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The Best Day Trips from Anchorage

By Catherine Bodry
January 27, 2022
Seward Highway
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It’s no surprise that you’ll find some excellent day trips from Anchorage – wilderness is just a few steps out of downtown, with mountains, wildlife and adventure all on offer.

Perched on the very edge of the wilderness, Anchorage is the doorstep to an Alaskan adventure. Drive one of the two roads out of Anchorage for just 20 minutes in either direction, and the office buildings fade away and traffic lights turn into mountain-studded horizons, crystalline salmon streams and the bold promises of the Last Frontier.

It’s no surprise that you’ll find some excellent day trips from Anchorage. Wilderness is just a few steps out of downtown, with mountains, wildlife and adventure all on offer. These following day trips are our favorites.

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Girdwood

This little ski town – home to the state’s largest ski resort, Alyeska – is a 45-minute drive from Anchorage down the curvy two-lane Seward Highway. The drive itself is worth the trip as it’s lined on one side by the steep walls of the Chugach Mountains and Turnagain Arm on the other. You might spot Dall sheep, beluga whales, bald eagles, and the powerful bore tide churning up the Arm.

Once in Girdwood, you’ll have plenty of great options to fill your day. The town is nestled in a rainforest valley and ringed by gorgeous peaks. Hike one of the many excellent trails, including one that takes you to a hand tram across a gorge (the Winner Creek Trail). If your legs aren’t feeling up to a climb, ride the Alyeska Aerial Tram up to the top of Mt Alyeska. You’ll have panoramic views of Turnagain Arm and multiple glaciers, and definitely some pics for your social media accounts.

Don’t skip any meals in Girdwood; this tiny town has a disproportionate number of excellent restaurants. Try the Bake Shop for homey breakfasts and Jack Sprat for creative cuisine with a view. Come hungry and fuel up for your adventure, and then replenish those calories on the other side of it.

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Portage Valley

Another 20 minutes down the highway from the Girdwood turnoff is the gorgeous Portage Valley. This 14-mile-long valley is packed with hanging glaciers, a rushing pastel-blue river, and, at the end, namesake Portage Glacier. The Trail of Blue Ice wanders alongside the two-lane Portage Valley Rd, offering gentle and family-friendly terrain for walking or cycling.

At the end of the road is the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center, perched on a glacial lake bobbing with icebergs. Here you can watch an excellent film about the glacier, and learn more about this river of ice through interactive exhibits. Glacier viewing cruises to the face of Portage Glacier depart five times per day in summer.

Just past the visitor center is North America’s longest highway-railroad combo tunnel. The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel is 2.5 miles long and connects to the old military town of Whittier. Driving the tunnel is a unique experience and worth the exploration.

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Eagle River

In the opposite direction, about half an hour up the Glenn Highway, is Eagle River. At first glance, this Anchorage bedroom community offers a collection of stores and restaurants. But the town offers some excellent hiking and wildlife spotting opportunities. At the end of Eagle River Road is the Eagle River Nature Center. Family-friendly, the center offers talks, classes and guided hikes of the area. You can wander along Eagle River, where the mountains tower in vertical walls, or along shorter loops with interpretive signs. This area is one of your best bets for spotting moose and even bears.

Just off the highway from Anchorage is a turnoff for Hiland Rd. If you’re feeling up for an alpine hike, drive to the end of the road and head out to Eagle and Symphony Lakes. This trail meanders 5.5 miles through alpine meadows full of flowers and follows the south fork of Eagle River (really just a rushing stream at this point) until it reaches the two lakes at the end of a glacier-carved valley. The two lakes are markedly different from each other; one is a surreal, glacial blue, and the other dark and clear.

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Hatcher Pass

Nestled into the Talkeetna Mountains, which are sharper than the nearby Chugach, is the green and dramatic Hatcher Pass. You’ll drive up the winding Palmer-Fishhook Rd to Independence Mine State Historical Park, where you can explore the outbuildings and tailings of this once-prosperous gold mine. Take a self-guided tour or read up on the history at the visitor center and museum.

Several hiking trails branch off the road. One of the more popular ones is to Reed Lakes, a 7-9 mile round-trip hike that takes you to two ice blue lakes in a magical mountain ringed setting. It’s somewhat difficult and will take a full day, but the otherworldly valley is worth it.

Finish your day with a meal with a view at Hatcher Pass Lodge or drive back to the farming community of Palmer for a farm-to-table meal.

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Inspiration

Seven Top Mural Hotels in the U.S.

Have you ever stayed in two different hotels on separate coasts and seen the same art prints in each? You’re not alone. Hotels have long rubber-stamped their art collections, though that’s changing. The Alexander hotel in Indianapolis, for one, has an accredited art museum curating its collection. Hotels are also coloring outside the frame and decorating with street-art-turned-interior-décor. Some hotels commission internationally known artists to create one-of-a-kind murals, while others hire locally to give the interior a distinctive sense of place. Either way, the muralists transform the hotels into pieces of art in their own rights. Here are seven hotels with the best – and yes, most Instagram-able – murals in the country. Mural by Asend at Hotel Chicago West Loop, courtesy of the hotel Hotel Chicago West Loop Chicago, Illinois Six rooms in Hotel Chicago West Loop’s art-centric annex immerse guests in Windy City culture. Chicago-based artists including Josh Grotto, Brandin Hurley, Elloo, and Ascend have lent their talents to mural rooms, which showcase Chicago architecture, music, and history. Ascend’s work is exhibited locally and internationally, including in top-notch art fairs like Art Basel; his paintings combine a classical approach to portraiture with contemporary backgrounds. When not in use, the street-art rooms are open for viewing, giving the public a chance to see the works outside hallowed museum halls or traditional galleries. The artistry is growing: In late 2019, street artists will install another six eye-popping guestroom murals. Art students will join the artists for mentorship during the installation of the new murals. Hotel Chicago West Loop plans eventually to install paintings in the majority of its 116 rooms. From $119 Nativo Lodge Albuquerque, New Mexico Heritage Hotels & Resorts called upon a stable of contemporary Native American artists to paint 47 guest rooms (and counting) with murals. The rooms feel like living inside an artwork; they touch every wall and even flow into the bathroom and vanity spaces. Their artwork is rooted in cultural traditions and symbolism, but it’s expressed in vibrant and surprising ways. For example, in Love Movement, Jaque Fragua researched pre-Columbian Mesoamerican pottery designs in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and expressed these designs in a hot-pink background splashed with gold paint. In Sustenance, Warren Montoya expresses traditional hunting practices of the Pueblo (Native American) people in the Rio Grande Valley. From $118. Hotel Des Arts San Francisco, California Hotel Des Arts certainly lives up to its artistic name: More than fifty guest rooms show installations or edgy, graffiti-art inspired murals. Internationally known street artists including Shepard Fairey, David Choe, Buff Monster, Jeremy Fish and Casey O’Connell have painted the one-of-a-kind room. David Cloe, a Los Angeles artist who painted room 304, has collaborated with everyone from Facebook to Jay-Z. Shepard Fairy, the South Carolina artist behind room 210, is perhaps most well-known for illustrating former President Barack Obama’s “Hope” campaign poster. From $159 Hotel McCoy Tucson, Arizona In its first life, Hotel McCoy was a 1969 motor lodge, but in the fall of 2018 new owners transformed it into an art hotel. Hotel McCoy has worked with 48 (and growing) Tucson artists on the outdoor murals, and via the lobby art gallery and in-room art. The murals capture Tucson’s creative side. They serve another purpose, too: “The inspiration behind my idea to incorporate art comes from my love of travel and addressing the feeling of homesickness that comes from it,” says Nicole Dahl, general manager and creative director. “When we travel, often our hotel leaves us feeling empty, disconnected if you will. We wanted to fix that and offer people a place where they could stay and feel a connection.” From $109 Hotel Vintage Portland Portland, Oregon Graffiti artist Andrew Horner freestyled three of Hotel Vintage Portland’s original murals in 2015. Just him, spray paint, and inspiration emanating from Portland’s sub-cultures. He incorporated Portland landmarks and symbols, like roses after the City of Roses’ nickname, in paintings located in a game lounge, downstairs hallways, and the main entrance stairwell. In 2016, this trio doubled when Viva La Free, a Portland non-profit that teaches at-risk youth to use art for healing, painted three additional murals on the fences of the Urban Soak Suites. The hotel is an urban outpost in Oregon’s wine country, the Willamette Valley, and the murals have a (perhaps surprising) similarity to wine: Just as a wine’s flavor blossoms with each sip, the murals reveal hidden elements over time. From $218 W Hotel Bellevue Bellevue, Washington The artists behind W Hotel Bellevue’s six murals may hail from outside the Pacific Northwest, but they certainly capture its vibe. Baltimore-based street artist Gaia gives a lesson in the past, present, and future of Bellevue in Settler Futurity. The towering, three-story mural on the main stairwell showcases the city’s agricultural roots with depictions of strawberry fields, and points to its present and future with aviation references. Other murals include three by Japanese-born and Brooklyn-based Lady Aiko, and two murals by San Francisco artist Zio Ziegler. The W brand hotels emphasize design and the Bellevue edition lives up to that mission. From $289. Mural by Chaz Bear at Ace Hotel and Swim Club, courtesy of the hotel Ace Hotel & Swim Club Palm Springs, California The hoteliers behind Ace Hotel & Swim Club had an artistic eye when they reimagined a 1965 Westward Ho Hotel and former Denny’s restaurant as a mid-century modern hotel and King’s Highway restaurant. They outfitted the hotel with vintage furniture and a sun-washed bohemian design. Each year, the hotel invites a new artist to complete a mural on the property ahead of Desert Gold, a twelve-day Coachella oasis that includes meditative sound baths and wellness pop-ups. In 2018, Laura Berger used desert hues in Lifting the Sun, which speaks to humanity’s interconnectivity. In 2019, Chaz Bear painted vibrant florals in Desert Void, which reflects upon the experience of living in the desert. From $159

Inspiration

Ski Vermont: Where to Find the Best Snow East of The Rockies

Known for the birth of the ski tow in 1934, this New England gem can also lay claim to the largest number of Olympians per capita in the US. In fact, 16 of the 244 athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics hailed from Vermont. Luckily, the resorts hosting these magnificent slopes are ready and waiting for skiers, snowboarders and snow aficionados of all ages and skill levels. But before you strap on your equipment, check out this list of the best areas to visit this winter in Vermont. Sugarbush Resort, Warren Located squarely in the middle of the state, this iconic resort offers 111 trails sprawling over 4000 acres. Spread across Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen, yet separated by Slide Brook Basin, it has a vertical drop of 2600ft, and you can easily move between the two mountains using the chairlift and shuttle bus. With 600 skiable areas, including nearly 3000 acres of cross-country terrain, there is an immense variety of slopes to conquer – though beginners will appreciate the Ski & Ride School at Lincoln Peak Village. STAY: The Claybrook Hotel & Residence is our slope-side pick and includes in-room hot tubs, a heated, year-round outdoor pool and a game room to keep the kiddies occupied. You can reserve anything from a studio to a five-bedroom residence – so it’s perfect for a romantic getaway or a family holiday. Bolton Valley Resort, Richmond Perched in the Green Mountains and just 30 minutes from the Burlington airport, this sweet, family-owned resort gives you access to 71 downhill trails for skiing and about 62 miles of Nordic and backcountry trails. Though it’s officially a valley, the alpine village sits atop the mountain overlooking 5000 acres and uses wind power and energy-efficient snowmaking to reduce its diesel and electric power consumption. It also enjoys a vertical drop of 3150ft. Families will love its affordability and the kid-friendly indoor skate-and-bike park. Interested in staying after dark? Bolton Valley offers night skiing until 10pm from Tuesday to Saturday nights. STAY: Basic and affordable, the Inn at Bolton Valley is a ski-in-ski-out slopeside resort with a mix of 60 rooms, suites and condos. Guests receive access to the Bolton Valley Sports Center and can enjoy the pool, hot tub, sauna and gym, as well as a nest of bouncy houses, game room with basketball, ping pong and pool table for the family. Jap Peak Resort, Jay Head north, just a few miles south of the Canadian border, and you’ll find this winter wonderland in the Green Mountains – boasting the highest average snowfall in Vermont and more powder than most east coasters know what to do with. The vertical drop of 2153ft allows for 81 Alpine trails, including just over 60 for advanced and intermediate skiers. But beginners should not despair, there’s plenty of green trails, a Kids Program for ages 4 to 12 years and an Adaptive Program for people with disabilities starting at age 3. A massive indoor waterpark and activity center boasts an ice skating rink, movie theater, climbing gym and arcade – free with on-site lodging, though you’ll need to purchase tickets in advance if you’re just coming for the day. STAY: The Tram Haus Lodge is a charming, suite-only resort offering just under 60 rooms, with units up to three bedrooms. Just a hop, skip and jump from the slopes, it oozes homegrown flavor and is decorated with locally crafted, recycled and re-imagined materials, like handmade maple hardware and reclaimed barn wood furniture. You can choose from slope side or ski-in-ski-out accommodations as well as a coffee shop and full-service spa. Pico Mountain, Mendon Located inside the massive Killington resort, this single-base, easy-to-navigate resort is super family friendly and perfect for those on a budget. A vertical drop of 1967ft, 19 miles of terrain and seven lifts lead to a total of 57 manageable trails. And though there is an impressive 25 intermediate trails, you can also find classic New England steeps or stick with the gentler, winding beginner trails. Four thousand feet of new snowmaking pipe has been added this season, so making the white stuff won’t be a problem. Youth programs and lesson start at age four and go to 14 years old, and kids ski free with the purchase of an adult season pass. STAY: Pico Resort Hotel and Condominiums offers up to three-bedroom accommodations and is walking distance to Pico. Great for groups, the three-bedroom units can sleep up to 10 with a loft and sofabed, and fireplaces are included in most units. Guests can also access the Pico Fitness Center, featuring an indoor pool and gym, and a free shuttle will take you the five miles down the road to any of Killington’s six mountains. Suicide Six, Pomfret This resort is not only the oldest ski resort in America, it is also home to the first “ski lift,” an improvised rope tow built on Hill No. 6 and powered by a Ford Model T. Now, this quaint and accessible area contains an array of terrain and levels of difficulty. Snowboarders will be thrilled to hit the same slopes that hosted the first National Snow Snurfing competition in 1982, and Alpine skiers will appreciate the 650ft vertical drop, three lifts and 24 different trails, broken down almost evenly between expert, intermediate and beginner. You can also rent fat bikes, try your hand at snowshoeing or strap on a set of cross-country skis. STAY: The Woodstock Inn & Resort is a classic, New England ski resort set in a quaint, unspoiled town – while allowing easy access to the slopes of Suicide Six. After a day in the snow, you can take a stroll on Main Street or hit the 10,000 sq ft spa for a little peace and pampering. The Woodstock Athletic Club is also included in your stay and hosts a variety of activities, like racquetball, yoga, an indoor pool and a gym. A Family First-Run package includes a family group lesson and a s’mores kit for apres ski. Magic Mountain, Londonderry Perched on Glebe Mountain, this ski-forward resort is reminiscent of the Swiss Alps, with twisting, narrow trails which were carved out in the 1960s and are still viable today. Out of the 50 trails, 17 of them are expert, and with a vertical drop of 1500ft, you’ll have access to true rugged, vertical skiing – and a handful of double black diamonds. With a premium on adventure and appreciating the natural beauty of your surroundings, this resort is both laid-back and affordable – and even touts special openings during mid-week snowstorms to access the best natural powder. Want to take some time off skis? Race your pals downhill a totally different way at Tubeyland tube park. STAY: The Upper Pass Lodge is rustic, pet friendly and located at the base of Magic Mountain for an easy commute. A homey resort with personalized service, it consists of just 20 rooms, some of which offer bunkbeds or two bedrooms for families and groups – and one of which comes with an en-suite jacuzzi. Keeping with the local theme, the lodge’s bar features cocktails poured exclusively with Vermont-made spirits.

Inspiration

The Best Hotels and Resorts to Spend the Holidays

If you are considering taking the plunge and spending your cherished holiday time somewhere other than home, there are many factors to consider—like how far you want to travel, whether you’re going with family and what, if any, special holiday details are being offered. To help with this difficult determination, we’ve rounded up five super places to consider this holiday season. From sandy beaches to sin city, we’ve got you covered for everything happy and the merry. The Emerson Resort and Spa is a great place to get cozy in upstate New York © Tobey Grumet / Budget Travel Emerson Resort & Spa, Mt. Tremper, NY Location, location, location. Sitting directly between the most sought-after vacation towns in New York’s Catskill mountain range, like Woodstock and Phoenicia, this sprawling resort is just a two-hour drive from NYC, offering a family- and dog-friendly, cold-weather sanctuary from the city. In addition to cold weather pursuits and a weekly bonfire, you can try other included resort activities like a Winter Guided Nature Walk, an ornament making class and Storytime in the Great Room with a delicious hot chocolate bar on hand. The Emerson Resort and Spa is also home to the world’s largest kaleidoscope, and a Holiday Kaleidoshow is being planned for guests. Interested in a little relaxation? Hit the spa and reserve a treatment with its Peppermint Rosemary aroma and signature tea—or get a 20% discount on any manicure through December. The onsite Woodnotes Grille will also be offering holiday-inspired specials, like the Edge of Esopus cocktail and a pan roasted porterhouse pork chop with apple sage butter, roast potatoes and braised red cabbage. Bellagio, Las Vegas, NV Las Vegas has something for everyone when it comes to the holidays. And though you may come for the mild the desert weather, you’ll stay for the shows, restaurants, nightclubs and family activities—including the massive Strip-wide fireworks show on New Year’s Eve. As a home base, the Bellagio is a working winter wonderland you won’t want to miss. In addition to the 42-foot white fir tree with five-car motorized train in its Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, you’ll want to stop and gawk at the polar bear-escorted ice queen, dressed in a couture gown created from preserved roses, silver palmetto leaves, hydrangeas and orchids. Nearby, there is also a Gothic castle and connected passageway inspired by New York’s Central Park. In fact, over 34,000 flowers and 28,000 poinsettias will be on display around the exhibit. Don’t forget to visit restaurants like Spago, New York’s Soho darling Sadelle’s, and the iconic Le Cirque. New Year’s weekend will also herald the opening of The Mayfair Supper Club, a classic dinner and a show experience with the well-known Bellagio fountains dancing in the background. Gaylord Palms Resort, Kissimmee, FL Nobody does family time better than central Florida. And though Disney may be the draw, this Marriot Bonvoy resort is offering holiday fun for all ages. The popular ICE! Exhibit has a Polar Express theme this year and includes hand-carved sculptures and displays made from over two million pounds of ice, while the Cirque Dreams Unwrapped stage show is a combination of a circus and Broadway-style revue. The Gaylord Palms Resort's on-site Alpine Village brings a little bit of cold weather fun to the tropics and the whole family can tube down eight lanes of real snow, while the Santa’s Snow Throw exhibit lets you pound Santa’s Elves with buckets of snowballs. Christmas trees abound in the Evergreen Atrium, a perfect place for a leisurely stroll and the Relache Spa is offering seasonal treatments for adult relaxation. Christmas and New Years buffets are available for brunch and dinner, and kiddos might enjoy the Elf on the Shelf Character breakfast. Christmas packages are now 20% off. The northern lights dance over the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, which is located within a UNESCO World Heritage Site © Tobey Grumet / Budget Travel Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Alberta, CA Do winter right at this Canadian lodge located directly inside the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jasper National Park. With 700 acres to explore, activities are diverse and include hiking, sledding, tobogganing, snowshoeing and, of course, skiing. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge's Festival of Christmas includes Santa’s Cabin with sleigh and reindeer, and the Winter Wonderland will be set up with all the equipment you’ll need to enjoy the amenities—including fat tire bikes for hire. Hit the Lake Mildred Ice Park, surrounded by Rocky Mountain views, to join a game of hockey, try your hand at figure skating or just tool around the 1km loop. Kids can also check out the indoor Christmas Carnival, decorate their own stockings on Christmas Eve, drop-off letters to Santa and enjoy s’mores under the stars on Lac Beauvert’s frozen shores. Of course, adults can have some fun too by joining a mixology class, beer tasting or cooking demo—all exploring holiday flavors. The Spa & Salon is featuring 24K gold manicures and pedicures for the season as well as an Express Holiday Makeup service if you want to get glam. Best of all, if you’re lucky, you’ll have a chance to catch the stunning aurora borealis over the lake. Half Moon, Montego Bay, Jamaica Enjoy your holidays island style at this festive Jamaican stunner in popular Half Moon. Named for the crescent, white sand beach it cradles, the resort’s open-air lobby and Cedar Bar are the social center of the property—and here you’ll be able to enjoy the “Chrismus breeze,” clink festive cocktails and dance to the seasonal, live music and tribute concerts. A curated Christmas program also includes a tree-lighting ceremony, ice-sculpting lessons and a holiday-themed sandcastle building competition—created specially for bragging rights. Of course, Jamaican Santa doesn’t deign to come by sleigh, so kids can catch him as he flies into Half Moon by parasail. Book a villa in the Rose Hall section of the resort and you can organize a floating feast in your private pool, and have staff customize your decorations and lights. Other family friendly activities include goat races and pony rides, and you can use golf carts or bikes to get around the resort’s 400 acres. Golf and tennis are complimentary, and the Fern Tree Spa is offering a free body exfoliation when you book the therapeutic massage. A Gentleman’s Spa is also available for that guy who has everything.

Inspiration

Where to Find The Best Cocktails for Fall

When those summertime margaritas and rum punches turn to cherry-tinted Manhattans or bourbon-forward Old Fashioneds, you know autumn has fallen. From tailgating to Thanksgiving to Halloween, these complex, robust, cold-weather cocktail flavors combine the crispness of the season with a warmer, more generous, flavor profile. Want to get started on your seasonal cocktailing? Here are six fall cocktails to look out for and where you can hunker down to drink them. The Palm, multiple locations This classic steakhouse, known for its prime beef and lively caricatures of patrons and celebrities lining the walls, has gone from a single New York City restaurant in the 1920s to 21 locations around the globe. And though you can always enjoy a generous martini, this season you can also choose from five new fall cocktails. For a more well-heeled concoction, the Figaro consists of Basil Hayden’s dark rye, Amaro Montenegro, caramelized fig syrup and black walnut while the South Side of Italy is a playful mixture of Plymouth gin, Lillet Blanc, Caravella Limoncello, simple syrup, lemon juice and mint. The Sazerac Bar, New Orleans, LA This French Quarter gem occupies a slice of New Orleans cocktail history. And with its signature dark wood, leather chairs, and dark, narrow bar, you’ll want to make sure you have time to enjoy its namesake Sazerac in the place it was born. The timeless drink is mixed with Sazerac Rye, Peychaud’s bitters, sugar and Herbsaint but you can also sip the Brown Derby, with Buffalo Trace bourbon, grapefruit, lemon, honey and Rhubarb bitters. The Watch: Rooftop Kitchen Spirits, Charleston, SC This rooftop restaurant shells out handcrafted cocktails relying on locally sourced, unorthodox ingredients like carrots and corn. Take a seat indoors or outdoors and soak up the panoramic views of Charleston’s stunning architecture, then order one of these eccentric drinks to keep you company. The Trader’s Village is a play on Mexican street corn and combines corn infused tequila, ancho reyes, egg yolk, lime juice, and avocado orgeat, while the clarified milk punch dubbed the Clearwater merges bourbon, Plantation 5 year rum, port wine and citrus, garnished with warm bread pudding. Now, if that won’t warm your soul, nothing will. My Friend Duke, New York, NY A downtown cocktail den seamlessly plunked in Manhattan’s Murray Hill, My Friend Duke is a neighborhood joint with an upscale vibe. In addition to the 11th St. Manhattan, which adds a cheeky taste of Drambuie to its rye, antica and bitters, the Night Owl is an exciting potion fusing cold brew coffee soaked in oats, Irish whiskey and Demerara sugar – then charged with nitrogen. By the time you’ve imbibed these fall mixtures, this cocktail den will morph to a place where everybody knows your name. Nari, San Francisco, CA The biggest problem at Nari will be choosing which cocktail to try next. A sister restaurant of New York’s beloved Kin Khao, this two-level Thai palace pairs bold seasonal flavors with an ambitious cocktail menu broken up into punch, standard cocktails, low-alcohol and zero-proof. The punches are sized for sharing so you’ll have to bring friends to sample concoctions like the Tua Kua, with whiskey, amber vermouth, lime, peanut orgeat, cacao and bitters. Standard cocktails include the coconut-washed bourbon, salt and bruleed palm sugar lime peel that make up the Benja. Or the Sita, a blend of whiskey, toasted brown rice, Benedictine, amaro and angostura. Feel like taking it easy? Try the refreshing session cocktail called the Ambhan, with sweet vermouth, amaro, plum liqueur and spiced angostura. King of Cups, Chicago, IL Sow your royal cocktails at this imperially themed bar in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. And in addition to the over-the-top Rococo-style décor, including an interactive throne, the cocktails are many and come on tap, with a swizzle, stirred or shaken. The perfect cool companion, the Absolute Rule is a carbonated tap cocktail blending bourbon, brandy, and Guinness while The Lady India is likened to a whiskey sour and shakes together a strange brew of bourbon, sweet vermouth, lemon, IPA, beer syrup and angostura. And if you’re mood for a boozier creation, try the well-stirred Ginger Grant, with Scotch, fry vermouth, pomegranate balsamic and orange bitters.

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