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Top Three Travel Secrets

by Dee Andrews

I’m it… I’ve been tagged by the top three travel secret players.

A good travel secret for me is one that gives me a strong sense of place. I want to feel like a local and have a glimpse of what life is like for them in their corner of the world.

Three gems I have stumbled upon:

The Windsor Castle Pub

The Windsor Castle Pub

The Windsor Castle Pub

The Windsor Castle restaurant in London is a quintessential English pub that serves great Thai food and surrounds diners with kitschy royal family portraits. It’s off the beaten path, full of locals enjoying a pint, and an oxymoron of experiences. It would be my favorite neighborhood diner if it were in the United States.

See my google map for location and details.

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

Bonus London Gem: After sampling the laid-back setting and great Thai food at The Windsor Castle pub, experience a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. It’s like stepping back in time, an exact replica of his theater from the Middle Ages. Inexpensive standing room only tickets directly in front of the stage further make the experience as in his day too!

Hall, Austria

Hall, Austria

Hall, Austria

Thanks to Rick Steves, we never made it to Innsbruck, Austria. Traveling in Austria with two 2-year-olds, the note in his guidebook about Hall, offering an unique and inexpensive salt mine tour, complete with wooden slide at the end, prompted a detour off the highway and into Hall.

We loved the authenticity of this small village immediately and decided to skip Innsbruck and find a hotel for the night. A local wine festival taking place in the square contributed to our delight at finding this gem!

We never even made it to the salt mine and slide, but did enjoy sitting in the square, sampling Austrian wine, touring the church and generally relaxing with the locals in this wonderful mountain village.

Looks like Rick is still encouraging trips to Hall.

Black Hills of South Dakota

Newton Fork Ranch

Newton Fork Ranch

Closer to home here in the States, another of my favorite gems is the Black Hills of South Dakota. What a great vacation when you have young kids. While it’s kind of a Disneyland touristy kind of place, the cabins at the Newton Fork Ranch are not! The real thing in a beautiful setting, they were the perfect place to rest our feet each night. There are six cabins ringing a beautiful meadow, full of whitetail deer and open space to run. Our children played tag with kids from other cabins while we sat on the porch enjoying a glass of wine. The Mickelson Trail runs through the property and was a great hike for the whole family to enjoy more of the beautiful scenery.

The cabins are open year round, and though we visited in the summer, I can just imagine curling up with a book in front of the fireplace.


~ Looking for more Best Kept Travel Secrets, read the original post on Tripbase.

~ I was tagged by Eva Gill at Gill Advertures, who wrote about secret places in Oregon.

~ TAG, YOU’RE IT: Here are the five travel bloggers I’m tagging to play next:

Traveling Mama’s – By several traveling mamas who share their adventures with the world. They offer tips on great places to visit with children and also romantic escapes, girlfriend getaways, and solo trips.

Dinners and Dreams – By Nisrine Merzouki, an expat from Morocco living in Florida. She’s a teacher, student, passionate cook and mother. Her blog has great recipes, thoughts and travels.

Mommy Poppins – By Anna, who edits New York City’s favorite online resource for parents and kids where you’ll discover the inside skinny on where and what to do, see, learn, play, make, read, splash, eat, run amok, party and envy in the New York area.

Kidaddle – By Jane, who’s getting out and about with the kids in Australia and beyond.

Mary and Sean’s Adventures Abroad – By Mary and Sean, world travelers living in Okinawa, Japan. Go along with them as they eat and travel their way through Asia.

~ Join the fun! Share your comments here with your favorite travel gems!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

bluecottonmemory February 13, 2010 at 7:29 am

I have 2 dream trips: One on a bicycle trip through the Loir Valley and the other to the site of the Battle of Hastings. I so enjoyed reading about your travels. Makes me want to go somewhere:)
.-= bluecottonmemory´s last blog ..SNowRific Days =-.

Dee February 13, 2010 at 7:41 am

Wow, the Battle of Hastings! I’m intrigued; tell me more!

What I love about blogs is finding other people’s and learning something from them. The name of yours, Blue Cotton Memory, caught my attention, and I had to find out more. Love the poem and can’t wait to read the wisdom of mothering five sons.

Off to write about a jelly bean now! Thanks for sharing here! ~ Dee

Tania McCartney February 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I’ve just been tagged by Jane from Kidaddle! Thanks for passing this along – loved reading your secrets and am getting ready to post my own at http://taniamccartney.blogspot.com/. Happy travels!
.-= Tania McCartney´s last blog ..Calendar: Shop Handmade! =-.

Dinners & Dreams February 15, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Hi Dee, I saw that I’ve been tagged. What am I supposed to do? I’m excited! Lovely and informative post by the way.

Nisrine
.-= Dinners & Dreams´s last blog ..Gluten-free Chocolate Cake with Brown Rice and Tapioca =-.

Dee February 16, 2010 at 9:52 am

@ Nisrine,

Read the original blog post here at Tripbase and they’ll explain the game. It’s a fun way to read about others favorite travel spots, whether a restaurant or country with great food, whatever is your favorite.

Have fun, Dee

Jane February 17, 2010 at 4:46 am

Hi Dee, thanks for tagging me and glad you enjoyed. “Dobbed in” is a little tricky to explain. Basically, we used the verb “to dob” as “to tell on” – ie small child “dobs” on friend to the teacher. By extension, “dobbed in” means basically being named and forced to do something. You obviously need to visit Australia to learn the lingo.
.-= Jane´s last blog ..Kidaddle’s Three Best Kept Travel Secrets =-.

Mary R February 17, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Your list looks great! Can’t wait to check out some of those places one day.

Thanks for tagging us and linking to us. I’ll try to get my list together asap!

Looking forward to reading more
.-= Mary R´s last blog ..Nagano Surprises =-.

Dee March 15, 2010 at 11:10 am

@ Tania,

Enjoyed your secrets and am really enjoying your blog! I’m writing my first book so always love to find other authors too. Your children’s books look wonderful!

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