To celebrate the launch of her second collection with Away, tennis champion Serena Williams counts down the top four places she’s dreaming of traveling post-pandemic—including her favorite city on Earth.
For a moment, close your eyes and dream of traveling again.
Imagine the taste of flaky croissants fresh from a bakery in Paris; the warmth of the Italian sun on your shoulders; the childlike curiosity that draws you to San Francisco’s vibrant streets and rolling hills; the immense calm of a morning stroll along a Miami beach.
Memories like these keep us tethered to our past trips and inspire us to dream of future excursions. And after months of being homebound, travelers everywhere are longing to experience the world again—including tennis star Serena Williams.
Life as a pro athlete comes with a regular dose of international travel, and while Williams may still be (safely) on the road for tournaments, she’s looking forward to fully immersing herself in her favorite destinations. To celebrate the launch of Away’s latest collaboration with the grand-slam champ, we asked Williams to share the top four places she’s dreaming of returning to once travel is back—and what makes each of them irreplaceable in her eyes.
1. Miami, Florida
What made you fall in love with Miami?
Miami has something for everyone. Between the amazing art scene, the food, the culture, and a wide range of sporting events (let’s go, Miami Dolphins!), you can never run out of things to do. It just has such a beautiful vibrance to it. I’ve made so many amazing memories in Miami, and I cannot wait to make many more.
What’s your first (or favorite) memory of Miami?
What restaurants or meals from Miami do you crave most?
NOBU. I love Japanese food, and once you have NOBU, there’s no turning back. I’ve been to a lot of different NOBU locations over the years, but the one in Miami is one of my favorites. It’s part of the Eden Roc Hotel, and between the food, views, atmosphere, service, and overall glamour, it’s an experience I always look forward to.
[Otherwise,] I don’t necessarily have a go-to restaurant because I’d rather explore as much of the city as possible. You can truly go anywhere in Miami and find a fun atmosphere and delicious food and drinks. That’s part of why I love the city. There’s an adventure around every corner.
2. San Francisco, California
What made you fall in love with San Francisco?
To me, San Francisco feels like a small town. It’s beautiful and big, but when you’re there, you feel like a part of the community. I’ve always been attracted to it, and I envision myself settling down there and just being a mom.
What’s your first (or favorite) memory of San Francisco?
One day I took a trip to Dolores Park, and while I was out exploring the area with [my husband] Alexis, I saw these two random guys playing tennis. I literally dropped everything to play with them, and I had such a blast doing it. I think they were pretty surprised.
What restaurants or meals from San Francisco do you crave most?
Mission Chinese. I love Asian cuisine, and Mission’s menu is creative and unique while still having the classics that everyone enjoys. Everything I’ve ordered is delicious. Plus, the atmosphere in the restaurant is perfect for a lowkey date night. It has almost a dive-bar feel with a five-star menu. Plus, they deliver, which is always a perk. [I also love] any Mexican food restaurant or donuts from San Francisco. I know those two sound unrelated, but this city has such a great range of options no matter what you are craving.
3. Paris, France
What made you fall in love with Paris?
I lived there for a few years. I learned French and had the opportunity to experience the beautiful European culture.
What’s your first (or favorite) memory of Paris?
Shopping at Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. Great street with the best boutiques.
What restaurants or meals from Paris do you crave most?
APICIUS—it’s gorgeous. From the moment you approach the building, the elegance is obvious. It used to be a chateau and was built in 1860. You just feel like royalty there, and I love to bring my friends whenever I can. It’s glamorous, the food is delicious, and you feel like you’ve been teleported into a fairy tale whenever you’re there. Cinderella and Belle would definitely hang out there.
And coffee. I’m not sure if it’s the actual coffee or just the overall vibe of being at a cute local cafe, but I love it. I could people-watch for hours at Paris cafes, and having a yummy fresh pastry to go along with it makes it even better.
4. Rome, Italy
What made you fall in love with Rome?
How can you not? So much history, so many amazing moments. It’s my favorite place in the world!
What’s your first (or favorite) memory of Rome?
Meeting my husband, Alexis.
What restaurants or meals from Rome do you crave most?
L’Isola della Pizza. In my opinion, they have the best pizza in the city!
When in Rome, any type of pasta or pizza works (gluten-free, of course)! Even for breakfast! I mean c’mon—when you think Italy, you think pasta and pizza. The fresh ingredients and home-cooked taste are unlike anything you can get in the States. I can’t get enough.