A trip to Los Angeles will never leave you empty handed when it comes to the endless adventures from each neighborhood; it surely did not disappoint when I arrived in Venice. The small, boho beach town that's along the west coast of LA is nothing short of beautiful the moment I checked-in at my hotel, and I was excited to finally explore the far west side of Los Angeles. Away from the "Hollywood" glitz and glamour scene, Venice contrasted the ideals of LA with my initial impressions of it being balmy, refreshing, and effortlessly chill.
And while I was staying in Venice, I thought, "...might as well visit Santa Monica." Santa Monica is an easy 15 minute drive from Venice, and with the few days I was staying in the area, it would've been a regret if I hadn't stopped by the neighboring city, too. My schedule was few and far between with my previous trips, and I felt like the best way to really visit the area was to "explore as I go." I was so impressed with the aesthetic of the food scene and sightseeing places that it inspired me to create a travel guide highlighting the "pretty" spots from Venice to Santa Monica. Although there was a boundless amount of beauty in each place I visited, I wanted to highlight the underrated spots that aren't seen as much on social media. If you want to see a more local, yet equally stunning view of Venice and Santa Monica, keep reading.
This post is in partnership with Pacifica Hotels on The Kinney Venice Beach Hotel. All opinions are my own.
Far away from Disneyland and the Hollywood Walk of Fame lies a colorful boutique hotel that's conveniently less than 1 mile away from the beach. After spending my first trip to LA in DTLA, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills, I wanted to escape the chic, bright La La Land lights to a laid back summer trip in the middle of Venice and Santa Monica. Needless to say, The Kinney Venice Beach hotel provided me everything I had ever wanted during my stay.
It was no surprise that I would experience sunny skies and have sun-kissed skin while I was in Venice, but I was blown away by how much I felt at home in this hotel. From staying in the urban parts of Houston to now relaxing underneath the twinkling lights of California, the hip ambiance of the place immediately made me feel like I belonged. Every corner of this hotel truly reflected the retro, good vibes that the city offers and I'm so excited to give you all the details about my hotel stay.
The true essence of Texas can be found in Chappell Hill, a small rural country town that is an hour drive from Houston. The rolling plains and historically preserved homes can charm a passerby from any given route they take. Even with a total population of approximately 600 people, it is widely known in the state for having the best bluebonnet fields during the spring season. In fact, Texas's Bluebonnet Festival is annually held in Chappell Hill, which attracts people from around the state to take the iconic photos of the flower fields by the red barn. The effortless spring blooms has made the small town a popular tourist destination.
When I traveled with my friend, I immediately embraced the small country lifestyle: no traffic, friendly town people everywhere you meet, and scenic car window views! The charm of it made me love everything about Chappell Hill enough to showcase some of the best spots to see in this unique town.
While I was in New York, I took time outside the bright city lights of Manhattan to explore the beautiful boroughs surrounding the island. Although so much of what makes New York City so appealing to the world is the hustle and bustle, it can be intimidating to find all the sightseeing spots seamlessly without getting lost. With the NY subway being the main transport of everyone in the city, you would have to schedule your time around it. As I explored the city alone, I stumbled upon this exact situation while trying to navigate the subway.
No matter how many times I have researched ways to maneuver around the NY subway, I wished there was a travel guide that showed me the nearest stations from the popular tourist spots around New York City. So, whether you're a first timer or a local, I decided to create a comprehensive subway guide to NYC that showcases all the tourist spots from the main subway lines. Although I am highlighting locations in certain spots, please keep in mind there are always multiple ways to get to one location. Some routes may share the same locations as well, but allow this guide to be a tracker to help you familiarize yourself around the city.
When you're traveling to Austin in March, expect large crowds walking around downtown with music blazing in the streets. The crowded vibe of the city is welcoming as many people from around the world visit Austin to experience it. You can't help but join in on the fun as pop-up events are set up in every block with people anxiously waiting to attend inside. The hustle and bustle during this time of year is the everyday routine during South by Southwest season, and it's my second year attending this conference-festival extravaganza.
When attending SXSW, I've learned so much from my previous year (check out my first SXSW post). I remembered the daunting feeling of attending the festival for the first time with my friends. When I went to SXSW early this month, I noticed people going through the same uncertainty about what to do when they attend. With the festival growing every year, I wanted to share my personal experience about what to expect. With my tips, you'll be able to rock the festival like a pro.
This blog post is sponsored by Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE. All opinions are my own.
It's hard to find a hotel that's perfect for everyone, but when I got the opportunity to stay for the weekend at CITYCENTRE Houston, I realized that my presumptions were wrong. Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE has all the charm and pizazz anyone would desire in a stay. Because it's a world renowned luxury boutique hotel, I initially pictured Hotel Sorella as a tranquil, private space. However, with the CITYCENTRE area surrounding the hotel with it's free events, live concerts, and shopping stores, the hotel's vibe is lively with many of the hotel guests consisting of families, elderly, and small children as well.
Although I was born and raised in Houston, I never got to experience the CITYCENTRE area since it's located near Katy. With Houston consisting of 12 districts, it's impossible for one person to experience the entire city in a day, so experiencing a different area of Houston felt like I was traveling to a new city. Despite enjoying the same Texas culture, I find that the hotel gave such a luxurious element to my perspective in Houston. Ultimately, I was please that my weekend staycation was such a treat for me to explore my home city in a different way.
This post is in partnership with Hotel Teatro & Ace Eat Serve. All opinions expressed are my own.
As I reached another year to celebrate my birthday, I knew I wanted to travel to a location where I can feel "on top of the world." Ever since I traveled to Honolulu for a birthday solo trip in 2016, I always made it a priority for me to travel and enjoy the company of myself and a place I've never been to before. Each trip has made me learn something about myself, and now that I'm turning 25, I wanted to find a quick getaway with an amazing outdoor view. With all the anticipating changes I'm making in my life, beginning the year in Colorado instantly popped into my mind.
Colorado has been one of the top must-see states on my travel list since I could remember. Everyone always gushes about their annual Aspen resort family vacations and Rocky Mountain 14-day hiking trips when I was a kid...and I always got a little jealous. One, I'm not the type of girl who just immerses herself in the wilderness and camp outdoors just to look at constellations and make fire out of wood, nor do people ever invite me to join in these types of escapades. People who personally know me understand that it's just not me (insert clapping with every underlined word).
However, Denver seemed like the best place to change that side of me. Being widely known as the "Mile High City," Denver had the best of both worlds when it comes to urban life and country side views. I didn't think twice about the opportunity to go to Colorado and spontaneously booked the flight...assuring myself that I'll figure out the details later. After exploring the city on my own, here is my detailed solo travel guide to Denver:
This post is in partnership with Hotel Alessandra. All opinions expressed are my own.
When I return home from a trip, I immediately resume the life I'd left off. Seeing wonderful sights and feeling so inspired by the people and culture around the world seems to create an invisible boundary line from the confinements of the old lifestyle and city in which I was raised. Although I keep changing as a person after every trip, the normalcy of my life back home seems to create an even thicker boundary from my never-ending travel bucket list. From working, managing my finances, and being there for my family, I never fully understood Houston's charm in the eyes of a tourist.
That thought changed when I was met with the opportunity to have a weekend staycation at Hotel Alessandra. Not only was it a chance to take a break from my everyday schedule, but it was also a recently new hotel that had the service, amenities, and luxury design that make you see the fancy side of Houston like never before.
It has been a while since I took a Texas road trip...anyone remember my trip to Austin? Now that the year is ending, I knew it was the perfect time to take another road trip to one of Texas's most popular cities! With the massiveness of Texas, there is so much to offer in each area of the state.
San Antonio has some of the most historic sites in Texas History, some of which are the Alamo and San Fernando Cathedral. The settlement of San Antonio began in 1691 when many missionaries and Spanish explorers settled the area in order to spread Christianity and practice freedom of religion. It was these momentous events that have made hundreds of thousands of visitors all over the world witness the landmarks that shaped Texas culture today.
In addition to the significance of San Antonio's history, this was the first memorable city I've vacationed as a child. My fondest memories as a child were family road trips to San Antonio which urged me to take a quick weekend trip back after many years. I remembered being in awe of the live music, artwork, and one-of-a-kind food at the age of 6. Those experiences made me want to re-experience the city as an adult, not only to re-live my memories of San Antonio, but to gain a whole new perspective of the city outside of the populous tourist landmarks I've seen. As a tourist "veteran," read my detailed guide about how you can achieve sight-seeing the best of San Antonio.
This past month, I was given the opportunity to visit the Facebook Office in Austin, TX! Not gonna lie, I was excited outta-my-mind with the offer because I knew that getting the inside scoop of Facebook, the company who also owns Instagram, will give me more insight to being a better content creator- hooray! From the amount of feedback I've been getting from my friends in the blogger community, many ask, "How did you get to visit Facebook?" to which I respond, "I've met the right people who said I can." Facebook tours are exclusively offered to people who are invited from a Facebook employee, and thanks to Instagram, I befriended someone who cared enough for me to visit the amazing company.
As a blogger, my content heavily relies on social media platforms- especially Instagram! With this tour, I was amazed to see the work space of the company who hosts over billions of users who actively use Facebook/Instagram daily. Plus, I had an exclusive interview with one of the Facebook employees to get their personal perspective about the upcoming changes in Instagram.