Last month we held our second Location Indie live event in Denver! Bringing together people devoted to living and creating a Location Independent Lifestyle was an amazing experience, and what made it even more amazing?
The city itself.
With the Crush Graffiti walls decorating so many streets and alleys, there’s art no matter where you look. Add in some amazing food trucks, great breweries, and new friends, and it’s a reciepe for success.
Listen today as we describe the (super) trendy RiNo neighborhood and surrounding areas, some of the best chicken we’ve EVER had, and of course, the beer.
All’Antico Vinao – Quite simply the best sandwiches, and possibly the best food, in the entire world. Couple that with a 2€ self serve wine bar and there’s not much reason to go anywhere else…ever.
Trattoria Mario – An old school trattoria that’s a local fave (and now a tourist one too). But don’t worry, you still get the authentic feel and some of the best ribollita you’ll ever taste.
Finisterre – Right on Santa Croce plaza, this place is open late and has great pizzas for only 6-10€. You can’t go wrong with anything, but their calabra (white pizza with peppers and sausage) is insanely good.
La Maremma – Another joint right on Santa Croce plaza – and few steps up from Finisterre – this place has 8€ pasta and 3€ wines. Heather was a fan of the eggplant parm.
Vini e Vecchi Sapori – An bit more upscale and hard to get a reservation, this restaurant is many people’s favorite in Florence. For us, it was just decent, but it’s great for a date night…and maybe we just had an off night?
Trattoria La Torre (Siena) – Located in a tower, this is a great place to go for groups. Above-average food, cool architecture, and a good vibe.
Il Merendero (Lucca) – No, it’s certainly not as good as All’Antico Vinao (nothing is) but if you’re in Lucca and craving a sandwich, head here for friendly owners and huge sandwiches for only 5€.
De Cervesia (Lucca) – Looking for craft beer in Lucca? This is the place to go. Great selection, great vibe, great people.
(ranked in order of best to not as best…because gelato can never be considered bad!)
Gelateria de Neri – If you can only have one gelato experience in Florence (the horrors!), this is the place to go. It’s been called by some experts (me) as the best gelato in the world. Plus, it’s right by All’Antico, which makes it the perfect sandwich-gelato bang bang.
La Carraia – If Gelateria de Neri is #1, this place is 1B. It’s incredible. And with two outposts (one on each side of the bridge), you’ll never be that far away!
Gelateria Santa Trinita – A small step down from Neri and La Carraia, in any other city this place would reign supreme. It’s well worth going and trying for yourself, especially because it’s right near Ponte Vecchio.
Il Procopia – The last of the “must go” gelato places in Florence, this local favorite is worth the trip for the pistachio alone!
Vivoli – It gets a lot of publicity, but for me, it was just ok. If you want to try all the places for yourself (and why wouldn’t you) then head here. But not at the expense of anywhere above.
Perche No – They’ve got inventive flavors, good marketing, and lots of name recognition. The gelato itself is decent. But in this town, decent doesn’t cut it.
Gelateria Carabe – Supposedly “Sicilian” style gelato, this place was overpriced, unfriendly, and probably our least favorite in terms of taste. Worth a trip? Sure, if you’re at the Accademia. But I wouldn’t go out of your way.
Carlota’s Apartment – A great experience, this cozy 1 bedroom is impeccably decorated and smack dab in the center of Florence. Plus, you won’t find a nicer hostess. Highly, highly recommend (here’s our full review).
Marvel at the Accademia – It’s fairly small, hard to find, a little off the beaten path and the best thing you can do Florence. The statue of David is one of the most impressive things…in the world. An absolute must.
Climb the Duomo…and then climb the Bell Tower – Two of the most beautiful buildings in Florence (and maybe the world), the view from the top is even better. Yes, it’s even worth the 463 stairs (Duomo) and the 414 stairs (Bell Tower)!
Stroll through the Uffizi – One of Europe’s most visited museums for a reason, the Uffizi is a place you can stroll through quickly or spend a whole day in.
Take a food walking tour – Yes, it’s fun to find places on your own, but with so many incredible places to eat, it’s that much more fun with a local guide. Plus, who else is going to take you to an enoteca to drink wine at 9 am? We recommend either Walks of Italy or Eating Italy.
Walk over the Ponte Vecchio – It’s mostly jewelry stores that line this famous bridge, so unless you’re trying to drop thousands of dollars, it’s most likely not worth buying anything. But it is worth strolling across and then getting some iconic shots of the bridge during sunset.
Take the 1:30 hour trip to Lucca or Siena – Both quintessential Tuscan towns with gorgeous architecture and great food. Each is possible in a day trip, but if they’re running the Palio de Siena (horse race) while you’re there, head to Siena for an incredible spectacle.
After spending over 3 weeks in Vancouver, Heather and Trav are well versed in the best things to do in this beautiful city. Discover how many breweries Trav went to in 21 days (hint: it’s a lot!), Heather’s favorite pizza and coffee spots, and the activity that they both say you “can’t miss” when visiting Van.
Via Tevere – Some of Heather’s favorite pizza ever.
Sal y Limon – A quick, fast, fairly cheap, and casual taco spot with lots of good choices.
Tacofino – The Vancouver outpost of this crazy popular taco truck originally started in Tofino.
The Flying Pig – And upscale dining option in Gastown for Italian fare.
Fable Diner – Incredible brunches make the inevitable hour-long wait on weekends worth it.
Cartem’s Donuts – Conveniently located on Main Street, this donut place has an ever-rotating selection of eclectic flavor choices, including Heather’s favorite, earl grey.
Rain or Shine – My favorite ice cream in Vancouver. Big portions, nice people, and fantastic flavors. What more could an ice cream lover want?
Rooster Ice Cream – A small, new place that not only has good ice cream but makes a mean ice cream cookie sandwich!
Earnest – With 4 locations in Vancouver, Earnest gets recognized by many as Vancouver’s best ice cream. While I personally think Rain or Shine narrowly edges it out, you can’t go wrong by trying it out for yourself!
La Casa Gelato – Quantity over quality, this gelato shop has the most flavors of anywhere in the world – 238 at any given time! The spectacle itself is worth going for, even if the gelato is just average.
Bella Gelateria – You know a gelato place is good when it’s won an international award from real, Italian judges in Florence!
33 Acres – The best brewery in Vancouver, this place ticks all the boxes – great beer, friendly staff, and a beautiful interior. Go early, because it gets packed (for good reason).
Brassneck – After hitting 33 Acres and then Cartem’s Donuts, wander over to his fantastic brewery. Our second favorite brewery in the Main Street area, it shouldn’t be missed.
Faculty – A small brewery with only 4-5 beers on tap, it’s worth the visit, especially if you’re biking by on the Ontario Street bike path.
R&B Brewing – The atmosphere here is like being in your friend’s basement (in a good way) and the pizza is pretty decent too. Unfortunately, the beer left a bit to be desired.
Main Street Brewing – Nothing fancy or exciting here, but hey, it’s another brewery to stop at if you’re trying to hit them all!
“Yeast Van” Area
Strangefellows – Unique beer selection, good bar snacks, and a cool vibe make this one of Vancouver’s top breweries.
Luppolo – A relative newcomer, their hazy IPA was my favorite of the entire trip.
Callister – With 3 rotating guest breweries plus Callister itself all brewing under the same roof, coming here means you can try 4 completely different breweries all at once, which is a great concept.
Storm – Vancouver’s oldest, and certainly most unique, craft brewery, Storm is a must-visit for the “ambiance” alone. Enter the no-frill “tasting room” through the loading door and be treated to some of the most eclectic beers you’ll ever find.
Steamworks – This huge brewery and sports bar is found right on the water in Gastown. With good food and good beer, this is whatever large brewpub should strive for.
Coast Mountain – Found up north in Whistler, this tiny tasting room is exactly what you’d expect in a ski town – crowded, lively, and fun with fantastic beer to boot! A personal favorite.
Superflux Beer Company – A gypsy brewery with no tasting room, if you can find their cans at the craft bottle shops in Vancouver, buy them. This brewery is setting the standard for hazy IPA’s in Vancouver…and beyond.
Matchstick – Heather’s favorite coffee in Vancouver, this quaint coffee shop tucked away in Mount Pleasant is a must for coffee aficionados.
49th Parallel – This big, comfy cafe with good coffee is a great place to come, hang out, and relax (especially if you snag one of their overstuffed leather chairs)!
Revolver – Want good coffee in Gastown? This is your spot!
Prado – If you find yourself in the Commercial Drive area, this is the place to head for great coffee!
Drive to Whistler – Rent a car, get out of Vancouver, and take the beautiful drive up through Squamish to Whistler.
Dude Chilling Park – Is it the best park in the world? No way. But does it have the best name? You bet.
Wreck Beach – Head here if you’ve got a hankering for a bit of adventure. 300+ stairs down to the beach keep it pretty isolated, which is a good thing because once you get down, you’ll realize it’s clothing-optional (but discouraged).
Jericho Beach – One of Vancouver’s best beaches, especially for sunsets.
Sea to Sky Gondola – At $40 CAD, it’s a bit pricey, but if you’re driving to Whistler, it’s worth it if you like gondolas, suspension bridges, and want to hike around for a few hours.
Capilano Suspension Bridge – Like Sea to Sky, at $42 CAD it’s a bit pricier than it should be, but it’s also every little kid’s dream. Walk along a huge suspension bridge and then a bunch of smaller ones that take you through the treetops.
Shopping on Main Street – Lots of neat shops to poke your head in between eating and drinking along this great stretch of the city.