36 Hours | Ithaca, New York

Hi folks, Audrey S. here! My husband and I marked 4 years of marriage last week and celebrated with a night of glamping. In case you’re not familiar, glamping is just what it sounds like — glamorous camping! Reaching this decision was just like anything else in marriage — compromise! I’m more of an outdoor adventurer, he’s more of an anything-that-involves-air-conditioning type of guy :D. Cue Firelight Camps in Ithaca, New York, the perfect blend of nature and luxury.

36 Hours | Santa Barbara California

I was lucky enough to visit my old hometown of Santa Barbara a few weeks ago. I lived there for about 10 years before I moved back up to the Bay Area. It’s been years since I’ve visited and it was SO fun to be back. You’ve probably heard of it from watching movies like Sideways or It’s Complicated. and it’s really just an all around gorgeous place. I mean…beach + wine country = paradise, am I right?

It’s amazing how much it’s changed since my last visit. The Funk Zone was non-existent when I was there last, so it was great to be able to check it out for the first time. I created a fun itinerary for you guys with a great mix of some of my new and old favorites 🙂 Here’s two days in Santa Barbara, California for under $500.

Copy Cat Chic 36 hrs in Santa Barbara California vegan designer travel guide

Wander Wisely

It’s no secret that the travel bug has found me lately. You might have noticed my 36 hours in under $500 series – there are 6 different destinations now! And I’m going to be starting up a new travel-related series very, very soon. So keep you eyes peeled! It will have a different focus than my 36 hours series, but with all the feels that you know and love 😉  I’ll be visiting destinations of all types but keeping the visual appeal as one of my top priorities!

Now, if you’ve ever done a lot of traveling, you’ll know that there are plenty of tips and tricks to finding the best deals, destinations and times to go. Finding a reliable source of travel advice was absolutely necessary when I decided to expand my blog in that direction. It was important to me to experience the very best of wherever I travelled to, in order to recommend it to all of you. It’s all about getting the most bang for your buck. I’ve found a few go-to travel resources to help me on my adventures, but one site in particular is super useful for not only great itinerary suggestions and travel destinations, but great travel deals as well. That’s why I decided to partner with them on today’s post! Travelocity has really been ramping up their offerings lately and their newest Wander Wisely motto really strikes a chord with me.

Whenever I find myself in a kind of slump on where to travel to next, I end up googling…but as you can imagine, the results are overwhelming and not curated in any way. I’ve found that the Travelocity Inspire Blog is an amazing resource on not only cool and unique destinations, but great tips on what to do when you get there. I mean, would you have any idea where the best place to go off-the-grid in Mexico is? Or if you were visiting NY with kids, wouldn’t you want to pick the best tour to take them on? I especially love this article on the top 20 US cities to visit with kids, definitely adding a few of those to my bucket list. OR even better since summer is right around the corner: Summer Getaways the whole family will love! Man, I can’t wait for summer 😉 And more traveling…Luckily I have a few destinations coming up so I’ll be posting about them on the blog soon. What about you guys? What travel plans do you have this summer? I’d love to hear about them!

Oh and last, but definitely not least, Travelocity is offering 15% off select hotels (Min. Spend $300 + 3 Nights) until 5/15 (travel by 12/31/16), just use the codeTRAVELOCITYFLASH!

 

Family Summer Travel with Travelocity Copy Cat Chic Budget Travel

Mt Rushmore Travelocity Wander Wisely Copy Cat Chic Budget Travel

Cape Cod Family Travel Travelocity Copy Cat Chic budget travel

ReichelSignature-1

Salt Lake City in 36 Hours

Okay folks I’m freshly back from Alt Summit and Salt Lake City. I wanted to share with you some of the great places I visited in case you find yourself in that neck of the woods. It was my first time in Utah and I’d love to go back, especially in the fall. I think SLC would be amaaaazing in the fall. So without further ado, here’s the next stop in my 36 hours series: Salt Lake City in 36 hours and under $500! 

READ MORE

NHMU  |  slc county building*

 

HYATT HOUSE*

 

HYATT HOUSE*

 

LA BARBA COFFEE  |  FINCA

DAY ONE

COFFEE
PUBLIK COFFEE
You’ve got to start the morning off on the right foot and this is the place to do it! $4

BREAKFAST
passion flour
Okay you guys, two words for you here about Passion Flour: VEGAN CROISSANTS. I think the sun has a special ray of light that shines down on this place all. the. time. $6


DO
natural history museum of utah
T his museum is a fun place to spend the day. This landmark building was built to look like a part of the base of the mountains. Great place to go with kids…or even with no kids. $13
LUNCH
sage’s cafe
I had a quick meal here and got the pesto pasta and a milkshake, both vegan of course. And it was delish! $15
PLAY
discovery gateway
If you’re traveling with kids, this is the place to be! $9.50

STAY
HYATT house salt lake city
This is one of Salt Lake City’s newest hotels and it was awesome. I stayed at a different hotel the first few nights while at Alt Summit and I had roommates. SO when I moved over to the Hyatt house it felt so luxurious to have my own suite. A kitchen, living room area and bathroom all to myself. Loved it. The bed was suuuper comfy and the TV swiveled around from facing the living room to facing the bed. Pure awesome. The customer service was top notch too. So helpful. They have this great list of equipment that you can “borrow” while there, from baby high chairs to curling irons. So cool right? Everything was brand spanking new and there was a fun lounge area to hang out in downstairs. Oh and free hot breakfast in the morning? Yes. Please. And can I just say, the price can’t be beat? I priced out the room at $100/night. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me!  $100

SHOP
alice lane
Alice Lane is definitely one of SLC’s best home decor shops. A definite must visit!

DINNER
finca
I had dinner at Finca during Alt as part of the Minted sponsored dinner. I was SO happy to be a part of it because Minted’s dinner was in high demand and spots filled up within 10 mins of being announced! The dinner theme was black and white and we were seated in the private dining room. Let me tell you it was GORGEOUS. The wall was covered in luscious black, floral wallpaper and Minted hung some of their art prints selection in modern gold frames. It was stunning. And to top it off Minted used some of their new home collection (napkins, table runners, etc) to outfit the tabletop. The menus and place cards (printed by Minted, of course) coordinated perfectly. No detail was left unfinished. It was a good night. Oh and the food, let me tell you, the food…was just as perfect as the decor. We had some tasty grub and plenty of it. I’ll definitely be going back! $60

DESSERT
Omar’s rawtopia
Omar’s is a raw restaurant if you didn’t pick that up from the name already 😉 They serve lunch and dinner BUT I really want to talk about the dessert. Because…you guys, raw vegan cheesecake. Yep, you read that correctly, cheeeeesecake. Hello. $8

 

PASSION FLOUR  |  BOHEM

 

capitol building*  |  sunset in slc

 

ZEST  |  PUBLIK COFFEE

 

DAY TWO
BREAKFAST
zest
I had brunch at Zest on Saturday and it was one of the best ways to start a weekend. Hands down. I had the savory chickpea pancakes and man, they were tasty. One of the friends I was with got the buckwheat pancakes and highly recommended those too. I’d love to go back for dinner sometime, because I hear they have some crazy good cocktails. $20

COFFEE
LA BARBA COFFEE
Another tasty local favorite for coffee shop. A friend told me that the locally-owned coffee shops in Salt Lake are so good that Starbucks keeps open up shops and then closing them back down again. Pretty awesome, right? Shop local! $4
DO
TEMPLE SQUARE
Iconic. Stately. Beautiful. Just yes.

LUNCH
budS
Buds is 100% plant based. They have super fun things on the menu like BBQ jackfruit. I mean, come on, you’ve gotta try jackfruit at least once in your life right? $10

PLAY
hogle zoo
Salt Lake City has a great zoo. So fun for the whole family. $15
SHOP
BOHEM
Hipsters paradise in Salt Lake City. This shop has all the modern goods that the inner artist in you, could ever want. Seriously inspiring and worth a peek!

DINNER
forage
I’ve heard you have to make reservations at this place at least 3 months in advance. Luckily when I searched for a spot the day of, they had one availability at like 8:45pm, but still. Tasty bites worth every penny! $90

DESSERT
cakewalk
You guys, you guys…this place has vegan Twinkies! I’m dying right now because I didn’t get to go to this place before heading home. But please, if you’re in SLC, go here and get a vegan twinkie (called a Dillo) and tell me how ‘mazing it is, mkay?  $5

 Minted Black and White Dinner at Finca. Image c/o Amber Reverie.

 

The florals where gorgeous!**

 

Dinner conversation 😉 **

 

San Francisco Bay Area Bloggers: Rachelle, Sally, Jessica, me and Megan

 

Waiting to speak…do I look nervous? 😉 With Miranda and Alison.**

I hope you enjoyed my little foray around Salt Lake City! I know I did and I can’t wait to go back…those vegan croissants and twinkies are calling my name! 😉

 

 

*Images courtesy of Jessica at HejDoll.
** Images courtesy of AltSummit.
 
This post is brought to you in partnership with Hyatt House and Minted. Thanks for supporting Copy Cat Chic and our generous sponsors.

36 Hours | Chicago Illinois

I’ve always loved Chicago. I actually planned on moving there after I graduated from college, but just never got it together enough to actually do it. So now it’s one of my favorite places to visit! I thought it would be a great place to base my next  36 hours series post on. Here’s my cheat-sheet to the latest everything and anything fun, yummy and fabulous in Chicago. I organized it in a way that makes it super easy to traverse and explore without having to double back or get lost. Enjoy!

36 hours in Chicago for $500 or less | Copy Cat Chic Hipster Travel Guide

READ MORE

Last month I had an amazing opportunity to check out a new boutique hotel line by the Hyatt called Hyatt CentricHyatt Centric hotels are focused more on the modern traveler and are located in popular, urban locations. The decor leans towards modern and it will fulfill all of your hipster fantasies 😉 Also their concierge is knowledgeable in all of the latest, trendiest places. So places that your average tourist just doesn’t hear of. Does this sound amazing? Yes. Yes, it does. And it’s totally my kind of traveling. So when I got offered the chance to check out the new Hyatt Centric The Loop, it was an emphatic YES, please 🙂

Native Foods Cafe and Hyatt Centric the Loop
NATIVE FOODS  |  HYATT CENTRIC THE LOOP  |  

Hyatt Centric the Loop and Aire Rooftop Bar
HYATT CENTRIC THE LOOP  |  AIRE

Art Institute of Chicago and Jeni's Ice Cream
ART INSTITUTE  |  JENI’S ICE CREAM

DAY ONE

COFFEE + breakfast
do-rite donuts and coffee
I wanted to start my first morning in Chicago off right, and what’s better than donuts and coffee? I love hitting up locally-owned coffee shops and Do-Rite was even better because it had DONUTS. And just any donuts…they even had vegan donuts! I bought a vegan blueberry cornmeal pancake donut with maple buttercream. ZOMG so freakin’ good you guys. And yes, my soymilk Dark Matter latte was the perfect pairing 😉 $7

do
architectural walking tour
After a morning pick me up, it was time to walk around the town a bit and get to know it. I met up with Chicago Greeter, Maureen who walked us all over the downtown area sharing fun tidbits, gossip and facts about Chicago’s most well-known architectural landmarks. She was a fun little firecracker of a lady and so completely entertaining and enthusiastic about her adopted city. Her stories were a delight and her British accent made them even better. Definitely one the best ways to get to know a city I tell you. AND huge bonus, it’s FREE. Yes, that’s right, totally free. And amazing. So do it 😉

LUNCH

HOWELLS AND HOOD
Try to end your walk near the river and then it’s just short jaunt over to Chicago’s Tribune Tower (a historical landmark) and a gorgeous feat of architecture with its notorious flying buttresses. On the ground floor you’ll find a great place to stop for beer and lunch. And actually its the place to be if you’re a beer aficianado, because it’s has the most beer on tap in Chicago. Pretty impressive. I ordered the beet salad which was perfectly filling, but not to much to weigh me down. Places to go and people to see and all that…$25

play

CHICAGO BOAT TOUR
After lunch head back across the river and down to the riverwalk and hitch a ride on Chicago’s First Lady. I sat on the top deck and got a great view of the river front. I’d definitely recommend a warm jacket that cuts the wind. And a hat! Be prepared 🙂 It was great seeing all of Chicago’s famous architectural feats by boat. And it was a lot easier to get a good view of them rather than on foot. The tour guides on these tours are volunteers as well. It’s so great to see the enthusiasm, the locals have for their windy city. $40

STAY
HYATT CENTRIC THE LOOP
It was quite the day already, so I decided to check in and take a minute to recharge (and warm up) at the hotel. I walk into the lobby and impressed right away with the amazing artwork in the lobby. The paintings are by the super talented Francine Turk, and were custom made for the hotel.

The hotel itself is housed in a historic 1927 art-deco building right in the heart of the loop. One on the best places to be in Chicago because you’re pretty much dead-center to everything. The building used to be offices but has been converted quite successfully into modern chic hotel rooms. When renovating they kept most of the historical touches, for example the presidential suite is completely walled in original wood paneling and is jaw-dropping.

The rooms themselves are all different, but were created with a minimalist-style that I admire with an eye to efficiency and…luxury. The rooms are “smart” as in they know if you’re in the room or not and adjust the thermostat accordingly. The beds are super comfy and the linens are high quality. They even embroidered my initials into my pillowcase. What the…how awesome is that?!

There’s a lounge area on a lower floor that has tvs, games and free snack foods available at all times. I found myself down there quite often grabbing an apple or snack mix. They even host beer tasting and other fun events there. So fun. $180/nt

drink
airE
After unpacking and a bit of relax time, I realized it was perfect time for happy hour. I decided a trip to the Hyatt Centric’s roof-top bar, Aire, was in order. This place is the perfect after work happy hour destination. And actually seemed like a locals’ favorite. It was busy without being too crowded. I enjoyed some bubbly perched in front of a fire pit and got to watch the sun go down. Ahhh. $15


shop

humbolDt house
After spending most of my time downtown, I wanted to venture a little farther out of the box. Perfect opportunity to hop into an Uber and do some window shopping. I’d been jones to visit Humboldt House after seeing all of the eye candy on their Instagram account. Destination decided. And this place lived up to my expectations. Old and new mixed together with locally-made artisan items ranging from beauty products to home goods. A total feast for the eyes.

DINNER
parlor pizza bar
What’s a visit to Chicago without pizza, am I right? This is a fun new place that’s not your typical Chicago-style pizza, but just as tasty and reasonably priced. Their wood-fired pizzas offer local ingredients and is always super fresh. Their specialty pizzas are fun and sometimes a bit adventurous. Example? A guacamole pizza! Great scene at night too. $25

Hoswell's & Hood and Gather Chicago
HOWELLS AND HOOD | GATHER

Hyatt Centric the Loop and 1st Lady of Chicago Boat Tour
HYATT CENTRIC THE LOOP  |  CHICAGO BOAT TOUR

Hyatt Centric the Loop and Cochon Volant
HYATT CENTRIC THE LOOP  |  COCHON VALANT

DAY TWO

BREAKFAST

COCHON VALANT
I’m always one for breakfast in bed. I decided this morning was the perfect opportunity. The Hyatt Centric offers room service a little bit differently with their knock-and-go style service. The restaurant in the lobby, Cochon Valant provides the food from the room service menu. With knock-and-go, basically you place your order and when it’s ready the bring it up to your room, they knock on your door, place it down and go. You’re free to open the door in your pjs snag your food and run back to bed 😉 I ordered the vegan muesli cereal and it came looking like a work of art with the way the fruit and cereal was arranged. Loved it! They have great coffee too, so if you feel like a coffee before a coffee, they have your back 😉 Cochon Valant offers a great lunch and dinner menu as well. $16

COFFEE
wormholE
Time to head out to explore some more. And one of my favorite neighborhoods is Wicker Park. An easy trip on the “L” and you’re in hipster central. I’d say it’s time for another latte. Wormhole is hipster coffee at its finest 😉  $4


BREAKFAST II

GLAZED AND INFUSED
After getting my caffeine fix squared away, it was time to window shop. Wicker Park is full of fun shops and restaurants. Walk down Milwaukee Ave and pass by the Glazed and Infused window. If they still have donuts (they tend to sell out super early) buy a few of those puppies and enjoy a mid-morning snack. Those extra calories are WORTH it! $3

SHOP

gather
Right past Glazed and Infused you’re going to want to turn left on North Ave. Keep walking until you see Gather. Then walk in and just enjoy. Another great shop like Humboldt House, you’re going to find unique home goodies and fun apothecary items. I spent a good half hour in this small shop and enjoyed every minute of it.

LUNCH
native FOODs
While walking around Wicker Park I stumbled onto Native Foods Cafe. It’s actually a vegan food chain, so not a locally-owned place, but tasty and reasonably priced vegan food nonetheless. I ordered the chicken, bacon, avocado club with lemon dill potato salad, a lemonade and a vegan carrot cupcake. Deliciousness! $18

do
ART INSTITUTE or Lincoln Park Zoo
Time for some adventure. I’d recommend either the Art Institute or the Zoo. The zoo is a little bit closer to Wicker Park if that helps. I decided to hit up the Art Institute this time around though, and it was beautiful and inspiring and pretty-much everything you’re imagining. Definitely a must-see. $29

DINNER
antique taco
Back to Wicker Park we go! I wanted to hit up this super, fun and trending taco spot. They have a tasty-looking taco selection, I tell you. I’d highly recommend the habanero popcorn too. Grab a margarita while you at it and enjoy. $25

DESSERT
jeni’s ice cream
Desert, oh, desert! Do yourself a favor and swing by Jeni’s. You won’t be sorry! Everyone loves ice cream! $5

DRINK
violet hour
Since you in the neighborhood, who not swing by this institution. One of Chicago’s most popular bars, this is a fun one folks. AND it’s not just fun, their drinks mean business. They have a James Beard Award-winning bar program and offer a seasonal cocktail list that changes with the season. $15


I hope you enjoyed this peek into the less touristy, more aesthetically-pleasing side of Chi-town 😉 Let me know if you’ve visited any of the spots I mentioned OR if there’s any cool spots I missed.  Would love to swing back around and visit them next time!

You can also view my google planning map here.

This post is brought to you in partnership with Hyatt Centric. Thanks for supporting Copy Cat Chic and our generous sponsors.