Ahh, mornings. One of the most exciting aspects of travel is waking up somewhere new – a window with a different view, a more indulgent breakfast to tuck into, countless thrills, and plenty of reasons to lay off the snooze button. Mornings, when traveling, somehow become friendlier, more energizing and more, well, open. All you have to do is make the most of your early wake-up time.
Start your day off right, and the rest of it will fall into place. Luckily, Opal hotels boast a myriad of top-notch early-morning experiences sure to get you out your hotel room quickly. From standout breakfasts to scenic yoga sessions, here are the best things to do before the clock strikes 12 (p.m.).
Famous Lodge Breakfast At Artisans | Stay at Lake Placid Lodge
Whether you’re a self-proclaimed morning person or a long-time night owl, there’s no better time than a vacation to wake up and smell the pancakes. At Artisans at Lake Placid Lodge, they’re the right balance of fluffy-crusty, served up with whipped butter and locally made maple syrup. Also noteworthy? The “Adirondack Sunrise,” a getup of farm-fresh eggs, bacon, ham and potatoes. And while yes, the food alone is enough to summon you to the table, you’ll also be treated to delicious views if you choose to eat your meal on the restaurant’s terrace.
Breakfast Basket | Stay at Belleview Inn
Like to grab and go with your breakfast? We’ve got you covered. Belleview Inn’s breakfast basket is perfectly conducive to transport and well-stocked with early-morning essentials like freshly baked muffins, croissants, and just-squeezed juice. Fuel up over morning chats on the veranda, or between pages of a dog-eared paperback on the property’s lush lawn. The best part? These goodies are delivered right to your door – which earns it a spot on our list for that convenience factor alone.
Let Nature Lead
Cadillac Mountain Sunrise | Stay at Harborside Hotel Spa & Marina
For lovers of celestial spectacles, Bar Harbor offers one of the best places for sky-gazing. (Residents here are some of the first in the country to see the sun peek its head in the horizon). Every day, sunrise chasers wake up bright and early to make the drive to the summit of Cadillac Mountain – the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard. It’s a wondrous scene: an expansive sky tinged with the deepest glow of tangerine and bubble-gum pink. Like your mornings quiet? Hike the Beehive Loop Trail for an equally colorful experience – sans the crowds.
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary | Stay at Edgewater Beach Hotel
A journey through the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary gives you an opportunity to embrace the whimsical charm abundant throughout the Western Everglades and tap into childlike curiosity across the 2.25-mile-long boardwalk through pine Flatwoods, wet prairie, marshland, and the largest old-growth Bald Cypress forest in North America. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day, guests are invited to experience the natural beauty of the ecosystems at play and encounter native wildlife including alligators, otters, and a wide variety of indigenous birds, all year round.
Forest Bathing | Stay at Lake Placid Lodge
If you’re looking for a more therapeutic experience, Opal destinations sure have a lot to offer by way of verdant scenery. Get still and listen to the call of the wild with the help of Adirondack Riverwalking – Lake Placid-based experts trained in outdoor-guided experiences that lead you through the meditative practice of forest bathing. As if your North East vacation wasn’t already relaxing enough, this Japanese practice, prescribed to help lower blood pressure and keep stress levels at bay, will help you bring you back into balance. Just what the doctor ordered.
Namaste – with a view
Sunrise Yoga | Stay at Opal Grand Resort
Staying in Delray Beach? Watch the morning rays creep across the sky while in a state of blissed-out tranquility. Every Saturday and Sunday at 7 a.m., Opal Grand Resort hosts a Sunrise Yoga class on the hotel pool deck. Don’t worry if you left your yoga mat back home; the resort provides all practitioners with yoga mats, towels and even a complimentary cup of tea.
Beach Yoga | Stay at Edgewater Beach Hotel
Anyone who’s ever attended a yoga class will tell you: It’s more than just a way to break a good sweat. Especially when said class takes place on the beach. At Edgewater Beach Hotel, you can forgo the studio and practice mindfulness right by the lapping waves. Every Saturday at 9 a.m., wellness practitioner Jennifer Khosla of Lean and Green Body leads a beginner-friendly yoga class (with modifications for more seasoned yogis); expect terrific ocean views punctuated by dolphins leaping out of the water.
Course of Nature
Sagamore Golf Course | Stay at The Sagamore Resort
Studies show that mornings (around 9 a.m.), are the best time to hit the links, as dictated by your body’s internal clock. Caught the golf bug at The Sagamore Resort? You’re in for a treat. Built under Donald Ross’s supervision, the 18-hole Sagamore Golf Course has been lauded as one of the finest in the state – and for good reason. Sprawling along a mountainous terrain, it boasts some incredible views from the get-go. A demanding layout of narrow fairways lined with hardwoods and severe bunkering will offer experienced players an invigorating challenge.
Sarasota Golf Courses | Stay at The Resort at Longboat Key Club
It doesn’t matter if you’re experienced or new to the game – golf is all about practice. That’s why the folks at The Resort at Longboat Key Club offer a handful of classes designed to make a better golfer out of you. Start your day with a 7:30 a.m. lesson led by a PGA teaching professional, and then tackle three scenic holes on the Blue Heron, which puts the deep blues of Sarasota Bay on full display. Alternatively, try the Three Club Tour Program, which focuses on different elements of your game: driver, putter, and wedge, or the hour-long Trackman Fitting, which guides you through 13 clubs and what they’re truly capable of.
Morning Sail, Snorkel & Kayak Excursion | Stay at Opal Key Resort & Marina
Your long-awaited vacation to the Florida Keys isn’t complete without spending ample time out on the water. So, hop aboard one of Danger Charters’ custom-made 65-foot schooners – realistic replicas of classic skipjacks originally used by the wreckers and fishermen of the 19th century. Set your alarm for sunrise, and join your captain for the day on a 4.5-hour-long Morning Half-Day Excursion. You’ll sail, snorkel, and kayak through the Key West National Wildlife Refuge, consisting of 13 islands including the Marquesas Keys.
Take a trip through time, and learn about the history of the Keys while snorkeling through sponge gardens, gliding over vibrant coral reefs and kayaking through one of the world’s top kayaking destinations. This all-inclusive trip provides you with watersports gear, snacks, and drinks to keep you properly fueled, and wine and beer for adults to enjoy on the sail back to shore.
A Fresh Start
The Summer GreenMarket | Stay at Delray Sands Resort
What better way to immerse yourself in a new destination than to experience it through the eyes (and taste buds) of a local? Roam through Downtown Delray’s open-air Green Market every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to stock up on local delicacies, connect with the community, and take in the symphony of live music and pleasant conversations on the lawn. Located in the iconic Old School Square Park, browse over 65 vendors offering seasonal produce, artisanal goods, fresh flowers, organic products, and unique treats.
The Third Street South Farmer’s Market | Stay at Edgewater Beach Hotel
You don’t have to venture far to find a farmer’s market near any Opal destination. Staying near Naples? The city’s weekly Farmer’s Market on 3rd Street South from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. is an excellent spot to scoop up made-in-Naples momentos worth making room in your suitcase for. Explore over 20 vendors offering pastries and baked goods, local produce, freshly cut flowers, dried tropical fruit, handmade jewelry, and more. Don’t leave without snagging a cup of specialty coffee and a made-from-scratch breakfast pastry from Tony’s Off Third. The establishment’s mixed berry scone is a particular hit among regulars – and will keep you satiated long into your afternoon beach trip.
Where to Stay | Belleview Inn | Delray Sands Resort | Edgewater Beach Hotel | Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina | Lake Placid Lodge | Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa | The Sagamore Resort | Samoset Resort | West Street Hotel | Opal Key Resort & Marina |