Family: Just because Orlando is so obvious doesn’t mean it’s not worth mentioning here. It’s fun for both parents and children. As for theme parks, my money is at Universal Studios. The Adventure Island section of Universal Studios includes Jurassic Park, King Kong, Hulk’s rides, and, of course, the world of Harry Potter Wizards.
The lights are approximately 9 hours long and can be accessed directly from Dublin via Aer Lingus. Stay at Cabana Bay Beach Resort with a playful, kitty 1960s aesthetic, the Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park literally right next door, and a free shuttle bus to and from Universal’s City Walk. Universalorlando.com
For couples: Consider New York, Manhattan. However, in the wooded wilderness of the Hudson Valley and Catskill, some of the most romantic environments are in the north.
The latter was known as the “Bolstbert” for Jewish and New Yorker vacationers in the 1930s and 1960s, but more recently, after drinking locally, it has become an insta-friendly A-frame lodge. Most Brooklinites are trying to relax in a hipster motel-produced craft beer, cider and spirits, or torrent rafting.
Check out Hudson antiques, Kingston thrift shops, Narrowsburg bougie boutiques, Livingston Manor farms and small items from Bouche. Peruse “Cabin Porn” on Airbnb or stay at Glenfalls House. Twin Peaks-meet-Dirty Dancing A resort that combines hotels, motels and cottages. glenfallshouse.com
For friends: Chicago is a great option for those seeking historical and international buzz, but it lacks the cost and concentration of Manhattan. On the first day, take a First Lady Cruise Boat Tour of the Building Foundation to get land from the city’s eponymous river, including the Magnificent Mile and the “Cloud Gate” sculpture at Anish Kapoor’s Millennium Park. Walk to the landmark.
This writer’s favorite hotel is Weisseroy Chicago. Also, a nightcap at one of Al Capone’s favorite Speakeasy, a small stage barless at The Drifter (another buzzer from the Prohibition era), and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Chicago History Museum’s costume and textile collection. Is also recommended. viceroyhotelsandresorts.com
About milestones A bucketlist trip worth considering is the Napa Valley Wine Train in California. This is a slow trip with a delicious twist.
Some travel restaurants, some museums and vintage Pullman cars have been faithfully restored to connect many different wineries scattered around the valley. It’s not a sleeper train, but packages are available for staying at inns and accommodations along the route. winetrain.com