Family-Friendly Getaway Ideas in Punta Cana
I'm just back from a much-needed weekend getaway with the family. Our destination: Cap Cana, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Total travel time: 7 hours, round-trip. The mission: Do absolutely nothing.
All in all, our trip was a success (minus a couple of meltdowns at the airport and a nearly missed flight on the way back). If you're looking to stay put at a resort, Cap Cana is the perfect family getaway: there are beautiful beaches, countless water activities, and lush, tropical forests to explore. But it's not a destination for culture-seekers—it's a place for fruity cocktails, sun, and sand. Here, the highlights:
Stay: There are tons of resorts to choose from, but the newest (and where we stayed) is Eden Roc Cap Cana. The hotel's small, coral sand beach looks like something out of the Blue Lagoon, with perfectly placed palm trees and crystal blue water, and there's a great kids club onsite. The boys' favorite part: Every guest has access to a golf cart for getting around.
Eat: Besides the two great restaurants at the hotel, Juanillo Food & Drinks quickly became our go-to spot. The place is filled with stylish Dominicans and actually played some pretty decent techno. Order the classic ceviche. Avoid the pizza. All cocktails are good (except for a too-sugary margarita). Punta Cana Village has a few good spots, like El Burrito and Mamma Luisa, but be forewarned: there's also a Baskin Robbins (translation: you won't find Dominican flavor here). If you're looking to escape the kids for a night, head to La Yola. The seafood is excellent and the deck has incredible views over the marina.
Do: Wherever you stay, you'll be given a binder full of activities: zip-lining, cave tubing, snorkeling, visits to local communities, ATV treks , the list goes on. They all require at least half a day, and given our ultimate goal of relaxation, we decided to just lie on the beach and hop from pool to pool. It was enough to make us and the kids happy.
Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @csedlak1.