ADVENTURE AHEAD | The Gardens Mall
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beach by everything but water boheme sun hat

Adventure Ahead

Winter is the perfect time to book a vacation. It’s likely off-season for most destinations, which means the top photo ops, views and attractions won’t be overcrowded. Here, we explore destinations—and some hotels to check into—that are sure to inspire with their stunning designs and breathtaking views. (We’ve even suggested an item to pack for each!) Up next? Schedule your flight.


Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

You hike for the breathtaking views up top, and one you can’t miss is the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan. The sacred Buddhist monument was established around a cave in 1692 and is perched on a cliff overlooking the Paro Valley. Peak hiking conditions are in the early winter as the skies are clear and it’s not too hot, but the later you decide to go, the colder it gets. On average, it’s a four- to five-hour excursion. Be prepared with proper shoes and a backpack, but you’ll need to leave them outside up top as they are not allowed inside. Remember to pack a backpack!

louis vuitton damier graphite canvas backpack

Where to find it:

Louis Vuitton – Upper Level, near Saks Fifth Avenue


New Orleans, Louisiana

There’s more to New Orleans than its party city reputation. Prior to Mardi Gras, the city is calmer than ever. Most partygoers are nowhere to be found, allowing visitors to better take in the 19th century architecture and traditions. Don’t miss out on the Reveillon dinner, a large Christmas meal historically enjoyed after midnight mass in Creole culture. Versions of it can be found at luxe restaurants around town. Make a reservation and get dressed up in formal attire for a romantic night out. Remember to pack great heels!

kate spade adelaide pumps

Where to find it:

Kate Spade – Upper Level near Saks Fifth Avenue


Serengeti, Tanzania

One major bucket list item worth the trek is the Great Migration. While you can see the spectacular movement any time, as animals are constantly navigating through the Serengeti, November is the beginning of wet season and attracts a lot fewer visitors. You won’t have to compete for prime viewing spots and, depending on where you’re staying, the wildlife might even come to you and roam around your campground. Remember to pack sunglasses!

persol sunglasses

Where to find it:

Sunglass Hut – Lower Level, near Sears


Loire Valley, France

The Palace of Versailles isn’t the only royal residence worth a visit. Some of France’s most opulent and grandiose homes, or, shall we say, castles, lie within the Loire Valley. Even though the formal French gardens hidden behind every château won’t be in full bloom during winter, the snowfall will make the journey feel like a fairytale. The best part? Since it’s low season, many luxury accommodations such as the new Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé will not be as crowded. Remember to pack a royal bag!

louis vuitton petite malle

Where to find it:

Louis Vuitton – Upper Level, near Saks Fifth Avenue


Big Sur, California

In 2017, a huge landslide closed Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge. After months of rebuilding, the area bounced back and continues to be better than ever. Due to this forced reconstruction, hotels such as Ventana Big Sur remodeled its property to include more modern safari-style glamping options. Surrounded by majestic redwood trees, they’re equipped with heated outdoor bathroom floors. If you need some real fresh air and a break from the world, nothing beats a glamorous few days in the forest. Make sure to bring a watch—it will be easy to lose track of time.

swarovski mens watch


Swarovski – Upper Level, near Macy’s


GOA, India

When it comes to the party capital of India, it’s always the right time to go—which should give you even more reason to take a much-needed break. Beyond the high-energy nightlife and pristine beaches, Goa’s biggest allure is a series of historic UNESCO World Heritage sites. The landmarks bridge architectural influences from Portugal, India and the past Mughal Empire, resulting in buildings that can’t be found anywhere else. Like the unique structures, stick to accessories that stand out—like a straw hat. Not only is this vacation essential a beach must, it’s also effortlessly stylish. For idyllic charm, stay at Ahilya by the Sea.

beach by everything but water boheme sun hat

Where to find it:

Beach by Everything But Water – Lower Level near Nordstrom


Capetown, South Africa

Summer for the South African port town starts in late December. Once the season starts, the list of things to do doesn’t end. Considering the city is typically blessed with more than 12 hours of sunlight, you can’t blame the community for making the most of it. The iconic Lion’s Head, a mountain alongside Table Mountain, is just the hike to take in the picturesque view of the Cape Town skyline—so don’t forget hiking boots or comfortable sneakers.

coach citysole runner

Where to find it:

Coach – Upper Level near Saks Fifth Avenue


Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City wants to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of the city’s heart. The capital will prove it to you, as every street is overflowing with decorations including a massive Christmas tree in the center of town. Prior to these festivities, consider a November trip to experience the Día de Muertos. Even though it’s winter, don’t travel without sunscreen; keep it with you always in a cute straw or wicker bag. The sun in the high-altitude capital will hit you harder than usual, and it’s important to protect your skin.

salvatore ferragamo small wicker bucket bag

Where to find it:

Salvatore Ferragamo – Upper Level near Saks Fifth Avenue


Cartagena, Colombia

For a dip on the wild side, Cartagena is the place to be, as the Colombian gem is sunny all year long. It’s no wonder the city was formerly a prized territory for Spain, and the combination of the two cultures is evident in the structures that literally line the city. From the outer city wall dating back to the 1600s that still stands today to the majestic cathedrals and brightly colored plazas, you’ll be in awe of Cartagena’s long and rich history. Slip on some comfortable sandals and get lost exploring every inch of this vibrant destination.

tory burch kira mixed snake print sport sandal

Where to find it:

Tory Burch – Upper Level near Saks Fifth Avenue


Telluride, Colorado

Telluride is synonymous with snow heaven, and not just for skiers or snowboarders. The city was made for all snow lovers. In the winter, Bridal Veil Falls on the outskirts of Telluride is a popular destination for ice climbers. Water from the falls freezes, and many challenge themselves to climb it. For more jaw-dropping moments, make your way to the free Mountain Village gondola. The only one of its kind in the U.S., it boasts 365-degree views of the San Juan mountains. Even with the snow, Telluride is generally sunny, so having sunglasses will come in handy—as will chic snow boots.

michael kors cassia boots

Where to find it:

Michael Kors – Upper Level near Saks Fifth Avenue


Queens, New York

This year, travelers everywhere are planning getaways to Queens. The reason? To catch a glimpse (or book a stay!) at the newly opened TWA Hotel at JFK Airport. A destination in and of itself, the TWA Hotel opened this past summer at Eero Saarinen’s historic terminal. Three years of construction saw the addition of two new wings and a restoration of the terminal. The hotel was recently placed on Time magazine’s 2019 list of the “World’s 100 Greatest Places,” and that’s no surprise. With its soaring design and futuristic feel, you’ll want to take lots of pictures of this midcentury marvel. So, bring along a compact bag to make sure your camera is always at your side.

johnny was taylor clutch bag

Where to find it:

Johnny Was – Upper Level near Saks Fifth Avenue


Find these travel essentials and more, only at the Gardens Mall.

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