Howard County answers: What's your favorite winter getaway?

For Howard Magazine

Three notable Howard County residents dish on where they go in the winter:

Rob Farmer

Columbia Scuba manager

Rob Farmer’s favorite winter getaway is Bonaire, a Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela that he says is “the best place on the planet to go night diving.”

“It’s not a typical tropical isle, it’s a desert isle with salt flats,” he says. “And the biodiversity on the almost pristine coral reefs is immense.”

Farmer finds the destination — known as “the island of diving freedom” — wild, welcoming, safe to wander around in and stunningly gorgeous. It is also home to some of the best restaurants (and better Italian food than in Italy) that he’s found in the world.

Kerry G. Johnson

Art director and illustrator

Although artist Kerry G. Johnson and his wife, Tawanda Johnson, love warm weather, their favorite winter getaway is The Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania.

Tawanda likes to go to spas, Kerry says, and the crisp wintry weather, beautifully manicured landscapes, an open fire where guests can make s’mores and a couples’ chocolate spa, not to mention delicious local fare such as Pennsylvania chicken that is “easy to get to and easy on the budget.”

“When we walked through the place all decorated with lights, mistletoe, wreaths and Christmas trees, it was so beautiful we didn’t want to come home,” he says.

Toby Orenstein

Toby’s Dinner Theatre owner

Toby Orenstein says she heads for the Manhattan Club in the Theater District in New York City as a winter getaway.

“I like to catch up with all the shows and see old friends and people who’ve worked here” at Toby’s Dinner Theatre, she says. “I love to go see them in plays and go out to dinner or have a drink with them afterwards — it’s such a good feeling.”

She’s looking forward to catching up with friends in “Pretty Woman,” “Kinky Boots” and other musicals, and says she also loves running around the city to see the holiday window displays.

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