According to nature.com, people living in urban areas have a harder time dealing with stress than those who live in less-densely populated areas. This isn’t really news for city dwellers trying to balance the excitement of living in an urban area with relaxing and embracing the comforts we love. One way to find greater balance is by seeking out luxury comforts that make us feel inspired and relaxed while reconnecting with our cities.
But what if your creature comfort or dream escape is living at the beach? This is still totally possible in cities outside of California and Florida. Even New York has beach side options in luxury buildings. Thrill-seeking recreation and high-end nature tours also exist in just about any city you can manage. Here are five ideas to revolutionize your urban life and weave more luxury into your life.
Beach Side Lodging
Living beach side is a dream for many, but you don’t have to live in California and spend a million dollars to reach your dream. For example, New York is surrounded by water and features tiny, high-end beach side neighbourhoods that fly under the radar.
Use a site like ForRent.com to locate apartments for rent on the beach in areas like Mill Basin in Brooklyn, Belle Harbor in Queens and Long Beach on Long Island. Narrow your search for high-end amenities like swimming pools, fitness centers and play areas located right on the property. If you’re craving city life, look for these same amenities in waterside locations right in Manhattan. Many luxury buildings feature swimming pools on rooftop terraces that make you feel like you’re living with the urban elite.
Foodies delight in finding hidden gem restaurants that cater to discerning palates. Word-of-mouth is always a good bet but doesn’t always yield the results you’re looking for. Instead, comb through hidden dining reviews on services like Foursquare with personal reviews on where and when to go. Newcomers to San Francisco can also hop on a San Francisco Food Tour to explore neighbourhoods like North Beach and Little Italy to get the best restaurant suggestions or get personal feedback from your guide.
Just about every big city has treasure troves of nature spots, like the wildlife refuges in New York City and Island of Orleans in the Quebec City area. Get a highly personal, customized tour with a site like Tours By Locals to experience the city through the eyes of a local. Ask to see a mix of popular attractions balanced with little known spots that delight locals but tourists never see. For an added bonus, book a bed and breakfast in a countryside retreat with 5-star dining and impeccable service reviews. TripAdvisor’s reviews are a good place to validate the experience you’re looking for.
Anyone can plan a day of fun at museums or theme parks, but it takes some ingenuity to come up with an unbelievable recreational experience you’ll always remember. Instead of a walking tour in Chicago, try a Chicago Helicopter Tour for an aerial view of the city while soaring over Lake Michigan. Taking a night time tour can turn a normal evening into a magical excursion filled with the energy of the city below. And if heights aren’t your thing, try a dinner cruise right on Lake Michigan with live entertainment, cocktails and fine dining.
Theater Beyond Broadway’s West End
Hitting a city renowned for its Broadway tours and shows yields plenty of elite theater experiences. But there’s more going on in areas like London’s West End than just Broadway blockbusters. Seek out cabaret clubs in London like the exclusive “The Box,” featuring sandals entertainment and plenty of cocktails and craft brews. For something tamer, score tickets at Playhouse Theatre, a former Victorian music hall, with new productions of plays and musicals designed for serious theatregoers.
Whatever your luxury of choice is, take the time to curate those experiences to live a full and rewarding life. Embrace your skyscraper views while savouring the little luxuries along the way.