Fresh From the Mountains

I’ve noticed that freshness is the main ingredient at Thomas Creek Brewery in Greenville, South Carolina. They produce seven beers throughout the year, and offer four additional brews seasonally. Tom Davis, Thomas Creek’s owner, brew master, and brewery manager, told me that the natural water source starting high in the Appalachian Mountains contributes to that well-known fresh quality of his beers. From producing only small batches to double filtering, this craft brewery always operates in full swing to keep up with growing demands. I can assure you, [... more]

Home to High Fashion

Miami’s Design District is known for creative and innovative fashion, fantastic shopping, and exciting art and dining options. But a fierce, new tenant adds to the allure. Delpozo, the famous Spanish label, chose the venue as the site of its first flagship store in the United States. With about 2,500 square feet, the shop boasts wall-to-wall fashions designed by the label’s creative director Josep Font. Not that you need it, but the opening of this haute couture brand is just one more reason to visit the Miami [... more]

Mississippi’s Best Bar

When it comes to beer, Draft Magazine knows its stuff, and if they say a bar contains some great brews, well, we believe them. So when they named The Mahogany Bar in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, one of America’s top beer bars, we decided to check it out. Our conclusion: Once again, Draft got it right! The brewpub serves up more than 140 beers, including all five Mississippi breweries on tap. A drink menu with five pages of beers means everyone (even beer belittlers) can find something to suit [... more]

Grand Accommodations

For three years, the hit HBO series Game of Thrones has thrilled our imaginations with grandiose sitting rooms complete with blazing, stone fireplaces and medieval furniture fit for a time when the sword spoke more loudly than the pen. We might not be able to get you an encounter with your favorite characters (like the beautiful John Snow), but the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina, will make you feel as if you are among medieval kings. Designed as a rustic beauty, this hotel stands as [... more]

Houston’s Underbelly

Chef Chris Shepherd describes his hometown of Houston, Texas, as “The most secretive and dynamic culinary destination in the country.” At Underbelly, Chris does his part to make that claim true. Upon entering the eatery, you notice the modern Southern architecture—tall open-rafter ceilings, handcrafted wooden tables, and expansive windows—and the wall of photographs displaying the people who have inspired Chris over the years. He and his staff design the weekly menus to accentuate seasonal produce, fresh catches of seafood, and local grass-fed beef (butchered in house). With [... more]

Sweet Home Alabama

Since 2000, Natalie Chanin has helped revitalize her hometown of Florence, Alabama, through Alabama Chanin, her lifestyle company that creates and curates handcrafted clothing, accessories, and home goods. In 2013, Chanin opened a café at The Factory, her shop in Florence. The small menu is as cultured as their products, changing day by day featuring soups, salads, quiches, and desserts for lunch and housemade granola or scones with bacon jam for breakfast. Like her commitment to sourcing local ingredients, Chanin also sources local women—retired factory workers, teachers, [... more]

A Peaceful Paradise

An arguably quieter location than the mainland, the Isle of Palms, South Carolina, makes the perfect getaway for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of nearby Charleston. Only seven miles long and one mile wide, the semi-tropical island boasts gorgeous views and adorable historic houses as well as a couple of unique dining experiences. Overnight guests can choose from several hotels and resorts including the exclusive Wild Dunes, a 1,600-acre oceanfront oasis offering world-class golf and tennis, pristine beaches, and six dining options. So next [... more]

Fore the Family

Many believe that golf is one of the best skills a business professional can develop; however, getting out of the house to spend time on the golf course can take some finesse. Try this approach: While you work on your game out on the course, bring the entire family along for a stay at the luxurious Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa in Birmingham, Alabama. You won’t hear any complaints from the spouse or kids because everyone will be too busy planning their day at [... more]

Poppin’ Tags

Where can you find delicious restaurants, horse and buggy rides, fresh produce, and handcrafted goods all in one beautiful location? Historic Charleston, South Carolina’s City Market creates the ultimate shopping experience for tourists and locals alike. Business booms at this open-air market with about 100 vendors hawking unique products. If you’re a fashionista hooked on the new thrifting trend, browse through the vintage-inspired jewelry and accessory booths. Check out Rewined Candles for beautifully designed scented candles or stop for a sangria at Mercato Italian Restaurant. You’ll make [... more]

An Artful Night’s Sleep

Want the breathtaking contemporary artwork found in a museum conveniently right outside your hotel room door? Then book a stay at 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas. Featuring amazing modern works just like the original 21C hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, this exciting property showcases emerging talents as well as acclaimed international artists, such as Bill Viola, Sam Taylor-Wood, David Levinthal, Judy Fox, and Yinka Shonibare. The boutique hotel sits just one mile from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, but there’s really no need to visit [... more]

All That Jazz, and Rock, and Blues…

What do Eric Clapton, Christina Aguilera, and Robin Thicke have in common? They all headline this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival going on April 25-27 and May 1-4. Since 1970, this preeminent event has featured the best in Blues, jazz, gospel, zydeco, R&B, rock, funk, and folk music. This broad mix of musical genres will play out on 10 different tents, each featuring at least five acts a day. Among its many honors, Jazz Fest has been named “Festival of the Year” four times by [... more]

Wreck Diving in the Florida Keys

For the adventurous soul looking to get more out of Florida than a sinful South Beach retreat or a beach getaway to the Panhandle, the Keys are full of more extreme offerings—without going too far. While the reef diving is OK, it’s the 1,000 sunken ships off the shore of more than 800 islands that steal the underwater show. Just 60 miles from Miami in the Upper Keys, USS Spiegel Grove is a retired Navy ship that was purposely sunk in 2002 and landed on her side. [... more]

Romantic Escape in Austin

Once one of Austin, Texas’ landmark estates, Hotel Ella has returned to its former glory thanks to a multimillion-dollar renovation completed in late 2013. While its Greek Revival exterior reflects the past with stately columns and crown molding, the hotel’s modern décor brings the century-old structure into the 21st century. Formerly the Goodall Wooten House, this historic mansion also boasts an impressive collection of 19th-century art and artifacts not to be missed. Explore impressive sculptures by Barbara Segal and Charles Umlauf, or linger over the iconic photographs [... more]

Family-Friendly Virginia Escape

After a long winter, your family needs some well-deserved fun. Of course, the ideal vacation includes 5-star accommodations at a resort the entire family will love. Check. But you don’t want to blow your budget. Check, check. The Spring Fever package at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia, promises big fun on a limited budget. Get two nights of lodging for a family of four complete with tickets to Busch Gardens. To sweeten this already fantastic deal, enjoy daily breakfast in the Bray Dining Room, complimentary transportation to [... more]

Fine Art Festival

Celebrate art and the environment at ArtFields in historic Lake City, South Carolina, on April 25 through May 4, 2014. Billed as “the South’s most engaging art festival,” the 10-day event honors imaginative thinkers with a juried art show, live music, a farmer’s market, delicious Southern food, a portrait contest, and much more. Walk the Art Walk to discover original works from talented artists hailing from all over the South, and then be sure to vote for your favorite to receive the People’s Choice Award.