Need-to-know travel news
GO: Venture 90 miles off the Florida coast with Abercrombie & Kent's new 10-day Cuba: People to People excursions. On this once-pariah island, immerse yourself in the culture while exploring Havana, Caibarién (on the isle's north side), and the lush farmland of Viñales. From $5,995. 800-554-7094; abercrombiekent.com/cuba
DO: Strap yourself into a whirlybird for splendid views of Scottsdale and Arizona's Sonoran Desert with new airborne tours from Arizona Helicopter Adventures. Look down on Paradise Valley, McDowell Mountain, Saguaro Lake, and more aboard scenic flights lasting from 15 to 60 minutes. From $99. 800-282-5141; azheli.com
FLY: Ireland's national airline, Aer Lingus, expands its North American routes in 2014 with a year-round direct flight from San Francisco to Dublin, year-round flights from the East Coast to Shannon, and year-round service from Toronto to Dublin. 516-622-4222; aerlingus.com
SEE: Striking glass art and fine jewelry shine in two exhibitions at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (212-535-7710; metmuseum.org) this winter:
• Venetian Glass by Carlo Scarpa: The Venini Company, 1932-1947 showcases nearly 300 eye-catching pieces that Scarpa helped create before the Italian rose to prominence as an architect. Through March 2.
• Jewels by JAR sparkles with more than 400 beauties from Paris-based Joel A. Rosenthal, one of the most acclaimed jewelry designers of our time. Through March 9.
EAT: The Mile High City's popular Root Down restaurant has opened a second outpost at Denver International Airport. In Concourse C, nosh on lighter fare than you expect preflight, with many vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. 303-342-6959; rootdowndenver.com
DRINK: Sample pinot noirs and other fine wines in the new 5,000-square-foot tasting room at the Sokol Blosser Winery in Oregon's Dundee Hills in the vineyard-rich Willamette Valley. The strikingly designed facility offers visitors variety, with eight tasting areas - some indoor, some outdoor; some casual, some luxurious; some intimate, some open. 800-582-6668; sokolblosser.com
SLEEP: If you've stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples on Florida's Gulf Coast, you won't recognize it now. After a two-month shutdown for a multimillion-dollar "remastering" project, the hotel reopened in October, unveiling dramatic new looks in its 450 rooms and in three dining outlets and a ballroom. From $999. 800-241-3333; ritzcarlton.com
Choose from two luxury lodging options on Costa Rica's Papagayo peninsula:
• The growing Andaz brand makes its Latin American debut with its 153-room Andaz Peninsula Papagayo, on 28 waterfront acres overlooking the Bay of Culebra. From $450. 800-233-1234; andazpapagayo.com
• For private rentals only, the 30,000-square-foot Villa Manzu accommodates up to 22 people in eight suites. It sits atop 5 lush acres with 180-degree sea views. From $15,000 per night for 14, mostly all-inclusive. 949-264-1509; villamanzu.com