Journi Guide | 10 things to do in the Polish Riviera

Skip the South of France - the Polish Riviera is about to be your go-to European beach destination!

When travelling to a famous international destination, we tend to have high expectations. Breathtaking views! Great food! Cultural exchanges with friendly locals! But too many times, our lofty aspirations are met with the harsh reality of dirty, overcrowded streets and pricey hotels. Local flavor? It's nearly impossible to find in many of the world's most touristy destinations. That's why we've created Journi Guides.

Journi Guides tell you where to beat the crowds, experience something authentic, and get the best 'gram of your life.

Check out this week's Journi Guide below to get our top recommendation of places you might not have heard of, but definitely should get to know.


Last September I took a quick weekend trip to Poland, and was blown away by the beauty and buzz of the Polish Riviera. Located in Northern Poland along the Baltic Sea, I visited the quaint beach town of Sopot and the colorful port city, Gdansk. Think beautiful white sand beaches, all-inclusive spas, old world architecture and of course, delicious polish eats. Here's the top 10 activities you must try in the Polish Riviera.

1. Sun yourself on Sopot Beach

Grass umbrellas dot the white sand beaches in Sopot

There's a reason they call it the Polish Riviera: the beautiful white beaches and the cloudless sun during the summertime. Rent a deckchair and enjoy the view with a melty "goffry" (ice cream on a waffle with whipped cream).

2. Vistit Sopot Pir

Need a little break from the sun? Sopot Pier is what I'd call a classic walkway, built for the community in the late 1800's. It's also Europe's longest wooden pier, perfect for an after dinner stroll with miles of beach views.

3. Eat the breakfast at Grand Hotel, Sopot

A delcious breackfast spread at the Grand Hotel, Sopot

Although I saved some cash and stayed at an AirBnB, the famous Grand Hotel in Sopot lured me into their dining room with promise of a delicious breakfast. And it didn't disappoint! Fresh seafood and mighty servings will be yours for under $20 a plate. Definitely worth it, given the sweeping view of Sopot's beach.

4. Drink Aperol Spritz & Eat Pierogi

Aperol and Pierogi - an unlikely but delicious combination

Aperol Spritz is all the rage in Sopot, and jippie was a favorite. Take an after beach aperol with pierogi (Polish dumpling) at one of the many beach-adjacent cafes.

5. Raise the Roof of the Siostry Bar

Dancing on the roof...literally!

Why not take a night in Sopot to hang out with the locals? Yoy might not get to actually dance on the roof, but you will you find shoes tuck in the ceiling. Enjoy a night out with flashbacks from the 1990's like Britney Spears and Ace of Base.

6. Eat a Traditional Polish Dinner

Pierogies, roast chicken and fresh bread are just the beginning

Although Polish food might not be so friendly for a vegetarian like me, a traditional Polish dinner is still an experience not to be missed. You'll experience some unique taxidermied decor, like stiuffed chickens in uniform.

7. Go to the Spa in Sopot

Get a dose of grandeur

Sopot is famous for its spa, and there are several great options to choose from. If you're looking to go big, the Grand Hotels Spa will not disappoint.. Prices depend on which treatments you're looking for, but entrance to the spa will set you back less that $15. Enjoy a swim in the pool, drink detox tea and relax in the whirlpool.

8. Try the Amber Sky Wheel in Gdansk

See Gdansk from the sky

Instead of going to a tourist bus around Gdansk, try the Amber Sky Wheel for panoramic views across Gdansk. A great value for the price, you'll get at least 4 trips around the wheel with admittance.(Although, if you're scared of heights, this adventure may not be for you).

9. Have a Cup of Coffee and Go People Watching

Relax at an outdoor cafe

There are several cozy cafes in the old town of Gdansk, all with delicious coffee offerings. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy it on the patio in the sun while you watch the tourists and locals scurry by.

10. Take an Instagram of the Colorful Architecture in Gdansk

Strolling through the colorful town squarethegingerdiaries.be

The homes of Gdansk look like a color wheel, and are an instagram dream. In Sopot, an Instagram photo from the beach is given, Gdansk takes the award for most visually interesting pictures with its effortless beauty and European sophistication.

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Finally, we are done with 2020! Between all the highs and lows, it felt like 5 years packed into one, so I'm excited to start fresh in 2021. I'm taking my New Year's resolutions to the next level: cook more, read more, and get back to things I truly love like arts & crafts and morning runs (okay, most likely walks).

Honestly, I could go on forever about the new year, new me thing but actually getting started is my biggest hurdle. I realized that my motivation comes from my mood which directly relates to my environment … and for the past year, my house has been my habitat. So, it's not looking too great after all the wear and tear. The dirt and the mess have accumulated right under my nose.

It's not that I'm bad at it, I just feel so overwhelmed. When my house is clean, I feel much more in control and motivated, and right now it's far from it. When I was venting about my cleaning woes the other day, my friend recommended Handy.

Handy allows you to book local professional cleaners and sign up for monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly plans. Plus, you can schedule appointments at a time that works for you with availability 7 days a week from 7am-11pm. So to get me in the right headspace to tackle my goals, I'm going to be signing up for Handy. I'm looking forward to letting the experts take over.

Although having people in your home may sound a bit strange right now, Handy has rolled out the Handy Safety Standard to help promote the health and safety of the customers and professionals who use their platform. Some of these measures include requiring Pros to wear face coverings during bookings and mandatory daily in-app check-ups to verify they are in good health before claiming a booking. They even have a section on their site dedicated to keeping customers and professionals updated on the latest CDC health and safety guidance.

To top everything off, all of the Cleaning Pros booked through Handy are vetted and background checked. And you can even check out each Pro's ratings and reviews before you book.

Once my house is in order, the fresh feeling will have a domino effect on so many other areas of my life:

✔ Read More

Lying on my cozy couch without inhaling all the dust I'd chosen to ignore, despite my clear uptick in sneezing the last few months. My reading list is chock-full of thrillers and fantasy. And with my new clean slate, I've even added some books about organization.

✔ Get Cooking

Nothing makes cooking more enjoyable than a sparkling kitchen. I'm inspired by a clean space and all the new recipes I'll be whipping up in 2021 already have me drooling.

✔ More Exercise (aka walking!)

I won't feel guilty getting out for a walk on-the-daily when I know I'm not neglecting any household chores thanks to Handy. And when I come home I'm not greeted by any reminders to clean.

You can specify exactly what you want to be cleaned before your Pro arrives and if you like them, you can request to have the same Pro come every time. I can already imagine how exciting it will be to walk into my spotless space.

I cannot wait to book my cleaning through Handy so I can get my 2021 resolutions rolling. My New Year is all about my wellness and my environment plays such a big part in it. I'm signing up for bi-weekly appointments. But their plans are super flexible and if I need, I can always change to a weekly or monthly cleaning plan — sometimes they even have bookings available as soon as the next day!

With Handy, I'm leaving that rough 2020 in the dust and jumping into 2021 feeling fresh and ready-to-go.

Update: Handy is offering a limited time discount for our readers! Follow this link today to get a special offer on your first time cleaning plan.

This perfect low-key vacation is not your average camping experience.

Locations

Atlanta, Austin & San Antonio, Boston, Charlotte & Raleigh, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh & Cleveland, Portland, and Washington, DC.

Getaway's outposts are a maximum 2-hour drive from these major cities.

getaway cabin all seasons

Why Getaway?

It's an escape for the always on. Leave your work, technology and worries at home, and lean into an experience that allows you to reconnect and center yourself in nature.

Each cabin features 1 (or 2) queen-sized bed as well as a full indoor bathroom, both heat and a/c, and reliable electricity. The kitchen is stocked with food staples and cookware and there is a fire pit and outdoor seating. All cabins are family-friendly and dogs are permitted.

getaway essentials

Booking & Price

Book through the Getaway site. Cabins fit 1 - 4 guests and cost as low as $129 a night.

Safety

Cabins are already distanced (50-150' feet apart) from one another and go through a deep disinfection process between guest stays. Check-in is contactless, and each guest accesses their cabins through a personalized key code.

getaway activities

UPDATE: Plan Your Winter Escape Today With Getaway! Take $20 Off Your Stay With Code Winter20!

Given the nature of the pandemic, it can be tough to find the best ways to spend the usual festivities that New Year's Eve brings.

Luckily, if you're comfortable enough to step outside for the occasion, there are great places still open and worth visiting. Although you should always keep COVID-19 safety precautions in mind, here are three of the most stunning places to spend Near Year's Eve in the U.S.

New York City (New York)

No guide to stunning places to spend New Year's Eve in the U.S. would be complete without the presence of New York City, New York. The Times Square ball drop is a must-see annual event, though this year it will be a bit different due to the pandemic. Thankfully, the city will still be throwing an event for all to enjoy that will keep social distancing in mind and focus on bringing people together virtually.

While there might be live events for some to enjoy, none have been officially announced just yet. Even if you're enjoying the festivities virtually, there are few better places to spend this special occasion than at the tip of the NYC skyline.

New York City New Years Eve New York City New Years EveForbes

Lake Travis (Texas)

Lake Travis is a brilliant body of water in Texas that provides a versatile collection of ways to enjoy its beauty. If you'd prefer to keep your party secluded due to the pandemic, you can enjoy the evening on a boat in the waters of this lake, which is home to the famous "Devil's Cove" party destination.

If you're comfortable spending the evening in a venue that practices COVID-19 safety precautions, consider relaxing on one of the three decks on display at The Oasis. Even if you don't stick around to ring in the New Year, viewing the sunset from The Oasis is an incredible experience in itself.

Lake Travs Lake Travislaketravis.com

Cape Cod (Massachusetts)

If you're looking for a quainter way to ring in the new year, consider visiting Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Aside from the cool weather and stunning scenery, when spending New Year's Eve in Cape Cod you can visit places such as the Belfry Inn & Bistro. This lovely location has a focus on good dining, stylish and comfortable living, and COVID-19 safety, all of which they put on display via their website.

If you'd prefer not to spend too much time in a restaurant or bar, you can indulge in the incredible appearance of areas like Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. Simply wandering around the area and taking in the scenery before enjoying an intimate evening inside makes for an unforgettable adventure.

Cape Cod New Years Eve Cape Cod New Years Evebluegreenvacations.com

Due to the ever-changing nature of certain venues during the pandemic, be sure to regularly check-up on any venues you wish to visit. That way, you can remain in the loop on their availability, activities, and safety precautions upon arrival.