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Opal’s 2017 Travel Bucket List

Consider 2017 the year you actually book the vacations you’ve been talking about taking for years. We offer some ideas, from romantic getaways to adventure travel.

The Romantic Getaway that Got Away [Lake Placid, NY]

Maybe you decided to put off your honeymoon, or maybe last year was a milestone anniversary you never really celebrated. While there are plenty of weekend trips for couples to take, you’re hard-pressed to find a more romantic getaway than Lake Placid Lodge. The most secluded of all the lodge’s cabins, the Owl’s Head Cabin suite is the stuff every couple dreams of for a retreat. The “placid” lake is a mere feet from the cabin, while inside, couples will sink in to a hand-built king-sized feather bed and only rise to tend to the cozy, crackling fire in the large stone fireplace or to warm up in the two-person jetted tub or steam shower. Whenever you get restless, the quaint village of Lake Placid and stunning wilds of the Adirondacks’ High Peaks are right out the door no matter the season.

Where to Stay Lake Placid Lodge

Girls’ Craft-Cation [Lake George, NY]

While there are many craft retreats that are more akin to a grown-up summer camp (think: cabins and bunk beds), we suggest a luxury craft retreat. Grab your best and craftiest girlfriends, pack up your paints and canvases, your yarn and knitting needles, or your sketchbook and charcoals, then embark on an arts and crafts getaway. And since this is our 2017 travel bucket list, only a castle will do for your craft retreat. Specifically, Wapanak Castle, the crown jewel of The Sagamore Resort. This 2,000-foot, six-bedroom, four-bathroom home is located on the lake adjacent to the historic hotel. Featuring a modern kitchen with all the amenities, a dining room perfect for group dinners, and five gas fireplaces perfect for some cozy crafting, this decadent retreat makes for the kind of arts and crafts getaway your group of girlfriends won’t soon forget.

Where to Stay The Sagamore Resort

Sequester Yourself to Write a Novel [Rockport, ME]

You’ve been saying you were going to start on your novel for years, but now it’s finally time to put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard. What you need is the right retreat to make it happen. How about a picturesque cottage that juts out from Maine’s rocky coast over the deep blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean? The Flume Cottage, a private oceanfront cottage on the grounds of the Samoset Resort, is an ideal writer’s haven. From the cozy writer’s desk near the gas fireplace, you can craft your paragraphs as you look out over Penobscot Bay. Careful, though; there are plenty of distractions, even right outside on your private deck in the form of the hot tub stretched out overlooking the ocean.

Where to Stay Samoset Resort

Live and Play Like A PGA Pro [North Palm Beach, FL]

With an average of 234 days of sunshine per year and 33 golf courses in a 20-mile stretch, it’s no wonder a whopping 60-plus PGA golf pros live in the Palm Beach area. This trip is about imagining yourself as one of them, if only for a long weekend with a bunch of your best friends. Pair together rounds at legendary courses, like the links-style North Palm Beach Country Club (one of only two Jack Nicklaus municipals in the US) and Joe Lee–designed Abacoa Golf Course, regarded as one of the finest public courses in the region. In between rounds, try to rub elbows with some of the legendary locals: Ernie Els is said to frequent the Yard House in Palm Beach Gardens; Tiger has made cameos at the Square Grouper Tiki Bar, also where you can drink John Daly’s namesake, a frozen blend of sweet tea vodka and lemonade.

Where to Stay Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa

Dive the Entire Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail [Florida Keys, FL]

Your 2017 travel bucket list is where you get to cram in all of that adventure travel you’ve been putting off. So for scuba divers, that means experiencing all nine of the sites on the Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail, located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Scattered among coral reefs, the nine sunken ships all have storied pasts and treasures to reveal. An underwater guide is available for each site, which provides the shipwreck and buoy positions, as well as history, a site map, and information about the kind of marine critters and creatures you may encounter. While some of the dives are shallow, deeper 100-foot dives will challenge intermediate and experienced divers.

Where to Stay Sunset Key Cottages

The Multi-Generational Family Reunion [Multiple Locations]

If you’re lucky enough to have a family that spans four generations, there’s no time like the present to get everyone together. Hosting the event at an Opal resort will make it that much more enticing so you can get the commitments you need to make it happen. And several resorts are great fits because they allow plenty of opportunities for everyone to do their own thing – from young families to teens to older couples – but then also simple spots for both organic and set group activities. Some recommended spots: The Samoset’s sprawling grounds, complete with zero-entry pool and championship golf course, on Penobscot Bay; The Sagamore’s own island ringed by the Adirondacks, including daily kids’ programs; and The Resort at Longboat Key, a Florida Gulf escape devoted to both golf and tennis.

Where to Stay The Sagamore Resort | Samoset Resort | The Resort at Longboat Key Club

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Designer Shopping Spree [Naples, FL]

You deserve this sort of shopping experience just once, and there’s no better place to balance shopping and dropping (on the sand) than in Naples. This seaside town on the Florida Gulf is filled with alfresco cafés and some of the top designer names the world over. Sure, the credit card statement will require a stiff drink as a companion, but this is the kind of trip you’ll never forget. Just bring an extra, empty bag for the return trip.

Where to Stay Edgewater Beach Hotel

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