Watersports -- and plenty of other fun! -- await you in the Florida Keys!
The Keys have a little something for everyone — and fortunately, everything can be done under the Florida sun! Whether you want to hit the beach, set sail on the waters, or make some non-human friends, you can find fun in the Keys, from Key Largo to Key West. Take a look at just a few of our favorite Florida activities!
Summertime is fast-approaching and we can’t wait till the days of top-down convertibles, cover-ups and flip-flops dress codes, and mini weekend getaways. After all, a share can be great but there’s something about a spontaneous trip to the beach to really make it feel like summer. So whether your home base is New York or Los Angeles, D.C. or San Francisco, or even Boston, we have a beach destination that can easily be reached via a quick road trip. So grab a map, your sunglasses, and some road trippin’ munchies, and make your escape!
Weekend Getaway from New York City: Montauk
Travel time: 2 hours, 30 minutes via car
Visit Montauk before the "too cool" Hamptons vibe has rubbed off on it.
It may seem cliche, but there’s a reason why Manhattanites flock to the Hamptons come summer. Home to upscale restaurants, trendy workout clubs, quirky shops, and of course, beautiful beaches, it offers a nice reprieve from the congestion and smog of the city — while maintaining that cool (and sometimes snobbish) city vibe. Montauk, located at the furthest tip, however, has a more laid-back feel; residents fear that a recent influx of visitors will taint its unpretentious reputation, but for now it’s a nice alternative to the ultra-exclusive vibe of other Hamptons.
Where to Stay: A cool party spot, Sole East attracts a young, beautiful crowd. With a tasty on-site restaurant, a small pool with loungers, and beach cruisers available for rent, it’s a great pick.
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Las Vegas is wild year round, but it reaches its highest peak of crazy when the
cesspools outdoor pools reopen for the spring and summertime crowds. Known for their ever-flowing liquor, bikini bodies, and raucous behavior, Vegas pool parties are some of the most popular places to let it all hang out (literally and figuratively). Pools at hotels such as Cosmopolitan, the Luxor, and the Monte Carlo are all open, but here’s the list of our four favorite Vegas pools that are now open for a wild, warm-weather crowd.
Reopened: April 21st
Sunday Rehab Pool Party at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
When people think of Las Vegas pool parties, the Hard Rock’s infamous Sunday Rehab often comes to mind. These parties show Vegas at its finest — or most terrifying, depending on your view. But even people who arrive terrified often feel just finnnnne a few cocktails in. Reopened a few days ago for its ninth season, Rehab features tons of booze, live DJs, and scantily-clad partiers you probably saw at Vanity the night before, who are taking the whole “hair of the dog” saying very seriously. Gents have to hand over $50 at the door (although we”d advise buying tickets in advance) while the ladies get in for just $30. But most claim that it’s worth the price; you just may find that special someone. For those who want to ensure they’ll have to spot to wind down if they need a reprieve from the partying, pricey daybeds and cabanas are available for rent.
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Through our many travels we’ve learned that April showers don’t just bring May flowers – they bring delicious May produce! Everything from zucchini to asparagus, spring peas to corn, and watermelon to strawberries begin sprouting up during the spring and summer. And if you’re not quite ready to put on the overalls and bring in the harvest yourself, the next best thing is to visit a local farmers’ market, where fresh produce abounds. We’ve picked out our 10 favorite farmers’ markets across the states, so no matter where your spring and summer vacations take you, you’ll have plenty of tasty treats to bring home. And we’ve even found a great hotel near each spot so you can be sure to beat the crowds.
1. Pike Place Market, Seattle
Vegetable stand at Pike Place Market
Pike Place is one of Seattle’s main attractions. Featuring numerous produce, meat, and fish stands, the market also has plenty of craft kiosks for buying local artwork and gifts. It is open 7 days a week, and though most stands close around 5 p.m., several fine-dining restaurants on the 9-acre historic district are open late.
Where to Stay: Inn at the Market is aptly named. It is one of Seattle’s best-known, and most popular, hotels, in large part due to its unbeatable location: It’s in the heart of downtown Seattle, just half a block from Pike Place Market.
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Ah, springtime! While we celebrate the warmer months all around the globe, they are particularly welcome when they come to chillier (read: freezing) spots such as Amsterdam. Visitors may shy away from this Eastern European beauty during the winter, but the tourists return in droves come April, when the sun, colorful flowers, and outdoor markets reappear. Just strolling along the cobblestone streets of Amsterdam is a wonderful way to spend a day, but we’ve got five activities you can’t miss during your springtime trip this year. And of course, where to stay nearby.
Walk through beautiful gardens
Amsterdam's colorful tulips are a main attraction during the warmer months.
Come April, Amsterdam’s streets are lined with flower stands selling colorful tulips, the official country flower of Holland. Tulips can be seen sprouting up just about everywhere throughout the city, but the Keukenhof Gardens and Tulips Fields is the most popular place to enjoy them. The largest flower gardens in the world, it is home to over seven million flowers, and not just tulips — daffodils, hyacinths, amaryllis, and crocus are also there to be admired.
Where to Stay: A bit east of the city center, the Keukenhof Gardens are about a 30-minute drive from the majority of Amsterdam’s hotels. For those visiting the gardens, and other major attractions along the way, the Conscious Hotel Vondelpark is a solid mid-range option that will particularly appeal to tree-huggers: The hotel features a vibrant plant wall as well as furniture made from recycled and sustainable materials.
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Summertime will soon be upon us — this week has already seen highs of 82 degrees in NYC! — and we can’t wait for long days spent strolling along the boardwalk. From Atlantic City to Santa Cruz, beach bums will strut their stuff down those sandy pathways, either taking in the views or letting loose on beachside coasters (or both!). Foodies will delight in summer treats such as saltwater taffy and Nathan’s hot dogs, and visitors can also play games, have their fortunes told, hit up unique shopping grounds, or just people-watch as the summer heat brings out some truly interesting characters. So bust out your flip-flops, spread on the SPF, and head to one of these boardwalks near you for some spring and summer fun in the sun.
1. Atlantic City Boardwalk, New Jersey
The Atlantic City Boardwalk is the oldest in the United States and the longest in the world.
First opened in 1870 and now spanning 5.5 miles, the Atlantic City Boardwalk is both the oldest in America and the longest in the world, garnering plenty of attention from East Coast visitors. Travelers fantasize about the Art Deco glamour and glitzy shows of Nucky Thompson‘s heyday while munching on saltwater taffy from the James Candy Company (in business since the early 1900s) or indulging in an order of deep-fried oreos. Others may try their luck in one of the many casinos that dot the boardwalk. Though Atlantic City was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, loyalists are helping this shore spot bounce back with a vengeance.
Where to Stay: Mainstays such as Caesars bring back loyal guests, while boardwalk newbie Revel has been a hot topic in the tabloids (Beyonce performed her first post-baby show here, and Kanye announced that baby momma Kim Kardashian was expecting during his performance at the resort).
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Baseball season is now in full swing (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) and you have six months of heartbreak and/or joy — depending on your team — ahead. Taking in a game from the comfort of your living room can be nice, especially if it means saving face after an embarrassing loss (hey, Rangers!). But there’s nothing quite like taking in your team from the stands, with a hot dog and beer in hand. And there’s nothing like showing your team spirit than being there to root them on in the flesh. So whether you cheer for the Yankees (or the Mets), the Red Sox, the White Sox (or the Cubs), the Braves, the Cardinals, the Dodgers, the Marlins, the Phillies, the Giants, or the Astros, we have the perfect hotel where the die-hard fans can stay.
For: Yankees Fans, New York City
Trump International Hotel and Tower, New York City
He may have sold his penthouse apartment a few months ago, but Derek Jeter fans will still love being in a place the famed Yankee once called home: The Trump International Hotel and Tower. A luxury skyscraper with hotel rooms and residences, the Trump is one of the top spots for pre and post-game pampering, with an indoor pool, a tasty restaurant, and one of the best spas in the city. Plus, with a fabulous location on Central Park West, the hotel is less than a block from the B and D lines which will drop you off right by Yankee Stadium.
For Mets Fans: If you’re a Mets fan and can’t stand to be in the same hotel as Yankees fans (and to be honest, the stadiums aren’t that close), you may consider the Grand Hyatt. Rumored to have hosted numerous celebrity athletes (particularly during the U.S. Open), the Grand Hyatt is conveniently located next to Grand Central, where Mets fans can catch the 7 train to Citi Field in Queens. It’s also a prime location for visiting numerous must-see Big Apples sights.
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Although the ski slopes are a draw, New England’s cold winters sometimes scare visitors away– but come the warmer months, the region turns into a bustling destination with beachgoers, outdoors enthusiasts, foodies, and even visitors whose only plans are to watch the world go by from a chair on the front porch of a quaint B&B. From Maine to Rhode Island, New England offers endless options for those looking to relax — be it with friends, family, or their better half. We picked out five activities so no matter with whom you’re traveling, you’ll have a great time.
For families: Seal-watching on Chatham Lighthouse Beach, Cape Cod
Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are mostly known for their miles of sandy beaches and famous visitors (we missed you last year, Mr. President). It’s a favorite among couples in need of some R&R, but there is tons for families to do as well. One of the most fun activities when traveling with kids is seal-watching in Chatham, probably the most charming New England beachside community. While seals can be spied from several spots, one of the best places to catch a peek is from the shores of Chatham Lighthouse Beach, which Harbor and Grey seals call home every year when the warm weather sets in. Just remember to stay at a safe distance!
Stay: Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham
Rooms and suites are large enough to fit in a rollaway.
Nestled near the heart of Chatham on 25 scenic acres overlooking Pleasant Bay, Chatham Bars Inn has been a local staple since 1914. The true Cape-Cod style architecture is complemented by lovely interiors to match — upholstered wingback chairs, antique-style turned-leg furnishings, and seafaring decor. But don’t let the term “inn” fool you, this property is big and amenities-packed, with a beautiful spa, modern fitness center, scenic beach, fine dining, private chartered boats, and classic clay tennis courts. Thanks to the large pools (including a kiddie pool) and an extensive kids’ club, the Inn is a popular choice for families.
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Most hotels remain open throughout the year, even when off-peak season means low occupancy and less-than-ideal weather. But some hotels choose to shutter their doors and windows during this time, triumphantly reopening in the warmer months — and often boasting some upgrades, to boot! These hotels sure know how to build our anticipation; we can’t wait to get back to them! So without further adieu, here are our five favorite hotels that are reopening for the spring and summer.
Reopening Date: May 2nd
Some of the cottages at Hidden Pond feature outdoor porches and screened-in patios.
Spread over 60 acres, Hidden Pond features 36 suite-like bungalows and two-bedroom cottages. While each have their own personality, they are all bright, homey, and sophisticated, characterized by pops of color and lodge-like touches (such as stone fireplaces adorned with antlers, and a lamp made from a tree branch). The spa is set up to resemble a tree house, and free yoga classes are held at the organic farm (where guests may also pick fresh flowers and veggies). Another outstanding feature is the outdoor bar and grill that sits on a “sand bar,” with chairs circled around fire pits. This upscale boutique hotel attracts couples with its tranquil environment and top-notch restaurants, as well as families with its cottages that include full kitchens and washer/dryers. The hotel also provides a free shuttle to the beach, which is just a five-minute drive away.
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Ballynahinch Castle Hotel
People tend to go a little crazy on St. Paddy’s day; most of us are familiar with the crowded parades, green rivers, and drunken revelry. And it’s understandable why so many get excited about their love for Ireland, which is deservedly famous for its dramatic green cliffs, roaring peat fires, lively pubs, and welcoming locals. Ranging from historic castles to modern boutiques, these nine hotels are packed with Irish charm and may help inspire your next trip — or at least help get you in the St. Paddy’s spirit.