#10 - CARNEROS INN, NAPA, CALIFORNIA - Every type of Mom - even Moms-to-be - can luxuriate on Mother's Day at this intimate resort in the heart of Wine Country. The Carneros Inn is offering three special spa packages for Moms, and soon-be-Moms, to enjoy this Mother's Day. There's also a special Mother's Day Dinner at the inn's Farm Restaurant - something no mom would want to miss. Here in the Napa Valley, you're never far from great wineries and interesting tasting rooms. And you're never far, either, from beautiful rolling hills and fascinating road trips and colorful (and often very historic) small towns with cool restaurants and shops. #9 - PARK HYATT BEAVER CREEK, BEAVER CREEK, COLORADO - The Mother's Day Spa Package at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek includes a massage, salon services, a mimosa bar, and access to the Aqua Sanitas Water Sanctuary, health club, and hot tubs. And when Mom gets out of the spa, she has one of the West's most beautiful villages sitting in front of her. She can grab a bite at any of a dozen interesting eateries. She can pick up gifts ranging from sporty to luxurious at any of the shops. She can take a cable-car up the mountain, or hike on a variety of beautiful paths around the property. And talk about a romantic dinner! She can enjoy one in the intimate 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill at the Hyatt, with a fireplace in the middle of the room.
#8 - BRANSON, MISSOURI - Branson is known for its entertainment options and attractions - fifty theaters, with more seats than Broadway - and rightfully so. But in other ways, this area remains much as it was when it was settled in the 1800's. Branson is surrounded by three lakes. The unspoiled Ozark Mountain vistas, wilderness and waterways are as breathtaking as ever. Mom might enjoy more-modern views at two of the area's great spas, Cedar Creek Spa at Big Cedar Lodge and Spa Chateau at Chateau on the Lake. If you've put off buying Mom a Mother's day gift until now, she'll enjoy picking one out at shopping areas such as Branson Landing, Tanger Outlets, Downtown, or Grand Village. And, for a cool experience, take her to one of the wineries in the scenic hills surrounding the town.
#7 - EAU PALM BEACH RESORT & SPA, THE PALM BEACHES, FLORIDA - Eau Palm Beach gives you the feeling of the Gatsby days, because it's a setting reminiscent of a glamorous Palm Beach estate. Situated on a private beach on seven acres of oceanfront, the resort will welcome your entrance with champagne as you enter the lobby, and with breathtaking ocean views and cooling tropical breezes as you walk outside. As you walk around the resort, you'll see the pottery and designs of famed craftsman Jonathan Adler. If Mom's looking for a place to unwind, she need look no farther than 42,000 square-foot Eau Spa. Here, she'll luxuriate among 19 treatment villas, a wishing well, self-centered garden, scrub & polish bar, bath lounge saunas, steams, Jacuzzis, fitness center , boutique, hair & nail salon, and make-up artists. The spa is one of only 48 in the world with the prestigious Five-Star rating from Forbes Travel Guide.
#6 - STARS WITH LARS, CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK, UTAH - How about a five-night rafting trip for a unique Mother's Day gift...if not this year, next year? OARS is one of the most-honored rafting/adventure companies in America. And they'll take you on the trip of a lifetime. You'll glide along on the Colorado River through breathtaking desert scenery in Utah's Canyonlands National Park, on waters ranging from placid to Class III-IV whitewater! You'll hike among some of the most unusual rock formations on Earth, millions of years old. Nights will be spent looking skyward as astronomy expert Lars Haarr shares his knowledge of the heavenly bodies above. With his telescope, Lars will help you explore the vast realms of constellations and planets overhead. And when it comes to food, there's no roughing it here; you'll be dining on gourmet food in the middle of a natural wonderland.
#5 - WILD HORSE INN, FRASER, COLORADO - Wild Horse Inn is located just an hour-and-a-half from Denver, in spectacularly-scenic Grand County. As you approach the area, you'll be driving through magnificent mountain passes on winding roads, and passing by the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park. Tucked into the forest and surrounded by mountains, the Wild Horse Inn is nonetheless just minutes away from skiing, biking, golfing, fly fishing, rafting, horseback riding and hiking. It offers intimate lodging with a choice of lodge rooms or cabins, all beautifully-furnished and very authentic, all with fireplaces, and all with access to the hot tub. You can also treat Mom to a massage here. The nearby towns of Winter Park, with one of America's best ski/summer resorts, and Grand Lake, with a grand lake(!) and interesting shops, are fun to wander. If you're looking for an intimate mountain getaway to which to take Mom for Mother's Day...you've found it!
#4 - YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, MAMMOTH, WYOMING - Want something different for Mom this year? May is one of the best times of the year to view wildlife in America's first National Park, especially the bears who are coming out of hibernation. One of the best ways to observe wildlife is on a Xanterra tour. The hotels and lodges in the park are magnificent, among them the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, which also offers wildlife-sightseeing programs. Yellowstone National Park Lodges operates nine in-park lodging facilities, four campgrounds and an RV park along with restaurants, activities and gift shops. And spring is not only when the animals come out. It's also when the brilliant wildflowers start blooming, and when the air is crisp and fresh with the promise of the season.
#3 - MAUMEE BAY LODGE - OREGON, OHIO - Located just 10 minutes from Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Maumee Bay State Park, on the shores of Lake Erie, is known for its migrating songbirds. And the Maumee Bay Lodge draws plenty of mothers for Mother's Day weekend. This time of year the land here is blooming with wildlife and floral life, and birds such as songbirds, bald eagles, and warblers, lending a sweet sound to Mother's Day mornings. The Water's Edge Restaurant offers a romantic spot for dinner, especially at sunset...and people come for miles around for the Mother's Day buffet. And if, by some chance, you left your gift for Mom at home, there's a beautiful gift shop here. This is a pretty, placid spot for a Mother's Day celebration.
#2 - THE BENTWOOD INN, JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING - The Bentwood Inn is a luxurious log lodge in the heart of Grand Teton and Yellowstone Country. It sits in splendid seclusion in one of the most beautiful spots in America, near Grand Teton National Park. Yet it's only five miles from the sophisticated galleries, restaurants, and shopping (and movie-star sightings) of Jackson. The Bentwood Inn was constructed using massive 200-year old logs harvested from the historic 1988 Yellowstone fire. Whether Mom is lounging in front of the three-story-high river-rock fireplace or settling into a room with your own personal fireplace and spa tub to help you unwind, she'll feel pampered. A walk in the woods - especially if it's just you and your spouse - will put you in touch with Nature...and with silence. Dinner should be special on this special day...and it is. The Bentwood Bistro offers upscale cuisine and intimate ambience in front of a roaring fireplace.
And, now, my choice for the Top Mother's Day Getaway in America...
#1 - DOOR COUNTY, WISCONSIN - If natural beauty lends itself to romance, Door County must be one of the most romantic places in America! With more than 300 miles of spectacular shoreline along Lake Michigan, and five beautiful state parks, this area is one of America's best-kept secrets. It's home to 11 lighthouses, beautiful villages, a surprising cultural scene, one-of-a-kind boutiques and galleries, and excellent restaurants. If Mom loves blossoms, she'll love this time of year in Door County, with the colors and aromas of cherry blossoms, apple blossoms, starflowers, and lady slippers filling your senses. If she feels like a bit of exercise on Mother's Day, she's got a variety of country hiking paths - filled with brilliant flowers - to meander. For a true touch of romance, treat Mom to a stay at one of the area's intimate B&B's.
So what do you think of my choices? Want to propose any candidates of your own? We'd love to hear from you!