Winter, fall, summer, or spring -- no matter when you pack your bags and head to these bucket-list travel destinations, you’re in for sights and scenes that change based on the season.
The Catskills, New York
The Catskills are having a comeback, and it’s all because of one buzzy revamped lodge. Scribner's dates back to 1966, but it was recently renovated and reopened by a Brooklyn team that’s making Hunter, New York a stylish destination once again. Located just two hours outside Manhattan, it’s the perfect weekend escape for city dwellers, regardless of the time of year. In the winter, you can spend your days skiing, followed by cocktails in front of the fire. When summer hits, take a dip in the pool, hike around Kaaterskills Falls, or attend a book fair or music festival like Mountain Jam. Not only are the rooms adorably charming thanks to lofted beds, tiered balconies, and working fireplaces, but the hotel restaurant, Prospect, is so good, it has people battling for reservations and flocking from all over just to try chef Joseph Buenconsejo’s artful alpine cuisine.
Also worth a visit in the area: Phoenicia Diner for traditional brunch favorites with a side of nostalgia, Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Hunter Mountain, Catskills Brewery, The Roscoe Beer Company, and nearby Deer Mountain Inn for dinner in a rustic-meets-chic turn-of-the-century house.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Grace Kelly loved it and so will you. From grand hotels and gourmet restaurants to the world-famous casino and nearby French Riviera, this luxurious destination is one everyone should try to visit at some point in their life. The Société des Bains de Mer has several hotel properties that will meet any traveler’s needs -- whether that be old-world enchantment or a seaside retreat. During the month of December, the Place du Casino holds a “Lighting Ceremony” that transforms the city into a winter wonderland with snow-covered pines and festive window displays, while The Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort takes on the form of a ski resort and features a gondola lift, cabins for hot chocolate and home-made waffles, and a pop-up ice skating rink. You can also spend a day getting pampered at the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo wellness facility and spa, with access to its Hammam bath and state-of the-art cryotherapy chamber. As for the summer, there are completely different offerings at the hotels -- take advantage of lagoons, jacuzzis, and sun terraces, and make sure you stop by the Monte-Carlo Beach Club for private cabanas and activities like parasailing, fly fishing, jet skiing, fly boarding, and aquacycling.
Also worth a visit while you’re in the area: Blue Bay, Le Vistamar at Hôtel Hermitage, Elsa (the first all-organic restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star), Prince Rainier’s Oceanographic Museum, Princess Grace Gardens, and the Opera House.
Welcome to Aspen, the only place in the United States where the people-watching might be better than the actual skiing. Fur on fur? Check. A fun apres scene at Cloud 9 bistro at the top of the mountain and Ajax Tavern at the base? Check. And even better, there’s plenty to do regardless of the temperatures outside. Put on a pair of Dynafit bindings and skins and try your hand at uphill skiing, a new morning exercise trend that the entire family can enjoy together when it’s cold. When it comes to where to stay, Hotel Jerome, St. Regis, and The Little Nell are all five-star experiences and reason enough to come back to town at different times, while The Gant is an affordable, yet upscale, option given its unique condos can accommodate bigger groups.
Also worth a visit while you’re in the area: For some of the best skiing in the United States, try the Aspen Snowmass; for top-notch cocktails, head to Justice Snow’s and Woody Creek Distillers; and for fantastic dining, you can't go wrong at Aspen Kitchen or Jimmy’s.
Old Saybrook, Connecticut
When you’re in the mood for a cozy New England retreat away from the hustle of everyday life, Old Saybrook is a place you’ll easily come to love -- and find yourself returning to. Not only was the area once home to film icon Katharine Hepburn (you can visit the house she grew up in and catch a show at The Kate), but it’s also both affordable and relaxed in a quaint, nautical-themed way. Book Saybrook Point Inn & Spa's “Cabin Fever” package in the colder months so you can relax away winter doldrums with dinner at Fresh Salt and a spa treatment at SANNO. Or, partake in their “Bed & Breakfast” special in warmer months, when you can experience this southern Connecticut inn with overnight accommodations, a complimentary bottle of wine, and an endless list of outdoor activities like swimming, sailing, golfing (including a mini option for the kids), and a walking tour of “The Loop,” the scenic waterfront highway around North Cove Road. There’s even a lighthouse suite available, in addition to the new Three Stories and Tall Tales luxury guesthouses that each come with their own unique look and charming story.
Also worth a visit while you’re in the area: Fort Saybrook Monument Park, Lynde Point Light, Black Horse Tavern, Elisha Bushnell House, Monkey Farm, and Griswold Inn to catch the legendary local band, the Sea Shanties.
When you want to stay in the most stylish part of Amsterdam -- in the most stylish hotel ever -- check into the Pulitzer. The hotel embraces spring in the best way possible, with 3,000 tulips planted in the garden to honor the annual world-famous flower festival. And as if that’s not enough, the property also has private canal tours in their vintage boat, live jazz alfresco, and bike rentals. In colder months, the garden goes Danish with lights laced throughout the trees and a heated terrace, the perfect spot for an evening glass of wine. You can also still listen to live music inside in the main bar and enjoy a modern take on classic Dutch dishes at Jansz or Pause.
Also worth a visit in the area: The Flower Market, Van Gogh Museum, Vondel Park, Dam Square, Anne Frank House, Royal Palace, Andaz Prinsengracht, and Rijksmuseum.
Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
When it comes to an all-weather destination, Lake Tahoe really takes the cake: incredible views, skiing, hiking, water activities, and yes, even gambling. The lake itself is surrounded by many distinct towns and villages, half of which sit in Nevada and half in California. In the winter, you can take a magical dogsled ride through the Sierra Nevada mountains or relax outside in a hot tub after a fun day of skiing or snowshoeing. Come summer, you can cruise around the lake on a boat with a glass of rosé or Sancerre in hand, or lay out on one of the lake’s pristine beaches. And if you’re really feeling adventurous, try your hand at water skiing, water tubing, or kayaking with the gorgeous mountain views in the background.
With lots of accommodations at different price points and a great selection of Airbnb properties that range from rustic Tahoe cabin vibes to chic condos, it makes for a great place to spend a getaway with your closest friends or a romance-filled weekend of relaxation.
Also worth a visit in the area: Stillwater Spa for pampering, Heavenly Mountain Resort or Squaw for skiing, and the cute town of Truckee for some local shopping.