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Ray's and Stark Bar, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, March 11 07:17 PM

Rays-and-Stark-Bar-Los-Angeles-County-Museum-of-Art 
Los Angeles
has its fair share of beautiful people. So it makes sense that one of the city's top museums would want to put that beauty on display. Enter Ray's and Stark Bar, the newest addition to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, named for Ray Stark, the late film producer and former LACMA trustee.

Ray's glass-box design, by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, makes people the exhibit. Outside, museumgoers observe diners noshing on seasonal Mediterranean fare prepared by chef Kris Morningstar (formerly of District and Mercantile). Inside, diners survey museumgoers frolicking in Chris Burden's famous lamp-post installation, Urban Light. The open-air Stark Bar offers similar people-watching opportunities as well as market-fresh cocktails. Just don't overdo it and make an exhibition of yourself.

Photo: Courtesy of Dustin Downing

Snow-, Skate-, and Surfboards, Maker USA

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, March 10 07:04 PM

Snow-Skate-and-Surfboards-Maker-USA 
When the last flake has melted, snowboards generally get shoved into the attic to collect dust until next season rolls around. No longer, thanks to the folks at Maker USA. The Philly-based company produces intricately inlaid snow-, skate-, and surfboards that look so good, the last thing you'll want to do is hide them away.

Made from salvaged wood, the boards feature motifs that often nod toward Americana via stars and stripes, galloping mustangs, and Airstream trailers. The company gathers the designs from a collective of graphic designers, street artists, painters, and tattooists. So even if you never saw a mogul you liked and prefer hanging out to hanging ten, these boards make for unique art pieces.

Photo: Courtesy of Maker USA

Railroad Revival Tour, Southwestern United States

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, March 09 06:56 PM

Railroad-Revival-Tour-Southwestern-United-States 
This April, rock will roll into six southwestern towns courtesy of the Railroad Revival Tour. Indie darlings Mumford & Sons (pictured), Old Crow Medicine Show, and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros are taking over a 1,500-foot-long train comprised of 1950s and '60s railcars. They'll eat, sleep, and record on board as they chug across the American Southwest, playing outdoor concerts along the way.

Tickets go on sale today for music fans who want to catch the show when the train stops at an Airstream trailer campground in Marfa, Texas; a railway museum in Chandler, Ariz.; and additional spots in Oakland and San Pedro, Calif.; Austin, Texas; and New Orleans. Great tunes in the great outdoors? That's something we can always get onboard with.

Railroad Revival Tour, April 21-27, 2011; tickets, $55

Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Miller

Kids Stay Free, St. Lucia

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, March 08 06:46 PM

Kids-Stay-Free-St-Lucia 
There's no such thing as a free lunch. But there is such a thing as a free vacation--at least if you're a kid. Thanks to St. Lucia's new Go Bananas summer family program, luxe resorts like Coco Palm, Cotton Bay Village, and Discovery at Marigot Bay are inviting your offspring to stay, eat, and play for free.

We dig the idea of an island-wide program that goes beyond your average hotel deal to include perks like a special line to speed families through immigration and complimentary excursions such as zip-lining, horseback riding, and whale watching. And since St. Lucia knows who is paying the bill, they throw a little indulgence toward the parentals, including room upgrades and a complimentary night of babysitting. Happy parents, happy kids. We have a new contender for "Happiest Place on Earth."

Photo: Courtesy of the St. Lucia Tourist Board

Hotel Missoni Kuwait

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, March 07 06:39 PM

Hotel-Missoni-Kuwait 
Before the onslaught of recession and revolution, new hotels in the Middle East generally aimed for over-the-top, 14-karat glamour. These days, travelers want less marble upon gold upon crystal--and more high design. So it seems the new Hotel Missoni Kuwait, done in the Italian fashion house's signature stripes and patterns, has opened in the right place at the right time.

The 18-story hotel has a bold palette of violet, turquoise, and marigold throughout, with custom Missoni textiles framing windows overlooking the Persian Gulf in all 63 guest rooms. Missoni stripes even appear in mosaic tile form in the pool. The staff speaks more than 14 languages, and the latest iPad technology makes for a speedy check-in. After all, what's style without a serious dose of substance?

Photo: Courtesy of Rezidor Hotel Group 

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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