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FLORIDA & CARIBBEAN WI N T E R 20 1 9

WATER WONDERS Sink your toes into stunning shores

TROPICAL DELIGHTS Signature sips, seaside cuisine

ANCHORS AWAY Sail, shop, surf in paradise

Beach Bliss

Discover sea, sand & slides

Meads Bay, Anguilla


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CONTENTS

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FLORIDA & CARIBBEAN

PARADISE AWAITS

Live your best life at these Caribbean beaches

Condado Beach, Puerto Rico PUERTO RICO TOURISM COMPANY


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

CONTENTS This is a product of

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jeanette Barrett-Stokes jbstokes@usatoday.com

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jerald Council jcouncil@usatoday.com

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Palm Beach County, Fla.

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MANAGING EDITOR Michelle Washington

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SOUND OASIS; DISCOVER THE PALM BEACHES

UP FRONT

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FLORIDA

TRAVEL HACKS Expert tips from frequent fliers

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PORTS These spots offer plenty of pre- and post-cruise action

mjwashington@usatoday.com

ISSUE EDITOR Debbie Williams MARATHON BAHAMAS

EDITORS Amy Sinatra Ayres Susan Bryant Tracy Scott Forson Patricia Kime Sara Schwartz

CARIBBEAN

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PORTS Get a peek at local natural and historical beauty

BOOKS Perfect beach reads to pack in your bag

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MERRITT ISLAND Bioluminescence puts on an amazing natural light show

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CRUISE SHIPS A look at new ships sailing from Florida to the Caribbean

SAVVY TRAVELER Go-to essentials to make your trip a breeze

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ST. AUGUSTINE

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ORLANDO

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Discover the hidden history of America’s oldest city

Skip the typical theme park fare and opt for local flavor

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TURKS AND CAICOS

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RACES

Fill up on conch at popular island eateries

Events combine tropical vacations with fun runs

PALM BEACH Explore paradise on a budget

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WATER PARKS

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ATTRACTIONS

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COCKTAILS Tropical bars offer tasty sips by the sea

INTERN Jordan Pecar CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lisa A. Beach, Maureen Kenyon, Mike Pramik, Melanie Reffes, Cheryl Rodewig, Mark Rogers, Sarah Sekula, Kristen Seymour, Jennifer Thomas, Matthew Wilson, Stacey Zable

ADVERTISING VP, ADVERTISING Patrick Burke | (703) 854-5914 ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Justine Madden | (703) 854-5444 jmadden@usatoday.com

FINANCE

Find the perfect venue for some wet and wild fun

Billing Coordinator Julie Marco ISSN#0734-7456

Seven things to do while visiting the Sunshine State

64 BRETT FETTEROLF

BEACHES Soak up some sun and fun at these inviting Florida shores

A USA TODAY Network publication, Gannett Co. Inc.

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USA TODAY, its logo and associated graphics are the trademarks of Gannett Co. Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Copyright 2018, USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. Editorial and publication headquarters are at 7950 Jones Branch Dr., McLean, VA 22108, and at (703) 854-3400. For accuracy questions, call or send an email to accuracy@usatoday.com.

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PRINTED IN THE USA


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION UP FRONT | TRAVEL HACKS

GETTY IMAGES

Travel Hacks

Improve your trip experience by heeding expert advice from these frequent fliers By Cheryl Rodewig

T

RAVEL CAN BE AN adventure, sure, but

experienced travelers know it’s not all spontaneity and selfies. There are booking hassles, flight delays and luggage that just won’t seem to fit the requisite number of shoes. Maybe that’s why Americans spend less than half their vacation time traveling, just eight days a year according to the State of American Vacation 2018 report, published by Project: Time Off, a group of

organizations working to change how Americans think about vacation time. But as the researchers also point out — and no surprise here — those who do travel more are a lot happier. So how do you make the most of your getaway and stock up on all that extra happiness? The process starts long before you leave, including both the fun part (what to see and do) and the practical (transportation, weather, costs). Set a budget early on and stick to it so you know exactly how much you can spend, building in a buffer

for extras, like that perfect souvenir or the unexpected show that rolls into town. If you’re flying, you can save on one of your biggest costs by using sites like Skyscanner.com to aggregate flights and find the lowest fares. For entertainment, look for Groupon deals or free admission days at area attractions. Most importantly, learn from the wisdom of those who have been there, done that. These expert globetrotters have distilled their best advice, from scouting savings to savoring the experience once you’re there, so you can have an unforgettable — and stress-free — trip:


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

9 UP FRONT | TRAVEL HACKS

“When you start to plan for a trip, you do a lot of internet surfing, and the travel companies know it. Do yourself a favor and clear your cookies. This way, the companies don’t know if you have searched for these flights, hotels and tours before, so they’ll give you the lowest prices available at the time.” — Cacinda Maloney, travel ambassador for Travelocity

HAVE FUN You’ve made it. You’ve arrived at your dream destination. Here are ways to get out there and have a blast: “Be careful not to schedule every minute of your day or trip. Some of your favorite moments could be because of an awesome spontaneous choice!” — Chris Grundy, host of Travel Channel’s 50/50

“Use airline miles and credit card points for redeeming first- and business-class international flights. When accruing, aim to do so with a credit card that earns transferable points ... to be able to transfer them to a number of travel partners. That way, you’re not limited to earning and redeeming on just one airline.” — Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of The Points Guy

PLAN AHEAD You don’t have to plan all the details, but travel takes some prep work. Here’s what to do before you head out the door: “Pack lightly. I have traveled for the past three years with just a carry-on bag and use second-hand stores to buy ‘new clothes’ or weather-appropriate wear if needed.” — Faith Coates, international house- and pet-sitter “Make two photocopies of all travel documents in case of an emergency. Leave one copy with a trusted friend or relative at home and carry the other separately from your originals in case of loss or theft.” — Bryan Shilling, managing director of Travel Services, AAA “Bring an empty, reusable water bottle. You’ll save money, help the environment and stay hydrated. Most airports these days have those water dispensers that are meant for refilling bottles so it’s easy to find water once you’re through security.” — Mirai Nagasu, Olympic figure skater

SAVE MONEY The memories may last forever, but you don’t want your bills sticking around quite as long. Use these hacks to spend smarter: “Book flights with built-in stopovers. Many airlines allow you to spend a day in their hub city and take advantage of free tours, meals and/or accommodations.” — Mia Herman, flight attendant and travel blogger

FLY WELL With extra logistics and minor inconveniences, air travel can be a headache, but it doesn’t have to be. Try these tips to make your next flight better: “Minimize airport security frustration by signing up for Global Entry, which includes TSA Precheck. It only costs $100 for five years, but many credit cards will reimburse that fee.” — Charles McCool, author of Winning the Airfare Game: Save Money and Stress on Every Flight

“Check out social media websites where you get to meet a local who can show you around, give the lowdown on where you are going.” — Rajan Datar, BBC presenter/reporter “Live locally. I find that staying in a hotel or Airbnb in the city center or in a cool neighborhood offers a more authentic experience where you can truly get a taste of the local culture.” — Joelle Gracia, educator and part-time traveler

“On longer flights, stay up until at least 10 p.m. to help your body get acclimated. Midnight is even better.” — Jarryd Wallace, U.S. track and field paralympian

“Learning bits of a language and asking for directions (even when you don’t need them) has always turned into more than just directions. They’ll hopefully be charmed by your accent, which allows you to follow up your initial question with a second. Before you know it, you’re at the bar with all of their friends.” — Damon Dominique, who vlogs with Jo Franco at Shut Up and Go GETTY IMAGES


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION UP FRONT | BOOKS

Beach Reads

Five books to enjoy while you soak up some sun By Matthew Wilson

W

HETHER YOU’RE WAITING TO

board a cruise ship, working on your tan or relaxing on a stormy afternoon, these books will keep you entertained:

THE FAVORITE SISTER

CALYPSO

CRAZY RICH ASIANS

HOW HARD CAN IT BE?

THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING

by Jessica Knoll

by David Sedaris

by Kevin Kwan

by Allison Pearson

by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

Do you like reality TV shows, but wish they’d spice up the drama with a little mystery and suspense? The Favorite Sister plumbs the depths of realitytelevision culture. As the book opens, The Real Housewives-style show Goal Diggers has just finished its third season and its fan-favorite cast member is dead. What follows is an exploration of the inherent selfishness of its stars mixed with the theatrics of prime-time TV, where the plot revelations come fast and the stakes have never been more real.

Sedaris has entertained readers with his wry tone and his often larger-than-life accounts detailed in several books, and the 61-year-old writer shows no signs of stopping. In Calypso, his words feel more personal and revealing than ever. In this dark and humorous prose, Sedaris introduces readers to the Sea Section, his North Carolina beach home from where he offers his quirky observations and realizations about life.

Now a major motion picture, the novel explores the extravagant lifestyle of a Singaporean family while offering an international love story. When New Yorker Rachel Chu travels to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young, she learns she’s been dating the country’s most eligible bachelor, and her affiliation with the exclusive upper class of society puts a target on her back.

It’s not easy getting older — just ask Kate, the returning protagonist from Pearson’s best-seller I Don’t Know How She Does It. Stuck in a middling marriage, raising two socialmedia-obsessed teens, trying to support her family and faced with the onset of perimenopause, Kate feels every year of 50. Both hilariously observant and powerfully poignant, Pearson explores living paycheck to paycheck and being an older woman in a world that feels like it has left her behind.

While the novel may not be for everyone — it shifts between a high-stakes thriller and a rumination on policy and law — there’s something oddly compelling about a president who moonlights as an action hero. When a group of cyberterrorists threatens to send America back to the Dark Ages, there’s only one president you should re-elect: President Jonathan Duncan. There are assassins, action and a ticking clock. What more do you want in a candidate?

SIMON & SCHUSTER; LITTLE, BROWN; KNOPF/PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE; ST. MARTIN’S PRESS; LITTLE, BROWN/KNOPF


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION UP FRONT | TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

The deluxe Glo to Sleep 2000 therapy mask by Sound Oasis is lightweight and comfortable, and works with your body to encourage healthy sleep. $39.99, soundoasis.com

Savvy Traveler

These go-to essentials will make your trip a breeze

A compact ironing solution on the go, Collar Perfect works by clamping onto collars, cuffs and creases to get rid of wrinkles. Transform it into a regular iron by opening the wings flat. $34.95, amazon.com

By Michelle Washington

Make drying off an artistic experience with SlowTide’s beach towels, featuring artwork by a network of talented creators. The tropical-themed Makai print is a best-seller. Starting at $29.95, slowtide.co

Seat Sitters are reusable and recyclable covers that fit over airplane seats. A tray cover, two sanitary wipes and an allergy mask are included. $14.99, amazon.com

W

hether you’re planning a trip that involves a cushy hotel stay, some lazy, sun-drenched beach days or you’re catching a flight into a port to embark on a luxury cruise, deciding what to pack takes planning. From a sleep mask to airplane seat covers, here are some items you might not have thought of:

EarPlanes earplugs relieve discomfort and popping associated with airplane cabin pressure. The soft and disposable inserts are made of hypoallergenic silicone. $5.89 per pair; also available in 3-, 5- and 10-packs; target.com

Genius Pack’s G3 carry-on spinner comes with a laundry compression bag and multiple external and internal pockets for extraordinary organization. $238, geniuspack.com PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES


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FLORIDA

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PORTS

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MERRITT ISLAND

Discover Minorcan history in this ancient city

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ORLANDO

Kayak amidst an amazing natural light show

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ST. AUGUSTINE

Cities offer plenty to do before or after cruises

After the theme parks, finds some local flavor

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PALM BEACH

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WATER PARKS

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ATTRACTIONS

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BEACHES

Explore paradise on a family-friendly budget

Get wet and wild at one of these venues

Cross these items off your Florida bucket list

Dip your toes in the sand at these sunny spots

Pensacola Beach, Fla. ERIC THAYER/GETTY IMAGES


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | PORTS

Cruise Choices

Florida Aquarium

Florida ports offer plenty of pre- and post-cruise action By Stacey Zable

A

DD ON TO YOUR cruise leaving from Florida with

a stay on land before or after your voyage on the high seas. These three cities make the most of their waterfront locations with natural and cultural attractions:

FLORIDA AQUARIUM

TAMPA On the west coast of the state, Tampa is a city filled with plenty to see and do. Stretching 2.4 miles along the Hillsborough River, the Tampa Riverwalk (thetampariverwalk. com) links multiple attractions. Spend time strolling through the Florida Aquarium (flaquarium.org) or take a Wild Dolphin Cruise aboard a 72-foot catamaran. Along the Tampa Riverwalk, stop at the Tampa Bay History Center (tampabayhistorycenter. org), a Smithsonian Affiliate museum, for a glimpse into 12,000 years of Florida history. Grab something to eat at the museum’s Columbia Café or at the area’s new food hall, Heights Public Market (armatureworks.com/heights-market), located inside the restored Armature Works mixed-use building.

JACKSONVILLE

Cummer Museum gardens VISIT JACKSONVILLE

The northeast city of Jacksonville is filled with natural beauty and historic neighborhoods. Jacksonville also boasts 22 miles of beaches and more than 400 national, state and city parks. Boneyard Beach at Big Talbot Island (floridastate parks.org/park/Big-TalbotIsland) is a sight to see with large tree skeletons of fallen oaks, cedars and palms offering a glimpse into the area’s past. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens (jacksonvillezoo. org) has 2,400-plus exotic and rare animals and botanical gardens with more than 1,000 species of plants. Art lovers can head to Cummer Museum (cummer museum.org), which houses nearly 5,000 objects in its permanent collection and offers 2.5 acres of historic gardens for outdoor exploration.

Bayside Marketplace GREATER MIAMI CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

MIAMI The city of Miami is home to an abundance of attractions, and the number of cruise choices from PortMiami continues to grow with new terminals coming on the horizon. The two-level, open-air Bayside Marketplace (baysidemarketplace.com) on Biscayne Bay features dozens of shops and restaurants and free daily live music. Brickell City Centre (brickellcitycentre.com) impresses with a 500,000-square-foot retail center. Scores of shopping and dining options are found on four levels across three city blocks, anchored by a 107,000-square-foot Saks Fifth Avenue and VIP Cinema Experience from CMX.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | MERRITT ISLAND By Sarah Sekula

Go for the Glow Merritt Island’s bioluminescence puts on an amazing natural light show

JUSTIN BUZZI/A DAY AWAY KAYAK TOURS

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S STEPHANIE PATTERSON AND her mother row their

two-person kayak beneath a bridge, the only sounds they hear are the murmur of a boat motor nearby and the splash of water as their paddles slice through the sea. The sky is so dark that the Milky Way is in clear view along with the occasional shooting star. The view alone is reason to venture out. However, tonight they are on the water for a different reason. And, luckily for PRO TIPS: them, the show is about ▶ Contact your to begin. Sudtour company denly, with a for a report quick burst of on the status air, a dolphin of the biolusurfaces just minescence. inches away. August is often So close, the optimal Patterson month, but it’s could have best to confirm reached out the conditions for a flipper ahead of time. high-five. ▶ The biolumi“It’s the nescent season first and only typically lasts time a dolphin from June has startled through me, and we October, but had a good during the laugh about cooler months, it,” she recalls. you can book a “Watching a comb jelly tour dolphin swim to see glowin the water in-the-dark completely jellyfish. illuminated by a blue glow ▶ To avoid from the biobites, apply luminescence bug spray and is up there on wear pants and my list of the long sleeves. coolest things I’ve ever seen.” And all from the perceptive of a translucent kayak, no less. The duo had booked a tour with Get Up and Go Kayaking, (getupandgokayaking. com) an Orlando-based company that rents clear kayaks for tours in Florida’s Winter Park, Orlando and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The Pattersons’ tour included 90 minutes of exploring Merritt Island in nearly complete darkness.

CONTINUED


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | MERRITT ISLAND

JUSTIN BUZZI/A DAY AWAY KAYAK TOURS

The unusual light show is whipped up by a large concentration of bioluminescent organisms that gather when the water is warm. They light up like fireflies in the water and leave a swirl of neon blue, creating an unforgettable spectacle. There are only a few places on Earth where you can witness the magic of bioluminescence, and Merritt Island is one of them. So it comes as no surprise that travelers from around the world flock to the glowing waters year after year.

WILDLIFE GALORE “On my last trip, one of the kayaks in our group paddled right over a manatee,” Patterson says. “It’s one of those experiences that totally immerses you in the present moment and reconnects you to nature.” That said, don’t be surprised if a jumping mullet occasionally goes kerplunk into your kayak. Chances are, it will be a

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT In addition to Get Up and Go Kayaking, these companies also offer bioluminescence tours: ▶ A DAY AWAY KAYAK TOURS adayawaykayaktours.com

Tours: Comb jelly, sunrise, bioluminescence, dolphin ▶ SOBE SURF sobesurf.com

Tours: Bioluminescence, surf lessons, paddleboarding lessons

giggle fest as you attempt to help the fish get back into the water. There’s nothing quite like it. “While I’ve never been lucky enough to

have a mullet flop into my kayak, they are everywhere in the area and on previous tours I always knew it had happened to someone in the group when I heard a scream followed by laughter,” she says. “But the most memorable experiences from each time I’ve done the tour have been the dolphins,” she says. “It’s hard to put into words how magical it is to hear a dolphin surface, blow air and then dip back down below the surface surrounded by a blue glow.”

A BRILLIANT DESTINATION Patterson, who lives just about an hour from Merritt Island in Orlando, has taken the one-of-a-kind tour several times. She says it does require advance planning. “It’s super important to plan your experience as close to a new moon as possible. You want to be in utter darkness so you can see the full effect of the bioluminescence with as little light pollution as possible,” she says.

A DAY AWAY KAYAK TOURS


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | MERRITT ISLAND

IF YOU GO Try the Sage Bistro for fine dining options, which include homemade pasta and soups made from scratch. sagebistroflorida.com For fresh seafood dishes and hand-crafted cocktails, Florida’s Fresh Grill is a solid choice. floridasfreshgrill.com

Sage Bistro SAGE RESTAURANT

The SeaGlass Inn Bed & Breakfast is located on the barrier island of Melbourne Beach, with easy access to the Indian River and the ocean. Guests can relax at the mango tree-filled tropical courtyard, complete with a heated pool and fire pit. seaglassinn.com Located in the historic Cocoa Village, the Parrish Grove Inn is a stone’s throw from excellent restaurants, local shops, nightlife and the beautiful Indian River Lagoon. parrishgroveinn.com

Perfect your downward dog while soaking up some sun and gazing at the incoming waves at the Yoga Surf School. A beach yoga class at Cocoa Beach or Cape Canaveral will surely put you in full-on vacation mode. theyogasurfschool.com

SeaGlass Inn Bed & Breakfast

Parrish Grove Inn FLORIDA’S SPACE COAST (4)

Paddleboard from Sunset Cafe in Cocoa Beach for some exercise and the opportunity to see marine life, including dolphins and manatees. visitspacecoast.com


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | ST. AUGUSTINE

Minorcan St. Augustine The hidden history of America’s oldest city

Sunset at Aunt Kate’s AUNT KATE’S RESTAURANT


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

25 FLORIDA | ST. AUGUSTINE

IF YOU GO

Catherine “Aunt Kate” Usina

Aunt Kate’s

Datil peppers VISITSTAUGUSTINE.COM (2); PROVIDED BY FRANK USINA

By Cheryl Rodewig

O

N THE BANKS OF the Tolomato River in northern St. Augustine, Fla., sits a family restaurant built in the old Florida style: metal roof, lots of windows, a broad porch punctuated by live oaks growing through it. At Aunt Kate’s, diners will find fried gator tails (served with a creamy orange sauce), fried green tomatoes and a bevy of seafood dishes. And in some choices, there’s a flavor — spicy with an almost fruity finish — that you won’t be able to place unless you’re local. That’s datil pepper. Found in and around St. Augustine, this small, very hot pepper shows up in vinegars, sauces, soups and even pastries. It’s synonymous with another little-known element of the city: the Minorcans. “Outside northeast Florida, most people don’t know about us,” says Michelle Reyna, a seventh-generation Minorcan. “We’re a very tight-knit, small community, but without the Minorcans, St. Augustine wouldn’t look the way it does today.” It started in 1768 when Scottish

physician Andrew Turnbull brought Some of the dishes are lost to history. some 1,200 indentured servants from Mullet has disappeared from the MinorMediterranean areas including Menorca, can diet and with it, the beckoning cry of Spain, Greece and Italy to work on a “mullet on the beach!” Another one-time plantation he called New Smyrna. They Minorcan favorite, gopher tortoise stew, began to clear the land is illegal. “We nearly ate (the but after a few years, their tortoises) into extinction, numbers dropped because but I grew up eating it. We “If you want of malnutrition, diseases, all did,” Reyna says. “We had to get a sense to learn to adapt and live Native American raids and harsh treatment, and the off what was available, so of the layers remaining 600 or so fled to we ate some pretty bizarre St. Augustine in 1777, where things that have become of history, they settled. entrenched in our tradiwalking is an tions.” Today, more than 10,000 descendants are still there, For Easter, Minorcans fold excellent way cheese passing down traditions and datil pepper into and treasured recipes, such a pastry called fromajardis. to do that.” as those Catherine Usina, You won’t find it at any — ANN BROWNING “Aunt Kate,” shared with her restaurant, but it’s a staple MASTERS, family a century ago. At the at the Menorcan Heritage Minorcan poet and restaurant owned by her Celebration. Part festival, St. Augustine native grandson, you can sit down part family reunion, the to a bowl of pilau (a rice dish free event in the backyard with tomatoes, onions and garden of the Llambias House meat) or a tomato-based Minorcan clam draws hundreds of Minorcans from chowder — both with datil pepper — and around the country. Llambias House experience something you won’t likely was built in 1763 and owned by several find anywhere else outside this corner of CONTI NUED Florida.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine This National Historic Landmark dates back to 1793. Visitors can learn about its history, including the Minorcans, on 90-minute behind-thescenes tours Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Don’t miss the statue of Father Pedro Camps in the courtyard, honoring the priest who traveled with and served the Minorcans in the New World. thefirstparish.org

Aunt Kate’s This Minorcan family restaurant on St. Augustine’s North Beach is owned by Frank Usina, grandson of Catherine “Aunt Kate” Usina. It serves seafood and Minorcan specialties such as datil pepper cornbread and a rice dish called pilau. Order a plate of fresh local oysters from October to May. aunt-kates.com Datil Rooster This food truck offers a blend of Minorcan and Southern favorites, usually with a side of datil pepper sauce. The mustachioed gentleman on the side of the truck isn’t just for looks. That’s the owner’s great-great-grandfather, Ernest Paul Oliveros, pictured with his rooster. Look for the truck in Arnold’s Lounge parking lot, 3912 U.S. 1 N., typically for lunch Tuesday through Friday and dinner Friday and Saturday. datilrooster.wixsite.com/ food


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | ST. AUGUSTINE

St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine

Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine

Llambias House LEE KAPPEL; CHERYL RODEWIG; FLORIDASHISTORICCOAST.COM

Minorcans over the years. At the event, everyone seems to know each other. Mike Usina, whose cousin, Frank, owns Aunt Kate’s, weaves mullet nets by hand. Reyna dresses in period Minorcan garb and performs the Fromajardis Serenade, which merrymakers once sang through the streets of St. Augustine in return for handouts of the empanada-shaped tarts. They likely crooned outside the Llambias House, and the venue makes a good starting point for a walking tour of Minorcan landmarks. “If you want to get a sense of the layers of history, walking is an excellent way to do that,” says Ann Browning Masters, a Minorcan poet and

St. Augustine native. “All the years are there. All the generations are there.” She recommends also touring the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, an architectural gem with a Spanish mission facade, stained glass and a red-shingled, Spanish Renaissance-style bell tower. Inside, murals depict scenes from the city’s history, including Minorcan heritage. Outside, a memorial honors Minorcan priest Father Pedro Camps. Two columns of block letters at the base of the statue name 48 surviving families, including the Acostas, Benets, Llambias, Masters and Usinas. Farther up St. George Street, a com-

memorative plaque details Minorcan history. Nearby is a small sign marking St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine. “Thousands of people walk by it every day,” Reyna says. “You walk into this courtyard and enter a hallway. You turn a corner, and there are all these domes and candles and Byzantine artwork. It’s amazing.” Although the focus is on Greek immigrants, you’ll see portraits of Turnbull and his wife and artifacts and paintings showing clothing styles worn by Greeks and Minorcans at the time. Your last stop is the Tolomato Cemetery, just a few blocks over on Cordova Street.

It served as the burial grounds for Minorcans for more than 100 years. For the curious, the cemetery opens to the public the third Saturday of the month, when you can take a free guided tour to hear little-told histories of the people who helped shape St. Augustine. It’s those stories, the ones that Minorcans are still passing down or chatting about over pilau, that make a visit to America’s oldest city so memorable. When you visit St. Augustine, go for the stories. Ask a Minorcan to share a tale or two — they will, Masters says — and don’t forget to try a datil pepper dish or two.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | ORLANDO

Orlando Eats

Skip the theme park fare for some local flavor

M

By Mike Pramik ANY TRAVELERS CHOOSE TO grab a bite at the

restaurants in the renowned theme parks of Orlando, but for those wishing to explore this central Florida city’s other dining options, local venues offer creative bites that won’t break the budget. You’ll find genuine international cuisine, burly burgers, colossal cookies and cool cocktails. Check out these hot spots and their tasty signature favorites:

PHOTOS BY WENDY PRAMIK

PIG FLOYD’S URBAN BARBAKOA You can have a pulled pork sandwich or a rack of ribs at two locations in the Mills 50 district and Lake Nona community, or encounter barbecue in a taco or a bento box. “We present barbecue as you probably know it, but we give it influences from all around the world,” catering manager Gretchen Velez says. The popular Big Floyd is a massive sandwich that layers beef brisket, sausage, pulled pork, citrus peanut slaw and french fries on a Hawaiian roll. ▶ pigfloyds.com

SE7EN BITES As its welcome sign implies, “Come on in & let us fill your pie hole,” there’s nothing timid about this Southern-style bakery in the Milk District. Serving breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch items that range from sweet to savory, the big flavor menu features “the quintessential things that you’ll find in a Southern kitchen,” owner Trina GregoryPropst says. She entered culinary school at age 40, trading in a career in the spa business. Now she’s turning her grandmother’s recipes into favorites among Orlando diners. The most popular dish is the 7th Trimester, featuring a buttermilk garlic biscuit, an egg, applewood-smoked bacon and five-cheese mac and cheese. ▶ se7enbites.com


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | ORLANDO BLACK ROOSTER TAQUERIA This hip take on Mexican food in the Mills 50 district features ceviche, tacos and combo bowls. The Day of the Dead-themed décor includes handmade tables by chef and owner John Calloway and his wife, Juliana. ▶ blackrooster taqueria.com

KELLY’S HOMEMADE ICE CREAM

PHOTOS BY WENDY PRAMIK

This up-and-coming dessert shop, founded in Audubon Park by New York transplants Kelly and Scott Seidl, offers small-batch craft ice cream and sorbets with seasonal flavors at two locations. ▶ kellyshomemade icecream.com

BETH’S BURGER BAR This eatery, owned by local entrepreneur Beth Steele, serves the downtown nighttime crowd with big food and big style, plus two other locations. Choose one of the popular house burgers or build your own from dozens of toppings. The most popular item is the peanut butter burger, featuring house-made peanut butter sauce, grilled onions, cheddar cheese and A1 Steak Sauce. ▶ bethsburgerbar.com

GIDEON’S BAKEHOUSE Steve Lewis, owner of this bakery in East End Market, has captured the sweet tooth of Orlando residents with his novel, oversized cookies. Lewis, a musician and artist, experimented with his cookie-making hobby for years before opening Gideon’s. The bakery has a winsome, literary vibe that Lewis created based on handwritten notes in a 19th-century cookbook. Cookies come in multiple flavors, including seasonal varieties, such as classic chocolate chip, pistachio toffee dark chocolate and peanut butter crisp. Lewis says each cookie weighs nearly half a pound and takes 18 hours to prepare. ▶ gideonsbakehouse. com

MATHERS

LINEAGE COFFEE ROASTING Co-owner Ryan Wilcox travels the world with partners Jarrett and Justine Johnson in search of beans for their 5-year-old business. The expertise is apparent in the finely brewed coffees served at two locations in the Mills 50 district and East End Market. “Ever since we started, we were really interested in the supply chain, finding and buying the green coffee,” Wilcox says. “Now we want to make our passion for coffee known.” ▶ lineageroasting.com

This cocktail lounge is a throwback to Prohibition-era speakeasies, but it’s above ground. In fact, daylight brightens the dark décor on the third floor of the Mather building, which has had several past lives since the 19th century. Give the word to a bartender, and you’ll be whisked to a corner of the bar where a black light reveals a secret menu. The aromatic Bathtub Gin cocktail blends The Botanist gin, honey simple syrup, ground lavender, lemon juice, and half and half. The Prohibition-inspired drink is presented in a mini ceramic bathtub and offered half price during daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. ▶ mathersorlando.com


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | PALM BEACH

WHERE TO STAY

LISA A. BEACH

For affordable luxury, consider The Colony Hotel (thecolonypalmbeach.com). A stay in the lavish presidential suite might be a tad rich, but you can still feel pampered in a standard room, with rates starting around $200 per night.

LISA A. BEACH

Paradise on a Budget These Palm Beach vacation options won’t break the bank

HYATT PLACE DELRAY BEACH

By Lisa A. Beach

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ROM JUPITER IN THE north to Boca Raton in the south, the Palm Beaches deliver a sun-kissed mix of natural beauty, foodie heaven, history, retail therapy and postcard-perfect beaches to explore. Is it possible to see the sights and wine-and-dine without totally blowing your budget? Absolutely. And it all starts with choosing the right home base for your trip.

If a budget-friendly beach town is more your vibe, consider the Hyatt Place Delray Beach (delraybeach.place.hyatt.com). Large rooms, complimentary breakfast, a pet-friendly policy and rooftop pool make it an appealing option for families looking to stretch their dollars.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | PALM BEACH

WHERE TO PLAY

These experiences won’t drain your wallet, and several offer discounted rates for children and seniors:

PEEK INTO THE MILLIONAIRE LIFESTYLE

DIG INTO HISTORY Get a glimpse into the life of the man who practically built Florida by touring the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum (flaglermuseum.us). Completed in 1902, Flagler’s magnificent Whitehall estate sits on 8.5 acres bordering the picturesque intracoastal waterway. Built as a wedding present for his wife, Whitehall is now designated as a National Historic Landmark.

LISA A. BEACH

LISA A. BEACH

PLAY BEACH BUM

GET SOME RETAIL THERAPY

Cruise the scenic A1A highway for a mesmerizing, oceanside drive to find a perfect pit stop. When you’re ready to plant your beach umbrella for a few hours, consider John D. MacArthur Beach State Park (macarthurbeach.org) on the north end of Singer Island. This spectacular, 438-acre state park gives you 2 miles of pristine beaches to explore.

When you’re ready for some closer-to-your-budget shopping, stroll your way along Clematis Street and Antique Row (both in West Palm Beach), Atlantic Avenue in Delray’s Pineapple Grove Arts District, artsy downtown Lake Worth, PGA Commons in Palm Beach Gardens and the luxurious Mizner Park in Boca Raton.

DISCOVER THE PALM BEACHES

LISA A. BEACH

Head north for some window shopping on Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue (worth-avenue.com) — the Rodeo Drive of the East Coast. Or, from the comfort of an air-conditioned yacht, gaze at the mansions along the intracoastal waterway from Delray to Boca Raton during a Delray Yacht Cruises (delraybeachcruises.com) narrated tour.

LISA A. BEACH

HAVE KID-SIZE FUN

TAKE A FOOD TOUR

Monkey around the 23-acre Palm Beach Zoo (palmbeachzoo.org), home to more than 500 animals from around the world. Then investigate the nearby South Florida Science Center and Aquarium (sfsciencecenter.org) to interact with 100 hands-on exhibits, catch a show in the planetarium or play a round of mini golf.

Sign up for one of Craft Food Tour’s (craftfoodtours.com) culinary experiences, such as the three-hour Delray Beach tour that includes eight tastings and three adult beverages. You will also have the opportunity to meet the restaurants’ chefs, learn about locally sourced ingredients and historical tidbits and support the local community, one bite at a time.

LISA A. BEACH


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | WATER PARKS

Kr Aqua akatau Coast er

VOLCANO BAY BY UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT

Volcano Bay UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT; GETTY IMAGES

By Jennifer Thomas

Make Waves

Find the perfect Florida water park for some wet and wild fun

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LORIDA BOASTS TROPICAL TEMPERATURES for most of

the year, and some parts of the Sunshine State are warmer than others. The balmy climate provides prime conditions for enjoying a favorite summertime activity — water parks — year-round. In addition to the actual water parks throughout the state, such as Sun-N-Fun Lagoon in Naples and Sun Splash Family Waterpark in Cape Coral, resorts are adding high levels of water fun, too. The South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island added pools and two H2Whoa! water slides, and the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Estero features a pair of dueling speed waterslides. Many families have water parks in Orlando on their summer bucket list. Here are a few can’t-miss ones for your family to try:

This new water theme park has incorporated the technology used for express passes at Universal’s other parks to give guests a hassle-free experience with virtual wait times for the thrill rides. “All guests who visit the park receive a TapuTapu wearable, designed exclusively for Volcano Bay that allows them to focus more on having fun together,” says Universal Orlando Resort spokeswoman Kristen Clark. “With the TapuTapu, guests can virtually wait in line for an attraction while enjoying other areas of the park, unlock various TapTu Play interactive experiences throughout the park, access their lockers and more — all with just a wave of the wrist.” The main focal point of this water theme park is its volcano and its Ko’okiri Body Plunge thriller. Honoring the volcano god, Vol, guests brave a 70-degree fall through a trap door and a 125-foot descent. “Guests can expect to be transported to a tropical paradise filled with incredible thrills and perfected relaxation,” Clark says. “It is a water theme park like no other that features more than 30 experiences, including 18 attractions that range from a multidirectional wave pool to speeding body slides that drop from the top of the volcano into the waters below, more than 60 delicious South Pacificinspired dishes and more.” CONTINUED


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Irresistibly adventurous. Download our free app. Be transported to unusual destinations, must-see landmarks, and the hidden gems for your inner world-traveler.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | WATER PARKS wait. The park’s latest attraction, Miss Adventure Falls, is a family raft ride filled with drops, twists and banked turns. It also features a scene with an animatronic character — something more typically reserved for a theme park ride. Groups pile into large, circular rafts and ride a conveyor belt to begin the journey. As they ascend the lift, they see Duncan, a talking parrot, cracking wise aboard a wrecked ship. The most thrilling ride at Typhoon Lagoon is Humunga Kowabunga, a fivestory speed slide that sends daredevils racing at a hairy 60-degree angle through a darkened tunnel. Crush ‘n’ Gusher is a water coaster themed as a tropical fruitprocessing plant. Powerful water jets propel riders in one- and two-passenger rafts uphill, while gravity sends them soaring through one of three tube slides.

ADVENTURE ISLAND Blizzard Beach WALT DISNEY WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY (2)

WALT DISNEY WORLD’S BLIZZARD BEACH AND TYPHOON LAGOON Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are two of the biggest and best water parks in the nation. They are also among a handful that remain open most of the year. As you’d expect from Disney, the parks are whimsically themed and lushly landscaped. Both offer adrenalinecharged water slides as well as more laid-back ways to enjoy the refreshing water. Disney World recently changed its admission policy and now allows guests to visit both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach with one water park ticket. You may want to set aside a whole day and spend it in your bathing suit. Disney World isn’t known for highimpact thrills, but its 120-foot-tall Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach is plenty thrilling. It’s so fast and steep, riders momentarily lose contact with the slide and hover in the air as they freefall down Mount Gushmore.

Slush Gusher is another tall slide, towering above the park at 90 feet. Other rides include the Downhill Double Dipper, a racing slide with two flumes; Snow Stormers, a three-slide racing course; and Teamboat Springs, a slide with rafts large enough to seat six riders. Those who are at least 32 inches tall can ride the chairlift to the top of Mount Gushmore. Other attractions include Melt-Away Bay, a 1-acre wave pool; Cross Country Creek, a lazy river ride; and Tike’s Peak, a play area for children who are less than 48 inches tall. Tike’s Peak features a snow-castle fountain, water Typhoon Lagoon jets, a wading pool and smaller water slides designed to give little ones a thrilling ride. The centerpiece of Typhoon Lagoon is its surf pool. Six-foot curls roll across the huge lagoon — it’s the largest wave pool in North America — sending swimmers bobbing as they try, sometimes comically, to body surf. The waves come in intervals, but nobody seems to mind the

Located across the street from Busch Gardens Tampa, Adventure Island features the ultimate combination of high-speed thrills and tropical, tranquil surroundings for guests of all ages, says park spokeswoman Rebecca Romzek. “Within a soothing Key West atmosphere, guests can experience high-thrill slides, corkscrews, water falls, a wave pool, children’s water playground and other family attractions,” she says. “Park guests can choose to race down rapids,

dig their toes into the sand or relax all day in a private cabana.” Guests can take on Vanish Point, Adventure Island’s newest 70-foot drop slide, which lets riders choose between two skyboxes, each sending them through 425 feet of spiraling tubes. This slide is inspired by the point on a wave where water and gravity form a perfect partnership. The crest of this 70-foot tower challenges riders with two 425-foot wave paths, Romzek says. “Guests step into one of two skyboxes and face their fears as the floor disappears beneath them.” New this season are Quick Queue passes that guests can purchase to skip the lines, and something that sets Adventure Island apart from its counterparts is that its water park staples include a twist. “Our interactive Paradise Lagoon includes cliff diving from a 20-foot platform,” Romzek says. The Key West Rapids tube slide features gushers that periodically propel guests through 700 feet of fun. Colossal Curl is a family raft ride with serious thrill. “The combination of the wave and funnel elements gives riders a feeling of weightlessness before ending with a big splash,” Romzek adds. — Arthur Levine contributed to this article.

Adventure Island, Vanish Point BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA BAY


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | ATTRACTIONS

Florida Bucket List

Seven things to do while visiting the Sunshine State By Maureen Kenyon

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HEN YOU THINK OF Florida, what comes to mind? Is it the miles and miles of beautiful beaches? How about the fun rocket launches? Do you think of alligators in the Everglades? Or do you just want to add to your sensational seashell collection? Luckily, because of the Sunshine State’s near-perfect weather, it’s easy to plan adventures around all of those items, even in the winter. Here are some of the quintessential activities and places throughout the state — excluding the house that Mickey built because that’s kind of a given — that every Florida visitor should experience:

SEE THE BLUE ANGELS SOAR

PATRICK DOVE/TCPALM

Pensacola is known as the birthplace of aviation, and it’s also home to the Navy’s famous Blue Angels and the National Naval Aviation Museum. At the museum, visitors can see more than 150 restored aircraft representing the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The historic, oneof-a-kind items are displayed inside the 350,000-square-foot museum and outside on its 37-acre grounds. Admission is free. The best part: Visitors can watch the Blue Angels practice over the Naval Air Station on select days through November. Practices last about 55 minutes, and admission is free and open to the public.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | ATTRACTIONS

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LIKE SEAFOOD? THERE’S A FESTIVAL FOR THAT Between oyster eating, oyster shucking, running redfish and racing blue crabs, the Florida Seafood Festival — the state’s oldest maritime festival — draws thousands of visitors to historic Apalachicola every November. The 55th annual festival is Nov. 2-3 and takes place at the mouth of the Apalachicola River, about 70 miles southwest of Tallahassee. Enjoy fresh Florida seafood, local artisans and the annual blessing of the fleet at Battery Park. This year’s event will include exhibits and marine labs, too.

COCOA BEACH PIER Built in 1962, the Cocoa Beach Pier is a historical landmark on the Space Coast. Stretching 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, the pier was constructed with more than 2.5 miles of boardwalk planks. With scores of bars, restaurants and stores, you can eat and shop for souvenirs, and with applicable fees and passes, you can try your hand at catching a wide array of fish. Cocoa Beach has been referred to as the Surf Capital of the World, and now visitors can take daily lessons at Flohana’s surf school. And because the Space Coast could see at least three launches during the remainder of 2018, the pier is a prime spot to watch rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center, too.

GETTY IMAGES

TAKE AN AIRBOAT RIDE Get the full Florida experience on an airboat ride from Naples. Everglades Excursions offers half-day tours (4 to 4.5 hours for $96) and full-day outings (7.5 to 8 hours for $134). Board an authentic airboat and prepare for an exhilarating trip through the backwaters of the Gulf, including mangrove tunnels and Native American trails. Airboat captains will wind through the rugged Ten Thousand Islands, revealing the hiding spots of alligators, manatees and other local inhabitants. The tours are fully narrated.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | ATTRACTIONS

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SEARCH FOR SEASHELLS The beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel started National Seashell Day, so we’re going to presume they know what they’re talking about. While you’re over there shelling, make a stop at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. It’s the only museum in the country dedicated to shells and mollusks. Also, even though Bowman’s Beach, located mid-island on Sanibel, is a pretty popular place, there’s still enough room to find some beautiful shells. Another prime spot to search is unofficially called “Shell Key,” and it’s on the Ten Thousand Islands, south of Naples.

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THERE SHE BLOWS! Blowing Rocks Preserve on Jupiter Island was named for its rocky Anastasia limestone shoreline, the largest on the U.S. Atlantic coast, according to The Nature Conservancy. During extreme high tides and after winter storms, seas break against the rocks and force plumes of saltwater up to 50 feet skyward. The best way to predict a good show, says Cristin Krasco, who manages the preserve, is if there’s a small craft advisory, which are days that aren’t best for the beach. Visitors also can check a webcam at the nearby Jupiter Inlet for rough conditions. Blowing Rocks is open daily, except on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

GETTY IMAGES

SMOKY HISTORY Ybor City, one of Tampa’s most historic neighborhoods, was founded in the 1880s by cigar manufacturers and became a melting pot of immigrants from Spain, Cuba, Germany and Italy. Today, it’s home to some of the world’s most famous cigar factories, and visitors can learn more about its history during a Cigar Industry History Tour. Ybor City is also the only neighborhood on Florida’s west coast to be designated a National Historic Landmark District. After your tour, get a brewing history lesson. Cigar City Brewing is a good place to start your education.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | BEACHES

Beautiful Beach Bets

EYEMARK/ISTOCK

BEAN POINT Anna Maria Island As beautiful as it is underrated, this beach sparkles with white sand and turquoise Gulf Coast water. The tide is calm and ideal for swimming, and beachgoers might find themselves sharing the water with a curious Florida manatee.

Soak up some sun and fun at these inviting Florida shores

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ROM THE GULF OF Mexico to the Atlantic, the Sunshine State boasts 825 miles of beaches, many of which are ranked among the best on the planet. An average of 230 days of sunshine a year make Florida’s shoreline hard to resist for vacationers looking for sun, sand and sea. These beaches, as identified by travel experts and the editors at 10Best.com, are the creme de la creme:

VISIT FLORIDA

SIESTA KEY BEACH

PANAMA CITY PUBLIC BEACH Panama City With miles of soft sand and nearly 100 access points, this beach caters to sun seekers of all types. Just about every typical beach activity is offered here as well, from parasailing and kayaking to scuba diving and deep sea fishing.

VISIT PANAMA CITY BEACH

Sarasota For decades, Siesta Key has won awards for the whitest and softest sand in the world. The thick carpet of sediment is made up of quartz crystals that wash down from North Florida beaches. The shore is a wonderland of the pearlescent sand, as popular with couples as with families for its recreational facilities — from volleyball to soccer — and gorgeous sunsets.

VISIT PENSACOLA

GULF ISLANDS NATIONAL SEASHORE Pensacola Undulating with the Panhandle’s patent dunes of talcum sands, this continuum of platinum sandscape feels otherworldly and primitive. It stretches from Perdido Key on the state’s westernmost waterfront and continues at Pensacola Beach’s Fort Pickens National Park and the Santa Rosa Area — the most secluded.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION FLORIDA | BEACHES

CALADESI ISLAND STATE PARK

ST. PETERSBURG/CLEARWATER AREA CVB

Dunedin Accessible only by boat (although you can sometimes walk across from Clearwater Beach at low tide), Caladesi remains lightly populated despite its reputation for plush white sands and unspoiled demeanor. A ferry from nearby Honeymoon Island State Park makes the short trip to Caladesi for sunlovers, fishermen, nature trail hikers and picnickers. Docks accommodate boat-in visitors, and a playground keeps the kids happy.

LIGHTPHOTO/ISTOCK

PENSACOLA BEACH Pensacola The narrow strip of white, powder-soft sand known as Pensacola Beach is backed by a boardwalk filled with shops and restaurants. Beachgoers enjoy clear, shallow waters and gentle waves, perfect for swimming, along with a relaxed Old Florida feel.

VISITSTPETECLEARWATER

CLEARWATER BEACH VISIT FLORIDA

NAVARRE BEACH Navarre Powdery white sand and turquoise waters characterize this 12-mile stretch of under-the-radar beach near Pensacola. Popular with families, the beach offers the opportunity to spot bottlenose dolphins playing in the surf or cycle along a seaside bike path.

S. ANDERSON/NPS PHOTO

CANAVERAL NATIONAL SEASHORE Titusville Stretching between New Smyrna Beach and Titusville, Florida’s Canaveral National Seashore provides a habitat for many threatened and endangered species, including sea turtles. Beach lovers will find 24 miles of undeveloped beach — the longest of its kind on the state’s eastern coast.

Clearwater The depth of this clean, sugary, talc-white strand of sand ensures a wealth of space for beach enthusiasts as they cavort — or lie prone in the bright Florida sun — from surf to towel, contemplating active options from paddleboarding to parasailing. Of course, simply lolling about in the oft-warm, blue-green swells, scanning for dolphin pods or enjoying the epic sunsets is just as appealing.


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CARIBBEAN 52

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CRUISE SHIPS

Take in a variety of local island attractions

Cruise lines offer fun new amenities and adventures

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COCKTAILS

PORTS

RACES

Mix in exercise with your vacation R&R

Bars serve up tasty sips by the sea

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TURKS AND CAICOS

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BEACHES

Try the many ways to eat an island delicacy

Sit by the shore or explore these Caribbean treasures

U.S. Virgin Islands CHRISTIAN WHEATLEY/GETTY IMAGES


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION CARIBBEAN | PORTS

Ports Ashore

Excursions offer a glimpse into Caribbean’s natural and historical treasures By Stacey Zable

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RUISE PASSENGERS HEADING TO the Caribbean may find great deals on exploring island waters, land and heritage once they venture off the ship for a day of exploration. These three ports offer a taste of paradise that await travelers visiting the region:

TURKS AND CAICOS TOURIST BOARD

GRAND TURK, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS Turks and Caicos is known for its diving, and Blue Water Divers (grandturkscuba.com) offers excursions to the Grand Turk “wall” at Columbus Landfall National Park. Located along the west coast, it is the largest marine protected area on Grand Turk with more than 40 dive sites. A tour of Gibbs Cay (turksandcaicostourism.com/gibbs-cay-beachsting-ray-encounter) also gets you exploring what lies beneath the sea, but this time it’s an opportunity to swim with friendly stingrays in the waters surrounding a small cay off the east coast of Grand Turk. Get a glimpse into the capital island’s heritage at the Turks and Caicos National Museum (tcmuseum.org). ▶ visittci.com/travel-info/grand-turk-cruise-information

CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA

SAINT LUCIA TOURISM AUTHORITY

Saint Lucia’s diverse topography offers much for cruise port passengers seeking active adventures. At Pigeon Island National Landmark, you can hike and see panoramic views, kayak, visit ruins of military buildings or simply enjoy its beaches. And for adrenaline seekers, Rainforest Adventures (rainforestadventure. com), offers zip lining through tree canopies and an aerial tram through the area’s lush beauty. Visitors to Sulphur Springs St. Lucia, a drive-in volcano in Soufriere, can play in the mud at its “healing” baths, wash off in a waterfall and make a stop at the top of the volcanic mountain. ▶ slaspa.com/ contentPages/view/ port-castries

Natural Pool ARUBA TOURISM AUTHORITY

ORANJESTAD, ARUBA This southern Caribbean destination is 75 square miles of diverse island beauty. Excursions literally dive into Aruba’s waters with a sailing trip to one of the island’s top spots for snorkeling, the Antilla shipwreck. The 400-foot sunken German World War II freighter is now home to tropical fish and coral. Take a 15-minute walk from the cruise terminal to Surfside Beach, where you’ll find all you need for a beautiful beach day including calm and shallow water, chair rentals and places to eat and drink. Head off on a Jeep Safari tour to see Aruba’s rugged terrain; and its remote and most popular natural attraction, the Natural Pool, where water sprays over the rocks along the coastline. ▶ arubaports.com/main/cruise


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION CARIBBEAN | CRUISE SHIPS

Norwegian Cruise Line PROVIDED BY NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

Cruising from the Sunshine State A look at new ships sailing from Florida to the Caribbean By Stacey Zable

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ITH PORTS IN VIBRANT

cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Cape Canaveral and Tampa, it’s no wonder Florida is an appealing departure point for many Caribbean cruises. Some

savvy travelers add a day or two to their itineraries to spend time exploring these Sunshine State destinations before (or after) sailing the seas to Caribbean islands, including Cuba. Here are some ships dominating the Caribbean market that offer luxury accommodations, family-friendly amenities and high seas entertainment:


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION CARIBBEAN | CRUISE SHIPS NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE The 4,004-guest Norwegian Bliss, the newest ship in Norwegian’s fleet that launched in May, will be sailing weeklong cruises to the eastern Caribbean from November through March from Miami to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. The ship’s cool features include the longest racetrack at sea, open-air laser tag and entertainment including a version of Broadway’s Jersey Boys. Norwegian offers more than 27 itineraries departing from Florida to the Caribbean on eight ships from Miami, Port Canaveral and Tampa from November to March. ▶ ncl.com PROVIDED BY NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL

ANDY NEWMAN/CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

PROVIDED BY HOLLAND AMERICA LINE

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE

The big news, as in “the largest cruise ship in the world,” from Royal Caribbean is the 6,680-passenger Symphony of the Seas, which made its inaugural debut in April in Europe. The ship will reposition in November to offer year-round seven-night eastern and western Caribbean voyages from a new terminal at PortMiami. Some of the Caribbean port stops include Cozumel, Mexico; Nassau, Bahamas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Basseterre, St. Kitts; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ship’s standout offerings include 22 restaurants, glow-in-the-dark laser tag, a custom-built escape room challenge, a 90-minute version of the Broadway production Hairspray, a “high-flying” aquatic show and an adventure on ice performance. Six of Royal Caribbean’s ships will sail from Miami to the Caribbean from December to February. ▶ royalcaribbean.com

The 3,954-passenger Carnival Horizon, which made her debut in April and is the newest ship in Carnival’s fleet, began year-round service to the Caribbean from Miami in September offering six- and eight-day cruises to Cozumel, Mexico; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands; San Juan, Puerto Rico; La Romana, Dominican Republic and more. The new ship boasts amenities that include a Dr. Seuss-themed water park, Carnival’s first teppanyaki restaurant and the new Smokehouse Brewhouse, created by Food Network star Guy Fieri, featuring barbecue and craft beers brewed at an onboard brewery. Carnival has 21 of its 26 ships operating in the region on a year-round or seasonal basis. It leaves from Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Port Canaveral and Tampa. ▶ carnival.com

Holland America’s newest ship, the 2,666-guest Nieuw Statendam, makes her inaugural Caribbean season from Fort Lauderdale starting in December through April. She will offer seven-day Caribbean itineraries, with three-, fourand 10-day options, with the majority featuring western and eastern Caribbean itineraries. A selection of ports includes Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Oranjestad, Aruba. A highlight of the new ship’s design is its three-deck-high central atrium that, according to Holland America, includes “an airy stainless steel sculpture that is meant to emulate the feeling of being inside and surrounded by a musical instrument.” More than 100 Holland America cruises on eight of the line’s ships will depart to the Caribbean October 2018 through April 2019; seven from Fort Lauderdale and one ship from Tampa. ▶ hollandamerica.com


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION CARIBBEAN | TURKS AND CAICOS

Fried conch

Conched Out in the Caribbean Turks and Caicos is home to this popular island delicacy

MOOD FOOD Adventurous eaters looking to take a walk on the wild side can try a “pistol” from a conch. Colorless and odorless, pistols are the wiggly private parts of a queen conch — and yes, you eat them raw. Those with picky palates might prefer fritters or chowder over pistols, which taste a bit like rubbery clams, although local Casanovas recommend couples in the mood try the nutrient-laden translucent appendages as a natural fertility enhancer. “Pistols are thought to have aphrodisiacal properties,” says Karel Rodney, general manager of Da Conch Shack in the Turks and Caicos Islands. “Pistols are mild, tasting faintly of the ocean, and are usually washed down with our house rum-based shot, the Conchknocker.”

TURKS AND CAICOS TOURIST BOARD (2); GETTY IMAGES

By Mark Rogers

I

GREW UP WITH A pink and cream

conch shell on the living room mantel, and would hold it to my ear to listen to the sound of surf reverberating in the shell like pure magic. Little did I know as a kid that the conch — especially in the Turks & Caicos Islands — had so much more to offer. First, for those who might not be familiar, conch (pronounced “conk”) is a sea snail that over the years has been a culinary staple of the Turks & Caicos

Islands and is served throughout the Caribbean. Conch factors so much in the local culture that a conch shell is featured on the TCI flag. Any visitor to TCI will have ample opportunity to try conch in a variety of preparations. If you’re looking for a snack on the run, conch fritters accompanied by a local hot sauce and a cold beer hit the spot. For something light, there’s conch ceviche (locals call it conch salad), which is fresh conch “cooked” in lime. Other easy-to-find dishes are conch chowder, stewed conch, cracked (fried) conch and curried conch. “Conch is one of the best sources of protein in nature,” says Karel Rodney, general manager of popular TCI eatery Da Conch Shack (daconchshack.com). “Conch eats the algae off of the turtle grass that is abundant on the banks sur-

rounding the Turks & Caicos Islands.” Da Conch Shack is located on Blue Hills Beach and has local divers on tap who gather conch daily from the ocean pens in front of the eatery that supply the kitchen. In addition to all of the common varieties of conch, Da Conch Shack also offers a “Pirate’s Pot,” a preparation of local conch, lobster, fish and shrimp in a bracing ginger broth. “Conch also pairs well with champagne; high-rollers opt for cracked conch and Dom (Perignon),” adds Rodney. Local chefs on TCI outdo themselves with inventive takes on conch during the annual Conch Festival, which takes place during the last weekend of November, in the Blue Hills area of Providenciales, TCI’s third-largest island and the largest in population. The festival is right on the beach, with chefs serving up everything

from conch wontons to conch sushi as they compete for the honor of best dish. Once the best place to learn everything there is to know about the sea creature, the Caicos Conch Farm on Providenciales was damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria and remains closed. The only commercial conch farm in the world had been in operation since 1984. Still, there are other ways to enjoy TCI’s affinity for conch without a knife and fork in your hand. The Snorkel and Conch Cruise by Caicos Dream Tours (caicos dreamtours.com) takes passengers out on a catamaran for a snorkeling tour of a coral reef. The four-hour cruise departs twice a day, seven days a week. The trip is topped off with a beach picnic at Half Moon Bay, where passengers dine on conch ceviche prepared with fresh conch gathered during the excursion.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION CARIBBEAN | RACES

Run Away to Paradise Caribbean events combine tropical vacations with race destinations

By Kristen Seymour

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HILE THE TRADITIONAL CARIBBEAN beach get-

away, featuring an enthralling paperback and a frozen drink or two, is alive and well, many fitness-minded

travelers are looking for something more. They want excitement. They want to sweat. They want a feeling of accomplishment. They want to run a race. The Caribbean has plenty of options for runners and walkers — all promising sun, fun and a seaside finish. They’re generally well-suited to novice racers,

but competitive runners will also find challenges — like opportunities to qualify for the Boston Marathon. (Talk about a productive vacation!) Whether you’re looking for music by the mile or a laid-back 5K, you’re sure to find a race that’s just right for you. Here are a few options to start your search:

CURAÇAO

WILLEMSTAD, CURAÇAO Grab a bite at the rooftop bar, restaurant and swimming pool at Koraal (koraalcuracao.com).

The Hilton Curaçao (hilton.com) is the place to be for the KLM Curaçao Marathon start, finish and parties.

Curaçao boasts incredible snorkel and dive sites where you’ll see spectacular coral and marine life. Take your pick of spots all over the island, or take a boat ride about two hours away to check out the uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao. MAURICIA PICTURES

While many Caribbean races offer multiple distances, the

KLM Curaçao Marathon

(curacaomarathon.com/en) taking place Nov. 25, stands out. It not only offers a marathon, half-marathon, 5K and 10K, but also a 10.5K trail run. And you’ll find yourself surrounded by a few more locals here — only about a third of the 1,700 runners are tourists. For the longer distances, prepare for an early morning (the marathon starts at 3:30 a.m. and the half at 5:30 a.m., allowing everyone to finish and hit the postrace beach party around the same time), and some exciting bridges — the waterfront marathon and half marathon take you over the famous Queen Emma pontoon bridge and one of the highest bridges in the Caribbean, the Queen Juliana Bridge. Although aid stations aren’t offered at every mile, they are plentiful (16 in the full marathon and seven in the half), and the early start means you’re not running in full sun. The final 3 kilometers of the full, half and 10K feature a shower lane for a little cool down before you begin your final sprint.


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61 CARIBBEAN | RACES BAHAMAS

NASSAU, NASSAU, BAHAMAS BAHAMAS Sample Bahamian cuisine, and enjoy daily live local music, in a sophisticated, not stuffy, way at the waterfront Lukka Kairi restaurant (lukkakairi.com).

Atlantis Paradise Island (atlantisbahamas.com) is world-renowned for good reason — plus, as a partner of the Marathon Bahamas, it offers participants a discounted rate.

Shop for authentic souvenirs at The Craft Cottage (nassauparadiseisland. com/things-to-do/ shopping), which offers only Bahamianmade jewelry, clothing, art and crafts that reflect the local culture.

MARATHON BAHAMAS

Seeking an option that’s as convenient as the Caribbean gets?

Marathon Bahamas

(marathonbahamas.com), a Boston-qualifying race, takes place over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend in Nassau, and there are many nonstop flights from the U.S. and Canada, says race director Pamela Richardson. There are various distances available (all fairly flat, barring a bridge or two) — full marathon, half-marathon or 5K (3.1 miles). You can also do a four-person marathon relay, with each runner covering between 5.6 and 7.5 miles. Out of 1,200 runners, about 60 percent are international visitors, like Miami-based Caribbean travel expert Sarah GreavesGabbadon, author of the blog JetSetSarah.com, an avid runner and Marathon Bahamas relay participant. “I did the first leg ... which meant I got to run over the bridge linking Nassau and Paradise Island. It was special, because most people will never walk or run it. It’s a steep incline!” The 5K route on Saturday takes runners from Montagu Beach to Paradise Island. The half- and full marathons are on Sunday; the start and finish lines are near one another for this event, which is handy for supporters who want to experience both the start and the postrace party.

BOSTON MARATHON QUALIFYING RACES

Marathon Bahamas ▶ marathonbahamas.com

Punta Cana Marathon ▶ puntacanamarathon.com

The Reggae Marathon

Puerto Rico Half Marathon

▶ reggaemarathon.com

▶ marathonpuertorico.com MAURICIA PICTURES; GETTY IMAGES


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION CARIBBEAN | RACES

NEGRIL, JAMAICA Visit Ricks Café (rickscafedmv.com), where you can enjoy traditional Jamaican dishes like escovitch snapper or curry goat alongside a cocktail as you watch brave souls dive off the cliffs, and, if you time it right, a spectacular sunset.

Couples Swept Away (couples.com/ resorts/swept-away) resort is the host hotel for the Reggae Marathon as well as the site for the pasta party, making it a convenient (and well-reviewed) option for adults. You’ll find many other nearby recommendations on the race website.

Take the One Love Bus bar crawl of the West End Cliffs (visitjamaica.com), where you’ll be able to stop at bars and other spots for a truly local experience. GETTY IMAGES; KAREN FUCHS (2)

JAMAICA What better place to begin than the “Home of All Right?” The Reggae Marathon (reggae marathon.com), which takes place each December in Negril, has earned a reputation as a top destination race on its 18-year run. If a full marathon is too much, fret not — there’s also the option of a half-marathon or a 10K. It’s one of the largest Caribbean races, with 3,000 runners taking part,

and Diane Ellis, sponsorship director for the race, says it’s a true international event with an average mix of 60 percent tourists (from 35 different countries) and 40 percent locals. “Americans are often amazed when they hear such a plethora of different languages being spoken at the starting line,” she says. Ellis recommends attending the official pasta party the night before the race. It’s a gourmet experience: “All the hotels get together and have a cook-off with their best pasta dishes,” she says.

Plus, there’s a high percentage of friendly repeat participants, so, “Even if you come alone, you are not alone.” You’ll find aid stations and reggae music at every mile of the mostly flat course, as well as some cooling stations with misters and iced-towel wraps. It’s a certified course, so while you could use this race to qualify for the Boston Marathon, you might want to save some energy for the postrace Finish Line Beach Bash, held at Long Bay Beach Park.


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION CARIBBEAN | COCKTAILS

Cocktails of the Caribbean Tropical bars offer tasty sips by the sea

SUNSET BEACH BAR

St. Maarten Known as the hot spot on the island, Sunset Beach Bar is located on Maho Beach alongside the runway of St. Maarten’s main airport. Manager Laurence Yang boasts: “Where else could you enjoy a delicious cocktail on a beach while watching planes roaring over your head?”

By Jordan Pecar

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ITH SAND BETWEEN YOUR toes and cares left at home, you’ll never

want to leave these postcard-worthy Caribbean beach bars. And their go-to beverages rival their breathtaking views. On your next trip to the islands, be sure to stop at one of these watering holes and prepare to sip your trip away with these signature drinks:

The Jet Fuel is a mix of coconut cream, amaretto and 151-proof rum. LAURENCE YANG (2)


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION CARIBBEAN | COCKTAILS

JACK’S SHACK

TAMBOO BAR & SEASIDE GRILL

Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands Located just up the beach from the cruise port, Jack’s Shack is the ideal spot for ship passengers and crews to mingle with locals. And first-time island visitors are welcomed with a free shot of rum.

Rincon, Puerto Rico With a two-level deck right above Sandy Beach, popular with surfers, Tamboo Bar & Seaside Grill is a muststop destination, offering an array of Puerto Rican fusion dishes.

The Reef Recker is created by mixing coconut rum, pineapple rum, Blue Curaçao and pineapple juice for a Caribbean Sea color. JACK’S SHACK

The Tamboo Wave Martini is layered with white rum, Hpnotiq liqueur, Passoã liqueur, sour mix and passionfruit syrup. TAMBOO SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM

REGGAE BEACH BAR & GRILL

THE NAKED FISHERMAN

St. Lucia Specializing in grilled seafood, barbecue and tropical drinks, Reggae Beach Bar & Grill mixes savory cuisine with watersport fun, offering rental equipment for snorkeling, kayaking and deep-sea fishing.

St. Lucia One of St. Lucia’s newest beach bars, the Naked Fisherman sits etched into the side of the hill on Smuggler’s Cove beach. “Here, you will find a selection of food and drinks and a mix of local and international influence. We are not just an average beach bar,” says executive assistant manager Arron Gwinnett.

Reggae Rum Punch combines dark rum, passionfruit juice, lemon juice, club soda, water and angostura bitters, garnished with fresh nutmeg and lime. MARSHA HENSLEY

ELVIS’ BEACH BAR Anguilla Elvis’ Beach Bar, stationed on the sand in the village of Sandy Ground, has flourished into a celebrity hangout. Stick around after the sun sets for an authentic taste of Anguilla’s nightlife.

World Famous Elvis’ Rum Punch is a blend of rum, fruit punch (pineapple, orange and guava) and bitters with a floater of amaretto, garnished with fruit and a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg. BRETT FETTEROLF

The Naked Fisherman blends white tequila, vodka, orange curaçao and lime juice. ARRON GWINNETT


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION CARIBBEAN | BEACHES By Melanie Reffes

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N THE CARIBBEAN, BEACH junkies and sun lovers will find some of the world’s most spectacular palm treelined stretches of sand leading to warm, azure ocean water. There are also some of the most picturesque views and romantic sunsets in the world, and scuba diving opportunities in some of the clearest ocean water abound. Many of the Caribbean locales that were affected by the devastating 2017 hurricane season have reopened for business. Check out these Instagram-worthy options to find your next Caribbean adventure destination:

TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS Twelve miles of beach perfection on the eastern crook of Providenciales (or Provo), Grace Bay is the recipient of numerous “best beach” awards. Breathtaking from end to end with soft ashen sand and wide-open blue waters, the busiest beach on the island is also the backyard to a slew of resorts. Part of the Princess Alexandra National Park, nature-friendly water sports including sailing and snorkeling are popular (water skis and jet skis are strictly off-limits). To see the most dramatic underwater life, great snorkeling destinations include Smith’s Reef and Bight Reef. Popular with kiteboarders and blissfully devoid of everyone else, Long Bay Beach on Provo’s southeast coast is 3 miles of delicious solitude. Four-foot water depths extending thousands of feet from shore are ideal for languid swims, and the beach is typically so wide open, you may not see another soul. What you will see is the blue sea meeting the blue sky. Stop at the chic Shore Club, which so far is the only resort even close to the beach (the easiest access is the north entrance next to the resort, where a boardwalk leads to the sand). On the northwest shoreline, wild and windswept Malcolm’s Road is the quietest beach on the island, accessible only with a four-wheel-drive vehicle, but well worth the trip for the superb snorkeling.

Toes in the Sand

BARBADOS

Live your best Caribbean life at one of these beachy spots Long Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos Islands MELANIE REFFES

On the west coast in the parish of St. Peter, Mullins Beach is accessorized with sun beds, shady palms and gentle sand shelves that keep beginners in the shallow water all day. South coast beaches include Dover Beach offering a variety of water sports such as Hobie Cat sailing to windsurfing. CONTINUED


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION CARIBBEAN | BEACHES a beat with the trade winds. Sunsets are spellbinding. On the north side of Tortola, Apple Bay has some of the best surf in the BVIs. For a sip of cocktail history, take the ferry from West End Tortola to Jost Van Dyke, the smallest of the BVIs. On the southern coast, White Bay Beach is a perfect stretch of sand with sailboats docked in the bay, snorkelers in the water and regulars chilling at the Soggy Dollar Bar, where they sip tropical cocktails.

ANGUILLA

Meads Bay, Anguilla FOUR SEASONS RESORT

Crane Beach offers pink-tinged sand soft enough for an early morning stroll and waves ideal for boogie boarding. At the eastern end of the St. Lawrence Gap, Turtle Beach is an all-purpose swath perfect for swimming; the beach is also popular with stand-up paddleboarders, jet skiers and windsurfers. Rockley Beach, also known as Accra Beach, is ideal for young swimmers in the pool-like part of the beach protected by wavebreaking rocks. Older kids can safely play in the water while grown-ups watch the action on a chaise lounge shaded by sea-grape trees.

PUERTO RICO No passport is needed to visit Puerto Rico, home to many beaches, including all the sandy slivers in San Juan and Condado, the stylish tree-lined suburb just over the bridge from Old San Juan. In the metro area, Isla Verde is a popular beach area, with many hotels dotting the shoreline and plenty of water sports in the surf. Ten minutes from baggage claim to the beach, the sandy strands are surprisingly uncrowded, apart from weekends when locals take to early morning jogs. Close to Isla Verde and 30 minutes

Anguilla’s 33 stunning beaches front more than 12 miles of shoreline, and on a typical sunny day, Meads Bay on the southwest coast is camera-ready at sunset. “On first glance, Meads Bay looks like a quiet beach with water a million shades of blue that glistens in the sun,” says Nori Evoy, surfer and founder of Smuggler’s Cove, anguilla-beaches.com, “but the waves British Virgin Islands can get wild with swells up to 8 feet high, which makes it the best beach on the BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS TOURISM BOARD island for surfers.” For accommodations, try the swanky Four Seasons Resort and Residences. from San Juan, La Posita is a long, Shoal Bay East is popular with dayfamily-friendly beach on the Atlantic trippers who park their towels on the coast with a rock wall that creates a 2-mile strip and then make a beeline to shallow natural pool. For the active Gwen’s Reggae Grill for a crowd, there’s a biking trail cheeseburger in paradise. from Isla Verde, and for Maundays Bay rarely gets those who like to eat local, “Meads Bay crowded, and die-hard vendors across the street looks like a swimmers and romance serve up hefty portions of alike enjoy the fried fish and barbecued quiet beach with walkers mile-long stretch in front pork. of the elegant Belmond “My favorite is Playa water a million Cap Juluca hotel, slated to Flamenco on the small shades of blue.” reopen in November. island of Culebra,” adds A breezy beach on the Carla Campos, executive — NORI EVOY, South Coast, Rendezvous director of the Puerto founder of Bay hosts some of the Rico Tourism Company. anguilla-beaches.com best dunes on the island, “The beach looks better beach bars including now than it did before the Garvey’s Sunshine Shack storms because the sand is (open October through August) and the whiter, and the contrast between the blue top-drawer CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa. water and the green mountains is simply At the far western end, Merrywing Bay spectacular.” is the capital of calm fronting The Reef by BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS Cuisinart. Breezes Restaurant is open for Named for the sugar mills that used lunch and dinner on the beach. For your to populate the area, Cane Garden own secluded swath, head to Savannah Bay is where surfers rule the waves, Bay where you’ll find Junks Hole on the paddleboarders work the smooth water calmer side of the bay. Powdery sand and everyone else claims their spot in the and barely a soul in sight makes the east sun. On the northwest shore of Tortola, end beach a must-go for privacy-seekers Cane Garden Bay is a popular spot with craving solitude in the sun. tourists but still manages to exude a “Island recovery has been nothing local vibe. On the western tip, Smuggler’s short of remarkable,” says Minister of Cove, once frequented by pirates, is still Ttourism Cardigan Connor. “Some of our without too many tourists, but has plenty beaches have grown post-hurricanes and of white sand and palm trees that keep all of them are open and better than ever.”


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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

Profile for STUDIO Gannett

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