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Top 7 Weekend Getaways To Close Out The Summer

September 04, 2016

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7 Top Weekend Getaways For The Summer

This is a sponsored post by Chase Ultimate Rewards. The content and opinions expressed below are that of A Taste of Koko.

As the summer comes to a close, I immediately start researching new cities to travel to. New restaurants, sights to explore, and locals to meet, makes travel so much fun. I’ve partnered with Chase Ultimate Rewards® to share my top seven favorite spots for a weekend getaway to close out the summer!

Oh, and don’t forget – if you’re interested in booking travel, Chase Ultimate Rewards® helps cardmembers explore trip suggestions through professionally curated travel guides available to Chase Freedom®, Chase Sapphire and Ink® cardmembers. Cardmembers also enjoy flexible rewards redemption options when booking through Ultimate Rewards.. Not yet a Cardmember? You can explore the cash back rewards of Chase Freedom® and new Freedom Unlimited®.


Top 7 Weekend Getaways To Close Out The Summer


South Beach Miami


You could spent all weekend long on South Beach sipping on margaritas or head to Wynwood Walls in downtown Miami for the every changing graffiti walls. Swim in the most gorgeous rooftop pools with an incredible view of the ocean and order Cuban food for dinner.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Things To Do In Miami


1 Hotel South Beach Pool


1 Hotel South Beach – I love this nature-inspired eco-luxe beachfront hotel with 4 pools, Tesla chauffeured service, and super friendly staff! All of the wood in the hotel is salvaged wood from over 1,900 trees killed by beetles.

W Miami – located in downtown Miami, W Miami is located next to the water with a 300-foot infinity pool on Biscayne Bay, private rooftop pool, and all marble spa.


Havana 1957 Cuban Food Miami


Havana 1957 – authentic Cuban food in Española Way serving up chicken, rice, and fried plantains. Coconut mojita is a must for Miami’s hot weather!?

SEE ALSO: Where To Eat, Stay & Shop In South Beach Miami

Icebox Cafe – Oprah loves the Chocolate Delight (aka the Chocolate Bomb), layers of dark chocolate, creamy cheesecake brownie and chocolate mousse filling with dark chocolate ganache. Super decadent.

Azucar Ice Cream Company – with all that walking around, you’re going to need to refuel with a gelato pop or triple scoop ice cream cone.

El Cielo – Latin American cuisine with molecular gastronomy techniques


The Wynwood Walls - Graffiti Art 6


Take a dip in the ocean – the clear blue water and white sand beaches are a must-see for anyone visiting Miami.

Swim in a rooftop pool – there’s a reason why South Beach is rated one of the hottest cities in America. When in Miami, head to the rooftop and swim alongside the A-list Miamians.

Immerse yourself in the Wynwood Walls – from life-sized paintings of the Dalai Lama to colorful spray painted murals that are nearly impossible to decipher, Wynwood Walls feature a constantly rotating mixture of artists and their highly regarded creations.

Visit the Pérez Art Museum Miami – marvel in the modern and contemporary international artwork at the Pérez Art Museum, the $220 million art museum named after billionaire Jorge Pérez.



Four Seasons Scottsdale


Arizona in the summer? You must think I’m joking. Phoenix does hit the triple digits in the summer but there’s hardly any humidity (unlike Austin) and in the shade, it’s not that bad. I visited Phoenix earlier this summer and loved their stunning resorts offering relaxing spa treatments. Bonus, it’s affordable during the summer months with rooms starting at $99!

SEE ALSO: Where To Eat, Stay & Spa In Phoenix


Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort


Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass – this luxury resort is built on an Indian reservation reflecting the traditions of the Pima and Maricopa people.

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort – for those wanting an upscale resort filled with plenty of activities for everyone, stay at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale on Gainey Ranch. The property has 10 swimming pools, 20 fountains, 45 waterfalls, 27 holes of championship golf on three distinctively designed courses, world-class tennis, spa, fitness center, Regency Club, and even a 30′, 3-story, high speed waterslide.




True Food Kitchen – healthy restaurant with local ingredients. Try the spring bruschetta, kale & avocado dip, and sustainable seabass.

Joyride Taco – prickly pear margarita and Mexican street corn at Joyride Taco.

Morning Glory Cafe – relaxing over lunch on the farm at the Morning Glory Cafe, a signature Arizona breakfast spot since 2001. The local menu features the market’s finest ingredients featuring house baked muffins and pastries, locally made sausages, and seasonal omelets.

Orka Restaurant – good ol’ Southern-style eats with an Italian twist at Orka.

Churn – ice cream is churned fresh every day with all natural ingredients. The coconut was my fav!


Schnepf Farms


Spa treatment at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon NorthSpa Avania at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort, or Aji Spa at Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass.

Hike Hole in the Rock at Papago Park – cool view of the city.

Peach picking at Schnepf Farms

Explore The Farm at South Mountain





Even though I visited NOLA twice this year, I already want to go back. Spend the weekend eating, shopping, and biking through this beautiful, historic city.

SEE ALSO: Where To Eat, Stay & Shop In New Orleans


W Hotel French Quarter


W New Orleans French Quarter – for those wanting a swanky boutique experience with a balcony view of the French Quarter.

Hotel Le Marais – located half a block from Bourbon Street, Hotel Le Marais is perfect for those who are planning to party and drink.

Maison Dupuy Hotel – if you’re lucky enough to spend the weekend (or longer!) in New Orleans but on a budget, Maison Dupuy is both affordable and in convenient walking distance of Bourbon Street.

Hilton Garden Inn – located just blocks from the French Quarter, Hilton Garden Inn is walking distance from all the restaurants and shops. It’s an affordable option!


Cafe du Monde


Café Du Monde – Café Du Monde has been open since 1862 as the original French Market coffee stand. The Decatur St. location serves cafe au lait and beignets 24 hours daily.

Willa Jean Bakery – frosé and avocado toast at Willa Jean is the best way to start the day and you can even get the frosé to-go

Commander’s Palace – bestled in tree-lined Garden District, Commander’s Palace has been a New Orleans landmark since 1880. Known for the award-winning quality of its food and its convivial atmosphere, the history of this famous restaurant offers a glimpse into New Orleans’ storied past and has been the go-to destination for Haute Creole cuisine and whimsical Louisiana charm. P.S. 25-cent martinis Monday through Friday!

Cochon Butcher – Chef Link’s Cochon Butcher is a tribute to Old World butcher and charcuterie shops. The butcher shop also serves a bar menu, sandwiches, wine and creative cocktails.

Parkway Bakery & Tavern – when you see locals lined up waiting for Parkway to open it’s doors, you know it’s good. They only serve fried oyster poor boys on Monday and Wednesday.

Pêche Seafood Grill – Pêche is no ordinary seafood grill. The oysters were plump and fresh, and the whole grilled fish was the best fish I’ve ever had!

Sylvain – I had an intimate, and romantic meal in their secret back garden. Loved the buffalo veal sweetbreads, crispy Shitake mushroom bruschetta (so simple but oh-my-god so good), champagne and french fries, daily fish, and chocolate pot de creme.

Salon by Sucre – afternoon service on the patio overlooking the French Quarter

District Donuts – the best donuts I’ve ever had. Pillows of sweet goodness from the heavens.

Roosevelt Hotel – sample the world’s first mixed drink at the Sazerac Bar. Named after what many consider to be the world’s first mixed drink, The Sazerac Bar carries as much history as its potable namesake.




Rent a bike and bike through the Garden District

Explore New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)

Try on a colored wig at Fifi Mahony’s

Shop in the French Quarter 



Golden Gate Bridge 3


San Francisco is one of the most quintessential, picturesque and iconic cities with something for everyone.


The Inn Above Tide


Westin in Union Square – located in the heart of SF

Inn Above Tide – 31 rooms and all rooms boast balconies that hang over the water offering a panoramic view of San Francisco Bay

Airbnb – SF has tons of cute options




Outerlands – there’s a wait on the weekend but the brunch is so worth it

Tartine Bakery – baked goods, sandwiches, and desserts

Bi-rite Creamery – homemade organic ice cream

Blue Bottle Coffee – my first stop in SF for coffee

Burma Superstar – really good Burmese food

Jane – modern coffee shop with a bakery

Tacolicious – the tacos may be made with local, sustainable and organicingredients, but they’re really good

Sushi Ran – located in Sausulito but this sushi restaurant once Michelin star rated is worth the drive


Yosemite National Park Day Trip From San Francisco


Day trip to Sausalito

Rent a motorcycle and see the city

Eat and shop through the Ferry Building Marketplace

Day trip to Yosemite National Park – only three hours!

Fly kites at Ocean Beach

Bike over Golden Gate Park

Walk down Lombard Street

Hang out at Mission Dolores Park





Perfect weather (80 degrees with very little humidity), beautiful hiking views, and local farm-to-table restaurants in Colorado is where I plan on spending my summers from now on.


Hotel Boulderado


Hotel Boulderado – Boulder’s first luxury hotel that opened on New Year’s Day in 1909.

Sylvan Guest Ranch – bed and breakfast in Loveland

YMCA of the Rockies – YMCA of the Rockies is bordered by three sides of Rocky Mountain National Park, which makes the views amazing, miles of trailer and tons of family friendly activities. Affordable lodging options include large retreat cabins and hotel-style lodge rooms.


The Farmhouse


Boulder Farmers Market – sample local cheeses, chocolates, fruits, and more.

Oak at fourteenth – locally sourced New American cuisine is served at Oak with Colorado’s rustic backdrop.

Door 222 – handcrafted tapas, lunch, dinner and desserts in downtown Loveland.

The Farmhouse at Jessup Farms – elevated country and healthy farm fare is served at The Farmhouse. The restaurant has a chicken coop in the back that produces eggs for the restaurant and in return, scraps from the restaurant feeds the chickens.




Hike Chautauqua Trailhead – home to fields of lush grasses, giant dandelions, and Boulder’s iconic Flatirons.

Visit Lost Gulch Lookout

Ride the Aerial Tramway – see an incredible view of Estes Park with a whisk ride up the Aerial Tramway to the summit of Prospect Mountain.

Sunset Tour with Rocky Mountain Conservancy – unbelievable view that makes the list of my top ten best experiences.

Brewery tour at any of the local breweries!

Horseback riding at Sylvan Dale Ranch – Nestled in the Big Thompson River Valley, Sylvan Dale Ranch takes you on a guided ride through on Alexander Mountain to an outdoor campfire-style steak lunch.





Dallas has an incredible restaurant scene and world-famous museums.

SEE ALSO: Where To Eat, Stay & Play In Dallas


W Hotel Dallas


W Dallas – When in downtown Dallas you have to stay at the best, the W Dallas Victory Hotel! The W offers skyline views of downtown Dallas and is a 3-minute walk from the American Airlines Center and right around the corner from the Perot Museum. It’s also dog friendly!

The Joule –  Luxury, neo-Gothic hotel built in 1927 with a penthouse and suites

Hotel Lumen – Voted one of the best pools in the Dallas with 93 newly renovated guestrooms and suites


Gemma Restaurant


Start – upscale, fresh and organic concept that serves health and real food options.

Dinner at Café Momentum, Gemma, Rapscallion (I still dream of their “Nashville” hot fried chicken),

Remedy – this soda fountain-inspired restaurant serves American fare with perfectly crafted cocktail elixirs, iconic pies, homemade ice creams, desserts & sundaes, plus a full bar.

The Blind Butcher – be sure to order the meat & cheese board.

Coffee at Ascension Coffee or Oak Lawn Coffee, try the frozen latte!

HG Sply Co. – head to the rooftop for an incredible rooftop view of Lower Greenville and craft cocktails.


Perot Museum of Nature and Science


Explore Perot Museum of Nature and Science and Dallas World Aquarium

Hang out at Klyde Warren Park 

Check out graffiti art in Deep Ellum



Greetings From Austin


Austin has become the hottest destination with over 150 people moving here every single day. I’ve lived here for almost 9 years now and the city is constantly evolving with new restaurants, hotels, companies, and people. There’s so much to do in Austin but here’s a couple of my favorites!


Hotel San Jose


Hotel San Jose – bungalow-style hotel with only 40 rooms located in the heart of South Congress

South Congress Hotel – Austin’s hottest new hotel with cool, minimalist-chic rooms. The property includes Cafe No Sé, Central Standard, Manaña, tenoverten salon, and Sunroom shop.

W Austin – dog-friendly hotel located in downtown Austin that’s walking distance to a theatre, restaurants, and bars.

Travaasa – this resort has all-inclusive activities like zip lining, horseback riding, and an infinity pool.

Lake Austin Spa – looking for a wellness retreat? Lake Austin Spa is the ultimate relaxation with a state of the art spa with all-inclusive meals and activities.


Torchy's Tacos


Breakfast – Tacodeli, Paperboy, Hillside Farmacy, Cafe No Sé, and Epicerie

Lunch – La Barbecue, Torchy’s Tacos (get the queso & frozen margaritas), El Chilito, Josephine House, and Odd Duck.

Dinner – Justine’s, Emmer & Rye, Uchiko, Second Bar + Kitchen, and Ramen Tatsuya.

Brunch – Contigo, La Condesa, VOX Table, Fonda San Miguel,

Happy Hour – Uchiko, Qui, Parkside, Clark’s Oyster Bar

Coffee – Caffe Medici, Houndstooth, Cuvée Coffee, and Figure 8.

Dessert – Gemelli, Lick Ice Creams, Steel City Popsicles, Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop, and

Drinks – Whisler’s, Weather Up, Icenhauer’s, Half Step, Container Bar, The Townsend, and Garage.


Paddle Boarding on Lake Bird Lake


Barton Springs Pool – natural spring-fed pool with an average temperature of 68-70 degrees

Zilker Park – 358 acres of grassy green

Lake Bird Lake – paddle board and kayak with the best views of downtown Austin

Hamilton Pool – natural pool with a waterfall that’s worth the drive. Make sure to make reservations in advance.

Shopping on South Congress – grab an iced turbo at Jo’s Coffee and explore the local shops on SoCo.


Where has this summer taken you? To the lake? The beach? Hiking up a mountain top? Let me know in the comments below!

This is a sponsored post by Chase. The content and opinions expressed below are that of A Taste of Koko.


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.