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Unread 01-31-2012, 08:29 AM   #1
SomeBeach
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My Next Vacation

Ok, I went to Hawaii last summer! AWESOMMMME! Loved it and would love to go back. We went for two days on the BI and about 6 on Maui.

Now, I'm considering planning another tropical getaway, but Hawaii was just a little too expensive to do again.

Tell me about your favorite vacation spots that involve the beach.
Preferably a little more tropical than Myrtle Beach SC....but Outter Banks might be an option if you can convince me.

I'm looking at places like Aruba, Bahama's, BVIs and USVIs. But I really have no experience with what is really worth it. I'm looking for a relaxing vacation that has beautiful beaches at a good value and would provide a memory of a lifetime.

Tell me what you liked the most, but what you'd avoid the next time.

Thanks all for your input!

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Unread 01-31-2012, 08:44 AM   #2
vadslram
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hawaii...meh
I wasn't impressed. I spent all my time on o'ahu maybe the big island would have been better.

I like the middle FL keys for fishing. You got blue water atlantic and flats fishing in the gulf. Key West is a freek show you should see but not spend too much time on. Key Largo has some great diving. And Miami is close enough to do South Beach, Another must see to believe.

USVI.. St T no big thrill, St C much nicer, St J really relaxing. Every other island down there, well lets just say that once you leave tourist central, indoor plumbing ends at the street. Bonair did have some really nice diving.
The Caymans was nice, tropical and clean but $$$$$$$$
Jamaica was interesting and the falls were cool but once again, don't leave the tourist compounds.
Dom Rep, money goes a long way, so does dysentery.
PR was very nice but there are also some risks in San Juan. Arecibo, El Junque and Aquadilla were awsome. There was a real barrier though if you aren't fluent in spanish.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 08:48 AM   #3
VamosJEEP
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ST Croix!!! Absolutely awesome. We stayed at the Northside valley eco villas. Awesome views and a nice short walk to the beaches. I stayed mostly on the West end of the island near Frederiksted. Look up Tres veho or cheany beach. Meet pi and bill. Both really chill people.

Do some paddleboarding, snokleing, surfing, hiking, and all sorts of other stuff. Go to Christenstead and go to tavern 1844 for an great Kobe Burger and american beer on tap!!

Rent a jk and do some wheelin on the 4x4 roads through the jungle they have. Or take a jeep tour to the baths.


Everything including flights were relatively inexpensive. I think we paid 1200 for 2 round trip flights and 800 for the villa for the week.

I think we're going back in the fall.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 08:52 AM   #4
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Wife and I went to Hawaii on our honeymoon for 2 weeks. Most was spent on Kauai which as amazing. We've also been to a lot of places in the Caribbean via cruise (so we've only really 'sampled' places by spending day trips on beaches in various locations). If you are pricing places from your location, getting to a beach area for a reasonable price will likely put you in the Caribbean somewhere. With that in mind, favorite places were (in order): Virgin Gorda, Trunk's Bay, Belize, St. Thomas. Places that we can definitely do without again: Jamaica, Bahamas (excluding Atlantis), DR (but to be fair, we apparently went on the side of DR that isn't as nice). Middle ground was Megan's Bay: The place is gorgeous, BUT when we were there, there were so many tourists who didn't care about where they tossed their trash that I found it disheartening to see people treat such a beautiful beach with disrespect.

Have you considered a cruise? It's possible the price will be comparable, plenty of entertainment, and if you are just hitting up beaches via a transfer, won't cost you as much to sample new beaches/places. I can't stay on a beach for more then about 4 hrs without giong stir-crazy. My wife could spend 8 days straight on the sand. It's been a good compromise so far...and we'd have never discovered Virgin Gorda if not for a cruise. Good luck and have fun!
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Unread 01-31-2012, 11:30 AM   #5
SomeBeach
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Some interesting suggestions......has anyone been to Punta Cana or Cayman Islands?
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Unread 01-31-2012, 03:08 PM   #6
homer8613
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what about s. padre island tx, or the florida keyes?
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Unread 01-31-2012, 03:16 PM   #7
hawksfan
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sent my son and daughter in law to Punta Cana for a week on their honeymoon. they loved it, said it was relaxing, clean and they enjoyed themselves.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 04:04 PM   #8
Boreal
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Belize.

Haven't been there, but I will be going in the next couple of years. I was planning on going this year, but now we're planning a trip to Ecuador next year, so I think Belize will have to be later.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 06:56 PM   #9
shaun72079
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Been to Aruba twice and loved it relaxing while still having things to do. Dominican is nice but like you've already heard don't leave your resort unless on a resort excursion. Bermuda is nice and relatively safe not terribly expensive either. Money wise still can't beat Mexico tho.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 06:59 PM   #10
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Cuba... Wait, nevermind.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 06:28 AM   #11
SomeBeach
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So, to revive this discussion.....we chose the Outer Banks, Corolla to be specific, and it was wonderful!!! The decision was ultimately driven by a dramatic change in our lives.....we now have a son! So we wanted our first trip as parents to be something that wasn't too far away because we were unsure of taking a plane with all that you need carry when taking a small child. When I first posted this thread...we didn't even know our lives would be changed so much. We were going the adoption route and found out in February 2012 that we would have a placement that April. So to summarize...we went in June of 2013 with our little guy being 14 months old and it was the most incredible experience of our lives. We thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed feel of the Outer Banks and he handled 12 hours in the car without a problem.

So now we are planning for next summer and are considering Sanibel Island, FL. I've seen and read some good things about the place and it looks to be a similar type experience. Not a lot of commercialistic crowding. Just the beach, wildlife, local shops and restaurants. I think we'll be able to handle the drive, but might consider a cheap local flight and rental car. Last trip, we rented a U-haul. LOL We're still noobs and haven't figured out how to streamline yet.

Does anyone have any experience with Sanibel-Captiva? Any recommendations? I'm even open to suggestions of other locations. We preferred our last setup in the OBX with a private house, beachfront and private pool. But a short walk to the beach and community pool aren't out of the question. Little Guy will be 26 months old this time around and he's already got us chasing him at full sprint.

Thanks!
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Unread 10-07-2013, 09:14 AM   #12
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Unread 10-07-2013, 09:22 AM   #13
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My vote is Punta Cana...I have never been but this is where my wife and I are planning to go.
From the stories that I have heard if you stay at one of the many resorts....a couple dollars goes a LONG way....
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Unread 10-08-2013, 10:18 AM   #14
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Captiva WAS nice and quiet. It's been a while since I've been there. Consider St Augustine FL. Oldest city in the nation, quiet but not dead, interesting things to see and St Aug beach is nice. I think you can still drive on it in some spots. You don't need a jeep either, the sand is parking lot hard like Daytona.
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Unread 10-09-2013, 07:14 AM   #15
SomeBeach
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadslram View Post
Captiva WAS nice and quiet. It's been a while since I've been there. Consider St Augustine FL. Oldest city in the nation, quiet but not dead, interesting things to see and St Aug beach is nice. I think you can still drive on it in some spots. You don't need a jeep either, the sand is parking lot hard like Daytona.
St. Augustine was another place that came up in my quest. But those beaches look like they are huge, like crossing a football field to get to the water.

Since you've been to both, can you point out some of the places you stayed?
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