It’s hard to believe there’s anywhere more beautiful than Florida’s stunning beaches and pale blue waters to escape to. To make things even more enticing, these dreamy destinations are not only easily accessible, but nearby. The mystery place? The Caribbean! Full of wonders, the Caribbean is closer than you may think. With destinations starting at 30 minutes away by seaplane, you can get there in less time than it would take you to drive from downtown Miami to Key West. If you’re planning to take your family on vacation this season, you don’t need to go far to achieve wanderlust-inspiring vistas and relaxation – which is why the Caribbean is the perfect destination for South Floridians. Gather your family and get ready to embark on a Caribbean adventure less than three hours away from Miami!
Aside from being a tropical paradise, The Bahamas is a place that welcomes the whole family: from the youngest of kids to their parents and grandparents. Bimini’s only 30 minutes away via seaplane, however you can also take a two-hour ferry ride over to the island, allowing you to enjoy the ocean views from the boat. Who knows, you might even wish the ride was longer!
Once you arrive in Bimini, there’s plenty of activities to enjoy with your family. Beyond a trip to the beach, Bimini has a multitude of activities that will appeal to all age groups. For starters, there are two distinct museums you must visit – the Dolphin House and the Bimini Museum. Dolphin House is so unique and colorful you’ll need to see it for yourself to believe it, while the Bimini Museum serves explores the history of the island and its people. For older teens and adults, the famous Sapona Shipwreck is a great attraction. Sail and observe it from a distance, or dive for a closer look. Either way, you’ll want an experienced guide in tow to not only explain the rich story behind it, but make sure you are safe.
When it comes to lodging, the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini is hands down the best option for your family vacation. This resort extends along miles of white sand beaches, and offers a host of water activities for the whole family, including snorkeling, parasailing, glass-bottom kayaking, and even swimming with dolphins. The beaches here are absolutely stunning, with clear, turquoise waters that constantly fascinate visitors. The hotel is also home to the Beach Bums Kids Activity Center, where you can leave your kids safely supervised for fun games and activities while you try your luck at the casino or indulge at the spa. You can also take the family to one of the two resort pools (or both!). There are also six dining options at the hotel, where you can find all sorts of food, such as pizza, seafood, healthy, and comfort food.
If convenience is your first priority, then you should visit Puerto Rico. Many people don’t know that Puerto Rico is American territory, making the traveling process incredibly simple. You won’t need a passport to visit, and you’ll most likely have phone service automatically, as all major US carriers cover the island. Plus, Puerto Rico is about 2 hours away from Florida (closer than even New York City). Talk about a seamless trip!
Puerto Rico offers a multitude of activities for the whole family, but most importantly, it offers a cultural experience that’s unlike the typical American destination. Spanish is the official language of the island, and it has a clear Latin identity and unique culture of its own. The food is absolutely delicious, bringing in influences from Spanish, African and native Taíno populations. You’ll feel as if you’ve travelled to a whole new country, but without the long flights or hours wasted at customs.
When it comes to hotels, there’s no shortage to choose from. If you’re visiting San Juan, the iconic Caribe Hilton should be your top choice. The hotel just underwent a $100 million renovation following Hurricane’s Irma and Maria. Aside from being perfectly located between Old San Juan and Condado, this hotel has everything to entertain you: a secluded beach, multiple pools, tennis courts, a spa and a hammock garden, just to name a few. If you’re planning to venture to the Southern coast, Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort is the way to go. This resort offers family packages, a large playground, mini golf, and a playpen. There are two pools, a whirlpool and even a water slide. And if that wasn’t enough, the hotel boasts a 27-hole golf course, clubhouse and casino, making this a resort suitable for families of all sizes and ages.
Only an hour and a half flight away from Miami, Jamaica is ready to welcome you and your family with open arms. The island is known for being Bob Marley’s birthplace, the land of reggae music and high quality coffee. However, Jamaica’s also known for its delicious cuisine (jerk chicken all the way!), beautiful beaches, gorgeous waterfalls, easily accessible nature, friendly locals and gorgeous golf courses. With so many things to do, you’ll want to plan your stay with enough time to do it all!
If you’re looking to have a seamless, easy, friendly vacation, then Jamaica has the right offering for you. At the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, you’ll have everything you could possibly need. This all-inclusive resort will take care of satisfying every member of your family, as there’s something for everyone here. For the kids, there’s so much to do that the words “I’m bored” will never come out of their mouths: there’s the Sugar Mills Falls Water Park, a lazy river, a water recreation center (think kayaking and snorkeling), multiple game options (table tennis, chess, bingo), a kids center, a surf simulator and access to the beach. For adults, there’s a gorgeous spa, an 18-hole golf course designed by world renowned golf architect Robert VonHagge, and 7 upscale restaurants and bars. You can have all of this just an hour and a half away from home. Let that sink in!
A classic Caribbean destination, Aruba is the perfect place to dive into wanderlust and relaxation. They don’t call it “one happy island” for nothing! Packed with beaches, a national park, plenty of shopping and many more family-friendly activities, it’s no wonder so many families choose to vacation here year after year. Visiting an island that’s part of the Dutch Caribbean means you’ll get to interact with some of the kindest locals in the Caribbean and you’ll get to try some delicious typical food. The best part? The island is less than 3 hours away from Miami.
If you want to stay in the best accommodations in the island, you will want to check out Hilton Aruba Casino & Resort. Without a doubt your family will never want to leave the property! There are endless activities you can do here, from daily scheduled recreation for your little ones to an on-site bird sanctuary, there’s no shortage of things to keep everyone entertained. Of course, the beach is the key landmark here, as the sand is white and the color of the water is clear blue. The calmness at the shore will allow for your kids to play and enjoy the water, while you lay under a “palapa” with a fresh tropical drink in hand. The spa is visually pleasing and you’ll be able to unwind with a full body massage to achieve the zen mode you’ve been desiring all year long.