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Visiting Tel Aviv

By Travel Columnist Jay Ravede

 Tel Aviv is synonymous with Israel.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done the daily crossword puzzle where ‘Tel Aviv’ is the answer.  Tel Aviv (I know I might be a bit bias) is one of my favorite cities, Boston being the other one.  If not familiar with Tel Aviv, it is located along the Mediterranean Coast.  So of course there are many spots to enjoy getting a Mediterranean Tan or for couples, there a several places to have a romantic lunch.

Tel Aviv has something for everyone, from families to the single traveler. There are numerous museums, plenty of bars/clubs, historical sites, a wonderful amusement park, and of course an abundance of shopping spots.

When it comes to museums, a few of my favorites includes – the ‘Haganah Museum’ (very special to me personally, as my father was in the Haganah during the fight for Israel’s independence in 1948), the ‘Museum of the Diaspora’, and the ‘Land of Israel (HaAretz) museum. There are many more, so if you want an opportunity to visit them all, I highly recommend planning on spending enough time in Tel Aviv to visit them.

Now if you are a music lover, you won’t be disappointed, as Tel Aviv has the Israeli Opera Company and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

As I mentioned, Tel Aviv has an amusement park for all ages.  The ‘Luna Park’ has plenty of attractions, from anything from Roller Coasters to Carousels.

For the history buff, there is the ‘Ben Gurion House’, Trumpeldor Street, and the ‘Bialik House’.  One of my favorite spots and most beautiful areas of Tel Aviv is called the “White City”.  The “White City, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The nickname, the "White City," was named for its cream-colored walled buildings. When roaming the “White City”, you will see beautifully homes, shops, cafes, and art galleries.

There are plenty of shopping (and of course buying), in Tel Aviv.  With so many choices, it is hard to decide which one to go to.  You can shop at one or all (My wife would say ‘all).  When asked which one is my favorite, although a very difficult decision, I would have to say “the Nahalat Binyamin Market.”   Here you can find everything from local crafts to jewelry.

If you haven’t spent any time in Tel Aviv, I hope this article will get you thinking about your next visit to Israel (or for your first-timers); to make sure this is on your near future agenda on places to visit.

When vacationing in Tel Aviv, there are dozens of hotels, from Luxury 5 star hotels to economic lodging.

For more information and questions, please feel free to contact me anytime at – or (954) 297-1567

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Visiting the Old & New City - Jerusalem

By Travel Columnist Jay Ravede

When visiting Israel, I recommend your first stop to be Jerusalem. Jerusalem has a very special place in my heart, as it is where my father was born and my parents were married.

The holiest city in the world, built thousands of years ago.   Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, draws thousands of visitors each year, for many reasons. From the very beginning, Jerusalem has been the one and only, a unique city second to none in the whole world.

Jerusalem is a city of that will overwhelm you with emotions, a city that promises a religious and spiritual experience, excitement and pleasure, interesting tours and entertaining adventures. Here, alongside Jerusalem’s fascinating historic and archeological sites, there are amazingly modern tourist attractions for all lovers of culture, the arts, theater and music, architecture and eating delights.

The Old City

At the heart of Jerusalem is the Old City.  Inside the walls are the important holy sites, one of which is the Western Wall, which is holy to the Jews. Prayers are offered and notes containing heartfelt wishes are wedged between the crevices.

Surrounding the Western Wall are other important Jewish sites - the Western Wall Tunnels, the unique Davidson Center, the Jewish quarter and David’s Citadel. South of the Old City is the City of David, from which the ancient Canaanites and Israelite Jerusalem grew. East of the Old City is the Mount of Olives.

Apart from the holy places throughout the Old City, there are several charming sites that are well worth visiting. There is the wonderful market, where you can buy Armenian-style decorated ceramics, beautiful strings of beads, authentic clothing, embroidered cushions, colorful wool carpets, candles and amazing glassware, and countless different souvenirs.. Tours along the walls are a wonderful night-time activity, when the city’s lights sparkle making the sights even more unforgettable.

The New City

The construction of the new city’s Jewish neighborhoods began in the late 19th century. Some of the neighborhoods have retained their original picturesque charm, and wandering among the houses is a real pleasure. There are many interesting and unique sites from different periods throughout the city, such as Ammunition Hill, Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, and the YMCA building. Among the more modern sites are the Supreme Court, the Israel Museum, the Biblical Zoo, the Knesset, Mt. Herzl, and the Makhane Yehuda market.

Museum lovers will be excited to discover that Jerusalem has dozens of museums full of rich exhibits, such as the Israel Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Bloomfield Science Museum, Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Rockefeller Museum, the Bible Lands Museum, the Old Yishuv Court Museum, the Armenian Muse​um and the Museum of Italian Jewish Art.

Children will enjoy the Time Elevator (an interactive, three-dimensional presentation on the history of Jerusalem), the spacious Biblical Zoo, Ein Ya’el - which offers workshops in Biblical arts and crafts, the Armon HaNatsiv tunnels, the beautiful botanical gardens and the hands-on interactive exhibits at the Bloomfield Science Museum.

Alongside Bohemian gourmet restaurants you will find eateries where the food is cooked slowly over ancient stoves, coffee shops with style, ethnic restaurants, fast food stands and bars. In addition to an abundant variety of dining opportunities, Jerusalem also has many different types of tourist accommodations, from luxury hotels to inexpensive youth hostels.

For more information and questions, please feel free to contact me anytime at – or (954) 297-1567

Jay Ravede – Owner/Travel Consultant

Weston Luxury Vacations


When is the best time to visit Israel?

By Travel Columnist Jay Ravede

People always ask me when is the best time to visit Israel.  My first response is always – “Anytime”. If you have never visited Israel, it should be your first choice for your next vacation.  Now, if you ask me weather wise when is the best month to travel, I would recommend May.

In my opinion, May has terrific weather.  The chance of rain is very low and the temperatures are perfect. In addition, there are no crowds at this time.

I would highly recommend coordinating your travel dates to experience Israeli Independence Day and Memorial Day, something you shouldn’t miss. The Jewish festival of Shavuot is usually also in May

There is so much to see and experience in Israel, that I would recommend at minimum of planning at least one week, but would lean more to a two week stay.

For first time visitors, a visit to a Kibbutz for the day is an experience in itself. Of course, must sees  and dos are – Masada, tour the old city of Jerusalem, snorkel in the Red Sea of Eilat, Yad Vashem, and float in the Dead Sea.  These are just a few of the many sights and places to visit on your vacation.  

Another question that is asked of me is “what is the best way to visit Israel?”  Should I take a cruise, sign up for a Tour, or just rent a car and plan my own trip through Israel.  This is strictly a preference.  Taking a cruise will limit your time in Israel and what you can visit.  Most cruise lines only spend 1-2 days at the Israeli Port of Ashdod.  A professional tour is a great way to see Israel if you have never been and don’t have anyone you know living there to show you the sights.   For returning visitors or if you have friends or relatives living in Israel, renting a car and planning on your own is a wonderful way to travel. Whichever way you chose, visiting Israel should be a must, regardless of your religious beliefs or country of origin.  However, for those of you who are of the Jewish faith, once you land in Israel, you immediately have a sense of ‘belonging’.

For more information and questions, please feel free to contact me anytime at – or (954) 297-1567

Jay Ravede – Owner/Travel Consultant

Weston Luxury Vacations