Stockholm

It may not be easy to let your kids fly the coup, but being an Empty Nester has its advantages — especially when it comes to travel. Forget breaking up sibling rivalries in the backseat or searching for one affordable restaurant that pleases everyone’s palate. Empty Nesters not only have a renewed sense of freedom, but also extra time and money that can afford them unique vacation opportunities. For mature travelers who are still young at heart and looking for adventure, we’ve found some of the best international destinations that get you back to the outdoors while offering a little something extra for your mature sensibilities.

1. Stockholm, Sweden

The nautical-themed Hotel J offers 1-,2-, or 3-day excursions on their private sailboat.

As one of the most lush (and underrated) places in the world, Sweden’s capital city boasts its eco-friendly atmosphere throughout its 14 interconnected waterways. And because of its far north locale in Scandinavia, daytime can last more than 19 hours during the summer season. With a strong focus on the outdoors, Stockholm makes for a great active getaway. The nautical-themed waterfront J Hotel is a secluded boutique property, perfect for couples looking for tranquility and activity. Guests of the J can rent bikes, hop aboard the hotel’s private sailboat, or get a tai-chi lesson. The hotel also offers wine tastings and culinary classes for travelers to indulge in when (and if) the sun goes down. Read More »

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View from the Bitter End Yacht Club -- Virgin Gorda

Sure, the BVI is a nice, island-y spot. But we have some atypical island vacations after the jump that are hard to beat.

It’s getting warmer, summer is soon approaching, and we’ve got a full-blown case of spring fever at Oyster HQ. So it’s easy to catch ourselves dreaming of an island escape where we can enjoy some sun, fun, and relaxation. But going to the Caribbean is sooo typical (not that we’d turn down the chance to be someone’s travel buddy if they’re heading that way…hint, hint). Instead, we’re picturing a different kind of island vacation. A vacation where you’re on an island, but not one that most would normally think of; instead, we’re picturing the atypical island vacation – but with all the perks of an island getaway. Check ‘em out now!

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Best Western Tomo San Francisco CA

This San Fran hotel is part of a budget chain -- but has high style.

Although we have covered hundreds of hotels and seen many, many guest rooms, there have been a few that have really, well, stood out to us. One would even call them “zany.” Really. We’ve seen stone hand sculptures, faces on chairs, and even private infinity pools waiting for us to dip our toes in. But these eight suites were something else — they take “quirky” to a whole new level. Check ‘em out now — you may find your next design inspiration inside the gallery!

8 Crazy Hotel Rooms and Suites

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We’ve been counting down the seconds to the 84th Academy Awards since the nominees were announced last month. And now that the big day is less than a week away, we’re beside ourselves with excitement. We can list off all the nominees — and even make a few well-educated predictions. But if you haven’t been as attentive to the details, no worries — we’ll give you the low-down. Not only will we tell you some of our favorite nominees, but more importantly, we’ll show you how to live like the characters or real-life actors in these Oscar-nominated films. Who wouldn’t want to live like George Clooney, right? Unless, of course, it’s George Clooney in The Descendants, with a wife in a coma and an unruly teenage daughter. Silver lining? He lived in Hawaii, so things must not have been all bad…

THE FILM: The Descendants

THE NOMINATIONS: Best Picture, Best Actor (George Clooney), Best Directing (Alexander Payne), Best Film Editing

Dolphin Quest at The Kahala Hotel and Resort; Oahu, HI

Dolphin Quest at The Kahala Hotel and Resort; Oahu, HI

THE HOTEL: The Kahala Hotel and Resort; Oahu, HI

The heart-warming and heart-wrenching film tells the story of Matt King, a successful Honolulu-based lawyer dealing with difficult family truths after his wife has fallen into a coma. So while you may not want to trade places with his character, the real-life Clooney leads an envy-worthy, glam life — he and the rest of the crew stayed at the luxurious Kahala Resort during filming. A celebrity retreat since 1964, the Kahala is one of the only quiet luxury options on Oahu, and offers amenities such as the renowned Dolphin Quest, a quiet, beautiful beach, and large rooms with enormous bathrooms.

Check out more Hollywood-approved hotels after the jump!

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