Whether you’re planning for Memorial Day Weekend next month or just looking to get out of town for the weekend, we’ve compiled our list of top quick getaway destinations that make the most of the warmer weather.
Catalina Island, California
Take the 1-hour high speed ferry from California’s Long Beach, San Pedro, Dana Point, or Newport Beach to visit the picturesque car-free (golf carts are very common!) island of Catalina. IEX Helicopters also offers chartered flights to Catalina in under 20 minutes or any private plane of your choice can fly into Catalina’s Airport in the Sky. Book a room at the historic Mt Ada hotel (the property will be 100 years old this year); the concierge will pick guests up from the ferry or airport and back to the property, the island’s only Forbes 4-Star hotel. All rooms feature stunning ocean views, breakfast, lunch and cocktail hour; many boast patios and indoor fireplaces. Spend your time on the island playing golf, fishing, swimming, touring on a glass-bottom boat, or simply enjoying good food and taking in the views.
Big Sur, California
Just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from San Francisco or a 70-minute flight from Los Angeles, Big Sur is great choice for families looking to enjoy everything nature has to offer, including spectacular views, unmatched hikes, beaches, state parks, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and more. We love the Post Ranch Inn – the hotel just might offer some of the most incredible views in the country. Choose from ocean or mountain view suites, featuring private gardens, patios with dramatic views, soaking tubs, fireplaces and more. Note that the hotel is open to adults only. If you’re traveling with children, consider L’Auberge Carmel, a lovely, historic hotel less than an hour from Big Sur and in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Boca Raton, Florida
Less than an hour drive from Miami and under a three-hour flight from New York City, Boca Raton can feel like a world away. Book a room at the stunning Boca Raton Resort and Club (a Waldorf Astoria Resort) to enjoy golf, tennis, surf lessons, a private beach, 356 lush acres, and three waterfront pools. Children will love the nearby Butterfly World, the largest butterfly park in the world (about a 25-minute drive from the resort); the park features over 20,000 butterflies, as well as tropical flowers, plants and a selection of colorful birds soaring overhead. Adults and older children may enjoy a visit to the Boca Raton Museum of Art – be sure to check the calendar frequently as they often offer free admission on special holidays, such as Earth Day and Father’s Day.
Palm Beach, Florida
Drive a little over an hour from Miami to reach Palm Beach, also a quick three-hour flight from New York City. We love The Breakers, a 125-year-old Italian Renaissance style property offering multiple restaurants, golf, tennis, swimming, and an easy walk to the Flagler Museum. Adventurous children may enjoy a visit to the nearby Panther Ridge Conservation Center; the non-profit features 20 cats of nine different species, including leopards, jaguars and cheetahs. Daily tours of various lengths and themes are offered.
Watch Hill, Rhode Island
While we do love Newport, this year we are choosing Watch Hill, a beautiful coastal town about half an hour closer to New York City than Newport. Once home to Clark Gable, Henry Ford and even Taylor Swift, the historic town offers an array of small art galleries, antique stores, boutiques and cafés. We love the Ocean House; the hotel offers a 650-foot private white-sand beach, a putting green, croquet lawn, and a shuffle board court. Check the resort calendar to choose from a range of activities, including movie screenings, yoga and cooking classes, evenings around the fire pit and live music.
Just under a 3-hour drive from New York City and 2 hours from Boston is the town of Lenox, Massachusetts in the Berkshires. Visit author Edith Wharton’s home and gardens, MASS MoCA, and Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. We recommend booking a room at the Wyndhurst Manor and Club (formerly known as Cranwell); the elegant 11-room Tudor-style mansion sits on top of a hill with beautiful views, a golf course, spa, and two excellent restaurants.
Bath, United Kingdom
In just over an hour, you can escape London and find yourself in the historic city of Bath. We love The Bath Priory (open now for dining and day visits, opens for overnight stays in mid-May); the stunning ivy-covered hotel features sprawling English gardens, multiple pools, Roman baths, and the U.K.’s only L’Occitane spa.
Thornbury Castle, United Kingdom
Reopening May 17, Thornbury Castle is a truly one of a kind destination. Located under 3 hours from London in Gloucestershire, the property takes guests back to the 1500s in a historic English castle once owned by Henry VIII. Stay in a luxurious room with a 4-poster bed, tapestries and fireplace; explore the grounds and try croquet, archery or falconry. The castle welcomes children over 8-years old.