It’s that time of year again, when the weather starts to turn colder, colored lights are twinkling and the sound of holiday music begins to fill the radio. What better way to celebrate the season then to stroll through an outdoor market while sipping mulled cider or hot chocolate. Luckily there are plenty of festive outdoor markets on the east coast, including several that are modeled after the famous Christkindlmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany. I think these markets are the perfect place to find unique gifts and handmade items for holiday shopping, and it’s a great alternative to fighting the crowds at your local shopping mall! Here are some popular markets to add to your list for 2016.
*This is an updated version of the 3 East Coast Holiday Markets to Visit in 2015, originally posted November, 2015
Why do you travel? There are so many ways people answer this question - to relax with family and friends, to enjoy the beauty of nature and the outdoors, or to eat local food and experience how other people live in small towns and big cities. Discovering local favorites is a big reason for me, like finding the best food in town or learning a tidbit of little known history. Whether we are hitting the road for a day trip, weekend getaway or longer family vacation, I’ve found that I’m seeking out organized tours more and more. My family and I have enjoyed over half a dozen organized tours in recent years. Among other things, we’ve learned about history in Philadelphia, ghosts in Key West, architecture in Chicago and pizza in Brooklyn. My growing appreciation for letting someone else lead the way stems from a number of things, as outlined below. But it wasn’t always this way. My family can attest that I’ve been known on more than one occasion to play the role of tour guide the first day in a new city, like when we visited San Francisco or Seattle. Or the time in Los Angeles when I knew it would be cheaper to grab a map of the stars and drive aimlessly around Hollywood trying to glimpse behind the gates. But was it really time well spent? How do you know if you should book a tour or try the “do-it-yourself” method? To help, I’ve put together a short list of benefits and drawbacks to consider, along with some tips that might come in handy in the future.