TRAVEL

Six destinations to escape winter (and get some vitamin D and sea)

Six destinations to escape winter
Waheeda Harris
Written by Waheeda Harris

When the days grow shorter, rain and snow are daily in the forecast and the skies seems to be more gray than blue, it’s time to plan an escape. Whether for a weekend or a week, a sunny destination can make transition into winter just a little bit easier. Grab a fave tote, indulge in a pedicure and pack a colourful sundress for time in the sunshine.

Miami

Miami, Florida More than just pastel colours and palm lined streets, Miami is a sophisticated city, thanks to its music scene and annual A list even Art Basel. Visitors should make sure to enjoy the luxe shopping in the Design District, get a dose of contemporary art in the Wynwood Arts District and still have time for sand, sea and A list style in South Beach, where beauties meets Art Deco. Don’t miss: historic Coconut Grove, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of the city for its walkable streets to enjoy local cafes and boutiques.

Nassau

Nassau This city paradise offers more than just a place to swim in turquoise waters around Paradise Island. Travellers can stroll Bay Street to find souvenirs and gifts at John Bull, island handicrafts at the Straw Market, housemade chocolate from historic Graycliff Hotel and then spend happy hour for a tasty dose of Bahamian cuisine and culture at the laid-back seafood huts of Arawak Cay. Don’t miss: The west-end Island House is a stylish spot for wine shopping and dining at The Mahogany House.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs This desert oasis never fails to impress whether for its architecture and design in the Uptown Design District or for the tasty offerings of dining hot spots like Joey Palm Springs, King’s Highway and farm to table at Workshop. For those who want to find where Sinatra and Presley once lives, rent a bike to explore the mid-century modern neighbourhoods and then take time to soak away your stress at one of the 22 resorts that offer day passes for hot springs. Don’t miss: the weekly Villagefest, which brings together vendors from throughout the Coachella Valley with arts, craft, food and music.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta One of the original tourist destinations of Mexico’s Pacific coast thanks to Hollywood celebs Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. The duo came to work, stayed to play and left a legacy: pretty boutique hotel Casa Kimberley, a five star spot for lunch or dinner. La Zona Romantica aka Old Vallarta is a welcoming combination of souvenir and crafts shops, busy restaurants and a malecon with contemporary sculptures by the sea, perfect for instagram-worthy snapshots. Don’t miss – tasty casual dining at Food Park PV, a friendly outdoor eating area with offerings from contemporary local food trucks.

Providenciales

Turks & Caicos Island The laid-back paradise of the Turks & Caicos Island, visitors come here to spend their time at one of the prettiest beaches of the Caribbean: Grace Bay Beach, for its soft white sand and calm, clear blue waters. For those who want to explore, a bike makes it easy to find hidden beaches and places to nap below palm trees, or take a sailboat tour to head out to the reef to discover Nemo’s extended fish family. Don’t miss – lunch or dinner at Da Conch Shack, for conch made multiple ways and fresh seafood such as lobster, grouper and snapper.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Choose the northern state of Guanacaste as a welcome respite from the urban jungle. With volcanoes on the horizon and monkeys in the trees, visitors can spend time on black sand beaches and surround themselves in the lush indigenous jungle featuring bougainvillea, orchids, banana, coconut, mango and papaya trees. Eco-hikes, canopy tours and waterfalls are common ways to explore or head to the sea to see the  turtles or learn to surf. Don’t miss – the natural hot springs, like at Rio Perdido or Yoko Hot Springs.

About the author

Waheeda Harris

Waheeda Harris

Waheeda Harris is a Toronto-based freelance journalist with a penchant for exploring our planet.

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