remains of the Theater of Balbus constructed in 13 B.C., which you can visit. Then, you advance in time as you move up through the exhibits. One section illustrates the transformations of the urban landscape from antiquity to the 20th Century and artifacts from homes and businesses between the 5th and 10th Centuries A.D. — the Dark Ages. The other section contains artifacts from other Roman museums along with those found on site. You can see what the historical center of Rome looked like in ancient times, in the Middle Ages, and through today.
While the Vatican Museum has priceless, famous works of art, they are difficult to fully appreciate because of the mobs of visitors. In Crypta Balbi, you have time and space to ponder such items as a 9th Century bishop’s chair made of bone and elaborately designed, lead and ceramic pilgrim flasks from the 6th Century, Medieval artifacts that furnish rooms authentically, a 3rd Century marble plan of Rome, and hundreds of other artifacts that bring to life Rome’s many eras.
In addition to the list of things, you want to do and see in Rome, leave time to simply wander. Who knows what wonders you may stumble upon.