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Hiking the Hollywood Foothills

I recently returned from a trip to Los Angeles where, truth be told, I wanted nothing more than to steer clear of the typical tourist hot spots while in town. But with my having, oh shall we say, a moderate-to-borderline-obsessive interest in all things celebrity, the one thing I simply couldn’t pass up was a photo op with the infamous Hollywood sign, perched atop Mount Lee. The approach I took, however, was decidedly non-touristy.

What many people don’t realize is that you can actually hike to the very top of Mount Lee. It’s such a guarded “secret” that even the official Hollywood Sign website will have you believe it’s illegal to hike anywhere near the sign. Not the case. There are several roads—devoid of vehicular traffic, save for the sporadic security car—that wind around the mountain, one which goes to the top. As long as you stay on one of these roads, you’ll be fine—just make sure you’re off the mountain by nightfall.


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Bed-Hopping in New York City

If there’s one thing I love about living in NYC, it’s the constant element of surprise. There’s always something interesting to catch my attention, especially when it comes to promotion. I’ve seen it all: giant heads, edible flavored insects (I’ll pass, thank you), oversized vending machines with human occupants…So you can understand why I wasn’t phased in the least when I stumbled across this bit of awesomeness in Midtown’s Bryant Park:


That’s right. A giant trampoline masquerading as a giant bed. Put on by InterContinental Hotels as a part of its Biggest Free Nights offer (for every 2 nights booked, guests are rewarded with a free third, to be used later), passersby were invited to throw on a pajama shirt and do what parents always forbade them to do as kids: jump on the bed.

Just another typical day in the City That Never Sleeps.

Joshua Pramis is online associate editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Joshua Pramis

Oregon Turns 150, and Toasts to Itself

Beginning February 14, Oregon kicks off a celebration of its 150th anniversary as a state by showcasing its wines--namely its acclaimed pinot noirs--in a series of tasting events in the Willamette Valley that will last 150 days. In 2007, Oregon's governor, Ted Kulongoski, created Oregon 150, an organization run by volunteers whose job it's been to "remember Oregon's past, celebrate its present," and now the group's efforts are ready to be showcased.

The festivities kick off on Valentine's Day--Oregon's 150th birthday--with a weekend of wine, chocolate, and gourmet food tastings in the state's Wine Country, and continue throughout September 7, with a series of events at, and sponsored by, Willamette Valley's more than 200 wineries and tasting rooms.

More information and a full calendar of events can be found here.


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