By Mary Shannon
Resolutions are the hallmark of the New Year, but you don't need to wait until January 1 to take a self-care trip. Self-care is more than just a fad. It's an essential part of leading a happy and healthy life. It can be challenging to take time for yourself, but it's necessary. This year, Gaudy Language recommends taking a vacation to one of the following destinations for a much-needed self-care reset.
1. Chicago, IL
If you want to start the new year right, put Chicago at the top of your list. The Windy City is full of parks, cultural institutions, and attractions that can help you relax. Millennium Park is home to the Cloud Gate sculpture and the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
For a little culture in your life, visit one of Chicago's many museums. The Art Institute of Chicago is home to thousands of works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs. Also, don't miss the Museum of Contemporary Art, one of the best places in Chicago to see new and experimental artwork. The work is breathtaking and thought-provoking.
2. Knoxville, TN
Consider Knoxville, Tennessee if you're looking for an affordable place to take a self-care trip this year. The city has deep roots in the traditional arts, including country dance and jazz. This vibrant community is a great place to learn new art forms or pick up an instrument yourself. Other must-see sites include the Sunsphere, an observation deck with stunning views of the city, and Ijams Nature Center.
Knoxville is also a fantastic city to move to if you plan to rent. It's a family-friendly city with tons of affordable housing options. You can learn more at rental sites such as Apartment Guide and use the filters to find a Knoxville rental that meets your budget and needs.
3. Portland, OR
Portland, Oregon, is a fantastic place to visit in the wintertime. This city is a haven for great outdoors lovers with plenty of parks and outdoor activities. The city hosts many winter events and festivals, including the Oregon Brewers Festival and Heart of Darkness.
Visit the Portland Japanese Garden, a traditional Japanese garden with dozens of cherry blossom trees, to help you relax, and don't skip Forest Park or Mt. Tabor for a challenging run through the trees. Visit the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry for indoor fun with over 450 exhibits.
4. Flagstaff, AZ
All cities have their unique character, and Flagstaff, Arizona, is a soulful place with plenty of self-care opportunities. This city is home to many Native American sites, including ancient cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and mesas. Flagstaff's proximity to the Grand Canyon makes it a great winter destination for those who love hiking.
Head to the South Rim, open year-round for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding. Check out the Museum of Northern Arizona, an educational center dedicated to the life and culture of Native Americans in northern Arizona, before you head back home.
Take a Trip to Reset Your Inner Self
Maintaining a happy and healthy life can be difficult, but it's necessary. This year, make time for yourself by visiting a new city and taking in the sights.
Mary Shannon created SeniorsMeet.org along with her husband, Bob, to have a website that allows seniors to meet up and talk about topics that are relevant to their daily lives. They hope to build SeniorsMeet into a supportive community of like-minded seniors.