Top 10 Staff Favorites

Here's the scoop on our personal travel secrets.

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7. Marsh cruise, Edisto Island, South Carolina
While visiting Edisto Island, a contact offered a sunset sail through the tidal marshes surrounding the island. Who could resist? A gentle breeze nudged the boat through channels enveloped by lush green grass. Deep within the slender reeds, birds cooed, insects chirped, and frogs rounded out the chorus. A great egret skimmed the water for a fresh catch and a curious dolphin kept us company. A golden-red sun sliding into emerald grass made this experience magical; 843/869-3867 or edistochamber.com. ―Vicki J. Weathers

8. Georgia Sea Grill, St. Simons Island, Georgia
I've never been fond of seafood. It took working for a magazine about the coast to expand my palate. While visiting St. Simons Island, I sampled jumbo lump crab cakes with Cajun rémoulade and Parmesan-crusted grouper at the Georgia Sea Grill. It was quite an introduction. Chef/owners Alan and Kimberly Worthley prepare every dish to order with the freshest seafood possible. Locals rave about the crispy fried calamari. And I can't wait for my next culinary adventure; 912/638-1197 or georgiaseagrill.com. ―Craig Hyde

9. Lakeside Oasis, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago's lakefront overflows with great parks and restaurants, but after a day of museum-hopping and Magnificent-Mile shopping, I retreat to the lawn near The Field Museum and John G. Shedd Aquarium. I sit at the top of a hill overlooking docks and watch the sailboats pass by, but it's also perfect for a picnic or game of catch. If you want to give my spot a try, visit from late spring to early fall―or bring a very heavy coat; 877/244-2246 or choosechicago.com. ―Abigail B. Millwood

10. Café Du Monde, New Orleans, Louisiana
I love the beignets―pronounced ben-YAYS; little pillows of dough drenched in powdered sugar―at this famed French Quarter coffee stand. But I hate the indifferent-to-awful table service. So I order at the takeout window. Then I find a bench along the Mississippi River, just a few steps away. I watch the barges and oceangoing freighters or just gaze at the river hypnotically sliding by, happily dribbling sugar all over my shirt; 504/525-4544 or cafedumonde.com. ―Steve Millburg

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