- ONE WOMAN ON A MISSION TO DISCOVER & EXPERIENCE ALL THINGS LOS ANGELES
Filed In: Travel : BRB LA
Well, it’s official. Scottsdale Arizona is really easy to get to, really easy on the eyes, and really easy to hang around. Prior to this past weekend I thought taking a trip to Phoenix/Scottsdale Arizona meant hours of travel time to a place that might as well be Palm Springs, but oh, OH was I totally wrong. Scottsdale is just 5-6 hours away from Los Angeles by car or a short one hour long plane ride – practically the same amount of time it would take to get to Northern California. The city itself is absolutely stunning with it’s picturesque desert scape backdrop and architectural uniformity. But not only is Scottsdale an undeniably beautiful city, it’s easily one of THE best destinations in the West for dining, creating, adventuring, relaxing, and pampering – trust me even in just one weekend, I feel like I experienced it all. If you’re thinking about heading out to Arizona’s city of sunshine and sophistication, here’s what not to miss!
Austin. Is. Awesome. The cat’s been out of the bag on that one for a while now, but over the past few years Austin has become not only one of the best places to live, but also quite the hot and hip travel destination. Ask any Austonian about it and they’ll act like they’re not 100% clear on why, but for those of us who love and appreciate dining, doing things, and experiencing a little culture, Austin has more to offer than they’re letting on. With a self professed motto like “keep Austin weird”, what’s already not to love? There’s got to be excellent reasoning as to why 126 new people move in to the city each day, my guess is it probably has something to do with the tech startups, the growing economy, the people, the dining/drinking/music scene, and the big city yet soulful vibe. Just a guess. Whether you’re passing thorough due to work, visiting to attend one of Austin’s many incredible music festivals, or just heading to the neon sign city for the heck of it, here are 10 things to consider during your stay. *This is in addition to the 10 things I suggest you do in Austin that I wrote last year! Still totally on point, if I do say so myself.*
Off-season prices… hotel/meal deals… vitamin D… I can come up with 101 perfect excuses to head to Palm Springs for a little getaway, but at present, ‘Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week‘ might be one of the best. Similar to how we do Restaurant Week here in Los Angeles, for a little over one week (June 3 – 12) tons of restaurants in the Greater Palm Springs area will be offering $28/$38/$48 prix fixe dinner specials, granting guests the ideal opportunity to experience all the best each joint has to offer. Most if not all of my favorite Palm Springs restaurants will be participants this year which is incredible – so many to choose from, so little time and waistband space. But even if you’re not “just here for the food”, between tours, shopping, hiking trails, spas, luxury pools, and museums there’s something in Palm Springs (and special offers!) for everyone.
Palm Springs is the epicenter for warm weather relaxation and is a favorite destination amongst mid century modern lovers and those of all ages feeling particularly tired and pale. I love the fact that every time I visit Palm Springs there is consistently somewhere new to stay, eat, or imbibe. The Angeleno dream is to eventually get to a point where you can say you’ve stayed at (or at least visited) The Saguaro, The Parker, L’Horizon, Sparrows Lodge, Korakia Pensione, The Ace, The Avalon, and every other incredible resort/hotel in the area. I’m working on it myself. When you’re not sitting poolside happily baking in the desert heat there are plenty of other ways to enjoy what the area has to offer. I’ve had a blast taking a Jeep Tour of homes once inhabited by old Hollywood stars, or visiting (and totally tearing up) at the Palm Springs Air Museum, or, post craft cocktails at Seymour’s at Mr. Lyons of course, trying to solve my way out of an Escape Room. But, at the end of the day if food is the name of your game and your ready to take yourself on the best little desert culinary adventure, let’s chat about a few dinner menus and restaurant participants from next month’s Greater Palm Springs Restauarant Week that are sure to be worth the trip alone.
When you imagine “vacation”, what does your next dream adventure look like? Maybe it involves a beach with piña coladas, maybe it’s strolling through cobblestone streets in Europe, or maybe it a mountain/lake situation; we could go on and on considering the dreamiest of options, but if there’s one thing all of these grand ideas share it’s that they are without a doubt intended to be memorable experiences. The best and most enjoyable vacations I’ve found tend to happen upon us when we need them most. As fun and fulfilling life in LA can be for most of us, the hustle and bustle of it all can just as easily wear you down and challenge your identity. I’ve found the “weekend getaway” to be a crucial component to surviving life at such a fast pace and all the while making the journey that much more rich and rewarding.
My recent weekend getaway to The Alisal Guest Ranch Resort was one of those adventures, one of those mind/body/soul vacations, I will truly never forget. What made it so memorable is due in part because I was in desperate need of some “me time”, but most of it I owe to the truly magical and yet completely authentic experience Alisal offers. If we’re so fortunate in life, we get to take vacations that change us for the better in an instance. You head home feeling like you’ve got a whole new perspective on things, you feel whole, and most importantly you feel all the more alive. To some Alisal might just be a great little 10,000 acre ranch style resort with tons of great outdoor activities, but to me and I’m sure any other past guests, Alisal is therapeutic.
[READ ON FOR MORE INFO + PHOTOS]
“I need a vacation.” – all of us.
Vacations just can’t come sooner or more often can they? In a society dedicated to “the hustle” Angelenos are an especially unfortunate fortunate bunch. Being a resident in an urban destination has it perks – weather, beaches, limitless amounts of activities – but everyone can agree that no matter where you live, sometimes you just need to get the hell outta town. When you’re feeling like you need a mini-break from all the LA-ness or life’s general mundane monotony, it’s likely you do as all urban city dwellers do: you plan a weekend getaway. In LA we have several alternative destinations to choose from, but Santa Barbara has always been an escape favored by locals – and non-locals for that matter. If palm trees, calm oceans, Spanish style architecture, and crisp, salty Central Coast air beckons you, here’s how to make the most out of a few days in Santa Barbara.
So much to do, so little time. Story of our lives. Chicago is an incredible destination with so much to see and experience, but when you’re ‘just visiting’ it’s nearly impossible to nail down what seems most important to get done – especially when you’re short on time. I spent three glorious days in the Windy City last week and packed in as much fun (and most importantly: food) as possible and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, a plan of attack is kind of a good idea. I don’t want you to feel lost, confused, or disappointed, and while I can’t call myself a Chicago-pro quite yet, I’ve got friends who are and have directed me to some of the city’s best. (Ieena and Riya I’m looking at you!) Follow this here quick guide to the city and fear not one shred of disappointment during your travels! Angelenos and fellow Chicago-curious people… I gotchu covered.
Ahhh Austin. Austin has always been known and thought of as a “cool”, “hip” city, but the pace at which this Texas town is surpassing even the most ultimate Silver Lake levels of hip is just incredible. I heard from several locals on my recent trip that there are 120-150 people moving to Austin DAILY, many of whom are filing in from our fine state of California. And frankly from recent experience, it kinda makes sense! Austin is in some ways the cool, less expensive, up and coming version of Los Angeles. Except a little more friendly and slightly warmer with a lot more country music stations.
I was actually born in Austin, as you may have read in my bio, but I have not been back to visit since I was probably around 10 years old. Austin always seemed like it would be more fun in my twenties anyway (at least that’s what I kept telling myself), and last week I finally made my way back to the Texas capital. We could talk all about how you should go see the bats fly out from under the Congress Bridge, or how you should walk around 6th Street, and have BBQ at Franklin…. but we’re better than that. It’s not to say you shouldn’t do any of those things but if you really want to see and experience the best things Austin has to offer, in my humble adventure seeking/Angeleno opinion, this is what you need to do:
Never have I ever been happier to feel the sun and hang out in 85 degree weather more in my life than returning home from 10 degree weather in New York. Snow and chilly weather is awesome, for like a week, and by the end of the trip I’m always ready to come home to my sandals and sunglasses. LA was so sweet bringing the heat out in honor of my return this weekend, and what a sweet blessed reunion it was to be back in the city that I love – most of the time. In reflection of my recent trip to the Big Apple there were so many great highlights and so much fun for you Angelenos to be had in future visits of your own.
If you plan on going to Brooklyn and you love burgers, head to Dumont Burger and get the Dumac + Cheese burger: as you may have guessed it, it’s a perfectly cooked grassfed burger topped with mac + cheese.