Travel + Leisure's digital projects editor Sarah Spagnolo on five destinations—from San Diego to Salem, Massachusetts—that offer ghost tours, costume contests, pumpkin carving, and more for a spooktactular Halloween trip.
It may be late October, but temperatures are still hovering around 75 degrees in California and Nevada. Where to unpack? Thanks to hotel deals from Vacationist, try Ravella, an Italian-inspired resort just 17 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, where the outdoor activities are a welcome counterpoint to Sin City's nightlife-oriented pleasures. Meanwhile, Terranea Resort, on 102 acres just 16 miles south of LAX, has all the fixings for a warm-weather escape: Pacific views from oceanfront terraces, two Jacuzzis, a 9-hole golf course—even a 140-foot water slide. Or for something more intimate, there's the charming, 16-room Hotel Les Mars, in Sonoma, a one-block walk from downtown Healdsburg.
For hotel deals in Rome, Florence, Bali, and the Caribbean, click here.
The grapes of Napa often grab the headlines coming out of California wine country but the discerning vino cognoscenti knows that the Golden State harbors some of the best wineries in the world along its central coast. In the thick of it is Paso Robles, a vast countryside of rolling vineyards where vintners sport rustic spurs on their cowboy boots and the pace of life is calm. The annual Harvest Wine Weekend kicks off today, Friday, and promises to be the most robust yet. Over 150 wineries will host grape stomps, tours, tastings, dinners, and pairings (wine and bacon anyone?). One oenophile who will be traipsing around Harvest is Paso Wine Man (above)—the unabashed, vivacious Paso wine country cheerleader whose verve for the region’s splendors knows no bounds.
T+L caught up with the wine man before the big weekend to uncover his wines of choice; find out what makes “Tuscany with cowboys” so special; and why Paso Robles's brand of reds can’t be made anywhere else.
It’s either unchecked hedonism or outright denial that led me to New York’s Fire Island the weekend after summer’s unofficial demise. While most vacationers packed up their share-houses and kissed farewell to the spit of sand off Long Island’s south coast over Labor Day, I was still dreaming of bike rides, summer ales, and one last coat of sun. It doesn’t hurt that hotel prices fall off a cliff once beachgoers pack up their white (I paid $225 per night at Clegg's Hotel, while rates during summer’s apex can be double that). So I found myself at the Island Mermaid pulling on a straw filled with its signature Rocket Fuel (a dark rum piña colada with a Cruzan 151 “sinker” at the bottom and a pond of Amaretto floating on top) and stretching summer out as long as possible before the looming cold throws its death grip around New York City. I wasn’t ready for fall, not yet.
Okay okay, I ate at the Black Pearl Restaurant...again. You can stamp “tourist” onto my forehead, but their New England clam chowder is too amazing to pass up. I stumbled out satisfied and wandered into the colorful gallery/art studio, Art on the Wharf. Perhaps it was this tourist-guilt that compelled me to ask artist-owner, Tony Gill (pictured below), for some locals’ suggestions, but it was well worth the inquiry. He had heard the question before and quickly handed me a sheet of paper titled “Tony’s Best Bets.” I now had my work cut out for me.
Too many sun-drenched days on those pristine sand-dune beaches? Need respite from your designer-boutique shopping spree? It's easy to forget that the Hamptons have maintained a long history of hosting world-class artists and their ever-so-generous patrons. So, send the kids off to the beach with the nanny (or bring 'em along) and enjoy an art-filled afternoon at any one of these great spots:
1) The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center: If nowhere else, this is an absolute must. Put on the museum’s little booties and walk over the paint-splattered studio floor, where most of Pollock’s famous works were produced. Let the idyllic harbor setting help you imagine the historic artist colony that was once East Hampton. (830 Springs-Fireplace Rd., East Hampton; (631) 324-4929; $5/$10 with guided tour.)
No matter what your plans are for this summer, there's an easy (and affordable!) weekend getaway that will work for you. Here, a few of our favorites: a foodie getaway in Charleston, a culture-packed weekend in downtown Chicago, and a wellness retreat in southern Utah. For more ideas, visit TravelandLeisure.com/weekend-getaways. Start packing now!
They say Savannah is the most haunted city in America, and that may be true. But no matter how plentiful they are, those Southern ghosts sure are shy. Or, maybe bars weren't the best places to be looking for them.
I took my wife to Georgia's coolest city for her birthday. It was a short weekend trip, but the mild weather, laidback vibe, and friendly folks were exactly what we—angry, anxious New Yorkers—needed to forestall winter's icy lockdown. If you've never been to Savannah, I can't recommend it highly enough.
Looking for a high-cal way to usher in the eating season? Look no further than the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area. The triangle offers a fantastic mix of affordable southern comfort food as well as outstanding forward-thinking fare. Here, my personal favorites for an early winter pre-hibernation feast.