Talk to me, people…

Pete’s and my New Years plans have changed a bit and we are trying to think of a few fun destination to escape from Chicago and thaw out a bit. We don’t have a lot of time so we can’t go far, I am thinking US for sure, and I would like to go somewhere warm with big straight-chillin’ potential but also an activity or adventure potential.

So far we are thinking either Santa Barbara or Palm Springs.

The Viceroy-Palm Springs

We have never been to either and have heard great things about both. Canary Hotel- Santa Barbara

So I ask of you…do you have any ideas? Either in SB or PS or elsewhere?

Where would you go/stay/do? Your *good* advice will forever endear you to my heart, and what else could you possibly want or require in life than to be in my good graces??


  1. Helena - A Diary of Lovely November 29, 2010 at 8:09 am

    I cant really help but both look amazing! I have always wanted to go to Palm Springs but that hotel in Santa Barbara looks beyond gorgeous!

  2. Elizabeth November 29, 2010 at 9:32 am

    My best straight-chillin’ times have been spent in Naples. I would highly recommend it! There’s a great kayak company we’ve used and loved and the spa at the Ritz is one of the best I’ve been to. I met Judge Judy in the “plunge pool” haha

  3. my favorite and my best- MFAMB to you November 29, 2010 at 9:44 am

    go here:
    and for the love of jesus take me with you.

  4. lynn November 29, 2010 at 11:58 am

    If you want the most beautiful weather you can’t beat Palm Springs. Santa Barbara can be iffy since it’s so close to the coast and sometimes it’s damp and windy. The Viceroy is hip and in a great location. You can go shopping on El Paseo in Palm Desert and then dine in La Quinta. Taking the tram in Palm Springs at night gives you a panoramic view of the entire Coachella Valley….gorgeous.

  5. Bre November 29, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Santa Barbara for sure. The Canary is pure lovely, and it’s right in downtown Santa Barbara, close to great shops and restaurants. Also, wine country is just a quick drive away, with dozens of wineries, tasting rooms, and fab California scenery.

    Palm Springs is a snore and a half. The scene there is primarily senior citizen so there is very little night life, save for the bachelor and bachelorette parties that pass through on their way to/from Vegas.

    And yes, Santa Barbara will likely be a bit cooler than Palm Springs, but I’m sure any place in California will be sweltering for you compared to Chicago!

  6. Kelly November 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    The Ace Hotel in Palm Springs is really cool. It has the perfect mid-century modern feel for PS – and has been featured in ELLE decor and all sorts of other mags/press. Check it out:

  7. KC November 29, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    If you are thinking Santa Barbara, may I recommend San Luis Obispo? One of my favorite California towns, just north of the city of Santa Barbara. If so, look into spending a night at the Madonna Inn – it’s ridiculous. The rooms are themed, but not in a slutty motel kind of way. I think you’d enjoy.

    You should at least go for a meal, their steak house is SIIIIICK.

  8. Beth November 29, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Soooo I love SB and PS with the best of them but if you really want to get away and just chill look into flying down to the US Virgin Islands. I went to St. John last year and loved it! Super laid back, fun, lots to do if you want to but also lots of places to just lay around and soak up the warm air and sunshine.

  9. Rachel November 29, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    I can’t speak to the excellence of PS, but Santa Barbara is way cute and short-vacation-worthy. If you are a roadtrip and scenery type of girl (and if you aren’t, then you haven’t driven up the Cali coast yet…), you guys will love a one-day excursion driving up the PCH (Route 1) to visit Hearst Castle ( It is all kinds of fabulous, especially for design and architecture loving girls. That said, the PCH is all kinds of scary mixed with fabulous. The whole highway is eroding into the ocean, so you are basically driving on the edge a cliff, feet from hundred-foot-drops, for like, *hours.* But thats kind of part of the fun.
    Good luck choosing, you can’t go wrong either way!

  10. Chatty November 29, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Go check out the Four Seasons or the San Ysidro in Santa Barbara! But is it chilly there around new years? it might be cold then.

  11. Michelle November 29, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Try Laguna Beach! I think it would really suit you – very artsy town that is still relatively uninhabited by chains. With absolutely gorgeous, gorgeous views.

  12. pure.ruth November 29, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    you should go to the parker in palm springs – super groovy! and they have a normas from NYC – talk about the best brunch EVER

  13. Ann November 30, 2010 at 3:20 am

    I live in LA and am familiar with both like many of the people that have posted. SB will likely be cooler than Palm Springs at that time. If you are in Palm Springs it will likely be a little quieter. I’m not an SB girl – I like Montecito right next door but what’s great about that area is you can go wine tasting and do other things. Palm Springs is beautiful and very relaxing. But if you are craving warm weather and are willing to fly the islands off the East Coast are just as close or even head down to Cabo in Mexico. All West Coast locations if lucky will be warm by Chicago standards (cold for us West Coasters – even me from CT but have adapted) by day but will be cool by night. You can’t go wrong with either and both locations are great. Love the viceroy in PS – there is also a Morrocan hotel (can’t remember the name that is nice) and yes, ACE is suppose to be cool. For SB depending on your budget Bacara is nice as well and the Four Seasons. Enjoy, either way, you won’t be disappointed. Both about a 2 hour drive from LAX.

  14. my favorite and my best- MFAMB to you November 30, 2010 at 9:26 am

    yeah, you’re welcome. now where’s my ticket for the winning suggestion? and where are the sous vide bird deets? give it up McC.

  15. Workaholic November 30, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Go Palm Springs. There’s a large chance that you will be cold (well not Chicago cold but cold) in Santa Barbara and fogged in, making the pretty views disappear. Ann is right though, both will be cold at night even if it is 50-60 during the day. ENJOY

  16. Amber Dobbs December 3, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    I actually live a block away from the Canary Hotel in SB and it’s lovely :) They have a roof top bar to die for. It has been a bit chilly here (for our standards, ha! 60s during the day and 40s at night) but it likely won’t get any colder and probably won’t be foggy at all in early January. You would love Santa Barbara – great food, shopping and wine tasting (in town and closeby) and an AWESOME sunday brunch at the Four Seasons.

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