by Whitney Eden, Contributing Writer
Nearly halfway into January, our post-holiday glows have definitely faded away. We waited all year for this blissful break, be it a tropical trek or quality time with the family, and it only left us wanting more. So if what are the options if you’ve used up all your vacation days? In the words of Marcel Proust, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscape, but in having new eyes.” We’d like to reveal some gems that exist in your own backyard, but we aren’t talking your usual walking tour. Ever want to explore the seedy underbelly of Berlin? What about the vibrant Gospel scene in Harlem? You can do all this and more, without spending beaucoup bucks or valuable vacation days.
With one of most utilized public transit systems in the nation, San Francisco locals often view their city from bus, train or simply from the sidewalk. Want to kick it up a notch? Try checking out the city from the back of a motorcycle. Bobby offers individualized tours through the city and there’s nothing like the wind whipping through your hair to make even the most jaded SF local feel giddy.
Even the most jaded New Yorker will feel enlivened by Harlem’s vibrant Gospel scene. Prepare yourself for singing, dancing and soul-stirring sermons. Carolyn, a Harlem native, will be your guide through this vibrant experience, ending with a tasty brunch at a authentic local eatery. Bonus: if you want to explore more of what Harlem has to offer, check out Carolyn’s Harlem Guide iPhone App
Beverly Hills is more than just where the rich and famous live and shop—they also have their art on public display if you know where to go. Discover a private art collection in a parking structure, a fantastical residence inspired by art nouveau, and street art in an alleyway off of Rodeo on this private tour. Explore the creative side of Beverly Hills – and catch up with a little city gossip.
If you want the authentic experience to visit a local Chinese home and enjoy a private home cooked meal, here is the place! Enjoy fresh and authentic Chinese dishes prepared fresh at home, experience the way of life at a home nested in a local resident community. Vegan menu also available!
Most tours intentionally keep you away from the more “colorful” parts of town, but Luckie isn’t your normal tour guide. A native Berliner and former taxi driver, he’ll take you through the city’s seedy underbelly, where junkies, punks and squatters frequent, all from the safety of his car.
You are now in Rio, the best place on earth, but… where to now? How do you get there? How can you avoid tourist traps? Where should you eat? Sit down with Marcel to talk about what you want to see and do and he’ll plan your vacation, telling you the right spots, the tourist traps and the best way to move around.