10 great places to spot A-listers


By Sarah Sekula, Published in USA Today

If you’re in Hollywood for the Oscars on Sunday, you’ll spot plenty of A-listers. However, you also can track them down in less obvious places, too, if you know where to look. That’s where Jen Garcia, People magazine’s assistant editor, comes in. She tells Sarah Sekula for USA TODAY some glitterati-favored locales that will have you seeing stars in no time.

Joan’s On Third

Los Angeles
“It’s not-so-unassuming, but this small Third Street shop has killer food that you can eat in, or take out,” Garcia says. “Celebs prefer the small sidewalk tables, but the best part is waiting in line next to Ryan Phillippe and Amanda Seyfried or seeing Kirsten Dunst and her girlfriends grab salads.” 323-655-2285; joansonthird.com

Runyon Canyon Park
Roam around this city-central park for brilliant views of the Santa Monica coastline. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher holding hands as they walk up the dirt path, Garcia says. Plus, Lauren Conrad and Lo Bosworth really love these hills, too. “Optimal star spottings happen midday when the rest of L.A.’s working folks are stuck at the office,” Garcia says. lamountains.com

Maya’s Restaurant
St. Barths
“Located right by the water’s edge, this place has a killer view of Gustavia Harbor, and of the slew of celebs you’ll see coming in from a day out at sea on their massive yachts,” Garcia says. “Jay-Z and Beyonc√©, Ellen and Portia. It’s hottest during the winter when the stars flock to the Caribbean island for one bash or another.” Maya’s changes its menu daily, but the dessert list remains constant. Note: The restaurant is open only for dinner. mayas-stbarth.com

The Little Nell
“The chic mountains of Aspen have long been a celebrity hot spot,” Garcia says. “Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have owned a vacation house there for years and their daughter, Kate Hudson, married her now ex-rocker-hubby there. My fave hotel has got to be The Little Nell. It’s five-star all the way, and the only ski-in/ski-out hotel in the area. Celeb fans include Heidi Klum and Seal and Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon.” 800-670-0792; aspenchamber.org

Sandy Lane
St. James, Barbados
If you can foot the steep bill at Sandy Lane during the holidays, a celeb-sighting is nearly guaranteed. This is the same resort that Tiger Woods rented out when he married in 2004 and has welcomed countless big names since. Not to mention, “Rihanna calls the island home,” Garcia says. Simon Cowell, too. He has a $15 million mansion on the island. And Sting and the Beckham family have been known to stroll the stunning beaches, too. visitbarbados.org

The Lion
New York
“The vibe is the best part about this place,” Garcia says. “It’s a very adult-like, high-end gastro pub with cozy booths and eclectic art work on the walls.” The menu boasts standouts like foie gras and pork chops. “You feel like it’s a big night on the town without the club scene feel,” Garcia says. “Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz and Kate Hudson have all been spotted there.” 212-353-8400; thelionnyc.com

One & Only Palmilla
Los Cabos
One & Only Palmilla tops Garcia’s list (and is also a favorite of Jennifer Aniston). “It’s a lush oasis in the middle of the desert with a really traditional (and yes, also really swanky) feel,” Garcia says. ” El Dorado Golf & Beach Club has played host to Cameron Diaz and Alex Rodriguez and George Clooney and his girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis, Garcia says. ” Las Ventanas is a favorite of Ryan Seacrest and Esperanza resort drew Dennis Quaid and Randy Jackson,” she says. visitloscabos.travel

Sundance Film Festival
Park City
There’s nothing quite like rubbing shoulders with silver screen icons during this high-profile gathering. “Walk up and down Main Street where most shops and restaurants are located, and you’ll bump into Liv Tyler or see Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher walking out of Silver restaurant,” Garcia says. “Head to one of the (ski) resorts and catch Hilary Swank hitting the slopes. My favorite (hotels) are the newly opened Montage Deer Valley (it’s gorgeous!), The St. Regis Deer Valley and the Canyons Resort.” 800-453-1360; parkcityinfo.com

Four Seasons
“Two words best describe this place: secluded paradise,” Garcia says. “Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green pulled off their secret wedding at the resort last year. It’s beyond luxurious and relaxing, with a private beach, which celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio love. Head out to the water for a paddle-boarding lesson, and you might just find yourself next to Courteney Cox.” 808-325-8000; fourseasons.com/hualalai

Top of the Standard
New York
“This lounge is a throwback to the’70s,” Garcia says. “The floor-to-ceiling windows reveal views of the entire city that you can admire while cozying up by a gold fireplace. Madonna, Lindsay Lohan and John Mayer have all seen a late night or two here.” 212-645-4646; standardhotels.com/new-york-city