It took us more than three hours to get from Mitzpe Ramon to Tel Aviv so give yourself plenty of time. The traffic was quite heavy.
We stayed at Hotel Adiv, which was very reasonably priced and a block from the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. The address is 5 Mendelei Street. We were let into a small underground parking area via a buzzer and a gate and parked in a lot that held about seven cars some of them way too tight. I am not sure what we would have done during our three-night stay if we had not found a parking space.
The lobby of the hotel was very pretty with a mirrored ceiling and a pretty dining room but the room we had, though quite functional, could use new paint! There was one painting; 2 twin beds pushed together, no amenities, a nice closet, no WI-Fi, and a mini- frig. We were able to go downstairs to connect to the Internet.
The breakfast buffet was the best we had. You name it they had it, including cappuccinos (from a machine), a variety of eggs, herring, juices, and lots of spreads. The staff was very nice. This hotel hosts a volunteer group at a reduced rate. Sar-El works with the Israeli army for one week or more.
Gordon Beach is a block away located at Herbert Samuel Street. We found a beautiful sandy beach with clean water and a promenade of restaurant after restaurant.
Our first meal was at La La Land on Resto Beach which is a continuation of Gordon Beach. Before I go on I want to comment that there were no outward signs of Judaism here. In addition Tel Aviv is a haven for people who are gay. Gay pride day coincided with our stay so we had a lot of fun watching the fun!
La La Land (I mention the above because of the name of the restaurant) offered us a meal on either a deck, the sand, with or without shade. We had delicious fries as an appetizer and we both had delicious salads. My husband had chicken on his and I had fried feta cheese. I highly recommend La La Land.
A nice walk at night is along Ben Gurion to Dizeldorf. You’ll enjoy the square and wonderful ice cream offered at a variety of places.
On day 2 we went to the Diaspora Museum, which is part of Tel Aviv University. This was very hard to find even with our GPS so you might want to get exact directions before you head out. If you go on Friday, parking will be free. The cost for the museum is 25 NIS. The museum was wonderful. The best part was that it was different from other museums. It traced our roots rather than focusing on the holocaust. There were a lot of movies we listed to with headphones or you can get a listening device.
You do not want to miss The Carmel Market, known in Israel as “Shuk Ha’Carmel.” It is the city’s biggest marketplace, and a fascinating, bustling, crowded place to visit. It is basically one narrow alley with long lines of colorful stalls standing on either side, and where vendors proudly (and loudly) selling their goods. Here you can find almost anything imaginable for the lowest prices in the city, from different kinds of bread and pastry to delicious olives, dried fruits and exotic spices. This is not from those with sensory overload issues!
Close by was a large outdoor fair on Tuesday and Friday over the streets of the Nahalat Binyamin Pedestrian Mall (between Allenby Street and the Carmel Market). The items were beautiful but pricey.
Another eating restaurant recommendation from the hotel was Gootcha on Ben Gurion Avenue. We had incredible service. We were given water to wash our hands, and we were given lots of napkins. I had a delicious rice dish with cheese and my husband had a seafood medley over pasta. We didn’t have a reservation so we waiting about twenty minutes.
Don’t miss the Old City of Jaffa. The Clock Square with its clocktower was built in 1906 in honor of Sultan Abdul Hamid II (see picture). You’ll walk along narrow alleyways and end up in the old port. There are a couple of restaurants where you can sit and eat or have a drink.
This was our final night in our homeland. I was sad to say goodbye and look forward to going back.