2018’s Hottest Travel Destinations: Downtown Edition

“All journey’s have travel destinations that we richly stumble upon in awe.”

– Dee Haller

The downtown areas of many cities often make for a great travel destination, in and of themselves. These areas are typically the oldest parts of the city, giving them the most historic and most colorful legacies.

Check out these happening hot spots fit for your next low-key or luxury travel getaway.

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Savannah, GA

What makes it unique: The oldest city in one of the country’s oldest states, Savannah is also known as America’s most haunted city.

In this open container city, you can take your drink with you while checking out all that River Street and the rest of the historic downtown district have to offer.

Famous foods: Classic Southern flare like:

  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Shrimp and Grits
  • Praline Pecans

These are just a few foods that you must sample during your visit to Savannah.

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Best Bars: Pub crawls, whether haunted or standard, are a great way to get acquainted with the local watering holes. The Warehouse boasts “the coldest and cheapest beer in town.”

For a dive bar with a cozy feel and cool backstory, head to The Original Pinkie Master’s. Be sure to check out the plaque on the back wall that commemorates a visit from Former President Jimmy Carter.

How to get around: If you fly into Savannah, you can take a short ride via airport limo shuttle to the historic district. From there, you can get a local guide around town with a pedicab or horse-drawn carriage.

For the touristy way to learn the town’s history, hop on the trolley. To blend in with the locals, take a bike or walk.

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Brooklyn, NY

What makes it unique: Brooklyn has become a metric by which other hip cities are measured. Just across the bridge from Manhattan, Brooklyn is a bit removed from the City’s hurried feel while still offering a market for nearly anything imaginable.

Best Bars: Williamsburg’s Barcade is exactly as the name implies: a bar and arcade. Featuring a variety of craft beers and ciders on-tap with walls lined with classic arcade cabinets. This place is a grown-up gamer’s dream come true.

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If cocktails are more your thing, head to the Clover Club in Cobble Hill. You’ll pay a little more for drinks here, but the authentic speakeasy vibe is worth it—especially if you catch the live band.

How to get around: Be sure to wear comfy shoes, as you will definitely be doing lots of walking. Outside of Manhattan, taxis are few and far between. The subway or bus will get you anywhere you need to go, or at least within walking distance of it.

Prefer to travel by car? Rather than trying to fight for scarce parking spaces, consider a chauffeur service to drop you off and pick you up when you’re ready to head to your next destination.

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Destination Wine Country

Albuquerque, NM

What makes it unique: Breaking Bad filming in Albuquerque really brought the city to the forefront of the hip city radar. The desert landscape is unlike any other.

If you look far enough in the same direction, you can see vast expanses of:

  • Sandy Emptiness
  • Trees
  • Mountains

The Southwest has a rich history, blending Native American and Spanish cultures at its core.

Famous foods: Be prepared to hear the question of “Red or green?”, more here than you will anywhere else. They’re talking about ‘Chile‘ and “Christmas” is the answer that will get you both varieties together.

It’s a good idea to ask which is the hotter of the two, as this will vary depending on the day and the establishment.

Best Bars: For craft beer, there is no better place than Marble Brewery. This downtown brewery quickly became a local favorite since its 2008 founding. Known for creating classic craft beers as well as specials that you’ll only find here.

Play a game of billiards or pinball at Anodyne Pool Hall and Cocktails. The quirky décor includes paper money, old coins, and even photos encased in resin atop the bar and tables. The bar also boasts a great beer and bourbon selection.

How to get around:  There aren’t a lot of options for public transportation in Albuquerque. Whether you choose to rent yourself a luxury car or prefer to ride in the back of a limo, you’re going to need wheels to get around. Make sure you plan ahead!

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Portland, OR

What makes it unique: Portland has the feel of several smaller towns stitched together in a way that you wouldn’t think to associate with a state like Oregon. It is also well-known as a hub of all things “weird” and home to famous bands.

Famous foods: Often called ‘The Best City In The World’ for street food, Portland has over 600 licensed food carts!

You can’t go to Portland without coffee. Stop by the flagship Stumptown Coffee Roasters for a good cup of artisanal joe.

Best Bars: Portland has more than 50 breweries. That’s more than any other city in the world!

Need a little something to settle your stomach after dinner? Try one of The Solo Club’s amaro mixes.

For the whiskey lover, the Multnomah Whiskey Library is the most important stop on any itinerary.

How to get around: Portland is small enough to walk the whole town, but public or private transport is good enough that’s really no reason to do that.

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Las Vegas, NV

What makes it unique: Everyone knows about ‘The Strip’, but there is a whole other Las Vegas that lies away from the Boulevard.

Hit up lesser-known attractions like Museums dedicated to the Mob or Neon Signs.

Where else can you shop in repurposed shipping containers than the Downtown Container Park?

Famous foods: Las Vegas is home to many celebrity chefs. You cannot leave town without hitting at least one of their restaurants.

Try the Trash Can Nachos at Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen and Bar for fully loaded flavor. It even comes to the table in a mini metal trash bin!

Best Bars: Space out on the patio at Atomic Liquors, Las Vegas’ oldest freestanding bar. This dive has a retro-futuristic feel and constantly rotating craft beers on tap.

If you make your way to the Arts District, stop by the Velveteen Rabbit for an otherworldly experience. Their specialty beer selection includes twelve rotating taps and nearly two dozen bottled beer options.

The ever-changing cocktail menu offers something new with every season. Each beverage created with fresh produce and house-made ingredients. The bar itself features:

  • Local Art
  • Vintage Furniture
  • An Outdoor Patio with a Stage

How to get around: Las Vegas has no shortage of transportation options. Take an airport shuttle to your room, where you can get ready to hit the town.

When in Vegas, it’s almost expected to go for the whole luxury travel package. Put on your best outfit, climb into the back of a stretch limousine, and pregame hard at the minibar.

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Chicago, IL

What makes it unique: The Windy City has really made a name for itself—several in fact. Seriously, they have:

  • Namesake foods
  • Iconic architecture like:
    • Sears Tower
  • Notorious Figures like Al Capone.

So much about this city is uniquely Chicago in an indescribable way.

Famous foods: You just can’t visit a city without trying its namesake foods. Chicago deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs are a must.

Try Gino’s East for an interesting take on the deep-dish pizza and pair it with one of its own brews from the Brew Pub.

For a Chicago dog, you can’t go wrong with a loaded footlong from Wrigley Field.

Best Bars: Are you hungry? Thirsty? Vegan or vegetarian? The Handlebar offers the perfect answer to all of these situations and more.

The Handlebar serves what they call, “vegetarian and vegan comfort food”, no matter what time of day or day of the week. These foods can be seen featuring organic eggs and local produce. They also have a full bar and beer garden.

A rare find, Scofflaw is a Logan Square cocktail bar centered around gin. Here you can also enjoy small plates on the patio or settle into the Victorian-styled surroundings with a craft beer.

How to get around: You can take the train or bus around Chicago and neighboring cities via the nation’s second largest public transportation system.

If you’re staying outside the city, you can come in from the suburbs on the Metra Commuter Rail. You can even download a Private Transportation App, like this one here.

With so much to see and do in America’s hippest cities, you have enough to do with just picking where to go. Once you get to your chosen city, relax and let A1A Limo take you where you need to go in style and luxury. With service to over 850 cities worldwide, we can connect you with airport limo service or professional chauffeur service no matter where you are.

Written By: Amber M. Smith 

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