You may know Whitney Port from MTV’s iconic reality shows, The Hills, The City, and The Hills: New Beginnings, but the author, mom, and fashion designer spends most of her time these days hanging out with her family and working on various business ventures.
For one of her latest project, Port teamed up with kombucha brand KeVita to curate end-of-summer travel guides for visits to Los Angeles and New York City. The guides, which include both cities’ coolest neighborhoods and best restaurants, fitness classes, and sights, are made even more enjoyable thanks to Port’s tips for physical and mental wellness while traveling.
We sat down to chat with Port about her travel guides, wellness tips, and the advice she shares with her Hills co-stars.
Travel + Leisure: Tell us about your roundup of the best things to do in LA and NYC at the end of summer.
Port: “These are the places that I frequent the most and that I feel like, if I were coming to LA or New York as a first-timer, these are things that I would want to see. I’ve spent so much time here. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and I lived [in New York] for two years. So I feel like I have some knowledge and background of the two cities. And people are always asking me, ‘What are your go-to places if you only have a couple days in each city?’ So I thought it would just be fun to put the guides together.”
What are your absolute favorite places to go and things to do in each of those cities?
“Well the place in LA, the Brentwood Country Mart, is just a place that I grew up going to. They have this rotisserie chicken and French fry basket that’s just the most unbelievable thing ever. I grew up going there every day after school with my friends, so it just has that sense of nostalgia. It now has turned into such a cool place with such beautifully curated shops, like a great candy shop and a toy store. It’s just an amazing family place. And then in New York, for me, what I love most about New York is walking around. If I had a few hours free, I would just walk aimlessly here, not with any plan. There’s one place [on my list], Museum Mile, that I just think is so quintessentially New York, and something that if you only have a couple days here that you should go see.”
What is it about the places and activities on your lists that makes them perfect for this time of year?
“The New York one is all about walking, and this is the ideal time in New York to walk around and really feel the energy of the city. And then there’s also some really good bars and grills that are great for outdoors. You’re not necessarily gonna get that same energy if it’s cold in the winter. Los Angeles is obviously nice year round, but it in LA, there’s so many different landscapes. So there’s a hike here on the Hollywood Reservoir that’s so beautiful and so quintessential Hollywood. You get to see the Hollywood sign, which so many people want to see. And then not a lot of people go to the beach in Marina Del Rey, which I feel is an untapped secret. It’s a really quiet beach, and it’s within walking distance of Venice Beach. So you can see all the craziness of Venice, but also have a little escape in the quiet of Marina.”
Where did you most recently travel to for fun rather than work?
“It was just two days ago. I went to a wedding in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. It was so gorgeous. I was there one time before, but for some reason I feel like I was too young to appreciate how gorgeous the landscape is. It’s unbelievable. Grand Teton mountain is just unreal. We did a raft ride down a river for three hours, we did a bike ride along a path underneath the mountains, and the sunsets are gorgeous. It was just amazing.”
What do you do to stay healthy when you’re traveling?
“I have been drinking KeVita for years, and it’s one of those drinks you can find so many places and get on the go, and know that you’re drinking something that’s really refreshing but is also really good for you. It’s filled with probiotics and it’s really good for gut health. At airports, you don’t really have many healthy options, but if you see a KeVita bottle, you know ‘this is gonna be a healthy option for me. It’s gonna make me feel good.’ I think it’s important for people to, when they’re traveling, obviously enjoy themselves and enjoy the culture, but also pay attention to certain products that are available that make you feel good and hydrated at the same time.”
What packing tips do you have for T+L readers?
“I always keep a toiletry bag already packed with all small travel items, so like mini shampoo and conditioner, a razor, face wash. All the things that I use on a daily basis. I always have that packed so I don’t have to constantly pack and repack toiletries. I also think packing really lightweight bags that have a lot of compartments is a good tip. Shay Mitchell — she was on Pretty Little Liars — she has a line of travel bags called BÉIS, and it’s just really cute bags that have all these different compartments that make it easy to store all your headphones and beauty products and books, whatever you need. Especially for diaper bags, she makes this really cute clear one that’s really easy to find things in. So when you’re on a changing table in an airport bathroom, you can easily find the wipes and the diapers.”
Have you shared any of your travel tips with your Hills co-stars?
“They all have their own little tips. I feel like Kaitlynn [Carter] and I probably have the same kind of ideas around traveling. We want to stay healthy and we want to find options like this, but also enjoy like, a bagel and cream cheese in New York or the chicken and French fry basket in LA. I should share these tips with them!”
If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
“Oh my God. I think maybe I want to say Tuscany. I mean, I’ve been to Italy but I’ve never been to Northern Italy, and I really want to see Tuscany. Tuscany or Greece. I’ve never been to Greece either.”
What is it about Tuscany and Greece that draws you in?
“I feel like being on the water, but also the culture, the people, the food, the landscape obviously, the wine… so many different things.”
How can we find out more about your LA and New York travel guides?
“You can go to kevita.com/whitneyportstraveltips for all these tips and to see all the different places that I recommend in LA and New York, and my other actual travel tips, like packing snacks and putting your phone on airplane mode so you’re actually really enjoying where you are and being in the moment. I feel like when people aren’t present on vacation, they never have the same kind of memories.”
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