Now that the holidays have passed, you might need something new to look forward to, like a relaxing getaway. The best-known destinations (Hawaii, Aspen, etc.) are expensive and super-crowded at this time of year, so it’s smart to seek out spots that are slightly below the radar. Not only will you save money, but you’ll probably find it more relaxing to be in a less crowded, frenetic environment, away from the stresses of daily life. Here are three fabulous destinations that fit the bill:

Sayulita, Mexico: About twenty-five miles north of Puerto Vallarta, this sleepy surf town boasts incredible natural beauty (of both the beach and the jungle varieties), friendly locals and delicious Mexican food, and isn’t as clogged with tourists as more well-known resort towns. Stay in a hotel or B&B, or rent a casita. (You can find affordable options on such travel sites as Airbnb or VRBO.) Sayulita is famous for its surf breaks, and it’s a great place to take lessons. Maybe 2014 is the year you learn how to ride waves a la Kelly Slater!

Snowbasin, Utah: This is one of the oldest ski towns in the country, and it typically gets better snow than the nearby Park City-area resorts. The lift lines are short to non-existent, there are great trails for beginners and advanced skiers alike, and the luxe lodges make great places to refuel between runs or après-ski after a long day on the slopes. There are plenty of nearby houses to rent for a range of budgets. To really keep the cost down, rent a house in nearby Ogden and drive to the slopes. It’s a quick 20-minute trip to the base of the mountain.

Paso Robles Wine Country: If you crave a getaway fueled by delicious food and wine, visit California’s Paso Robles area, which over the past few years has become known for top-quality wine and delicious, inventive food. It features many of the delights of California’s more famous wine regions, but is less expensive and crowded. Plus, at this time of year it’s warmer than Napa and Sonoma. One of the top wineries is Justin, which also features a charming restaurant and inn.

Whatever destination you choose for your mid-winter getaway, I wish you safe and happy travels!

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