As transporting as any museum and nourishing as any local dish, these independent bookstores unlock the soul of a place.
Lello Bookshop(pictured), Porto, Portugal The elaborate neo-Gothic façade of this former library barely hints at the opulence inside: carved wood, gilded pillars, ornamented ceilings, and a gorgeous red staircase lit by a stained-glass atrium. Its polyglot collection includes English translations of Portuguese lions Fernando Pessoa and José Saramago.
Heywood Hill, London Creaky floorboards and stacks of new and old literature, history, gardening, and travel tomes lend the 77-year-old Mayfair landmark the air of a well-loved private library. Smartly dressed booksellers eagerly provide recommendations for patrons, who include Her Majesty the Queen.
season ushers in major improvements at these ski resorts.
Northstar California Resort, California The News: Thanks to a $30 million investment, the mountain welcomes additional trails, a
high-speed quad lift, a new 500-seat on-mountain restaurant—plus a 22-foot
halfpipe designed by Shaun White. 5001 Northstar Dr., Truckee; 800/466-6784; one-day pass from $85.
Big Sky, Montana The News: The
remodeled, slopeside Solace Spa & Salon expands its treatment rooms and
salon services, and Andesite Mountain adds 20-plus gladed acres. 1 Lone Mountain Trail, Big Sky; 800/548-4486; one-day pass $84.
A handful of on-mountain restaurants are reinventing the cafeteria concept.
California: Tamarack Lodge Peak Pick: Seared peppercorn-encrusted ahi sandwich and house-made peach cobbler. Getting There: California Trail, a blue run offering views of Lake Tahoe from 3,000
feet up. Top of the
gondola; 775/586-7000; lunch for two $32–$40.
Village, Japan: Goshiki Peak Pick: Hokkaido-crab miso soup and local lily bulb tempura. Getting There: Misoshiru (which means miso soup), a black diamond featuring Niseko’s
signature powder. The Green
Leaf; 81-136/443-311; lunch for two $52.