Getaways: The Best Places To Visit For The Holidays

- By Bossip Staff
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It’s that time of year… And if you’re feeling anything like us, you’re ready for a little getaway to celebrate how hard you’ve worked this year.

There’s nothing like adding to the excitement of the holiday season by celebrating somewhere new (and possibly with someone new). Here are some of the best destinations for Holiday travel according to Travel & Leisure Magazine. Which one will you be adding to your bucket list.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

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The 57-room Esperanza, in Cabo San Lucas, where a private beachfront barbecue—chipotle-marinated flank steak; apple-mole sea bass—culminates in a spectacular fireworks show. The weather is a pleasant 75 degrees, and up at the hotel’s cliffside restaurant guests sip rum cocktails while overlooking the Sea of Cortés.

Charleston, South Carolina

T+L Recommends…
Suites at the recently opened Restoration on King hotel… And buckets of shuck-your-own oysters (in peak season) at Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar.

Heidelberg, Germany
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During the four weeks of Advent (Nov. 24–Dec. 25), the mile-long Hauptstrasse leads to the Weihnachtsmarkt—outdoor holiday market. Shop for marionettes, nutcrackers, and handmade ornaments while drinking hot spiced glühwein and [eating] freshly fried Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) dipped into chunky applesauce. For the evening’s entertainment, [follow] the signs to local churches for free concerts with the enchanting music of the hometown boys: Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
T+L Recommends…

New Year’s in Rio does take a bit of forethought. What to wear, for instance: all white is the tradition, as sexy and revealing as possible. But you do have to choose a shade of underwear to reflect your wish for the coming year—red for romance, yellow for prosperity. Then there is the issue of getting to the Copacabana neighborhood before the massive fireworks display at midnight: with up to 2 million people joining you on the beach, and the streets blocked off, a taxi can only get you so far. Of course, if you’re staying at the Copacabana Palace Hotel, you just have to step out the front door.

Vienna, Austria
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[For gifts] Lobmeyr, which produces hand-polished muslin glass crystal. For a holiday dinner, the Backhendl (breaded chicken) with fried parsley at the Sacher’s Rote Bar is hard to surpass. Of course, Vienna is a city of music. Don’t miss the Christmas oratorios at the Musikverein and the Augustinerkirche—they are divine.

Tokyo, Japan
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There’s no better, more dizzying shopping than in Tokyo. Wander around the lit-up department stores of Ginza (Matsuya and Mitsukoshi come to mind), and watch dozens of Santa Clauses on motorbikes blaze through the Shibuya district’s downtown. On New Year’s Day, eat osechi (a special feast of seafood and vegetables) and join the happy crowds huddling outside the Meiji-Jingu Shrine to get good tidings.

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    Reykjavík, Iceland
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    For covetable views of the Hallgrímskirkja cathedral, check in to the Hótel Leifur Eiríksson. A five-minute walk away, you’ll find the Hand Knitting Association of Iceland, whose mittens, made with native wool, are ideal stocking stuffers. The seafood restaurant Vid Tjörnina lures locals for dinner with its classic Icelandic cuisine—how about fermented shark meat followed by shots of brennivín (a.k.a. schnapps, or “firewater”)? The best way to experience the country’s lunar terrain is by Superjeep with guide Ragnar Lovdal, who takes you to the eerily silent Langjökull glacier, rumored to shelter Iceland’s elves year-round.

    Santa Barbara, California
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    In Montecito, the 500-acre San Ysidro Ranch could be a Vermont hunting lodge (rooms have wood-beamed ceilings and stone hearths), except that it’s 20 minutes from world-class surfing at Rincon Beach. Meanwhile, amid the vintage Victorian houses on nearby Summerland’s main shopping street, Stacky’s Seaside stands out like a grounded trawler. Fortify yourself with its fish and chips before hitting the Summerland Winery’s tasting room for a wine that shouldn’t work but does: a sparkling Zinfandel. Six miles south, there’s Carpinteria, a quirky, bohemian beach hamlet where Christmas seems to last all year—its waterfront boulevard is even called Santa Claus Lane.

    Provence, France
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    The market at Fontvieille’s 16th-century Château d’Estoublon sell delicate glass ornaments, sophisticated tableware, and rich bûche de Noël, and the Christmas Eve dinner at the château’s Bistrot Mogador is a don’t-miss: a traditional gros souper—grilled sea bass with aioli, vegetable gratin with black truffles, and more.
    The region’s grand hotels—Couvent des Minimes Hôtel & Spa; the Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche—pull out all the stops for the season. But for a quintessential country escape, why not rent an old-but-renovated farmhouse with a cozy hearth and stone-walled kitchen?

    Venice, Italy
    T+L Recommends…

    No other place celebrates New Year’s with such brilliance—literally—as Venice, when the city’s cathedrals light up at night. But my Venetian holiday is all about eating and drinking. By midnight, San Marco is packed with revelers… [On New Year’s Day] there’s a trip to Lido island, where the Ibernisti take a New Year’s dip before eating a bowl of lentils for prosperity

    Quebec City, Canada
    T+L Recommends…

    A table by the window of Le Champlain dining room, at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, is hard to come by (make sure to book in advance)—but there’s no better spot to watch the snowflakes fall over the frozen St. Lawrence River. The brunch here is the best in town, with sugar-coated maple cookies and nutty raw-milk cheeses made by monks. In the six Historic Suites of Auberge Saint-Antoine, the exposed wooden beams and brick walls all survived the British bombardment in 1759. It’s just a short walk to Restaurant L’Initiale, where the foie gras is seared, whipped into a pâté, and stuffed into supple dumplings.

    Maui, Hawaii
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    Ferraro’s, the patio restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort… Around the point, the Fairmont Kea Lani: where on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus paddle sashore in an outrigger canoe with his bag full of goodies. Farther south, Keoneoio (La Perouse) Bay, filled with dolphins and humpback whales, awaits for an afternoon snorkel.

    New Delhi, India
    T+L Recommends…

    Khan Market, a postcolonial time capsule, where even the priciest new stores retain a raffish charm. Who can resist the turquoise gift wrap festooned with gold-leaf Hindi script at Anand Stationers? At Fabindia, find housewares and silk fabrics, tablecloths, and kurtas. Nearby, Bahrisons booksellers is stacked with volumes dating back 50 years, while Jay Raj Arts sells colorful beaded necklaces and bracelets.

    New York, New York
    T+L Recommends…
    … As if you haven’t seen enough movies and TV shows to know why NYC is so awesome around Christmas!

    Vieques, Puerto Rico
    T+L Recommends…

    The island’s historic half, Isabel Segunda, fills with lights during the holidays, and we feast on conch and calabaza fritters at El Quenepo. For New Year’s, we camp out at nearby Green Beach to watch the sun set. Or, with a cocktail in hand, on the patio at the recently opened W Retreat & Spa


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