America is your one stop spot for lavish spas and the finest of fine dining, featuring 40 Ritz-Carlton Hotels across these great states. Or try a quaint, oceanfront Bed & Breakfast that’s designed for the uber wealthy–or perhaps even just us wannabes who’ve been saving up all year for that vacation of a lifetime. For starters, I reccomend checking out our friend Paul Johnson’s site A Luxury Travel Blog (also check out my exclusive interview with Paul). I also highly recommend checking out my podcast with Jonny Drubel from E!’s #RichKids of Beverly Hills, as we cover luxury travel from all across the globe.
Top 10 US Destinations for luxury travelers
1. Los Angeles – There’s a good reason why nearly every celebrity chooses LA as their primary residence, mainly because of their nearly perfect climate and accessibility to the beach. Live it up like the celebs and get your picture taken on The Walk of Fame or in front of the Hollywood sign, or just head to the Madame Tussauds wax museum to get your picture practically taken with your favorite super-star. Then you have to go up deep into the Hollywood Hills for the Movie Stars’ Homes tour to see mansions the size of your whole subdivision. From world class shopping on Rodeo Drive to finding yourself dining next to Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian, a luxury experience in LA is undoubtedly unsurpassable here in good ‘ole America. Here’s 12 Fun Facts About Beverly Hills to get you pumped for your next Beverly Hills vacay!
2. New York City – America’s largest city is often considered to have the best shopping in all of America, most of which can be found in either SoHo or Fifth Avenue. Pull up in your Rolls Royce (nobody will know that it’s rented) to the Plaza Hotel and get greeted by the friendly doormen. Walk right down the street to the world’s largest Gucci store, occupying three glass-enclosed floors of Trump Tower. Then head down a little further through the narrow streets of this concrete jungle to tour The Empire State Building (or a tad further to the new One World Trade Center). Once your journey to the top has been completed and once you’ve seen this urban metropolis at its finest, finish it all off with a new “H” belt or Birkin Bag from one the areas five Hermès stores! Whether you’re looking to get to know the Upper East Side or simply hit all of the touristy hot spots, the Big Apple is sure to be just the place for your swanky little vacay.
3. Honolulu – The city’s breathtaking landscape and array of outdoor activities cater to thrill-seekers and beachgoers alike. If you can afford the flight fare, you’ll find endless ways to pamper yourself at high-end resorts, elegant restaurants and secluded retreats that are designed to leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Come see why celebrities like Oprah and President Obama come here every chance they get to unwind and give their mind a break a break from the hectic realities across the pond. Families with an unlimited budget will want to seriously consider staying at Disney’s Aulani Resort, which features beachfront access, Disney characters galore and its very own miniature water park. Honolulu is sure to offer an unforgettable five star experience that’s unlike anywhere else in America.
4. San Francisco – San Francisco appeals to nature-seekers, foodies and edgy jet-setters alike with its eclectic neighborhoods, flourishing arts scene and gorgeous natural landscape. It may be more mellow than Los Angeles, but the home of the Golden Gate Bridge is every bit as classy, with world class attractions like their incredible Chinatown, which is “the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America.” Get the best seafood in town at Fisherman’s Wharf or come all decked out in your suede suit at the War Memorial Opera House.
5. Miami – This buzzing city hugging the southern tip of the Florida peninsula stands as one of the most culturally stimulating in the country. You’ll find versatile culinary options, stylish hotels, upscale stores and golden sands. At night, turn up the heat at one of the city’s swanky night clubs on South Beach, the ideal spot for people-watching and enjoying the beautiful weather. Shop till you drop, take in the water sports, or let the kiddos build sandcastles while you get your glow on, whatever you’re coming for, South Beach never fails to impress. That’s why so many celebrities frequent these scenic shores. Come year round to get it on the fun, but it is especially charming to visit one of their countless annual festivals. The Art Deco District, featuring Tropical Deco, consists of some 800 beautifully preserved buildings, which embody classic Miami architecture.
6. Napa Valley, CA – Right outside of San Francisco in California wine country, you have access to not only top-tier vintages, but also world-class dining and a breathtaking backdrop of far-stretching vineyards. The Napa Valley Wine Train helps whet your appetite for the incredible offerings that are to come. You’ll see plenty of rolling hills, flora and fauna, and vast stretches of vineyards, but they come hand-in-hand with upscale restaurants, designer stores, and rows of boutique hotels. Though the peak season is typically from March through October, Napa is still pretty laid back, focusing on daytime attractions like wine, outdoor activities, and spas and, of course, the food.
7. West Palm Beach, FL – This urban oasis has been the traditional winter home of American aristocracy, with names ranging from the Kennedys, Rockefellers and Trumps, to a number of others, all of whom have come to escape the northern climes for this warm, beachfront paradise. Pamper yourself by lazing along golden beaches or perusing through stylish stores. The average cost of a single-family home is higher in Palm Beach than any other city in the country, but just because you’re not in the one percent doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the paradise that is Palm Beach. Hotels, flights, and other travel amenities will be cheapest during the summer, which is Palm Beach’s tourism off-season, but be aware that summertime in Palm Beach is also hurricane season. Whether you’re looking for a day at your five-star resorts elegant spa or looking for a touch of class at the incredible Norton Museum of Art, top-notch amenities go hand in hand with family-friendly fun at this incredible destination.
8. Aspen, CO – This ski resort for the rich and famous offers a scenic mountain town vibe with dramatic ski slopes and powder-capped Snowmass, über-luxe chalets and a high-profile clientele. Even stylish après ski depends on a good day of skiing, and Aspen has that in exuberant quantities. Loaded with fresh powder measured each winter in feet, this Colorado ski center offers four ski mountains with slopes to satisfy everyone, from tame, mountain-long beginner runs, to terrain parks blasting alternative rock music and hard-core verticals reserved exclusively for experts. It may be pricier than other winter outposts, like Stowe or Telluride, but it’s the crème-de-la-crème of extravagant retreats.
9. Chicago – The Windy City, though less expensive than Los Angeles or New York City, still boasts upscale (and expensive) hotels and things to do. Fashionistas will love the Magnificent Mile and art aficionados will enjoy admiring Millenium Park’s stunning public artwork. his booming Midwest metropolis hosts great parks and botanic gardens, modern architecture, some of the top museums in the country, fine dining with international favorites, and bumping nightlife. Famous for spectacular Broadway performances in the theaters, Chicago lights up with prime entertainment by night. See the skyscrapers reach great heights with the top two tallest buildings in the United States–the world famous, 108-story Willis Tower and the 98-story Trump International Hotel and Tower.
10. Las Vegas – Las Vegas boasts the world’s biggest and best casinos. But this 24-hour desert flower would be a world-class tourism draw even without the wagering. Vegas is truly a sight to behold, as it It flaunts dazzling celebrity-chef restaurants (like the world-class Joel Robuchon, plus glamorous clubs, mesmerizing shows, seductive spas, designer shopping, and resplendent hotels like The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, with suites as big as the Nevada views, or Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace, with magnificent dining at your beck and call. Since tourism is Vegas’s lifeblood, Vegas’ restaurants are sensational, and the hospitality service you get here is second to none. What’s more, every attraction accords VIP perks to big spenders.
What’s your favorite luxury American hot spot? Were we spot-on or completely out in left field? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!