What comes to mind when you hear the word summer? We’re pretty sure you don’t fantasize about visiting Barrow, Alaska, or some other insanely cold place where the average temperature is minus 50.4 degrees. Or maybe you do?
Summer is a very popular time for vacations. The kiddos are out of school and everyone is ready to leave their hometowns and head for some sun, fun, adventure and relaxation. With the days getting longer and the sun getting warmer, it sounds like a perfect time to start thinking about planning your big summer vacation getaway. Although travel and consumer experts have recommended that the best time to start researching and booking your dream trip is six to nine months in advance, it’s definitely not too late, as long as you book it now.
Whatever your destination, you will want to start planning now to discover all the great deals, put away funds and also to ensure that you’ve made all the required arrangements so you can enjoy a memorable summer vacation – one that you’ll still brag about come next winter.
Since summer comes but once a year, you’ll want to choose your destination wisely. Lucky for you, we’ve narrowed down our list to two of the most unforgettable exotic getaways. They include the nation’s premier resort destinations, offering infinite opportunities for recreation for all ages, especially families and groups, and you don’t even need your passport!
Known by locals for its first name “Boca”, Boca Raton, Florida, is a city for all seasons. This place has it all: fine hotels and restaurants, lovely art museums, beaches and golf courses, 220 upscale shops and boutiques, and some of the best jazz clubs around. Visiting this location will allow you to enjoy all the affluence and charm that the Sunshine State and this small picturesque town have to offer.
Located in Palm Beach County, at the heart of Florida’s Gold Coast and less than an hour drive from Miami International Airport, is the absolutely gorgeous Waldorf Astoria Boca Raton Resort & Beach Club. For over 80 years, the resort has been an icon of sophistication. It radiates with lively energy, presenting unrivaled amenities to every type of guest. With outstanding restaurants, relaxing spas and first rate service, this resort is sure to awaken anyone’s sense of adventure or open a world of tranquility to the restless mind.
And there’s no better way to enjoy the sun than lounging around one of the resort’s seven swimming pools. Surrounded by cabanas and palm trees, this is the perfect setting to relax poolside with a cocktail in hand or dine on appetizing provisions from one of the best restaurants in all of Boca. From the main hotel complex you can easily take a complimentary shuttle to the half-mile stretch of restricted beach. Shuttles leave every 15 minutes – allowing unbounded ways to experience the sand and sea.
Visit the luxurious, award-winning Spa Palazzo featuring Natura Bissé, which includes blissful works of art such as grand arches, lavish gardens, carved stone and intricate mosaics and woodwork. There are 44 private, serene treatment rooms where you can indulge in a wide-range of signature treatments.
Be sure to check out the resort’s exclusive offers, such as enjoying a complimentary night’s stay or getting a $50 hotel reward for every night of your stay.
The second unforgettable summer getaway is on the 100-mile wide island of Puerto Rico. With an average annual temperature of 80 degrees, the island, which is surrounded by stunning beaches, is one of those places you’ll visit once and just have to go back. There are so many diverse wonders to behold: from the tropical rain forests to the soaring mountains or take a stroll back through time on blue cobblestone streets in El Morro and explore the serpentine jungle of El Yungue and corkscrew caves of Parque de las Cavernas del Rio Camuy.
It’s called the “Enchanted Island” for good reason.
Less than a three-hour flight from Miami, the best time to visit is from mid-April to June, when tourism is on its best behavior and before the rainy season arrives. Even four-star hotels advertise room rates at less than $150 a night. And although June is often the hottest month on the island, it’s when you can enjoy San Juan’s finest events, including the SoFo Culinary Week when Calle Fortaleza (South Fortaleza Street) becomes an outdoor street fair with tasting booths.
We recommend you check out the El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo, which is perched 300-feet above the ocean and boasts five villages. Also a Waldorf Astoria resort, the villages include numerous private Caribbean island villas with panoramic ocean views.
Among the countless pleasures, let go and enjoy the resort’s sprawling Coqui waterpark (featuring pools for every member of the family), go horseback riding, scuba diving, relax at the Waldorf Astoria Spa, play a couple rounds of golf at the Arthur Hills Caribbean course or escape to the secluded Palomino Island, the private 100-acre white-sand beach oasis of Las Casitas Village. You can rent sailboats, wave runners or kayaks or go horseback riding to explore the unparalleled beauty. Not up for escapades? Simply lay back and unwind with a drink from the waterfront cafe, Iguana’s.
One of the most amazing things you can take partake in while visiting this tropical paradise is to go on an eco-journey to nearby rainforests or go kayaking on a lagoon through the wild mangrove trees. During your sustainable adventure, go on a BioBay Tour, where you can run your hand through the water and see glowing bioluminescent micro-organisms come to life. There are nearly one million of them in each gallon of water in Puerto Rico, which is the highest concentration found anywhere on earth. Check out El Conquistador Resort’s awesome packages — fit for any budget, big or small.
Once you realize that there are places you haven’t been, and sights you haven’t seen, you’ll want to take the opportunity to visit Florida and Puerto Rico this summer.