Biking Buenos Aires offers tours throughout the city
Lucas Bois

2. BUENOS AIRES
Though the Argentine capital evokes images of tango dancing, Belle Epoque architecture, and an easy Paris-by-way-of-South-America chic, it is not thought of as a place for healthy living and eating (the locals love their beef, after all). But vegetarians (and even vegans) will find a warm welcome in Buenos Aires these days, as a recent crop of natural and healthful spots, often more casual, are pushing plenty of greens, quinoa, and tofu. Bio (biorestaurant.com.ar), opened in 2003 in Palermo Hollywood, was arguably the first, but other natural and veggie-friendly eateries such as Artemisia, which boasts two locations in Palermo Hollywood as well, and Arevalito, a pint-sized café that serves up incredibly fresh and homey pastas and sandwiches, quickly followed. Absolutely not to be missed, however, is dinner at Casa Felix (colectivofelix.com/casa-felix), essentially a supper club in the lovely home of chef Diego Felix and his wife, Sanra, who host a small group of guests nightly, beginning with a tour of their herb garden and cocktails and concluding with a five-course tasting meal (it can be vegan upon request). Consider using bespoke travel company Blue Parallel (blueparallel.com) to arrange a stay in a villa with a personal chef at your service. 

PLAY: As in many major cities, bike sharing has also taken off here in the last few years — with a catchy slogan to match: “Buenos Aires, mejor en bici” which translates to “Buenos Aires, better by bike.” And companies such as Biking Buenos Aires (bikingbuenosaires.com) run themed architecture and graffiti bike tours of the city as well as private tours.  BY TANVI CHHEDA



3. CALGARY
Hiking at Banff National Park
Design Pics Corey Hochachka/Getty Images
Before the 1988 Winter Olympics — before figure skater Katarina Witt took gold, Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards took to the ski jump, and the Jamaican bobsled team took to the iced track — Calgary was an unheralded prairie town, albeit with a booming oil business, on the cusp of the majestic Canadian Rockies. Post-Olympics, athletes and outdoor lovers alike have embraced Alberta’s largest city, the former for the winter training facilities that have produced Olympians ever since, and the latter for the glories of the mountains nearby.

Many venues built for the ’88 Games now offer public access, including the Olympic Oval on the campus of the University of Calgary, with public rink time, as well as an indoor running track.  Sixty miles west, Canmore, site of Nordic events, has become a wellness resort all its own, hosting the Canmore Nordic Centre with more than 70 kilometers (44 miles) of cross-country skiing trails as well as a new aquatic center and indoor climbing wall at Elevation Place, and Solara Resort & Spa (solararesort.ca), offering physiotherapy and naturopathic  medicine as well as massages and overnights.

Just 20 miles up the road from Canmore, Banff developed around the warm springs discovered in 1883 by railway construction workers, a find that gave birth to the surrounding Banff National Park. Now more than 1,000 miles of hiking trails edge glacial lakes, ascend snowcapped peaks, and reach waterfalls gushing from rock cliffs. Winter transforms the landscape but doesn’t deter adventurers who come not just to downhill and snowshoe, but to go ice climbing and ice canyon walking (try them with Banff Adventures Unlimited, banffadventures.com).

Warm down in the original Banff Upper Hot Springs in view of the surrounding range, just uphill from The Fairmont Banff Springs (fairmont.com/banff-springs), home to rival mineral pools, waterfalls, saunas, and steam rooms. Gold medal attractions, all.  — E.G.