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The California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece  VC_Questionnaire_GabrielleReece_01_Gabrielle_Reece_114_COMP_374_Round7_PeggySirota_1280x640
Photograph by Peggy Sirota

The California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece

The California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece
The former volleyball champion and model—now an author and fitness guru—shares her California favourites

After retiring from a successful beach volleyball career, Gabrielle Reece didn’t slow down—instead, she kept adding to her résumé: mother, sports announcer, model, actress, shoe designer, and motivational speaker are just a few of the roles she’s taken on since. Reece, her professional big-wave surfer husband, Laird Hamilton, and their three daughters divide their time between Hawaii and the celebrity-filled beach town of Malibu, where access to the outdoors allows them to balance their thriving careers with an active lifestyle. Reece shares the reasons she loves California.

1. Where do you live? I live with my family part-time in Malibu, California.  

2. Why there? When I met my husband, Laird Hamilton, I was living in Los Angeles and he was living in Hawaii. Malibu was a compromise for him to get the nature he needed, but I could be close to a major city for work. At the time I was playing professional beach volleyball, and Southern California is really one of the places you need to live if you want to pursue that career.

3. Who or what is your greatest California love? My husband and one of my daughters were born in California so that takes care of the who. The what would have to be the diverse nature all around you.

4. What is the biggest misperception about Californians? That it is only a good-time state. In essence, whatever you want to do in California you can—whether it’s big business, luxury travel, nature adventures, raising a family, or yes, having big fun.

5. What is the stereotype that most holds true? That dreams can come true, and at every turn there is all kinds of natural beauty. If you like the mountains or the sea, there truly is something here for everyone.

6. What is your favourite Golden State splurge? Just living here is a splurge. I am grateful for the access to really healthy food and forward-thinking ideas about health, wellness, and fitness.

7. Time for a road trip—where are you going? My family would do something totally different for us and go to the mountains—head north to Mammoth.

8. If you could decree an official state culinary experience, what would it be? Simple, fresh, clean, and tasty. There is a restaurant near me called Malibu Farms on the pier in Malibu itself. It doesn't feel any more California than that unless you were going to go with really fresh Mexican, which is deeply rooted within the culture. 

9. Best California songs? California Dreamin’” by the Mamas and the Papas; “California Love” by Tupac; “Hotel California” by the Eagles; and “California Stars” by Wilco and Billy Bragg.

10. How would your California dream day unfold? Given it’s not a school or workday, get up and pool-train with a little cloud coverage. Then at about 10 a.m., when the sun peeks out, go have an outside lunch with my family. Take a small hike up one of the Santa Monica Mountains trails, then head to the beach for some sand bocce with the family and barbecue with friends. Get to bed early.

The California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece  VC_Luxury_Gabby.Reece_Video.Still_1280x640
Explore California Luxury
Fitness guru Gabrielle Reece explains how her California lifestyle combines the outdoors with high-end luxury.
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Ryan Killackey

Southern California

Discover Los Angeles County

See a film star. Sip a cocktail on a rooftop bar at sunset. Slip on a pair of designer shoes in an ultra-luxurious boutique in Beverly Hills. At Universal Studios Hollywood theme park explore world class museums or dance the night away in a starlet-filled club. Welcome to California’s liveliest city, America’s entertainment capital, with mega star wattage and non-stop things to do. 

“You know, you’re really a nobody in L.A. unless you have a really big door.”  --comedian Steve Martin

The main hub is the city of Los Angeles, with legendary Hollywood north-west of downtown, the San Fernando Valley to the east and the inviting beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu to the west.

Koreatown is just south of central Los Angeles
Courtesy of Sisilia Piring/The Line

Koreatown

This small area with 24-hour energy packs in some of the best restaurants and nightlife in Los Angeles

Just south of Hollywood and west of central Los Angeles lies...

The California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece  WestHollywood_SunsetTower_1280x642
Jon Viscott

West Hollywood

Welcome to WeHo, L.A.’s sizzling-hot centre of alternative lifestyles

West Hollywood has been dubbed ‘The Creative City’. And for good reason. Bordering Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, West Hollywood (WeHo) is a...

The California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece  vc_questionnaire_curtisstone_supplied_3g9c6408edited_1280x640_0
Courtesy of Stan Lee

California Questionnaire: Curtis Stone

The Australia native has planted his roots in Los Angeles, where he runs two acclaimed restaurants and lives the California dream

Award-winning chef Curtis Stone was born in Melbourne, established his culinary chops in London, and rose to fame on TV, appearing on multiple...

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Courtesy of Gwen

Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant

Fire-based cooking techniques fuel the culinary innovation at Curtis Stone’s Hollywood hotspot

Curtis Stone and his brother Luke both began their culinary careers in an Australian butcher shop, so it makes sense that their joint venture,...

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Ian McDonnell/Getty Images

San Pedro

LA’s busiest port town is a haven for maritime enthusiasts and seafood lovers

Located at the southern point of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, between Manhattan Beach and Long Beach, is...

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"The Squaw Man" was filmed in 1913, and was the first feature-length film made in Hollywood.
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Griffith Observatory

Spotlight: Los Angeles

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Bright lights, A-list celebrities & diverse culture

Welcome to the bright lights and big-city allure of California’s largest city. Here, A-list celebrities really do walk the pavements, triple-shot...

January

Welcoming in the New Year with a burst of flower power, this iconic parade in Pasadena is half of the city’s annual one-two punch of parade-and-football game. The parade features a rotating trio...

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Photo by Pauline Cheng/Flickr
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Photo by Neil Kremer/Flickr

Spotlight: Hollywood

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Showbiz, celebrities & endless possibilities

Tinseltown, where starlets are discovered on every street corner (or at least we like to think they are), and the tinted windows of that stretch...

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Laura Flippen

Celebrity Spotting

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Where to see stars in Hollywood

Stargazing takes on a different meaning in Tinseltown. While there’s no guarantee you’ll spy a familiar face when you’re here, there are some...

The California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece  SunsetBlvd_WeHo_1280x642_0
Courtesy of West Hollywood

Sunset Strip Nightlife

Welcome to L.A.’s home of rock ‘n’ roll

Few roads have as much history as this 2-mile- section of Sunset Boulevard, bounded by Havenhurst Drive and Doheny Drive. In the 1960s and ‘70s,...

For me, returning to Los Angeles annihilates the memories of where I have just been with an astonishing speed.
Henry Rollins
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Courtesy of Chris Burden/Museum Associates/LACMA

LA Museums

See masterpieces and innovative contemporary works

With its diverse collection of museums, Los Angeles has grown into one of the world’s great cities for art lovers. From the dramatically modern...

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Sharon Mollerus/Flickr

Los Angeles County Shopping

Go boutique to bargain in one of the world’s fashion (and shopping) capitals

You’ll definitely want to leave room in your suitcase for L.A. shopping.

If you’re ready to whip out the platinum card, head to Rodeo Drive...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Make memories at some of California's family-favourite beaches

Sand, water, and children-it’s a natural combination for easy family fun. These sandy beaches offer appealing, family friendly features, such as calm water for new swimmers, tide pools for...

The California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece  Carmel_BeachDog_Farnum_preview_686x885
Alex Farnum
SPECIAL FEATURE
Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisan cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets are...

The California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece  VCW_SI_FarmersMarket_T4_CV_DavisFrmMkt1_Flippen_preview_686x885
Laura Flippen
SPECIAL FEATURE
Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind the scenes tours at California’s theme parks and attractions. Here’s a roundup of actvities...

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Photo by Michael Saechang/Flickr
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Myles McGuinness

Beverly Hills

Peek into the land of the rich and famous

Opulent estates. Palm-lined Rodeo Drive. Lavish hotels and stretch limousines. Look around Beverly Hills, and it’s no wonder this city gets its...

SPECIAL FEATURE
World-class accommodations in world-class locations

Head to the heart of California’s cities for luxurious stays at world-class hotels and resorts. From San Francisco’s historic hotels to celebrity hot spots in Hollywood and Beverly Hills,...

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Lynn Gately/Flickr
SPECIAL FEATURE
Where to release your inner fashionista

Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you are in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you will find it here. Want to sample fresh fruits and...

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Prayitno/Flickr
SPECIAL FEATURE
Taste the delicious dishes from these amazing California chefs

From a pastel coloured pastry shop to Michelin-starred dining rooms, top restaurants run by celebrity chefs dot the Golden State. And even if you don’t know these chefs from the TV...

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Jen Judge

Venice

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Surfers, skateboarders, and stars

Venice is the ultimate L.A. neighborhood where the surf meets the human circus. Spend a day along Venice’s palm-lined, beachfront boardwalk and...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Discover quintessential sun and fun at these coastal charmers

Take one part water, one part sand, one part sun-soaked coastal charm, and you’ve got the recipe for some of the Golden State’s most appealing destinations....

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Lucas Himovitz
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Aquarium of the Pacific by Harriot Manley

Long Beach

Experience the many sides of a dynamic coastal city

With beaches and marinas along its waterfront and a busy dining and shopping scene on Pine Avenue, Long Beach blends big city sophistication with...

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Disney Concert Hall by Jen Judge

L.A. Architecture

See eye-catching icons and stately landmarks

While Los Angeles is still a young city when compared to places like, say, Rome, it still boasts a unique architectural tradition that spans a...

The California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece  VCW_D_T12-LA_Venice_Judge_0
Lancaster's Civic Musical Road is the only "musical" or "singing" road in the United States.
SPECIAL FEATURE
Amazing Agritourism Experiences

From almonds and olives up north to avocados, oranges, and dates in the south, the Golden State has a crop (or 10) for nearly every stretch of terrain. After all, ...

The California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece  SC_Chaffin_Eliaschickens_TPS_preview_686x885
Tai Power Seeff
February or March

You certainly won’t be the only one celebrating the Lunar New Year at this colourful event in L.A.’s Chinatown. Join thousands of revellers lining the parade route as lion dancers and giant...

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Jorge Gonzalez/Flickr
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SPECIAL FEATURE
Unleash the kid within at California’s ultimate play lands

From Disneyland classics to beachfront carousels, the Golden State’s best-in-class theme parks deliver something for everyone, from tots and teens to film buffs and daredevils. Find out what is...

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Lucas Himovitz
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Courtesy of Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

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This classic Hollywood tour lets you see TV and movie history in the making

Hollywood magic still resonates at this huge studio lot in Burbank, where you can witness pieces of cinematic and television history—and also have...

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Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

La Brea Tar Pits

Find fossils and family-friendly fun at this prehistoric excavation site

Your idea of old may be 100, but that will undoubtedly change after you spend several hours at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. You will learn...

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Courtesy of MasterChef Australia

Great L.A. Food Trucks

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Tacos, grilled cheese, and health food all live in harmony on the streets of Los Angeles

From gourmet chefs experimenting with tacos to funky ice cream sandwiches, you might be surprised what you can find on the streets of L.A. Food...

The Gamble House in Pasadena, California
California Dreamin/Alamy

Pasadena

Tour an Arts and Crafts masterpiece and more in the home of the Rose Bowl

Set at the base of the towering San Gabriel Mountains, Pasadena is best known as the home of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose...

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Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

The California Questionnaire: Margaret Cho

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The Emmy- and Grammy-nominated stand-up comic, actress and singer clues us into her love of Los Angeles and California culture

Margaret Cho has been doing stand-up since high school, and her ability to make audiences LOL has afforded her opportunities in all genres—...