Seven Days, Seven Cities – Ranked

mapThis year, I’ve been fortunate to travel often. Whether it was to Seattle for work, Orlando to see my dad or back home to Minnesota to visit family and friends… I spent a lot of time in the sky and even more time on the ground with people I love.

In between those routine visits, I day-tripped. Warning: If you haven’t day-tripped, it is highly addicting. Here’s how I do it:

I go to Google Flights, pick a Saturday (or sometimes a Sunday) and enter that date for both my depart and return flights, I input Chicago (all area airports) as the origin and leave the destination blank. I peruse the map for any cities that are exceptionally cheap (think $50-$90 roundtrip) and POUNCE. Of course, the schedule needs to work (e.g. it needs to be a relatively early departure time and a relatively late return).

Since my first day-trip to Atlanta on March 3, I’ve had a total of seven of these in-and-out adventures. I decided it would be a worthy project to rank them… so, here it goes!

Seven: TPA

City: Tampa, FL
Date: March 10
Airline: Southwest
Ground Transportation: Lyft
Food: Farmacy Vegan Kitchen + Bakery
Drink: N/A
Sites: Downtown, University of Tampa
Activities: Plane Spotting

Six: MSY

City: New Orleans, LA
Date: June 16
Airline: Spirit
Ground Transportation: Lyft
Food: Café Du MondeSneaky Pickle
Drink: Brieux Carré
Sites: Bourbon St.
Activities: Plane Spotting

Five: SYR

City: Syracuse, NY
Date: Sept. 30
Airline: United, Frontier
Ground Transportation: Lyft
Food: Glazed & ConfusedStrong Hearts Café
Drink: Freedom of EspressoMiddle Ages Brewing CompanySahm Brewing
Sites: Inner Harbor
Activities: Airfield Tour

Four: BWI

City: Baltimore, MD
Date: Sept. 1
Airline: Spirit
Ground Transportation: Light Rail
Food: Patisserie PouponOne World Café
Drink: Waverly Brewing
Sites: Camden Yards, Inner Harbor
Activities: Plane Spotting

Three: ATL

City: Atlanta, GA
Date: March 3
Airline: American
Ground Transportation: MARTA
Food: Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe
Drink: N/A
Sites: Georgia Tech
Activities: Delta Flight Museum, Plane Spotting

Two: DEN
City: Denver, CO
Date: April 28
Airline: United
Ground Transportation: Light Rail
Food: Habit Doughnut DispensaryVine Street Pub & Brewery
Drink: Denver Beer Co.
Sites: LoDo
Activities: Plane Spotting

One: BOS

City: Boston, MA
Date: April 7
Airline: United, JetBlue
Ground Transportation: Silver Line
Food: Kane’s DonutsClover DTX
Drink: Cheers
Sites: Freedom Trail, Make Way for Ducklings
Activities: Bunker Hill Monument, Plane Spotting

So… why did I rank Boston number one? Because it was everything I hoped for and more.

History: Bean Town was rich with easily digestible, easily navigable history. The Freedom Trail was a magnificent learning experience and at the end, you can climb to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument.  All of that was FREE and easily doable on foot.

Public Transit: The public transit was spot on (did you notice that the cities I ranked lower are the ones where Lyft was my only option?). The Silver Line was cheap, easy and quick.

Food: Kane’s rocked it with killer donuts and cold brew… it was a great way to start the day. And Clover DTX was so flippin’ AMAZING. I asked for the acclaimed Bridgewater sandwich (jalapeño cream cheese spread, buttermilk-fried cremini mushrooms, honey-sriracha glaze, and a fresh kale-and-red-onion slaw) even though it was no longer on the menu and I still can taste it… it made me proud to be vegetarian.

Attractions: Let’s be real. Everyone wants to go to THE Cheers bar, and I went. It was worth it.

Plane Spotting: The views at Boston Logan are unlike any other, with runways right along the water, it was so gorgeous and so much fun.

So, there you have it! OK my friends… where should I go next?

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