|Enjoy the Flavor of Something New|
One of the best ways to learn about a new area is to experience its cuisine. More than simply eating the food, learning to prepare a region’s signature dishes will help you connect to and remember your trip for years to come. At Sazon, the cooking school affiliated with luxury hotel Casa de Sierra Nevada in Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende, students learn how to make exciting dishes in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Another Mexican hot spot, the Maroma Hotel in the Mayan Riviera, offers inspired cooking classes with the resort’s onsite chef. Or, of you’d rather become an expert in Mexican beverages, try the Tequila Tasting class.
|Explore the Beauty of the Land|
The Orient-Express hotel in San Miguel de Allende, Casa de Sierra Nevada, creates a welcoming cocoon that’s hard to leave, but those who love the outdoors shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore this beautiful area of Mexico from the land and air. Horseback riding enthusiasts will find plenty about Rancho La Loma to enjoy—from the trail rides to their riding school. Coyote Canyon Adventures is another local facility that offers half-day, full-day, and overnight rides, as well as hiking, biking, and four-wheeling. If you prefer two wheels to four hoofs, premier bike shop Bici-Burro can arrange scenic rides geared toward your interests and fitness level. If you’d like a bird’s-eye view of the area, Gone With the Wind takes guests on one-hour hot air balloon rides over San Miguel.
|Dive Into Your Artistic Side|
Artists—or those hoping to become one—will find lots of inspiration in the gorgeous Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende. Close to the luxurious Casa de Sierra Nevada is an abundance of art studios and classes catering to artistic mediums from painting to jewelry making. Bellas Artes is a major cultural center offering a huge variety of workshops, including ceramics, silver work, photography, glass blowing, weaving, sculpture, water color, and puppetry. Housed in a stunning building, Instituto Allende conducts classes in fine arts and crafts. Master jeweler Enrique Lopez Larrea introduces students to the wonderful world of silver crafting through his in-demand jewelry workshops. La Escuela welcomes beginners and advanced drawing/painting students alike to its well-lit studios, which open to a charming garden and picturesque fountain. Adults and children can participate in Artistic Creativity Workshops’ private classes in painting, collage, and sculpture. Internationally recognized instructors teach a variety of photography classes at Santa Fe Photo Workshops.
|A New World of Indulgence|
There’s no better way to escape from the chaotic pace of everyday life than by booking an afternoon—or whole day—of pampering spa treatments. The Kinan Spa at the Maroma resort on the Mayan Riviera takes the mind-body concept to a whole new level. Not only can clients indulge in fabulous spa treatments such as massages and facials, as well as med spa therapies including Botox and anti-cellulite procedures, but they also offer wellness programs—everything from meditation to power yoga—that help guests forge an individual path toward whole-body serenity. Another blissful spa experience can be found at Elysees, the spa within St. Martin’s La Samanna hotel. The crystal clear turquoise waters surrounding this gorgeous Caribbean island set a tranquil mood for soothing treatments designed to help you relax, fight aging, repair skin, and beautify you from head to toe. Last but not least, the premier resort spa at The Inn at Perry Cabin on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, brings the best of nature to every treatment they provide. Linden Spa guests have access to a huge menu of decadent facial and body therapies; wellness activities such as yoga and Pilates; as well as restful pursuits including indoor and outdoor relaxation rooms, an infinity edge pool, and detoxifying steam room.
|Get a Little Wild, New Orleans Style |
Known as “The Big Easy,” New Orleans lives up to its name by making it easy to find a million different ways to have fun. The Windsor Court Hotel is the perfect home base from which to explore the diverse aspects of the city. If you’re a music lover, you’ll want to dive right into the dozens of venues offering live jazz every night. History buffs won’t know which element of New Orleans’ storied past to explore first: the sites that shaped the lives of Pirate Jean Lafitte, Queen of Voodoo Marie Laveau, or illustrious author Tennessee Williams. Plantation Tours offer another first-hand look at the past, with visits to antebellum and Creole plantations that shine a light on the slave trade. For a more contained view of history, how about taking in the Southern Food & Beverage Museum or the New Orleans Museum of Art? If relaxation is the only thing on your agenda, New Orleans has the cure for what ails you. World-class golf, guided fishing and hunting excursions, and sophisticated shopping along famous Canal Street are waiting.