What more do you want in a getaway than happiness? Well, today a group of researchers released the first-ever World Happiness Report, which studied 13 years of data to determine the happiest countries in the world. Spoiler alert: America didn't make the top 10 (it's at No. 19, sandwiched between Belgium and the Czech Republic). While we may not be able to pick up our lives and move to Scandinavia-whose countries nabbed the top three spots-we can plan our next vacation there. To get the inspiration rolling, I've scouted out dreamy accommodations in each of the top 10. Check out these picks-and perhaps even book a last-minute getaway. See, aren't you feeling happier already?
All of you feeling down because of winter weather have no excuse: Finland, the northernmost country in Scandinavia-which borders the Arctic Circle-nabbed the top spot in the report. Though there's plenty to see and do in the Finnish capital of Helsinki (shown above), in the south of the country, I'm more interested in a trip to magical Lapland, specifically the magical TreeHouse Hotel in Rovaniemi, also known as Santa Claus Village.
BOOK NOW TreeHouse Hotel, Finland; TripAdvisor
The next country on the list should come as little surprise: The land of hygge has been topping happiness polls for years. Can we take a moment to note the strong correlation between national happiness and belief in the importance of good design, please? As far as visiting, you'd be remiss too skip Denmark's capital city of Copenhagen, which is full of great food (in fact, the best in the world) shopping (the Hay House, HQ of the beloved Hay brand, is a must-see), and, of course, accommodation. Get a dose of the best of Danish design at the Hotel Sanders.
BOOK NOW Hotel Sanders, Denmark; TripAdvisor
The land of Vikings and fjords clocks in next on the list. Like its slightly more northern neighbors, Norway also has a solid reputation for both good design and natural beauty. Our dream Norwegian vacation would involve a trip to the insanely picturesque (proof here) fjord-side town of Flam, where red-and-white buildings dot green countryside surrounded by mountains. Stay at the Fretheim Hotel for picturesque views.
BOOK NOW Fretheim Hotel, Norway; TripAdvisor
If you can't make it all the way to Scandinavia for your dose of happiness, this island nation in the middle of the Atlantic is a short trip from the U.S. Lagoons, waterfalls, and glaciers make the countryside look absolutely otherworldly, while the capital of Reykjavik is an easy town to see in just a day or two. Get a taste of the nation's passion for nature and sustainability (and maybe a glimpse of the Northern Lights!) at the Ion Adventure Hotel, located in the proudly self-proclaimed "middle of nowhere."
BOOK NOW Ion Adventure Hotel, Iceland; TripAdvisor
Who wouldn't be happy strolling to work along Amsterdam's picturesque canals? Instead of staying at a traditional hotel or rental, check in at the Pulitzer, comprised of 25 canal-side houses. You'll probably want to move in.
BOOK NOW Pulitzer Hotel, Netherlands; TripAdvisor
There's something to be said for not choosing sides. The famously neutral country clocks in next on the list, and it's easy to see why. The country's gorgeous alps, historic cities, and wide lakes make for fairytale surroundings in the winter and stunning fields of flowers and cows in the summer. Cozy up at this mountainside cabin to disconnect and take in all the mountainside beauty.
BOOK NOW Engelberg Airbnbs
...And we're back to Scandinavia, where the land of IKEA clocks in at No. 7. Though the Swedish countryside is nearly as breathtaking as the Swiss, I'd send first-time visitors to Stockholm, a city whose small size belies its abundance of historic architecture, great food, and incredible design shopping. Stay at the waterfront Hotel Diplomat and you'll be just a few steps away from Svenskt Tenn, Sweden's most famous design store, where you'll be blown away with the offerings by Josef Frank and other talented Swedes.
BOOK NOW Hotel Diplomat, Sweden; TripAdvisor
8. New Zealand
Meanwhile, across the globe, Kiwis are living their best lives in yet another destination renowned for its stunning natural beauty. This Airbnb in Queenstown overlooking Lake Wakatipu is so good it was one of Airbnb's most liked homes on Instagram last year.
BOOK NOW LUC 22 Alpine Retreat, New Zealand; Airbnb
Next up on the list: Our neighbors to the north. Our dream vacation there would be a wintertime trip to Quebec-which basically feels like a European getaway just a few hours away.
BOOK NOW Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Canada; TripAdvisor
The hills are alive...with a whole lot of happy residents, apparently. The Von Trapp family's spirit seems alive and well in the small country, where happiness is in the top ten in the world despite its modest population. The Sound of Music fans will love staying in Salzburg, where the iconic film took place-and was filmed. The upscale Goldener Hirsch has played host to Picasso and more creative icons.
BOOK NOW Goldener Hirsch, Austria; TripAdvisor
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