Postcards From LA: Snapshots of West Coast Living

West Coast living for East Coast dwellers… the best of what to do the next time you’re in California.

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Relax at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Picture it–you’re sitting by a cozy fire pit snuggled under a warm blanket, roasting marshmallows with a glass of wine in hand, all while overlooking the ocean with magnificent views of the California coastline. This dream can be a reality at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, one of the most beautiful and resplendent properties in the Golden State. Just 25 miles south of San Francisco, this grand hotel is nestled upon a bluff overlooking 50 miles of the Pacific and is close to Napa Valley, Santa Cruz, and other tourist attractions in Northern California.

The luxurious decor of The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is seductive in feel and comfortable in nature. The staff welcomes you with a smile and wine tasting on arrival, which is an excellent way to kick off your stay. The 261-room destination spa and golf coastal resort features 36 holes of championship golf with its two ocean-facing courses—perfect for players of every skill level.

Indulge by staying in one of the rooms or suites on the club level of the property, which enable access to the private lounge. Here, an endless array of beverages and culinary options are served throughout the day, from breakfast, snacks, and hors d’oeuvres to cocktails and sweet treats. Just remember to save room for dinner at the signature restaurant, Navio, which is nothing short of magical. We arrived in time to watch the sunset over the ocean directly in front of us—a spectacular sight to behold!

Half Moon Bay is the pumpkin capital of the world, surrounded by organic farms and world-renowned wineries, giving Navio access to some of the finest ingredients in the country. The nautical-inspired dining room is the perfect setting for fresh seafood, locally grown produce, and melt-in-your-mouth meat dishes. The menu changes regularly to make use of the freshest ingredients, so prepare to be wowed with culinary excellence.

To tend to your weary mind and body, take a dip in the 16,000-square-foot Half Moon Bay Spa, where you’ll enjoy a heated pool, hot tub, sauna, steam rooms, and phenomenal massages. Body treatments include the use of crushed pearl products, essential oils, crystals, and seasonal ingredients. Half Moon Bay is a beautiful hub of activity with fabulous ways to spend your time, including bike riding along the coast, surfing, horseback riding, and wine tasting. You can even bring the whole family and take advantage of specialized programs for kids at the resort. Amazing landscape gardens, ocean views, impeccable service, and delectable food make The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay a top pick for any visit to Northern California. It’s truly a first-class experience. RitzCarlton.com/HalfMoonBay

Kick-Start Your Healthy Eating With Paleo Delivers

Lauded by celebrities as the only thing keeping them on track during long hours on set, Paleo Delivers is a lifesaver for anyone in California trying to lose weight, eat healthy, or reach a fitness goal. The daily delivery food company serves delicious and nutritious meals based on the Paleo regimen, which means no refined sugar, no dairy, no gluten, and no processed foods. But it’s definitely not short on creative ideas, filling fare, and amazing flavor. As you start the new year with the best intentions, just a couple of weeks eating three meals and two snacks from Paleo Delivers can leave you with more energy, a clearer mind, better sleep, and inches off your waistline. How to Get Away with Murder star Viola Davis is a big fan of the healthy eating plan,and says Paleo Delivers released her from years of a sluggish metabolism and energized her in miraculous ways. Paleo Delivers provides a jump start into better eating habits, portion control, and foods to eat for optimum health. PaleoDelivers.com

ROKU: Sushi and Teppanyaki

Dining at ROKU isn’t just a culinary delight—it’s a performance with phenomenal chefs showcasing amazing knife skills, fire-breathing, and delicious food. It’s the newest restaurant from the team behind BOA Steakhouse, Katana, and sister restaurant Sushi Roku. It boasts three distinct dining options, including the delicious sushi bar, a progressive menu served on the patio, and the fun Teppanyaki Room. ROKU’s Teppan chefs use succulent A-5 Japanese Wagyu beef, Santa Barbara spot prawns, and other local ingredients to bring the grill table experience to life. Whether you’re on a date or with a group of friends, this restaurant is the perfect mix of lively culinary entertainment and delicious food conjured up right before your eyes. This latest offering on the famed Sunset Strip also provides a wide range of sakes, cocktails, and an impressive collection of Japanese whiskey, one of the largest in an LA restaurant. RokuSunset.com

Spotlight: Ryan Blair

After going from rock bottom to rock star, Ryan Blair is making a powerful impact on people’s lives. Growing up in poverty and a broken home in Southern California, Blair joined a gang and was arrested multiple times as he slipped down the wrong path. His life turned around at 18 when his mother dated a real estate developer who became his mentor. Following his success as an entrepreneur and marketing CEO, he founded the Blair Foundation eight years ago, which supports at-risk youth and helps them get on the right track. This New York Times best-selling author personally mentors the young people coming through his organization, and has joined billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates in their pledge to get America’s richest to donate 90 percent of their assets to charity. Blair’s second book, Rock Bottom to Rock Star: Lessons from the Business School of Hard Knocks, is available now. RyanBlair.com

By Dionne Clarke

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