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Perfect Getaway: Downtown L.A.

Most ghost towns don’t become boomtowns, but you can barely walk a block in formerly forlorn downtown Los Angeles without evidence of a real and lasting transformation. From the Staples Center to the South Park neighborhood to the Arts District along Broadway, loft dwellers, tourists, and workers are filling stores, restaurants, and bars. Long-abandoned architectural marvels are reborn as nightclubs (the Edison, Exchange LA), while historical theaters and banks are turned into hotels, bookstores, or boutiques. And late next year, Disney Hall will get an upscale neighbor when Eli Broad’s contemporary art museum opens.

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Perfect Getaway: Where Passion Is Always in Fashion

With February comes the pressure to celebrate—or the freedom to ignore—Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re blissfully paired, or happily flying solo, journey to the city that celebrates the lives and works of a romantic couple for all—Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The artist duo famously married, cheated (he with her sister; she with Leon Trotsky), divorced, and remarried throughout their volatile 25-year relationship. Read more...

Perfect Getaway: Taste the High Life

Ski purists who dream of uncrowded slopes, short lift lines, and views to the way, way beyond will find them in southwestern Colorado. A seven-hour drive from Denver, Telluride’s remoteness ensures a dedicated focus on out-of-towners. The city’s core, a National Historic Landmark, is lined with Victorian buildings that recall its mining boomtown past—and Butch Cassidy’s first bank robbery in 1889. Read more...

Travel: Old-Fashioned Awe and Reverence

News from this month's First-Class Travel e-newsletter! Click here to make sure you're signed up. Read more...

Perfect Getaway: A Little Auld Twang Syne

Everything you’d ever want in a city comes together with a dose of weirdness in Austin, making it a fun, almost-warm winter getaway. Like a Southern-fried Portland, this progressive city celebrates all things local, handmade, and artistic in its stores and bazaars. Smart folks from the University of Texas and high-tech businesses coexist with enough musicians to keep the state capital’s more than 250 music venues humming. Read more...

Perfect Getaway: Nashville, Tenn.

A downtown renaissance, a booming culinary scene, and a month-long arts celebration make “Music City” the must-see town this fall. And the recent return of ABC’s “Nashville” for its sophomore season puts the spotlight on the city’s famed live-music venues—historic Ryman Auditorium (aka “The Mother Church of Country Music” and the first permanent home of the Grand Ole Opry), the Bluebird Cafe, and Tootsies Orchid Lounge. Read more...

Perfect Getaway: Yucca Valley & Joshua Tree

Like a rare flower that blooms in unexpected places, the high-desert towns of Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree bring travelers surprising delights. Situated on a stretch of Twentynine Palms Highway about 30 miles north of Palm Springs, these adjacent communities offer the serenity of their remote location, extra-starry skies and, because of their 3,300-foot elevation, temperatures 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the valley floor Read more...

Perfect Getaway: Roughing It Right

Much has changed in this former mountain-man town, where a clean bed and hot coffee once were the height of luxury. Life and leisure are decidedly more upscale in Jackson Hole, the Teton County valley that surrounds the town of Jackson. Read more...

Perfect Getaway: Oceanside

Just across the San Diego County line, this city with a beachy vibe and a small-town feel is giving its neighbors another reason to visit. It marks its 125th birthday with fireworks the night before the nation celebrates its 237th. On Independence Day, downtown will host a craft-and-produce market with more than 150 vendors, kids activities, and music Read more...

An Oasis of Upscale Leisure

Tucked next door to Phoenix on the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale is both an arid Old West town and a modern oasis of culture, fine dining, and upscale leisure. Its quiet neighborhoods and dazzling skies make it a haven for artists, whose work fills more than 100 galleries; and for architects, who are transforming public and private spaces with cutting-edge monuments. Dense with amenities for travelers, the resort community challenges visitors to choose from more than 50 golf courses, 70-plus hotels and resorts, and 50 spas. And though Scottsdale lists chili as its official food, the city of 218,000 residents offers way more than a bowl of beans at its more than 600 restaurants. Read more...

OC Guides

Guides

OC Guides
  • Neighborhoods: Rancho Santa Margarita

    Rancho Santa Margarita’s Plaza El Paseo is a South County suburban mall with a twist. It’s the unexpected finds—a little gem of a florist, cozy spots to sample tea and wine, and a top-notch steakhouse across the street—that put it in a league of its own. Read More
  • O.C.’s Best: Bloody Marys

    Get your vegetables and booze in one convenient—and delicious—serving with what’s been hailed as America’s murkiest and most complex cocktail. Traditionally made with tomato juice, vodka, celery salt, horseradish, Worcestershire, and Tabasco, its origins are widely debated. Here are five superb O.C. renditions of the world-famous drink.

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  • Hot O.C. Neighborhood: East Side Costa Mesa

    This updated neighborhood doesn’t have to try hard to be interesting, original, surprising, and modern—it just is. Take the mile-long stretch of strip malls along 17th Street, between Newport Boulevard and Irvine Avenue, the heart of the renaissance. Foodies come for the Instagram-worthy Aussie-style meat pies at PieNot, coconut French toast at Plums Café, and braised pork panini at Pitfire Artisan Pizza. And that’s just the Ps. Other homegrown restaurants and shops tip toward lean-and-clean fare, such as the casual Jan’s Health Bar. Plus it’s the birthplace of Mother’s Market & Kitchen. Read More
  • Hot O.C. Neighborhood: Downtown Anaheim

    With a focus on food and community, downtown’s fresh look gets inspiration from the city’s rural roots. It takes resourcefulness to restore and imaginatively reuse old buildings, qualities the city’s founding farming families had, too. The new energy is centered on the Packing District, a two-block stretch of Anaheim Boulevard between Santa Ana Street and East Broadway: the restored 1920s-era Packard Building, now home to Anaheim Brewery and Umami Burger, and the 1919 Anaheim Citrus Packing House, with a food hall of locally based food-and-beverage artisans. Read More
  • Neighborhoods: Costa Mesa

    Chain restaurants and stores dominate most of the strip malls on Costa Mesa’s east side. But at Santa Ana Avenue and 17th Street, look a little closer and you’ll find indie boutiques and cafes tucked in among the usual suspects Read More

Style Stuff

  • California Cool: Oliver Peoples Launches WEST Sunglass Line

    This being the land of perpetual sun, it's no surprise that sunglass brand Oliver Peoples decided to launch a new line inspired entirely by coastal California. Read More
  • O.C. Trunk Show Worth Seeing: Michael John

    Don't miss Orange County-based award-winning jewelry designer Michael Hezar's trunk show until 5 today at Neiman Marcus, and again from 10 a.m. To 4:30 p.m. tomorrow. Read More
  • WANTED: Burger Records Musicians

    It sounds like a request for background musicians, but guess again. It's the call of a famous French fashion house and it's lured an up-and-coming musician you may know. Saint Laurent's creative director, Hedi Slimane, has selected---among other locals---Rex Tyler Osterkamp, frontman for O.C.'s Rexx, to model in a Saint Laurent men's fashion show in Paris. Osterkamp is among a growing list of local musicians snagged to strut the catwalk for the famed designer line. Check him out in stills from last weekend's show in the City of Lights: Read More
  • New Year, New Beauty Booty

    You know that deep maroon lipstick and funky purple eyeshadow we always think we’re going to wear on some special occasion, but haven’t touched in years? Now we can donate them and get something in return! Spa Gregorie's has set up a beauty product donation station at each of its three spas as a way to launch its new Osmosis makeup line. Osmosis, which works on all skin tones, is made using 100 percent triple-milled minerals and a unique gogi-berry antioxidant blend. Read More
  • The Easiest Way to Get Ready for Holiday Parties

    Can you think of a better way to pamper yourself than with a makeover and complimentary glass of Champagne? On Dec. 14th, Fashion Island will unveil its newest addition, Blushington beauty bar. The first of its kind in Orange County, Blushington is similar to DryBar, but for makeup. A variety of services will be offered, including lash tinting, brow waxing, and full makeup applications. "The goal is to leave the bar feeling like an enhanced, more beautiful version of yourself" says founder and CEO Stephi Maron. For more information, check out the website at blushington.com Read More
 
 
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