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My very first sampling of the South Pacific wasn’t in Fiji or Tahiti or one of those other blockbuster palm-fringed access points we’ve come to associate with this idyllic region of endless turquoise seas, verdant isles, and friendly locals. I was looking for something a bit more off-the-beaten-path, for an island destination where an on-arrival Facebook update would leave my friends back home scratching their heads. With my finger dangling on a map over the South Pacific, it fell, rather impulsively, on the island nation of Vanuatu, and so the journey began. Read more
St. Petersburg, Florida (or St. Pete Beach) is chock-full of casual eateries and bars that cater to fun-loving beach bums and frozen beverage aficionados. But beware of less-than-local seafood and often underwhelming bites. Here are three of my favorites in the area that serve good grub in a stellar location. Read more
Upon arrival in Cartagena, you’re immediately struck by the Caribbean feel of the city. The pastel colored low-rise buildings, high humidity, and infectious salsa music reminds you that this coastal enclave is very much part of the Caribbean. The old town of Cartagena, a walled city, is charming and designed for casual strolls with its small shops, cafés, bars, and several inviting squares. Stop by the Charleston Santa Teresa around sunset for a rooftop ron punch (rum punch) or mojito and enjoy the sunset over the sea. Read more
Oh, how I love New York in the spring! Well, maybe not so much this year: Like many areas in the U.S. and beyond, New York’s been hit by some extended cold weather, with a handful of luke-warm days thrown into the mix. The erratic weather has left me (and plenty of others), for lack of a better term, under the weather. While chugging gallons of orange juice to power through the workday can be frustrating, it’s not nearly as bad as being sick on vacation. Even the best vacation plans can go awry if you’re forced to spend the trip cooped up in your hotel room, hacking up a lung. But being sick while away doesn’t have to put an immediate damper on your journey. If you’ve got the energy, there are plenty of activities you can enjoy while ill.
The Great Barrier Reef’s ecosystem is incredibly rich, and even though you might not be, it’s a world wonder simply not to be missed. Undoubtedly, you’re in for a splurge on the airfare to get Down Under, but, happily, once you touch down, there are plenty of value Great Barrier Reef activities that won’t break the bank. Base your stay, like I recently did, in the well-serviced tourist center of Cairns or on Fitzroy Island, just offshore, and look out for these great ways to encounter the reef on the cheap, along with a couple of budget-friendly lodging options. Read more
You’ve likely heard all about New Zealand’s wondrous Middle-earth-worthy landscapes, but its offshore seascapes don’t skimp out on the wow factor either. With pristine conditions that provide haven for a thriving marine wildlife, offshore New Zealand offers optimum terrain for coastal adventuring like whale watching, sea kayaking, and diving. Freshly back from getting my own fins wet, I’m here with three top picks for the ultimate coastal Kiwi escapes. Read more
Don’t let the Carnival Cruise Line’s recent newsworthy items deter you from hitting the high seas. There are millions of cruises that sail each year without making the news. They have great customer service, activities for families, couples, and seniors, onboard entertainment, and unique ports around the world. Today we’ve rounded up the best of the best, from exotic international cruises to the always-popular beach destinations. Read more
Spring break isn’t just for hordes of rowdy college kids and fun-loving families anymore. Increasingly, outfitters are upping the ante – and, often, slashing prices – with warm-weather tours and off-the-beaten-path offerings that target 20-, 30-, and 40-something sojourners who are, more often than not, looking for a trip that leans toward adventurous instead of ordinary.
Here, a roundup of some of the most enticing deals and destinations to boost you from the last vestiges of winter. Read more
From the east coast to the west coast and the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. boasts miles of diverse shorelines that provide picturesque backdrops to many of our favorite destinations. Head to one of our great coastal cities and spend less of your tax return on hotel stays. This week, we’ve rounded up a batch of hotel deals, all with nightly rates under $180 for stays April through June. Read more
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