The Four Best Day Trips from New York City

Ah, New York City. The Big Apple. So many people dream of living the big city life, and why wouldn’t they? With more restaurants than you could visit in a lifetime, a store for everything you could possibly need or want, world-class entertainment, and a collection of some of the most prominent global businesses, New York City beckons those seeking a suave, urban lifestyle.

For those that live outside New York City, the city makes for a wonderful vacation. However, for those who already call the city their home, the bright city lights, cacophony of sounds, distinctive odors, and cluttered streets can become overwhelming. If you’re looking for a brief escape before summer draws to a close, consider making a day trip out of one of these four places, all located within a four hour drive of New York City.

Fire Island, NY

Fire Island is the perfect, tranquil escape from New York City that’s only about an hour and 45 minutes away. The barrier island off the coast of Long Island, which forms part of the Fire Island National Seashore, is only accessible by ferry, but luckily the ferry runs frequently in the summer months.

To make the most of your day, you’ll want to spend some time on one of the beautiful beaches- check out the family-friendly Robert Moses State Park, or Smith Point County Park. Looking to do some shopping as well? The town of Village of Ocean Beach is bordered by the bay and ocean, and offers a charming collection of shops and restaurants. If lounging on the beach all day isn’t your thing, be sure to stop by the Fire Island Lighthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Sleepy Hollow and Nyack, NY

Pay a visit to Sleepy Hollow, just a 30-45 minute metro ride from the city, and you just may catch a glimpse of the Headless Horseman — just kidding about that, but you will experience a taste of history if you visit the Philipsburg Manor Upper Mills living-history museum. The museum consists of a farm and mill dating back to 1750, and you’ll be able to try your hand at traditional tasks such as grinding grain.

After all that work, you’ll probably have an appetite, so swing by the Bridge View Tavern for craft brews and pub grub. While you’re in Sleepy Hollow, it’s just a short trip across the Tappan Zee Bridge to Nyack, a charming riverfront town with a vibrant downtown featuring boutiques, restaurants, theaters, and galleries.

Wevertown, NY

Wevertown may be a little out of the way (about 4 hours), but the trip is worth it if you’re looking for an adventurous, action-packed day! It may be hard to believe, but there are some intense class III and class IV rapids located just hours from New York City. Beaver Brook Outfitters runs three different tours down two rivers for whitewater rafters of all skill levels. Tours run through October, so there’s plenty of time to check it out!

Cold Spring, NY

Just about an hour and 20 minutes from New York City is the town of Cold Spring on the Hudson River. While visiting this riverfront town you can have experience the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation.

If you have an enthusiasm for history and hiking, be sure to explore the ruinous old mansions along the Cornish Estate Trail. Those with a sense of adventure can tackle the climb to Breakneck Ridge which, though challenging, will reward the climber with spectacular 360 degree views of Storm King Mountain, Bannerman Castle, and even the distant Catskills on clear days.

Adam’s Thesis: Part Two

The first draft was completed in December. I had spent just over three months putting together the one hundred plus pages. It was a fairly monstrous work, at least compared to anything else I had ever written before.

I felt accomplished, though concurrently confused about the final product and unsure of the ultimate extent of my success in achieving my goals for the project.  Whatever my feelings about it, the play had been written, and I needed to take some time to simply let it exist before I could figure out exactly where it needed to go from there. I was creatively and emotionally drained. I was uncertain about the next step of the process. And quite honestly, I was a little tired of the play. It was time to take a break away.  

I put it away and didn’t look at it for about a month. I didn’t consciously examine any changes to the text, nor did I think heavily about any major concepts to implement in the production. It was a complete departure from the work I had spent so much time on for the past semester.

I had mixed feelings about this so called break. Part of me was very relieved simply not having to think about this play for a while. The other part of me was very nervous. What if I could never get back into the same frame of mind again? What if I was losing valuable revision time? What if the things in me which allowed me to write the play, which fueled the themes and the dialogue and the characters, which sparked my inspiration and my questionable theatrical impulses, what if those things were dying a little bit more every day that I didn’t work on it, or at least think about it?

In spite of these anxieties, I didn’t look at it again until late January. When I did finally take it back out, I found myself with a renewed sense of interest in the project, and a rejuvenated sense of excitement in approaching what would prove to be an incredibly difficult, time consuming, and rewarding next step in my dramatic exploration.

Having reunited myself with the work, the first thing that had to be done was to meet with the director and discuss a plan of action. Fortunately, the director, Ryan Hemphill, is also a very close friend of mine, and I could not think of a better person to be able to work with on a collaborative project.  He and I, I believe, share a similar aesthetic and creative vision and common artistic and personal values, and this was an incredibly important factor in the ultimate success of the production.

In late January, Ryan Hemphill and I met to discuss what was to become of the play I had written. We established an understanding about our roles in the process, which would become more defined as we got into the rehearsals later on. There was essentially a system of mutual control. Although I had final say over textual matters, and he had final say over directing matters, we wanted a shared say over all the issues concerning the production. We’d run all ideas and questions past one another, and the final decision was a cooperative one.

One of the first things we discussed was the logistics of staging. The play takes place in several different locations, and a major problem to tackle was how to create the various settings on one stage and keep the play moving.  Ryan Hemphill illustrated some ideas he had about the layout of the stage. His plan dealt with this problem by designating different playing areas on the stage to represent the different settings. It was a very good design, and the final version deviated only minimally from it, if at all.

We also discussed the text itself. I had begun to think about changes that I wanted to make to the play, either to specific lines of dialogue, or to particular moments in a scene, or even in a few cases to elements of the plot. I knew that there were many things in the script which needed altering; the question was how to find all of those things and how exactly to change them. I realized that only a small amount of this could actually happen before we got the play into production. Much of what needed to and did change could not be fixed until I could see what was and was not working on the stage.

Perfecting the Process: Best Methods to Improve Your Writing Skills

Imagine this: you have a deadline for an incredibly important writing project just around the corner, and yet you cannot seem to muster the motivation necessary to begin your work. Perhaps this is because you are suffering from a case of writer’s block. Or, on the other hand, you may be feeling the consequences of having inadequate writing skills.

Your writing skills, along with your personal writing process, are the foundation upon which all of your future work is built. They not only act as supplements to the knowledge that you already have already acquired, but they also allow you to display that knowledge — and your talents — in your final draft.

As somebody who has worked in nearly every niche of the arts — from performing to directing to even a bit of playwriting — I can relate to any number of writing-related woes.

Therefore, it is my desire to share with you the steps I took to improve — though not perfect — my personal writing skills.

Revisit the basics

Yes, you know the difference between your and you’re; there, their, and they’re; and its and it’s. However, that is not enough to compose a riveting and engaging piece that is going to draw attention from around the globe.

In order to become a successful writer in your own right, you must first grasp the basic elements of style. In order to achieve this, begin researching and investing in different style books, or even bookmarking pertinent resources such as the Merriam Webster website, Grammar Girl, and so on.

Write without stopping

Granted, if you are dealing with a particularly bad case of writer’s block, this may feel like an insurmountable feat. However, by sitting down and devoting a small chunk of time to your writing, you may break through that wall and find an entirely new source of motivation and morale.

So, even if it means you spent 15 to 25 minutes writing incoherent nonsense that you will inevitably discard, write like it is your job.

Dissect another author’s work

We all have an author, playwright, journalist, or other writer we admire greatly. Set aside some time to read their work thoroughly, taking note of the tone they use the most frequently, and the way their language flows.

By conducting this in-depth research, you will be able to determine which of their traits you were drawn to and what kept you reading. Once you figure that out, it would be greatly beneficial for you to determine how you could incorporate such skills and tactics into your own writing.

Consciously improve your vernacular

It is simple to revert to using bland words like very, really, actually, good, and bad — after all, these are the words we likely use the most on a day-to-day basis. However, your writing is not supposed to sound like you, per se; it is supposed to convey a story that you are vying to share with the world.

Ensure it does precisely that by spicing up your vocabulary and consciously committing to using new words more frequently. You may find yourself feeling more and more satisfied with your work with every new copy.

If you are interested in learning more about the steps you can take to further improve your writing skills, please keep an eye out for the second part of this series!

Adam’s Thesis: Part One

An Introduction to the Process

This semester brought with it a vast series of questions, all a part of a greater exploration into the world of artistic and theatrical production, interaction, and understanding. What began as a rather elemental inquiry into these topics developed into a wonderfully layered and educational aesthetic and humanistic experience. The inciting question was, on the surface, wholly simplistic; and yet it would ultimately prove to be immensely complicated, uniquely gratifying, and perhaps unanswerable, at least in an entirely conclusive way. My question was this: How does one go about staging a play? Or, more precisely, a play which one has only just recently finished writing; one which is still young and untested on stage; one which is still not entirely clear even to you, the playwright; one which has not been proved as a valid, worthwhile piece of art just yet. How exactly is this done?

Among the questions which were spawned from this initial query were a number which concerned the play itself. First of all, when is a play complete? Is it a completed work of art simply by having been written? Does it have a life of its own or must it be realized on a stage before life has truly been breathed into it? How will this play in particular translate on a stage? Will it work? Additionally, there were questions about the process. How do you collaborate with a director like Ryan Hemphill? How do you choose your cast? How do you know if you’ve chosen correctly? What exactly is your role in the rehearsal process? In the production process? In the decision making process? Whose suggestions do you listen to and whose don’t you? Do you change the play? If so, how much change do you make? How do you know if you’ve changed too much? And so on down the line of a practically never-ending string of questions and sub-questions, all of which I tried, to the best of my ability, to answer during the course of several months. Because of, and perhaps in spite of, my pursuit of the answers to those questions, at the end of those several months I saw my work brought to life on stage.

I had called the play Artless Charlie. This was in an attempt to both depict a sort of innocence and simplicity in the plight of the play’s protagonist, and also to illustrate one of the major themes which developed in the play – the notion of one man’s loss of, and subsequent search for, meaning in his life, in the form of creative expression. The story centers around a young man and his struggles to cope with the inexplicable loss of his musical abilities. It explores his ability, or perhaps inability, to relate to the people in his life – his mother, his best friend, his girlfriend, who has begun to turn to another man, and even his deceased father. Throughout the play, we see the young man, Charlie, try to maintain order and communication in his life after his main outlet for those things, his own piano playing, has disappeared. Charlie’s descent into an alternate world of dream and self-loathing culminates in an understanding, possibly too late, that in mourning the loss of an important element in his life, he has allowed himself to neglect everything else important.

As my exploration progressed this semester, I found the themes in the play beginning to reflect themselves more and more in my own life and art. Charlie’s search for art and beauty, his distress at not being able to communicate himself effectively, his strains to keep a clear line between reality and fantasy, all seemed to become my own. Or, perhaps, vice versa. I believe there is an inherently reflexive quality in the process of staging your own work, and with a piece which focuses so heavily upon artistic expression, that reflexivity is all the more present.

The reflection of the play’s themes in my own life is apparent even now, as I try to formulate and organize my thoughts on the process I’ve gone through. In Act One Scene Five (or Act One Scene Six as it now exists), the character of Charlie talks about the sort of creative block he has been experiencing. He says that he’ll stare at the keys of his piano, vividly hearing a song in his head that he simply cannot translate out loud, no matter how hard he tries. “I can’t play it,” he says, “so I just sit there and hear it, you know? And the next thing I know, hours have passed, a whole night’s gone by, with me just sitting there, staring.” Charlie’s condition is very much a reflection of what I often encountered while trying to write this play. Additionally, I find myself now in a struggle to articulate my experiences and observations over the past several months, so that I can make it clear what steps led up to the final presentation of the work. I can see and hear the ideas clearly in my head, but so far I don’t seem to have the tools to translate them onto the page.

At another point in Artless Charlie, Grace tells Charlie that maybe he just needs a break away from his work for a while. Sometimes the thoughts get so crowded and jumbled up in your head, you’re no longer able to view them with any kind of clarity or insight. I realized this was true after I finished the first draft, and decided to take a nice hiatus from the piece, a period of incubation. In my efforts to sort out and make sense of this process, perhaps it would be best to start right there.

Artless Charlie: A Reintroduction

Over a decade ago, Ryan Hemphill exercised his passion for the arts by co-founding a theatre company with playwright Adam Michael Cohen. The company, “Bat Country,” was best known for producing an original stage drama, The Cascade Falls. This piece, which was written by Cohen and directed by Ryan Hemphill, was staged at the Abingdon Theater in midtown Manhattan.

Long before their theatre company was met with strong reviews and additional positive press, Cohen and Hemphill collaborated on another original work entitled Artless Charlie while they were still in college. Similar to its successor, Artless Charlie was written by Cohen and directed by Ryan Hemphill.

The staged production, along with its corresponding written journal and production analysis, was the subject of Hemphill’s undergraduate collegiate thesis. Upon the completion of this work and the positive conferring of his degree, Ryan Hemphill proudly received the university’s top laudation — a High Honors Distinction — in the spring of 2003.

Now, fourteen years later, it is Ryan Hemphill’s desire to share another facet of this cherished piece of work: Adam Cohen’s thesis. Through sharing this document — which consists of Cohen’s personal writing process, journal entries, and the ups and downs of turning Artless Charlie into what it is today — Ryan Hemphill hopes to inspire and guide to other young theatre professionals whose dream it is to undertake the daunting task of mounting a new work for the stage.

How to Blend in Wherever You Travel

To read more of Ryan Hemphill’s travel advice, visit his website RyanHemphill.net.

There is arguably nothing worse than traveling to a new location and failing to blend in with the people around you, as it makes it incredibly obvious that you are, in fact, a tourist. This could leave you susceptible to scams, being overcharged at restaurants and shops, and even pickpockets and other thieves.

Although there is no surefire method to easily live like the locals do, there are several ways to ensure you do not stick out like a sore thumb. Here are several tips you should follow the next time you travel abroad:

Learn a few common phrases in another language

No matter where you are traveling, it would be wise of you to learn a few common pleasantries in their native language, such as please, thank you, hello, and so on. If you’re not necessarily adept at picking up other languages, try a free translation app like DuoLingo, which can aid you in preparing for your trip and even help you on the fly while you’re abroad.

Make a small purchase at a local shop

Although this tip may seem a bit out of the ordinary, travel expert Pauline Frommer explained that this tactic is one of the best she was ever told — especially for women who are traveling alone or venturing away from the rest of their party.

Carrying around a bag from a locally-owned shop will establish street credentials of sorts, affording travelers the ability to blend in with others around them — no matter how differently they may be dressed.

Dress appropriately

Going off of the previous point, it’s essential that you dress appropriately for your surroundings. Although it would be nearly impossible for you to blend in with everyone in a given country, there are some common steps you can take to look more local than tourist. Avoid brightly colored clothing at all costs, don’t wear open-toed or athletic shoes, and be sure to leave your expensive or flashy jewelry at home.

Avoid tourist traps

While there is nothing wrong with stopping at the usual tourist sights abroad, make it a point not to linger in the adjacent area for too long.

For example, if you’re visiting the Trevi Fountain in Rome, be sure to eat lunch or shop in places that are outside the immediate vicinity. In other words, avoid where tourists eat and shop, as you will lower your risk of being overcharged for coming in with the masses and appearing to be a foreigner.

Tips for Traveling in Italy

Packed with ancient history, rich culture, and ineffable urban and rural landscapes, Italy is one of Europe’s prized jewels. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that so many tourists flock to its most popular locations — Rome, Florence, and Venice — during the summertime.

If you’re planning a trip to this Mediterranean oasis, or just plan to put it at the top of your list of places to visit, be sure to make the most of your holiday abroad by following some of these tips:

Take your time

Although Italy was the birthplace of Western civilization, the overall atmosphere of the country is far more relaxed than that of the United States’. And while it may be tempting to pack your days with as much sightseeing and photo-snapping as possible, it would greatly benefit you to take your enthusiasm down the notch and simply focus on immersing yourself in the Italian culture.

While you may not be able to see as many famous landmarks and tourist traps in one day, you’ll definitely see more of the country’s incomparable character — something money just can’t buy.

Experience authentic Italian cooking

Forget chain and tourist-populated restaurants and opt to eat at small, locally-owned restaurants instead. Although you may need to brush up on your Italian (or have a translator app at the ready), you will not only get to enjoy authentic Italian cooking, but you will also lessen your chances of being overcharged by greedy servers as well.

Visit national parks

Although many people choose to spend their time in sprawling urban areas, there is indescribable beauty to be found in Italy’s countryside and along its shores. Soak in these sights by taking a day or even two to hike along the gorgeous hills and harbors of Cinque Terre, or  visiting Vesuvius National Park to get a bird’s eye view at the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were destroyed by Mount Vesuvius’ infamous 79 AD eruption.

Visit the southern “heel”

If you’re looking to experience more of Italian’s rustic and charming countryside, consider taking a drive around the boot-shaped country’s “heel.” Not only will you likely be able to avoid tourists entirely, but you’ll also get a glimpse of where much of Italy’s produce comes from.

Don’t forget Sicily

While Sicily is most known for its abundance of mafia families and deep-dish pizza, there is much more to this island than meets the eye. Stunning art, historical landmarks, prehistoric ruins, and jaw dropping beaches can be found on the island, along with accommodating locals and unbeatable cuisine. Regardless of how you choose to spend your time in Sicily, it will be time well-spent.

To read more of Ryan Hemphill’s travel advice, visit RyanHemphill.net.

Best NYC Hotels

One of the best things about visiting New York City is staying in one of the luxurious hotels that the city has to offer. However, with so many hotels, it can be difficult for first-time visitors to know which hotels to avoid and which ones to spend the night in. The below list highlights some of the city’s best hotels. Before you make your next trip to New York City, take a look below.

The Greenwich Hotel

Fans of actor Robert De Niro’s work should consider staying in the Greenwich Hotel, which he owns. The hotel is located in the trendy Tribeca neighborhood home to numerous celebrities, sports stars, and other notable people. There are 88 rooms in the hotel where guests can stay, and the hotel boasts that each room is unique in some way. Locanda Verde, which serves Italian food, is located in the hotel. The hotel also features a pool, spa, and gym.

Located on top of the building is the exquisite TriBeCa Penthouse. The penthouse features three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a beautiful terrace, and a number of exclusive accommodations like daily breakfast and groceries upon arrival. Keep in mind, though, that all of this luxury will cost you $15,000 per night.

The Lowell Hotel New York

The Lowell Hotel New York, or simply the Lowell, has been around since 1927. The hotel is located on the Upper East Side, a neighborhood that has been featured in countless films, books, and television shows. Located inside the hotel’s doors, visitors will find 74 different rooms. Guests can dine in Majorelle or have a cocktail in the Jacques Bar. The Pembroke Room focuses on breakfast, brunch, and afternoon tea. Take a look at the Lowell website to see some of their current deals.

Crosby Street Hotel

The Crosby Street Hotel is located in SoHo. Its 86 rooms and suites have been described as whimsical yet classy by visitors. The Crosby Bar is open from 7:00 in the morning until 1:00 in the morning. Take a look at the menu here. In addition to its spacious rooms, the hotel also features a gym, a movie theater, concierge service, and a garden on the roof. There are a number of special packages that the hotel offers. One of the packages includes a champagne breakfast, two bottles of wine upon arrival, and a late check out in the afternoon.

*This post originally appeared on www.ryanhemphill.nyc.

Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the United States, but it has a lot to offer visitors. The state’s nickname is “The Ocean State” due to its proximity to the ocean and various inlets. Without a doubt, one of the best aspects of visiting Rhode Island is taking in the ocean scenery. The town of Watch Hill is one of the best summer destinations in Rhode Island. New Yorkers can reach the town in three hours, and it’s even possible to see Montauk from the town when the weather is nice. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do when you visit Watch Hill.

Where to Stay

Ocean House is the most famous hotel in the area due in part to the fact that it’s the “first and only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star hotel in the state” (About). However, even if it didn’t have five stars the view alone would make the hotel one of the best in the region. The hotel features 13 acres that guests can explore in privacy. While staying at the hotel, guests can play shuffleboard, croquet, or lounge on the beach.Ryan Hemphill - RI

In the beginning of 2017, the hotel’s rooms went under renovation. The renovation included an upgrade to technology, new linens, and new wood for each of the rooms. Every day guests can participate in different resort activities like yoga or cooking classes for free. To see a complete list of the resort’s amenities, visit this link.

What to Do

If you Watch Hill during the summer season then the most popular activity is lounging on the beach. The Watch Hill Lighthouse and Museum is a fun place to visit to learn more about the area’s lighthouses. You can also find many cafes and shops that are worth exploring. The surrounding area of Watch Hill is also worth exploring. You can find vineyards, farmers’ markets, and hiking trails all within close driving distance of the hotel.

If you have children or you’re just fascinated by life under the sea, you should visit the Mystic Aquarium located across the Rhode Island border about thirty minutes away from the hotel. The town of Mystic is also home to Mystic Seaport as well as the Olde Mistick Village. (I have previously written about Mystic Seaport here.) The Olde Mistick Village features lots of unique shops and places where you can enjoy a meal.

*This post originally appeared on www.ryanhemphill.net.

Best Restaurants on the East Coast

The East Coast of the United States is home to some of the country’s oldest cities and most historically important sites. It is also home to some of the best restaurants. This post traces a journey from Maine down to Florida and looks at where you can stop along the way to eat a delicious meal.

Maine

Maine is known for its lobsters, so when you visit you can’t leave before dining on a lobster roll. Bite Into Maine has three food trucks that serve refreshing takes on lobster rolls. The original truck is located in Fort Williams Park, so you can eat your lobster park while walking through the woods or sitting on the beach and enjoying the view.

New Hampshire

When you pass through New Hampshire make sure you stop at Republic Cafe. The restaurant emphasizes farm to table fare and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On the restaurant’s website you can view each of the farmers that the Republic works with to source its food.

Massachusetts

Boston is Massachusetts’ best-known city, and it is home to numerous excellent restaurants. If you want a fine dining experience you can’t go wrong with Ostra or Mistral. Ostra focuses on seafood while Mistral serves French cuisine. If you’re looking for a delicious sandwich, Sam LaGrassa’s is your best option. The sandwich shop has been open since 1968 and continually gets rave reviews from visitors. Prepare yourself for long lines, though!

Rhode Island

Rhode Island may be the country’s smallest state, but it fits a lot of fantastic restaurants within its state borders. Hemenway’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar is a must-visit for seafood fanatics. The restaurant has been operating for more than thirty years and shows no signs of slowing down.

Connecticut

New Haven, Connecticut features some unforgettable restaurants. At Union League Cafe you can eat fine French cuisine in a setting that will make you think you’re really in Paris. If you want your mouth to water, take a look at some pictures of the menu’s dishes.

New York

New York is home to some of the best restaurants on the planet. I’ve previously written about many of them, and I encourage you to take a look at some of those articles to learn more about what NYC has to offer.

New Jersey

New Jersey frequently gets made fun of in American media, yet its restaurants are no laughing matter. When it comes to diners, no other state matches New Jersey—it has more diners than any other place on the planet. Tops Diner, located in Newark, is one of the state’s best diners. It was recently voted as the top diner in the country, so make sure you don’t miss it when you pass through the state.

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is Pennsylvania’s largest city, and it’s home to some of the state’s best restaurants. The city is also famous for its cheesesteaks. Gino’s and Pat’s are the two most famous cheesesteak spots in the city, and they’re located right across from one another.

One of the city’s most famous Italian restaurants is Ristorante Pesto, located in South Philly. If you’re looking for upscale fine dining, consider visiting Vetri. Finally, vegetarians (and even non-vegetarians) will want to eat at Vedge, one of the city’s most popular restaurants. Last year even the New York Times raved about Vedge.

Delaware

When you pass through Delaware, stop at Harry’s Seafood Grill for a great dining experience. Whether you eat dinner or lunch or just stop in for drinks, you’ll enjoy the food and the view of the river. The restaurant’s raw bar is a big draw, so you shouldn’t skip out on ordering something from that section of the menu.

Maryland

Maryland is another state that’s famous for its seafood—it’s crabs in particular. If you visit during summer then feasting on crabs is a must. However, there is much more to Maryland cuisine than just crabs. Plan on visiting one of the following restaurants when you pass through the state: Papermoon Diner, Chick & Ruth’s Delly, and Chaps Pit Beef.

Virginia

Virginia is for lovers of food. If you’re in Richmond, eat at Lemaire. Chef Patrick Willis is a Virginia native who focuses on cooking New American fare. The menu also features a good selection of bourbons.

North Carolina

Fans of barbecue must make a stop at the Pit Authentic Barbecue (aka The Pit) in Raleigh, North Carolina.

South Carolina

If you didn’t get enough meat at The Pit, then continue to South Carolina and eat at Halls Chophouse. This steakhouse has two locations, delicious food, and live entertainment every night.

Georgia

One of the most famous restaurants in Georgia is the The Olde Pink House located in Savannah. The building was built in the eighteenth century and is actually a mansion. It’s definitely a unique setting. Diners rave about the food. The restaurant currently has over 2600 reviews on Yelp. Book your reservation months in advance if you want to eat here when you visit Georgia.

Florida

Miami Beach is one of Florida’s most lively cities and home to some of the state’s best food. In particular, the city is famous for its Cuban cuisine. If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience, though, make a reservation at Ola at the Sanctuary. The restaurant serves some of the best Nuevo Latino food you will ever eat.