Pike Place Market
Some days you want to buy paintings, fresh flowers, fish, and pajamas and you want it all from the same place. Pike Place should be the first stop on every Seattle itinerary. One of America’s oldest Farmer’s markets, Pike Place started with a few stalls in 1907 and has since grown to become a Seattle landmark. Swarming with shoppers, the bustling market is home to countless galleries, shops and cafes. No trip to Seattle is complete without experiencing Pike Place. San Francisco, California does not have a venue like this!
Grab a meal in the Chelsea Market –There are many staircases to get off the Highline and one of them is next to the Chelsea Market. Walk past the Google NY office to enter the Chelsea Market. The building is quite unassuming from the front, but inside the architecture was beautiful with tons of food places, pop up shops, tea shops – very hipster-y. The place is chockfull of restaurants – from artisanal cupcakes to vegan sushi! We managed to grab some excellent crepes here and looked into this store selling over hundreds of different oils and vinegars and salts (who knew expresso balsamic vinegar even existed!) which allowed tasting.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Located in the heart of Seattle, Chihuly Garden and Glass provides a look at the inspiration and influences that inform the career of artist Dale Chihuly. Through the exhibition’s eight interior galleries, lush outdoor garden and centerpiece Glasshouse visitors will experience a comprehensive look at Chihuly's most significant series of work. With both day and night experiences, and full-service dining in the adjoining Collections Café, this long-term exhibition offers a unique experience rain or shine.
6. Shopping at Union SquareThis refers to the central shopping, hotel, and theater district of San Francisco. The area got its name because it was once used for rallies and support for the Union Army during the American Civil War,earning its designation as a California Historical Landmark. Come here to visit the largest collections of department stores, upscale boutiques, gift shops, art galleries, and beauty salons in the United States.Union Square is a major tourist destination, a vital, cosmopolitan gathering place in downtown San Francisco, and one of the world's premier shopping districts.
Powell's City of Books
Next, I headed to another famous city landmark, Powell’s City of Books. Located in Pearl District, it claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. Housed within four different floors, the multi-level store is a maze of new and used books and other little knick-knacks.
On a free day I decided to explore San Jose and its nearby places, that is when I went to Santana Row which is like an outdoor shopping mall with premier destinations for shopping and dinning. For the people who are fond of brands it is a must visit for them. Fir me the highlight there was the Cheesecake Factory where I had the most amazing cheesecakes in the world.
Shopping is must in NoLITA. But, don't expect your bargaining skills to do the trick. Surely there sales here, but otherwise the prices are a bit high. However, Resurrection is one of the cool vintage stores that are worth the price you pay. If you can't get your self to buy the treasures that lurk inside, there are also a few shops that specialize in socks and pajamas. But, for any fashion lover, a visit to Resurrection is a must.
McNally Jackson Books
A quite and comfortable place to sit and read, the NoLITA experience is incomplete without a visit here. This little gem is not easily spotted but will compel you to come back on your next trip. You can sit here for hours and get lost in your own world. Their cafe comes handy when you feel like grabbing a quick bite. Travelers love it here because not only is there an extensive travel guide section but their two floors are arranged by geographic location.
Grand Central Market
Situated in the heart of Downtown LA, this market opened in 1917 and has been operating since. The Grand Central Market has changed with the passing years. It has around 90-plus vendors selling a wide variety of products such as baked goods, coffee, cheese, etc. This historic landmark serves as a display of the cultural mix of cuisines in LA. It's 30,000 sq. ft. marketplace comprises of a food emporium and a retail marketplace. Sometimes public events are also held here. I walked through the market to feel the energy of the place and over zealously purchased a saccharine cup of iced coffee that I immediately swapped for a single origin brew from G&B Coffee.
Getting AroundMost days cruise employees are going to have enough time off to make their rounds on foot. As the Hawaiian islands aren't very big and most shops set up near the ports on foot is generally a good way to travel. Other times though the shops and restaurants are more than a 10-minute hike so taxis are always waiting at the port to take passengers anywhere on the island. Rental cars are also an easy option to see more of the island, and can either be booked on board the ship ahead of time or at the port as soon as you step foot on land.After a morning swim and assuming you still have some time before work back on the cruise ship the best place to enjoy libations and friends is the Row Bar, an outdoor tiki bar in the concrete office and condo complex across the street from the cruise terminal. Their flat bread pizzas are quite tasty, and their drink selection is at the dispose of the bartender’s creativity. Now, once you visit a few of bars a few weeks in a row the bartenders will figure out you are indeed a cruise ship employee, to which they normally respond with “That’s rough, have a free drink (or three).” Row Bar was definitely one of these places, and I wish I had discovered this place before my last month in Hawaii.A good swim, a few bites and a few drinks and it’s back to work. Don’t worry, most employees aboard the cruise ship have had a few drinks before they get to work. It helps the day go by.
The Sweet Palace
I’m often reminded of this when I was traveling through Montana and one of my best friends told me I should go out of my way to stop by the tiny town of Philipsburg to visit the candy shop. “A candy shop,” I said! “Why would I go out of my way to visit a tiny town just to go to a candy shop,” I exclaimed. “Trust me, it will be worth it” he said. Sweet Palace was started in the late 90s by a woman with a vision, and, the passion, desire and tenacity to see it through. This passionate person was not just starting a candy shop, she was building a destination. While people might go to Philipsburg, MT for the “candy shop,” they’re now greeted by quality lodging, restaurants and other shops. While it took many to re-invent this old community, you can probably credit a single person for putting it on the map.
2. Indulge in chocolates and desserts at Ghiradelli SquareA landmark public square home to the famous Ghiradelli chocolate company boasts of some lovely restaurants and nice stores. Be prepared to be transported transported into a world of aromas, chocolate and lots of chocolate!
Kona Inn Shopping Village
Where to Eat/DrinkAt 7:00 a.m. there isn’t a lot to do just yet, except enjoy the dozens of Kona coffee shops along the main coastal road. My personal favorite was a small coffee shop located in the Kona Inn Shopping Village. I wasn’t much of a coffee drinker just yet, but every Wednesday morning before anything else would open I would be parked next to the ocean drinking my volcano-grown coffee with a slight breeze and not caring about anything else in the world.