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Travels

This week we are heading to the breathtaking Pacific Northwest, Vancouver British Columbia to be exact! This is truly one of the most remarkable places that I have ever been to and I go back every chance I get. So I am going to give you the insiders (myself) guide to this glorious metropolis on the ocean!

There is so much to do and see in Vancouver, lets start off at the beach. One of the best is Kitsilano beach, which has spectacular views of the Burrard Inlet, mountains and that gorgeous skyline! Plus there is a massive pool that is open to the public so you can float around and soak up those views, and not to mention all the great restaurants and shops nearby. Other favorites are (ship) Wreck beach, Jericho, Sunset and Third beach, which is in Stanley Park.

Moving slightly inward from the water is Stanley Park, which is recognized as one of the world’s greatest parks. This park seriously has it all: beach’s, trails (Seawall), an epic forest, amazing wildlife, views and yummy places to eat. Plus if you are lucky enough you may come across filming for the next big motion picture (MI3, Twilight) or a favorite TV show (Fringe, Sanctuary, Once Upon A Time)!

Honestly in my top three favorite things about Vancouver includes their Seawall, this “trail” if you will, goes along the waterfront, Coal Harbor (Burrard Inlet) via Stanley Park & False Creek to Kitsilano Beach. At 13.7 miles it is a great workout if you want to take in the beauty of the city and not have to deal with the gym crowds! Although I would make sure you have money for a cab or a SkyTrain (above ground subway) ticket for when you are done one way, (I am guilty of doing so) you will definitely feel the burn!

So once you are done with the great outdoors you need a relaxing room to wash up and get ready to hit the town! First off they have a hotel for every budget and need that you can think of so I will just highlight. My personal favorite is the Opus Hotel in Yaletown, which offer guestrooms featuring vibrant colors, spa bathrooms & five lifestyle-inspired décor schemes. This boutique oasis is centrally located to everything so you can browse all the delicious spots and shop till you drop without needing a car!

Another great pick is the Pan Pacific Vancouver which is in the heart of the city and overlooks the magnificent waterfront, the hotel is surrounded by panoramic views of the harbor, mountains, Stanley Park and the infamous city skyline!

So now it is time to eat! Vancouver has a very Asian inspired culinary scene however you can find any nationality that you might crave, all while having amazing seafood! This is so hard to say my favorite restaurant but I am going to have to go with Blue Water Café + Raw Bar in Yaletown. Words cannot express the amazing atmosphere this place has nor can the joyful food be praised enough. But you have to go there it’s just amazing!

Then there are the coffee house’s, I personally do not care for the caffeine enriched drink but in Vancouver I always find myself sitting in a quaint, cool coffee place and people watching, it’s a must do! Another favorite is the JAPADOG, which is a Japanese hot dog, sold as street food in Vancouver super yummy!

Now that we are caffeinated and full let’s go shopping! My all time favorite store in the whole world, yes the world, is The Cross Design and Décor this haven of incredibly beautiful home goods is once again located in Yaletown. From elephant teapots, to comfy couches, colorful poofs, dramatic mirrors and inspirational books, this store has everything a girl will ever need to fill her home plus more! As for clothing I love Misch Boutique, which is located in Granville and offers designers like Forte.Forte, Faliero Sarti, Isabel Marant, Vanessa Bruno, Carven and Sartore. You can truly create a whole new you with the bevvy of options Vancouver has to offer! 

Vancouver itself is made up of neighborhoods that are unique and amazing on their own but when combined allows an incredible city to unfold. As you might be able to guess one of my favorite spots is Yaletown, this old warehouse distract has a shadowy past that adds to its lively and diverse life now!

Another great place is Gastown this is the only part of the city (actually two buildings) that survived a devastating fire in 1886. This just adds to the character of their steam clocks, brick streets and charming architecture.  Then the wonderful Westside that incorporates Kitsilano and other “suburban” neighborhoods that have jaw dropping homes and cute parks.

My last neighborhood will be the North Shore, which faces Vancouver (to its south) leaving marvelous views from its hilly mountainside. Also here you will find the Sea-To-Sky highway, which goes into Whistler another gorgeous place!

As you can tell I can keep talking about this for hours, I wont, don’t worry!  But hopefully I have inspired you to talk a trip to the gleaming city on the ocean in the great Pacific Northwest!

Maybe it’s because I have a love affair with wine, or maybe it’s because the summer months are basically here, or maybe it’s even because spending time in the country sounds so appealing, but I am definitely taking advantage of Long Island’s North Fork Vineyards this summer, and you should too! You would never know that this secret hideaway is only about a two hour drive from New York City, but once you are there you feel like you are so far away from home!

The North Fork of Long Island may not be the real, down-home, country, but it sure feels that way! Best known for their many vineyards and luscious farms and amazing produce, this region of Long Island is great for a weekend getaway. You can stay at a cozy inn and get the whole bed and breakfast experience, or you can stay at an upscale hotel and take in sun during the day and go on wine tastings at night!

Palmer Vineyard

This area is also known as Long Island Wine Country because of their infamous vineyards lining the north fork. Some of the better known vineyards include Duck Walk Vineyards, Clovis Point, Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyards and Waters Crest Winery. You can actually drive up and down the north fork and see which one you like best before you stop. Surrounded by farms that produce incredibly fresh fruits and vegetables, amazing gardens and quaint towns this area is one of my favorites.

Duck Walk Vineyard

With summer approaching this is the perfect place to go! I have been to only one vineyard and fell in love, so this is my chance to go again and experience a traditional Long Island wine tour! Of course, make sure you drink responsibly and have arrangements to get home but this is one of the best things you can do during the summer! You feel like you are miles away from any city, and the best part is, all you have to worry about is relaxing on the patio of a vineyard and enjoying incredible drinks, and company.

Our travels take us to the West Coast this week to explore the most amazing, beautiful, breathtaking place I have ever been to! The Big Sur is definitely my absolute favorite spot on the West Coast. The views will leave you speechless, the air is crisp and refreshing, and the adventures are endless! I would go back there every single year if I could.

Big Sur is a region along the Central Coast of California. It is definitely more of a scenic, outdoors vacation spot. There are inns and even a Hotel in the region but the nature, and atmosphere are what is really supposed to be appreciated here. I cannot tell you what an amazing time I had driving down the Pacific Coast Highway and stopping at lookout points and hidden spots in Big Sur.

There are so many fun things to do in the area as well! You can go hiking in the forest, go sightseeing in the National Parks, bike ride up the trails or camp in one of the camp sites! I did not go camping but I did go sightseeing and stop and take in the incredible views.

Mountains and forests meet the Pacific Ocean.

The nature and the views are my favorite thing about this vacation spot. On one side of you is the endless Pacific Ocean and you can hear the waves crashing against the cliffs. On the other side of you are the mountains and forests that make up Big Sur. It is like two forces of nature coming together and meeting at this point! It is truly beautiful.

A quaint inn, nestled among the mountains of Big Sur!

This is the perfect vacation spot for friends, families, and honeymooners! You and your friends can go on all the adventures offered in the region or take a road trip down the Highway. Families and their children can go sightseeing and explore the land, and honeymooners can enjoy a romantic dinner at a small inn surrounded by the beautiful nature.

I wish I could include more pictures! How picturesque are the waves against the cliffs?

I really love Big Sur and definitely recommend that all of you go out there and see it for yourself! This is the perfect spot for a summer getaway when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city or just a weekend away. It is my favorite spot and with all the stress this time of year can bring, who wouldn’t want a relaxing weekend by the sea? I wish I could fly out there now!

I’m sticking to my East Coast roots and traveling down to Miami Beach to tell you about the amazing Loews Miami Beach Hotel. I stayed there many years ago and they have since made million dollar renovations, yet the atmosphere, prestige and reputation stay the same. It is an amazing hotel and the grounds are just beautiful! Miami Beach may just be my favorite vacation spot!

The Loews Miami Beach Hotel is situated right in the heart of South Beach, just minutes away from Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road. (Two of my absolute favorite spots.) South Beach is such an eclectic, trendy, and fun town, and the Loews fits comfortably into the area. The hotel features an oceanfront swimming pool and jacuzzi, world-class spa, fitness center, and five-star dining.

There is never a dull moment at the Loews, you will definitely be partying at one of the nearby clubs or strolling along Lincoln Road for some after-dinner drinks and gelato. (Lincoln Road has the BEST gelato!) The Loews is such a notable venue and the atmosphere inside the hotel compliments the history. If you are staying at the Loews you really are getting the entire Miami Beach experience.

The great thing about the Loews is that you are right in the center of the Art Deco District in Miami but also directly on the beach as well. You can step outside and lay on the beach, or you can walk down the street and experience some of the best shopping and dining Miami has to offer. The nightlife in Miami is some of the best nightlife along the East Coast and the Loews is in walking distance to some of the best clubs around. If you feel like staying on hotel grounds they have entertainment on weekends at the Hemisphere Lounge.

The spacious rooms that the Loews offers is great for couples or families. Whether you have three kids or you are spending the weekend with your man, there is something for everyone. South Beach is definitely a place to visit and the Loews offers outstanding accommodations that fit right into that Miami Beach atmosphere.

South Beach and the Loews Hotel have such a great atmosphere that I would go back year after year. The shopping, dining, and beaches are top-notch

I have been falling in love with Puerto Rico year after year. My family and I have been going to the El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico for the past 4 years and we have absolutely had a blast each time! The resort sits on a 300-foot cliff and overlooks the Atlantic ocean with break taking views.

The resort is both great for kids and also fun as a spring break destination with friends! I simply cannot say enough good things about this resort, take a look for yourself!

Pool Area

Aerial Shot Of Resort

Palomino Island – The Resort’s Own Private Beach!

The Golden Door Spa is also located on the resort and has great massage and facial packages, trust me, it was one of the most beautiful and relaxing spas I have ever been to!

The resort also has it’s own private beach, and activities such as horseback riding on the beach, special rainforest excursions and a trip to the amazing Bioluminescent Bay. Accommodations are extremely comfortable, and the Las Casitas Village, which is a separate section of the resort, has townhouse style villas, most of which overlook the ocean.

Las Casitas Village

Dining at the resort is amazing also! Restaurants on-site are mouth watering, and include the famous steakhouse, “Strip House.” If steak is not your thing they also offer amazing Italian and seafood restaurants as well.

I can honestly say that I have had the best vacations of my life at this resort. Whether you want a fun night with friends at the casino or martini bar, or a relaxing night with family at one of the restaurants and a walk on the marina, this resort really has something for everyone.

I have done the horseback riding on the beach, rainforest trip, and sunset walks on the private beach island, nothing gets better than that. Not to mention it is absolutely, stunningly beautiful!

I know this is a picture of a wedding ceremony being set up but come on, this is paradise!

Puerto Rico is rich in culture and history and the El Conquistador Resort is truly an amazing tropical retreat. I cannot wait to go back!

Ever since I was little my mom and dad and I took a yearly trip to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Now there is no other place that I would tell you about then this place if your looking for a relaxation destination. You get the best of both worlds with fishing, a late night wine and dine on the water, and a fun night out with friends and family. Even though living in Los Angeles may seem like this “Lavish” lifestyle, it’s great if you want to be working 24/7, but to get away from reality for a bit, I will always turn to this place. Hotels and night stays are fairly cheap if you are looking for a reasonable place to vacation and stay at, and as far as dining goes, you’ll always come across a place that fits your budget.

Here are some nightly stays that are affordable ,yet reasonable:

O The Sea Club Resort– Ft Lauderdale, Florida

Lauderdale Beachside Hotel– Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Riverside Hotel– Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Tropic Cay Beach Resort And Hotel– Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Avalon Waterfront Inns– Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

 *Swimming with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove & watching the Daytona Boat Beach Races are high attended activities in Ft.Lauderdale too!*

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