Napa and Sonoma Valleys

In 3 words: Wine lovers’ paradise. For your visit three full days is the absolute minimum to enjoy Napa and Sonoma at reasonable pace. Don’t miss: Soaring up in a hot-air balloon one crisp morning. Last visit: October 2016. Destination appeal Our verdict... Read More

San Francisco, CA

In 3 words: Fun and beautiful. For your first visit you need no less than 3 full days to be able to fully appreciate the city and all of its major sights while keeping pleasantly unhurried pace. Distances are walkable not in all cases, and the city’s topography may call for use of public transportation or Uber. Love its many elevated vistas and eye-catching architecture even among residential blocks. Don’t miss: Riding on the steps of Powell-Hyde or Powell-Mason cable car line. Worthy attractions: Cable cars; Fisherman’s Wharf; Golden Gate Bridge; Lombard Street – the crookedest street in the world; Alamo Square with its Painted Ladies; DeYoung Museum and Golden Gate Park; Coit Tower; Twin Peaks. Left for another visit: Alcatraz. Recommended excursions: Sausalito; Muir Woods. Last visit: October 2016 Destination appeal Our verdict... Read More

Savannah, GA

In 4 words: A true southern belle. For your first visit you need about two full days to be able to appreciate the city and all of its major sights while keeping pleasantly unhurried pace. Distances are all walkable in the city center. Love its leafy squares. Worthy attractions: Owens-Thomas House; Davenport House; Forsyth Park; Andrew Low House. Left for another visit: Cathedral of St John Baptist (had a quick look in between services); Congregation Mickve Israel (not open on weekends); Old Fort Jackson (further afield); Oatland Island Wildlife Center (further afield); Ships of the Sea Museum; Georgia State Railroad Museum; other historic houses and churches. Last visit: December 2015.      Destination appeal   Our verdict... Read More

Charleston, SC

In 4 words: Southern charm and history. For your first visit you need about two full days to be able to appreciate the city and all of its major sights while keeping pleasantly unhurried pace. Distances are all walkable in the city center, except when going to see plantations (for which transport is necessary). Love its intimate streets with colorful architecture. Worthy attractions: St John Baptist Cathedral; St Michael’s Church; Nathaniel Russell House; Edmonston-Alston House; Historic City Market; Middleton Place (further afield). Left for another visit: Magnolia Gardens (further afield); Drayton Hall (further afield); Aiken-Rhett House and a few other historic mansions; a number of churches; Charleston Museum. Last visit: December 2015.      Destination appeal   Our verdict... Read More

Newport, RI

In 4 words: Gilded Age and more. For your visit two full days are sufficient to visit all top attractions, but at least three days are recommended. Distances are mostly walkable and parking can be a challenge in central town, but use of the car is natural. Love its magnificent mansions. Don’t miss: Art galleries and antique shops along the waterfront and Thames Street. Worthy attractions: Breakers; Elms; Marble House; Chateau-sur-Mer; Rosecliff; Cliff Walk; Ocean Drive. Left for another visit: Kingscote; a handful of lesser historic houses; Fort Adams. Last visit: May 2013.      Destination appeal   Our verdict... Read More