What mom wouldn't love to be able to casually bring up in conversation the time her daughter brought her to New York?
Mothers always say they don't care where they go--they're content just spending time with their kids. They're lying. Here are four reliable destinations:
The combination of hospitable people, cobblestone streets, old buildings--more than 600 date from before the 1840s--and an overall genteel atmosphere makes Charleston, S.C., a perennial favorite for anyone who appreciates elegance and good manners. And then there are the surrounding Low Country's plantations and gardens. Among them: Magnolia Plantation, dating to the 1670s, has one of the nation's largest collections of azaleas and camellias; and Middleton Place is the site of 65 acres of landscaped terraces and ponds, as well as a stately pre-Revolutionary guest home. Where to stay: Ashley Inn, 201 Ashley Ave., 800/581-6658, doubles from $108.
If the groovy assortment of astrologers, hypnotherapists, and spiritual healers doesn't nudge you into slowing down, the deep green forests and red-orange buttes, mesas, and massive rock formations encircling the New Agey Arizona town usually do the trick. Where to stay: Sky Ranch Lodge, Airport Rd., 928/282-6400, skyranchlodge.com, doubles from $75.
Whether you're checking out the seals and surfers from a bluff in upscale La Jolla, digging into a taco at a funky Mission Boulevard restaurant, or just soaking up the impossibly perfect weather, it's easy to see why San Diego is regularly billed as one of the country's most desirable places to live. And when you and Mom have had it with chilling out and want to get wild, Tijuana is only 20 miles south! (Or maybe not.) Where to stay: The Bed & Breakfast Inn at La Jolla, 7753 Draper Ave., 800/582-2466, innlajolla.com, doubles from $179.
New York City
What mom wouldn't love to be able to casually bring up in conversation the time her daughter brought her to New York? The Broadway show, the shopping, the time you spotted Matthew Broderick...A trip to the Big Apple gives moms serious bragging rights--and scores huge points for daughters. Where to stay: Abingdon Guest House, 21 Eighth Ave., 212/243-5384, abingdonguesthouse.com, doubles from $164.