Not for the faint
of heart, but a great combination of Disney thrills for the kids and plenty of
adult entertainment to keep parents happy, too. Visiting Castaway Cay, Disney’s
private island in the Bahamas, alone is worth the cruise.
2. Best Adults Only Destination: The Society Islands
hasn’t dreamed of sailing through the islands of French Polynesia? Spend a week
on a small ship like those offered by Windstar Cruises and get into small
harbors and less explored areas of the Societies and the Tuamotus.
3. Best Ski Destination: Irwin, Crested Butte, Colo.
best cat-skiing operation in Colorado is not cheap. But for $550, you can access
a seat to the 1,000-plus private acres outside of Crested Butte, which attracts 600 inches of snow per year on average.
4. Best Food and Wine Destination: Bordeaux, France
French know best when it comes to food and wine. Bordeaux is surprisingly
family freindly. Easier to navigate than Paris but just as beautiful, buildings
in this “Petit Paris” have recently been cleaned revealing the beauty beneath
hundreds of years of grime. It’s the wine and food, though, that shine most of all
here. Exploring small producers and the most famous chateaus in the world, each
is a gem worth exploring and tasting.
5. Best Emerging Destination: Kelowna, British Columbia
Located three hours from Vancouver, this town is the next big thing in outdoor
destinations. It has a small, historic city center surrounded by incredible
mountains for hiking, biking and rock climbing. Skiing is also nearby. But the real
kicker is the 100-mile-long Lake Okanagan. In the heat of summer, there are
stand-up paddlers, kayakers and boat enthusiasts enjoying the water after
emerging from the woods. The lake also makes this valley a great terroir for growing grapes. With more than 300 wineries in the area, Mission Hill is a standout white and pinot noir producer that we will definitely be hearing more from in
the years to come.
6. Best Beach Destination: Esperanza, Cabo, Mexico
no other resort as beautiful and relaxing as Esperanza. Every room has a deck
overlooking the Pacific with a private outdoor hot tub, double doors that open
to the warm outdoors and an infinity edge pool, where attendants deliver popsicles, and shoulder and foot massages. Easy to get to and the closest thing to heaven on earth that I found all year long.
7. Best New Hotel: Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World
The newest and largest Four Seasons in the resort’s global collection, the
Four Seasons Orlando is located within Walt Disney World—the only
non-Disney-owned property to ever open up on that sacred ground. This resort
was made for multigenerational travel in mind, perfect for grandparents,
parents and definitely the kids. There is Explorer Island, a huge pool, lazy
river and water park on the property, free Kids for All Seasons (should parents
want to golf the new Tom Fazio-designed course) and The Hideout, complete with
pinball machines, Xbox, pool, computers and any other gadget imaginable for
the tween-teen set. Yes, there are shuttles to the parks, but why would you ever
need to leave?
8. Best Adventure Travel Destination: Albuquerque, New
Biking, hiking, kayaking all in an affordable, warm-weather destination
with great food and emerging craft beer scene. Often the redheaded stepchild of New Mexico, thanks to the always chic Santa Fe, Albuquerque is showing
itself for the cool college town it is. Stay at the beautiful Los Poblanos
Historic Inn and Organic Farm for a one of a kind desert retreat and fresh,