Whether you're planning to flee plunging temps in search of palm trees or embrace the cold with picturesque views of snowy hilltops, vacations to magical winter travel destinations will ensure you get the most out of the colder months ahead. Even if you only have a long weekend to spare, a trip to the slopes or an afternoon spent catching some rays may be the very thing you need to keep the winter doldrums at bay. Read on for how we'll be using our vacation days this winter season.
Palm Beach, Florida
Renowned for its well-maintained beauty, Palm Beach was one of the premiere resort locations of America’s Gilded Age. Today, the same charm remains for tourists and snow birds alike who visit the 16-mile barrier island during the winter season.
Stay at The Colony
Not only do we love this iconic Palm Beach hotel for its sorbet hues and location just steps away from the beach, but even better: It's female-owned and operated. For a true winter escape, stay in one of The Colony’s custom-designed villas, hand-decorated by legendary Palm Beach designers like Aerin Lauder and Mark D. Sikes. Spend your days lounging poolside in one of the cabanas, or head out for some holiday shopping along Worth Avenue. For cocktails, dine Al Fresco at Swifty’s or take in delicious fresh catch and martinis at The Seafood Bar at the Breakers.
Lake Placid, New York
For a bout of fresh air and magical mountain views, head up to the Adirondack region of New York, home to the 1932 and 1980 winter Olympic games. Take part in sports like snow shoeing and alpine skiing, or simply cozy up by the fire with a book and some hot cocoa.
Stay at Lake Placid Lodge
The only hotel situated directly on Lake Placid (hello, views!), Lake Placid Lodge will transport you back to the Great Camps of the 1870s. Wood beams, antique decor, and hand-carved furniture offer an ultra-cozy base camp for exploring the area. An onsite pub with food, drinks, and games (like billiards, backgammon, and chess) and the lodge's signature snow bonfires (complete with hot chocolate and s'mores) also make an enticing argument for staying put.
Spanning more than 30 miles of coastline along the Pacific Ocean, Malibu provides a majestic getaway for travelers who want to stay active during the winter months. The beach town (complete with breathtaking views) is also within arms length of sprawling canyons, ranches, and vineyards.
Stay at Malibu Beach Inn
This oceanfront hotel is a true oasis that's within driving distance of awesome hiking trails and beaches, and a stone’s throw from Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. Wake up to the sounds of the waves, then spend the day exploring the area with a trip to One Gun Ranch, a biodynamic and organic farm and home to rescue animals that free-roam the property. For a fresh lunch or dinner, head over to the original locally-owned Malibu Farms restaurant on the Malibu Pier, which serves locally-grown and sourced California cuisine.
About a 30-minute drive up the Pacific coast from Puerto Vallarta, the small fishing village of Sayulita offers a slower pace than its neighbor—though it's still filled with scenic beaches, markets, and jungle wildlife to enjoy.
Stay at TeiTiare Estate
TeiTiare's vivid colors and tropical landscape will immediately transport you to your happy place. The private accommodations are ideal for groups—the hotel has one- to six-bedroom bungalows immersed in the jungle with panoramic views of the Pacific. Spend your days scuba diving or snorkeling on the property or take a ride into the quaint town of Sayulita, which is about five minutes away, filled with cobblestone streets, local cuisine, and old-world charm.
Stowe is a top-rated ski destination that offers more lifts than any other resort town on the East Coast. For non-skiers, the area has great trails, breweries, and spas—indulge in a restful winter getaway.
Stay at Tälta Mountain Lodge
Designed as a modern base camp, the newly-opened Tälta Mountain Lodge is located at the foot of Mount Mansfield—Vermont's highest peak. Set off for a day of skiing or snowboarding at the nearby slopes or visit one of the area's renowned breweries. Return to Tälta to indulge in the onsite amenities like an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, and fire pit. Visit The Bistro at Ten Acres or Edson Hill for a refined cozy ambiance in which to enjoy delicious cold-weather sustenance like stews, slow roasted veggies, and braised meats.
New Orleans, Louisiana
A trip to New Orleans isn't just about the lively scenes of Bourbon Street. Spend time in the French Quarter and the scenic Garden District, take a ghost tour that uncovers haunted historical sites, and divulge in the city's hot restaurant scene.
Stay at Maison de la Luz
Designed by L.A.-based design team Studio Shamshiri, the newly-opened boutique hotel Maison de la Luz is an ideal mix of southern hospitality and modern-day charm. Guest rooms have grand 17-foot ceilings, luxurious soaking tubs, and feature artwork by local New Orleans artists. Enjoy nightly wine and cheese plates, lounge in the private living room with an expertly crafted cocktail, or visit the adjacent Bar Marilou housed in City Hall’s historic library that's accessible through a guest-only entrance.
Watch Hill, Rhode Island
The gorgeous New England coastal town of Watch Hill is just as magical in winter as it is in summer. The destination boasts breathtaking views and famous residents (ahem, Taylor Swift).
Stay at Ocean House
This winter, the 49-room and 20-suite waterfront escape that is Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, is offering more than its usual cozy charms: Be sure to take advantage of its seasonal outdoor dining experience, Gondola Village, in collaboration with Veuve Clicquot. The in-gondola dining offers guests a warm and intimate aprés-ski inspired menu for lunch and dinner, as well as a champagne cocktail hour and light bites.
Sara Holzman is the Style Editor at Marie Claire, covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to.
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