Kristin Bauer

Actress Kristin Bauer attends PaleyFest at the Saban Theatre on March 5, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California (David Livingston/Getty Images)

Kristin Bauer portrays Pam, a bloodthirsty vampire, on HBO's hit series "True Blood." In real life, the 44-year-old actress, born in Racine, Wis., lives in Los Angeles with her husband, singer Abri van Straten, their two dogs and two cats.

Q: What is your favorite vacation destination?

A: Last year we were able to spend three weeks in South Africa with my husband's family, and it was astounding. The beauty, wildlife and diversity all made a lasting impression on me.

Q: Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A: We got engaged on Catalina Island, so I am very biased. We plan to go back again every year on that weekend.

Q: What are your favorite hotels?

A: I love the Kimpton (kimptonhotels.com) hotels. They are dog- and earth-friendly — two of my favorite things. I also like the Proximity Hotel (proximityhotel.com) in Greensboro, N.C., where we actually have the most "True Blood" fans in the country! It's an amazing Green LEED-certified hotel that I loved.

Q: What are some of your favorite cities?

A: There are so many great cities, but some make me start looking at real estate there. Plettenberg Bay in South Africa is so unique and unspoiled by sprawl. I have a fantasy of living there someday and writing a novel. In Portland, Ore., everywhere I looked I saw things that made me smile. There are great health-food restaurants, art, tattoos, recycle bins, bicyclists and Subarus. I also can't help but be in awe of Aspen, Colo. We used to go there as kids to ski. Northern Wisconsin is so beautiful. We honeymooned in Hayward at Ross' Teal Lake Lodge (teallake.com/index.php). And, of course, I must just say that New York City, which couldn't be further from my roots, could be the greatest city on Earth.

Q: What would be your dream/fantasy trip?

A: Venice, Rome and Florence with my husband for three weeks. And since this is a fantasy, I'll throw in some rural hidden village we trip across with classic cinematic vistas that I could paint.

Q: What are your favorite restaurants?

A: The Boilerhouse (qstation.com.au/experience/boilerhouse.php) in Manley, just next to Sydney. It was incredible and in a really neat, remote historic spot. In Portland I love Blossoming Lotus (blossominglotus.com), which has the most delicious health food. And my husband took me to his favorite restaurant in South Africa last summer. It's called Paranga (paranga.co.za) and is right on the beach in Camps Bay, Cape Town.

Q: What is your guilty pleasure when you're on the road?

A: It used to be the worst gossip rags, but I have evolved to Vanity Fair. I would never take the time at home to read all the great articles they have, but on the road it is delicious, that and ice cream.

Q: What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?

A: Best was my honeymoon at the Ross' Teal Lake Lodge and then to South Africa to meet my husband's family for the first time on our one-year anniversary. And then in Stellenbosch and Plettenberg Bay to stay in my new family's homes and see the country through local eyes felt very intimate. The worst was Disneyland when I was a kid. My sister was in her challenging adolescent years, and I was an inch too short for all the cool rides.

For more from the reporter, visit jaehakim.com.