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Fort Lauderdale’s canals and charm have earned it the nickname “The Venice of America.” The beaches offer 23 miles of golden sand, lively with the spirited antics of happy vacationers. Sail the blue-green waters on a chartered catamaran, or dive beneath the surface to meet-and-greet the local sea life. Shopping and dining al fresco on Las Olas Boulevard is one of Fort Lauderdale’s greatest pleasures, thanks to adorable shops and prime people-watching.
Situated on Grand Cayman’s west shore, Seven Mile Beach actually now measures only 5.5 miles. But its gorgeous clear waters and coral sands still lure visitors from around the world. Beach bars, such as the Royal Palms, provide drinks and a lively atmosphere, and restaurants abound. Swim with friendly stingrays at Stingray City, shop Seven Mile Shops, snorkel and scuba in the enticing waters around Cemetery Reef. Visit nearby Cayman capital George Town and the fascinating Cayman Turtle Farm.
Well-priced, all-inclusive beach resorts are the norm around Puerto Plata. Take a cable car to the peak of Mount Isabel de Torres, enjoy a concert at an amphitheater facing the Atlantic Ocean, visit the 16th-century San Felipe Fortress. Explore the nearby falls of Damajagua, snorkel off the beautiful island of Cayo Arena or play a round of golf in spectacular surroundings. Then discover the neighbouring towns of Cabarete, a kite-boarding hub, and Sosúa, a picturesque beach spot.
Even the sands of Playa Conchal are special, comprised of the silky remnants of millions of crushed conch shells. Frolic, swim and snorkel in the warm, crystalline waters by day; at night, camp out on the beach under the stars. Guided rafting, adventure and nocturnal turtle-watching tours are available—and exhilarating.