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Laura Stewart′s Wishlist
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Via Roma, 40, 73020 Santa Cesarea Terme LE, Italy
In the small coastal town of Santa Cesarea Terme, partake of the thermal sulfuric waters and various other wellness treatments, such as massage and respiratory therapy, in an updated classic 19th-century spa. For something more brisk, plunge into...
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Greece
Thanks to doing research on AFAR.com, I learned that one could sea kayak around the island of Milos. I signed up with Rod from Sea Kayak Milos and had a fantastic time. My fellow kayakers and I paddled through bright blue water, in and out of...
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Val Des Pitons Forbidden Beach La Baie de Silence, St Lucia
For a taste of Miami by way of St. Lucia, look no further than Sugar Beach. Set on a white-sand crescent between the Piton mountains—within a 100-acre former sugar plantation studded with shady palm trees—the resort’s...
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Southern Europe
Ponza is an island destination mostly frequented by Italians (especially Romans and Neapolitans, as it's just a hop, skip, and a jump away by boat) that is largely undiscovered by foreign tourists. A must-do in Ponza: rent a motorboat on your own,...
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Located across the Tiber River from the Centro Storico, Trastevere is a kaleidoscope of ivy-covered buildings, complicated Italian history, and bombastic nightlife. The heart of the neighborhood is Piazza Santa Maria, a large square where street...
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Faro District, Portugal
Few people think of Portugal as a surf destination, but the tiny country has miles of coast for surfers to explore. I visited the Algarve, Portugal's southern most region, and based myself at Aldeia da Pedralva. The owner, António Ferreira, has a...
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Av. Ezequiel Bustillo Km. 25, 8401 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
The Bariloche region of Argentina is great for skiing in the winter, and hiking, biking and boating in the summer. A great place to stay in any season is the Llao Llao Hotel, located 25 min or so out of the main town, on the shore of the lake....
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Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Eco-chic yoga beach spa. Even if you do not practice yoga, the spa treatments are heavenly. You can rent a bike and take a short ride to the ruins down the road. You probably get a better deal if you book a yoga package thru one of the yoga groups...
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Tanzania
the tarangire treehouse lodge is beautiful set in the trees above Tanzania wildlife. you feel you are immersed in the animal life of Africa. about 150 km from ngorogoro crater. lost in Africa!
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3700 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, HI 96753, USA
Now this is truly a place you never want to leave. The infinity edge pool at the Marriott in Wailea, Maui. The pool reached right out to the Pacific Ocean, and you almost felt as if you were in the ocean itself. Grab an umbrella drink, swim over...
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Kyaukse, Myanmar (Burma)
Located in the ancient city of Inwa, the Bagaya Kyaung Monastery is constructed entirely of teak wood and is a representation of the Wayzayanta Palace, which is the highest level of heaven in Buddhism. Built in 1838 A.D., the entire monastery is...
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Landhuis Blaauw z/n, Willemstad, Curaçao
My trip to Curaçao was a reprieve from too much overtime and a desire to warm up while checking out the scenery under the water to my heart's content. I arrived at Blue Bay with a group from my hotel for a day of sun soaked snorkeling - and I was...
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Jl. Gn. Sari, Peliatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Make sure to check everything off your to-do list before staying at Maya Ubud Resort & Spa because you'll immediately melt into the landscape and never want to leave. The tiered layout and minimal design seamlessly intertwine with the jungle...
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From the bi-level dome car, Gold-Leaf Service passengers take in panoramic views of snowcapped mountains, Fraser Canyon, and the Thompson River as they make their way from Vancouver, B.C., to Banff, Alberta. The three-night excursion includes...
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Blvd. 9 de Octubre 101, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
Comprising four coaches—with interior designs ranging from pre-Hispanic to neoclassical—the Tren Crucero takes four days to mosey from the Pacific coast to Ecuador’s capital in the Andes. An open terrace car provides unbroken views of the Devil’s...
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Noreste de Centro de la Fortuna de San Carlos 13 Km, Provincia de Alajuela, Nuevo Arenal, Costa Rica
A luxury hotel in the shadow of Arenal Volcano features a series of pools—one equipped with slides—and waterfalls set amid tropical gardens. Lava streaming from the volcano may provide an after-dark show. Tabacón Thermal Resort...
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Bad Blumau 100, 8283 Bad Blumau, Austria
Ecologically minded architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser designed this compound’s central spa, living roofs, and buildings topped by onion domes. A portion of your bill goes to the World Wildlife Fund. Rogner Bad Blumau, 43/(0) 33-835-1000, from...
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Bahía Dorita s/n, Cisnes, Región de Aysén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, Chile
Reachable only by boat, Puyuhuapi Lodge & Spa has incredible views of virgin forest, mountains, and water. The Aysén region is one of the least accessible, less touristy areas of Chile, and it’s really worth going the extra mile....
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Exo Gonia 847 00, Greece
Yes, Vegas would do the trick, but a 12 days hopping between the Greek islands of Santorini, Folegandros, and Sifnos will be a matrimonial send-off you’ll actually want to remember. Cannonball into clear coves reachable only by boat, and...
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Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
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Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
Iceland’s largest and most famous geothermal spa lies around an hour outside Reykjavik, quite close to Keflavik Airport. With a dramatic setting amidst large black lava boulders, the steam-filled, creamy-blue pool area is a striking and...
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39171 Tassajara Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, USA
In 1967, Tassajara (already a storied hot springs resort) became the first Zen monastery outside Japan. Run by the San Francisco Zen Center, the monastery is open to the public from May through September and closed the rest of the year for...
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Ruta Provincial 82, Km 38, M5507 Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
If you’re looking for a day of grape-free respite in Mendoza, head off-the-grid to the hot springs of Cacheuta. The Terma Spa welcomes guests with an assemblage of thermal baths overlooking the scenic Mendoza River flowing downstream from the...
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Three miles into Yellowstone from the North Entrance and before you reach Mammoth Hot Springs is a small parking lot on your left. Park and walk down the trail (400m). At the confluence of the Gardiner and Boiling rivers is a fun swimming hole....
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Costa Rica
The thermal hot springs in Rincón de La Vieja at Rio Negro (Black River) may not be as well known as those in the Arenal area, but we had the pools and surrounding forest to ourselves. From where we stayed at the Hacienda Guachipelin Rincón de La...
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Loc, Via della Follonata, 58014 Saturnia GR, Italy
The Maremma region of southern Tuscany, about an hour south of Siena, is an area of olive groves, wooded valleys, and ancient legends. One such tale, dating from the days of the Etruscans and Romans, chronicles an epic battle in which Jupiter...
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Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
The weather outside may be frightful, even in summer, but the waters of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa in Iceland are always delightful. We visited the Blue Lagoon Spa during an 8-hour layover in Reykjavik. All inclusive round-trips are available...
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Crijevićeva ul. 9, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Climb the grand baroque staircase and pass the Jesuit church, cross Gundulić Square, and follow the COLD DRINKS WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW signs. Then, yes, walk through the walls. Buža translates to “a hole-in-the-wall,” and a...
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Lozovac, Croatia
Skradinski Buk is the name given to the series of tiers of cascades and waterfalls located in Krka National Park. The water flows from the Krka River and the volume is so great that it literally thunders as it rages, full force, over the karst...
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Trg Sv. Stjepana 42, 21450, Hvar, Croatia
If Dubrovnik is the Pearl of the Adriatic then Hvar Town is Mini Pearl. It has everything to offer that Dubrovnik has but on a far smaller scale. Hvar Town is a picturesque little town located on the southwestern coast of Hvar Island. The heart of...
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True, the ground may be a bit uneven, the sun may be shining brightly upon you and you just may have to endure friendly boaters waiving as they sail by, BUT it's a small price to pay for the experience and breathtaking view of practicing on the...
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Rovinj, Croatia
A year ago I took a short road trip through Istria, Croatia to explore the medieval hilltop towns, Venitian cities, sacred churches, and the famous wine, olive oil and truffles. It is an amazing area of Croatia just across the sea from Venice. It...
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Vis, Croatia
This is a traditional cooking vessel in Vis, a small island in the middle of the Adriatic, about two hours' ferry ride from Split, Croatia. The method is called "pod pekom," which means that it's slow-cooked with embers on top and underneath....
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Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal
Jerónimos Monastery, also known as the Hieronymites Monastery, or Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Portuguese, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lisbon. This stunning building took 100 years to build and it's no wonder once you experience the level of...
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To get a better understanding of the city and for some incredible views, be sure to walk the walls of the Dubrovnik old town. For a modest fee, anyone can climb the ancient stairs and circumnavigate the town, seeing life from the rooftops. The...
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2 Rue du Château, 64000 Pau, France
If you're looking for the prefect French vacation destination, the picturesque city of Pau, in Southwest France, may just have it all. Its location is perfect, almost equidistant from the stunning Pyrenees Mountains, for hiking and skiing, and the...
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96 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris, France
Perfect for exploring the trendy 10th arrondissement, Le Citizen Hotel overlooks the Canal Saint-Martin, footsteps from where Amélie skipped stones in the French movie of the same name. The location is convenient for walking or using public...
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Playa Maderas Maderas, Nicaragua
We had an unforgettable experience staying at Buena Vista Surf Club, while visiting San Juan del Sur. The eco-lodge is set into a hill overlooking the jungle and Playa Maderas with a giant sundeck where guests could enjoy the view. It was a great...
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Central America
Anamaya is located in Montezuma, Costa Rica. This image is taken from their extremely tranquil yoga deck, where guests practice twice a day. This hidden gem is affordable, has gorgeous cabanas, and serves the best vegetarian food I've ever had....
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Provincia de Puntarenas, Pavones, Costa Rica
I volunteered here for almost a month and had an amazing time. You can also just stay as a guest, but staying a little longer to participate with other volunteers made for an incredibly rewarding experience. Described as a "rustic yoga center and...
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Rua Padre José Jacinto Botelho, 5, 9675-061 Furnas, S. Miguel - Açores, Portugal
The Thermal Water Pool of Terra Nostra Park is without doubt a highlight of the Azores. Built in 1780, by Thomas Hickling, the American consul who had the original idea for Terra Nostra Park, the Thermal Water Pool began to form part of the...
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9680 Vila Franca do Campo, Portugal
Snorkeling at Ilhéu de Vila Franca is a unique experience: you are diving on your own private island. The water is quite warm for snorkeling, with variety of fish to see such as jelly fish, sea cucumber, etc. A crater that is just off the...
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Surprisingly, this is the literal translation for the name of one of the newest restaurants in Ponta Delgada. It opened in the summer of 2012, and the recipe for its success is quite simple: mix São Miguel and Terceira cuisine and season it with a...
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2531 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
Natural Bridges State Beach is a great place to unwind near the bohemian surfer town of Santa Cruz.
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45500 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
One of my favorite campgrounds in Big Sur is the big open meadow at Andrew Molera State Park. It's great for large groups and it's one of the best bases for hiking and surfing in the area. More than 20 miles of trails run throughout the park's...
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34600 Gary St, Nehalem, OR 97131, USA
Nehalem Bay State Park boasts 5 undeveloped and uninterrupted miles of sandy beach. Even when the adjacent campgrounds are full, you may just have a stretch of personal space the size of a football field. Just book your stay well in advance--as...
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Goose Rocks Beach, Maine 04046, USA
A great find in Southern Maine, a beautiful five mile beach with spectacular views and long stretches of white sand. No place can compare to the beauty that this beach embraces that families have come to summer for many generations. A perfect day...
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20063 Cabrillo Hwy S, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
San Francisco is a great starting point for a road trip. Drive north or south on the HWY 1 and you're bound to find fun towns, beautiful winding roads and gorgeous coastal scenery. This cave is about an hour drive south of San Francisco, and then...
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2740 S Pacific St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110, USA
For those of you familiar with the iconic 1985 film, the Haystack Rocks meant the world to kids from the Goon Docks. It had always been a lifelong dream of mine to venture to the setting of the movie and find my own "treasure." The Pacific Coast...
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Cape Kiwanda, Pacific City, OR 97112, USA
The Oregon Coast is always spectacular, but on warm, sunny days like this, there are not many better places to be. This photo is looking north from the top of the sand dunes at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. Climbing these dunes in a few minutes...
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Sand Beach, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA
Sand Beach is the only sandy beach on Mount Desert Island, which makes it really busy during the day. The best time to escape the crowds is during a moonlight night. When the beach will be mostly empty (other than the occasional ranger program)....
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142 Calle Flamboyan, Vieques, PR 00765
Just sayin'... As far as beach bars go, this town's one-street scene is all bananas. After my trip, I called one of my awesome friends from college (go Providence!) who has frequented Vieques for work (lucky her), and when I told her how shocked I...
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Route 995, km 1.5, Vieques, PR 00765
"For those folks who enjoy camping, Hix is the Four Seasons. And for those who stay only at the Four Seasons, at Hix they will think they are camping." So goes the modest statement of the owners of the Hix Island House, on remote and beautiful...
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27 Calle Benitez Castano, Vieques, 00765, Puerto Rico
Vieques is all the things you heard about it. Quiet, quant, low key, and beaches you must venture to. My favorite was Playa Negra. It has black fine sands and solitude. This photo was taken in Isabel Segunda (a small town near the ferry port)...
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Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA
Whether it is sunny or foggy, the scenic Shore Path in Bar Harbor is a must walk. Starting at Agamont Park near the town docks, the 170-year old path meanders along rocky granite outcroppings for 1/2 mile (1 mile round trip). The path skirts the...
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Jackson, WY, USA
Hop on your bike in downtown Jackson and ride 20 absurdly scenic miles to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. The mountains watch over you as you pass through the National Elk Refuge. You can also stop off at the National Museum of Wildlife...
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Deutschlandsberg, Austria
If any Austrian province can be said to be up-and-coming, it’s Styria, or Steiermark in German, on the country’s southeast border with Slovenia. Of late, the organic fruits and pumpkin seed oil coming out of southern Styria’s charming hill country...
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Kilauea, HI 96754, USA
We found Anahata Sanctuary by chance while looking for an affordable bed on Kauai's North Shore. With its screened in accommodations surrounded by tropical flowers and fruit, it was perfect for my partner and I who were looking for something close...
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Oia santorini greece, Cyclades, Oía 847 02, Greece
You can't beat this - a delicious, freshly caught seafood dinner on the edge of the Aegean Sea. Sunset Taverna is located in Ammoudi, at the base of the cliffs in Oia, Santorini - dramatic scenery for simple, rustic, delicious food. From the...
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Vero Beach is somewhat off the tourism radar. (Those in the know may like to keep it so.) Vero attracts travelers with its golf courses, beaches and a luxury vibe, coupled with an Old Florida feel. Spend a few days at the Vero Beach Hotel &...
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62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
The sweet smell of plumeria floats on gentle trade winds into each guest room at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. When entering the room, you may be surprised that floor-to-ceiling picture windows and a beautiful private lanai (patio) beckon you to step...
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Mikonos 846 00, Greece
From the outside, San Giorgio looks like one of Greece’s ubiquitous whitewashed homes. Inside, traditional Greek textiles and locally made furniture adorn the 33 unfussy rooms. Most feature rough-hewn wooden dressers, large circular jute...
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México 307, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Secluded and service-oriented are the adjectives that best describe Rosewood Mayakoba, a resort in Playa del Carmen that opened in 2008. At 1,600 acres, the resort is expansive, offering plenty of room for guests to feel that they have their own...
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6801 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141, USA
The all-suite historic Carillon Miami Beach sits along private white sands forming its own luxury haven. An anchor for the North Beach neighborhood, the hotel is the perfect base for exploring the endless attractions and events that surround it....
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Playa Sucia, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Five years ago, my friends and I found a secret beach near the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse. To this day, we've never seen anyone else there. Ignore the beach's misnomer—Bahia Sucia (dirty bay)—and plan on an 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. outing to this natural...
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49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA
An afternoon at Secret Island Beach. Secluded beach with kayaking, paddle boarding, and chilling!
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ROUTE NATIONALE, PIGEON 97132, Guadeloupe
Plage Anse Thomas is a petite-pebbled beach located in the south of Bouillante on the island of Basse-Terre. It is a secret spot for locals and often uncrowded. What makes this tiny gem so special? It is the site of one the many natural hot...
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Patagonia camp is tucked deep inside the trees sitting in the edge of Laguna del Toro. There are 17 luxury yurts that all view the majesty of the most beautiful region in the world. Each day allows for an array of tours within Torres del Paine;...
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71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
For such a remote region, Big Sur has more than its share of amazing places to stay. One of the most unique is Treebones Resort, nestled high in the foothills of South Big Sur overlooking the Pacific. The off-the-grid property offers 16 signature...
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52068 W Fork Rd #38, Dolores, CO 81323, USA
Among the most lauded hotel openings in recent years, Dunton Hot Springs is a glitterati mainstay, with its batch of former mining community cabins that look straight out of a Ralph Lauren catalogue. You don’t have to book a pricey stay at...
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2801-N2 Lā-'ī Rd, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
Waikiki and the North Shore get most of the attention on the island of Oahu, and for good reason. Oahu is the surfing capital of the world and has something to offer every skill level, but hiking on the island of Oahu is one of its best-kept...
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1 Green Pleasure Pier, Avalon, CA 90704, USA
For the time it takes most Angelenos to commute to work, you can be ferried into the alternate reality of Catalina Island, a romantic escape far from the daily traffic jams and urban sprawl. The evergreen-shrubbed hills spotted with an artists...
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Lummi Island, WA 98262, USA
On Lummi Island, about three hours from Seattle, you can bike miles of farm roads, search for an ancient Native American petroglyph on Sunset Beach, and take a “wild foraging-and-feasting” sea kayaking trip with Elakah Expeditions to prowl the...
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Puerto Ferro, Puerto Rico
One of my favorite places in the whole world—Vieques! I'm actually a little apprehensive to share, because I'd love to keep it the semi-secret it is. If you time it well, you can have this beach all to yourself.
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Playa Sun Bay, Vieques 00765, Puerto Rico
We were lying in the sand in Vieques. We'd been told to watch out for horses, but nothing could prepare me for this. What a majestic experience to see wild horses free on the sands of Sun Bay Beach.
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Pristine, untouched and unforgettable: There's no other way to describe this natural park just off the northeast coast of St. Croix. Walking trails crisscross the expanse through frangipani and tamarind trees and cacti to beautiful...

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Fajardo, PR, Puerto Rico
Pictured is Siete Mares Playa (or Seven Seas Beach) in Fajardo, Puerto Rico—a sneaky strip of sand and local favorite that hides not one, but two semi-private playas off the beaten path. On the far left side of the beach you can find an enticing...
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La Gloria, Isla Mujeres, Q.R., Mexico
If you're not a fan of huge resorts and big hotels, Isla Mujeres is the perfect getaway from Cancun. Just catch the ferry to the island located 13km to the northeast of Cancun. The ferry ride in itself is enjoyable, as you float over shallow reefs...
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Isla Contoy, Quintana Roo, Mexico
An easy day trip from Cancun, Isla Contoy is a small island nature reserve with beautiful beaches and more than 100 species of birds. Bird watching tours can be arranged through travel agencies and hotels, as the island is uninhabited, and...
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Ag. Pavlos 740 53, Greece
A spectacular demonstration of a natural sculpture, these sedimentary limestone layers were once layered horizontal at the bottom of the sea. They've been folded and crushed with huge tectonic forces for thousands of years and now their sharp...