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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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3 Turks & Caicos Villas Under $1,000

The Turks and Caicos Islands have some of the best beaches in the world. And that’s not just my opinion. Everyone from the global travel experts at UK’s Daily Mail , CNN (#3 on this list), Conde Nast Traveler and Trip Advisor have all gotten in on the Turks and Caicos love-fest recently.

Getting to these award-winning, white sandy stretches of heaven is easy and convenient from North America. Providenciales (airport code PLS and widely called just “Provo”) is the main gateway city, and there are a number of fight options direct from the East Coast. I love the JetBlue schedule from JFK and Boston, both arrive early in the day so you can get to your villa in time for happy hour on the beach, and depart later in the day so you’re not rushing to back and sprint to the airport on your last day of vacation.

But with these picture-perfect white sandy beaches and easy access comes a hefty price tag. Most Turks & Caicos villas and vacation rentals are very nice… and very expensive.

Turks and Caicos Villas

So is it possible to rent a beachfront villa in the Turks and Caicos for under $1,000 a night?

I’ve scoured the web and spoken with the top Caribbean villa experts to get to the bottom of this. And the answer is YES you can find affordable luxury in Turks and Caicos. Here are three amazing Turks & Caicos villas coming in at under $1,000 per night.

Five Little Cays House: Coming in at a very reasonable $885 per night, this 4 bedroom/ 5 bathroom beachfront villa is on a stretch of very private beach and is only about a 10 minute drive to the famous Grace Bay Beach. An open-plan layout filed with dark wood decor and exposed beams give it a calm West Indies vibe.

Family Villa Turks and Caicos

This is a great villa for families with small children, as the beach here stays very shallow in both high and low tide.

Bahia Mar: This four bedroom/ four bathroom villa is in an amazing location on one of the most desirable beaches on the Island, Taylor Bay Beach (also known an Sunset Bay Beach) on the Southwest Side of Providenciales. During the peak season this property is just over our budget at $8,000 per week, but in the off season sneaks in at under $1,000 per day at $6,500 per week.

Bahia Mar Turks and Caicos

Cozy villa on the in-demand Taylor Bay Beach.

Five Turtles Villa: Newly refurbished, this 4 bedroom, luxury Caribbean villa sits directly on Taylor Bay Beach). Travel between May and December to get the low-season rate of $929 per night.

With 11-foot ceilings, french doors on all sides and a massive pool and lounge area, keeping cool isn't a problem.

With 11-foot ceilings, french doors on all sides and a massive pool and lounge area, keeping cool at Five Turtles Villa isn’t a problem.

Do you know of a great Turks & Caicos villa or vacation rental? Leave a comment below!

Sarah Fazendin Travel Blogger
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