While the high-rise hotels of glorious Waikiki Beach represent one famous Hawaiian scene, the islands deliver so much more, from volcanoes to rainforests to lava-rock deserts. The push and pull between highly developed tourist destinations, ancient Polynesian culture, and natural paradise is palpable during a Hawaii vacation. Relax in the paradise of Kauai, drive the wild highways of Maui, or taste what the new generation of Hawaiian food pioneers is cooking up as they improve their commitment to sustainability, to local farmers, and to unsung ingredients. Favorable trade winds mean Hawaii’s weather is great year-round; visit between April and November for the warmest, driest conditions. Whenever the time comes, the best hotels in Hawaii can make your dream trip come true.
Depending on where you happen to be standing, New York is either the most chaotic city in America or the world’s most romantic town. The trick is balancing the city’s outsize spectacle with the intimate experiences that New York so improbably sustains. Spend a day exploring the hip Brooklyn enclave of Williamsburg, or another of New York’s most dynamic neighborhoods. For something quieter, take a stroll through the neighborhood of Chelsea and escape the city hubbub up on the High Line elevated park. Find out what’s cooking at the top restaurants in New York, from a classic steakhouse to a West Village gastropub. And with so many places to stay, let T+L simplify your search with this indispensable guide to the best New York City hotels.
4 of 5Dave Lauridsen
With its exotic wildlife, sun-soaked beaches, and dramatic mountains, Costa Rica is a great vacation spot for all types of travelers. Sure, Costa Rica has been on the radar for a while, but with a host of small, stylish hotels hidden in the jungle and along the shore, the tiny Central American country is now more appealing than ever. Check out Costa Rica’s best hotels and its hottest new hotels and lodges, from San José to the Arenal Volcano. And here’s a planning tip: November to late April is the dry season and the ideal time to visit the Osa Peninsula, which doesn’t draw the mainland’s high-season crowds.
5 of 5Coral Von Zumwalt
Nearly 40 million visitors hit the Strip in 2012, but not all came to gamble at popular casinos. Las Vegas has experienced a sort of renaissance, opening new restaurants, clubs, and attractions at a fantastic rate and returning Sin City to the ever-changing kaleidoscope it once was. So even if you visited Vegas recently, don’t assume it’s still the same. And don’t vacation here without checking out our list of Las Vegas’s best restaurants and the newest and best things to do. If you’re looking for a way to cool off in that desert heat, dive in to our roundup of the best Vegas pools, from family-friendly to adults-only, with some pools that bridge the gap nicely.
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