MacArthur Airport in Islip is so much easier to get to and through than JFK. The problem: fliers could only get to a handful of places without a layover—until now. Frontier Airlines is bringing non-stop service to a slate of cities. Here are four awesome escapes perfect for a long weekend.
Go Retro in Miami
Check out the new design-forward Washington Park Hotel. Located in the heart of South Beach, the hotel is a collection of five buildings all built in 1943. Guests can play retro arcade games such as Pac-Man, Frogger, Pinball and Donkey Kong. The property displays exclusive photography by Instagram darlings Jason Peterson, Ryan Parrilla, Stephen Vanasco and 13thWitness. The edgy photos range from cityscapes to graffiti-tagged streets to sandy beaches, exhibiting different, yet distinct interpretations of Miami that complement each room’s modern gray and wood scheme with tropical splashes of color.
Hidden away in the historic Coral House building and surrounded by a lush garden, the bar and restaurant, Employees Only, is a draw in its own right. It’s designed as a speakeasy during Prohibition, and to that end, there is no signage out front revealing its identity. Upon entering, the vestibule is done up as a psychic’s parlor. Behind the red velvet curtain, under the gold placard that reads “Employees Only,” is your hideout for the night. Dinner and a late-night menu, along with cocktails from the Clark Gable era, including Manhattans, Old Fashioneds and Pimm’s Cups, are served from 9pm to 4:30am.
Travel Back to the Roots of New Orleans
To prepare for the city’s 300th birthday in 2018, developers have transformed the formerly underwhelming central business district with mid-century modern architecture to create a trendy mixed-use community.
This revitalization was punctuated by the July opening of the NOPSI Hotel (named for the former New Orleans Public Service Inc. building it occupies), which is pumping new energy into the area with 217 refined rooms, a rooftop pool and eateries centered on Gulf Coast seafood and live entertainment.
Another new property with historic roots is The Troubadour, a 184-room boutique hotel in a 17-story building that was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. Gabriel Flores, a local street artist, created a vivid custom installation at the Monkey Board, the hotel’s bar serving food truck fare and small plates alongside the large-format pitchers and frozen drinks.
The dining scene is on the rise also due to Maypop, the Southeast-Asia-meets-Southeast-Louisiana eatery from Michael Gulotta (Food & Wine’s 2016 Best New Chef) and Italian restaurant Josephine Estelle, the joint effort of James Beard Award-nominated Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman.
Shops that get back to the roots of NOLA include The Parker, a throwback to a classic 1920s barbershop, and Hattie Sparks, a boutique showcasing the wares of emerging local artists and designers.
Get Out in Fort Myers
On your way into or out of Fort Myers, consider swinging by the GreenMarket at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. Held every Saturday morning, visitors can pick up homemade cookies, local raw honey from Lee Queen Bee, handmade soaps, preserves and pickles.
Can’t find a pet sitter for your doxie or pomchi for your last-minute getaway? No worries. Frontier allows small dogs on flights. And Fort Myers is known for—who knew?—dog-friendliness. Canines go everywhere with their owners here, as evidenced by the water bowls outside just about every shop and restaurant downtown. Take the short drive south to Naples and check into the Edgewater Beach Resort, which welcomes dogs less than 30 pounds. Beach services include luxury day beds, snorkel gear and paddleboards. The Serenity Suite has a view of the Gulf of Mexico, a PranaSleep mattress, a NutriBullet Pro juicer and an in-suite massage table and yoga mat. There is also a selection of meditation, yoga and wellness CDs, DVDs and books and a full set of aromatherapy oils.
Find Fresh Fun in West Palm Beach
Due to how close it is to the Gulf Stream, The Palm Beaches area is a top U.S. destination for diving and snorkeling. There are numerous artificial reefs at depths from six to nearly 300 feet.
The Hilton West Palm Beach, a newly opened lifestyle boutique-like hotel, may be the place to drop your bags if you’ve talked a few pals into taking off from ISP with you. It offers lots of activities for groups, including pool parties with glow-in-the-dark lawn games, scavenger hunts and dive-in pool movies complete with quirky pool floats.
For off-property fun, head to Clematis Street in downtown West Palm. It’s lined with all sorts of lively nightclubs, boutiques and restaurants that are open late. Every Thursday from 6 to 9pm, there’s free live music in Centennial Square. Take in views of the Intracoastal Waterway at Flagler Park, over at the east end of Clematis Street.
The locavore dining trend shows no signs of fading, especially here, where many restaurant-goers are looking for fresh food with a low carbon footprint. Chef Julien Gremaud’s Avocado Grill has an emphasis on ultra-seasonal, eco-friendly dishes. Crispy fish tacos are stuffed with locally-caught mahi mahi and topped off with their ginger guacamole. All of the fixings, from the organic avocados down to the lime, are sourced from their partners Pontano Farms in nearby Boynton Beach and Kai Kai Farms in Indiantown.