Want to live like a Rockefeller on your next vacation? Or want a voyeuristic peek into the world of the rich and powerful? These iconic resorts across the country — from a Gilded Age Palm Beach estate to a Newport mansion to a Long Island Gold Coast castle — will make you feel like your blood runs blue.
The Breakers Palm Beach
There’s a reason The Breakers’ reputation precedes it. This 140-acre resort, first built in 1896 (and reconstructed in 1926), resembles a Renaissance palace, and it’s seen more than its fair share of American royalty over the years; Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, William Randolph Hearst, and various Astors, Rockefellers, and Vanderbilts have all walked the halls at this posh spot. No other hotel in Palm Beach can come close to matching the luxury found at this iconic property.
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Why, yes! We DO have tickets to the Cape Cod Gun Show!
It seems as though we were visiting Cape Cod the same weekend the gun show was in town! Though the Massachusetts town is best known as a cozy beach community with reserved New England charm, this guy at the Crowne Pointe Historic Inn & Spa didn’t get the memo and wants to do a little showing off. And who can blame him?!
Read our caption after the jump, then enter your own in the comments section below!
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Halloween looms in the near future (though we must confess, we’ve been planning our costumes for months) and we’re doing just about everything we can to get into the spooky spirit. Carving pumpkins? Check. Watching a scary movie? Check. Visiting a spooky spot? Check. In fact, some of our favorite hotels are not only home to quaint rooms, delicious restaurants, and friendly staff — they also host resident ghosts. Fortunately, most of these shady figures are reportedly nice enough, but it certainly gives us a little chill when checking-in. Especially when we’re visiting the chilly Northeast. Continue reading — if you dare — to learn more about the spooky specters that haunt the Northeast’s hotels.
Enter the Jailhouse Inn...at your own risk...
The ghostlore: Originally built in 1772, the Jailhouse Inn occupies what used to be the old Newport County Jail. In keeping with the jail theme, the inn features interesting little artifacts and details throughout, such as iron bars over the lobby front desk, framed articles about famous criminals, and signs directing guests to “solitary” and various “cell blocks.” Stories abound of ghosts visiting the Jailhouse, so if you keep your eyes open perhaps you’ll see one too — especially if you stay on the third floor. Guests have felt cool gusts of wind when it’s hot outside and no windows are open, and others have heard whispering voices that can’t be explained — all evidence of paranormal activity.
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September is National Yoga Month — who knew?! Back in 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services decreed this be a month dedicated to sharing the health benefits of yoga and inspiring a healthy lifestyle. Throughout September, there will be nationwide yoga events that individuals of every skill level can participate in, culminating in “The Time for Yoga,” a global community yoga session taking place on September 30. Everyone can also sign up for one free week of yoga through the organization’s website. Basically, you have a month to get zen (for cheap) — don’t squander it! Even if you’re on vacation. Hotels sometimes come equipped with the best fitness spaces you’ll find, yoga mats included, and we’ve picked out our favorite hotels where finding your inner peace is made just a tad easier:
Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa, Maui
Morning yoga sessions on the beach at Maui's Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa.
With one of the best pools in Hawaii, a top spa, and a prime location on one of Maui’s best beaches, its hard to find a flaw at the opulent Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa, where beach-side yoga is free every morning. Is there a more perfect way to greet the day?
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Credit: Duncan Walker/iStockPhoto.com
Come on, you know it: We all have a secret soft spot for those kitschy red, white and blue decorations folks tend to resurface during the summer — especially around July 4th. But while we give a wink to plastic flags, what we truly love is some rustic, genuine American décor; from pieces that look straight out of Betsy Ross’s Philadelphia home to more desert-inspired styles reminiscent of the Westward Expansion. And hotels across the country are happy to oblige to these decor styles year round. Since Independence day is on the horizon, enjoy our favorite spots for all the plaid, wood and warmth that typical American décor is so famous for.
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The Best Road Trips is a weekly summer series highlighting our favorite getaways from major cities all over the United States.
Home to about 8 million folks — and tons of our readers, the Big Apple is a behemoth destination to explore itself. But should you be longing to escape the crowded streets, know you’re in similar company; New York’s residents seemingly flock town every Friday. Plus, there are so many great vacation spots just a few hours away by car (and what seems like a million ZipCar locations should you not have your own ride). So get your bags packed, slather on some sunscreen and hop in the whip — we’ve got some miles to cover.
Road Trip #1: New York City to Montauk, NY
Life's a beach in the tony Hamptons.
- Total Driving Time: 2 hours, 48 minutes
- Distance Covered: 119 miles
- Take This Trip If: You love a good scene — the otherwise-sleepy town is crawling with celebs during the summer.
The grounds at the Montauk Yacht Club.
One of the Panoramic View's amazing pool views.
Originally famous for both its surfing and fishing, Montauk, Long Island’s easternmost tip, is considered part of The Hamptons and has plenty to offer a variety of tourists, including six national state parks. Always in the background is the ubitiquous Montauk Lighthouse, New York’s oldest and the fourth in the national overall. Aside from its rich history and scenic landscape, Montauk also offers visitors sleek shopping at vintage stores like Screaming Mimi’s and incredible local eats like lunch at Dureyea’s Lobster Deck, where the lobster rolls, naturally, are second to none. Splurge on a stay at the Panoramic View, a sprawling resort tucked away off Old Mountak Highway in which every single guest room boasts gorgeous Atlantic Ocean vistas. And should you get too much sun (or sand) on the beach, check out the pool’s cabana for some shaded R&R. Savvy folks should opt for the Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marinas; even though it’s off the ocean, it has lovely little villas that are perfect for a couple’s getaway. A free shuttle into town makes the inflated prices a bit more worthwhile.
- Top Driving Tip: Most directions will tell you to take the Long Island Expressway, but skip the always-clogged I-495 and take the Grand Central Parkway/Northern State Parkway instead; it’ll save you precious minutes you’ll need when Montauk Highway becomes one lane in South Hampton.
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Grounds at Vintners Inn in Sonoma
When the weather gets warm, the daydreaming begins. Lush hideaways. Hidden cottages. Your own secret garden come to life.
These fantasies can very easily become a reality, with an outdoor space and a little elbow grease. We’ve seen a lot of beautiful gardens on our travels, and so we took what we learned to come up these 10 helpful gardening tips.
From sculptures to arbors to lighting, learn about the additions that can transform an ordinary garden into a memorable haven.
This week’s moment of Zen comes from South Yarmouth in Cape Cod, Mass. Now while its still a bit chilly up there, a few of us here are planning on visiting the area this summer and chomping at the bit for warmer weather to arrive. But until it does, we can just gaze out at the Atlantic Ocean at the Rivieria Beach Resort, take a deep breath, and soak in the Monday morning goodness.
Riviera Beach Resort; Cape Cod, MA
Even if you’ve just returned from a Christmas vacation (lucky you!), winter’s cold temperatures take a toll on us all — and what else would we do but recommend taking a quick, refreshing break? Right now, there are some great deals — but only if you know where to look. We checked out our favorite summer spots for nothing short of a fabulous (if frigid) winter break.
Where to Stay: The Vanessa Noel Hotel
Cafe V at The Vanessa Noel Hotel; Nantucket, MA
Why Now: Unlike its other cottage-y counterparts, the Vanessa Noel has minimalist chic room decor that reminds us more of the Delano in South Beach. This spot is no-kids-allowed, so if you’re looking to tote your entire fam, you’ll have to find an alternate resort. Great for couples, though, there’s also the hip, delicious Cafe V and a killer shoe store attached to satisfy any fashionista’s shopping needs.
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