Plan your next adventure around one of these sustainable retreats
By Diane Pham
You may not realize it, but airplanes are high on the emissions scale, putting everything from greenhouse gases to damaging particulates into the air. So instead of boarding a plane this year, make your spring and summer vacations a little more earth-friendly by heading to an eco hotel in your Chevrolet Volt. When it comes to innovation, the battery-powered compact car—which starts with the push of a button—rivals some of the techy offerings at these four Stateside destinations.
Forget dusty cabins with itchy hemp beds and seashell curtains; think biofuel heating, award-winning organic restaurants and LEED certifications. Today’s sustainable accommodations not only place conservation at their heart, but also offer their like-minded guests everything from ultra-luxe spa amenities to heart-thumping nature adventures. Check them out and get inspired to drive to one!
Napa Valley’s stunning landscape, winding roads, cute little hamlets and vineyards are best explored by car. Enjoy your visit to this fertile corner of California by spending a few nights at the luxurious Bardessono. The hotel’s commitment to sustainability makes it one of only three LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum hotels in the U.S., and its all-organic restaurant, Lucy, is consistently rated one of the best in the country.
Inn by the Sea
Crescent Beach, ME
Maine is a perennial favorite for those who just love to unwind by the sea. Driving along its coast, you’re in for spectacular views of the state’s expansive ocean waterfront, sweeping mountain vistas and peaceful lakes. For a break, head to Crescent Beach’s beautiful Inn by the Sea. The hotel places eco-friendly initiatives at the heart of its culture with carbon offsets, a LEED Silver spa, biofuel heating and much more. Inn by the Sea is also active in preserving not just the seaside landscape, but also the native wildlife, with its own five-acre habitat.
New Orleans, LA
Head to NOLA for a vacation packed full of yummy eats, vibrant people and bustling good times. Before you leave home, book yourself a sweet spot where you can rest your head each night after all the revelry. The Bienville is one of the city’s most beloved hotels, with its gorgeous quarters and fascinating history (from humble beginnings as a grain warehouse, the building has gone through many transformations). Best of all, more than 40 years after welcoming its first guests, it’s still a mom-and-pop operation.
Aria Resort and Casino
Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas lights meet sustainable luxury at the Aria, also known to eco-savvy travelers as the world’s largest LEED Gold hotel. Located dead smack in the center of the Strip, you won’t miss out on any key attractions staying here. In addition to a night club and ongoing performances by Cirque du Soleil, it has a spa for head-to-toe pampering. If you’re worried about leaving your Volt to the wiles of Sin City, just drop it off with the valet and rest assured it’ll be in good hands.
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