In the new issue of Condé Nast Traveller magazine, out now in both digital and print formats, Katherine Heigl shares some of her favorite and most memorable travel destinations across the globe. Speaking in the January / February 2021 edition of the travel periodical, Katherine discusses locations ‘that lived up to the hype’, were the best place to shop, where she felt happiest, and her choice restaurant for a blow-out feast.

Did you manage to get away this year?

My husband, the musician Josh Kelley, and I just went to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which was wonderful. It’s funny because we live in Utah and as places they’re quite similar, but after being stuck in my home for a while, I was dying to view a different landscape for just a second. I’m not much of a sightseer, I’m more of a shopper/eater, and Jackson Hole has so many great artisan stores, beautiful candle makers and small-batch whiskeys.

What kind of globetrotter are you?

I’m generally pretty pleased to be travelling unless I find myself getting pushed into something I don’t want to do. For example, the first time I went to Jackson Hole was with friends who are more outdoorsy than I am. I knew they wanted to hike through Yellowstone and so I “forgot” to bring my sneakers. “Sorry guys, you go on, and I’ll be at Persephone Bakery having a latte and reading a book.” As long as I stay true to who I am, and what I need to get from the experience, which is generally some peace and some beauty, then I’m never disappointed.

Katherine Heigl Visiting Jackson Hole Wyoming
Bottles Of Wyoming Whiskey

Name a place that lived up to the hype?

Paris. The first time I went, I was 14, promoting a film I did with Gérard Depardieu called My Father the Hero, which I rewatched recently with my kids, thinking it would be a fun, kid kind of movie… wow… it would not be made today. A very strange concept of a young girl pretending her father is her lover to impress an older boy… But! I went there to promote it and it blew my mind. I was the child who went to Disneyland Paris instead of the Louvre, but I made up for it by doing the cultural side as an adult. I promised my almost-12-year-old daughter that for one big birthday, maybe her 16th, I will take her to Paris, too.

Where in the world have you felt happiest?

Here in Utah. We live in a relatively secluded area, with not a lot of people around. There is a spot I hike to, where I can look out over the whole valley and the mountains, and it’s there I feel most content. We have five dogs, three cats, and then at our ranch down the road, horses, donkeys, goats, pigs and chickens. It’s pretty heavenly. How did we end up in Utah? I like the woods, I even like the weather, and it was always really convenient for me to get to from Los Angeles, so we started spending more and more time here, then decided to move.

Katherine Heigl's Home In Utah (Side View)
Katherine Heigl's Home In Utah (Rear View)

The best place to shop?

There is a knitting store in New York City called Purl Soho and it’s like crack to me. I walk in and my heart flutters. There are rows and rows of beautiful yarns organised by colours and weight. It evokes so much creativity. I think the woman who owns it used to work for Martha Stewart – she has exquisite attention to detail.

Your favourite city?

New York. I grew up in Connecticut and travelled in and out for work from the age of nine, so it holds a lot of childhood memories. It feels like home in a way. It’s an incredibly exciting, vibrant, vital city, and, after moving to LA, which is very much a one-industry town, trips to New York felt like a relief. There are a million different industries, a million different passions and careers and people.

Item you most like to find in the minibar?

My go-to drink day to day is a Dirty Martini… well, not my day to day, unless it’s the first three months of lockdown when, actually, it probably was. But when I’m on holiday I want to drink whatever the area is known for, so in Paris it’s Champagne and in London I order gin cocktails.

Katherine Heigl At Purl Soho Yarn Store In New York
Katherine Heigl Enjoying A Dirty Martini Cocktail

A memorable encounter?

My mother is my producing partner and manager so we often travel together. My grandfather emigrated from Germany in the 1920s, and during a press tour there, my mom really wanted to see the town where he was raised – Esslingen, close to Stuttgart. She was trying to find a recipe for potato salad the way my grandfather made it. We stepped into a café but my mother didn’t speak German – her father never spoke it at home – so she asked our waitress if she could translate, and we talked about the town, and they wrote down the recipe, which meant so much to her. I was probably the most stressed out I’ve ever been at the time. The film I was promoting wasn’t doing well. I wasn’t expecting anything from the trip, then we got there and it was such a meaningful experience. I’m so grateful I had it, because it defined the trip for me instead of that failing movie.

First trip without your parents?

When I was doing Grey’s Anatomy, I travelled with my co-star TR Knight to Mexico. It was amazing. We were on a budget, because it was the first season of the show, so we bought a bunch of duty-free alcohol from the airport. We were so cheap, we would order virgin Piña Coladas and then spike them ourselves. Hey, whatever works!

Your road most travelled?

To Punta Mita in Mexico. We go to a villa called Casa Tres Soles. The first time I went with my whole family, thinking, this is so extravagant and I don’t know that I’ve ever thrown down that much for a vacation. But it was worth it. I just want to sit by the pool with a book and have conversations and morning Margaritas with my mother. We have karaoke nights and amazing dinners.

Casa Tres Soles Villa In Punta Lita Mexico (Sea View)
Casa Tres Soles Villa In Punta Lita Mexico

How do you relax?

Reading takes me out of the daily responsibilities that tend to overwhelm me. I’m really into crystals, so I love a crystal bath. And then meditation. Well, I’m going to be really honest, it’s taking a nap, but I call it meditation and tell myself it was healing.

Restaurant for a blow-out feast?

Oh man, this is pretentious. Please forgive me, but it’s The French Laundry in Napa. A meal there is more expensive than an iPad, so you’ve got to really love food to go for it. I like the creative genius of its chef, Thomas Keller.

For more travel news, destination guides, articles and tips, and to read Katherine Heigl’s interview in full visit the Condé Nast Traveller web site.