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7 Top-Notch Spots for Summer Cocktails

When the mercury’s rising, there’s nothing like a freshly-iced cocktail to cool the sweat on your brow. But which destinations boast the best libations? Check the list below for some history behind your favorite summer drinks–and a few fantastic places to sip them.

1. Hawaii: The Mai Tai
While it’s name conjures images of Hawaii’s blue swells, this 1950s favorite actually originated in California. There’s some dispute over whether it was Oakland or Los Angeles that perfected the popular mix, but there’s no dispute over its enduring popularity. For a more traditional pour, check out Tahiti Nui on Kauai or House without a Key on Oahu.

Reno: The Biggest Little City I’m in Love with

I’d been living in the S.F. Bay Area for over seven years before I finally discovered Reno. For those of you without a Jeopardy-grade geography recall, that’s like living in Salt Lake City and never driving up to Yellowstone: an unforgiveable travel offense. But don’t worry. I’m making things better by putting together a Reno/Tahoe bucket list for all you intrepid domestic travelers. And here it is:

5 Things to Do in London that Don’t Involve Wedding Cake

With the world gearing up for Friday’s Royal Wedding, “London” is the name on everyone’s lips. But even if you don’t dream of wedding cakes and yards of tulle, you can still find plenty to do in England’s worldly capital.

1. Take time out for afternoon tea.
Today’s Londoners don’t usually have time for leisurely tea breaks–they’re more likely to settle for a quick cup between emails–but that hasn’t stopped the tradition of afternoon tea from thriving. Stop in to one of the city’s many tea houses for “cream tea”, a small meal consisting of fresh-brewed tea, scones, clotted cream, and jam. Or, if you prefer something savory, opt for cucumber sandwiches and smoked salmon with your cuppa.

Green Sand, Pink Beaches, and Colorful Seaside Escapes

I grew up thinking that sand only came in one color. The sand of sand paper. The sand of tract housing garage doors. The sand of doctor’s office waiting rooms. Every beach I’d ever been to featured sand the color of paint swatch “sand,” and it wasn’t until I started thumbing through island guide books and devouring beach-heavy Flickr feeds that I realized the sand of SoCal’s golden beaches wasn’t the only sand out there.

Celebrate Spring at 5 Flower-Filled Festivals

I’ve been waiting for March to go “out like a lamb” since January. It’s not that I don’t love winter–I’ll miss the early morning hailstorms and the hot buttered rum–but after three months of scarves, gloves, and boot socks, I’m ready for a season that’s a little gentler, warmer, and greener.

So for those of you who, like me, have been waiting on the orange blossom perfume that means spring is in bloom, here are five floral events you won’t want to miss: