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My Blogger Pals Share Their 2016 Travel Secrets

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Stylish hostel in Rome, Italy

The Beehive Rome is a family run, stylish ho(s)tel that offers rooms at affordable prices but it's so much more than just a place to rest your head. In the basement is a lovely lounging area and café where a few times a week they host a vegetarian/vegan dinner made by local chefs and once a month they host a storytelling evening. Stop in, have a bite to eat, meet some great, like minded people and rest your weary bones in a comfy, quiet room. The Beehive - stylish hostel / budget, boutique hotel in Rome Italy Email: info@the-beehive.com Phone: +39 0644704553

Nat Harris from Website: A Cook Not Mad

 
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Eat like a local in Amsterdam

To taste traditional Dutch food in a gezellig (cozy) atmosphere, my favorite restaurant in Amsterdam is MOEDER'S (Mother's in Dutch). Indeed, mothers are everywhere. Photos of patrons' moms cover every wall, vintage sepia studio shots to casual snaps. Bring one of your own mom and they'll add it to the wall. Next, notice the mismatched dishware. When Moeder's opened, first-nighters were asked to bring a dish, a glass and cutlery. That delightful mismatched collection is still in use today. The food is pure Dutch, with a creative twist. The traditional Dutch pea soup is my favorite dish, thick with a cut-up sausage, bits of bacon and rich pea flavor. Served with a basket of fresh bread and hummus, it makes a great light meal by itself. If you're hungrier, choose one of the three-course meals: starter, main dish, dessert. There are three price points and all are good value for what you get. In nice weather, there's a row of tables outside facing the canal. Lunch is served only on weekends; dinner the rest of the week. Open until midnight. Reservations are suggested, but I've always gotten a table without one. Website: www.moeders.com/en/home

Donna Meyer from Website: Nomadwomen.com

 
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Foodie heaven in Cozumel, Mexico

Everyone knows Cozumel, Mexico as a diving destination, but few realize that it has become a foodie destination as well. There are two restaurants, little known to tourists and off the beaten path, where the quality of the food will amaze and delight diners. One is La Cocay on Calle Ocho, three blocks off the Mexican Caribbean in a non-descript area of town. La Cocay could be set down anywhere in the world and be a success. The mixture of Mediterranean and local seafood is so delicious and artistic locals who enjoy fine dining experiences can be found there on any night of the week.

The other hidden gem is Bucannos at Night on the north side of the island, open only on Friday and Saturday nights. Reservations are always needed. By day Buccanos is a beach club, but on Friday and Saturday nights it is transformed into a trendy foodie spot where creativity in preparation and presentation is given full rein. The results are surprising and often bold, and I guarantee you will want to dine there again. And again!

Tam Warner Minton from Website: travelswithtam.com/

 
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Two beautiful stops near the U.S. Capital

The Smithsonian Museums that line the National Mall are fantastic, but the crowds can overwhelm. For quieter beauty and contemplation, head toward the US Capitol and two gorgeous stops. First, immerse yourself in nature at the US Botanic Garden. Relax on a bench or stroll the catwalk in The Jungle, inhale the scents in the Orchid Room, and wander through diverse plant habitats. A block away, visit the Library of Congress Jefferson Building, an elaborate Italian Renaissance-style hall decorated to honor learning, literature, knowledge, creativity, and intellectual achievement. From the seventy-five foot vaulted, stained glass ceiling, to the rose compass inlay in the marble floor, you'll find beautiful and interesting detail. Be sure to walk up the stairs, past the statue of Minerva, for a view of the famous Reading Room.

Julie McCool from Website: FuninFairfaxVA.com

 
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A cozy restaurant in Aix-En-Provence, France

We live part-time in Aix en Provence, and never tire of its beautiful squares and colorful daily markets. Here are a couple of our favorite spots:
(1) Le Bouddoir - a cozy restaurant on the lovely Place des Tanners (28 Rue des Tanners). Their trio of daily specials, all under 15€, are always delicious.
(2) Place d'Albertas – stepping into this cobbled, fountain-centered square will take you back a few hundred years – impossibly romantic on a moonlit evening!

Anne Woodyard from Website: musicandmarkets.com/blog/

 
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Have lunch in Robion, Provence, France

Let me tell you about lunch at L'Auberge La Table Paysanne in Robion. After visiting one of the many markets located in Provence, such as the ones in Cavaillon or Ménerbes, I highly suggest that you head towards the town of Robion (8 kilometres away) where you will discover a wonderful restaurant called L'Auberge La Table Paysanne. It is a definite "find" frequented by locals and for an 18 € fixed price you will get a apéritif (half dozen bottles beautifully presented in a basket for you to choose from), appetizer, main course, 250ml carafe of wine (red, white, or rosé), dessert, and coffee/tea for lunch. The food and atmosphere are superb. Big windows, farmhouse furniture and antiques decorate the large dining room. It is only open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, so be sure to make a reservation. Address: 936, chemin du Moulin-d'Oise Phone: +33 4 90 76 81 96

Janice Chung from Website: www.francetraveltips.com

 
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$US5.00 lunch in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

I want to tell you about a great restaurant find in San Miguel de Allende. Here it is: We wouldn't have discovered Sabores de Frieda, Organos 52, in San Miguel de Allende, if we hadn't seen it out our apartment window. The long narrow restaurant, decorated with papeles picado and photographs of the iconic artist for who it's named, is worth finding! Chef/owner Nicolás Marcial has come up with a great concept; he offers one menu choice a day. Our main course of chile relleno was preceded by a salad and a fresh fruit drink was included. The price for a great meal? Under $5 USD. And, the food is really quite tasty. See: www.facebook.com/Los-Sabores-De-Frida

Billie Frank from Website: santafetravelers.com

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