As you enjoy the first buds of spring and await the warm summer months, it's not to early to start planning a holiday getaway.
If you are a woman, you are in luck.
A women-only travel getaway is planned for six days, starting Dec. 21, to New York City, the cosmopolitan capital of the United States.
Ask a Big Apple resident or experienced traveler when the city is most alive and they will tell you it's at Christmas.
The Big Apple package is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays.
You'll tour the city by coach with a professional guide, visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art to view the annual Neapolitan Tree, tour the New York Botanical Gardens and Rockefeller Square, and enjoy holiday caroling by the Big Apple chorus at the lively South Street Seaport.
. Day 1: Friday. Arrive New York. Fly into one of the New York City area's three airports and transfer to your hotel. Hotel Elysee is within walking distance to Central Park, Times Square and Rockefeller Center.
Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure to explore on your own.
In the evening, enjoy a welcome reception at the hotel, followed by dinner at the world-famous Monkey Bar Restaurant. This legendary bar features humorous monkey murals and playful olive-shaped bar stools set in a crimson dining room adorned with bamboo. Refined and comfortable, this elegant yet casual bar and restaurant is a prime dining spot that evokes 1940s Hollywood glamour, but in every way says New York.
. Day 2: Saturday. City tour/afternoon tea. Following breakfast at the hotel, relax on a panoramic motor coach tour through the city conducted by a professional guide.
Afterward, the bus will escort you to the Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel for afternoon tea.
The remainder of the afternoon is free to explore the city independently.
We suggest shopping on Fifth Avenue where you will find nearby Bergdorf Goodman, Barney's and Bloomingdales.
With the evening at leisure, why not take part in a Big Apple tradition: ice skating at Central Park's Wollman Skating Rink.
. Day 3: Sunday. Breakfast, lunch Metropolitan Museum of Art/Radio City Christmas Spectacular
This morning, enjoy a guided tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where you will see the annual Neapolitan Christmas tree.
Lunch will be served in the museum at the Petrie Court Café.
In the afternoon, depart for The Cloisters and a special holiday concert in the Fuentidueńa Chapel.
Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon and dinner on your own, and in the evening, rejoin the group to attend the world-famous "Radio City Christmas Spectacular."
. Day 4: Monday. Botanical Gardens/Christmas Eve dinner
Enjoy a morning tour of the New York Botanical Gardens, featuring the annual "Holiday Train Show." You will have some leisure time before catching a performance of the Big Apple Chorus at the lively South Street Seaport.
Afterward, you'll return to the hotel to freshen up before the celebratory Christmas Eve dinner at Tavern on the Green.
. Day 5: Tuesday. Christmas Day/Empire State Building
Morning you can relax or attend church services.
In the early afternoon, enjoy a Christmas Day tour of the Jewish Lower East Side. Highlights of the tour include a visit to Russ and Daughters, a fourth generation, family-owned establishment and major purveyor of smoked fish and caviar; a visit to the "Wall of Fame" and lunch at Katz's Deli, the site where actress Meg Ryan had her climactic scene in the hit film, "When Harry Met Sally."
Return to the hotel to prepare for your farewell Christmas dinner at the Rock Café in the heart of Rockefeller Center.
Tonight, ascend to the top of the Empire State Building to enjoy spectacular views of the famous New York City skyline.
. Day 6: Wednesday. Depart New York
Following breakfast at the hotel, transfer to one of the area's major airports for your return flight home. Should you prefer to spend the day exploring additional city sights or advancing the post-Christmas sales, opt to schedule a later departure flight.
Book early as this package will definitely sell out.
Ronnie Robertson is a travel consultant for Gadabout Travel. She can be reached at (321) 253-3674 or www.cruisetraveltours.com.