Four Beach Vacations You Can Get to from Boston ASAP
It's time to ditch the snow for some sun.
Are you starting to forget what it feels like to leave the home without donning layer upon layer of clothing? Is your happy lamp just not cutting it when it comes to preventing the winter blues? Feeling like you might lose it if you have to trudge down one more inch of slushy sidewalk? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to get way, way out of here. (But you probably already know that.) Read on for four beach destinations that are easy flights away from Boston—basically, we’re trying to get you lying on some sand ASAP.
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Flight time: 3 hours and 51 minutes
Average winter high temperature: 83°F
Average winter low temperature: 73°F
Located just north of the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos are a chain of more than 50 islands, also home to the globe’s third-largest barrier reef. When you travel here from Boston, you’ll land on Providenciales, also called Provo, which is the most populated part of the archipelago. Here you’ll find some of the world’s finest five-star hotels as well as gorgeous beaches, including the famed 12-mile Grace Bay Beach. For those craving a unique experience, book an excursion with Provo Ponies, a company that takes groups on rescued horse rides along picturesque trails and into the shallow, clear waters of Long Bay Beach. If you’re more inclined to explore what lies beneath the waves, however, there’s no better place to scuba dive, as there are miles upon miles of barrier reefs and walls under the sea just off of Providenciales, as well as surrounding other islands such as Grand Turk and Salt Cay. Book your stay at the recently revamped Seven Stars Resort & Spa, located on Grace Bay Beach, which boasts saltwater swimming pools and dreamlike suites with canopy beds and ocean views.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Flight time: 4 hours and 10 minutes
Average winter high temperature: 85°F
Average winter low temperature: 70°F
Punta Cana, located on the eastern end of this Caribbean island, is known for its endless array of sun soaked beaches (Macao and Bávaro are two great ones), all-inclusive resorts, and diversions of every variety imaginable. Take a boat tour (of which there are many) or perhaps visit one of the area’s wildlife parks, such as Manatí Park and Dolphin Discovery for a chance to see birds, reptiles, marine life, and even swim with dolphins. Find another distinctive swimming experience at Hoyo Azul Lagoon, a deep, naturally-formed pool located at the base of a cliff inside Scape Park, another outdoor adventure park. Looking for a more serene activity? Punta Cana is also the site of some of the world’s most beautiful and reputable golf courses, such as Punta Espada and La Cana. Alternatively, escape the crowds with a day trip to Saona Island, an idyllic nature reserve located 12 miles off the coast, with starfish and sea turtles aplenty. Rest your head at Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana, a new all-inclusive resort opening in February with 500 stunning suites, a waterpark, a whopping nine places to dine, and a spa.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Flight time: 4 hours and 23 minutes
Average winter high temperature: 85°F
Average winter low temperature: 69°F
With its bounty of all-inclusive resorts, white sand beaches, and golf courses, as well as its status as a major Carribean cruise port, Jamaica’s second largest city is one of the island’s most famous tourist destinations. So as you’d expect, there’s much to explore right within Montego Bay. Pay a visit to Montego Bay Marine Park where you can swim, scuba, and snorkel on six miles of protected seas that includes Doctor’s Cave Beach, which is undoubtedly the top choice for sun and sand seekers. For a more tranquil experience, spend a day at Martha Brae Rafting Village, located just over 20 miles from the city, where you can hop aboard a captained bamboo barge and float down the river while observing wildlife and hopping off for refreshing dips. Two other unmissable local sights? Rose Hall Great House, an 18th-century Georgian style mansion that is purportedly haunted by a “white witch” who murdered three of her husbands, and Rastafari Indigenous Village, where you can get a first-hand peek inside the Rastafarian culture, touring vegetable gardens, meeting local craftsmen, and witnessing a traditional drumming ceremony. After the action, kick back in one of 120 ultra-modern rooms and suites at S Hotel Jamaica (located on Doctor’s Cave Beach), which features two pools, including an Insta-worthy glass one up on the roof.
Flight time: 4 hours and 49 minutes
Average winter high temperature: 88°F
Average winter low temperature: 76°F
Aruba’s colorful capital city has a whole lot to offer, from its vibrant backdrop of Dutch colonial buildings to its wealth of top-notch shops and eateries. After you land, explore downtown atop one of the city’s battery-powered trolleys. Then travel to some of the sights on the fringes of central Oranjestad, such as Eagle Beach, known as one of the world’s best beaches. It’s also home to some of the area’s more luxurious hotels, like the picturesque and amenity-packed Costa Linda Beach Resort. For more energetic travelers, hop on a bike and head to Linear Park, a paved two mile route that has beach access and sightseeing throughout. Alternatively, Hooiberg, a 541-foot tall volcanic formation sits ready to be explored about two miles from city center. Climb 662 concrete steps to the top for views as far as Venezuela on a clear day. Lastly, one spot insiders say you won’t want to miss: the Aruban Donkey Sanctuary non-profit, located about four miles east of downtown Oranjestad, where you can feed and pet hordes of the adorable creatures.