Ah, peak winter. In all likelihood, you’re starting to grow weary of donning hats, gloves and parkas for even the most mundane tasks. Here’s the good news: we’re already over the hump. The days are already growing longer and if you look closely, the promise of spring is slowly bursting through the earth with tulips and crocus nubs peeking through.
We’ve assembled a half dozen extraordinary destinations in the Northeast that’ll make you forget those winter blues and ignite your passion for impromptu travel.
Hip and happening Burlington, Vermont, seamlessly blends New England charm with a modern yet eclectic vibe to deliver an ideal getaway for couples looking to unplug or families looking to explore. Dubbed Vermont's “Queen City,” Burlington is the state’s largest city and idyllically nestled between the breathtaking Adirondack Mountains and captivating Lake Champlain, less than two hours from the Canadian border.
Pack a pair of comfortable shoes inside the adjustable footwear space of your Leigh Duffle for your day spent wandering Church Street Marketplace, an outdoor pedestrian mall lined with charming mom-and-pop shops and a spectrum of eateries peppered among historic architecture, public art and cool events, earning its honor of being named one of the Great Public Spaces in America.
Quiet country roads lined with Colonial-Era clapboard houses, bucolic vineyards and rolling hills surround the little rural town of Washington, Connecticut. With its Hallmark movie feel and picturesque countryside, you’d hardly guess New York City is just two hours south. Gilmore Girls fans already know Washington was the inspiration behind the cult-television dramedy, and the heart of town, Washington Depot, has all the charm you might expect.
Pamper yourself at nearby Mayflower Inn & Spa, a well-known luxury hideaway and holistic wellness destination set on 58-acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and woodlands. Be sure to slip your swimsuit and yoga garb in your Leigh Duffle for an unforgettable weekend trip.
Aroostook County, Maine
With some of the best snowmobile trails in the country (1,600 miles worth!), Aroostook County, Maine, is off the beaten path but well worth discovering. A snow-lover’s paradise, Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge offers miles of trails perfect for hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
If you’re looking to experience local flavor, snowmobiles are welcome at Northern Maine Brewing Co., where most of the hops are locally grown and a good part of the menu comes from local farms. Aprés your outdoor and gastronomic adventures, unpack your most comfy ensemble from your Leigh Duffle's clothing compartment, fully lined with IONIC+™ antimicrobial fabric, for a cozy night in.
New Englanders are well acquainted with the capital of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, but what they may not know is how this city constantly reinvents itself. Sure, the boys of summer take to Fenway’s manicured field during the warmest months, but this time of year, Boston has a magic all its own.
Embodying the spirit of the Winter Olympics, The Liberty Hotel, located at the foot of the historic Beacon Hill neighborhood, offers curling on the private outdoor courtyard. Dubbed “The Yard” as the property was the former home of the Charles Street Jail, you'll be assigned a “curling concierge” who will not only explain the game and show how to use the equipment, but will also serve hot chocolate and savory canapes.
Newport, Rhode Island
Known as the summertime playground of the turn-of-the-century elite, Newport, Rhode Island, has evolved into a year-round destination for all. Right now, Newport is enjoying the spotlight as much of the HBO series, The Gilded Age, was filmed in the coastal city’s famed mansions the wealth robber barons of the era called their “summer cottages.”
This time of year, make memories while ice skating alongside Narragansett Bay as the lights of the Newport bridge illuminate the sky. Gurney's Newport Skating Rink on the resort's expansive North Lawn and just steps from the Goat Island Lighthouse offers a magical experience for the young and the young at heart. Rent on site (or BYOS), then tuck your boots into the footwear space of your Leigh Duffle, which can accommodate multiple pairs of shoes and a pair of tall boots. While in Newport, be sure to visit the our Company Store on Thames Street.
White Mountains Region, New Hampshire
The peaks of the snow-capped White Mountains never fail to make an impression. This breathtaking mountain range covers nearly a quarter of the state of New Hampshire with small towns nestled in the foothills.
Bretton Woods is home to the Omni Mount Washington Resort, built in 1902 and then-known as the most luxurious hotel of its day, catering to well-heeled guests from Boston, New York and Philadelphia. Today, the luxurious resort embodies all of the pomp and circumstance of yesteryear only with modern amenities. Enjoy 63 skiing and snowboard trails or head to the Bretton Woods Nordic Center, one of the largest cross-country areas in the East featuring a 100-km trail network. Commune with nature as you pass through open fields, woodlands, ponds and mountain streams. Be sure to pack your slippers in the Leigh Duffle for your visit to the spa!
Whether a thrill-seeking adventure, an unplugged luxurious retreat or a fun-filled getaway for the whole family, bid adieu to mid-winter fatigue by getting out, seeing new places and soaking up the spoils of the season!
Happy and safe travels!
Andrea E. McHugh is a travel and lifestyle writer, food editor and content creator whose work has appeared in USA Today, Family Circle, Yankee Magazine, Yahoo! News, MSN, Travel Pulse, The Hartford Courant, Providence Journal and Daily Candy in addition to appearing on Good Morning America, featured in Conde Nast Traveler and more. She’s the founder of NewportStylephile.com. And in her free time (lol), Andrea blogs for LEIGH 2-3 times per month (lucky us)!