1. Staycations: Houston, TX
From its air-conditioned baseball stadium, Minute Maid Park, to its Texas-sized meals served up at Houston Barbecue Company, Houston has a vast variety of activities in the summertime. Its Museum District is also a great way to spend the weekend days. With 18 different museums to choose from you can soak in some culture while soaking in the sun! Book a room in the heart of the district at The Zaza Hotel (713.526.199/ hotelzaza.com/Houston). The hotel is within walking distance to the 445-acre Hermann Park, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston Zoo, and other attractions. It’s an urban oasis in the city with an outdoor swimming pool and wellness spa.
2. Staycation: Chicago, IL
The windy city has so much to offer during the summer months. Catch a ball game at Wrigley Field, soak in the sun at Oak Beach or attend one of the many outdoor festivals. To get the true feeling of being on vacation, check into the hip Hard Rock Hotel located on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile (312-245-1000/hardrockhotelchicago.com). For the music lover, their suites offer a complimentary mini iPod that are pre-programmed according to your musical tastes for use during your stay. And with one of the city’s most popular new restaurants, China Grill Chicago, located on the first floor and the ROCKS bar in the hotel’s lobby, you’ll never need to leave your hotel for a night out on the town! After dinner at the restaurant, head over to ROCKS which transforms itself after 10pm into a fashionable scene with local bands and DJs. As an added plus, ROCKS is the only bar in Chicago to serve drinks and food until 4a.m. So party hard all night knowing your bed is only an elevator ride away!
3. Staycation: New York, NY
New York, NY
With most New Yorkers escaping to the country or the shore on the weekends, the city can become a relatively quite, relaxing place. It’s a great time to make a reservation at that restaurant you can’t ever get into or have your pick of any seat in house in an otherwise crowded movie theatre. But to complete your vacation experience, check into the newly renovated Empire Hotel on 63rd Street and Broadway (212.265.7400/empirehotelnyc.com). The Empire is a true oasis in the midst of midtown, offering a rooftop deck complete with plunge pool, lounge chairs and private cabanas. And its location can’t be beat! Directly across from Lincoln Center and only a few blocks from Central Park you’ll have the best of New York right at your fingertips. Or, you can simply lie by the pool and summon your waiter over for another round of refreshing cocktails!
4. Staycation: Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Pleasant temperatures and sunny skies make LA a perfect place for a staycation. The only thing you may want to escape from are the freeways! With that in mind, just a 30-minute drive from LA will take you to an urban retreat at the shore overlooking the Pacific and minutes from the historic Santa Monica Pier. The Viceroy Hotel Santa Monica (310 260-7500/viceroysantamonica.com) offers mountain biking, hiking, sailing and kayaking. Be sure to check out their special packages such as the Family Affair Summer Package or West Coast Weekend Getaway Package. And knowing how difficult it can be to relax while away, the hotel offers poolside or in-room spa treatments. A massage by the pool…now that’s a vacation!
5. Staycations: Miami, FL
Does it get any hotter than Miami in summer? We think not. While most of us not living there love to head down to enjoy “the scene”, locals are probably looking for an alternative on vacation…you know, one where there’s privacy, away from the crowds. We’ve found just the right place! Deemed by The New York Times as one of the “53 Places to Go in 2008,” The Angler’s Boutique Resort in Miami Beach (305.372.2502/