Miles-long stretches of soft white sand & clear blue waters may seem like the perfect setting for a romantic getaway, & they are – that's why so many people choose to have destination weddings & honeymoons on the gorgeous islands of the Caribbean every year. However, these tropical locales are also a fabulous place to treat the kids to a vacation.
Escaping to Bermuda is a perfect idea for the holidays or a school vacation – it's not too early to start planning! Although there are plenty of romantic spots for Mom & Dad on the island, there are also several hotspots that kids will love – from exploring the world beneath the warm Caribbean waters to riding horses across the scenic beaches. Incorporate these kid-friendly activities into your next family vacation in the Caribbean:
Explore Bermuda's wildlife
Kids will be thrilled to see critters like lizards & tropical fish everywhere on Bermuda, but you can see even more when you visit the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo (BAMZ). This wildlife sanctuary is home to more than 200 species of fish & invertebrates that live in a 140,000-gallon live coral exhibit. The Galapagos tortoise, scarlet ibis & golden lion tamarin are just a few of the 300 birds, reptiles and mammals in the zoo portion of this attraction. Kids will love the touch pool, where they can learn more about sea urchins, conches & sponges, & parents might enjoy the exhibits on island geology & environments. If you book a Beach Bum Vacation to Bermuda during August or September, you also can take advantage of BAMZ's boat rides, north rock snorkeling & glow-worm watching cruises.
Ride horses across the beach
There are few things more romantic than a horseback ride across the beach, but as suitable as this activity is for destination weddings in the Caribbean, it's also a thrill for youngsters. Whether you have a young horse lover in your family or your kids have never climbed into a saddle, Spicelands Equestrian Centre has the perfect adventure for you. Sign up for a private guided family ride along Bermuda's stunning shoreline or a former railroad converted into a walking path.
Roll across the island
Walking & swimming are great ways to explore Bermuda, but even more fun is exploring the lay of the land on wheels – mountain bikes & automatic scooters, to be exact. Eve Cycles, a local rental company, makes it especially easy for families to take advantage of these activities. The company offers island-wide pickup & delivery of their bikes & scooters, plus cycle training. Want to set off on a scooter right from the airport? No problem. Eve Cycles will meet you at the airport, set you up on your wheels & take your luggage to your hotel.
St. Lucia is known as a lovers' getaway location, & sets perhaps the most picturesque scene for thousands of destination weddings & honeymoons each year. There is plenty of natural beauty to enjoy on this Caribbean island, but every traveler gets hungry, too. Fortunately, St. Lucia also has a range of fantastic restaurants to satisfy your appetite.
The first place you might want to look for fine dining is right within your resort. When you stay in a luxury hotel in the Caribbean, you usually have a range of options, from gourmet seafood dishes with local ingredients to international cuisine. However, there are several restaurants outside your resort you might want to check out as well. Try these three St. Lucia favorites during your upcoming vacation or honeymoon in the Caribbean:
For local flavor
Sit on the deck overlooking Vigie Marina or nestled around a table in the cozy interior of The Coal Pot Restaurant in Castries, St. Lucia, for quintessential Lucian cuisine with a gourmet French kick. Chef Xavier, who moved to the island after living in the French Alps, Switzerland & England, describes the food as "simple, tasty, well presented with mainly local & some French flavors," but "not over the top. However, your feelings about the menu may be "over the top" when you taste dishes like the Coquille St. Jacques, a combination of scallops & baby shrimp in a mushroom cheese cause, or the many seafood options: Snapper, tuna, kingfish, dorado, barracuda, saltfish & greenfigs, & lobster are all served with a choice of lemon garlic, coconut curry, Creole, ginger or mushroom sauces.
The best buffet & brunch
When you stay at Ladera, a luxury resort in Soufriere, you are treated to Dasheene's award-winning cuisine any time you like. However, even if you are staying somewhere nearby, you'll want to stop into this fabulous restaurant to enjoy its innovative menu & fantastic views. Chef Mark Atkinson's passion for sustainability & Lucian cuisine results in dishes like sweet potato & coconut soup, Caribbean lamb salad, Cajun Creole vegetable bakes & roast conch with pickled vegetables. Locals flock to this spot for its fabulous Thursday night buffet, but it's just as popular for its Sunday brunch, where visitors can dine while enjoying a St. Lucian Shak-Shak band,
Secluded rainforest dining
Remote doesn't have to mean rustic – that's what Rainforest Hideaway, located in Castries, St. Lucia, proves. Take a ferry ride to this secluded spot in Marigot Bay & enjoy dockside dining around a glowing lagoon – only after being led to the bar for a complimentary glass of champagne, though. Both the open-air setting & the European-Caribbean fusion cuisine is guaranteed to delight visitors. Try dishes like salmon with black bean, coconut & clam broth over saffron garlic linguini, or chili-infused shrimp.
If you & your sweetheart are looking to get away, you might be dreaming of an isolated beach – no kids, no pets, no work. Although you could head to nearly any of the all inclusive resorts in the Caribbean & feel like you've found paradise, couples-only resorts might be a particularly great option if it's just the two of you.
Adult only vacations are a perfect option for anyone looking for a relaxing trip, but they're also great if you are considering honeymoons in the Caribbean. Adult only vacation spots like the Couples Swept Away Resort in Negril, Jamaica, will offer you and your loved one all the luxury amenities you crave.
The deluxe garden rooms overlook lush tropical foliage, & inside are decorated in an eclectic, Caribbean style that's as pleasing to the eye as it is comfortable. Enjoy drinks on your private veranda or balcony, or lounge in the hammocks for two in the outdoor living spaces of the suites.
Although you & your loved one could probably stroll the white sand beaches in this Jamaican hot spot for the duration of your vacation, this resort also offers plenty of fun in the sun, from water sports & scuba diving to glass-bottom boat tours & complimentary tennis lessons. Of course, you won't want to miss the Oasis Spa, which was named "Best Spa in the Caribbean" by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Bora Bora could be considered a natural wonder in & of itself. The archipelago is scattered across the South Pacific Ocean in a unique formation that makes it one of the most breathtaking destinations for luxury travel, island weddings & more. While nearly everything you see while on a Beach Bum Vacation to this hot spot will likely be stunning, there are several true natural wonders you will not want to miss.
These three sites, located not far from luxury hotels like the Four Seasons Bora Bora, are as remarkably beautiful as they are fascinating, so be sure to include them on your next family or adult vacation.
Pack your snorkeling gear before heading over to this small islet off the east coast of the island, just across from the Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort. Within this section of the lagoon, you can explore a colorful coral reef located just beneath the surface of the sparkling turquoise waters. Be sure to wear some water shoes on this adventure, though – as beautiful as the coral & rocks are to look at, the remnants on the beaches make for a prickly walking surface. The best way to explore this beautiful natural wonder on Bora Bora is to solicit the help of a tour operator, which can take you there by boat in just five minutes.
Bora Bora Lagoonarium
When you're on Bora Bora, you don't need a brick & mortar aquarium to explore the marine life – you have the entire ocean! The Bora Bora Lagoonarium is a natural aquarium located just off the coast of the main island, within the island's famed lagoon. Here, you'll see a rainbow of tropical fish, sharks, sea turtles, rays & more. A family owns this attraction & offers tours for visitors. Choose either a half- or full-day tour & snorkel the area with a wildlife guide, who can not only show you how to traverse the area with consideration for the habitat, but may also be able to educate you about the many animals who call the lagoon home.
Leopard Rays Trench
There is no better place in Bora Bora to view the massive manta rays that call these waters home than Leopard Rays Trench. This fantastic dive site is located on the southernmost tip of the island. The shallow waters & soft, sandy bottom create an ideal environment for simply hanging out & watching the rays, but you can also sign up for a guided tour if you want a little more information about this species.
When you choose to stay in a luxury travel destination like the Grand Wailea Resort & Spa on Maui, you'll be able to indulge your senses in all the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. At the same time, you'll have the unique opportunity to tickle your taste buds with some of the world's most exotic, delectable cuisine.
On your next Beach Bum Vacation to Maui, make sure you plan a trip to these restaurants to experience the rich, colorful flavors of this charming island:
The Hawaiian dishes found at Maui's Pineapple Grill are so extraordinary that many guests say if you visit only one restaurant on the island, this should be it. With menu items inspired by the locally grown fruits & vegetables, it's easy to see what makes this establishment an island favorite. Indulge in Maui's finest foods at the Pineapple Grill by sampling items like pistachio & wasabi pea-crusted ahi steak & Kobe-style Wagyu short ribs.
Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar
If you're dying to sample some of Hawaii's legendary sushi during your Beach Bum Vacation to Maui, head to Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar. This popular & oh-so-chic establishment is known across Maui for its creative seafood dishes, including an ever-changing sushi menu. Don't stop with sushi, however. Sansei is also renowned for its udon noodle dishes & shrimp cakes.
Historically, the island of Maui has been an ethnic melting pot, & the flavors of its diverse population are perfectly reflected at Ko. Here, you can indulge in the flavors of gourmet Portuguese, Filipino, European, Korean and Hawaiian cuisine in a modern, outdoor setting. Executive chef Tylun Pang said his recipes have been passed down for generations, but that certainly does not mean Ko features a run-of-the-mill menu. In fact, the restaurant has a wide array of dishes you'll only find here, including ahi "on the rocks," which you cook yourself on a hot stone.
Mala Ocean Tavern
For fresh, organic cuisine served alongside stunning ocean views, visit Mala Ocean Tavern. In an effort to promote sustainability, Mala serves food that is organic whenever possible, embracing whole grains & shunning preservatives & hydrogenated oils. Here, you can find diverse items like hoisin-glazed baby back ribs, tofu vegetable stir fry & "adult" mac & cheese. Don't worry about trying to decide what to order, though – locals say everything at Mala is delicious. Plus, the views are just as spectacular as the food. Mala is located right next to the ocean, giving you the option of eating on an oceanfront lanai or in front of an expansive window indoors.
To eat like a local on your Beach Bum Vacation to Maui, don't pass up a trip to the legendary Sam Sato's, an establishment that Fodor's hails as the island's "noodle shrine." The small, laid-back restaurant's menu hasn't changed since 1933, but locals don't seem to mind – after all, if it's not broken, don't fix it. Sam Sato's serves a wide array of noodle dishes, including saimin, a Hawaiian soup, but make sure you try a teriyaki beef stick and a pineapple, coconut, apple or peach turnover.