We’ll be honest. No region (or country) has a lock on “most relaxing” cities, but we think these vacation destinations fit the bill nicely. If you have other suggestions, we’d love to hear about them.
- Click the city names under “how to get there” to find the best-priced flights from your town, and check out the tourism/visitors information links, too.
San Diego, California
Sunny skies, pretty beaches, happy people. Gosh, we make San Diego sound like Pleasantville right before the zombies arrive – but it’s the real deal. And if you can’t relax amidst fun stuff like Balboa Park, Old Town San Diego, nearby Legoland, golfing, surfing, gorgeous spas and terrific restaurants, you need to quit checking for texts and emails. See more on the San Diego visitor site.
How to get there: Fly to San Diego, or do as Southern Californians do which is fly to Los Angeles (LAX is about 120 miles away) or to Orange County (SNA is about 88 miles away) then head south. In a convertible, of course. Compare prices to see which airport offers the best deal.
I’ll quote a friend: “I hate beach crowds and beach crap, and luckily, you can’t find that here if you tried. All the county beaches are free and pristine. You park on the sand and take the boardwalk to the beach. Maybe grab a hotdog or rent a fishing pole at the fish shack. Sit on the rocks and watch the dolphins come down the canal. Then watch the sun as it sets in that beautiful gulf.” Any questions? If so, see the Sarasota visitors site.
Saratoga Springs, New York
If you find horses relaxing – either racing or just standing around and looking pretty – you’ll like Saratoga Springs. There are also quaint shops, art galleries, live music, nearby farms and orchards, hot air ballooning and golf. And – more horsies. See further info at the Saratoga Springs visitors site.
Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
This is a two-fer because these two cool places are just 40 miles apart. See Savannah for its Old World beauty and charm (not to mention exquisite food and architecture) and go to Hilton Head for all kinds of boating fun, water sports, tennis and on and on. See Savannah’s visitor site for more and see Hilton Head’s visitor site, too.
How to get there: Fly to the Savannah/Hilton Head airport – yes, they share the same facility.
If you want nightlife in Dublin or Galway (and many points in between), don’t worry, there’s plenty. But if you want to experience some of the greenest and most glorious serenity on earth, rent a car and go. You’ll find it. See more at the Irish visitor site.
WILD CARD: Los Angeles
Yes, this is the home of scandalous Hollywood but once you get off the packed freeways, there are delightfully hushed museums (two very nice Gettys, the Norton Simon and more) as well as nearby wilderness areas and sidewalk cafes where you can just sit and watch the would-be actors and screenwriters talk deals. See more at the LA visitor site.