Follow:

    Must visit Connecticut Breweries

    Connecticut may be fairly new to the world of craft beer but they aren’t taking that lightly. With more than 70 craft breweries already on the scene and more opening their doors, Connecticut’s craft beer scene is thriving. Whether you are a local or planning a visit to the Nutmeg state I have compiled some of my favorite and the favorites of our local Craft Beer Girls, Beer and Body group.

    Click image above to check out our local group

    Hartford County

    Alvarium Beer Co.

    365 John Downey Dr. New Britain, CT

    New Park Brewing

    485 New Park Ave West Hartford, CT

    Photo Credit: Mindy Lewis member of Craft Beer Girls B&B CT
    Connecticut Valley Brewing

    765 Sullivan Ave South Windsor, CT

    Kinsmen Brewing

    409 Canal Street Milldale, CT

    Photo Credit: Lorna Hardin member of Craft Beer Girls B&B CT
    Five Churches Brewing

    193 Arch St New Britain, CT

    Middlesex County

    Fat Orange Cat Brew Co.

    47 Tartia Rd East Hampton, CT

    30 Mile Brewing Co.

    39 Ragged Rock Rd Old Saybrook, CT

    Photo Credit: Mindy Lewis member of Craft Beer Girls B&B CT
    Spoke and Spy Cidery

    180 Johnson St Middletown, CT

    Little House Brewing Company

    16 Main St Chester, CT

    New Haven County

    Counter Weight Brewing

    23 Raccio Park Rd Hamden, CT

    Photo Credit: Mindy Lewis member of Craft Beer Girls B&B CT
    Black Hog Brewing

    115 Hurley Road Building 9A Oxford, CT

    Windham County

    Black Pond Brews

    21A Furnace St Danielson, CT

    New London County

    Fox Farm Brewery

    62 Music Vale Rd Salem, CT

    Photo Credit: Mindy Lewis member of Craft Beer Girls B&B CT
    Outer Light Brewing

    266 Bridge St Groton, CT

    Noble Jay Brewing Company

    11 Freedom Way Niantic, CT

    Litchfield County

    Kent Falls Brewing

    33 Camps Rd Kent, CT

    Photo Credit: Liz admin of Craft Beer Girls B&B CT
    Norbrook Farm Brewery

    204 Stillman Hill Rd Colebrook, CT

    Bad Dream Brewing

    116 Danbury Rd #3 New Milford, CT

    Photo Credit: Olivia Negron member of Craft Beer Girls B&B CT

    Fairfield County

    Nod Hill

    137 Ethan Allen Hwy Ridgefield, CT

    Photo Credit: Cassie Jamerson member of Craft Beer Girls B&B CT
    Two Roads Brewing Company

    1700 Stratford Ave Stratford, CT

    @beerandbodyct
    Craft Beer Girls Beer&Body LLC

    Craft Beer Girls B&B is the #1 community in the US for women who love craft beer. Head to our Instagram and Facebook to learn more.

    Share

    Cruising French Polynesia with Paul Gauguin

    borabora


    There’s nothing more relaxing than a tropical beach vacation, especially when the likes of Bora Bora are on your itinerary. What’s a girl to do when there’s so much wandering to do and not enough time?

    With all of the beautiful islands in French Polynesia calling my name, I jetted out to Tahiti to board the M/S Paul Gauguin for a cruise that is truly spectacular.

    French Polynesia (i.e. Tahiti and Bora Bora) is constantly topping lists for most desirable vacation destination. From the white sandy beaches, to the crystal turquoise-blue water, you will be wondering if you are living inside of a post card.

    I had the privilege of sailing with Paul Gaugin Cruise Line and working closely with the team at Avoya Travel, to bring you an up close and personal view of what it’s like to sail the islands of French Polynesia.

    M/S Paul Gauguin

    Paul Gauguin Cruises offers a relaxing and simplistic atmosphere that will change your mind about modern day cruising. Activities and facilities encourage personable connections with high-end, all-inclusive services that will leave you with your vacation needs met and relaxation achieved.

    Below is a sneak peak at my adventures in French Polynesia. Curious to know more about the food and fun on the boat, as well as the rest of my trip? Click here to read the rest of my blog post on avoyatravel.com

    My Cruise Itinerary

    Day 1 – Huahine (Society Islands)

    Excursion: 4×4 Island Tour

    Huahine is very tropical with lush forested mountains in the center. Our first excursion of the trip was a guided tour of the island via a 4×4 truck. This is the perfect opportunity to snap some breathtaking photos along the way. Local guides explain Huahine’s ecosystem, people, politics, and what life on the island is truly like. We even got to stop at a local Tahitian vanilla farm where the farmer had vanilla bean for sale.

    Day 2 & 3 – Bora Bora

    Excursions: Day at the Beach at Intercontinental Resort Thalasso & Jet Ski around the island

    Walk to Paradise

    Bora Bora has exploded on the map as one of the most coveted vacation destinations. After soaking in the views here, I can 100% see why. We spent our first port day in Bora Bora at the Intercontinental Resort Thalasso, where you truly feel like a celebrity. The white sandy beaches, overwater bungalows, and crystal clear turquoise waters are completely unreal (BUT SO REAL!). During your day, the beach excursion will get you access to most of the amenities at the resort as well as a two-course lunch. The resort also hosts some pretty cool visitors; stingrays enjoy swimming along the water’s edge and are fed fish throughout the day by staff.

    On our second day in Bora Bora, we decided to energize our vacation by taking a toured Jet Ski ride around the island. This excursion is not for those who like to cruise along, it was fast-paced and invigorating. During our drive, the guide took us to different lagoons where we could hop off the Jet Ski and take a dip in the clear blue water – he even provided us with a little picnic made up of local fresh coconut and fruit from the island!

     

    Day 4 – Rangiroa (Tuamotus Islands)

    Excursion: Aquarium Snorkel

     

    All I can say is that I’m still a little in awe about how cool this snorkeling trip was. We took a small boat from the dock out to the nearby mini motu to do some snorkeling. Just below the water’s surface were hundreds of beautiful tropical fish. It was truly an experience. Not to mention, during this excursion I conquered one of my fears: swimming with reef sharks. It was all worth it!

    Island of Taha'a

    Curious to read more about my trip? Follow the link below to read my full article in collaboration with Avoya Travel!

    Click Here

    Check out my experience booking my trip with Avoya using their vacation planner!

    -Happy Travels from the Weekend Wanderer

    *All opinions and reviews are my own and created collaboratively with Avoya Travel

     

    Share

    Insta Worthy Street Art-New York City

    Spread Love

    Location: China Town

    Approximate Address: 365 Broome St, New York, New York

    Cross street of Elizabeth and Broome

    When Visiting a new city one of the top things on my agenda is finding the local street art.

    Most good street art is found by chance really, and in fact on our way to find specific murals we ended up finding some real gems!

    If you’re headed out to New York City either for the first time or one of many, grab your subway pass and head out to get your instagram in front of these gorgeous pieces of art.

    Much of the street art we found was in China Town bordering on Little Italy.

    The addresses I am sharing are of businesses that are near the actual art, as the wall’s do not have an address themselves. I will also give cross streets and districts to help guide you to area. 

    *Side Note from what I’ve heard many murals across the city change seasonally, so just be aware the same mural shown below may not be present when you visit! 

    Colorful Geometric Wall 
    Location: China Town

    Approximate Address: 328 Broome St New York, New York

    Actual Art shown above is on Chrystie St. 

    Audrey Hepburn Graffiti

    Location: Little Italy

    Address: Caffe Roma- 176 Mulberry St, New York. New York

     

    It’s Just Love

    Location: West Village

    Approximate Address: 185 Christopher St, New York, New York

    At the end of Christopher St. right before you get to Pier 45, near Rock Bar

    This is located on the pavement, so make sure to look down when looking for it! 

    This may not be street art but make sure to snap a photo at Pier 45 to capture New York Cities skyline!

    #gorgeous 

    I hope you find my little guide to be helpful on your NYC journey to insta goodness

    -Until next time, Mwah!

    SaveSave

    SaveSave

    SaveSave

    SaveSave

    Share

    The Ultimate Quick Trip Guide to Nashville



    I woke up in Nashville, but it still felt like a dream -Seth Ennis

    Since Y’all are still getting to know me, I must confess that I am a complete and utter country music fan. Chances are if you get into my Jeep Cherokee I will have 1 of 3 things on, Sirius XM The Highway (which by the way is produced in Nashville), a local Country station (Usually Go Country 105), or a podcast.

    So with that said you can only imagine how long I have been dying to visit Nashville, Tennessee, Music City of America!

    My best friend from graduate school Lauren, has been my travel buddy as of late. About a year ago now we took off on our first adventure together to visit Toronto, Canada. Fast forward to 2017 and she was willing to accompany me on my next bucket list adventure, to Nashville.

    We started planning around December, as I was day dreaming about things to do for my upcoming 25th birthday. Another fun tip about me is that I am a HUGE birthday girl. I love celebrating birthdays and going all out if I can. However, I am not a huge party person so as I have become older traveling to a destination has becoming my go to birthday celebration.

    When I brought up to Lauren that I had been dying to visit Nashville for years, she hopped right on board with my birthday plans. Of course you guys know I used Kayak.com to book our flights and we ended up getting a great deal from LAX to Nashville (only $310 round trip!)

    Our trip was a complete blast and I was so blessed to be able to celebrate the week of my birthday in Nashville.

    There truly is nothing better than walking up and down Broadway listening to whatever live country music you stumble upon. I can’t say I have found anywhere in the United States where you can walk into a bar at any time of day during the week and find some of the best live music around (and for free!).

    Need some quick tips on how to navigate Nashville in under a week? I have lined up my favorite things to do, see, eat, and drink while in Nashville Tennessee

    Heres to you Nashville, I will definitely be back!


    Stay —>

    I am a Marriott credit card rewards member, which I have always found to be the best decision I ever made. Since I am a travel junkie, having a credit card that gives me free stays at one of my favorite hotel chains was a no brainer. As I was pursuing all of the available Marriott hotels in downtown Nashville, I had this moment of clarity and realized “What am I doing? The only way to truly do a city like this is to be complete immersed!” My final conclusion? Airbnb of course!

    You guys will never believe that this Marriott addict fell upon the most beautiful and perfect little studio loft in downtown Nashville, just around the corner from the best Honky Tonks in town. The best part? We paid less for our Airbnb then we would have if we had stayed in any of the other hotels around the area. Plus, our Airbnb had the cutest little style and felt just like a home away from home.

    Our little home away from home was just a few minutes walk away from some of the great restaurants, bars, honky tonk’s, and site seeing we indulged in over my birthday weekend. It had a private entry and felt safe and secure to us.

    Our host Andrea was amazing and even helped us print out tickets to the Nashville Predators game. All I can say is we had a great experience utilizing Airbnb for the first time!

    Click here to check out here wonderful location!

    *all photos of her studio loft were supplied by owner Andrea

    Food —>

    Best Dinner: The Stillery

    We hit The Stillery for dinner on our first night in Nashville. It was directly across the street from our Airbnb. We loved this place, it was the perfect spot for some delicious, fried, southern, food.

    We started out with deep fried pickles (Lauren and I are both pickle freaks and order them almost every where we go). They were so good and so salty! I ordered the famous Nashville Hot Chicken, but The Stillery takes it up another level by adorning delicious mac and cheese with it.

    They had a awesome selection of cocktails as well, served in mason jars. I got a peach moonshine cocktail that was sweet and strong. Lauren ordered a Cherry Coke flavored moonshine cocktail, that tasted like the real thing but boozy!

    Best Brunch: Biscuit Love

     

    OMG DO YOU GUYS KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE BISCUITS AND GRAVY?!? No? Okay, well in case you missed it, LOVE THEM!

    When we found out about Biscuit Love, I knew it was the place for me. When you walk up to this adorable, once food truck, restaurant, you will notice something funny. There is a line out the door. At least thats what we experienced on a Sunday morning. Biscuit Love only lets people in when there is seating available, so that it does not get too crowded. Which is a great idea, in my book.

    Once you get inside you wait in line to order from the counter, look at all of their adorable cups, t-shirts, stickers, and jars of jam, before being seated and served.

    We shared these little beauties which Biscuit Love calls Bonuts, deep fried biscuit dough covered in cinnamon sugar, lemon marscarpone, and with a berry compote. TO DIE FOR!

    Lauren got the East Nasty which is fried chicken, cheddar, and a biscuit. Sound southern enough for y’all?! I ordered the Southern Benny which is like an eggs Benedict dish but with biscuits and gravy instead.

    If you try one place in Nashville it should be Biscuit Love, you won’t regret it, especially if you are a biscuit and gravy lover like I am.

     

    Best BBQ: Peg Leg Porker

    On our last day in Nashville we decided we finally needed to explore some BBQ. I don’t know why it took us this long to figure this out… So Lauren got on Pinterest and Yelp and we ended up at this little beauty. Peg Leg Porker! It’s a really casual joint where you walk in, order from the counter and sit down with your sweet tea.

    Their food is to die for! It is just around the corner from Jackalope Brewery too so you can follow up your BBQ meal with a nice cold craft beer. Perfection? I think so!

    Best Coffee House: Frothy Monkey

    Cheeky, hipster, coffee shop?

    Yes, please! Lauren and I vowed we wouldn’t be drinking Starbucks while in Nashville. This is coming from two caffeine addicts. We just knew that when you are on the road the best experience you can have is to search out local coffee shops that serve up delicious, local, and interesting cups of joe and tea.

    Well Frothy Monkey hits that nail right on the head. Local art adorns the brick walls, and an overhead loft gives the place a cozy feel. We enjoyed very minute of our relaxing visit here.

    Now lets talk coffee! Frothy Monkey serves, coffee, and tea with delicious in house ingredients. Be sure to take a look at their seasonal menu as it has some amazing hot and cold drinks to choose from.

    Lauren and I both got iced drinks off the seasonal menu. I ordered the Lemon on a Prayer which is made with espresso, milk, lavender, mint honey simple syrup, and lemon zest. So refreshing!

    Lauren ordered The Hummingbird which is made with,  espresso, milk, house-made pecan syrup, hint of banana, topped w cinnamon and dried pineapple garnish. Now don’t these sound like perfect southern coffee drinks?

    If coffee isn’t your think Frothy Monkey actually serves food all day long and has an amazing menu!

    They have locations in Nashville and Franklin Tennessee.

    Need some other suggestions? Check out my other Nashville restaurants suggestions.

    • ACME (one of the coolest rooftop bars, three levels of food and drink, amazing Nashville chicken sandwiches, and yummy frozen cocktails)
    • Bakersfield (Mexican American style food, delicious tacos, and amazing sangria)

    Drink —>

    Honky Tonk Central

    Wooooo Wooo! Y’all need to hit this place up! It was our first Honky Tonk ever and it is three levels! Live music on each level, good drinks on each level, CUTE BOYS ON EACH LEVEL! Okay, I am getting myself all excited again.

    But really, we had a blast and kept coming back here for more. I’m not going to ruin the secret by giving you all the dirty details. You will have to run out and check out Honky Tonk Central yourself ;).

     

    Jackalope Brewery

    was our favorite brewery that we visited while in Nashville. It has a fun, funky vibes with lots of in door and out door seating. Their beers are super unique and have flirty names like their seasonal beer Lovebird. I had a great, unique beer there that was infused with Chamomile tea, which apparently was a limited edition batch.

     

     

    Check them out when you are in town! I recommend their Thunder Ann American Pale Ale or Lovebird, a Strawberry/ Raspberry Hefeweizen (if its in season).

    (Pictured above: Outside art at Jackalope Brewery, not included in the Pedal Tavern Tour)

    Flying Saucer

    Lauren and I are huge beer nerds and so whenever we travel we seek out the best places to grab a pint. On our last day in Nashville we had been hearing about this place that served over 200 different beers! Sounds like a win to us! We headed on over to Flying Saucer which was walkable from our place. Everything we did mentioned in the post was actually completely walkable!

    When I walked in and sat down I realized, I had seen this place before. It was on a Travel Channel special about best bars to visit. The walls are covered in “saucers” or little plates for people who have successfully tried all 200 beers. Once you get to 400 beers you get another plate, and so on. The walls, ceiling, everything is covered in these cute little plates. It is a pretty cool place to say the least. With 200 beers to try we had a hard time picking just one! We both enjoyed what we got and also enjoyed talking to our lovely bartender whom was from California originally! You’ll notice, Nashville is full of people not from Nashville.

    Wanting more suggestions on where to get your drink on? Check out the following places not mentioned in this post!

    • Whiskey Bent (a super fun bar that serves, you guessed it, a ton of whiskey and moonshine)
    • Big Shots (want to feel like you’re 21 again? Hit up Big Shots they have super cheap and creative shots and always have drink specials and live rock music)

    Fun —>

    Pedal Tavern 

    We chose to take the Brewery Route which stops at anywhere between 2-3 brewery locations around downtown Nashville. The Brewery tour only runs twice a week (Thursday and Friday) at 6:30 pm and is $38 a person before fees.

    We were only able to stop at 2 locations, Yazoo and Rockbottom Brewery. However, Lauren and I made sure to hit one other brewery, Jackalope, the next day before we left.

    I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the Pedal Tavern was our absolute favorite thing we did in Nashville. Hop on at their base camp location and your tour guide will crack open drinks (that you bring with you) yell “PEDAL” and you are off! With some good tunes bumping, fun people, and a few drinks, it really can’t get much better. Not to mention it is a really great and social way to see the city. You get anywhere from twenty to thirty minutes at each location to grab a drink. The best part is every location has a discount on drinks for you since you are part of the tour.

    *Photos of Nashville Pedal Tavern were provided by the owners of Nashville Pedal Tavern.

    (Pictured above: Belgium style beer from Yazoo Brewery)

    (Pictured above: Flight of 6 beers from Rockbottom Brewery)

     

    Johnny Cash Museum

    The Johnny Cash Museum was a fun break in our drinking and eating adventures! I highly recommend stopping here if you have the extra time. It was really fun and they have a ton of different exhibits from his life and even about the movie Walk the Line.

    Make sure to check Groupon.com for discounts on tickets for the Johnny Cash Museum. We ended up getting a 2 for 1 discount on tickets.

    Attend a Predators Hockey Game

    I actually really love sports, especially hockey and football. So when I realized the Nashville Predators were going to be home and playing a game when we were in town, I was on board.

    We ended up only paying $17 for our tickets and although we were in the nose bleeds section, the Preds won and are now currently in the Stanley Cup Finals! I’m not saying it was our good luck brought from California that helped them get their,well actually yes I am… What do you guys think? 😉

    I would definitely saying catching a game is worth it. High energy, good beer (cheaper than California’s too!) and you get to feel like you are a real Nashville native.


    Shopping –>

    The best place we found for cute girly boutiques while in Nashville (within walking/uber distance) was The Gulch.

    This is where we found our absolute favorite brunch place Biscuit Love, The Wings, and this oh so adorable shop Two Old Hippies.

    (Pictured above: Outside of Two Old Hippies Store)

    Two Old Hippies is like a Millennial’s dream store, they sell gorgeous clothing, candles, books, hats, knick knacks, unique vintage jewelry, boots, and more. I could have spent hours in here doing some major damage to my credit card. Luckily, I promised myself I would be back and only walked out with a cute reusable tote and a camo print Nashville baseball hat. Two Old Hippies is a must visit when in town!

    While you are in the Gulch check out some of the other cute boutiques they have in the area. The Lucchese boot store was kind of like a country girls dream! 


    Best Places to Take Photos –>

    (Pictured above: What Lifts You Wings at The Gulch Nashville)

    (Pictured above: Flower Truck The Gulch Nashville)

    (Pictured above: Wings The Gulch Nashville)

    (Pictured above:Broadway Nashville Sign)

    (Pictured above: Beer themed mural was in Printers Alley)


    Thats all folks! Have any tips or tricks from your Nashville trip? Any recommendations, suggestions, or questions? Feel free to contact me 🙂

    Want to keep updated on my travels? Add me on Instagram @theweekend_wanderer

    -Mwah!

    *theweekend-wanderer.com was not payed or reimbursed for any of the above recommendations.

    SaveSave

    SaveSave

    SaveSave

    SaveSave

    SaveSave

    SaveSave

    Share

    4 Must Try Indiana Breweries

    The only time I venture to the middle of America is when I’m flying out to see my best friend Nikki and god daughter Sage. They live in northern Indiana about thirty-minutes from South Bend, home of Notre Dame.

    During my time with them I got to check out a few local craft breweries. Below you will find a quick guide to the 4 I had a chance to visit!

    Iechyd Da Brewery: Elkhart, IN

    Named after a Welsh toast to “good health” Iechyd Da (yak-uh-duh) Brewery serves up some absolutely delicious craft beers.

    They also serve up pizza and other bar eats all of which were delicious! We had their Bacon, Chicken, Ranch Pizza, next time I’m not sharing!

    What I tried

    -Breakfast Cookies Stout

    -Half Penny Amber IPA

    -Prosperity Pale-Zythos

    This little brewery in Elkhart Indiana really won me over. Their breakfast cookies stout was one of the best stouts I’ve had! My favorite of the night absolutely had to be their Amber IPA.

    Where to find them 317 N Main St Elkhart, IN

    Closed Monday

    Bare Hands Brewery: Granger, IN

    Bare Hands reminds me a lot of Pizza Port Brewery in Southern California. They have a chill vibe, uniquely named beers, and some really cool artwork on their cans.

    The beer they had on tap when I visited was mostly higher alcohol IPA’s with delicious hints of unique flavors.

    What I tried 

    Sleeping Lion Imperial Porter 9% ABV

    Limited Edition Raspberry Milkshake DIPA

    The Raspberry Milkshake DIPA surprised me, most DIPA start to get this syrupy taste and you are usually left with a hoppy/bitter taste in your mouth. Not the case here, in fact I think this beer could get me into some trouble. It tasted like heaven on earth, YUM!

    Where to find them 12804 Sandy Ct. Granger, IN

    Open all week 

    Heavenly Goat Brewery: Granger, IN

    This brewery gave me a mixed vibe of rocker meets Europe. They serve up beer cheese fondu and some straight to the point craft beers.

    Although this brewery wasn’t my favorite of the 4 we went to, they are perfect for the purist who doesn’t like to mix their beer with crazy flavors.

    What I tried

    Black Triangles Indian Pale Ale

    Bad Reputation Belgian Dark Strong

    We were planning on going back to Heavenly Goat for their trivia night, but the snow kept us home with a scary movie and some chocolate.

    Where to find them 7321 Heritage Square Dr. Granger, IN

    Closed Tuesdays 

    Evil Czech Brewery & Public House: Mishawaka, IN

    Evil Czech is a really cool spot to check out, we went mostly for their “lightning lunch” which gives you the chance to try a lot off their menu in baby buffet portions Their food is pretty good, I of course had to get their mac and cheese! Like Heavenly Goat they have a Medieval European vibe to them.

    True to form I also ordered one of their beers as they do make their own. I tried only 2 as I was about to hit the airport to fly home to California.

    What I tried

    Mint Czich, Mint Chip Flavored Winter Lager

    Nefarious Harbor New England IPA

    I was really excited to try their Mint Czich, since mint chocolate chip is usually my favorite ice cream. However, this mostly tasted like mouth wash. Pass!

    I did like my New England IPA, but it still doesn’t make the top of my list.

    Where to find them 3703 N Main St. Mishawaka, IN

    Open all week 

    Until next time Indiana!

    Mwah!

    Have you tried any midwest breweries that you love? Comment below and let me know! 

    Share