February may be the shortest month, but it’s long on activities and excursions that will make 28 days fly by faster. From extravagant parades to one-of-a-kind food and wine experiences, there are plenty of memories waiting to happen. The story will be yours to tell when you check out one of these top trips to take in February.
The Chinese New Year is here, and the largest celebration outside of Asia happens in San Francisco. The Bay Area welcomes the Year of the Rooster with the nation’s largest and longest-running Chinese New Year parade (February 11). Going strong since the 1860s, the parade’s centerpiece is Gum Lung, a 268-foot dragon that is carried through the streets by a team of over 100 martial artists.
The Omni San Francisco Hotel offers the chance to celebrate VIP-style with its Chinese New Year package. The deal includes two tickets for bleacher seating along the parade route, breakfast at Bob’s Steak & Chop House and, of course, a fortune cookie.
In its 15th year, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival (fans call it SOBEWFF for short) is a five-day extravaganza (February 22 to 26) of all things gloriously delicious. Join 65,000 other foodies for dynamic experiences that include Seaside Eats with The Food Network’s Anne Burrell (February 22, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.), Croquestas & Champagne with Jean-Georges Vongerichten (February 25, 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.) and a Bloody Mary Brunch with Neil Patrick Harris (February 26, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.).
Wine seminars, food tastings and late-night parties rage on each day and night of the festival. If you’re hungry for a high-end place to rest your head, numerous luxury hotels offer special rates for attendees, including Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Fontainebleau Miami Beach and Royal Palm South Beach Miami. Four-Star host Loews Miami Beach Hotel has a promotion this weekend that includes a $75 dining credit.
Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing
For the art and luxury hotel lover in all of us, Remote Lands has curated A Journey Through Asian Contemporary Art Capitals (February 19 to March 5). This 14-day trip (which features stays each night in Forbes Travel Guide Four- and Five-Star Peninsula Hotels) stops over in five Asian capitals. You’ll experience everything from high-end private art collections to modern street art. The journey starts in Bangkok and continues on to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo.
In addition to the cultural aspect, the trip includes hiking the Great Wall, helicopter tours over Bangkok and Thai cooking classes. To ensure an intimate experience, the trip is limited to 16 guests. You’ll want to be one those lucky few.
Sure, outdoor movies are all the rage during the summer, but rare is the hotel rooftop that hosts movie nights during the cold-weather months. Enter Four-Star The Berkeley’s Rooftop Winter Cinema (select dates in February). The Berkeley counteracts the winter chill with mulled wine, heat lamps, down blankets and, of course, Londonite celebrity Hugh Grant on the big screen. This year’s edition features Bridget Jones’s Diary, Notting Hill and the pre-Grant classic Some Like it Hot.
Movie tickets are available to hotel guests and the public, and include vino treats, hot chocolate and a snack (shepherd’s pie or canapés). Valentine’s Day packages at the hotel, available February 12 to 17, include champagne, monogrammed bathrobes, flowers and much more.
Sea Island, Georgia
At the intersection of human intellect, Southern hospitality and island luxury, the Sea Island Creativity Conference is a two-day soirée of the senses (February 17 to 18). Hosted at Five-Star The Cloister, the gathering features lectures and dinners with visionaries from the art, science and media worlds.
This year’s speaker lineup is one heavyweight after the next. Examples include Jack Horner, a paleontologist and the inspiration behind the lead character in the movie Jurassic Park; Carol Guzy, Washington Post news photographer and the only journalist to win four Pulitzer Prizes; and Paul “Dimitri” Magid, founding member of The Flying Karamazov Brothers, a juggling/comedy troupe.