Aaron Zigman's music isn't as flashy as the designer wardrobe that Sarah Jessica Parker wears in " Sex and the City 2," opening in theaters May 27. But his score does set the tone for the film, whether Carrie and her girls are in New York City or gallivanting around the world. Based in Los Angeles, the 47-year-old composer (whose previous work includes music for "The Notebook" and "The Proposal") talks about his own love of traveling, whether it's to Paris or Charleston, S.C.
Q: What is your favorite travel destination?
A: Paris, for the culture, restaurants, the Louvre and just walking around the city.
Q: Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A: I really like Santa Barbara. It is a great drive along the coast from Los Angeles and less than two hours away. There are great running trails throughout the area, plus it's right on the ocean. I generally stay at the Four Seasons. It is close to everything, yet far enough away from all the activity of the Stearns Wharf pier that you do feel secluded. They also have an amazing Sunday brunch where you can sit on the patio and look out at the ocean. I'm from San Diego, and I like to visit family there, but sometimes I will stay at the Hotel Del Coronado. It's on this island across the bay from San Diego and is loaded with Hollywood history.
Q: What are your favorite hotels and restaurants?
A: My favorite hotel is the Four Seasons (fourseasons.com) in Santa Barbara. Next favorite hotel is the St. James Paris (saint-james-paris.com). The Stonehouse (sanysidroranch.com) at the San Ysidro Ranch is a must. It's in the foothills of the Montecito wine country. There's a deck with ocean views where you can dine under the stars. They took this 19th century citrus packing house and turned it into an amazing romantic spot with an incredible wine list. New York has many terrific restaurants. My favorite is Eleven Madison Park (elevenmadisonpark.com). Los Angeles in the last several years has really developed as a culinary destination. My personal favorites are Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica (rusticcanyonwinebar.com), Koi (koirestaurant.com), il Grano (ilgrano.com) and Ago (agorestaurant.com).
Q: What are your five favorite cities?
A: New York; Charleston, S.C.; San Diego; Los Angeles; and Paris. I spend a lot of time in New York, and I still love visiting there. When working on the first "Sex and the City" movie, it reminded me how much I liked the city. When I scored "The Notebook," I went on location to Charleston, and the old Southern charm of the architecture and the wonderful people made the city one of my top five.
Q: What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?
A: I look into restaurants, museums, art galleries and trails. I'll read Frommer's and see if there is something I should know that may not be obvious, or (I'll) Google the city.
Q: Where would you like to go that you've never been?
A: The Amalfi Coast of Italy because I think it's beautiful, and I want to go to Tuscany.
For more from the reporter, visit jaehakim.com.