Destinations to Flee the Snow
If the thought of an impending winter chill has you dreaming of an escape, retreat to the tropics and trade white blankets of snow for white sandy beaches.
As the days get shorter and greyer in the Northern Hemisphere, the other half of the world is heating up. A December getaway not only means a chance to swap snow jackets for bathing suits - it also means smaller crowds and a more affordable trip. So hang up your snow boots and fish out your sandals from the back of the closet - these tropical escapes will have you fleeing the snow and enjoying warm weather year round.
The Bahamas - Nassau Island
As the 80 square mile capital of the Bahamas, Nassau contains 70% of the country’s population. The island’s pristine beaches and bustling cosmopolitan center grant you easy access to the best of both worlds. Your senses will be greeted by lush tropical flora, turquoise waters, and colonial architecture that hints at Nassau’s historic past.
The sea temperature hovers in the mid 70’s throughout the winter months, beckoning you to immerse yourself in its crystal clear water. Clifton Heritage Park and Love Beach are two prime locations for snorkeling. If taking in the scenery from land is more your style, Tiki Bikini Hut on Junkanoo Beach is a great spot for inexpensive food and tropical drinks on the sand.
The Bahamian culture is vibrant and inviting. For a taste of an authentic fish fry, head to Arawak Cay. Support local artisans and shop for souvenirs at Straw Market. The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas offers both rotating contemporary exhibits and a permanent collection.
Retreat to the luxe yet inviting Graycliff Hotel for even more indulging. A converted mansion dating back to the 18th century, it boasts its own five star restaurant, chocolatier, handmade cigars, and rum tastings.
Nestled between the Sierra Madre Mountains and Bahía de Banderas, Puerto Vallarta has been attracting tourists since The Night of the Iguana was filmed there in 1963. Based on appearance alone, it is easy to understand why. “The Friendliest City in the World” boasts 26 miles of coastline, is surrounded by breathtaking nature preserves, and wholly embodies the spirit of adventure.
Capture the romance of the city on foot and stroll along Los Muertos Pier and the Malecón. If you are looking for an unforgettable thrill, explore El Eden Canopy by horseback, zipline, or ATV. Maximize your time and take a food tour through Old Vallarta, where you can sample the city’s flavorful culinary bounty. Delight in Puerto Vallarta’s exclusive gastronomy at the first beachside restaurant in the city, La Palapa, and taste the national dish of Chiles en Nogada at Gaby’s Restaurant.
Let the ocean breeze and crashing waves lull you to sleep at Quinta Maria Cortez, a romantic beachfront Bed and Breakfast ideal for couples. If you’re travelling in a larger party, live like royalty at Casa Tres Vidas, an enclave of private villas.
Hawaii - Maui
The second-largest Hawaiian island, Maui is nicknamed “The Valley Isle” due to the stunning Iao Valley that lies between two volcanoes. Maui is a bountiful paradise for ecotourism, whether you prefer to connect with nature via hikes, swims, or lounge chairs. With 120 miles of coastline, 10 different ecosystems, and world class amenities, Maui has been named Conde Nast Magazine’s “Best Island in the World” 16 times.
You can practice your golf swing on an idyllic course or take your pick from a variety of adrenaline boosting watersports like windsurfing, jet skiing, and cliff jumping. Carve out some time to go on excursions to Haleakala National Park and Lahaina Heritage Museum. However you choose to spend the day, make sure to catch the sunset and soak up the breathtaking views.
Settle in at the Grand Wailea, just steps from the notoriously picturesque Wailea Beach. With three outdoor pools, an assortment of dining options, and a daily Grand Luau, you won’t need to stray far from your temporary abode. If you do choose to venture off the hotel grounds, savor the regional cuisine at Hali’imaile General Store and the quintessential Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice.
- Voice from the Street