As the weather warms, wanderlust is on the rise. But even as the forecast is brightening for domestic travel, COVID-19 restrictions continue to put that dream European vacation out of reach for now. For those would-be international adventurers whose patience is wearing thin, here are three passport-free alternatives:
St. Moritz-style Alpine Adventure (Lake Placid, N.Y.)
Both are two-time hosts of the Winter Olympic Games. Both draw adventurers year-round to their rugged mountains, sparkling lakes and dense forests. But unlike the Swiss resort town of St. Moritz, Lake Placid is within driving distance of New York City, Boston and other points throughout the Northeast.
The all-suite Whiteface Lodge, a AAA Four-Diamond luxury resort in this Adirondack village, is tucked into the woodlands of a 36,200-acre forest preserve, giving active travelers direct access to miles of scenic trails for hiking and biking. The resort’s private Canoe Club, slated to open Memorial Day Weekend, is stocked with complimentary kayaks, pedal boats, canoes and more, ready to launch from Paradox Bay. Also nearby are rock climbing, whitewater rafting, fishing and golf.
The Great British Getaway (Westchester County, N.Y.)
Afternoon tea, grand estates, charming towns and gardens galore – Anglophiles can enjoy an English country weekend just a short train ride or drive from New York City. Start in the affluent village of Bronxville, with its quaint downtown full of treasures like the 83-year-old Womrath Bookshop. Bronxville is also home to Sarah Lawrence College, modeled on the Oxford/Cambridge system, and its residential streets showcase a variety of English architectural styles, from grand Tudor and Georgian homes to Cotswold cottages. In nearby Tarrytown, landscape tours resume May 7 at the Gothic Revival mansion Lyndhurst.
Untermyer Gardens (Yonkers) is another must, with its 43 acres of distinct, themed gardens ranging from a Walled Garden modeled after ancient Indo-Persian gardens to the naturalistic Rock and Stream Garden. Head north to Peekskill for a proper English tea at Kathleen’s Tea Room on Main Street, then check in for the night at The Abbey Inn, a stylish new hotel set in the beautifully restored, Gothic Revival remains of a former Episcopal convent and chapel.
Tuscany on the California Coast (Casa Palmero, Pebble Beach Resorts)
Its design evocative of a private Mediterranean estate, Casa Palmero at Pebble Beach offers all the trappings of a romantic retreat in Italy, with the rugged beauty of the California coast filling in for the Tuscan shoreline.
This boutique “resort within a resort” just might be the legendary golf destination’s best-kept secret, its 24 expansive rooms and suites tucked into a secluded setting just steps from the links but a world apart. Casa Palmero guests enjoy romantic touches like gas fireplaces, deep soaking tubs, private patios with whirlpool spas, a sparkling swimming pool, lush courtyard garden, and an exceptional level of personalized service.
Be sure to book a romantic dinner for two at Pebble Beach Resorts’ acclaimed Pèppoli, serving authentic Tuscan-style dishes paired with the widest selection of Antinori wines outside of Tuscany. And but a five-minute drive away is downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea, where cobblestoned streets and fairytale-like cottage homes are reminiscent of a medieval European town.