Amelia Island, Florida...
A Beautiful Escape

Looking for a quiet, beautiful and memorable get-away? Look no further than Amelia Island, Florida. Located less than 30 minutes from Jacksonville Airport, Amelia Island is 13 miles of gorgeous beaches and true paradise. Click here to learn more!


An Overnight Visit to DC and Notti Bianche Restaurant
The George Washington University Inn

824 New Hampshire Avenue, NW 1-800-426-4455
Notti Bianche Restaurant, located in the Inn.
As the weather gets warmer, a short trip to DC is the perfect get-away. Great shopping in Georgetown and always a new, delectable restaurant to try, Notti Bianche is no exception. Make it a day trip or stay overnight, if you choose to stay I suggest the charming George Washington University Inn.  Located in the Foggy Bottom area, very close to the Kennedy Center and a short walk to Georgetown. General Manager John Hunt, Jr. assures that this renovated Inn, located in a tree-lined community, conveys true elegance with a Williamsburg-inspired feel. Our suite featured fresh flowers throughout and an updated kitchen with a fresh coffee beans, so guests can grind their own coffee before brewing, a very special touch. The check-in was very easy and the service was charming.  There is high speed internet access, newspaper delivery to your door, turndown service with chocolates and a wonderful view of the DC skyline. The White House is nearby, as is the Washington Monument and the Smithsonian.

Don’t miss dinner at Notti Bianche Restaurant located at the Inn, General Manager Millian Palma,  is very friendly and extremely wine savvy, ask him for the perfect pairing for your dinner.  We walked in for dinner and recognized ex-DC Mayor Anthony Williams in his signature bowtie dining and immediately thought, this must be the “in” place. The dining room, full on a Tuesday evening, was packed with business types as well as couples, girlfriends and a quite a few single diners, a very eclectic crowd.  Take me away to Italy was all I could think upon reading the menu, so many fine selections, it was hard to choose. Luckily, the restaurant offers ½ portions of most of the pastas and entrées so you can sample several and you will want to.  Salads, veal, fish, pastas and wines to match, we sampled many of the specialties. Executive Chef Brendan Cox leads the way with his take on Modern Italian fare, whether you order his daily risotto or any of his homemade pastas, you will not be disappointed.  Save room for dessert, the profiteroles are the perfect ending to your delectable dinner.


st. michaels

St. Michael's..The Perfect Escape
Need a get-away but don't have much time to spare? A night or two in the quaint town of St. Michael's, Maryland is just what you need! Begin by booking a room at The Old Brick Inn ( located at 401 Talbot Street in the center of town, park your car and walk to restaurants and shopping. The historic inn, run by Innkeepers John and Sallie Cwik and famiy, is charming and welcoming. The 14 private rooms all offer luxurious baths or showers and some with jacuzzi tubs and balconies.There is a small, private pool in a beautiful courtyard. The delectable breakfast offered daily includes a wide variety of homemade items from Fresh Crepes, Bananas Foster French Toast and Egg Souffles to fresh fruit topped with granola. Check out their website for upcoming specials and events like cozy wine dinners. On a recent visit, we parked our car at the Inn and perused the shops, area museums and galleries all weekend, retrieving our car only when we were ready to go home. Be sure to dine at Town Dock, overlooking the beautiful water of St. Michaels. Their seafood is spectacular and there is outdoor and indoor seating available.



Visiting OC this Summer? Don't miss these great restaurants...

Galaxy 66
66th Street and the Bay

Galaxy 66 is hip and chic from decor to food, you will love what owners Tammy and Roger have created. Order from  the sophisticated wine list or the magnificent  martini selection and begin your meal with style. The service is excellent (Nate!) and the food divine. Our table ordered the Mahi-Mahi with a mango  ginger sauce, the Grilled Pork Chop with a sweet potato puree and the Pistachio  Encrusted Rockfish. Not only were the entrees presented beautifully, they tasted  as good as they
looked. Save room for dessert, the Vanilla Cheesecake filled  with chocolate and peanut butter is almost too good to share!

There is a newly redone bar area with pictures of many happy locals, called the "Star Bar." Head upstairs to the roof of Galaxy 66 to the outside "Skye Bar" overlooking the bay and enjoy light fare and drinks as the sun sets. Tammy and Roger also own, Lovin' Life Limos, so if you are having a special   occasion at the beach, or just want to make it a special occasion, call them to pick you up.

Ristorante Antipasti Fausto
3101 Philadelphia Avenue

Owner Fausto and wife Binda, have created an escape to Italy while you are in Ocean City. As soon as you enter this beautiful restaurant, look for Fausto to greet you with a big smile and welcome you into his restaurant. The menu is in Italian. don't worry the English translations are righ underneath! Our waiter, Jeffrey, was a true professional. To begin, order their famous Timballo Abruzzese, thin layers of pasta with ground veal,  mozzarella and nutmeg and an order of Mozzarella and Tomato Salad, marinated in balsamic and sprinkled with olive oil.  The bread and dipping sauce was heaven and the entrees truly left us in "Italiano Heaven." Ravioli di Ricotta  and Arrabiata Penne, perfect for those who like spice in their Italian food.  Many in the restaurant were ordering Fausto's famous Garlic Steak, a large  center cut filet grilled with garlic and Italian herbs. The desserts we tried  were exceptional, a rich, chocolate cake and mango sorbet were the perfect  ending to our escape to Italy. Food Network named this restaurant in their Top Five list, I can see why, check it out.

49th Street and the Bay

Seacrets is well known for their bar, live music and gorgeous view of the bay, however, Seacrets for lunch or dinner is an excellent option and the family will love all the non-stop action. From the floats in the water to the bar tables, actually in the bay, there is no place in Ocean City like the Seacrets palm-tree lined atmosphere. Although, kids aren't allowed on the floats or bay tables, it is still something to see. Grab a table on the sand beach and watch the lively people all around you; I felt as if  we were in Key West! Begin with the Crab Toast Pizza or the Smoked Tuna  appetizer. Jerk Chicken with honey mustard dipping sauce was loved by all.  Phantom Fries, thin and crispy, are the perfect accompaniment to your meal  of Blackened Halibut. There is always something exciting happening at Seacrets, with nightly entertainment and their famous drinks, you are bound to  have a wonderful time. Check out
their website for their schedule of upcoming events

A Quick Get-Away from Baltimore
Lititz Celebrates 250th Anniversary
Lititz, Pennsylvania is having a celebration, a year long celebration  in
honor of the naming of its town, 250 years ago, located in Lancaster County. Lititz continues to celebrate its past while being  extremely proud of its present, a charming, historical town.

Click here to read more!

Rosemary Beach... A Family Escape to Paradise
Have you decided where to go with the family this Summer? Deciding where to go and what to do that will please the entire family isn’t always easy. Allow me to recommend Rosemary Beach, located on Florida‘s northwest gulf coast, Rosemary Beach is unforgettable.

Click here for review and pictures!

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
Nemacolin offers something to please  everyone. Mystic Mountain at the resort features fabulous skiing and snow tubing. Take a dog sled ride (New for 2005/2006 season) or take an exhilarating ride with a professional driver in a Hummer at the  Off-Road Driving Academy. If you want to relax, the award-winning Woodlands Spa is the place. Hot stone massages, relaxing facials and many more rejuvenating treatments have won this Spa accolades from all who visit.  With the amazing restaurants and lounges at Nemacolin, you never need to leave the property. Visit to find out more about this perfect resort in the beautiful area of Farmington, Pennsylvania, located approximately 3 1/2 hours from Baltimore.

Click here for pictures from Diane's trip to Nemacolin!

Sports Legends at Camden Yards
This latest addition to Baltimore is a home run!

Click here for a review and pictures

York, Pennsylvania... Factory Tour Capital of the World
Escape on a fun, yet educational road trip, not toofar away..a visit to York County, Pennsylvania will be long remembered.  

Click here for more info!

Lovelace Manor... Lancaster, PA
Want to escape for a night or two? I suggest Lancaster with a lovely stay at Lovelace Manor Bed and Breakfast. Lark and Michael McCarley, Innkeepers, will make you feel so welcome, you won't want to leave!

Click here to read more

The Tides... South Beach
Took a break from the cold Baltimore weather and headed to South Beach in Miami. I know many east coast folks head there for an escape and when you do I have a few recommendations for you.

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Downtown Diane Eats Her Way Through DC
Decided to head to DC for a quick respite from the Baltimore scene and what I discovered was a whole new world only one hour away.

More here!

Kings Dominion and Virginia Crossings Resort... A Perfect Pair!
Headed to Kings Dominion, which could very well be a day trip, however, we decided to take advantage of the park for two days.

The fun starts here!

Northern Shenandoah Valley..Full of Wonder and Beauty
I have been wanting to revisit this area for as long as I can remember. As a child, I traveled to Luray Caverns with my parents and had not been back since; I wanted to pass this beautiful experience on to my children.  What we discovered was a lot more than Luray Caverns..we discovered a getaway from Baltimore that is filled with splendor and awe-inspiring experiences. Read more here!

© 2011 Downtown Diane