A Quick Guide Through the South of France with @The Girl Habit

A Quick Guide Through the South of France with @The Girl Habit

Our good friend Leore shares a few of her favorite must-see’s in the South of France… make them your must-see’s, too!

Antibes Farmers Market

Antibes is an open-air market, resting (or bustling, rather) under a sea of tents in the town’s center square. Its cobblestone road is lined with vendors selling fresh spices, honeys, French-made soaps and body lotions, fresh produce and sweets. This farmers’ market is an amazing place to stock up on French-infused beauty essential while eating healthy snacks.

Plage des Ondes

This small local’s beach is ideal for relaxing and swimming, the water shallow and clear enough to see fish gliding around your feet. Because the water is so calm, you can swim out very far and float for as long as you’d like. And don’t forget — salt water cleanses skin and balances oil production.

Plage de Pampelonne in Saint Tropez

Saint Tropez is known for its private beach clubs and famous parties but, aside from the fun, Place de Pampelonne offers an endless stretch of sand to run along, to take in all the action from a distance. Stop in a beach club that catches your eye and grab a fresh juice along the way during your workout.

Cannes

Cannes is THE place to take in endless shopping and endless — and delicious — food all along the French Riviera, with a few great yoga studios dotted in between it all. I love finding yoga all over the world. Re-centering yourself and taking time to stretch after long travel is so important, especially when your mind and body are taking in a new environment.

Gourdon

Gordon is a charming mountain town, with a climate perfect for growing orange trees, olive trees and perfume plants.Here you can walk through the perched village and visit one of many local perfumeries.
Less of a hotel and more of a museum, art lies everywhere in Colombe d’Or, teeming with Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Léger, Calder and Braque. What makes it so very special? These 20th century artists donated a piece in exchange for room and board here.
St. Paul de Vence itself is swarmed with art galleries via its small cobblestone roads — a perfect place to get inspired and pick up a pen and paper and start drawing or writing.
While here, I also highly recommend visiting beach town Juan Les Pins, the village of Eze and Nice.
+Travel on your mind? Check out more guides here and be sure to follow Leore on Instagram

Free People Blog

A Quick Guide Through the South of France with @The Girl Habit

A Quick Guide Through the South of France with @The Girl Habit

Our good friend Leore shares a few of her favorite must-see’s in the South of France… make them your must-see’s, too!

Antibes Farmers Market

Antibes is an open-air market, resting (or bustling, rather) under a sea of tents in the town’s center square. Its cobblestone road is lined with vendors selling fresh spices, honeys, French-made soaps and body lotions, fresh produce and sweets. This farmers’ market is an amazing place to stock up on French-infused beauty essential while eating healthy snacks.

Plage des Ondes

This small local’s beach is ideal for relaxing and swimming, the water shallow and clear enough to see fish gliding around your feet. Because the water is so calm, you can swim out very far and float for as long as you’d like. And don’t forget — salt water cleanses skin and balances oil production.

Plage de Pampelonne in Saint Tropez

Saint Tropez is known for its private beach clubs and famous parties but, aside from the fun, Place de Pampelonne offers an endless stretch of sand to run along, to take in all the action from a distance. Stop in a beach club that catches your eye and grab a fresh juice along the way during your workout.

Cannes

Cannes is THE place to take in endless shopping and endless — and delicious — food all along the French Riviera, with a few great yoga studios dotted in between it all. I love finding yoga all over the world. Re-centering yourself and taking time to stretch after long travel is so important, especially when your mind and body are taking in a new environment.

Gourdon

Gordon is a charming mountain town, with a climate perfect for growing orange trees, olive trees and perfume plants.Here you can walk through the perched village and visit one of many local perfumeries.
Less of a hotel and more of a museum, art lies everywhere in Colombe d’Or, teeming with Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Léger, Calder and Braque. What makes it so very special? These 20th century artists donated a piece in exchange for room and board here.
St. Paul de Vence itself is swarmed with art galleries via its small cobblestone roads — a perfect place to get inspired and pick up a pen and paper and start drawing or writing.
While here, I also highly recommend visiting beach town Juan Les Pins, the village of Eze and Nice.
+Travel on your mind? Check out more guides here and be sure to follow Leore on Instagram

Free People Blog

Weekend Do: Drop the Expectations

Planning a trip? Maybe you don’t need to consider all that planning…

Sure, some trips are far better off pre-planned. Lists, setting arrival times, knowing when certain activities should take place and, in reality, creating a whole lot of expectation for your adventure ahead. Yet, more often than not, those are the trips we forget to actually enjoy. We get back home, start sorting through dirty laundry and instantly wish we could go back and cherish every second. We wish we would have put down those lists and let those expectations fly out the window. We tell ourselves next time will be different, next time we’ll just go with the flow, because life is too short, right? Well, this time we did. There were no lists, no expectations, just the open road and four days to simply be. And you know what happened? We had one hell of a time — here’s how we did it.


Step One: Choose wisely.

When the only thing planned is the destination, choose your companion or companions wisely. Surround yourself with like-minded people who will, with you, embrace the road ahead and not focus on what the next move will be.

Step Two: The destination.

Living in Colorado afforded us beauty in every direction. On this particular road trip we headed west, revisiting a few of the great National Parks: Moab, Bryce Canyon and Zion. Little cell reception and lots of open space = the right places for us. Your destination could be near or far, grand or small but an adventure, nonetheless. No time for a weekend get-away? Check out the local parks, forests or RV parks, because your never know what magic could be lying in your own backyard.

Step Three: Drop the expectations.

At the end of the day, plan the trip that suits you best. When we left the expectations at home, we shared a genuine experience, allowing the fun to unfold in and from the unknown. There were hiccups and many nights of pitching a tent in complete darkness, but there were stops for roadside pottery, trail runs and secret pools usually reserved for the locals. We took a step back and fully enjoyed each surrounding  and, when we were good and ready, we moved on.

Though perhaps way overused, this phrase rings true as ever — you only live once. Don’t end an amazing trip with should-haves and I-wishes. Come back filled with a new memories and endless inspiration.

So go fly-roam-travel-explore-journey and discover — we can’t wait to hear about it.

+Are you ready to drop the expectations? Let us know in the comments below! 

Follow April on Instagram and check out more Weekend Do’s here.

Photos by Amber and Nate Wilson.

5×5: San Antonio

Local secrets on all things San Antonio… 

Texas. Where verything is bigger and better, right? Well, I’ve never been but San Antonio is tops on the list of great Texas towns. Home to The Alamo, which sees more than 2 1/2 million visitors from all over the world each year, we had to learn more about what makes this place so special. We reached out to five Free People store employees to give us all in the in’s and out’s on their favorite hangs. Read on to see why The Alamo didn’t make the list.

Tricia VandeWalle: Store Manager

@tricia_vandewalle

Rosellas Coffee – 203 East Jone Ave, San Antonio, TX 78215

Mid-week coffee treat? Yes, please! I’ve found myself here many times, before work and on the weekends, grabbing a cup of joe with friends and chatting about life. From the food to the service, you can’t beat the calm and creative atmosphere of Rosellas!

Botanical Garden — 555 Funston Pl, San Antonio, TX 78209

From Japanese gardens to butterfly gardens, take advantage of these 38 acres! A true hidden gem of the city. Take a afternoon off and explore the endless magic this place has to offer!

Rise Up — 6401 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78215

Located across from the Pearl Brewery, Rise Up is a San Antonio must-see! The convenience of the grab-and-go Acai bowl is perfect for our fast-paced city — this Airstream trailer offers more than that, however — try out their smoothies, kombucha, and cold pressed juice!

Barbaro — 2720 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212

Talk about your new favorite Sunday brunch spot! Barbara’s is known for fantastic pizza, but you win with anything on the menu. The cozy, airy atmosphere is perfect for lunchtime hangs or an intimate evening.

The Luxury –– 103 E Jones Ave, San Antonio, TX 78215

Where do I start? I find myself always taking an adventure to the Luxury…mainly because I live in walking distance! This laid-back eatery is located right on the River Walk and is a great go-to for after-work treats and drinks! Also, did I mention they have bocce ball courts?

Shannon Price-RobinsonAssistant Store Manager 

@sole_searchn

Shades of Green Nursery 334 W Sunset Rd, San Antonio, TX 78209

Organic Garden: When looking for the perfect but not so ordinary gift, I run over to Shades of Green. As I walk through their winding brick pathways, I try not to get lost in its blossoming world of succulents, roses and herbs. Hard to pick just one gift when rows of flowers and hand-painted pottery seem to call your name.

Pearls Farmers Market– 303 Pearl Pkwy #300, San Antonio, TX 78215

Seasonal Surprises: On Saturday/Sunday, you just might find me engulfed in this market, always full of fresh, local and seasonal goodies, local vendors offering everything from aged honey cheese to handmade baked empanadas and even amazing household products like chemical-free laundry detergent. Rain or shine, the harvest is always on!

Local Coffee5 Locations throughout San Antonio

Roast Masters: With several locations around San Antonio, Local Coffee is my morning, afternoon and evening go-to.  From coffee to fresh juice, pastries and even yogurt, they take good care of me.  Their Merit brand coffee is roasted locally and is always fresh. No matter if I’m starting my day, taking a study break from my Master’s classes or needing a quick pick-me-up after a long shift, Local will not disappoint.

Friendly Spot – 943 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Texas Tap:  Situated in the heart of Southtown (San Antonio’s ever-growing hipster hangout), this outdoor Ice House is a crowd favorite. It’s the perfect place to end a hard day or a busy week. Friendly Spot maintains its unique and LOCAL LOVE vibe by keeping Texas favorites on tap. Every evening offers up something a bit different but there’s always something for everyone. One night, you might be grooving to the sounds of a live DJ and the next,  you’re cheering on our champion Spurs!! GO SPURS GO!!

Fiesta North Main — 2025 N Main Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212

“Ay Cascarones”:  This one-stop shop is located inside two beautiful and historic homes in SA’s Monte Vista/Tobin Hills Historic neighborhoods. Every year San Antonio hosts “Fiesta” — this year sees its 126th anniversary. We always make this a top spot on our Fiesta Party/Parade essentials list. My daughter and I are sure to grab flags, flower crowns, piñatas and the uber fun cascarones. Nothing says Fiesta like loads of confetti-filled eggs!!

Jana Cantua: Content Creator 

@oceansounds

Blue Star — 1414. S Alamo #105, San Antonio, TX 78210

On site you’ll find a contemporary art museum, brewing company, bike shop, art complex and much more. There’s so much to do and see at Blue Star, it’s no wonder this local spot is never empty!

Art Wall –– Parking lot of the San Antonio Museum of Art 

 This iconic wall in the parking lot of the San Antonio Museum of Art makes me smile every time I look at it. Stop by on your way to the museum to take it all in.

Hill Country –– About a 90-minute drive all the way up Highway 16.

If you’re in the mood for some nature, drive to the Hill Country. Take Highway 16 all the way to Medina and enjoy the view. 

Paul’s Desert — 200 Schertz Parkway, Schertz, TX 78154

Cactus flowers. Need I say more? This nursery is about 20 minutes outside of San Antonio, but so worth visiting! As soon as you step into the greenhouse you’ll be in love. Take your pick from their large selection of unique cacti and succulents.

Indy Coffee Co.  — 7114 Utsa Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78249

I was so surprised when I stepped into Indy and tried a sip of their coffee – ­and LOVED it. Ask anyone that knows me and they’ll tell you how I always order water or tea at coffee shops. Not at Indy! This is my go-to spot. Their brews are not bitter, and their iced coffee pairs perfectly with those hot Texas days. With a comfortable seating area surrounded by cacti and good reads, you’ll want to spend hours at this local gem. 

Taylor Kaufman: Assistant Visual Manager 

@mermaidtk

Revoluction Coffe + Juice  –– 7959 Broadway Street, Ste # 500, San Antonio, TX 78209

Revolucion is my favorite coffee shop in San Antonio! Known for delicious coffee, countless cold pressed juices, homemade nut milks and acai/pitaya bowls, I love to grab a fresh juice as I’m running errands or on my way to work. And, if you save your jar, you can bring it in next time for a refill.

The Enchanted Rock  –– 16710 Ranch Rd. 965 , Fredericksburg, TX 78624

Located a little outside the city, this is my all-time favorite place for a hike or outdoor hang on a pretty day! The drive is absolutely beautiful and gives you a good idea of what the Texas Hill Country is all about. My friends and I will pack a picnic, hike up the giant rock, sit at the top and take in this huge granite dome that is visible for miles and miles! Truly breathtaking.

Grey Moon Vintage –– 2202 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78215

My all-time favorite shopping spot in SA!!! This killer vintage shop is located inside of a recycled shipping container — how cool is that?! I never fail to find some awesome band tees, jumpsuits and denim here. I own some of my most treasured, unique vintage from Grey Moon and highly recommend it to anyone on the hunt for some special pieces!

Mi Tierra / El Mercado — 218 Produce Row, San Antonio, TX 78207

Get a true taste of what San Antonio is all about by stepping foot in this restaurant/market! I first visited when I moved to San Antonio and go all the time ever since. Mi Tierra is a landmark Mexican cafe and bakery decorated in thousands of lights, pinatas and festive decor that is open 24/7. Right across the street from the restaurant is El Mercado (Market Square). This market consists of shops selling anything ranging from hand embroidered dresses, flower crowns and hand painted trinkets. This is a great spot for experiencing San Antonio’s rich and lively cultural atmosphere!

Montage Vintage –  423 West Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78212

Another one of my all-time fave vintage hot spots, and where I score great vintage dresses! I always leave with something I didn’t know I needed — whether it be jewelry, a new pair of boots or something totally random, I have to have it! 

 Natalie Perez: Manager in Training

@natcpz

Estate Coffee Co. –– 1320 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205

San Antonio’s coffee shop scene is booming. There are so many quaint newbies and cult favorites out there to try, but Estate Coffee Co. boasts a unique environment that keeps me coming back, and not just for my favorite honey lavender latte. Estate’s downtown space is shared 50/50 with local artisanal spice and food retailer, Oak & SaltThe shared location, filled with natural light from its window walls, is a new and exciting concept for SA’s growing artisan business community.

Halcyon –– 1414 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78210

Whether I’m looking to meet up with some friends, or to get some late-night studying done, Halcyon is my one-stop shop — it functions as a study space by day and bar scene at night. Table-side s’mores is their most popular menu item, and one of my favorite treats in the city.

San Antonio Riverwalk — Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205

I couldn’t pick my five favorite places in San Antonio without mentioning the Riverwalk—it’s our claim to fame, after all. Though known as a tourist trap, take the time to pass the restaurants and commercialized areas. Head north of downtown and the Riverwalk will take you to the up-and-coming Pearl Brewery, while heading south will lead you through San Antonio’s breathtaking historic missions. With plenty of shade, wide walkways and beautiful scenery, the riverwalk tops my list for places to get a good sweat in—it’s a runner’s dream!

La Gloria — 100 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215

You’ll struggle to find Tex-Mex that comes anywhere near what we’ve got going on in San Antonio–it’s the best of the best. La Gloria is my go-to spot for authentic street-style grub. Their guacamole is my favorite in town but be warned: you absolutely must order a margarita with your guac. It’s an actual rule (ok, maybe that’s my rule but I HIGHLY recommend it).

 The Union Yoga + Strength — 7959 Broadway St #106, San Antonio, TX 78209

As a collegiate athlete, I’m always looking for a class that challenges me, mentally and physically, and The Union’s 90-minute hot yoga class does exactly that. You’ll find me at The Union just about every Monday evening— leave every class a sweaty mess, but more importantly, refreshed with goals and intentions for the new week.

Texas, we are coming for you…

+ Have any San Antonio favorites of your own? Let us know what we missed in the comments below! 

Check out more 5×5’s here and follow April on Instagram.

5×5: Vancouver

The best Vancouver hangouts, from locals who know…

Vancouver, our friends from the North. Roughly 3o miles from the American border and dubbed Canada’s number one destination spot, this city is home to two Free People stores and endless adventure. We reached out to five Free People employees to give us all in the in’s and out’s of this must-see place.

Kerry Balfour: Western Canada Senior Visual Manager

@ker.b + @fpcanada

Le Marche St. George’s – 4393 St George St, Vancouver, BC V5V 4A3

This French-style cafe is one of my very favorite coffee shops in Vancouver. Situated in the middle of a quiet neighborhood, Le March is a lifestyle store (you can find groceries, textiles, ceramics and even housewares from local vendors) slash cafe. There’s seating outside year-round, and you can cozy up in the colder months with old wool blankets and a warm chai!

Sea to Sky Highway – highway 99 Vancouver to Whistler

It doesn’t sound like much, but this is one of the most beautiful 45-minute drives you’ll ever lay eyes on. The drive takes you right above the ocean, with countless small islands on the horizon and mountains hovering in the distance. There are countless opportunities to make a pit stop for cliff jumping, hiking, or just to take it all in.

Capilano Suspension Bridge – 3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1

One of my absolute favorite winter activities… For all of December, the bridge is lit with twinkle lights, making it one of the most magical places! Along with the main bridge, there are 7 smaller bridges throughout the treetops, a cliff walk where there are glass platforms and walkways you travel along right above the river. This is one place in Vancouver you don’t want to miss! 

Nelson The Seagull – 315 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6A 0A7

The best avocado toast you’ll ever have. Need I even say more?? This quaint little coffeehouse/bakery is located in Gastown and is my go-to for weekend coffee and brunch. It has original tiles, long communal tables, tall ceilings, and the constant smell of bread baking (they make their own sourdough everyday!). You’ll find breakfast, breads, pastries, sandwiches and picnic boards. This is an absolute Vancouver must!

Granville Island Market – 1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9

Need something to do on a weekend day? Granville Island Market has everything from a fresh produce market, imported textiles and paints, coffee shops and bakeries, art galleries, breweries, live theaters, flower shops and restaurants. What else do you need?! It’s located right on the water; a little man-made peninsula which can be accessed by walking over the bridge from downtown, driving, or by seabus!

Krystina Simes: Granville Stylist

@fpkrystina

Dharma Temple – 3283 Main Street Vancouver, British Columbia 

A one-of-a-kind yoga studio & boutique in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, Dharma offers classes taught by some of Vancouver’s top teachers. Check out the shop after class and pick up some hand-made goods by local artists!

East is East – 4433 Main St Vancouver, British Columbia

Hands down the best Middle Eastern restaurant in the city. Adorned with Himalayan salt lamps, Persian rugs and colorful paintings, take your journey down the Silk Road with dishes from all over the Indian subcontinent while you sip on some chai. 

Bloom Room – 621 Kingsway Vancouver, British Columbia

A plant lovers’ paradise! The Bloom Room resides in the up-and-coming Fraser neighborhood. Some of the healthiest and happiest plants you’ll find in the city! 

Banyen Books – 3608 West 4th Avenue Vancouver, British Columbia

The metaphysical gal’s place of refuge — this large bookstore nestled in west Kitsilano has everything from books on yoga, natural medicine and poetry to an abundance of crystals and meditation cushions. The best place to cozy up on a Sunday afternoon and find a new book to dive into!

Gaia Garden – 2672 West Broadway Vancouver, British Columbia

An herbalist’s best friend! Gaia boasts an array of bulk teas, herbs, clays, waxes and essential oils for all your blending and DIY needs!

Michelle Young: Assistant Visual Manager Park Royal

@littlerollup

Birds & The Beets – 55 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1E9

@birdsandbeets

An amazing space in the Gastown neighborhood, Birds & The Beets is relatively new to the cafe scene, and are doing things right.  A great place to go for Sunday brunch (coffee from local roaster @bxafraser) or for a happy hour brew with your girlfriends.  They are networking with the surrounding community to host dinners featuring local chefs, latte art competitions, and have partnered with local florist, @the_wildbunch, selling their beautiful bouquets at the front of their space.  They have a small menu that is modified with the seasons and focuses on featuring ingredients that are as local and as fresh as they can get.

Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe – 2150 Fir Street, Vancouver, BC 

@beaucoupbakery

Best. Croissant. Ever.  What more is there to say?!?  Also, try the peanut butter cookie.

A small shop just off the beaten path, just a few blocks from tourist laden Granville Island, Beaucoup serves up the best croissant in Vancouver, hands down. The owner, Jackie Kai Ellis, studied and trained in Paris and her love of quality is obvious in every bite.  They usually have three other croissant options besides the original, piled high in beautiful baskets, along with other delightful treats….might I also recommend the peanut butter cookie? Sounds so simple, but it is SO. good.  She has a passion for supporting local and using quality ingredients.  They also serve coffee from local roaster @49th and use organic milk from local Dairy Farm @avalondairybc

Aubade Coffee – 230 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T3

@aubadecoffee

Located in Chinatown, Aubade is a one-man show — community-focused coffee bar in a space shared with an antiques collector and a barber shop. Expect an exceptional cup of coffee, made to order; deconstructed and then reconstructed using an aeropress with filters he himself invented. Don’t come here if you want to hide away with your laptop in the corder. The intimate setting allows for unavoidable great conversation and meeting new people around you!

Oh, and P.S. vegan friendly treats here!

Tulip Festivals – http://abbotsfordtulipfestival.ca / http://tulipsofthevalley.com

@abbotsfordtulipfestival

If you happen to be visiting Beautiful BC in the month of April, you are in luck! It is prime tulip blooming season and there are festivals to celebrate! I honestly think these tulip fields are reason enough to make the trek up and visit!

Revolver Coffee – 325 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H7

@revolvercoffee

Also located in Gastown, Revolver is one of the best coffee shops in the city. Their coffee menu, which boasts selections from both local and intercontinental roasters, is ever-changing…hence the name Revolver! Your coffee will always be made to order on their beautiful bar lined with Chemex, and your espresso expertly pulled to deliver the best quality experience each and every time.

Nicki Ridsdale: Granville Stylist

@nickiridz

Eastside Flea – 1024 main street Vancouver, BC

This bi-monthly event runs Friday night as the shop n bop (think shopping with music and drinks), and Saturday and Sunday as a daytime flea market. The flea is self-described as “curated vintage clothing, collectibles, handmade goods, artisan eats, food trucks and more”, along with eclectic and friendly individuals who make the flea what it is. The shop n bop is my favourite time to attend as it’s perfect to have a cocktail and mingle before going out to the best local haunts which happen to be within a few blocks’ radius. 

Joffre Lakes – located at Duffey lake rd, Mount Currie, just outside Pemberton BC 

For the hiking-obsessed, this is a must-see. It’s about a 3-hour drive north of Vancouver on the beautiful sea-to-sky highway. This intermediate, year-round hike takes about 3 hours round-trip (10 km with a 370 m elevation gain). (If you would prefer to sleep under the stars there is onsite camping available.) There are 3 stunning lakes along the way, each unique in its own right —  from bright turquoise to crystal clear; the last two lakes have an incredible glacier view serving as the backdrop for the perfect picnic spot. If you visit in the winter be sure to bundle up, and bring some snowshoes. For those summer wanderers, there is a rope swing at the second lake (if you are brave enough to take a dip in this glacier-fed body of water!). This is the perfect day trip to escape the bustling city on a sunny day. Be sure to leave early, as it can get congested in the afternoon!

 BC Ferries – two locations depending on what islands you wish to visit

– Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, located at 1 Ferry Causeway, Delta, BC (about 45 minutes south of Vancouver). Service to the southern end of Vancouver Island (Victoria) and the southern Gulf Islands.

– Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal, located at 6750 Keith Rd, West Vancouver. Service to northern Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and Bowen Island.

Vancouver is a fast-paced city. So if you’re in need of slowing down, take one of our ferries to the islands. The Gulf Islands are small and are populated with artists and creatives, not to mention the friendliest people around. Vancouver Island is large and differs from end to end. While there are many cities and towns, there are some more notable than others. On the south end is Victoria, a beautiful old city with our Parliament buildings and a young university student vibe to it. On the northwest side of the island is Tofino, a magical surfers’ paradise. It is a tiny town with many romantic cabins and abodes to rent, and beaches with rolling waves and a rugged coastline. The ferry rides are something to experience in and of themselves — cruising the Pacific while catching views of passing islands and, if you are lucky, you may have a few orca whales accompany you!

The Naam – 2724 w 4th Ave Vancouver, 

This vegetarian/vegan restaurant is a Vancouver staple — a heritage home which was renovated in 1968 with a funky atmosphere and laid back vibe. The walls are decked with local art for sale and the patio is great with vines overhanging the entire space. They serve deliciously large portions that don’t break the bank and there is something for everyone. Located in Kitsilano near several beaches that overlook the city, Naam is just a hop away from lots of local shops. My personal favorite is the chai milkshake (try it vegan!). Did I mention it’s open 24 hours?

Brandywine Falls – located just before Whistler Village on the Sea to Sky Highway

This is a great half-day adventure that is about 1 hour, 15 minutes north of Vancouver. The breathtaking waterfall is an easy 10-minute walk from the parking lot. For the more daring, keep walking past the waterfall view point until the fence ends, and take that trail to the boulder field. Carefully make your way down the rocks and continue on the lefthand side where the trail picks up again. Through the forest you will wander until you meet the river. Follow it right until you arrive at the base of the waterfall. This takes about 30 minutes one-way. Bring your hiking shoes and prepare to get wet from the mist of the falls! This experience is hard to beat.

Romy Cheaib: Assistant Store Manager 

@romyroma

Quarry Rock – Baden Powell Trail, North Vancouver, BC V7G 1V6

Quarry Rock in Deep Cove is my all-time favorite place in Vancouver. Rain or shine, it’s the most serene, ethereal place Mother Nature has to offer. It’s a beginner’s day hike, about up 3.8k to the rock which overlooks all of Deep Cove. 

Honeys Doughnuts in Deep Cove – 4373 Gallant Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7G 1L1

After working up a sweat, it’s only tradition to hike back down Quarry Rock and walk into Honeys for some breakfast, especially their donuts, homemade and fresh every day. Locals attest to their “melt in your mouth” quality — these doughnuts are a must! (Photo opps are rare since I usually can’t wait to take a bite.)

Seymour Mountain – 1700 Mt Seymour Rd, North Vancouver, BC, V731L3

One of my winter go-to’s. If you’re a snowboarder, skier, tuber or if you’re in to snowshoeing like myself, it’s one of the biggest mountains on the north shore with amazing views. 

Ambleside Park – 1133–1141 Argyle Ave, West Vancouver, BC, Canada

Ambleside has a lot to offer. In summer you can lay on the beach ,relax and enjoy yourself… you can pack a picnic or take advantage of the concession stand available. There’s a pitch and putt golf course for anyone who doesn’t like to sit still. On the other side of the park sits a dog park, always full of cute little dogs running around and jumping into the water. I have taken my dog here hundreds of times and we love everything about it! 

Lonesdale Quay Market – 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver, V7M 3K7

A tourist attraction in the north shore, Lonesdale Quay Markets has over 80 shops, with everything from fresh local produce, specialty chocolates to jewelry and a flower market! Lonesdale hosts family events all summer long — live music and food trucks take over the strip. Book a stay at the hotel that overlooks all of downtown Vancouver.

Have you booked your ticket yet? Canada here we come…

+ Have any Vancouver favorites of your own? Let us know what we missed in the comments below! 

Check out more 5×5’s here!

FP Me to You: Love the Fitness You’re In

You may find it easier than ever to get in shape and have fun while doing it…

This post comes from FP Me muse, Jordan… 

Staring a new workout routine can be tough. Keeping it past the month of January, even tougher… keeping it up all year long, I’m getting exhausted just thinking about it.

In Alaska, the winter months often set the tone for slowing down, bundling up, staying home and staying away from the gym.  But there may be an easy fix to help you stay committed to your fitness goals, no matter where you live, what the temperature is outside, or where you are in your fitness journey. The best part about it? This fix is free and already within you. With just a simple shift in perspective of what “working out” means, you may find it easier than ever to get in shape and have fun while doing it.

So what is it? What is this magical way of thinking? Are you ready? Well, here it is…

Do.

Make working out fun. There is no rule saying you have to go to the gym, you have to run, you have to lift weights, you have to attend yoga classes (although I would love to work with you!).

Don’t think so hard about it.

I have been a college athlete, coach, personal trainer, yoga instructor, and overall health and fitness lover and enthusiast, but even I suffer from times of no more gym. So instead, in those moments, I hike, or maybe toss on the snowshoes and make trails with my dog Moose. I have expanded the idea of fitness to be more than a “workout,” but also a “work in”. I want my body to enjoy movement and for my mind to pause the day’s events and take a break. Fitness shouldn’t be something from which we shy away or find a burden. We should view working out and caring about our health as something that we LOVE, something that not only has positive effects on our bodies, but also our minds. When we consciously choose staying fit and healthy is just a part of who we are, than it can never be something we don’t do.

So what do you like to do and how can we turn it into a time for your mind and body to work in harmony and enjoy themselves?

Do you like to walk or run? Start up a group with friends — you could meet on the trails, on the street, at a local gym or track. If you’re thinking classes may be fun, my advice is to try as many places as possible. Find a gym or studio that makes you feel comfortable, confident and ready to have a great time as soon as you walk through its doors. If the outdoors is your happy place, scout out the local scene; maybe even take to social media to see if there are groups that meet on certain days during the week for different activities. I belong to a group called “Babes in the Mountains” up here in Alaska and events like: Happy Runs, trail runs, early morning mountain hikes with yoga at the top, group spin classes and even the occasional “Hey, we are headed out for dinner and drinks, who’s in?”(it’s all about balance!), are constantly being posted. That kind of community helps keeps things fresh and leaves very little room for fitness boredom; and who can forget the added bonus of time with other people who collectively love being active and the outdoors!

The temperatures may drop in the winter, but it doesn’t mean we have to slow down.

This way of thinking makes fitness fun. It doesn’t just create a routine to help you stay in shape (although it’s a great side effect); but by surrounding yourself with people, places and activities that make you feel good from the inside out, you work to become the best version of yourself. If your body, your mind and your heart all support what you’re doing, you’ll never need to worry about not having a fitness routine, because you’ll be too busy living it.

Get to know more about Jordan and FP Me here!

+ How do you stay active, happy and fit? Let us know in the comments below!

Images shot by Kristian Irey. Check out more of her work online!

Follow April on Instagram.

Weekend Do: Take a Solo Road Trip

Freedom to do exactly as you please, and the space to grow throughout your journey…

This post comes from our friend Maisy Weiss. Check out more from her road trip here!  

As much as I adore traveling to distant places with my friends, I’ve come to truly appreciate the solitude of the open road even more. The freedom to do exactly as you please, and the space to learn and grow as a person throughout your journey are two things I think makes a one-girl road trip one of the most amazing experiences that you can enjoy. Thinking about venturing out into the wild for a while, alone? Here’s some tips I’ve picked up over the past few years of navigating countless cross country treks!

Plan Ahead.

When traveling solo, it’s always best to have your trip as well planned and organized as possible before you set off! From sorting out daily adventures to nighttime sleeping situations, a pre-jaunt plan will save you a ton of stress and time while you’re out on the road. Not that impromptu car snuggles in Wal-Mart parking lots aren’t an option… but they certainly aren’t ideal. Plot your route and always have a backup plan in place for emergency situations.

Keep in Touch.

If you’re anything like me, then you know the feeling of “disconnecting” is one of the most freeing feelings in the entire world. However, it’s important to always let someone know where you’re heading. Whether you’re set on tackling an extensive hike into the wilderness, or just driving from point A to B, shoot a friend or family member a text and keep them updated with your plans for the day.

Know your whereabouts.

This is especially true when visiting a place in which you’ve never spent time. Research areas before you go! Is this a safe location for a lone lady on the road? Will you have access to necessaries like lodging, food and fuel? Be aware of your surroundings at all times, and if you must stop unexpectedly, aim for locations that are well-lit and where you will not be alone.

Make sure your car is roadtrip-ready.

Nothing puts a dent in your trip like being stranded on the side of a highway, alone. Always take your car in for servicing before you head out – you shouldn’t be trekking hundreds of miles before making sure your tires are in good condition, your oil is changed, and your car is totally road-ready. Investing in roadside assistance doesn’t hurt, either!

Pack smart!

Don’t overpack, but make sure you don’t exclude the essentials. While you probably don’t need that third pair of jean shorts, you will most certainly need a map and GPS (bring both! Trust me on that one!), extra socks, a way to charge your cell phone, flashlight, your ID and car paperwork, and extra blankets/sleeping bag in case of an emergency.

Follow Maisy on Instagram.

+ Would you travel solo? Let us know in the comments below! 

Follow April on Instagram and check out more Weekend Do’s here!

FP Me to You: Introducing Jordan

All the way from Wasilla, Alaska, this month’s muse is Jordan… 

5 words to sum up your personality…

Optimistic, loving, magnetic, influential and adventurous. 

Spirit animal.

My dog Moose (Silver labrador). He’s always happy, always there when you need him, always happy to see you even when you’ve been gone for just 10 minutes, always excited when he sees food and always willing to go outside and play or adventure.

What makes you happy?

Being active and outside! Mountains, fresh air, sunshine, a good sweat, laughter, travel, small talk with strangers, knowing my family members are happy, my best friend and I saying the same thing at the same time and laughing so hard I snort, and watching people learn a new skill or accomplish something they thought they weren’t capable of.

What makes you sad?

Homelessness, seeing people eating alone, lack of empathy, insecurities and leaving my dog at home (I know, I know.)

Fave city in the world/why?

I’ve hiked the Andes Mountains in Peru, walked the streets of Madrid, Spain, swam in a river in the rain forest in Costa Rica and been all over the United States…but there’s something about my hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, that makes it my forever favorite. Our town is part of what we call the “Valley.” Surrounded by mountain ranges and packed full of people who despite the tough winters and hard times live here because they were born with so much love for the place they call home. It empowers its kids to believe in the power of exploration and adventure, the power they have within themselves and that, no matter how bad the storm may be, it can always be weathered and there is always something to be grateful for.

Last dream you had…

The last dream I can remember is pretty funny. I dreamed that my grandma was in the front seat of a Super Cub (a small bush plane that is pretty common up here in Alaska) and I was in the back seat. She was flying the plane super fast and would go up really high and dive back down, all the while laughing hysterically and having a great time. When I told her about this dream she assured me it would never actually happen. Ha! (Thank goodness!)

What does free mean to you?

To live your life as you. Exactly who you are. Unapologetically and authentically yourself. Loving who you are, what you look like and what you do. Living out your true meaning and sharing your gifts for the good of everyone around you and yourself.

Images shot by Kristian Irey. Check out more of her work online!

 + Check back next Thursday to learn more about this FPMe muse…

5×5: Miami

All the best hangouts, in all the best cities, from the locals who know…

Last week we held our final  FP Lets Move event in the city of Miami. Known for its neon lights, endless art districts and heavy Latin influence, the city is always down for a good time. For those of you who you couldn’t make it to our movement event last week, we reached out to five Free People employees to share with us their favorite hot spots for the next time you head beachside!

Jackie Grimes: Store Manager

@jac_gypsy

The Jetties – southern end of Miami Beach

The rocks line either side of the Port of Miami inlet, stretching 200 yards beyond the shoreline. Getting out there isn’t easy — I guess it’s our version of hiking! I love to watch the cruise ships pull in and out of this spot — Miami is the cruise capital of the world, sending over 4 million people out to sea every year!

The Freehand Miami Beach – 2727 Indian Creek Dr. Miami Beach, FL 33140

The hostel-turned-hip pool bar and lounge is an FP favorite. No matter the time of year, you’re sure to meet travelers from all over the world. They host morning yoga classes for their guests and always have a delicious daily cocktail!

Puerto Sagua700 Collins Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139

This local cafe has been serving the best beachside Cuban coffee since the early sixties! Our team is fueled by their coladas and cortaditios… we’ll splurge on the Cuban-style pastries once in a while.

Espanola Way Village – 432 Española Way Miami Beach, FL 33139

This small area nestled in South Beach is known for its Spanish colonial architecture and limitless cuisine options! I love sitting outside under the bistro lights, listening to the many surrounding foreign languages while sipping a cappuccino. Even though it’s just around the corner from my house, I feel like I’m far, far away.

Flamingo Park -13th St & Michigan Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139

This is the local grassland on South Beach. It stretches over five blocks and is filled with every sports court and field you can imagine. You can usually find me at the dog park throwing a Frisbee with fur-child, Toby.

Desiree Madonna: Assistant Visual Manager

@desireemadonna

Lummus Park Ocean Drive from 5th to 15th street Miami Beach, FL 33139

This long stretch of grass separates the liveliness of Ocean Drive from the peacefulness of Miami Beach. At any moment you can find a pick-up game of beach volleyball, rollerbladers and bikers racing along the boardwalk, or picnickers under the palms. It’s a perfect spot to take a lunch break as well.

Full Bloom Vegan Café 11 Island Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139

Vegan?! No problem. This bayside café serves the best raw and cooked vegan cuisine on the beach. Parking isn’t the easiest, but if you’re biking through the city, this spot is perfect!

Washington Park Hotel South Beach – 1050 Washington Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139

This retro, chic hotel is great for small and large groups alike! Located in the heart of South Beach, Washington Park Hotel remains a cozy and quiet place to crash at the end of your day. I love their courtyard area, complete with hammocks and cool patio decor. It’s a great place to catch up with old friends and new.

South Point Beach  Miami Beach

My Saturday ritual includes a bike ride to South Point Beach, the quietest place around. There are no hotels, and the beaches are primarily filled with locals who just want to relax and enjoy the sun…even if it is a bit cloudy.

Emily Castillon: Manager in Training 

@emiliacastillon

Under the Mango Tree – 714 6th St Miami Beach, FL 33139

This local café has perfected both the acai bowl and adorable atmosphere. It’s a quick five-minute walk from our SoBe store and a favorite lunch spot for our team. The dragonfruit bowl is the bomb; plus, it’s bright purple like my hair!

Ocean Drive Boardwalk  12th & Ocean Dr Miami Beach, FL 33139

The wide boardwalk is perfect for cruising on my board. It’s not too crowded, and I’m guaranteed an ocean breeze to help combat the heat. On the weekends you can usually find a mini flea market filled with artisan vendors selling handmade jewelry, vintage clothing and accessories!

Wynwood Walls – 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127

Wynwood is known as the Miami covered in murals. Each building is more graphic than the next, and features artists from all over the world. It’s a great area for foodies, too! We always stop at Panther Coffee on our way in and The Wynwood Yard on our way out for the best food trucks in Miami!

The Vintage Flea Market Lincoln Rd Miami Beach, FL 33139 every other Sunday

All the best vintage hunters and gatherers come to Lincoln Road every other Sunday to buy, sell and trade their craft. I always find fun vintage and handmade jewelry, as well as small trinkets, for my apartment.

The Mango Market – Lincoln Rd Miami Beach, FL 33139

This seasonal market is the best place to stock up on organic, locally grown produce. The market is completely seasonal; this keeps the prices low, too! Not to mention a great photo-op for FP Me!

Sam Alt: Manager in Training 

@sammalt_

Bodega – 122o 16th St Miami Beach, FL 33139

Bodega brings Mexican street food to locals and visitors from a decked out Air Stream kitchen… after dark, their dining area transforms into a speakeasy-style nightclub!

Stiltsville – Biscayne Bay Florida

Only a boat can transport you to this private town. During high tide, the water rises above the shallow sea grass, creating a collection of floating homes. I love exploring the beautiful lush landscape; it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere.

Edition Bowling Alley 2901 Collins Ave Miami Beach, FL 33140

Bowl strikes until dawn at the most colorful spot on the beach.  There’s no place more “South Beach”… retro design and modern mixes make for a beautiful blend.

SOHO Beach House – 4385 Collins Ave Miami Beach, FL 33140

Day off goals! Lounge poolside or beachside… no complaints here. The Soho House is a Miami Beach staple and worth the splurge for a special event.

Byblos 1545 Collins Ave Miami Beach, FL 33140

Byblos has the best eastern Mediterranean bites and cocktails in a beautiful environment on Collins. I love to sit on the patio with my best friends, order the hummus and tabbouleh tapas, and catch up after a long week.

Brittany Martinez: Senior Stylist

@b.jaqueline.m

The Everglades National Park – 40001 State Road 9336 Homestead, FL 33034

Head west and you’ll find one of Florida’s greatest treasures — the Everglades. A quiet walk down one of the boardwalk trails, a bike ride through Shark Valley, or an airboat tour of Florida Bay or the Ten Thousand Islands will let you experience the area firsthand. With patience and luck, you might glimpse wading birds, deer, or the park’s most sought-after residents — alligators!

Salty Donut – 50 NW 23rd Street Miami, FL 33127

This sweet spot opened just as we rekindled our love with doughnuts. Their concept is simple and genius — create 5 amazing flavors a week, create a limited supply, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. They have a line out the door every day!

ALL DAY Cafe -1035 N Miami Ave. Miami, FL 33136

Located in the heart of midtown Miami! I first fell in love with the atmosphere and decor, then the coffee! Great coffee!

Midtown Garden Center  2600 NE 2nd Ave Miami, FL 33137

The best spot in Miami for indoor and outdoor plants. I could seriously spend hours floating from one table to the next looking for the perfect succulent or cactus. Then, once you find your perfect greens, grab lunch at the featured food truck parked up front!

Gramps – 176 NW 24th St. Miami, FL  33127

This local favorite is full of bright Caribbean colors and flare, and offers the widest variety of beer any hipster could dream of. Stop in any time to grab lunch, and catch live music on most nights. It’s a great pit stop if you’re exploring the area!

+ Have some Miami favorites of your own? Let us know in the comments below! 

Make sure to check out our Free People stores located in the Miami.

Follow April on Instagram!

Lead image shot by @sofia_aleli  

5×5: Hawaii

All the best hangouts, in all the best cities, from the locals who know… 

Last week we held our third FP Lets Move event in Honolulu, Hawaii, its first as part of our wellness tour, featuring gifts from our friends at Kopari and hosted by the amazing Surfjack Hotel. As not all of us could jet off for a day filled with beach side pilates and Haku Lei-making, we thought it only befitting to bring some of the island to you. We reached out to five of our Honolulu Free People employees to share with us some of the island’s best-kept secrets!

Bri Hugins: Store Manager

@bri_hugss

Ka’ena Point – Satellite Tracking Station Rd Waianae, HI 96792

The westernmost tip of O’ahu — desolate, untouched and captivating! There are two ways to get to the point, from either south or north, with just a walk along the beach needed to enjoy the endless ocean! You’re sure to capture there all of the varietal terrain Hawaii has to offer. Along the way, be sure to make time for pit stops, searching out little tide pools filled with fish, crabs and snails. Keep your eyes peeled — if you’re lucky, you’ll spot some Hawaiian Monk Seals!

North Shore Sunflower Fields – 66-320 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

If frolicking around in 6ft tall sunflowers is  your thing, make this a must-see. Keep an eye out for The Red Barn Farmstand, pull into their lot and, directly beside the highway, you can’t miss the offering of beautiful, mature sunflowers. They’re sold by the bunch at the farmstand, along with fresh locally grown produce, farm-fresh prepared food, and island-made goods. The perfect start or finish to your day on the North Shore. Be mindful of the bees!

Egghead Cafe – 885 Queen St
Honolulu, HI 96813

This is my go-to for breakfast and brunch! Serving up fresh quality food made with local ingredients and an east meets west fusion, Egghead puts a unique spin on classic favorites. My usual is the California Eggs Benedict with mixed greens. (They also serve up one of the best iced lattes around.) They boast a huge menu, with eggs served up just about any way you could want! Like strawberry shortcake or s’mores pancakes or choco Crème Brulee french toast! They’ve got lots of great sweets, too. If it’s lighter fare you’re after, Egghead also has healthier options like the Quinoa or Pitaya bowls, and plenty of salads! You really can’t go wrong here; from the stellar service to their cute Kaka’ako location, this place it a must.

Waimea Canyon – Waimea Canyon Dr, Waimea, HI 96796

Located on the western side of Kauai, Waimea Canyon is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. And boy, does it deliver! Approximately ten miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep, the views are unparalleled. Pictures simply don’t do it justice!  There is a scenic drive up to the top where you can stop along several lookout points or even set out on various hikes. Be sure to grab some fresh local pineapple or coconuts, and some banana bread to fuel the rest of your journey.

Na Pali Coast State Park – Kapaa, HI 96746

Pretty much heaven on earth, Kauai’s Na Pali Coast is famous for a reason! The Na Pali Coast State Park is a 6,175-acre Hawaiian state park located in the center of the rugged 16 miles along the northwest side of Kauai. The only way to see this coast is by hike, boat or helicopter. Block out an entire day to hike to Hanakapi’ai Falls, an 8-mile roundtrip hike its 300 ft-fall waterfall reason enough to take it on! Swimming under this waterfall has probably one of the coolest experiences of my life.

Along the way to the falls you can catch panoramic ocean views and beautiful native plants — the entire hike smells of strawberry guava!  Stop at Hanakap’ai Beach, about 2 miles in, and take in some gorgeous sights of the untouched coastline. Experienced backpackers can get permits and take the 11-mile hike each way to Kalalau Beach, camping along the way, which is definitely on my bucket list!

Ava Trobee: Assistant Visual Manager

@avajunes

Seven Sacred Pools and Waimoku Falls – Haleakalā National Park, Hana, HI 96713

The drive down Hana Highway is gorgeous and lush, with waterfalls all along the narrow oceanside road.  Once you reach the Kipahulu Visitors Center, there are two trails that lead out from it — the Kuloa Point Trail and the Pipiwai Trail. The Kuloa Point Trail is a short 0.6-mile loop that offers a view of the Seven Sacred Pools, a series of cascading waterfalls and pools that lead straight into the ocean. The Pipiwai Trail is 3.5 miles out, a back trail that leads up the mountain following the Palikea stream, boasting multiple waterfalls, a huge banyan tree, lush rainforests, a bamboo forest, and ends at the 400 ft Waimoku Falls. Despite the quick increase in elevation, Pipiwai’s constant manicuring makes it pretty easy to navigate. The end of both trails offer a nice area for enjoying a packed lunch with an ocean view!

Crouching Lion Trail – 52236 Trout Farm Road, Hauula, HI 96717

This trail is a part of a longer trail, the Pu’u Manamana, but I recommend the 0.8-mile trail to the crouching lion rock formation. This hike yields beautiful sights at its apex, but it is very challenging — definitely for more experienced hikers. Consider wearing longer leggings, shoes with good traction and mosquito repellant. My amateur rock-climbing skills definitely came in handy on parts of this hike, as you have to often utilize roots and branches to scale the steep trails. Be warned, you’ll probably get muddy, especially since this hike is on the windward side of the Oahu ,but you can always head to the beach afterward and rinse off!

Kalapawai Café & Deli – 750 Kialua Road, Kialua, HI 96734

While this local restaurant has two spots, and a market, its Kailua location is the one I like to frequent. Kalapawai is a great place for grabbing a meal on your way to the beaches in Kailua, serving their own gourmet line of Hawaiian-roasted coffee. The cafe deli menu is available until 5pm, after which they have seated service and a nice dinner selection. My husband and I like to come here for date nights away from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu and Waikiki.

Lulumahu Falls Trail – 4459 Pali Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817

One of my favorite quick day hikes, this 1.7-mile trail rarely takes more than 1 1/2 hours, and has some beautiful scenery. Make sure you wear clothes you won’t mind getting wet and muddy, and don’t forget your mosquito repellant. The trail starts off through a bamboo forest which leads up to the Nu’uanu Reservoir. A dirt trail to the mountains leads you to a graffitied wall, where a set of stone steps then take you upward to a muddy rainforest trail. Follow the trail, keeping along the stream, and eventually, you’ll come to a gorgeous 50ft-tall waterfall with a small wading pool at its bottom. It’s a fun hike and the trail is pup-friendly so your furry friend is welcome to tag along.

Kono’s – North Shore Marketplace, 66-250 Kamehameha Hwy g110, Haleiwa, HI 96712

Kono’s is known for their Kalua pork, which is a must-eat if you’re a carnivore in Hawaii! They have several locations, but the original sits in Haleiwa. Open from 7am to 2:30pm, it’s a great place to stop for breakfast or lunch on the way to the North Shore.  If you stop by in the morning, get a Breakfast Bomber — that’s their big claim to fame.  For lunch you can’t go wrong with any of the Kalua pork menu items, and if you’re wanting something sweet to finish off the experience, they make wonderful milkshakes. They also serve vegetarian options such as avocado BLT’s and avocado veggie wraps.

Lindsey Richtsmeier: Visual Manager In Training / Content Creator @fphawaii

@kindrex + @fphawaii

Haleiwa Bowls – 66-082 Kamehamaha Hwy, Haleiwa 96712

I eat acai bowls religiously, and Haleiwa Bowls arguably makes the best on the island. Served out of a tiny shack on the North Shore, you can also opt for one of their delicious smoothies or kombucha. I recommend loading up the Surf Bowl with toppings (my go-to includes the basics: strawberries, blueberries and bee pollen) and enjoying it at the beach or while exploring the boutiques and surf shops in the town center.

Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail – Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail Rd Honolulu, 96825

This hike is one of the easier ones on the island, with a paved trail that offers incredible views of eastern Oahu. On a clear day you can see the neighboring island Molokai and even spot whales during the winter! For those more adventurous, hike down the cliff to the tide pools, but be warned: this trek can be dangerous. Be wary of the tide levels and the size of the waves. And watch out for sea urchins, because those really hurt, too.

Leonard’s – 933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu 96816

One word: malasadas. Leonard’s serves up the best Portuguese donuts I know, and offers a variety of cream fillings to satisfy any sweet tooth. Because what’s better than sugar-coated, deep fried dough packaged in a bright pink box? Nothing. You won’t be disappointed.

Kuliouou Ridge Trail – Hahaione St, Honolulu 96821

For some killer panoramic views of the Windward side, take this moderate 5-mile hike. I love this one in particular because of how much the landscape changes throughout the trail. It starts off in rocky terrain and slowly turns woodsy before it takes you through an impressive pine tree forest that will make you forget you’re in Hawaii! You’ll then be led towards lush, tropical vegetation and finally up several stairs towards the summit where you’re met with amazing views of the Mokes in Kailua, the beautiful beaches of Waimanalo, and the impressive craters of Koko Head and Diamond Head.

Kahuku Land Farms Stand – 56-781 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731

From exotic fruits and fresh veggies to homemade breads, this little farm stand is a must! My personal favorites are the $1 fried bananas, lilikoi and rambutan. Go for the mixed bag of fruit to try it all, and don’t forget a fresh coconut!

Christy Paulino: Manager In Training

@christyy.p

The Harold L. Lyon Arboretum – 3860 Manoa Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822

A hidden secret in the back of Manoa Valley, the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum is the perfect place for a shaded stroll through gardens of Hawai’i’s native plants. For a small donation, you’ll gain access to 200 acres filled with trails and water features. The greenery gives you a chance to escape the city and appreciate Mama Nature. Perfect for candid photo ops and intimate conversation, just remember to bring the bug spray! @uhlyonarboretum 

Bread + Butter – 1585 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

For all of my weekend brunch lovers, Bread + Butter is one of those places that will definitely not disappoint. From avocado toast to bottomless guava mimosas (or both), you really can’t go wrong with whatever you choose. The macadamia nut lattes are also amazing and a personal fave. They also serve lunch and dinner but, honestly, who doesn’t want to brunch? @breadandbutterhi

 Makai Research Pier – 41-305 Kalanianaole Hwy., Waimanalo, HI 96795

The Makai Research Pier is the perfect pit stop for a scenic view of Rabbit Island. You can walk down the pier on weekdays, but underneath is a different story. You can access the beach on either side of the pier and locals often fish there. If you’re driving along Waimanalo towards the Windward side, be sure to take a short breather here.

 

Honolulu Museum of Art – 900 S Beretania St, Honolulu, HI 96814

If you’re not in an outdoorsy mood but still want to experience a little piece of paradise, the Honolulu Museum of Art is the place. Its exhibits are inspired by the many cultures in the Pacific, but are not limited to just that. The museum also features the Doris Duke Theatre where they feature films and various speakers. All of the outdoor courtyards between exhibits give you open space to take in some Vitamin D before heading onto the next. From classic to modern, you are sure to find something that speaks to your inner artistic self. @honolulumuseum

Waiola Shave Ice 3113 Mokihana St, Honolulu, HI 96816

Shave ice is a beach day must, and Waiola’s is one of my favorite go-to’s. Like snow cones, shave ice is finely shaved ice that you can customize by choosing your own flavors and toppings. They have your typical ones like strawberry, banana and apple, but also feature tropical flavors like lychee and lilikoi. My favorite combo, hands-down, is an ice cream bowl with li-hing powder with POG (Passion Orange Guava) flavor. Whatever concoction you choose, make sure to snap a pic before it melts! @waiolashaveice

Kaci Weight: Manager in Training

@kaciiiw

Leahi Health -3441 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

I didn’t have to think twice about this place… without a doubt a weekly pit stop for me. With three locations on the island, you won’t have a hard time finding this place. They pride themselves on farm-to-table standards, all of their organic foods are locally hand-picked and they provide an array of plant-based food and smoothie options. They even make their own kombucha which you can add to any smoothie. My go-to is usually the kale tacos and the king green smoothie. Nothing short of satisfaction.

Pali Puka– Nu‘uanu Pali, Honolulu, HI 96744

Beginning the ascent from the Pali Lookout, the Pali Puka trail is a short and sweet hike that climbs the ridgeline of the Koʻolau Mountains. It offers breathtaking views of Oʻahu’s windward coast, from Kailua to Kaneohe, all the way to Kualoa. At the end of the trail is the Pali Puka, a small “window” or hole in the rock face of the mountain, said to be a hiding spot for Hawaiian warriors as they kept watch for approaching enemies. Definitely up there on my list of favorites, with the history of the Pali adding to the overall experience.

Diamond Head Lookout -3483 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu, HI 96816

This lookout has always been a favorite stop of mine, whether before or after work or even when I’m just passing through. Just a short drive from Waikiki, it provides great views of the south shore. Whether you’re checking out the surf, posting up to enjoy lunch or taking in the views, it’s always a good place to stop and relax for a bit while in town.

Koko Crater Arch – 8699 State Hwy 72 Honolulu, HI 96825

A rather simple hike that takes you to a natural arch located on the back side of Koko Head Crater. It provides views from one of the most scenic parts of the island and the arch makes for the perfect photo opp moment. About 30 minutes roundtrip, it’s the perfect mini-hike that offers an amazing view at the end. I would bring a friend or two and go at sunrise

Arvo– 675 Auahi St, Honolulu, HI 96825

Arvo – meaning “afternoon” in Aussie slang — is a cute and quaint Australian-inspired cafe nestled in the creative up-and-coming community of Kakaʻako. Tucked inside the local botanical boutique, Paiko. You can admire or purchase a variety of succulents while sipping on a lavender latte. They serve up healthy treats like matcha chia pudding, vegemite or loaded avocado toast (my personal favorite is the smoked salmon toast). Perfect for breaky, lunch or an afternoon pick-me-up, be sure to go early since seating can be limited.

+ Have a Hawaiian destination of your own? Let us know in the comments below! 

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