From Maine to New York, these new East Coast properties are making a splash.
Kennebunkport, Maine: Housed in a charming Victorian mansion on secluded Goose Rocks Beach, the 21-room Tides Beach Club(doubles from $325) recently opened with several brighly accented suites decorated by Jonathan Adler.
The Hamptons, New York: With a Cynthia Rowley boutique, a Nobu restaurant, and a poolside Bathing Club, the super-stylish Capri(doubles from $295) is a Southampton standout. For a haute-summer-camp vibe in Montauk, there’s Ruschmeyer’s(doubles from $475), complete with 19 cabins (dubbed “crash pads”) and an on-site beer garden.
Shelter Island, New York: Between the patisserie and the pétanque court, not to mention the Côté Bastide toiletries in the eight airy suites, Francophiles will love La Maison Blanche(doubles from $295), just a short walk from the shore.
Scavenger hunts built around a destination’s unique characteristics are quickly becoming my favorite trend in family travel. Engaging a kid in something beyond the hotel swimming pool is a sneaky way to keep them learning while on vacation and to cultivate passionate travelers and fun travel companions.
You probably mapped out your Labor Day weekend months ago. Wait. What? You're still looking for something to do? If you're down for a little last-minute travel, I highly recommend going to the second annual Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival in Piscadera Bay from September 2-3. With headliners like Sting, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, and the Bradford Marsalis Quartet, it should be an amazing weekend on this beautiful island. (Located well outside of the hurricane belt, might I add?) Tickets are $185 and are still available at www.curacaonorthseajazz.com.
If you follow the dusty, pebble-scattered dirt road to Playa
Langosta from Tamarindo on Costa Rica’s dense Pacific coast, you’ll
observe a small stop sign jutting from tropical foliage, demanding you to halt—for
tacos. The sign serves equal parts recommendation and warning, as it’s
the last place to catch a bite before Tamarindo’s ubiquitous eateries
give way to Langosta’s private beach estates.
Soon there will be a new reason to be enchanted by Puerto Rico. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company announced that it will open its second-ever Reserve property—one built to LEED Silver standards—in Dorado Beach. The luxury island destination first grabbed travelers' attention when Laurance S. Rockefeller opened one of his eco-friendly RockResorts in the area more than 50 years ago. In December 2012, the Ritz-Carlton Reserve hopes to boost interest in the tropical sanctuary with a 115-room oceanfront hotel and residences and a renovation of the original Dorado Beach Resort.
The brand's exclusive Reserve extension features "low-density" boutique resorts in exotic corners of the world, with more indigenous materials, as well as local products and traditions. At this time, the only other Reserve location is Phulay Bay in Krabi, Thailand.
Expert advice from our friends at Beach Tomato: The perfect beach isn't always about undiscovered sands in far-away places. Sometimes, tucked in the most frenetic of cityscapes there's that paradisiacal pocket of bliss. The urban buzz makes the sands come alive—for after-work sundowners, to do your morning workout, or to meet friends as the weekend arrives. As coastal capitals the world-over show us, beach-life and city-life can go hand in hand. Here are our favorite city beaches right now:
1. Hat Jomtien near Bangkok, Thailand A 90-minute taxi ride from downtown Bangkok drops you in the upbeat beach town of Hat Jomtien. Just a few km south of its big brassy sister Pattaya, Jomtien feels a world away. The vibe is calmer and the waters clearer, attracting a host of water-sporties and in particular windsurfers who ride on the light coastal breezes. A long, straight stretch of sand with plenty of shade it has all essential elements of a typical Thai beach town. Without the go-go bars.
As a heat wave is melting New York, I'm day-dreaming of this gorgeous coastal town where the average summer high hovers just below 70. Can you guess where this is?
Log in and leave your guesses below and check back on Monday for the answer.
UPDATE 7/25/11: We stumped you this time! Some people guessed Monterey on our Facebook page. They were close, but not quite right. This is Carmel Bay in California. If you look closely, you can see the golf course at Pebble Beach in the upper left corner.
Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.
T+L Editors have picked the Top 10 semi-finalists for the Coastlines and Beaches photo contest, and now it's up to you to vote for the winner! Will it be this lovely shot of Santa Monica's boardwalk at twilight? Or one of the other semi-finalists? Click here to vote for the one you think deserves to win.
You have until July 31, 2011 to make your opinion count, so vote now and vote often! The winner will receive Elgato: EyeTV HD and publication in Travel + Leisure.
What are the best hotels in the world? Travel + Leisure's features director, Nilou Motamed, shares the winners of this year's annual World's Best survey. Plus, our readers also weigh in on the best cities, cruises, famiy travel, and more. Find a complete list of award-winners here, and start planning your next vacation today!