City Style: Get There: Spring Break
Our staffers offer their picks for outside-the-box (yet easy-to-get-to), grownup March getaways.
Sure, the average temp in March is 27 and the new passport rule is a pain. But the way I see it, these inconveniences actually work to a visitor’s advantage: While everyone else flocks to raucous bikini zones, you’ll have Quebec’s picturesque metropolis all to yourself. The recently expanded boutique-style Hotel Place d’Armes gives off a vintage vibe with brick walls, freestanding bathtubs, and electric fireplaces. This month you can catch the 11-day cultural celebration that is the Montreal High Lights Festival. Embrace the city’s young, artsy scene with the International Festival of Films on Art, or its young, boozy scene with the epic St. Patrick’s Day parade. If you’d rather skip the green beer in favor of adventurous French-Asian fare, hit Chez l’Épicier and order the foie gras with smoked pea stock. Then get back out there: Upcoming shows featuring such hipster headliners as the Scissor Sisters, Bloc Party, and the aptly named Of Montreal all but guarantee you’ll spot that cute indie boy or girl. —Sascha de Gersdorff
Hotel Place d’Armes, hotelplacedarmes.com; Chez l’Épicier, chezlepicier.com.
All of us bachelor-partiers have done the stock Vegas trip, but opening the same can of debauchery every time someone’s about to get hitched can get a bit stale. Now you’ve got other options: The Grand Canyon’s new Skywalk, which extends 70 feet from the canyon’s rim and more than 4,000 feet above its floor, is an awesome place to spend low-key time with your buds. Once Lucky Strike Lanes debuts inside the Rio Hotel and Casino this month, you can knock back Tanqueray and tonics while knocking down pins. And at the Playboy Club at the Palms, just reopened after 20 years, you’ll find the same cuddly cocktail bunnies as at the original. It’s no Spearmint Rhino, but that may be a good thing. —John Gonzalez
Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, harrahs.com; Palms Resort and Casino, palms.com.
After a few days of sightseeing, map-wielding vacation in Los Angeles, your family may well be up for some old-fashioned relaxation in Redondo Beach, just 18 miles south of downtown L.A. on the Pacific Coast Highway. Stay at the Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard, a just-renovated 7-acre estate in the Brentwood Hills, where the kids can swim or play tennis while the adults trot off to the spa. And lest you start missing all that enforced family fun, whale-watching boat tours around Catalina Island, an eclectic mix of exhibits at the Getty Center, and the free jazz, blues, and flamenco concerts at Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey encourage bonding without the bickering. —Jarina D’Auria
Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard, luxehotelsunsetblvd.com.
Logan is the only U.S. airport with direct service year-round to the Portuguese islands of the Azores, above, a four-hour flight away. In spring, you’ll find sunny afternoons (and probably a few colder, windy ones), lots of cows, and a blessed lack of crowds—not that the nine islands get packed during peak season. My favorite piece of the archipelago is Terceira. In the charming main city of Angra do Heroísmo, a public garden—the Jardim Público, in Portuguese—offers scenic views. And just outside town is an elegant B&B called the Quinta de Nossa Senhora das Mercês, run by a cordial former diplomat who, seriously, will remind you a bit of Ricardo Montalban in Fantasy Island. —James Burnett
Quinta de Nossa Senhora das Mercês, quintadasmerces.com; Azores Express flies direct from Logan, azores-express.com.