Where To Stay: Hotel Angeleno is Ideal for Exploring Los Angeles

Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles

If you’re deciding where to stay during your trip to Los Angeles, you may want to consider Hotel Angeleno, a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel because of its convenient location and cool 70s-style round shape!

When I first arrived I thought it was in the middle of nowhere – that’s because I am a naive New Yorker expecting every city to have bodegas, shops, liquor stores, bars and restaurants on every block. You’ll find none of these within sight of Hotel Angeleno, but it IS close to all the major attractions via car. That’s right, everyone here drives. (And, FYI, this hotel has free valet parking).

Don’t feel like renting a car? There is actually a bus station across the street if you want to do public transit. And even better, the hotel provides a free shuttle to anywhere within three miles, including the popular Getty Center. I personally used Uber X while I was there and found it wasn’t too expensive (under $20 taxi ride to Santa Monica’s Palisades Park and a mere $4 to Brentwood).

Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles

Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles

While the rooms at Hotel Angeleno were nothing special in terms of design, the beds were really comfy (which is really all that matters, right?).

Also, I can’t complain about free wifi! Traveling on business, I needed to upgrade to the faster wifi to get things done but standard would have been just fine for any tourist. The hotel also has a business center downstairs where you can log online using their computers for 20 minutes for free, and pay-per-print.

Freeway from Hotel Angeleno

Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles

Each room has its own small private balcony with a grand view of…. the highway and residential apartments. Some guests were complaining about noise from the freeway, but since I’m a city girl born and raised I didn’t even notice it. I can’t sleep if it’s quiet!

Below are some photos from Hotel Angeleno’s website that accurately depict the inside. Since I was very busy this trip I didn’t have time to snap them all myself.

Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles

Free valet parking, and everyone working at the door and front desk are beyond friendly and ready to help you with calling a taxi, directions, storing your luggage, etc.
Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles

The lobby was a comfortable place to hang out when I arrived too early to check in. There is also free wifi there, and outlets.Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles

The weather wasn’t the best on this trip so I stuck inside most of the time (yes, I am that unlucky person who goes to Los Angeles in the rain). But there is a small pool area.

Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles

One of the best things about this hotel was the lobby cafe, where you can buy snacks, bottles of wine to bring up to your room, and COFFEE. Being able to grab an iced coffee before heading off for the day was a life saver.

West Restaurant Los Angeles

Don’t forget to check out West Restaurant & Lounge on the top floor, with great panoramic views of the city. While I can’t speak much to the scene or the food (I ate one appetizer and was only there for about an hour on a weeknight), it’s worth stopping by just for the scenery.

Hotel Angeleno will fulfill all your needs if you’re traveling on business or looking to explore all the different parts of Los Angeles. It’s right on the freeway and a 20-minute drive to almost everything. It’s not particularly luxe or romantic, but the price is quite affordable and the friendly staff get five stars!

Hotels.com weekly last minute deal: Los Angeles rates from $100! Book by 10/31, Travel by 11/30

Hotel Angeleno, a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel

Hello Palm Trees! A Trip to Santa Monica’s Palisades Park

Ocean Ave Santa Monica

During my brief trip to the west coast last week, I couldn’t stop waking up at 6AM (grr, jet lag). So I decided to capitalize one morning by taking a trip to Santa Monica’s iconic Palisades Park, a rare strip of prime ocean front property that is reserved for public enjoyment.

Before walking along the bluffs, I stopped to fuel up for breakfast at Blue Daisy Cafe (2303 Wilshire Blvd), a cute spot with yummy crepes, coffee and free wifi. I loved that they offer organic and gluten free options – it made me feel a little bit better about the fact that I was consuming a sugar-filled lemon-ricotta crepe for breakfast.

Crepe at Blue Daisy Cafe, Santa Monica

The Blue Daisy Cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating, and like many other places in LA, heat lamps for chilly nights. According to reviews it can get quite crowded for brunch, but on a Friday morning it was almost empty, which was perfect for me.

Another unique thing to note is that they serve several Turkish coffee concoctions, along with regular LavAzza coffee.

Blue Daisy Cafe Santa Monica Blue Daisy Cafe, Santa Monica

After breakfast I decided to burn off the extra calories with a walk to Palisades Park. I love walking around new places and exploring, but unfortunately in LA there’s not much to see this way. If you’d rather skip the almost two-mile walk, there’s a public bus (Big Blue Bus #720) that will take you the same route down Wilshire to the waterfront.

Fairmont Marriot Santa Monica

You will pass by The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, a luxe resort in a prime yet quiet spot right across from the water. The hotel offers both regular rooms in their towers and garden bungalows if you’re looking to splurge. There’s also a well-reviewed brasserie-style restaurant on the grounds, FIG. If you’re looking to vacation in Santa Monica, it’s an ideal place to stay away from the hustle and bustle while still being just a short walk away from all the major attractions.

Once I arrived at Palisades Park, I knew my trek was worth it. The views of the beach and hills in the distance are gorgeous, coupled with plenty of greenery and open space. The park’s  path continues along the length of the beach – perfect for a jog, if that’s your thing (I’m more of a walker). There are also benches and scenic lookouts to stop at to catch your breath and soak up some sun.

View from Palisades Park, Santa Monica Bluffs

Santa Monica Bluffs

Santa Monica Ferris Wheel

You can see the Santa Monica Pier from a distance.

Santa Monica Bluffs Walk

Santa Monica Palm Tree

Unfortunately my time in Santa Monica was limited as I had to get back to work, the real reason for my trip to Cali. But if you have an afternoon to spare, the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade, a busy downtown area with shops and people watching, is only a few blocks away. This article in the New York Times also mentions some nightlife spots and restaurants that could be worth checking out.

Dream Destination: Mozambique

While trying to plan my adventures for 2014, I became obsessed with Mozambique. Every single photo I see of this country looks incredible. It’s a bit out of the way to get there (traveling from New York would take me 24 hours each way with 2 flight connections) but I’m determined to plan a trip soon. Here are some of the photos that inspired me…

Ilha de Inhaca, Maputo, Mozambique

Stunning beaches. (Source)

 Maputo skyline from cruiseship East Africa

A major city (Maputo) – there’s only so long I can spend at the beach! (Source)

Tofo Market, Mozambique

Outdoor markets filled with handmade items. (Source)

Unusual Hermit Crab

Once-in-a-lifetime snorkling opportunities. (Source)

Dugong Beach Lodge, Vilanculos, Mozambique

Can you imagine staying here? Pictured: Dugong Beach Lodge in Vilanculos, Mozambique. (Source)

Mozambique in a Nutshell: Mozambique is located on the coast of Southern Africa, and is bordered by South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Once a colony of Portugal, the official language is Portugese but many people speak their own regional dialects. There is plenty of colonial era architecture to be seen in Mozambique, but the country has also preserved its unique African cultural heritage through music, art and food.

The main things to do here include soaking up the gorgeous tropical beaches, diving in the Indian Ocean, exploring almost untouched nearby islands and touring sights like the Fortaleza, a Portugese fort in Maputo. Also, the city of Maputo is quite bustling and seems to have a decent amount of buzzed-about restaurants, nightlife and shopping. The food in Mozambique is heavily influenced by the Portugese, and you’ll also find lots of seafood near the coast.

Prawns at Marisol Baia Tapas & Cocktail Bar

Prawns caught by local fisherman at Marisol Baia Tapas & Cocktail Bar in Maputo, Mozambique

High-maintenance travelers might not want to stay in Mozambique. Hotel reviewers often note that the service is not at the same standards as we expect in America. My philosophy? You’re not in America, so just expect it and plan for it. This country seems too beautiful to miss out on!

Mozambique has accommodations on all ends of the spectrum, from backpacker lodges where you can camp on the beach to five star, luxury resorts. Be aware that you probably need to bring mosquito nets to most places.

Benguerra Lodge Mozambique

Benguerra Lodge on Benguerra Island, Mozambique

Catembe Gallery Hotel, Maputo, Mozambique

Catembe Gallery Hotel in Maputo, Mozambique

Villas do Indico, Vilanculos, Mozambique

Villas do Indico Eco-Resort & Spa Lodge in Vilanculos, Mozambique

If you have been to Mozambique and have any tips, please share them in the comments!

A Stylish Stay in Buenos Aires: Posada Palermo

It’s been too long since my trip to Buenos Aires and I think I need to go back and explore this city more. One of my favorite parts of my trip to Argentina was where I stayed: Posada Palermo. Located in the cosmopolitan Palermo neighborhood, the B&B is a true home away from home for the travelers that fill its seven colorful guest rooms (designed by the owner/architect herself).

Posada Palermo, Buenos Aires, Bed & Breakfast

Posada Palermo, Buenos Aires, Bed & Breakfast

I actually flew to Buenos Aires overnight from Boston to meet my parents, as we were visiting my sister who was studying abroad there. It was the longest flight I’ve ever taken alone! When I arrived at the airport, I took a taxi straight to Posada Palermo. From the outside, it didn’t look like a hotel but rather a nice house. I knocked on the door and an employee answered to let me in. It was quite early so my family wasn’t awake yet, and because of a language barrier I couldn’t figure out what room they were staying in. Since I couldn’t bang on their door and wake them, I decided to sit in the lovely common area and wait.

This was no inconvenience at all, because the maid/cook immediately approached me and said “huevos?”. Having just endured a 14 hour flight I was starving so of course I said “si!” and she began making me the most delicious egg sandwich I’ve ever had, along with coffee that looked like a work of art. As the morning grew later, the table was filled with scrumptious homemade jams and spreads, yogurts, freshly baked breads and fruits. Eventually a British couple came downstairs and I began chatting with them. They told me they had met my parents and what room they were in, but at this point I couldn’t care less about seeing them any more – give me more of this food! Posada Palermo, Buenos Aires, Bed & Breakfast Posada Palermo, Buenos Aires, Bed & Breakfast Posada Palermo, Buenos Aires, Bed & Breakfast

Eventually I met the owner and manager who did both speak English and were able to confirm my parents’ room, so I woke them up and told them about my breakfast. When they told me this was going to happen every morning, I was sold. Seriously, best international breakfast I’ve ever had!

Really you should go here just because of the breakfast, but the rest of the B&B is nice as well. The decor is charming and welcoming, and the owner and staff were beyond welcoming and helpful. They provided us tips on where to go and see live music and shows, where to eat and how to avoid getting scammed with counterfeit money. The rooms were also comfortable, stylish and clean.

Posada Palermo, Buenos Aires, Bed & Breakfast

Posada Palermo, Buenos Aires, Bed & Breakfast

Best of all, there were KITTIES! They were very friendly and liked to hang out in the lobby, on the back  patio, or outside my bedroom window to say good morning. If you are highly allergic, take note.

Posada Palermo, Buenos Aires, Bed & Breakfast

Posada Palermo is in an excellent location if you want to go shopping. It is conveniently located near all the best stores (read my guide to shopping in Palermo here) and trendy restaurants, sort of like Soho and the West Village in NYC but slightly more affordable.

Note that if you will be staying out late, someone will have to get out of bed to let you in late at night because the door is locked for safety. They didn’t seem to mind at all when my sister and I rolled in at 5:30AM (this was directly following my overnight flight – thank God for all those coffees!). But I’m sure if we did it every night for a week, it would have been quite rude. Just something to keep in mind!

Above photos are from Posada Palermo’s website, except the coffee and my feline friend (I took those). 

6 Reasons to Stay in a Riad in Morocco

When I started planning my trip to Morocco, I noticed that many of the top-rated places to stay were riads.

“What the heck is a riad?” I thought. After doing some research I found out that a riad, sometimes spelled ryad, is the Moroccan hybrid of a guest house/B&B/boutique hotel. And if you are planning a trip to this beautiful country, I recommend skipping the typical Western hotels and booking one – you won’t regret it!

Here are 6 reasons to stay in a riad in Morocco:

1. Try out a local custom. Riads are very traditional in Morocco, so you’ll feel like you’re getting a more local experience than you would at a five star hotel. The word comes from the Arabic “ryad,” which means a garden. A true riad has a garden in the center which is surrounded by the rooms of the house. Windows traditionally faced inwards, toward the garden, to protect family privacy and block out the madness of the medina. Which brings me to reason #2…

Riad Ghita

Riad Ghita in Fes, Morocco

2. Your riad will be an oasis. After a long day of wandering down winding streets, dodging loose donkeys and bargaining in the medina what could be better than arriving home to your own private, serene garden?

Riad Maison Bleue, Fez, Morocco

Riad Maison Bleue and Spa in Fes, Morocco (photo via The Guardian)

3. Experience that famous Moroccan hospitality. If you stay in a riad, you are likely to get to know your hosts/staff very well. The owners and staff will be more than happy to provide you with their local knowledge of where to eat, shop and sightsee – and they might even come along with you! I can’t even begin to describe how amazingly nice every single riad employee I encountered in Morocco was. They will go out of their way to ensure you enjoy your trip. Case in point: we were staying there on Christmas, which is not at all celebrated in Morocco, and the staff served us champagne and cookies, played Christmas music and wished all of us a “Happy Christmas.” Too sweet!

4. The FOOD. Restaurants aren’t a big thing in Morocco. Locals prefer to eat at home, where their wife or mom is probably cooking them a delicious meal made from scratch using fresh ingredients. In fact, Moroccans will actually feel sorry for you if you’re eating out because it means you have no family to eat with (true story: several Moroccan restaurant servers invited us to their homes for our next meal because they couldn’t comprehend why we would eat out).

While in Morocco, your riad will be your home. At most places I stayed, there was a delicious breakfast served each morning and dinner was available to purchase upon request. One of my favorite experiences was dining on homemade tagines and harira soup on the rooftop of Riad Les Trois Mages in Marrakech. The food was so good, in fact, that we organized a cooking class with the riad chef the next day for lunch and had to have the owner email us the recipes!

Marrakesh Cooking Class

Side note: most riads don’t have alcohol to serve since it’s against the Muslim religion to drink. However, they probably won’t mind if you bring your own bottle of wine or order some to be delivered there. Just don’t be offended if they don’t serve it themselves – some Moroccans prefer to not touch the bottles at all.

5. Riads supply you with endless interior design inspiration. Every place I stayed was more beautiful than the last, with hand carved details, hand painted tile mosaics, unique fountains and gardens. And of course, extremely cool furniture, rugs, lamps and even bathrooms. I kept asking “where can I get one of those?”

Riad Les Trois Mages Riad Les Trois Mages Riad Les Trois Mages

Above three images: Riad Les Trois Mages in Marrakesh, Morocco

6. Affordable prices. So you’re getting five star service, a beautiful setting and amazing food – must be pricey right? Actually not at all. Most of the top-rated riads we stayed at ranged from $100 to $180 USD per night.

Where I Stayed in Morocco

Fes: Dar Kenza. This was one of the oldest properties we stayed at, fitting since Fes is one of the more old-fashioned cities of Morocco. The owners didn’t speak fluent English but it wasn’t an issue at all. They made us yummy crepes for breakfast and told us the stories behind all the beautiful carved wooden tables. The location was perfect, on a quiet street steps away from the busy part of the medina.

Dar Kenza, Fes, Morocco

Marrakesh: Riad Les Trois Mages. This was my favorite place in Morocco, where I had the aforementioned amazing dinner. The riad is gorgeous with a pretty rooftop garden. The English owner Aidan and staff were incredible and the location was again, perfect!

Riad Les Trois Mages, Marrakesh, Morocco

Essaouira: Riad Al Madina. This was another riad I stayed in that wasn’t as special as the first two, but an ideal choice if you are just looking for a wallet-friendly place to stay. It was nice but larger, so there was less of a personal touch. However, it’s a five minute walk from the beach and literally attached to shops, restaurants, etc. Each room still had a very cool and unique design, too. I guess that’s standard in Morocco!

Riad al Medina, Essaouira Morocco

Atlas Mountains: Domaine Malika. OK so this place is not a riad or at all traditional in Morocco but the change of pace was well worth it. The owner is French and the design/layout is quite modern. It’s an incredible choice if you want a luxe place to stay in the Atlas Mountains. Heated floors, jacuzzi style bath tubs, memory foam mattresses, a pool, a spa and fancy french food. Definitely try to book this one if they have room!

Domaine Malika, Atlas Mountains, MoroccoHeading to Morocco? Don’t forget to read my tips on what to pack for a trip to Morocco.

3 Winter Getaways You Probably Haven’t Thought Of

Fall is upon us which means it’s time to start planning winter travel. When I think cold weather getaway, the same places always come to mind: Vermont, Aspen or an escape to some place warm like Puerto Rico. But I decided to get a little creative and research some places that you might not already know about. Here’s what’s on my winter travel wish list now…

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 

I never thought the words “I want to go to Idaho,” would ever come out of my mouth, but that just goes to show you that you should NEVER say never! After researching the town of Coeur d’Alene, I need to see this beautiful place that travelers can’t stop raving about.

How to get there: It’s about a 40 minute drive from the airport in Spokane, Washington.

Where to stay: The Flamingo Motel looks like an old motor inn, but reviewers say it’s much, much more. If you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodations but hate chains, then this is probably your best bet. The old-fashioned spot is located right in downtown Coeur d’Alene and each room has a different fun theme, giving the spot its own unique twist. Guests say the friendly owner gave them great recommendations for where to go during their stay. And a room with a king size bed will only cost you $80 per night!

The Flamingo Motel, Couer d'Alene Flamingo Motel Couer d'Alene

If you want something a little more luxe, The Coeur d’Alene Resort seems to be the top choice of travelers with 4/5 stars on Tripadvisor. The resort has several on-site dining options, a spa and lakefront views from modern rooms equipped with cozy fireplaces (rooms differ so ask when you book). And you still won’t break the bank with room rates from about $129 to $520 per night, which can include ski lift tickets, breakfast or spa packages.

Coeur d'Alene Resort Coeur d'Alene Resort Coeur d'Alene Resort

What to do: Coeur d’Alene has one of the largest Christmas lighting ceremonies in the US on the Friday after Thanksgiving with a parade and fireworks. But if you miss this festival, you’re not missing everything: through January 1st visitors can take a boat cruise across Lake Coeur d’Alene (from the CDA Resort) to see more than one million holiday lights.

Couer d'Alene Holiday Light Show

photo source

Coeur d’Alene is located near 2 major ski resorts (Silver Mountain Resort and Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort) so there are plenty of sporty activities to partake in. Surrounded by forest and several lakes, the city offers plenty of breathtaking views for outdoor explorers. But don’t worry if you’re more likely to enjoy sipping hot chocolate in the lodge than getting active (guilty!). There are plenty of other things to do in Idaho’s second largest city including shopping, restaurants and nightlife.

The great outdoors combined with city amenities? It sounds like the perfect winter getaway for The Blonde Banana!

Banff, Alberta

The name of this town drew me in, and after some Googling I realized that this place is probably awesome. This Canadian town is surrounded on all sides by the Rockies, offering plenty of skiing and other adventures.

How to get there: The nearest airport is Calgary International Airport, about an hour and a half drive from Banff. It’s a little out of the way for us New Yorkers – definitely not just a weekend trip!

Where to stay: The Post Hotel & Spa offers great views of the Rockies (although those aren’t hard to find!), goose down duvets, heated slate floors, fireplaces and oversized jacuzzi tubs. For all you could ever need in a luxe mountain retreat, prices are around $300 per night.

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The Hidden Ridge Resort looks like it has a cozy, cabin-like feel and all the basic amenities for an affordable price tag of about $160 per night.

hidden-ridge-resort-banff

For even more budget-friendly options, check out Airbnb. There are plenty of condos for rent, as well as apartments that are well-reviewed for $99.

What to do: Obviously skiing, but there are plenty of other cool things to do in Banff…

Visit the Columbia Icefield, the largest sub-polar glacier in North America.

Banff Columbia Icefield

Take the Banff Gondola to the 7,500 foot summit of Sulphur Mountain for stunning views of the area.

BanffGondola_L

Relax and warm up in the Banff Upper Hot Springs – after a few trips skiing down the mountain this would be especially amazing!

Banff Hot SpringsEat some of Banff’s signature Rocky Mountain cuisine – think MEAT like elk and bison. There are so many adorably rugged, mountain-chic places to eat!

The Elk & Oarsmen, a casual pub where you can watch sports games or catch live music at night.

Elk and Oarsman
Buffalo Mountain Lodge
– how cozy is this?

Sleeping-Buffalo-Lounge_735_325

Warwick, New York

The ideal winter weekend getaway for New Yorkers, the Hudson Valley is becoming an increasingly popular destination. It’s a little more low key than Coeur d’Alene or Banff, which could be just what you need!

How to get there: It’s about a one and a half hour drive from NYC. The nearest Metro North train will get you about 10 miles away if you prefer to take a taxi from the station.

Where to stay: Charming B&Bs are plentiful in the area, making it the perfect romantic trip for two. Check out the Inn at Stony Creek and the Warwickshire Bed & Breakfast, which I read about on Jordan Reid’s blog Ramshackle Glam.

IMG_9339-1024x682

What to do:

Visit a local winery, like the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery, which offers live music and a warm wood-burning stove in the winter.

2b6a61287846729a89180b38cfaa63f0Shop for rustic chic country furniture and decor at Frazzleberries. If you are on a romantic getaway, your boyfriend hates me right about now – sorry! You can make it up to him with burgers, wings, BBQ ribs and an extensive craft beer selection at Eddie’s Roadhouse.

Book a luxe hotel in Chicago – for $135

Planning a visit to Chicago this spring? You may want to check out Jetsetter’s current sale on luxe hotels in the city. Whether you prefer a party scene (picture yourself with a fancy cocktail at a chic rooftop lounge) or relaxing spa, one of the six options selected by this invite-only travel community will definitely fit your needs.

Allerton Hotel Chicago Allerton Hotel

{ The Allerton Hotel }

Dana Hotel Chicago

Dana Hotel Chicago

{ Dana Hotel & Spa }

Ivy Hotel Chicago Ivy Hotel Chicago{ Ivy Hotel }

These gorgeous hotels start at just $149 per night, and if you use the code JETCHICAGO at check out you’ll get an extra 10% off! Click here to see more hotels & deals at Jetsetter.

Where I Stayed in LA: The SLS Beverly Hills

SLS Beverly Hills Rooms SLS Hotel Beverly Hills Rooms SLS Beverly Hills Rooms

SLS Beverly Hills Bathroom

SLS Beverly Hills Bathroom

I just returned from a work trip to Los Angeles, where I stayed at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills. Usually I don’t mind sacrificing comfort when traveling, since I’m not there to hang out in the hotel – but staying at the SLS was a nice change of routine. When you’re working 12 hour days, there’s nothing like a luxury hotel bed to look forward to! When people ask what I thought of LA (yup, it was my first time), I joke that the inside of the SLS was amazing – and that’s pretty much all I saw.

An enjoyable hotel stay is all in the details, and the SLS doesn’t miss a beat. From top of the line bathroom products from their spa, Ciel, to conversation-worthy knick knacks spread throughout the lobby to encourage mingling, and a beyond helpful concierge, I don’t have many complaints!

I did venture onto the roof to steal an hour of laying by the pool and take these photos of the LA sunset. So pretty.

Los Angeles sunset from the SLS Beverly Hills Hotel Rooftop Los Angeles sunset from the SLS Beverly Hills Hotel Rooftop SLS Beverly Hills Rooftop Pool SLS Beverly Hills Rooftop Pool

I was staying at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills for the Lucky FABB (Fashion & Beauty Blogger) conference. Several of my agency’s clients were sponsors, and as a blogger myself I was excited to be there! I had so much fun, met so many amazing people and definitely plan on attending the next one.

Since I was so crazed with work, I didn’t have time to take proper outfit photos. But one of the best parts of the SLS Beverly Hills is the fact that there are literally floor-to-ceiling mirrors everywhere – in your rooms, the elevators, the lobbies, etc. Perfect for iPhone selfies!

Lucky FABB Outfit: twenty tees, Zara, Phalarope and Yosi Samra,

Day 1: running last minute errands pre-Lucky FABB wearing top by twenty tees, Phalarope necklace via Etsy, Zara shorts and Yosi Samra flats (c/o).

Lucky FABB Outfit: Tt Collection, Zara, Linea PelleDay 3: In the elevator, heading to set up for the second day of Lucky FABB wearing a Tt Collection blouse, Cosabella black lace bandeau via Lucky Shops, Zara shorts and a Linea Pelle tote.

LAX Airport StyleDay 4: Off to LAX. I headed back to NYC wearing a La Marque leather jacket, Society for Scarves scarf (c/o), Linea Pelle tote, Yosi Samra flats (c/o, one of my airport essentials) and LeSportsac duffle (c/o Lucky FABB gift bag).

I hope I get the chance to visit this Los Angeles again so I can see more of the city – and if I do, I’d definitely love to stay here again! For now, I’m thankful that nice weather seems to have followed me home… let’s hope spring is here to stay in NYC.

Vacation for Under $500: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Skyling

Philadelphia is a short escape from NYC by bus, and you can also easily get there from Washington D.C., Boston, etc. for a weekend. While still a major city, Philly is much calmer and less crowded than New York – a nice change once in a while!

There are plenty of museums and historical sites to visit in Philadelphia. I also love to shop on Chestnut Street at stores like South Moon Under, which is a contemporary boutique carrying brands like Rebecca Minkoff and Trina Turk. And of course don’t miss the Anthropologie here – since the company is based in Philly their home store is AMAZING!

For dinner I love Continental, which is trendy but still yummy with tapas-sized offerings. Perfect for food + drinks to begin a night out. Another restaurant favorite is Cuba Libre Restaurant + Rum Bar, which has a very fun vibe and delicious mojitos.

Continental Mid-Town, Philadelphia

Continental Mid-Town

Cuba Libre Restaurant in Philadelphia

Mojito at Cuba Libre in Philadelphia

Mojito at Cuba Libre

If you’re brunching the next morning or stopping somewhere for lunch, head to Rouge (super cute spot!) or Parc Brasserie, which are both located in Rittenhouse Square.

Chicken Salad at Rouge in Philadelphia

The salad I ate at Rouge was ahh-mazing.

Parc Brasserie, Dessert, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

Afternoon coffee + treats at Parc Brasserie

Get There:

Megabus buses depart almost every hour for $15-20 each way.

Stay:

A 2-night stay at Hotel Monaco the weekend of April 12th will run you $413. Since transportation was so super affordable, you can afford to splurge on a hotel, right?

Hotel Monaco, Philadelphia Hotel Monaco, Philadelphia Hotel Monaco, Philadelphia Rooftop Lounge

Another more affordable option is the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, which will cost a total of $307 via Priceline.

Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel

Total Cost (Bus + Accomodations): $337 to $453 for one, $169 to $227 each for two

Where do you want to go? Where are you traveling from? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to find your vacation for $500!