Eleven Excuses to Celebrate at Terranea Resort

There are some key moments in life when you feel inspired to do something really great; like when you graduate college, take that first 8am sip of an iced coffee, or get a really uplifting quote on the inside of your Dove chocolate wrapper. For me, a moment came just last week, when I was observing a wedding and a 50th birthday party, all from a patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a pool, a spa, a set of mountains, and a sunset. The location: Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, just 40 minutes south of Los Angeles. And when you’re at a sprawling oceanfront resort surrounded by celebrations, you just feel inspired to make your own.

At Terranea, celebrations are everywhere, and every cranny of the seven dining spots, three pools, 225 fire pits, and 582 rooms (starting at $425/night) is abuzz with a "life-is-good" hominess that makes you not want to leave. Which is why many of the guests—mostly unassuming millionaires—don’t, and decide to buy one of the jacuzzi-and-fireplace-stocked casitas or villas for sale on the property. Beyond the scenery and accommodations is a menu list of adventures known as "Pointe Discovery" activities, where guests can hitch a ride on a horse, explore sea life in the tidal pools, meet some falcons, hike, kayak, and more.

Need an excuse to visit Terranea? Maybe a tailored itinerary, too? Try one of these, and begin The Terranea Experience.

You’re Days Away From Getting Married: Your single days are numbered, so grab your girlfriends, and share one of the 1,100-square-foot Spa Club Bungalows right by the ocean. Included in that $1,215 ticket are free meals at the Spa Café, free use of the spa pool and amenities, 10 percent off spa/salon services, and 10 percent off cabana rentals. You’ll also get a personal concierge, so you can start getting used to bossing someone around all the time.

You Can’t Remember When You Last Vacationed: Leave work behind and live it up in one of Terranea’s oceanside 900-square-foot suites with a private patio, living room, and stone master bathroom. If you can make it out of your suite, head over to Nelson’s; a stone and wood-beam sports bar restaurant that sits right by the ocean – for a beer, shrimp taco, and an outdoor table by the sunset, all while getting reacquainted with your social life. 

Winter Isn’t Fun Anymore: With its three heated pools (family, adult, and spa), hot tubs, saunas, and fire pits, you can catch a lot of warmth at Terranea, no matter the weather. Then, when you’re complaining about how hot summer is, you’ll be glad the ocean and cold plunge pool at the spa is nearby.

Your First Weekend Without The Kids: Just take any room that’s available and get out ASAP for heaven’s sake. Have a couple of beers and a sunset dinner at Nelson’s, race each other in kayaks, swim in the adults-only pool, dress up for some seafood at Mar’sel, and end each night with s’mores by a fire pit.

Wait, You Had To Bring The Kids: Go for Pointe Discovery’s horseback riding adventure at Wagon Wheel Ranch and get a view of all of LA—from Malibu to Long Beach—right on your thoroughbred. Refuel at the kid-safe, all-day dining spot Catalina Kitchen, just steps from the family pool. Then, drop them off at The Tidal Pool Kids Club for a day and evening of nonstop themed activities and projects, while you get multiple reflexology and shiatsu massages.

You’re Bored of Malibu: Whether you’re sick of living or vacationing there, sometimes it’s just really nice to get out of LA and go somewhere not too far away that still feels uncharted. Recapture the charm with a guestroom that overlooks the ocean, and begin your day at the quaint and warm café Sea Beans—where a cappuccino keeps you buzzed for hours, and a lemon blueberry scone is the size of a pizza slice—but better.

You Just Wanna See Some Ocean, Dammit: Okay, this is really easy. Reserve any of the oceanside or oceanview rooms, and eat at Mar’sel and Nelson’s for every meal. Sit by the spa pool facing the water, and in the afternoon, book a tidal pooling Pointe Discovery trek with Sean, where you’ll discuss Taoism and Hawaii, in the midst of jumping into the cove and sticking your fingers in Hoover-sucking sea anemone.

You’re Going to Propose: If she won’t say yes here, then you’re out of luck. Make it special with a couples’ Signature Treatment Suite at the spa, and an oceanside king room, a platter of fresh oysters from Catalina Kitchen’s Friday night seafood buffet, and rose petals, and sprawl on the bed in just a robe and… KIDDING, JUST KIDDING. But really though, that’s a very good deal.

You’re On a Seafood Binge: When you’re surrounded by ocean on three sides, you can’t go wrong with ordering seafood, which is why every dining spot at Terranea offers some edible form of sea creature. To make the most of it, arrive on Friday and head to Catalina Kitchen’s weekly seafood buffet. Then make your way to the spa on Saturday, and pick up a lunchbox full of coriander-crusted tuna rolls and Thai-style shrimp salad. For dinner, check out Terranea’s fine-dining spot Mar’sel for their wild Alaskan halibut, or the crispy walnut shrimp at Asian fusion spot Bashi. Then wake up on Sunday for Catalina Kitchen’s buffet seafood-filled brunch. Vacationing is fun!

You’re Having a Quarter-Life Crisis: Give yourself some time to think and overanalyze the meaning of your life with Pointe Discovery’s painting by the sea and a hike to the Point Vicente Lighthouse. Who cares how long the trek is? It’s not the destination, but the journey that counts. HAHA.

You’re Sick of Everyone: Four words—falconry and horseback riding. Just stick with the animals.

Terranea Resort

Italy’s Back Roads: 5 Unique Travel Itineraries

It’s the job of travel sites and agents to point out the best places to eat, drink, shop, and sleep, but rarely do we see the best back roads make it onto the agenda. Accordingly, travel aficionado Tom Hale, bored with typical modes of exploration, founded Backroads, an active travel company devoted to creating rewarding alternatives that include the best possible biking, walking, and multisport trips around the globe.

“Active travel is, at its heart, a way of connecting more authentically with the world,” he says. He’s tapped a team of people that share his passion, including Jeff Cantarutti, Italy’s Regional Manager. Here, Cantarutti shares five of his favorite walks around Italy.

Cantarutti has a deep-rooted passion for Italian heritage—his father was twice knighted by Italy’s government for his efforts to promote Italian culture in the US. “I can show up at the homes of my Italian cousins anytime,” he says, “and thanks to the local friendships I’ve cultivated over the years, our trips have an authenticity that can’t be matched.” In fact, Cantarutti has been at it for 21 years: uncovering inviting lanes, tracks, and trails, and developing friendships with local chefs, vintners, historians and hoteliers—all of whom are eager to share their passions with travelers. “One of the best ways to see Italy,” he explains, “is on foot—it’s shaped like a boot after all!” He designed five Backroads walking trips, with 53 departures between mid-April and mid-October. Travelers choose premiere or casual lodging, and can modify what they see and do to their own tastes and with Jeff’s recommendations. Here are Jeff’s five favorite ways to “walk” Italy.

Amalfi Coast Starting in the southwest, revel in the realm of Italy’s elite. It includes strolls through lemon orchards, access to private terraced gardens high above the Mediterranean. The views from the decadent villa-hotels come with top-notch service. There’s fresh seafood everywhere, to go along with the “million-euro” views of Capri’s limestone peaks. To top it all off, Jeff works with local celebrity chef Mamma Agata to create an evening of authentic Neapolitan cuisine and cooking demonstrations. Picks:Hotel Caesar Augustus for the unmatched views of Capri, and incredible service. ●Villa San Michele for its beautiful Mediterranean gardens amid the villa, which dates back to the 19th century when Swedish physician, writer and recreational archaeologist, Axel Munthe, adjudicated the ancient roman construction site, to display his collection of relics and classical artifacts—the head of the Medusa, the bust of Emperor Tiberius, and the magnificent Egyptian sphinx—all on display here. ●Boat ride along the Costiera Amalfitana to behold an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape that has been landmarked by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre to help protect and preserve it’s rural beauty. ●Sorrento’s nearby mountains for scenic picnic spot. image About the Amalfi Coast: Costiera Amalfitana, as it’s called in Italian, is a stretch of coastline that begins at southern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula and extends to Positano, in the west, all the way to Vietri sul Mare in the east. Salerno is its main town, and the town of Positano was lauded for it’s scenic landscape and beautiful towns by John Steinbeck in his famed short story published in Harper’s Bazaar in 1953,Positano.

Cinque Terre & Chianti Farther north, enjoy the stunning Liguria coastline, as well as classic Tuscany. The cliffside walks link picturesque villages and rural beauty. Ambling through the cypress-flanked trails you’ll discover archetypal towns perched on hilltops. Arresting scenery is paired with melt-in-your-mouth pesto and branzino, not to be outdone by those gorgeous, sun-drenched vineyards offering oenophiles celebrated Ligurian whites and Tuscan reds. Picks: ●The ancient stone walls of Riomaggiore to marvel at the work of several generations and thousands of years of work put into building more than eight million cubic meters of sandstone walls that run throughout the Cinque Terre. Riomaggiore also has an mysterious stone castello, which was first documented in the mid-500s describing the impressive structure back then as “ancient.” ●Greve in Chianti for local delicacies and the region’s best wines at a renowned Enoteca Fuoripiazza. ● Ancient town of Radda in Chianti for the best balsamic vinegar. ● Volpaia, the medieval village-turned-winery for wines and oils amid ancient houses, churches, and underground passages. image About Cinque Terre: Its name means “The Five Lands,” and is composed of, yes, five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The area is part of the Cinque Terre National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you wont find any “modern” coastal additions. About Chianti: You’ve most likely had a classic Chianti wine, which comes from this namesake wine region in Tuscany, near Florence and Siena. The region is divided in seven sub-areas: Classico, Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Colline Pisane, Colli Senesi, Montalbano and Rùfina.

Tuscany Moving inland, Tuscany focuses on the undulating tracks past grape vines and gnarled olive trees. Spend nights in lavish hotels, and experience unforgettable Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti Classico. You’ll immerse yourself in the classic medieval hill towns, including Radda, where you meet Fabrizio, who knows it “come la sua tasca” (like his own pocket), and take cooking lessons with a local chef. Picks:Palazzo Leopoldo for stylish guest rooms with original frescoes in this 14th-century townhouse located in the heart of the Chianti region. Felsina vineyards for feast of Tuscan specialties in a private home tucked away in this award-winning vineyard. ●Castello di Tornano for the spectacular vineyards and orchards in this castle from the 10th-century which produces its own label of wine and grappa. ●Relais Borgo Scopeto for the luxury: this traditional and elegant Tuscan estate is nestled among vineyards and olive trees and overlooks Siena. It was owned by the Sienese cathedral in the 1200s. image About Tuscany: Known for its beautiful landscapes, unique culinary tradition, artistic legacy, and influence on high culture, Tuscany is regarded as the true birthplace of the Italian Renaissance—and you’ll find this heritage in every aspect of the sprawling central region.

Lake District Approaching the Alps, the Lake District is an adventure in an often overlooked, gorgeous region of Italy. Lakeside trails and mountain paths reveal elaborate gardens, frescoed hamlets, castle ruins and breathtaking scenery, including staggering views from Monte Mottarone, a cable car that hangs 4,000 feet above Lakes Orta and Maggiore. The area is complimented by superb picnics, unforgettable local dinners and wine tastings, and stylish villas. Picks: ●Old Benedictine monastery on Isola San Giulio for the quiet bike lanes and paths around the medieval hamlet of Orta San Giulio, and frequently the site of Christian pilgrimages. ●Villa Crespi in Orta San Giulio for incredible lake views from a Moorish-influenced villa built in the 1800s by a successful cotton trader. It boasts intricately patterned floors, and frescoed ceilings. ●Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées in Stresa to visit the setting of part of Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms located on lake Maggiore. ●Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio for a Neo-classical retreat built in 1872 for an aristocratic family from Milan. The lakeside villa glimmers with marble, frescoes and Murano chandeliers. image About the Lake District The Italian Lake District features Lake Como, Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore sitting quietly among the Swiss and Italian Alps in northern Italy.

The Dolomites Heading east, the Dolomites feature Michelin-starred cuisine and views of jagged, snowcapped cliffs. Hike and take chairlifts as you make your way into grassy meadows, fairy-tale villages, pine forests, and cozy alpine huts that serve up piping-hot spaghetti al ragu and vino rosso. The distinctly Italian town of Cortina is filled with sweeping pastures of wildflowers, majestic cliffs, and gondola rides—all that spell classic alpine. Picks:Castel Colonna, a13th-century Gothic castle located atop the Sciliar Massif mountain for an uncommon picnic with uncommon views. ● Puez-Odle Natural Park to spy chamois, mountain pheasants, eagles, and marmots on the way to Crespeina Pass to take in the stunning Marmolada Glacier. ● Romantik Hotel Turm in Fiè allo Sciliar for delicious regional cuisine prepared by proprietor and renowned chef Stefan Pramstrahler in his 13th-century hotel decorated in the local Tyrolean-style décor. ● Hotel La Perla in Corvara for a stay in a charming chalet-style lodge with classic timber construction and a Michelin-starred restaurant. ● Cristallo Hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo for a seriously luxurious say in this elegant hotel, which has hosted countless dignitaries and famous people, including Leo Tolstoy since it was built in 1901. image About the Dolomites: The Dolomite range is located in north-eastern Italy, and is part of Southern Limestone Alps that extends from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley in the east. The area is known for its hiking, and many climb the Vie ferrate, which were protected paths created during the World War I. The “Alte vie” (or, high paths) are long distance footpaths that run across the Dolomites and require at least a week to be walked through.

New York City Itinerary: Hard Times with Paul Iacono

“Who would have thought that a show about a guy with a big dick would become such a hot commodity?” says Paul Iacono, as he passes a giant billboard for HBO’s Hung, the word “Ho” plastered across Thomas Jane’s face. Never mind the overlap, this season, the 21- year-old writer-actor will play RJ in MTV’s Hard Times, a series about a young loner with, according to Iacono, “a massive, massive penis — but the show’s main organ is its heart.” He also stars in this month’s “reinvention” of Fame, a role for which he’s visibly grateful. But while strolling through his favorite East Village haunts (see our behind-the-scenes video), he’s just been informed that the film’s rating has gone from PG-13 to PG. “My character now says, ‘It was everything I hoped for and more, except for the part where I’m still a virgin — technically,’ instead of, ‘I was supposed to get laid.’ But,” he adds, grinning, “At least I get to drop my pants on TV.”

image Cafe Gitane 242 Mott Street This is one of my favorite places to get lost in my writing and grab some amazing French grub. I used to live around the corner on Elizabeth Street with my roommate at the time. He is kind of infamous in the area for being this very good-looking guy who paints on the corner of Elizabeth and Prince Street. It’s not even his art as much as his look that sells. Anyway, I found the apartment on Craigslist, and lived there for four months until our smack-user landlord, the guy I gave my rent check to, tried to evict us. I’ve written a play called Prince/Elizabeth, which was inspired by living down here.

Yaffa Cafe 97 Street. Mark’s Place I had insomnia for a full year, right after I dropped out of college to pursue acting. I’d come here at 3 in the morning for a cup of coffee and free wireless. It was a really hard decision to drop out of college—I spent a year in limbo, during which time I went out into the world and lived every fucking experience to a T.

image St. Mark’s Comics 11 St. Mark’s Place I’m a DC Comics fan all the way. One of the first films I recall seeing was Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman. I watched Jack Nicholson play the Joker and fell absolutely in love—I became a 3-year-old child who watched Terms of Endearment and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I was a weird little kid.

Angel’s Share 8 Stuyvesant Street, 2nd Floor You stumble through a door at this sushi-and-sake restaurant thinking it leads to the restroom, but little do people know, it opens into this old, 1950s-inspired speakeasy with mahogany wood and leather. I get off on that. Apparently, there used to be swarms of these places during Prohibition, but they still exist, and Angel’s Share was the first one that I found. There’s PDT (113 St. Mark’s Place) below Crif Dogs. There’s also The Back Room (102 Norfolk Street), the entrance to which looks like a gate that leads into an alleyway that says “East Village Toy Company.” They serve drinks in coffee cups and beer in brown paper bags. I’ve been going out in New York since I was 15 years old. As long as you’re not a hot mess, most places in New York respect the youth. Plus, I’ve had many fake IDs over the years. My favorite was one on which Pennsylvania was spelled like “Peen-sylvania.”

image Sushi Samba 245 Park Avenue South It’s a Brazilian-and-Japanese fusion restaurant, so don’t expect the stereotypical spicy tuna roll. It’s got the best sushi in the city, original and authentic at the same time. They have a gorgeous rooftop patio at the one on Seventh Avenue. There’s such a lack of really nice outdoor seating in the city. Speaking of, I had a weird experience at Above Allen (190 Allen Street) a week ago. I was standing in line at the bar when someone jacked my BlackBerry right out from my back pocket.

image Topshop 478 Broadway All of their stuff has that classic men’s look—very straightforward, clean lines. I grew up idolizing the Rat Pack, which heavily influenced my identity and the way that I like to present myself. I’m not at the point yet where I get sent free stuff so, typically, most of my shopping is very practical. One thing I definitely learned from Fame is the power of mixing and matching, and the glory of accessories and layers.

Photography by Pieter Henket

Baltimore Itinerary: Rye Rye

Most people know Baltimore by way of HBO’s gritty drama The Wire: a rotting playground for corrupt politicians and bloodthirsty gangsters. But Rye Rye (born Ryeisha Berrain), a laid-back rapper with amphetamine rhymes from the city’s hardscrabble east side projects, has nothing but love for her hometown’s spirited club scene. And even though she’ll drop her debut LP this fall, on M.I.A.’s N.E.E.T. label, the 18-year-old music sensation doesn’t intend to leave town any time soon. “I plan on staying with my family for a while,” she says, “while repping that B-more sound.”

Joe Squared Pizza & Bar 133 West North Avenue My friends who are into the hip-hop scene go here. At night, they play music and different guys just jump back and forth into a circle. But they’re having fun, not competing. It reminds me of So You Think You Can Dance?, with hardcore breakdancing. Oh, and the pizza’s good, too. Usually, you buy a pizza and leave, but here, you sit down and watch a hip-hop dance show.

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Sonar 407 East Saratoga Street Whereas Paradox has all the loud ghetto kids, Sonar has more of a hipster scene. It’s a lot of kids sitting around, chilling and drinking, and there are never any fights here. I used to go when I was 17 because I knew a guy who promoted the parties. A lot of people from the underground stopped by to spin techno and electronica, and I’d just pop up randomly—I’d go when Diplo was in town, and everyone would be wilin’ out.

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Paradox 1310 Russell Street This is where M.I.A. directed the video for my single “Bang.” There are a lot of dance-offs here, with everybody crowding around in big circles and watching. When I was younger and wasn’t supposed to get into clubs, I used my older sister’s ID. That’s when it was fun, because you knew you weren’t supposed to be there. Nowadays, the youngest kids in there are like 12 or 13.

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Broadway Diner 6501 Eastern Avenue If we go out to Sonar or Paradox, most likely we’ll be leaving late, so a whole group of us will go here because it’s the only place still open. I usually order the Buffalo wings with some ranch dressing. It’s never really crowded, so we can laugh and make some noise. It’s all about the people you’re with.

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The Sound Garden 1616 Thames Street I didn’t even know there was a record store in Baltimore until one of my friends took me down here and I saw all this stuff I was on, like the Mad Decent EP. A lot of hipsters go here just to hang out. If you’re looking for a record, it’s a cool spot to hit.

Miami Itinerary: The Bachelor Party

Oh, ye old time tested and treasured art of the Bachelor Party. A rite of passage. It signifies an end of one era, heralds another, and reveals just how brilliant or sleazy your male counterparts may be (as if you didn’t already know). Some celebrate with strippers, steak, and one-night stands. Others keep it classy, opting for a day of golf, steak, and cigars. Whatever your forte, gentlemen, South Beach on the Ocean Drive home stretch has this male bonding event covered. A little bit cheesy, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. Let the male bonding commence.

Stay: The Clevelander. Enough debauchery for your cousin; enough class for your fiancé’s brother.

Friday 9 p.m.: Arrive to Miami International Airport and prepare for a Rock Star host — your Clevelander concierge for the weekend — to pick you up in a fully stocked H2 limousine. 10 p.m.: 1020 Music Boxx. The signature Lynchburg lemonade and margarita pitchers should put you in the right mindset for the evening, or perhaps will render you mindless, which are essentially one and the same condition. 12:30 a.m.: The Florida Room. Suitably tipsy, the Lucite piano and the fact that Lenny Kravitz designed it will all start to make sense.

Saturday 10 a.m.: You may have taken advantage of all that Miami nightlife has to offer into the wee morning hours, but do yourself a favor and unwind on SPF4, The Clevelander’s small open-air deck overlooking the pool and beach for your eating and lounging pleasure. Order up Becca’s Egg Sandwich — a hearty bacon, egg, cheese, and pesto sandwich on San Francisco-style sourdough toast. Down several Bloody Marys and you’ll be back in action. 12 p.m.: Have your Rock Star concierge hook you up with Jet Skis for you and your troupe. Charge it to the room so the best man can pay for it later. 3 p.m.: News Cafe. Spinach dip and sandwiches after water sports. Feel like a local with the other tourists. 4:30 p.m.: Splash Model Showcase. Watch a weekly bathing suit competition from under the Yogurt Bar back at The Clevelander. You can promise your wife-to-be that you never went to a strip club! 8 p.m.: Kobe Club. Shower and after shave on, it’s time to eat, and really eat here; a den of dark leather, steak, and steel weaponry. When the boys get together, these things must be involved. 10 p.m.: Casa Tua. You’re in Miami — may as well try to weasel your way into this clandestine Mediterranean-style beach house for a pre-drink with the boys. Everyone (whether famous or fame-challenged) eventually drops by for a drink. Do as the everyones do. 11 p.m.: LIV. This is why you’ve come to Miami. The ‘Bleau has opened a Vegas-style megaclub for SoBe, the type of place where you could see Brit losing her stuff next to Hilton and Kardashian, and you’ll inevitably find yourself in a long bathroom line. Party like a rock star all the way back to your rock star suite.

Sunday 11 a.m.: Ice Box. You’re feeling like you might want to stick your head in an icebox. Cozy up to the classic comfort food until you and your mates are comfortable once again. Cream cheese French toast should soak up the syrup and everything else you did last night. 1 p.m.: Richard Petty Driving Experience. Sure, you could golf, but judging from last night you’re in the business of making bad decisions, and jumping into a tiny race car sans air-conditioning is a bad idea — until you and your groomsmen are barreling down the Homestead-Miami Speedway at 160mph. Then it’s a great idea. 5 p.m.: One last drink at Plunge. The roof pool promises lots of ladies in bikinis providing one last look at all that South Beach is most known for.

Los Angeles: One Day in Silver Lake

If Los Angeles were a band, Hollywood would be the showy lead singer. And Silver Lake would be the understated, contemplative bassist — the George Harrison of LA neighborhoods. Here’s how to spend a day in this artsy section of the city.

Breakfast: Start your day with one of the scrambles — Benedict or Florentine — at Millie’s, where they do everything the pain-in-the-ass, old-fashioned way: by hand and from scratch.

Walk: Think nobody walks in LA? Well, you’re probably right. But if you head down to the Silver Lake Reservoir, you’ll find plenty of locals cruising the newly opened walking path or sunning in the three-and-a-half-acre meadow, all part of a $2.1 million “all natural” project.

Sip: The coffee gurus at Intelligentsia have brought caffeination to another level — the beans are grown with the same care and commitment that artisanal farmers have for heirloom vegetables. The coffee’s also brewed by the cup rather than a whole batch, and there’s a seasonal lineup of featured brews and beans. So sip some socially and environmentally sustainable coffee, and you’ll feel superior to the Hollywood hype.

Lunch: Go Local for lunch at veteran chef Jason Michaud’s latest LA venture. Michaud’s so serious about serving local, organic ingredients, he named his restaurant for it. The organic salad bar, priced by the pound, offers plenty of greens and protein, and the menu is limited but eclectic, focusing on sandwiches and burgers for $11. There’s no beef hamburger, alas, as Michaud couldn’t find any California-raised beef he liked.

Shop: Mercado owners and longtime Silver Lakers Michelle Weaver and Chelsea Iovino traveled the world to bring rare merchandise to their modern Silver Lake shop. Los Angeles-based designers are also on the shelves, including Denise Plumb’s mysteriously soft tees and Jennifer Herwitt’s creepy-beautiful insect-inspired jewelry. The exotic doesn’t come cheap, but Mercado is worth a browse, and if you’re lucky, a splurge.

Cruise: If you want to buy (or just pine after) a vintage bike, check out Illuminati Motorcycles. Owner Barron has racer-style motorcycles for $2,500 and under, and a couple bikes are always parked on the corner of Sunset and Vendome, drawing hipsters on the way to shows at the Silverlake Lounge.

Dinner: Sure, neighborhood taquería Malo has become a much-less-secret spot since Brad Pitt showed up, but only those in the know order the off-menu “chewy chips,” a softer (and certainly more fattening) version of tortilla chips. The hipster-approved fare includes ground beef and pickle tacos and dangerously delicious fruit-infused top-shelf tequila.

Drink: Styled after a glammed-up 70s truck stop, Stinkers is kitsch and a half — mirrored walls lined with 5,000 vintage beer cans, cutouts of Burt Reynolds, and wall-mounted skunks (some with trucker hats). If you hear someone on the CB, a bartender is likely about to pull a cord causing a row of skunk butts to spray an odorless mist, giving new meaning to “drunk as a skunk.”
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Los Angeles: The Girls’ Weekend

Friday Stay: Hollywood Roosevelt. It’s luxe. It’s glam. There’s all-night pool parties. It’s the perfect setting for a weekend away with the ladies. 3 p.m.: Tropicana at the Roosevelt Hotel. Stretch your legs in the sun and have a cocktail (or three). 4 p.m.: Nothing to wear? Head on down to vintage clothing store Jet Rag. Dig through hipster heaven and you might come away with a pair of 70’s Frye boots, or a sweet fur shrug. Either way, it’s good times.

7 p.m.: Katsuya. Sushi, eye candy, and strong drinks. 9:30 p.m.: L’Scorpion. Drinks flow freely at this sexy lounge. Get lit in preparation for dancing. 11:30 p.m.: Ritual Supper Club. Bangin’ beats and fun crowds; this is the place to wave your hands in the air.

Saturday 10 a.m.: Drag yourself out of bed and do like Angelenos do. Go for a hike at Runyon Canyon. Hit up the free yoga in the park by the entrance. 11:30 a.m.: Skin Sense by Marion Simms. Want camera-ready skin? This is the place to go. Your life may be changed in one short hour. 2 p.m.: Joan’s on Third. Sandwiches, soups, salads, and to-die-for red velvet cake. 3:30 p.m.: The Roosevelt. Relax with magazines and margaritas poolside. 6 p.m.: Arclight. Catch the latest blockbuster (or indie film) at the super high-tech, luxe Arclight theater. Go ahead and reserve seats in advance so you can stroll in after the previews. 8:30 p.m.: . Fajitas and more margaritas. Does life get any better than this? 11 p.m.: Spider Club. Great music, hot guys, great Facebook photo ops. Late Night: Pink’s. Get in line. They’re open till 3 a.m.

Sunday 11 a.m.: Griddle Cafe. Classic brunch for the Hollywood set. Huge pancakes to sop up any remnants of the night before. 1 p.m.: Hollywood Mega Store. So not cool, it’s cool. Souvenirs for everyone. 3 p.m.: One last drink at the Tropicana.

Las Vegas: The Retro Weekend

Friday Stay: Golden Nugget. Check in. Inside the hotel, there’s a Bond villain-worthy pool complex and newly renovated bars and restaurants. Outside the hotel, historic downtown Las Vegas. 3 p.m.: Brass Lounge. Enjoy a “Hello Vegas!” cocktail with a view. 4 p.m.: Nothing in your luggage glamorous enough? For ladies, try the Bettie Page store. Gentlemen can pick up slick threads from days gone by at Valentino’s Zoot Suit Connection.

7 p.m.: Golden Steer. Have dinner at the archetypical Vegas steakhouse where you can sit in Presley’s booth and have your Caesar salad made tableside using Sinatra’s recipe. 9:30 p.m.: Pogo’s Tavern. This unremarkable neighborhood bar becomes a jazz hothouse on Friday nights when the All-Star Big Band, a combo made up of veteran musicians from Vegas’ golden age, takes the stage. 11:30 p.m.: Champagnes Café. Flocked velvet wallpaper, Marilyn Monroe memorabilia and a cast of character actor-like regulars. Feeling inspired and/or tipsy? Kick out your own karaoke Neil Diamond or Judy Garland. 1:30 a.m.: Griffin. Stop in for a quick nightcap by the fireplace, hear the 60s soul and 70s punk coming from the back room and stay for a few dances with local favorites the Bargain DJ Collective.

Saturday 10 a.m.: Golden Nugget Rise, shine and, in the great Vegas headliner tradition, hit the steam room. 11:30 a.m.: Bellagio Brunch. It isn’t Vegas without a buffet. 1:30 p.m.: Classic Car Museum at The Imperial Palace. Mustangs. Cadillacs. Bentleys. Lincolns. Packards. 3:30 p.m.: Golden Nugget pool We’re surprised you waited this long to get on that water slide. 6 p.m.: Battista’s Hole in the Wall. Tip the accordion player extra to squeeze out a few Dean Martin covers. 7:30 p.m.: Jubilee at Bally’s. Old-school production with showgirls in big feathers n’ small sequins as well as a reenactment of the sinking of the Titanic. 9 p.m.: Sidebar. Have an expertly crafted martini or Manhattan at this smart little downtown bar. 10 p.m.: Atomic Liquors. The oldest bar in Clark County has seen the rise and fall and rise of Fremont Street. Get a miniseries’ worth of Las Vegas history for the price of a few rounds. 11 p.m.: Binion’s Poker Room. Vegas’ original poker room. 1 a.m.: Beauty Bar. DJ’s and the occasional live band at this small beauty shop of a bar.

Sunday 11 a.m.: Canter’s Delicatessen at Treasure Island. Mod revision of LA classic still serves lox n’ bagels. 1 p.m.: Pinball Hall of Fame. Get a pocketful of quarters and throw it back to the days before video games. 3 p.m.: Golden Nugget “Farewell Vegas!” cocktail by shark tank.
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Montreal: One-Day Shopping Expedition

Montreal is a city where fashion, food, and culture are on equal display, not to mention the Dionysian after-dusk pursuits. Although female-retail-centric, both BFFs and BFs won’t mind on this tour de ville.

Stay: Casa Bianca . Technically a B&B , this boutique hotel was converted from a turn-of-the-century mansion into a luxe-yet-quirky place to rest your head. Within walking of famous bagel shops, and around the corner from cultural hot-bed St. Laurent Boulevard, Casa Bianca is an ultra-chic standout within the trendy Plateau area. The Plateau neighborhood has transformed in the last decade from a predominantly Jewish enclave (think Mordecai Richler) to one inhabited by university students, aspiring artists, musicians, perpetual layabouts, and newlyweds with Smart cars.

10:30 a.m.: Brunch at Lemeac. The in-house smoked salmon blinis with caviar and poached egg are a must. Also, order the beignets, which can be directly translated as “the best fresh doughnuts you will ever have”.

Noon: Head downtown now, as the charm of the city is marred at night due to the roving packs of Bostonian frosh-boys, ruddy faced and seeking lap-grinds at any number of seedy strip joints to be found on Ste. Catherine. During the day, however, Montreal’s downtown is the site of many a specialty boutiques bustling with fashionistas in search of their next purchase.

First stop; Ogilvy’s. This old-school upscale department store, is a good place to find makeup, skin care, and your favorite French niche-line perfumes like L’Artisan Parfumeur and Serge Lutens. Buyer beware: With a clientele that seems to be the same since its opening in 1912, don’t really count of finding much you’ll wear out of the office. It’s also the only place in town to get refills for your Louis Vuitton day planner.

Just around the corner is luxury department store, Holt Renfrew (think Canada’s smaller-scale answer to Saks). This is the perfect destination to purchase all those tonics and elixirs that help convince the world that pores, wrinkles and blemishes don’t exist, and that ladies always smell awesome. Here, you’ll also find the usual suspects of designer goods: Miu Miu, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, and Philip Lim 3.0. There’s also a cafe downstairs where you can rub elbows with the ladies who lunch and the fashionista set.

Next, head to handbag and shoe fanatic Mecca, Mona Moore (repeat the name of the store a few times and you’ll get the Gallic pun). Shoes are lined squarely and sparsely along the white varnished floors; hard-to-find Belgian cult faves like Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten contrast with a blush pink interior reminiscent of a studio-era starlet’s boudoir. The interior design may be tongue-in-cheek kitsch, but the shoes and modern approach are decidedly not. Proof: meticulous buying of exclusive lines like the conceptual, edgy designs of Rick Owens, Pierre Hardy, and Yohji Yamomoto. This is the spot for all things haute, from highlights shown on Parisian runways, to the famously chic and comfy ballerinas from Lanvin. 2:30 p.m.: Hop in a cab to the Old Port (rue St. Paul W and rue St. Pierre is a good intersection). In a strange twist of fate, the quaintly European tourist deathtrap facade masks the presence of actual forward-looking boutiques, galleries, restos, and bars. Hitting the area without ending knee-deep in over-priced and mediocre French onion soup can be tricky, but there are a number of prominent beacons of cultural life offering hope amidst it all.

For a midday bite to eat, visit Olive and Gourmando. Given the varied locations of Montreal’s more desirable shopping spots, sustaining one’s energy level is crucial, and the well-heeled lunchers who dine here can tell you that their sandwiches surpass the ubiquitous airport-quality paninis that are the status quo in most cafes. The Cuban sandwich is about the best you’ll find north of Miami, and the espresso brownies — fudgy masterpieces — bring you to greater heights than those favored by your trustafarian college boyfriend.

3:30 p.m.: Check out the DHC, Montreal’s newest contemporary art center, where visitors are offered a glimpse into the works of the most feverishly written-about and compelling artists. Casually dropping the names of some of the DHC’s exhibiting artists like Sophie Calle and Christian Marclay will give you the appearance of in-the-know Artforum subscriber. A little secret? Admission is free.

…or ….

Check out Librissime; you’ll be thinking, “bookstore or Architectural Digest spread?” Librissime specializes in intimidatingly interesting tomes and texts, the priciest of which rings up at just under $100,000 before tax; if you can afford that, inquire into their custom-made library service, Ms. Rothschild.

4:30 p.m.: Stop in Reborn. Even the staunchest die hard minimalist would be appropriately impressed by the black-on-black displays in this well-curated boutique, which mixes internationally recognized local designers like Rad Hourani with other independent and obscure labels to provide you with exclusive, niche pieces you won’t find on the racks of the downtown department stores. From perfect-fit Acne jeans to oversized Alexander Wang cardigans; from Henrik Vibskov’s Aztec print designs to ex-Montrealite (now Brooklyn-based) designer Arielle DePinto’s hand crocheted jewelry, you can outfit yourself for the post-art school nightlife that Montreal so richly specializes in.

5 p.m.: Shops close on Saturday, and the typical Montreal “cinq à sept” or happy hour begins. Pop into a boutique hotel in the Old Port, like the Hotel Le-St-James for a cocktail. If you’re feeling a bit more low-key, head back up to the Plateau for a pint at chic microbrewery Reservoir.

7 p.m.: Back to Casa Bianca for disco nap. Nightlife doesn’t get started ’til late. You’ll need to rest up and primp for the night ahead.

9:30 p.m.: Make reservations at newcomer Koko — situated in the oh-so-stylishly renovated Art Nouveau boutique hotel Hotel Opus. The kitchen serves delicious (and very shareable) plates until midnight, so take your time.

11 p.m.: Follow the stream of fashion-school party kids and the creative professional types who practically run the streets of the ‘hood to Blizzarts. Enter Montreal scensterdom.

3 a.m.: Now, like a true Plateau dweller, stumble back to your room (which is right around the corner), or hail a cab which will cost peanuts. Rejoice in the fact that the Canadian dollar is still weaker than its American cousin.