Winter Escapes

Play in the snow. Soak up the sun. Revel in the urban scene. Here are 25 vacation destinations guaranteed to cure you of that mid-winter Minnesota cabin fever.

SNOW

 

Indianhead Mountain

At Indianhead Mountain Resort (indianheadmtn.com), near Wakefield, Michigan, there’s a pretty good chance that the morning will bring a blanket of fresh snow.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula gets twice the annual snowfall of any spot in Minnesota—more than 200 inches on average. The downhill skiing season starts early and lasts deep into spring. The lodge at Indianhead, located two-and-a-half hours from Duluth, sits on top of the hill, so you can park, strap on your skis, and drop 638 vertical feet in a matter of minutes. Indianhead has plenty of variety with several steep pitches, and nearly half of the 29 runs are rated “expert.” But you don’t necessarily have to be a double-black-diamond daredevil to enjoy yourself: There are two parks for novices, too.

STAY: Most convenient for lodging are the resort’s village chalets and trailside condos. Prices range from $327 to $739 during peak season.

EAT: Prepare meals in the kitchenette or stop by one of the lodge restaurants. For a regional favorite, pick up a pasty, the meat pie that the Finnish miners who settled the Gogebic Iron Range ate, at Randall Bakery (906-224-5401) in Wakefield.

GETTING THERE: Located 270 miles northeast of the Twin Cities.
 


Ely

Have a Jack London adventure—without the grisly ending. Paul Schurke and Will Steger led a team to the North Pole in 1986, and Schurke is still exploring the north by dogsled, now with tourists in tow. Most accessible of the tours offered by his Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge (dogsledding.com) are the three- and four-day trips over the frozen lakes and snow-covered portages of canoe country. By day, drive your own sled and dog team through the rugged landscape of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. At night, tuck into a hot meal and enjoy the comforts of a private, lakeshore log cabin near Ely.

STAY: Options vary by package, which range in price from $575 to $1,475. Guests on top-of-the-line trips stay in private cabins or a suite of rooms at the Blue Heron Inn. Arrangements are made by Wintergreen.

EAT: Evening meals are part of the package.

GETTING THERE: Located 255 miles north of the Twin Cities.
 


Yellowstone National Park

Snowmobiling in the granddaddy of national parks? Motorized recreation in Yellowstone remains controversial, but today’s machines are cleaner and quieter than those of yesteryear. Touring the unplowed park roads, you’ll see bison and elk, and quite possibly wolves. A favorite snowmobiling destination is Old Faithful, of course, and the nearby geysers and hot springs. No freelancing here, though; snowmobilers must travel with a commercial guide and stick to established routes at all times. You’ll find great sledding outside the park, as well, in the Gallatin, Beaverhead, and Targhee national forests. For a list of outfitters and guides at each park entrance, visit nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit.

STAY: It’s not lavish, but you do get your own log cabin at Hibernation Station (hibernationstation.com) on the edge of West Yellowstone, one of the gateways to the park.

EAT: At Sydney’s Mountain Bistro (406-646-7660), on Canyon Street in the midst of West Yellowstone, don’t miss your chance to order the Porterhouse pork chop, stuffed with applewood-smoked bacon and Fontina cheese. Specials occasionally feature grass-fed Montana beef.

GETTING THERE: You can pack up your own gear, hitch up the trailer, and drive the 1,060 miles from Minneapolis to Yellowstone. Or hop on one of the daily direct flights offered by Northwest Airlines to Bozeman or Billings,
Montana, and rent sledding equipment there.
 


Skiing the Gunflint Trail

More than 100 miles of groomed trails wind among the hills, cliffs, and conifer forests that line the Gunflint Trail (gunflint-trail.com) in northern Minnesota, making it a magnet destination for cross-country skiers. Maintained by local resort owners, the trails are concentrated in three spots: just outside Grand Marais (Pincushion Mountain touts a network of 15 miles), halfway up the trail (40 miles of trail ensure you’ll get your share of solitude), and near the end of the Gunflint (50 miles). Most are tracked for traditional “diagonal-stride” skiing. Some are also groomed for skate-skiing. Skiers yearning for overnight adventure can also travel yurt-to-yurt on the 18-mile Banadad Trail through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

STAY: Bearskin Lodge (bearskin.com), 26 miles northwest of Grand Marais, is one of the classiest lodges along the trail—and the surrounding trails offer plenty of outing options.

EAT: Justine’s, at Gunflint Lodge (gunflint.com), serves huge breakfasts as well as upscale dinners.

GETTING THERE: Located 275 miles northeast of the Twin Cities.
 


Downhill in Utah

Alta Mountain, just a 30-minute drive from Salt Lake City, has been catering to downhill-skiing fanatics since 1938. (Even now, no snowboarders are allowed.) Perched at the head of Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Range, the mountain rises to 10,550 feet and boasts a vertical plunge of more than 2,000 feet. On average, snowfall measures more than 500 inches annually (more than 40 feet!). The 2,200-acre ski area (much of it left as Mother Nature shaped it) has 116 runs with wide-open powder, near-vertical chutes, and narrow gullies. Alta’s a value compared to other resorts in the area, and the season lasts on average from late November till tax time.

STAY: If you want to stay on site, rather than in Salt Lake, the Rustler Lodge (rustlerlodge.com) offers the option of a spa visit after a day on the slopes.

EAT: For lunch, pick up homemade soups and sandwiches at Albion Grill (albiongrill.com). For dinner in town, visit the Shallow Shaft Restaurant (shallowshaft.com), with an emphasis on good wine, local foods (including game), and innovative preparations.

GETTING THERE: Daily direct flights to Salt Lake City from Northwest and Delta airlines.
 

 

 

SCENE

 

Atlanta

Far East meets Middle East in the Deep South this winter when two acclaimed exhibits showcasing the art of ancient empires converge: China’s Terracotta Army, on display through April 19 at the High Museum (high.org), features hundreds of artifacts, including several of the life-sized sculptures of soldiers, court figures, and horses, that decorated the tomb of China’s first emperor. Meanwhile, King Tut (kingtut.org) holds court at the Atlanta Civic Center through May. The exhibition, which began its tour in London, features 50 objects from the pharaoh’s tomb, including a pair of golden sandals made for Tut and an ornate jar that contained his organs. Reduced-price tickets are available to those attending both exhibits.

STAY: Boutique hotel fans will find budget-minded rates, a cool bar, and a generous breakfast buffet at Hotel Indigo (hotelindigo.com).

EAT: Dogwood (dogwoodrestaurant.com) serves up Southern fare without the usual grit—or grits.

GETTING THERE: Several direct flights are offered through all the major airlines, including Northwest and Delta airlines.
 


Seattle

Culinary connoisseurs—and those of us who simply like to eat—can get the real skinny on Seattle’s global cuisine by booking a Taste Pike Place tour (tastepikeplace.com) at the historic Pike Place Market. You’ll sample crumpets, crêpes, and Seattle’s signature coffee on the breakfast tour. The lunch tour showcases local organic produce and homemade pasta. During the pre-dinner food-and-wine tour, regional vintages are paired with handcrafted pasta and cured meats.

EAT: The Pink Door (thepinkdoor.net) is a lively palate cleanser, with its produce-heavy menu, cocktails mixed with fresh-pressed fruits, and cabaret-style entertainment.

STAY: After a day of sampling fresh fare amid the stalls, check into the Inn at the Market (innatthemarket.com), which offers irresistible Tempur-Pedic beds, in-room massage, and views of Elliot Bay and Puget Sound.

GETTING THERE: Alaska Airlines began twice-daily flights between Seattle and Minneapolis in October; both Northwest and Sun Country also offer nonstop flights.
 


Philadelphia

If the winter blahs have you sunk in a perpetual “blue period,” it might be worth a trip to see “Cézanne and Beyond” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (philamuseum.org), featuring 60 of the French modern master’s most brilliant works. Alongside these pieces, curators plan to hang 90 more paintings by Cézanne-influenced artists like Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jeff Wall, and others. The exhibit runs from late February through May.

STAY: Several hotels, including the walking-distance Four Seasons, are offering packages for the show, but you also might try the Independent (theindependenthotel.com), a posh new boutique hotel at the center of town.

EAT: If money is no object, make a reservation at Le-Bec Fin (215-567-1000), one of the country’s most renowned French restaurants. If you’re feeling a bit more budget-conscious, check out Rouge (215-732-6622), Philly’s ultimate see-and-be-seen bistro.

GETTING THERE: Northwest Airlines flies direct several times a day. Amtrak offers packages from New York City.
 


Louisville

Sure, we have plenty of maize in Minnesota, but to appreciate the finer things that corn can be distilled into (and we don’t mean the Corn Palace), you’ll have to travel to Louisville, where eight bars and restaurants have teamed up to form the “Urban Bourbon Trail” (justaddbourbon.com). Each one has 50-plus varieties of bourbon for sipping, slamming, or sampling in a classic Old Fashioned or even a boozy bread pudding. If you’d rather imbibe a bit of bourbon-industry history, try the “Kentucky Bourbon Trail” (kybourbontrail.com), visiting one of the seven distilleries in the area (sorry—no free samples). Six of them offer free tours.

STAY: Old School? Try the Seelbach Hilton (seelbachhilton.com), in a 1905 building. Prefer something newer? Make a reservation at the 21c Museum Hotel (21cmuseumhotel.com), with 90 rooms and a trove of contemporary art on exhibit.

EAT: You won’t have to veer far off the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to find good bourbon-soaked food. Begin at the new Proof on Main (proofonmain.com), rooted in Italian tradition and seasoned with Southern charm.

GETTING THERE: Northwest has three daily flights direct to Louisville.
 


Washington

History is the hot new ticket in D.C. The National Museum of American History (americanhistory.si.edu) has undergone a major renovation, and its new, airy interior, recently reopened to visitors, showcases 3 million artifacts, including the original Star-Spangled Banner. When the past grows old, you can trot up the mall to the Capitol to check out the long-awaited U.S. Capitol Visitors Center (aoc.gov/cvc): A massive, three-story underground space that’s three-quarters the size of the Capitol itself. The center includes theaters, museum, and an 11-foot-tall model of the building’s dome.

STAY: Washington is chockablock with hotels, but for some extra panache (not to mention complimentary wine in the late afternoon), try the Hotel Palomar (hotelpalomar-dc.com) near Dupont Circle.

EAT: A great mahogany-and-velvet standby is the Old Ebbit Grill (ebbitt.com). Or you can check out the native American cuisines (buffalo chili and fry bread!) at the Mitsitam Café in the Museum of the American Indian (nmai.si.edu).

GETTING THERE: Only Northwest offers nonstop flights into both the Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
 


Art in Los Angeles

Only in L.A. would a museum sport an entrance with a knot of intertwining, bright-red escalators, stairs, and cantilevered platforms that, collectively, the architect, Renzo Piano, calls “The Spider.” But if you go to see the building, remember to stay for the art: The new Broad Contemporary Art Museum, a three-story addition to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (lacma.org), has works by such artists as Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Cy Twombly, Cindy Sherman, and Richard Serra. The pieces, from the collection of millionaire philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, are displayed throughout six galleries inside the two travertine-clad boxes that make up the museum.

STAY: Car culture rules the sprawling metropolis, but book a room at the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel (farmersdaughterhotel.com) and you can walk to the farmers’ market, CBS Studios, the La Brea Tar Pits, Rodeo Drive, and the museum complex.

EAT: Lunch on organic greens and mini cheeseburgers while relaxing on a vibrating waterbed pod at the Rooftop Bar at the Standard (standardhotels.com/los-angeles).

GETTING THERE: Both Northwest Airlines and Sun Country offer direct flights to LAX.
 


San Francisco

The eastern end of Golden Gate Park has undergone a cultural renaissance in recent years that’s attracting global attention. The new DeYoung Museum of Art, wrapped in perforated copper by a team of Swiss architects, has won critical and public acclaim and, across the concourse, the historic California Academy of Sciences (calacademy.org) reopened last fall in a new eco-innovative building by Renzo Piano. The latter houses an aquarium, an all-digital planetarium, a living rainforest, and a natural-history museum (with hundreds of exhibits and thousands of live animals, including penguins!). An undulating green roof, planted with native flora, floats above the glass-and-steel structure.

STAY: The Stanyan Park Hotel (stanyanpark.com), listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is steeped in the restored elegance of a bygone era.

EAT: The Cliff House (cliffhouse.com) offers panoramic views of the pounding surf, passing whales, and frolicking seals as you dine on fresh seafood.

GETTING THERE: Northwest and Sun Country fly direct to San Francisco.
 


Chicago

From glitzy musicals to edgy independents, Chicago has plenty to offer theatergoers. If Shakespeare’s your thing, you can watch Macbeth get his comeuppance at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (December 31 to March 8), a playhouse modeled after theaters of the Bard’s time. If that sounds heavy, check out Second City, the comedy club where such comic greats as Bill Murray, Mike Myers, and Tina Fey got their start.

STAY: Modern and luxurious, the Avenue Hotel (avenuehotelchicago.com) offers an urban retreat in the heart of the Magnificent Mile. You’ll also find in-room spa treatments, crisply appointed rooms, and amazing views of the city from the 40th floor Sky Lounge.

EAT: Lincoln Park’s newest fine-dining treasure, L2o (L2orestaurant.com), has quickly become the most talked about seafood spot in Chicago.

GETTING THERE: Several airlines offer direct flights into Chicago, including Northwest Airlines. Beginning in March 2009, Southwest Airlines will launch direct service to Chicago’s Midway airport. Driving distant to Chicago is about 400 miles. Amtrak offers train service from St. Paul to Chicago’s Union Station.
 


Austin

Celebrants who shake, shimmy, and samba during Austin’s now-32nd annual Carnaval Brasileiro (sambaparty.com) are unabashedly enthusiastic about what Texans call their state’s “best public bash.” One blogger called it flamboyant and fun, risqué yet safe, and a healthy outlet for happy feet. Two live Brazilian bands will perform nonstop for five hours of dancing, people watching (lots of spangled costumes showing plenty of skin), and general revelry on January 31, 2009, at the Palmer Events Center. A Mardi Gras–style celebration (yes, there are beads) started in the 1970s for Brazilian university students, Carnaval now draws more than 5,000 partygoers from around the country.

STAY: Carnaval’s official hotel is the Holiday Inn Austin Town Lake (ichotelsgroup.com), with a special rate of $105 per night.

EAT: Fuel up at Uncle Billy’s Brew-B-Cue (512-476-0100), featuring microbrews with names like Agave Wit and Thick Black Smoke.

GETTING THERE: Northwest run direct flights frequently to Austin.
 


Dallas

If the name Jaap van Zweden doesn’t strike a chord, pay attention: The Dutch conductor is a “Eurostar,” says Symphony magazine. He’s also a violinist who showed his musical mettle early on, landing a professional concertmaster’s job at age 19. The New York Times called the recent decision by the Dallas Symphony (dallassymphony.com) to tap the maestro as its music director one of the “boldest” choices in classical music, and Van Zweden, now 48, is dazzling the critics. Halfway through his debut season, the baton-waver has the blogosphere buzzing, too: “He’s so good,” wrote one fan, “he can even make Mahler sound good.” In January, the music director conducts music by Strauss, Sousa, Mussorgsky, and Tchaikovsky.

STAY: The flashy Joule Hotel (866-716-8136) opened in downtown Dallas in May, with an emphasis on luxury services. Among the flashy amenities: room phones equipped with a button that dials the Nieman-Marcus flagship store, a few blocks away.

EAT: Tillman’s Roadhouse (tillmansroadhouse.com), an eclectic-but-upscale restaurant in the Bishop Arts District, offers s’mores made tableside.

GETTING THERE: Daily direct flights from Northwest Airlines and American Airlines; weekend flights from Sun Country.
 

 

 

SUN
 

San Diego

With perpetually sunny days and temps in the low-80s, a bevy of cultural attractions, 70 miles of beaches, and recreational options from wilderness hikes to surfing, this southern California city remains one of America’s favorite destinations. Jump on an Old Town Trolley to get acquainted with the area and stop off at Balboa Park, an arts-and-culture mecca that includes the world famous San Diego Zoo, miles of lush gardens, and several museums. Also worth exploring are Sea World, the sun-drenched peninsula town of Coronado, the theaters and nightclubs in the Gaslamp Quarter, and Cabrillo National Monument, a lighthouse overlooking the ocean.

EAT: Mexican gets the nouvelle treatment at Candelas (candelas-sd.com), where fresh ingredients are infused with chiles and lime, tomatillos, and tamarind.

STAY: At the Dana on Mission Bay (thedana.com), you can soak up the sun on your private balcony or patio, or get some exercise exploring the nearby paths that connect 27 miles of coastline.

GETTING THERE: Direct flights on Northwest Airlines and Sun Country year-round.
 


Mazatlán

Mazatlán is no longer just a cruise-ship stop and tourist trap. An ambitious renovation project begun in 1992 is breathing new life into the cobblestone streets and colonial-style architecture of El Centro Histórico, the heart of Mazatlán. Relax with a stroll around the Plazuela Machado, an open-air plaza ringed with stylish cafés, handsome museums, and quaint boutiques brimming with local crafts. In the evening, check out the rotating schedule of films, operas, concerts, and dance productions at Teatro Ángela Peralta, a beautifully restored Italian Renaissance–style opera house.

STAY: Envelop yourself in Old World hospitality at the newly restored Melville Suites (themelville.com). Named after Herman Melville, who visited the city in 1844, this converted convent features large, colorful suites decorated with handmade furniture and Mexican antiques.

EAT: Eat like a local at Pedro y Lola (restaurantpedroylola.com), where guests dine on large portions of regional cuisine with tables overlooking the plaza.

GETTING THERE: Northwest Airlines and Sun Country (the latter only flies in-season) offer direct flights and package deals.
 


Costa Rica

When you land in San José, the capital, you can flip a coin: Pacific? Atlantic? Or maybe you just want to stay in the middle, hike the mountains and see the rainforests of the “Switzerland of Central America.” Lately, Costa Rica has become the ecotourism hub of Latin America (the nation has declared its intention to be carbon neutral by 2021). Fortunately that green won’t cost you too much green: You can still find a nice bungalow on the beach for less than $200.

STAY: See Visitcostarica.com for hotel options, but before you book, ask about the booking/cancellation fees. Another option: Try the artsy little spot called Kap’s Place (kapsplace.com) in San Jose before you hit the hinterlands.

EAT: Costa Rica isn’t known for its cuisine, but you’d be well-served to hit Bakea (restaurantebakea.com) in the capital for some pumpkin soup and risotto. And if you make it to the east coast, with its Caribbean influence, don’t miss the spicy coconut-milk stews.

GETTING THERE: Several airlines offer flights to Costa Rica, byway of Atlanta connection.
 


Phoenix

If you find you’re longing for the links and not up for the Gull Lake Frozen Fore, the more than 200 golf courses in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun are sure to satisfy. Hillcrest Golf Club (hillcrestgolfclub.com) in West Sun City has a beautiful 18-hole course with green fees that won’t drain your wallet. Featuring million-dollar views, Troon North Golf Club’s two courses (troonnorthgolf.com) stretch through the foothills of the Sonoran Desert. For the ultimate in luxury golf, try the Arizona Biltmore Country Club (arizonabiltmore.com), which has two 18-hole golf courses and an 18-hole putting course.

STAY: The 3 Palms (scottsdale-resort-hotels.com), a boutique hotel, is a contemporary but affordable alternative to the luxury resorts in Phoenix, and it’s only moments away from charming Old Town Scottsdale and nearly 40 golf courses.

EAT: Offering up an eclectic menu, the restaurant Elements (sanctuaryoncamelback.com) has fresh Asian-influenced American cuisine and a breathtaking view of Camelback Mountain.

GETTING THERE: Northwest Airlines, U.S. Airways, and Sun Country all offer direct flights.
 


Puerto Rico

You don’t need a passport or foreign money to travel to this oft-forgotten U.S. territory. And leave your watch behind, too, because the pace of life on the Island of Enchantment is languid, whether you’re frolicking in the Windex-blue waters off Vieques or walking the narrow streets of Old San Juan. For the adventurers, there’s world-class surfing, snorkeling, and caving opportunities to choose from. For sloths, well, there’s 300 miles of beaches and more than enough rum and mangos to go around.

STAY: For an artsy, bohemian touch, try the Gallery Inn (thegalleryinn.com) in Old San Juan. The rooftop deck has a view of the ocean, and the crumbling décor (imagine the old Loring Café) and parrots make for a unique experience.

EAT: El Picoteo (elconvento.com), housed in a former convent turned hotel, features savory empanadillas, a seafood-brimming paella, and other Caribbean and Spanish specialties.

GETTING THERE: Northwest Airlines offers direct flights on Saturday and Sunday.
 


Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is one of the oldest societies in the New World—it’s where Columbus first landed on his way to, er, India. Its history has had rough patches, but fortunately, the island nation is on its way up after years of 20th-century trouble, and it has capitalized on its fine waterfront property. Both the beaches of the south coast and the adventure hot spots in the north are a short flight from the United States. If you need a break from the all-inclusive bubble, try Iguana Mama tours (iguanamama.com).

STAY: For a quiet, down-to-earth place, try El Marinique (elmarinique.com), a hotel on the less-trafficked Samana peninsula. Or, for something more upscale, try the Garden Hotel Lomita Maravilla (lomitamaravilla.com) in Las Terrenas.

EAT: There’s no lack of seafood along the DR coasts, but things that swim aren’t among the ingredients in the beloved national dish bandera domininica. It’s made with beans, rice, and marinated chicken or beef—simple, but tasty.

GETTING THERE: Continental, American, and Delta airlines offer flights to Puerto Plata airport, with most connections through Atlanta.
 


Sanibel and Captiva Islands

If you want to get a glimpse of Florida as it looked long before Walt Disney erected his Magic Kingdom, head to Sanibel and Captiva, a chain of islands off the southwest corner of the state, near Naples and Fort Myers. Though connected to the mainland by a causeway, the northern-most reaches of the chain feel remote and wild. You’ll discover soft sand beaches, great birdwatching and wildlife viewing, kayaking, fishing, and other diversions.

STAY: For hotel options, see Sanibelsmallinns.com.

EAT: On the cheaper side, you can hit the Sanibel Café (sanibelcafe.com) for lunch, or head to the swankier Twilight Café (twilightcafesanibel.com). Either way, there’s plenty of grouper, scallops, and other seafood to sample.

GETTING THERE: Fly Northwest Airlines or Sun Country direct to Fort Myers; Sanibel is less than 30 miles from the Southwest Florida International Airport.
 


St. Martin

With 37 beaches, this tiny but diverse island paradise provides plenty of opportunities to tune up your tan or frolic in the saltwater. Orient Bay on the French side is the island’s most famous and touristy beach, with snorkel-friendly reefs (a word of caution, however: Swimsuits here are optional). For solitude, consider a sunset stroll along Long Beach at Baie Longue, which has two miles of white sand. Philipsburg, on the Dutch side of the country, is close to Proselyte Reef, a popular diving spot where a British ship sank in 1802. The town also features some of the best shopping on the island.

STAY: Travelers looking for a relaxing experience will appreciate the friendly staff, clean rooms, and extraordinary views of Simpson Bay at the Horny Toad Guest House (thehornytoadguesthouse.com).

EAT: For the best selection of restaurants on the island, head to Grand Case (grandcasebeachclub.com), the “gourmet capital of the Caribbean.” Or, for a taste of something different, Le Pressoir (590-87-76-62) offers up excellent French fare in the charming environs of an old Creole house.

GETTING THERE: Sun Country offers direct flights seasonally.
 


Isla Holbox, Mexico

A few hours north of Cancun, you come to the end of the Yucatan Peninsula. There, several times a day, a ferry leaves for a tiny spit of an island called Isla Holbox (pronounced hol-bosh), part of the Yum Balam Reserve. The roads on the island are still sand, and there are few cars, which may be why it’s home to lots of wildlife, including more than 150 species of birds, as well as a big pod of whale sharks that come to feed later in the year.

STAY: There are several lodging options on Holbox, but you might try Faro Viejo (faroviejoholbox.com) or Hotel La Palapa (hotellapalapa.com).

EAT: Try the fresh fish in banana leaves or the chipotle shrimp at Viva Zapata (984-875-22-04).

GETTING THERE: Direct flights are not available. Sun Country offers year-round service to Cancún, however, and Aerosaab offers charter service to Holbox airport.
 


Touring Palm Springs

Once a hideaway for Hollywood’s A-list, Palm Springs flourished in the 1950s and ’60s, blooming like a desert flower after a rainstorm. The city’s popularity with starlets and studs has dwindled, but much of the stylish architecture from that era remains. Mid-century modernism (think kidney-shaped coffee tables and cantilevered roofs) is everywhere in Palm Springs, with houses by Richard Neutra, Donald Wexler, and other world-famous architects mixed in amid the nightclubs, hotels, restaurants, and shops. Local guide Robert Imber offers Segway tours of some of the city’s most notable architecture (call Palm Springs Modern Tours at 760-318-6118).

STAY: The new Ace Hotel and Swim Club (acehotel.com/palmsprings), scheduled to open in January 2009, includes such amenities as two large pools, an indoor spa salon, and a star-gazing platform.

EAT: You don’t have to be “double income, no kids” to get in the door at Palm Springs new Dink’s Restaurant and Ultra Lounge (dinksrestaurant.com), but don’t ask for a children’s menu. Dink’s offers such exotic culinary crosses as “prime-rib chowder” and devil’s food cupcakes with cherry truffle.

GETTING THERE: Northwest Airlines flies direct year-round; Sun Country, seasonally.

 

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