Right now is a great time to start planning for a great winter vacation. Taking your vacation during the off season is an easy way to enjoy the vacation with less hassle. Prices drop even at expensive summer resorts, and without crowds, guests can relax and read by a fire, take a winter walk or visit a spa.
Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond
St. Michaels, Md.
This modern colonial-style resort on the Chesapeake Bay has a spa and plenty of rocking chairs for relaxing. "It feels clubby in a welcoming way. You can close your eyes and pretend you're a senator for the weekend. It's American grandeur in such a genteel setting," Rosati says. 410-745-2200; belmond.com
Inn by the Sea
Crescent Beach, Maine
You'll find a friendly green vibe at this oceanfront inn, with solar panels, bio-fuel heating and a "rabbitat" wildlife area for endangered bunnies. Dining ranges from room service-delivered toasted marshmallows to a sustainable seafood restaurant with a lobster tasting menu and Gulf of Maine paella. "It's super ecological. This is as laid-back and down-home as we get in the stuffy Northeast," 207-799-3134; innbythesea.com
This recently redesigned Outer Banks resort has plenty of appeal during colder seasons, with outdoor fire pits and cozy reading nooks. "There are wild horses, and you can four-wheel drive on beaches. It's a little bit of the wild west on the East Coast," Rosati says. She also likes its location on a narrow spit of land, providing both sunrise and sunset views. 855-412-7866; sanderling-resort.com
Nantucket Hotel & Resort
Winter visitors can feel like locals at the Atlantic island's only year-round resort. Its "cabin fever" promotion includes meditation classes, special spa services and a hot tub with hot cocktails. "Nantucket has great historic museums with nautical and early American history and ghost tours. It's a nice family experience, or it's a nice romantic hideaway," 866-807-6011; thenantuckethotel.com
The Chanler at Cliff Walk
Guests at this historic hotel can enjoy crowd-free visits to Newport's famed mansions. Seasonal extras include s'mores kits and blankets for the fire pit, with a butler-drawn bath awaiting back in the room. "It's Downton Abbey in the United States. You can pretend you're a robber baron or that you're starring in an Edith Wharton novel," 866-793-5664; thechanler.com
Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa
The Hamptons' only year-round resort offers Atlantic beachfront views and lets visitors comfortably take an ocean dip in a new sand-filtered indoor seawater swimming pool. There's also an award-winning spa. "It's one of the grandest hotels in the Hamptons and it recently underwent a top-to-bottom refurbishment," 631-668-2345; gurneysmontauk.com
Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa
This waterfront inn, recognized as an historic landmark, offers a wide-angle view of San Francisco Bay and the charm of Sausalito with its galleries, restaurants and houseboats. "It's a beautiful, water-based experience," Rosati says. "And you have easy access to the Marin Highlands where you have stretches of beach." 800-288-0502; casamadrona.com
Located on 90 acres of Lake Geneva shoreline, this full-service resort has a large spa and winter programs like wine weekends and cooking demonstrations. The local Winterfest (Jan. 28 to Feb. 7) includes the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition. "This really is a nice family place. It may not be Lake Woebegone, but it sort of feels like it," 262-275-6811; theabbeyresort.com
Cannon Beach, Ore.
If you're traveling with a dog, it's hard to beat this beachfront hotel with views of the Oregon coast's iconic Haystack Rock. It has designated pet-friendly rooms and canine welcome baskets with a pet bed, towel and water bowls. A contemporary design nods to hipster capital Portland, just 70 miles away. "It's a little bit funky in the décor. Nothing is perfectly polished. You feel cool for being there," 855-632-6744; surfsand.com
Adrift Hotel and Spa
Long Beach, Wash.
This funky reclaimed beachfront hotel welcomes storm-watchers and beachcombers with easy access to dune trails and cruiser bikes. "It used to be a cheapo motel by the beach in an amazing setting and they have turned it into a hotel that's ecological with sustainable values, local food and a ton of local wines," 800-561-2456; adrifthotel.com