The Top 10 American Resort Towns and Weekend Getaways

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The Top 10 American Resort Towns and Weekend Getaways

Money is no object, but time is not your friend. Unfortunately, this quandary is all too familiar. If you can't make it overseas for a week-long vacation, you can still find solace in many stateside resort towns. Our top choices are all in the lower 48 states, and are accessible from major and regional airports. Furthermore, each town offers the upscale luxury you demand, the accessibility you need, and the ability to see and be seen while you're there.

The Top 10 American Resort Towns and Weekend Getaways

In the Northern Idaho panhandle, breathtaking scenery is just the beginning. Sandpoint, with a population of less than 9,000 people, is becoming a destination that is accessible, although it feels far removed. Heading outdoors for recreation on Lake Pend Oreille, and on the slopes of Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort will quickly erase stress. New visitors are sure to enjoy the artistic and cultural depth found here. Galleries house impressive works of local and regional artists, the Festival at Sandpoint concert series draws great musicians, plus the Lakedance International Film Festival has quickly gained recognition.

The Top 10 American Resort Towns and Weekend Getaways

You may not equate America's Dairyland with luxurious retreats, but one notable spot is Lake Geneva. Not to be confused with the European town of the same name, this lake town of over 14,000 residents was named after Geneva, New York, and the adjacent Seneca Lake. For today's residents and visitors, The Hamptons of the Midwest offers resorts, spas, boating, golf, hiking, hot-air ballooning, parasailing, and more. Try to attend September's Lake Geneva Classic Car Rally. In addition to pristine automobiles, antique wooden boats and aircraft are also on display.

The Top 10 American Resort Towns and Weekend Getaways

For decades, multigenerational stars from Lauren Bacall to Kobe Bryant have headed to this oceanside city of 70,000 inhabitants. Visitors will definitely love the upscale activities it offers. Naturally, galleries, boutiques and nightlife hot spots are plentiful. Note the quaint Balboa Fun Zone amusement area on the Balboa Peninsula; it should not be missed. Once you have your fill of nostalgia, select from a variety of fine restaurants, golf courses and boating excursions. Each offers some of the best Pacific views you will ever witness.

The Top 10 American Resort Towns and Weekend Getaways

Conveniently located between Charleston and Savannah, Hilton Head Island boasts many visitors who come for the Atlantic beaches and all the fun that goes along with them. Others try to avoid the sand altogether -- or at least the sand traps. Since 1967, Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines Resort has posed a challenge with holes requiring shorter, precise shots. Take heart: Even the pros have to be on their A-game when the Verizon Heritage Tournament plays here in April.

The Top 10 American Resort Towns and Weekend Getaways

As a visitor, you will notice an absence of retail businesses as you drive through the town, underscoring the echelon of your surroundings. Cherry Hills Village has played host to the PGA, the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women's Open golf championships. The village is rather enthusiastic about the game. Even the municipal courses in the area play better than some private clubs elsewhere. If you can manage an invite from a member of Cherry Hills Country Club (annual dues are around $100,000), you'll be in golf nirvana.

The Top 10 American Resort Towns and Weekend Getaways

Just 106 miles from Cuba, this so-called Conch Republic is as much about history and beauty as it is a state of mind. "Permanent vacation" may be one way to describe it, but it is better experienced than imagined. How you get there is a matter of time and preference. Obviously, boating is an option. Driving U.S. Route 1 through the Keys can be relaxing if you are not in a hurry. Key West also has a commercial airport. Once there-especially in the western Old Town district-you will understand why Jimmy Buffett made a career singing about places like this.

The Top 10 American Resort Towns and Weekend Getaways

If ever a place could clear the mind while replenishing the soul, the austere beauty of Jackson, Wyoming, stands a strong chance. What should you know about The Last of the Old West? There are outstanding skiing facilities -- Snow King Resort, plus the Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole Mountain resorts nearby. If powder is not your playground of choice, you can indulge in fishing, hunting, mountain biking, horseback riding, hot-air ballooning, and more. When you've had your fill of the outdoors, the area offers a number of luxury lodges and spas.

The Top 10 American Resort Towns and Weekend Getaways

Once upon a time, Palm Springs was thought of as The Playground of the Stars. Nestled in the Coachella Valley, a couple of hours east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs will surprise the first-time visitor. The population of year-round residents has grown larger (over 50,000), not to mention younger. The residents' ages range from 25 to over 65 and they all enjoy world-class golf, tennis and dining. There is also the weekly outdoor Village Fest, plus endless trails for hiking and horseback riding. If you love the desert, but are looking for a tasteful, neon-free alternative to Vegas, this is the place.

The Top 10 American Resort Towns and Weekend Getaways

From the downtown shops and galleries to the world-class ski resorts, restaurants and nightlife, ultimate luxury in Aspen is not the exception, it's the rule. This is why stars like Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, Kurt Russell, and Kevin Costner have all made Aspen their part-time homes. Enjoy April's end-of-season Snowmass party or the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival that precedes it by a month or so.

The Top 10 American Resort Towns and Weekend Getaways

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