Related: Our Favorite Beach Resorts for a Winter Escape in 2020-2021
Photo courtesy of Twin Farms, Vermont
With scenic skiing and hiking, cozy hotels and a boho-chic vibe bolstered by craft breweries and college towns, Vermont offers a picture-perfect escape within driving distance of points east that delights just as well in February as it does in May. And no place is better to call home for a weekend—or a week—in this area than Twin Farms, an ultra-indulgent retreat set on a 300-acre estate that served as a getaway in the 1930s for literary giants Sinclair Lewis and his wife, journalist Dorothy Thompson. Today, the hotel has a beautifully designed main lodge, suites and 10 stand-alone cottages (three of which are pet-friendly!) for ultimate privacy—as well as a world-class culinary program, an enviable art collection and impeccable service.
Related: East Coast Vacations from New York and Boston
Hudson Valley, New York
Photo courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House, New York
The massive Hudson Valley region, stretching from northern Westchester County and spanning both sides of the majestic Hudson River, is a wonderful, complex destination for outdoor enthusiasts and lovers of art, Americana, history and food, as well as spiritualists and wellness seekers. While exploring all that this peaceful area has to offer, travelers can unwind at bucolic luxury retreats like Glenmere Mansion, Mohonk Mountain House and Troutbeck—plus, seize the chance to experience Chef in Residence at Stone Barns, a repositioning of Dan Barber’s Michelin-starred Blue Hill restaurant that aims to bring greater diversity of culture and perspective to local farm-to-table cuisine.
Related: The 12 Best Lakefront Hotels in America
Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Photo courtesy of Blackberry Mountain, Tennessee
For hikers, foodies and design fiends, the blue-toned Great Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee contain two must-visit sister properties: Blackberry Farm and Blackberry Mountain. Perhaps best enjoyed together—but still amazing on their own—the two hotels encompass a combined nearly 10,000 acres of land for hiking, biking and horseback riding—as well as other entertainments like wheel-thrown pottery, archery, painting, yoga, fishing and, of course, whiskey-tasting. While the location is decidedly country, the décor and atmosphere are decidedly not: at the Mountain, the jewel-toned, Art-Deco-inspired cocktail bar serves treats like “A Seat at the Empress’s Table” (Empress 1908 Gin, lavender-infused Carpano dry vermouth and edible pansies—all prepared table-side); at the Farm, a highlight is meeting the resident truffle-hunting Lagotto Romagnolo dogs, which are bred there and have a five-year waiting list. The range of freestanding accommodation options at both the Mountain and the Farm are ideal for distancing—and after a few meals at their restaurants, you’ll have to convince yourself not to move in permanently.
Related: Exclusive Review: Blackberry Mountain
Utah & Arizona
Camp Sarika, photo by Melissa Biggs Bradley
Indagare Founder Melissa Biggs Bradley recently returned from a family trip to Zion, Bryce National Park and the Grand Canyon. Of the experience, she wrote: “We criss-crossed the Utah–Arizona border, raced along a rocky riverbed and navigated the rim of the Vermillion Cliffs that drop 3,000 feet into the striated canyon in a rainbow of red and orange hues. We stood on towering boulders scanning for California condors and spying the Colorado river snaking its way to Lake Powell. For sheer awe-inspiring natural drama, it ranked up there with the Alps, the Amazon and the Serengeti.” For a getaway full of grounding and gratitude, this region of America should not be overlooked—especially with accommodations at top hotels like Amangiri (with its brand-new Camp Sarika), Miraval and the Lodge at Blue Sky.
Related: Melissa’s Spotlight: A Family Trip Out West
Sun Valley, Idaho
Photo courtesy of the Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho
Established in the 1930s, Sun Valley was the very first winter destination resort in the United States. Once the ski getaway for stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, including Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, it continues to draw visitors with its easy charm, old-school glamour, excellent slopes and natural beauty. Open to skiers and snowboarders, Sun Valley offers a variety of terrain for all skill levels, as well as excellent powder throughout the season. The two main mountains to know are Bald (or Baldy) and Dollar (ideal for first-timers), and there are also themed “Adventure Trails” for children. After hours on the slopes, an après-ski cocktail at the historic Sun Valley Lodge—our recommended home base—is the perfect conclusion to the day.
Related: The 9 Best Places to Ski in the U.S.: Indagare Matchmaker
Photo courtesy of The Little Nell, Aspen
With designer shops, luxury hotels (top picks include The Little Nell, Hotel Jerome and the St. Regis), high-end restaurants and serious Rocky Mountain terrain, Aspen is the glittering crown jewel of the see-and-be-seen ski destinations. While the atmosphere is decidedly different this year, the quality of the skiing is not—and travelers can be confident in the security of the slopes, thanks to restrictions around capacity and touch points, as well as a mandatory testing for out-of-state travelers to enter the resort.
Related: Aspen Winter News: What it’s Like This Season
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Photo courtesy of Amangani, Wyoming
Known as “The Big One” for its vast expanses of difficult runs, Jackson Hole embodies the spirit of the Wild West, both on the slopes and off. The rustic local ski scene is punctuated by pockets of luxury centered around the top hotels (Caldera House, Four Seasons Jackson Hole and Amangani). Although it has attracted a trendy crowd in the past few years, Jackson Hole continues to maintain a rugged, easygoing atmosphere, which makes it great for families, as well as couples and groups of friends.
Related: Member Postcard: Roadtripping through Wyoming & Colorado During a Pandemic
Indagare’s Sasha Feldman relaxing at Sheldon Chalet, Alaska
Alaska is a mind-blowing ecological wonderland, encompassing three distinct vegetation zones and bordering the Arctic Circle and three bodies of ocean. Though not a pampering destination, it wows with wild landscapes and adventure. The spring is not the typical season to visit—but it is a fantastic time for enjoying winter sports (like heli-skiing, hiking, snowmobiling and more) in the mountains, with fewer crowds. For an outdoorsy pod, consider taking over the Sheldon Chalet, a five-bedroom haven that sits on the only privately-owned land in the mountains of Denali National Park (a highlight: unmatched views of Mount Denali’s summit from the comfort of your bed).
Related: Ultimate Wilderness Vacations
INTERNATIONAL SPRING BREAK VACATIONS
Photo courtesy of Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
In February and March, the Caribbean beckons with its powdery white-sand beaches, warm turquoise waters and pampering resorts. Just a 3.5-hour direct flight from New York, travelers looking for a romantic, secluded atmosphere should visit Turks & Caicos. A top family-friendly option, also accessible via direct flights from the U.S., is Antigua, where the all-inclusive Jumby Bay offers a private island location, friendly atmosphere and top-notch amenities on a spectacular beachfront. Other Indagare favorites include St. Lucia’s Sugar Beach resort, Anguilla’s Belmond Cap Juluca and Necker Island—Richard Branson’s exclusive hideaway in the British Virgin Islands. While each Caribbean destination has its own Covid-safety requirements, the vast majority require proof of a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test for entry and retesting after seven days.
Related: Direct Flights to the Caribbean
The country of “pura vida,” Costa Rica champions health, wellness and nature (and it’s home to one of the world’s seven Blue Zones, where the longest-living populations reside). Come here for outdoor yoga, meditation on pristine beaches, excellent surfing and snorkeling, wildlife-viewing and jungle adventures by ATV, horseback and zipline—all while unwinding at an eco-friendly resort like Nayara Springs. Costa Rica is currently open to all U.S. citizens who provide proof of the proper insurance to cover Covid-19-related medical treatment and quarantine lodging while in Costa Rica, as well as a completed health pass form. A negative Covid-19 test is not currently required for entry.
Related: Kasiiya Papagayo: Finding La Pura Vida at Costa Rica’s Newest Eco-Resort
San Miguel de Allende, photo by Elizabeth Harvey
Mexico’s treasures are as diverse as they are diverting—and whether you opt for a beachy getaway to the Riviera Maya or Los Cabos, or a culture-, art- and food-focused escape to the central city of San Miguel de Allende, this spring break destination is a classic for good reason. Covid-19 testing is currently not required for entry—but the beaches provide plenty of space for distancing, while San Miguel has executed a successful containment strategy (read more here).
Related: Why Go Now: San Miguel de Allende
Photo courtesy of Islas Secas, Panama
Panama’s Islas Secas eco-resort reopened last month after closing due to lockdown, and our team is thrilled. Indagare Creative Director Simone Girner, who scouted the property when it first opened its doors in 2018, describes the property as such: “Some 15 miles off the mainland, 14 densely forested islands rise from the sea like ancient creatures—majestic and pristine. Frigate birds soar overhead, pelicans glide beside the boat, and every now and then a fish or stingray cuts through the turquoise-blue waters, as if they, too, were leaping for joy, aware of the privilege of being in such a special place.” The experience here is akin to a nautical version of an African safari lodge, with minimal human impact in the wild. If you’re hoping to get a bit lost in the world, after months of remaining at home, this may be the place for you. (Panama requires proof of a negative Covid-19 test (PCR or Antigen) taken within 48 hours prior to traveling; alternatively, you will be required to take a test at the airport at your own expense of $50.)
Related: First Look: Islas Secas Reserve and Lodge
Photo courtesy of Dar Ahlam, Morocco
While the sparkling city of Marrakech is lovely in the springtime, travelers looking for space can turn to the one-of-a-kind retreats of the Moroccan countryside. In the Atlas Mountains, Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot has rooms bedecked in sumptuous textiles and antiques, as well as a range of outdoor adventure activities and a hammam spa—and only a small Bedouin village for company. Further afield, in the remote desert oasis of Skoura, an incredibly special, 14-room restored kasbah named “the House of Dreams”—Dar Ahlam—is an exquisite hideaway that offers indulgence and authentic cultural connection (favorite activities include treks through the Valley of Roses, ending with a picnic by a river, and sunset cocktails arranged on an isolated hilltop, furnished with cushions and carpets).
Related: Insider Journey: The Capital of Moroccan Style with the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art
Photo courtesy of One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
This nation of more than a thousand tiny islands contains a water world to satisfy the tropical fantasies of surfers, scuba divers, beach lovers and honeymooners. For an extended spring break vacation that is truly far-flung—with five-star service and amenities—escape to one of the many luxurious overwater bungalows and beachfront villas available at properties like One&Only Reethi Rah, Cheval Blanc Randheli or COMO Maalifushi. Proof of a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours prior to departure is required to enter the country.
Related: Ultimate Exotic Beach Vacations
Photo courtesy of Selinda Camp, Botswana
Top safari destinations like Rwanda, Kenya and Botswana are open to American travelers, with detailed testing and Covid-safety procedures in place, which have kept transmission rates much lower in these countries than those in the United States. While the significantly decreased number of tourists means that this spring will offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for wildlife-viewing—whether you seek the endangered mountain gorillas or draw-dropping elephants, leopards and lions—it also means that travelers’ dollars are more needed than ever. By staying at an Indagare-preferred ecolodge (like Bisate in Rwanda, Mombo and Selinda in Botswana, Singita Grumeti Sabora in Tanzania and Angama in Kenya), you can support essential initiatives in conservation, sustainability and community development.
Related: 7 Reasons to Travel to Rwanda in 2021: Travel Tips and News
Contact your Indagare Trip Designer or Indagare if you are not yet a member to start planning your spring break vacation—for this year and the future. Our team can match you with the accommodations and activities that are right for you and provide information on coronavirus travel safety, destinations that are open to travel, Covid-19 hotel policies, transportation options, private villas and charters and more.