Best Of | Insider Summer Tips


Photography by Slim Aarons

Summer is officially almost here which means our team can’t stop talking about three things: 1. rooftops, stoops and any other “urban escape;” 2. clothing that weighs nothing and (fingers-crossed) drums up a breeze and 3. dreamy destinations for much-needed, can’t-come-soon-enough vacations… sound familiar? At least where that last point is concerned, when it comes to curating memorable trips, we don’t have to look far– our contributors do much of that legwork for us. Here, we take a look back at some of our favorite summer tips and recs from our chicest friends–Architectural Digest‘s Style Director Jane Keltner de Valle, singer/songwriter Andrew Bird and Vensette founder Lauren Remington Platt included.


The Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur; Recommended by Liseanne Frankfurt

“California is perfect for year-round road trips. We especially like driving up the coast, stopping in Big Sur for lunch at Post Ranch Inn (MAP IT, x), a stay in Carmel, and then on to San Francisco to see friends, eat amazing food and take in the culture. We always visit the local botanical garden wherever we are. There is a bustling little Mediterranean restaurant in Carmel called Dametra Cafe (MAP IT, x) where the kitchen staff joins the hostess and waiters in a rousing musical performance (it’s highly entertaining); and we always have lunch upstairs at Chez Panisse (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)– it’s a family favorite. We also head to the desert (where I grew up) quite a bit. Our friends have an amazing house there so we stay for a few days and try to unwind. India Oven (MAP IT, x) has the best food, and I never leave without a visit to Harvest Health in Palm Desert (MAP IT, x) or to the many vintage shops on Highway 111.”- Liseanne Frankfurt, Designer

Clarence Fahnestock State Park (MAP IT, x) is beautiful and feels quite old-school; they turn the river into a beach in the summer and it’s incredible!”- Jordan Askill, Jewelry Designer

“We go to Roxbury, CT on the weekends— it has an impressive food scene for a quiet, rural place. My favorite thing to do there is scour the local farm stands and grill at home. Arethusa (MAP IT, x), which is owned by Manolo Blahnik President George Malkemus, has fresh milk, eggs and cheese straight from his farm, plus the best ice cream. He also has a lovely trattoria next door which is as good as any restaurant in New York. G.W. Tavern (MAP IT, x) is a pub-style restaurant that’s nice for a casual family dinner and I like the bar at Mayflower Inn (MAP IT, x) for drinks. Community Table (MAP IT, x) is also very good— it’s a farm-to-table concept applied to fine dining in a country setting. In the summertime, I love going to West Shore Seafood (MAP IT, x) for lobster rolls, followed by ice cream at Arethusa.”- Jane Keltner de Valle, Style Director, Architectural Digest

“Montauk since 1997. The sunsets at The Montauket Hotel (MAP IT, x) sum up summer on the East Coast for me.”- Tracy Taylor, Senior Style Editor, Net-a-Porter

Breakfast at Manka’s, Inverness, CA; Recommended by Andrew Bird

“Inverness— we like to stay at Manka’s (MAP IT, x) for a sleepy getaway to rest, read, hike and have some quiet time to work.”- Andrew Bird, Musician

“A picnic at Storm King (MAP IT, x), a swim at Shibui Spa (MAP IT, x) or a weekend at Bedford Post Inn (MAP IT, x).”- Tanya Taylor, Designer

“I love heading to upstate New York like to Hudson or to the Woodstock/Catskills area— I try and go a few times a year. If you’re up there, there is an amazing restaurant called Gaskins in Germantown (MAP IT, x) right near Hudson.”- Rose Smith, Model

“There’s so much to explore just in LA– take a walk up one of the peaks of Griffith Park (x); grab lunch at Grand Central Market (MAP IT, x); catch a screening at the Silent Film Theater (MAP IT, x); or, if at all possible, a concert at The Hollywood Bowl (MAP IT, x), complete with a picnic and plenty of rosé. And, check out any of the places that tend not to be on the radar of most Angelenos (which I think is a crime): Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), The Museum of Jurassic Technology (MAP IT, x), The Downtown Independent Movie Theater (MAP IT, x) for special screenings, MAKCenter at the Schindler House (MAP IT, x) which is performance art to the house itself; Watts Towers (MAP IT, x); and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation (MAP IT, x) which reveals a life’s work of collecting by a modern art maniac… I could go on!”- Rose Apodaca, Co-Founder, A + R

Miraval in Tucson, AZ; Recommended by Scott Pask

“My favorite getaway is to my home in the foothills of Tucson, Arizona. It’s an amazing city in a part of the country that I find rejuvenating and inspiring. After a downtown visit with friends at the Etherton Gallery (MAP IT, x) or MOCA (MAP IT, x) to see the latest exhibitions,  I’ll head to the Cup Café at the historic Hotel Congress (MAP IT, x) for an order of chilaquiles verde. Other favorite haunts are Kingfisher (MAP IT, x), Penca (MAP IT, x) for great food from central Mexico, Welcome Diner (MAP IT, x) and Commoner (MAP IT, x).”- Scott Pask, Broadway Scenic Designer

“This detox place in Desert Hot Springs (it’s half an hour outside of Palm Springs) called We Care (MAP IT, x). You basically do colonics every day, they starve you and you talk to random B-List celebrities.”- Scott Studenberg, Designer, Baja East

“Taking the sea plane from Manhattan to Shelter Island in the summers always feels very “NY” to me.”- Misha Nonoo, Designer


Private villa for rent in Pantelleria; Recommended by Micaela Erlanger

“I travel so much for work that I love a staycation more than anything. However, I discovered my ALL-time favorite place last summer… it’s a little island called Pantelleria; it’s off the coast of Sicily, surrounded by water, and absolutely beautiful. You can see the coastline of Tunisia on any clear day. It’s magical. I am seriously considering buying a vacation home there.”- Micaela Erlanger, Stylist

“A summer vacation with friends between The Aquitaine Coast in France and Spain remains number one on my list. A few recommendations in the area: La Corniche Hotel Restaurant (MAP IT, x) at Dune du Pilat for the best breakfast view; Bar Jean at Biarritz (MAP IT, x) for early drinks and tapas; Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for a one or two night stay; and a few nights stay in Spain at Aire de Bardenas (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)!”- Julien Labat, CEO, Edun

Hotel Il Pellicano, Porto Ercole, IT; Recommended by Lauren Remington Platt

“Sardinia, Italy. Don’t miss the exquisite lunch (and dessert) at Cala Di Volpe (x) or my favorite hotel in the world, Il Pellicano (x).”- Lauren Remington Platt, Founder, Vensette

“I always make it over to Mykonos for a few days and stay at my favorite boutique hotel, The Belvedere (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). It is right at the top of town so it has a gorgeous view, but it’s also conveniently located. My favorite restaurant there is called Interni (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x); I love the ambiance.”- Caroline Constas, Designer CP


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