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FLORIDA & CARIBBEAN 20 20

THE MAGIC IS BACK! Safety plans at theme parks

PLAY-ACTION ON HOLD Super Bowl LV awaits ruling

UNPLUGGED PARADISE Off-the-grid getaways

LINKS & LUXURY Posh golf resorts

Divine Everglades National Park, Florida


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

CONTENTS

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FLORIDA & THE CARIBBEAN

UNPLUGGED PARADISE Disconnect and enjoy an off-the-grid getaway

THE ABACO CLUB


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

CONTENTS FLORIDA

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This is a product of

LUXURY LINKS Take a swing in style at posh golf resorts

EDITORIAL

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AMUSEMENT ABOUNDS Theme parks reopen with safety protocols

DIRECTOR Jeanette Barrett-Stokes jbstokes@usatoday.com

MANAGING EDITOR Michelle Washington mjwashington@usatoday.com

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MIAMI MAGIC Tourist mecca is open for business amid coronavirus concerns

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jerald Council jcouncil@usatoday.com

ISSUE DESIGNER Debra Moore

SeaWorld’s Kraken coaster

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TOUCHDOWN

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DRIVE-INS

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SANIBEL SHELLING

Tampa writes the playbook for Super Bowl LV

Enjoy classic movie fun from a safe social distance

JOHN RAOUX/ASSOCIATED PRESS

UP FRONT

8 10 12

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

RISK FACTORS How COVID-19 will change the way you travel

Tips for gathering beautiful and bountiful beach treasures

CARIBBEAN

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ISLAND ALES

DESIGNERS Hayleigh Corkey David Hyde Gina Toole Saunders Lisa M. Zilka CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lisa A. Beach, Susan B. Barnes, Priscilla Blossom, Lisa Davis, Shelby Deering, Jayme Deerwester, Chris Elliott, Morgan Hines, Kae Lani Palmisano, Melanie Reffes, Shameika Rhymes, Sarah Sekula, Kristen Seymour, Kathryn Streeter, Curtis Tate

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ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Vanessa Salvo | (703) 854-6499

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BACK TO PARADISE

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MEXICO SANS TRAVEL

Idyllic island locales welcome tourists with safety in mind

vsalvo@usatoday.com

FEATURE FINANCE

ON THE COVER Sunset over mangroves in Florida’s Everglades National Park

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HAPPY CAMPERS Stargaze and snooze on Florida beaches

Experience Puerto Morelos without leaving home

Billing Coordinator Julie Marco ISSN#0734-7456

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Share Curiosity. Read Together. w w w. r e a d . g o v


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Devil’s Bridge natural rock arch in Antigua GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY MICHELLE WASHINGTON

THE OUTBREAK OF AND response to COVID-19 has affected our lives, our livelihoods and the economy at the local, national and global levels. And it has had a profound effect on the travel industry. As we grapple with the unprecedented scope of this pandemic, many events, festivals and celebrations have been suspended or canceled. However, across the country businesses that provide lodging, food and transportation are starting to reopen with varied stipulations and baseline measures in place that aim to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. The USA TODAY Network is committed to providing timely, engaging and accurate information in our coverage, but given the evolving nature of this health crisis, we realize that there will undoubtedly be changes to the accessibility of many of the locations, venues and services mentioned throughout this publication. Please check ahead for the latest updates. We also know that the travel and tourism industry is resilient. It has rebounded from natural disasters, economic recessions and other crises before, and while this pandemic is uncharted territory, it is our hope that national and international exploration will resume soon. In the meantime, we will continue to look beyond today and provide you with the amazing sights, sounds, tastes and experiences that await.

Michelle Washington Managing Editor


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

UP FRONT | TRAVEL

GETTY IMAGES

Risk Factors How COVID-19 will reshape your next trip

By Curtis Tate

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RAVEL IN THE MIDDLE of a global pandemic presents challenges, with each activity carrying its own level of risk for contracting the virus. Joseph Khabbaza, a pulmonary and critical care physician who treats coronavirus patients at the Cleveland Clinic, says the primary path of transmission is contact with respiratory droplets spread by infected people. Face masks, physical distancing, frequent hand-washing and cleaning of surfaces have become standard across the travel sector. “Every industry has interventions in

place to make things safer,” Khabbaza says. “Companies are bringing in outside health experts. That can be a little bit reassuring.” Khabbaza offers his thoughts on the relative risks of different travel activities and best practices:

AIR TRAVEL In spite of all the precautions now in place, he says flying offers the most potential for exposure to the coronavirus because of the nature of how planes are configured. “Once you’re in the cabin, you don’t know who’s on the plane,” he adds. “You’re in relative closer proximity to


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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UP FRONT | TRAVEL people you don’t know.” Still, he says, flying is safer than it was earlier in the pandemic because of the changes airlines have made. “It is as safe as they can make it,” Khabbaza says. In addition to spacing and sanitizing, he says face masks add an extra layer of protection from the virus. Most U.S. carriers now require passengers to wear them.

TRAINS AND BUSES Surface transportation presents similar challenges to those in aviation, Khabbaza says. “Distancing isn’t always possible to the extent you’d like,” he says. “That’s not going to go away as long as the virus is around.” Like the airlines, Amtrak and intercity bus operators like Greyhound and Peter Pan are requiring passengers to wear face masks. They’re promoting physical distancing when possible and cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces more often. CRUISE SHIPS Cruise ships remain a concern for travelers, as passengers continue to contract the disease on board, but Khabbaza says companies are putting new precautions in place, which should limit contamination as long as passengers and crew members adhere to them. “It involves buy-in from everyone,” he says. Cruise ship passengers can stay separate from other groups on the ship by staying in their rooms. Common areas of the ship offer space for distancing, and outdoor activities are inherently less risky for disease transmission, Khabbaza says. The elimination of buffet food service, a move under consideration by multiple cruise lines, would remove a point of potential transmission not only for the coronavirus, but also for the foodborne illnesses that have long plagued cruise ship operations, Khabbaza notes. THEME PARKS As some of the nation’s larger theme parks reopen, such as those run by Universal and Disney, they are taking precautions. Overall, Khabbaza says theme parks are at the safer end of the spectrum. Why? Theme parks are universally implementing changes that include social distancing, mandatory face masks, the increased availability of hand sanitizer and the increased disinfection of high-

contact surfaces. Disney World in Florida canceled events such as parades, fireworks displays and its big Halloween celebration that draw large crowds and closed attractions that involve person-to-person contact. Theme parks are also mostly outdoors, posing a lower risk than enclosed spaces. They’re also limiting the number of visitors who can enter. “Less people is definitely better than more people,” he says.

ROAD TRIPS Khabbaza advises taking precautions every time you step out of the car, whether for gas, food or a rest break. He also recommends using hand sanitizer every time you pump gas and discourages using your phone while you’re doing it. “Even locally, that’s a very important practice,” he says. With adults or older children, Khabbaza says it should be safe to visit convenience stores and restaurants. “If you’re traveling with young kids, that changes it a bit,” he says. “Kids run around and touch stuff.” With younger kids, he says take them to the restroom and then back to the car to eat. That minimizes their exposure to surfaces and items where infected droplets may have fallen. HOTELS Hotels have increased their cleaning and disinfecting procedures for hightouch surfaces and common areas, as well as encouraged physical distancing. They’ve recommended online check-in and automatic checkout to eliminate face-to-face interactions. They’ve sealed items in rooms, such as coffee cups and glassware, and have eliminated minibars. Khabbaza says it’s not a bad idea to bring your own disinfectant wipes to use on surfaces in the room. The risk of coronavirus from housekeeping should be relatively low, he says, though housekeeping staff are going from room to room. “If they carry the virus, potentially the risk is they could bring it to your room,” he says. CAMPING Camping is probably the safest activity, Khabbaza says. It’s outdoors, and you’re likely to stay with your own family or social group. Some campgrounds remain closed, though, including those in national parks. Check before you go.

GETTY IMAGES

THREE THINGS THAT CORONAVIRUS MIGHT ELIMINATE ▶ The breakfast buffet. Hotels are going to have to seriously rethink the way they serve food, says Stephen Fofanoff, an innkeeper at Domaine Madeleine, a bed-and-breakfast in Port Angeles, Wash. “We’ve eliminated our common breakfast dining experience in favor of delivered in-room dining,” he says. ▶ International trips. At least initially,

most vacations will happen domestically. “After the lockdown is lifted, tourism will be more national and regional,” predicts Simone Semprini,

CEO of TourScanner. “Countries will exit the crisis at different moments, and the only thing they can do to avoid the virus entering the country again will be closing the national borders.” ▶ Concerts and cramped seating. “Social distancing will be forever with us,” says Michael Sheridan, an assistant professor of tourism and hospitality management at Temple University. “Larger gatherings like festivals and concerts will not be at the forefront of many people’s travel plans until a vaccine or known antibodies are present to secure a safe travel experience for their entire family.”

— Christopher Elliott


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

UP FRONT | TRAVEL

Beach Basics Stock up on essential supplies By Kristen Seymour

M

AKE SURE YOUR BEACH

day is memorable for all the right reasons by bringing everything you’ll need for fun in the sun.

Take care of your skin — and the ocean — with a reef-safe sunscreen like COOLA’s Classic organic sunscreen spray. $25, coola.com

Useful for sun protection or as a headband, insect shield, face mask and more, Buff’s CoolNet UV+ multifunctional headwear is next-level handy. $15 to $24, buffusa.com

Cover up in comfort without compromising style in this lace-trim tunic featuring dramatic wide sleeves. $98, tommybahama.com

With a top zip, multiple interior pockets and the ability to spring back no matter how you pack it, you won’t want to hit the beach without this Eric Javits Squishee tote. $375, nordstrom.com PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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UP FRONT | MEAD

+ HALEY HILL PHOTOGRAPHY

OPPEGAARD MEADERY Tukwila, Wash. Oppegaard’s most popular mead is the Dragon’s Blood, an off-dry blend made with local sweet clover honey mixed with raspberry, blackberry and blueberry mead. Another popular pick is Taco Meat, a honey wine imbued with taco spices.

CHAUCER’S Santa Cruz and Monterey, Calif. Bargetto Winery has been producing Chaucer’s mead since 1970, using honey harvested from hives throughout the Sierras. It’s the fruity and sparkling meads that draw a lot of attention from visitors.

CHATEAU LORANE Lorane, Ore. Located on a 200-acre estate, guests at Chateau Lorane can enjoy sipping wine from a tasting room that overlooks gorgeous fir trees and a private lake. Though it specializes in traditional varieties as well as rare and exotic vintages, honey wine is a sweet addition to the robust offerings.

LOST CAUSE MEADERY San Diego Lost Cause was one of the most-awarded meaderies in the world at last year’s Mazer Cup International Mead Competition. Its Harmonic Sequence won a gold medal, Mounds Rushmore and Condor Attack scored silver and Barrel Aged Easy Bender took bronze.

ORAN MOR ARTISAN MEAD

ORAN MOR ARTISAN MEAD Roseburg, Ore. Head mead maker Lilly Weichberger has dedicated her life to viticulture and enology, and it shows through Oran Mor Artisan Mead’s award-winning honey wines. One of the most notable is Aphrodite’s Obsession, made with wildflower honey fermented with hibiscus, elderberry and lime.

HONEY POT MEADERY

HONEY POT MEADERY Anaheim, Calif. Serving up honey wine ranging from dry to dessert sweet, this meadery is a delicious detour off of the La Palma Beer Trail. To get a taste of what Honey Pot is all about, try Prelude, an awardwinning traditional mead made with orange blossom honey.

GLENDA DOWNS

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what’s tops in travel, food and culture, providing inspiration to explore the world around you.

SKY RIVER MEAD Redmond, Wash. One of the oldest wineries in the state of Washington, womenowned Sky River produces mead and honey wine. For a layered flavor journey, try the lavender or cherry vanilla mead. Or for a more traditional flavor, sample the dry mead, infused with honey and fruit tones.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

UP FRONT | TRAVEL

You can’t have a proper beach day without drinks and snacks, and this 7-quart Igloo Playmate Pal cooler holds just the right amount. $29.99, publix.com

Elevate anything you wear to the beach (while shielding your face from the sun’s harmful rays) with this wide-brim packable straw hat. $59.50, jcrew.com

Hours of outdoor fun are practically guaranteed as you strive to set new records for your longest volley with the Majik paddle ball set. $9.99, target.com

Make getting everything you need out to the beach a breeze with the MacSports collapsible outdoor utility wagon, which includes a side table and drink holders. Starting at $99.97, amazon.com Whether you want your coffee to stay hot as you hit the beach for sunrise or keep your iced tea cool later in the day, this 24-ounce Tervis tumbler is up to the task. $19.99, publix.com

Stay safe and enjoy the refreshing scent of citrus and sea salt with Puracy’s gel hand sanitizer, available in various sizes. $35.97 for a three-pack of 12-ounce bottles, puracy.com PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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UP FRONT | TRAVEL

You can’t have a proper beach day without drinks and snacks, and this 7-quart Igloo Playmate Pal cooler holds just the right amount. $29.99, publix. com

Elevate anything you wear to the beach (while shielding your face from the sun’s harmful rays) with this wide-brim packable straw hat. $59.50, jcrew.com

Hours of outdoor fun are practically guaranteed as you strive to set new records for your longest volley with the Majik paddle ball set. $9.99, target.com

Make getting everything you need out to the beach a breeze with the MacSports collapsible outdoor utility wagon, which includes a side table and drink holders. Starting at $99.97, amazon.com

Whether you want your coffee to stay hot as you hit the beach for sunrise or keep your iced tea cool later in the day, this 24-ounce Tervis tumbler is up to the task. $19.99, publix.com

Stay safe and enjoy the refreshing scent of citrus and sea salt with Puracy’s gel hand sanitizer, available in various sizes. $35.97 for a three-pack of 12-ounce bottles, puracy.com PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

UP FRONT | GOLF

Go Fore It Get your golf fix in luxury surroundings at these Florida resorts JOHN CAMERON

By Priscilla Blossom

F

LORIDA HAS LONG BEEN a prime year-round

destination for golfers. The sunny skies and warm climate are great for spending plenty of time outdoors, not to mention the quality dining and entertainment that make it a hot spot for snowbirds and other wanderers. All over Miami and South Florida, you’ll find some of the best and most challenging courses and others that are better for beginners. No matter how often you golf, check out these options recommended by USA TODAY’s 10Best.com to find the right range for you:

JW MARRIOTT MIAMI TURNBERRY RESORT AND SPA The 36-hole Soffer Golf Course, located on a 300-acre resort nestled within Miami-Dade’s affluent Aventura neighborhood, was originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and later reimagined by Raymond Floyd. It has served as host for several LPGA and South Florida PGA championships. Key features include beautifully landscaped holes on lush green velvet fairways and an island green on the 18th hole with a signature waterfall. It’s a favorite on the resort circuit because the variety of tee box locations ensures that all players can enjoy the course without feeling defeated by the length, while scratch golfers will appreciate the challenging water hazards and the shaping of shots required to navigate some fairly narrow fairways. The greens (which are in top condition), electric carts with GPS, high-caliber caddies and more make Soffer worth the trip.

PGA NATIONAL RESORT AND SPA Home to five championship courses that are absolutely dreamy to play on, the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens is a haven for golfers. This luxury resort hosts the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic and the Bear Trap. You don’t have to be much of a golfer to stay here because there’s plenty more to enjoy. Try your choice of activities at the sports and racquet club, or make it a day of luxurious pampering at the 40,000-square-foot European spa. SAM GREENWOOD/GETTY IMAGES


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UP FRONT | GOLF

CRANDON GOLF AT KEY BISCAYNE Crandon Golf is an 18-hole, par-72 course that has hosted a number of national PGA events. This scenic, wellkept golf course features mangroves, saltwater lakes and, of course, perfect views of Biscayne Bay. Despite its beauty, it’s also an entirely affordable spot to whack a few balls. Crandon has putting greens, a driving range and a stellar pro shop for those who need it. If you’re still new to the game, rent your equipment here and then take some lessons to make the most of your swing. It’s also home to the Junior Golf Summer Camp, where aspiring Arnold Palmers can truly get good at the game. No other golf course in Miami-Dade County has views of the bay like Crandon Golf. And the fact that it’s a public course is an added bonus.

SHEREL PURCELL

THE BILTMORE, MIAMI-CORAL GABLES The 18-hole Biltmore Golf Course features a par-71, Donald Ross design from 1926. Doglegs both right and left figure prominently here adding to the challenge (suitable for the University of Miami’s women’s team, which plays here). The signature 17th hole features a green surrounded by water on three sides. On several holes, the impressive hotel, a member of Historic Hotels of America, is visible in the background. After your round, take a refreshing dip in the largest hotel pool in the United States, located just behind the clubhouse. You could also indulge in a treatment at the Biltmore Spa. Guests start in a steam room bedecked with alluring Mediterranean décor and then move on to aromatherapy massages. JOHN CAMERON

JW MARRIOTT MARCO ISLAND BEACH RESORT Mention Marco Island and you’ll get nothing but positive responses from people who have visited the largest of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands. It seems like just about everyone loves vacationing on this little isle, located on the Gulf of Mexico. Two outstanding courses in the area are located at this Marriott resort. Both the Audubon-certified Hammock Bay Course and The Rookery offer many bird and wildlife spotting opportunities. At the upscale resort, opt for a poolside villa or a penthouse suite with lots of outdoor space overlooking the Gulf. Two towers offer a variety of standard rooms. Dining options include a madeto-order pizza restaurant situated on the water and a bar with live entertainment — both are perfect for watching the sunset.

JOHN CAMERON

LAPLAYA BEACH & GOLF RESORT The LaPlaya Golf Club in Naples offers a challenging and beautiful 18-hole, par-72 Robert Cupp-designed course. It includes an elegant clubhouse and full practice facilities. The resort’s colorful lobby reflects Naples’ abundant flora and fauna with custom artwork of hibiscus flowers and monstera leaves. Among its other amenities, LaPlaya features a 23-slip marina overlooking Vanderbilt Bay as well as an array of water activities, including fishing charters, boat rentals, kayaks and parasailing. Enjoy this luxury experience on a pristine, private, 6-acre white sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico, complete with award-winning beachside dining, a luxurious spa and waterfront views from each guest room and suite.

10Best.com is your source for what’s tops in travel, food and culture, providing inspiration to explore the world around you.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

UP FRONT | THEME PARKS

Amusement Abounds Theme parks reopening with safety protocols

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HE MAGIC IS BACK! Florida’s theme parks are back in action after a nearly five-month shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since reopening, all parks have introduced a range of new health and safety measures aimed at protecting visitors and stemming the spread of the coronavirus, including reduced capacity, cashless payments, temperature checks upon arrival and enhanced cleaning practices. Some rides are temporarily closed due to social distancing restrictions. Here’s what visitors can expect at some of the most popular parks in the state:

Disney World DAVID ROARK/DISNEY WORLD

DISNEY WORLD Some events, like parades and fireworks, have not returned to avoid creating crowds. Disney World’s water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, have not reopened, with no date set for them to resume. Guests will find a new Disney Park Pass reservation system and “park hopping” among Disney’s four theme parks is currently not allowed because of attendance limitations. Starting Sept. 8, operating hours at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom will be scaled back by one or two hours.

JOHN RAOUX/ASSOCIATED PRESS

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO

LEGOLAND FLORIDA RESORT

JERRY SOVERINSKY

The park and water park are open daily. New attractions include Pirate Island Hotel, and three new rides within The Lego Movie World: Masters of Flight, Unikitty’s Disco Drop and Battle of Bricksburg.

SEAWORLD

BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA BAY AND SEAWORLD ORLANDO Reservations are now required to enter both parks in order to limit capacity. New attractions include: Busch Gardens: Tigris, Florida’s tallest launch coaster, is now open. SeaWorld: The park’s first launch coaster, Ice Breaker, with a 93-foot spike at a 100-degree angle, is slated to open this year, as is Riptide Race, a dueling racer ride, at the Aquatica water park. Visitors to SeaWorld can also enjoy Sesame Street Land, which opened in 2019.

Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay are open. Most attractions and experiences within the parks are in operation and accessible, with the exception of children’s play areas. Guests are encouraged to use the Universal Orlando Resort App to purchase tickets, order from park restaurants and reserve ride times via the Virtual Line feature. New attractions at the parks include Universal’s Epic Universe and The Bourne Stuntacular show at Universal Studios Florida.


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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hawaii

Waimea Valley Park lovers visiting Oahu flock to Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach. But on the island’s northern coast, a halfhidden valley of gardens, sacred cultural sites and a waterfall await. “People who show up at our visitor center often ask, ‘what is this place?’” says Richard Pezzulo, executive director of Hi’ipaka LLC, the nonprofit organization that owns and manages the valley. Waimea Valley’s history as a living pu’uhonua, or “place of refuge,” dates back nearly a thousand years. Archaeological sites, including ancient burial grounds and a temple, preserve the past while more than 50 gardens showcase tropical flora — more than 5,000 species, many rare and only grown here. During COVID-19, staff are requiring masks in some areas, regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces and limiting some activities, like artisan demonstrations. If you’re seeking solitude, Pezzulo recommends Palm Meadow, shaded with indigenous palms, or a stroll along Kamananui Stream. At the far end of this paradise, you can swim beneath a 45-foot waterfall. HI’IPAKA LLC, WAIMEA VALLEY; GETTY IMAGES


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

FLORIDA | MIAMI

Miami Magic Tourist mecca reopens amid coronavirus concerns

GABRIEL GARCIA/GREATER MIAMI CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

Local leaders and tourism officials are welcoming visitors to Miami, where venues like Maurice A. Ferré Park, also known as Museum Park, in downtown are open for business.

By Lisa A. Beach

I

N MID-JULY, FLORIDA SHATTERED

a U.S. record with more than 15,000 new COVID-19 cases reported in a single day — with Miami at the epicenter. Long known as a top international travel draw, how does one of the nation’s hottest tourist destinations reopen amid a pandemic? Very cautiously, according to city and tourism officials.

OPEN, WITH LIMITS “This needs to be clear: Miami is open. Our hotels are open, our restaurants are

open and our beaches are open. Visitors can still expect the same world-famous Miami hospitality, just under the ‘new normal’ guidelines,” says Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March. “But as badly as we want our city to recover, and as badly as we want to get out of COVID, we must find the right balance of safety for our visitors and our residents.” In July, when Miami was experiencing the peak of the virus, Miami-Dade County reinstated a 10 p.m. curfew before the July Fourth holiday and, a week later, once again closed indoor dining at restaurants. In a July 16

news conference outside Miami City Hall, Suarez signaled he’d consider a lockdown if the rise of positive cases and hospitalizations continued. “I want to avoid a shutdown. I want to make that clear,” Suarez told reporters. But with the pent-up desire to travel, people are flocking to Florida — and Miami in particular — according to Rolando Aedo, chief operating officer of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. Amid such a fluid situation, guidelines for many tourism touch points (such as hotels, restaurants and airports) continue to evolve. “We’re modulating our message to

ensure that, for those who are willing to travel, yes, we are open for business with some limitations,” Aedo says. “We welcome you, but in a responsible way.” Responsible means washing your hands frequently, practicing safe social distancing and wearing a face mask at all times — now mandatory within city limits — when you’re out in public.

WHAT’S OPEN, WHAT’S NOT Many Miami businesses and recreational venues are open. Most have some kind of restrictions (such as capacity, activities allowed or operating hours) as


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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FLORIDA | MIAMI well as safety protocols in place to follow current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Florida Department of Health guidelines. For example, Suarez says hotels are open and operating at 30 percent to 40 percent occupancy. With a a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. countywide curfew in place, here is the status of various venues and activities at press time:

“As cases begin to decline, we’ll be able to continue with the phased reopening of the city,” says Suarez. “While there will still be many unknowns in the months to come, what we know for certain is that every decision we make is driven

by evidence and data. Our businesses will remain open as long as they are considered safe to be so.” And Aedo points to fall and winter events still on the docket, such as Art Basel, a renowned international art

OPEN Beaches; marinas and waterways; select parks, gardens and trails; golf courses; some hotels; museums; restaurants (outside dining only); entertainment venues; retail stores

CLOSED Interior dining rooms; banquet halls and ballrooms; bars and nightclubs; gyms and fitness centers; park playgrounds; some dog parks, some pools, picnic shelters, basketball and volleyball courts and sports fields; Zoo Miami

FALL FORWARD While it’s difficult to predict what lies ahead as Miami — and the rest of the country — continues to grapple with the pandemic, Suarez and Aedo remain optimistic.

GREATER MIAMI CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

Visitors to public spots like Miami’s South Beach must follow COVID-19 guidelines.

festival that was canceled in March in Hong Kong and in June in Switzerland. The Miami event is scheduled for Dec. 3-6 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Aedo says that, with 1 million square feet of exhibit space, the venue lends itself to social distancing. “I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll still have some of these large-scale events towards the end of the year,” he says. Helping to stop the spread of the virus remains a top priority, and exploring Miami means everyone — residents and tourists — has to do their part, says Suarez. “Miami is open, but if you do decide to travel, please get tested or self-isolate both before you arrive and after you leave to ensure that you are not potentially infecting fellow passengers or traveling with the virus,” he advises. “The most important thing for both residents and tourists is safety.” If you’re thinking about traveling to the Miami area, check local tourism websites for the most current information. Visitors can take advantage of deals from hotels, museums and attractions, courtesy of the Miami Shines program (miamishines. com) and enjoy dining deals from programs such as Miami Eats, launched during the pandemic, and Miami Spice, an annual event highlighting the city’s ever-evolving culinary scene.

PLAN AHEAD Check the latest coronavirus case counts in Miami, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against traveling to areas where transmission levels are high. For the latest information on traveling to Miami during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the following websites: ▶ Greater Miami Convention and

Visitors Bureau: miamiandbeaches.com ▶ City of Miami: miamigov.com ▶ City of Miami Beach:

miamibeachfl.gov ▶ Florida Department of Health:

floridahealthcovid19.gov ▶ Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention: cdc.gov GREATER MIAMI CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

Congregating at popular tourist sites, including Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, is allowed, but under social distancing rules.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

FLORIDA | TAMPA

Game On! Tampa is writing the playbook for Super Bowl LV

Raymond James Stadium TAMPA SPORTS AUTHORITY

By Susan B. Barnes

W

HEN TAMPA, FLA., WAS

named the host site for Super Bowl LV in May 2017, the city immediately began planning to welcome enthusiastic football fans from around the world. Now, in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee and local officials

are working around the clock to not only make the area welcoming to football fans with fun-filled events leading up to the big game on Feb. 7, 2021, but a healthy and safe destination, too. “Our hotels, airport and attractions are taking safety very, very seriously,” says Visit Tampa Bay CEO Santiago Corrada. “All of our major players are really focused on all of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines, taking those proactive measures.

And our local government has been very proactive. “We have, from day one, done as much as possible to ensure public safety, and that will continue,” Corrada adds. As of late August, Florida was in phase 2 of its reopening plan, with restaurants, shops and museums open at 75 percent capacity; occupancy at large sporting events limited to 50 percent; and theme parks open with limited capacity. State parks and beaches are open with social

▶ Stay up

to date on Super Bowl LV preparations at tampabaylv. com and visittampabay. com.


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FLORIDA | TAMPA distancing parameters in place. In late June, the secretary of the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation mandated that bars across the state cannot serve alcohol. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will determine when to initiate phase 3, at which time the state will be fully reopened.

GAME PREP In anticipation of the Super Bowl, a number of multimillion-dollar development projects have either been completed or are scheduled for completion in time for the big event. They include: Midtown Tampa. This 1.8 million-squarefoot project featuring retail and residential space, including office buildings, apartments and a hotel with a rooftop activity area, is on track to be completed by February 2021. JW Marriott Tampa Water Street. This 26-story hotel will feature 519 guest rooms and suites, 89,757 square feet of meeting space, a fitness center and spa, and a 3,200-square-foot ballroom, the largest in the Tampa Bay area. It is scheduled to open in November. St. Pete Pier. This 26-acre attraction along the city’s waterfront provides space for residents and visitors to walk, bike, dine, drink, shop and more. An extensive $92 million renovation is complete and the area is open to the public under COVID-19 safety protocols. Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement. This museum, located on Fourth Street, is expected to include an extensive collection of furniture, pottery, textiles, photography and fine arts from the American Arts and Crafts movement. It’s scheduled for completion by game day. Clearwater Marine Aquarium. An $80 million expansion of the aquarium, near Clearwater Beach, including a new home for Winter the dolphin, will have a total of 103,000 square feet of guest space, more living space for rescued dolphins and increased room for wildlife rehabilitation. Completion is targeted for late 2020.

FANFARE READY When it comes to the game itself, the host committee and the NFL are working to create a positive fan experience by recruiting about 8,000 volunteers to serve as community ambassadors. These ambassadors will provide event and

Skyline of Midtown Tampa, Fla. GETTY IMAGES

destination information to locals and visitors all around the city, including at Tampa International Airport, downtown and along the Riverwalk, as well as at local hotels. “We are thrilled to bring our region its fifth Super Bowl and will rely heavily on our supportive community and locals to show the world what our area has to offer,” Rob Higgins, host committee president and chief operating officer stated in a press release. “Team Tampa Bay will work together to help our hometown shine on the biggest of stages.” Preparations are also being made at Raymond James Stadium, the site of Super Bowl LV. “We continue to work with the local host committee to ensure a safe and secure experience for our fans, players, clubs and partners at all our Super Bowl events,” says Brian McCarthy, an NFL spokesman. “Our planning processes and decisions will be led by the latest recommendations of public health experts and in accordance with local and state mandates. We will continue to make adjustments as necessary to meet the public health environment as we approach the 2020 season, playoffs and Super Bowl.” In addition to adhering to updated COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, fans traveling to the area through Tampa International Airport will benefit from recent renovations and expansions, including easy-to-navigate

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Raymond James Stadium, the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will host Super Bowl LV. Tampa Bay has hosted four Super Bowls, the last being in 2009.

terminals with clear signage, local and regional restaurants and shops, and a SkyConnect train that connects the main terminal to the new rental car center. “Super Bowl LV is destined to be historic, and we are so excited to host it right here in Tampa,” says Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. “We are taking every measure possible to ensure that

we can have a fun and safe Super Bowl, including working with our hospitality, transportation and tourism partners.” One might say Castor is making a game-winning prediction for the local Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “We can’t wait to welcome the teams and fans to Tampa, and to become the first host city to win that (Vince) Lombardi Trophy.”


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

FLORIDA | MOVIES

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: DEBRA MOORE/GETTY IMAGES

Drive In! Enjoy classic movie fun from a safe social distance By Shameika Rhymes

T

RANSPORT YOURSELF BACK IN time to when families and

couples on date nights loaded into cars and parked in rows facing a 50-foot screen lit up with the current action, drama, romance or comedy flick at a drive-in theater. This nostalgic entertainment touchstone, which largely faded over

time from many parts of the country, has returned to vogue as the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered movie theaters and promoted quarantining and social distancing. If you’re looking for a safe escape from the confines of your home for a few hours, make your way to one of the approximately 400 drive-ins that remain in the U.S., down from about 4,000 in the late 1950s. In Florida, only seven ac-

tive drive-in theaters remain. Operators of those that managed to survive the ebb and flow of trends and technology say movie lovers flocking to the venues are lured by the same factors that drew people to the drive-ins of yesteryear: family fun and a good bargain. Prices at drive-ins across the state vary, but on average a family of four can see a double feature for $25 or less, including snacks.


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FLORIDA | MOVIES

SUN SOUTH THEATRES

GO OUT TO A DRIVE-IN Here are seven drive-in theaters across the Sunshine State: SUN SOUTH THEATRES

Ocala Drive-In concessions PROVIDED BY JOHN WATZKE

“A walk-in theater is a movie. A drive-in is a memory.” Ocala Drive-In

— JOHN WATZKE, owner, Ocala Drive-In

1. Ocala Drive-In, Ocala ocaladrivein.info 2. Funlan Swap Shop and Drive-in, Tampa floridaswapshop.com/new-tampa 3. Joy-Lan Drive-in Theatre & Swap Shop, Dade City joylandrivein.com 4. Ruskin Family Drive-In Theatre, Ruskin ruskinfamilydrivein.com 5. Silver Moon Drive-in Theatre & Swap Shop, Lakeland silvermoondrivein.com 6. Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, Fort Lauderdale floridaswapshop.com 7. Lake Worth Swap Shop & Drive-in, Lake Worth floridaswapshop.com/lake-worth-1

PROVIDED BY JOHN WATZKE

The American drive-in era began in 1933 when the first theater opened for business in Camden, N.J. While it only survived three years, the concept caught on, and by the early 1960s, more than 4,000 drive-ins were filled with moviegoers. Eventually, drive-ins fell prey to the popularity of movie theaters, and VCRs allowed for viewing in the privacy of homes. Today, they compete with Netflix, Hulu and other at-home moviestreaming services. Some drive-ins are experimenting by hosting nonmovie events such as concert viewings, graduations, church services and even weddings. Florida’s Ocala Drive-In is one of the oldest in the state, and its screens have gone dark just twice in its 64-year history. This year, owner John Watzke

says the drive-in was the only one still operating and showing first-run movies at the start of the pandemic. He says coming from a long line of projectionists, he knew the show must go on, so he made changes for the safety of his customers. “I roped off every other parking space that allows not just 6 feet, but as much as 12 to 14 feet” for social distancing. As an alternative to the walk-up concession stand, Watzke added a feature to the drive-in’s website “where people could order their food and have it delivered to their vehicle.” Watzke claims Ocala Drive-In has the largest screen in the state. “It’s 65 feet tall, 90 feet long and you can see it from two blocks away,” he says. Visitors have traveled up to three hours to watch the silver screen under

a starry sky. “I came from the Daytona Beach area just to experience the (Ocala) drive-in, and it was well worth it. Can’t beat the price (and) the concessions were good and reasonable,” wrote Frank Smith in a review on Facebook. Sun South Theatres owns and operates the Silver Moon Drive-in Theatre & Swap Shop in Lakeland and the Joy-Lan Drive-in Theatre & Swap Shop in Dade City. Silver Moon offers films on its two screens seven days a week, and situated an hour west of Orlando, it’s the closest drive-in to the family attractions in central Florida. Both Silver Moon and Joy-Lan also operate swap shops, so you can make an entire day of shopping and watching movies. Chip Sawyer, president of Sun South Theatres, says people come from as far away as the Space Coast to catch a

flick. “It is really neat to see avid fans of the movies, or younger people that have never even seen the classic movies, come enjoy the shows.” Pamela Womack grew up in Lakeland and says going to the Silver Moon is an experience she treasures. “I want my kids to have this too, so we go as much as possible,” she wrote in a review on the drive-in’s Facebook page. Watzke says the drive-in experience is something that lasts longer than a double feature. “If they see that movie at a drive-in ... they will tell you what drive-in they saw it at, what kind of vehicle they were driving, who was with them and even what the family ate,” he says. “That’s the difference between a walk-in theater and a drive-in. A walk-in theater is a movie. A drive-in is a memory.”


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

FLORIDA | SANIBEL ISLAND

Shell? Yeah! Tips for gathering beautiful and bountiful beach treasures

THE BEACHES OF FORT MYERS & SANIBEL


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FLORIDA | SANIBEL ISLAND By Shelby Deering

I

FIRST LEARNED ABOUT Sanibel

Island, Fla., when I was 7 years old. I remember poring over a book my parents had given to me titled Florida’s Fabulous Seashells: And Other Seashore Life. There was a section called Why Sanibel Is So Special, and I was immediately drawn to the photos of shell piles. I soon traveled to Sanibel Island for the first time. Even though I live in Wisconsin, I’ve been to the island nearly every year to partake in one of my favorite activities: shelling. Decades later, the island still boasts seashells so plentiful that you can hear jingling sounds as the waves bring them ashore. “Sanibel is unique in many ways, but what really stands out are the seemingly endless amount of shells lining its beaches,” says Dorrie Hipschman, executive director of Sanibel Island’s Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. “During winter storms, the crescent shape of the island helps trap shells that wash ashore in large numbers.” With its curved profile and ideal positioning on the Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel truly is a sheller’s paradise. If you’d like to seek seashells by the seashore (say that five times fast!), here are some helpful tips to get started:

THE BEACHES OF FORT MYERS & SANIBEL

BAILEY-MATTHEWS NATIONAL SHELL MUSEUM

BEST SHELLING TIMES

PROPER GEAR

Expert shellers know the best daily and yearly times to score the finest seashells. “The best times to go shelling on Sanibel are at low tide, during a new or full moon and after a winter storm with strong, consistent northwest winds,” says Hipschman. “Complex, localized currents and waves from these northwest winds often push in shells from further out in the Gulf of Mexico.” When I arrive at a Sanibel hotel, I always ask for a tide chart (most local hotels have them). Shelling during low tide means more beach is exposed, which makes finding shells easier, Hipschman explains.

From an early age, I learned that Sanibel shelling and going barefoot don’t mix. “Shoes are a must due to the abundance of shells on the beaches,” Hipschman says. “If you have a pair of water shoes, that will work fine.” As for a shell bag, Hipschman says, “mesh shell bags are the best. You can get them wet, and they dry quickly. They’re reusable, and they can hold a good amount of shells.” For tiny shells, also called micromollusks, she adds that a pill container with a lid works well. If you’re not game to bend down several times during your shelling jaunt (locals call it the Sanibel Stoop), a scoop can be useful. Find them at area stores and the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum gift shop.

Junonia sea snail REBECCA MENSCH

TYPES OF SEASHELLS

TAKING THEM HOME

I’ve been shelling so long, I can rattle off the names of Sanibel seashells as if they’re beloved old friends. For new shellers, I’d recommend stopping by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce to pick up an identification chart (you can also pick up a tide chart there) and the Bailey-Matthews museum has more comprehensive versions. Look for common, yet beautiful shells on the beach like the multihued Atlantic calico scallop, the striking lightning whelk and the quintessential Florida fighting conch. There are three rare varieties that intrepid shellers keep in their sights: the lion’s paw, which looks like a large scallop; the orange and white Scotch bonnet; and the granddaddy of them all, the elusive junonia, a polka-dotted, deep-sea shell that seldom appears on the shore.

While you’re sure to be mesmerized by the wideranging selection of shells and will want to add as many as possible to your bounty, beware that some have to stay on the shore. “It is important to note Florida banned the collection of live mollusks from all of Lee County’s beaches, including Sanibel,” Hipschman says. If you plan to travel with the treasures you’re allowed to take, Hipschman says, “Within the United States, it is recommended to put shells in checked luggage. For international visitors, they may want to mail their shells back home. Every country has different rules for what can enter and leave the country.”


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

Bond with nature and stargaze all night long

Happy

Camper s

By Susan B. Barnes

Pitch a tent or pull up your camper and be lulled to sleep by the sound of waves lapping on the shore at these beachside campsites on Florida’s Gulf Coast — no white noise app necessary.


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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Santa Rosa Beach

Dewey Destin’s restaurant

Destin Henderson Beach State Park was established for the preservation and protection of the region’s natural features, including the last remaining coastal scrub area in Destin. The park’s 60 campsites can be reserved up to 11 months in advance and accommodate tents or recreational vehicles with water, electricity, picnic tables and grills. Additional amenities include heated and air-conditioned restrooms with showers and coin-operated washers and dryers. Follow the boardwalk through 30-foot white sand dunes to the pristine, mile-long coastline where you can swim, fish and watch for wildlife. Overlooking Destin Harbor, nearby Dewey Destin’s restaurant serves up a fresh catch of the day, plus a variety of other seafood options in a casual setting. The calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico are perfect for paddleboarding, and for those who have some experience, Paddle Tribe Co. also offers paddle yoga classes. Fishing enthusiasts will want to visit the Destin History and Fishing Museum where the history of the “Luckiest Fishing Village in the World” is honored. GETTY IMAGES(4); DEWEY DESTIN’S

Grayton Beach State Park on Florida’s Panhandle is considered prime camping real estate with 59 sites that can accommodate tents or RVs. The campgrounds are pet-friendly, have access to electricity and water and can be reserved up to 11 months in advance. If you’d rather not camp, 30 two-bedroom, onebath duplex cabins are also available and feature heating and air conditioning, a kitchen, screened-in porch, outdoor grill and a gas fireplace for cooler winter temperatures. A 4.5-mile hiking and biking trail leads to the backwaters of Western Lake, popular for fishing and paddling. Start your day with coffee and a pastry at Black Bear Bread Company. They also serve breakfast sandwiches and tartines such as smoked salmon and avocado. The Grayton Beach Bike Tour, offered by Eventure Tour Co., guides electric bike riders through the beach town to Western Lake and the Gulf of Mexico.


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Tierra Verde Locals love to set up camp at Fort De Soto Park, south of St. Pete Beach, and enjoy all of the outdoor activities the park has to offer: fishing, canoeing, kayaking and boating, not to mention its nearly 3 miles of white sand beaches. More than 230 campsites for tents or RVs can be reserved six months in advance; each includes electricity, water, charcoal grills and picnic tables. Modern restrooms with showers, laundry facilities and a camp store are nearby. Campers can also hop the ferry or kayak over to Shell Key Preserve, accessible only by watercraft, for primitive camping. Free permits are required to camp. Grab a bite to eat or toast the sunset with a waterfront view at Billy’s Stone Crab and Seafood restaurant, which has been serving locals and visitors for more than 40 years. Add a bit of surrealism to your beachside stay with a visit to The Dalí Museum in downtown St. Petersburg, which houses more than 2,400 of artist Salvador Dalí’s works.

Siesta Key Set up camp for up to 30 nights at Turtle Beach Campground on Siesta Key, known for its powder-soft white sand and turquoise waters. Reservations for the 40-plus campsites, which accommodate tents and RVs, can be made up to 12 months in advance. Each campsite includes electricity, water, sewer and free Wi-Fi; laundry facilities and restrooms with showers are centrally located, and a picnic area with grills is available. From May through October, there’s a good chance that campers will spot loggerhead and green sea turtles laying eggs that will hatch on the beach at night. Take the free, openair trolley from the campground to Siesta Key Village, where you can find a variety of dining options, including Siesta Key Oyster Bar, which offers live music. Campers can don their gear and enjoy some of the best snorkeling in the waters around Point of Rocks at Crescent Beach, which is a short trolley ride away.

Captiva Accessible only by private boat, ferry (Captiva Cruises from Captiva Island, Punta Gorda and Pine Island; reservations required) or kayak, campers who stay at Cayo Costa State Park will feel they have the entire 9-mile-long island to themselves. Each of the 30 primitive tent campsites has picnic tables, ground grills and access to potable water, and the nearby restrooms have cold showers and flush toilets. Other than that, campers are on their own to enjoy fishing, swimming, snorkeling, shelling, walking and bicycling along the nature trails, as well as the 9.5 miles of undisturbed beach. Wildlife spotted from the island may include manatees, dolphins, shorebirds and even sea turtles that nest on the area’s beaches. Make sure you visit The Bubble Room, an iconic restaurant on Captiva that has been serving lunch, dinner and fabulous desserts in its distinctive setting for 40 years. If you don’t find enough shells on Cayo Costa, ferry over to the islands of Sanibel and Captiva and perform the Sanibel Stoop. VISITSTPETECLEARWATER.COM; VISIT SARASOTA COUNTY; THE BEACHES OF FORT MYERS AND SANIBEL; GETTY IMAGES (2)

Campers have plenty of ways The Dalí Museum

to pass the time, including museums, dining, beach time and of course, fireside chats.

Siesta Key Oyster Bar


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ALASKA | ATTRACTIONS

RIVERBOAT DISCOVERY

WHITE PASS & YUKON ROUTE RAILWAY Skagway Built during the Yukon Gold Rush in 1898, today the real treasures aboard this narrow gauge railroad — an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark — are the glaciers, gorges, mountains, waterfalls, tunnels and bridges on display as the vintage train climbs almost 3,000 feet in just 20 miles.

RIVERBOAT DISCOVERY Fairbanks The Binkley family, owners of Riverboat Discovery, have been in the steamboating business for five generations. A three-hour journey takes passengers from Fairbanks to sites like the kennels of the late four-time Iditarod dogsled champion Susan Butcher and an Athabascan Indian village. GETTY IMAGES

HOMER Anchoring the southern end of Sterling Highway, the artsy town of Homer sits on a split jutting out into beautiful Kachemak Bay. From the waterfront, visitors are greeted with a breathtaking panorama of snowcapped peaks, glaciers and fjords promising outdoor adventure, while the creative types who inhabit the town lend it a decidedly bohemian vibe.

JOCELYN PRIDE/STATE OF ALASKA

SITKA NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK Sitka Sitka National Historical Park protects the site of a battle between an indigenous Tlingit tribe and Russian traders. Park highlights include the restored Russian Bishop’s House, where visitors can learn about colonial Russia in North America, and a collection of striking Tlingit and Haida totem poles.

ALASKA MARINE HIGHWAY The Alaska Marine Highway ferry system leads the way to communities and areas not otherwise accessible by car. Passengers can walk, bike or drive right onboard — a convenient and budget-friendly way to experience areas like the Inside Passage or Aleutian Islands.

CHILKOOT/ISTOCK

UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA’S MUSEUM OF THE NORTH Fairbanks Thousands of years of Alaskan natural and cultural history are on display at the Museum of the North in Fairbanks. The collection of more than 1 million artifacts is organized into 10 categories: archaeology, birds, earth sciences, documentary films, fine arts, ethnology/history, insects, mammals, plants and fish/marine invertebrates. And if you can’t make an in-person visit, the museum offers virtual activities, exhibits and video tours at uaf.edu/museum/virtualmuseum.

BRIAN ADAMS/STATE OF ALASKA

10Best.com is your source for what’s tops in travel, food and culture, providing inspiration to explore the world around you.

GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK & PRESERVE Covering a vast expanse of 3.3 million acres, Glacier Bay National Park is the highlight of Alaska’s Inside Passage, with its dramatic glaciercarved fjords, rugged coastline and swaths of protected temperate rainforest. With only three hiking trails, but more than 700 miles of coastline, this park is best explored by boat, especially during summer when humpback whales and orcas pay a visit to the bay.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

Paradise UNPLUGGED Ditch your devices and enjoy an off-the-grid getaway By Sarah Sekula

GETTY IMAGES


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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WATER-LOVERS UNITE THE ABACO CLUB ON WINDING BAY Great Abaco, Bahamas

STEP AWAY FROM THE iPAD.

Take a break from tweeting. And don’t even think about checking your email. For your next vacation, consider going cold turkey by ditching all your tech tendencies and completely unplugging. The goal here is to cure your case of digital dependence and actually get a good dose of R&R. “To truly relax on vacation, we need time away from technology,” says Chris Bailey, author of Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction and The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention and Energy. “The best research that I’ve found suggests that it takes about eight days for our mind to get used to a new (and lower) level of stimulation. Obviously, many of our vacations are not this long. But, by stepping back from tech as much as possible while we step back from work, we can settle our mind significantly.” Here are some destinations that make it extra easy to take a needed breather from the grip of your gadgets:

THE ABACO CLUB ON WINDING BAY; GETTY IMAGES

Replace the cellphone beeps and the email alerts with the sound of crashing waves and the gentle chirp of Abaco parrots. The Abaco Club on Winding Bay specializes in helping you completely forget about social media and such. “If we’re not careful, spending too much time using technology can affect our mental health,” Bailey warns. “Our desire to stay on top of what’s happening in the world can lead us to anxiety-scroll through the latest news updates and social media posts. “Technology can also speed up our perception of time, leading us to fast-forward through large parts of our day. It’s never been more critical that we take a step back from technology.” Getting yourself to a secluded spot can help with that. And Great Abaco, about 200 miles east of Palm Beach, Fla., fits the bill when it comes to exclusive getaways. After all, The Abaco Club, located along the island’s western shore, is known as one of the most luxurious private resort-style communities in the Bahamas. First, rent a cabana, cottage or estate home where you’ll have access to a 2.5-mile private beach as well as a top-rated Scottish-style links golf course and award-winning restaurants to distract you from all things technology related. Next, choose your water-sport adventure du jour: snorkeling, kayaking, catamaran sailing and paddleboarding are all available. Enjoy dinner at The Cliff House where you can sample the catch of the day. And then unwind in the infinity pool overlooking Winding Bay.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

HELLO SUNSHINE! SUNSET KEY COTTAGES Key West, Fla. Sunset Key Cottages just off Key West makes a grand escape for a digital detox. For starters, the fact that you can only get to this small island via ferry or private boat means it’s a place where you can truly escape the crowds. Better yet, once you’re there, the only form of transportation you need are your own two (bare) feet. No cars are allowed and the island is quite small, so it’s easily walkable. Here, it’s common to while away the day lounging poolside, taking part in Saturday morning yoga or strolling through the garden on a tour led by a staff horticulturist. And be sure to treat yourself to a deep therapeutic massage and detoxifying mud treatment at the spa. At sunset, continue in sloth mode by taking a dip in the ocean and watching sailboats pass by. Come evening, fill your belly at the resort’s fine-dining restaurant, Latitudes, with crowd pleasers like mushroom ragu linguine and Caribbean lobster tail with sweet potato risotto. SUNSET KEY COTTAGES; GETTY IMAGES

DISCONNECT TO CONNECT Author Chris Bailey offers these tips for setting your tech aside on vacation: Disconnect with intent. You’re more likely to not check email if you enable an auto-response

message saying you’ll be away, and you’ll be less likely to check Instagram if you post an update saying that you’ll be doing a two-week digital detox. Plan ahead. Stepping

back from technology can let us slow down, reflect and take stock of our lives. But doing so can also make us restless — this is why it’s important to replace the time we would usually

spend using technology with something else. Be sure to have plenty of activities to occupy your mind: books, board games and family outings included. Remember, your

mind is predisposed for distraction. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re craving a hit of mental stimulation from Instagram. But also remember that you deserve a break.


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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TROPICAL LUXE INN ON 5TH Naples, Fla.

THE RITZ-CARLTON

“People relax in different ways, and smartphones are becoming a dominant way that people take a break,” says Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University. “The problem is that

it takes us away from the people and things in our real life — our kids, spouses, friends who are vying for our attention.” The Inn on 5th offers plenty of ways to reconnect with your family. Whether you and your crew choose to spend hours in the Gulf of Mexico’s turquoise water or strolling the Eurocentric, walkable downtown area, it’s easy to unwind. “Relaxing on vacation is hard for most modern people who are used to running around juggling a too-busy schedule, but finding ways to relax without technology is important,” says Lembke. “My tip is to bring one phone for the whole group that stays turned off except in cases of emergencies.

Otherwise, leave all devices behind.” When hunger strikes, indulge in a meal at Truluck’s Seafood Steak & Crabhouse or the Ocean Prime restaurant and lounge on the property or numerous dining options located nearby. When you’re ready to explore, take a daytrip to the Everglades in search of stingrays and sea sponges. While you’re there, mail messages on sea-grape leaves at the nearby post office. Stop by Marco Island if you have time and book a ride on the Dolphin Explorer for the chance to play biologist for a few hours. As part of a working research project, you will help identify the dolphins.

EASY BREEZY THE RITZ-CARLTON Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman has the island lifestyle down pat. It’s everything you hope an island resort would be, and it’s smack dab on the famous Seven Mile Beach. This AAA five-diamond property will have you at “hello.” The luxe hotel is divided into two buildings. One faces a lagoon, the other faces the ocean. Connecting the buildings is a long corridor packed with local art. Beachside activities include boogie boarding, snorkeling and scuba diving. Afterward, snag a cabana where a beach attendant will deliver cocktails and casual bites. Kids and adults can enjoy the Ambassadors of the Environment program, created by famed ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, for its kayak trips through mangroves and night snorkeling excursions. It’s a glamorous property, but also family-friendly. You can stargaze alongside an astronomer, enjoy a movie night or schedule a kids’ tuck-in with milk and cookies.

GETTY IMAGES; INN ON 5TH


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

CARIBBEAN | CRAFT BEERS

Island Ales Craft beers stay true to the Caribbean vibe By Kae Lani Palmisano

T

HE CRAFT BEER BOOM isn’t just happening in the United

States. Caribbean brewmasters have also been perfecting their beers, opening small breweries throughout the islands. Here are some excellent craft breweries that prove now is the best time for Caribbean beers:

CAYMAN ISLANDS BREWERY Grand Cayman Several of the brews crafted by Cayman Islands Brewery have won awards internationally. Among them are the Ironshore Bock, a medium-bodied malty beer with hints of brown sugar and caramel that give it a sweet finish, and the Caybrew, a lighter beer with a spicy herbaceousness. ▶ cib.ky

TERRI BROWN

FRENCHTOWN BREWING St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands Currently, Frenchtown Brewing is the only production brewery on the island of St. Thomas. Its bestseller is the Hop Alley IPA, but beer lovers should also try the Frenchie Farmhouse Saison, a Belgian-style ale with a hint of spice, making it the perfect warm-weather beer. ▶ frenchtownbrewing.com

WEST INDIES BEER COMPANY Grenada No matter what time of year you visit, there are specialty small-batch brews to try. In addition to a rotating menu of seasonal and experimental beers, there are 16 different varieties on tap year-round. The flagship beer is the Windward IPA brewed with citrus hops. ▶ westindiesbeer.com/index.html

CAYMAN ISLANDS BREWERY

FIRESON BREWING Aruba Fireson Brewing is Aruba’s first craft beer brewery and bar. It features a rotating lineup of ales, IPAs and stouts, in addition to its Belgium Saison and Kolsch. ▶ firesonbrewing.com


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CARIBBEAN | CRAFT BEERS

32 ISLANDS BREWERY Mustique Island, St. Vincent & The Grenadines Every 32 Islands beer is made using natural ingredients and the local Vincentian water. Mustique WIPA (West Indies Pale Ale) is one of its featured beers and draws on the history of Indian Pale Ales with a bit of West Indies influence. ▶ 32islandsbrewery.com

PELIKAAN BREWERY St. Maarten It took Nicolas Carlini and Stephen Winkel about four years to get their microbrewery up and running, two of which were spent formulating their recipes. The coconut porter, the Mont Careta, and the mango blond, the Soualiga, are both island-inspired. Two bestsellers are Irma, a strong IPA, and the Mullet Bay, another blond beer that’s a bit smoother. ▶ pelikaanbrewery. com PELIKAAN BREWERY

EXPORT SAINT LUCIA

ANTILLIA BREWING COMPANY St. Lucia The beers from Antillia Brewing Company capture the essence and flavors of the Caribbean. Passion Fruit Ale is a refreshing drink made from local fruits. In celebration of the Caribbean’s history with rum, the Admirable Rum Cask IPA is aged in a cask that used to hold Admiral Rodney XO rum from the nearby Saint Lucia Distillers. ▶ antilliabrewingcompany. restaurantwebexperts.com

10 SAINTS BREWING Barbados For nearly a decade, 10 Saints Brewing has been developing premium craft beers and aging them in rum casks for that uniquely Caribbean flavor. Mount Gay, which is the world’s oldest rum distillery, provides 10 Saints Brewing with its Special Reserve rum casks, which helps achieve a refreshing lager with nuances of oak and rum. ▶ 10saints.com

BOQUERÓN BREWING CO. Puerto Rico Naming its beers after landmarks across the island, such as El Moro Imperial Porter, El Yunque Pale Ale and La Perla Pils, Boquerón Brewing captures these special places in every batch. First-timers should try those and the brewery’s flagship beers, the Boquerón Blonde and the Crash Boat IPA. ▶ boqueronbrewingco.com

CHAD ZELLNER

PIRATE REPUBLIC BREWING COMPANY Nassau, Bahamas Given that Nassau was at the heart of the golden age of piracy from the 1650s to 1726, it’s only fitting that this brewery celebrates the island’s pirate history. Beer labels sport famous names like Long John Pilsner and Black Beer’d Stout. ▶ piraterepublicbahamas.com

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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

CARIBBEAN | GETAWAYS

TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS The recipient of numerous best-beach awards, Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) reopened to tourists in late July under standard safety and health protocols. Six islands make up Turks and Caicos, the most developed of which is Providenciales, where flights arrive at Providenciales International Airport. The others are North, Middle and South Caicos, Grand Turk and Salt Cay. A curfew that had been imposed on Providenciales and North Caicos from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. was scheduled to be lifted Aug. 31. Shopping plazas and grocery stores are open, as are restaurants (but only for takeout). Hotels open for business include Palms Turks and Caicos, The Shore Club and Ocean Club Resorts’ Ocean Club and Ocean Club West, all within close proximity to the popular Grace Bay Beach. The Grand Turk Cruise Center remains closed. Entry requirements: Travelers need a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test from an accredited laboratory taken within five days of travel. The test result is a requirement to obtain a TCI Assured Travel Authorization to enter the country.

Caribbean Comeback Idyllic island locales welcome tourists with safety in mind

JAMAICA

Turks and Caicos Islands TCI TOURISM

By Melanie Reffes

A

FTER MONTHS OF LOCKDOWNS, curfews and

closed borders due to the coronavirus pandemic, the sunny Caribbean is readying to welcome back tourists. As restrictions, rules and regulations give way to new health and safety protocols, a number of islands are reopening their borders to travel from the U.S.,

while others are taking a wait-and-see approach. Many details are still uncertain, but when tourism resumes, social distancing, health screenings and frequent sanitizing will be the new normal. And face masks will likely be as necessary as swimsuits and sunscreen. “Thus far, the region has effectively minimized the spread of COVID-19,” says Frank Comito, CEO and director general, Caribbean Hotel and

Tourism Association. “Health and safety protocols are being put in place, mirroring the international standards which have been recommended and adding more stringent measures to help build traveler confidence; there’s every reason to believe we will be resilient once again.” These locales are eager for travelers to return and swap virtual happy hours in your living room for a rum punch by the water’s edge:

Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the island would reopen to international travelers June 15. Health screenings will be conducted upon arrival, and face masks will be mandatory at the airport, in taxis and at hotels and resorts. With stringent safety protocols in place, many hotels are open, including three Sandals Resorts (Montego Bay, Royal Caribbean and Negril); Beaches Negril; Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios; Sunset at the Palms Resort in Negril; and Couples Tower Isle and Couples Swept Away. Beaches Ocho Rios will reopen Oct. 8, and the Couples Negril and Sans Souci properties will be closed Sept. 1 to Nov. 30. Entry requirements: Tourists must complete an online travel authorization form and undergo a health screening, and U.S. citizens 12 years and older must also present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 10 days of arrival in Jamaica.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

CARIBBEAN | GETAWAYS

PUERTO RICO As part of its four-phase plan, the island reopened for business in late May with face masks mandatory in public and enforced social distancing. According to a travel advisory issued by Discover Puerto Rico, new rules include screening on arrival at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan where passengers who cannot provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test will be asked to selfquarantine for 14 days or until they can provide results, regardless of symptoms. An islandwide curfew is in place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Restaurants are operating with a maximum capacity of 50 percent and beaches are open Monday through Saturday but only to those doing solo sports or exercise training from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Casinos are closed, but golf courses are open with safety protocols in place. Many of the hotels are open, but pool facilities are closed. Malls and shops are operating at 50 percent capacity. As a U.S. territory, no passports are needed for American citizens arriving from the U.S. mainland. For those who enjoy the path less taken, you’ll have to wait a little longer to visit the islands of Vieques and Culebra; ferry service is currently only available to residents. Entry requirements: All arriving passengers must complete an online travel declaration form from the Puerto Rico Department of Health and show a negative PCR COVID-19 test result taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Travelers displaying COVID-19-related symptoms will be tested at the airport by the Puerto Rico National Guard.

SAINT LUCIA Visitors are required to present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of boarding a flight, face masks must be worn upon arrival and safety measures in taxis will separate drivers and passengers. Before resorts and hotels can reopen, they must obtain a COVID-19 certificate from the government that shows they’ve met more than a dozen criteria for sanitization. Jade Mountain and sister resort Anse Chastanet, Ladera Resort and Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort have added enhanced hygiene measures, distanced seating in restaurants and touchless interactions. Hotels scheduled to reopen in October include Windjammer Landing (Oct. 8) and Coconut Bay Beach Resort (Oct. 1, though the luxury, all-inclusive Serenity at Coconut Bay is open). The Sandals Grande St. Lucian resort is open; the Sandals Regency La Toc is scheduled to reopen Aug. 31 and the Halcyon Beach property has a Nov. 1 reopening date. Entry requirements: All arriving passengers age 3 and older must bring a completed travel registration form and have a negative result from a PCR test taken no more than seven days before arriving in Saint Lucia, the island’s tourism site advises. Hotel guests from areas other than a designated list of low-risk Caribbean islands are required to remain on property for the duration of their stay except to participate in water-based excursions arranged by the hotel.

ARUBA The Dutch island that sits below the hurricane belt reopened in July. Hotels, taxis, restaurants, casinos, stores and tour operators must obtain and display an Aruba Health & Happiness Code certification signifying compliance with a rigorous hygiene program put forward by the Aruba Tourism Authority and the Department of Public Health. At the airport, expect to find temperature checks, and at the hotels and resorts, you’ll find plexiglass barriers, digital keys and contactless check-in. At popular Arikok National Park, virtual guided tours are available. Hotels that are welcoming guests include Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino, Divi Aruba All Inclusive and Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. Entry requirements: All visitors must complete a disembarkation card with contact-tracing details such as their date of birth, passport information and the duration of their stay, as well as a health assessment interview. All visitors 15 and older must present a negative PCR test result. Visitors from designated hot-spot areas must complete their test 72 hours before departure or take one test before leaving and a second upon arrival at the airport. Others may opt to be tested upon arrival. The testing fee is $75. SAN JUAN MARRIOTT RESORT; COCONUT BAY BEACH RESORT SPA; ARUBA TOURISM AUTHORITY


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CALIFORNIA | GOLF

COVID-19 UPDATE

JOHN CAMERON

“The construction of the Journey at Pechanga golf course was controversial. Initially, the golf course builder wanted to clearcut our sacred trees, but we held firm.” — PAUL MACARRO, cultural coordinator, Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians

layout of the track. From a sustainability standpoint, the golfable areas at Journey at Pechanga cover 40 percent less ground than typical Southern California courses, and therefore require about 40 percent less water to maintain. Precipitation naturally runs from the hills above the course and collects in the lakes on holes 5 and 15. Before anticipated rainfall, groundskeepers use the lake water to irrigate the course and deplete the lakes to the halfway point. This allows rainwater to

naturally collect and refill the lakes. In addition, a high-tech irrigation system can identify — to the decimal — if an area of the course has received enough water, and if so, automatically shuts off. Renowned course designer Arthur Hills carved this championship 18-hole funhouse ride into the foothills of Temecula, routing fairways around the giant oaks, building doglegs that snake along fast-running creeks and featuring steep climbs to cliffside tee boxes. This is not your average resort course

by a long shot; coincidentally, that’s the shot you’ll need to clear hundreds of yards of scrub, rock-guarded waterways, steep fairway and greenside bunkers. To compensate for its toughness, Journey at Pechanga offers a welldesigned practice area. It’s divided into a separate driving range, putting green and a most-impressive short-game area. It’s complete with sizable sand bunkers and replica rough areas from which careful shots land on slanted greens to help golfers prepare for the challenges ahead.

Journey at Pechanga is currently open, and players must adhere to all Riverside County, Calif., health mandates, including wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing and riding one person per golf cart. All golf carts are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after each use, and staff are also required to wear protective gloves and face coverings. Golfers can reserve tee times online or via phone before arriving, and only credit or debit cards will be accepted for payment. ▶ Visit pechanga.com/indulge/ journey for more information.

2020 GOLF RATES Monday through Thursday: $129 per player Friday through Sunday: $159 per player


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

CARIBBEAN | MEXICO

Mexico Sans Travel Experience Puerto Morelos flavor without leaving home By Kathryn Streeter

T

RAVEL RESTRICTIONS RESULTING FROM the on-

going pandemic can create a hunger like never before to jump on a plane and get away. But, there are ways to summon the charms of the sun-washed, sleepy town of Puerto Morelos, Mexico, from the comfort and safety of your home. Daniela Trava Albarrán, general manager of the Grand Residences Riviera Cancun resort, resides in the area and says, “The intimacy and virtu-

ally untouched atmosphere is felt as soon as a traveler enters Puerto Morelos. The hidden gem stays true to its authentic coastal roots and is therefore able to provide a unique and culturally genuine experience. The shops, restaurants and various activities are all owned and operated by locals and provide an experience like no other. Puerto Morelos is truly a special destination to explore and experience.” Try these experiences to immerse yourself in the intrigue of this Caribbean locale from a distance:

EMBRACE SPIRITS A complimentary bottle of Ojo de Tigre (Eye of the Tiger) mezcal is left in every guest room at Grand Residences. Fortunately, you can soon experience the sweet and smoky mezcal at home because it is scheduled to enter U.S. markets this fall. Discover your inner mixologist with this blueberry mezcalita cocktail: Ingredients: 2 slices of lime ¼ cup of blueberries 4 mint leaves 6 ice cubes 2 ounces cranberry juice 2 ounces Sprite 2 ounces mezcal 1 mint sprig and 1 blackberry

KATHRYN STREETER

GET UP CLOSE WITH INDIGENOUS ANIMALS Croco Cun Zoo is a peaceful, uncommercial place housing indigenous rescues — most notably and abundantly crocodiles. There are no food stalls, eye-catching explanatory signage or interactive audio learning stations. Instead, admission comes with a trained biologist to conduct your personalized tour and answer questions about the animals. Take a video tour of the zoo on YouTube.

Instructions: Place lime, blueberries and mint in a glass tumbler. With a cocktail muddler, macerate until the juices are released and well mixed. Add ice, cranberry juice, Sprite, mezcal and mix. Garnish with mint sprig and blackberry. If vino is more your style, fall head over heels in love with sumptuous Mexican wines Solar Fortun cabernet sauvignon and Cava Cordova Primula chardonnay, which come highly recommended by Mario Blanco, owner and chef of Puerto Morelos’ new oceanfront Boquinete Seafood & Grill restaurant.

GRAND RESIDENCES RIVIERA CANCUN


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CARIBBEAN | MEXICO TURN UP THE MUSIC More than words, music explains the heart and soul of a culture. Enjoy local performers Rosy Cueva and Daly Zavala, who comprise Dueto Musical Cielito Lindo. The singing female duo play the vihuela and guitarrón, traditional mariachi instruments, providing entertainment around the country as well as for special events at Grand Residences. Check out some of their performances on their Dueto Musical Cielito Lindo Facebook page. KATHRYN STREETER

FEAST ON THIS LOCAL FAVORITE Don your kitchen apron and prepare dinner for two, re-creating one of the region’s most popular dishes, tequila-soaked shrimp:

GETTY IMAGES

REJUVENATE WITH A LOCAL SPA TREATMENT At Grand Residences, the honey and sugar exfoliant is a favorite spa treatment, and the simple ingredients make it easy to make at home: Ingredients: ½ cup brown sugar 3 tablespoons of honey 2 tablespoons of olive oil (can be replaced by almond oil or coconut oil)

Instructions: Mix sugar and honey in a bowl until a thick paste emerges. Add oil, mixing well. Apply scrub on clean face (avoiding the eye area), neck and décolletage using gentle movements. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove with warm water. — Grand Residences Riviera Cancun

Ingredients: 8 tablespoons butter 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 2 sliced Guajillo chilis 8 jumbo shrimp 2 pinches salt and pepper 2 shot glasses of white tequila Accompaniment: 2 grilled corn on the cob, each cut in thirds 1 cup cooked white rice 2 tablespoons minced parsley Instructions: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter, garlic, chili and shrimp, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Sautée shrimp until pink (3 to 5 minutes). Reduce heat and add tequila. Increase heat to medium-high. Tilt skil-

GRAND RESIDENCES RIVIERA CANCUN

let over gas burner to ignite tequila or ignite with a long match (use caution as flames may go high). Cook, shaking skillet gently once or twice, until flames subside. Remove from heat. On each plate, display one jumbo shrimp and one-third of a corn on the cob on a bed of rice, fanning remaining three shrimp and two corn pieces around the rice. Drizzle with sauce from the skillet. Garnish with parsley. — Grand Residences Riviera Cancun


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

CARIBBEAN | BEACHES

Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica CABRITS RESORT & SPA KEMPINSKI DOMINICA

Tropical Secrets Discover these under-the-radar gems By Lisa Davis

W

HILE MANY ISLANDS IN

the Caribbean are popular vacations spots, several lesser-known locations are equally inviting. Here are five worth discovering:

DOMINICA Not to be confused with the popular Dominican Republic, Dominica is a roughly 290-square-mile island located about halfway between the French isles of Guadeloupe and Martinique. What makes Dominica a standout for a vacation is its scenery: mountains, rainforests and 365 rivers, including the Indian River flanked by mangroves and lush green foliage. The island is also home to Morne Trois Pitons National Park, CONTINUED


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OREGON | ADVENTURES even book a stay at several guest houses on the property.

CONQUERING COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE AND MOUNT HOOD The Historic Columbia River Highway offers scenic views along the Columbia River Gorge to the east of Portland, with the section between Bridal Veil and Ainsworth earning the nickname “Waterfall Corridor.” Normally, you can see and hike showstoppers like Latourell Falls and Multnomah Falls — one of the Pacific Northwest’s most spectacular cataracts with a 620-foot, two-step drop — along this route, but currently, this section is closed in an effort to reduce crowds and curb the spread of COVID-19, as is access to some of the other waterfalls you’d find along the route. The good news? On the drive out to Tamanawas Falls and Hood River’s wineries, you can still pull off Interstate 84 to get a gorgeous glimpse of some of these falls, including Multnomah. And some popular hikes in the area, like Bridal Veil Falls, remain open. Check with the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department when you’re preparing for your trip to get updates on park and road closures. HIKE: Journey south of the interstate on Highway 35 into Mount Hood National Forest for the Tamanawas Falls Trail, a 3.3-mile moderately challenging hike 1 1/2 hours from Portland. To get there, you’ll go through what’s known as the Fruit Loop. “As you’re on your way to the waterfall, there are fruit stands and cideries everywhere,” Sawyer says. He considers the 109-foot Tamanawas Falls a “lesser-known five-star waterfall” due to its setting on the eastern slopes of Mount Hood and the enchanting mist you’ll see rising within the natural amphitheater walls at the falls’ base. COST: $5 day pass DRINK: Cathedral Ridge Winery in Hood River features an award-winning wine tasting menu that includes the 2018 Necessity White and 2017 Bordheauxd Red, a local favorite named in honor of the area’s windsurfers and kiteboarders (affectionately known as “boardheads”). The winery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and COVID-19 precautions include mandatory reservations, the use of hand sanitizer and a sign-in process. Tastings are limited to 45 minutes with a limit of four people per group. Food is not served and the winery requests that guests do not bring in their own. Cathedral Ridge also offers a private virtual tasting option, allowing groups of four or less to enjoy a tasting led by a knowledgeable host.

Tamanawas Falls Trail TYLER ROEMER


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

CARIBBEAN | BEACHES a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a picture-perfect landscape of lakes, fumaroles, volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs and dense forests, including the Valley of Desolation with boiling mud ponds and small geysers and the Emerald Pool, a green-hued waterfall grotto. The Waitukubuli National Trail covers 115 miles and spans the length of Dominica, passing through coastal villages, woodland hills, rainforests, waterfalls and more. Spend the night at the five-star Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica, perched in Cabrits National Park with 151 nature-inspired guest rooms.

HONORABLE MENTIONS These lesser-traveled Caribbean isles are also worth a trip:

ANEGADA

The Liming resort THE LIMING BEQUIA

THE GUADELOUPE ISLANDS A territory of France, French is the main language spoken on the Guadeloupe archipelago, which consists of several uninhabited islands and six inhabited ones. The two largest inhabited islands, Grande-Terre and BasseTerre, are connected by short bridges. On Basse-Terre, Parc National de la Guadeloupe offers hiking trails to the Chutes du Carbet waterfall and La Grande Soufrière, an active volcano. The islands of Les Saintes feel much like a French seaside village. The wellpreserved Fort Napoleon gives visitors a 360-degree view of Les Saintes Bay, designated by UNESCO as one of the most beautiful bays in the world. At the Tendacayou Ecolodge & Spa on Basse-Terre, you can escape from technology in the resort’s treehouses, villas and ground-level bungalows, which are all television- and phone-free.

Bird Sanctuary at Codrington Lagoon National Park, where more than 5,000 frigates (the world’s largest colony), gather in the mangroves; and Darby Cave, a sinkhole surrounded by vegetation that resembles a mini rainforest. The island’s hotels endured significant damage in 2017 from Hurricane Irma, and some have not reopened, but the Barbuda Belle offers oceanfront bungalow-style accommodations and a new beach bar and grill.

BARBUDA Considered the sister island to Antigua, Barbuda is less developed than its larger sibling, but it’s packed with options for nature, adventure and downtime, including secluded pink and white sand beaches; the Frigate

SABA Dubbed by islanders as “The Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean,” the volcanic Saba is abundant with scenery and biodiversity. Saba National Marine Park encompasses roughly 25 dive sites with numerous coral formations,

This is the only coral island in the Virgin Islands’ volcanic chain, and native pink flamingos roam the pristine sands. Visitors can enjoy surfing, snorkeling, kayaking and paddleboarding. Panama’s Bocas del Toro’s nine islands, 52 cays and thousands of inlets, all accessible by boat taxi, give travelers easy access to marine life and stunning beaches.

BONAIRE Boomerang-shaped Bonaire, located off Venezuela’s coast, is a draw for scuba divers who come for the island’s reefs, the world’s first to be protected as a marine sanctuary in 1979.

MARTINIQUE Guadeloupe Islands GUADELOUPE TOURISM BOARD

150 species of fish and plenty of turtles and dolphins. Saba’s hot springs, where the hot water rises through vents in the sea floor, is another mustsee dive site with sculpted underwater pinnacles created by volcanic activity. Prefer to stay on land? Trek up the roughly 1,000 stone steps to Mount Scenery, the highest point in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Post-hike, enjoy a massage at the Queen’s Gardens Resort & Spa near Windwardside, the island’s main commercial village.

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES The island of St. Vincent is known for its waterfalls, hikes up rainforest-covered hillsides and black sand beaches, which owe their dark hue to volcanic activity. Be sure to visit

Wallilabou Bay, where part of the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie was filmed. St. Vincent is part of the Grenadines, and ferry service connects many of the islands and cays. One of the closest islands from St. Vincent is Bequia, where you can overnight at The Liming resort. Spend a day at Princess Margaret Beach, which is framed by palm trees and seagrape plants and located near the town of Port Elizabeth with its colorful wooden houses. You can also take a daytrip from Bequia to the tiny one-road island of Mayreau, home to beautiful Salt Whistle Bay beach. And Canouan is a hook-shaped, pint-size island surrounded by coral reef where you can stay at the luxurious 1,200-acre seaside Mandarin Oriental.

Part of the archipelago of the Antilles, this island is known for miles of hiking trails and is a top scuba diving destination, as well as home to the volcano Mount Pelée, which first erupted in 1902.

NEVIS There are no traffic lights, retail chains or casinos to detract from Nevis’ gentle charm. Located in the West Indies near St. Kitts, this unvarnished island features coral reefs, palm-fringed beaches and freely roaming goats and green vervet monkeys.

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Profile for STUDIO Gannett

GO ESCAPE FLORIDA & CARIBBEAN 2020