Hollywood-style vacations for the average Joe - Page 2

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on March 2, 2006. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Cabo San Lucas, destination, Jackson Hole, Kate H. Knapp, Miami, Scottsdale, vacation package, Vancouver.

A trendy place where the famous stay is Los Cabos' original resort, the One&Only Palmilla Resort, where rooms start at $450 for weekends and $375 for the weekdays during the summer low season. John Travolta liked the resort so much that he celebrated his 50th birthday here with a guest list that included Oprah Winfrey, Meg Ryan, and Barbara Streisand. For a slightly less extravagant stay with plenty of frills, the Hotel Finisterra is a more affordable alternative offering ocean-view rooms starting at $135 per night during the summer, and free stays for the fourth and seventh nights. Built on the cliffs at the southernmost point of the Baja, the hotel is within walking distance of the marina and many restaurants.

To save a little extra cash, plan a vacation during the summer off-season. You might not see as many celebrities, but the money left in your pocket will give you far more bragging rights.


Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale isn't only a place where celebrities visit; many have bought first and second homes here. The downtown area maintains a small town feel, but offers many of the indulgences stars are accustomed to such as fine dining, upscale boutiques, five-star hotels and resorts, and year-round warm weather. Many activities including hot air ballooning, horseback riding, and river rafting keep the famous and not-so-famous entertained. Day trips to the Grand Canyon and Mexico, as well as desert jeep tours, are also available. When it's time to come indoors, the city has many places to blow off steam and cool down, even for Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn who were recently spotted enjoying martinis while listening to live music at a local bar.

As reported by, Val Kilmer, Jessica Simpson, Robin Williams, and Jerry Seinfeld have relaxed in the comfort of the AAA Five-Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the area's "it" resort. The southwestern-style property attracts many golf aficionados and hosts the Annual PGA Tour FBR Open, while famous spa amenities are available for those in need of a little TLC. Rooms are attainable starting at $169 per night in the summer. A less expensive option with similar amenities, but fewer spa services, is the Scottsdale Camelback Resort where rooms start at $110 in the summer.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Sitting on the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park, with a view of the Grand Teton Mountains, Jackson Hole has become a safe haven for stars who want to escape the hectic hustle of city life. Many, including Harrison Ford and Sandra Bullock, have even bought first or second homes in the area. The peaceful, natural atmosphere of Jackson Hole attracts a steady stream of visitors, especially with the rise of high-end resorts, superb dining, and outdoor activities.

The Spring Creek Ranch, located 1,000 feet above the town of Jackson Hole, is a major draw for headliners. also noted that the resort has hosted celebs like Jim Carrey, Uma Thurman, Matthew McConaughey, and Ron Howard in their private homes on the estate, while everyday guests can check into the main lodge for rates starting at $150 per night. The resort's Wilderness Adventure Spa offers a relaxing setting to help forget the worries of everyday stresses, and its Wildlife Safaris bring adventure to those looking for a little exploration in the great outdoors. Whitewater rafting, horseback riding, hiking, and nature walks are also available. During the winter months, movie stars shed their designer attire for down jackets and thick mittens. To follow suit and hit the slopes too, everyone else can take advantage of value-added ski packages.

Jackson Hole is an affordable destination year-round, but prices can escalate during the summer months. The best time to visit to save a little extra cash is during the winter-off season. For lower room prices year-round, staying at one of the hotels in the downtown area instead of at one of the resorts in Teton Village can be a cost-effective option.

For further information on lodging and activities, visit the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort website.

Vancouver, British Columbia

With a location that allows for quick jaunts to either the mountains surrounding Whistler Resort or the ocean engulfing Victoria Island, Vancouver has become one of the hottest destinations for filming television and movies. Hence, many celebrities either own homes or vacation here. Its nod to host the 2010 winter Olympics and accolades from Conde Nast Traveler in 2004 are only a few indicators that the city will be on people's minds for years to come.

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