Sun-Drenched Vacation Spots of Your Dreams

Sun-Drenched Vacation Spots of Your Dreams
The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo.(Dreamstime/TNS)
Tribune News Service
Lynn O’Rourke Hayes
Create warm family memories in a sun-drenched and relaxing destination. These five ideas will encourage you to begin planning now.

St. Martin & Anguilla

Gift yourselves a double dose of sunshine. A unique package makes it possible to experience a dual island treat: the dazzling beachside luxury at Belmond La Samanna on the Caribbean island of St Martin, paired with the pristine paradise you’ll discover at Belmond Cap Juluca on neighboring Anguilla.

At La Samanna, you’ll enjoy hiking adventures, island discovery tours, art programs and guest lecturers as well as al fresco massages, evening cruises and plenty of beach time. Don your sun hats for the semi-private boat transfer to Anguilla and prepare to immerse yourselves in the dreamlike beauty of Cap Juluca, where every room is a beachfront haven. Pristine white walls and Greco-Moorish columns frame a stunning turquoise sea that will surely tempt your loved ones in for kayaking, paddle boarding and splashing about. Pamper yourselves in the luxurious Arawak spa where ancient healing treatments and locally sourced ingredients will nourish your spirit.

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Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Pair island sunshine with seaside sports and you have the ideal all-inclusive vacation for active families. Your kids can learn to fly through the air with the greatest of ease during the resort’s circus school trapeze class. They may also return home bragging about walking a tight rope, riding a unicycle and jaw-dropping juggling skills (adults can learn, too). Take part in sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, paddleboarding and outdoor fitness classes when not relaxing in the shade of the coconut palms. Club Med Punta Cana is suitable for families with kids of all ages, and visitors can expect a wide range of supportive programs and amenities for babies as young as 4 months old.
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South Seas Island Resort, Captiva Island, Florida

Choose from hotel rooms, cottages and villas within 330 seaside acres when you plan a stay at this former Key lime plantation. The whole family can learn about manatees, dolphins and the local ecosystem as your crew explores the island on your own or with a guide. Learn to snorkel and surf, enjoy the pool amenities or head out for mangrove exploration. Enjoy some friendly competition on the tennis court or golf course. Later, gather for sunset seashell collecting on the 2-mile white sandy beach.
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Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

Seamlessly integrating the Peninsula’s vibrant landscape with the amenities of a contemporary eco-luxury hotel, the 182-room resort will deliver the sun-drenched vacation for which you’ve been yearning.

Tap into the “pura vida” lifestyle (it’s for real) and choose from a long list of adventure, spa, fitness and wellness opportunities served up in a relaxed and welcoming indoor-outdoor environment. Access kayaks, paddleboards and jet skis from the beach, take an electric bike tour or relax by one of several pools that overlook the volcanic sand beach areas.

For a family-friendly introduction to the exotic fauna and flora of Costa Rica, take a guided tour of the Trail of the Giants, a scenic adventure that showcases the region’s birds, monkeys, iguanas, butterflies and giant trees while providing jaw-dropping views of the resort’s Arnold Palmer golf course and the Pacific Ocean. The Kids for All Seasons club features a kids pool and junior lounge chairs as well as a range of immersive programs to entice the youngest guests.

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The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida

Consider a vacation that includes bonfires on the beach, hayrides, a catamaran cruise, family golf lessons, kayak races, snorkeling, drive-in movies on the golf course viewed from golf carts and movies in the pool. Add laser tag and magic shows, and it may be tough to pile the kids back into the car or plane to head home. Parents will appreciate the Family Entertainment Center, a self-contained multiplex adjacent to the resort’s Italian Restaurant, offering “play & dine” opportunities for families.

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Note: As always, check for travel restrictions and updates before making final plans.

(Lynn O’Rourke Hayes ( is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer. Gather more travel intel on Twitter @lohayes, Facebook, or via
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