Paklinski Otoci | Beaches, Hiking, and Yachting

Just off shore from Split, Paklinski Otoci is part of a chain of islands that is popular with the boating community. With only a small market and a handful of high end restaurants, it’s an ideal stop for sea farers looking for a quiet place to moor, or spend an afternoon getting drinks on the beach. Once our sailboat was docked, we set off on foot to find a private cove to ourselves to enjoy the golden hour.

An Afternoon in a Secluded Cove on Otok Šćedro | Croatia

It was the last full day of our 5 night sailing charter from Dubrovnik to Split and the normal itinerary would have taken us to the luxurious, party island of Hvar, but instead of spending our day on land, we wanted to take full advantage of having a boat at our disposal and go somewhere off the beaten path. We asked our skipper, Bartool, if we could go somewhere private and he brought us here, to Otok Šćedro, and for nearly 4 hours, we had this whole cove to ourselves.

24 Hour Guide to the Charming Island of Korčula | Croatia

A medieval island surrounded by turquoise waters and the birthplace of one of the most famous explorers in world history, the island of Korčula (pronounced core-chula) makes for a relaxed, yet fulfilling day in the Adriatic. With no real “sights” to see, a day in Korčula is best spent exploring the bougainvillea covered narrow cobblestone streets of old town, stopping into the occasional shop, enjoying a leisurely lunch seaside, and then sunbathing on the rocks below. A visit to the Marco Polo house provides a nice lookout tower to view the town from above, and just enough history about this 13th century explorer. The pace here fit our vacation vibe perfectly.

Lodging Review | Hacienda del Sol, Tucson

Where to stay in Tucson? Tucked in the desert foothills of Tucson, Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch is a wonderfully preserved Old West resort with plush beds and private patios looking out onto desert vistas. We loved roaming the meticulously maintained grounds, wandering from one charming adobe courtyard to another, on the lookout for road runners and hummingbirds. For a full throwback to what this place was like for Hollywood stars in the 40s, book the Hepburn-Tracy suite, which is the casita that Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy shacked up in on more than one occasion. A stay here is great for those looking for a classic Western experience, with all the modern amenities.

Lodging Review | Hotel Carmel

Located right in the heart of downtown Carmel, Hotel Carmel is a recently renovated hotel that offers comfortable beds, plush robes, a continental bagel bar breakfast (with local strawberry cream cheese), and Nespresso machines in room. We loved hanging out in the stylishly decorated lobby, and relaxing with a glass of local pinot noir (from the daily happy hour) in the hot tub. A fire pit surrounded by Adirondack chairs makes for the perfect post dinner hang out location, or if you prefer something more secluded, head to your private balcony. Hotel Carmel is a wonderful home base for a weekend.

A San Franciscan's Guide to Carmel

Only two hours from San Francisco, but seemingly worlds away, the charming little town of Carmel almost transports you to another country or another time with it’s signature fairytale cottage architecture and location just steps from the Pacific ocean. As I walked through town, exploring courtyard after courtyard plush with potted annuals and window boxes pregnant with greenery, the sidewalks buckled beneath my feet, tree roots slowly disrupting the bricks yet adding to the coziness of this small town. I breathed in the smell of pine and eucalyptus mixed with a wisp of sea breeze, and exhaled the stress of city life that I left behind for the weekend.