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Think picnics on gorgeous, uncrowded beaches, fabulous seafood restaurants, and great hotels overlooking beautiful Monterey Bay… Monterey is a great place for a romantic getaway. Nature buffs can explore the bay by kayak for a close-up look at sea lions, seals and otters.
Sunny Cancun has much more to offer than its party-town reputation might suggest. Plenty of gorgeous, drama-free family resorts cater to folks who want to experience the tropical Yucatan climate. There are significant Mayan ruins here, such as El Rey and the Yamil Lu’um, a crumbling tower of pale gray stone. Learn more about this ancient civilization at the Museo Maya de Cancun. For a literal taste of Mexico, take a tour of the Museo Sensorial del Tequila.
San Pedro is "La Isla Bonita" that Madonna made famous. Now it's a tourist mecca, but still boasts great beaches and plenty of dive shops so you can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. Plan a side trip to Caye Caulker while you're here; it is less developed and more laid back, and has its own splendid swimming areas.
U.S. citizens still need to jump through a few hoops to visit Cuba, but as visitors from around the world know, this island offers some amazing opportunities for cultural exchange. Havana is a mix of old-world architecture and of-the-moment culture. Head out of the capital city to the small town of Trinidad to see more Spanish colonial architecture. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fantastic home base for a visit to the Valley of the Sugar Mills, a pocket of land that formerly served as the center of Cuba’s sugar industry.
Travelers come to this small island north of mainland Cuba to bask in the sun, swim in sparkling blue water, and be pampered at an all-inclusive resort. To explore Cuban culture, you’ll need to go farther afield (this is a planned resort development; employees are bused in), but if you’re simply looking for a stress-free tropical break, Cayo Santa Maria might be perfect for you.
The Hawaiian island of Maui is a destination for true nature lovers. The ethereal bamboo forest and churning waterfalls in Haleakala National Park can be explored via the Waimoku Falls Trail. Stretch out on warm, golden sands or hit the surf for an unforgettable windsurfing or snorkeling session. Driving the scenic road to Hana along the island’s northeastern shore will be among the most spectacular journeys of your life. Time stands still at the Hawaiian village of Keanae, definitely worth a visit.
Christopher Columbus added St. Barthelemy, or St. Barts to his collection in 1493, but the French soon stepped in. Today, the chic Caribbean island - officially a department of France - is a popular winter getaway for people from mainland France, the rest of Europe and North America. Keep in shape and walk between attractions or get a rental car to see more of the island. Beachgoers can choose between strands such as Grand Saline, if nude sunbathing appeals, or shady, isolated Colombier Beach.
When was the last time you went out for a casual drive and ended up inside a volcano? A surreal scenario comes to life at La Soufrière, one of the most popular attractions in St. Lucia. Pack your skin with the medicinal mud of Sulfur Springs for a DIY spa treatment. Continue your eruptive adventures with a guided hike of the two volcanic plugs known as the Pitons then ascend Morne Fortune to take in the sweeping views. For an intimate beach experience, hit the private black sands of Anse Mamin.