By Julia Ashwood from 'The Vista'

Travel Guide

To celebrate the arrival of the The Vista x John Zabawa souvenir travel tee’s, Lucy Folk caught up with Julia Ashwood from The Vista to chat about her latest travels through the USA. Here Julia shares her favourite spots to eat, places to see, travel tips with children and her favourite LF items she can’t leave home without...! 


Santa Fe was a real highlight for me. It’s the kind of place you instantly feel you’d love to return to, just to sink a little deeper (perhaps without kids next time). The town itself is pretty and proud. Beautiful adobe homes and buildings dominate the architecture here. Their fronts covered with red chilli ‘Ristas’ hanging, complementing the turquoise and wooden doors and window trims.


Nowhere but, El Rey! This fun motel has a great lively vibe. A recently restored roadside motel, its spaces have been brought to life with beautiful fit outs, unique artwork and the distinctive personal touch from one of our favourite artists and friends John Zawaba.


- The Pantry - a local fave for great New Mexican tastes.

- Jambo African Restaurant Don’t judge a book by its cover this little nook found just outside a shopping centre had amazing food. We ordered curries and plantains with local beers. It was a beehive of activity and loud enough that no one could hear your kids, always a plus at dine time!

- Iconik Coffee Also a lively nook! Super friendly service, toys and a mini courtyard. We loved the bagels as a quick option, to stay or go.

- Bob’s Burgers Found just outside Santa Fe, is another one to tick off the list.

Others to taste;

- Izanami bar at the compound opuntia

- La choza

- Paper dosa

- Paloma


After the cowboys and the turquoise, for me iconic artist Georgia O' Keefe really put Santa Fe on the map. I was so eager to explore both the Ghost Ranch and the historical museum. If you could only choose one however, go the museum & studio.

Ojo Caliente Mineral Hot Springs was a nice way to spend an afternoon, even with the kids in tow. Mud baths, mineral pools, all set amongst a lovely backdrop of landscaped gardens and sandstone cliff faces. We came for lunch and stayed for the fun.

Kasha-katuwe, "tent rocks" was a great, easy walk to discover incredible caves and canyons in this beautiful national park not too far from town.

And if you have the time / or you're travelling Santa Fe sans kids;

- Ten Thousand Waves

- Meow Wolf

- Farmers Market on Saturday morning

- Folk Art Museum

- Girard Collection El Santuario De Chimayo


- Santa Fe Vintage (also, a great New Mexican cafe next door)

- Shiprock

- Lost Padre Records

- Visvim

- Photo Eye Book Store


We adore LA, a few days here on the grid in LA is a perfect way to end a big road trip like this.


The Surfrider Hotel, Malibu.

The Surfrider Hotel it goes without saying is a much-loved favourite LA stay. Owners Emma and Matt have taken the best of Australian laidback luxury and infused it with Malibu beach culture. It comes with a warning though, once you experience the (exclusive guest-only) rooftop ocean views, fresh healthy menu options not to mention those sunset margaritas you won’t want to go anywhere else!

For a little treat you can upgrade to the "Surfrider Suite" for a view of the peeling left hander at Malibu point. Boards and wetsuits are available to use at the hotel and if your stranded on the beach, parched by the sun just call service - they will deliver straight to your towel.


- Gjelina

- Gjusta

- Jon and Vinnies

- Neighbourhood Coffee

- Mel’s Diner (for the novelty fun)

- Kitchen Mouse

- The Rooftop at The Surfrider (available to Surfrider guests only)

- Silverlake Ramen


- Cafe Stella

- Soho House

- Mountain


- Santa Monica Pier (before dark)

- Malibu Pier

- The Hollywood Sign

- Old Place


Rose Bowl is always our favourite destination to shop! The best tip we have is to go early and take snacks along. The best time to find a park is between 7- 8am so as you can wander about and leave before midday when the sun gets too hot! Most vendors now take card, but it is best to take some cash to pay for entry fees, water and so on. Check the dates first, it’s on once a month only.



To be as close as you can to the action you want to stay in Monument Valley. It’s incredibly beautiful, however it is uber touristic - find your own pace away from the crowds if you can!

Some options are;

- The view cabins, oh so close to all the action. Smack bang inside the park.

- A traditional Mud 'Hogan' - we opted for this experience.

- A traditional Navajo mud yurt to stay the night right by the valley. We curled up under rugs, with the red sand below us and fell asleep to the smell of juniper wood burning way out here in a desert far, far away (from the selfie sticks).

- Your luxury upgrade is hands down the incredible AMANGIRI


Eateries are virtually non-existent in Monument Valley, unless you venture into the bigger hotels. We chose to find our own supplies for dinner and snacks from the local supermarket.



- Antelope Monument Valley

- Antelope Canyon

Julia’s packing list and travel must haves:

iPhone, loads of Zen (with kids), Lucy Folk Slice of Heaven Sunglasses in Sunset, which I adore, and my favourite stripe LF pants – the Castellations Pant in Ettore Stripe!

I also travel with a diary for notes and AYU fragrance and Mukti skin care especially the rose hydrating mist for long haul flights.

The Vista x John Zabawa souvenir travel tee’s are available at Playa & The Salon + for a limited time only, download the full USA guide via THE VISTA for FREE until the end of the month (thank you The Vista!!).

Images courtesy of The Vista