Winter blahs! Even when writing about my love for Michigan, I am the typical native city Midwestern who grumbles about my dislike of snowstorms, slick roads and below freezing temperatures. What better solution than to take a three- or four- day rest and relaxation getaway at a locale that removes the stress of Old Man Winter.
The choices were based on preferring not to be on a plane for more than a couple of hours (or driving for a long period of time), so one has optimal time to enjoy what the weekend destination has to offer. The three cities featured below, have quite an abundance of activities, events, and seasonal attractions and restaurants, which could be really enjoyed over weeks. However, let’s suggest a few ideas and see where it takes you. Also keep in mind, perhaps deciding to just have a relaxing weekend of indulging in the hotels’ spas and other amenities may be the ticket to rid ourselves of winter’s hold!
The last blog written a couple of years ago, we selected the cities of Chicago, IL, Traverse City, MI, Atlanta, GA and Toronto, Canada. Although, 3 of those 4 cities provide challenging winter weather, they offered exceptional outdoor activities as well as indoor cultural activities to keep a family busy throughout their stay.
So with an updated list of treks, which coincidently are my personal favorite destinations for my “Calgon” weekend, here are three to consider for 2020:
The city of beautiful beaches and throngs of sun-worshipers! Indulgence is what Miami is about and hosting the upcoming SuperBowl LIV weekend from January 25-February 1st. Miami is preparing a party around one of the biggest sporting events in the world along with all the pomp and circumstance that will accompany the game. Miami’s weather from December to March is warm and dry, providing the perfect environment for the outdoor festivals and events that take place during its winter months. Visually Miami is bold and colorful with its pastel and bright colors engulfing the backdrop of physically fit locals strolling the streets and beaches while worshiping sun. Miami natives enjoy life and welcome tourism dollars to feed the region’s economy. The city can boast the hottest nightlight, a rich diverse cuisine, being entertained by college and professional sports teams, shopping in ritzy specialty boutiques and high-design retail shops, health and fitness events along with water and outdoor sport activities. Perhaps your planned weekend is to attend the Art Deco District, or the Bayside Market bustling with food specialty shops and restaurants which locals visit, the Miami Zoo or Little Havana which immerses visitors deep into the Cuban flavor. Or take a short drive to the Everglades National Park to experience the plethora of wildlife or cruising ocean drive, or attending the Miami International boat show (Feb 13th -17th). The South Beach Food and Wine Festival (Feb 19th-23rd) is another huge food event that celebrates the art of cooking with celebrity chefs participating in a weekend of demonstrations and lectures.
The airports servicing Miami are Miami International Airport (MIA) andFort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.(FLL). Unless you have an absolute favorite place to stay, the choices in accommodations are overwhelming. The hotels with national award attached to their names includes The Biltmore, Washington Park Hotel, the Betsy Hotel and the Fontainebleau to name a few; there are several Art deco hotels such as the Essence House Hotel, chain resorts includingThe Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, smaller boutiques hotels and high-end AirBnBs. Miami has it all!
The food scene is equally as hot as the selection of accommodations due to reasons such as restaurants driven by local celebrity chefs fine dining service, or serving a bevy of Latin American cuisine, or the showcase of international foods, hosting farm-to- table restaurants and even just diving into the neighborhood joints.
If plans are to take a weekend jaunt to our nation’s capitol is more of a preference, be prepared — your weekend can be jammed packed with an overabundance of tourist attractions from museum exhibits, to live theatrical performances, to big name artists booking concerts. The weather in DC during the winter months will average in the 40s-50s, so dress accordingly. There are three major airports in the Washington, DC region: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (airport code: DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (airport code: IAD) and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (airport code: BWI).
There are numerous attractions and events that can satisfy every taste whether it be historical, cultural, musical, or as a sports adventurer. Plan to take in a professional game with the Nationals Hockey Team or Wizards Basketball Team; or enjoy the Chinese New Year week of programming and events (Jan 22nd – Feb 2) , Foodies are in the middle of Winter Restaurant Week from January 9-19th or perhaps enjoy the tour of the DC Chocolate Wine and Whiskey Festival stops in town on Feb. 8th. The ability to visit the War Memorials and monuments of Roosevelt, Lincoln and Dr. King due to close proximity from each other.
Many of the boutique hotels with exceptional suites are located within the Downtown and Dupont Circle, although many of the brand hotels and resorts can be located either on the Mall or nearby states of Maryland or Virginia. D.C. brags to have the hottest culinary destinations in the U.S. offering eclectic food choices and was awarded a second Michelin Guide. 2100 restaurants call D.C. home ranging from celebrity chefs proprietors of fine dining, fresh seafood eateries, smoke houses, and neighborhood diners. as a
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN
Referred to as an urban oasis! Michigan’s winter weather depending on the week can be single digits to 40 degrees with of periods of rain or snow. Fortunately our snowstorms have been hit and miss from the prior 2-3 years. By car, Ann Arbor is 45 minutes from Downtown Detroit and about 20 minutes from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport and about 41/2 hours from Chicago (and over an hour by air). My second home of Ann Arbor can be a fulfilling weekend of exploring the city’s cultural scene of museums and family friendly destinations: Hands On Museum (exhibits for young and old to touch, experience and learn), the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and the U of M Museum of Natural History. The University of Michigan hosts a week-long programming and activities (January 13th -20th ) commemorating the Martin Luther King Federal Holiday consisting of speakers, workshops and of community events. Other events that can be including in a weekend stay is Restaurant Week that takes place during the second week of January, attend a Michigan Basketball or Hockey or any of the olympic sport teams who seasons kick into high gear, or Tour Michigan Stadium and the rest of the athletic department’s buildings to get a well rounded history of the athletic department. In addition, the Ann Arbor Folk Festival (Jan 31st – Feb. 1, and the six day Ann Arbor Film Festival (March 24-29th) Festival as the oldest (1963) avant-garde and experimental film festival that is internationally recognized as a premier forum for independent filmmakers and artists are great cultural options . If playing outdoors is more up your alley, the surrounding parks offer sledding, hiking and cross country skiing trails, ice skating and ice fishing
With regards to accommodations, Ann Arbor offers several chain hotels to accommodate football season, along with historic properties and boutique properties including Weber’s Boutique Hotel, the Kensington, Bell Tower and Ann Arbor Regent Hotel and Suite. Foodies be ready to dive into Ann Arbor’s celebratory tantalizing food scene that offer a number of restaurants which cater to vegetarians, vegans, European-fare, American-fare, Fine Dining, bakeries, and food trucks. Craft Beer bars, distilleries and microbreweries are staples in our college town to satisfy your alcohol palette. I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest during your visit to be sure to lunch at the famous Zingermann’s deli, my go-to sandwich eatery or the Blue Nile for dinner that serves the most scrumptious Eithopian fare.
While preparing for a particular winter season mind and body retreat, consider going in style with a Beau Satchelle bespoke designed travel bag just for you. It can be made with a protective laptop/tablet sleeve or pocket and be roomy enough to handle a couple of outfits, accessories and a pair of shoes. Any carry-on bag that we design will be the appropriate size for overhead bins. Complete our contact page for a free consultation to create your custom travel for your weekend of frivolity. -AJ
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Thank you to the following sites for source material.
National Park Service District of Columbia
Hat Tip to the talented photographers. Beautful pics, mean beautiful blog
Congerdesign – Pixabay
Jeshoots.com – Unsplash
Muzammil Soorma – Unsplash Miami Skyline
Tiraya Adam – Unsplash – monument
Kealan Burke – Unsplash – The Capitol Building
Andre Horne – Flickr Ann Arbor
Jaci Sarkey – Flickr Ann Arbor