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Beach Vacations that Aren’t in Florida

4 Beach Vacations that Aren’t in Florida

Don’t take it personally, Florida. There is no end to the number of adventures to be had in the sunshine state, from the picturesque to the unusual. But when it comes to beach vacations and ocean view destinations, Florida does not have the monopoly that people think it has. Far from it, in fact! If you are planning to soak up the sun this summer, whether with your family or on a private getaway, it’s time to branch out and experience something else besides Epcot. Take a look at four of the most phenomenal beach vacations that have a little more culture and flair than Orlando.

4 Beach Vacations Outside Florida

1. Samana, Dominican Republic

If you are a beach vacation aficionado, you might not even need to read the rest of this article. Samana is perfectly situated for quick access to not one, not two, but three world class beaches. Soak up all the sun you need and enjoy the best ocean views in the world in Samana Bay. There are lots of activities to keep you occupied if you can manage to peel yourself away from the stunning white sand beaches.

There are waterfall hikes and zipline excursions for the adventurous members of your party. Deep sea fishing excursions can be arranged for the sportsmen and women out there. Still craving more beach time? Take a horseback tour of the Samana peninsula and drink it all in. When you are ready for a quick bite or a major meal, Samana boasts a variety of fine dining options. You can find everything here from local Dominican specialties to Thai and French cuisine that will have you returning night after night.

Two people sitting on a beach bluff in Negril Jamaica

2. Negril, Jamaica

Jamaica is renown for its vibrant culture, music, food, and style. The nightlife in cities and towns across the country can make for a memorable vacation, but what Jamaica does best is beach life. Negril offers a number of exciting activities and attractions that are related to its prime beachfront location.

You can hit surf on a boogie board, sailboat, or anything in between. Go for a long walk on the aptly named Seven Mile Beach and check out the amazing natural formations of the Negril Cliffs. Get a private glass-bottom boat tour of the bay or dive off the coast to find dolphins and exotic reef life. Once you’ve had your fun in the sun, maybe you are ready to put on your dancing shoes and see if Jamaican nightlife is worth all the hype (it is).

You can find everything from classic beach bars to pulsing nightclubs in Negril. There are even services that offer bar crawls after the sun sets. One Love Bus Bar Crawl might be just the thing you are looking for to get acquainted with party culture on the island.

3. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Puerto Plata is an idyllic beach getaway for those who want the very best of the best amenities, excursions, and comfort. The numerous luxury resorts will entertain and pamper you like royalty. You can explore the famous Paradise Island by your desired mode of transportation: sleek speedboat or catamaran.

Amber Cove is a popular docking point for cruise ships, and rightfully so. From there you can access restaurants and cafes with authentic local flavor, or take a quick hike to stunning waterfalls and lush jungle ecosystems.

If you want the experience of a lifetime, set up a dolphin encounter at Ocean World Park! You can swim with the well trained dolphins before watching their exciting stunt-filled show! Puerto Plata will also appeal to the foodie in you. There are a ton of fine dining options in the area, especially elegant takes on Caribbean and creole cuisine.

Aerial view of the clear blue waters surrounding Turks and Caicos

4. Turks and Caicos

For the ultimate beach vacation, you have to find your way to the tiny caribbean island country of Turks and Caicos. This destination is far off the beaten path and you can find pristine beaches that you can lounge on all by yourself. And what beaches they are! Check out Half Moon Bay and Grace Bay for ocean view sunsets that will change your life.

Dive just offshore to untouched reefs teeming with shimmering tropical life. Better yet, enjoy the most remote, jaw dropping snorkeling while on a private catamaran cruise around the island. Would you rather eat what you see out there? Charter a fishing boat for a half day or full day of deep sea fishing and eat your catch that evening!

The Caicos Conch Farm is definitely worth a visit for a totally unique and informative afternoon. When you are done, mingle with locals in Providenciales every thursday at the weekly Thursday Night Fish Fry. There are plenty of all inclusive packages available to make beach vacations in Turks and Caicos an unforgettable experience!

Conclusion

Move over, Florida. You are still beautiful in your own way, but there is no questioning the appeal of these superb locations.  We hoped you enjoyed reading about  Beach Vacations that Aren’t in Florida.

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Dominican Republic Travel Tips

Best Dominican Republic Travel Tips

Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is second only to Cuba in the Caribbean.  The Dominican Republic offers picturesque nature coupled with a warm and beautiful culture.  National parks and scientific reserves make up more than a quarter of the landscape where visitors can completely unplug. Still, not far are the city centers where visitors catch a future Major League Baseball player or learn to dance the merengue among the locals.

For an unforgettable trip, follow these top Dominican Republic travel tips:

Go for a Swim

Whether it’s in the Atlantic Ocean to the North or in the Caribbean Sea to the South, the Dominican Republic boasts some of the best swiming spots in the world.  Hailed as a haven for both divers and snorkelers, stunning reefs are often easily accessible from shore!  Don’t be surprised when nurse sharks and stingrays swim at your side, or when, in February and March, you may be lucky enough to catch humpback whales during their migrations.  Be sure to load up on plenty of sun screen and check out one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic.

Speak Spanish

Spanish is by far the universal language of the island.  Even if your Spanish skills are fairly elementary, an effort to speak to locals in their native tongue will truly go a long way.  This simple act will usually encourage Dominicans to show their kind and hospitable nature to visitors.  Often, Dominicans will also jump at the chance to practice their English, and conversations can turn into an entertaining mix between the two languages (also known as Spanglish).  Even in the most rural areas, an attempt at speaking Spanish will often get you what you need, giving Dominicans a chance to show how they got their reputation for being incredibly accommodating.

Catch a Baseball Game

Baseball is sometimes touted as the Dominican Republic’s second religion.  Boasting the second-most current Major League Baseball players, the Dominican Republic is home to winter leagues that run from October to January each year.   While the winter leagues are primarily used to develop future Major League pros, many will participate to improve their skills during the MLB offseason.  Taking in a local game gives a glimpse into this diverse culture, where fans occasionally bring their own musical instruments and team flags to the ballpark, creating an incredible spectacle.

Learn to Dance Merengue

Dominican Republic Travel Tips

The Merengue is a beautiful and very quick dance performed to music with a tempo of between 110 to 160 beats per minute.  Folklore has it that the dance originated when enslaved laborers working in sugar beet fields were chained together at their ankles and had to walk in a manner that required them to drag one leg.  There is a wide variety of ways to learn merengue, from one-day courses to 8-week intensive programs, that will leave travelers with a wonderful skill to show off to their friends back home.

From the sands of pristine beaches to the dirt of the infield, the Dominican Republic offers a wonderful destination in the Caribbean for both adventurous and luxury travelers alike.

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