Travel

10 Dreamy Summer Travel Destinations

Itching for a summer trip?!  I’ve got you covered ;)  I’m sharing my 10 favorite summer travel destinations below!  These are places that are fun to go with just about anyone: your family, a girlfriend, a group of friends, or a significant other!  And almost all of them are on my Travel App which you can downloaded for free in the App Store or Google Play by searching “With Love From Kat.”  Within my Travel App, I share the best spots in each city to eat, play, stay, shop, and relax, plus I show you outfit recommendations for each.  Where have you been dying to go?!  Do tell!  Nantucket I grew up going to Nantucket and Cape Cod every summer.  My mom’s family lives out there and we would spend the entire summer – away from the Arizona heat – at my grandmother’s house.  You feel like you’ve transported into an idyllic 1950s town with cobblestone streets, white picket fences, hydrangeas, and charming store fronts!  Spend the afternoons biking around town and enjoying a picnic at the beach, then the evenings catching the sunset at Galley and Cru. St. Barths I’ve been dying to go back to St. Barths ever since Talun and I went 3 years ago.  It’s relatively easy to get to from NYC and you’ll have an absolute blast.  Spend your afternoons shopping in town and having lunch at Nikki beach, then your evenings eating at Bonita and dancing all night at Le Ti!  Rent a mini cooper or scooter to get around the island – and stay at Cheval Blanc… a total dream. Venice Beach I couldn’t leave off my new hometown!  Venice is the ultimate California vacation destination.  Rent an airbnb or stay at Shutters on the Beach and ride bikes along the boardwalk, walk along Abbot Kinney, enjoy the Venice Canals Historic District and dine at yummy places like Butchers Daughter, Great White, or Rose Cafe. Sicily I went to two islands in Sicily years ago and fell in love with both.  Taormina is one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever seen (stay at the Belmond hotel – 100% worth it) and then take a high speed ferry to a tiny island called Panarea and stay at Hotel Raya where Grace Kelly once stayed.  Panarea is understated chic – forget the glitz and glam and people trying too hard – this is a stunning, relaxed, island where you can truly unwind. Paris Ahhh Paris in the summer.  Such a special time!  Stroll through the Marais, eat wine and cheese along the Seine, wander through off the beaten path museums (that I include in my app so go download it!), and pick up specialty items at vintage stories along the way. The Hamptons Rent a car and drive to Southampton or Montauk for a weekend getaway from the city.  I love renting an airbnb or staying at Gurney’s Montauk.  All of my fave spots are on my app! Amalfi Coast Capri and Positano are even more magical in person.  Pick up handmade sandals in Capri, enjoy the best pizza and pasta at iconic Chez Black in Positano, take in the incredible ocean views from Villa Treville, sit in Capri’s town square with an aperol spritz in hand people watching from Quisisana, and unwind at one of the best beach clubs in the world; La Fontelina.  Oh, and don’t forget to have dinner at Mamma Mia! Provence Take a hot air balloon ride over Provence where you can see the entire countryside.  Get lost in sunflower and lavender fields.  Enjoy long, leisurely lunches of wine, cheese, delicious baguettes and fresh fruit.  Pick up baskets and antiques to take home with you! St. Tropez Head straight to Le Club 55 for a champagne filled lunch followed by laying out at the beach.  Visit the iconic Chanel boutique which is situated in an old mansion.  Take in the stunning scenery and charm of the town! Ibiza The turquoise blue water in Ibiza is mesmerizing.  There are so many areas to explore – you can have a more chill countryside experience in the Northern part or a more lively experience in the Southern part.  Old Town is full of shops and restaurants that stay open all night – you’ll never want to leave!  Take a boat ride to the island Formentera for beautiful beaches, day clubs, and even more charming restaurants and shops.  Safety note – there is a lot of crime in Ibiza.  Gypsies prey on tourists and are PROS at pickpocketing.  Never leave your bag open (I don’t recommend bringing a bucket bag!) and this goes without saying but always watch your drink being poured at a bar/never accept a drink from a stranger.   SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave
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Spring Travel Style

I love wearing a crisp white coat for spring/summer.  So chic, so classic, and so feminine.  You may remember I wore this exact outfit in Japan last month and I’ve since worn it on my most recent trip to Seattle. I own a white linen coat from Sandro that I’ve worn countless times over the years, so when I saw this white wool coat online a few months back, I knew it would be a smart investment piece that would get just as much wear.  This style coat is a more boxy cut so you can easily layer a chunky sweater under it and feel comfortable on long travel days.  I like to be able to move freely in my clothes. It’s also important to be able to sleep in whatever outfit I’m wearing. Just in case I get stuck at the airport! White sneakers are ideal for wandering around a city – and I just picked up this Superga pair the other week to add to my growing collection. The Express tank I wore underneath this coat in Japan is a staple piece I’ve had for years – and I always get a few new ones every season since they’re under $40.  The Iro lace cami I’m wearing here is a beautifully made piece and looks elegant tucked into jeans or silk trousers. This brown leather Fendi bag is probably one of my favorites I own.  It has held up after the rain and living in NYC. It’s survived traveling/packing it all over the world, schlepping it on planes, trains, and automobiles! Also if you’re looking to splurge on a new designer bag…I highly recommend the Fendi Peekaboo bag.  The Real Real has some great used options. Would you be interested in me talking about/sharing my favorite designer bags from over the years?  If so, then be sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel and I will create a whole video around it! Shop Spring Travel Style:SaveSave
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Summer Travel Essentials

Guess what?!  The ANDROID version of my Travel App is now LIVE!!!!  So many of you have been asking for an Android version so I worked hard alongside my developer these past few months to make it happen!  If you love it, it would mean so much to me if you left a review! In case you’re not familiar with my Travel App – you can read about it in Harpers Bazaar here.I came up with the idea to create a Travel App 3 years ago after I was traveling nonstop. I was receiving so many comments and emails asking where I was staying, shopping, eating, etc.  At the time, I was spending several hours responding individually to people. While I loved sharing my personalized recommendations, I started to feel like a part time travel agent! – and so I thought how can I be more efficient about sharing my travel advice? I came up with the idea to create a simple, easy to use, Travel App that had all of my favorite spots around the world organized by city, and further broken down by the categories; Eat, Play, Shop, Stay, Relax, and Wear.  It’s basically my Little Black Book in the palm of your hands! It’s also completely FREE – just search With Love From Kat in the App store and Google Play!It always brings me such joy to hear that so many of you love using it and that it made your trip(s) even more special.  If you happen to visit a spot that I recommended and share it to Instagram – I hope you’ll use #WLFKTravelAPP so I can share it on my account!  PS I just updated the Travel Essentials page within the APP and was inspired to share some of my Travel must haves on here that are perfect for summer. Have a great weekend! SaveSaveSaveSave
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Kyoto Travel Guide

Happy Friday! I’m sharing part 2 of my Japan guide… and highlighting our next stop which was Kyoto! After 4 days in Tokyo, we hopped on the bullet train and rode it 2 hours to Kyoto.  Kyoto was like nowhere I’d ever been… it felt so old world and traditional…it was truly a magical place.  There were parts of Kyoto that felt like a normal bustling city, and then you’d wander down an alley or stumble upon a side street and be transported back in time. My favorite street in Kyoto was in the Gion District along the Shirakawa Canal.We spent a lot of time there – having dinner at Nobu’s restaurant and enjoying that ginormous shaved matcha ice at the cutest tea house, Pass the Baton, that you saw in my Vlog and Instastories!  It was the most peaceful, romantic street and the perfect place to catch women dressed as geisha. My favorite experience in Kyoto – was by far the Bamboo Garden.We hopped in a cab from our hotel (which I’ll share more about in a bit…) and got dropped off at the Arashiyama District which is home to the iconic Bamboo Garden and several temples, shops and restaurants.  We were able to admire the gorgeous bamboo trees and stumbled upon a small temple to enjoy tea at and walk the grounds of.  Now back to our hotel situation…we booked our Kyoto hotel quite last minute and sadly most places were sold out. So FYI if you want to go to Kyoto, book your accommodations far in advance.We ended up booking a modern-ish hotel in the heart of Kyoto that we knew was overpriced but that looked decent and got ok reviews on Trip Advisor, but OMG it ended up being terrible.  We could hear the cross walk go off from our window every 4 minutes (torture LOL!), the elevator beeped constantly, the breakfast/restaurant was just plain YUCK, and the concierge wasn’t helpful at all.  The hotel was was walking distance to Shirakawa/Nishiki Market and plenty of train stations, but I would never recommend anyone to stay at it. Here’s what I would have done differently now that I know Kyoto:I would have absolutely stayed a bit outside Kyoto at a traditional Ryokan.  This is an authentic Japanese style inn and is so much more charming.  My friend Merritt is in Kyoto right now, and I’ve been loving her Instastories.  The place she’s staying at; Gion Hatanaka, looks darling – so I’m including it here in case you want to book it!  I’m looking forward to going back to Kyoto in the future and having my trip a bit more planned out so that I can see even more temples/parks (there are SO many to see) and experiencing a traditional Ryokan! Kyoto Travel Guide:Things you must do in Kyoto, Japan: Shirakawa GionThis was my favorite neighborhood in Kyoto and I made sure to walk along the Shirakawa Canal everyday.  It’s stunning at night and during the day – and is home to darling shops and restaurants, like Pass the Baton tea house, Itoh (Nobu’s restaurant), and more. See a Geisha showOur concierge told us you could not buy Geisha show tickets online (at least for the one we wanted to go to in the Gion District) so we tried to arrive about 30 minutes early for the 6PM show.  Sadly it was already sold out by then, and the next night we went – the line was around the corner and that was when we were an hour and a half early!  SO, if you want to see a geisha show it seems as though you have to be prepared to wait quite a bit, or try to book through a service.  I was definitely bummed we weren’t able to see one and it’s at the top of my list next time I’m in Kyoto! Nishiki MarketThis is a huge market/shopping area in Kyoto.  The main street strip is full of food vendors so go hungry!  You can try everything from ramen to sushi, to chicken skewers and mochi.  Wander down the side streets and you’ll find a handful of cute boutiques. Arashiyama Bamboo GardenTake a cab or the train just about 30 minutes away to the stunning Arashiyama District.  This area is breathtaking and you’ll be able to wander through the bamboo garden and several temples.  It’s a great spot to spend at least half the day at. Fushimi Inari ShrineThis is one of the most iconic shrines in Kyoto with a path of over 5,000 bright orange gates.  We took the train here, and had fun trying all of the desserts and coffee from the vendors that were just off the train stop.  We walked through the orange gates (great picture opp hehe!) and had tea overlooking a pretty park. Tea at Pass the BatonI’m including this here again (I mentioned it in #1), because it was such a memorable experience for me!  Cross a tiny bridge over a canal into the most darling tea house in Kyoto.  Enjoy mochi desserts, green tea, shaved matcha ice, and the stunning ambiance/view from inside.  It was my favorite place to take a mini break at after wandering through Kyoto. RamenI think I ate ramen every single day on my Japan trip for lunch.  We loved a place called Kyoto Gogyo which was right in the Nishiki Market.  It was a bit touristy, but the location, service, and absolutely delicious ramen hit the spot!  The ramen in Kyoto Station is also top notch! Kinkaku-ji aka the Golden TempleThis is one of the most popular buildings in Japan.  It is a zen Buddhist temple covered in gold leaf surrounded by a sprawling garden. Bullet TrainRiding the bullet train was such a neat experience!  Derek and I had always wanted to do this. We were pleasantly surprised at how clean, organized and seamless it was.  We enjoyed my favorite Japanese cookies and crackers on the way there ;) Philosopher’s WalkStroll along this tree lined walkway which is about a mile long and beautiful during any season – especially cherry blossom season.
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