WE'LL BYPASS the intro on this one. You know the drill by now:
Vail, Colorado - Who knew skiing and all the hoopla around it was so much fun? Erm, millions. I found out in December 2010 what a friggin' blast the whole ski thing and corresponding culture is. Plus, Vail and the surrounding area are breathtaking. Why winter in a frozen, hideous tundra (Chicago, Minneapolis) when you could do it on two planks of speedy goodness down the side of a snow-covered enchanted mountain? Followed by a hot tub soak, walk, apres ski drinks or any other number of fun things?
Hamburg, Germany - Sweet city with a central park that's packed with former Yugoslavs playing petanque even in a snow storm. Wander around and you'll stumble upon design studios that peer right out to the street on even the most residential thoroughways, wonderful beer halls, tiny cafes, coffee houses, hilly green spaces. I like it. A lot.
Blackheath, London - Live in London your whole life and you'll probably never see 80% of it. True story. I stayed with the wonderful BritishBeautyBlogger on Black Heath in October and the sweet village center was like Highgate Village, my former home... only better. Would move there with a young family in a heartbeat.
Savannah, Georgia, USA - Do everything from swill pina coladas poolside in a local's backyard while perusing the wares on offer at their Saturday morning garage sale to kayak with Dolphins in the Moon River. The old houses, Spanish moss and lazy pace of life are really attractive to anyone who lives a 24/7 life.
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA - Actually, it's just outside of Santa Fe that's best, specifically Ten Thousand Waves Spa and the Santa Fe State Park area. Japanese-style spa with accomodations in the same manner. Get up early for a soak before hiking up a peak just a mile down the road. Peaceful and removed from the super-touristy center of the town.
Vermont, USA - The US's best-kept secret, in my mind. Although the state can call everyone from the late Rudyard Kipling to Tata Harper residents. Still pretty wild and country, the towns are adorable, there's loads to do. Nature's almost totally unadulterated, even in the capital. Wonderful year round and most glorious during Leaf Peeping season in the fall. The majority of the state residents are transplants from elsewhere because it's just that alluring.
Reykjavik (Keflavik) Airport - Probably the grooviest airport in the world. The cafe in the terminal is cooler and more stylish than any coffee shop I've come across in America and, well, probably the UK. And everything's more design-led too. There's even a shop dedicated to just design. Plus, the Icelandic woven wares on sale are hard to pass up. I would happily pass a multi-hour layover here over virtually all other airports.