Escape Winter with a Vacation to Sunny Puerto Rico

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puerto Rico, The All-Star Island. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you live in New England, you love the snowy part of the winter months, but this year mother nature has taken it a bit too far. Here in Boston we’ve already had more than 95 inches of snow this season, nearly 60 inches of which has hit in February alone. With 10 days left to go in the month, we officially rank second as the snowiest season ever. Not to bore you with stats… but that’s a lot of snow… as you can see in the pic below I took the other day or in this BuzzFeed article with “pictures that perfectly capture how insane the snow in New England is.”

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Anyway, I’ve had enough of the snow, so I’m continuing my mission to plan a tropical vacation. I started thinking about this back in November when the cold first hit (more on that here), but now I really need some sunshine to look forward to.

One of the destinations I’ve been thinking about is Puerto Rico. I’ve been there a couple times, but haven’t been recently and one of the best things about it is how easy it is to get to from Boston (and other major cities). You can jump on a four-hour direct flight (no passport or foreign currency needed) and you’re there in no time, sitting on the beach with a drink in your hand.

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{W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island – pic via Starwood Hotels}

While I’m most concerned with relaxing on the beach and maybe at the spa right now, there are also so many other world-class attractions for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re into golf, the latest food trends, outdoor adventures or just lounging on the beach. If we end up traveling to Puerto Rico this year, here’s what I’d love to do:

1. Spend a few nights at the W Retreat & Spa on Vieques Island. You just take a ferry ride over there and you’re immediately surrounded by 21 miles amazing beaches. And Vieques is where Mosquito Bay is, a popular attraction for kayaking or pontoon boating because it’s the brightest bio bay according to the Guinness Book of World Records (the water glows neon green in the dark!).

2. Relax on as many of the beautiful beaches as I can, including Flamenco Beach in Culebra. Puerto Rico has 270 miles of coastline and the island was featured in the Top 10 beaches from Travel Channel!

3. Hike through the U.S. national park service’s only rainforest, El Yunque, and take in the views of the island from above and waterfalls and other scenery along the trails (this is the perfect activity if you want to be active on vacation).

4. Try the local rums and Puerto Rican gastronomy. Tours of the Bacardi factory are fun (I did this many years ago) and there are so many delicious foods to try.

5. Walk around and enjoy the old world charm of San Juan. The colorful houses and buildings are beautiful and make for great photos. Plus, there’s lots of history behind Old San Juan.

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{Flamenco Beach – pic via Tanya Ramakers}

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{San Juan – pic via Jenni Konrad}

Check out the video below to learn how you can live your own 5-star vacation story in Puerto Rico. And for more on vacationing in Puerto Rico, visit SeePuertoRico.com, like SeePuertoRico.com on Facebook or follow @PRTourismCo on Twitter.

If you’re dying to take a vacation like I am, let us know in the comments below why you’d love to travel to Puerto Rico. And now I’ll go back to being snowed in forever… or until a vaca is finally booked!

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Cheers to a Memorable 2014

After getting married and going on an amazing honeymoon to the Greek Islands in 2013, it was hard to believe that this year could even compare. But 2014 brought so many great things, the best being the new addition to our family, a mini bulldog named Hank. I was so excited to get a puppy, but I had no idea how much joy he would bring to our lives every single day! We also took trips to Cali, Spain and Aruba in 2014, and I closed out the year graduating with my master’s degree just a couple weeks ago.

2014 in Review - http://bit.ly/dailykaty

I’ve been a little MIA on the blog this past week (sorry!), which wasn’t the plan, but I found myself needing to take some time to myself and catching up with friends and family in town for the holidays. So to close out the year, instead of resolutions, I’m sharing some of my favorite memories from 2014. Thanks so much for reading and cheers to 2015!

1. California – Los Angeles & San Diego

For my birthday, my husband surprised me with a trip to visit my best friend in LA and more of our friends in San Diego.

LA Sunset - http://bit.ly/dailykaty

2. Spain – Ibiza and Barcelona

We spent a few days in Ibiza and then met some of my family in Barcelona for a week in April.

Spain - http://bit.ly/dailykaty

3. Hank

The day after we got home from Spain, this little nugget came home with us. Puppy training was not easy, but it was so worth it!

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4. Weddings!

Wedding fun continued this year with four of our close friends getting married in beautiful locations from New England to Washington D.C.

Weddings - http://bit.ly/dailykaty

5. Celebrating a Special Birthday

My husband turned 30 this year and we celebrated with a big bbq with family and friends and then we went to Provincetown, Cape Cod for a nice weekend away. Ptown is very dog friendly, so Hank even got to come along!

Provincetown, Cape Cod - http://bit.ly/dailykaty

6. 1st Anniversary in Aruba

We celebrated our first anniversary sitting on the beach and relaxing in Aruba. We’ll definitely be going back there soon! The beaches are beautiful.

Aruba - http://bit.ly/dailykaty

What were your favorite memories from 2014? Let us know in the comments below!

Escape to Sunshine in Gulf County, Florida this Winter

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gulf County, Florida. All opinions are 100% mine.

The snow is on its way to New England, and while I do love a good snow storm, I’m finding myself wishing for sunshine. Last week I posted about some amazing beach destinations around the world, and today I’m sharing another great beach spot right here in the US. Gulf County, Florida is a perfect place to visit – especially during the colder New England months of January through March – where there’s plenty of sand, sun and things to do.

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Northwest Florida’s Gulf County has 43 miles of natural shoreline. That’s a lot of beautiful, white-sand beaches! Add Instagram-worthy sunsets and plenty of beaches you can bring your pup to and I’m officially in my happy place. There are lots of winter fun events to enjoy, from sunset cruises and cocktail hours, to beach bonfires and hikes through the white sand dunes. In Gulf Country, you can really unplug and relax (warning: the WiFi signal isn’t strong, so you may be forced to put down that iPhone too!).

Come visit GCFL when you’re sick of the cold winter months and relax on the beach or adventure around in the beautiful weather, biking along the ocean, paddleboarding or snorkeling. To learn more about this “no worry, no hurry” destination, head over to visitgulf.com or follow Visit Gulf County on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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Beach Destinations Around the World {Pinspiration}

It’s officially cold here in New England, and now that most of my travel is done for the year, I’m dying to plan our next trip. So of course I spent the afternoon on Pinterest – and now I’m sharing some of the destinations I’m daydreaming about right now. And to kick it off… a few pics from our honeymoon in Santorini, because I’d do anything to teleport back there asap.

1. Santorini, Greece

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{via me, from our honeymoon}

2. Pink Sand Beach, Bermuda

Pink Sand Beach, Bermuda

{via Corner of the World}

3. Calabria, Italy

Calabria, Italy

{via Holiday Spots 4 U}

4. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

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{via St. Regis Hotels and Resorts}

5. Kauai, Hawaii

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{via Jetsetter}

What are your favorite tropical vacation spots? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Win a Trip to NYC or San Diego from Atlantic Luggage & Delta Vacations!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Atlantic Luggage. All opinions are 100% mine.

This fall has been crazy with the amount of traveling I’ve been doing, both for work and fun. I feel like I’ve been on a plane at least once a week! Last week I got back from a three-day trip to LA then turned right back around the following morning to head to DC for a wedding. Can’t complain too much though – it’s great to visit different cities and friends.

If you’re looking to get away, Atlantic Luggage and Delta Vacations are offering you the chance to win a trip for four to either NYC or San Diego, CA. I just entered because I would love a free trip to San Diego! Some of our good friends live out there and even aside from that, it’s just such a nice, laid back place where people are always happy and the sun shines nearly every day of the year. Don’t get me wrong, NYC has its perks too, but I’ll take the beach over city anyday (pic below of our last San Diego trip earlier this year!).

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Enter to win a family trip now through November 15 and you could win the Grand Prize package, valued at $3,700, which includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare for four (4) courtesy of Delta Vacations
  • Choice of Delta Vacations hotel accommodations
  • Choice of one (1) Delta Vacations activity or tour for four (4)
  • Four (4) Atlantic carry-on size suitcases

Since I’ve been traveling so much, I’ve been on the market for durable, lightweight and affordable suitcases – and that’s exactly what Atlantic Luggage is. They’ve been pioneering great luggage since 1919, making travel super easy for families with lots of options for luggage, that range by style, features and color.

Atlantic Luggage’s suitcases fit so much (even more if you take my favorite packing trick and roll tank tops, blouses and other lightweight tops). I love the 360-degree 4-Wheel Spinners that make it so incredibly easy to wheel through a busy airport. Having 4-Wheel Spinners is key when you’re trekking around the airport and streets with lots of bags – I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get these! And with the Link2Go feature, you can even connect multiple pieces of luggage to roll them together with one hand.

Go ahead and head on over to AtlanticLuggage.com and enter to win that trip to NYC or San Deigo. I’ll be crossing my fingers that one of us win! The winner will be chosen within 7-10 days, the trip has to be booked by September 30, 2015 and travel must be completed by October 31, 2015. That leaves lots of time to plan out a perfect long weekend – three days and two nights!

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Columbus Day Sales with Ebates {Shop the Looks}

While not everyone is lucky enough to have Columbus Day off from work, anyone can take advantage of the great sales today. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorites from online stores that are offering double cash back through a program called Ebates. Over the past year or two, Ebates has become an automatic step in my online shopping – and earned me tons of cash back. I even used it to book our honeymoon!

What is Ebates?

It’s a free program that allows you to get cash back on your online purchases from lots and lots of retailers. All you have to do is sign up here, go to Ebates.com before you shop online, click on the retailer you want to shop at, and it directs you to the online store you selected. From there, when you make a purchase, you earn a cash back percentage of your purchase (usually anywhere from 2% to 10%). The cash back is put in your Ebates account and then you get a “Big Fat Check” in the mail or transferred to your PayPal account four times a year or more, depending on your preferences.

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Where are the best cash back sales today?

Ebates is offering a bunch of different double cash back deals today from retailers like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Sephora, Macy’s, Piperlime and more. View the full list with the cash back percentages at the bottom of this post. Check out some of my favorite items with double cash back below too!

Ebates Columbus Day Double Cash Back Retailers:

  • Dell Small Business – was 2%, now get 4% Cash Back
  • Marriott – was 2.5%, now get 5.0% Cash Back
  • LivingSocial – was 3.0%, now get 6.0% Cash Back
  • HSN – was 3.0%, now get 6.0% Cash Back
  • Clinique – was 4.0%, now get up to 8.0% Cash Back
  • The Body Shop – was 4%, now get 8.0% Cash Back
  • Shoebuy – was 6%, now get 12% Cash Back
  • Overstock.com – was 2.5%, now get 5% Cash Back
  • Kohl’s – was 3%, now get 6% Cash Back
  • Macy’s – was 3%, now get 6% Cash Back
  • Neiman Marcus Last Call – was 2.5%, now get 5.0% Cash Back
  • Nordstrom – was 3%, now get 6% Cash Back
  • Carter’s – was 2.5%, now get 5% Cash Back
  • Sephora – was 4%, now get 8% Cash Back
  • Piperlime – was 2%, now get 4% Cash Back
  • L.L. Bean – was 2%, now get 4% Cash Back
  • eBags – was 6%, now get 12% Cash Back
  • eBay – was 0%, now get up to 5% Cash Back
  • Amazon Apparel and Jewelry – was 0%, now get up to 3% Cash Back

Beach Bag Essentials {Review}

This summer has been SO busy with weddings, travel, birthdays, you name it. But my absolute favorite thing to do is head to the beach, which is exactly what my husband, puppy and I did this past weekend to celebrate my husband’s 30th birthday. We took the 90-minute ferry from Boston to Provincetown, Cape Cod and had a nice weekend with great weather, food and lots of relaxation.

Today, I’m sharing my beach bag “essentials” that I brought along with me this weekend – check them out below and pick some up for yourself for your end-of-summer beach days and Labor Day Weekend celebrations! If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that you can enjoy the beach beyond actual summer months, I envy you. :)

Beach Essentials

1. Cinda B Beach Bag II

The perfect beach bag is hard to come by. You need one that is big enough to fit all essentials – towels, books, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. – but you also need it to have compartments so everything doesn’t get lost in the bag. And then it’s just as important to have a bag that’s made of the right material to withstand sand and water at the beach. That’s where cinda b comes in. Cinda b’s Beach Bag II is but stylish and practical.

The Beach Bag II has so much room, along with six large exterior pockets (perfect for cell phones, snacks and books) and a zippered pocket inside (great for things like keys and money). I picked the beach-inspired Neptune pattern, but there are lots of other great ones to choose from here. The best thing about the fabric on cinda b bags is that they’re all water and stain resistant, “outdoors friendly,” durable and machine washable.

You can purchase cinda b’s Beach Bag II on cindab.com for $129. To learn more about cinda b, follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

2. Coola Suncare

Wearing sunscreen has never been my favorite thing, but I know it’s so important so I suck it up and use it anyway. I recently tried out a few products from Coola Suncare and I can honestly say that I was totally OK with wearing them! The Sport SPF 30 Citrus Mimosa Sunscreen Spray and Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer will definitely be regulars in my beach bag from here on out. They smell so good and my skin feels like it can breathe while still getting the sun protection I need. The continuous spray goes on nice and clear, is made with 97% organic ingredients like cucumber, algae and strawberry extracts and is water resistant. The face moisturizer is super sheer, hypoallergenic and the cucumber scent actually feels refreshing. Both help fight aging with the antioxidants they’re infused with.

You can purchase the spray here ($32) and the face lotion here ($32). And to learn more about Coola Suncare, visit CoolaSuncare.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

3. Hayden Reis Wristlet

When I have a big bag, I find myself putting smaller wristlets or bags inside of it to help keep me organized. That’s why I love this Teal & Blue Stripe Wristlet from Hayden Reis. It’s water resistant and is the perfect place to store miscellaneous items you don’t want to get wet or sandy at the beach.

In addition to the Wristlets, Hayden Reis offers lots of fun, bright products that are perfect for both the beach and everyday use. To buy one of the Wristlets ($32 each), click here, and to shop other products and stay up on the latest from Hayden Reis, visit haydenreis.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

4. Mi Ola Bikini

Earlier this year, I was searching for a simple bikini with a perfect fit – and I found that in a swimwear brand I hadn’t previously heard of, Mi Ola. The brand’s founder, Helena, traded her NYC, high-fashion lifestyle for a laid back, Costa Rica surf life. According to Helena, as a surfer, she had a hard time finding “well-made, chic, sexy bikinis that stayed on,” which led to her launching Mi Ola. In addition to providing great fit and functionality, these bikinis are even made with fabric that is UPF 50+ to protect you from the sun – and it doesn’t fade or stretch out after lots of use.

I tried out the Ring Back Top and Ring Bottom, both in Fuchsia, and it’s already become one of my favorite bikinis for so many reasons. The shape of the top gives lots of support without any crazy padding and is very flattering. The bottoms have a special gripper elastic on the inside that ensure that it stays put, whether you’re surfing or jumping into the water. And while sometimes rings on bikini bottoms can be a bit uncomfortable, these ones are positions on the sides and are even molded to fit your curves. These are brazilian bottoms with ruching is of course very flattering as well.

To buy the bikini shown in this post, find the top here ($95) and bottom here ($85) on mi-ola.com. You can also follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

5. Turkish Towel

I’ve been on the hunt for a Turkish towel all summer and finally got one. These towels are more like lightweight blankets and I think they’re perfect for the beach. They don’t take up much room in your beach bag and are so soft (they get even softer the more you wash them). I found this Turkish towel on Amazon here ($21.45), but you can also get them from stores like Serena and Lily, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Gilt.

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What are your beach bag essentials? Let us know in the comments below!

**While I was provided product samples for review in this post, all opinions are 100% my own.

Delano Hotel in Miami’s South Beach {Travel}

One of my favorite things about my full-time job is that it takes me to places that I might not go to on my own, for one reason or another. Recently, I had the chance to head down to South Beach in Miami and stayed at a beautiful property, the Delano Hotel. Lucky for me, the events I was working were spread out over the weekend, so I actually had the chance to enjoy my stay and also catch up with one of my best friends that lives in another part of Florida. The Delano was the perfect place to stay, with its close proximity to Lincoln Road, beach and pool, and overall chic yet relaxing vibe. Read on for some of my favorite things about this hotel!

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(Image via TripAdvisor)

The Rooms

I LOVE the all-white look this hotel has going on in the rooms. If I could pull it off at my own house, I would… but I’m just not tidy enough for it. So I go to places like the Delano to enjoy. I stayed in the City View King room shown below and it was pretty amazing even with just a view of the city, so I can imagine the Ocean View, Oceanfront and Poolside rooms and suites are pretty incredible. The rooms lived up to their description: “Playful and elegant, the serene oasis of every Delano room brings a fresh interpretation of ‘barefoot chic’ to Miami.” The bed is so cozy that I could have slept all day in it, with luxurious 300 thread count cotton and down bedding.

In the bathroom, the rainfall shower head complete with MALIN+GOETZ bath amenities were also perfection. And last but certainly not least, the mini bar was not your everyday mini bar. It was stocked with high-end cocktails and glasses to match. And there’s even a box with any item you may have forgotten or needed, from Supergoop! sunscreen to Advil, to mints and even socks.

Delano South Beach - Rooms

Delano Hotel - Bathroom

The Pool

Not much of a description is needed for the pool – you can see for yourself in the photos below. The Delano Beach Club is a 7,000 square foot seaside retreat, with a beautiful pool and direct access to the beach. If you want more of a lounge area by the pool, you can rent a poolside cabana. And of course, the poolside cocktails looked amazing and if you want to keep it non-alcoholic, try a smoothie.

If you’re looking to step it up a notch for a special occasion, check out the poolside bungalows. Admittedly I didn’t experience these for myself, but they sound pretty amazing! The bungalows include a private patio, rainfall showers, MALIN+GOETZ bath products and an enormous Roman-inspired marble soaking tub. Step outside and you’re right at the pool!

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The Beach

This one also speaks for itself, but as I mentioned above, the hotel has direct access to the beach and ocean. The staff down by the beach were super friendly and led us to a beach chair with fresh towels. For an additional cost ($200!) you could rent cozy beds on the beach, but our beach chairs were perfect for what we needed that day. And the ocean water was much warmer than in New England! Oh and in one of the pics below I’m wearing my new bikini from Mi Ola Swimwear… more to come on that in a future post!

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The Spa

If you have time, you have to take full advantage of this spa, Club Essentia. It’s located in the penthouse and is a 3,500 square foot private rooftop oasis with amazing views and a calm, refreshing vibe that it so perfect. In addition to your traditional spa offerings like mani-pedis and massages, they also offer preventative aging procedures. It was raining when I was up there, so my photos don’t do it justice, but check out a few below that I found.

 

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The Location

The Delano is only a few blocks from the popular Lincoln Road, where you’ll find lots of shops and restaurants. My favorite spot for breakfast was on Lincoln Road, Paul. It’s actually a chain, but it has delicious omelettes and other breakfast offerings. And of course, the Delano is right on the beach, so you can’t go wrong there.

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The Food & Drink

Bianca, the hotel’s main restaurant, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has both indoor and outdoor seating. I sat outside on their deck for a post-work glass of wine and apps, and then again for lunch with my friend when she was in town. The menu items are simple and savory. I tried the calamari, a chopped salad and truffle fries, all of which were delicious. You can also order from a menu of sandwiches and the likes from the pool deck and beach.

FDR at Delano was the perfect place for my friend and I to go out for a bit the Saturday we were there. I’m not really into clubs, but this place was not too clubby, not too casual. They played awesome music (lots of fun remixes and older rap/dance) and the drinks were delicious (but beware, the martinis were $20 each… pretty typical for South Beach though!). We also got to cut the line and avoid paying a cover since we were guests at the hotel.

There’s also the Umi Sushi and Sake Bar, which I didn’t have a chance to try myself but looked delicious from what I saw walking by. The restaurant offers guests a casual, full-dining experience right in the middle of the lobby, featuring a large communal table that’s great for group dining. And lastly, the Rose Bar is a cute little bar at the hotel that’s a great post to grab a drink and light food bites in a relaxed yet sophisticated setting.

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(Image via HotelChatter.com)

Have a favorite hotel to get away for a relaxing weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

2014 Bonnaroo Music Festival & Official Sponsor Teva Sandals

This post brought to you by Teva. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve never been to a big music festival, but I came close last year when I was visiting my best friend in L.A. and we decided at last minute to head to Palm Springs during Coachella. We rented a house with some of her friends and got to enjoy some of the parties going on in the area and it was lots of fun. One of these years I’d love to actually go to Coachella or another big music festival.

This year, Teva is the official sponsor of the Bonnaroo Music Festival, which is taking place in Manchester, TN (outside of Nashville) from June 12 – 15. This year’s lineup includes everyone from Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa and Elton John, to Phoenix, Kaskade and everything in between.

Teva sandals are the official footwear of Bonnaroo this year, which comes as no surprise given that the brand is dedicated to being both stylish and versatile, and also great for spontaneous adventures and out-of-the-ordinary experiences – such as music festivals. Teva is looking to help festival-goers make the most of their time at Bonnaroo with the help of The Fountain, where Bonnaroo veterans share their tips from past festivals on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Youtube using the hashtag #Ready2Roo.

Want my advice for this year’s festivals? First and foremost, get an awesome group of friends together. With the right people, you can’t go wrong. I’m also a big fan of giant, detailed to do lists, so make sure you check in with past festival-goers to see what you should bring and cross each and every thing off. Lastly, buy some fun new outfits (think boho chic) and have fun!!

Since 1984, Teva has been a brand for go anywhere, do anything, live life for the unscripted moments that make the best memories type person that likes to get out and have adventures. For me personally, I started wearing Teva sandals when I was a little girl and always on fun adventures with my mom. While I haven’t worn them in quite a few years, I love how Teva now offers something for everyone. My favorite are the Teva Olowahu sandals, shown below. You can buy Teva sandals at at Zappos.

Have any tips for festival-goers this year? Leave them below in the comments!

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Weekend in LA – Brunch at Penthouse, Drinks at Bungalow & Hiking at Temescal Canyon

A few weeks ago, my husband planned a trip for us to visit friends in San Diego and Los Angeles for my birthday weekend. We’ve been out to San Diego many times because we’ve had a few different friends living out there for a long time now, and this was my second time visiting my best friend in LA. Since we only had two days and one night there, we decided to make a big, celebratory day out of Sunday, and that led us to The Penthouse for brunch and then on to the Bungalow for afternoon drinks outside. The next morning, we went for a nice hike at Temescal Canyon and then relaxed with our friends before heading back to freezing cold Boston. Check out the details and photos below!

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1. Brunch at The Penthouse at The Huntley Hotel

One thing that Boston is missing is all-you-can-drink brunches. Oh and the amazing view of the Santa Monica beach that you get at The Penthouse at The Huntley Hotel. The Penthouse is chic, modern and loungey, and is truly a perfect brunch spot. I hear it’s a great nighttime spot as well, but we didn’t have the opportunity to check that out for ourselves. Because The Penthouse is 18 stories above and features large glass windows all around, you can enjoy a 360 degree view of the shore while indulging in contemporary cuisine and creative cocktails. If you’re lucky, you may even run into your favorite celebrity too.

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The brunch was delicious and so were the bloody mary’s and mimosas that never stopped coming until we were finished eating. I went with the burger because I was feeling lunch, which was delicious, but one of our friends got the bacon waffle stack that was pretty incredible for brunch. Check out the brunch menu here and don’t miss this place on your next trip to LA.

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2. Drinks at The Bungalow

I’m not usually into the trendiest bars and clubs, but The Bungalow in Santa Monica (which happens to be around the corner from The Penthouse) is a pretty unique and fun place to have drinks outside, both during the day and at night. The LA Times describes it well: “The Bungalow is a breezy Baja-style 1947 cottage surrounded by lushly landscaped grounds and gardens. There are five distinct spaces to mingle within this inviting respite from hectic city life: The Study, a main bar, an outside deck, a State Room and East Garden for private dining, and a game room.”

bungalow

From the outside deck, where we hung out for the afternoon with a few cocktails, you can see the ocean and relax on couches while enjoying the fresh air. The photos show this space well – just picture it with lots of people instead of empty. On a related note, make sure you get there early because when we left at 5 p.m. on a Sunday there was a huge line to get in!

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3. Hiking at Temescal Canyon

On Monday morning, the friends we were staying with were working, and we wanted to get outside and enjoy the nice weather on a hike. One of my husband’s friends from college also lives in LA, and he showed us a nice hike that wasn’t quite as busy as Runyon Canyon and was also only about a 10 minute drive from where we were staying in Santa Monica. Temescal Canyon is in Pacific Palisades at the end of Temescal Canyon Rd. on Sunset Blvd. We did the hike as a loop because it was the best way to see the beautiful ocean views, but there are also alternate ways to go. This 4-mile loop was perfect for someone like me who is active on a regular basis but not an avid hiker. Parking is technically $7, but on a Monday there was plenty of free street parking – and only a few other groups on the trail. Check out the view in the photo I took below!

temescal

What are your favorite things to do in LA? Leave them below in the comments!