Rosé All Day: Malibu Wine Safaris

Rosé All Day: Malibu Wine Safaris

I might have found the wildest safari yet and it’s not in South Africa.

Malibu Wine Safaris is part vineyard, part wildlife habitat, and possibly the only place in the world where you can go wine tasting while you kick it with exotic animals. It’s part of the family-owned Saddlerock Ranch and Vineyard, which is 1,000 acres of heart-expanding natural beauty, nestled in the Santa Monica mountains above Malibu’s famed coastline.

The vino-fueled adventure begins with you hop on an animal print, open-air safari vehicle and take off through the property’s rolling hills lined with endless rows of vines. You’ll ramble along picturesque canyon views with hundreds of horses grazing in the distance. Every time the vehicle stops, you get to do one of two things: wet your palette with a wine tasting, or feed the resident four-legged friends, which gets exponentially more fun the tastings you consume. The 20 species that are living the good life at Saddlerock include zebras, llamas, yaks, alpacas, horses, and camels. Of course, this is LA, so all the animals are aptly named you’ll meet Justin Zeber, Llama Del Rey, and Yak Efron, to name a few.

But the real star of the show is Stanley a towering giraffe who made his Hollywood debut in The Hangover 3. He’s anything but camera shy, and is keen to take a selfie so long as you reward him with a snack. Other animals with movie credits include a gorgeous white thoroughbred who performed stunts in The Lord of the Rings, as well as two bison, Chipotle and BBQ Sauce, who were both extras in a John Wayne film.

The idea for a wine safari came to fruition after the Semler family, who purchased the land in the 1980s, went on a safari in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. The family already had rescue animals living on the property, so they thought an Indiana Jones experience would be a great way to share the ranch as well as wine made with grapes from their own vineyards.

The first tasting on the safari is a palatable set of whites and rosé, which you’ll enjoy after climbing over a canopy bridge where you can soak up the gorgeous vistas. The second tasting is Saddlerock’s best selection of reds, served in a valley called Camp Cabernet that is home to the yellow VW van from Little Miss Sunshine. You’ll have another chance to taste your favourite at the end of the safari, and I couldn’t help but pick up a few bottles to take home.

Wine, cute animals, and the California sun it really doesn’t get much better than that!

Los Angeles Bachelorette Party: 7 Things to Do Before You Say “I Do”

Los Angeles Bachelorette Party: 7 Things to Do Before You Say “I Do”

A bachelorette party is my favorite excuse for a girls-only getaway, and what better destination than the sunkissed California coast? Here’s what to include on your prenup party itinerary in La La Land.

1 – Boozy Brunch at The Bungalow, Santa Monica

Come for the bottomless mimosas, stay for the cozy, beach house vibes. Inspired by the laid-back culture of Baja, Mexico, the Bungalow is a rustic chic hideaway that exudes charm — its intimate enclaves are adorned in an eclectic mix of surfboards, sombreros, and playful patchwork floors. As one of Santa Monica’s few beachfront hangouts, you can take your eggs and bubbly with a side of ocean views.

2 – Booty Shaking Yoga at Studio U, Marina Del Rey

Skip the pole dancing class and sweat it out at the wildest fitness class in town: buti yoga. Not your mama’s yoga practice, buti (not to be confused with booty) combines primal movement, tribal dance, and plyometrics all into one seriously hardcore workout, set to the soundtrack of pumping beats. Leave your inhibitions at the door because there’s nothing better than shaking it with your besties.

3 – Beach Barcycle along Abbot Kinney, Venice Beach

If you plan to bar hop the most infamous street in Venice (hint: you should!), pedal your way from bar A to bar B on your very own “barcycle”. This pub-on-wheels makes a few stops at my favorite Venice hotspots — Venice Ale House, Bank of Venice, and Cabo Cantina — but the real party happens on the barcycle where you can blast your favorite tunes as you cruise through town. The ride is BYOB, but it does come with your own dedicated bartender.

4 – Rosé All Day at Malibu Wine Safaris

Sprawling vineyards, open air safari jeeps, and adorable wild animals —  need we say more? Malibu Wine Safari takes you and your gals on a sunny adventure through the breathtakingly beautiful Saddlerock Malibu Estate Vineyards, where you can taste wine among Hollywood’s biggest stars. Animal stars, that is. The vineyard is home to retired animal “actors” including Stanley the giraffe who you may recognize from The Hangover 3.

5 – Rooftop Pool Party at the Standard, Downtown LA

Get your Vegas pool party fix without the 5-hour drive. The Standard boasts the best summer soirees on Sunset Strip, where you can hop in the pool with a marg and soak up those chill west coast vibes. With retro waterbed pods, amazing food, and unparalleled views of downtown, it’s the ultimate place to get your bronze on while celebrating your last days of singlehood.

6 – Dinner and Reality Star Spotting at SUR, West Hollywood

As the setting of my favorite sultry reality TV show Vanderpump Rules, don’t be surprised if you see patrons snapping a photo with a bartender or waitress. SUR (it stands for sexy, unique restaurant) is an opulent wonderland where no detail has been left untouched — the sensual ambiance is complemented by romantic candles, lavish chandeliers, and fresh cut flowers. Go for the goat cheese balls, if nothing else.

7 – Dance Your Heart Out at The Abbey, West Hollywood

Lauded as the world’s best gay bar, The Abbey is what bachelorette party dreams are made of — think multiple dance floors, yummy cocktails, and smoking hot male go-go dancers. This iconic West Hollywood nightclub is hands down the most fun and rowdy place to let loose in LA, and celebrities agree; it’s not uncommon to see Lady Gaga, Lance Bass, or Christina Aguilera drop by on any given night.

How to Do Coachella Like the Rich & Famous

How to Do Coachella Like the Rich & Famous

The desert is calling! Here’s how to luxe it up at America’s most star-studded musical festival.

Ready, Jet Set

Traffic en route to Indio is a nightmare during Coachella, so the A-list takes to the sky. Arrive to ‘Chella in style via private jet, the preferred method of transportation for celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Beyonce, and Shay Mitchell, who have been known to Instagram their luxurious Coachella commute. Flying private might seem like a pipe dream, but this year, JetsuiteX is offering festival-goers seats on a semi-private plane from LA for as little as $400 round trip!

All-Access Pass

If you want to rub shoulders with the likes Karlie Kloss and Paris Hilton, a VIP wristband is not enough. Your golden ticket to Coachella’s ultra-exclusive backstage is an artist pass, which grants you access to the artist compound and all the perks that come with it, such as free cocktails, gourmet catering, and the two most important Coachella luxuries: clean bathrooms and air conditioning. You can typically only score an artist pass if you’re personally friends with a performer, but there is one way around that (read on).

Million Dollar Digs

Most festival-goers pitch a tent in the infamous Coachella campgrounds, but let’s face it, the rich and famous do not camp. Skip the grime and shack up in a glamorous Palm Springs mansion instead, especially one with a private pool to escape the heat. If you like the idea of camping but have a taste for luxury, you can book an on-site lavish Yurt that will set you back a cool $25,000 for two – but it comes with complimentary champagne, morning yoga, spa treatments, and most importantly, the highly-coveted artist pass mentioned above.

Dress to Kill

It’s no secret that Coachella is just as much about the fashion as it is the music, and last year we saw celebs rock some ridiculously over-the-top looks with lofty price tags (remember Rihanna’s $8,000 Gucci get-up?). When planning your outfits, keep in mind practicality and the merciless desert heat. You’ll definitely need comfy shoes, designer shades, and a light jacket for when the sun goes down. Some people like to get outfit inspo from Vanessa Hudgens, the reigning queen of Coachella fashion, but you can’t go wrong dressing head-to-toe in Free People and rocking a Marni fringe tote!

Glam Squad

Wondering how celebrities maintain their perfect hair and opalescent glow in the sweltering Coachella heat? They all have killer beauty teams behind-the-scenes. You may not travel with your own dedicated hair and makeup artists, but you can still get your glam on at Coachella’s beauty bar. Located within the campgrounds, the beauty bar is a hair and makeup station offering everything from boho braids to funky festival makeup – all for free. Think of it as your own personal glam squad!

Eat Your Heart Out

Coachella has really upped its food game in recent years. Inside the festival you’ll find food trucks and pop up restaurants from California’s finest, where you can munch on Instagram-worthy snacks such as sushi burritos, lobster mac and cheese, waffle pops, boozy snow cones, and rosé popsicles. But for the ultimate dining experience, make a reservation for Outstanding in the Field, an indulgent four-course meal from celebrated chefs.

See and Be Seen

Branded parties are the place to be in Palm Springs when you’re not at Coachella – and some would say they’re even better than the festival itself! Hosted at swanky mansions, the most exclusive soirees are where you’ll find Victoria’s Secret models, influencers, and A-list celebs sippin’ on Moët from the open bar. The hottest parties this year are set to be Revolve Festival, FORAY Desert Oasis, and Bootsy Bellows Estate, if you’re lucky enough to get an invite – otherwise you’ll have to live vicariously through Instagram.

The Best Nightclubs in Los Angeles

The Best Nightclubs in Los Angeles

You can’t go to Los Angeles without experiencing the nightlife. While I love bar hopping in Santa Monica or trying out a new restaurant in West Hollywood, sometimes a girls gotta dance. There are countless nightclubs in Los Angeles, so I put together this list of tried-and-true clubs where you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable night.

The first time I went to the adult playground that is Exchange LA, I felt like I had travelled through time. Housed in a 1930s building that was once the Los Angeles Stock Exchange, the cavernous 4-story mega-club pays homage to its rich and opulent past with a gorgeous marble staircase and restored Art Deco. The old trading floor has even been transformed into the main dance area surrounded by towering LED screens and a booming Funktion-One sound system. It’s like Wolf of Wall Street meets Berghain.

What was once the famed Hollywood Playhouse, Avalon has historically hosted the likes of the Beatles and the Grammy’s, sitting opposite the iconic Capital Records building steps from Hollywood Boulevard. Best known for its wild bass-centric Friday nights, the club has one of the best sound systems in Hollywood thanks to its 40-inch subwoofers – the largest in the world. Unlike most bottle service Hollywood nightclubs where you got to “see and be seen”, Avalon is entirely about the music, so expect to sweat it out on the dance floor.

One of LA’s more intimate nightclubs, Sound has made a name for itself among deep house and techno devotees, regularly pulling elusive DJs like Claude VonStroke and Christian Martin to satisfy the most discerning ear. The club’s industrial decor includes refurbished wood panelling from Frank Sinatra’s old home, stairway railings salvaged from an old railroad and a sunken dance floor with custom 3D-mapping visuals. But the best part of Sound is the hammerhead shark disco ball I first saw in Coachella’s Yuma tent.

If you’re looking for an over-the-top Hollywood nightclub experience, head to Create. The brainchild of legendary EDM promoter Insomniac Events, this is the place to catch high-profile DJs that headline the world’s biggest festivals – Armin van Buuren and Dash Berlin regularly play here. The space is designed to be a “testing ground for developing technologies in sound and lighting systems”, so you might just get a sneak peek of some innovative new production before it goes mainstream.

An LA legend in its own right, you may have seen The Standard Hotel on an episode of Entourage. With an enviable address on Sunset Strip, the Rooftop offers a chilled-out but an undeniably swanky environment with ultra-mod decor and a birds-eye view of LA. It’s not exactly a nightclub, but it’s party-central during the summer with an open-air dance floor and eclectic DJs playing music day or night. Head here for afternoon mojitos and you’ll likely find yourself staying long after the sun sets.

Get Crafty at the Top Breweries in San Diego

Get Crafty at the Top Breweries in San Diego

While Munich or Prague might be the beer capitals of the world, the USA is arguably the craft beer capital of the world, with more microbreweries in the country than the Europe and Asia combined.

There is a lot of debate over which city is the epicentre of the American craft beer craze, but I’m here to tell you that it’s San Diego, not Portland or Denver, that takes the cake. San Diego boasts more than 125 microbreweries and is the undisputed leader of the west-coast style Indian Pale Ale (IPA), which flows like water throughout the entire county. What’s an IPA? This distinct style of beer is brewed with an abundance of hops that gives it an intense bitter taste, often with strong fruity aromas and a higher-than-average alcohol content of around 7%.

Here are my 5 picks for the top breweries in San Diego you don’t want to miss, as well as which IPAs to try at each!

With humble micro-brew beginnings that date back to 1996, Stone is now one of the country’s most loved craft beer brands, known for its robustly hopped beers and the iconic Stone IPA. Dedicate a whole afternoon to chilling at Stone’s beer garden in Escondido, the perfect place for a Sunday Funday spent sippin’ on pints and playing a few rounds of corn hole.

IPA to try: IPAs are Stone’s bread and butter, and they even offer an IPA tasting flight to explore a full spectrum of flavours. Our new fave is the Delicious IPA, a hoppy yet smooth ale that definitely lives up to its name.

Another mainstay in the SD craft beer scene, Ballast Point gets a bit adventurous in their brewing, with interesting flavours such as the Thai Chili Wahoo and Red Velvet Oatmeal Stout. Stop by the Little Italy location, a restaurant-meets-tasting room with a sprawling outdoor patio overlooking one of the trendiest areas in town.

IPA to try: Ballast Point’s signature Sculpin IPA, which has won a bevvy of awards of worldwide, plus all its unique spinoffs: Grapefruit Sculpin, Pineapple Sculpin, and Habanero Sculpin, which is packed with just the right amount of spice.

A San Diego craft beer legend, Karl Strauss first opened their doors back in 1989 as the county’s first post-Prohibition Era brewery, leading the charge for the local micro-brew industry that had yet to explode. Since then, they have opened a number of restaurants and tasting rooms, expanding all the way up to LA. Go for brunch or happy hour at the Sorrento Valley location where you’ll find a gorgeous koi pond and delicious food.

IPA to try: Karl Strauss is best known for their Red Trolly Irish ale, but I love the dry and hoppy Tower 10 IPA, named about the lifeguard tower where the brewery’s first plans were drafted.

Established in 2002, Green Flash is a relatively young player in the San Diego craft beer scene, but these guys have already made huge waves with their fresh approach to the age-old art of brewing, characterized by unapologetically hoppy, “in your face” IPAs. Their laid-back, standing-room-only tasting room in Sorrento Valley is great for happy hour, and they offer free brewery tours if you want a look inside how beer is made.

IPA to try: Order the West Coast IPA, an intensively bitter beer regarded as a game-changer and loaded with extravagant, palette-crushing hops.

One of San Diego’s lesser-known craft beer companies, Culture was the first brewery to claim a stake in the creative art district of Solana Beach. Known for their simple and classic menu, Culture has since opened additional tasting rooms in Ocean Beach and Encinitas, but the flagship brewery remains our fave due to their intimate outdoor area and local artist showcases.

IPA to try: I’m a huge fan of Culture’s Mosaic IPA, the perfect balance between bitter hops and fresh aromatics. It’s not always on the menu, which makes it that much more special!

California, Here We Come: 5 Fall Music Festivals To Catch This Fall

California, Here We Come: 5 Fall Music Festivals To Catch This Fall

Summer festival season may be over for now, but California has plenty of fall music festivals worth traveling for! Hop on a plane with your festie bestie, and get ready for cooler weather, laid-back vibes, and seriously killer lineups.

#1 KAABOO – Del Mar, CA

When: September 15 – 17

For three days in September, the upscale Del Mar Racetrack transforms into an immersive sonic playground for KAABOO, a music festival that replaces the normal grit and grime of festivals with posh experiences curated for an older, more refined audience. Think spa indulgences, contemporary art installations, Vegas-style pool cabanas, and gourmet food! KAABOO is also the place where you can catch rare acts you won’t find on other festival lineups. If you’ve ever wanted to see Pink, Tom Petty or the Red Hot Chili Peppers live, this year definitely won’t disappoint!

#2 Nocturnal Wonderland – San Bernardino, CA

When: September 15 – 16

Fall down the rabbit hole and enter a neon-lit, fully-themed world of Wonderland. The longest running festival from EDM powerhouse Insomniac Events (the same guys behind EDC Las Vegas), Nocturnal Wonderland is a nod to LA’s 1990s warehouse rave days, best described with two words: sensory overload. In addition to five Alice in Wonderland-themed stages of music, the 2-day camping festival features whimsical performers romping the festival grounds, kaleidoscopic decor, glow-in-the-dark environments and three-dimensional art installations.

#3 CRSSD Festival – San Diego, CA

When: September 30 – October 1st

It might be autumn, but CRSSD is all about hanging onto those tropical summer vibes. The bi-annual festival is set against the Pacific Ocean at San Diego’s Waterfront Park, creating a sun-kissed atmosphere where you can get your groove on at 3 different stages. Since its inception three years ago, CRSSD has become California’s shining beacon of the underground music scene. With an almost entirely deep house lineup including Cut Copy, Hot Since 82 and techno legend Richie Hawtin, you can expect nothing but chilled out beats while the sun sets over the San Diego harbor.

#4 Dirtybird Campout – Bradley, CA

When: October 6 – 8

When Dirtybird record label bossman DJ Claude VonStroke joins forces with The Do Lab, you know it’s going to be a good time. Not your usual festival scene, Dirtybird Campout is basically summer camp for adults, but with a really great soundtrack. When you’re not getting down to booty dancing deep house from all the usual Dirtybird suspects (including our fave Justin Martin!), you can fulfill your childhood nostalgia with games and activities you’d find at summer camp. There’s capture-the-flag, dodgeball, face-painting, guided nature hikes and archery, to name a few!

#5 Desert Daze – Joshua Tree, CA

When: October 12 – 15

There are festivals, then there’s Desert Daze. Designed to be a “profound experience” nestled in the otherworldly landscape of Joshua Tree National Park (about a 4-hour drive from LAX), this intimate 4-day festival takes place at the largest spiritual retreat center in western USA. Surrounded by captivating architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright, you can feel the palpable energy of an on-site magnetic field. Camp under the twinkling desert sky and get down to one of the funkiest line-ups we’ve ever seen, including old school rock legends Iggy Pop and Ty Segall!