LIBBY LIVING COLORFULLY

Travel Guide

24 Colorful Hours In Baltimore

TravelLibby RasmussenComment

I fell in love with Baltimore this earlier this month…

And I already wish I was back, exploring the cutest historic areas and cool coffee shops. Baltimore reminds me of an edgier Milwaukee (which, you know I love.)

Rather than go through every.little.detail, because we really did quite a bit in 24 hours, I’ll break down the

I was there into categories.

First, how we got there

Turo - Say it with me now, Turrrrro. It’s like AirBnB, but for cars, and I’ve been using it for more than 4 years now.  I love it because you can rent essentially any car or SUV you like and from someone as close as your next-door neighbor.  One time, I used Turo from someone in my own apartment building, which was so so easy.  The best part, it puts money back in the pockets of people like you, who have a car and want to make a little extra $$$ for it. I reached out to them for a collab because I love them so much and thought you would like an alternative to a big corporate rental car company. Click here for $25 off your first trip!

So I picked up the car from a neighbor, (thanks Christopher) and off we went!  

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Where We Stayed

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Hotel Revival - Shout out to Madison Short for suggesting I reach out to the Revival “this place is so you” she said and damn she was right. The boutique hotel donned a beautiful lobby (the wallpaper was insane) where we were greeted by THE nicest staff.  This is always the first thing I notice, I don’t care HOW pretty or ‘grammable your hotel is, if you’re not a welcoming and hospitable establishment, you’re nothing in my book. Hotel Revival was everything and more that at boutique hotel should be.

Our room was on the 14th floor, (unheard of in DC) where we stayed in the Junior Suite with a beautiful view overlooking the Washington Monument. Added bonus: the Jonathan Adler toiletries. Swoon. It’s the little things, you know. 

 The rooftop bar and restaurant, Topside was the perfect place for a bite and a drink. We hung out in the cutest, tropical, mid-century room Friday night before heading to the concert.

We also enjoyed some tea at the morning after and scoped out the record player karaoke rooms.  Yes, you heard me. They have karaoke rooms with record players. Very fun.

 While my stay was complimentary, I would 100% go back and recommend Hotel Revival. They take hospitality seriously, the rooms are very comfortable and the aesthetic was beautiful.

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Where We Shopped


Second Chance - First stop was Second Chance, to check out all of the incredible oddities and massive storage unit that is about 45 degrees cooler inside than outside. Brrrr.  I suggest bringing an SUV if you plan on getting anything like a casual lime green chaise lounge or a baby grand piano. You know, the essentials.

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Wishbone Reserve – I HAD BEEN WANTING TO GO HERE FOR SUCH A LONG TIME. I AM SHOUTING. I was soooo excited to finally walk in and see the beautiful items I’d been admiring for so long via their Instagram.

Hunting Ground – This shop is in an old church. Very, very cool.

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TrohvThis place was really cute and highly recommended by many IG friends.  I liked it a lot, but it was a little too curated for my hoardy, creaky antique store-loving heart. Nonetheless it was super cute. Felt like a local version of Anthropolgie.

Strawberry Fields  - They had VERY inexpensive China. Like $2 a piece.

Bottle of Bread – Loved Bottle of Bread. I bought this adorable patch for my purse and admired all of the beautiful vintage pieces and vine-y pothos. **Make sure to stop by Bun Shop across the street for a coffee.

Sturgis Antiques - Cool and very curated.

Protean Records
This record store was one of our last stops before heading back to DC. Great selection and even better prices - most of the records were $8-14.

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Where We Ate

 Golden West – Thanks to the IG friends who recommended this spot. The food was delicious (highly recommend the Banh Mi tacos) and the décor was beyond cool.

Bar Clavel – You must go. I’m not going to say much more other than, we ordered nearly everything on the dinner menu, and you must go.

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Paper Moon DinerThis place is NUTS. Incredibly zany décor with childhood figurines. You’ll feel like you’re in an ISPY book. Get the Bacon Vanilla Milkshake. Trust me.

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Bars & Coffee Shops

W.C. Harlan – Everyone was right, W.C. Harlan is beautiful in every aspect. I had what was probably the best Negroni I’ll ever have.

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Bun Shop – A great place to stop by after shopping at Bottle of Bread. I didn’t try the pastries but they looked delicious.
 

Entertainment


Ram’s Head - Oh, yeah I forgot to mention the reason we went to Baltimore.  For Blood Orange – one of my favorite musicians. The concert was at Ram’s Head near the Inner Harbor, which if you live in DC, felt like 9:30 Club had a venue in Arlington. It was pretty large, we were super close to the stage and the sound system was great. I say Arlington because the area itself was newer and more developed than the rest of Baltimore. 

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Visionary Art Museum – Whimsical and fun. Make sure to stop by the Visionary Art Museum, even if it’s for a quick walk through.

Graffiti Alley – Speaks for itself. Apparently it’s the only place in Baltimore where graffiti is illegal (I thought it was pretty much everywhere, no?) either way, it’s a colorful oasis that’s easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. You have to pay for parking in the lot next door, but it’s 100% worth it.

Of course, there were tons of things I wanted to do while in Baltimore but for less than 24-hours, this is what we were able to accomplish and I’m very pleased with that.  I’ll be back VERY soon.

HUGE shout out to the Madison Short, who I consider to be the unofficial spokeswoman (for better or worse) of Baltimore. So many fun items on this list were visited thanks to Madison. Love ya cutie.

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Five Travel Bloggers That Will Make You Want to GTFO & Take a Vacay

TravelLibby RasmussenComment
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So help me god I am promising to make 2018 a year where I travel more.  The above photo was from a shoot I was helping my friend Kara, of Right Foot Creative with for the State Department and let me tell you, it made me want to leave dodge for a bit and explore.  This past year I've been a little limited with my weekend schedule, which has left me hanging out in DC a littttttle more than I'd like. Needless to say, I'm itching with wanderlust and these are my favorite bloggers to follow and well, live vicariously through. 

1. The Blonde Abroad

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Kiersten, a California native, left her job in corporate finance to become a world traveler.  She's since traveled to more than 50 countries and her instagram feed is insane.  Ask me to trade lives with anyone on social media, and Kiersten's would be a top contender. Check out The Blonde Abroad here. 
 

2. The Wayfaress

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Ironically enough, Alexandra, The Wayfaress herself, and I went to college together.  I've loved following her many many journeys (to more than 30+ countries to be exact) all while practicing corporate law here in DC. Alexandra is new(ish) to the travel blogging world, but don't let that fool you, her social media is rich with experiences and thought-provoking captions. Alexandra is a wonderful storyteller and her blog, showcases that beautifully. 

3. Barefoot Blonde

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Another blonde? Yep. Sorry not sorry.  I've followed Amber Fillerup Clark for a good while now and chances you have too.  Known for her incredible instagram braiding technique, Amber and her adorable little family have become the picture-perfect poster children for #travelfamilygoals.  Relocating pretty regularly, Amber shares a lot of tips on her insta-stories and honestly, they are all just so fun to watch. "Goals" doesn't even really do them justice. 


4. Wild Terrains

Another DC-based blog, but more importantly, boutique travel company started by my friend, Lauren Bates is Wild Terrains. Wild Terrains has plenty of detailed tips, custom itineraries, and tons of inspiration. What I really love: the Travel Guides page. Consider my next vacay booked through Wild Terrains. 


5. Cake and Lillies

My god friend Monica, of Cake and Lilies has always nailed the Travel Guides, whether it's staying in Annapolis in 24 Hours or a getaway to Thailand.  I've loved how easy and to the point her posts are.  My current favorite: this feature on Scott's Cheap Flights. I personally struggle with where to purchase inexpensive flights, so I always run to Monica's blog for suggestions. 

Any trips planned soon? Who do you go to for your travel needs? 

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Travel Guide: Charleston, SC

TravelLibby RasmussenComment

This summer, Charleston easily became one of my most favorite cities, and apparently I'm not alone in this adoration.  This year it took home the number one spot in Travel + Leisure's Best Tourist City in the world and for good reason.  With lush greenery, beautifully colorful homes, and top of the line restaurants, Charleston manages to preserve its quaint charm in spite of it's popularity.  My girlfriends and I were not alone in selecting it as our getaway for a Bachelorette. It's a far cry from the quintessential trips to Vegas or Miami but still keeps up with exciting nightlife. 


Where to Stay

The Spectator Hotel. Named the #1 City Hotel in the U.S., staying at the Spectator was a no-brainer. Everything about this hotel was spectacular, from the butler service, to the complimentary bicycles and breakfast.  The staff was incredibly friendly and accommodating and the bathrooms were larger than most NYC apartments. We kicked off the weekend with delicious cocktails and bottles of Dom. If you're going to do it, do it right.   

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Where to Eat

Husk. Ask anyone who lives or has been to Charleston this question and they will across the board tell you that Husk is one of the best in town.  It's centrally located in downtown Charleston and truly captures the essence of great Southern cuisine.  While the menu changes day to day, the jalapeño boiled peanuts are a must.  Drink up too, the cocktails are one of a kind.  

Edmund's Oast. If you're anything like my friends and I, you often plan vacations around restaurants you are dying to try.  Edmund's Oast was a place we couldn't pass up, and I am so glad we didn't. Known for their beers and cocktails, Edmund's Oast boasts and impressive list of draft and house-brewed beers. One interesting (and delicious) selection was the Edmund's Oast Peanut Butter and Jelly Beer, brewed with peanuts, grape juice, and milk sugar, for a sandwich in a glass experience.  Don't think for a minute that the food here takes second place to the drinks.  In typical fashion, we ordered nearly everything on the menu.  I give my highest recommendations to the Chicken Liver Parfait, the Sweet Corn Salad with fennel and gem lettuce, and the Cauliflower with creamy chèvre and calabrian chiles.

The Darling. If you love seafood, go to The Darling Oyster Bar. If you don't suck it up and still go. Trust me, you won't regret it.  We discovered this adorable brunch spot after seeing countless Instagrams of the monster Lobster Claw Bloody Mary.  Everything is incredibly fresh and flavorful.  Besides all the seafood, ordering the Clam Chowder French Fries is an absolute must. 

What to Do

Rent Bikes. As mentioned, if you stay at the Spectator, you have access to their adorable bicycles equipped with adorable baskets and bells. If not, seriously consider renting some for a more fun and active alternative to the horse carriage tours.  Charleston is an incredibly easy city to navigate either by walking or by bike. The drivers are incredibly conscientious of the bikers and horse carriages, making it safe to explore the city. 

When the Celine bag fits perfectly into the bike basket..

Visit the Mansions on Rainbow Row. Charleston is known for its beautiful pastel mansions on Rainbow Row. Most notably, the bright pink mansion overlooking the water.  The charm and the history of the homes are too beautiful to miss out on.

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Candle Making Class. This was quite possibly one of my favorite activities in Charleston.  Candlefish, a local candle shop, offers group candle-making classes where you can explore the 100 scents of the Candlefish Fragrance Library and select your preferred scent. After your class, you officially become a chandler and get to enjoy your two large, personalized Candlefish candles.  The classes are BYOB (woot), include two large candles to make and keep, and are only $45 a person.   

Shop My Charleston Outfits

Make sure to check out some of my blogger friend's posts on visiting Charleston for more ideas!
Cake and Lilies
Southern Anchors
Primp and Proper
A Touch of Teal
Champagne and Bluejeans