Escape the Cold: The Best Places to Warm You Up

If you’re lucky enough to have vacation days scheduled around the holiday season, now is a great time to start planning. If you wait much longer, airline prices will start to rise, and all the best hotels will be booked up. If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line, chances are you’ve already had a couple days of cold weather and are just starting to realize that summer is truly over.

If you’re nervous about the potential of having to dig out your winter boots and remember how to walk on snow, you aren’t alone. This year take a break from cold and dreary weather by picking a warm-weather destination for your holiday vacation. There are tons of places to choose from depending on your budget, and what you want to do while you’re away.

Now is a great time to lock down plans, so check out this list for some inspiration for the best places to warm you up this winter.

Costa Rica

Located in Central America, Costa Rica has always been a popular tourist destination because of its beautiful weather, stable political climate, and incredible biodiversity. If you’re interested in exploring interesting wildlife and trekking through the rainforest this winter, Costa Rica is the place for you. Our winter is definitely the high season there, so it’s important to book early if you want to secure the best deals and most exclusive activities.

If you don’t know much about logistics in Costa Rica, and want to leave sweating the small stuff to the professionals, you might consider booking an organized tour — it will allow you to pack a lot of activities into a short time span, and there are a lot of outdoor adventure companies in Costa Rica that have great reputations for organizing amazing excursions. Just make sure any tourism business you interact with has an official CST (Certificate of Sustainable Tourism).

Photo by Joel Sharpe / Getty Images

Paradise Island, Bahamas

If your idea of a holiday looks more like sitting at a beach than it does trekking through the rainforest, Paradise Island in the Bahamas might be more your speed. Paradise Island is located just offshore of the Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas.  The area has been under development by hotel owners and real estate moguls since 1959. In just 60 years, it has been transformed from a narrow, sandy spit called Hog Island to a booming hotel metropolis.

The most famous resort on the island is Atlantis, a massive complex that encompasses six huge towers that can accommodate hundreds of thousands of guests. The accommodations are all centered around an aquatic theme park called Aquaventure, which includes incredible features like a 60-foot slide through a massive, shark-filled tank, 14 different lagoons filled with a huge variety of fish and aquatic mammals, and the mile-long Rapid River artificial waterway.

If you want to stay at Atlantis, or one of the other Paradise Island resorts, it’s wise to book early. If you’re on a budget, focus on suites at the Coral Towers or Beach Tower.

Pola Damonte via Getty Images / Getty Images



The Best Flower Displays in the World

Flowers are one of the most beautiful objects in nature — their bright faces remind us of sunshine and warm weather, and their perfume can help us recall specific memories that all our other senses have forgotten. While many of us strive to make our home the perfect outdoor oasis, others focus on spectacular displays of flowers that can only be found in a small number of places. We’ve scoured the globe for some of the most beautiful flower displays open to the public. If you’re a fan of beautiful flowers both cultivated and wild, check this list out.

Lights Out: Abandoned American Drive-Ins

The first drive-in movie theater was opened in the United States in 1915. This innovation marked yet another step in the American entertainment industry. For the first time ever, families could see a movie together without having to get out of their car. Although for a time, drive-in movie theaters were popular all over the United States, with almost a thousand open during their heyday in the 1950s and 60s, the rise of the luxurious multiplex drove most American drive-ins out of business.

Mini Guide to South Africa

South Africa is the southernmost country in the African continent with a population of approximately 56 million people (24th most populous nation). It has a coastline of nearly 2,800 kilometers being part of both the Indian and Atlantic Ocean. It has a difficult history of racial segregation (apartheid) and massive inequality, despite having the seventh…