Dancing With the Stars co-host Samantha Harris is keeping herself busy during the ABC show's summer hiatus. From July 7 to Aug. 17, she'll star as Roxie Hart in Broadway's Ambassador Theatre production of Chicago. She's also a correspondent and occasional anchor on The Insider. Harris, 35, shares her travel highlights and tips with USA TODAY.
Q: Where have you been recently that you liked or were surprised by?
A: The new Montage hotel in Beverly Hills has a beautiful pool and a fabulous spa facility. I took my mom there for the day for her birthday and we had a fantastic and (much-needed) relaxing time.
Q: What's the best place you've ever visited?
A: Sardinia is exquisite. My husband (Michael) and I found a quaint cliff-side hotel with full three-meal-a-day service that seemed straight from a movie. It had a charming and blissful little private beach carved out at the base of the cliffs. We had to take a tiny glass elevator down the side of the cliff to get to it and then we could dive off of the flat-topped rocks into the deep blue sea.
Q: What's your favorite vacation spot?
A: We loved Positano (Italy). Besides fabulous food (try Max's!), you can easily rent a little boat with a driver for a glorious day trip to the island of Capri. Also, in Positano, there is a fantastic old long stairway that leads from the main town up, up, up all the way into the little hillside towns in the mountains. It's a great way to explore but an even more amazing, cardio-pumping workout.
For an easier-to-get-to getaway, we also love Cabo San Lucas (Mexico). The Hacienda del Mar is terrific and not as pricey as some of the more trendy "chic" hot spots.
Q: Can you offer an insider tip or recommendation for your favorite vacation place?
A: We have found that the best time to go to any of the popular destinations is in the offseason. That way you get the location without the chaos. One tip: If you are traveling to Italy — make sure to make time for a visit to the Cinque Terre. Take your camera because these five towns, connected by train and a long walking/hiking path, are as magnificent as a watercolor painting set into the mountains above the ocean. The path by foot is incredibly challenging but worth the sweat and sore muscles the next day!
Q: Great child-friendly vacation spots?
A: La Costa in Carlsbad, Ca., is wonderful for a spa getaway that has great kid-friendly activities as well as a water slide area and baby/toddler pool/beach. My husband also loved the golf on site.