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  • 11 / 16 2017

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    COORDINATES ENVY: ADIRONDACK MOUNTAINS, 44.1247° N, 73.8693° E

    It’s fall and the leaves are changing, which means it’s time for cabins and hot apple cider and pumpkin spice everything. And the place we’re betting on to bring all that together better than most is the Adirondack Mountains—the tree-laden gem of New York State.

    Why envy it: When New York comes to mind, images of the Empire State Building and Lady Liberty holding her torch up high typically come with it. The rest of the state hardly gets the attention it deserves, but there’s natural beauty outside of the beloved concrete city. Whether you’re hiking untrekked trails, winding through trees ablaze with color as hues shift from yellow to orange to red, or you’re camping lakeside under the stars, the pure preserve has a way of leaving you refreshed, making you feel one with the wilderness (but from the safety of a cozy cabin if campgrounds aren’t your thing). Scenic drives will carry you through the rolling landscape to vistas worth looking out from, or private places to paddle board, and maybe even to a brewery or winery or art gallery when it’s time for some indoor activity. In the Adirondack Region’s more than 100 little towns, you may even come across winter carnival celebrations or artisans handcrafting Adirondack furniture. It’s the kind of place where connecting comes before everything else.

    High Season: In the summer for lake swimming, in the fall for leaf changing or in the winter for snow-related sports.

    Hotspots: The Wild Walk trail that towers across treetops, Adirondack Pub & Brewery where you’ll sample craft beers brewed and bottled onsite, Smoke Signals for Southern-style barbecue in Lake Placid

    Cool to-dos: Sip hot apple cider while roasting marshmallows for ‘smores over an outdoor fire, go sailing on Lake Champlain or tobogganing down snowy slopes, and watch the sun rise over the mountain range.

    Credit image: Flickr, Decaseconds

  • 10 / 19 2017

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    COORDINATES ENVY: PARIS, 48.8566° N, 2.3522° E

    They say Paris is always a good idea, and we’ve yet to find anything that proves that wrong. It’s the City of Light, the city of love and, unofficially, the city of the world’s best butter croissants, which we’d say all adds up to a very, very good idea.

    Why envy it: When it comes to Paris, it might be easier to find reasons not to envy it, as the list of reasons to envy it is quite a long one. From its stunning French Renaissance architecture to tiny cobblestone streets winding past cafes and restaurants where dining al fresco comes standard, to the rich cuisine always enjoyed over wine and hours of quality time. If you’re there in the summer, spend some time soaking up sun in the Jardin des Tuileries, a gorgeous garden originally created by Catherine de' Medici, queen of France in the 1500s, as the private garden for the Tuileries Palace. Now, it’s where locals go to sun, stroll and chat. If you’re there in December, Paris comes even more alive with lights: glowing bulbs line the trees along the famed Champs-Élysées leading to the Arc de Triomphe, grand Christmas trees go up in city squares and there’s ice skating with a view of the Eiffel Tower, which kind of can’t be beat.

    High Season: April and May for Spring, or September and October for Autumn.

    Hotspots: The Eiffel Tower for its light show starting at 8:00 p.m. each night, Mona Lisa at the Louvre naturally, though the impressive collection of Impressionist art at the Musée d’Orsay is also well worth seeing.

    Cool to-dos: Sit and sip wine along the Seine with a plate of fromage, choose your favorite macaron flavor at Ladurée, shop at dazzling department stores like Galeries Lafayette, stroll the streets of Le Marais for boutiques and tucked away restos worth searching for.

  • 9 / 26 2017

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    COORDINATES ENVY: SALZBURG, 47.8095° N, 13.0550° W

    If you could dream up what the perfect European city would look like, it would probably be Salzburg. And as cooler temps start to set in, we’re imagining ourselves sipping glühwein and strolling the cobblestone streets of what might be Austria’s prettiest city.

    Why envy it: This quintessentially quaint European city is known for its architecture and its very rich history in classical music—and the sweeping views of the Alps don’t hurt either. Mozart was born in Salzburg’s Altstadt, the historic city center, in 1756, and today the home he was born in has been made into a museum, where you’ll find his string of operas serving as the background soundtrack. From Salzburg’s castle on a hill, the medieval fortress that’s Hohensalzburg, you’ll glimpse the rooftops of the old buildings in the Altstadt, with views of the river and rolling mountains along the horizon. When it comes to cuisine, schnitzel is the staple and it’s best enjoyed with pommes frittes and a Stiegl beer to wash it down. Should you catch the city in all its wintery glory, with snow-capped cathedral domes and holiday spirit everywhere, Christmas markets are the favorite pastime and you’ll find all manner of hand-blown glass ornaments, fresh baked pretzels and warm mulled wine to stave off the chill. Salzburg really is quite like a fairytale.

    High Season: Anytime of the year, depending on the season that suits you best, or in December for the famed Christmas markets

    Hotspots: Altstadt for exceptionally preserved Baroque architecture, Hohensalzburg Castle and along the Salzach river

    Cool to-dos: Sit riverside on the banks of the Salzbach sipping a Stiegl in the summer, follow in the Sound of Music’s footsteps, trailing the movie’s filming locations, take in the sounds of Mozart and live concerts in halls all around the city.