Start 2017 with fine food, wine and a bit of sunshine. We’ve rounded up six places to travel in January, ranging from three sunny Florida cities to one glorious swath of Northern Virginia wine country.
Kick off the year in Tampa with the 2017 College Football Playoff national championship game on January 9. Before Alabama and Clemson start hitting, though, you can huddle around all sort of excitement across the city, ranging from first-rate entertainment (AT&T Playoff Playlist Live, January 6 to 8) and fitness (Extra Yard 5K, January 8) to family fun (Championship Beach Bash, January 8) and lots of great food (Taste of the Championship, January 8).
Feel like an MVP with a weekend stay at the all-suite Innisbrook, A Salamander Resort. The Forbes Travel Guide Recommended property is a 40-minute drive from the stadium and offers a complimentary shuttle to beaches in Clearwater.
See January out with Salamander Resort & Spa’s Greenhill Winery & Vineyards Dinner on January 27. Partnering with Greenhill Winery, one of Northern Virginia’s prettiest vineyards, the Four-Star property is putting on an intimate dinner in the private dining room at Harrimans, its steakhouse.
Each of the four courses will be paired with one of Greenhill’s labels, which is produced by winemaker and Burgundy native Sébastien Marquet.
The vineyard, less than a 10-minute drive from Salamander, is open daily for tours and tastings and offers live music on many weekend afternoons.
Cap off the month at the Naples Winter Wine Festival (January 27 to 29), a three-day soiree that features vintners from 30-plus wineries, 18 celebrated American chefs (including Five-Star The Fearrington House Restaurant’s Colin Bedford) and 18 master sommeliers (Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas’ Will Costello).
Proceeds from ticket sales go to the Naples Children & Education Foundation, so enjoy your pinot with a peace of mind.
Many events, including the auction, are held at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, a Four-Star resort that’s ideal for fairway fanatics and vino lovers.
From January 12 to 15, celebrity chefs will convene on the Caribbean for Cayman Cookout, four days of food and wine in a majestic setting. In addition to headliners such as Christina Tosi, José Andrés and Eric Ripert serving up fun in the tropical sun, the four-day fest will highlight wine experts like Aldo Sohm in addition to 11 toques from The Ritz-Carlton family.
Many of the lunches, dinners, wine hours and cocktail tastings are being held at Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, making the beachfront resort the perfect base for a weekend of good food and great times.
Key West, Florida
Relatively warm and sunny, the Sunshine State is always on our winter radar. January 12 through 15, the treasured Key West Literary Seminar takes over the city. Though the academia extravaganza is sold out, there are some Sunday afternoon sessions that are open to all.
But even if you can’t make it to discussions with authors like Teju Cole (Known and Strange Things) and Curtis Sittenfeld (American Wife), you can read their books from the pristine private beaches at neighboring Forbes Travel Guide Recommended properties Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort and The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
From January 28 to February 28, Casa Velas Puerto Vallarta hosts a literal high-end epicurean experience. Dinner in the Sky treats you to an upscale culinary occasion 150 feet above the ground, complete with views of Banderas Bay and the Sierra Madre Mountains.
The one-hour soaring supper includes a pre-dinner cocktail hour and three courses from talented chefs like Spain’s Mikel Alonso and Bruno Oteiza. Even better, with a three-night stay at Casa Velas Puerto Vallarta or nearby Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit or Velas Vallarta, you will receive discounted access to this elevated experience.