Top Ten Fantasy Retreats

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Use your imagination just a little bit: Imagine spending your vacation budget on redoing your own backyard as your own private resort. If you live in the city, or even more importantly, if you live in the suburbs and commute to the city, you need to get out in the country. You need fresh air, the warmth and fragrance of a wood fireplace, the comfort and satisfaction of simple food, and the amazing luxury of pure silence. When was the last time you had ice in your eyebrows? When was the last time you got outdoors and just played, felt the exhilaration of wind in your face, and got really-really hungry from being outside all day? This list looks at some really wild fantasy retreats that you could retire to for a weekend.


1. Coronado, California…in January


Always near the top of every travel magazine’s list of the world’s top ten beaches, Coronado, California sits just across the bay from San Diego—easily accessible, and frighteningly affordable during the winter months. “Of course,” you think to yourself, “who goes to the beach in January?” Answer: the Coronado locals know what the brochures don’t tell you. In June and early July, Coronado lives under “June gloom,” cold marine air that burns-off only for a couple of hours in the afternoons.


2. The Wine Country…any wine country


The best wine grapes do not spring forth abundantly just anywhere. You cannot grow a vineyard like you would grow your front lawn or a pine tree. In fact, grapes share your climate preferences—warm, sunny days and cool nights, neither too humid nor too dry. Not a surprise that grapes thrive where you would—just an hour from San Francisco, on sunny Italian hillsides, on beautiful Spanish slopes, and just a few hours from Paris.


3. A Greek Island


What more need anyone say? It’s one of those magical, mystical, stuff-of-myth-and-folklore Greek Islands. You escape there, living in comfort, style, and delicious anonymity.


4. An artist’s garret or loft in a big city


Take a sketchbook, fresh pencils and charcoals, a turtleneck sweater and beret, and just disappear. Let your imagination guide you and see what develops. Even if you cannot draw a stick figure, you still can have fun imagining your life as an artist. Not every artist must suffer or starve.


5. A Tropical Paradise


Of course, you want an ocean at your front door, palm trees and lush, fragrant tropical flowers all around. You want to get so suntanned people won’t remember your name, and you want to wear nothing but your bathing suit, your sundress, or just your skin all day and all night for all the time you are running away from work, winter snow, and the harrows of your everyday life.


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