(Photos courtesy of Flickr members superstrikertwo, Rob-Keller, and eliduke)
Sure, snowball fights and ice-skating are plenty of fun, but after a while, enduring the winter cold becomes miserable. There's no better way to beat the winter blues than packing a beach bag and heading somewhere sunny and warm. Start planning your sandy escape to one of our top beach destinations! We'll let you in on a little secret—fabulous hotels in Hawaii, Mexico, and Florida are on sale on Tingo right now!
Kaanapali Beach, Maui: This beach is perfect for a vacation full of pampering and relaxation. The beach is lined with cabanas, all kinds of beach activities, and butlers who will deliver the drink of your choice—piña colada, please! Many of Hawaii's biggest and nicest resorts are nearby, so there are plenty of locations in which you can splurge. Soak up some rays and work on your tan, knowing that you're lounging on one of Hawaii's prettiest beaches.
North Shore, Oahu: The North Shore is a surfer's heaven. The waves attract top surfers from around the world but are also calm enough for a beginner to test out the sport. If surfing isn't your thing, you can still appreciate it by watching one of the many competitions in the area. Or, shop in the nearby town and enjoy the local treat of rainbow-flavored shave ice.
Hanalei Bay, Kauai: Hanalei Bay beach, more than two miles long, is one of the most picturesque in the world. The waves are great for surfing and boogie boarding. In the summer, the water becomes much calmer, making it more like a lake. At that time, it's a better environment for stand-up paddle boarding and swimming. The best part about Hanalei Bay is that it's not usually crowded, so you'll have plenty of space to take in the beautiful surroundings and enjoy yourself.
(Photos courtesy of The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit and Hotel Monteleone New Orleans)
Is it cold enough for you? Plummeting temperatures are a distant memory inside these excellent hotel bars that offer the perfect escape from chilly scenes of winter.
- Bar Pleiades, The Surrey Hotel, New York City—One of the most charming bars in Manhattan happens to be tucked away inside one of the city's best boutique hotels. Skillfully made cocktails and solid snacks (you can tell that Daniel Boulud—one of New York's top chefs—is in charge here) complement the romantically lit space. It's the perfect place to warm up after a snowy walk in Central Park, just half a block away.
- Roast, The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit—Any winter gray is banished upon entering the lively, modern bar area at this locally adorned restaurant. Helmed by celeb chef Michael Symon, the bar faces the classic streetscape out on Washington Boulevard. A cool crowd of locals floods in toward the close of the workday for the very good cocktails and bar food. Head bartender Travis Fourmont recently won a national award for his innovative and delicious manhattan.
(Photos courtesy of Robert Rexach and Flickr members avlxyz and Aaron Escobar)
It's frigidly cold here in Boston—the temperature hasn't made it out of the teens as of late—so it really shouldn't surprise you that we've got warm, sunny, tropical (you get the point) locales on our minds. Last week, we wrote this piece on escaping winter in Virgin Gorda. And then it hit us—how do you escape winter if you don't have a passport? Well, your first order of business is to get one. Honestly, we couldn't even live without ours. But that doesn't mean that while you wait, you're limited to the 50 states when it comes to finding a place to thaw out.
(Photos courtesy of the BVI Tourist Board)
Are you finding yourself dreaming of blue skies and endless rays of sunshine? Are you reminiscing about your once tanned skin that has faded to pale? Overcoming the winter blues can be tough, but jetting off to Virgin Gorda, one of our favorite island destinations, is a proven remedy.
Even though the island is only 8.5 square miles, there is plenty to keep your mind off of the snowflakes at home. Virgin Gorda hosts five beaches, but we favor Devil's Bay. At this national park, you can immerse yourself in the crystal-clear water to swim or snorkel. Walk through "The Caves," a group of giant, looming boulders the size of buildings, and head to a renowned beach called The Baths. Other beaches worth visiting include Spring Bay and Savannah Bay. The latter is known for its white sand, and since it's never too crowded, make sure you take the opportunity to snap some photos from the hillside—the view is enough to make anyone drool.
(Photos courtesy of Langdon Hall, Gramercy Park Hotel, and Terranea Resort)
The weather outside may be frightful, but these hotel fireplaces are so delightful that you just may want to hit the road and check them out for yourself. Stay warm, friends.
- Gramercy Park Hotel, New York City—With a distinctive custom scent by Le Labo (juniper, sandalwood, cedar, and patchouli are just four of the 26 elements), Gramercy Park Hotel's lobby smells like the sexiest cabin you'll ever be lucky enough to set foot in. The space—a rustic-chic instaclassic dreamed up by eccentric artist Julian Schnabel—is a funky respite from the wintry city streets.
- Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA—What could be finer in January than a beautiful stone fire pit overlooking the Pacific Ocean, where you can sit and think about everyone turning into icicles elsewhere in the country? Not much, we're thinking. To get in on the fun, head to Nelson's, the bluff-top restaurant at this Los Angeles-adjacent resort—it's almost as popular with locals as with visitors.
- The Soho Hotel, London—The winding and colorful streets of the capital have their charm, but just as appealing is having a place to retreat to when the crowds and damp, dark winter weather get to be too much. The guests-only drawing room and library areas at this very chic, well-hidden retreat in the middle of one of the city's most enduring neighborhoods feature big, wood-burning fireplaces, comfortable and colorful décor, and a help-yourself honor bar. Who's up for whisky?
(Photos courtesy of Mont Tremblant Ski Resort and Stowe Mountain Resort)
Until recently, winter travel destinations, with their perfectly snow-capped slopes and cozy cottages, have been staked out by ski bums. If you prefer a black-stone massage to a black diamond, though, you're not alone. Resorts in wintery destinations have begun taking note and accommodating winter travelers who enjoy the raw retreat but could do without the ski-boot snow trail. Some of our top picks for a relaxing—but not ski-exclusive—winter getaway include:
- Taos, New Mexico: This southwestern gem comes alive in the winter. Situated between majestic mountains and dry desert, this quaint town boasts an active artistic community with more than 80 galleries and seven museums, A-list New Mexican cuisine, and handcrafted boutiques.
- Mont Tremblant, Canada: Non-skiers love the pedestrian-friendly village marked by beautiful European architecture and charming shops. Traveling with a skier? Mont Tremblant has a great après-ski scene and delicious restaurants.