With destination hotels across North America, Loews Hotels & Resorts offer travelers the option to savor or escape the winter and spring seasons. Enjoy your stay your way.
By Monica Poling
Why: Winter is a spectacular time to visit Annapolis, Maryland’s state capital. Located on the Chesapeake Bay and home to the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis is a sailor’s paradise, even in cold-weather months. Visitors can gather on select dates from November through March to watch dedicated mariners compete in the Annapolis Yacht Club’s Frostbite Series yacht races.
Don’t Miss: Every year, Cruises on the Bay by Watermark offers a December holiday lights cruise, which provides up-close viewing of the festive, decorated boats that participate in the annual Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade. (cruisesonthebay.com)
Why: New York City is synonymous with winter travel. Despite the chilly weather, some of the city’s most famous events are held during the holiday season, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, George Balanchine’s rendition of “The Nutcracker” at Lincoln Center and, of course, the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square.
Don’t Miss: Travelers need look no further than the iconic Rockefeller Center for a quintessential way to experience the season in New York. Tens of thousands of visitors gather each year for the famed lighting of the Christmas tree, which glows until early January and serves as a glittering accent to New York’s most popular winter activity—ice skating on the rink at Rockefeller Center. (rockefellercenter.com)
Why: Springtime in Washington, D.C., offers one of the most stunning seasonal transitions, as the area’s storied marble buildings gain a vibrant floral backdrop that is commemorated by the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival in March and April.
Don’t Miss: While the area’s Tidal Basin is traditionally known as the best place to enjoy the abundance of pale pink blossoms, visitors can find peaceful respite at the U.S. National Arboretum, which houses hundreds of varieties of cherry blossom trees, as well as an extensive assemblage of Asian plants and an unparalleled stateside bonsai collection. (usna.usda.gov)
Coming up Roses
Why: While most of the nation is burrowing under the covers and catching up on late-season football scores, Angelenos are taking to the streets. Insiders know winter is the ideal time to visit the area’s theme parks, including Universal Studios Hollywood, for shorter lines, holiday decor and pyrotechnics displays.
Don’t Miss: Each year, more than 40 million Americans tune in to watch the New Year’s Day Rose Parade. Travelers can join the crowd that lines the streets to greet the colorful spectacle as it embarks upon its route through Pasadena, Calif. With a little planning, visitors can help decorate the floats by pasting on flowers and other natural materials. See the event’s website for how to help. (tournamentofroses.com)
Why: With its temperate climate, winter is the perfect time to explore Tucson and the distinct, cactus-covered landscapes of the Sonoran Desert. Loews Ventana Canyon, set in a scenic desert pocket, features a paved nature trail with more than 200 signs that identify the area’s indigenous plants and animals. The no-coat-required experience includes an 80-foot waterfall and a custom butterfly garden.
Don’t Miss: The Tucson Rodeo, held every February, is such a popular event that nearby schools routinely close to accommodate locals who can’t stand to miss a moment of the action. Tucson’s favorable weather makes this one of the top outdoor rodeo events between September and May, nationally recognized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. (tucsonrodeo.com)
Why: Spring in the St. Pete Beach area is an active time of year. In March, the streets of nearby downtown St. Petersburg are transformed into a 1.8-mile, 14-turn track for the annual Honda Grand Prix race and, in April, the city welcomes the Mainsail Arts Festival, one of the largest arts festivals in the nation.
Don’t Miss: Baseball spring training is a local fixture. Nearby stadiums host Florida-based and major out-of-state teams—including the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies—for several weeks of practice in intimate settings, providing fans with unique access to players and a preview of the coming season.