As fun as snowy winter weather can be, sometimes you just need to escape for some vitamin D therapy. Do you envision relaxing on a white sandy beach? Or is the dry heat of Arizona calling your name? From the bustling city of Oahu to the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, these are the top desert, beach and city destinations for your 2016 travel adventures.
Nothing beats the heat of the desert. And nothing compares to its wide-open spaces, geological beauty and quiet solitude.
Death Valley, California
If vitamin D therapy is definitely what you need, a visit to warm and sunny Death Valley is just what the doctor ordered. The Valley is known for its record-breaking heat.
Plan your visit in the spring, and you will get to see the valley of death turn into a valley of life. From February to July there is a spectacular explosion of wildflower blossoms covering the desert floor.
Any time of year, you can visit Death Valley’s sand dunes, relax in warm hot springs and marvel in its stark natural beauty. With names like the Devil’s Golf Course and Mosaic Canyon, how can you resist?
Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is one of the United States’ incredible natural wonders, stretching a vast 277 miles from end to end. A mile straight down you will find the Colorado River winding its way along the canyon floor.
You can explore the canyon in every way imaginable. Hiking, backpacking, biking, off-road driving, helicopter flights and mule rides are only some of your options. A must-see stop is the Grand Canyon skywalk—a glass walkway that extends 70 feet out from the canyon’s rim.
Pictures don’t do this breathtaking sight justice; you truly have to experience it in person.
Is there anything more relaxing than lying out in the sun, burying your toes in the sand and watching the waves? These exotic locales may be just the winter pick-me-up you need.
Turks and Caicos Islands, Caribbean
The Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean are home to picture-perfect white sand beaches. With consistently warm temperatures, even at night, you’ll never be cold.
Plunge into the warm blue water and snorkel over exquisite reefs. Or take to the sky in a breathtaking hot air balloon tour. When you’re ready for a break, you can enjoy beachfront dining with views that can’t be beat.
Once you enjoy a walk down the powdery white shores of the Caribbean, you won’t want to go home!
With its turquoise lagoons and sherbet sunsets, Phuket is an island conjured out of a dream. Surrounded by the clear waters of the Andaman Sea, it is home to silky-soft beaches and picturesque views.
Whether you are looking for world-class diving, an exciting rainforest adventure or a round of golf at international-standard courses, Phuket has no lack of activities.
Once you have had enough sun, Buddhist temples, Chinese shrines, relaxing spas and a lively nightlife entertainment scene await you.
Experience the perfect mix of city life and beach living with these cities full of rich cultural destinations and lively party scenes.
Sandy white beaches and clear blue water seem to epitomize Hawaii. While Oahu has lovely beaches and scenery for you to enjoy, it is the heart of its big city that distinguishes it from the other Hawaiian Islands.
If you love art, food, shopping or surfing, Oahu is the place for you. The island is full of cultural and historical sites, including Pearl Harbor, the Bishop Museum and the Polynesian Center. Many of these destinations are accessible and can be easily reached by public transportation.
Enjoy a day in the city, then kick back and watch a sunset on one of the island’s pristine beaches. With Oahu you will get the best of both worlds.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Once a small fishing village, the bustling city of Playa del Carmen is now one of Mexico’s top travel destinations. Home to many all-inclusive resorts, this trendy city has a European flair with restaurants and shopping to fit every taste.
In Playa del Carmen you can meet playful spider monkeys, explore ancient ruins and visit Mexico’s best golf courses. Take a trip to the popular Xcaret eco-Park and swim with dolphins, explore a bat cave and see jaguars up close.
Playa del Carmen’s vibrant culture is the perfect getaway for the city lover. Beachside lounges and exquisite dining awaits you in this Euro-chic Mexican city.
Escape the cold grip of winter and head for someplace warm and sunny. Kick back and relax, go on an adventure or party the night away—the choice is yours. Go get that vitamin D and make 2016 the year you embark on your next great adventure.
Tracy Layden is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Tracy leads the marketing efforts at Alert-1, a personal safety technology and consulting firm dedicated to helping seniors live safely and independently. Tracy holds a degree in mathematics from Scripps College and is an accomplished ballroom dancer and equestrian.