Winter Vacation Spots

It’s cold. And snowy. And sometimes (when you’re not going on vacation) it’s fun to look at the best places to go on vacation. So here’s what I did: I found a ton of the “top ## vacation spots” on various websites… and now… I present to you… the top 10 TOP winter vacation spots. Someone thinks they deserve the no. 1 spot for some reason… but here, they’re all number one (and better than this cold, snowy state we call home).

Kauai (US News & World Report)

 

Honey-dipped sunsets, chocolate-sand beaches, aquamarine skiesKauai has mastered seduction. But the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain doesn’t have to resort to over-the-top luxury or tourist traps to entice; instead, it appeals to a no-muss, no-fuss type of traveler. You prefer rural to resplendent? Kauai’s your islandthere are only two major highways, and some regions can only be explored on foot. Resorts are no taller than a coconut tree (literally). continue»

Amalfi Coast, Italy (Travel Channel)

Perched over the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Amalfi Coast is a great winter getaway. You may not be lounging poolside in your bikini in the dead of winter, but the temperature along this rocky green coastline rarely drops below 50 degrees. For a dose of history, visit nearby Pompeii, and take the hydrofoil to Capri to see the sunlight stream into the fabled Blue Grotto. Oh, and don’t leave without at least a few sips of limoncello! continue»

Key West, FL (Budget Travel)

Key West, FL, has a party-hearty rep, and it won’t disappoint those who come here seeking the hard-drinking spirit of Ernest Hemingway. But it also offers Victorian homes, kayaking, art galleries, and beautiful beaches. The price and style are right at Parrot Key Hotel & Resort. continue»

San Juan, Puerto Rico (Fodors)

The cultural offerings in Puerto Rico’s capital are unparalleled in the Caribbean—from the historic forts and cobblestoned streets in the Old San Juan neighborhood to the terrific collection at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. The gold sand on Ocean Park beach provides a relaxing stretch for sunbathing while the big resort hotels line Condado Beach. Stand-up paddling in Condado Lagoon is all the rage. And don’t forget: no passport required for American citizens. continue»

Paris, France (National Geographic)

Paris is at its most Parisian in winter. Without the crowds, there’s space to linger over a morning café crème and croissant at Le Bar du Marché and wander through the Louvre. The low tourist season means some lower rates too. Several museums and monuments offer free admission on first Sundays (November-March), and the first of the biannual Soldes (state-mandated, six-week sales) begins on January 8. The nationwide discounts (up to 50 percent or more in every store) are designed to make room for the upcoming season’s wares. The sales return in June, but by then, so will the crowds. continue»

Cologne, Germany (Travel and Leisure)

The Old Town glows during the holidays, when the Christmas Market encircles a 66-foot tree, dwarfed only by the 13th-century cathedral. Warm up with hot mulled wine, then wander into the new Peter Zumthor–designed Kolumba museum, where the ancient meets the modern: crucifixes and reliquaries share space with the works of Bauhaus designer and painter Andor Weininger. continue»

Anchorage (Livability)

Blanketed with snow from mid October to early April, Anchorage, AK, gives residents and visitors the opportunity to engage in just about every winter sport known to man. Despite this long and deep freeze, the city’s restaurants, cultural, historic and kid-friendly attractions remain hot spots for visitors. continue»

St. Maarten and St. Martin (bUSINESS iNSIDER)

St. Maarten and St. Martin, owned by the Dutch and French, respectively, offer beach front horseback riding. Lucky Stables in St. Maarten also offers a Champagne Full Moon ride for couples looking to add a little romance to their getaway. continue»

Lisbon, Portugal (Elle)

For a nice balance of shopping, seaside escape, and nightlife, head to Lisbon, one of Europe’s lesser-known jewels. You can have the cosmopolitan feel of a big European city but still enjoy the intimate Mediterranean atmosphere of one of the continent’s smallest countries. continue»

Denver (USA Today)

It’s rare to see a U.S. ski destination offering lower seasonal rates during winter. There’s an exception, though: Denver. Though it isn’t exactly a ski spot itself, the Mile-High City makes an ideal base for winter sports. It’s close to Winter Park Resort and Loveland Ski Area. Plus, Rocky Mountain National Park, about an hour away, offers non-downhill activities, from hiking to snowshoeing to cross-country skiing in pristine park wilderness. Rent a car, take a few day trips and return to Denver after the sun sets to enjoy the city’s fabulous nightlife and restaurants. The best part? You’ll save money on accommodations, and you can fly right into Denver International. continue»

 

In Good Health,

Molly

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