Born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif., where she still resides, Regina King starred as Marla Gibbs' daughter on the popular '80s sitcom, "227." Unlike many child actors who fade away after a few years in the spotlight, the 42-year-old actress worked steadily through the years opposite Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock and Cuba Gooding Jr. King recently starred in the series "Southland" and has a recurring role on "The Big Bang Theory." Fans may follow her @reginaking.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. That's tough. I've been blessed to travel to a lot of places. But I would say I've traveled to locations in Mexico most frequently. I love Cabo San Lucas, because it's close. I love Cancun because the water is warm in the spring and is so many different beautiful shades of blue. I love Playa Del Carmen because it's a bit more private. And the food ... delicious. In a perfect world, I would live in the Mexican Caribbean, speak Spanglish and survive on guacamole, camarones and tequila.
Q. To someone who was going there for the first time, what would you recommend that they do during their visit?
A. One of my favorite resorts in Mexico is the Villa del Palmar in Cancun. I just went recently with my best friends. We didn't want to leave. The rooms are beautiful and they overlook the ocean. I leave the air off and the windows open all day. In the spring, the perfect breeze blows through your room. There are Jacuzzis on the balcony. It's a bit cooler at night and the Jacuzzi is perfect to sit in, while watching the ocean shimmer in the moonlight. You really don't have to leave the resort. Everything is there. I'm not a person who likes to hit the clubs anymore. But they do have nightly activities for those who are looking to do more than chill in the Jacuzzi after dinner and watch the moonlight.
Q. What untapped destination should people know about?
A. I would say Bali, but that was more than 10 years ago when I traveled there. I think it's been "tapped" by now.
Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?
A. Cincinnati. I've been going there since I was six months old. The bulk of my family live there. So it was my first trip and the first trip I can remember at six years old. When I went when I was 6, I traveled by myself. I was scared and I know my Mom was, too. But she had just had my sister and it was time for my annual summer trip. Once I got there and into my Grandma's arms I was so happy. That was the part I remember most. I sat in her lap in the kitchen for what seemed like forever. So, yes, I loved it and I still love to go now. I'm too big to sit in my Grandma's lap but she is still just as soft and smells so good.
Q. What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?
A. No rules. Just enjoy. Don't get bogged down with a bunch of plans and itineraries. Unless you're traveling for business then follow the rules, plans and itinerary!
Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. Vegas. My best friend of more than 20 years lives there. We don't gamble, but we love the spa, new restaurants and shows. Vegas has plenty of all of those things.
Q. What are your favorite hotels?
A. Banyan Tree Mayakoba (http://www.banyantree.com/en/mayakoba/); Villa del Palmar ((http://www.villapalmarcancun.com/), Cancun; Four Seasons Resort (http://www.fourseasons.com/jimbaranbay) at Jimbaran Bay, Bali; Trump Hotel Central Park (http://www.trumphotelcollection.com/central-park/) and Meadowood Napa Valley (http://www.meadowood.com/).
Q. What are your favorite cities?
A. Los Angeles and Chicago.
Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?
A. There is no place like home.
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A. Italy and Barcelona, Spain.
Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A, Sunblock and bug repellant.
Q. What would be your dream trip?
A. An all-expense paid tour of Italy to see Venice, Rome, Florence, etc.
Q. What are your favorite restaurants?
A. Right now? A restaurant in L.A. called Perch (http://perchla.com/).
Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?
A. I absolutely love to travel. They have all been great memories. If there was a bad trip, I have conveniently blocked it out of my mind.
(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)