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Travel Bucket List: 3 Places You Must See

Are the winter blues setting in and getting you down?  If so, this is the prime time of the year to take a break from your day to day routine and to make a getaway.  However, instead of falling back on the same old destinations you’ve been to time and time again, consider one of these top three travel destinations.

Turks and Caicos

Ever close your eyes and imagine that you’re lounging on a beach? If so, consider the Turks and Caicos -  a real life, carefree paradise that is an absolute must see.  It’s an under-the-radar travel destination located in the British West Indies that is still so undiscovered by many.  Complete with white sandy beaches and beautiful blue waters, this destination truly is a relaxing place to enjoy time away from it all.

Home to roughly 30,000 full time residents, Turks and Caicos is made up of 40 islands and cays, with only eight that are inhabited. The islands are located a little over 500 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, below the Bahamas chain and just to the east of Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Between the months of June and November, the islands take on hurricane season.  During this time, the average temperature ranges between 85 and 90 degrees and, from November to May, the average temperature is 80 to 84 degrees.

So, what attracts visitors to Turks and Caicos? Water Sports, whale watching, historic island tours, and taking in the natural beauty of the islands all come to mind.  Visitors also have a once in a lifetime opportunity to tour the shores on horseback or spend a day at Grace Bay taking in the local culture, restaurants, shops or simply strolling along the soft, hot sand.

If a remote, uncrowded beach is more your style, venture over to Taylor Bay while enjoying the company of loved ones. Here you can enjoy swimming while encapsulated in the clear blue water, surrounded by starfish visible in the shallow shore waters.


Revel in the beauty of a classic American favorite.  As the birthplace of surfing, land of brilliant, crashing waves and home to an extensively rich culture, Hawaii is on the top of many people’s travel bucket lists.  The six major islands include Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Oahu, Lanai, and Hawaii with each offering something unique to its visitors.   The most travelled islands are Oahu and Maui, which may be due to their heavy dose of nightlife, shopping and entertainment offerings. Some highlights include Oahu’s North Shore - a famous surfing hotspot, Waikiki Beach and  Pearl Harbor while Maui is more laidback and is known for picturesque beaches and scenic slopes.

If you are looking to visit a place that allows you to simply kick back and go with the flow, consider Molokai, Lanai or Kauai  - best known for their romance factor.  Visit the beautiful Napali Coast via an eloquent boat ride in Kauai, experience small town life in Kaunakakai, a quaint town in Molokai, or enjoy Hulopoe Bay, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches located on the island of Lanai.

A must-see activity on a Hawaiian vacation is an authentic luau.  Learn a hula dance, listen to unique, native music and experience original Hawaiian cuisine at one of the many area luaus.  It really is the best way to immerse yourself into the history of the Polynesian and Hawaiian culture.

Costa Rica

Located in the heart of Central America and surrounded by both the Pacific Ocean and stunning Caribbean Sea, you’ll find the country of Costa Rica.  When visitors choose to retreat to this lush paradise, they can expect a year round tropical climate, which is split into two periods: the dry and rainy seasons. With a steady average temperature of 80 degrees, the dry period extends from December to April and the rainy season from May until November.

While Costa Rica is a great spot to simply relax and enjoy the simple pleasures in life, it is also an eco-tourism hotspot and place to experience one-of-kind adventures. Staying true to its namesake, Costa Rica translates, in English, to “rich coast” and there is no denying that it truly is rich in culture and activities.

Popular activities on a Costa Rican vacation include rafting and snorkeling the clear blue waters, hiking the rainforests and trails off the beaten path or simply soaking up the sun while relaxing on the picturesque beaches.  If you’re looking for activities you can’t find anywhere else, you’ll love what Costa Rica has in store.  Visit Barra Honda National Park to see the alluring caverns that you can actually reserve an overnight bunk in (the price is low, but space is limited).  Another cannot-miss-it adventure is trailing over to Marino Ballena National Park, where you can witness the humpback whale migration between the months of December and April.  Finally, experience life as a local and take a dip in the natural hot springs.

These three locales are the ultimate in tropical travel adventures.  Each provides a little something different, but none are short on culture, adventure and beauty.  Next time you are looking to splurge on a trip and escape the real world, you’ll know exactly where to go.

Author: Bailey Martin blogs for Elite Destination Homes (www.www.elitedestinationhomes.com, a fractional vacation home ownership and vacation home rental company, based in St. Paul, Minnesota.  They have luxury homes available across the world in locations such as Paris, Tuscany, St. Barth’s, Turks and Caicos, Hawaii and more.                                     

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