Hotel Design Expert Shares Three Simple and Sustainable Hacks to Improve Your Space and Your Mental Health

Social table at Canopy by Hilton Zagreb

By now, we’re all going a little stir crazy. As the year turns, so does our sudden itch for cleaning, gardening and taking on those “fixer-upper” projects that you’ve been putting off.

But refreshing your space doesn’t require leaving the house. You likely have some low-cost options right around you. A Hilton design expert is sharing some easy and sustainable ways to take on all the above while making your space more hospitable and in turn improving your mental health, a proven side effect.

Ashley Michaels, global design manager at Hilton, finds some of her inspiration on social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest. “Your home is your sanctuary and with all the extra time we’re spending at our houses, many of us have started to evaluate and look for small ways to improve our living spaces.” 

Here are a few DIY (do-it-yourself) projects and tips that anyone can take on while quarantined and keep your mind clear during your extra down time:

1. Aim for optimal feng shui (a practice that aims to balance the flow of energy in a space).

Although you may not be inviting guests to your home, that doesn’t mean your front entryway or living room can’t be as welcoming as a hotel lobby. Focusing on these areas of your house can easily create a happier and healthier space.

    • Declutter and make your rooms more open or well-lit. Studies have shown a link exists between clutter and the stress hormone cortisol. Reducing clutter can make a huge difference in your mood. “This is a popular concept for the reception and common areas at our hotels,” Michaels says. You can make a room more spacious by simply removing items or more inviting by adding a bit of natural sunlight. This also allows more positive energy to enter your home – a key element of feng shui.
    • Play around with your existing furniture and decor. “When designing for our hotels and brands, having flexible furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) means you can re-configure your room setups quickly,” Michaels says. This also applies at home; by moving around some interchangeable items including accent pillows or rugs – this can completely change the look of a room, as can updating your current “shelfie” situation with a different décor arrangement. For example, have you considered changing up some long-time photos and frames? Or rearranging your books by spine color rather than size? The options are endless and makes for a fun weekend project.
2. Upcycling: Repurpose items you already have.

A big focus area for Hilton’s design team is sustainability. From incorporating reclaimed wood elements to eco-friendly textiles, the team is always thinking of innovative ways for our guests to Travel with Purpose at our properties. (For example, check out the world’s first vegan suite at Hilton London Bankside.)

    • Give existing household items a new life. Too many towels? Does your kitchen utensil drawer overflow? In normal times, you might want to donate surplus items. But maybe now, they can serve a new design-inspired purpose. “Many of the donation centers are currently closed and yard sales or other marketplaces may feel a little too risky right now,” Michaels says. “What should you do with the items that you want to get rid of in the meantime? Making a hand-braided bathmat or tie-dying old towels can be your next creative at-home project.”
    • Liven up your video conference backgrounds. Why use a fake background when you can make the real thing look better? Try adding a fresh coat of paint to an old art frame or a piece of furniture, and think about creating an accent wall. Studies have shown that paint colors and décor can affect your mental health and overall wellness. Pro tip: if you’re looking to rearrange an existing gallery wall, many small businesses on Etsy also offer digital prints, so you can print yourself and use an existing frame.
3. Bring the outdoors indoors.

The inclusion of plants and greenery into a space has been proven to improve air quality and the mood of the people in a space. Our design teams have been incorporating this biophilia trend for years. Our living wall made from moss at the Hilton Downtown Cleveland is a great example of this.

    • Create your own herb garden. “An easy way to incorporate this into your home is to salvage some of your vegetable scraps, grab a shallow bowl of water, potting soil and find a sunny window,” Michaels says. “No green thumb required – you’ll be cutting down on food waste and the need to go grocery shopping.” This can create a small activity to keep you (or even your kids) busy!
    • Incorporate more greenery. Adding more flowers and easy-maintenance plants like succulents can add more color to your living space and provide you air purifying benefits for many months to come. If you’re looking to buy some new plants online, delivered straight to your door, The Sill is a convenient option.

“With our homes now being our offices, gyms and schools for our kids, it’s a great time to make it even more hospitable. By borrowing some of these design ideas you may see at our hotels, you can reimagine your space at your house, while practicing self-care.” said Michaels.

Where To Plan Your Next Travel Memory With Your Pet in 2021

One of the best ways Americans have sought comfort during the pandemic is by opening their homes to new furry friends. 2020 has been the unofficial “Year of the Dog,” as pet adoptions have increased astronomically, and many shelters and rescues working around the clock to keep up with the demand.

Now that the holidays are here, Americans are planning their next travel memory with the whole family, including their new fur babies. We rounded up the paw-fect places to stay if you are planning to hit the road this holiday season with your canine in tow (Note: Promotions and packages are based on availability).

Home2 Suites by HIlton

With more than 430 pet-friendly locations across the U.S., the road trip possibilities are endless when visiting Home2 Suites by Hilton. The best part? Your pooch will have ample space to cozy up with the whole family in the brand’s spacious suites, featuring fully accessorized kitchens, living areas and sleeping areas. Forget Fido’s favorite toy? Guests can notify the hotel in advance of their stay and the team will be happy to provide information on the nearest pet supply stores.

Canopy by Hilton

All Canopy by Hilton hotels in the Americas are dog-friendly, with the hope of expanding this offering more globally in the future. For travelers bringing their pup, rooms come equipped with a dog bed, water and food bowl along with a local guide featuring the top canine-friendly neighborhood spots. The brand also has a Paws Perks program for VIPs – Very Important Pups. As part of this offer, dogs receive a welcome gift that includes a BarkBox toy and all-natural treats upon check-in.

Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection by Hilton (Key Largo, Fla.)

Looking for a beachside getaway? Look no further than Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection by Hilton. The resort boasts an on-site husky as the Director of Pet Relations as well as a slew of canine offerings such as beachside tikis, custom lifejackets, marriage ceremonies and Paw Happy Hours complete with bacon flavored yappetizers, Dog Perignon Champagne and FetchMe Noir.

Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock (Sedona, Ariz.)

Pet lovers searching for the perfect pup-cation in the heart of red rock country can book Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock’s Pet Pals package. In addition to spacious accommodations, pets and their families will enjoy breakfast for two adults, a deluxe pet amenity bag and one 15-minute pet energy treatment with the resort’s energy therapist utilizing the healing powers of Sedona’s spiritual landscape.

Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead (Atlanta)

At the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead, guests can experience The Pawfect Stay. Perfect for furry friends, this package combines True Waldorf Service with custom pet-friendly amenities, including a dog leash, dog bed, furry meal packet (bowls with bottled water and treats) and a map highlighting dog-friendly parks throughout Atlanta.

Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Mission Valley/Zoo (San Diego)

Planning a road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway? Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Mission Valley/Zoo is the perfect landing spot. The dog-friendly hotel features spacious suites for your family to cozy up in, and the property is just minutes away from Ocean Beach, an ideal spot to play fetch or take a nice long walk with your pooch.

Hampton Inn by Hilton Key West (Key West, Fla.)

Don’t forget to bring Rover when visiting the Southernmost Point in the U.S. There are plenty of activities to bring the whole family (four-legged friends, included) – such as The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden and Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. After a long day of fun, unwind at Hampton Inn by Hilton Key West, where you and your pup will be greeted with a smile.

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton (Las Vegas)

Opening January 15, 2020, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton is the newest dog-friendly oasis in the desert. There’s no size or breed restrictions, and all dogs stay free. On top of that, the resort offers the following pet-menities for your pooch: a dog bed, food and water bowls, treats and a bandana.

To emphasize our commitment to the health and safety of guests, Hilton properties are participating in the Hilton CleanStay Program with Lysol Protection to deliver an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection. Guests who desire a contactless arrival experience can check in, choose their room, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check-out using their mobile devices through the free Hilton Honors mobile app. This option is available at more than 4,700 participating Hilton properties worldwide. Guests can book directly with Hilton through any official Hilton website or call center, the Hilton Honors app, at a Hilton property or through an accredited travel agent.

Terms and Conditions Apply. Hotels may require an additional pet fee and size limit. Pet fee and size limit vary by hotel and guests are encouraged to check their local property website for more information.

Best U.S. Hotels To Escape Winter

If you’re looking to trade in winter blues for ocean waves and sunny skies, you’re not alone. Whether you’re drawn to southern charm, desert skies or glistening beaches, I’m sharing the U.S. hotels that will turn dodging the cold into a true vacation. Here are my top picks for the best U.S. hotels to escape winter. 

1. Hilton west palm beach

Experience of the best of West Palm Beach during your stay at the Hilton West Palm Beach. The property is located in the heart of the city’s downtown area, with the world-famous Palm Beach waterfront just two miles away. Closer to home, the hotel is connected to the Palm Beach Convention Center and is within steps of Rosemary Square.

2. Embassy suites by hilton waikiki beach

If your ideal vacation is spending the day going from beach to pool and back again, you’ve come to the right place. Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk is located just one block from the surf and sand of Waikiki Beach. For a break from all the outdoor fun, the property is also located adjacent to the Waikiki Beach Walk, the area’s shopping and dining center. No stay in Hawaii is complete without seeing the sights, and Hawaii Convention Center, Waikiki Aquarium and Honolulu Zoo are all within a 10 minute drive.

3. Hilton Garden Inn Scottsdale old town

Shopping, dining and outdoor adventure- all of this awaits you during a visit to Scottsdale, AZ. Hilton Garden Inn Scottsdale Old Town is located just one mile from Scottsdale Fashion Square and is within footsteps of Old Town Scottsdale’s trendy restaurants, craft brew houses, upscale shopping, energetic nightclubs and unique shops. End a day of adventure in the hotel’s outdoor, resort-style pool and or by one of three fire pits.

4. home2 suites by hilton victorville

The Home2 Suites by Hilton Victorville is a great home base for traveling in the High Desert of California. This hotel is located within an hour of Calico, a true ghost town and relic of the Old West. You will also be near several beautiful parks your pets will love and just over an hour away from Big Bear Lake.

5. Homewood suites by hilton rocky mount

Escape to beautiful North Carolina this winter season. Experience the comforts of home at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Rocky Mount. You’ll be minutes from Rocky Mount’s downtown and if antiquing is your thing, there are several unique antique shops nearby.

Make life easier, and plan the to escape to warmer climates that you’ve been dreaming of. Tell us about it on social media at @Hilton! We can’t wait to follow along on all of your travels. Start exploring now at Hilton.com.

Best Hotels to Visit in 2021

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent most of 2020 getting just a little too familiar with the four walls of your home. Staycations and road trips offered brief changes of scenery, but for many months, so many of us have put dream trips on hold and celebrations on pause.

With 2021 comes a new year of promise, excitement and, for me at least, lots of travel planning. Whether you’re looking to get as far away as possible or you prefer to stick closer to home, here are some of the best hotels to visit in 2021 that you may also want to put on your radar.

1. The Art Hotel Denver, Curio Collection by Hilton

In the center of Denver’s art district sits The Art Hotel Denver, a beautiful new addition to Curio Collection by Hilton. This hotel fits right in with its surroundings, thanks to the curated art that lines the walls and the dazzling city views from the rooftop bar.

2. Hilton Garden Inn Monterrey Obispado

Located in part of Latin America’s tallest tower, Hilton Garden Inn Monterrey Obispado offers the best views of the city right outside your door. Dinner on the hotel’s restaurant terrace, shopping at Fashion Drive and exploring Galerias Monterrey makes this extraordinary stay a must for your next trip to Mexico.

3. Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia Center City

Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia Center City offers modern luxury at its finest. This renovated 19th-century hotel in the middle of the Midtown Village neighborhood puts you near Philly’s best and most historic spots. For another way to get around, explore the city via complimentary Canopy bikes.

4. Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta Buckhead

Contemporary comfort with a side of modern flair, Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta Buckhead is the perfect home base for your next stay in the ATL. “Location, location, location” has never been more true than with this hotel. It’s perfectly situated in the heart of the fashion district, just blocks from MARTA rail links to the airport and downtown.

5. Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach

A seaside retreat complete with relaxation, sophistication and inspiration waits for you atop a seaside bluff in Dana Point. At the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach, you’ll find oceanfront golf, three pools, a luxury spa and a private beach club for a taste of true coastal California luxury. Expected to open Jan. 2021.

6. Hampton Inn by Hilton Montreal Downtown & Homewood Suites by Hilton Montreal Downtown Dual-Brand

The new dual-branded Hampton Inn by Hilton Montreal Downtown and Homewood Suites by Hilton Montreal Downtown is located near Old Montreal surrounded by restaurants, museums and historic attractions. The property’s rooftop terrace or seasonal plunge pool are perfect places to wind down after a day of exploration. Hampton Inn by Hilton Montreal Downtown expected to open in June 2021.

7. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton

A mile away from the Las Vegas Strip and a short drive from McCarran International Airport, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton is the perfect place to call home base in “America’s Playground.” This desert retreat offers resort life at its finest, from lounging by winding pools to relaxing at the day spa. Guests can choose from the hotel’s numerous restaurants and bars, including the world-renowned Nobu. Expected to open Jan. 2021.

8. DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Waterfront

Set on the Swan River waterfront, DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Waterfront is situated near various attractions, landmarks and entertainment venues, including the iconic Bell Tower right next door. Before heading out to explore, stop by the hotel’s rooftop pool and bar to take in city views and listen to music. Opening Dec. 2020.

9. Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts

With five dining and drink venues, tranquil spa treatment rooms, three pools and more, Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts is the perfect year-round island oasis. Choose from beachfront rooms and villas, each with private terraces or balconies offering breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. Expected to open March 2021

10. Le Belgrand Hotel Paris Champs Elysées, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

On par with a city known for its beauty and history, the intimate Le Belgrand Hotel Paris Champs Elysées, Tapestry Collection by Hilton offers guests a true Parisian experience. Within walking distance of the city’s most visited landmarks, the hotel is central to some of the best attractions Paris has to offer. Expected to open Feb. 2021.

Where are you excited to travel to in the new year? Tell us about it on social media at @Hilton! We can’t wait to follow along on all of your travels. Start exploring now at Hilton.com.

6 Spooky Backstories at Hilton Properties for Halloween

It’s officially #spookyseason! October is in full swing, bringing with it the excitement of choosing the perfect Halloween costume, planning socially-distanced fall outings, enjoying pumpkin-flavored eats and drinks, and of course, telling ghost stories.

Luckily, if you enjoy a spooky presence, Hilton’s got a few great ghost stories from our 100+ year history. For more paranormal activity, read on (if you dare!)

1. The Seelbach Hilton

This hotel is perhaps most famous for inspiring the location of Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s wedding in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. However, there is more to this historic Kentucky property than its literary fame.

In 1987, two Team Members reported separate sightings, minutes apart, of a lady with long dark hair wearing a blue chiffon dress walk into the elevator. In both reports, the doors to the elevator were never open. Shortly after these sightings, the onsite team found a newspaper article from 1936 at the local library that helped explain the mystery.

According to the article, a lady working at the Starks building across the street went to the Seelbach Hotel to meet her husband. He, unfortunately, was killed on his way to the hotel. She was so upset when she heard the news that she threw herself down the hotel’s elevator shaft, while wearing a long blue chiffon dress.

Today, The Seelbach Hilton honors its “resident ghost” with a craft beer named after her, the Lady in Blue, a blueberry lager.

2. The Emily Morgan San Antonio, a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel

There is a reason USA Today declared this the 3rd most haunted hotel in the world in 2015, and Travel + Leisure named it among the most haunted hotels in America.

Once used as a hospital, the most haunted floors are said to be the seventh, ninth and fourteenth.

“We have a Hilton Team Member who was staying overnight and experienced her bathtub filling with blue water,” despite not turning on the tap. “They checked the lock, but no one had entered the room,” added Emily Morgan’s General Manager, Kole Siefken. Room Attendants have stated that after making the bed and turning their back, they would find all the pillows on the ground, and others have said lights flicker or say that the TV comes on for no reason.

3. The Hotel Alex Johnson, Curio Collection by Hilton

The historic Hotel Alex Johnson is known as one of the most haunted places in South Dakota. The SyFy Channel’s show “Ghost Hunters” traveled to Rapid City to do a special segment on the hotel, and the investigators reported that they experienced significant paranormal activity.

The most famous ghost story is of the Lady in White. During the 1970s, it was reported that a young bride committed suicide by flinging herself out the window of room 812. Those that knew the young woman insisted there was foul play, stating that she was much too happy and friendly to commit such an act. Yet, no one was ever convicted of her murder and the suicide ruling stood firm.

Today, guests claim the young bride wanders the halls of the eighth floor in a white gown, but the hotel is proud of its haunted heritage: guests can book a “Ghost Package” to stay in room 812, complete with a K2 meter (ghost detector) and record their encounters in a “Haunted Stories” book at its front desk!

4. Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Utica

This property was built in 1912 as the first luxury hotel between New York City and Buffalo, serving as a place to stay when people traveled to or from major cities on the East Coast.  However, before becoming a DoubleTree by Hilton, the property also served as an adult care facility in the 1980s, and some claim the former residents now linger as ghosts.

According to Lee Arthur, the hotel’s General Manager, “just last year, guests noticed a blue light orb floating in mid-air in front of them and watched it move across the bedroom.” She added, “They said they didn’t feel scared or threatened but actually enjoyed what they were seeing which was pretty neat for the hotel team.”

5. Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

Now this one isn’t your average hotel haunting! In 1957, Elvis Presley came to Hawaii for the very first time, and stayed in the Hawaiian Village’s Ali’i Tower. (It would not become a Hilton until 1961). Elvis enjoyed his time in Hawaii and came back to the Hilton Hawaiian Village whenever he was performing at a concert or a charitable event in Hawaii, until about 1976.

After he passed away in 1977, there have been several incidents reported by housekeepers of seeing a man in white with dark black hair on the 14th floor, which is where Mr. Presley preferred to stay in the hotel’s fittingly named “King Suite”.

Once such incident reported by a housekeeper, was that she was cleaning the King Suite on the 14th floor when she caught a glimpse of a man with dark hair on the balcony of the suite. She checked to see if the room was occupied, but discovered that the room’s last occupants were a mother and daughter who had checked out the evening prior. Others reported seeing a man in white with dark hair at the end of a hallway, but when they turned away and then looked back the man was gone.

6. Hotel Del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton

As the legend tells it, a young woman named Kate Morgan was found dead from an apparent suicide at San Diego’s legendary Hotel Del Coronado in 1892. Today, Kate’s spirit seems to have remained at The Del, where Team Members claim she sometimes visits her former guestroom. But her beautiful vision – and ghostly pranks – can be experienced throughout the rambling resort and grounds.

As described in the hotel-published book Beautiful Stranger: The Ghost of Kate Morgan and the Hotel del Coronado, “guests in Kate’s room report everything from breezes that come from nowhere to having to deal with a television set that turns on and off by itself.” The book can be purchased in the hotel’s gift shop.

The hotel offers a year-round Ghost Tour (temporarily closed due to Covid precautions), as well as a Ghost Roast experience in October.

 

Are you courageous enough to spend a night in one of the hotels mentioned above? Book your next Hilton visit now to experience your own spooky stay this season, and happy Halloween!

 

7 Outdoor, Socially-Distanced Activities For Fall

Can you believe it’s already fall?! Kids are back in school (albeit remotely in many places), pumpkin spice everything is flowing at your favorite coffee shop, and many travelers are now thinking about how best to participate in outdoor, socially-distanced fall activities.

While this year’s autumn may look different than most, there’s still a ton of fun fall activities that you can do to safely celebrate the season. Here are our top picks for great events around the US, all of which would make a great long weekend!

1. Pack a Camera and go Leaf-Peeping
The Love Temple at the Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

The trees are often the first harbinger of the change of seasons, with vibrant greens melting into reds and golds. While many areas of the country offer great leaf peeping, we love the fall foliage of the Northeast the best. A visit to the Brandywine Valley in Pennsylvania’s Chester County is a great choice, where the spacious Longwood Gardens providing the ultimate viewing locale.

Where to Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Kennett Square

2. Pick your Own Fruit at a local farm or orchard
Hampton Inn Fishkill is just a few minutes from the Fishkill Farms, New York

There’s nothing like the fun of picking your own apples, or getting to try the many home-baked goodies on offer at most orchards. Just an hour and a half outside the Big Apple, you’ll find all the different varieties of apples you could want at Fishkill Farms. They’re offering reservations for pick-your-own through October, to help ensure a socially distanced experience.

Where to Stay: Hampton Inn Fishkill

3. Enjoy a wine tasting at a vineyard
The Morris Vineyards are close to many large metro areas including Atlanta, Nashville, and Chattanooga

While wildfires in California have left much of that state’s wine region currently off-limits, there are many vineyards and wineries worth visiting across the country. Roughly halfway between Nashville and Atlanta, and in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains, you’ll find one such locale: Morris Vineyards, which produces 19 different varieties.

Where to Stay: Hampton Inn Cleveland, TN

4.  Support Local at an Outdoor Farmers Market
A mountain view patio at the Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder

Farmer’s markets present an excellent opportunity to get to know a new area and learn the area’s cuisine. One of the largest farmer’s markets in the country can be found in Santa Fe, New Mexico, held at the historic Santa Fe railyard on Saturdays and Tuesdays. There you’ll find all manner of fresh and prepared foods, including the region’s signature spice: chiles.

Where to Stay: Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder

5. Visit a Drive-Thru State Fair
Big Tex greets visitors at the State Fair of Texas

While many State Fairs have been forced to cancel or postpoint their 2020 dates, others like Texas and South Carolina have taken a more innovative approach: a drive-thru state fair. In Dallas, where the State Fair of Texas is held annually, your drive-thru ticket includes a photo with Big Tex, fair favorite food offerings, and a chance to drive by the many festive displays.

Where to Stay: The Statler, Curio Collection by Hilton

6. Pick out the perfect Pumpkin at a Pumpkin Patch
Spendy your day at an epic pumpkin patch, then relax the evening away at the fire pit

Ever since Charlie Brown discovered the Great Pumpkin, seeking your own perfect Jack-o-Lantern-to-be each autumn has become many a family’s annual tradition. At Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm, less than an hour outside of Chicago, guests can enjoy pumpkin-themed treats, carnival style games, and an epic hay maze — or stay until the evening when the farm shifts to host a haunted house.

Where to Stay: Home2 Suites by Hilton Joliet Plainfield

7. Go Stargazing with Someone You Love
Look up to see rarely-seen astrological happenings of October

This fall is also a great chance to look to the heavens, as October marks one of the best chances to view Mars in many years. According to Space.com, “The Red Planet arrives at opposition to the Sun on Oct. 13, in the zodiacal constellation of Pisces, visible from dusk to dawn and shining at an eye-popping magnitude of -2.6, a full three times brighter than Sirius; brighter than even mighty Jupiter!” Set up your telescope at one of the many International Dark Sky Parks just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah for an excellent view.

Where to Stay: The Peery Salt Lake City Downtown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Where To Stay On Your Next National Park Vacation

We have a confession to make: many of us at HIlton are *obsessed* with our U.S. National Parks. It’s not at all uncommon to spy a scratch-off travel map of which National Parks someone has visited on any HIlton Team Members’ desk, and more than a few Hilton Team Members have competitions going to see who can fill up their National Park Passport the quickest.

So take it from us — we know all the best spots to stay in order to have a truly great National Park experience. Here are some of our favorites below!

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Smoky Mountains form a portion of the Appalachian Chain

Located along the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was dedicated in 1940, and explorers have been visiting the park ever since. Notably, the famed Appalachian Trail crisscrosses the park’s borders, while Rainbow Falls and Roaring Forms are some of the other popular attractions visitors often rave about.

Where to Stay:

2. Canyonlands & Arches National Parks
The hike to Delicate Arch vista in Arches National Park.

With both parks just a short drive outside the town of Moab, Utah, you can get double the NPS goodness with a visit out West to see these beauties. Known for their stunning rock formations, some of the most famous hikes include Mesa Arch and Island in the Sky in Canyonlands, and the Windows section of Arches.

Where to Stay:

3. Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon’s endless views

Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon has long been considered one of the ultimate must-visit destinations in the United States. While the North Rim is home to some of most challenging hikes you’ll find in any National Park, the South Rim is more beginner-friendly, with a Visitor Center and several scenic vistas that you can drive to.

Where to Stay:

4. Rocky Mountain National Park
A mountain lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park

With five unique geographical regions all encompassed within the park’s borders, you can find something for everyone within Rocky Mountain National Park. Hiking, rock climbing, and fishing are all popular summertime activities at the park, while winter visitors are able to participate in snow sports like skiing and snowshoeing.

Where to Stay:

5. Acadia National Park
The Hampton Inn Bar Harbor lies just 3 minutes outside the entrance to Acadia National Park

Called “the Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast,” Acadia National Park in Maine combines the forest and the coast in a magnificent setting.  Touring the park by car is a popular activity, especially in the fall, when “leaf-peepers” come to see the breathtaking fall foliage. For those hoping to explore more in-depth

Where To Stay:

Are you thinking of visiting a National Park this year? Tell us about it on social media, by following @Hilton!

Best Beach Destinations Near DC

When the humidity crosses 90% and you feel like you’ve forgotten what it’s like not to be sweating, the beach may feel like it’s a million miles away. But with several great coastal getaways just a short drive away from DC, there’s still time to cap off your summer with a beach vacation.

Here are our picks for the best beach destinations close to DC – tell us if we picked one of your faves on social media using #hiltonatthebeach.

1. Ocean City, Maryland

Ocean City feels like a quintessential East Coast beach town, complete with a wooden boardwalk lined with restaurants and shopping, plus amusement rides and carnival-like attractions for kids. It’s no wonder it’s been drawing families for decades.

Where to Stay: Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites

2. Virginia Beach, Virginia

History comes to life in Virginia Beach, where you can take a break from the sun and surf to take in the country’s backstory: nearby First Landing State Park tells the story of the Jamestown colonists who first arrived to this area in 1607 through nature trails and interactive displays.

Where to Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront South

3. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Just a couple hours outside the city lies Rehoboth Beach, where DC residents have been retreating for vacations since 1873, when the first camping area was established. All those visitors across the years have helped earn the area its motto as the “Nation’s Summer Capital.”

Where to Stay: Hampton Inn Rehoboth Beach

4. Chincoteague Island, Virginia

If crowded beaches and bustling boardwalks just don’t sound relaxing to you, then look to Chincoteague for a more relaxed pace.  Don’t miss a stop at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge to catch a glimpse of the ponies that still run wild on the island.

Where to Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Chincoteague-Waterfront

5 Best Beach Destinations From Alabama

There’s nothing like some time along the Gulf Coast to recharge your batteries and make you feel human again. And with more than 60 miles of shoreline across the state plus easy access to the panhandle of Florida, Alabama is one of the best spots in the country to take in the sand and surf.

Check out our picks for the top five Alabama & North Florida beaches and let us know if you agree on social media using #hiltonatthebeach.

1. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores is simply one of the all-around best family beach destinations in the entire country. While there’s plenty of sand and surf to go around, a wealth of other activities including nature trails, water parks, ziplining and more are also found in this haven for summer fun.

Where to Stay: The Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel

2. Orange Beach, Alabama

Just up the coast from Gulf Shores lies the equally entertaining Orange Beach. After a day in the sand, unwind with shopping and dining galore at The Wharf, located nearby.

Where to Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach/Gulf Front

3. Pensacola Beach, Florida

Known equally for its sugar white sand beaches and its long military importance, Pensacola Beach will delight history buffs as the home to historic Fort Pickens and the National Naval Aviation Museum.

Where to stay: Hilton Pensacola Beach

4. Fort Walton, Florida

Just an hour from the Florida-Alabama state line, you’ll discover Ft. Walton Beach. Wildlife lovers in particular will enjoy exploring the area’s natural inhabitants like dolphins, rays, and alligators at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park.

Where to Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Ft. Walton Beach

5. Destin, Florida

Golf lovers will rejoice in the panhandle community of Destin where vacationers can easily split their time between hitting the beach and hitting the links.  The area’s well-known seafood restaurants ensure that however you spend your day, you can end it with a fantastic meal.

Where to Stay: Embassy Suites by Hilton Destin Miramar Beach

Best Beach Destinations in Georgia

As longtime residents know, the Georgia coast is filled with history, tradition, and fun. If you’re looking for a great spot to getaway before the summer officially comes to a close, look no further than the state’s coastal backyard to see our picks for the top beaches in Georgia.

Which one is your fave? Tell us on social media using #hiltonatthebeach.

1. Tybee Island

If you’re looking for a vacation that balances beach time with fine dining, art, and nightlife, then look no further than Tybee Island. Less than 30 minutes from bustling Savannah, you can enjoy the comforts of the city while still taking in some sun and sand at the beach.

Where to Stay:  The Cotton Sail Hotel Savannah, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

2. Cumberland Island

Steeped in American history and home to wild horses, this barrier island is all about reconnecting with nature. While development is intentionally sparse on the island itself to preserve the majestic landscape, you’ll find hotels and other attractions like the Crooked River State Park and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge just a short drive away.

Where to Stay: Hampton Inn Kingsland

3. Jekyll Island

The sunsets are legendary at Jekyll Island, where pinks and oranges light up the horizon nearly every evening. The Southernmost destination among Georgia’s “Golden Isles,” Jekyll is less touristy and crowded than some of its northern cousins.

Where to Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island

4. St. Simons Island
Sun bathe by our outdoor pool.

King Beach and Prince Beach are two of the local favorite stretches of sand on St. Simons Island where you’ll also find excellent fishing from the St. Simons Island Pier. In the right months, you can even partake in whale watching.

Where to Stay: Home2 Suites by Hilton St. Simons Island

5 Best Beach Destinations in the Carolinas

With miles of white sand beaches, barrier islands, and unspoiled natural beauty, there’s nowhere like the Carolina coast for an amazing beach vacation. Whether you prefer the popular spots like Myrtle Beach or the secluded getaways like the Outer Banks, you’re sure to find a spot for every beachgoer.

Our top picks for Carolina beaches are below, but we want to know your favorites as well. Tell us what we missed using #hiltonaththebeach on social media.

1. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
The beach lies just beyond the oceanfront pool at The Ocean Oak Resort by Hilton Grand Vacations
The beach lies just beyond the oceanfront pool at The Ocean Oak Resort by Hilton Grand Vacations

This lowcountry vacation spot is known for more than just its pristine beaches – its golf courses are equally famous. Whether you’re hitting the sand or hitting the links, a great place to stay at the end of the day is a must.

Where to Stay: Ocean Oak Resort by Hilton Grand Vacations

2. Folly Beach, Charleston, South Carolina
The Embassy Suites by Hilton Charleston Historic District is located in a restored former Citadel Military College
The Embassy Suites by Hilton Charleston Historic District is located in a restored former Citadel Military College

Just outside the city of Charleston you’ve got one of the nicest stretches of white sand anywhere on the East Coast. Pack a picnic lunch with foodie delights from the City, and you’ll be sure to have a great day.

Where to Stay: Embassy Suites by Hilton Charleston Historic District

3. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Sunset at the beach at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront
Sunset at the beach at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront

Popular with both spring breakers and families, Myrtle Beach is a quintessential Atlantic beach town complete with a boardwalk, great seafood, and plenty of seaside shopping.

Where to Stay: DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront

4. Outer Banks, North Carolina

A beachview balcony room at the Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk

If you’d rather avoid the big crowds and reconnect with nature on your beach vacation, head out to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The gentle dunes and swaying seagrass will easily melt stress away.

Where to Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk

5. Carolina Beach, North Carolina

A balcony overlooking the boardwalk at the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Carolina Beach Oceanfront

With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Cape Fear River on the other, Carolina Beach is the perfect spot for fishermen to test  their lures and their nerves in an effort to catch “the big one.”

Where to Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Carolina Beach Oceanfront

5 Best Beach Destinations in California

Beach towels? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Flip flops? Check! Californians know how to do beach time better than almost anyone, and we’re letting you in on the best beach getaways in the Golden State.

Check out our picks for five of the best California beaches, and let us know your favorites on social media using #hiltonatthebeach.

1. Coronado Beach, San Diego
The famous Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton and its namesake beach
The famous Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton and its namesake beach

If you’re looking for a beach that makes you feel like a celebrity, then look no further: this hotel & beach were featured in 1950s classic film Some Like It Hot. Some folks even claim the beach glitters, as a result of special minerals found in the sand.

Where to Stay: Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton

2. Santa Barbara
Between the beach and the mountains lies the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Between the beach and the mountains lies the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort

Dubbed “America’s Riviera” for the Mediterranean style architecture and red tiled roofs you’ll find surrounding this beach city, Santa Barbara offers a wealth of great beaches. And when you’re done with the sand and surf, you can also visit the numerous wineries located nearby.

Where to Stay: Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort

3. La Jolla
An ocean view one bedroom suite at the Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton
An ocean view one bedroom suite at the Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton

Golf aficionados will recognize La Jolla’s rugged coast as the backdrop to some of Torrey Pines’ most famous holes. But even non-golfers can take in the magnificent view over La Jolla’s nearby Shell Beach.

Where to Stay: Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton

4. Carlsbad Beach
The pool and the beach at the Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach
The pool and the beach at the Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach

If you want to try your hand at surfing, Carlsbad is the place to be. Here, the waves are gentle but challenging – a perfect place for a beginner to learn.

Where to Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach

5. Huntington Beach
Sunset over the beach at The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel
Sunset over the beach at The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel

Just South of Los Angeles in California’s famed Orange County, you’ll discover Huntington Beach, where an active lifestyle is par for the course. Enjoy beach volleyball or try your hand at surfing, then have a jog or bike-ride along the 3.5 mile Huntington Beach Bike Trail.

Where to Stay: The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel