Sunny Winter Escapes. Part 1

1. Maui, Hawaii
With sublime beaches and heavenly sunrises over 10,000-foot-high Haleakala Crater—not to mention its Seven Sacred Pools—is there any wonder why many call Maui paradise? Golfers love its lineup of luminary-designed courses that rank among the top in the world.

Kaanapali, D.T. Fleming, and Kapalua beaches are all deservedly famous; yet given Maui’s more than 30 miles of white, black, and red sands, there’s always a spot for secluded sun-worshipping. Hike to iconic Iao Needle, search for ancient petroglyphs, and get into the laid-back vibe in Lahaina, a historic whaling village now lined with inviting shops, galleries, and cafés.

Beautiful view of Big beach on maui hawaii island with azure ocean

Beautiful view of Big beach on maui hawaii island with azure ocean

Go for: Palm-lined golf courses, sky-high volcanoes, megadoses of vitamin D
Stay: Encompassing 54 acres adjacent to the Honokahua Preservation Site, the 463-room Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is recognized as one of Hawaii’s premier golf resorts.

2. Puerto Rico
Blessed with an ideal climate (temperatures average around 80 degrees) and diverse terrain, you can kayak through mangroves, snorkel in bioluminescent waters, and trek both the cactus-filled Guánica dry forest and El Yunque rain forest all in a single weekend.
 
Diving along Desecheo Island is legendary, surfers tell tales of monster waves in Rincón, and swashbuckling sagas come alive at La Fortaleza; built to protect San Juan Bay from pirates, the fortress has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
 
Old San Juan retains much of its colonial charm; wander the cobblestoned streets lined with restored sixteenth- and-seventeenth-century buildings. Salsa dancing, a little suckling pig, and samples at the Bacardi distillery are musts.

San Juan, Puerto Rico coast at Paseo de la Princesa.

San Juan, Puerto Rico coast at Paseo de la Princesa.

Go for: Bioluminescent bays, vibrant Caribbean culture, adventure aplenty
Stay:W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island. Enjoy two private beaches, twin infinity pools, and easy access to the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay.

3. Bermuda

Blending British civility and a casual island flair (think bobbies in shorts), Bermuda offers old-world charm with a spirited local vibe. This is perhaps the only place where travelers can, say, watch energetic Gombey dancers over proper tea and crumpets.
 
A golfer’s utopia, Bermuda features more courses per square mile than anywhere else on the planet. Temperatures average 75 degrees year-round, and the surrounding waters envelop the northernmost coral reefs in the Atlantic.
 
Hop on a moped and explore the pastel-painted capital of Hamilton and UNESCO-designated Saint George’s, the oldest continuously inhabited English settlement in the New World.

Go for: Pink beaches, turquoise waters, white-gloved bobbiesy
Don’t miss: Crystal Caves, with dazzling stalactites and stalagmites reflecting in the deep, underground pools.

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Adapted from: Virtuoso.com

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