Santa Barbara

As any true food lover will tell you, the best things in life come in dozens: donuts, bagels, cupcakes… you catch our drift. So today we’re bringing you the best beach resorts for foodies, in a tasty set of twelve. After all, a beach vacation is always a treat, but when it’s paired with culinary delights — well, it’s that much sweeter. From Caribbean all-inclusive resorts with tens of celebrity chef-helmed restaurants, to hidden spots where the ocean-facing restaurant is a destination unto itself, we’ve found twelve amazing beach resorts with amazing foodie-pleasing offerings. Bon appetit!

 

Casa de Campo

1. Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic 

The D.R.’s classiest, most famous resort since 1974, the Casa de Campo hotel is part of a massive, 7,000-acre resort community that includes three world-renowned golf courses, an immaculate beach, a marina, and thirteen delicious restaurants. With everything from a casual pizzeria to a lively tapas bar, Casa de Campo has something for every kind of foodie; those with a leaning towards celebrity will enjoy the Caribbean outpost of Le Cirque, sitting right on the beach and serving up tasty bites like fried fish sliders.

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This year, thanks to an aptly-timed Presidents’ Day, Valentine lovers get a long weekend to celebrate romance — and the two holidays aren’t as unrelated as one might expect. Some of our fearless leaders have been decidedly romantic, and quite often their romantic rendezvous have taken place at some of the country’s most romantic hotels. Whether they are treating the First Lady (or their other lady loves) to a relaxing vacation, or pining for their loved one from a hotel suite for one, these presidents sure know a thing or two about l’amour. This Valentine’s weekend, you might consider booking a hotel with the presidential seal of approval.

San Ysdiro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property, Santa Barbara 

San Ysidro

The Presidential Couple: John and Jackie Kennedy 

Back in 1953, the former president and his new bride paid just $27 to spend a night at this luxurious resort as they traveled from Acapulco up the Californian coast. Nowadays, that same suite — renamed the Kennedy Cottage after the couple — goes for thousands of dollars per night. Read More »

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If you and your honey have VIP taste when you travel, you’ll be in good company at these romantic resorts. All of them have made headlines for hosting celebrity couples, from Brad and Angie at Caneel Bay Resort in the U.S Virgin Islands to, most recently, former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and his girlfriend at Half Moon in Jamaica (where he either did or did not suck her toes in a hot tub, depending on whether you believe the New York Post). So what makes these resorts special enough for the likes of Hollywood royalty (and in some cases, royalty royalty)? We’ll give you the inside scoop.

Half Moon, Jamaica

Half Moon, JamaicaWhen Eliot Spitzer and girlfriend Lis Smith vacationed together at Half Moon, Jamaica in early January, they made headlines for some racy hot tub behavior (specifically, Spitzer was reported to have sucked on Smith’s toes). The report turned out to be unreliable, but we imagine the pair had a lovely time at Half Moon even without the toe-sucking. The 400-acre resort has two miles of pristine beach, a dolphin lagoon, horse stables, and a spectacular spa; it’s fit not only for American political royalty (JFK and Jackie stayed here long before Spitzer) but actual royalty (Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, and The Prince of Wales have also visited). Read More »

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The Inn on the Blue Horizon is one of our favorite B&Bs in the Caribbean.

We love the quaint, homey vibe that comes with bed-and-breakfasts. And when they’re located beachside, where mega-resorts are more often the norm, they feel even more like hidden gems. Plan your next getaway — or just dream about it — by clicking through our slideshow of the best B&Bs on the beach. Many dot New England’s coast, but some, like this first one, are further flung — and just as fabulous.

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Summertime is fast-approaching and we can’t wait till the days of top-down convertibles, cover-ups and flip-flops dress codes, and mini weekend getaways. After all, a share can be great but there’s something about a spontaneous trip to the beach to really make it feel like summer. So whether your home base is New York or Los Angeles, D.C. or San Francisco, or even Boston, we have a beach destination that can easily be reached via a quick road trip. So grab a map, your sunglasses, and some road trippin’ munchies, and make your escape!

Weekend Getaway from New York City: Montauk

Travel time: 2 hours, 30 minutes via car

Visit Montauk before the "too cool" Hamptons vibe has rubbed off on it.

It may seem cliche, but there’s a reason why Manhattanites flock to the Hamptons come summer. Home to upscale restaurants, trendy workout clubs, quirky shops, and of course, beautiful beaches, it offers a nice reprieve from the congestion and smog of the city — while maintaining that cool (and sometimes snobbish) city vibe. Montauk, located at the furthest tip, however, has a more laid-back feel; residents fear that a recent influx of visitors will taint its unpretentious reputation, but for now it’s a nice alternative to the ultra-exclusive vibe of other Hamptons.

Where to Stay: A cool party spot, Sole East attracts a young, beautiful crowd. With a tasty on-site restaurant, a small pool with loungers, and beach cruisers available for rent, it’s a great pick.

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Several celeb couples have honeymooned at this gorgeous California property.

Several celeb couples have honeymooned at this gorgeous California property.

Celebrities always travel in style, and we love checking out where they stay when on a getaway from the spotlight. So in this honeymoon edition of our (constant) celeb watch, we explore the gorgeous hotels where some of our favorite celebs celebrated their first days of wedded bliss. Sure, some didn’t last, but it’s not like these hotels are to blame. In fact, they’re probably responsible for the happiest days of the marriage! Take note, Jen and Justin: these spots will deliver the star treatment during your honeymoon.

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Let’s see if you can guess what the following events have in common: a super-secret conference hosted by the billionaire Koch brothers; a concert with $10,000 tickets featuring Mariah Carey; and an uber-luxe weekend golf retreat in Deer Valley, Utah.

If you guessed political campaign fundraising, you guessed right. Each of those events was orchestrated for one purpose — to help either Romney or Obama win the 2012 election. (Romney is currently pulling in more dollars — specifically, $35 million more than Obama in the month of June.)

But the events had something else in common, too — they all took place at some of the country’s top luxury hotels. And we wouldn’t be the hotel tell-all if we didn’t spill the details on just what went down — and where.

We’ve provided helpful color coded icons in Republican red and Democratic blue to let you know which event helped whom.

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Carlsbad, CA R.

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Carlsbad, CA

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Carlsbad, CA

The Event: “Path to Freedom 2012,” a fundraising summit hosted by the Koch brothers, June 24

The Power Players: The Koch brothers, conservative oil tycoons each worth $25 billion

The Spoils: Unknown, but it’s been reported that their annual fundraising goal is $400 million.

Security at the Park Hyatt Aviara was extremely tight for the Koch brothers’ biannual fundraiser, and few details about the guest list or speeches have been leaked. (A BuzzFeed reporter did manage to sneak in, before getting the boot for not wearing a name tag.) But we’re sure the wealthy conservatives who gathered to conspire raise money enjoyed the property’s gorgeous pool with lagoon views, Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, and serene gardens. See exclusive photos of the hotel

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The Best Road Trips is a weekly summer series highlighting our favorite getaways from major cities all over the United States.

Los Angeles is awesome whichever way you look at it. Despite its reputation of having few attractions for tourists and huge distances to cover to get to any of them, L.A. has plenty to offer with top-notch restaurants, world-class museums, a vibrant nightlife scene, and wonderful beaches that attract millions of visitors every year. But it’s good to take a break from all the buzz sometimes and head somewhere new, be it a more relaxed spot for some serious R&R, or the perfect stretch of sand for surfing. So whether you’re in town visiting and want to mix it up a bit, or you’re a resident and want to get away from it all, start packing and hit the road! We’ve got the perfect nearby spots that are just a short drive away.

Road Trip #1: Los Angeles to Orange County, CA

  • Total Driving Time:1 hour
  • Distance Covered:51 miles
  • Take This Trip If: You’re ready for some pampering
It'a all about fun in the sun and easy living here in the O.C.

It'a all about fun in the sun and easy living here in the O.C.

Don't you just want to take a dip in the Coliseum Pool at the Pelican Hill?

Don't you just want to take a dip in the Coliseum Pool at the Pelican Hill?

Lunch with a view at the Montage Laguna Beach

Have lunch with a view at the Montage Laguna Beach

Orange County is known for its well-heeled residents and high prices, but if you want to get some serious R&R, it’s the place to be. This string of uncrowded beaches is a good pick for families, but the area is popular among couples as well for its bucolic landscape and unparalleled sunsets. The beaches (and the waves) are definitely the main draw. If you’re planning a trip with the family, the ultra-luxe Pelican Hill is a wonderful choice. The property boasts two great golf courses, along with a plethora of other amenities, such as two gorgeous pools, a world-class spa, a fitness center, and a top-notch kids’ club. If it’s just you and your significant other, the Montage Laguna Beach is great for spending some quality time together. It offers an excellent spa, impeccable grounds, and beautiful rooms with breathtaking views.

  • Top Driving Tip: The fastest and shortest way to get there is the Santa Ana Freeway, but if you’ve got some time to spare, Cabrillo Highway (SR 1) is the most scenic. Along the way you’ll see gorgeous beaches and rolling hills.

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As one of the most romantic (and exclusive!) hotels in the country, the San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property in Santa Barbara exudes refined luxury. The cottage-style inn is nestled between the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains and features charming rustic furnishings – including canopy beds, brick fireplaces, and eclectic decorative pieces like this sleepy little piglet. And we wouldn’t expect anything less adorable from Mr. Ty Warner, the man who gave us Beanie Babies.

The Olive Room at the San Ysidro Ranch, a Ty Warner Property

Read our caption after the jump, then enter your own in the comments section below!

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A Destination Wedding in the D.R.

A Destination Wedding in the D.R.

June is infamously known as wedding mayhem month. It seems like couples everywhere choose this month over any other to say their “I dos.” Even we couldn’t help but catch a little bit of the wedding bug and we’ve been doing our research. So if you happen to be planning a very last-minute wedding (perhaps a la Drew Barrymore, the mommy-to-be who tied the knot this past Saturday) or are just looking for some inspiration for your upcoming nuptials, we have all the details on where some of your favorite celebs wed. Some of the marriages may not have lasted through better or worse, but hey, at least the wedding was beautiful. Check out where stars like Megan Fox, Jennifer Garner, and Kelsey Grammer got hitched after the jump »

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