Just downriver from Washington on the western bank of the Potomac, Alexandria has that perfect mix of historic charm—and easy access to the nation’s capital. WHERE TO STAY The 45-room Morrison House is a great choice because it’s small—just 45 rooms—plus there are so many extras, from complimentary wine from 5-6 p.m. to free morning coffee and newspaper. PRICE $165 a night.
LUXE GETAWAY: Baltimore, Maryland
For those who love a good Four Seasons hotel—and really, who doesn’t?—the new Four Seasons in Baltimore is one more reason to visit the city. Plus, the Baltimore Museum of Art just reopened its Contemporary Wing, with works by Olafur Eliasson, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol. WHERE TO STAY The 256-room Four Seasons opened in 2011 in Harbor East, with a terrace, heated whirlpool, and a spa. PRICE $339 a night.
WINE TOURS: Barboursville, Virginia
Two hours southwest of D.C., Barboursville, Virginia, is a serene wine country getaway. WHERE TO STAY The lakeside 1804 Inn is a romantic escape: you’ll sleep in a four-poster bed in this historic inn set between Madison's Montpelier and Jefferson's Monticello. PRICE $240 a night.
From Miami, you’ll head south on one of the country’s most scenic highways to get to Key West. The Overseas Highway is 120 miles of incredible bridges that pass over tropical blue water. Bring a camera! WHERE TO STAY The brightly colored Truman Hotel, just a short walk from the bars along Duval Street, has a small pool and balconies on the upper floors. PRICE $299 a night.
Love to shop? You can’t do better than Fort Lauderdale, which has the posh boutiques along Las Olas Boulevard and more than 300 outlet boutiques at Sawgrass Mills. WHERE TO STAYB Ocean Fort Lauderdale is just north of some of the pricier hotels, but it’s a much better value: there’s free WiFi, complimentary iPad rental, and ocean views from standard rooms. PRICE $299 a night.
A visit to the Magic Kingdom is the ultimate trip for every kid, but parents can have a great time, too. WHERE TO STAYThe Waldorf-Astoria Orlando is set on a 482-acre nature preserve with jogging paths and golf. Disney-view rooms look onto the park’s nightly fireworks show. PRICE $299 a night.
"Modern life has become a three- and often four- or five-meal-a-day restaurant habit," Michael Wolff writes in the UK edition of GQ. "Of course the ultimate status is not to know someone, but to be known, for the restaurant to want you." (Matt Haber)
If you're not fatigued by over-sharing your life on Facebook and Twitter, this little gadget—a SXSW debut—promises to capture all the special moments you may not realize you're having… by automatically taking photos every 30 seconds. We can't help think it's a great way to catch candid portraits of locals abroad—which is always an awkward pursuit. Jenna Worthman reports at the New York Times' Bits blog. (Nikki Ekstein)
Would you stay at a Whole Foods-themed resort? The ubiquitous health food chain is brewing plans to open a wellness retreat near their Austin, TX headquarters, USA Today's Bruce Horovitz reports (N.E.)
It's not too late to get away this spring. We've found five travel deals within $200 a night, from a ranch in Jackson Hole to a beach resort in St. Kitts.
St. Kitts: St. Kitts Marriott Resort Set right on Frigate Bay Beach, this resort offers plenty of ways to play and to relax. Swim in one of several pools, work out at the fitness center or spinning center, or enjoy the on-site casino. There's also a championship golf course, as well as water-sports such as snorkeling. Go to the Emerald Mist Spa for a bamboo massage and a papaya pineapple polish, and feel free to bring your kids along as well for a princess manicure. Doubles from $199/night in April.
Florida: One Ocean Resort & Spa, Jacksonville While the 193 rooms and suites all come with full or partial ocean views with floor-to-ceiling windows, put in a special request: the balcony rooms on the hotel's east side overlook the beach, and rooms on floors 6 to 8 have the best views. You'll begin to unwind immediately thanks to the butler service that helps with unpacking your bags and so much more. The Spa at One Ocean Resort has more than 40 marine-inspired treatments, such a Seashell Massage and a rubdown designed especially for windsurfers. Head to the nearby Beaches Town Center for shops and art galleries, or go down the coast to historic St Augustine. Doubles from $179/night.
Social media has become essential to travel planning, whether you're looking for inspiration, choosing a hotel, finding a deal, or even filing a complaint. But who are the travel industry's true innovators? On the occasion of the 2013 Social Media in Travel and Tourism (SMITTY) Awards — accepting nominations now through March 1 — Travel + Leisure is hosting a live Twitter chat on February 21, at 2 p.m. ET. We'll talk to the key influencers and most engaging voices about which platforms are most effective, what campaigns have worked the best, and what social media blunders we can all learn from. Social media experts will share who they're following and the best tools to manage their brands. And past SMITTY winners will be on hand to talk about how they continue to break new ground.
Please join host Rich Beattie, T+L's Executive Digital Editor, for the chat today, Thursday, February 21st from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET.
How does it work? 1. Log in to Twitter any time from 2–3 p.m. EDT and be sure to follow the chat host: @TravlandLeisure 2. Use the hashtag #TL_Chat to follow. 3. To keep up with the chat in real time, head over to tweetchat.com/room/TL_Chat 4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own answers to our questions! Or ask your own questions! Take advantage of this special access expert social media and travel advice.
In April, we will be launching a new community system in hopes that your TravelandLeisure.com experience will be even better. If you're trying to log in to the community beginning today, you'll notice it's temporarily disabled to allow us to build and transition to the new community. If you are looking to vote for our Photo Contest, you can still do that at this Photo Contest Voting Page. Please note, we won't be able to migrate your photos, ratings, or blog posts.
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As the holiday season comes to an end, seemingly countless numbers of travelers are making their ways home. But with ever-changing rules implemented by airlines, packing isn't as cut and dry as it once was. So this morning T+L Features Director Nilou Motamedstopped by the set of the Today Show to discuss some strategic tips to help make the process a lot smoother.