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Ten ways to beat the January blahs

Email|Print| Text size + By J. Amanda Ferry and Jennifer Wood
Boston.com Staff / January 5, 2004

With December's bright lights and holiday hustle just a memory, the long, gray reality of a New England winter has set in. If you're despairing at the idea of snowdrifts, dark evenings, and wet mittens, take heart. Plan a getaway and you'll find that just a few days away can lift your spirits.

1) Rent a Caribbean villa
Let the Caribbean sun melt away the memory of winter. Renting a private villa doesn't have to be an indulgance. Consider these destinations: Grand Bahama, Negril, Jamaica, St. Barthelemy, Virgin Gorda. Take a photo tour of the Caribbean

2) Pamper yourself at a New England spa
Dry air, cold wind, and shoveling snow are all hard on your body and mind. Refresh yourself with a spa vacation.

3) Two words: Room service
Let someone else do the cooking and cleaning for a change. Indulge in a night (or three) at a local hotel and rediscover the joys of sleeping in late and breakfast in bed.

4) Embrace winter
As they say, if you can't beat 'em.... Learn to love the cold with a weekend of winter sports. Try dogsledding in Bethel, break out your ice skates, find a great inn, and discover that winter can be fun.

5) Big night in the Big Apple
The primary pleasures of New York City are all indoors: museums, theaters, restaurants, shopping. If you don't have a car, take the train, take the bus, take a plane.

6) It's 80 degrees in Hawaii right now
You don't have to leave the country to find a tropical paradise. Hawaii is perfect for golfing, socializing, and simply soaking up the atmosphere.

7) Fulfill your New Year's resolutions on the slopes
Did you resolve to lose weight in 2004? Skiing is excellent exercise.

8) Make the most of the coast
No one goes to the beach in January. Take advantage of that fact and explore places like the Maine coast or Cape Cod which are normally too crowded in the summer. You'll find museums, galleries, great restaurants, and more.

9) Take a hike
If you like to walk, don't let a little snow and cold keep you inside. Pack a thermos full of hot cocoa and breath in the silence of the winter woods.

10) Fly to Florida
There's more to Orlando than Disney. Indulge in the sun and fun of Florida without paying for a visit to the House of the Mouse.

If none of our suggestions appeal to you, plan your own getaway.

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