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Florida’s ‘Forgotten Coast’; Austin’s latest hotspot

Florida’s ‘Forgotten Coast’One of Florida’s best-kept secrets has a long name but “a longer list of allures,” said Diane Daniel in The Boston Globe. Located on “the Forgotten Coast,” a sparsely populated stretch of the state’s Panhandle, T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park features “an unheard-of 10 miles of untamed coast,” along with 35-foot-high dunes, maritime forests, and the chance to see the sun both rise and set over water almost from the same spot. Those who’ve discovered the site almost hate to spread the word: Its eight furnished cabins are nearly impossible to book, and the 119 RV and tent sites fill up quickly. Wherever you lay your head, it’s only a short walk to the beach, and “water views are everywhere.” We explored all 2,716 acres on bikes rented from the park’s general store. Whizzing past sabal palms and live oaks, “I was transported back in time, when Florida was more sand than cement.”

Austin’s latest hotspotThere’s a new center of hipster life in Austin, said Bonnie Tsui in The New York Times. East Austin, a working-class neighborhood that was once populated mostly by black and Mexican-American families, has in the past few years emerged as a fashionable arts district, “with studios, galleries, cocktail bars, cafés, and all manner of food trucks popping up on most every block.” New and old residents exhibit “a fierce love for the neighborhood” and its businesses, and for good reason. The local bookstore doubles as an art gallery; a juice bar nearby is also part vegan bakery, part Mexican restaurant, and part holistic pharmacy. Beloved taquerias and barbecue joints are being joined by more elegant options like Qui, the flagship of Top Chef winner Paul Qui. After a night on the town, head for Hillside Farmacy for a breakfast at the former apothecary’s old soda fountain. After a wasabi Bloody Mary there, you’ll be “ready to hit the town again in no time.”

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