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Sometimes, the best trip is the one you take with yourself. When you’re traveling solo, you get to explore a destination on your own terms with no compromise — and to fully engage with the destination. Here are just six places that we think are great for one.
Is there anything worse than a crowded beach? In some of the most popular summer hot spots, seemingly hour-long waits for the toilet, bursting restaurants, and gelato lines that wrap around the block are all common sights. To combat these irritating predicaments, we’re taking you on a tour to some of the more “hidden” beaches in the Mediterranean — all largely inaccessible by ferries, cars, or cruise ships. You’ll find these sunny stunners via hikes, unmarked trails, and perhaps a local fisherman’s boat (with a small fee).
As the “Isle of Flowers,” Martinique’s natural charms are front and center. With a landscape blanketed with wild orchids and a sweeping terrain of mountains, volcanoes, rainforests, and beaches, the Caribbean island is truly an embodiment of natural paradise. But, essentially an overseas department of France, sophisticated Martinique boasts enough culinary flair to qualify as a food lover’s heaven, too. Here, fresh local ingredients combine with French influences for a distinctive flavor that’s worth traveling for. These are the local spots to get a taste:
As the temperatures rise come summer, tropical destinations typically fall off the radar for many travelers. But that’s the thing: these slower months are a great time to experience the best the tropics have to offer — including a little luxury — for a whole lot less.
Case in point: Barbados. This Caribbean gem — a favorite among celebrities, romantics, and thrill seekers alike — offers perfect temperatures year-round and some of the world’s best beaches. Luxury abounds in Barbados, but if you head there this season, you’ll find some great deals. As an added bonus, you’ll enjoy its attractions minus the crowds, having more of the island to explore for yourself. Here’s how to fill a getaway here with bang-for-your-buck activities and create priceless memories that won’t break the bank.
The principality of Monaco gets quite a rep for flashy cars and luxe landmarks like the Casino de Monte-Carlo, the backdrop for many Bond films. But the three-mile-long country (which ranks second-smallest in the world after Vatican City) is more affordable than events like the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix make it out to be. In less than an hour, you can walk from one side to the next discovering some of the more tucked-away treasures the country has to offer — and spend no more than you would on a trip to the Caribbean. Here’s how to make your dollar go the extra mile in Monaco, with or without the American dollar’s current strength against the Euro.
St. Augustine, Florida, just a half hour from Jacksonville airport, is celebrating its 450th birthday in September. (It was founded 55 years before the Puritans landed at Plymouth Rock!) And while the big fanfare is happening in the fall with a week of concerts, exhibits, re-enactments, and other events, we suggest visiting now to avoid the crowds and premium hotel prices. Here, just a few reasons for why you should visit the historic town.
Once a shipbuilding center, the Village of Port Jefferson on Long Island’s North Shore has become a community enclave full of dining, shopping, and outdoor exploration. It’s perfectly located for those who want to escape the city during a visit to New York City. It’s just sixty miles from the city, and thanks to a summer ferry service launching this month, now is the perfect time to make a day trip. Once there, many attractions are within walking distance from the waterfront, particularly along Main and East Main Streets. Here’s how to ditch the steamy city streets and explore this picturesque harbortown.
Is there anything worse than gearing up for a week at the beach, only to find it so packed there’s not a free beach chair in sight and the wait for ice cream is an hour long? Among the sandy paradises throughout the Balkans, it’s seemingly normal. Croatia’s inundated with island-hoppers almost year-round. So where exactly are the untouched, largely missed beaches in the region? Here are some favorites:
Reality star Bethenny Frankel is always on the go, estimating she’ll spend 100 days on the road this year. If that isn’t proof enough — with a Bravo show and a new book — it’s clear that the Real Housewives of New York castmate and author isn’t slowing down. Her Skinnygirl lifestyle brand just partnered with SodaStream sparkling water to launch two flavored sparkling drink mixes: Cucumber Lime and Mango Berry. “Our flavors are all-natural and low-calorie,” says SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum. We’d like to sip one of those on a sunny beach. And speaking of warmer weather — it’s almost time to travel out to the Hamptons, and there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Bethenny is the expert in this swanky beach town. We asked about her favorite Hamptons spots, how to stay healthy while traveling, and her future vacation. Check out our one-on-one chat with the mogul mom.
It’s easy to see why people are lured to Maui year after year. Beyond the spectacular beaches and scenery, Americans don’t need a passport to visit, and they’ll enjoy all the comforts of traveling close to home — familiar language, signage, and currency. But if you look beyond the luxury hotels and wallet-busting restaurants that saturate the island, there are simple ways to save. Here are four that you can try.
The Big Island could easily have been named the “The Endless Island,” with its eight climate zones and 4,000-plus square miles of mostly raw landscapes to explore. You’ll land in a terrain that looks flat and moon-like — only to step on the gas and, to the east, find yourself in a mountain rainforest zone of lush emerald-colored canopy and moss-draped trees. And while Hawaii is known to be spendy, penny savers can still rejoice: This does not have to be a terribly expensive island…if you know where to look (and once you plunk down the fare to get there, of course). Here are some ideas to get you into that aloha spirit.
Capella Marigot Bay Resort & Marina, snug on the shoreline along Marigot Bay in Saint Lucia, is the newest member of the Cappella Hotels brand (joining others in Düsseldorf, Singapore, and more). Since it’s re-opening last fall, the 124-room resort has charmed travelers with a taste for luxury with riots of tropical foliage everywhere you turn. And to kick off its first summer, the resort is offering a 50 percent discount off its suites, to make that luxury more affordable for all of us.
St. Kitts is among the Caribbean’s least-visited islands, which is precisely what makes it so appealing. And getting there may be pricey — flights from Miami between May 29 and June 5 start from $747 round-trip and are only slightly less, from $676 in early December — but a deal from St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino will help offset the travel costs.
Take a break from sunbathing in Waikiki for a day trip to Oahu’s North Shore, where you can get a feel for a more local way of life on Oahu — the surfer way of life, that is. While not the sleepy, totally undeveloped area it used to be, the North Shore still allows you to enjoy a slow-paced day away from high-rise resorts. Drive yourself along Kamehameha Highway, heading south in order to follow the stops below, which cover an eight-mile coastal route from Sunset Beach to Hale’iwa.
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