Once we hit the part of winter when new snow adds to stratas of aged, brown and dirty snow, and it seems like subzero temps will never rise, you know it is the time of winter when anyone who can afford to jets off to the Caribbean or Florida or another tropical destination where your breath doesn’t freeze mid-exhale.
If you don’t have the funds or the time to swing a warm weather getaway this season, we’ve got you covered. Here are four drive-able trips from Boston where you can fake a tropical getaway without the beach-side resort price tag.
Water Play in North Conway, New Hampshire
Surprisingly, heading north can actually feel like traveling south for the winter. North Conway, a two and half hour drive from Boston, is home of the Kahuna Laguna Indoor Water Park, the perfect, family friendly way to stay warm this winter. While the kids sail down waterslides and tube along simulated rapids, you can relax at the nearby North Conway Grand Hotel, which features a heated outdoor pool, an indoor pool, a Jacuzzi and a spa. Who says bathing suit season is just in the summer? Top things off with a meal at Jonathon’s Seafood, a local favorite featuring fresh lobster, clams, scallops and oysters.
Island-fresh Fruits and Drinks in North Kingstown, Rhode Island
If beachside cocktails are your favorite part of vacation, head to North Kingstown, Rhode Island, and check in at the Blue Oaks Bed and Breakfast. The cozy inn is painted in bright, tropical colors and features a breakfast packed with island-ready fresh fruits and juices. It’s the perfect blend of a resort aesthetic with the personal service of a small inn. Fifteen minutes down the road you’ll find vibrant nightlife at The Odeum performance space where you can see live music, plays and classic film screenings like “Lawrence of Arabia.” After a show head to Kai Bar nearby in East Greenwich for a wide-ranging menu of tropical cocktails like the Paloma Cabrito made with tequila, fresh grapefruit, habanero and soda.
Latin Vibes in North Adams, Massachusetts
Head west to North Adams for a visit to Mass MoCA, the region’s hippest contemporary art museum. The museum displays works by artists from all over the world, including the Caribbean and South America, and the vibrant colors and south-of-the-equator scenes will mentally transport you to a warmer climate. After a day at the museum check in at the TOURISTS hotel, a chic, minimalistic spot nestled into the woods of the Berkshires on the banks of the Hoosic River. The bright, sun-filled rooms and huge windows overlooking the forest and river below will make you feel like you’re wrapped in the natural world. Finish the outing with an extra side of guac at Desperados Mexican restaurant just down the road from TOURISTS. The authentic tacos and enchiladas warm your palate and your winter-laden heart.
Rainforest getaway in Greenwich, Connecticut
The lack of foliage in Boston is one of the worst parts of winter. Dead trees heavy with snow just don’t offer the same boost as flowers. For a dose of plant life akin to a warm weather rainforest, check in at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich. The hotel features a lush greenhouse-like atrium where you can bask in the sunlit garden, piña colada in hand. Spend the day shopping for summer outfits at the myriad of vintage stores in Greenwich, like COUTURE Dossier, a luxury vintage shop down the street from the hotel. Finish the weekend at Beach House Café where you can shoot oysters in the nautically themed restaurant as if you were oceanside.