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Five warm winter getaways for every budget

Maui, Hawaii

From orchid-scented breezes to fresh ahi poke and the sound of hula dancing, Maui is a feast for the senses. Snorkel the colorful reefs, swim with turtles, drive the breathtaking highway to Hana or watch the sunrise light up Haleakala volcano. Then hit Lahaina Town at sunset for dinner with a view.

Splurge: Four Seasons Maui Resort at Wailea

The Four Seasons on Wailea Beach is pure luxury. After a day of activities, take a soak in the serenity pool or relax in a complimentary beach cabana. Then dress up for dinner at the Hawaiian outpost of Wolfgang Puck’s celebrated Spago restaurant.

Save: Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Ka’anapali

This Ka’anapali hotel celebrates its Hawaiian heritage. The cultural center offers classes on lei making, hula dancing and more, while the lobby features art works with corresponding Hawaiian proverbs. Accommodations are villa-style — with kitchens, washer-dryers and lanais (balconies) — plus, there’s a lagoon-style pool and a fantastic restaurant, Mauka Makai.

San Diego, California

Perhaps California’s most family-friendly city is full of things to do — Legoland, Balboa Park and San Diego Zoo, to name a few. But it’s also a fabulous place to chill on the beach, whether it’s the kid-friendly stretch at Coronado Beach or popular surfing spot, Pacific Beach. Stroll San Diego Bay for a peek at the USS Midway, a naval aircraft carrier-turned-museum.

Splurge: Hotel Coronado

Not so much a hotel as an institution, The Del is a must-see. When it opened in 1888, it was the largest resort hotel in the world. Today it’s one of the last examples of a wooden Victorian beach resort. With a private beach, stunning pool, seven restaurants and 12 shops, you could spend your whole vacation here.

Save: Sheraton La Jolla Hotel

La Jolla is a self-contained seaside village that’s known for its upscale shops, restaurants and galleries — all just minutes from downtown. Set in 7.5 acres of lush gardens, the Sheraton is a good base from which to explore the area. There’s a lovely outdoor pool, a restaurant, bar and well-appointed rooms with fridges and microwaves.

Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona’s biggest city is also its most varied, from the proliferation of golf courses (185+ at the last count), to a wide range of art galleries, upscale restaurants, designer shopping and world-class spas, all presided over by the two humps of hikers’ paradise Camelback Mountain. The hot-hot-hot climate means that winter is a great time to visit.

Splurge: Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort

Staying at this 90-year-old destination hotel is like traveling back in time to a more elegant era. The architecture is recognizably Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired as he was consulted on the design by his student, Albert Chase McArthur. The 39-acre grounds include eight swimming pools, two golf courses and a 22,000-square-foot spa.

Save: Best Western InnSuites Phoenix Hotel & Suites

This newly renovated hotel is a budget-friendly gem. Suites are modern and comfortable with full-size refrigerators and microwaves. Also, there’s a free hot breakfast, a daily social hour and a good-sized pool. It’s close to Phoenix Mountains Preserve’s Piestewa Peak, which is known for its stunning trails.

Tampa, Florida

There’s so much choice when it comes to Florida vacations, it might be easy to overlook lesser-known destinations such as Tampa. But this vibrant city has so much to offer. There’s the Tampa Riverwalk, a 2.4-mile waterfront pathway that connects the attractions and restaurants of downtown, and innovative museums such as the Henry B. Plant Museum and the Tampa Museum of Art.

Your AAA Travel Agent can craft a getaway for every budget! Call 800-374-2865 today!

Splurge: Epicurean

They take their food very seriously at this 137-room boutique hotel in South Tampa. In addition to all the amenities you’d expect from a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, there’s a state-of-the-art culinary classroom, a top-class restaurant, rooftop cocktail bar and full-service spa.

Save: Aloft Tampa Downtown

This hip hotel is both stylish and convenient, located on the river in the heart of downtown. Rooms have a colorful, modern vibe, there’s a chic outdoor pool and their W XYZ cocktail bar has live music on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition, there’s a 24/7 snack shop for late-night munchies.

Aruba

The smallest member of the Caribbean’s “ABC” islands, Aruba is known for its incredibly mild climate (82° almost all year round), cooling trade winds and presence outside the hurricane belt. It’s also a favorite for anyone who loves to shop, gamble or windsurf — all of which are easily accessible on the island.

Splurge: Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino

Relaxation is the name of the game at this peaceful Palm Beach resort. The guest rooms are newly renovated, there’s an on-site casino and an 8,000-square-foot pool complex. When the sun goes down, hit the beachfront Palms Restaurant for their signature aloe lemonade or take a sunset sail along the Aruba coastline.

Save: Divi Aruba All Inclusive

With four pools, 10 restaurants, eight bars and one stunning white-sand beach, this all-inclusive resort has something for everyone. There’s a brand new fitness and watersports center and live entertainment every night. Divi guests also enjoy access to the property’s sister resort next door, the Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive.

Your AAA Travel Agent can craft a getaway for every budget! Call 800-374-2865 today!

(Go Magazine Sept/Oct 2019)