Getaways

I first met Tom Hale, the founder and president of Backroads, in his Berkeley, California headquarters about eight years ago. And I was a little floored by his exercise regimen. That morning, as on most mornings, he had risen somewhere between three and four to exercise. He had done 400

WHY IT’S A CONTENDER: It’s safe to say that there is not another ski hotel like the Alta Lodge. It looks like a 1940’s prep school dorm that was designed by a Bauhaus-trained architect. Think "pleasingly austere," with window walls of glass, Bertoia chairs and cement block walls. But those

Smack in the center of the Lone Star State, you’ll find great food and wine and a landscape that’s worth the trip BY TOM PASSAVANT Becker Vineyards (Photo by Karen Glenn) Many of the things I’d heard about the Texas Hill Country before my visit seemed hard to swallow, particularly

When I was in Budapest in 1989, the mood was dour, the city’s Art Nouveau treasures were crumbling, and there was nothing for anyone to buy except little souvenir bags of paprika. But fast forward 17 years. Not only is the Communist government history but I have to discard my

WHY IT’S A CONTENDER: The hotel opened in 2004 in the restored 1906 Gresham Palace in Pest, one of the grandest and most important Art Nouveau buildings in Europe. With its dramatic setting at the foot of the Chain Bridge and views across the Danube to Buda, the hotel is

WHY IT’S A CONTENDER: The words "deal" and "The Little Nell" rarely share the same billing, but this is the time of year when the leaves turn, the rates fall, and even the locals are known to check in for a romantic night or two. Luxury hotels don’t come much

     I was standing on a bed of quivering mud, the Irish Sea lapping away at my brand new Gore Tex hiking boots, at a point where the River Leven meets Morecambe Bay. Six other people in shorts and fleece and silly smiles stood there with me, engaged in

    WHY IT’S A CONTENDER: Martha’s Vineyard, which lies off the coast of Massachusetts, takes on its true colors during fall foliage season. This is the Vineyard sans day trippers and summer visitors. The crowds have left the winding streets of Edgartown, the backroads can be enjoyed on a

Why It’s a Contender: Most of America still thinks of Boulder as Berkeley with bigger hills, a gorgeous town 30 minutes from Denver (and under an hour from Denver International Airport) where aging hippies mingle with college kids and fitness-obsessed Boomers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but Boulder

Skiing is the closest I come to flying. So when I saw an Andean condor soaring among the jagged 19,000 foot peaks at Portillo last September, I felt truly inspired. With its 11-foot wingspan, it rode the thermals in a cobalt blue sky, leaving enormous shadows against the rocky flanks