For the second part of our three-part-series about the best of cities we love, we give you the experts’ recommendations in USA and Peru!
COMPILED BY JAMILLE DOMINGO
San Francisco, California, USA
Senior marketing manager for a non-profit science organization, has been living in San Francisco for seven years
1. Eat, drink, and shop at the Ferry Building. In this indoor space, you’ll be spoiled with tons of leisure choices from Blue Bottle Coffee, Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream, Miette Patisserie, Dandelion Chocolate, Heath Ceramics, Cowgirl Creamery, and Hog Island Oysters. You can enjoy the food with a view of the bay outside. You can also enjoy the lively Farmer’s Market every Tuesdays and Saturdays.
2. Go for a drive to Wine Country. Some of the areas you can visit include Napa Valley (where you can visit Cakebread Cellar and Beringer), and Sonoma Valley (which gives a more local vibe). Give it at least a day or two to fully explore three to four wineries.
3. Get the full food truck experience with Off the Grid’s Friday Nights at Fort Mason or Sunday at The Presidio (check their site for the truck schedules).
4. Get on a caffeine high. Some of the cafés to try are Andytown Roaster, (try their Snowy Plow drink), Philz (order their Mint Mojito Coffee), Four Barrel, Ritual, and Sightglass.
5. A trip on the cable car to Nob Hill can save you from San Francisco’s steep hills. But if you haven’t had enough walking yet, take a hike through Land’s End for views of the Golden Gate Bridge, starting or ending at Sutro Baths.
New York City, USA
A fashion designer based in New York
1. Meet The Met. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where you will be taken back to the past with its amazing collections. Don’t miss as well the seasonal Met Gala exhibit (the best fashion exhibit in the city). In the summer, head to the Met Roof Garden Bar for afternoon cocktails and enjoy the view of Central Park.
2. Have a burger at JG Mellon. It is one of my favorite burger places because of its great juicy burgers that are perfectly cooked and tasty. They are best paired with their puffy fries.
3. Hang out at the Central Park. Visit this 340-hectare park where you can either rent a boat or check out the buildings lining its east side visible from the lake going to the Bethesda fountain.
4. Head to the MoMA. The Museum of Modern Art is home to some of the best contemporary art in the world. It houses Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, Jackson Pollock’s One: Number 31, 1950, Andy Warhol’s 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans, and other works of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin, and Salvador Dali.
5. Go west. Check out the city’s west side by starting at Chelsea at the high line. From here, you can gaze at the city from above, and walk past old townhouses next to some of the newest developments in the city such as the Hudson Yards and architect Zaha Hadid’s organic steel creation at 520 West 28th Street. Then head to the West Village to visit the quaint shops and boutiques of Bleecker Street.
7. End the day at Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO. The best place to visit the Brooklyn Bridge is at dusk, while taking the sights on and off the waters below, the beautiful Statue of Liberty from a distance, and the bright lights of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). The latter is one of the city’s newest developments, with gleaming shops and quaint Japanese-owned bakeshops and boutiques.
Chicago, Illinois, USA
An expat based in Chicago
1. Experience concerts and public art in Millennium Park. Home to iconic public art installations such as Cloud Gate (a.k.a. The Bean), this 25-acre park is one of the most popular gathering spots in the city. Also, don’t miss the Crown Fountain, an interactive installation featuring two 50-foot-tall LED video structures separated by a reflecting pool (get wet and splash around if the mood strikes).
2. Take an architecture tour aboard Chicago’s First Lady cruise. Chicago is known around the world for its architecture. Hop aboard the Chicago’s First Lady from its boat docking station located along the beautiful Chicago Riverwalk for the 90-minute tour.
3. Feel the Chicago thrill. Some of the adrenaline-rushing activities you can try include the Sea Dog Cruise and going up to Skydeck Chicago. The Sea Dog Cruise lets you cross the Chicago River in a high-speed boat, with full-throttle slalom runs, sharp twists and turns, and the raw power of two 1400 HP engines. Skydeck Chicago (at the top of the Willis Tower) offers spectacular views crossing four states on a clear day, interactive exhibits and—drumroll, please—The Ledge, a glass box that allows you to step four feet outside the walls of the building, as if you’re walking on air.
5. Eat! Chicago is the home of the world-famous “deep dish” pizza. Come here to refine your palate and indulge in some cheesy goodness. Also, don’t miss the Chicago Style Hotdogs! Served on a poppy seed bun, the “Chicago Dog” is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato wedges, hot peppers, and a dash of celery salt. You’ll also find ethnic inspired restaurants flourishing downtown. From French and Polish to Japanese, and Middle Eastern, Chicago’s ethnic food options run the gamut.
Saby Zaldívar Díaz
Tourism Manager based in Cusco
1. Stroll along San Blas. Surrounded by small craft shops, private museums of renowned artists, a small church in the middle of its square, and many trendy cafés, San Blas is the perfect epitome of the word ‘bohemian’. You should also check out the view of the city and its red roofs from the viewpoint of San Blas; it’s a great spot for picture-taking.
2. Chill at Plaza de Armas. It is always a pleasure to sit on the steps of the nearby Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral to watch people go by and imagine the past of the city. Plaza de Armas is full of colonial arches, Inca bases, a garden, and people from everywhere.
3. Taste the flavors and breathe in the aromas of Pampa del Castillo. The street is part of Peru’s gastronomic boom in Latin America (the boom actually started on this street), and the tradition of anticuchos (grilled beef heart) and emolientes (a kind of herbal tea) is breathed in Cusco.
4. Don’t forget ice cream time at Qucharitas! After a day in the sun, try this shop’s delicious ice cream products. You can enjoy classic flavors like chocolate or vanilla, or the daring local flavors such as tumbo (a type of passion fruit) or sachatomate (a type of tomato).
5. Watch the sunset in Plaza Santa Ana. This recently restored little square is located in one of the most important places of the old city, the Santa Ana neighborhood. It was once called Karmenqa, and the neighborhood belonged to the Peruvian royal family Panaca del Inca. It offers some of the calmest and most stunning sunset views in the city.