Saturday, December 5, 2015

Her Favorite Place to Get Away

By Torie Temple

The pool at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas is one of Kara's favorite hangouts, and she says the room rates are extremely cheap. 

Even though Kara Hand travels several times a year for business, she still blocks out time to travel for leisure and especially enjoys the connections she makes on each adventure. “I travel all over the United States for business from September through December, but I travel for pleasure about seven times a year,” says this senior account executive at an insurance broker firm. Kara has redefined traveling in order to reconnect with herself and expand her circle of friends. Find out where she likes to go.

When it comes to choosing a destination for her personal trips, Kara, 35, does a little soul-searching instead of searching the Web. “I go to places depending on what I need personally,” she says. “If I feel like I need a quick trip away from Louisville, then I will head to Nashville. If I need to be far away and have an experience I can’t get in Louisville, I head to Las Vegas. So my choice is based on what I feel I need in that moment to get back in touch with myself and find what I am yearning for in my life.”

When she’s heading to her favorite destinations, Kara makes it a habit to stay in the same hotel each time, which gives her a sense of home. She finds her hotels and activities by word-of-mouth, asking other travelers and locals for recommendations. “I will ask a person sitting at Starbucks if they have been to Vegas and for recommendations,” she says. “It is better advice when it comes from a person rather than reading a review on websites like Tripadvisor.”

Kara can map her trips by the friendships she has made along the way. Sometimes she travels with friends and sometimes she travels alone, but either way she enjoys getting to know the locals. “In Vegas, I usually stay at the Flamingo, and I love to hang out by the pool, catch a show, and sit at the bar talking to someone new about their story and why they are in Vegas,” she says. “Florida is also a place where I can walk the strip, find a beach bar, sit by the ocean, and talk to locals. It is a time for me to take in the beauty of the Gulf, step away, and meet new people. I have made friends with locals, and we still keep in touch.”

Kara takes in the beauty of her surroundings while at a restaurant on the Gulf of Mexico with girlfriends. 

What’s Kara’s favorite place to travel when she feels the need to meet and mingle? “Nashville, Tennessee, is a super easy weekend getaway,” she says. “It is a three-hour drive, which is far enough away that you won’t run into anyone you know but close enough so you don’t feel homesick. It is a great place with lots to do. I usually stay at the Millennium Maxwell Hotel. It isn’t downtown, so you can find great deals on Priceline. The hotel offers a free shuttle to take you downtown, so it makes it nice not having to pay downtown prices.” The hotel also houses two restaurants, each with unique menus to enjoy for lunch, dinner, or cocktails.

The Country Music Hall of Fame Museum in Nashville is another popular spot Kara loves. "Miranda Lambert is one of my favs so seeing her personal items made me scream."

Legends Corner, a bar in Nashville, has live music all day. 

Once onboard the shuttle, Kara recommends making the shops, restaurants, and entertainment on Broadway the first stop. “All down Broadway, you can find live music in every restaurant, bar, and even on the street,” she says. “I love hitting up The Stage and Whiskey Bent — two of my favorite bars in Nashville.” Not only are bars on Broadway famous for their music, but places such as The Stage have been featured in country music videos, TV shows, and movies.

If you go to Tequila Cowboy in Nashville, don't stay in the bathroom too long or this woman will blow her whistle at you. 

Among all the action on Broadway sits Jack’s Bar-b-que, which is a popular treat after all the music and dancing. From brisket to sausage and smoked Boston turkey, Jack’s is one of Kara’s most highly recommended places to eat. “The line is always out the door, but it is for sure worth the wait,” she says.

Kara and her girlfriends get the party started at a hotel VIP party in Las Vegas. 

Outside the nightlife in Nashville, Kara enjoys visiting museums such as the Country Music Hall of Fame. “There is memorabilia from everyone you can think of in country music there,” she says. “There are also some exhibits that change, which makes it nice.”

The Country Music Hall of Fame Museum

Another exhibit piece from the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum.  

When in Nashville, Kara always stays at the Millennium Maxwell Hotel. "Boots and guitars are a must in Nashville." 

Once you are ready to head back to the hotel, Kara recommends using a cab or the Lyft app in Nashville. “A cab ride back to the hotel averages around $11. It is super cheap and easy to split among friends,” she says. “We usually use Lyft when in Nashville. I find their services, which are similar to Uber, friendly, safe, and quick on the pick-up.”

Overall, Kara says, Nashville is the perfect place to meet new people and still feel at home. She can do what she loves to do on her travels: build friendships that make for souvenirs that can’t be found in a gift shop.

1 comment:

  1. Fun read!!!! Packing now for the Flamingo!!!


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