Bucket List Worthy
Let’s face it, it has been a long cold winter with plenty of snow and far too many days with subzero temperatures. Unless you’re a polar bear, you’re probably thinking it would be great to escape the polar vortex and go someplace warm right about now. If you have found yourself dreaming about warm weather, beautiful beaches and lots of sunshine lately, here are five destinations where you can make those dreams a reality.
St. Johns, U.S. Virgin Islands
Located in the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Johns is a beautiful Caribbean destination that is both fun and affordable. The island is well known for it’s almost untouched natural beauty, in no small part because much of it is a protected American national park. St. John also has a rich history dating back more than 1800 years, and is said to have been visited by Christopher Columbus upon his arrival in 1492. Much of that history remains on display in the form of old plantation homes that can still be seen throughout the island. Hiking, snorkeling and scuba diving are all popular activities on St. John, and if you go, be sure to stop by Trunk Bay, which is widely considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
For such a small country, Costa Rica sure has a lot to offer visitors. Whether you want an active escape that includes surfing, volcano hiking and whitewater rafting, or you just want to sit on a beach and soak up the sun, the Central American country has you covered. With amazing beaches on both its Atlantic and Pacific coastlines, and plenty of great resorts and ecolodges to choose from, Costa Rica is a tropical paradise for travelers of all types.
Looking for a Mexican escape, where you wont have to battle large crowds? Then head to Baja, where the weather is always warm, the locals are very accommodating and the vibe is incredibly relaxed. Activities include great fishing, whale watching, sea kayaking, snorkeling, and of course just sitting on the beach. With numerous world class resorts, visitors can be pampered for their entire stay.
Political protests have rocked Thailand in recent weeks, but most of the disturbances have been contained to Bangkok. Head south to Phuket, or one of the other beach cities, and you’ll find a quiet safe haven for foreign tourists. Thailand’s beaches are amongst the best in the world, as is the snorkeling and scuba diving. Immerse yourself in the rich Thai culture and enjoy the delicious – almost decadent – food too. The recent political unrest has disrupted tourism to the country to a degree, which means it is unusually quiet in Thailand at the moment. It also means that there are bargains to be had for savvy travelers.
Whitsunday Islands, Australia
While those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere have been dealing with an unusually cold and harsh winter, in Australia they’ve been enduring record breaking heat waves. If you truly want to warm up this winter, be sure to head Down Under! The Whitsunday Islands are located just off of Australia’s east coast, along the Great Barrier Reef. They are home to some amazing resorts and breathtaking beaches that you’ll find anywhere on the planet. Of course, the snorkeling and scuba diving is unmatched, and sailing through the Whitsunday’s is a sublime experience for sure. Travelers can experience the legendary Aussie hospitality in a setting that is almost too beautiful for words.