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The Top 10 Mother's Day Vacations

Mother's Day getaways used to be as simple as taking a quick drive to a favorite local restaurant. But that is no longer the case. The sky is practically the limit these days. You will be in the ancient cobblestone walkways of France or Italy in eight hours. In addition, you can spend 16 hours wandering the back alleys of the Orient, looking for romantic surprises. Real estate

This year, here are my top ten picks for perfect Mother's Day getaways...

10) SOUTH AFRICA, CAPTETOWN - Cape Town, located at the southernmost point of Africa and overlooking the Cape of Good Hope, is bordered on one side by the ocean and backed by the dramatic, flat-topped Table Mountain. It's a popular option among international travelers...and an excellent Mother's Day gift. You can take Mom up to the top of Table Mountain in the cable car, where you can enjoy a casual meal while taking in the breathtaking views. You should take her to the V&A Waterfront, where she can shop, eat, and see as much as she wants. You should take her on a sightseeing tour on one of the iconic red double-decker buses. You might also take her to the lighthouse at Cape Point, Africa's southernmost point, for a picnic lunch overlooking False Bay's crashing waves. Then it's back into town for dinner at one of the many excellent ethnic eateries.

9) VANCOUVER, CANADA - When it comes to breathtaking scenery, Vancouver is unrivaled. There are many great hotels and elegant restaurants in the area, many of which have views of the water and mountains. There are also fantastic neighborhoods to explore, such as Gastown, which is full of funky boutiques, restaurants, and galleries, and Chinatown, which has a hundred doorways packed with delicious aromas. You might be able to catch the parade of cruise ships leaving the harbor if you're lucky. Take a hike in the nearby mountains, and walk the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which stretches hundreds of feet over the Capilano River and is the world's longest swinging bridge.

8) RED MOUNTAIN RESORT, UTAH, USA - If Mom would rather spend Mother's Day outside than in a formal gown, this is the spot for her! Mom will be able to walk, run, horseback ride, kayak, and explore lava caves at Red Mountain, which is nestled among the red-rock cliffs and steep canyons of southern Utah. She can get treatments in one of America's great spas (The Sagestone Spa & Salon), take yoga lessons, and eat nutritious meals to work out those sore muscles afterwards. Mom can also enjoy a romantic Mother's Day dinner at Canyon Breeze Restaurant at the end of her special weekend.

7) NAPA VALLEY WINE COUNTRY, CALIFORNIA, USA - Napa Valley is home to hundreds of world-class wineries in northern California. You can stroll around old stone buildings with Mediterranean archways and fountains, and sample the wines while eating a delicious lunch. Wine Nation, however, is far more than just wine. There are lush mountains and valleys, which are crisscrossed by winding paths. There are charming old towns to stroll around, such as St. Helena and Yountville, as well as old-time Bed-and-Breakfasts to stay in and intimate little restaurants with imaginative cuisine to dine in.

6) HONG KONG, CHINA - Hong Kong is still one of the best vacation spots in the world. Take the Peak Tram to the top of the mountain, where you'll find romantic restaurants serving delicious food. Rent a junk for the afternoon and sit back with Mom as the boat weaves its way through the waterborne traffic underneath the huge buildings. Spend an afternoon with her at one of the renowned spas. On the magnificent grounds of Hong Kong Park, pop a bottle of bubbly. And remain at The Peninsula, which has retained its Colonial charm since the 1920s.

5) CAPTIVA ISLAND, FLORIDA, USA - Get away from the city lights and tourist traps on this island off the coast of Florida. It's also ideal for a Mother's Day getaway. The beach is always so empty that it feels like you're on your own private island. Sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico are particularly romantic, especially when viewed from a small cove surrounded by trees. Interesting shops and atmospheric restaurants line the narrow, one-street village. The South Seas Island Resort, with a pool overlooking the Gulf, a private beach, a variety of water sports, many good dining spots, and cruise boats that will take you to offshore islands with cute villages; and the landmark 'Tween Waters Inn, with colorful cottages and cozy hotel rooms overlooking scenic bays and uninhabited, forested islands, and the sounds of the sea

4) MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA - Montreal is both a modern metropolis with a thriving commercial and cultural life and an old French-speaking small town in several respects. It's also chock-full of romantic spots for Mother's Day. You will stroll through Old Montreal's boutiques and sidewalk cafes. A horse-and-carriage ride is available. You can eat in a cozy sidewalk café, where the railings are lined with wooden window boxes filled with vibrant flowers and the menus are chock-full of culinary delights. And you can top off Mom's special day by watching the city lights sprinkle on from the top of Mount Royal, where you can gaze out over a mix of new skyscrapers and old French-style buildings toward the St. Lawrence.

3) THE PLAZA HOTEL, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, USA - The Plaza is the most well-known hotel in a city filled with well-known hotels. In a grand Victorian/1920s way, it's truly elegant. It's just across the street from Central Park, an oasis of greenery in the heart of America's largest city, with horses and carriages waiting to whisk you and the Mrs. away for a romantic trip through the park. It's crammed with shops selling some of the best jewelry, clothing, and foods in the country. It houses one of New York's finest spas, the Caudalie Vinotherapy Spa. It also has four signature restaurants, one of which is owned by legendary chef Todd English, for Mother's Day dinner.

2) COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, USA - THE BROADMOOR RESORT The Broadmoor is one of America's most stunning resorts...and it doesn't hurt that it's nestled between Cheyenne Mountain, at 10,000 feet, and Pike's Peak, at 14,110 feet! It's framed by the Rocky Mountains' sky-piercing, snow-capped peaks. And it's a pink Italian palace built by Spencer Penrose, a lover of Italian art and architecture, a century ago. The Broadmoor has 13 restaurants, including the elegant Penrose Space, Colorado's only five-star restaurant. There's a world-class spa on site, as well as several swimming pools, including an infinity pool with views of a scenic lake (where you can take Mom boating amidst the swans). It has the world's largest collection in Western art of any hotel. Mom can play golf on three different championship courses if she wants to. She may also choose her own Mother's Day gift from one of 26 lovely shops.

Now, for my pick for the best Mother's Day getaway on the planet...

1) PARIS, FRENCH REPUBLICAN REPUBLICAN REPUBLICAN REPUBLICAN What were your thoughts on it? It's still the world's most romantic city! It's always a timeless ode to love, fine wine, charming shops, winding alleyways full of surprises, great art, and classic cuisine, all of which are Mother's Day staples! You can take Mom on a leisurely cruise down the Seine, complete with dinner if she so wishes, onboard the Bateaux Mouches. When looking for the ideal gift for Mom, take a walk down the Champs Elysees or the Boulevard Saint Germain. You may walk the ancient streets of the mid-Seine islands, such as Ile de la Cite and Ile Saint-Louis, where every secret cellar and underground doorway leads to gastronomic or gift surprises. For an impromptu picnic on the riverbank, bring a bottle of wine, a loaf of crunchy French bread, and some cheese. Later, you will enjoy a memorable dinner at a trendy Left Bank café. Paris is unquestionably "The City of Light"...and of love on Mother's Day.

That concludes my top ten Mother's Day getaway suggestions. As always, I welcome your feedback!

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