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We should always pamper our moms, but Mother’s Day gives us an excuse to go all out. That’s not to say our budget agrees, though. If you want to make Mother’s Day really special this year, there are plenty of destinations that feel high-end, but are actually quite affordable.

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Nyack, New York

Nyack, New York

Maybe you’ve considered taking your mom to New York City or Niagara Falls, but a great option just an hour from New York City is charming Nyack. This winsome small town offers free walking tours, art tours, group bicycling excursions, kayaking on the Hudson River, and visiting the home of artist Edward Hopper—along with a slew of new restaurants suited to all budgets. For Mother’s Day, the boutique Time Nyack will provide all guests with complimentary “Rose Petal” cocktails and fresh strawberries between 5-6:30pm. Housed in a historic former factory turned recording studio, the hotel melds art and history, with a strong dash of urban energy.

Las Vegas

Photo: Derek Brown.

Vegas isn’t all about casinos and high-end attractions. It’s also very easy to do on the cheap, from budget-minded restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs (like Michael Symon’s Mabel’s BBQ at the newly-revamped Palms Casino Resort to free outdoor activities and lots of people watching. Whether it’s viewing the Mirage volcano as it erupts, visiting the conservatory at Bellagio (and checking out the fountains while you’re there) or taking a gondola ride at the Venetian, there’s tons of fun free or low-cost things to do that have nothing to do with gambling or nightclubs. Plus, Vegas is full of surprisingly affordable hotel stays, like the new Park MGM which includes mom-approved Italian food emporium Eataly.

Curaçao

curacao, caribbean

If you’re looking for a culture-filled and relaxing—yet adventurous and tropical—Mother’s Day escape, check out the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao. Its historic capital city, Willemstad—a UNESCO World Heritage site—has tons of great museums, monuments, restaurants and shopping. With its colorful pastel buildings, red tile roofs and iconic Handleskade backdrop, Willemstad feels like a slice of Europe in the Caribbean. Try a guided hike up Mount Christoffel, relax on cove-like beaches, or have a cocktail and a spa treatment. Papagayo Beach Hotel is a modern hotel with European flair mixed with a touch of Caribbean decor and perfectly suited to its prime location among the boutiques and restaurants of Jan Thiel Beach.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, arizona

Scottsdale is a great destination to relax, restore and explore (and not spend a fortune). Start the day with red velvet pancakes and breakfast tacos at Herb Box before heading to the spa. Scottsdale has the largest number of spas per capita so there are plenty to choose from. Sip some wine from an extensive list at FnB before grabbing dessert at Super Chunk Sweets & Treats. For casual conversation, The Phoenician  hosts afternoon tea while the Hyatt Regency has 10 separate swimming pools, ideal for lounging with a book. For some light adventure, book a hot air balloon ride for the two of you or visit the Desert Botanical Gardens at night for a special light exhibit.

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Cocoa Beach on Florida’s Space Coast is known for its gorgeous waters, beautiful sunset walks, and an exciting downtown featuring outdoor spaces, waterfront dining, shopping and live entertainment. Take a glass-bottomed kayak over bioluminescent lagoons or ride down the coast using Zagster bike share, or watch the birth of baby sea turtles at the Sea Turtle Preservation Society.  Brevard Zoo is home to more than 900 animals; you can feed a giraffe or go on a rhino encounter. The Brevard Zoo is the only US zoo to offer guided kayak tours around the animal exhibits. Snap a selfie on the 800-foot Cocoa Beach Pier—one of the most photographed spots in town and choose from an array of affordable luxury resorts, including Westgate Cocoa Beach Resort.

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Tagged: Caribbean, Holidays, Las Vegas, New York City

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