As the days grow longer and the trees turn greener, our minds naturally drift towards the outdoors. Spring marks the perfect time for soaking up the sunshine or reveling in seasonal festivals. From having classic horse races to offering inventive ice cream alternatives, these six destinations scream to be added to your spring travel list.
Top-notch equestrians (and their mounts) travel to Nashville from all over the world to compete in the annual Iroquois Steeplechase. Though this 75th anniversary spectacle will be highlighted by the three-mile main event on May 14, you could argue that it’s just as fun to watch the spectators, since steeplechase regulars don extravagant outfits, including those stare-worthy hats, for the occasion.
Fashionable guests of Loews Vanderbilt Hotel can seize the chance to show off their sharpest wears with Steeplechase in Style. The package from this Music City gem includes entry tickets and transportation to the race, as well as a gourmet picnic lunch to take to the track.
Even if Jacksonville didn’t have April 24’s Beaches Parade (the unofficial opening of summer around these parts), the seaside city would be a happening hangout over the next few months. Local artists and musicians turn out for performances downtown at the Jax Beach Art Walk on the second Tuesday of each month. Right now you don’t want to miss Friday night movies on the Seawalk Pavilion or the sandcastle contest on April 23, either.
Right down from the waves at Jacksonville Pier, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star One Ocean Resort & Spa is another reason we’re keen on a visit right now. Whether you’re traveling with your children (Family Package comes with $100 room credit) or your companion (Romantic Package includes $200 dining credit and champagne), everyone will love the fact that you’re close to everything.
If you thought the bearded guy in the Warby Parker shades was the only one with inside knowledge on Spokane’s coolest craft breweries, think again. Hop on the Inland Northwest Ale Trail and you too can be plugged into the Washington beer scene.
With 40-plus breweries in the region, sampling all of them can prove daunting. Following the curated trail eases much of that tension.
The same can be said about hotel stresses when you reserve a room at The Davenport Grand Hotel, Autograph Collection Hotel. Book the Ale Trail Package and get an overnight stay, a $25 onsite dining credit, valet parking and a themed map of the Spokane area to pick your brewery destinations. If you hit at least 10 spots, the special deal also includes a complimentary mini growler.
After closing its doors to the blistering Rhode Island winter winds, Watch Hill Inn reopens for picnics in the sunshine and clambakes on the beach at the beginning of May. This summer season, the hotel is adding special amenities (including a brand-new Afternoon Treats menu with delicate fruit desserts and pastries) and technological advances to the harbor-view villas.
The complimentary daily snacks and evening wine pours aren’t necessarily new, but we adore them all the same.
If you have a discerning palate for ice cream, the Gelato Festival is for you. Not only can attendees sample innovative flavors made by master ice cream makers there, but sweets spectators can also join the judges’ panel to pick the tastiest scoops.
This Florence stop (April 21 to 25) kicks off the festival’s eight-city tour. In between scoops, set up camp at Palazzo Guicciardini. The hotel is removed from the tourist swarms and nicely situated in a history-steeped neighborhood for your Italian dining needs (or more gelato).
Matching the budding flowers all over the city, The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead recently unveiled the Four-Star spa’s two renovated guest suites, the Jasmine and White Lotus Suites. Guests booking the Wellness Level Spa Experience will not only be some of the first to relax in the brand-new spaces on the ninth floor of the Four-Star hotel, they’ll also have a $150 spa credit to play with.
Luscious floral treatments include the Sweet Magnolia Pedicure (a foot and leg massage utilizing magnolia and gardenia petals) and the Lavender Dreams Body Envelopment (a full-body exfoliation with lavender and eucalyptus oil). However, if you want a service with an even more local feel to it, get the Georgia Red Clay, a blissful 50-minute journey that exfoliates and wraps with the mineral-packed ingredient.