Travel

The word ‘omni’ is the root of a great many words in the English language. From Latin, it means ‘all, every, the whole’, and can be attached to both ‘omnis’ and the more simple root: ‘op’. Abundance. Wholeness. What a magnificent pair of adjectives to describe a weekend away. Omni La Costa Resort and Spa takes those adjectives very seriously, as well as the root word they came from. An all-inclusive location in gorgeous, sun-kissed Carlsbad, California, the property has everything one might need for a girlfriends retreat, family vacation, or romantic getaway. You name it, Omni provides it: all…
All the stars were in alignment in early April. Our kids and our family friends’ children (who live in Napa) ended up with the same spring break schedule AND all the grownups were able to arrange time off of work to spend a few days away in one of the prettiest places on the planet: Lake Tahoe’s South Shore. Since we’ve been back, our children haven’t been able to stop raving about the trip. In fact, they’ve been talking it up so much that friends here at home joked that someone must have put them on retainer while they were…
You don’t have to have been born and raised in Southern California to appreciate its laid-back surf culture … and tell me that when you envision the quaint, coastal town of Carlsbad, it doesn’t immediately conjure images of sun-kissed adults and kids of all ages frolicking in the ocean. On the sand, in and out of sparkling pools, riding the easy peeling waves that curl toward Tamarack Surf Beach. All the classic golden glow that comes to mind when one imagines the beach communities of Southern California greet you in an instant when you step through the doors of Carlsbad’s…
If you like wine, you’re my kind of person. If you like wine and you’ve seen the 2008 flick Bottle Shock, we’re well on our way to becoming best friends. Though the film certainly took artistic license in its explanation of the famed Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, the feat remains the same in history regardless. A vintage made in California became a winning symbol to the world of the premier scene that would emerge from the States’ golden coast shortly thereafter: wine. Since the seventies, the Napa region has undergone a remarkable transformation. From scrappy hippie to simply luxurious,…
At elementary schools all over California, fourth graders have been making missions from craft supplies for years. My son constructed Mission San Diego Alcala (the first of 21 established in the state) last year, which made our visit all the more exciting and impactful. The city’s first downtown area and the true birthplace of California, San Diego is now famous for its pristine stretches of sandy shore and hip shopping and bar crawls through Pacific Beach. But once upon a time, San Diego was known for the historic sites, cultural lore, and the nearby Mission San Diego de Alcala. The…
My first introduction to the city of Chicago was the 1995 film While You Were Sleeping. B-roll of the city’s skyline flashed through the movie, and the clickety-clack of the “L” ran through its soundtrack. A silver caterpillar cruising over bridges, past the Chicago River. Home to two and a half million people, the city boasts some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Parks, hotels, river walks and cruises: enough to fill a day, a weekend, or even a couple weeks of fun filled romping around The Windy City. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, Millennium…
Staying close while getting away at Orange County’s most luxurious resort With all the preparation and waiting that travel requires, sometimes vacationing can be more exhausting than relaxing. After planning an itinerary, arranging papers, booking tickets, prepping sundries, hauling luggage and staying “alert” per the TSA, CHP, FRA, the PA and all the other acronyms – not to mention your better senses – by the time vacation ends it is not uncommon to feel as though you need a vacation from your vacation. When your goal is to unwind, there is always a strong case for a stay-cation, which means…
Full service is a tough term to adequately define. The breadth and scope of it is so far reaching that in certain situations, it can be overwhelming to imagine all the possible combinations playing out: especially when it comes to travel. The variables involved in planning a family trip can often add up to an unbelievable amount of stress - all in order to find a safe haven far from your stresses. Picking a destination, drawing out a budget, deciding on points of interest, museum tours, airline tickets, travel visas, or railway passes, eating out or eating in, grocery shopping,…
180blu offers inventive dishes, hand-crafted cocktails and unparalleled, awe-inspiring views Here in South Orange County, we’re pretty lucky to live so close to the coast and have an abundance of wonderful dining destinations to choose from. But for inventive cuisine coupled with awe-inspiring ocean views, there are few establishments that rival 180blu. Located in The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel - the aptly named 180blu boasts an outdoor lounge/deck situated 150 feet above Salt Creek Beach, defined by breathtaking 180 degrees of blue sky and clear blue ocean water. 180blu’s culinary offerings showcases Pan-Latin Coastal Cuisine prepared with sustainable seafood, local produce,…
My husband and I are huge fans of mixing our family’s travels with historic adventure, always mindful of creating wonderful memories while crafting an itinerary that blends fun with a bit of education. When we recently decided to trek to the Grand Canyon, we discovered what we believe to be the very best way to experience the majesty and magnificence of what is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World (and a trip that required very little “planning” on our part): An all-inclusive package that encompassed accommodation at the warm and welcoming Grand Canyon Railway…
A friend warned me that if our family spent a weekend at Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, we’d end up booking our next trip before we even left the property. Nestled in the scenic rolling hills of the lush Santa Ynez Valley, Alisal is a full-service 10,000-acre, all-inclusive resort/dude ranch experience that combines the elegance and comfort of the western lifestyle with a working cattle ranch where 2,000 head of cattle and 100-quarter horses leisurely graze. Beautifully manicured lawns characterize the grounds of the main “resort” - connecting 73 California ranch-style cottage studios and suites to restaurants and recreational facilities.…
We knew we were in for a memorable weekend when the driveway to the Fairmont Grand Del Mar (fairmont.com/san-diego) took its sweet time delivering us to the resort. A canopy of autumn colors rustled in a lazy and surprisingly warm San Diego breeze as we made our way into the canyon just a couple of miles inland from the 5, which might as well have been 500 miles from kids, laundry, work, obligations. The autumn colors eventually broke to reveal an expertly meandering golf course, which in turn gave way to the fountained entrance to our longtime-in-coming getaway with girlfriends.…
Full disclosure: I am a mom. It’s a fact that may belie my bias when I tell you that sometimes a girl simply needs a break. Children, husbands, work, the unending demands of every single day… it catches up with you. Even the oft-offered advice, “You must make time for yourself!” can feel like just another pressure. The anecdote to the mayhem? A few relaxing days away in wine country, visiting family and friends. With our two young children in tow, my husband and I headed to Napa and neighboring Yountville, where we whiled away the days wining, dining, playing…
An attractive Southern belle lined with blooming dogwoods and fragrant azaleas, Atlanta bears the distinction of being as some call it - a small town trapped in a big city or perhaps more accurately, a collection of small towns. In any event, this “capital city of the New South” was surprisingly far more lush with greenery than we envisioned. What was not unexpected were the abundance of historic sites, commercial enterprises, burgeoning art scene and of course, Southern hospitality. It’s a city that has been known by many names over the years (it was once called Terminus and Marthasville), but…
Situated on the California-Nevada state line, South Shore is one of those fantastic year-round destinations Asnowy wonderland in winter and a water enthusiast’s dream in summer, there’s never a bad time to visit the spectacularly scenic South Shore of Lake Tahoe. Split by the massive, magnificent alpine lake in the middle, both the north and south shores are easy to navigate and offer an abundance of outdoor (and indoor) attractions and activities year round. Our family has always been partial to the south side of the lake and some of the best memories we’ve made over the years have been…
Just over the bridge from San Diego, Coronado is a small, quaint, tree-lined retreat characterized by beautiful, rarely crowded white sand beaches, a rich, romantic history and laid-back, small town atmosphere. Although locals refer to it as “the island,” Coronado is really a peninsula connected to the mainland by a finger of land called the Silver Strand. With wide leafy streets lined with Victorian homes and Southern California beach bungalows, the island is small enough to walk almost anywhere (it’s only a mile from the San Diego Bay side of the peninsula to the Pacific Ocean). Once we parked upon…
Your Beach Day Just Got a Major Makeover May gray and June gloom are finally burning off (thank you summer gods!), and with the sun finally shining all day long, it’s the perfect weather to get to the beach - and really, what better way to spend a fun-filled day with family and friends than when everyone is in “vacation mode” and the kids are out of school? The rest of the summer is calling for clear blue skies and temperatures in the low to mid-80s at the beaches (truly temperate relative to the triple digits expected inland). But getting…
As summer approaches and the final weeks of school wind down before the crazy chaos that defines “family vacation” days descend upon our household, my husband and I decided to coordinate a romantic weekend to celebrate (both of our birthdays are in the same month). We were looking for a locale no longer than about an hour away by plane, with plenty of outdoor activities and indoor recreation, a temperate climate and fine wine and dining. And ideally an all-inclusive experience so that once we checked in, we wouldn’t want (or need) to leave until it was time to head…
Hospitality has its origins in antiquity, with the first records of guest baths in Greek villages in early biblical times. Over the last two thousand years, the simple act of offering care for others has grown into a massive industry: from the first French and English rural inns and stables for travelers, to the splendor of the Plaza Hotel in New York. Caring for others can be complicated, or it can be simple: and the San Clemente Villas are looking to keep it simple. Aileen Brazeau and her husband Paul own and operate the Villas, and they’d like to think…
The holidays are here, and you know what that means – lots of holiday fun! Holiday events are happening across Orange County - from Christmas tree lightings to holiday parades and cruises, December is packed with special seasonal events and holiday cheer! Here is a sampling to get you into the holiday spirit! COSTA MESA A Cirque ChristmasDecember 18-19Orange County Performing Arts Center Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall600 Town Center Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626(714) 556-2787www.pacificsymphony.org/tickets/concert/Cirque_ChristmasA delightful Christmas concert for the whole family: Holiday tunes add a special sparkle to this jaw-dropping fusion of acrobats, aerial artists, contortionists, dancers,…
For this showcase, our editorial team asked Cheryl Turner, owner of Paris in a Cup, to share her personal vision and inspiration behind her immensely popular tea salon and boutique based in historic Old Town Orange ... in her own words and just in time for the holidays. Visitors to my Tea Salon frequently ask me why I chose a French theme for my restaurant, my answer is always the same. I love all things French, especially the beautiful city of Paris. Due to an inner-ear problem, I have never been to the city of love, so I decided to…
Boston feels like a small town where you can’t turn around without bumping into a gravestone of a Son of Liberty, running into an historical landmark or stumbling upon a legendary building. It’s the Cradle of Liberty full of lessons from history; it’s Beantown, heavy with cultural significance; it’s America’s Walking City, full of pedestrians who dig their rickety old subway cars because they’re the oldest and the coolest. Boston famously offers its Freedom Trail, a path of bricks that takes a walker throughout the city past its most significant sites. The Freedom Trail Tour took us from Boston Common…

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