Vacation where the stars doNov 29, 2022 03:46PM ● By Victor Block
Four people walk into a tavern: Oprah Winfrey, Owen Wilson, Britney Spears and you.
If this sounds far-fetched, it could be true—if you were vacationing in Maui.
That Hawaiian island is among the U.S. destinations that attract Hollywood A-listers and other famous people when they’re seeking a bit of R&R. Whether you’re a star-struck movie fan or just a lucky traveler, it’s possible to cross paths with the rich and famous at destinations that range from likely to less anticipated.
Long stretches of golden sand beaches, the sprawling Haleakala volcano and graceful waterfalls are just a few of Mother Nature’s touches that attract travelers to Maui. Those seeking active pursuits against this backdrop may opt for hiking, mountain biking, surfing or snorkeling.
It’s not clear how many of these interests appeal to Oprah, Owen and Britney, but these three are among the many stars often spotted. Kate Hudson, Ben Affleck, Selena Gomez and Bill Clinton are other celebrities known to frequent the island.
Another type of view and vibe greet visitors at Miami Beach. Jennifer Lopez and members of the Kardashian clan have been spotted checking out what it has to offer. They often turn their attention to Florida’s South Beach and the eclectic list of appeals there.
The sparkling sand is lined by art-deco hotels, high-end boutiques and trendy restaurants and bars—a natural environment for people-watching. And whom better to set your sights for than stars of the silver screen?
Other stars are serious snowbirds
If you’re more of a snowbird than sun, sand and surf seeker, you might prefer to join the likes of Michael Douglas, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore and Mariah Carey, who frequent Aspen, Colorado. Along with thrilling slopes that challenge skiers and snowboarders, the town offers a choice of warm-weather activities including mountain hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, boating and climbing.
Given its popularity among the rich and famous, along with the well-to-do and not so well-known, Aspen is home to fine-dining restaurants, fancy boutiques and fashionable spas.
Celebrities seeking an escape from the exclusive luxury of Aspen opt for Sun Valley, Idaho. It became the first destination ski resort in the United States when it opened in 1936 and continues to appeal to a swanky clientele in spite—or, for some, because—of its more laid-back atmosphere. Regular visitors include Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford and Richard Dreyfuss.
Gambling and glittering lights
Wagering replaces outdoor winter activities in Las Vegas, Nevada. Much of the action happens indoors with city lights, clubs and nightlife, games of chance and glittering entertainment. Savvy savers who stay away from the lure of cards and dice can enjoy a variety of vacation activities without blowing their bank account.
It’s not known if that applies to Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Gwen Stefani, who are among entertainers who have been spotted along the Las Vegas Strip.
Jazz and blues music have their famous fans
Nightlife also gets top billing in New Orleans, Louisiana. That’s only natural for a city nicknamed the “Big Easy” and “Birthplace of Jazz.” While fun and frivolity are abundant there, it also offers fascinating history, a rich cultural mélange, and an A (art) to Z (zoo) list of things to see and do. That inviting choice may be among reasons why Sandra Bullock, Nicolas Cage and Brad Pitt purchased homes there, and Beyonce, Serena Williams and Harry Connick, Jr. are among celebs who have visited.
If New Orleans is where jazz music was born, there’s little argument that Nashville, Tennessee is the birthplace of country music. No wonder Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Blake Shelton own homes there. A number of now-famous singers got their start warbling tunes at the Bluebird Café, and other celebrity hang-outs include The Pancake Pantry and Capitol Grille.
Star-struck summers in New England
Some stars who prefer New England set their sights on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a maritime magnet for seafarers since Norse voyagers showed up around 1000 AD. It became a summer haven for city dwellers beginning around the end of the 19th century, and more recently for Meg Ryan, Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal.
As long as he’s in Cape Cod, Gyllenhaal has been known to make the short trip to nearby Martha’s Vineyard. That island, believed to have been named for a relative of an English explorer who traveled there in 1602, is a popular, affluent summer colony. Today’s visitors stroll through its quaint towns, enjoy inviting beaches and check out the five lighthouses that have marked its shoreline since “the Vineyard” was a fishing and whaling hub in the 1800s.
They may recognize singer-songwriter Carly Simon or actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, who have houses there, or Barack Obama who has been known to drop by.