With the arrival of warm(er) weather, the Great Outdoors have officially begun beckoning and we here at Oyster can’t wait to pack up some supplies and make for the trail head. The United States offers some of the most varied and stunningly gorgeous terrains in the world that make the perfect backdrop for a back-to-nature hike, whether you’re looking for a one-day jaunt or hoping to make a vacation out of the entire experience. No matter your ideal trail or fitness level, we’ve got you covered coast-to-coast with the best trails for an awesome hiking adventure. We’ve even included one spot you’ll have to cross the Pacific to get to! Break out the rucksack and dig up your hiking boots, because here are nine of the best hikes in the United States… as well as the best hotels nearby for each.
Gorgeous trails snake along Kauai’s stunning coast, and the Kalalua Trail is one of the most stunning, with beautiful sweeping vistas from atop the cliffs. Visitors can choose to hike a portion of the trail for a day excursion, or make an extended trip out of it: The entire trail is about 22 miles and can take three to five days to traverse. It’s often regarded as one of the finest — and most varied — coastal trails in the world, with challenging, muddy slopes and steamy tropical temperatures. Hikers can explore Kalalua Valley, home to enchanting waterfalls and lush foliage, or choose to rest up on the beach.
Stay: Hanalei Colony Resort
No TVs or phones here; instead, you get rare oceanfront views and easy access to hiking along the (practically adjacent) Na Pali Coast. The pool is small, housekeeping only comes every third day, and there’s little on offer at the free breakfast aside from bagels. But the 48 two-bedroom condos with full kitchens are worth the downsized features. Read More »
The Jefferson in D.C. plays homage to its namesake throughout the hotel.
It’s almost Independence Day! And what better way to celebrate our nation than brushing up on some fascinating presidential trivia? Given how much time presidents spend on the road, it’s no surprise how many noteworthy events — famous and infamous both — have taken place at hotels. We’ve come up with a list of hotels that not only come with the presidential seal of approval, but also are rich with presidential history — secret entrances, assassination attempts, and the occasional scandal. After all, you can never be sure what’s going on in the room next door…
Check out our list of presidential hotels and the events that went down in them here.
Couples take note: It’s not necessary to leave the country to experience some of the world’s most romantic hotels. We love exotic locales, but those looking for something closer to home can find some truly decadent escapes right in our own backyard. Our five favorite picks all have lovely waterfront settings on oceans, waterfalls, or lagoons, as well as pampering service and ultra-luxurious accommodations. Check ‘em out!
The Cottage Suite - River View, Inn at Palmetto Bluff
This “inn” in Carolina Lowcountry, really more akin to a sprawling estate, provides a one-of-a-kind experience that uniquely blends southern history and almost otherworldly natural beauty: rivers, misty marshes, old oaks draped with wispy Spanish moss, and salty breezes. The main hotel building looks like a classic southern mansion, and the 50 Cottages and Cottage Suites are simultaneously homey and utterly luxurious, with working fireplaces, screen porches, and gorgeous bathrooms. The multi-bedroom Village Homes are also luxurious, but lack some of the nuances of the cottages. Guests can enjoy a range of recreational facilities, including golf, bicycling, tennis, croquet, kayaking, and swimming (in the two pools), and the luxury spa is highly acclaimed. It’s not an overstatement to say that the Inn at Palmetto Bluff is one of the most special properties in the entire country.
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The Canyon Ranch in Miami has a gorgeous rooftop pool with stunning ocean views.
Deciding on a destination for an upcoming trip is never easy. While the beach and mountains may beckon, cities are a great option year-round, offering an array of activities for every type of getaway. After a long day of sight-seeing, however, some may long for those quiet, relaxing moments by the pool that are often easier to come by in non-urban destinations. So we’ve rounded up our favorite urban rooftop pools, so you can find relaxation even in a bustling metropolis. Click through the slideshow and discover some of our favorite hotel rooftop pools.
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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The Ahwanee, Yosemite National Park
Nothing man-made can rival Mother Nature at her finest. For those who love the great outdoors, the most memorable vacations aren’t at massive mega-resorts — they’re at hotels that bring you closer to some of the world’s natural wonders. From an historic landmark hotel in Yosemite National Park to a lodge at the top of a massive waterfall to luxury tree houses nestled among California’s redwoods, these 10 hotels have natural settings that are truly jaw-dropping.
The Outlook Inn is one of the most romantic spots on the San Juan Islands.
Couples have a lot of reasons to be attracted to the Evergreen State. From sleek Seattle boutiques to secluded inns on the San Juan Islands, there’s a little something for every romantic in this corner of the Pacific Northwest. Outdoorsy couples will love hiking in the romantic Snoqualmie Valley, in the shadow of one of Washington’s many waterfalls, while city-slickers will fall in love with Seattle’s funky food scene and vibrant nightlife. So if you’re planning a romantic getaway with that special someone to Washington State, be sure to consider these hotels ready for romance.
The Marriott Wailea Resort is a romantic honeymoon locale on Maui.
Honeymoons must be two things: romantic and memorable. Any old trip to the beach is just not going to suffice for a couple’s post-nuptial getaway. But thankfully, there are plenty of unique and luxurious properties out there for newlyweds. Remote jungle hideaways, cozy mountain lodges, luxe European grand dames, and gorgeous beachfront properties are waiting with a bottle of champagne at the ready to toast your “I dos.” These romantic hotels around the world are perfect honeymoon locales; go ahead and swoon over them in this slideshow.
April Yvonne; Photo Courtesy of Laurie Bracewell
The luxury Capella hotel brand, with properties in Los Cabos and Singapore, has landed in the nation’s capital. Capella DC‘s doors officially open in April, and the hotel is sure to exude the same elegance and glamour that the brand is known for. But this Capella will have something that the others do not — it’s own resident stylist. Yep, you read that correctly. Like some of our other favorite hotels with over-the-top (but truly awesome) services, the Capella hotel caters to it’s guests every need — even their fashion needs. Stylist April Yvonne, creator of MyDCStyle.com, will serve as the hotel’s resident stylist, assisting guests with shopping and styling during their visits. In the past, we’ve sat down with a nightlife concierge, a genealogy butler — even a pet psychic. So we couldn’t wait to have our very first chat with a resident stylist — not to mention the only one that we know of — and get all the scoop on what’s hot and what’s not. From packing tips to what puts D.C. on the fashion map, April answers all of our questions. Check out the interview after the jump!
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The Colonnade at The Fairmont Washington, D.C.
1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Fairmont Washington, D.C.’s $100,000 Presidential Detail Package included a $5,000 shopping spree at SAKS Fifth Avenue, a visit to the “First Ladies Exhibit” at the Smithsonian, and in-room hairdressing services.
2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The San Francisco Marriott Union Square has just launched the “Workspace by the Minute” program, which allows guests and non-guests to rent flexible work and meeting space by one-minute increments instead of having to rent it for a full day.
3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Lindsay Lohan has been barred from all W hotels in New York after trashing yet another hotel room at the W New York – Union Square while partying.
4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Martha Stewart recently stayed in a two-bedroom Fairway Villa at the Wynn Las Vegas, which features a private massage room and a private pool.
5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach’s Polo in Paradise package includes a one-and-a-half-hour personalized polo class at the International Polo Club, a gourmet picnic, and Sunday brunch while watching a polo match from preferred veranda seating.
Check out the answers after the jump!
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