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WHERE TO EAT: DETROIT

Avalon Cafe and Bakery: It's a farm-fresh restaurant that serves brunch, lunch and dinner. The ladies of Avalon have a triple bottom line which means that they focus not only on creating delicious food but also on preserving the earth, engaging with their community and making their employees happy. But don’t miss the headline, the food is great too.

Royale With Cheese: If you’re a Pulp Fiction fan or just a burger fan, this is where you need to be. The name comes from the famous movie scene and they have a retro style burger shop. Their namesake sandwich is a 1/3 pound wagyu patty with gruyere, bacon, caramelized onion, mustard, special sauce and pickles which also comes in a vegan version if you can believe it. Saturday and Sunday they serve a mean brunch with it’s own version of the Royale. And lastly, they have tater tots. Enough said. Run, don't walk to this burger heaven.

Voyager:  With a extensive rotating list of raw shellfish, fish dishes, and tropical cocktails in a casual-yet-sophisticated dining atmosphere, Voyager is a contemporary oyster bar with a reverence for the Great Lakes. They serve coastal American favorites made with sustainable, wild caught and responsibly farmed fish & seafood.  They have a spectacular happy hour Tuesday through Friday with $1 oysters, $2 lagers and $3 daiquiris. For a nice evening out in Detroit, there is no better choice.

WHERE TO STAY: DETROIT

Artsy River Loft: First time visitors to Detroit and city regulars will enjoy this loft as a base of operations. The owner is a contributing author to Wildsam Field Guides, an eclectic guidebook publisher, and has great recommendations for most cravings in the unique city of Detroit.

The Inn on Ferry Street: This Inn is actually made up of 4 historic Victorian homes and 2 carriage houses that have been restored. Just steps from the state’s finest museums, acclaimed Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University, the Inn is a relaxing change of pace from the standard business hotel.

Detroit Foundation Hotel: This hotel combined communal, industrial, and luxury design to transform Detroit’s 1929 former Fire Department headquarters into a 100-room hotel. There is a very cool hotel scene in this historic building with rooms that are comfy but chic with lots of in-room amenities.

WHERE TO DRINK: DETROIT

Otus Supply: Do you like beer? What about bourbon? If you said yes to either of those, then Otus Bar is for you. If you only said yes to one, you can still go. The beer options far outweigh the cocktails but they do have their own barrel of Buffalo Trace Bourbon. Live music is provided many nights a week making this bar a go to stop for an entertaining evening.

Katoi: Their motto is “Drink like an Adult” so I think that pretty much sums up the place. If you come for dinner, expect a wait but sitting at the bar is usually doable. Their bartenders put a ton of love and talent into each cocktail. And the cocktails mirror the delicious thai cuisine that Katoi serves. Be prepared to be amazed and delighted.

WHERE TO LISTEN: DETROIT

Cliff Bells: I’m sending you to the historic jazz club that was originally established in 1935, closed in the 80’s and then reopened in 2006. Rumor has it that this place was the place to go for a drink during prohibition. Now, you can still get a great drink while listening to truly great jazz. If you’re looking for a classy night about town, Cliff Bells won't let you down.

WHAT TO DO: DETROIT

Belle Isle: Take a walk or bike ride on Belle Isle, a Michigan state park that is 5 miles around the perimeter and was designed by Olmstead who you may know, also designed Central Park in NYC. There is an aquarium, a wildlife conservancy, fishing piers, a giant slide, and a beach. You won’t have any trouble spending an entire day on the Isle.

John King Used & Rare Books: Now bear with me here, I know this sounds like a snooze fest but there can be something so relaxing and interesting about searching through old books for something special. Or maybe you, like me just enjoy being near history as the store is inside a four-story former glove factory.

WHERE TO SHOP: DETROIT

City Bird: Founded by Emily & Andy Linn, this quaint shop merges their love of design with their love for the region. Carrying lots of Detroit and Michigan themed products like our Michigan cutting board makes it just the place to pick up some better-than-average souvenirs to take home to your loved ones.

Nashville Guide: Where to Eat

HUSK: If you want to have a real serious culinary experience just a few blocks south of Historic Broadway, in the heart of Downtown Nashville, then you will need to check out the newest outpost of the Neighborhood Dining Group and James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock's renowned restaurant, Husk. Led by Brock and Chef de Cuisine Morgan McGlone, the kitchen reinterprets the bounty of the surrounding area, exploring an ingredient-driven cuisine that begins in the rediscovery of heirloom products and redefines what it means to cook and eat in Nashville. You’ll definitely need to plan ahead and get a reservation but it’s so worth it with dishes like Country Fried Steak with black pepper gravy and roasted potatoes not to mention, their famous Husk Cheeseburger.

MAS TACOS: This Snug, no-frills Mexican restaurant serving up an array of tacos & other standards is currently #8 out of 1,697 restaurants on TripAdvisor. With dishes like Fried Avocado tacos, elote, horchata, tilapia tacos, pulled pork tacos, chicken tortilla soup and tamales, it will satisfy all your mexican food cravings. This is a chill, order at the counter kind of place that is absolutely perfect for lunch in Nashville.

THE WILD COW: Just because you’re in the south doesn’t mean that you can’t have a healthy and delicious meal. This tiny, casual restaurant with a hippie feel has all of your meaty favorites without the guilt like vegan queso, nachos, tacos, burritos, reuben sandwich, portobello burger and of course a variety of salads and smoothies.


Nashville Guide: Where to Stay

THE 404 HOTEL: This boutique style Hotel is a welcome change from the typical chain hotels. Lots of unique touches in an urban style, eclectic setting. There is no reception/ front desk, but secure keypad code & excellent communication makes that irrelevant. With features like cement floors, woven natural fiber rugs and the barn door for the bathroom, this hotel is hip and chic. There are only 5 rooms in the entire hotel, giving it a very warm and intimate feeling but you need to check the availability in advance.

DREAMY COTTAGE: If you’re rather go the Airbnb route, then this quaint cottage is for you. Comfy, cozy, romantic and less than 3 miles from Downtown. The Cleveland Cottage provides a private oasis within city limits that includes full kitchen, Wifi, parking, electric fireplace & entrance through a private courtyard with fire pit. Perfect for a peaceful getaway to Nashville.

HUTTON HOTEL: If you are looking for an adult feeling hotel a great view of downtown, this is the place. The surrounding West End neighborhood is hip and full of nightspots and lively cafes. This hotel is committed to their green ethic with bamboo floors and furniture. And they not only welcome pets, they spoil them with pet bed, scratching posts and treats.

Nashville Guide: Where to Drink

ROBERT'S WESTERN WORLD: This longstanding outpost on the always happening Broad Street features live country bands, cold beer & fried bologna sandwiches. There will be drinking and there will be two-stepping at this prototypical honky-tonk. You cannot go to Nashville without stopping by and dancing with a real live cowboy. Don’t worry if you don’t know how, they’ll teach you.

PINEWOOD SOCIAL: From the classic to the young and hip. The Pinewood Social is great place to have a great time. They serve yummy food and drinks while providing lots of fun activities like bowling, bocce ball and pools to cool off in the hot summer heat.

Nashville Guide: Where to Listen

THE FAMILY WASH: There is no shortage of places to see and hear music in Nashville. It’s actually harder to find a place where there is no music but this is an absolute fav of ours. It’s a low key venue that also serves great food. So you could also put this in the food category but I love it for good local music. They host a variety of acts so you are always guaranteed a good time here.

Nashville Guide: What to Do

JOHNNY CASH MUSEUM: If you have any love for classic country music and the man in black then this is a must see.

THE NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY: A 444-mile recreational road and scenic drive through three states. It roughly follows the "Old Natchez Trace" a historic travel corridor used by American Indians, "Kaintucks," European settlers, slave traders, soldiers, and future presidents. Today, people can enjoy not only a scenic drive but also hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping along the parkway. Stop by The Loveless Cafe while you’re there for some good old fashioned home cooking.

Nashville Guide: Where to Shop

WHITE'S MERCANTILE: Inspired by an old general store but with a modern twist, this shop was named an essential stop in Nashville by The New York Times and we agree. You can find our Tennessee Cutting Board at all of their locations!