Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last Minute Holiday Travel

You’ve got a few days off and suddenly the idea of letting someone else do the cooking and decorating while you lay back and relax with a few drinks sounds very appealing. It may not be too late to do that.

This is the year of bargain airfares and   there are still some seats left in the plane. Whether you are going to shop for a flight or just get in your car, check out what two of my top destinations have to offer for spirited holiday celebrations…

Napa Valley
Yountville is a foodie’s best stop in Napa with more Michelin star restaurants (i.e. French Laundry, ├ętoile, Bouchon), than you can fill your palette with. If you want to forget the snow and remember the wine and spirits, they’ve got some great offerings (contact the Yountville Chamber for details unless otherwise indicated):

Skate under the stars at the Vintage Winter Pavilion, where you can also enjoy a Hot Toddy & Cocktail menu and weekend wine tastings through January 2nd;

Enjoy WinterScape Hotel Packages at Villagio Inn & Spa and Bardessono (one of the Spirits Traveler’s favorite hotels, pictured above) include goodies like skating passes and dinner discounts;

Go biking through the vineyards with Napa Valley Bike Tours. They will take you to four vineyards for tastings and also provide a picnic lunch.

Chicago
I can’t imagine a better place to be around the holidays then the ever so regal Palmer House Hilton. Enjoy Afternoon Tea, Christmas Eve Dinner or Christmas Day Brunch at the Lockwood Restaurant. Even if you decide to spend the holidays at home, this hotel around the corner from the Art Institute and Michigan Avenue shopping will definitely keep you in the festive spirit. Through the month of December, you can enjoy their Historical Package, which includes accommodations, a tour of the property with resident historian Ken Price and a memento to go home with.

Another place in Chicago is guaranteeing you’ll stay in the holiday spirit. The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago not only offers some gourmet holiday brunches at their Sixteen restaurant, but they have an exclusive “Holiday Desk” for guests to help you with anything you need to get through the season. While you are in Chicago, you also might want to try the Sunday Brunch at Kit Kat Lounge, which will be filled with live holiday music and movies projected on the screens on December 26th. Along with the Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas, try the “Frosty’s Going Down” – Effen Vodka, Marshmallow Fluff and a drop of vanilla, served in a graham cracker rimmed glass with a snowman peep!!

Coming Soon... Spirited New Year's destinations

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