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Interesting educational aquarium/ecological center right on Burlington's waterfront. Great stop for kids.
Free tours of one of New England's finest chocolate factories? Free and delicious samples? Absurdly rich hot chocolate tasting events in winter? Yes, please!
If you're headed up the Maine Coast to visit the Portland, Acadia National Park, or the Freeport outlets (and you should really do all three), the Delorme Map Store in Yarmouth is well worth a stop for even the most casual cartographers and geography enthusiasts. In addition to maps and guide books for nearly every corner of the planet, you can also gaze upon the Guinness-Book-of-World-Records-certified Largest Globe in the World as it slowly rotates on its axis. Feed your inner nerd and relive your elementary school geography bee by comparing your view of the globe from all three floors for different perspectives. Plus it's free.
As the tallest mountain along the American East Coast (that is, directly on the coast), Cadillac Mountain is supposedly the spot where the sun first hits the United States each morning. If the fickle New England weather cooperates, the summit offers stunning 360-degree views of Mt. Desert Island. You can hike up the relatively easy trail from the mountain's south side, or you can simply drive to the top - a much more popular option.
Terrific food that will make you want to jump on one of the Ethiopian Air jets they have conveniently advertised in their lobby.
Living up to its name, this is a tranquil cottage hostel built among the forest and flowers and right by a small stream. This is definitely the place for budget-conscious travelers to relax while staying in Boquete. The rocking chairs in the open-air courtyard also add to the warm, communal, calm atmosphere. $12 per night for the dorm, and about 3 times that for a private double. Definitely quieter than the equally popular Mamallena Hostel.
Bocas is the gateway to Panama's slice of the Caribbean, but you're not quite there yet. Downtown Bocas del Toro, all three blocks of it, seems to have forgotten its natural beauty to focus almost exclusively on catering to the partying backpacker crowd. (Note: Partying and backpacking obviously do not have to go together. In this case, I mean the subset of backpackers that are traveling to party.) So the many people handing out "Beeradise" fliers may put a damper on the image you had in mind of palm-tree-lined beaches. If you're looking to get drunk, stay in town and head over to Hostel Heiki. If that's not what you came for, find a slightly nicer hotel on one of the side streets, and spend your days snorkeling and watching dolphins frolic with Bocas Sailing (located on the main drag), or take the bus across the island to Starfish Beach, or take a water taxi to one of the smaller islands for more peaceful beaches and fish-filled waters.
Upon checking into Hostel Heiki, the wonderful woman behind the desk warned me that there's a lot of partying, alcohol, and sex behind their doors, and she wasn't wrong. For most of the 18 - 20-something crowd, that was precisely what they were searching for. I would rather go for something quieter and with fewer midnight interruptions in the dorm rooms, but that's just me. For the $10 price tag (for the dorm, private rooms are pricier), however, it's hard to complain. Worth the extra $2/night for the A/C room in the humid head of summer. Still, Heiki has a very fun culture that attracts good people. And the free pancake breakfast isn't bad.
Some of the best French cuisine outside of the motherland. The meat and fish are succulent and simply buttery, and the French onion soup is easily the best I've ever had. Pricey, but worth it.
Great Thai food in the heart of Porter Square that rivals nearby Sugar & Spice, but rarely has the same line out the door. Dozens of delicious dishes are listed over several boards scattered around the restaurant, which makes it a bit difficult to compare all the options, but too many sumptuous platters a good problem to have. Any of the dishes with the crispy chicken is particularly tasty.
Pretty good selection of burgers (beef or chicken) and hot dogs, all pretty cheap. I particularly liked the BBQ bacon burger (called The Cowboy), which was under $6. You can also assemble your own with a variety of toppings, sauces, etc. Not the biggest or best burgers ever, but a pretty good value nonetheless, and certainly a step up from most fast food options.
Authentic South Indian food in one of the major hubs of the American Indian community. There are a ton of options for Indian dining along Devon Ave., and Udupi is one of the best. The dosa are particularly delicious.