Kristin Luna

Austin, Texas, Thrives on Attitude and Great Music

Texas's thriving epicenter and a mecca for music lovers, this moderate-size party town has heart, attitude and plenty of south-of-the-border flavor. Tour the opulent Driskill Hotel (driskillhotel.com)—a staple since 1886, when it was built as the stomping grounds for a prominent cattle baron—and the nearby state capitol, constructed of red granite and taller than the U.S. Capitol by more than four meters.

Therapy: Retail And Raku

The Brazilian jeweler H. Stern has wisely figured out a way to allow women to pursue two favorite pastimes simultaneously: shopping and spa treatments. The high-end retailer recently unveiled its first spa in its home-base store in Rio de Janeiro, a state-of-the-art facility where shoppers can unwind while browsing diamond necklaces.Featuring a menu of treatments, the spa's specialties naturally utilize the company's prime assets: jewels.

The Good Life

Legend has it that at the end of the 17th century, when the French Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon first sipped his newly created wine, the effervescent champagne, he called out to his brothers: "Come quickly!

SNAP JUDGMENT: BOOKS

Since the end of the Balkan wars, there have been a rash of books dissecting Yugoslavia's disintegration with varying degrees of dry gravitas. Now Oliver, a former British Foreign Office staffer and the first "High Representative" for Bosnia, has written a riveting account of life as a diplomat following the signing of the Dayton accords, which ended the Bosnian war in 1995.