With the holidays behind us and everything put away, we’re thinking about getting out of town.
Whether it’s for a long weekend or school vacation week with the kids, we’ve picked four great places to visit. Two destinations where you’ll need to bundle up and grab your skis and two sun-soaked spots that call for shorts and shades. Whether you’ve set your sights on snow or sun, we’ve got you covered on the what-to-wear and what-to-dos.
HEAD TO PARK CITY, UT
About 30 minutes outside of Salt Lake City, this ski town is full of family-friendly fun. From bobsled rides to visiting Utah’s Olympic Park to fantastic skiing for skiers of all ages and ability levels. There’s also snow tubing, zip lines, an alpine coaster and hiking if you take a day off the slopes.
If you’re in the area January 19-29, be sure to check out the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Or watch the world’s best freestyle skiers at the 2017 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup at Deer Valley Resort, February 1-4––it’s free and open to the public.
Take advantage of the convenient and free transit system to get around town, too.
While the typical chain hotels abound, for a true lodge experience and supreme location, we chose The Montage at Deer Valley, an alpine escape overlooking historic Park City.
GO NORTH TO STRATTON, VT
The entire state is dotted with ski towns, but we settled on the highest peak in Southern Vermont, with easy access from Boston and New York, they’re just three and four hours away respectively.
Also family friendly, winter at Stratton is more than just skiing and snowboarding. There’s the Coca-Cola Tube Park, dog sled rides, snowmobile tours and more on the mountain. But venture down into historic Manchester for some great outlet shopping and farm-to-table dining.
You won’t find your typical hotels in this area, rather locally-operated inns and small lodges. Many skiers rent condos and houses near the trails.
Would you rather soak up the sun and escape the cold, grey winter? We hear you! From cruising to a tropical destination in the Caribbean or flying South for a golf or fishing trip, your packing list is significantly shorter and lighter. We suggest the must-haves: a palm-pattern sport shirt, lightweight shorts, swim trunks and sandals. Throw in a cool graphic tee as well as a performance polo.
FLY SOUTH TO THE FLORIDA KEYS
We call this a fly-and-drive vacation, with lots of mini destinations. Easily accessible from either Fort Lauderdale or Miami, once you’re there, rent a car and keep driving south. There’s so much to see and do along the 100-mile+ Highway 1 route, it’s been rated one of National Geographic’s Drives of a Lifetime. From the roadside orange-and-souvenir stands and diners to excellent fishing stops, you’ll want to take your time going from Key Largo to Key West.
We recommend stopping and staying at any number of the motels that line this road. Far from luxurious, many are a piece of Americana and will take you back in time. Though Travel + Leisure does offer a list of more upscale accommodations.
Once you reach the Southernmost City on the map, wander the streets with the chickens, have a cheeseburger in paradise (Jimmy Buffett has a Margaritaville restaurant here), check out Ernest Hemingway’s home and watch the cruise ships pass by.
BEACH IT IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
While a passport isn’t necessary if you’re a U.S. citizen, you will need to purchase a $10 tourist card that allows you to stay for 15 days. See a list of FAQs.
With many all-inclusive resorts right on the beach, Punta Cana is a highly sought-after area on the eastern side of the island. Featuring crystal blue Caribbean water and a variety of affordable vacation packages, you’ll see why this is a hot spot for travelers.
The Puntacana Resort and Club offers a beach-side hotel and villas with plenty of excursions like watersport activities, horseback riding, eco-tours, deep-sea diving and the annual Carnaval celebration on March 11. Don’t forget your sunscreen and shades.