7 Destinations for Couples Based on Your Travel Style - United Hub
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7 destinations for couples based on your travel style

By Betsy Mikel

No two couples seek the same travel experience. Whether it's your first trip together or your tenth, your dream vacation comes down to what you enjoy doing together.

Do you seek action and adventure? Rest and relaxation? Some couples might find kicking back on a beach totally rejuvenating, while others might find it totally dull. If you're planning an upcoming trip with your partner, consider these couple-friendly destinations based on your interests.

Kinkaku-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan

For lovers of ancient history and traditions

Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto provides the opportunity to truly feel like you're stepping back in time. Over 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines invite you to experience ancient Japan, infusing a reflective and reverent tone throughout the entire city.

While the city is walkable, you'll want to consider renting bikes while there to cover the most ground. Kyoto boasts 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites with temples and shrines around almost every corner. The striking Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion) is well worth the visit, even though you'll most likely be sharing the view with a large crowd. Visit Gion, the city's historic district, around dusk when you're most likely to see geishas in full traditional dress and makeup tiptoeing around the cobblestone streets on their way to evening engagements.

Experience Japanese culture to its fullest by staying in a centuries-old ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. Ryokans are sanctuaries of serenity, tradition and Japanese design. The rooms are simple, but the customer service is excellent — many feature in-room dining as well as your own private hot springs and gardens.

Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

For adventure seekers and eco-conscious travelers

Want an adrenaline rush as you zip through the rainforest and paddle through roaring rapids? Costa Rica is a popular destination for couples who seek adventure and excitement. The country's lush rainforests and natural beauty make for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Because Costa Rica's natural resources and wildlife are the main attractions for visitors, the entire country is committed to eco-friendly travel with natural lodges and sustainable hotels.

Adventure-seeking couples can use La Fortuna as their home base. The small town is the gateway to Arenal, an active volcano only a few hours away from the San Jose airport. Many companies in La Fortuna offer tours and excursions to experience the surrounding area and its natural beauty. Join a guide at the Arenal volcano to hike its trails or explore via a mountain bike tour. Zip lining and whitewater rafting are some of La Fortuna's most popular excursions, as are the area's hanging bridges and the breathtaking La Fortuna Waterfall. Always try to book the first tour or excursion of the day. Other travelers are more likely to get started later, which means you'll have the guides and rainforest all to yourselves in the morning.

After a day or two of adventuring, La Fortuna's hot springs offer the perfect respite for tired muscles. Many of the area's hotels are built next to thermal waters heated by the Arenal volcano, and you don't need to be a hotel guest to enjoy them. Day-long and half-day packages sometimes include a meal. It's recommended to pre-book your visit as many of the hot springs set a maximum capacity to make for a more private and relaxing experience.

Milky Way over Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.

For outdoor buffs and nature lovers

Want to take your vacation outdoors? Revel in majestic landscapes surrounded by snow-capped mountains at Rocky Mountain National Park. It's one of the country's largest national parks with 265,769 acres of pristine wilderness. At just a two-hour drive from Denver, you can make it an easy day trip or spend several days camping in one of the park's more remote areas. From easy and accessible walks to more difficult and challenging terrain, you can enjoy the 355 miles of trails no matter what your experience level is.

Couples can enjoy the park any time of year. From skiing or snowshoeing under a full moon in the winter to gliding through the lake on a kayak or paddle boat in the summer, it's more fun to share these experiences with a partner. Depending on where you explore within the park and during which season, you'll also likely spot some wildlife. Bighorn sheep, elk and mule deer all call Rocky Mountain National Park home. The park also offers horseback riding, fishing, and night sky and astronomy programs during the summer months.

This is also a great destination for couples who want to tie the knot; the park offers 13 pre-scouted locations for weddings and other ceremonies. You'll just need to reserve them ahead of time and pay the $150 fee.

Buckingham fountain and Chicago downtown skyline

Chicago, U.S.

For art lovers and foodies

Take in world-class art, architecture, outdoor public art and natural history in the Windy City. The Art Institute of Chicago contains famous paintings from nearly every era, including works by Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Georgia O'Keeffe, among others. The Art Institute Modern Wing and the Museum of Contemporary Art are havens for those who love contemporary art. The two museums stand just 1.5 miles apart off Michigan Avenue, the city's largest shopping district.

Chicago offers a plethora of other opportunities to take in world-class art and culture. The Field Museum of Natural History houses the skeleton of the largest dinosaur that ever lived. Photo opportunities abound in front of the many famous public artworks, which include the giant reflective Cloud Gate, Picasso's 50-foot sculpture of a monkey and the iconic Alexander Calder-designed Flamingo sculpture. Just 10 miles to the west of the city is Oak Park, which is home to an enclave of historic buildings by the Prairie School architect Frank Lloyd Wright, including The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and Unity Temple.

After a day of exploring museums and contemplating art, discuss your favorites over dinner at one of Chicago's 25 Michelin-starred restaurants. If fine dining isn't your style, there are plenty of more up-and-coming and established restaurants that span nearly every type of cuisine and price point. Head to the lively West Loop neighborhood to eat and drink, just a short cab or subway ride away from Chicago's downtown. From upscale Chinese and sushi to laid-back barbecue and the city's most sought-after burgers, West Loop offers a dining experience for every palate imaginable.

Bays and towns along the Dalmation Coast

Croatia's Dalmatian Coast

For a European city and beach destination

Croatia offers a part-city, part-beach experience for couples looking for a hybrid vacation. Start in Zagreb, the country's capital, where you can visit ancient churches, museums and farmers' markets to get the full old European city experience. Then head to the coast where the bright blue waters of the Adriatic Sea await — crystal clear and made for strolling and relaxing. Go on a sea kayak excursion, take a ferry or hire a private boat to explore the many islands and inlets that dot the coast.

Some of Croatia's most famous beaches are off the coast of Split, the country's second largest city, and Dubrovnik, Croatia's most southern coastal city. The beach options are varied, ranging from more popular to more secluded. Generally, the longer a trip it is to get to the beach, the less crowded you can expect it to be. Some are sandy and others are lined with pebbles, but all offer beautiful shorelines and pure, turquoise-blue water — perfect for enjoying the sun and the sea.

Kilauea Beach in Kauai, Hawai

Kauai, Hawaii

For a stress-free and relaxing vacation

Need to unplug and unwind? Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit in Kauai, Hawaii's oldest and northernmost island. Kauai is lush, green and beautiful. It's nicknamed the "Garden Isle" thanks to the tropical rainforest covering most of the island. You'll feel like you're in paradise as you relax on its peaceful beaches with sparkling blue water lapping at your feet.

You may choose to spend most of your time at one of Kauai's many resorts, which go above and beyond to ensure guests have a relaxing experience. Many offer oceanfront views, white-sand beaches, on-property pools and luxurious spas.

If you choose to venture out to explore more of the island, even driving in Kauai is relaxing. Scenic lookout points with beautiful photo opportunities dot the coastal roads. One of Kauai's popular natural attractions is Wailua Falls, a dramatic 85-foot-high waterfall that's easy to access by car. If you have more time, visit Waimea Canyon. It's known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, offering panoramic views of the colorful red, brown and green canyon.

vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina

Mendoza, Argentina

For wine and nature lovers

Sitting at the foot of the Andes Mountains and in the heart of wine country, Mendoza is one of Argentina's most romantic and beautiful cities. The wine is plentiful, the local culture vibrant and the scenery spectacular. With its wide tree-lined streets, a mix of art deco and modern architecture, and many plazas adorned with ornate fountains, Mendoza invites leisurely strolling. The city is lively and laid-back during the day, and becomes even more vibrant at night.

Many come for the wine — this is South America's top wine region, after all. Mendoza's sunny climate makes this region ideal for growing malbec grapes, its most celebrated wine. Everyone from novice drinkers to serious oenophiles will enjoy wine tasting and touring vineyards. The Mendoza region is vast with more than 1,500 wineries. If you're overwhelmed by the options, many private and group tours are available to guide your experience. There are even wine tours by horseback or bike.

There's far more to do here besides drink wine. Olive oil is another regional specialty; visit scenic olive groves for tours and tastings. Looking for an adrenaline rush? Consider whitewater rafting and ziplining through the Andes Mountains. Once you've worked up an appetite, indulge in Argentinian cuisine and sample asado grilled meats. And no romantic vacation is complete without some R&R. Take a day trip to the Cacheuta Hot Springs, just 18 miles from Mendoza, where you can soak in thermal waters, mud baths and hot pools while taking in the mountain view.

Getting there

When you've figured out the best getaway type for you and your partner, book your flight at united.com or by using the convenient United app, and share your story on social media with the #UnitedJourney hashtag.

From near paralyzation to 7-minute miles

By Ryan Hood

Twelve years ago, Dylan Batz couldn't walk or talk. A seizure when he was in the eighth grade robbed him of those motor skills and hospitalized him for two months.

His mom, Denver-based United 737 Captain Suzanne Batz, didn't know if he'd ever walk again.

No one could've predicted what happened next.

Dylan got out of the hospital, eventually re-learning how to walk and talk. Through Special Olympics, he became an avid runner. He hasn't stopped since, having run three marathons and, this past weekend, completing the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon in 1:40. Watch his inspirational story above.

Discover Hilton Head Island

By The Hub team

Voted America's favorite island for a reason, Hilton Head has everything you need for the ultimate escape from the real world. Enjoy easy days on one of the many beaches, at one of the world-class golf courses and tennis courts, learning about the rich history or simply adapting to the leisure-paced lifestyle of the locals. The Lowcountry region in South Carolina has something for everyone.

Welcome to Hilton Head.

The basics

The best time to visit and getting around the city

Thanks to its location, it's hard to choose a bad time to visit Hilton Head. Though if you visit in April-May or September-October, you'll notice fewer crowds and temperatures averaging in the mid-70s and 80s. In the spring, the water sport rentals will have just opened for the season, from parasailing to kayaking. If you visit in April, you may be able to catch the RBC Heritage PGA golf tournament. Hilton Head doesn't have your typical fall weather, making it a great time to visit. Summer weather lingers so you can still swim. Because the leaf colors don't change, you can enjoy instead an array of fall colors in the sunset each night.

The only drawback of visiting during the late summer and fall months is hurricane season. Hurricanes and tropical storms rarely hit the island, but they tend to be close enough that the island experiences some rain. If you're visiting around this time, be sure to pack a raincoat.

Getting around the city:

The island may be small, but it's still scattered enough that you'll want to bike or drive while exploring the town. There's little to no public transportation. Thanks to its renewed emphasis on environmental tourism, you're sure to notice plenty of bikers and the new bike paths that trace the island. You can rent a bike for around $30 a week. Another option is renting a car. Most attractions are spread out, so having your own car will offer you the most convenience.

Experiences

The town's main attractions are the pristine beaches, golf, with 24 world-class golf courses, and the vibrant history — with the environment at the center of everything.

Twelve miles of beaches makes Hilton Head an ideal destination for anyone looking to relax in the sand. One of the most popular beaches is Coligny Beach Park, due to its location and the multiple beach bars that line the water. If you're looking for beaches that are a little less touristy and more secluded, make your way over to Adler Lane or Burkes Beach.

This island is a golfer's paradise, which is why many flock to here to tee off and test out their skills on one of the many championship courses. If golf isn't your sport, perfect your backhand at one of the 350 tennis courts on the island instead.

If you're looking to do a little more than relax on the beach or play a round of golf, spend the day in the charming Harbour Town. Visit the 90-foot red-and-white striped lighthouse that offers incredible views of the water and town from the top. And if you have the time, head over to the marina and embark on a dolphin viewing tour.

Learn more about the South Carolina's Lowcountry at the Coastal Discovery Museum. Here you'll gain an understanding of the region's history and interesting ecology. Wander through the butterfly enclosure, take a tour to learn about the marine life or visit the wild horses of the island left by Spaniards many centuries ago. Those who also love to explore and experience wildlife first hand should visit Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, about a half mile from Hilton Head.

Food & drinks

Being on the water, it makes sense that seafood is a staple item for restaurants in this town. From high end dining to local favorites, you'll have plenty of restaurants to choose from. If you're looking to enjoy a nice dinner on the water at sunset, check out Old Oyster Factory, Hudson's Seafood House on the Docks and ELA's. With a contemporary feel, live music and a chic bar, this award-winning restaurant in Shelter Cove Harbour is perfect for a casual dinner or a romantic evening out. No table disappoints at Hudson's because they all offer incredible views of Port Royal Sound. By employing one of the only two remaining fishing fleets on Hilton Head, you're guaranteed fresh seafood truly brought from sea to table. Many of these restaurants on the water can book up quickly so be sure to make reservations in advance.

Don't forget to try some of the local favorite dining spots either. If you're looking for Lowcountry-inspired cuisine and incredible seafood, head over to Skull Creek Boathouse, an open air restaurant with an extensive wine and cocktail menu – perfect for a long, relaxing dinner. You'll enjoy an exquisite view and an even better dining experience. The Salty Dog Café is a must when it comes to the Hilton Head food scene. Here you'll have an authentic dining experience with fresh seafood and a family-friendly atmosphere.

Getting there

Book a flight from multiple U.S. cities to Hilton Head Island Airport (HHH), which is right on the island and only approximately 5 miles from all of the Island resorts. To book your trip visit united.com or download the United app.

The latest updates for New York/New Jersey

By Jill Kaplan , March 15, 2019

Hard to believe spring is around the corner, and if you're like me that means starting to think about our family travel plans. Highlighted below are a few ways we are working hard to help make your journeys faster, easier and better in the months ahead.

Improving your experience at our airports

We're excited to move into the new Terminal B at LaGuardia later this year. This is a world-class state-of-the-art facility with fabulous local dining and shopping options such as District Market, Kingside, Shake Shack and FAO Schwarz. Our United Club℠ location will also now be located after security to help you comfortably settle in before your flight.

At Newark Airport, United and our partner, the Port Authority, are working together to improve your experience by adding more pods for nursing mothers; new, larger restrooms; and this summer, an expanded TSA checkpoint that shows expected wait times.

Growing our network and fleet

This summer, we are introducing new seasonal nonstop flights to Naples and Prague and offering the return of great destinations such as Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Rapid City, South Dakota, for an easy trip to the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore.

Additionally, through April, we'll continue to fly nonstop from Newark to Palm Springs. And on March 30, we'll begin flying our brand-new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner to Dublin, Frankfurt and Tel Aviv, with Barcelona, Brussels and Paris routes to follow this summer.

Investing in our community

United has been serving the New York/New Jersey area for almost 100 years and giving back to our community continues to be a steadfast commitment from the United family. We are proud to announce new partnerships including the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan, the Trevor Project, and the Aviation High School in Queens. This year we'll also continue cheer on runners as the official sponsor of the New York Half Marathon on Sunday, March 17, and are proud to have representatives from Special Olympics running alongside of United employees.

Newark is also featured as the Three Perfect Days destination in the latest issue of Hemispheres, so you can learn about great restaurants and cultural institutions that don't even require a flight to visit.

Thank you for choosing United

In Greater New York, we know you have many choices of carriers to fly, so from our family to yours — thank you. We appreciate your loyalty and welcome your feedback. Hearing from you is important to us, so please continue to send your thoughts and ideas to me at JillKaplan@united.com.

Arizona's outdoors in the spring

By Bob Cooper

This may be the best time of year to visit Arizona — and not just for relaxing by the pool. Smart travelers flock to the state in May, June and July for hotel rates that are often lower than the peak-season rates paid by winter “snowbirds" from northern states. But resort bargains and swimming-pool temperatures aren't the only reasons to visit Arizona at this time. There are also plenty of outdoor opportunities to enjoy, as long as you choose the right activities, locations and time of day to get out.

Desert Dawn peak climbs

Residents of Phoenix and Tucson who like to get outdoors in late spring and early summer know they can best enjoy short hikes by rising early. The busiest time on the trails is before 8 a.m. The most popular hiking paths in Phoenix and Scottsdale climb iconic mid-city peaks, which span from the desert floor up to panoramic views at the top. The hikes up Camelback, Piestewa and Pinnacle Peaks are all wonderful, well-marked and popular — each taking less than two hours roundtrip. In Tucson, the best short hikes are in Sabino Canyon and Saguaro National Park on the outer rim of the city.

Madonna and Child Rock in Sedona, Arizona

Hikes in the mountains

Phoenix and Tucson visitors who aren't early risers or who don't want to settle for short hikes can drive to spots where the temperatures and mountain vistas are similar to those in Colorado. Only a two-hour drive from Phoenix, you can head to Sedona, with an altitude of about 4,300 feet, or Flagstaff, with an altitude of about 6,900 feet, where the higher elevations mean much lower temperatures. Sedona has some of the world's most dramatic day hikes among its stunning red-rock formations, while Flagstaff offers mountain hikes that soar up to 12,600 feet, such as Humphries Peak Summit Trail. From Tucson, the usual triple-digit temps drop to the 60s during the twisting, 90-minute drive up 9,157-foot Mt. Lemmon. Trails through the sub-alpine forest await hikers at the summit.

Paddle the Verde River

Another good way to beat the Arizona heat is to get splashed by cool water — but not just in your resort pool. You can also take a dip in the Verde River in an inflatable kayak. Verde Adventures hosts guided trips down the river through the end of summer. You'll paddle through narrow limestone canyons and float past hardwood forests on the shallow river, which has plenty of tame rapids that are just adventurous enough to please both the thrill-seekers and the mild-adventurers. You can choose between a kid-friendly two-hour tubing trip or half-day inflatable kayak trip, or enjoy the Water to Wine Tour with an adult companion, which ends with a tasting at Alcantara Vineyards. You'll be driven the short distance to the river from Cottonwood or Clarkdale, both less than a two-hour drive from Phoenix.

Jeep tour in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

Jump in a Jeep

Following along the dusty dirt roads that rim the edges of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson and Sedona, the Jeep tour is a classic option for visitors to Arizona. The 4x4 Jeep probably won't be air-conditioned, but the wind and Arizona's rich red earth will be in your hair. Less adventurous options include tours in enclosed Hummers or vans. After bumping along scenic back roads for miles, many Jeep tours offer a “cowboy cookout" at a pretty spot in the desert or mountains before you return to civilization. From Phoenix, Scottsdale or Tucson, most Jeep tours venture into the Sonoran Desert, while Sedona Jeep tours bring you up close to its renowned red-rock formations.

Hot air balloons in the horizon of Arizona's Red Rock State Park

Up, up & away

Arizona's dry air makes it one of America's prime locations for hot air balloon rides. Colorful balloons lift off in the cool temperatures and low winds of sunrise from all over greater Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson and Sedona, often providing a champagne breakfast afterward. Some also offer sunset flights; one Phoenix company serves hors d'oeuvres from a gourmet restaurant after evening landings. Prevailing winds dictate whether you'll fly up to a mile high or close enough to the ground to spot desert wildlife, but regardless, it's a memorable bucket-list thrill.

If you go

United Airlines offers many daily flights to Phoenix and Tucson. Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your Arizona outdoor adventure getaway.

We follow the FAA's order to ground all Boeing 737 Max aircraft

By United Airlines , March 13, 2019

Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and employees. As we have said since Sunday, we have been in close contact with investigators as well as Boeing to share data and fully cooperate with regulatory authorities. We will comply with the FAA's order and will ground our 14 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. We will remain in close contact with authorities as their investigation continues.

Since Sunday, we have been working diligently on contingency plans to prepare our fleet to minimize the impact to customers. Our Boeing 737 MAX aircraft account for roughly 40 flights a day and through a combination of spare aircraft and rebooking customers, we do not anticipate a significant operational impact as a result of this order. We will continue to work with our customers to help minimize any disruption to their travel plans.

We extend lease agreement at iconic Willis Tower in Chicago

By United Airlines , March 13, 2019


Today, we announced that we will keep our current headquarters at the iconic Willis Tower in our hometown of Chicago while making investments to transform our current workspace and experience. Our new agreement extends our existing lease by five additional years to March 31, 2033.

Remaining at Willis Tower will allow us to completely reimagine the workspace from the bottom up. Over the coming months and years, we will redesign our workspace to allow employees to better collaborate, use the latest technology and interact with each other — all with the end goal of providing unmatched service to our front-line employees and customers. And today's announcement is part of our overall effort to improve workspaces and facilities across the system.As we begin the work to reimagine Willis Tower for our employees, a majority of the funding to transform the building is being made by the building's owner, The Blackstone Group. In addition, they are investing more than $500 million in the building for all tenants, which will transform it from the inside out that will deliver exciting new dining, fitness and retail options.

"As one of the city's largest private employers and its hometown airline, we are excited to deepen our roots here in Chicago while making the investments needed to reimagine the headquarters for our employees," said United Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz. "The investments we are making will help our employees provide unparalleled service to their front-line colleagues and to our customers as we continue to improve and realize our airline's full potential."

And as one of the most ideally situated buildings in the city, with easy access to all Chicago Transit Authority train lines and Union and Ogilvie Stations, as well as nearby bus stops, Willis Tower already provides distinct advantages and will remain attractive to future job seekers throughout the metropolitan region.

The new Wacker Drive entrance at Willis Tower

Weekend inspiration: Palm Springs

By Kelsey + Courtney Montague

After a combined 60-plus years of living in cities with snowstorms and cold weather, this winter we decided it was time to pack away the parkas in exchange for a month of sun in Palm Springs.

And it was heaven. 70-degree days filled with morning swims, long walks without a jacket and joyful dogs running around the backyard. Working on murals throughout the valley in perfect drawing conditions was paradise for us, considering we were typically working in freezing weather with pale skin, chapped lips and cracking knuckles. We found our new January normal.

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Our month in paradise consisted of many highlights, so if you're in town for a few days, here are some of our favorite spots.

Friday night

If you're looking to rent a place in Palm Springs, we recommend Relax Palm Spring on Airbnb. They have more than 60 rentals in the Coachella Valley area, and we loved the house we stayed in. Every single thing we needed was available on-site or just a phone call away with this professional vacation rental group.

Rooms at The Colony Palms Hotel

Az\u00facar restaurant at La Serena Hotel.

If you're looking to go the hotel route, we highly recommend The Colony Palms Hotel. This Spanish Colonial-style hotel features high-end casitas and a sweet hotel pool with stunning mountain views. La Serena Villas has a similar small-town feel with a wonderful restaurant attached. Further outside of the downtown area, Parker Palm Springs is a stylish and creatively fulfilling place to stay and play.

No matter where you stay, we recommend Azúcar for dinner (at La Serena Hotel). Make sure you get the watermelon appetizer, refreshing with bursts of sweet balsamic beads trickled over the top. You'll feel like a kid at the pool in summer all over again.

Saturday

Get up early and head to Palm Desert. Make your way over to Wilma & Frieda at The Gardens on El Paseo for one of the best breakfasts you'll find in the valley. The pastries are all excellent and homemade. The dishes are creative with items like "churro waffles" and "banana caramel French toast."

After breakfast, stop by Kelsey's giraffe mural at the Gardens on El Paseo (directions found here) to give her giraffe a kiss. Then drive up the highway to The Living Desert.

The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens is an incredibly well-designed zoo that takes advantage of the stunning desert scenery with every animal exhibit.

On your way back, stop for a sweet treat at the café at Shields Date Gardens for one of their legendary date shakes. Wander through the 1950's feeling diner and gift shop and into the 17-acre date garden. These shakes are a Palm Springs staple and worth every delicious calorie.

For lunch, wander around the hotel lobby at Parker Palm Springs to admire their excellent interior design decisions before heading into Norma's restaurant for an al fresco lunch.

If you have time, spend the afternoon at Joshua Tree National Park. The blend of Mojave and Colorado deserts results in a unique and stunning landscape. Begin your tour/hike at one of the visitor centers. From here, you can go on a relaxed half-day tour with a guide or head out on one of the 12 self-guiding nature trails.

Spend sunset here or head back downtown to enjoy the sunset at The Colony Palms Hotel's Restaurant, The Purple Palm, with a quality craft cocktail. After sunset, make your way to the popular Italian restaurant Birba for dinner. Birba boasts excellent pizzas with a wide variety of interesting toppings. Be sure to make reservations beforehand.

Sunday

Spend the day exploring Palm Springs. Go to Cheeky's for breakfast, but make sure to get there early, as a line forms before the doors even open. Their world-famous bacon flight is a must – it's unique and so tasty.


Palm Springs boasts an unbelievable amount of art experiences. Experiential art, art museums and mid-century Modern Design galore. If you can, try to visit Palm Springs during their Modernism week in February. Be sure to get tickets to their house events and tour some of the most breathtakingly beautifully designed houses. And if you're lucky, Desert X might be around during the same time and hunting for art installations throughout the valley, which would be quite the sight.

If a large art fair isn't happening while you're in Palm Springs, we highly recommend heading to the City of Coachella. Their downtown boasts some incredible murals and Kelsey was honored to join the ranks recently. Kelsey completed a pair of "What Lifts You" wings that are colorful and an ode to the Hispanic roots of the community on the side of City Hall.

A trip to Palm Springs isn't complete without a picture with the Cabazon Dinosaurs. Made famous through their feature in movies like National Lampoon's Vacation and The Wizard – it's an Instagram-worthy stop.

For lunch, head back to downtown Palm Springs and enjoy a healthy meal at the charming restaurant Farm. Tucked into an interior courtyard, this restaurant feels like you've stepped into the French countryside. It's healthy, clean food even tastes like the South of France with their traditionally French dishes.

Walk off your lunch by exploring the boutiques in Downtown Palm Springs. These mid-century modern shops are not to be missed: A La Mod, Modernway, Vintage Oasis and The Frippery.

Complete your weekend with dinner at the chic Workshop Kitchen + Bar. Their wine cellar is massive and their waiters expertly trained. Trust them to find a new and different flavor for you – something you'll remember long after your weekend in Palm Springs.

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Ode to a flight pioneer

By Matt Adams

With all she's seen and done over a century on this earth, some of Betty Stockard's fondest memories are of the years she spent slipping its surly bonds.

Seventy-seven birthdays have passed since she took to the skies for United as one of the first non-nurse flight attendants in our history, but you wouldn't know it talking with her today as she prepares to celebrate her 100th birthday. Betty's recollections of that time, when she was a 23-year-old searching for excitement and a life to call her own, are crystal clear, her stories conjuring a vivid, gorgeous image of the golden era of aviation.

Born near Kalispell, Montana, on May 16, 1919 as Elizabeth Jean Riley, becoming an aviation pioneer was the furthest thing from Betty's mind growing up. As she recalled, her only brushes with flight back then occurred when the occasional small airplane would appear in the sky above the family homestead. But following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Betty, like most Americans, wanted to contribute to the war effort. She packed her bags, moved to Seattle and took an administrative job at the Boeing plant where thousands of bombers would soon roll off the assembly lines.

She had been there for about two months when she saw an item in the Seattle Times announcing United was looking for a new crop of flight attendants. For years, airlines had only hired nurses into those roles, but with more and more of them now needed in combat zones, that was no longer the case. Despite having never stepped foot on an airplane, Betty applied.

What followed was a whirlwind. After meeting with United personnel managers in Seattle, she took her first-ever flight for a second round of interviews in San Francisco. Two weeks later she received a telegram instructing her to report to Chicago, where she joined 24 other women from across the country for six weeks of intense training, heavy on first aid and safety.

"The instructors told us not to smile much because it was a serious job," remembered Betty. "They wanted us to maintain a professional attitude.
"But the stuff about not smiling didn't last long once I was on an airplane myself."

As Betty put it, being a stewardess in those days was nearly on par with being a movie star, and she often rubbed shoulders with celebrities and dignitaries, like First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and silver screen idol Clark Gable, on her trips up and down the West Coast. But it wasn't all glitz and glamour and grins.

Flight attendants in the mid-1940s were just as busy serving their country as they were serving their customers. United flew many military men during World War II, and flight crews were responsible for looking after them. And, at least in Betty's case, those wartime duties included a little intrigue as well.

In the summer of 1945, after checking in for a flight from San Francisco to Seattle, her dispatcher told her that two men from the U.S. Army were waiting for her in the next room. They handed Betty a small, brown package and instructed her to pin it inside her jacket until she arrived in Seattle, where another Army representative would meet her. In the meantime, they warned, she was not to open the parcel or tell anyone she had it.

The aircraft landed in Seattle just after 2 a.m. and taxied to a dark corner of the airfield. There, a military man came on board, took the package, and promptly departed, leaving Betty to wonder what she had just been part of.

Secret missions aside, Betty was smitten with life in the air. She'll still tell you it was the best job in the world. Soon, though, she found herself equally smitten with a handsome former fighter pilot by the name of Ray Stockard, whom she met during a flight in 1946.

Ray was traversing the country interviewing for jobs with commercial airlines, and the two hit it off immediately, beginning a courtship shortly after. Betty adored Ray, but it was a bittersweet romance, for she knew if she got married she'd be trading one love for another since, at that time, stewardesses had to be single.

Alas, the heart wants what it wants, and Betty and Ray, who by that time was flying for Pan American, set a wedding date. Originally, they were to wed in May of 1947, but that spring, United announced it would begin service to Honolulu that summer. Betty talked Ray into briefly postponing the nuptials so that she could enjoy her last months as a flight attendant on the Hawaiian route.

"I hated giving up flying, but I knew I was making the right move," she said. "I was looking forward to the next chapter."

Fortunately, marrying a pilot meant she didn't have to walk away from the industry altogether. In the years that followed, she, Ray and their four children – Joe, Denise, Ed and Dick – traveled the world together. And while they did most of that flying on Pan Am, Betty never lost her soft spot for United, the airline where it all started. She still flies United, in fact, and still enjoys meeting flight attendants on her journeys, though she rarely, if ever, tells them about her past, preferring instead to ask them questions about themselves.

When you are lucky enough to get her talking about herself, though, she doesn't disappoint. Betty's stories are riveting, and she's been known to dispense a kernel of wisdom or two if pressed. So, what's the best advice she gives after 100 years of a rich, full life? Value education and relationships above all else, travel as much as possible, and be fearless in your pursuits.

"It's been such a good life," she said. "I couldn't have asked for a more interesting career. I still carry with me the memories of the people I met on airplanes and the places I went. If there's a lesson there, it's that you should get out and do things and not be afraid to try. By doing that, I've had one of the best lives ever."
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