Go Away With … Megan Hilty


By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
November 22, 2016

Broadway star Megan Hilty won rave reviews for her portrayal of Glinda the Good Witch in “Wicked” and was nominated for a Tony Award for her characterization of Brooke Ashton in “Noises Off.” Her latest projects include a holiday CD, “A Merry Little Christmas,” and a co-starring role in the Warren Beatty film, “Rules Don’t Apply.”

“We filmed the movie about two and a half years ago,” says Hilty, 35. “Since then, I’ve had a baby and am pregnant with my second and don’t remember everything. Ha! But, I do know that all of my scenes were filmed in a building that actually housed actresses in the ’50s.”

A native of Seattle, Hilty recently moved back to Los Angeles from New York City. To stay connected and keep updated on Hilty’s concert dates, check out her Twitter feed and website.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. Definitely Hawaii. There is something about being on an island in the middle of the ocean that forces you to slow down and relax in a way you can’t do anywhere else. And it’s so beautiful. The obvious thing to do is grab a book and head to the beach, but for more active travelers — like me and my husband — there are so many wonderful places to hike and ride bikes.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

A. My parents liked to rent RVs and we’d take long road trips, so we traveled a lot when I was a kid. Me and my sisters loved it. We’d do anything from camping in Washington state to driving all the way to Disneyland from Seattle. It didn’t matter where we went, we always had a great time, because we were together.

Q. Where have you been that you’d like to revisit?

A. I was an exchange student in Kyoto, Japan, when I was in middle school. The beauty of the country and culture, in addition to the extremely generous and kind people I met there really made an impact on me. I’m still desperately trying to get back there. It would be awesome to go there for work in one way or another.

Q. Where is the most romantic destination?

A. I haven’t taken my husband there yet, but there is a place near where I grew up called Snoqualmie Falls (in Washington). There is a beautiful lodge in the middle of the woods next to a giant, gorgeous waterfall. You can hike down to the bottom of it from the lodge and, to me, it’s incredibly romantic.

Q. If you’ve ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?

A. When I was in college in Pittsburgh, my family decided to spend Thanksgiving in New York City. It was a magical trip because New York City is so gorgeous at that time of the year. We went to the Thanksgiving Day parade, saw the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, had an amazing dinner and started the holiday season by experiencing all of the festive lights and decorations that New York does so well.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. New York, Seattle, Paris, Melbourne and Las Vegas.

Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?

A. I just did a concert tour in Australia and I was really struck by how much Sydney reminded me of Seattle. It was the people, architecture and the fact that it was right on the water that made it feel like home.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. Greece, Italy, Ireland and New Zealand.

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

A. A couple of packets of almond butter, a good book — a real book, not an e-reader — cash for tips and emergencies and a phone charger.

Q. What is your best vacation memory?

A. My husband and I went to Paris for our babymoon and decided to place a lock on the lovers bridge in honor of our daughter. That’s where we decided what her name was going to be. We wrote her name on the lock, locked it on the bridge and each made a wish for her and threw the keys in the Seine. Then we made a little map so our daughter could go back to Paris one day and find her lock. We kept one key to the lock and put it in a box with the map that we would wait to give her one day when she was old enough. A week after we got back from our babymoon, we read in the news that city officials in Paris had to cut all of the locks off of the bridge because the weight of them was causing the bridge to sink. Oh well, at least we have a nice story to tell her one day.

Q. Clearly, Oz is a magical place, but fictional. Have you traveled to a place that was so magnificent that it seemed almost fictional as well?
A. During our babymoon to Paris – which was also magnificent — we took a day trip to Bruges, Belgium. All day it felt as if we were walking around inside a storybook. The history and the preserved architecture throughout the town made it an incredibly magical place. One of my favorite things that we did there was climb the Belfry Tower, which was built around 1240. Since I was pregnant, I unfortunatley couldn’t try any of their famous beer, but I sure enjoyed the Belgian Waffles and Chocolates!

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?
A.  It’s not necessarily “untapped”… and it’s not exactly a “destination”… BUT a great trip that may not be on the top of anyone’s travel list that I think everyone should do is drive up the west coast.  There are so many cool things to do and see off of the PCH and once you hit the redwoods in Northern California, there are so many beautiful places to camp and hike.

Q. What are your favorite hotels?
A. The Venetian – Las Vegas; The Langham – Melbourne; Hotel Nikko – San Francisco; Four Seasons – Los Angeles; Acme Hotel – Chicago.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?
A. Quality Meats – NYC; Jacob’s Pickles – NYC; Franklin Barbecue – Austin; Sugarfish – LA; District Commons – Washington DC; Hash House A Go Go – Las Vegas.

Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you’re on the road?
A. I love experiencing the local specialties wherever I go and that includes food & activities.  I don’t want to do or eat anything I can do or get at home.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?
A. The best places to eat!

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. Weekend getaways are always family events lately. The most recent trips have been to a pumpkin patch, apple picking and Sesame Place. Before we had our daughter, our weekend trips looked a little different and often included destinations like Las Vegas or the Dominican Republic, depending on what coast we were living on at the time!

Q. What would be your dream trip?
A. I have two fantasy trips! I would love to spend a month in Italy. I dream about staying in a house in the countryside, drinking wine, eating amazing food and taking time as a family visiting all of the beautiful sights. I would also love to take my family to Ireland because most of our heritage comes from there. We’d need a lot of time there as well to visit family and really experience the country.

Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?
A. The best way to learn new things and open your mind is to get out there and experience new cultures, food and people for yourself.

© 2016 JAE-HA KIM


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