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Perfect Getaway: The Eastern Sierra

Mark the change of seasons with a drive along the Eastern Sierra, where U.S. 395 threads a colorful path through vibrant autumn scenery. The 230-mile roadway through Inyo and Mono counties is flanked by stands of aspen, cottonwood, and willow trees in hues of gold, orange, and red until the end of October. Designated a state scenic highway, the route passes along the charming cities of Bishop, Crowley Lake, Mammoth Lakes, and Bridgeport, and the eastern side of Yosemite National Park. Pack your binoculars and be prepared for challenging mountain trails to reach some breathtaking views. Read more...

Perfect Getaway: Ventura

In-the-know beach lovers sneak up to Ventura for its sandy expanses, Victorian-era charm, and easy access to Channel Islands National Park. You’ll find the local late-summer calendar packed with events. The county fair, which runs through Aug. 10, offers a bacchanal of funnel cake, fireworks, and free concerts by the Barenaked Ladies and the Beach Boys. Catch “Who’s Minding the Store?,” an exhibit that examines the role of immigrant grocers, before it closes at month’s end at the Museum of Ventura County. Read more...

Perfect Getaway: Santa Barbara

Just being outdoors is a pleasure in breezy, scenic Santa Barbara, where every vista includes the shimmering Pacific or the golden faces of the Santa Ynez Mountains. With Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner delivering passengers near the heart of town, it’s easy to leave your wheels behind for an adventure on foot. Read more...

Perfect Getaway: Aspen

Locals knowingly nod when anyone talks about how they moved to Aspen for “just one season” before staying for maybe 10. The winter may beckon, but the summer is what sells you. The well-heeled descend on Wagner Park from June 20 through 22 for the Food & Wine Classic, while families converge on the Fourth of July weekend. Read more...

The Thinking Person's Vacation

Not that you asked, but some of the smartest people in America have chosen their favorites from among the nation's 58 national parks. Read more...

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: Who knew you could find good, clean fun in Sin City?

Sure, it’s the place where all-night parties, gambling, and overindulgence can spark really regrettable behavior. Yet the city that’s launched a billion hangovers also is in the cure business. Hotels including the Mandarin Oriental, the Trump Hotel, Vdara, The Signature at MGM Grand, and the Las Vegas Marriott forbid smoking. And with competing spas offering wellness and pampering treatments, hotel gyms dedicated to keeping bodies swimsuit ready, and menus catering to vegans and vegetarians, Las Vegas is looking practically wholesome. Detox may not be as popular as retox, but that leaves mornings at the gyms and spas—and their cafes—wide open for teetotalers. Read more...

Perfect Getaway: Calistoga Ranch

Every hour is golden hour and there is a wine for every mood and season. If you’ve never been to Napa, then you deserve to go, and if you have been, you deserve to experience this Napa: Calistoga Ranch, a 157-acre luxury resort that boasts a spa, private restaurant, and 50 freestanding guest lodges nestled amid ancient, leafy oaks. Read more...

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...

OC Guides

Guides

OC Guides
  • O.C.’s Best: Tiki Drinks

    Though some regard them as overly cloying concoctions, tiki cocktails such as mai tais and zombies are enjoying a resurgence in Orange County. Craft bartenders layer the rum-based drinks with multiple spirits and spices to create beguiling and complex potions. Here are five great places to get your tiki on. Read More
  • Neighborhood: Dana Point

    Perched above Pacific Coast Highway, Monarch Bay Plaza reflects the relaxed sophistication of its Dana Point neighborhood. In the Spanish-style mall with red tile roofs, ocean breezes blow through white stucco archways, and upscale-yet-casual boutiques and restaurants attract locals and tourists. Read More
  • O.C.’s Best: Vegan Breakfasts

    Veg-heads don’t just mow down bowls of granola and slam wheatgrass shots at the break of dawn. Most want to enjoy brunching on Sunday-Funday with everyone else. And because it can be hard to find tofu scrambles and dairy-free waffles, we’ve rounded up five local eateries that provide tasty vegan options to start the morning right. Read More
  • Best of 2014: Nutty Brûlée

    No one can resist breaking into the sugary crust of crème brûlée, and this one packs an extra surprise with its abundance of silky-smooth chocolate-hazelnut custard below—thanks to the addition of Nutella. This sinful dessert is incredibly rich and best shared with a friend. $8
    704 E. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, 949‑673‑7173, theslidingdoorcafe.com

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  • Best of 2014: Honey Bee Chicken

    You’ll fall in lust with the chicken pieces at BBQ Chicken at Diamond Jamboree in Irvine. Fried in olive oil for a crunchy exterior, they’re tossed in a sweet honey sauce making them all the more delicious. $11 to $21

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Style Stuff

  • Hot Shop: Betting the Farm

    “There’s not a guy in America who wants to go to the mall,” says John Anderson, left, co-owner, with his brother Mike, of Tankfarm in Seal Beach. Read More
  • It's a Charmed Life!

    Fashion Island's go-to beauty lounge, Blushington, is teaming up with jeweler Kendra Scott to launch her new Charm Bar Collection featuring a variety of charms, letters, symbols, and stones, on Friday, August 8 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Read More
  • Hot Shop: Popping With Petals

    Petals and Pop would be at home in a Paris street scene. Blooms and foliage spill onto the sidewalk from old aluminum buckets and vintage German pickling jars. Inside, a floor-to-ceiling library ladder slides along the shelves of this flower and home goods store, providing access to vases, table linens, garden and kitchen tools, specialty chocolates, and cookbooks. Read More
  • Ruffle Some Feathers this Fourth of July!

    We're all familiar with the food truck craze, but now there's a new kind of truck to get excited about. Pekok Within Boutique is Orange County's first fashion truck to hit the streets. The peculiar name is intended to encourage customers to embrace the idea of peacocking, or "Pekoking": using fashion as a means to attract attention and distinguish oneself. The new business is taking part in the Fourth of July event at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina July 4th from noon to 10 p.m. and July 5th from 1 to 10 p.m. Read More
  • Here Come the Brides!

    Looking for wedding inspiration — something that will set you apart from the crowd? Then keep from 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3, open. That's when Something Lovely Wedding returns to Orange County, with an impressive collection of more than 30 high-end wedding resources here in SoCal. Read More
 
 
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