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Welcome to Detroit!

Frontdesk is excited to show you around one of our newest cities: Detroit, Michigan! Known as Motor City, Detroit is where the American auto industry came alive with Henry Ford. Detroit is a rising star of a city that is continuing to build and grow each year. This city is filled with art, history, and culture. There is so much to explore around every corner!

Neighborhoods

Corktown

This historic district is located just west of downtown Detroit. Corktown is Detroit’s oldest neighborhood dating back to 1834. This part of town is famous for having great dining and drinking options as well as entertainment venues.

Downtown

Downtown Detroit is full of history, art, architecture, shopping, music, sports, dining, and nightlife. As the part of the city that has been the most heavily invested in during recent years, Downtown Detroit has a lot to offer!

Eastern Market

Located approximately 1 mile northeast from downtown, Eastern Market is a historic commercial district in Detroit. Not only is this the city’s favorite market, but it’s also one of the oldest in the US. The Eastern Market features fresh food, restaurants, local jewelers and artists, and so much more!

What to Do

Photo Courtesy of City Year Detroit Facebook Page

Monroe Street Midway

Monroe Street Midway is the perfect place to enjoy family fun and outdoor activities. The park features a roller skating rink, basketball courts, local DJs, food trucks, and more! The park is open from late May through late September.

Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts is a staple attraction of Detroit, showcasing one of the largest and most significant art collections in the United States. The Institute features over 65,000 works of art ranging from classic to contemporary pieces. There is something to offer every visitor!

Photo Courtesy of Detroit Institute of Arts Facebook Page

Photo Courtesy of Visit Detroit Facebook Page

Belle Isle

It’s easy to spend an entire day exploring Belle Isle– a 982-acre island park! The park is a popular destination for picnics, barbecues, spending time at the beach, and enjoying walks on various nature trails. Within the park, you can also find the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory with 13 acres of botanical gardens and Belle Island Golf Range.

Eats

Breakfast/Brunch

One of our favorite spots for breakfast or brunch in Detroit is The Hudson Cafe. The Hudson Cafe is located in the heart of downtown and puts a modern twist on a classic brunch menu. The dishes range from sweet to savory and the menu is sure to have something that appeals to everyone!

Lunch

One of the best spots to grab a burger in Detroit is the Basement Burger Bar because of their easy build-your-own menu. Their menu offers over a trillion different burger combinations including 10+ proteins and vegan options. Not a fan of burgers? They also offer a build-your-own salad option along with several appetizers.

Dinner

We recommend SavannahBlue for a nice dinner downtown Detroit. The restaurant features northern soul food- southern cuisine with a Detroit twist. SavannahBlue offers a formal dining room if you’re looking for a sit-down dinner, as well as a casual living room to enjoy tasty cocktails and appetizers.

Drinks

Detroit is an eclectic city with many different bar options to cater to everyone’s taste! A few of our favorites in the city include Tin Roof for live music, Delmar for a rooftop bar, and La Casa for an elegant cocktail and cigar lounge. If you’re a beer fan, we recommend checking out Founders Brewing.

Photo Courtesy of Delmar Detroit Facebook Page

Best Way to Get Around

Downtown Detroit has no shortage of transportation options. Mogo, Detroit’s bike share system, has 3 stations only blocks away from our Frontdesk suites. Qline is Detroit’s circulating streetcar that runs 3.3 miles along Woodward Avenue between Congress Street and West Grand Boulevard. The Detroit People Mover, an elevated and automated light-rail system, is a quick and easy way to get from one part of the city to another. I-75 and I-375 are also easily accessible. Rideshare programs such as Uber and Lyft are also available and make for a convenient way to get around the city.

Explore Savannah: Welcome to Our New City

Frontdesk is excited to show you around one of our newest cities: Savannah, GA! Savannah has endless sights to see and things to do. To help in planning your visit to this beautiful and historic city, we’ve put together a guide with all of our top recommendations!

Neighborhoods

Historic District

The Historic District is the hub of downtown and has historic landmarks around every corner. The streets are filled with museums, monuments, parks, restored 18th-century homes, shops, and dining. Take a stroll down the cobblestone streets and soak up all of the history and beauty.

Starland District

This artsy, hip district was established in the late 1990s by two Savannah College of Art and Design students. The neighborhood is rooted in creativity and collaboration. The streets are bustling with galleries, boutiques, and entertainment venues. Stop into the Starland District if you’re interested in shopping for vintage clothes, vinyl records, or original art.

Tybee Island

Located only 20 minutes from downtown, many refer to Tybee Island as Savannah’s beach. This neighborhood is filled with pastel homes and oceanfront condos. Tybee Island is the place to go if you’re looking to spend time at the beach, kayak, or paddleboard.

What to Do

Forsyth Park

Dating back to the 1940s, Forsyth Park spans across 30 acres of the Historic District of Savannah. The fountain at the center of the park is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. The park is home to Farmer’s markets, a concert venue, playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, and a coffee shop.

Photo Courtesy of Old Town Trolley Tours (Savannah) Facebook Page

Trolley Tours

Trolley tours in Savannah offer a complete overview of everything there is to know about the city! There are several tour options offered daily including Old Town Trolley Tours and Comedy Tours. Being America’s most haunted city, they also have Ghost Tours. These “hop-on, hop-off” tours allow you to learn the history of Savannah while seeing all the city has to offer!

Photo Courtesy of Davenport House Museum Facebook Page

House Museum Tours

With all the history behind this city, it’s no surprise that house museums are a staple for visitors. There are nearly 20 house museums that all offer something different. Some are designed to show art, while others show a look into the past. A few of the top house museums in the city include Mercer-Williams House, Davenport House, and Sorrel-Weed House.

Eats

Breakfast/Brunch

Breakfast and Brunch options in Savannah are endless. One of our favorites is Debi’s Restaurant for southern, home-style cooking. This historic restaurant has something on the menu for everyone and is open 8 am-2:30 pm daily!

Lunch

With a line waiting at the door each day, it’s no secret that lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room is one of the best in town! Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room offers a unique dining experience by serving family-style meals at communal tables. This historic Southern diner has been family-owned since 1943 and continues to be a popular lunch spot.

Dinner

We recommend Alligator Soul for an upscale, intimate dinner. Once a basement grain warehouse, this Southern eatery offers organic and local ingredients for a fresh, delicious menu.

Savannah Specialty: Oysters

Savannah is a city that loves oysters, so it’s no surprise that they are served at nearly every restaurant in the city. One of our favorite stops for oysters is Sorry Charlie’s. This casual seafood spot features a raw bar, southern specialties, and craft cocktails.

Drinks

Savannah, Georgia is a lively city home to many bars great for drinking, dancing, and live music. A few of our favorites in the city include Wet Willies, Alley Cat Lounge, and the Artillery Bar. Each bar has its own story and personality but they are all filled with unique cocktails and wide beer selections.

Photo Courtesy of Wet Willie’s Savannah, GA River Street Facebook Page

Best Way to Get Around

Transportation in Savannah couldn’t be easier! The DOT offers a fare-free service to get around downtown Savannah. The shuttles run every 10 minutes through 24 stops. Hop on the Savannah Belles Ferry and get a unique perspective offshore. The ferry provides transportation from downtown’s riverwalk and Hutchinson Island. Uber and Lyft are also easily accessible.

Discover New Orleans: Explore The Big Easy!

Frontdesk welcomes you to one of our newest cities: New Orleans, LA! New Orleans is a small but bustling city known for cajun and creole dishes, jazz music, history, and mysterious stories. Although it’s best known for the Mardi Gras festivities, there are plenty of things to do and see around the city year-long! We’ve gathered all of our top recommendations of what to do and where to eat to explore all this city has to offer!

Neighborhoods

French Quarter

The French Quarter is the city’s historic heart, known for its vibrant nightlife and colorful buildings with balconies overlooking the busy city. Here you will find the famous Bourbon Street, offering jazz music, cajun food, and fun cocktails.

Tremé

Tremé is the oldest African American neighborhood in the United States. Located just across Rampart Street from the French Quarter, this soulful neighborhood dates back to 1783. Tremé is renowned as the birthplace of Jazz in New Orleans and is home to many of the city’s best musicians.

Mid-City

If you’re looking for a little more low-key and laid-back vibe than the other popular areas, check out Mid-City! This part of the city is the best area to watch sporting events in the neighborhood bars.

Things to Do

Steamboat Cruise

One of the unique experiences in New Orleans is the steamboat tours. There is no better way to cruise the Mississippi River than by steamboat. The current S.S. Natchez boat offers several tours throughout the day including an evening jazz tour with dinner, a day jazz cruise, or a Sunday brunch jazz cruise. The steamboat cruises are a perfect way to take in the beauty of New Orleans from the water.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is rated one of the top aquariums in the US. The aquarium is located along the Mississippi River and features 10,000 creatures. It’s divided into 4 different areas including the Amazon rainforest, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Maya Reef gallery, and includes an IMAX theater.

Photo Courtesy of Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Facebook Page

Jackson Square

Jackson Square is a historic park in the French Quarter and is also considered the heart of the city. The park was declared a National Historic Landmark for its role in history as the site where Louisiana became United States territory in 1803. The site is now a place to view famous architectural works and attend street art events.

Eats

Breakfast/Brunch

There are several delicious breakfast and brunch options in NOLA but one of our favorites is Ruby Slipper. The eatery offers all-day brunch and eye-opening cocktails while preparing meals from scratch and using local ingredients when possible. The menu offers American, Cajun, and Creole dishes but is sure to have something for everyone.

Lunch

Napoleon House is located in the heart of the historical French Quarter in the heart of New Orleans. If you’re looking for a true Louisianan lunch, this is the place! They offer muffalettas, po’boys, jambalaya, seafood gumbo, and other Creole staples.

Dinner

We recommend Herbsaint, an upscale French and American restaurant with views of historic St. Charles Avenue, for a nice dinner. Herbsaint offers local and sustainably sourced seafood and meats and has an extensive wine list.

Libations

New Orleans has one of the highest bars per capita in the US so there is no shortage of bars in the city. NOLA is also the birthplace of several cocktails including the hurricane, the grasshopper, the sazerac, and more! Bourbon street is packed with lively, eclectic bars. A few of our favorites are Tropical Isle, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, and The Swamp on Bourbon Street. Not only is the city known for its bar scene, but New Orleans is also famous for its drive-thru daiquiris.

Best Way to Get Around

New Orleans has various methods of transportation that make getting around the city easy! Streetcars are a fun way to explore and they are a staple to NoLa. Uber and Lyft are also both active in the city. The flat terrain makes biking a fun way to explore. Bike rentals are available through Blue Bikes.

Discover Nashville: Get to Know Our New City

Frontdesk welcomes you to our newest city: Nashville, TN! Music City lives up to the name with live music around every corner. However, Nashville is known for so much more than just country music. This lively city has something for everyone! Here are the best places to visit in Nashville, from popular tourist stops, to the best honky tonks, to the top places to eat in the city!

Neighborhoods

Downtown

Downtown Nashville is also referred to as “The District”. This lively part of the city is full of flashing lights and honky tonks. Broadway is known for its electric energy and rooftop bar scene. This is the ideal location to experience all that Nashville is known for.

Gulch

The Gulch is just south of downtown and is more upscale and trendy. This neighborhood is filled with high-end shopping and trendsetting dining.

West End

West End is home to Centennial Park, the largest urban park in Nashville. This part of town is great for those who are active and looking to spend time outdoors. Tucked away just outside of downtown, West End is centrally located to get to other parts of the city in no time.

Things to Do

Photo Courtesy of Grand Ole Opry Facebook Page

Visit the Grand Ole Opry

The Grand Ole Opry is the longest-running radio show in the USA. It’s a world-class music venue that has hosted country music legends and new stars. For the majority of the year, the Grand Ole Opry takes place at the Opry House. A few times a year, the show returns to The Ryman Auditorium, the former home of the Grand Ole Opry.

Learn to Line Dance at the Wildhorse Saloon

While in the south, learn how to line dance at the Wildhorse Saloon! Wild Horse Saloon is a three-story saloon and restaurant with free line dancing lessons every day. From line dancing lessons, delicious southern food, and live entertainment, the Wildhorse Saloon will keep you busy for hours!

Photo Courtesy of Wildhorse Saloon Facebook Page

Photo Courtesy of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Facebook Page

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

The Country Music Hall of Fame is one of the most iconic stops in Nashville. It offers a look into country music’s past and present. The museum is home to a collection of over 2 million artifacts ranging from stage costumes to instruments. Each object displayed in the museum tells the story of country music’s global influence.

Marathon Village

Marathon Village is a neighborhood born out of the buildings that once housed Marathon Motor Works. The preserved historical space has become a place for affordable work studios, unique retail shops, artists and entertainment, food and drinks, and more!

Photo Courtesy of Marathon Village Facebook Page

Photo Courtesy of Bridgestone Arena Facebook Page

Bridgestone Arena

The Bridgestone Arena is a multipurpose venue located right in downtown Nashville that hosts various sporting events, shows & concerts, and is home of the Nashville Predators of the NHL. Nashville loves their hockey so if you’re in town during the NHL season, a Predators game is something you won’t want to miss!

Best Restaurants and Bars

Breakfast/Brunch

Brunch options in Nashville are plentiful! We recommend stopping at Biscuit Love in the Gulch for a delicious breakfast or brunch with indoor and outdoor dining options. The restaurant also has locations in Hillsboro Village and Downtown Franklin.

Lunch

It wouldn’t be a trip to Nashville without trying hot chicken and The Stillery has various ways to try it including a hot chicken sandwich, hot chicken pizza, and hot chicken mac and cheese. The menu includes a variety of options to appeal to all pallets and unique cocktails served from mason jars.

Dinner

For a nice dinner, we recommend Husk. Just a mile from downtown Nashville, this restaurant is located inside a historic home. They use locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients while serving up indulgent Southern dishes.

Bars

If you came to Nashville looking for fun bars, you’re in the right place! The Broadway strip has over 32 bars and you can easily walk from one to another. Many of the bars are multiple stories with different live bands on each level. A few of the bars we recommend are Tootsies, Honky Tonk Central, and The Stage on Broadway. Country singers including Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, and Blake Shelton also own bars on Broadway.

Best Way to Get Around

Downtown Nashville is very walkable and easy to get from place to place. If you’re looking to experience other parts of the city or staying outside of downtown, you will likely need a car. Uber and Lyft are also both active in Nashville and if you’re looking for a healthy, greener way to see the city, you can rent a bicycle or scooter with Nashville BCycle, Bird, or Lime.

World Whiskey Day: Louisville Whiskey Tour

World whiskey day is the third Saturday in May each year and we couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate than Louisville, KY. If you’re looking to explore the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, we’ve compiled a list of the 6 top places to visit within an hour of our Louisville suites. Some have temporarily paused tours, but their tasting rooms are open.

Photo Courtesy of Evan Williams Bourbon Experience Facebook Page

Evan Williams

Thursday-Saturday 11am-5pm

Sunday 1pm-5pm

Closed Monday-Wednesday

Located on Louisville’s historic “Whiskey Row” within a mile of all 15 Frontdesk suites, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience features educational tastings, guided tours, and more! Their experiences vary from a traditional tour and tasting, the ideal bartender experience, or the speakeasy tasting experience. They even offer private virtual tasting experiences. The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience brings Kentucky’s history and tradition to life!

Photo Courtesy of Rabbit Hole Distillery Facebook Page

Rabbit Hole

Tuesday-Thursday 12pm-7pm

Friday-Saturday 11am-8pm

Sunday 1pm-7pm

Nestled in the heart of NuLu, Rabbit Hole takes a modern approach to the art of whiskey making. Their whiskey’s consist of Cavehill, Heigold, Dareringer, Boxergrail, Mizunara, and Boxergrail. Tours of the distillery will resume June 22, 2021 by reservation only. During the 1 hour tour, you can witness the full whiskey-making process and a 4 spirit tasting is included.

Photo Courtesy of Angel’s Envy Distillery Facebook Page

Angel’s Envy

Monday-Wednesday 10am-6pm

Thursday-Saturday 10am-9pm

Sunday 1pm-7pm

Angel’s Envy is a hand-crafted, small-batch whiskey rooted in 200 years of bourbon heritage. They make Port Finish, Rum Finish, Cask Strength, Sherry Cask 2019, and Tawny Cask 2020 whiskeys. Plan your visit by reserving a 30-minute Finishing Roundtable experience to learn about the distilling process and history that makes Angel’s Envy whiskey so unique. During this time, guests have the opportunity to experience an expert-led tasting in their beautiful finishing room. End your visit with a stop in the gift shop to purchase apparel, gifts, or a bottle to take home.

*Tours are currently unavailable

Photo Courtesy of Four Roses Bourbon Facebook Page

Four Roses

Wednesday-Saturday 9am-4pm

Sunday 12pm-4pm

Located in Lawrenceburg, Four Roses Distillery handcrafts 10 distinct bourbon recipes. They also have a Warehouse & Bottling Facility in Cox’s Creek. Four Roses dates back to 1884 and is now an award winning bourbon. Both the distillery and warehouse offer a 30 minute Taste of History experience which includes a guided flight tasting and history experience. After picking up a bottle of bourbon at the distillery, head to their website for several delicious cocktail recipes!

*Production tours are currently unavailable

Photo Courtesy of Buffalo Trace Distillery Facebook Page

Buffalo Trace

Monday-Saturday 10am-4:30pm

Sunday 11:30am- 4:30pm

Buffalo Trace has been dedicated to crafting bourbon for over 200 years. The distillery offers complimentary tours and tastings; however, a reservation is required. They offer several tours to walk you through the history and science behind Buffalo Trace including the Trace Tour, the Expansion Tour, the Bourbon Barrel Tour, the Taste of the Trace Tour.

Fun fact: Buffalo Trace is the oldest continuously operating distillery in America. During Prohibition the distillery was even permitted to remain operational, to make whiskey for “medicinal purposes”.

Photo Courtesy of Barton 1792 Distillery Facebook Page

Barton 1792

Monday-Saturday 9am-4:30pm

Closed Sunday

Barton 1792 is the oldest fully operating distillery in Bardstown. All tours are free and conclude with a complimentary tasting. Tour and tasting reservations are required. The Small Batch 1792 is their signature bourbon; however, they also craft limited edition expressions including Sweet Wheat, Aged Twelve Years, High Rye, Single Barrel, Full Proof, Bottled in Bond, and Port Finish.

Planning a trip? Stay with us.

Our comfortable studio, 1- and 2-bedroom suites offer more space and convenience than a hotel. No credit check or security deposit, instant booking approval, and budget-friendly rates as low as $1,500/month or $69/day. 

#RevengeTravel with Frontdesk

As vaccines are becoming more widespread and the decrease in COVID-19 cases continues, people are feeling more comfortable getting back out to travel. The country is seeing a huge spike in travel for 2021. Travelers are itching to see new destinations and to make up for lost time with a vengeance. This new trend is referred to as “Revenge Travel”. This is a celebratory way to show that COVID-19 is losing it’s power to control lives and plans to travel- also known as “pandemic payback”.

Whether travelers are looking to take a much-needed vacation, get back to travel for business, or reconnect with family, the desire to travel is stronger than ever. Throughout the past year, people have learned to appreciate the convenience of travel and to no longer take it for granted. Travelers are planning trips with caution and flexibility so they can adjust their plans as needed. The travel industry is primarily seeing the uptick in domestic travel but expects international travel to follow later. Travelers are looking for destinations that allow for time outside- many are heading to the beach or national parks for hiking. Stroll down the same streets as our founding fathers and check out these awesome historic must-see sites.

How Frontdesk is prepared for Revenge Travel:

Frontdesk offers stays in 28 cities + 4 new cities coming soon (spoiler alert: our new cities are Austin, Savannah, Nashville, and Philadelphia!) across the US. We offer comfortable, secure stays so you can stay where you want! Our suites have fully-equipped kitchens and everything you need to stay in if you are not comfortable dining out yet. If you are looking to dine out, our suites are in communities with plenty of dining options, coffee shops, and entertainment within a short distance. Frontdesk offers a flexible cancellation policy when you book direct that allows guests to cancel their reservation up to 24 hours before check-in for a full refund. We pride ourselves on our exceptionally high cleaning standards. Our staff follows specific instructions for cleaning and disinfecting, as recommended by OSHA.

Planning a trip? Stay with us.

Our comfortable studio, 1- and 2-bedroom suites offer more space and convenience than a hotel. No credit check or security deposit, instant booking approval, and budget-friendly rates as low as $1,500/month or $69/day. 

City Spotlight: Des Moines

Frontdesk welcomes you to Des Moines, IA! The “Hartford of the West” is the most populous city and the state capital of Iowa. Des Moines (DSM) is most well known for hosting the Iowa State Fair and the country’s first caucuses during election season. This city has a lot to offer to both locals and visitors alike. Keep reading to learn more about what to do, where to eat, and how to get around Des Moines.

Things to do in Des Moines

There are many fun things to see and do in Des Moines. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, there is a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy.

Iowa State Capitol

Iowa State Capitol Building

The iconic gold dome is a symbol of the city, but nothing compares to visiting it in-person. Free tours are available Monday through Saturday, where you can see the house of representatives, admire the amazing architecture of the dome, and explore the huge five-story law library, which houses more than 100,000 volumes!

Des Moines Botanical Garden

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is home to thousands of plants and flowers, with a greenhouse dome, plus seven acres of outdoor gardens. They are known for their Bonsai collection but have more uncommon plant species as well. The Botanical Garden hosts many events, from blues concerts to yoga and more.

Downtown Farmer's Market in Des Moines Iowa

Downtown Farmer’s Market

This isn’t your average farmer’s market. From May to October, between 25,000 to 40,000 visitors come each Saturday for great food, fresh produce, flowers, handmade crafts, and more! The Downtown Farmer’s Market even hosts events year-round, so you can join in the fun no matter what time of year you visit!

Des Moines Art Center

Des Moines Art Center

Des Moines Art Center has an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, modern art, and mixed media by the likes of Grant Wood, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frank Hopper, and more. It also includes the famous Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Even better? It’s completely free!

Best Restaurants and Bars in Des Moines

Breakfast/Brunch
If you want to sit down to a large, hearty brunch, Mullets Restaurant is the place to go. They serve up three-egg omelets, breakfast burritos, meatloaf hashbrowns, and much more. All in a location overlooking the downtown skyline. There is usually a bit of a wait, so if you need a more on-the-go breakfast, pop into Scenic Route Bakery for a quick cup of coffee and breakfast pastry.

Lunch
What do you get when you cross Asian fusion with pizza? Fong’s. It may not sound like it goes together, but trust us, it does. Fong’s Pizza is a Des Moines staple that even Food Network star Alton Brown has raved about. We recommend trying their most popular dish, the Crab Rangoon Pizza.

Dinner
For dinner, head to Zombie Burger, one of the most popular restaurants in Des Moines. On their menu, you’ll find more than 25 inventive “gore-met” burger creations, plus more than a dozen milkshakes that can be spiked with alcohol on request. Vegans will be happy to hear that there are a few plant-based options on the menu (although you’ll have to skip the shakes). Great burgers + boozy milkshakes = sign us up!

Bars
For beer lovers, check out Confluence Brewing. The taproom has more than 30 beers on tap and there is also an outdoor beer garden for when the weather is nice. The laid-back establishment even has board games you can play while you drink. Or, head to Hello, Marjorie for some great craft cocktails.

Hidden Gems in Des Moines

  • The Hall – a cafeteria-style food hall with beer and different food trucks daily
  • Iowa Beef Steakhouse – pick out your own cut of steak and grill it up yourself over charcoal
  • Flying Mango – barbeque restaurant that also features Carribean and Cajun flavors
  • RAYGUN – a t-shirt symposium known for its quirky, witty sayings on shirts
  • High Trestle Trail Bridge & Gray’s Lake Park pedestrian bridge – public art pieces with LED and colored lights
  • Salisbury House – historical Tudor mansion that offers tours
High Trestle Trail Bridge in Des Moines Iowa

Des Moines Neighborhoods

East Village in Des Moines Iowa

Downtown
The bustling Downtown Des Moines area is made up of several smaller districts. It is home to great attractions like Pappajohn Sculpture Park, the Science Center, and the Des Moines Civic Center where you can catch a Broadway show.

East Village
East Village, technically considered part of Downtown, is a trendy historic neighborhood located just east of Downtown. The area features historic buildings, boutique shopping like RAYGUN, music venues, and award-winning restaurants and bars.

Historic Court District
The Historic Court District is Downtown’s pedestrian-friendly entertainment district. Here you will find lots of cultural and entertainment attractions, plus the Downtown Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.

West Des Moines
West Des Moines has several shopping districts with a blend of boutique shops and big-box retailers, plus great dining options such as The Hall. Here you will also find lots of parks and trails, including the 631-acre Raccoon River Park.

Fort Des Moines
The Historic Fort Des Moines area, located to the south, is home to the 117-acre Fort Des Moines Park and lake, as well as Blank Park Zoo, which is the only accredited zoo in Iowa.

Historic Court District in Des Moines Iowa

Our Favorite Suites

Best Way to Get Around Des Moines

Des Moines is a very bike-friendly city, with miles of bike trails and a bike-sharing program. You can also opt to use the DART shuttle service, which has many free routes. Downtown Des Moines also has four miles of climate-controlled Skywalks. Plus, there is always the option to take a taxi or Uber/Lyft.

Frequently Asked Questions About Des Moines

The city was incorporated in 1851 as “Fort Des Moines,” which was shortened to just “Des Moines” in 1857.

The city was named after the Des Moines River, which likely was adapted from the early French name, Rivière des Moines, which means “River of the Monks.”

The Iowa State Fair is held every August in Des Moines, where you can eat anything you can imagine deep-fried on a stick, plus see the famous 600-pound butter sculpture of a cow. The dates for the 2020 fair are August 13-23.

Des Moines summers are warm, humid, and wet with temperatures in the 70-80° range. Winters are freezing, dry, and windy with temperatures between 20-40°. The most popular time of year to visit Des Moines is from early June to mid-September.

Music Lover’s Guide to Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee is known for two things: barbeque (we’ve got another blog on that) and music. From blues to soul to rock ‘n’ roll, Memphis’ history and modern-day world is JAM-packed with entertainment for all audiences. 

When visiting a new area, it’s hard to know where to begin your journey. Let us provide some Frontdesk help! Here are all the things you’ll want to include in your music lover itinerary for visiting Memphis.

Tours and Museums

Graceland Mansion
Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, is a must-visit for any music lover and offers a range of tour options. In Graceland Mansion, you can tour many rooms including the famous Jungle Room. In the Elvis Presley’s Memphis entertainment complex, you can tour the Elvis The Entertainer Career Museum, Presley Motors Automobile Museum, and the Elvis Discovery Exhibits.

Sun Studio
Sun Studio is a recording studio that opened in 1950 and is known as “the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll.” Legendary artists including B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded there. The studio offers 45-minute guided tours daily.

Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, located on Beale Street, offers a comprehensive look at the history of Memphis music from the 1930s through the 1970s. It highlights the influences of Beale Street and Sun, Stax, and Hi Records, as well as the impact of the civil rights movement. Audio-guided tours are offered daily.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Stax Museum, located on the original site of the Stax Records studio, pays tribute to the artists who recorded there as well as other American soul legends. The museum has more than 2,000 artifacts, interactive exhibits, films, and galleries. Tours are offered every day except Monday.

Tip: If you’re visiting all four, look into discount admission bundles like the Backstage Pass, which can be purchased at either the Stax Museum or the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Clubs and Music Venues

Beale Street
When you’re in Memphis, you’re visiting Beale Street – it’s non-negotiable! Beale Street encompasses three blocks of nightclubs and restaurants in downtown Memphis where you can hear the sounds of live music pouring out of almost every doorway. We recommend hopping between clubs to get the true Beale Street experience, but the most famous is likely B.B. King’s Blues Club.

Earnestine and Hazel’s
This dive bar was once frequented by legends like B.B. King, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Chuck Berry, and more. It has a famous (haunted) jukebox plus live bands that play soul, jazz, and blues all night long – not to mention great burgers and beer.

Paula & Raiford’s Disco
Legendary disco owner and DJ Robert “Hollywood” Raiford opened his famous music club in 1976. While the current club stands in a different location than the original and is now run by his daughter Paula, the space is a reimagining of the original and is just as popular.

Hi-Tone Cafe
This bar and music venue hosts live shows most nights of the week, with music crossing all genres. It has two separate venue rooms and draws both touring headliners and local artists.

Places to Eat

Arcade Restaurant
The Arcade, known as Memphis’ oldest cafe, was one of Elvis Presley’s most frequented restaurants. The original booth where he would sit is still there and the restaurant also serves up a peanut butter banana sandwich, AKA the Elvis Sandwich.

Marlowe’s Ribs
Another favorite spot of The King, especially being located only 1.5 miles from Graceland, Marlowe has fully embraced its Elvis history. The barbeque joint, while known for its ribs, also serves an Elvis burger and a peanut butter banana sandwich, plus has lots of Elvis decor and memorabilia.

Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe & Honky Tonk
Rockabilly musician Jerry Lee Lewis opened the Cafe & Honky Tonk in 2013 on Beale Street. It is filled with Jerry Lee Lewis memorabilia including his piano, motorcycle, photos, and more. Live music plays every night and for food, they serve up delicious Southern favorites.

Rum Boogie Cafe
Also located on Beale Street is Rum Boogie Cafe. It houses music memorabilia including more than 200 autographed guitars from artists such as Elvis, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, Booker T and the MGs, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, and more. Like the other clubs on Beale Street, live music plays nightly. Rum Boogie Cafe is known for its signature dishes like red beans and rice, fried catfish, and hickory-smoked BBQ ribs.

The Arcade Restaurant

Where to Stay

While visiting Memphis, you’ll want to stay somewhere in the middle of the action, close to all the popular attractions and restaurants. That’s where Frontdesk comes in. We offer many suites and short-term rentals that are conveniently located, that includes amenities needed to enjoy a comfortable and memorable stay. We recommend this colorful one bedroom with a pool and gym, this light and airy two bedroom with city views, or selecting a different Frontdesk Memphis suite to make your trip one to remember!

Travel Tips for the Holidays

It’s that time of the year again! As the crisp autumn air fades into the chill of winter, people across the country are beginning to prepare for all of the joy (and chaos) that the holidays bring. Here are some of our favorite holiday tips and tricks to ensure things run smoothly as you prepare for the festivities!

1. Plan Ahead

When it comes to holiday travel, planning ahead is key! Begin planning your trip as soon as your plans are set in stone so that you don’t miss out on the best holiday deals. Many travel experts say that booking your flights and travel accommodations at least 70 days in advance will ensure that you get the best deal despite the ever-fluctuating prices. Additionally, there are several great travel apps that you can download on your phone that alert you when good deals arise.

When looking for a place to stay during your travels, Frontdesk has everything you need to make you feel right at home! You can search all of our destinations as well as check out our current holiday availability here. We’d love to be your home away from home for the holidays!

2. Prepare for Delays

Unfortunately, as the weather changes in many parts of the country, travel delays can be a real concern during this time of year. If you’re like many travelers, you find yourself anxiously watching the weather during the time leading up to your departure. No matter how fine-tuned your weather watching skills are, most times it just ends up being a case of planning for the worst and hoping for the best! Additionally, most airlines typically offer travel insurance so that in the event of a delay or cancellation, they can offer some sort of compensation for your troubles!

While we’re sure things will go off without a hitch, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you’re not left out to dry if your travel plans are delayed or canceled. Make sure that your phone is fully charged on travel day, and bring a charger along in your carry on just in case. This way, you can receive real-time updates and have something to pass the time. Don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks and maybe a good book to accompany you during the delay.

          

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3. Packing Gifts

When visiting friends and relatives, it’s not uncommon to bring gifts to give to celebrate the season. However, you may find yourself on ice when it comes time to go through security with a wrapped gift. Generally, TSA doesn’t mind if you bring wrapped gifts in your carry on, however, they are required to unwrap the gift if it sets off any alarms while going through the scanner. Ho Ho No! In addition to making sure that your gift is TSA compliant, we recommend avoiding flying with wine or spirits, as they will have to go in your checked luggage and you run the risk of ruining your clothes should something happen during transport. You can avoid a Christmas calamity (and maybe even save some time) having your gifts shipped to your destination ahead of time!

4. Avoid Peak Travel Day

There’s nothing worse than a busy airport — and we mean nothing. You can avoid the long lines at security and jam-packed airport terminals by avoiding peak travel days and times during the holidays! Studies show that traveling early in the morning or as late as is available in the evening will typically offer you the lowest prices available. Here are the best days to travel around major holidays this year:

November
Best day to travel: Monday 11/25, Thanksgiving Day (11/28), Friday 11/29 (Black Friday), or anytime within the 2 weeks after the Thanksgiving holiday
Worst days to travel: Avoid traveling the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day or the Saturday/Sunday that follow. Data shows that over 50% of return flights for this holiday happen on the Sunday that follows.


December
Best day to travel: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or the Saturday that follows
Worst days to travel: Avoid travel on the weekend before Christmas and the Sunday after, if possible

We hope that you find our holiday travel tips and tricks useful during this busy and exciting time. Possibly the most important tip that we can give as you finalize your holiday travel plans is this: RELAX! The holidays are a special time to spend with the people you love, whether it be your family or friends. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and forget what truly matters. Sit back, relax, breathe, and enjoy the moments spent with your loved ones. Happy Holiday planning!

City Spotlight: Phoenix

Frontdesk welcomes you to Phoenix, AZ! Nicknamed the “Valley of the Sun,” Phoenix is located in south-central Arizona in the Salt River Valley. Phoenix is known for its heat, sunshine, and landscape – and while you’ll certainly want to explore the outdoors, there is a lot to do there beyond hiking the mountains! The city is home to great tourist attractions and fantastic restaurants so however long you’re in town, you’ll find plenty to do.

Phoenix Vacations

Whether you prefer to keep busy and hit all the top attractions or to enjoy some pampering and relaxation, Phoenix will have something for you. This southwestern city makes a great vacation destination!

Phoenix Business Trips

If you tend to travel a lot for work, chances are you will end up in Phoenix because it is such a hub for business. Soak up the A/C while you’re working, but also be sure to venture out into the city to enjoy the views and all the activities Phoenix has to offer.

Phoenix Villages

Phoenix is a vast, and spread out city. It is separated into 15 urban villages: Ahwatukee Foothills, Alhambra, Camelback East, Central City, Deer Valley, Desert View, Encanto, Estrella, Laveen, Maryvale, North Gateway, North Mountain, Paradise Valley, Rio Vista, and South Mountain.

Central City (Downtown)
Central City Village, which is downtown Phoenix, is an entertainment and culture hub with the Arizona Science Center, Chase Field, the airport, and much more. Central City contains the walkable arts district Roosevelt Row and the historic Victorian-era Heritage Square. Downtown also hosts a monthly First Friday Art Walk.

South Mountain
South Mountain Village, located directly below Central City, is bordered by the South Mountain Park and Preserve to the south. This makes it a great area for hiking and to get great views of the city from high points. Here you can also visit the Mystery Castle, a unique 1930s stone palace with an interesting history.

Camelback East
Camelback East, located to the northeast of the downtown area, has several prominent landmarks. These include Papago Park, Piestewa Peak, Camelback Mountain, Arizona Biltmore, the Phoenix Zoo, and the Desert Botanical Gardens.

North Mountain
North Mountain Village is a quieter area north of downtown. It contains part of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, making it a great hiking spot, as well as a few golf courses and the Arizona State University West Campus.

Paradise Valley
To the north of Phoenix, is Paradise Valley Village. This village is known for its Paradise Valley Mall, which draws shoppers from around the region. This village also shares part of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, which means plenty of hiking trails and other recreational opportunities. Paradise Valley also has several country and golf clubs.

Phoenix Arizona

What is there to do in Phoenix?

Whether you prefer spending time outdoors, relaxing at the spa, or visiting top tourist attractions, Phoenix has no shortage of things to do. The city is also known for its great restaurants and bars! Here are a few of the hotspots we recommend checking out while in Phoenix, AZ.

Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo in Phoenix Arizona

The Phoenix Zoo is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the United States. It is home to more than 3,000 animals separated into four zones: Arizona Trail, Africa Trail, Tropics Trail, and the Children’s Trail (a petting zoo). You will see traditional zoo animals like tigers, giraffes, and elephants, as well as desert-native creatures and even stingrays. The zoo also has play areas, splash pads, camel rides, and a 4-D theater.

Desert Spas

The Aji Spa in Phoenix Arizona

Spas in Phoenix don’t just overlook the desert; many use desert botanicals and minerals as part of the spa experience and draw from Native American traditions. We recommend Aji Spa, a consistently top-rated luxury spa located about 20 minutes south of downtown. If you would prefer to stay close to downtown, The Roose Parlour and Salon is a day spa located in a historic house downtown. Facials, massages, pools, wraps … kick back and #treatyoself!

Mountains and Deserts

Camelback Mountain in Phoenix Arizona

Arizona is known for its beautiful desert scenery and rocky terrain. You can’t visit Phoenix without spending time outdoors, challenging yourself against nature! The top two peaks in Phoenix – both in terms of popularity and height – are Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak. If you want to explore the desert but don’t enjoy or aren’t able to hike, take a trip to the Desert Botanical Garden instead. It features 50,000 arid-landscape plants from around the world.

Musical Museum

Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix Arizona

Most cities top the charts with their art or history museums, but Phoenix’s top museum is a little more unique and niche. The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), located about 20 minutes north of downtown, was rated Phoenix’s #1 attraction by TripAdvisor. The MIM displays more than 6,800 musical instruments and objects from around the world. You will learn more about the music of other cultures, try out some instruments hands-on, and see memorabilia from famous musical artists.

The Barrio Cafe in Phoenix Arizona

Restaurants & Bars

Start your morning in Phoenix off right with a large omelette or stack of pancakes at Matt’s Big Breakfast. The menu has all your favorite breakfast items, made with cage-free eggs and local organic produce. Later, enjoy a slice at Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix’s famous pizza spot that celebs like Oprah and Martha Stewart have raved about. And of course, you can’t visit Arizona without enjoying some Mexican-inspired cuisine. Barrio Cafe serves up regional Mexican favorites like Cochinita Pibil and Chiles en Nogada – and yes, there are also tacos and guacamole for the less adventurous, plus over 200 tequilas.

For alcoholic options beyond tequila, head to Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Lounge. The stylish space has an extensive and innovative craft cocktail list as well as beer, wine, and late-night bites.

Frequently Asked Questions About Phoenix

The city was settled in 1867 as an agricultural community and incorporated as a city in 1881.

Phoenix was named after the mythical creature, to represent a city born from the ruins of a former civilization.
Both Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak are moderate to strenuous hikes that may not be suitable for beginners. Camelback has a 2,704 ft summit with paths that are uneven, narrow and rocky in parts. Piestewa has a 2,608 ft summit with many steep sections. The views from the top are certainly worth the challenge, though!

Hot! From May through September, temperatures average above 85°, reaching up to 107°. In November through March, temperatures average in the 40-60° range. Phoenix is generally dry and sunny.