Winter Escapes

Fly | 1,990 miles | 6 1/2 hours

Lush tropical forests. Miles of Caribbean coastline. The longest barrier reef this side of Australia. Belize boasts all the above. And this winter the country's diverse culture and booming ecotourism trade make for an ideal escape. Buy a ticket to paradise on an easy one-stop flight from Boston (800-433-7300,

Start your trip in Cayo by touring Mayan temple ruins at Caracol, exploring the beauty of Hidden Valley Falls–a 1,000-foot waterfall in the mountains–or hiking the Panti Medicinal Trail. Rather swim than hike? Head 50 miles out to sea to the Blue Hole, a 412-foot-deep limestone sinkhole filled with intricate stalactite formations. Or scuba-dive or snorkel along the 185-mile-long reef (011-501-824-4290,

Later, head inland and luxuriate at Francis Ford Coppola's Blanca-neaux Lodge (011-501-824-4912, in the Mountain Pine Ridge Preserve. Or keep to the coast in a private villa on Ambergris Cay at the Mata Chica Beach Resort (011-501-220-5010,

New York City, New York
Ride | 213 miles | 4 hours

Looking for glitz and glamour? It's easy to ride or fly to New York (888-546-5469,; 800-872-7245,; 800-538-2583, Hit the town to shop or see shows, or take in the peaceful post-holiday January lull.

Shopped out? Stop into Bobby Flay's new Bar Americain in midtown for drinks and American eats (212-265-9700, And visit the Meatpacking District's Double Seven for cocktails and celeb sightings (212-981-9099).

Stay at the new St. Regis, where swanky suites and the Remede spa are just like heaven (212-753-4500, Or check out the City Club Hotel's Frette linens and Tracy Stern's SalonTea (212-921-5500,

Orange County, California
Fly | 2,590 miles | 6 1/2 hours

Okay, so The OC is filmed in L.A. and locals say Laguna Beach misrepresents Orange County. But you won't be bummed out by the real thing. Fly direct from Logan to Long Beach for a trip to California's most famous county (800-538-2583,

At Huntington Beach, catch a wave or get friendly with a sexy surf instructor. Next, play a round at the stunning Monarch Beach Golf Links, surrounded by crashing Pacific surf (949-234-3200, And what would the O.C. be without shopping? Make like Summer and Marissa at Fashion Island, an outdoor mall worthy of a 90210 ZIP code. After exhausting yourself (and your wallet), get an aromatherapy massage at the renovated Island Hotel Newport Beach (949-759-0808,

The Montage is the O.C. hotel. Settle into a suite or sun yourself by the infinity pool (866-271-6953, For more luxury, try the Tuscan-style megaresort St. Regis (800-722-1543,

Stratton, Vermont
Drive | 178 miles | 3 1/2 hours

If schlepping to the slopes on an overheated shuttle bus makes you want to snap your skis in half, consider Stratton your savior (800-787-2886, Here you can walk out your condo door, grab a blueberry muffin at Partridge in a Pantry (802-297-9850), and simply ski onto the slopes.

Not excited by 90 trails and four snowboard terrain parks? The quaint Alpine-style pedestrian village has 12 shops and boutiques, a day spa, three restaurants, and a market–all of which means you'll never need your car or sit in traffic. And activities such as dogsledding (800-787-2886), horse-drawn sleigh rides (802-297-9210), snowmobiling (802-297-4454,, cross-country skiing over streams, and snowshoeing through forests more than round out the weekend itinerary.

At night return to either the new and luxurious Hearthstone Lodge on the Common condominiums or the cozy and family-friendly Inn at Stratton Mountain, both a short distance from the slopes (800-787-2886,

Miami, Florida
Fly | 1,257 miles | 3 1/2 hours

Hurricane season is finally over, and there's no better time to take a nonstop trip to Miami's chic South Beach (800-433-7300,

First, fill your culture quotient by strolling past Ocean Drive's famous art deco buildings. Then hit the beach or stop by the fifth annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival, featuring Boston chef Todd English (2/23-2/26, 305-460-6563, Can't make it? The Delano's Blue Door, once a strictly see-and-be-seen site, has been revamped by legendary chef Claude Troisgros (305-674-6400,

South Beach is renowned for ultraluxe, over-the-top hotels, and the new Asian-inspired Setai is no exception. Check in and enjoy an in-room spa treatment before lounging on beach “day beds” (888-625-7500, Or visit the nearby minimalist Shore Club, which has a lively after-hours pool scene perfect for cocktails and celebrity sightings (800-697-1791,

The Bahamas
Fly | 1,245 miles | 3 hours

If you think the Bahamas is all pink flamingos and cheap drinks, think again. Thanks to an influx of A-listers, the islands are firmly back in fashion. Take a direct flight and see for yourself (800-622-1015,

Explore underwater caves at Great Exuma Island's Thunderball Grotto, named for the 007 film (242-393-2522, Shop at Nassau's Harl Taylor Bag, where the island designer sells his Oprah-endorsed straw beach totes (242-356-6782). Spot celeb residents such as Johnny Depp and Michael Jordan while dining at Graycliff, famous for its vintage wines and cigar factory (242-302-9150,

Stay at the newest game in town, the ever rising 2,317-room Atlantis on Paradise Island, whose Marina Village boasts star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Dune (242-363-2501 x64739). While there, catch the Bahamas International Film Festival (12/8-12/11, 242-356-5939, For an intimate escape, opt for the Ocean Club, where tired travelers can unwind at the famed Mandara Spa (242-363-2501,

Scottsdale, Arizona
Fly | 2,292 miles | 6 hours

This place is hot . Climatically, of course, but also according to the arbiter of hotness, Paris Hilton, who's merely one of the glitterati lured to Scottsdale by its suddenly sizzling fine dining, high design, and nightlife.

The area basks in some 330 days of sunshine a year, so anytime's a good time for a nonstop flight (800-235-9292, Once there, start solving dilemmas such as: lemongrass scrub or hot stone massage? Then head into Old Town for an authentic almuerzo at Frank and Lupe's Old Mexico (480-990-9844). Browse art on Marshall Way before savoring avant-garde Japanese fare at nearby Sea Saw (480-481-9463,

Stay at the modernist Hotel Valley Ho, now open after an $80 million renovation (480-248-2000, Or check into the James, which draws the Seven jeans and Young Hollywood sets with its sexy after-dark scene (888-500-8080, And the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain offers hideaways in a serene setting (800-245-2051,

Reykjavík, Iceland
Fly | 2,432 miles | 5 1/2 hours

Remote. Barren. Desolate as the surface of the moon. That may be a Bostonian's odds of finding a parking space on a rainy day, but it's also a misconception many people have about Iceland. In reality the country's landscape is studded with spectacular volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, waterfalls, and cliffs, and its citizens enjoy the second-highest standard of living in the world (the United States' is 10th).

Feeling adventurous? Fly nonstop from Logan to Reykjavík (800-223-5500,, which has evolved from a sleepy backwater into a stylish capital city. On New Year's Eve there is a wild spree with bonfires, fireworks, and exhausting parties. Or save your trip–and appetite–for February's monthlong Thorrablot Feast, during which local restaurants feature traditional Viking fare such as rotten shark and boiled lambs' heads, and the heartiest of partiers dress the part.

Even in the sunless winter, Reykjavík's downtown steams with trendy pubs, wine bars, and dance clubs brimming with beautiful people. For gastronomes, chic eateries such as Sj�varkjallarinn offer Asian-Viking fusion dishes, sushi, and fillet
of lamb (011-354-511-1212, And while the Icelandic geothermal-spa vacation has almost become a cliché, there's nothing like sitting and swimming in a naturally hot outdoor pool during a blizzard (011-354-510-6600,

For modern rooms and fine dining, book a room at the four-star, WiFi-enabled Hotel Odinsvé (011-354-511-6200, in the city center, or try out the newly opened historic and elegant Hotel Reykjavík Centrum nearby (011-354-514-6000,

Affordable Adventure

Greenville, Maine
Drive | 263 miles | 5 1/2 hours

At Little Lyford Pond Camps, right, you can leave it all behind. Literally. The remote locale, 10 miles from the nearest town, is accessible primarily by cross-country ski. The rustic but comfortable log cabins have wood stoves and kerosene lamps that shed a soft glow on the quaint surroundings. You're more likely to see a moose than a fellow snowshoer as you explore the Pleasant River Valley on a 20-mile network of trails. Trek to Gulf Hagas, a 400-foot-deep gorge known as the Grand Canyon of Maine. Return to home base before dark to warm up in the camp's cedar sauna. Or simply curl up in the cozy main lodge with a good book and a steaming mug of hot chocolate. Hearty family-style breakfasts, trail lunches, and four-course dinners round out the camp experience. For information call 603-466-2727 or visit Rates (including meals) are $120 per night for adults, $90 for children.

Fly | 2,362 miles | 6 1/2 hours

Looking for the cure-all for a season of endless soirees, shopping, and slush? Jet from Boston to Panama (800-231-0856,

Venture inland to Boquete's Coffee Estate Inn, a compound nestled among mountain forests and coffee trees (011-507-720-2211, While there, hike the Quetzal Trail for close encounters with monkeys and quetzals, or stroll through the Finca Dracula orchid gardens, a two-hour drive away (011-507-771-2070,

Back at the beach, cozy up to nature at the Bocas del Toro archipelago's Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge, where palm-thatched huts hover above Caribbean coral reefs and splashing dolphins ( Or visit the nearby private island resort of Hacienda del Mar, where 57 beaches and only 14 cabins put the lounge chair-to-guest ratio seriously in your favor (866-433-5627, City slickers who need a fix can head to Panama City for a night at the luxe Bristol Panama (011-507-265-7844,

Tahoe, California
Fly | 2,524 miles | 6 1/2 hours

Boycott the icy runs and frigid weather, and head out West for sweet snow, refreshing breezes, and striking views. And we're not talking Alta or Aspen. For a true winter paradise, make tracks for Tahoe, where serious skiing meets California cool. Fly to Reno, or take a nonstop trip to San Francisco and drive to the mountains (800-864-8331,

Ski Squaw Valley (800-403-0206,, which die-hard downhillers swear has the best terrain around. Or avoid long lift lines, at the more family-friendly Sugar Bowl (530-426-9000, Afterward, soothe sore muscles with a lomi pohaku hot stone massage at the new Hawaiian-inspired Trilogy Spa (530-584-6125, before enjoying the cool vibe, live music, and innovative cuisine of former Boston chef Mark Estee at Moody's Bistro in Truckee (530-587-8688,

The new Village at Squaw Valley has well-appointed suites and condos on the mountain (866-818-6963, Also within steps of your first morning run is the plush PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn (530-583-1576,

Paris, France
Fly | 3,440 miles | 6 hours

Like New York, Paris looks best during the holiday season, with its grand palaces and chic shops wrapped in ribbons and shimmering white lights. The only thing missing is summer's hordes of tourists, which is exactly why you should board an easy nonstop flight from Boston to the City of Light (800-237-2747,

Once there, take in “Vienna 1900,” a retrospective of great Austrian expressionists including Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, at the Grand Palais (through 1/23, 011-33-1-44-13-17-17, Shopaholics can get their fix at the brand-new Louis Vuitton boutique on the Champs Élysées (011-33-8-10-81-00-10, and the famed French department stores Galeries Lafayette and Au Printemps (011-33-1-42-82-34-56,; 011-33-1-42-82-50-00, Or head to Le Marais, a trendy shopping district with the charm of Greenwich Village and the style of SoHo. And don't miss Amours, Délices et Orgues (011-33-1-44-54-98-62), which offers luxe lingerie you can find only in Paris.

Grab a toasted sandwich and a glass of shiraz at La Tartine (011-33-1-42-72-76-85), Paris's oldest wine bar. Book in advance for a table at Senderens, the casual-chic bistro by chef Alain Senderens, who famously relinquished his three Michelin stars (011-33-1-42-65-22-90,

Stay at St. Germain-des-Prés Hotel Bel Ami, where sleek lines and reasonable rates lure Left Bank fashionistas and artists alike (011-33-1-42-61-53-53; Want something more traditional? Check into the 17th-century Pavillon de la Reine on the equally hip Right Bank (011-33-1-40-29-19-19,

Sweet Splurge

Mustique, St. Vincent & the Grenadines  
Fly | 2,114 miles | 6 hours

Want the ultimate island getaway? Once a pirates' hideout, privately owned Mustique is now a celebrity-studded retreat. Prepare (to pay) to be pampered. Make like the Donald and fly in the luxury of a Learjet. Or dock your chartered yacht at the island's marina. Visit in January and catch the Mustique Blues Festival (1/18-2/1, 784-488-8350). Watch the sunset from Basil's Bar & Restaurant (784-488-8350,, then head to the Cotton House, the island's only hotel, and mingle with other glitterati over a sumptuous meal (888-452-8380, The 19 suites, rooms, and cottages come with private pools and personal Jeeps. Or rent one of 60 private villas, such as Toucan Hill, right, which have full staffs, sweeping views, and spa services (800-747-9214, Cotton House rates range from $700 to $2,300 per night. Villas cost from $4,000 to $40,000 per week.

Quito, Ecuador
Fly | 2,976 miles | 7 1/2 hours

Millions flock to South America for Carnaval (2/25-3/1), but smart partiers avoid Rio's raucous crowds and head instead to Ecuador for a less expensive, but just as fun, fiesta.

Fly to Quito, the country's vibrant capital (800-321-2121,, to check out Ecuadorian architecture along Gabriel García Moreno Street or stand in two hemispheres at once at Mitad del Mundo, the equator.

At night, wander the streets drinking cerveza or heated peach wine while dodging the traditional water balloon- and confetti-throwing niños . Stop in for mojitos and Cuban food at La Bodeguita de Cuba in the nightlife district (011-593-22-542-476).

Sleep it off at Café Cultura, a 26-room frescoed oasis (011-593-22-224-271, Or visit the new Hostal de la Rabida for reasonable rates and a B & B setting (011-593-22-221-720, After it's all over, detox at Papallacta's natural hot springs, a two-hour bus ride from the city center (011-593-22-568-989, ).

Moonlight Basin, Montana
Fly | 1,980 miles | 6 1/2 hours

As if wide-open runs, nonexistent lift lines, and awe-inspiring vistas weren't enough, Moonlight Basin just upped its ambitious ante (406-995-7716, with a new chair to its gnarly daredevils-only Headwaters terrain and a Lone Peak season pass to both Moonlight and its neighbor, Big Sky. Sunshine and 400 annual inches of powder make late February to mid-March the best time to hop a flight to Bozeman (800-221-1212,

Days of navigating riveting runs will leave you famished, so don't skip the picturesque Timbers Restaurant before turning in (406-995-7777, Slope-side accommodations include cozy log cabins, penthouse suites, and vacation palaces complete with hot tubs and home theaters (866-212-0612).

Mexico City, Mexico
Fly | 2,278 miles | 6 1/2 hours

Barcelona can be pricey and Brazil's too far away. For an easier adventure, book a flight to Mexico City (800-237-6639,

See and be seen on the Presidente Masaryk, an upscale shopping strip in Polanco, where haute couture mingles with übercool nightclubs. Or head to nearby San Angel's Bazar S�bado for handmade crafts and silver souvenirs.

Sample lobster enchiladas at Patricia Quintana's Izote (011-52-55-5280-1671). Or visit Polanco's new Condesa DF   hotel for snapper Veracruz (011-52-55-5241-2600,

Sleep at the Condesa DF, a sanctuary with rooftop sushi. The Hotel Habita in Polanco boasts Italian-inspired rooms (011-52-55-5282-3100, But the new W Hotel's “Whatever/Whenever” concierge service says it best: The city has arrived (011-52-55-9138-1800,

St. Lucia
Fly | 2,042 miles | 5 1/2 hours

Trade tired trips to Jamaica and Aruba for the lush luxury of St. Lucia ( Half white sand, half volcanic black sand, the island is an oasis in an ocean of overcrowded retreats (800-241-4141,

All of St. Lucia's beaches are public, even those in front of hotels. If laying out sounds more boring than blissful, try scuba-diving, snorkeling, sailing, hiking 3,117-foot Mount Gimie, or touring Sulphur Springs, the world's only drive-in volcano (758-456-9100,

If you'd rather just relax, check into the newly opened Almond Morgan Bay beach resort, an all-inclusive hotel for singles, couples, and families (800-425-6663, Or, for the ultimate in pampering, visit the new Coco Palm, St. Lucia's first four-star boutique hotel, complete with personal hosts for each guest and first-floor rooms that open directly onto the pool (758-456-2800,

Québec City, Québec
Fly | 398 miles | 3 hours

Paris in the springtime has nothing on Québec City in the wintertime, where for 17 days the party never stops. This February travel to the continent's largest winter carnival (1/27-2/12, 866-422-7628,; 888-247-2262, and cheer on competitors in events like Le Grande Virée, a dogsled race through the heart of the old city.

Don't miss a tour of the Ice Palace, a giant castle constructed from frozen water (866-422-7628, Revelers done with daytime activities can take in live music or head to heated tents and sip “caribou,” a potent mix of whiskey, red wine, and maple syrup.

For warmth, stay in the middle of the action: the Hilton Québec (800-447-2411, But for a true Carnaval experience, visit North America's only ice lodge, Hotel de Glace (877-505-0423,, where 32 rooms are crafted each year out of 12,000 tons of snow and 400 tons of ice. Sip at the Absolut bar, slip into a Jacuzzi, or heat things up in the on-site dance club.