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It's true: you can surf in Canada. And Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is where you'll find exceptional surfing, Canadian-style. Busiest in summer, Tofino also fills up in winter when storm watchers descend upon this tiny town. Stay at an upscale inn and enjoy the town that affectionately calls itself The Tree Loving Capital of the World.
British Columbia's Sunshine Coast does seem to get more than its fair share of great weather, plus breathtaking scenery and friendly coastal villages to discover. The beaches are best in summer, but the natural beauty is year-round. Travelers rave about swimming while gazing up at the mountains, or just relaxing in a romantic B&B while the setting sun paints a canvas of color over the water.
Cuba's top beach destination sits on a 13-mile-long peninsula with powder soft sands lapped by waters of the Kawama Channel. Resort hotels teem along the shore that U.S. celebrities and gangsters, including Capone, discovered in the 1920s. Clubs and bars provide mojitos and merriment, after long days baking on the beach, golfing, diving or deep sea fishing. Rent a scooter or hop aboard an open-air tourist train or bus to see more of this stunning spot. Caves, keys and virgin forest add to the area's allure.
There are no two identical Bahamas holidays. With options as diverse as its 700 islands, the Bahamas may seem schizophrenic: is it a family destination, a place for lovers to sneak away, a gambling mecca, a cruise-afficianado’s chief port of call or a shopper’s world market? The answer is, yes. It’s that, too.
U.S. citizens still need to jump through a few hoops to visit Cuba, but as visitors from around the world know, this island offers some amazing opportunities for cultural exchange. Havana is a mix of old-world architecture and of-the-moment culture. Head out of the capital city to the small town of Trinidad to see more Spanish colonial architecture. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fantastic home base for a visit to the Valley of the Sugar Mills, a pocket of land that formerly served as the centre of Cuba’s sugar industry.
Travelers come to this small island north of mainland Cuba to bask in the sun, swim in sparkling blue water, and be pampered at an all-inclusive resort. To explore Cuban culture, you’ll need to go farther afield (this is a planned resort development; employees are bused in), but if you’re simply looking for a stress-free tropical break, Cayo Santa Maria might be perfect for you.
Visit Aruba once and you'll instantly start planning your next visit. The island wins you over with gorgeous weather, serene beaches, exciting land and sea activities (ATVs in the outback, anyone?), and terrific nightlife, from restaurants to casinos and nightclubs. Don't miss the live music scene, featuring Aruba's own Tumba music.
Antigua has hundreds of beaches, from the bustling Pigeon Point to the kitesurfing paradise of Jabberwock Beach. It's fun to mix it up—a day spent in a secluded cove, another spent people-watching at a tourist magnet. When you’re tired of sun and sand you can shoot ‘em up at Reservoir Range, where archery and air pistols are a fun way to work out any lingering pre-holiday stress. A tour of the Antigua Distillery is a spirited way to experience a true taste of the island.
There's more than one way to enjoy the spa experience in St. Lucia. One is to book a treatment at any of the luxury spas or resorts on the island. The other is to visit Sulphur Springs, inside the bowl of an extinct volcano, where you're welcome to try a volcanic mud bath or the 31°C/88°F Roman bath.
Romance and adventure are in the air on this lush West Indian island in the Caribbean, depending on your coast. To the west, you'll find calm waters and good swimming. To the east, there are massive, competition-caliber waves. Wherever you stay, expect turquoise waters, fine soft sand beaches, catamaran cruises and delicious island fare.