1. A weekend in which you have no plans, no responsibilities, and nowhere at all to be, ranks as one of the best weekends you’ll ever have.
2. Sometimes friends will try to make plans with you and you have no reason to decline except for the fact that you just want to be alone that day. (Your plan is to have no plans, people need to understand that by now, right?)
3. A good album, book, or television show can keep your attention far longer than any party, club, or bar could.
4. Going away to a remote cabin in the middle of the woods to just exist for a period of time sounds like the best idea for a vacation that you can think of.
5. There is nothing more exciting than planning a long, solo road trip, because you know you’re going to be able to think your thoughts, listen to your music, and play your audiobooks for hours and hours on end. Is there anything better?
6. When people say they can’t eat alone at a restaurant, you’re like, really? That’s one of life’s simple pleasures! Food? Good. A book? Good. No conversation whatsoever? Perfect.
7. The worst trait any potential lover could have is “clingy.” You need your space like you need air to breathe. It’s essential. If they need to be around you all the time? Dealbreaker.
8. Even if you are attached, you carve out hours of alone time just to keep your sanity (and to keep your relationship healthy and happy, too).
9. The only person you’d ever consider marrying would be someone that also loves spending time alone, otherwise that thing’s never going to last.
10. If anyone that knew you were to describe you, one of the words they’d use emphatically to do so is: independent.
11. Your intuition is on point because you spend an insane amount of time alone and cultivating it.
12. While people around you hate being single, you consider it such a joy to be able to be at the whim of your aloneness and this feeling is especially better if you live alone, because you have so much time to do all your little things that you do when nobody is around.
13. You’re always working on a project –usually something artistic– and you start to get antsy if you haven’t been able to work on it for a few days.
14. When you do hang out with people, you prefer seeing them one on one or in a small group. The more intimate and deep the conversation, the better.
15. You are an observer –watching and studying people’s behavior– and, funny enough, are usually quite well-liked, which can serve to be a problem considering how much time you want to spend by yourself.
16. A full day by yourself makes you feel more you than anything at all.
17. You tend to enjoy cold, rainy weather, as it gives you even more of an excuse to hibernate in your home and read, sit by the fire, think, curl up, write in your journal.
18. If you are not thinking about life’s big questions, you must be dead.
19. Because you put a premium on spending time alone, you are more present and attentive when you do spend time with people, because you don’t feel as though you’re missing out on time by yourself.
20. You would much rather go on a hike or go to the beach by yourself than with anyone, which isn’t to say you dislike going with people, it’s just a more engaging experience when you do it alone.
21. Sure, it’s fun to drink wine with friends, but having a bottle of wine to yourself at the end of a long day? 100% perfect paradise heaven.
22. Traveling to a new place by yourself (even if the new place is only ten miles away) is your idea of a great time. You are always either planning a solo adventure, going on a solo adventure, or coming back from one. Experiencing the world through your own eyes without anybody else’s opinion is not just a desire, it’s an essential need of yours.
23. There is absolutely nothing that can touch the feeling of when someone cancels plans on you and you are suddenly left with surprise alone time. You’re all, “Oh good, more time to be with me!” and it’s truly an untouchable feeling of happiness.
Depression isn’t the saddest person in the room. Quite contrary actually, depression sometimes is the person you would have never expected. Along with trying to convince you they’re happy, they’re trying to convince themselves.
Depression isn’t that melancholy person, you don’t want to be around. Oftentimes, it’s the person everyone loves because of the light they bring to a room is so bright but that’s only because they know darkness.
Depression isn’t the person screaming out for help. It’s the silent person dealing with battles they’re still trying to understand themselves.
Depression is doing everything you can to hide it. Because there’s nothing glorified about it. There’s nothing beautiful about a bad night as you fall you your knees, in a silent scream, that no one hears because you’re alone and you need to be until you get through it.
It’s the sleepless nights as you lay awake at 2 am staring at the ceiling.
It’s that time of year, you just get a little bit sadder for no reason.
It’s the tears you don’t tell people you cry because you don’t really know why you’re crying, you just know you need to.
It’s the want and need to be around people but at the same time, you push them away.
Depression is watching across social media, everyone’s highlight reels and you know it’s not an accurate depiction of their life yet you still compare yourself to them.
It’s the plans canceled last minute because you couldn’t muster the strength to get out of bed.
It’s your alarm going off in the morning and you just want to go back to sleep.
Depression is that cloud that doesn’t seem to go away ever. And even in those happy moments, you cling to, you know it’s still hovering over you. Depression waits. It creeps and lurks. It waits for the best day of your life and your happiest moment just so the next one can be your worst.
It’s the fear of such happiness because you know it’s bound to fade.
It’s every good day, that are few and far between and that’s what you hang onto.
It’s the struggle in explaining to people when they ask why are you depressed? You just don’t know and you don’t know how to fix it. It’s just a feeling you can’t shake but you’re learning to work through.
Depression are toxic habits or people you gravitate towards.
It’s drinking the way you do because at least for a moment your pain is numbed. You know the effects lead to being even more depressed the next day. And you know alcohol is a depressant but being numb helps sometimes.
Depression is the constant unbalance of things in your life.
It’s either overexercising and being at the gym for hours or staying in bed for weeks immobile.
It’s either sleeping too much or too little. But no matter what, you’re always tired.
It’s eating too much or just never being hungry. It’s someone asking, ‘When was the last time you ate?’ And you actually don’t know the answer.
It’s weight loss that people commend you for but you know even you couldn’t help it.
Depression is people asking if you’re okay and you don’t respond with ‘I’m sad.’ You simply say, ‘I’m tired.’
It’s the envy of looking at others and just wanting to be that happy. So you glamorize your own life so it appears that way.
Depression is the overcompensating in relationships and trying too hard. You know you’re tough to deal with but there isn’t anyone you love more than those who accept you, as you’re still trying to accept yourself.
It’s that really scary moment when you open up to someone about what it is you deal with. And that new level of friendship you reach, when they welcome you with open arms and it almost brings you to tears.
It’s loving people unbelievably hard because you’re still learning to love yourself.
It’s looking ahead and looking forward to certain days in your life and really appreciating everything.
And even though you might not say it, as often as you should, it’s the love you have for everyone in your life which gives you strength.
Depression is becoming addicted to anything that gives you purpose. Whether it’s being a perfectionist in academics or becoming a workaholic. It’s becoming the most involved in a group or organization because you need something to look forward to. It’s excelling in sports because it really helps to have that and a team to fall back on.
It’s the need to be busy because if you’re not you’ll spend too much time alone and everything will get worse.
But more than that, depression is the person who would do anything to make others happy because someone else’s happiness is their own.
Depression is being overly observant because you know what it’s like to hide things, so you look for it in others.
It’s being the first one willing to help and being the person you wish you had. Knowing well, there’s nothing you can say or do but be there for them and that’s okay.
But more than that, depression is a strength in you because there’s nothing harder than overcoming demons within yourself.
It’s the trust people have in you, knowing they can turn to you without judgment.
It’s the excitement you bring to others because even though you’re sad, you do love life.
Depression is being the happiest, saddest person, people know but there’s a bit of beauty to someone who knows both emotions at such an extreme level.
Depression is an appreciation and gratitude for life. It’s knowing no matter what happens things will get better.
Depression is hope even in moments that seem hopeless.
It’s not letting this define who you are but rather learning to live through it and being the example others can follow.
‘Happy Holidays’ is meant to be inclusive, but knowing when Hanukkah was (a month ago) would be far more so; this ‘holiday season’ really means Christmastime
Before Omicron directed my social life, I went to a Christmas party. a.k.a. “holiday party,” at which everyone was boosted and outside. It was brisk, but not cold enough to keep friends from being together. The hosts greeted me with, “Happy Holidays,” to which I said, “Merry Christmas,” and held them hostage to my lecture on why I hate the greeting, “Happy Holidays.” I was the only invited Jew. Their flustered faces and stutter conveyed that “Happy Holidays” was to help me feel included. I apologized too late. I had ruined their greeting. How should they greet me? Better yet, if one doesn’t know I’m Jewish, is it offensive to wish me a Merry Christmas? Yes and no. It’s complicated. Here’s what is going on for me.
“Happy Holidays” confuse inclusion with equality. The idea behind replacing “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays” is that there are minority groups in America, e.g., Jews, who are not included. “Happy Holidays” makes Hanukkah the Christmas-equivalent. But this is a false equivalence, and it not only does a disservice to Jews, in wrongly elevating Hanukkah to the sacred, but also by diminishing Christmas, robbing Christians of something that is valuable to them.
The argument for the “Happy Holidays” greeting is that because Christians have been imperialistic, and have erased everyone else (including Jews) from American culture, they now need to include us. But does including us demand that Christians must be punished by not being allowed to have anything Christian in the culture anymore? If we want Christians to stop erasing us Jews, Muslims, Hindus among others, does the greeting “Happy Holidays” erase the Christians themselves? Is the general wishing of Merry Christmas an assault against Americans of other traditions or no traditions?
Many Jews in my world wish to hear “Happy Holidays.” Greeting them should have nothing to do with Christmas. They want no association with a tradition celebrating the robbing and distorting of Judaism’s face. For example, a colleague’s dog received Merry Christmas wishes on Facebook. My colleague responded: “My doggies don’t celebrate Christmas, but they would like to wish you a happy belated Hanukkah!” At another spot on the December-Jewish-greeting spectrum, Jews with trees seem fine with Merry Christmas. Like Halloween, they explain, Christmas is a secular holiday. One might say that their celebration of Christmas is old school. It has nothing to do with Christianity.
Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa are not similar holidays. Conflating Kwanzaa with Christmas in the US seems misguided. Southern enslavers justified enslaving black people through the story of biblical Ham violating his father, Noah; antebellum southern whites argued it destined black people to be enslaved as descendants of Ham. Crazy, right!?! They justified white Christian genocide in the name of a Jew, brown Jesus of Judah. Ham was also brown, but not Jewish. Sarah and Abraham spark the origin of the Israelites. Hanukkah comes over a thousand years later. It celebrates the re-creation of the fourth Jewish state in 166 BCE, when Jewish rebels killed a lot of assimilated Jews. We don’t mention that when we light our hanukkiahs to bring light into the world. Furthermore, it’s not a religious holiday. Jews do not make religious/sacred holidays out of military victories. Jews thus do not desist from ordinary activities and work on Hanukkah. So, what we should say at this time of year to Jews?
The party hosts said, “Happy Holidays” to be inclusive. However, more inclusive inclusion knows the holidays at the time those around us celebrate. Hanukkah has been over for a month. It is Christmastime in the states, not Diwali, not EID, not Rosh Hashanah, not Bodhi day. It’s Christmas, a US federal holiday. A great majority of Americans from differing ethnicities celebrate it.
Ironically, Jews are now included as a December holiday player, just as I was greeted at a Christmas party with “Happy Holidays.” Chabad (a Hasidic sect) lights an annual hanukkiah on the White House lawn, some Jews have trees, a Fox News host recently said a Christmas tree is also a Hanukkah bush, etc. Is it any wonder Christians and non-Jews think Hanukkah is the Jewish Christmas? Let’s stop pretending it is. Let’s wish Christians and atheists who descend from Christianity a Merry Christmas. As for Jews with trees? If you want them, Tu Bi Shvat is coming. And for Jews like me, “Hi!”
Malta is an incredible island to explore. Nestled right in the Med, it’s is filled with thousands of years of history, stunning bays and the most incredible cities that are just too beautiful to miss. So, to help you get the most out of your trip, we wanted to share our bumper itinerary to visit Malta on your next holiday.
Now, you might be wondering if Malta is for you?
Well, let me give you a little snippet of why it should be on every traveller hit list!
First up, Malta (and neighbouring Gozo) is basked in that incredible Mediterranean sunshine that’s just so good. Not only that, Malta is totally chilled and a great place to visit if you fancy a bout of downtime on your trip.
That being said, Malta is also a jewel in the Mediterranean if you fancy a gander around historic cities and ancient sights. It’s an island that can (and totally does) fit with the kind of trip you’d like. This is why we keep going back, over and over again!
So, as the island starts to safely open up, we wanted to share some places in Malta that you can’t miss.
And, as always, be sure to travel safely. Check your government’s guidance on travel and official information from the Maltese Government on any restrictions that might be relaxed or in place.
Take a look, below, at our bumper itinerary to visit Malta on holiday. Oh, and with all our itineraries, feel free to add, take out or follow exactly the places we’ve mentioned – it’s your holiday after all!
Have an amazing time.
Day one: Valletta
As far as Mediterranean cities go, Valletta is a gem to visit!
Unlike other large capital cities in Europe, Valletta is not too big to get overwhelmed and not small enough to get bored. In fact, I’d say it’s perfect for a few days exploring.
After arriving, be sure to take a wander to see the Grandmaster’s Palace and the gorgeous Upper (and Lower) Barrakka Gardens. These are stunning first thing in the morning and a great way to stretch your legs before a day head.
For a sugary pick-me-up, head to Amorino (on Republic Street). Here, you’ll get to sample some of the best gelatos in all of Malta. Trust me, you’ll go back for seconds.
In the afternoon, take a gander around the centuries-old Casa Rocca Piccola in the heart of Valletta. Throughout the day, you can join a guide and take a peek into a classic (and affluent) palace that’s too gorgeous to miss.
Before sundown, pop into St. John’s Co-Cathedral which’s stood pride of place in Valletta since the 1500s. It’s so beautiful and a great way to see some of Girolamo Cassar works. After all, he’s one of the islands most famed architects.
Feeling peckish? Head into the gorgeous cobbled streets and pop into Noni (on Republic Street) that fuses Maltese dishes with a modern flare. Their tasting menu is so delicious for an evening treat.
Day two: Valletta
One thing I would say is that you should give Valletta at least one full day to explore (though, we prefer a more chilled two-day trip). That being said, if you’re short on time, you can easily pack in the main sights in Valletta in one day; especially if there are other spots on our itinerary to visit Malta that you just don’t want to miss.
For a morning galavant, head for a stroll around the Grand Harbour area where you’ll get some fantastic views across the bay. Plus, you’ll be easily able to partner up a trip to Fort St. Angelo that has historically protected the city. You’ll need to factor in around 2-hours to fully explore the fort; so plan ahead and arrive nice and early.
For dinner, book a table at Rampila; you won’t be disappointed, especially on their terrace. We had the traditional Maltese Aljotta broth for the first course and loved it!
Day three: Mdina
Nowhere is ever really that far in Malta, which means it’s a great island to traverse and stay at all the Maltese gems. That being said, don’t feel the pressure to keep moving hotels or accommodation each night, you can easily do day trips to all the spots in Malta and stay anchored in one hotel for the whole trip. It’s entirely up to you.
Anyway, where was I… Mdina!
Okay, so Mdina is probably my favourite city in all of Malta and one spot you can’t miss for a day trip. It’s around a 25-minute drive from Valletta and totally easy to visit by car, taxi or tour depending on what you’d like.
Once you’ve headed through the iconic Mdina Gate, be sure to visit the iconic cathedral that overlooks the whole city. It’s stunning and the Baroque architecture dates back years!
That being said, if you fancy going back further in history, get yourself over to Domus Romana; a Roman house that was built around two thousand years ago! It’s a relatively small museum which means it’s a perfect 30-minute visit.
Oh, and don’t forget to grab some of the world-renowned Mdina Glass. It’s so beautiful and you’ll find it all over the city.
Getting hungry? Get yourself over to Grotto Tavern, their gnocchi is so delicious and the restaurant is so unique within a grotto itself.
Day four: Western coastline and beaches
After three days of city-living, it’s time to take in some more of that gorgeous coastline of Malta. So, pack your swimming gear, slap on that sunblock and get ready for a snooze on the sand.
But first, head over to the Blue Grotto, which’s around a 25-minute drive from Valletta (and 15-minutes from Mdina). Once here, you’ll need to get yourself on one of the small boats that’ll whisk you right within the Blue Grotto itself. That being said, if you’re not fancying the boat ride, head to the ‘panorama’ viewing area that’s perfect at sunset.
The views are stunning.
Afterwards, for a little time in the surf, head over to Golden Bay that’s north of the Blue Grotto. It’s a popular spot for sun-seekers and the kind of place that’s great for a morning dip (or evening stroll).
The views are stunning.
Afterwards, for a little time in the surf, head over to Golden Bay that’s north of the Blue Grotto. It’s a popular spot for sun-seekers and the kind of place that’s great for a morning dip (or evening stroll).
If it’s a dip you’re after, pop over to St. Peter’s Pool that’s on the coastline near Marsaxlokk. Here, you’ll get to have a little paddle in the gorgeous Mediterranean waters and bask in those views across southern Malta. Just be sure to watch out for choppy waters and only go for a swim if it’s safe to do so.
Now, we found it best to rent a car for coastal days. Though, if you don’t drive, fret not; there are oodles of different touring companies that you can book and include on your itinerary to visit Malta.
Day five: Hiking around near Popeye Village
It’s not every day that you can say you’ve rambled across an island, but it’s quite achievable in Malta, especially from Għadira Bay to Popeye Village.
After a morning dip at Għadira, pop on your hiking shoes and head off for a ramble around the area.
The walk itself won’t take you long at all (though, you can take in some detours). We checked out the Red Tower that’s just shy of the bay itself (around a 40-minute hike). It dates back to 1649 and is lovely to see, especially for views.
After heading to the west coast, get yourself over to the totally quaint and picturesque Popeye Village. It’s the historic film set for Popeye’s film that was shot back in the 1980s.
It’s well worth a gander for an hour or so and totally worth including on your itinerary to visit Malta; even if you haven’t seen the film.
Finally, for a great view of Popeye Village, head along the coastline road opposite the bay. The views across the cove is gorgeous from here and you’ll get a great view of Popeye Village itself.
Day 6: Gozo
Just shy of the northern shores of Malta, Gozo is a smaller island that’s totally worth the short ferry ride to explore! In fact, it’s a perfect day trip when visiting Malta.
Departing from Cirkewwa, you’ll get across to Mgarr Harbour in no time at all. From here, you’ll get to explore all across Gozo and take in some key spots along the way!
One spot you have to visit is Il-Madonna ta’ Pinu, a basilica and shrine that’s as beautiful as they come. Although the basilica isn’t as old as some other sites across Malta and Gozo, it’s still just as iconic.
Afterwards, pull out your swimming gear and drive over to the Blue Hole for a dip! It’s a natural swimming pool that sits just shy of the collapsed Azure Window and is well worth seeing as you follow our itinerary to visit Malta.
Oh, and don’t forget to grab a bite at The Boathouse in Xlendi Bay.
This is the kinda spot that’ll satisfy any seafood craving; especially with their mouth-watering fresh lobster!!!
Day 7: Mosta
Before departing Malta, there’s one final (and totally lovely) spot to visit. Mosta!
Only around 20-minutes from central Valletta, Mosta is perfect to see on your final day along your itinerary to visit Malta. Even if you’ve only got a few hours before your flight, be sure to take a gander.
Now, one of the things that make this city so special is the Rotunda of Mosta; a massive basilica that’s actually based on the Pantheon in Italy.
Once you arrive, you’ll soon see why it’s such a special spot, especially with it housing one of the largest, unsupported domes in the whole world!
If you’ve still got time, take a wander over to the Ta’ Bistra Catacombs that’s just shy of the city centre. You’ll get to see a heap of historic catacombs that are pretty unique to visit.
Hungry for a more senior role? Eager to sink your teeth into a new challenge? Whether there are promotion opportunities on your radar or not, your habits can put the odds of getting promoted on your side — or stop your career development in its tracks.
And if you think hard work and experience alone are enough, think again. “Hard work and experience are great things to possess but it’s not the only thing that’s going to get you where you want to go,” says Joyel Crawford, CEO of Crawford Leadership Strategies and host of Career View Mirror, a career development show. “It’s up to you to put the career address into the GPS and press go.”
Wondering what kind of habits to keep in mind in order to avoid a career crash? It’s all about being visible and putting yourself in front of the right people — even in the age of remote work. And you’ll also wanna focus on cultivating a solutions-oriented, resourceful mindset.
“Having an intrapreneurial mindset can really help catapult you into visibility projects that will drive results for the business and for your professional goals as well. What solutions can you bring to the table? How can you help the organization save, make or donate more revenue?” says Crawford.
Beyond cultivating your network and adopting the right mindset, there are also actions and approaches you should absolutely avoid if you want to get a promotion anytime soon. Start by unlearning the six habits below.
1. Passive decision-making
“You have to take an active part in navigating your career,” says Crawford, who recommends building a network of professionals who can not only act as a support system but also serve as possible mentors or sponsors that help you drive your career.
And if you’re interested in a particular role or career direction, shadowing or informally interviewing someone who holds a similar position is a great move.
“This type of background research is key — you may find that the position you want isn’t at all what you saw from the outside looking in. Shadowing and informational interviews will also give you some visibility. And don’t let working remotely get in your way, you can still do this via a web-based meeting platform.”
2. Being a sore loser
Being resentful at work is a surefire way to erode your reputation. Let’s say you just got passed up for a promotion. It’s normal to feel disappointed, but it’s really important to process your disappointment in a healthy way and avoid letting it show. “If you don’t get the role the first time, how you show up afterward counts even more,” says Crawford.
So resist the temptation to lose steam or disengage. Do lick your wounds if you need to, but then focus on using the missed opportunity as motivation to improve and find an even better opportunity for you.
3. Not knowing your why
Do you know why you even want a promotion to begin with? And are you making it all about yourself? When thinking about your next step, Crawford says it’s important to keep in mind the why behind the what — not only in terms of what you value but also what your organization values.
Aligning your own interests and desires with the needs and goals of the company will help you get clarity on what to bring to the table. Better yet, the alignment will naturally encourage you to tap into your passion. “That passion will come through in your interview and your day-to-day dealings with others.”
4. Lack of consistency
Getting promoted is not the finish line. It’s only the first step. “Every day is an interview even after you nailed that next step up the career ladder or across the career lattice. Everyone matters, from the assistant to the executive. Treat everyone with kindness, dignity and respect. Get to know all of the names of the people you interact with. No one is beneath you,” says Crawford.
The good news is that if you focus on cultivating the right habits, you’ll be equipped with lifelong best practices regardless of your role or industry.
5. Neglecting relationships
Life sometimes gets in the way. But neglecting to nurture your professional relationships might be costing you your chances of getting a promotion. From thanking people who’ve helped you to keep in touch with former coworkers and bosses, small gestures go a long way when it comes to keeping career bridges intact.
Crawford recommends reaching out to mentors on a quarterly basis, getting into the habit of sending thank-you notes and booking one-on-one meetings with key stakeholders: “I’ve also found that having a one-on-one with your new clients or a new manager that you’re supporting is paramount.”
Why? To discuss expectations and deliver on them, which will get you that much closer to a promotion. “This really helps set the tone of collaboration and support. It used to blow people’s minds when I came into their office and asked them how they wanted to be supported,” says Crawford.
6. Having zero boundaries
Even if you love working, burnout won’t get you where you want to go. “Take care of yourself and create boundaries. Putting in 20+ hours a day thinking that will help you get the promotion faster is only burning you out and making you less productive,” says Crawford.
“You need to take care of yourself. There’s only one you — and we need you to keep bringing your best light and talents to the world. You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
Manage your energy in a sustainable way so you can keep crushing it once you get the job.
Chilling out over the weekend is definitely a great way to unwind. But if your slothfulness is making you bored or bummed out — or causing you to neglect important errands and chores — then you may want to rethink how you spend your Saturdays and Sundays.
They’re stressed out
At the other end of the spectrum are people who pack too much into their weekend schedule.
In order to be productive (and therefore successful) at work, it’s important to use the weekend to recharge your batteries. If your weekends include zero downtime, then you’ll never feel rested or refreshed, which can be detrimental to your success.
They get too comfortable with the time off
Sunday nights are the perfect time to plan for the week ahead. You can make a to-do list, update or review your calendar, or just think about what it is you’d like to accomplish in the coming days.
Every year, America’s small towns draw tourists—and new residents—to their streets in droves. They are, after all, reminders of a simpler way of life, where mom-and-pop shops are the norm, everybody knows your name, and the pace is slower than the speed of tweets. To help you get away from the breakneck tempo of your daily routine, we rounded up nine of the cutest small towns for an easy weekend escape, from a picturesque New England coastal haven to a romantic Southern getaway that feels untouched by time.
1 – Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
With its local wineries and Pacific Coast Highway views, the Northern California town of Carmel-by-the-Sea is as idyllic as its name suggests. Come for the beach, a mile-long swath of white sand from which you can view dolphins and sea lions, then wander around town to shop quirky independent boutiques and see whimsical cottages that look like they came straight out of a fairytale. The atmospheric gardens and chapels at Spanish-colonial Carmel Mission, founded in 1770 and designated a National Historic Landmark, offer worthy spots for reflection, though you’ll find just as much tranquility after a stay in one of the intimate suites at L’Auberge Carmel. For dinner, nab a table at Cultura Comida y Bebida, where chef Michelle Estigoy serves standout chicken tinga tacos and epazote quesadillas inspired by her family’s Mexican heritage.
2 – Sitka, AK
Accessible only by air and sea, the fishing village of Sitka is a remote beauty that anyone who has watched the 2009 Sandra Bullock film The Proposal is sure to recognize (filming took place in Rockport, Massachusetts, but sets were built to resemble this port town). Here, you can indulge in the natural pursuits Alaska is known for, from whale watching and kayaking to hiking up a dormant volcano or strolling through towering spruce trees—spotting bald eagles and totem poles along the way—at Sitka National Historic Park.
3 – Taos, NM
It’s easy to see why this high-desert town in the Sangre de Christo Mountains has become a haven for artists, writers, and other creative types. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a feast for the senses thanks to its striking adobe architecture, red-rock canyons, and snow-tipped peaks. Feeling inspired? View works by the likes of Agnes Martin and other local painters at the Harwood Museum of Art and more than 80 other galleries. There are also plenty of activities to keep adrenaline junkies engaged year ‘round. Summer brings hiking and hot air ballooning, while winter offers some of the best skiing in the country.
4 – Marfa, TX
As art meccas go, Marfa is an unlikely one. Founded in 1883, the tiny Texas town—population under 2,000—has served as a railway headquarters and military training base, but it wasn’t until the 1970s, when artist Donald Judd moved there, that it became a cultural destination for the aesthetically informed. View some of his most iconic concrete sculptures on a sunrise tour of the Chinati Foundation, or make like the Insta glitterati and take a selfie in front of Elmgreen and Dragset’s now-famous Prada Marfa installation, off Highway 90.
5 – Beaufort, SC
If this Lowcountry fishing village looks straight out of a movie set, that’s because it is: Beaufort was the backdrop for such films as Forrest Gump and The Big Chillthanks to its sprawling antebellum mansions, moss-draped oaks, and picturesque downtown streets. Located on Port Royal Island in South Carolina’s Sea Island chain, the town makes an ideal base for enjoying simple pleasures and all manner of aquatic diversions, including paddle boarding, kayaking, dolphin watching, and crabbing.
6 – Galena, IL
The romantic ideal of Main Street is alive and well in this mining town on Illinois’s northwestern border—think of it as the Midwest’s version of Stars Hollow. Trolley cars still cruise down the historic lane, which is lined with 19th-century brick buildings and cute galleries, boutiques, and craft shops that give it a distinctly small-town feel. American history fanatics, however, will be more impressed with Galena’s status as the home of Civil War hero Ulysses S. Grant, a fact illuminated at the U.S. president’s namesake museum.
7 –Edgartown, MA
On the southeast tip of Martha’s Vineyard, Edgartown is the quintessential New England seaside getaway with classic shingle-style buildings, windswept dunes, and a scenic lighthouse. Though the beaches are the draw, the onetime whaling port brims with storybook charm. Tour the 18th-century homes of whaling captains on foot or bike, then try your hand at sailing like a local. All it takes is a short ferry rideto explore neighboring Chappaquiddick Island, where, during the summer, you can play a round of night golf by the light of the full moon.
8 – Stowe, VT
This impossibly quaint Green Mountain town has all the makings of a Norman Rockwell painting—right down to the general store. But there’s more to Stowe than simple pleasures. Not only does Stowe have Vermont’s tallest peak, making it one of the East Coast’s most popular (and powder-friendly) ski destinations, it’s also home to the Trapp Family Lodge, an Austrian-style chalet owned by the family immortalized in The Sound of Music, as well as a stellar culinary scene. Don’t miss the grilled cauliflower steak with quinoa at our favorite dinner spot, Plate. Have a sweet tooth? The Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory is nearby in Waterbury.
9 – St. Augustine, FL
The cobblestone streets of St. Augustine are steeped in history. Founded in 1565 by Spanish conquistadors, the northern Atlantic coast town is studded with colonial architecture, from the 17th-century Castillo de San Marcos fortress to the Victorian antiques–filled Lightner Museum, housed in an 1887 Spanish Renaissance Revival building commissioned by Rockefeller business associate and Florida real estate magnate Henry Flagler. If sun and sand is what you seek, there’s plenty of that, too:Anastasia State Park comprises four miles of wildlife-dotted beach and maritime forests.