Unwind This Winter at These Dreamy Destinations

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Our top picks for beaches, spas and nature scenes

Bears have the right idea—who wouldn’t want to spend a few good months napping and hiding from the frigid winter air? After the busy holiday season, a month of tackling those New Year’s resolutions and a few weeks of romance, we could all use a little break. Human hibernation isn’t an option (unfortunately), but you can still getaway this month for a quick reboot. From luxurious spas to beautiful nature scenery, you have countless destinations to choose from. But we’ve come up with a few ideas to get you started:

Be a beach bum in Oahu, Hawaii.

Just thinking about Hawaii can help you relax! Home of deep blue water, clear skies, year-round temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees, impressive mountains and volcanoes and a carefree island-life atmosphere, Hawaii is the perfect place to get away.

Visit Oahu, the third largest Hawaiian island, often referred to as “The Heart of Hawaii.” With 112 miles of coastline on Oahu, all you need is a swimsuit, sunscreen and your favorite book for a good time. On the South Shore is Waikiki Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the world where you can enjoy sunbathing, calm waters, live music, restaurants, shopping and nightlife. Or check out Keawaula Beach on the Leeward Coast, where lucky beachgoers can spot dolphins swimming among the surfers. Another option is to head to Turtle Bay on the North Shore to see aquatic life (including the amazing Hawaiian green sea turtle) up close by snorkeling in the crystal clear water. With so much to do, the only hard part is deciding when to come back.

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Get pampered at the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, United Arab Emirates.

Inside the Empty Quarter⎯the largest uninterrupted body of sand in the world⎯lies an oasis known as the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort. Wake up and step outside onto your personal balcony, where you can drink coffee and soak up the gorgeous views of white sand dunes. Later, meditate on camelback before cooling off at one of the pool villas.

Don’t forget to schedule in relaxation time by signing up for one of the many traditional Arabic spa treatments inside the resort’s Anantara Spa. You will feel like a new person after the four-hour Arabian Desert Rose Ritual, which includes a massage with the sweet Rose Desert Sand Scrub followed by a body mask made with rhassoul (a mineral clay used to soften skin), a cleansing Rose Milk Bath and a Biodynamic Facial. Other options include the hot Moroccan Hammam treatments, Thai and Arabian massages, Coconut Mint Scrub and other body treatments, nourishing facials and sensual couples’ packages. Who knew the desert could make you feel so refreshed?

Embrace nature in Aspen, Colorado.

Glittering snow and breathtaking views await you in Aspen, Colorado, located inside the Rocky Mountains. Lace up your hiking boots and climb through lush greenery, over streams and near flowers, all while filling your lungs with fresh mountain air.

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Before the snow melts, take advantage of one of the many stress-relieving winter activities. Zip across trails on a snowmobile, take your time with the beautiful sights on a sleigh ride or trade your boots for skis and glide down the powdery slopes. If burning calories isn’t your idea of relaxation (vacation is the best excuse for skipping a workout after all), then spend time at one of the many resorts in town—like the Little Nell. This five-star resort offers many serene experiences, like dipping in the outdoor heated pool or jacuzzi, visiting an on-site bar, tasting new wines during a wine cellar tour, indulging in lush facials and massages and taking your furry friend to a special pet spa. No matter what you enjoy most, Aspen has options for everyone!

Make relaxing a priority this year—you deserve it. By the end of your trip, even the bears won’t feel as refreshed as you do!