3 Perfect Weekends From NYC To Palm Springs

Photo: Courtesy of Kate Arends.
When we're planning a trip to a new city, we look everywhere for advice. Yelp, TripAdvisor, local sites, even Lonely Planet if we're really committed. It can be a lot of work, but sometimes that's what you have to do to answer the million-dollar travel question: Where do locals really go? Unless, of course, you know these mad-stylish locals — decor pro Sarah Yates, photographer Karen Mordechai, and graphic designer Kate Arends — and have the inside track on just the right wine to take on your spur-of-the-moment adventure.
We asked the creative locals to share their one-of-a-kind takes on the perfect weekend in the cities they know and love: Minneapolis, Palm Springs, and our own home base, NYC. And, thanks to Kendall-Jackson AVANT®, we had the perfect wine for every one of these adventures (think waterfall picnics and backyard barbecues). So, whether you're planning a trip or want some staycation inspiration, take a tour with us for another look at the places these cool girls call home.
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Tour Guide: Sarah Yates, photographer, chef, designer
City: Palm Springs


Sarah Yates has never had an office job, but that doesn't mean she can't appreciate the luxury of designing her schedule and having total creative freedom over her projects. She started lifestyle site A House In The Hills as a way to indulge her interests outside of wedding photography. Within a year of doling out recipes on the perfect gluten-free tacos and advice on what to wear in scorching desert heat, the site became her full-time gig.

"Every day is an adventure, and I'm constantly finding new ways to challenge myself. My next big hurdle is learning to shoot video. I'm a photographer, so asking me to produce video is like asking a painter to sculpt. I'm a perfectionist, though, so I won't quit until I've got it down."
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Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Yates.
First stop, home-stalking Frank Sinatra Drive
"Palm Springs has a ton of amazing, midcentury architecture. The Rat Pack guys and Marilyn Monroe had houses here back in the day. My husband and I love to bike around, see the beautiful homes, and imagine who might've lived there."
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Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Yates.
Next stop, lounging at home
"We have the ultimate party house. The house-flipper just had fabulous taste. The one thing we brought in was a hammock. We had all this extra space and wanted to create a sort of chill zone. We have a fire pit, a pool, and an outdoor bar. I love to watch people hang out on the hammock while I grill or through the nano window while I fix drinks in the kitchen."
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Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Yates.
"Last year for my husband's birthday, friends flew in from all over the country. We had our friend who owns this amazing company, A MIHO Experience, cater the event. And, it was just a rowdy, ridiculous time. In the summer, we spend all our free time in the pool, because it just gets SO hot. If you don't have a pool, you hang out at The Ace or The Parker Palm Springs."

The Ace Hotel, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-325-9900; The Parker Palm Springs, 4200 E. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-770-5000.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Yates.
"When I was 21, I took a three-week trip to Thailand by myself. My parents weren't too happy with the idea, but it started my love affair with travel and put me on a path to self-discovery that I'm still pursuing. Now, my personal style and my home decor are both defined by my love for exotic places. I've found that incorporating an eclectic mix of things I love into my style and my home reflects the things that are important to me."
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Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Yates.
"I love having dance parties out here. On the rare evening we leave Casa Yates to venture into Palm Springs, we'll hit one of our favorite bars or restaurants. I love The Tonga Hut and Workshop Kitchen. I just discovered The Tonga Hut. They have AMAZING tropical drinks. Workshop Kitchen is a farm-to-table, new-American restaurant with insanely beautiful decor and incredibly well-executed, simple dishes. You can't go wrong with anything they serve."

The Tonga Hut, 254 N. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-322-4449; Workshop Kitchen, 800 N. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-459-3451.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Yates.
Ending the weekend with a good book in bed
"Some people feel most comfortable in a room with bright, screaming colors. For me, it's neutrals. It was important for this space to be peaceful, because I meditate and read in this room a lot. Right now, I'm reading Everyday Osho: 365 Daily Meditations for the Here and Now to get my head on straight."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kate Arends.
Tour Guide: Kate Arends, design consultant
City: Minneapolis


When we think "creative cities," Minneapolis doesn't immediately come to mind. But, design consultant Kate Arends, the brains behind lifestyle blog Wit & Delight says otherwise.

"The amount of creative opportunities here is staggering. I share a collaborative studio with a couple of photographers and a designer, and that's incredibly inspiring. It's nice to have a reason to get out of my PJs in the morning. Despite the cold, it's one of the happiest cities in America. People bike to work when it's -10 degrees."

First stop, Mill City Farmers' Market
"This farmers' market is right by The Guthrie, one of the theaters Minneapolis is known for. The building was designed by a French architect and has cantilevers over the water. May through October, I try to buy all my produce here. Even in the winter, we have access to local food because of all the mom-and-pop grocery stores. I always get flowers, blueberries, eggs, and olive oil. There's even a section for artisans. I collect ceramics and baskets, a lot of which I've gotten here."

Mill City Farmers' Market, 704 S. 2nd Street; 612-341-7580.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kate Arends.
Next, picnic at Minnehaha Falls
"Minnehaha Falls is this giant waterfall that runs through south Minneapolis. I'll go with my girlfriends or my husband, Joe. We pick up food from Sea Salt Eatery and lay out a picnic near the falls. Oh, and there is always wine involved."

Minnehaha Falls, 4801 S. Minnehaha Park Drive; 612-230-6400.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kate Arends.
"The first time I came here, I thought 'Wow, this is Minneapolis?' You can bike here, take trails through the woods, and hike. There are so many little hidden paths and coves where you can feel like you're in your own private forest. In winter, you can even go behind the frozen falls and explore caves back there. I've never done it (it scares me a little), but my friends have."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kate Arends.
Stop for oysters at Meritage
"Meritage is an institution. It's the greatest seafood in the city. I LOVE oysters and this place has them down to a science. It's an old, French-inspired place with a great wine list and a beautiful terrace. They don't take reservations for the terrace, so you just have to cross your fingers."

Meritage, 410 St. Peter Street; 651-222-5670.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kate Arends.
"I love the restaurant's history, so I bring out-of-towners here and order oysters, Sauvignon Blanc, and fries. It's my afternoon treat. Sometimes, I'll go shopping at IDUN, this amazing modern boutique close to St. Paul, and then replenish at Meritage afterward."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kate Arends.
Then, bike the Mississippi
"The bike path along the Mississippi is one of the most beautiful paths in the city. We can see the river from our rooftop, and we sometimes take the path all the way to the other end of the city. Biking is the main form of transportation here, and bike paths are what connect our neighborhoods. Sometimes, I'll go to a movie uptown and then bike downtown for dinner. I didn't even have a car until I started my own business."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kate Arends.
"On the north end of the river, you can take trails that go down to the riverbed or take bridges across the coves. This is where Joe and I take most of our after-dinner walks. We moved here just before we got married, and this neighborhood became ours. Walking these paths will always remind me of the first year we spent together."
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Photo: Courtesy of Karen Mordechai.
Tour Guide: Karen Mordechai, photographer and owner of Sunday Suppers
City: New York


It's safe to say that Karen Mordechai knows her way through the trendiest back alleys of Brooklyn, having lived there all her life. Oh, and her master's degree in photography means all these candids will be stamped with her inimitable perspective. The same perspective that transformed a weekly supper club with friends into a communal cooking center in Williamsburg.

"Sunday Suppers really started because I cooked dinners for friends and put photos on Instagram. People started asking if they could come to our dinners, and the concept just developed a life of its own. Now, we have a studio where we host dinners, and people come from all over the world to participate."
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Photo: Courtesy of Karen Mordechai.
First stop, Marlow & Daughters
"This spot is really close to our apartment, so I like to pop in for last-minute groceries. It's an old-school butchery at its finest. I always chat with the butcher about what I'm looking for. There's a learning curve, but eventually you pick up the lingo!"

Marlow & Daughters, 95 Broadway, 11249; 718-388-5700.
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Photo: Courtesy of Karen Mordechai.
"My family takes a minimalist approach to everything. Our picnics, our clothing, even our studio say 'less is more.' When we moved Sunday Suppers into a studio space, we gutted it and created it from the ground up. It's industrial and clean, but we had antiqued farm tables made, so it's this mix of old and new. I want everything I touch to have character."
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Pick up picnic supplies at Bedford Cheese Shop
"I stop here for picnic supplies and snacks. They have really interesting cheeses and soft, crusty baguettes. They also have artisanal jams and honey, and even classes on gourmet concepts like whiskey pairings and charcuterie."

Bedford Cheese Shop, 229 Bedford Avenue; 718-599-7588.
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Photo: Courtesy of Karen Mordechai.
Stop for ice cream at Morgenstern's
"There's no shortage of cool little spots in Williamsburg. But, there's something special about this tiny artisanal ice-cream shop on the Lower East Side. The attention to detail and presentation make this an escape we can take any time."

Morgenstern's, 2 Rivington Street; 212-209-7684.
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Photo: Courtesy of Karen Mordechai.
"The flavors here are amazingly unique. Right now, I'm really into salted-caramel pretzel and salted chocolate. I love that the owner is a chef. I think his background and sensibilities come through in the complex flavor profiles. And, it makes a huge difference that they always have two or three dairy-free sorbets on the menu."
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Photo: Courtesy of Karen Mordechai.
"We grab the cheeses, a couple frittata sandwiches from Marlow & Sons, and a bottle of K-J AVANT wine on the way to the park." Advertisement
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Photo: Courtesy of Karen Mordechai.
Relax at Grand Ferry Park
"This is one of my favorite spots in the city. Very few people know about it, so it's always pretty quiet. The water views are incredible, and it's walking distance from Williamsburg. It feels rustic, quaint, and a bit industrial. Sometimes, I'll just come here in the middle of the day for a quiet moment."

Grand Ferry Park, 1 Grand Street; 212-504-4115.
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