Experience the Unique Charm of Portland

get_portland7

Portland is one of the country’s most unique cities, well known for its eclectic vibe. Situated between the Columbia and Willamette rivers, it’s full of Pacific Northwest beauty. Portland offers an array of entertainment options including performing arts theaters, museums, and parks. Explore the Pearl District, see the world’s largest bookstore, and check out some of the latest art exhibitions.

get_portland8

markspencer

The Mark Spencer

Stay at The Mark Spencer and immerse yourself in Portland. This stylish and comfortable hotel provides free continental breakfast, afternoon tea and cookies, and an evening wine reception. It’s located right in downtown Portland, close to the vibrant West End and Pearl District. Book the Paperback Writer package, which includes a $50 gift certificate to the famous Powell’s Books, a Powell’s coffee mug, and a bookstore map. You’ll also enjoy free parking at the hotel and a late 1pm checkout.

get_portland9

Powell’s Books

Any book lover will tell you that Powell’s Books is one of the most famous bookstores in the country. The store has been an independently owned Portland landmark since 1971, and has expanded to include five stores. Visit the flagship store, which is called Powell’s City of Books due to its incredible size. It’s the world’s largest used and new bookstore, occupying an entire block of Portland’s Pearl District. Don’t miss the Rare Book Room, which has about 9,000 of their most valuable and exciting volumes.

get_portland10 See the Pearl District

The Pearl District has become one of the city’s most exciting areas. It boasts art galleries, spas, and endless food and beverage options. Stop at Ovation Coffee & Tea for an afternoon pick-me-up. They have a great selection of coffee and tea, including Moroccan beverages and cold brew, as well as delicious scones and pastries. The Pearl District is also a great place to browse some of Portland’s unique, independently owned shops. You’ll find amazing stationary at Oblation Papers & Press, a 19th-century print shop. Visit Nau, a store committed to creating sustainable clothing, for some of Portland’s best fashion.

get_portland11

Portland Art Museum

The Portland Art Museum is the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. It was founded in 1892 and features over 42,000 objects and unique exhibitions. Case Work: Studies in Form, Space & Construction blends art and architecture together, presenting pieces of architectural design that were part of the creative process for some of the country’s most impressive buildings. The museum is also presenting Native Fashion Now, a look at modern Native American Fashion and indigenous designers in the last half-century. Both exhibitions run through September 4, 2016.

get_portland13

Go “Floating”

Portland is full of unique trends and opportunities. Try something new while you’re in town and check out Float On. What is “floating”? Floaters spend 90 minutes inside a float tank containing a mix of water and Epsom salt. The tank is soundproof and dark, and the buoyancy makes you float on your back in the water. The idea is to lose track of your body and the environment around you. It’s been described as a profoundly relaxing experience, reducing stress and giving your body a break from gravity.

Discover the Beauty of Monterey, California

If you’re in need of a revitalizing vacation, escape the bustle of the city and retreat to Monterey, California. Located right on California’s central coast, it’s surrounded by picturesque scenery. There are plenty of parks, trails, and outdoor activities to explore. It’s the perfect setting to de-stress from work and enjoy a peaceful weekend getaway.

TheClement

InterContinental The Clement Monterey

Relax beside the waters of Monterey Bay at InterContinental The Clement Monterey. The luxurious resort is centrally located on Cannery Row, just steps away from various restaurants, shops, and attractions. Take a stroll down the pier or unwind in the outdoor Pacific Courtyard. The property features modern amenities including a heated outdoor pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Rejuvenate your mind and body with the Spa Vacation Package. It includes deluxe accommodations, overnight valet parking, breakfast for two, and two 30-minute Coastal Express Massages.

FortOrd

 Fort Ord Dunes State Park

Start your day with a morning hike at the recently opened Fort Ord Dunes State Park, a 130-acre site right off the Pacific coast. The panoramic views of Monterey Bay are truly breathtaking. Follow the scenic foot trail to appreciate the beauty of the landscape, then make your way through sand dunes down to a secluded beach. There are eight educational panels throughout the park that display information about Fort Ord. You can go on a self-guided cell phone tour to learn more about the natural and cultural history of the area. Download the brochure to learn more.

GolfLinks

Pebble Beach Golf Links

GolfDigest has named Pebble Beach Golf Links the Greatest Public Golf Course in America every year since 2003. Once you visit the 18-hole course, it’s easy to understand why. The site is nestled right along the coast, providing open vistas and scenic fairways. Casual players, spectators, and golf legends have frequented the course since its opening in 1919. Many prestigious tournaments have taken place at Pebble Beach Golf Links, including five U.S. Open Championships. The U.S. open will return for the sixth time in 2019. Visit their website for reservation information or take a virtual course tour.

BenchRestaurant

The Bench Restaurant

After a round of golf, enjoy a satisfying lunch or a glass of wine at The Bench Restaurant. They’ve received Wine Spectator’s Best Of Award of Excellence since 2013. The comfortable yet sophisticated dining room overlooks the 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links. The Bench Restaurant features a full bar, a glass-enclosed patio, and outdoor seating with fire pits. The eclectic menu showcases wood roasting and open-flame cooking techniques elevated with international flavors. We recommend the Grilled Swordfish served over Forbidden Rice with soy, cilantro, and ginger-sesame aioli.

BixbyBridge

Bixby Bridge

Drive south on scenic Highway 1 through Big Sur to find Bixby Bridge, an iconic landmark built over a vast canyon along the coast. Completed in 1932, the bridge hovers 260 feet over Bixby Creek and provides incredible views of the ocean and surrounding cliffs. Pull over at one of the many turnouts along the south end to watch the sunset.

BrewingCo

Cannery Row Brewing Company

End your day with a hearty meal and a cold beer at the Cannery Row Brewing Company. Located in the heart of the historic Cannery Row, it’s frequented by locals and visitors alike. Neon lights, vintage décor, and communal outdoor fire pits create a casual and sociable atmosphere. The family-friendly eatery boasts the second largest number of beers on tap in Northern California. Enjoy a cold one with their signature CRBC Burger, wood-grilled and served on a house-made poppy seed bun. Customize it with tasty topping choices like applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, or a fried egg. They also host trivia nights and live music performances. Browse the full event calendar online.

 

A Weekend Away in Idyllwild

get_blog_idyllwild1

Idyllwild is a charming town in the San Jacinto Mountains. It’s just a two-hour drive from both San Diego and Los Angeles, making it the ideal Southern California mountain escape. Idyllwild has wonderful restaurants and bakeries, as well as countless shops and art galleries. The small-town feel, the mountain air, and the peaceful atmosphere provide visitors with a memorable and relaxing getaway.

get_blog_idyllwild2

The Grand Idyllwild Lodge

The Grand Idyllwild Lodge is the perfect place to stay during your time in the mountains. It’s a luxurious boutique hotel located near the top of the town. Each room features a fireplace, a Keurig system, and a deck with picturesque views of the surrounding mountains. Every morning, you’ll wake up to a full gourmet breakfast. After a day of shopping in town or hiking in Humber Park, come back to a relaxing massage or treatment at the spa.

get_blogs_idyllwild3

Hiking in Humber Park

Idyllwild has a number of great hiking options. You can access several trails from Humber Park, a popular nature site that lies just above the town of Idyllwild. Find the trailhead for the Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail, an enjoyable 5.2-mile round-trip route through the serene San Jacinto Mountains. The path starts out downhill and features stunning views of Tahquitz Rock, Suicide Rock, the town of Idyllwild, and the surrounding Strawberry Valley. When you double back to Humber Park, you’ll be able to see a slightly different view.

get_blogs_idyllwild4

Idyll Awhile Wine Shoppe & Bistro

Like its name suggests, Idyll Awhile is a good place to unwind. They have an impressive wine list and several rotating craft beers on tap. We recommend the wine tasting. You’ll receive four to six generous pours of your choice – make sure to try their house-made warm mulled wine, made from sangria and spices. Idyll Awhile also makes great food to eat while you’re tasting. Try the La Manchega flatbread, which has fig compote, prosciutto, and Manchego cheese. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the bistro often hosts fun events and performances by local musicians.

get_blogs_idyllwild5

Red Kettle

Don’t leave Idyllwild without having a meal at the Red Kettle, a casual diner with a family atmosphere and delicious food that is located right in the center of town. They only serve breakfast and lunch, so be sure to get there before 2pm. Everything on the menu is excellent! For breakfast we recommend The Rock Climber, an open-face English muffin piled with ham, eggs, and cheese sauce, and for lunch you can’t go wrong with a classic cheeseburger – it’ll be one of the best you’ve had.

get_blogs_idyllwild6

Explore Palomar Mountain

Idyllwild is just over an hour’s drive from Palomar Mountain State Park, which features beautiful forest and meadow areas surrounding Palomar Mountain. Stop by the famous Palomar Observatory. Open to visitors daily, the observatory offers guided tours and numerous exhibits. At the Luskin Virtual Presence Kiosk, you can view live feeds from the famous Hale Telescope, as well as a collection of short documentaries, videos, and slideshows about the observatory and discoveries made there. The area is also ideal for hiking. We like the scenic 3.9-mile Thunder Spring and Chimney Flat Loop that meanders through a forest, an apple orchard, and Doane Pond.

Borrego Springs Adventure

get_blog_1

Borrego Springs is a desert town surrounded by the vast Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Fresh air, stunning desert landscapes, and a number of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, and golf make Borrego Springs a great spot for a weekend away. On your way to Borrego, be sure to stop in the nearby mountain town of Julian for a rest and some great BBQ and apple pie.

get_blogs2

La Casa del Zorro Resort & Spa

La Casa del Zorro is a stylish desert retreat steps away from the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The elegant rooms feature high ceilings, fireplaces, and balconies, and they offer endless activities for guests to enjoy. Go for a swim in one of the many pools, take a class at the yoga studio, or challenge each other to a game of tennis! Pamper yourself with the Relax. Renew. Revive. package, available Sunday through Thursday from March 1 – 31, 2016. Stay for two nights in a Deluxe Guest Room and you’ll receive a $125 credit for a relaxing treatment at La Casa Del Zorro’s luxurious spa.

get_blog3

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Wildflowers

From mid-February to early April, beautiful wildflowers burst into bloom throughout the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. 2016 is the Year of the Lily – you can find desert lilies at the north end of DiGiorgio Road, Vista Del Malpais, and Arroyo Salado Primitive Campground. Desert sunflowers and dune primrose are also blooming at Henderson Canyon Road. Visit a few of these spots to see some truly unique and striking flowers!

get_blog4

Hiking in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is California’s largest state park and has hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Spend an afternoon outdoors exploring the area. The Borrego Palm Canyon Trail meanders 3.5 miles to shady palm tree oasis. For more of a thrill, choose The Slot, a short hike that takes you through narrow openings in towering rock formations. Our favorite is the Wind Caves Trail, a 1.25 mile exploratory adventure. Climb over and through “caves” in sandstone formations that have been eroded by wind.

get_blog5

Day Trip to Julian

The quaint town of Julian is less than an hour away from Borrego Springs and makes a great day trip destination. It was founded during the California Gold Rush and has retained its small-town feel. Unwind in the fresh mountain air and take in views of the Cuyamaca mountains. Visit the Julian Pioneer Museum to learn about the town’s history and see what life was like in the 1800s.

get_blog6

Moms Pies

No trip to Julian is complete without a slice of apple pie. Moms Pies is a Julian institution that has been baking delicious pies for over thirty years. They offer over twenty different varieties, from traditional apple to chocolate pecan. We recommend a slice of the Apple Boysenberry with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

get_blog7

Julian Hard Cider

Julian Hard Cider uses Julian’s famous apples to make some of Southern California’s best hard cider. Their Miner’s Saloon,” located in a former apple packing building, features live music and BBQ. Stop by for a cider tasting and try their different flavors, including Apple Pie, Cherry Bomb, and Razzmatazz.

An Oasis of Luxury and Relaxation | Las Vegas

When most people picture a weekend in Las Vegas, they think of bright lights and over the top parties. But the bustling city is more than just oversized hotels and packed casinos – it’s also the perfect place to escape to when you need some R&R. There are luxurious spas, indulgent restaurants, and so many other ways to relax, unwind, and treat yourself! Here are a few of our favorite places that are guaranteed to melt your stress away.

SpaHammam_644x270

Sahra Spa & Hammam

Located in the Cosmopolitan Hotel, the Sahra Spa & Hammam is truly an oasis of rejuvenation in the center of the strip. The atmosphere mirrors the depth and beauty of the desert, featuring natural walls and silver ceilings. The hammam experience includes body detoxification, steam treatments, a cooling bath, and more. The Sahra Hammam is a unique combination of heat and renewal.

SpaBacchanal_644x270Bacchanal Buffet

The Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace is a culinary revolution. It’s anything from your average all-you-can-eat restaurant, featuring upscale food presentations and a sophisticated dining room. It’s been voted Best Buffet in Las Vegas multiple times by “USA Today”, and it’s no surprise why. They offer over 500 various dishes from all over the world and up to 15 daily chef’s specials that rotate seasonally. Stop in for brunch on the weekends and enjoy free flowing champagne!

SpaHexx_644x270Hexx Chocolate & Confexxions

Hexx Chocolate & Confexxions is a candy store for grown ups and paradise for all chocoholics! The artisan retailer creates its signature chocolate with only two ingredients: cacao beans and organic palm sugar. They host daily free tours that give you an inside look at the their process behind their handmade confections. Stop in and browse their collection of hand crafted chocolate, candy, ice cream, and unique gifts. Visit their café and indulge in an assortment of create-your-own ice cream sandwiches!

Spa107Lounge_644x270

107 Lounge

Visit the iconic Stratosphere Hotel and take the elevator up a hundred stories to find 107 Lounge. It’s an “intimate playground in the sky” boasting floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping views of the city! Sample appetizers prepared by award winning chefs and sip creative specialty cocktails as you relax and enjoy the sunset. Don’t miss half-price plates and 2-for-1 cocktails during their daily happy hour!

SpaAria_644x270

Aria Spa After Dark

After a long day out, find sanctuary at the Spa & Salon at ARIA. The aji stone walls and a tranquil water garden will quickly evaporate your worries. Explore their various treatments, including Japanese Stone Beds, a Shio salt room, fireside lounge, and a balcony-level infinity pool overlooking the strip. After the sun sets, you can experience ARIA After Dark – a two-hour private retreat that includes luxurious treatments for you and a guest. It’s the ultimate spa experience and is available exclusively to M Life members.

Spa Getaways | Massachusetts

2014blogs_dec4

Lenox, Massachusetts is a small village in the Berkshires, a year-round resort area known for music and arts. The quaint shops and restaurants and the picturesque New England backdrop are sure to relax you and your best friends. Make this your next girls weekend!


2014blogs_dec5 2014blogs_dec6
Cranwell Resort | Lenox, Massachusetts

The Cranwell Resort is a Tudor-style mansion that has been a popular destination since the height of the Gilded Age. The resort features a great spa, fine dining with views of the Berkshires, a scenic golf course, and elegant rooms. For the ultimate girls getaway, book the Spa Getaway Package. You and your friends will enjoy a one night stay, spa and dining credits, unlimited fitness classes, full use of the spa and 10% off spa treatments, and coupons for the nearby Lee Premium Outlets.

Spa Getaways | Louisiana

2014blogs_dec1

What better place for a spa getaway with your friends than New Orleans? The city is famous for its active nightlife, delicious food, and live music scene. Have a night out on the town at one of the city’s many jazz clubs, like the unique Maple Leaf Bar that features funky jazz in addition to poetry readings. In the French Quarter, you’ll be near the French Market and plenty of great shopping! 

2014blogs_dec3

2014blogs_dec2

Hotel Monteleone | New Orleans, Louisiana

Located in the French Quarter, the Hotel Monteleone has been a landmark of New Orleans since 1886. This luxury hotel is steps away from shopping, Bourbon Street, and the Riverwalk. The Girlfriend Getaway Package makes for the perfect New Orleans trip! You and your friends will enjoy a welcome cocktail, a cocktail-themed walking tour, and a 60-minute massage at the spa.

Romantic Escape to Terranea Resort

2014blgos_7

Located just minutes from Los Angeles in Rancho Palos Verdes, Terranea is a luxurious resort surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Spend a romantic weekend together at this beautiful spot.

2014blogs_8

Romance Package

Make your stay extra special with the Romance Package. Enjoy overnight accommodations in a beautiful guestroom with an ocean view. Take a rose petal bath before enjoying sparkling wine and strawberries. In the morning, you’ll wake up and have breakfast for two at Catalina Kitchen.

2014blogs_terranea

The Spa at Terranea

Spend a relaxing spa day with your special someone at The Spa at Terranea, which overlooks the Palos Verdes coastline. Get a couple’s massage, or check out the salon, steam rooms, and fitness center. Afterwards, enjoy a healthy lunch at the Spa Café.

Girls Weekend in the Southwest

2014blogs_4

Santa Fe, New Mexico is full of historical sites, Southwestern art, culinary delights, and outdoor adventures, making it perfect for a weekend away with your friends. Stay in a great boutique hotel and pamper yourselves at one of the best spas in the area.

2014blogs_5

Hotel Chimayo de Santa Fe | Santa Fe, New Mexico

Located just one block from the historic plaza in the heart of downtown Santa Fe, Hotel Chimayo is the perfect place for a comfortable and cultural stay. The hotel features original artwork and furnishings from over 70 local artists, immersing you in Southwestern style. They boast the largest suites in Santa Fe, so you and your best friends can share a room together! Check out their current packages.

2014blogs_6

Ten Thousand Waves Spa

After a morning of shopping with the girls, unwind with a massage or spa treatment at Ten Thousand Waves Spa, located just minutes from Hotel Chimayo. Inspired by Japanese hot spring resorts, the grounds feature beautiful rock gardens and streams. You and your girlfriends can soak together in a communal hot tub, or book a more traditional spa treatment. See what packages they offer!

Girls Weekend in the Southwest

retroblogs_2014_1There’s no better way to escape stress than a weekend of relaxation at the spa with the girls. The Southwest has a variety of luxury resorts and spas amidst beautiful dessert scenery. Check out these options, then grab a few friends and book a getaway today.

retroblogs_2014_2

Red Mountain Resort | St. George, UT

You and your girlfriends will absolutely love Red Mountain Resort. Located in beautiful Southern Utah, the architecture of the resort blends into the stunning landscape. The resort offers retreat packages that include meals, guided outdoor adventures, and yoga and fitness classes. Or, enjoy a spa treatment if you’re looking for relaxation. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

2014blogs_3

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia | Scottsdale, AZ

Escape to scenic Scottsdale, Arizona. This southwestern desert city is home to an abundance of entertainment, shopping, and some of the best day spas in the country. Located in the foothills of Camelback Mountain, Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia is the perfect destination for your girls weekend. The Joya Spa is a Moroccan inspired retreat that offers every spa treatment you can think of! Check out their current day packages.