Making plans to head out for a family vacation might seem like a fantasy at the moment with social distancing being our temporary reality. But, we’re looking ahead to brighter days when restrictions are eased and you can once again let the sun kiss your skin. We dug around for resorts and destinations that lend themselves to you easing back into travel while still allowing for a wee bit of distance. Read on, daydream and get excited to explore once more!
Mystique Blue: Isla Holbox, Mexico
Located just off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Mystique Blue, a boutique resort located on Isla Holbox, is the ideal getaway for families who want to continue social distancing. Isla Holbox itself is a small 26-mile island within the protected YUM Balam nature reserve, unspoiled by the mass tourism of other popular Mexican destinations, such as Tulum or Playa del Carmen.
Mystique Blue is located just minutes away from lush lagoons and an abundance of wildlife where families can participate in exciting excursions, such as learning how to kiteboard, birdwatching, kayaking through the mangroves or swimming with Whale Sharks. Kids will love getting to see the indigenous flamingos that roam.
Mahekal Beach Resort: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
For those looking for a taste of true culture, book the Mayan Culinary Casita for no more than ten guests, which rests inside a secluded alcove nestled in an emerald patch of jungle, where diners help native Mayan chefs prepare a private, multi-course lunch complete with Mayan rituals, hands-on interaction and rich, historical tradition. Or if travelers are looking for private suites boasting plunge pools, book Mahekal’s “Ocean Front” casitas or “Beach House” bungalows, which are located directly on the beach - just 10 steps from the crisp, Caribbean Sea—and tout open-air terraces with crochet hammocks, personal plunge pools or private outdoor moon showers.
Margaritaville Beach Resort: Nassau, Bahamas
Planet Hollywood Beach Resort: Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Surrounded by natural wonders, cultural richness and only-here experiences to explore, Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica is the ideal getaway for post COVID-19 travel. When it comes to ways that families can continue social distancing while traveling this summer, the all-inclusive resort just keeps giving.
Their Star Class™ Producer’s Suite, the biggest and baddest hotel room available, offers large windows ensuring uninterrupted views of the Papagayo Gulf, a private balcony that spans the entire length of the suite and comes complete with a personal jacuzzi, a personal kitchen area and in-room bar, and a pool table and Your Soundtrack™ that provide in-room fun and entertainment.
The resort has a curated list of private, off-property excursions to explore and discover the wonders of Costa Rica, non-motorized water sports (kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling and more!) that can be done alone or in small groups, and plenty of room to roam and bask in the beauty of the Papagayo Peninsula.
Bungalows Key Largo: Key Largo, FL
Plan a romantic getaway to recharge! The luxury, adults-only Bungalows Key Largo which celebrated its grand opening this past December as the first and only all-inclusive resort in the Florida Keys, provides intimate boat excursions (at an additional cost) for guests who would like to dive the world’s third-largest reef system, enjoy an unrivaled Florida sunset aboard “Lady B” the 56-foot sail catamaran or for a daytime sail—to lounge on Lady B’s drink mat sprawled across the stern or to kayak the Everglades, taking in the destination's beauty + wildlife.
Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Orlando, FL
Located next to a beautiful 85-acre spring-fed lake, Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa In Orlando is the perfect place to retreat with expansive villas, fully equipped kitchens, in-room jetted tubs and private balconies with fresh air overlooking lake views. The resort offers plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, including a marina with boat and kayak rentals, miniature golf and Sunset Key Island—a private tropical island oasis in the middle of a spring-fed 85-acre lake that makes the perfect setting for intimate get-togethers with family and friends.
Tallahassee, Florida lies in one of the most biologically diverse regions in the U.S. and is home to more than 700 miles of diverse trails—aptly lending the nickname “Trailahassee”—with abundant biking, hiking, paddling, equestrian and running trails. Notable parks and gardens within Tallahassee include Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens, Cascades Park and Tom Brown Park. With more than 20 undulating lakes or endless rivers, kayakers observe Florida’s wildlife on scenic adventures throughout the year. Whether by land or water, breath-taking landscapes, amazing wildlife and recreational activities abound for families during the summer that wish to practice social distancing.
Florida’s Sports Coast: North of Tampa, FL
Located just north of Tampa on the beloved Gulf of Mexico, Florida's Sports Coast offers a more active vacation spot to tackle your next adventure. The souvenirs you'll take home are legendary stories and unforgettable memories from one-of-a-kind attractions.
Book a private segway safari tour at Giraffe Ranch, for an intimate eco-experience. The wildlife preserve—located on 47 acres of rolling countryside, with huge live oaks, native orchids, lush pastures and ephemeral wetlands—is a Florida agritourism enterprise, open by reservation only (meaning you won’t have to battle large crowds as tours are strictly limited in size and are fun, educational adventures).
Go on an easy, edible, adventure—often referred to as an underwater Easter egg hunt, scalloping is one of the easier sea adventures (only requires basic swimming skills) making it an ideal excursion to be enjoyed by solo-travelers, families and groups alike—just grab a snorkel, mask and fins!
Rent a boat from Windsong Charters, and dive into captivating coastlines known for world-class flats fishing and some the highest scallop counts in the state. Be sure to swing by Anclote Key Preserve State Park for added seclusion—accessible only by boat, the preserve boasts seven miles of coastline and is home to more than 8,000 nesting shorebirds. Rich in wildlife and birding trails, birding enthusiasts can see countless native specifics that call the coastline home. . . and as an added bonus, a picturesque 1887 lighthouse stands as a sentinel on the southern end of the island.
Hike, bike and explore 100 vibrant area trails and 35 public parks. Trinity Cyclery will happily outfit your family with mountain bike rentals for off-the-beaten-path exploration.
— Maria Chambers