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25 Quick Trips
Restaurants and shops are popping up in and around Southside. Highlights include Frank Stitt's Bottega Cafe, which serves Italian cuisine; the Garage Cafe courtyard, where folks come for live music and drinks among old statues, doors, and iron gates; and Soca Clothing, which stocks cute dresses and denim. Cobb Lane, a seven-room Victorian B&B, has a wraparound porch.
Sedona's red rocks are best seen from hiking trails in Coconino National Forest. There's wildlife even in the midst of shops and restaurants: The outdoor plazas of Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village attract goldfinches, scrub jays, and quail. Janet and Philippe Buillet run A Sunset Chateau, a 23-suite B&B overlooking red rock formations, with Janet's paintings as decoration.
Zen out in Ojai, 90 minutes north of Los Angeles, where galleries, wine bars, and spas are as plentiful as the orchards growing just outside of town. Take a hike in the mountains and then relax with a title from Bart's Books, an outdoor bookstore located under a gigantic grapefruit tree. Artworks from regional artists decorate the dozen mission-style rooms at the Blue Iguana Inn.
Antiques hunters flock to the shops in Litchfield and neighboring towns; R.T. Facts displays architectural salvage in Kent's former town hall. Attend a tasting at Haight-Brown Vineyard, then chill out at the Spa at Litchfield Hills. Marigold Garden is an elegant three-room B&B in an 1850s home.
Fort Myers is full of temptation: At Norman Love Confections, tours end with samples like raspberry- or pina colada-infused chocolates); Shell Factory & Nature Park lets you create custom pearl jewelry. All rooms at GullWing Beach Resort have Jacuzzis.
After a tour of Holualoa Kona Coffee Company, browse the shops and galleries of this up-country village. The handmade hats and baskets at Kimura's Lauhala Shop are irresistible. Pheasants wander the 30 acres of gardens at Holualoa Inn.
The Galena Artists' Guild hosts monthly receptions as well as an annual member show at the Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery. Save time for a stroll past the 19th-century Italianate and Greek Revival mansions on the banks of the Galena River. Opened in 1855, the DeSoto House Hotel channels the Victorian age with high-ceilinged rooms and floral wallpaper.
More than 150 dealers will entice you with Tiffany-style lamps and carved walnut tables at Banowetz Antique Mall; when it's time to let your credit card cool off, duck into the 13 limestone caves at Maquoketa Caves State Park. Squiers Manor B&B sweetens evenings with complimentary desserts.
Paducah offers visitors free trolleys, great barbecue, and a stellar quilt museum, in addition to all the studios and galleries in its Lowertown Arts District. Pick up a coconut meringue pie at d. Starnes before holing up at the Fox Briar Inn at Riverplace.
The town's dramatic granite cliffs have long attracted fishermen, artists, and tourists. Marginal Way, a one-mile path along the coastline, leads to Perkins Cove, home of the Lobster Shack, which has some of the best lobster rolls in the world. The Cliff House Resort & Spa will combine overnight stays with dinner and gift certificates to the L.L.Bean store in Freeport.
Mackinac banned cars more than 100 years ago — so indulge at the island's 15 fudge shops, then bike it off along the eight-mile coastline. The dining room at the legendary Grand Hotel is the perfect excuse to dress to the nines.
When you're not living it up at one of the casino resorts, shop for crafts and artwork in nearby Ocean Springs or book a sunset cruise aboard a schooner. Emeril's Gulf Coast Fish House in Gulfport serves shrimp and grits on a beachside patio. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino is the swankiest resort in Biloxi, with floor-to-ceiling windows and marble bathrooms.
Ranchers share the sidewalks with professors, artists, and (in winter) ski bums. Grossenbacher Guides leads women's fly-fishing clinics. In evenings, the action is in restaurants on Main Street. The Olive Branch Inn, an 1889 Victorian manor, has robes and custom soaps in each room.
Think Vegas casinos, restaurants, and shops — without the hassle and high prices — then add in the Colorado River. For the best views of the riverside casinos, especially the Colorado Belle, which was built to resemble a paddle-wheel boat, ride on a Laughlin River Tours steamboat. Opened less than two years ago, Aquarius Casino Resort is the newest, sleekest resort in town.
Cape May has long been a seaside resort, but instead of roller coasters, there are horse-drawn carriages and sidewalks lit with gas lamps. Afternoon tea and breakfast are included with a night's stay at Victorian Lace Inn.
Mountain scenery, funky art, and superb restaurants: The best of New Mexico is in Taos. After poking around Ledoux Street, dine at Apple Tree and sip margaritas at Adobe Bar. El Monte Sagrado has fireplaces, hot tubs, and a spa.
Wilmington makes it easy to go from beach wrap to wrap dress: After lessons with Surf Camp at Wrightsville Beach, relax at Le Catalan, a French cafe and wine bar. The Hilton Wilmington Riverside is in historic downtown.
The Hocking Hills region, in the foothills of the Appalachians, has nine state parks and thousands of acres of protected forest. Mimi Morrison leads women's hiking and bird- watching-by-kayak tours. The Logan Art Gallery and Art Center runs pottery classes. The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls offers guests fresh scones and pastries every morning and creates fun overnight packages with cooking classes.
There are dozens of wineries all around Salem — a local favorite is Carlton Winemakers Studio, which produces organic wine. In town, don't pass up the fresh pasta at Old Europe Inn. A Creekside Garden Inn is six blocks from downtown and on Mill Creek. The veranda is a pleasant place to hang out.
On Narragansett Bay, Bristol is home to gorgeous Georgian, Federal, and Victorian mansions. Rent a bike and cruise along the East Bay's path through parks, bird sanctuaries, and New England villages. Bristol Harbor Inn's DeWolf Tavern is one of the city's best restaurants.
In addition to its tiered namesake waterfalls, Sioux Falls has a cute downtown area with boutiques and flea markets; check out the Turkish carpets at Warp & Weft. At Country Inn & Suites, the restaurant has an outdoor deck overlooking Big Sioux River.
Alamo City's big draw is the River Walk: Restaurants and shops line the San Antonio River. Scope out the scene on a Rio San Antonio Cruise. Nearby is La Villita, where boutiques have taken root in 18th-century buildings. And the Blue Star Arts Complex is the site of many galleries and bars. In an 1883 warehouse, Riverwalk Vista Inn has pine floors, high ceilings, and huge windows.
As if Zion National Park weren't enough, St. George also has 10 golf courses in the vicinity. Painted Pony restaurant, serving local organic produce, is a must. The 55-acre Red Mountain Spa offers exercise and relaxation; follow a hike in Snow Canyon with a massage.
Virginia Beach is actually three waterfront destinations in one: the resort-area beach and bustling boardwalk, the natural shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay, and the peaceful dunes of Sandbridge on the southern coast — with shopping in Town Center, to boot. The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront hotel has the city's first rooftop bar and infinity pool.
Jackson Hole is a blend of sophistication and Wild West revelry. At the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, the chandeliers are wagon wheels, and bar stools are topped with saddles. The Wort Hotel has 2,032 silver dollars inlaid on its hotel bar.
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